Item clocks

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Alex Larioza

I like to focus on items in my games as I feel like it adds more depth to my choices. Is my motion detector still working? Do I have any more energy cells for my rifle? Did I remember my towel?!

While Starforge's rules already cover damaging and repairing items, I wanted a more formalized way of handling it mechanically.

The move below prompts you to associate a clock with an important item. The keyword here is "important"; don't associate clocks with common items like a flashlight or a coffee mug.

My thought here is that items my character depends on in their profession (e.g. a hacker's hand terminal or a bounty hunter's shock rifle) should occasionally be unaccessible. This can provide an opportunity for my character to approach a problem differently and hopefully lead to more a interesting outcome.

For those of us who are heavy handed with our Pay the Price moves, this also provides a somewhat less painful way to suffer for a weak hit or a miss. Granted not having a working rifle in a fight can be problematic, but that's why you should take good care of your equipment!

Acquire an Item

When you obtain an important item, tool, or piece of equipment, envision the durability and quality of the item. Then assign it an appropriate clock if the item is...

  • fragile or poorly made: 4 segments
  • of ordinary quality: 6 segments
  • rugged or reinforced: 8 segments
  • masterfully well-built: 10 segments

Then when you make a move with the item and score a weak hit or a miss, and you must suffer resources, you may progress the item's clock instead.

If the clock is full, the item is unusable until repaired. Envision how the item is damaged or malfunctioning. When you Repair the item, clear the clock.