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Revision as of 22:11, 13 September 2014
Keywords, by themselves, do nothing. Feats and expendables have keywords that will match to your gear (Attack Feats to weapons, expendables to Feature Feats, Utility Feats to boots and gloves) and the more keywords that match, the better the affect you will get from those keywords. For example, you have a set of Peasant Clothes that is currently equipped, but none of the keywords in your armor feats match the keywords on that armor, because of this, that particular armor is not of much use to you. Keywords match independently, so it does not matter in what sequence they are matching.
Feats and Gear
The higher the level the feat, the more keywords it can potentially use. The same thing is for equipment as well, the more pluses they possess, the more keywords that can potentially match. For example, the longsword feat Slash 1 can only apply one keyword (Slashing) to your attacks, but Slash 3 has the ability to apply up to three keywords (Slashing/Sharp/Balanced) to your attacks to do more damage, but only if your longsword also has those same three keywords (you would need at least a tier 1 +2 steel longsword).
All starter gear is at +0, so using the example above a starter steel longsword would be at +0. At +0, gear has only one keyword, in the case of the longsword it has the keyword of Slashing. The longsword attack Slash 1 matches that keyword and adds damage to that attack. Slash 3 has the potential to match two additional keywords to add even more damage to your attacks, but since it is only a starter longsword, it doesn't have the addtional keywords and that potential is now wasted and each attack comes out with the same damage as Slash 1.
In the case of a longsword +5, Slash 6 is the only rank of that physical attack feat than can use all six keywords: Slashing, Sharp, Balanced, Masterworked, Razored, and Vorpal. So it is vital to be able to match as many keywords as possible between the equipment that you are using and the feats that you have acquired.
A good example of keywords not matching is using the Crusader 1 Armor feat, which has the keyword of Heavy with Peasant Clothes, which only has the keywords of Organic and Clothing, giving you zero benefit in wearing that armor, and you would be better off in wearing some +0 Hide and Steel Banded instead, since at even +0 it has the keyword of Heavy.
In regards to armor at least, the plan is to allow for the defense rating to still be active for the character as long as they have proficiency in that armor, regardless of whether any keywords are matching or not, but do note that this is not working as intended right now.
Innate keywords are always granted to an item no matter the + of the item. An example of this is having +0 Robes of the Master, which is a T3 Clothing armor with the innate keywords of Sage, Masterwork, Organic, Inscribed, and Attuned while gaining the keyword of Clothing since it is +0.
Major and Minor Keywords
There are two sets of keywords, major and minor, and with the exception of implements (which only have minor keywords), all equipment that has keywords has a particular static set of keywords. An example of this would be Artifact always being a major keyword for weapons, while Adamantine is always a major keyword for armor, but only a minor keyword for weapons.
Listed below is the major keywords for all equipment. Anything not listed below, is considered to be a minor keyword. Also keep in mind that Masterwork is always a major keyword, and all equipment that use keywords tend to get it at T2 and T3. All other major keywords on equipment won't show up until T3.
Most weapon attacks will usually match no more than four minor and 2 major keywords, anything above the limit of six keywords should be a rarity. The only way this rule breaks is when a weapon might have both a T3 and the Artifact keyword, which will probably be a bug that should be reported. This example does have a higher chance to happen with armor, though not until higher levels, but armor is also capped to four minor and 2 major keywords.
Expendables though break all the rules and can match up to a total of nine keywords, with a mix of major and minor.
While enchanting is not in the game yet, once it does arrive it will continue to add additional keywords to weapons and armor that will interact with magic item feats and some attack feats, and this is where equipment can become +4 and +5 once the customizable keyword system is implemented. It will be different when it comes to misc. gear and will add special abilities or passive bonuses, and matter even more still when it comes to consumables, which scale their bonus directly related to the + on the item.