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Destroy or Break Items

In every RPG, there comes a time to destroy or break items.  Be it Dungeons and Dragons, Atomic RPG System, or any others, a player character may need to break down a door to save people trapped in a burning building, smash a computer that has become self aware and then insane, or destroy an evil ring bent on world domination. There are many ways this has been handled through the various role play games, but each seems to handle it in a different way. The argument often comes up about the “reality” of what it might take to destroy or break an item.

In the Atomic RPG System, we have tackled this problem to destroy or break an item while remembering a major guideline that makes Atomic such a fun and fast pace game: simplicity. To destroy or break items, the Atomic RPG System uses simplified rules for the sake of keeping the pace of the game. In some cases this might not feel as “realistic” as some systems; however, these simple rules make it easy to keep the game moving and to keep everyone having fun.

Basic Rules to Destroy or Break Items

This means characters do not have to worry about other characters or enemies breaking or destroying any of their items while they are on their person. This makes it so the game can keep going forward without any undue hardships or frustrations. We play games to have fun, and the Atomic RPG System smooths over all of this heartache by simply ruling that it isn’t allowed. A character’s items can still ultimately be destroyed, but that character will have to be subdued and stripped of the item, and their enemy will have to make checks to destroy and break items for that character.

Only items specifically targeted are affected by these rules. It is a waste of time and energy to figure out all of the stats for every item in a room that is hit with a Fireball. The GM may grant some flavor saying things get singed or broken. However, if the player really needs to break or destroy something they must include the items specifically in their Attacks. This might take up Targets of a Power, use Spaces or otherwise, and have a plethora of other effects. GM’s are highly encouraged to dismiss wanton destruction as a frivolous time sink. This will keep the Atomic RPG System moving forward.

To Destroy or to Break an Item

Players that are attempting to render an item useless need to determine if they just want to break the item or completely destroy it?

Breaking an Item

Breaking an item renders it useless. It is unable to be used in its normal function if it is broken. When the item is broken, it is mostly intact, but it loses its functionality. A character can attempt to make 1 Break Check to break an item. The difficulty of this check is set by using the chart below. The difficulty may be modified by the GM when appropriate.

Successful Break Item Check

To roll a Break Item Check the player will roll an Athletics, or another Skill if appropriate, against the items Break Item Check. If the player’s roll is equal to or exceeds the Break Item Check then the item is broken and rendered useless until it is repaired.

Failed Break Item Checks

If the player rolls a number less than the Break Item Check number the attempt fails. If the attempt to break the item fails, the character cannot try again unless circumstances change. However, the character can attempt to destroy the item after a failed Break Item Check.

Broken Items can be repaired with a Crafting Skill Check. A broken item can be repaired with a Craft Check equal to what is needed to create it along with 50% of the Cash cost to create it.

Destroying an Item

Destroying an item renders it useless. The destroyed item is torn and broken to shreds with its pieces scattered and barely recognizable. If a character wants to destroy an item, the GM must determine the items material Tier and weight.
Knowing this helps the Game Master determine how many Hit Points the item has along with the item's Resist.

Succeed in Destroying an Item

The GM must also make sure that the character has the means to do damage to the item. The character must have an item or Power strong enough to affect the material the item is made out of. Items cannot be damaged  by materials that are a lower Tier than the item to be destroyed. Powers are considered the Tier of the character that uses them against the item.

Example: You can’t use a washcloth (Tier 1) to destroy an iron door (Tier 3). Also, a 9th level character is Tier 3 meaning their Powers can affect Tier 3 materials or lower. This 9th level, Tier 3 character, can not affect Tier 4 materials.

When attempting to destroy an item, the character attacks the item with Powers or Basic Attack against as they would in Battle Time. All Attacks are against a Defense of 10. A character can Fumble an Attack against an item as well as roll a Critical Hit. A character can continue to attack an item if they have the means to do so until it is destroyed. An item is destroyed when all of the Hit Points the GM has assigned it are gone.

Failing to Destroy an Item

The only way to fail in destroying an item is to not be able to remove all of the items Hit Points. This can be due to either not having a high enough Tier to effect the item or to not be able to overcome the item’s Damage Resistance. If a player can do damage and overcome the item’s Damage Resistance they will eventually be able to destroy the item. However, the owner might catch onto what they are doing, a guard might notice, or the player simply does not have the time then they will also fail to destroy the item.

One Chart To Rule Them All

The chart below is a handy table that any player can use to determine the base to destroy and break items. Simply determine the Tier and the weight of the item in question. From there players can easily figure out the break check that is needed to break the item. Players can easily determine how many Hit Points and Resist an item has before it is will be destroyed.

1Fragile100101Cloth, Paper, Plastic, Plaster
2Weak2510255Ceramic, Glass, Wood, Soft Metal
3Hard50255050Hard Wood, Iron, Steel, Stone
4Strong1005075500Mithril, Titanium
5Indestructible2501001005000Adamantite, Tungsten, Diamond

How to Use the Table

This is the Item Tier. Use this to see if one type of item can effect another.

The nickname for the material. Used to judge what Tier a material is in. If you would call a material Weak, it should be in Tier 2.

The amount of Hit Points the items has per 1 weight of the item. Multiply weight by HP to get the total Hit Points of the item.

Damage Resistance this item resists per attack. Represents an items resistance to physical damage.

Athletics or other Skill Check needed to physically break the item in one shot.

The base cost of an item per 1 weight of the material. Costs may range widely and final cost is always up to the GM. 

Example items that a player might encounter under each item Tier.

Expanded Use of the Destroy or Break Rules

When characters are looking to break or destroy items they are usually talking about the many things that are part of everyday life. However, the same principles can be applied to much larger items that a player may want to break or destroy. The most obvious candidates are doors, but this can be applied to anything. What if a player wants to charge right through a wall? What would it take for the players to take out a bridge, portcullis, or blast door? What if the players want to burn down a house, castle, or blow up the emperor’s space yacht?

There are all kinds of fun and innovative uses for these break and destroy rules. Use this when the dwarf barbarian wants to bash through the stone wall instead of run through the obviously trapped doorway. It will make for a great game and fun Atomic RPG System stories for the future.

Here are a few examples of how to to set some stats for players to use to destroy and break items.

Examples of Item Break Checks or Destruction Stats

Name Description Tier Wt HP Res Break Cost
Paper This is a sheet of everyday paper. 1 0.1 1 0 10 1
Stone Throne This is a nicely carved stone throne for a normal size person. 3 100 500 25 50 500
Paper Sliding Door This is a thin oriental rice paper door. 1 5 50 0 10 5
Wood Door This is a normal three slat wooded door. 2 20 500 10 25 125
Iron Bound Hard Wood Door This is an hard wood door wrapped tightly in bands of iron. 3 50 2,500 25 50 2,500
Titanium Door This is a titanium door. 4 40 4,000 50 75 4,000
Tungsten Blast Door This is a reinforced tungsten bomb proof door. 5 50 12,500 100 100 12,500
Wooden Bridge This is a 2 person narrow wooden bridge spanning 2×6 spaces. 2 150 3,750 10 25 3,750
Stone Bridge This is a 2 person narrow stone bridge spanning 2×6 spaces. 3 300 15,000 25 50 15,000
Modern Wall This is a regular wall in a house covered with sheetrock 1 space wide. 1 20 200 0 10 20
Stone Wall This is a regular stone wall found in a typical castle 1 space wide. 3 100 5,000 25 50 5,000
Spacecraft Hull This is a reinforced outer hull of a spacecraft 1 space wide. 4 100 10,000 50 75 10,000
Wagon This is a normal wooden wagon. 2 500 12,500 10 25 12,500
Luxury Hybrid Car This is a modern 4 seat luxury hybrid car. 3 2,000 100,000 25 50 100,000

These are just a few quick examples of some items and materials that the player characters might want to destroy or break. As you can see it is often easier to break something instead of outright destroying it.

Only a few examples are presented here. Using the Atomic RPG System system to Destroy and Break items should smooth out the long debates and discussions that often crop up when a player wants to do something truly fun and unique. The Atomic RPG System gives players an easy to use and implement system. This can can be applied to anything that the players can dream up.

When it comes to characters attempting to destroy and break items, GM’s no longer have anything to fear. Attempting to destroy and break items is clearly spelled out for Atomic players adding to the fun, flexibility, and enjoyment of the players’ role play gaming experience.

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