One of my players wants to build a Weapon extra for her character based on the Gadgets and Gear page in the SRD.

Essentially she wants to build a the following:

Chained Pickaxe

  • Versatile Piercing Weapon
  • Disproportionately Heavy
  • Weapon:2

Assuming that Weapon/Armor ratings aren't freebies, how much refresh should this cost?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think that this answer might entirely rely on your individual game. Does every weapon your players pick up cost them refresh? How much did you decide Weapon and Armor would cost when you decided to use that optional rule? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 24, 2015 at 1:48

2 Answers 2


Fate Core offers no by-the-book default values. You're free to work out the value on your own (or burdened with doing so). You can look to specific Fate implementations for guidance.

You can simply treat them as having the same value to a +2. Strictly speaking they aren't — weapon:2 won't help you hit any more reliably — but it could be perfectly good for your group, and was for ours for a while. I picked weapon:2 over +2 for a half-troll, because I wanted him hitting harder, but not more reliable at hitting anyone.

Atomic Robo RPG provides a solid weight for Weapon and Armor ratings though via its hardware stunts (on page 75):

  • Armor:2 is worth one stunt. This increases your ability to reduce the impact of attacks across the board, where it makes sense for your kind of armor.
  • Weapon:2 is worth half a stunt. Add another half a stunt onto this. Your half a stunt can be something like:
    • +1 to (action) with (skill) in (context), i.e. exactly like the +2 to a skill template but just +1 instead.
    • Armor:1.
    • Another weapon:2, for a total of weapon:4 in one stunt.

So weapon/armor hardware stunts might look like:

Stun gloves. Weapon:2, and I have +1 to Create Advantage when attempting to daze someone with Fight.

Father's hunting knife. Weapon:4.

Labtech™ Combat Armor. Armor:2.

Me trusty bashin' shield. Armor:1, Weapon:2.

You'll notice that unlike +2's, weapon/armor ratings don't require an action/context scope — that's because the hardware itself provides the scope. The stunt name always describes the hardware. Weapon ratings apply to any attack made using that hardware, and armor ratings apply whenever your armor is relevant in defending from an attack. (A flak jacket will stop a punch, but won't help against Provoke-based attacks.) Its take on these ratings is on page 124, but it's pretty short.

Weapon/armor ratings tend to be more broadly applicable than +2's, but you can only use them when your equipment's relevant, and they can't affect the roll itself (and help you succeed with style), just the shifts that come from it.

Atomic Robo probably makes weapon:2 cheaper than armor:2 for two reasons:

  1. To help beat the zero sum problem.
  2. Because armor:2 can wind up being used a lot more than weapon:2. You can only apply weapon:2 when you actually get to take an action to attack, but armor:2 can wind up applying to every attack you receive in a round! (And if you're the one with armor, you might be the one trying to bait the attacks.)
  • \$\begingroup\$ I enjoyed the link to the zero sum problem article, thanks! \$\endgroup\$
    – neontapir
    Commented Jun 29, 2015 at 17:53

As @dopplegreener pointed out, there is no by-the-book cost for weapon ratings. That being said, it's pretty easy to extrapolate costs based on what you want it to do.

Weapon Ratings

For me, I always see weapon rating as equivalent to the add a bonus stunt. It's pretty much "gain a +2 bonus to [attack skill] when you successfully attack with [specific weapon]."

With that in mind, a weapon:2 costs 1 stunt/refresh. The aspects don't cost anything because of what I call the rule of "it is what it is." Meaning you can invoke and compel any piece of equipment based on what it is.

If you’re not looking for a free invocation, and you just think it’d make sense if there were a particular situation aspect in play, you don’t need to roll the dice or anything to make new aspects—just suggest them, and if the group thinks they’re interesting, write them down.

Creating and Discovering New Aspects In Play

If it makes sense for an aspect to be there, it's there to use.

Armour Ratings

The same logic can be applied to armour rating, but at half-effectiveness: Gain a +1 to Athletics and Fight when you fail a defend roll while wearing [armour].

Since there are two defense skills against physical attacks, armour is only half as effective. Meaning that each stunt is only worth armour:1.


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