Before I can get to Low Damage characters I need to talk about "A-Cost." A-Cost stands for "Attack Cost" and, at its most simple, is the number of AP that you paid for an attack. Here's a dirt simple example:
9mm Handgun: Cost 3 AP, 6 PEN damage. A-Cost: 3 APThere? Simple. Of course like everything else, it gets more complex as we dig into it. A-Cost began its life when we were putting together cybernetics packages. Remember the rule that you only pay full cost for your most powerful (standard) attack. Right? So we're creating cybernetics packages and they look something like this:
Cyborg Body: Cost 12 AP Per LEVEL, A-Cost 4 AP. Gives: +8 Damage Points, 4/16 Armor, 6/12 Coverage 3 Plates, +1 CON, +5 BLD, +9 STR.I've bolded the part that increases hand-to-hand damage: that's the "attack part" of the cyborg body (everything else counts as a defense). This means that of the 12 AP for the Level 1 Cyber Body, 4 of those AP are devoted to the attack. So let's say you're combining Cyborg Body with Cyber-Mounted Machine Gun (Cost: 18 AP, A-Cost 18 AP): in this case you ought to pay a little less for the Cyborg Body since the points you spent on BLD and STR are a much less potent attack (at least at Level 1) than the machine gun.
So what happens when you combine them is this:
- You pay full price for the most expensive attack (Machine Gun, A-Cost 18)
- You pay 1 AP for each less powerful standard attack (Cyborg Body's STR and BLD)
- You pay normally for the rest of Cyborg Body.
This comes to: 18 AP (Machine Gun) + 1 AP (for the Level 1 Cyber-Body's attack) + 8 AP (remainder of the Cyber Body's defenses) = 27 AP.
As we'll get into, there may be some additional complexities. For one thing, it may be possible for a "pure attack" (that is: an attack that is not bundled with other things like the Cyborg Body is) to have an A-Cost that differs from its AP cost. We think the reasoning for this might be for determining how very limited attacks (such as an attack that takes 3 rounds to charge up) interact with special defenses. It's also possible (as we'll get into) that certain types of attacks might "add" in some unusual ways and maybe A-Cost can help with that. These ideas are not fully formed enough right now to get into but I wanted to touch on them here first.