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Soft Serve
09-24-2014, 05:05 PM
So in D&D and however many other RPGs there are a plethora of armors, not really much different from one another. Scale Mail. Breastplate, and Banded Mail all have their "how they were made and what of" text blocks, but statistically the armor rating difference is usually by one point. So why even bother?


The idea is that it'd be easier to give three classes of armor Light, Medium and Heavy, each category covering a range of numbers. So it'd look something like...



Light Armor covers +1 through +5 AR armors and are usually made of Cloth, Leather, Chain etc, while Medium Armor covers +6 through +10 AR armors and are usually Scale Mails, Breastplates, Banded Mail, and so on.


Each category has its own differences (Light armor adds Agility to find your Defense, Medium armor adds Endurance, Heavy armor adds Endurance but gives penalties to agility and certain actions. Standard stuff) So there could be exceptional armor like a rare or legendary set that grants +7 AR but is considered Light.


I feel like this is easier, and also gives a little more character description freedom right?


At least that's how I justify it. I honestly can't tell if this idea is lazy or genius... Thoughts?

RodentofDoom
09-24-2014, 06:26 PM
There used be a reason for it in D&D .. many editions ago now.

Weapons did Piercing, Blunt or Slashing damage. Different types of armour within the same 'skill set' had a different bonus against each type ..
Chain was good against piercing/slashing, but poor against blunt, and scale was bad at piercing ..

or something like that .. it's been a good 15yrs since I last read those rules.

I think they got rid of that system to 'simplify' the mechanics in an attempt to move it away from the niche market into a more mainstream one.
It annoyed me a little at the time .. I'm a gamer (and most definitely nerdy) dammit, I demand my complex convoluted rule systems :cool:

Soft Serve
09-24-2014, 08:36 PM
Well that (the specific damage type protection) is still applicable. Generic armor that provides only a +# AR would be the standard, but also available would be armors that provide damage redcution from certain types of attacks. Bashing, Slashing, Fire, Acid, and so on. So you're not missing out on anything other than I guess being told specifically what exact armor you're wearing, but it doesn't really matter I think? If you can just wear Medium Class armor of +8 and call it Scale Mail because it's what the image in the icon you found on Roll20 to represent your character is wearing, then that's a good thing right?

nijineko
09-24-2014, 09:00 PM
i recall rolemaster has 20 armor types, and what amounts to an efficiency rating versus each type of damage possible in the game. it was a nice degree of granularity, but not everyone likes 'chartmaster', especially the rules-lire crowd.

Malruhn
09-24-2014, 10:39 PM
I'm with the others - if you want to start playing that game, you need to include armor damage absorption and such.

At one time, armor had THREE armor classes... ac vs pierce, bludgeon, and slash. Chain mail is GREAT against slashes (probably +8 or more), but absolutely crap against bludgeon (+1 at best). Plate was GREAT against bludgeon, but crap against piercing damage. It was cool for realists - but a major pain in the bottom parts for playing. Hell, combat already takes up way too much time.

Instead of, "Okay, Rognar, your AC is what? 20? Alright - five rolls and... TWO hit you," you'd end up with, Okay, Rognar, the crossbowmen get their attacks first, so what's your piercing AC? 17? Great - one hits. Now, what's your slash AC for the two wielding scimitars next to you? 24? Wonderful - both miss. Now, what's your AC versus bludgeoning for that HUGE fellow with the oversized hammer in front of you? 20? Great... aaaaaand... he hits."

And that's for everybody in the ENTIRE group...

I am _REALLY_ into realism - but that's overkill in my book.

DMMike
09-25-2014, 09:48 AM
So in D&D and however many other RPGs there are a plethora of armors, not really much different from one another. Scale Mail. Breastplate, and Banded Mail all have their "how they were made and what of" text blocks, but statistically the armor rating difference is usually by one point. So why even bother?

Why bother? Well, you're excluding the rest of the differences in armor types, so, you have some sort of straw-man argument here.

3rd edition armors has different descriptions, costs, armor bonuses, weights, encumbrances, hindrances (ACPs), and mobility (max dex). That's a good variety.

5th edition, by way of the basic rules, has different descriptions, costs, armor classes, mobility, strength requirements, stealthiness, and weights.

If you're looking at armor that's only different from another type by one armor point, you're probably looking at Mini-20 [sic!].

When I designed my armor rules, I used 4 criteria to differentiate the types: price, size, protection, and special:
Size: only three of these. Heavier armor makes physical endeavors more difficult (reduces your Physical score).

Protection: damage reduction. Varies by die type, and some get +1s for more variation.

Special: some armors are hard to find, some hard to keep up.


So you see, I also was not willing to go down to just one characteristic. Are you saying one characteristic is too much? That there should be only three armor types?

Soft Serve
09-25-2014, 09:38 PM
I'm with the others - if you want to start playing that game, you need to include armor damage absorption and such.

At one time, armor had THREE armor classes... ac vs pierce, bludgeon, and slash. Chain mail is GREAT against slashes (probably +8 or more), but absolutely crap against bludgeon (+1 at best). Plate was GREAT against bludgeon, but crap against piercing damage. It was cool for realists - but a major pain in the bottom parts for playing. Hell, combat already takes up way too much time.

Instead of, "Okay, Rognar, your AC is what? 20? Alright - five rolls and... TWO hit you," you'd end up with, Okay, Rognar, the crossbowmen get their attacks first, so what's your piercing AC? 17? Great - one hits. Now, what's your slash AC for the two wielding scimitars next to you? 24? Wonderful - both miss. Now, what's your AC versus bludgeoning for that HUGE fellow with the oversized hammer in front of you? 20? Great... aaaaaand... he hits."

And that's for everybody in the ENTIRE group...

I am _REALLY_ into realism - but that's overkill in my book.

Like I mentioned in the second post, incorporating specific protections against damage types isn't hard with the proposed rules-lite version, and was of course going to be included either way. Realism is a good place to start, but when it gets in the way of function it can be sacrificed without much loss I think. Fortunately, I don't think it has to go out the window here, it just needs to compromise. Sure, realistically, there's hundreds of armor types and each has a reasonably different reaction to different types of strikes. They're all also made of different materials of different quality which are readily available in different areas which would affect the price and availability of the armors and so on. But from a core mechanic point of view, they're all numbers. Numbers that are similar enough to not warrant charts of each different name, cost, unique damage reduction, and so on.

So you can buy Scale Mail and it gives you +7 AR and has a DR for Slashing damage. Or you can have +7 Medium Armor with a DR for Slashing damage. It's the same thing (but in the latter the armor can look however you want, cosmetic, but still kinda nice) except that rather than referencing a table to find out how much the Scale Mail is, finding it between the Breastplate and Banded Mail, you just looked up the cost for a +7 Armor and the cost of upgrading it for a DR to Slashing Damage. From a writing standpoint, it seems a lot easier and more convenient to me without sacrificing anything from the game.


3rd edition armors has different descriptions,

Light / Medium / and Heavy categories can have a description each detailing the types of armor commonly found within each category. The classics of each tier (Leather / Scale Mail / Plate Mail respectively) are pretty self-explanatory in nature. Donating a whole description to each set seems a waste of page space.


costs, armor bonuses,

Of course in the proposed rules-lite system they will still have costs and armor bonuses. Cost could be determined by a Gold Piece per Armor Rating ratio. 100gp per +1 AR for example.


weights, encumbrances,

Encumbrance rules are a whole other can of ugly, ugly worms. Ones I am not fond of in the slightest, I take a very "video-game-y" approach to encumbrance usually with an "Inventory Slot" system where everything that would reasonably fit in a backpack takes up one slot. This is a different conversation though.


hindrances (ACPs), and mobility (max dex). That's a good variety.

Heavy Armor incurs penalties for agility and various other actions (swimming for example.) And an armor is considered heavy when it provides +10 AR or above. A "Max Dex" is decent, but I wanted to do something else and didn't directly implement a comparable system. Rather Light Armor utilizes Agility (DEX if you'd rather call it that) and Medium / Heavy armors use Endurance.


5th edition <snip> strength requirements, stealthiness, and weights.

Strength Requirements is something I toyed with, but would probably reserve for legendary / rare armors that have special qualities. MAYBE. The game is still in a Beta form. I don't think I would ever implement a direct "stealthiness" attribute to armor rather than just a buff to armor that was notably stealthy. But this is personal preference I guess? And weight kind of brings us back to encumbrance.


If you're looking at armor that's only different from another type by one armor point, you're probably looking at Mini-20 [sic!].

Nope, 3.5 D&D. You can see what I mean from this table (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/armor.htm#armorDescriptions) where you can buy a suit of armor from +1 AC to +8 AC and every number in between.


When I designed my armor rules, I used 4 criteria to differentiate the types: price, size, protection, and special:
Size: only three of these. Heavier armor makes physical endeavors more difficult (reduces your Physical score).

Protection: damage reduction. Varies by die type, and some get +1s for more variation.

Special: some armors are hard to find, some hard to keep up.


So you see, I also was not willing to go down to just one characteristic. Are you saying one characteristic is too much? That there should be only three armor types?

I don't think I'm going down to one characteristic? Honestly not %100 sure what you mean. You can upgrade the armor however you want. With spikes for damage, studs for extra reinforcement, wards for magic protection, black paint for stealth, break-away mods that allow you to pull a strap and remove the armor incase of being thrown overboard, quick silver that detects incoming impact and hardens that particular spot of the armor, internal padding for damage reduction, and the list goes on. The armor is yours to customize, yours to characterize. You can call it "Scale Mail" and outfit it however you want, to whatever protection rating you want, if that's what you want to do. Or you can call it "Targren's Red Mail" and make the AR whatever you want you want with whatever various upgrades you like. The whole point is kind of that the name of the thing doesn't matter from the mechanic standpoint, its the numbers. And I believe this is an easier and more efficient method of conveying those numbers that opens up and encourages customization and freedom a little bit more.

falinxelote
09-26-2014, 05:00 AM
you could easily give the armor with say high resistance to piercing damage a few points of damage reduction or have it cause an attack penalty so you don't have to compare a bunch of different AR values. Just modify what the bonus does a little and you still get your realism without a lot of rules

Soft Serve
09-26-2014, 08:53 AM
you could easily give the armor with say high resistance to piercing damage a few points of damage reduction or have it cause an attack penalty so you don't have to compare a bunch of different AR values. Just modify what the bonus does a little and you still get your realism without a lot of rules

This is the plan. I'd rather not have three separate boxes on a character sheet for Slashing, Bashing, and Piercing defense. I'd rather give armor a Damage Reduction to the one(s) its resistant to and keep it simple. (Same for damage types like Fire / Arcane / Acid etc.)

DMMike
09-26-2014, 11:51 AM
I don't think I'm going down to one characteristic? . . . The whole point is kind of that the name of the thing doesn't matter from the mechanic standpoint, its the numbers. And I believe this is an easier and more efficient method of conveying those numbers that opens up and encourages customization and freedom a little bit more.

Let me rephrase:

Do you want armor types to be simpler, or more complex?

Your original post says that armor types are only different by 1 armor point, so "what's the point?" Which I interpret as, "armor isn't complex/interesting enough."

The OP also says that armors should be reduced to three types: light, medium, and heavy. This sounds like a simplifying effort.

So what are you looking for? Did I lose the forest in the trees?

jpatterson
09-26-2014, 12:59 PM
For simplicity, I feel you can't beat a small handful of differences, like Light (leather), Medium (mail or scale), Heavy (plate and mail) and maybe Full (plated armor), with only significant differences of multiple armor ratings in difference (2, 5, 7 and 9 for example).

I do agree there are plenty of considerations which a more granular list of armors could address, like encumbrance, protection types, donning time, noise, etc. This same can be said for weapons obviously, which I'm sure you're addressing in a side-aspect of this, since it is looking like you're writing up a system.

To me, it seems like the breakdown and differences points-wise in things are judged against what they affect, so even if most people have say 10 Hit Points, and most weapons do at least d6 damage, a 1 point difference is debatably too petty to mess with, as that's 1/6 of even usual damage, or even less for d8 and d10 damage weapons, making it hardly noticeable. To me, if you take into account most heroic types can usually take at least one non-critical-hit arrow, and maybe two, the minimal level of important armor should definitely raise the "takeable arrows" to 2, so maybe +2 soak for Light, and so on.

I personally was fine with 1st and 2nd edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay that basically had this, L, M and H armor and all hand weapons did d6, with only arms outside that range (dagger, whip, 2 handed swords) doing -2 or +2, etc. Played it for years and never had any frustration over that, and Warhammer was so beloved by its fans it was kept alive by sheer fan creativity and nurturing for over a decade until it was given official life again - you can argue the setting but still, a truly poor system will kill any game.

Soft Serve
09-26-2014, 11:59 PM
Let me rephrase:

Do you want armor types to be simpler, or more complex?

Your original post says that armor types are only different by 1 armor point, so "what's the point?" Which I interpret as, "armor isn't complex/interesting enough."

The OP also says that armors should be reduced to three types: light, medium, and heavy. This sounds like a simplifying effort.

So what are you looking for? Did I lose the forest in the trees?

Simpler. Basically "an armor by any other name would still add +X Defense, so why do we have a bunch of tables listing various armor names and the one point of difference between them when not naming them would work just as well, save page space in print, and be easier to record on a character sheet since instead of writing a whole new name of armor, you just erase and re-write its value (when you upgrade it that is.)"


For simplicity, I feel you can't beat a small handful of differences, like Light (leather), Medium (mail or scale), Heavy (plate and mail) and maybe Full (plated armor), with only significant differences of multiple armor ratings in difference (2, 5, 7 and 9 for example).

I do agree there are plenty of considerations which a more granular list of armors could address, like encumbrance, protection types, donning time, noise, etc.

Yes, this for the most part. Encumbrance (and noise) I plan to deal with through Agility penalties on Heavy Armor, Protection Types are represented as Damage Reduction for their respective types, Donning Time, one turn.

Would it be more realistic to go more in depth with these? Yes, it probably would. But does that really make it more entertaining? The only reason Encumbrance (and noise) and Donning Time are even a factor (to me) is for game balance. Swapping armor in the blink of an eye (skyrim style) or wearing the heaviest armor available and doing cartwheels (dark souls 1) can break the game.



This same can be said for weapons obviously, which I'm sure you're addressing in a side-aspect of this, since it is looking like you're writing up a system.

True, and I am. I already playtested an idea where weapons have specific movesets (like slash, trip, disarm, backstab, lunge, parry, etc. Each having damage types and damage dice specific to the move rather than generically represented on the weapon.) The problem with it was that the guys playing it felt limited to only using those moves, and it received mixed reviews. I think if I took it down to weapons with basic attacks and special attacks (disarm, parry stance, etc.) it may work as intended. But this is a different discussion again.


To me, it seems like the breakdown and differences points-wise in things are judged against what they affect, so even if most people have say 10 Hit Points, and most weapons do at least d6 damage, a 1 point difference is debatably too petty to mess with, as that's 1/6 of even usual damage, or even less for d8 and d10 damage weapons, making it hardly noticeable. To me, if you take into account most heroic types can usually take at least one non-critical-hit arrow, and maybe two, the minimal level of important armor should definitely raise the "takeable arrows" to 2, so maybe +2 soak for Light, and so on.

I think I agree. Though the difference in d6 damage and d10 damage when you have 10 HP is alarming considering one has a %10 chance to kill you (or debilitate / incapacitate depending on rules) and the other has no chance at all (Assuming full health naturally.)

Also, where even is an acceptable Damage Reduction on Armor? Do most people say -1 Damage Reduction is worth it because every point counts when RNGs decide the damage?


I personally was fine with 1st and 2nd edition Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay that basically had this, L, M and H armor and all hand weapons did d6, with only arms outside that range (dagger, whip, 2 handed swords) doing -2 or +2, etc. Played it for years and never had any frustration over that, and Warhammer was so beloved by its fans it was kept alive by sheer fan creativity and nurturing for over a decade until it was given official life again - you can argue the setting but still, a truly poor system will kill any game.

I didn't know Warhammer did something similar, I've always wanted to get into it but miniatures is so expensive. It always sounded really good and interesting though.

And I agree, a poor system can render a game unplayable no matter who is running it or what campaign it is. Eberron is one of my favorite published worlds, but I can't play the 4e version of it (not to start that war, I'm just not a fan of 4e.)