Every person carries with them something of Material Value, be it as inexpensive (or even free) as a simple piece of clothing or as costly as a high-end personal computer. Most items don’t need to be defined in terms of cost or game mechanics; everyone is assumed to be able to afford at least one set of clothes and, in 2096, nearly everyone carries personal electronics.
Other belongings do benefit from some careful definition and mechanical explanation. Weapons, armor, magic, cyberware, vehicles, and other high-end gear is likely to set a character back at least a fraction of their Wealth, and that is the equipment which will be defined in this chapter.
For basic goods, including clothing, personal care items, and personal electronics, simply assume that a character can and does have the things he desires. There isn’t any need to deny someone a personal computer when they are as commonplace in 2096 as wristwatches were 100 years earlier. Basic computers may be upgraded with additional components or software that are beyond the cost of the initial components (and thus a character may have to spend Wealth to acquire them), but in general these items are not worth keeping track of individually.
Some characters may choose to be outfitted according to their Status or Wealth Levels, to indicate that they are unhip or trendy, amateur or professional, rich or poor, etc. However, none of this needs to have any bearing on actual game mechanics unless the player or GM deems it necessary. After
all, wealthy characters may not dress the part (preferring to stay low-key or spend their fortunes on something other than nice clothes) and a poor person might be broke because he chose to spend all of his hard-earned cash on expensive computers. Likewise, a character with Superb Status may get his fame from the underground and not from being a glamorous movie star or high-paid corporate drone.
It is both simple and functional to say that a character simply has any mundane item he wishes to possess, provided it would make sense for him to be carrying at the time. For example, a woman might keep her hair bobby-pinned and thus have an improvised lock pick with her when the moment calls for it. If it would help the character out of a bind to say that he is carrying an item which would help in a stressful or harmful circumstance, feel free (as a GM) to ask the character to spend a Luck Point to procure it from his pockets.
The rest of this chapter is dedicated to those items which would benefit from some additional definition. We’ll start with everyone’s trusty sidekick, the sidearm.