Content of the article: "[5e] Revised Martial Equipment Update 1.9.0. An overhaul of the martial system and equipment of 5e, making choice, flexibility, and increased versatility in combat a staple for martial characters"
- 1 Revised Martial Equipment
- 2 What is RME?
- 3 "Some of these features are similar to a class feat or ability already! Doesn't this render those class abilities obsolete?"
- 4 "The words go over the art, or some of it is hanging off the right edge of the page!"
- 5 1.7.3, 1.7.4, 1.8.0, 1.9.0 Change Log
- 6 General Gameplay Changes
- 7 Equipment Changes
- 8 Ambush Weapons
- 9 Axes
- 10 Bludgeons
- 11 Bows and Slings
- 12 Combat Blades
- 13 Crossbows
- 14 Dueling Blades
- 15 Firearms
- 16 Flails and Whips
- 17 Hammers and Picks
- 18 Polearms
- 19 Spears
- 20 Throwing Weapons
- 21 Future Plans!
- 22 Critique
- 23 Discord
- 24 Similar Guides
Edit: Sorry, the PDF was broken because I downloaded it in landscape like an idiot. It should be fixed now!
Revised Martial Equipment
Commander Fayne here with huge updates to the Revised Martial Equipment system. After a long break in Quarantine, I've revised several updates and patches to the system for balance and performance, and were it not thanks to my Discord members, none of this would be possible. We have 4 udpates combined into one post here, since I missed updating the reddit community for a bit. I apologize! But, I'm back now and ready to hear your feedback. Of course all these updates happen in real time on the discord, so join there to never miss an update again!
What is RME?
The RME system provides more options to martial characters, while buffing their damage output. However, the real focus of RME was versatility and added options for martially focused characters, even giving options to characters who wield weapons only as a secondary to their main combat function. In this system, axes cleave through soft targets, warhammers deal more damage to foes in heavy armor, thin rapiers pair well with a light weapon, and even throwing weapons become a viable fighting style worth devoting to.
From the summary page:
The RME Homebrew gives extra options, more damage, and greater flexibility to the equipment of martial classes. It is an attempt to make each weapon feel unique and interesting, and give the average fighter more to do on their turn, rather than simply attack, roll a couple of damage dice, then wait for the next turn.
The equipment in this system is lifted from the core rules, with several dozen more added for fantasy concepts and to cover a wide range of cultures and time frames at home in a medieval fantasy setting. The weapons are no longer divided into "simple" and "martial" categories, rather each weapon, shield, and armor is now part of a group of similar equipment, such as axes, bludgeons, or polearms.
Two different shield types join the lineup, and armor has been made more in line with its historical weight and coverages. While some effort was made to reflect historical weapon and armor weight and usage, some effort was made to include fantasy concepts, such as boomerangs returning after striking the target or warhammers sending foes flying.
Each character now has three levels of training with all equipment; Simple, Martial, and Master. With each level of training, the character gains more abilities and greater flexibility with the equipment, which can be improved with study and training to obtain mastery with any given weapon group, armor, or shields.
In this system, all characters have a Weapon DC when holding a weapon of any kind, calulated with the following equation:
Weapon DC = 8 + your proficiency + your strength modifier + any magical weapon enhancement.
You substitute Dexterity for Strength if the weapon has finesse, or substitute Strength for any other ability if your class uses it to make martial attacks, such as Charisma for Hexblade Warlocks.
This Weapon DC is used whenever the enemy must make a save from an ability or property of your weapon. For example, you roll a Disarm attack. If you hit, you deal your strength modifier in damage, and your enemy must make its choice of strength or dexterity saving throw or it must drop your choice of something in its hands, landing within 5ft in any direction of your choosing.
RME gives players choice and autonomy. No longer is your weapon choice solely based on which of Strength or Dexterity is higher, and how big of a damage dice you want to throw. Now you can choose broad or specialized training with great effect. No longer is each turn for the fighter and barbarian simply "move, attack, and wait" for their turn again, now they have options like disarming foes, tripping, deflecting incoming damage or even grappling foes with their weapons!
"Some of these features are similar to a class feat or ability already! Doesn't this render those class abilities obsolete?"
The short answer is no. What makes a class special isn't a single mechanic, it's the whole that is greater than the sum of the class's parts. For example, Battlemaster can trip, disarm, and other things with any weapon, whereas this system limits it to weapons either designed to trip, or for which have established martial techniques that can be used in such a capacity. What really makes a Battlemaster unique is they can trip/disarm/etc and also action surge, and also get 4 attacks a round, and also etc etc etc. A single mechanic does not make a class.
Rogues aren't special just because they sneak attack. Monks aren't special just because of Martial Arts. A Sorcerer isn't made obsolete because other casters can also drop Fireball, neither does a mechanic presented in RME that seems similar or inspired by another class mechanic negate that class entirely.
RME is about choice and options. Let your player's versatility and creativity surprise you!
"The words go over the art, or some of it is hanging off the right edge of the page!"
This brew is made with Homebrewery. It renders locally, using your browser. On mobile, this breaks, which is why I've made a PDF link. First, try to use Chrome while looking at the homebrewery link. If that doesn't work for you, try the PDF link. If that doesn't work, unfortunately, I'm terrible at troubleshooting these things, but rest assured that there are no giant white spaces or words hanging off the page. This is your device's rendering problem.
The last time I posted this brew to reddit, it was update 1.7.1. There has been 1.7.3, 1.7.4, 1.8.0, and now 1.9.0. I kinda got tired of making these massive update posts and was a bit disillusioned at working for hours on a reddit post to get a handful of upvotes and almost no engagemen. But, I was convinced to make an update post on reddit again by my Discord, as many of them found the brew through this subreddit. So, for now, enjoy the ramblings of this sword nerd.
One last thing before I get into the updates. I use Semantic Versioning. It has 3 numbers separated by a dot. Version.Major.Minor. I consider major versions to be any changes which add new abilities, change feats, or make more than a handful of changes to master perks. I consider minor versions to be typo/grammar fixes, rewording for confusion, formatting changes, etc. Occasionally, if a balance change is small enough, or the original intent is marred by an unforeseen mechanical consequence, I will quickly fix it in a minor update.
Version is a substantial change to the fundamental design frame of any given homebrew, or significant features and systems added to support them. Version 2.0.0 of RME is still a long way off, but we're constantly building and getting feedback in the discord.
1.7.3, 1.7.4, 1.8.0, 1.9.0 Change Log
General Gameplay Changes
Changed how Critical Hits work with Disarm, Trip, and Entangle. Now, if you land a critical hit while making any one of those attacks, you deal damage as if you hit with a normal attack, in addition to forcing the enemy to succeed on a saving throw or suffer the detrimental effect. This is a sort of half crit; when you make a normal attack, you either do normal weapon damage on hit, or double damage on crit. When you make a Disarm, Trip, or Entangle attack, you either deal your strength modifier in damage and force the enemy to save or be disarmed, prone, or grappled, or if you crit, you deal normal weapon damage in addition to making the enemy roll a save against the effect.
Weapon DC for Firearms and Crossbows is calculated with the static addition to damage, e.g. the Light Crossbow's damage is d8+2+Dexterity, so the Weapon DC for Light Crossbow is 8+2+your proficiency, rather than using your dexterity or strength.
Brace attacks are made using your reaction, and you cannot use your reaction for anything else while Bracing. It's sort of a special held action in that regard.
Brace attacks are made with advantage and if they hit, automatically crit. It is only one attack though, made in preparation for an advancing enemy charge.
Disarm now drops the held item in any direction of your choosing within 5ft of the disarmed creature. You can use this to send weapons over a cliff or into controlled space of your allies.
Double Ended attacks cannot be used to make special attacks such as Disarm or Trip. Instead, they are purely damage, and a minor nerf to Dual Wielding, which allows the second weapon to perform special attacks.
Double Ended attacks now benefit from your ability modifier to damage, separating them from the versatility of dual wielding by a slight increase in damage. Of course two-weapon fighting and dual wielder feat is still better, but Double Ended weapons do not have a cost.
Removed Sharpshooter (I know I keep going back and forth on this) from the list of banned feats. It is now added back into RME full support. After a lot of playtesting and feedback from the discord, it was determined that Sharpshooter doesn't break archery. In response, there has been a lot of changes to master perks and feats that used "ignoring cover" and "-5 to hit for +10 damage" as a means of balance or benefit. Instead, now those weapons have either tweaked or different buffs, making Sharpshooter viable, but not required to be a good ranged damage character.
With your DMs permission, you can substitute any Artisan Tool Proficiency or Skill Proficiency for an increase in training by one level in one piece of equipment. This essentially means you can no longer substitute gaming set proficiency or a musical instrument for weapon training, which was a no-brainer.
Added a note in Weapon Properties to inform DMs about the intent of Sneak Attack with RME. Since RME makes some distinction between Thrown attacks and Ranged attacks, Sneak Attack should be allowed to be done with any weapon with Finesse, any weapon with the Ranged Property, and any Weapon with both the Thrown and Finesse property. This excludes Thrown heavy weapons and Firearms with the Launch property that make ranged attacks
In the explanation of how stacking AC bonuses work, a simple change from disallowing "anything" to disallowing "any perk" to stack AC bonuses disbars master perks from stacking AC bonuses, but still allows characters to get AC bonuses from other feats, such as Dual Wielder, and enhancement bonuses.
Added "provided you can see it" to any ability which allows you to make a response in response to an enemy's action. For example, if you have an ability that allows you to make an attack when an enemy misses you with an attack, you can only do so if you are aware of and can see the enemy.
Artificer Infusion: Repeating Shot (Description addition to close infinite ammo loophole) **Additionally, this is is a single piece of ammunition, meaning if your weapon holds more than one piece of primed ammo, such as a Repeating Crossbow, Spinner, or Pepperbox, only one shot gains the +1 enhancement, and only that piece of ammunition teleports back into your weapon to be primed for attack. As an example, the default Pepperbox will only reload one of its barrels as an attack during an Attack action, but the other 3 barrels must be reloaded manually.
Gunslinger Class Feature: Lightning Reload – As a Bonus action, you may perform the normal reload of your weapon, i.e. you reload two barrels of a pepperbox as a Bonus action, rather than refilling the entire weapon.
Added clarification to Underwater weapons; if your weapon has piercing damage and your use that damage only, you can negate disadvantage.
Firearms with the Launch property no longer allow you to recover them if they jam or miss. In both cases, they are destroyed without effect.
New Weapon Property! "Affixed" – This piece of equipment can be wielded in the main or off hand and while dual wielding, the other weapon does not need the Light property. Affixed weapons are equipped or taken off as an Action and cannot be disarmed. While equipped, it can be grabbed, deployed, or retracted for free duing your turn, and if you are not wielding it, it remains attached to your body, leaving your hand open for other things. An Affixed weapon cannot be wielded alongside a Two-Handed weapon.
Gauntlet, Hidden Blade, Hidden Crossbow, Interceptor get "Affixed" property at all training levels. Whip Dagger and Meteor Hammer gain Affixed at master training. Having a one handed weapon equipped to your body but unable to use it because you had another one handed weapon that wasn't Light didn't make sense narratively. This makes those interactions feel more natural without completely upsetting the balance of dual wielding power too much.
Gauntlet gains Deflect at Simple; Disarm, Deflect, Light at Martial; and Deflect, Disarm, Light, Trip at Master training. Gauntlet always felt like a worse form of Unarmed Strike, and if it protects the users hands, it should be able to deflect and disarm at even Martial training.
Gauntlet damage increased to d6 for martial, d4 for simple.
Side Baton deflect roll at master is now only d10, instead of 2d10. It still adds proficiency to the deflect roll.
Unarmed Attack – Damage table scales slightly slower than Monk Martial Arts die table. Unarmed Masters now only gain d6 damage with Unarmed Strikes when their proficiency is +4. This keeps Martial Arts slightly better, but doesn't corner the market on Unarmed Strikes.
Unarmed Attack – at Martial Training, gains Trip.
Unarmed Attack – Master perk buffed; You may use your bonus action to perform a Shove or Disarm attack. You may make an Unarmed attack as an off hand attack even if you're wielding a one-handed weapon that's not Light. This closes a common sense loophole where, since a master treats their hands as weapons, dual weilding a one-handed weapon that wasn't light with the off-hand unarmed attack was mechanically impossible, but didn't make sense.
- Greataxe – Master perk slight wording change; you can roll all damage and any attachers such as elemental damage twice and take the better result. This change is in line with other RME wording, calling extra damage from the weapon that isn't the weapon's dice "attachers" rather than modifiers, since "modifier" is already used elsewhere in 5e.
- Morningstar Master Perk now requires an Action to perform, rather than an attack. As an Action, you make a single weapon attack that, if you hit, deals piercing damage equal to your strength modifier, but reduces the enemy's AC by the same amount.
Remember that, while this property doesn't explicitly state the AC damage has an expiration or when it recovers, it lasts until the DM decides the AC damage is repaired. This could be as simple as a mending spell to normal armor in combat, a creature with regeneration healing their torn hide, or even a mundane creature leaving combat and healing naturally or with magic to heal the wounds which lowered their AC. Also remember that a creature's AC cannot go lower than 10 unless it has a negative Dexterity modifier. If the armor they are wearing is reduced to 10 AC, it is destroyed, and if a creature has Natural Armor that is reduced to 10, it simply no longer has Natural Armor it gains any benefit from, until it is healed.
- Heavy Club Master Perk changed: You can choose to take -5 to your attack roll. If you hit, your enemy must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or suffer disadvantage to all attacks and ability checks until the end of its next turn. Following my eternal endeavor to remove all "on crit" abilities in favor of player choice, this both changes when a player chooses to use their ability and also is a slight nerf to d4 stunned rounds, which is a boss ender. This perk is similar to a vicious mockery, but because it is using a common save, Constitution, has a greater reward when the enemy fails.
Bows and Slings
- Bow and Sling Master completely changed, since Sharpshooter is now an available feat.
- You can twist the bowstring or sling lines, curving your missile's flight path as you release. You ignore all cover and do not need line of sight when you choose to >attack a target in normal range. Measure range by tracing a line from you, around obstacles or corners to the target. You may not curve your attack in an S shape, >only C shapes, and still suffer disadvantage if you cannot see your target.
- When an enemy in your normal range targets you or an ally with a ranged attack, as a reaction you can roll an attack. If your attack is higher than the enemy's >attack, the enemy's attack is negated and your ammunition is destroyed. You must choose to use this reaction before you learn if the enemy attack hits or misses.
- If an enemy misses you with an attack, as a reaction, you can either move up to half your movement which does not provoke Opportunity Attacks, OR roll a >melee Trip attack against that enemy, provided you can see it.
Compound Bow master perk given the +10 damage back it was missing since changing Bow and Sling Master Feat. Now when a master overdraws, they take -5 to attack but +10 to damage, and can punch through one target to deal normal damage to another right behind it.
Greatbow – Master perk buff; this processes off an Overdraw, taking -5 to attack, rather than only processing on a Critical Hit.
Greatbow – Added "All" to "All creatures that are flying have disadvantage on this save." This clearly shows that no matter the size of the creature, it has disadvantage to be knocked from the sky with a Greatbow Master.
Greatbow gains Trip at Martial and Master levels
Recurve – Master perk buff – Targeting two creatures within 5ft of one another does not impose disadvantage. You still may only do this once. This penalty felt too punishing for a master feat. An extra attack with the criteria of there being two adjacent enemies falls in line with many other abilities that are available at low level
Sling – Added text that explains a sling can be used to throw more than bullets; potions, bombs, etc, except the attack is made with -1 to the attack roll.
Wrist Shot – Since the Wrist shot master perk is invalidated by the new Bow/Sling Master Feat, the new perk is as follows; As a bonus action, you can target a single enemy in range with a distracting shot. Roll an attack that, if it hits, gives your ally advantage on the next attack roll or ability check against that enemy. You do not suffer disadvantage to ranged weapon attacks if an enemy is within 5ft of you.
Wrist Shot gains Disarm at Martial and Master training levels
- Combat Blade Master Feat – Slight buff. You have Advantage on Opportunity Attacks. You can also spend your reaction to enter a readied stance. While readied, making an Opportunity Attack does not consume your reaction.
This gives Combat Blades unmatched power in an advancing hoard, and focuses on their theme of offense over utility, even when it isn't their turn
- Scimitar – The added damage from traveling at least 20 ft before an attack is decreased to d8 slashing damage. There is no limit to how many times per turn this can be used, but it is clarified that the damage is only once per 20 ft moved, meaning you can't move 20, then make three attacks that gain extra d8 per hit.
Heavy Crossbow gains Penetrate at all training levels
Removed Heavy Crossbow's master perk's ability which gave disadvantage to its save against prone to flying creatures. Reserving this for Greatbow, and shouldn't be something a Simple weapon should be able to do.
Mauler gains Penetrate at all training levels
Mauler Master Perk changed; If you roll a 4 on any damage dice while in normal range, you may roll an additional d4. This can happen as often as you roll a 4 on any dice, even additional ones. Continuing endeavor to remove On-Crit abilities, exploding d4s on Mualer makes the Mauler much more fierce in the hands of a master, and its damage potential spikes in all circumstances, not just on a critical hit.
Portable Ballista gains Penetrate at all training levels
Spinner gains Disarm at all training levels
Spinner ammo count in each magazine reduced to 10
Spinner Master Perk changed; As an action, you can choose to take -5 to your attack, but may hit your choice of all targets within a 5ft radius in your normal range. Getting rid of the Spinner's "extra attacks on critical hit" to instead allow the player to choose a penalty to potentially hit more targets.
Hidden Crossbow does not suffer disadvantage to attack when in melee range
- Dueling Blade Master Feat – Major Change.
- +1 to attack rolls made with Dueling Blades
- On your turn, if you land a critical hit, you can use your reaction to take another attack action with your dueling blade.
- On your turn, you can spend your reaction to choose a single target. Until the start of your next turn, your weapon gains the deflect property, and can deflect each attack the chosen target makes against you.
Getting an entirely free attack action when you scored a critical hit had always been perceived as a powerful combo. Upon enough feedback and evaluation, I determined it to ultimately be out of the design goal of Dueling Blades. To fit more with their theme of defense and 1v1 dueling expertise, you now choose a target to be dueling and can greatly mitigate the damage to you from this single target. This fits much more in line with the theme of Dueling Blades, and also provides a different avenue of defense for the low health PCs that would ordinarily use Dueling Blades.
Kukri master perk -10ft speed now lasts until the enemy succeeds on a constitution saving throw at the end of its turn.
Sickle master perk -10ft speed now lasts until the enemy succeeds on a constitution saving throw at the end of its turn.
Sai – Master perk changed a bit. You gain +1 AC if you are wielding a Sai in your off hand and you can perform a disarm attack as a reaction when an enemy misses you with a melee weapon attack.
Blunderbuss gains Trip at all training levels
Blunderbuss no longer knocks prone at point blank range, but does still push back 5ft.
Blunderbuss attacks only 2 targets between 15-60ft, down from 3 targets.
Firelance – Damage scaled with training for the fire cone (d8,d10,d12) Additionally scaled the melee damage similar to a normal lance at d8, d12, 2d8. However, because the firelance is hollow and tip heavy, Brace, or the knockback from mounted-use like a normal Lance.
Flash Bomb blind effect now only affects the target until the start of its turn. Lasting until the end of the throwers next turn is way too powerful for a 35g throwable.
Pepperbox description updated to clarify that you must use an Object Interaction to turn the barrels after each attack from an Attack action, which must be done with a free hand.
Firepot – Master perk slight nerf; The extra damage to an adjacent target now only happens with you score a hit, preventing the unwanted scenario of processing when you miss but the firepot damages another target.
Flails and Whips
Flails and Whips Master Feat – Changed the bonus action +2 for this turn only, closing the "use two turns in a row" loophole. You must spend a Bonus Action to give yourself +2 to attacks, which lasts for the current turn only. It cannot be used during Opportunity Attacks.
Pole Flail master perk changed – You can choose to take -5 to your attack, but if you hit, your enemy cannot use reactions until the start of your next turn. The previous perk, halfing enemy speed with an Opportunity Attack was pointless. Why not go for an Entangle attack that would reduce the enemy's speed to 0? Instead, removing an enemy's reaction, allowing your ally to retreat without needing to disengage, or preventing your enemy from using some other reaction can be critical.
Meteor Hammer – Changed master perk to remove ambiguity about its hit. It is not a weapon attack, it is an area effect. You choose to spend an action twirling your hammer about at a range of 10ft. If any enemy enters that space or starts its turn within, it must save or it takes d4 plus your choice of strength or dexterity modifier in bludgeoning damage.
Chain Sword – Added Finesse to the whip form for Martial and Master training.
Hammers and Picks
Light Hammer master perk changed – You can choose to take -5 to your attack roll. If you hit, your enemy must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or suffer disadvantage to all strength and dexterity saving throws until the start of its next turn. Half speed from failing a con save is a little lack luster. Light hammer now helps set up follow up attacks, either from trip/disarm/entangles, or from ally attacks
War Hammer master perk changed – You ignore resistance to non-magical bludgeoning damage, and you can take -5 to your attack but add +10 damage if you hit. Removed the On-Crit vulnerability to bludgeoning damage, and gave more control to the player.
Wall Pick damage lowered by one dice size at master training to d6 to give competition to Light Pick
Lajatang – Added a restriction to the master perk that gives a second Double Ended attack. This second attack must choose a different target than the first attack.
Pike – Added pikes to the list of "additional polearm training" list, allowing a Polearm master to use Pikes with their feat and at Pike master training.
War Scythe ability to reduce enemy speed stays on enemy until it succeeds on a Constitution saving throw at the end of its turn.
Godendag stun now only lasts until the start of the enemy's turn
Javelin master perk now applies to both Shields and Heavy Armor. The Action is clearly defined as a strength saving throw to pry the remnants from their armor/shields to lose the penalty
Pike damage at Simple increased to d10, to differentiate from Ravenbeak, which has d8 damage but also Trip.
War Spear master perk changed – If you use this weapon one handed, you can use Double Ended as if you were using it with two. If you use this weapon two handed, you deal an additional d6 damage on hit. Goodbye annoying and confusing ass War Spear master perk. It is now a two-fold per which incentivizes its design to be used with shields or wielded expertly with two hands.
Ravenbeak – Worded master perk so the user knows the weapon damage on a successful disarm happens when the enemy fails the saving throw.
Throwing Weapon Master Feat slight change – you now ignore half and three quarters cover.
Boomerang master perk slight change – you can target any enemy up to your normal range as long as the boomerang can fly to them. You still have disadvantage on the attack if you can't see the enemy.
Dart gains Conceal at all training levels
Throwing Star gains Conceal at all training levels
Throwing Knife gains Conceal at Simple at all training levels
Throwing knife – Added Awkward to throwing knife, if only because I felt it takes more training to toss a knife at someone and hit blade on, while other weapons such as throwing star and dart require just the ability to throw something. To compensate, Throwing Knives have a longer range (+10ft due to added weight) and can potentially damage more enemies with the master perk. They can additionally be used in melee, whereas Throwing Stars cannot.
Also, I am taking suggestions for version 2! While small content additions and format/typo changes will be a continuous part of this brew's development for some time, I plan to eventually release a version 2.0. This will greatly restructure many parts of RME, but don't worry, the core experience will remain the same. Over the years I've added several of my own house rules that have proved to be immensely popular, so I plan to add them to RME. I plan to break the system up into parts so you as a DM can choose which parts you want to use, and make sure each part works independently and also cooperatively with each other.
So far, this is the short list. Keep in mind not all of this is guaranteed to make it into 2.0
- More shields/different shapes
- More armors – different materials but same AC values
- Race specific equipment and/or proficiencies/training levels
- Mayan/aztec/incan weapons/armor
- primitive weapons/armor such as stone, napped flint, wood/bone armor, etc.
- Weapons/Armor for Large+ creatures and/or mounts.
- revised siege weapons
- equipment damage/repair systems (finally a reason to use smith's, leatherworker, carpentry, and tinker tools)
- adding injuries table, ways to mend them, and rest cycle less forgiving than sleeping off 3rd degree burns.
- spell placement rolls
- New weapon properties
- Moving master perks into weapon properties if possible, or making them unique to the weapon at any training level, instead of needing master. Future master training may just be extra properties/damage
- extra combat action types (tumbling, overrun, grapple during opportunity attacks, etc)
- Weapon materials
- fantasy materials
Thank you so much if you plan to go through this brew and write a detailed or lengthy long form critique or review. Any contribution is extremely appreciated, even if all you do is point out a single typo. I will do my best to respond to any and all comments here, as well as on the Discord if you join that. Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy the RME!
Don't forget you can join the Discord and get near instant access to myself and other contributors to Commander's Brews, and see our reasoning for certain design choices. We gladly welcome your critique and feedback there!
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