"For the advancement of martial arts, food, liqueur and my beautiful panties all is acceptable." - Happosai
In the Street Fighter game all the fighting styles are based upon the concept of unarmed combat. Prior to the recent Zero and Zero 2 no Street Fighter characters used weapons. Therefore weapons had to be taken into consideration for the Ranma 1/2 adaption. Much of this information could also be used for Street Fighter.
The Basic Traits chapter presented six new Techniques for armed combat. It should be stressed that these are not a separate set of techniques. A character does not choose from armed or unarmed techniques. All techniques are accessible to all characters.
Some people have slanted views of armed martial artists. They presume that because some use weapons that they are less the artist than the unarmed martial artist. This is not true. Armed martial arts take just as much dedication, physical skill and mental preparation as the unarmed skills. Part of the reason for this is the difference in perception - everybody has to walk and move and from our basic experience with our bodies we know that the amazing moves of the unarmed martial artist must be difficult. However, the lack of the average person's skill with hand held weapons combined with the incredible subtly of their skills (a half inch twist against momentum instead of a large slash) creates a public perception that is very biased against the armed martial artist.
Armed martial artists have their own unique advantages and limitations. Although weapons can give martial artists extended range and inflict serious damage, in close quarters they can become liabilities and used against the combatant.
Not all weapons are made equally. While an armed martial artist does not necessarily have to know anything about how weapons are made they quickly learn that the secrets of mastery are intertwined with the subtle aspects of a weapon's design. Master weapon-smiths are in as much respect as any master martial artist. A wooden bokken by a master weapon maker is far more deadly a weapon than any common metal sword. Masters of weapon making use science, perhaps magic, and usually come from a long tradition of handed down wisdom.
Many armed martial artists have also learned how to modify their own equipment. The statistics below are for a representative one of its type. Weapons will vary.
Weapons, like people, can only take so much damage which is affected by the material, shape, skill of maker, and other things. Basically, all weapons have four statistics : Damage, Reach, Soak and Break.
Damage represents the addition to damage a weapon can give if used properly. For example a katana is rated at +4. That is to say that if used in a full slash attack it will grant +4 to the user's strength for damage. Obviously, if used for thrusting the damage will be more dependant on what part of the body is pierced and if the attacker only has a couple of inches to move the blade before slashing it will not grant any damage bonus. Cutting and piercing weapons often have dual purposes and should be carefully considered by the Storyteller when doing damage. Reach is how many hexes the weapon allows the combatant to strike into. For example a short katana has a +1 reach meaning it can only reach into the next hex while Moose's chains have a +3 allowing him to reach three hexes away to entangle an opponent.
Soak is how much damage a weapon's structure can take. This works exactly as a person's soak roll for damage. When a weapon is struck you roll the dice of the Soak level against a difficutly of 7 and determine how much damage was soaked. Some weapons may have different soaks for different parts of the weapon or it may be spread out. One of Moose's chains may have a total soak of 35 but any given link only a soak of 3 for example.
Break is how many levels of damage a weapon can take before it becomes useless. As an example let us say that Kuno's bokken has a Soak of 5 and a Break of 2. Ranma hits hit with 4 dice of damage and the soak is rolled against a difficulty of 7. The Soak comes up with 2,4,6,8,10. The Soak only had two successes and Ranma had four success. That leaves two levels of damage which is the bokken's Break score so it snaps. If the Soak had absorbed all but one of the dice of damage it would have stayed on the bokken until another was done and then it would have snapped.
No one in a Ranma 1/2 game has guns. Remember, this is not the real world, it is a world of high adventure and spectacular martial arts. Only the yakuza have guns in Japan in the real world anyway. Just as it is stylistically impossible for purple flying elephants to appear in the real world New York City it is stylistically impossible for people to have guns in the Ranma 1/2 world. No matter how absurd it may seem - guns simply don't exist. If you want guns and reality go play Twilight 2000.