VDS Idea: Armor Fragments as Loot Item



So I ran into a problem. Armor in VDS is WAY important. No armor, you just die. Presumably you get it as loot, but in order to kill enemies you first have to slag through any armor they are wearing – so it’d be weird then to loot them and there’s this pile of fully intact armor. Like why weren’t they wearing it? Likewise in all the devastation of the ruined Warlands of Urth it’s unlikely you’d run into whole armor pieces just sitting there in perfect shape. But little chunks and bits of unmelted armor here and there that could be scavenged from the melted slag, piled together and remade into something new? Maybe…

So here’s the rundown. You kill an enemy and based on how armored they were you roll some dice for how many armor fragments might be on them. Big war robots or heavily armored bosses, roll lots of dice, bigger dice, or both. You end up fighting a bunch of mutant wombats? Probably no armor fragments. How many dice? Maybe a d6 for a regular wasteland marauder, scale up and down from there?

Three armor fragments can be melted down or fused together to repair one point of armor so long as the fragments are of the same type (Circuit Fragments to repair Circuit Armor, etc.). This takes some time but anyone can do it and it allows you to forgo the 50/50 chance of Combat Repair not working. Think of them like healing potions for your armor.

Now if you find nine fragments (3 armor points worth) and more than half (5 of 9) are of the same type, they can be tinkered together into a piece of generic junk armor of that type. This isn’t craftsmanship, it’s bodging stuff together and requires no particular skill–and as a result it looks like something made by someone with no skill. But you can pretty much just do it as long as you’re someplace with tools and materials where it makes sense that you could do it. It’s ugly. It has no special abilities, but it soaks three hits of damage like any armor.

If you want to create a particular armor piece off the Basic Armor table you can roll your Armorsmith if you have it, as long as you have an example of the armor to work from and all nine armor fragments are of the right type. On a 4+ you can craft a duplicate of it. If it’s an idea of your own design or just something on the list you don’t have a prototype for, you can try: roll and count your 6’s. If there’s no 6s you probably just fail or make something deeply flawed. 1-2 6s, you probably make something in the ballpark–but maybe with some interesting quirks. More 6s it’s as good or better than the version in the book.

Anyway it’s an idea I came up with and plan to use in my game. Thought I’d share and see if anyone else got a kick out of it. Let me know what you think.


Turn this into a table and you’ve got my attention!


I’d be happy to. Not sure what’s to table-ize though. Rule of 3, but in reverse. Each point of armor = 3 fragments. So 9 for a full piece of generic armor. What kind of table were you seeing? Love a good table.

FYI If you were to say: Hey that mechanic looks like how gems work in Diablo with the Horadric Cube, I’d say…yep!


Well, I do not own VDS so unfortunately I don’t quite know what circuit armor is, but it sounds awesome. I’d make every armor different and require different pieces, and a table for all of the types of “chunks” you can gather and perhaps someo f them are incompatible together? :smiley:


There’s different armor types listed in the book. Basically if you have bits of armor made from the bark of a giant tree monster that’s not going to be compatible with high-tech gadget armor or weird demon magic armor–so hence you need most of it to be the same kind. So yeah, basically you and I are saying the same thing.


Actually I’m kinda stupid… apparently I do own it… I’ll… huh… look into it and I’ll give you a better reply later? My apology! XD


Hey, no worries. The materials list is on page 49.


This is a great idea. Personally, I’d rule that at least one chunk was ruined per piece of enemy armor during the combat. That is to say, if you beat a borg with 2 armor, you don’t get to scavenge 6 chunks. At least some of that is gone, beyond repair.

So in your mechanic, I’d roll at least one less die than total armor.

You could also skip the rolling and just rule that every defeated foe drops at least one, maybe two, chunks of detritus. Wombats would have skin and hide to scalp, borgs would have some metal plating, etc.

Great idea! Thanks for sharing!


For sure. You don’t want there to accidentally be more armor fragments than there was armor originally. In the borg example if there were 6 fragments left on its body then it should have had two armor points left–so why’s it dead? I mean the armor’s busted, you’re just harvesting recyclable bits of materials, so it doesn’t feel terrible to me as a top end. You could roll d4s instead of d6s if you wanted to avoid these kind of outlier results. I like the idea since it’s mostly a d6 game of sticking to that where I can, but other die types are totally fine. I think as long as you aren’t finding more armor fragments on it than it had total armor (over 9x armor rating) you should get results that are broadly believable.

In general the rule of thumb you came up with, Armor Value -1 in d6s, seems like a good baseline. Even if you have the potential for some unlikely high rolls if you end up rolling a lot of 6’s – I don’t think it’s enough that it breaks immersion.