To be ready for combat, you will need to make a number of calculations. These will be written in the box marked "Vitals" on your character sheet.
Your armor type is recorded as a number from 1-20, which is known as AT. The twenty types are described in Arms Law and Spacemaster. Note which type you chose. If your GM is not using Arms Law, she will tell you what to write here.
Usually, your DB (Defensive Bonus) is equal to your Quickness stat, your SV in Adrenal Defense, or 0, whichever is highest. Some magic items or high-tech defenses (not including shield-like devices requiring active use) may add a bonus to this. However, if you have a Total Penalty, it must be subtracted. If the result is less than zero, use a zero for your DB; otherwise, use the result.
See the Shield skill to learn how to calculate your Shield DB, if you carry a shield (or some other defensive device such as a force-shield or parrying weapon). The first number refers to melee attacks, while the second refers to missile attacks. Note that in some high-tech campaigns, passive force-shields, which are devices worn on the body that generate a force shield, are available. As these do not require active use, they would be added in to the normal DB, not the Shield DB.
This number is used to calculate initiative, using the IRIS initiative system described in Appendix D. Divide your Quickness by 2.5, round down, and then subtract the result from 30. This will give a number from 20 to 40; write it down under "Delay" on your character sheet.
Your character will have a bonus or penalty to resist poison, disease, magic, and psionics. (Magic and psionics use the same bonus.) The first two are usually equal to your Endurance, but can be modified by abilities, weaknesses, and race. Resistance to magic and psionics is usually equal to your Resistance stat, and can be modified similarly.
Some GMs may want to involve one's MIND aptitude. This can be argued either way: that those well tuned to magic can resist it more effectively, or that their openness to magic makes them less resistant. Ultimately it depends on your world. For the former view, add 5 and subtract your AV; for the latter, add your AV and subtract 5.
Lift Capacity (LC) represents the maximum amount your character can lift, or the maximum force he can apply, under ideal circumstances (most characters will never achieve this). It is calculated by dividing his Strength by 10, adding 2, and multiplying the result by his weight. Carrying Capacity (CC) represents the maximum amount your character can carry for a length of time. It is equal to one third of his LC. (Of course, if he carries that much, he won't be able to do much of anything else or last very long; normal carried weight shouldn't exceed one fourth of this if you want to be able to move about for any length of time.)
The amount of weight you are currently carrying was calculated in section 10.3. Note it here.
Your Encumbrance Penalty represents how much of your Carrying Capacity is being used up by your Carried Weight. Multiply your Carried Weight by 100 and divide by your CC. Round off the result, and make it negative.
If your character is wearing any armor, use the Maneuvering in Armor skill; your SV is the Armor Penalty (this is invariably a negative number). Otherwise, enter 0.
Add the previous two penalties together. The result will be applied, in part or full, to many of your physical maneuvers. This penalty also cancels your DB.
Your Base MV (Movement) is calculated by adding the following three factors:
For instance, a character with a Quickness of +5 and a height of 5'7" (67") would calculate his Base MV as follows:
These add up to 103; this means his Base MV is 103. (This represents his movement rate per action; the average person will tend to act just under three times per minute, so this represents about 300 feet per minute, or 3.41 miles per hour, which is very near the walking speed of the average unencumbered man.)
Subtract your Total Penalty from your Base MV; the result is your Encumbered MV, or the rate you actually move at, if encumbered.
Record the total number of character points you used to build your character. This is usually 100 when you first create your character (GMs may give more or less in some campaigns). If your stats, abilities, weaknesses, or aptitudes change (an unlikely possibility), this may change.
Keep track of how many plot points you have possessed in total, and how many you currently have available. Whenever you spend one, be sure to decrease the number of available plot points, but not the total.
When you first create your character, this will usually be 150. Whenever the GM gives you any DP to spend, make sure you add them to the total here, to get an idea of how much experience you have. Any DP you have to trade in for character points are not totalled here.
The sum of your character points, plot points, and development points is a rough measure of how powerful you are, as compared to other characters and foes. You can use it to estimate who you might be a match for.