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How to grant AC in a campaign that shuns normal Armor?


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Now, flicking through Fable II because Rifts is a boring WoW clone and the gaming group has cancelled the game for the next week because of RL Scheduling Hell, I'm thinking about the next campaign, in which I'll be GM as I've had two years off and feel it's time to step back up to the plate and give some other people a chance, and the game is a lot of fun (yes, the Fable Franchise bit hard with the way they wrote the story after the first game, but bleh, what can you do?)

Now, almost all 'defensive' actions are taken via blocking with your weapon or rolling out of the way .... and thinking of kicking out 'high fantasy' to the curb and making it an 'emerging steam-technology and magic fighting for supremacy' era, where armor isn't common except for light armor. Not so much that such armor isn't useful, but culturally such armor is reserved for ceremonial purposes and anyone seen clanking down the main street in armor is going to get either laughed at or accosted by the Guards, who alone would be the ones allowed to wear armor and weaponry openly in towns.

So, what I was thinking, in addition to the 'four base classes' I am tinkering with, should the classes get a built-in AC ability? Ie, for the 'Warrior' Base-Class (effectively the Fighter class sans the Medium, Heavy armor and Tower-shield feats, +2 Skill points), should they gain a +2 to AC at first level and increase by +2 every 4 levels?

The 'Priest' base-class (think Cleric, no armor proficiency, +4 Skill points) should maybe gain +1 to AC at first level and increases by +1 for every 6 levels after that.

The 'Rogue' base-class (think Rogue with some Bard-abilities hybrid, sneak-attack is being changed atm to something else, martial weapon proficiency) should perhaps gain +1 to ac at first level, and increase by +1 every 4 levels.

The 'Mage' base-class (hybrid Witch/Wizard class, still in design, +4 Skill points) should gain +1 to AC at first level and increases by +1 for every 6 levels after that.

I'm thinking of making Combat Expertise a free feat to the 'martial' characters, Warrior and Rogue base-classes, and thus making feats that rely upon the characters being more mobile and aware of the uses of cover, elevation and footing be more crucial to combat than encasing yourself in a half-ton of Adamantite and charging the enemy army on your own.

I'm trying to think of a way to give the characters their higher AC without the armor, and currently while a class-based scaling AC, representing training, experience and just plain luck.

Because this can be a touchy subject!:
Personally going to trial the absence of Charisma as a stat, rolling Charisma's uses into Wisdom and instead, each character rolls for the five stats as normal, and then the GM rolls a D20, giving them a 'luck' stat that they do not see. The 'Luck' stat applies to rolls made by the GM in tricky situations, representing the fact that Fate can be a fickle b%~$* when she wants to be. Situations where the PCs are literally at the edge of their abilities, the Luck Stat can be applied, in Surprise rounds as a modifier to their AC, or during a card-game, their luck-stat is rolled against the opposing NPCs' own Luck Stat, the winner getting the best hand, etc etc.

Anyone had any games using a similar system that can offer me any advice? I can see shenanigans where items such as Amulet of Natural Armor and Bracers of Armor suddenly become King, but I'm also trying to create a campaign where PCs aren't completely dependant upon outside sources for their in-combat survival.

Short version of this campaign: Human, Kobold, Hobgoblin and Dwarven societies are in the middle of an evolution past the traditional 'kill the other guy' mind-set and are advancing into cautious trade-alliances and co-operation, Elves, Giants, Orcs and 'Other' are trying to expand their territories the old fashioned way, or are struggling to sabotage the advancement of technology and/or the new alliances to maintain the way 'things should be'.

Actual monsters are nominally restricted to Normal and Dire Animals, Abberations and Magical Beasts are mostly extinct and/or restricted to distant continents/Magical Schools where they are kept as valuable samples/breeding stock. Certain breeds such as Gryphons and other 'iconic' Magical Beasts survive as either 'domesticated' or otherwise intergrated into Humanoid Society.

Dragons have since mostly abandoned civilisation, having learned the hard way that advancing technology can hurt them just as much, if not more so, than Magic and Steel ever could.

Outsiders are mostly void from the game, as is planar travel. The Beyond is inherently hostile to Mortals, even powerful ones, twisting the mind and body into insanity. Hell doesn't let anybody back out once they get in, and Heaven won't let anybody in for fear of 'mortal corruption' ah-lah the Black City of Dragon Age infamy.


*reads his own post* Holy crap that was garbled.....uhm, okay, second time around ...

How would you go about making an in-built AC system for classes in a campaign setting where medium and heavy armor is not commonly available or worn by the PC races, for reasons ranging from Cultural to Economical reasons?

Cheliax

A level and class based defense bonus (basically a stacking untyped bonus which is lost when flat footed, as the Dodge subtype messes with touch attacks).
There is a great sub-mechanic in the Advanced GameMaster's Manual (by Green Ronin) which also has hints for monsters types, and IIRC, also in the UA rules.


The following rules worked rather well in a recent Pathfinder campaign I ran.


Yeah, I was about to suggest that same page.
If I were you, I'd also try using armour as DR, also from unearthed arcana. A lot of people will tell you it doesn't work, but if armour is only meant to be an option with which you can replace part of your AC bonus from level, I don't think you'll have any trouble with it at all, and there will still be some point in wearing armour sometimes.


If there are alligators in the sewers, anyone with their spelunking license will have a 'uniform'. It may include fabric covered chain and a resperator. Lizardmen may be wearing this uniform when they go topside.
There is also the Diplomat class. It is a converted version of the Rogue that cuts out surprise attack for a bonus to the social skills.
Have you considered the dragons going underdark? Subteranian cities full of dragons or dino men are a staple of many modern fantasy stories.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Have you considered using the d20 Modern rules? Players can start out in the Strong, Fast, Tough, Smart, Dedicated, and Charismatic Hero classes, and then get to choose Advanced Classes based on Alchemist, Barbarian, Bard, Cavalier, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Gunslinger, Inquisitor, Magus, Monk, Ninja, Oracle, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Samurai, Sorcerer, Summoner, Witch, or Wizard.

d20 Modern has some nifty class-based defense rules.


Sadly, I lack the D20 Modern manual SmiloDan. I am considering trying to track down one of these manuals, but my options are somewhere between none and buckleys at the local store, albeit this is over the Web, a notoriously difficult place for tracking that one g~&*#&n piece of stock for most businesses.

And Goth Guru, I am keeping Light armor in the game, but due to cultural evolution and the advancement of firearms and a general 'peaceful' air to the most civilised regions, armor heavier than a Chain Shirt is highly irregular and tends to belong to either Noble families, special elite military units and/or Dress uniforms. With a few exceptions, most people consider suits of armor to be a sign of barbarism, a throwback to a darker, less enlightened age.


I banned armor in my Council of Thieves game, for much the same reason: Why would a government allow people to walk around with all the armor and weapons in the world?

Here's what I learned:

Change 1) Combat is faster. I'm actually ok with this.

Change 2) Talking is more important. I brought in a social combat system, like in Burning Wheel, so that we've got strong game mechanics.

Change 3) Surprise is more important. When you think you're likely to hit, surprise + going first is BIG.

Change 4) More jumping, leaping, swimming, climbing. Also ok with this.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Finally, you can use things like "armor permits' as treasure and/or quest items. Maybe someone might decide that it's worth it to join the city guard, or to pay for that license.

Useful for a change of pace (yay, armor!), or to drain off excess PC wealth, if that's needed.


It would make things tougher on touch attacks, but how about half bab round down dodge bonus to ac, plus 2 for every armor proficiency feat, and minus any armor check penalty. I would also use armor as dr/-, either full or half round up switched from armor bonus to dr.

Contributor

In The New Argonauts (my book on mythical ancient Greece), to reflect the lower tech level and the low-magic setting, I gave all fighters, warriors, and aristocrats (there were few other classes available) Combat Expertise for free (and allowed them to use their entire BAB instead of capping it at +5/-5, but it was a 3.5 book and that rule is no longer relevant for Pathfinder). It worked fine.

Cheliax

3.5s unearthed arcana had a class bonus to ac. might want to look at that. its part of the srd so its online.


I hope you don't mind if I cross post, but this idea might be useful here.
Combat dancing. Must have performance dancing. If they have this feat even the irresistable dance will add to their AC and still allow them to fight. The AC bonus should be their Charisma bonus. It won't stack with physical armor because that gets in the way of dancing.
(Yes, you can call it Ti Chi.)


Pathfinder Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

One thing you could do is something like this. When wearing armor, use normal Armor rules. When not wearing armor, use the following :

Base AC = 10 + Dex Mod + Int Mod + Wis Mod + BAB/2
Touch AC = 10 + Dex Mod + Int Mod + Wis Mod
Flat Foot AC = 10 + Wis Mod + BAB/2

Reasoning :
The better you are at fighting, the harder you should be to hit, even when surprised. So your BAB adds to your defense, one per 2 levels. Also, wisdom means you don't put yourself into a situation that leaves you open to attack, so wisdom mod still applies. If you're aware of danger, your intelligence should come into play to get you out of trouble or keep you from getting into a bad situation, and your dexterity helps you move out of the way faster.

A fighter with a 16 Dex, 10 INT and 14 WIS is going to have a base AC in his undies of 10 + 3 + 0 + 2 + (BAB / 2). So if he's level 7, he's got a base AC in skivies of 10 + 3 + 0 + 2 + 3 = 18. A wizard at level 7 who has a 14 dex, 18 int, and 12 wisdom has 10 + 2 + 4 + 1 + 1 = 18.

This sort of levels the playing field, to be honest, since the fighters are usually going to be having less armor than they are used to, but the casters will get more than they usually do. I don't think that's an issue for this type of game, and any fighter in regular armor is going to have an advantage over both.

You might need to play with those numbers a bit (for example, perhaps making it 2 * DEX + Highest Mental Stat Mod instead). But it's a place to start.


Lord Zordran wrote:
The following rules worked rather well in a recent Pathfinder campaign I ran.

If I can draw on your personal experiences here, I was just looking at these rules (along with the armor as DR rule) and am attracted to the idea. I did some quick number crunching, though, and wasn't sure it was going in a direction I wanted.

The big flag I got was in converting a basic orc warrior from the Monster Manual. According to my math, the intro-level beasty would get an armor class of 17, a pretty big jump from the 13 they have under the original system.

Am I doing that right? Did that turn out to be much of a problem for you as it seems to me?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I like using the Reflex save as a bonus to AC. Makes sense to me because you use reflexes to dodge stuff. I also use REF as a bonus to initiative checks for the same reasons. Reflexes show how fast you react.


Fletch wrote:
Am I doing that right? Did that turn out to be much of a problem for you as it seems to me?

I was thinking of using the UA-System for an upcoming E7-Campaign, but after doing some maths together with a friend I decided not to use it. It is very front-loaded, like with your orc example. There is no reason for a fighter or paladin with reasonable DEX at first level, say 14 or so, to wear armour. In a campaign where armour is not used this might be OK, but we just wanted a system where unarmoured fighters can be competitive.

I do not like the multiclassing rules, too, since they make one one-level dip into fighter or paladin very powerful.

We toyed around with lowering values in the beginning and raising them over the levels, and not basing the multiclass-system on character level but on class levels. It would probably work, but in the end it was too much hassle.

We decided on a simple system: BAB = AC bonus when unarmoured. But our campaign will not progress past level 7, so +7 AC is the max. In a normal campaign pure BAB would be too much.

In a world without armour, the UA-System should work, though.


Blackest Sheep wrote:
There is no reason for a fighter or paladin with reasonable DEX at first level, say 14 or so, to wear armour.

Even more, to my eyes it seems to discourage fighters from wearing heavy armor. The ones you most imagine trucking around in plate armor, your paladins and fighters and such, are better served by going nekkid while your bards and sorcerers are the ones visiting the armorer's shop.

My initial scheme was also to give a defense bonus equal to the BAB, but that starts to look a bit extreme past level 12 or so. Ultimately my goal is to reduce the PCs' need for magic items, so maybe +20 to AC at 20th level isn't so unfair if that same fighter isn't packing +5 magic armor and a +3 ring of protection. My big worry, though, is about those level 20 fighters who do get magic armor and ring.


To what level do you plan to play this game?

I for one would not change anything or make any adjustment. What you will see is a shift to different classes. A monk forinstance will becomes much more interesting. A ranger, bard or rogue wearing light armour might be able to go unrecognised using Disguise or bluf/other social skills out of possible confrontations about their armour. You may see a shift to more ranged combat and a tactic of not getting hit (certainly against melee animal, this should be possible). Surprise, stealth and crowd-control might becomes more important.

In the end, if the same rules apply to the enemies, you will see that both sides simply hit more often requiring more healing. And you may have to adjust the cr for certain nature armour encounters though for the first levels, I don't think playing the game as is will cause problems that can't be overcome.


Pardon me for not reading past the second post, but I'll just jump in. (Forgive me if it's already been suggested)

Have a BAB-like stat that progresses with level gain for AC and augment it with lighter armors.


Quick follow-up question, as I'm working on a similarly styled campaign with similar goals.

for those of you have have tried out the UA rules and find them too front-loaded... Is it pretty much just the bad guys that have too high of an AC when compared to those same bad guys from the normal pathfinder bestiary AC rules?

It seesm to me (though i've only done some initial number-running) that the pallies and fighters (if they were somewhat optimizing when being built) had around an 18 - 20 AC from the normal rules, and they can attain similar numbers through the UA variant rules.


Sorry, I forgot to say that last post was concerning 1st level characters.

Has anyone simply tried a modified chart, with lower numbers at lvl 1 then scaling up to the same numbers at lvl 20? This would make AC's lower in general at 1st level, making combat faster and more dangerous. It would also make the benefit of a shield more obvious... seeing as how they would be the only people capable of attaining that near-20 AC out of the gate.

I guess this doesn't fix the bad-guy issue, though... as they will have very "heroic" Ac's out of hte gate if they simulate PC class levels.


Eben TheQuiet wrote:

for those of you have have tried out the UA rules and find them too front-loaded... Is it pretty much just the bad guys that have too high of an AC when compared to those same bad guys from the normal pathfinder bestiary AC rules?

It seems to me (though i've only done some initial number-running) that the pallies and fighters (if they were somewhat optimizing when being built) had around an 18 - 20 AC from the normal rules, and they can attain similar numbers through the UA variant rules.

When using armour you will look at max +8 or +9 AC from armour and DEX. Most of the time it will be +8 because of the price tag of the better armours. With the UA-System you achieve that with a DEX of 14, while high-DEX-builds can reach +10 or even +11. A fighter with a DEX of 18 will sport 20 AC without anything but defence bonus and DEX. And while starting armour usually imparts some kind of penalty to skills or movement, the defence bonus does not.

Why wear amour as a fighter when you can achieve the same (or an even higher) AC without any of the penalties?

The strange multiclassing rules worsen this for me, as a rogue1/fighter1 is treated the same way as a fighter2, granting a whopping +6 defence bonus, which is essentially a mithril breastplate at 2nd level, without any penalties. Better armours, both mithral and magic, will alleviate the problem, but it takes a while before they enter the picture.

I am not sure if the higher touch AC vs. lower flat-footed AC will work out, but at least there is a drawback to the benefit.


What if all categories took a -2 penalty at level 1? That would remove the bonus for non-armored classes altogether (which makes way more sense to me), and drop everyone down to a more normal AC level, based on your calculations. It would take some work to get the progressions right, but I'm okay with that.

I've already decided to alter the rule about multi-classing. You only treat your level in each category according to class levels you have in that actual category. So dipping one level of fighter might be really beneficial for a few levels, but after that the benefit would drop.

I'm not as worried about players not choosing armor at all... the setting isn't built around armor being a factor, really. I'm more concerned with hitting more standard AC numbers per character level.


Eben TheQuiet wrote:

What if all categories took a -2 penalty at level 1? That would remove the bonus for non-armored classes altogether (which makes way more sense to me), and drop everyone down to a more normal AC level, based on your calculations. It would take some work to get the progressions right, but I'm okay with that.

I've already decided to alter the rule about multi-classing. You only treat your level in each category according to class levels you have in that actual category. So dipping one level of fighter might be really beneficial for a few levels, but after that the benefit would drop.

Both changes resemble the ones I made before realising that defence bonus = BAB is feasible in an E7 campaign. I think that they should work out OK.


If a class starts out the gate with +2 or +3 in something, that is a first level bonus. If that is the second class, change it to +1. Hopefully Pazio will implement this in future printings.


Blackest Sheep wrote:
Both changes resemble the ones I made before realising that defence bonus = BAB is feasible in an E7 campaign.

Out of curiosity, what is an "E7 campaign"?

Qadira

You could also look at this stuff > SRD Defense Bonus Variant


Eben TheQuiet wrote:
Blackest Sheep wrote:
Both changes resemble the ones I made before realising that defence bonus = BAB is feasible in an E7 campaign.
Out of curiosity, what is an "E7 campaign"?

E7 is a variation of E6 which is a variant system for pathfinder (originally for 3.5) where players stop leveling at level 6 and just gain certain feats from that point onward. Basically since in practical terms in 3.x 5th level is the limit of actual human ability, then the players only ever get a little bit beyond what actual humans(or demihumans) are capable of. It keeps the game more 'realistic' and it also means classic monsters are always a threat no matter how long the game goes on. It also means that the higher level abilities and spells that get rather complicated never come up. In the case of E7 leveling stops at level 7 and there are feats that let you get certain level 8 'capstone' abilities after that.


Is this outlined somewhere? A website or something? it sounds interesting.


Eben TheQuiet wrote:
Is this outlined somewhere? A website or something? it sounds interesting.

You can find the original rules here E6. And there are a whole bunch of threads here talking about what to do with it to bring it to pathfinder (search for E6, E7 and E8).


Here's what I did in one homebrew campaign I ran:

Everyone has a Defense, that basically encompasses parrying or deflecting incoming attacks.

Defense is for the most part static, all classes begin at 10, dexterity still applies.

You gain a level/experience bonus to defense equal +1 to defense per every 2 points of BAB gained. This bonus did not apply to touch attacks. Anything that caused you to lose your Dexterity bonus also caused you to lose your active bonus to Defense.

Shield provided there bonus to Defense instead of AC.

Armor provided Damage Reduction rather than a bonus to Defense. The DR granted was equivalent of the AC bonus it would have granted (DR8 for Plate armor). In the case of magical armor, say +5 Full Plate, the +5 granted a Defense bonus to Touch Defense and Defense; and the DR granted by the Armor would apply to magical attacks from spells. The DR would stack with class abilities, such as the DR gained by Barbarians. The DR from armor did not provide DR against magic, unless, it had at least a +1 magical enhancement.

A unique exception to Armor DR, is if the Armor was crafter from unique materials, such as Mithril or Adamantine, in that in the case of +5 armor, the +5 would translate into a bonus to DR.

It kept the numbers needed to hit low, leading to characters being hit more often. However, the DR gained from wearing armor helped to offset that issue.


Fletch wrote:
Lord Zordran wrote:
The following rules worked rather well in a recent Pathfinder campaign I ran.

If I can draw on your personal experiences here, I was just looking at these rules (along with the armor as DR rule) and am attracted to the idea. I did some quick number crunching, though, and wasn't sure it was going in a direction I wanted.

The big flag I got was in converting a basic orc warrior from the Monster Manual. According to my math, the intro-level beasty would get an armor class of 17, a pretty big jump from the 13 they have under the original system.

Am I doing that right? Did that turn out to be much of a problem for you as it seems to me?

I didn't have any problems with the defense bonus rules. I only used them for player characters, while simply using the stats as written in the Bestiaries for monsters. Furthermore, I used a special house rule to compensate for the lack of magic items, so no player characters ever used armour or even wanted to use armour. Which suited me just fine, as the campaign was set in a desert setting where most armours make no sense at all. Spellcasters benefit maybe more than other classes, as they receive a defense bonus which is higher than what they would normally have, but this was not really a problem. The mage armor spell becomes redundant after a certain level.


Only applying defense levels to PCs is one easy option and it's certainly on my table.

Another number exercise I did, though, was to just divide the defense bonuses in half. Here's why it worked for me:

* As much as I like inherent defense bonuses, I don't like the idea of armor providing no protection, so I allow the bonus to AC from armor to stack.

* That's not that big a problem because I want to use the "armor as DR" which reduces the armor bonus.

The end result is that a 1st level fighter, fer instance, would only get a +3 bonus to defense and would get another +3 or so from his chainmail. It all balances out, more or less, with the spellcasters benefiting from a slight increase to AC (from the defense bonus) and the fighters benefit slightly from the damage reduction his armor provides.

I statted out the six stages of the pre-gens included in Rise of the Runelords and found this to be pretty consistent throughout 14 levels. It ramps up slightly due to magic items, but since I like to be stingy in that regard, I think it'll even out.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

About the touchy subject:

Any stat rolled with a 1d20 is problematic, the possible variations in the stat value between players are too high.

It would be better to give it a fixed value for all players and allow it to be increased through "trade".

I.e. "I have rolled a 15 in wisdom, don't want to play a cleric and my stat allow for the class I want, so I will remove 1 point from Wisdom and put it in the 'luck' stat"

or, if you prefer a variable value, you could give a fixed base value (for example 8) and then add 2d4 or something similar to it.

With a single d20 you can have, potentially, 1 guy with a value of 20, so the luckiest man on earth, always making his lucky rolls and a guy with 1, always failing them.


Diego Rossi wrote:
It would be better to give it a fixed value for all players and allow it to be increased through "trade".

I would simply make it based on charisma. Might be enough to make it less of a dump stats.

That in combination with other factors like a divine bonus for cleric and paladin. A bonus for the lucky halfings etc. Maybe items with luck in their name?


Diego Rossi wrote:
Good points!

It's an idea I'm thinking about, nothing is set in stone, but the concept is that it's a free-floating stat that the PCs don't know about, the random, fickle finger of Fate poking them at random points in time, for good or ill.

Perhaps a 1D10+5 dice would be better, narrowing the range of 'luck' between various PCs and NPCs to relatively equal footing.

I have used the 'trade' route before, but on the other hand, I also prefer to use the 4D6 dice rolling method for creating stats. Obviously players do not go into the game with under an overall 'point' level below that of a 15 to ensure they are not horribly raped by, well, everything. I found the Trade rule allowed Players to turn otherwise crappy dice-rolls into more optimized stats, but in my games I prefer to have PCs and NPCs deal with their dice rolls, like normal people make do with what nature, genetics and other factors give them.


I'm running a piracy themed campaign right now, where armor isn't common because you'll sink like a rock if you fall overboard in plate mail.

One thing I did to mitigate this, was I introduced a new prestige class, who gets his CHA bonus to AC as a class feature.

link to the Panakos online system reference document

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber
Blackest Sheep wrote:


Why wear amour as a fighter when you can achieve the same (or an even higher) AC without any of the penalties?

If you're using that system, you're wearing armor for DR. Again not all D20 type settings are suitable for armor, Gothic Earth comes to mind as one example.


LazarX wrote:
If you're using that system, you're wearing armor for DR. Again not all D20 type settings are suitable for armor, Gothic Earth comes to mind as one example.

Yes, that is why I said that it would probably work in a campaign with no or few armour, but that you need to tweak it when using it alongside the standard armour rules. EDIT: And I still do not like the multiclassing rules ... ;-)

For my upcoming campaign, I need a system where players can choose between going armoured and unarmoured without too much difference, as it is largely meant to be a choice of style.

Andoran

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Card Game, Companion, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HalfOrcHeavyMetal wrote:


It's an idea I'm thinking about, nothing is set in stone, but the concept is that it's a free-floating stat that the PCs don't know about, the random, fickle finger of Fate poking them at random points in time, for good or ill.

Perhaps a 1D10+5 dice would be better, narrowing the range of 'luck' between various PCs and NPCs to relatively equal footing.

I was thinking a bit about this idea.

I really don't like the idea of a fixed stat that will influence the whole life of the character without the alloying the player to roll it.

So I would suggest a partially different approach:

1) the luck value has a maximum of 15 and a minimum of 5;

2) at the start of each adventure you roll 1d10+5 (and possible modifiers, like the “halfling luck”) to determine the “luck” pool of each character at the start of the adventure. Maximum value 15, minimum 6

3) every time a character make a successful roll against luck his “luck pool” decrease by 1 (till it get to the minimum of 5).

To replenish the “luck pool” we could use some kind of karma rule.
For example:
- every time a player get a critical failure* wile doing something not luck related in game he add 1 to his luck pool.
- if you want to reward players doing good deeds you can give 1 luck point for a good deed.

You can easily add other ways to gain or lose luck points to balance how they work after seeing this idea in play.

What you think of this suggestion?

*with critical failure I mean rolling a 1 when it matter. Not simply falling a ST but falling a ST when he would fail only with a 1, or against a fireball that then incinerate his magic cloak and so on.


Star Wars Saga system has the best version of this I have seen. You can use armor, but it's generally stupid. Classes aren't exactly the same, but it's pretty easy to decide what will apply to what - Warrior to Fighter, Scout to Ranger, Jedi to Monk, Noble to wizard, scoundral to rogue, etc. In their system, class AC and armor bonus do not stack, although there are several feats and talents that let that happen, to a limited degree.

Luck - while the idea is cool, be careful with the execution. If my DM made a secret roll and told me something lucky happened, I would feel as if my character had just become an NPC, and my initial reaction would be to crumple up my PC, throw it at the DM, and walk away. Players are much more protective of their own luck (read - THEY get to roll the dice), than almost anything else. If you want to keep the luck score secret, that might be acceptable, but I think the players should get to roll the dice.

Optional humorous old Boot Hill luck roll. Luck was a single die number, I think it was derived (Wis+Con/4) or something like that, so it was usually 8-10. WHen the player would die (and only then), they could make a luck roll on a D20, less than luck meant they lived - ONLY if they could come up with a reason why the bullet (usuallY) had not killed them. And they could only use each reason ONCE!. New players were always advised to save the old 'Bullet glanced off my pocket watch' excuse for when they couldn't think of anything else.


Major__Tom wrote:


Optional humorous old Boot Hill luck roll. Luck was a single die number, I think it was derived (Wis+Con/4) or something like that, so it was usually 8-10. WHen the player would die (and only then), they could make a luck roll on a D20, less than luck meant they lived - ONLY if they could come up with a reason why the bullet (usuallY) had not killed them. And they could only use each reason ONCE!. New players were always advised to save the old 'Bullet glanced off my pocket watch' excuse for when they couldn't think of anything else.

it was its own stat, you rolled 2d10 like for everything else, except you halved the result.

I've seen a player make 7 of those in a row in one combat, it was pretty funny at the end as the excuses started to become insane.

as for the OP, look up Trailblazer and their Combat Reactions, Dodge and Block, though if you want to completely nix armor, I'd probably adjust the bonus to full BAB

for quick reference, Combat Reactions sort of replace AoO, allowing you to do more than just whack the careless. You can Block, which gives you DR equal to 1/2 your BAB + Shield mod agaist one attack, or you may Dodge, which gives you 1/2 your BAB as a dodge bonus to AC


You could try the Duellist PrC's way to up the AC without armour.

Characters pick a mental stat at character creation: Int, Wis or Chr. When they fight without armour, they get a bonus to AC based on that stat, up to their level.

For the duellist, I thought it was too little too late, but for a first level character, that increases nicely.

I realize though it might not be enough of a bonus for some. In that case, it might work when wearing light armour, though I would keep in mind the mythril breastplate.


I'd like to thank everyone for their input. Still working on the system, having scrapped the campaign setting due to one member of the group whining loudly that my campaigns always end up 'Humanity is the Greatest Evil' and 'Welcome to the Mind-!@#$' style, so I'll be keeping a more traditional high fantasy setting and not the Fable/Thief hybrid world I had in the pipes.

That said, I will be keeping Armor as DR, Shields as an AC Bonus as normal, Enhancement as additional DR source for armor and allowing every class to have an AC equal to 10+BAB+Dex.

Adamantine/Adamantium/Adamantite/Starmetal is being removed from the game for obvious purposes. >_>

Charisma and Wisdom will be rolled into a single stat, Spirit.

Luck stat will be rolled like any other stat, by me, falling between 8 and 18, as a bonus to their characters rolls during climactic moments. Players have been made aware they have a free-floating bonus from my end that they will not know about. Useable 1/day for each level they have.

That said, I'm raiding the interwebz for more ideas. Ahehehehe.... world of shattered light and darkness, time to make them start on the Dark Side of the equation.

*evil, maniacal laughter that echoes into the distance*

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