Signature Guns and Throw Away Pistols
Dark Champions as a setting allows heroes to use both devices (powers) and equipment. Devices cost character points for characters to possess and equipment just costs money. The difference between the two however is that Devices can be relatively permanent additions to the hero’s character sheet whereas Equipment can be lost, stolen, taken, or even acquired during an adventure.
For example, Dirty Harry Callahan has the device .44 Magnum Pistol. In every movie (adventure) Harry is in, he begins and ends with his signature .44 even if, during the course of the adventure, if Harry manages to lose or have his Magnum stolen from him, as soon as he arrives at a plausible location, he reacquires it. There is no cut-scene where he buys a new gun, or heads to the armory and is issued a new one. Somehow, some-way Harry finishes the adventure with Magnum in hand, often to use it to dispatch the antagonist with a growling one-liner. The Magnum is listed on Harry’s character sheet as a device, and he paid character points for it.
On the other hand John McLane also has a gun, his service pistol. Though he begins every movie (adventure) John is in, there is no guarantee he’ll end it with the same gun, the same model of gun, or any gun at all. John can lose his pistol, have it taken from him, and get it destroyed. Once it’s gone, it’s *GONE* with no guarantee that John can get another. Of course John usually does, often off one of the legions of goons he has to face, and thus he’ll switch from weapon to weapon throughout the adventure, but if he doesn’t make active efforts to get a new gun, he won’t show up with it in the next scene. The Pistol listed on John’s character sheet is Equipment, John didn’t spend character points for it, only resources (money, time, etc..)
Devices and Equipment can be combined in the same character. Like with Deathstroke the Terminator or Deadpool. Both characters have signature devices that they always seem to have on their person during an adventure (such as Deathstroke’s sword and Deadpool’s katanas) and a host of equipment that sometimes only shows up long enough to use and be thrown away in the same panel.
Finally, even though the examples describe devices and equipment as weapons, it should be noted that Devices and Equipment in Dark Champions cover pretty much any external source of power and abilities; offensive, defensive, movement, almost anything. Parachutes, motorcycles, body armor.. the list goes on. The difference between Device and Equipment remains how permanent they are on a character’s inventory, and that permanence is paid for by character points.