Training Equipment Quality

A flimsy heavy bag or fragile muk yang jong will soon break, while rusty swords and snapped-off broom handles are unsafe practice weapons at best. High-quality gear costs more but is better in every way. In particular, good equipment - or a good variety of it - gives a bonus to success rolls for teaching and learning the martial arts, including those for The Training Sequence (p. 147).

The bonuses for training equipment correspond to those under Equipment Modifiers (p. B345), but individual item quality (e.g., a fine-quality heavy bag) isn't usually what's important. Instead, look at the gear's total cost - whether that buys a few high-quality pieces of equipment, an eclectic collection of oddball paraphernalia, or a whole lot of nearly expendable items. The bigger the cash outlay, the better the bonus.

Below are some guidelines. The GM should be flexible in allowing substitutions; not all styles train alike. This is especially true in historical and cinematic games. Generally, an improvised weapon can substitute for a real one in training, and unarmed martial artists should never suffer penalties for poor or missing equipment - the human body and a source of martial knowledge are all they need!

Basic Equipment (+0): At least $500 for a modest open space (e.g., a bedroom with the furniture pushed out of the way) with a mat or other smooth surface; a heavy bag, maki-wara, or dummy; wraps and gloves - or a practice weapon and protective gear, for weapon arts; a man-sized mirror; and appropriate clothing.

Good Equipment (+1): At least $2,500 on better "basic" items - e.g., a larger space; wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling mirrors; or extra bags, makiwara, or dummies - and any of the specific items on pp. 233-234.

Fine Equipment (+2): At least $10,000 on "basic" items, plus machines that measure striking pressure, a regulation cage or ring, and a full range of the gear on pp. 233-234.

Best Equipment (+TL/2, minimum +2): A building-sized setup that costs at least $1 million - be it a secret commando base, state-of-the-art Olympic facility, the Shaolin Temple, or a superhero danger room. Until TL6, the bonus is no higher than the +2 for "fine" equipment, but hundreds of students at once can benefit from it.

Well-made equipment also lasts longer. Apply the quality modifier to any HT roll made for the equipment during training; see Damage to Objects (p. B483).

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