Charlaquin’s revised weapon and armor tables

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
In the thread about devising a simple encumbrance system, I brought up the subject of making Strength more important through armor with Strength requirements rather than encumbrance penalties. Since @Laurefindel expressed interest in seeing my take on that, I thought I’d post it in its own thread, so here is my work-in-progress revision of the weapon and armor tables. Keep in mind, these haven’t been tested yet in actual play. I am willing to hear feedback on them, but I have pretty much overthought these things to death and at this point reallu want to see it in actual play before I fiddle with it any more.

Conversion rates:
Copper (cp)Orichalcum (op)Silver (sp)Electrum (ep)Gold (gp)
Copper (cp)11/51/101/501/100
Orichalcum (op)511/21/101/20
Silver (sp)10211/51/10
Electrum (ep)5010511/2
Gold (gp)100201021

Armor:
ArmorTypeCostACStrengthStealth
Light armor
PaddedJack5 sp11 + Dex-Disadvantage
QuiltedJack10 sp11 + Dex--
BrigandineCuirass35 sp+1--
Medium armor
HeaterShield10 sp1/2 Cover--
HideJack10 sp12 + Dex (Max 2)--
GoussetedJack15 sp13 + Dex (Max 2)-Disadvantage
BreastplateCuirass400 sp+2--
Heavy armor
SplintGuards10 sp+1Str 13Disadvantage
KiteShield30 sp3/4 Cover-Disadvantage
MailJack30 sp14-Disadvantage
PlateGuards200 sp+2Str 15Disadvantage

Jacks
A jack is a protective coat-like garment that extends to the elbows and knees, worn on its own or under a cuirass to distribute and absorb the force of incoming blows. While wearing a jack, you can use the Jack’s AC rating to determine your armor class. It is generally considered more socially acceptable to wear a jack in public than other forms of armor.

Padded: Also known as a gambeson or an aketon, a padded jack is made from many layers of linen.

Quilted: Similar to a padded jack, a quilted jack is made from thick wool batting sewn between two layers of cloth to cut down on bulk.

Hide Sometimes called a buff coat, this jack is made of thick cow or aurochs leather, minimally cured so that it is tougher than normal leather but more supple than rawhide.

Gousseted: A gousseted jack is made by sewing small patches of mail sometimes called “voiders” to a padded or quilted jack to cover vulnerable areas.

Mail: Mail is made of small interlocking metal rings, riveted together at the seams to resist breakage. A “mail jack” is actually a coat of these rings worn over a thin cloth garment or sewn to a leather backing for comfort and additional protection against percussive force.

Cuirasses
A cuirass is an armored chest piece worn over a jack to protect the wearer’s vital organs. When worn, a cuirass adds its AC bonus to the armor class granted by your jack. You must be wearing a jack to benefit from wearing a cuirass.

Brigandine: This armor is made of many small overlapping metal plates, sewn or riveted to the inside of a a cloth or leather garment like a doublet.

Breastplate: A plate cuirass, or “breastplate,” is a protective shell made from two solid metal plates. Breastplates and their accompanying backplates need to be custom-made to fit the wearer.

Guards
“Guards” is a catch-all term for various limb protection such as gauntlets, vambraces, rearbraces, pauldrons, and greaves. They are usually worn in addition to a jack and cuirass to cover the parts left exposed, though they can be worn on their own. When wearing guards, you add their AC bonus to your armor class. If your Strength score is less than the Strength requirement for a set of greaves, your speed is reduced by 10 feet while wearing them.

Splint: Splint guards are made of leather and reinforced with long strips of metal, wood, or bone.

Plate: Plate guards are made from solid plates of metal secured to the limbs with leather straps.

Shields
Shields are made of wood, sometimes with a leather rim or covering to resist splintering, strapped to the arm to provide the wearer partial cover from attacks. A shield occupies the hand when worn, preventing the wearer from using it to wield weapons, use items, or interact with the environment.

Heater: A heater shield is a compact, angular shield, roughly the shape of a clothes iron. When worn, it grants the wielder half cover.

Kite: A kite shield is long and tear drop shaped, making it more cumbersome than a heater, but extending its protection to the lower body. When worn, it grants the wielder three-quarters cover.

Getting Into and Out of Armor
The time it takes to don or doff armor depends on its type.

Donning and Doffing Armor
TypeDonDoff
Jack1 minute1 minute
Cuirass5 minutes1 minute
Guards5 minutes3 minutes
Shield1 action1 action

Weapons
WeaponCostDamageProperties
Simple Melee
Axe2 cp1d6 slashingVersatile (1d8)
Club2 cp1d6 bludgeoningVersatile (1d8)
Flail5 cp1d4 bludgeoningFinesse, versatile (1d6)
Hammer1 sp1d6 bludgeoningThrown (range 20/60)
Hatchet1 sp1d4 slashingLight, thrown (range 20/60)
Javelin5 cp1d4 piercingThrown (range 30/120), versatile (1d6)
Knife2 sp1d4 piercingFinesse, light, thrown (range 20/60)
Maul3 sp1d10 bludgeoningHeavy, two-handed
Pick3 sp1d10 piercingHeavy, two-handed
Scythe2 sp1d8 slashingHeavy, reach, two-handed
Sickle1 sp1d4 slashingFinesse, light
Spear5 cp1d4 piercingReach, versatile (1d6)
Staff2 cp1d6 bludgeoningReach, two-handed
Simple Ranged
Bow25 sp1d6 piercingAmmunition (range 80/320), two-handed
Crossbow25 sp1d8 piercingAmmunition (range 80/320), loading, two-handed
Dart1 cp1d4 piercingLight, thrown (range 20/60)
Sling1 cp1d4 bludgeoningAmmunition (range 30/120)
Martial Melee
Battle axe5 sp1d6 slashingLight, thrown (range 20/60)
Buckler5 sp1d4 bludgeoningLight, parry
Dagger5 sp1d4 piercingFinesse, light, special
Estoc20 sp1d6 piercingFinesse, versatile (2d4)
Greataxe30 sp1d12 slashingHeavy, two-handed
Greatsword50 sp2d6 piercing or slashingHeavy, two-handed
Lance10 sp1d12 piercingReach, two-handed, special
Long knife15 sp1d6 slashingFinesse, light
Longsword15 sp1d8 piercing or slashingVersatile (1d10)
Mace5 sp1d8 bludgeoning
Poleaxe20 sp1d10 piercing or slashingHeavy, reach, two-handed
Round shield10 sp1d6 bludgeoningParry
Short sword10 sp1d6 piercing or slashingLight
War hammer15 sp1d8 bludgeoning or piercingVersatile (1d10)
War knife20 sp1d6 slashingFinesse, versatile (2d4)
War pick20 sp1d10 bludgeoning or piercingHeavy, reach, two-handed
Martial Ranged
Arbalest50 sp1d10 piercingAmmunition (range 100/400), heavy, loading, two-handed
Longbow50 sp1d8 piercingAmmunition (range 150/600), heavy, two-handed
Firearms
Musket500 sp1d12 piercingAmmunition (range 40/120), heavy, loading, two-handed
Pistol250 sp1d10 piercingAmmunition (range 30/90), loading

New Weapon Properties
Parry
When a creature you can see hits you with an attack and you’re wielding a weapon with the Parry property, you can use your reaction to increase your AC against the attack by 2, potentially turning the hit into a miss.

Firearms
To make a ranged attack with a firearm, you must expend one use of smokepowder in addition to one piece of ammunition. The ammunition of a firearm is destroyed upon use.

Special Weapons
Dagger: When you take the Attack action and attack with a melee weapon that you’re holding in one hand, you can use a bonus action to attack with a dagger that you’re holding in the other hand. You don’t add your ability modifier to the damage of the bonus attack, unless that modifier is negative.

Improvised Weapons (revised from PHB)
Any object you can wield in one or two hands can be used as an improvised weapon. Improvised weapons can be thrown at a normal range of 15 feet and a long range of 30 feet, and deal 1d4 damage of an appropriate type (determined by the DM) on a hit, or 1d6 damage if wielded in two hands. At the DM’s discretion, a character can apply their proficiency bonus to an attack with an improvised weapon that is similar to a weapon that character is proficient with.

If a character uses a ranged weapon to make a melee attack, throws a weapon that does not have the thrown property, or attempts to use a weapon to deal damage of a type it does not normally deal, it is considered an attack with an improvised weapon.
 
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Laurefindel

Explorer
ok, lots of stuff to digest here...

Built-your-own armour mini game looks cool. Looks like it yields similar AC to RAW, with some discrepancies on price and stealth disadvantage. It keeps a medieval feel and aesthetics which I love. I wonder how magical bonuses will work? Modify jacks' AC only I guess?

Half cover grants +2 bonus to AC and Dex saves. Three quarter cover grant +5 bonus!

Weapons follow the 1H = 1d8, 2H = 1d12/2d6, with each property (including "simple") worth 1 die. I'm still not sure all properties are worth the same...

Also, buckler and round shield are on the weapon table but not the armour table, so they're weapons that can act as shield with your reaction?

Late now; I'll have a better look later
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
ok, lots of stuff to digest here...

Built-your-own armour mini game looks cool. Looks like it yields similar AC to RAW, with some discrepancies on price and stealth disadvantage. It keeps a medieval feel and aesthetics which I love. I wonder how magical bonuses will work? Modify jacks' AC only I guess?
Keeping results comparable to RAW was a goal. Prices are comparable at the low end, but much cheaper at the high end, which is a concern, but I want to see how it works out. My thinking is that AC advancement will be much more dependent on individual character capabilities than money. My hope is that instead of saving up money to buy a better suit of armor, players will spend Feats and ASIs on armor proficiencies, Strength, and Dex. Magic armor just won’t grant AC bonuses. This is a personal preference of mine, I find straight +x Magic items boring, and would rather they grant cool abilities.

Half cover grants +2 bonus to AC and Dex saves. Three quarter cover grant +5 bonus!
Yep, equivalent to a +3 magic shield. Might be too strong or available too cheaply. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to include tower shields a lot.

Weapons follow the 1H = 1d8, 2H = 1d12/2d6, with each property (including "simple") worth 1 die. I'm still not sure all properties are worth the same...
I went under the assumption that the relative values of weapon and armor properties in the base game were fine. My two main goals with the weapons table were to eliminate superfluous or “trap” options, to rejigger damage types, and to get rid of the rapier, which along with my armor changes I think will be enough to make Dex builds more on par with Strength.

Also, buckler and round shield are on the weapon table but not the armour table, so they're weapons that can act as shield with your reaction?
Correct. Because they are weapons, they can be equipped or unequipped with your one item interaction per turn instead of the 1 action it takes to don or doff armor of the “shield” category. But it also means they are susceptible to being disarmed. My thinking was, an enarm-held shield protects passively, but is more effort to equip or remove, where a boss-held Shield is easier to pick up and put down, but has to be used reactively.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
One thing I’m realizing now, having posted it, is that there’s a lot to decipher here. I, as the designer, am intuitively familiar with the minute rules interactions involved, like how shields-as-weapons behave differently than shields-as-armor, or what the optimal armor set is for a fighter with 16 Strength and 14 Dex who wants to avoid the stealth penalty. Where anyone who hasn’t been mulling these things over for months is likely to have a learning curve. I can’t believe I hadn’t considered that as an advocate for usability in design.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Sad to see hatchets not have finesse, and the lack of variety in finely balanced one-handed cut and thrust swords (colloquially, rapiers) is also a bummer on such a detailed table.

Maybe tower shields should give a bonus to Dex saves and still just give half cover. Let the classic image of the knight holding fast against dragon fire a thing that could actually happen.

Seems odd to have “long knife” be the closest a character can get to a scimitar or saber or falcata.

fun idea for axes: give them a benefit to disarming weapons with the parry trait.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Sad to see hatchets not have finesse, and the lack of variety in finely balanced one-handed cut and thrust swords (colloquially, rapiers) is also a bummer on such a detailed table.
I’ve gone back and forth on the idea of including a “side sword” with the rapier’s stats, but I really want Finesse weapons to cap out at 1d6 one-handed and 1d8/2d4 two-handed. In the end, I decided that those weapons could fit comfortably in the shortsword category, even though some are quite long. I could probably change the name to side sword, or even just “sword.”

Maybe tower shields should give a bonus to Dex saves and still just give half cover. Let the classic image of the knight holding fast against dragon fire a thing that could actually happen.
That image is why I have enarmed shields giving partial cover instead of just an AC bonus, since cover does add to Dex saves. But yeah, permanent 3/4 cover is probably too strong. Pathfinder 2e does a cool thing where tower shields grant +2 AC normally, and you can use your reaction to increase it to +5 for the turn. I like the idea of that a lot, but I was struggling to word it, especially to show it in the armor table.

Seems odd to have “long knife” be the closest a character can get to a scimitar or saber or falcata.
“long knife” is a direct English translation of the German Lange Messer, which apart from the hilt construction is identical to the medieval backsword, or “Falchion.” I could have gone for the name “Backsword,” but I liked how “long knife” and “war knife” to describe single-edged cut-centric swords more than “backsword” and “great backsword.” Plus “long knife” opens the door to things like machetes and kukri.

fun idea for axes: give them a benefit to disarming weapons with the parry trait.
A Disarm property would be great to put on axes and some polearms, but I really wanted to keep the complexity low. I tried to limit myself to the properties that already exist in the game, with Parry being the one indulgence I allowed myself.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think I might consolidate enarm-held and boss-held shields. They’re one of the least intuitive parts of this homebrew, and the separation adds almost nothing in terms of depth to justify that complexity.
 
Spears (and later, polearms) were the primary melee weapons of the middle ages, contrary to years of nonsensical fantasy lore. And not because they were cheap to manufacture. Seeing them relegated to the bottom of the heap is...jarring to say the least; and highly disappointing. I like the concept of your piecemeal armor - but as written it leads to nonsensical results. And has some serious bounded accuracy violations when a high dex build is mixed with heavy armor.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Spears (and later, polearms) were the primary melee weapons of the middle ages, contrary to years of nonsensical fantasy lore. And not because they were cheap to manufacture. Seeing them relegated to the bottom of the heap is...jarring to say the least; and highly disappointing.
Bottom of the heap? Spears May have a small base damage die, but Reach and Versatile is a powerful combination of features! Combine that with polearm master and sentinel and you’ve got a very effective character!

I like the concept of your piecemeal armor - but as written it leads to nonsensical results. And has some serious bounded accuracy violations when a high dex build is mixed with heavy armor.
Could you give me an example of these nonsensical results? I don’t see any combinations that don’t make sense.

Bounded accuracy is preserved. The highest possible AC you can achieve with this system is 25 (11+5 base from quilted jack and 20 Dex, +2 from breastplate, and + 2 from plate guards, +5 from a kite shield).That’s 1 less than the maximum you can achieve by RAW with +3 magic plate armor and a +3 magic shield, and it requires both 15 Strength and 20 Dex, which is a hell of an ability score investment. Plus you’d have disadvantage on stealth checks on a Dex-based character.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
prices way too low
Note that with my conversion rates, copper is equivalent to RAW silver, orichalcum is equivalent to RAW electrum, silver is equivalent to RAW gold, electrum is worth 10x it’s RAW value, and gold is equivalent to RAW platinum. So prices are actually pretty much the same as RAW, with the only exceptions being that you can get equivalent AC to half-plate for 450 standard units of currency and full plate for 630. These are significant discounts on the highest tier armors compared to RAW, but how often have you seen someone actually buy half plate or full plate rather than just finding a set while adventuring anyway?
 
Bounded accuracy is preserved. The highest possible AC you can achieve with this system is 25 (11+5 base from quilted jack and 20 Dex, +2 from breastplate, and + 2 from plate guards, +5 from a kite shield).That’s 1 less than the maximum you can achieve by RAW with +3 magic plate armor and a +3 magic shield, and it requires both 15 Strength and 20 Dex, which is a hell of an ability score investment. Plus you’d have disadvantage on stealth checks on a Dex-based character.
+3 magic items are extremely rare. There's your difference.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
+3 magic items are extremely rare. There's your difference.
+3 magic items are explicitly as common or rare as the DM decides. Yes, they are rare if you use the RAW treasure tables, but the DMG is clear that it is up to the DM to decide if and how to distribute magic items, which means +3 must be within the system’s expected tolerance for accuracy. Also keep in mind that achieving the equivalent of +3 armor requires heavy armor proficiency and at least 2 ability score improvements, so no one is getting it before 8th level, and later if they don’t invest heavily in both strength and Dex at character creation and/or don’t have heavy armor proficiency from 1st level. And since one of my design goals was to make Strength and Dexterity both important for all martial characters, I’d say this is working as intended.

I agree that kite shields probably make the equivalent of a +3 shield too easily accessible. Like I said, that’s something I’ve gone back and forth on a lot, and is likely to change with playtesting. Thank you for the feedback.
 
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vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
In my games, large shields give +2 AC with the Warding property: grant 3/5 cover against ranged attacks. It requires 13 str and give disadvantage to stealth roll. Shields were moved from Armors to Weapons and given a 1d4 damage roll.

I also have helmets, which gives +1 AC and disadvantage to perception checks.

I might steal your armor rules, I love the mini-game it adds.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
In my games, large shields give +2 AC with the Warding property: grant 3/5 cover against ranged attacks. It requires 13 str and give disadvantage to stealth roll. Shields were moved from Armors to Weapons and given a 1d4 damage roll.
I like that a lot. I might steal that.

I also have helmets, which gives +1 AC and disadvantage to perception checks.
This is very cool, but I’ve already pushed AC as high as I’m comfortable doing.

I might steal your armor rules, I love the mini-game it adds.
Please do! At this point what I really need is feedback based on actual play, so if you or anyone is interested, I would love for you to try them out and let me know how they work for you.
 
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Laurefindel

Explorer
I’ll grant that kite shields probably make the equivalent of a +3 shield too easily accessible.
I think it does. Or at the very least, it makes the equivalent of a +3 shield available a lot earlier and more reliably than what the game expects.

My intuition is that...
+3 weapons (and monsters?) would need to be frequent enough to "compensate"
The balance between wearing a shield and wielding a two-handed weapon would be compromised.
+5 to Reflex saves is huge. +2 is already a big bonus. At 1st level, it's the equivalent of being proficient, or expertise in Reflex save. 3/4 cover is the equivalent of proficiency for a 13th level character.

So despite the shifting of properties and damage dice and AC bonuses, you seem to be respecting RAW in all regards except for shield, which get a straight boost. Either because they can get used as weapons, or they grant a bonus to saves as well. Now than can be a design goal, and I'm ok with that, but at the moment by RAW that +2 AC is precariously balanced against two-weapon fighting and two-handed weapon fighting. Your shield rules (including parry property) upset that balance.

Potential solutions could include linking kite shield's AC to proficiency bonus. Or one may need to spend an action or bonus action to "raise shield" and get the cover bonus.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I think it does. Or at the very least, it makes the equivalent of a +3 shield available a lot earlier and more reliably than what the game expects.

My intuition is that...
+3 weapons (and monsters?) would need to be frequent enough to "compensate"
The balance between wearing a shield and wielding a two-handed weapon would be compromised.
+5 to Reflex saves is huge. +2 is already a big bonus. At 1st level, it's the equivalent of being proficient, or expertise in Reflex save. 3/4 cover is the equivalent of proficiency for a 13th level character.

So despite the shifting of properties and damage dice and AC bonuses, you seem to be respecting RAW in all regards except for shield, which get a straight boost. Either because they can get used as weapons, or they grant a bonus to saves as well. Now than can be a design goal, and I'm ok with that, but at the moment by RAW that +2 AC is precariously balanced against two-weapon fighting and two-handed weapon fighting. Your shield rules (including parry property) upset that balance.

Potential solutions could include linking kite shield's AC to proficiency bonus. Or one may need to spend an action or bonus action to "raise shield" and get the cover bonus.
Yeah, you are 100% right about this. I think I got too attached to the idea of making enarmed and center grip shields mechanically distinct and let myself get too carried away. I’ll put some more thought into how I want to handle shields between now and the campaign I plan to use these item lists in.
 

Laurefindel

Explorer
The core idea is sound, its the execution that may require a bit more work. Strapped shields were indeed more like a portable cover that you move in the right place, and center grip shields more like an "active" defense where you attempt to parry with the boss (the rest of the shield is there to protect from arrows and the deflected blow you just parried).

I think that you could add to shields without going overboard. Spend action and/or reaction to gain half-cover (effectively gaining +2 Dex save*) with heather shield isn't out of line. Neither would bossed shield be if they could also be used as weapon say, in exchange for their AC bonus for that round maybe?

I think you could also up the benefits of weapons and/or armour as well on the same scale. From the other thread you mentioned preferring the carrot over the bat in regards to low ability scores, so some of these new properties could be tied to stats. Like a parry ability granting +1 AC as reaction with a rapier, but you need 13 STR for that (I know you don't have the rapier; its a theoretical example).
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
The core idea is sound, its the execution that may require a bit more work. Strapped shields were indeed more like a portable cover that you move in the right place, and center grip shields more like an "active" defense where you attempt to parry with the boss (the rest of the shield is there to protect from arrows and the deflected blow you just parried).

I think that you could add to shields without going overboard. Spend action and/or reaction to gain half-cover (effectively gaining +2 Dex save*) with heather shield isn't out of line. Neither would bossed shield be if they could also be used as weapon say, in exchange for their AC bonus for that round maybe?
The idea initially came from my experimentation with the facing rules. Since shields only provide their bonus to AC against attacks from the front arc and the side arc of the hand they’re equipped to, I thought granting cover would be a good way to compensate for the lack of protection from
The other two arcs. That lead to the idea of kite/tower shields that gave 3/4 cover, and the Parry mechanic came from a desire to differentiate center grip shields from enarmed shields. Then I never toned them back down for use without the facing rules.

How about this: Shields don’t add to AC when equipped. When you are hit by an attack or forced to make a Dexterity saving throw and you have a shield equipped, you can use your reaction to gain your shield’s cover bonus against the attack or the effect that you are saving against. Change the name of Round Shield to “Targe” to avoid confusion with Shields. Maybe make Parry add the weapon’s damage die to AC instead of a flat +2, and reduce the targe’s damage die to 1d4 and the buckler’s to 1.

I think you could also up the benefits of weapons and/or armour as well on the same scale. From the other thread you mentioned preferring the carrot over the bat in regards to low ability scores, so some of these new properties could be tied to stats. Like a parry ability granting +1 AC as reaction with a rapier, but you need 13 STR for that (I know you don't have the rapier; its a theoretical example).
I think that is more complexity than I’m aiming for.
 
Bottom of the heap? Spears May have a small base damage die, but Reach and Versatile is a powerful combination of features! Combine that with polearm master and sentinel and you’ve got a very effective character!
Combine any suitable weapon with PAM and Sentinel and you've got an extremely effective character. Without those feats, the small damage die results in the spear rapidly being outdamaged by more or less any other weapon. The idea that a spear would be outdamaged by a club is utterly nonsensical; as for that matter the idea that a flail is outdamaged by a mace. And again, contrary to established history.

Could you give me an example of these nonsensical results? I don’t see any combinations that don’t make sense.
Sure - imagine two identically armored characters in a breastplate, all the plate pauldrons, greaves, helmet, and the like. Except that one is wearing only cloth underneath it all rather than mail...and yet somehow is better armored.

Bounded accuracy is preserved. The highest possible AC you can achieve with this system is 25 (11+5 base from quilted jack and 20 Dex, +2 from breastplate, and + 2 from plate guards, +5 from a kite shield).That’s 1 less than the maximum you can achieve by RAW with +3 magic plate armor and a +3 magic shield, and it requires both 15 Strength and 20 Dex, which is a hell of an ability score investment. Plus you’d have disadvantage on stealth checks on a Dex-based character.
WRONG. That's 25 before anything like Shield of Faith or other spells, blur, any sort of magic armor or shield, the protection fighting style, or any further buff. 25 AC itself breaks bounded accuracy - that's higher than the strongest demon lords, the most ancient dragons; that's better than creatures made entirely of armor, or wind, or metal. If your system allows a common soldier to beat Demogorgon's AC with only mundane gear, you've gotten something wrong.
 

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