Chapter 10: Gear
The gear a character carries around with him is likely to become one of the most changeable aspects of a character. More often than not gear is simply something that enables certain actions, proves a portable source of advantage in some situations, and helps avoid disadvantage in others. However some gear that characters are likely to carry are so ubiquitous as to have their own stratified rulesets. And while the Tools of the Trade contains extensive lists of various kinds of gear (specifically arms and armour, means of transport, tools for craftsmanship, and clothing) the fundamental rulesets that govern the categories listed here are consistent enough to be considered core rules.

In addition, many directors will want to limit what gear their players start play with, to level the playing field so to speak. And they will also want to ensure that players travelling over long distances, or through hostile terrain, don't overburden themselves with whatever they think might come in handy, and then forget their burden when it comes time to run, swim, or even fight. So rules for weight and encumbrance are also included to encourage players to really think about what their characters are lugging around.

It is important to understand that while many of these mechanics specify a particular Talent, players are always free to use alternatives if they can adequately justify them.

Starting Gear & Wealth

Darkrealm doesn't deal with individual units of currency to determine what a character can and cannot purchase. Instead, the Wealth trait is used. Wealth operates differently during character creation, and during play. During play it works as a Context Trait for appropriate actions, and as a measure of what a character can and cannot afford. And it will rise and fall arbitrarily as is appropriate to the events of the game. However when first creating a character, Wealth is a representation of how much of his time a character has spent plying his chosen trade, and how much wealth he has accumulated by doing so. And because of this, a character's starting Wealth value is purchased with Skill Points, either by default from his profession, or at custom cost according to the following values.

Wealth 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
SP cost 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

A character can start the game with any Common or Uncommon items he chooses that have a Wealth value of equal to or less than his own. There is no limit to how many such items he can select, but other players and the director can challenge him to justify his decisions if it seems a player is taking advantage of the system. Rare or Exotic items must be approved by the director, even if they are within the character's Wealth trait, and items that reduce the Wealth trait when acquired must be acquired before any other items.

Characters who have gear as a conceptual advantage (that is to say, they listed a piece of equipment as one of their major Assets during Character Creation) but do not have sufficient Wealth to acquire it, should work out and agreeable price. Usually taking a character trait whose sole function accounting for otherwise unaffordable gear is the norm, but a Wealth reduction where one would not usually be called for is an acceptable, if heavy, price. And of course the player must have a clear justification for not purchasing the required Wealth trait.

Weight & Burden

Frequently games will see players living on the road, and owning only what they can carry. But even if that isn't the case, characters in heavy armour and carrying hefty weapons can easily reach the limits of what they can comfortably carry. It is recommended that characters use their Tough talent to represent what they can carry (though characters with a high Strong or Hale bonus might argue that those are also appropriate, with appropriate justification). A character references his Tough talent against the table below. If the total weight of everything he is carrying on his person exceeds the weight in pounds listed on the Overburdened column of the table then he gains the Overburdened status. If it exceeds the weight in pounds listed on the Immobile column of the table then he gains the Immobile status. Remember that injury penalties will reduce the talent being used, which will in turn reduce a character's carrying capacity.

Tough Talent -5 -4 -3 -2 -1 0 +1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10
Overburdened (lbs) 10 15 20 25 35 45 55 65 80 95 110 125 145 165 185 205
Immobile (lbs) 30 45 60 75 105 135 165 195 240 285 330 375 435 495 555 615

Carrying a load implies a degree of comfort, and does not involve the expenditure of an action. If a character wants to formulate a specific test to move a burden then while these weights might serve as a starting point for setting a difficulty, what a character can and can't move with the exertion of concentrated effort is not the same as what amount of gear will prevent him from moving around. A character willing to devote an Action every Turn to move his load, should always be given the opportunity to roll against an appropriate Difficulty, rather than assuming failure based on exceeding his Immobile weight.


Armour is anything that characters wear to protect them from harm. It can be used passively, or actively, having its own Hardness Talent that a character can make use of as if it were one of their own, and negates a number of tiers of damage before its wearer begins to be injured (at which point the armour is damaged beyond use). Physical armour is frequently heavy and cumbersome, limiting the manouveribilty of its wearer and burdening them.

More abstract kinds of armour might be lucky charms that protect from evil, mementos that remind a character of happy times, symbols or scripture that reminds them of their cause, or even a compelling mantra. A character might have an amulet that might just save his life at that crucial moment and is destroyed instead of his heart being pierced, or he might duck behind a door or fence to protect him from a raging fire or frenzied animal. All of these things can be mechanically modelled as armour because they are primarily protective in nature.

  • Hardness the hardness Talent of the armour against three core kinds of damage
  • Tiers how many hits the armour takes before being destroyed
  • Encumbrance maximum Talent value a character can use for any movement
  • Limiting yes or no, yes creates a disadvantage to complex movement


Weapons are tools used to proactively attack other characters, with the intent of injuring them. They are used primarily as a means to generate Advantage or Disadvantage, and a weapon will often prove excellent in some situations, and a detriment in others. Weapons also provide a Threshold for translating attacks onto a Damage track, the type of damage inflicted, and provide a maximum Skill value that can be utilized when wielding this weapon to represent how easily it is controlled and manipulated. Because they cannot be used passively, shields are included in this category, though their optimal use is defensive rather than offensive.

More abstract kinds of weapon might include arguments, philosophies, evidence, horrifying experiences, or even long falls. While these aren't physical objects they are mechanically modelled just like a weapon, because they are employed primarily to inflict Damage.

  • Damage Type the kind of damage inflicted
  • Skill Cap the max skill that can be used when using the weapon as a weapon
  • Threshold how many points a hit must succeed by to cause a tier of damage


Tools are objects that assist in skilled activities, be they acts of craftsmanship or demolition or movement or the like. They might make the activity easier, or the act might be impossible in the absence of specialized tools (or some improvised version). A tool provides a maximum skill bonus that can be used by a character using that tool. They will either enable a character to undertake an action without modifier, or will afford advantage to an action, or both.

  • Core Action what the tool's primarily for
  • Enable yes or no, does a tool make the action possible or can it be done by hand?
  • Skill Cap the max skill that can be used when using the tool as a tool
  • Advantage if it gives advantage in the core action when used

Animals & Transport

In addition to having Talents and Skills of their own, animals act as equipment when they are used to travel over short or long distances,alongside the various forms of vehicle in the world. Because of this, when discussed as equipment, we primarily talk about them in terms of their ability to cover ground.Used to get from place to place. Speeds will be indicative of how long it takes a party to get from here to there.

  • Daily Travel how far it travels in an eight hour day under various circumstances
  • Fast the creature/vehicle's Fast talent (for quick reference)
  • Graceful the creature/vehicle's Graceful talent (for quick reference)
  • Hale the creature's Hale talent (for quick reference)


The way a character dresses can be used to generate advantage in certain environments, and disadvantage in others. Environment, in this sense, can be both temperature in the case of heavy furs or desert robes, camouflage in the case of forest hues or rag cloaks, and even social class or role, in the case of fine silks, rags, or vestments. Other attire might be designed to behave more like a tool for social interaction, such as to intimidate like war paint, or to seduce in the case of revealing clothing. These functions might sometimes cap the skills deployed with their assistance as a tool might, but this is rare.

  • Primary Environment what the optimal environment (if any) for the clothing is.
  • Primary Action what kind of thing the attire provides advantage with (the opposite will cause disadvantage).
  • Skill Cap the max skill that can be used when using the attire as a tool
The Tome of Lore: Core Rules for Darkrealm
Chapter 1 Character Creation; Concept; Core Details; Player Interaction
Chapter 2 Talents; The Fourteen Talents; Generating Character Talents; Properties
Chapter 3 Traits; Character Traits; Context Traits; Status Traits
Chapter 4 Skills; The Skill List; Purchasing Skills
Chapter 5 Gameplay; Announcing a Test; Sequence of Play; Actions and Objectives
Chapter 6 Damage; Opposed Tests; Effects of Damage; Recovery; Death
Chapter 7 Development; Awarding Hero Points; Training; Changing Character Traits
Chapter 8 Setting; Tone; Technology & Lifestyle; Religion; Magic; Other Oddities
Chapter 9 Player Races; Civilized Races; Racial Abilities
Chapter 10 Gear; Armour; Weapons; Tools; Animals and Transport; Clothing; Weight and Encumbrance
Chapter 11 Magic; Alchemy; Divination; Talismans and Relics; Fear and Superstition; Spellcasting
Chapter 12 Game Creation;
Appendices Common Actions; Damage Statuses