CD10 Core: Equipment

Equipment is an important part of a character in CD10. Since the system has no levels, focuses on horizontal progression rather than vertical, equipment becomes a large factor in determining the power of a character. In this article we will cover how the different stats work for equipment and how to use them in your game.

As we mentioned in CD10 Core: Combat, CD10 models three types of basic damage: Slash, Pierce and Blunt. You can technically tack on any number of variable damage types on to this system, and at least one of the official settings include Energy as a damage type, but they can be called anything that fits your setting better, be it "Magic", "Arcane" or "Mental". Just be aware that the more you add to your setting, the more complex it becomes and the more bookkeeping you have to do with armor and weapons. Ideally, you should have no more than four damage types (five, including Shock).

These damage types are coherent across all weapons and armor in a single setting. So weapons deal the same damage types that armors protect against. So if your weapons are capable of inflicting Slash, Pierce, Blunt and Arcane, armors should have protection for the same types. Ideally though, weapons should deal a single damage type and armors should protect against all types, however in varying amounts. Not all armor needs Arcane protection, for instance, and some armor types are better against one damage type or the other. You should ideally list all protection types on each piece of armor, for simplicity's sake. Even if an armor has 0 Energy protection, it should have a stat stating this.

One damage type

When we say that a weapon should only deal a single damage type, we mean that for a given attack, a weapon should only have one damage type. However, most melee weapons can be used in many ways. A sword can deal Slash, Pierce and Blunt damage depending on how you attack. Striking with the sword is Slash damage, stabbing is Pierce and hitting someone with the pommel or quillons deals Blunt damage. But for every given attack, only one type is dealt at a time. Don't mix damage types as that rapidly complicates armor protection calculations and will drastically slow your game down.

Common equipment abbreviations

SD: Slash damage (weapons)/Slash defense (armors)
PD: Pierce damage (weapons)/Pierce defense (armors)
BD: Blunt damage (weapons)/Blunt defense (armors)
ED: Energy damage (weapons)/Energy defense (armors)
R: Range/Reach
DV: Defense value (shields only)
Skill: Skill required for the item
Value: The price or value for an item in trade


G: Grapple
C: Close
N: Normal
L: Long
VL: Very long

Ranged weapon range effects

(optional rule)
Grappling*: +9 difficulty, +2 damage
Close: -3 difficulty, +2 damage
Normal: No modifiers.
Long: +3 difficulty, -1 damage
Very long: +6 difficulty, -3 damage (min 0)
* All weapons aside from handguns or similar suffer this penalty in grappling range

Stats for weapons and equipment

All weapons and armor have a couple of stats that describe how they function. Which stats are used varies with your setting (fantasy/modern) and also with whether you use any advanced modules for CD10. Some modules add mechanics and functionality to weapons, and all weapons created for CD10 are created with all necessary stats for advanced modules. So if you see a stat on a weapon that isn't explained in CD10 Core, you can safely ignore it until you decide that you want to use the advanced modules.

In the sidebar you can see the abbreviations used for stats in CD10. But let's go through the stats and explain what they are and what they do.

The stats

Slash Damage/Defense[SD]

Slash damage or defense is a value found on weapons and armor and shows how lethal the weapon is when used for slashing attacks or how protective a piece of armor or shield is against that particular type of damage. Slash damage is for tearing and or cutting flesh and is usually most effective against unprotected, unarmored opponents. Common weapons are swords, claws and shotguns (yes, shotguns deal slash damage). SD varies between 0 and 7 for any given type of weapon or armor. A value of 2-4 is a good middle-ground for a standard weapon. Values higher than this should be reserved for specialized slashing weapons, such as large cleavers or shotguns.

Most basic armor types have good defense against this type of attack, with some being specialized against it, such as maille.

Pierce Damage/Defense [PD]

Pierce is a damage type concentrating a lot of force onto a small surface area, such as an armor piercing bullet, arrow or stabbing with an edged weapon, such as a rapier or longsword. Pierce damage is very effective at resistive armor types, such as bullet-proof vests, cloth armor (gambeson) and most forms of softer material (wood, drywall etc). Pierce damage can be excessively dangerous for its ability to go deep into a body and deal damage to organs or cause internal bleeding. While not as spectacular as a big slash, it's still an incredibly dangerous damage type.

Armors designed to protect against pierce damage usually have solid, near impenetrable plates in them or are made from futuristic, extremely resistive materials. It's one of the harder types of damage to protect against effectively and comfortably. Solid breastplates are nigh impenetrable to most forms of damage.

PD varies between 0-7 and a good middle-ground for common piercing weapons is between 1-3 and reserve higher numbers for dedicated stabbing weapons such as rapiers, spears and armor piercing ammunition. Do the same for armors. An armor should generally have a weak spot for piercing weapons unless it's deliberately designed to deal with piercing weapons, which usually means that it's a solid piece of armor such as breastplates and helmets.

Blunt Damage/Defense [BD]

Blunt damage is the application of a lot of momentum into the target. It worries less about piercing through armor or slashing up skin and instead attempts to deal concussive damage to the target. Blunt damage is dealt by all maces, clubs, fists, feet and most forms of ammunition. Some may consider bullets to be piercing damage, but the majority of bullets are not designed to pierce armor, but to deal as much damage as possible to unprotected targets, therefore being "blunt" at the tip to either mushroom or tumble on impact.

Blunt damage is dangerous as weapons that deal a significant amount of blunt damage often also deals a lot of Shock damage, leading to a target that is disoriented and unable to continue the fight. Protective armor is usually thick and padded, significantly reducing the amount of force that gets through the armor.

Specialized blunt weapons such as warhammers and maces are designed to strike onto hardened armor and deliver the maximum amount of momentum into the target, either by buckling the armor or by simply rattling the person inside so bad he's unable to continue fighting. Blunt weapons on unprotected skin is nasty business, often leading to severe internal hemorrhaging, crushed bones and torn ligaments.

Energy Damage/Defense [ED]

A rarer damage type, not used in all settings. This one is a bit of a "filler" damage type that represents any damage that isn't strictly physical, but can be. Any physical damage can generally be shoehorned into the other types.

"Energy" is the umbrella where you can put Arcane, Electric, Fire etc. These more "esoteric" damage types, but also energy-based weaponry of science-fiction settings like lasers, masers, neutron weapons etc.


Reach is a relative value describing how "long" a weapon is and how far you can theoretically reach with it to attack an opponent. This value is not a hard limit nor a specific "span" of distance. It can vary between Close and Very Long. Close is reserved for very short weapons that aren't straight up knuckle-dusters, fists, feet or small knives. It's things like long daggers, short swords, hand axes, batons and similar weapons. Normal reach is where most melee weapons fall, such as warhammers, swords and maces. Long reach is reserved for particularly long weapons that aren't polearms, such as longswords, rapiers, pollaxes, battle-axes and other long weapons. Very Long is reserved for polearms such as spears, unusually large pollaxes and other similar pole weapons.

Reach is only ever used if the optional rule Combat - Weapon Reach is agreed upon by the table and only affects the game when two weapons of different reach face each other.


Grapple is a special value that some weapons have for their reach and it means that the weapon can be used when in a grapple. This is for example short knives and fists. A weapon that has Grapple listed as its reach, is mechanically a weapon with Close reach, but is also able to be used in a grapple.


All ranged weapons have a list of four ranges listed in their stats. Unless you're using Combat - Weapon Range Modifiers, you only ever need to care about "Max", which is as far as the weapon can possibly reach.

Close, Normal, Long and Max. The Max range which is the maximum amount of distance you can possibly engage with the weapon. These distances determine the damage modifier and range difficulty for the weapon. When shooting a weapon, these modifiers gets applied, depending on distance. For those modifiers, see the dedicated article on this rule, linkeda bout.

Anything from 0 distance up to Close gets the modifiers from Close, anything from Close up to Normal gets the Normal modifiers etc. From Normal up to Long recieves the modifiers from Long and beyond that, you apply the Max modifiers. A weapon cannot be engaged on a target beyond its Max range. The projectile will never reach the target to do any kind of significant damage.

Defense value [DV] [Shields only]

The defense value is a shield-specific value that measure of how effective the item in question is for defensive purposes such as blocking or deflecting attacks. Whenever a character is attacked, has a shield and succeeds in their defense, they first remove the defense value from the incoming lethality, then reduce the remainder by half, just as with a parrying weapon. Defense value technically varies between 0-7 but be restrictive with this since it's an exceptionally powerful value. Anything over 3 should be restricted to magical or epic equipment.

Cover image: CD10 Banner by Mizomei


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