Level Up (A5E) When and how much gear should get damaged?

The section on equipment maintenance leaves me wondering about a couple of things:

-When a situation arises where gear might be damaged, how should you decide which gear is affected? One item per character? All of a character’s exposed gear? There isn’t any instruction and the example scenarios for when maintenance is called for would suggest different answers.
-Is there any more guidance on deciding when to call for these checks in the first place? I was expecting the exploration challenges might have gear damage as failure results, but I haven‘t seen any yet (I’ve only scanned those though, so I might have missed them.)

It‘s a system that seems like it would work better with clear rules rather than leaving it to “when your DM decides to annoy you, they might call for a maintenance check”, which is kind of how I see it going when/if it’s all DM fiat. I mean, I actually like survival kinds of games where this is a thing, and I play with people I like, and even I wouldn’t want this sort of thing left to DM fiat. I need to know what causes it so I can effectively judge risks versus rewards and such.

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Yea, detailed rules aren't really 5e's style, and therefor not a5e's style either. Though in cases like this, I would agree with you at least some more detailed suggestions would be nice. There are a few, such as using Sacrifice Shield (turn a hostile's crit into a hit, but break the shield). Mind such rules would only really see use in the early levels of the game as you can expect to start getting magical gear by level 4-5 unless of course your game doesn't include magical items. Also as I recall there are a couple instances where gear can be broken from exploration challenges. The fairy ring one where if the PCs break the ring they find some of their equipment damaged or broken as the fey take revenge lol.

So I suppose that means in the end its up to you. You could create your own rules for specifically when items become damaged and how many. Though I think the 'spirit' of the rules as written is to use it as a narrative device, to add tension to a difficult battle or consequences from the player's actions.

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