Paizo Top Nav Branding
  • Hello, Guest! |
  • Sign In |
  • My Account |
  • Shopping Cart |
  • Help/FAQ
About Paizo Messageboards News Paizo Blog Help/FAQ
Pathfinder Roleplaying Game
Pathfinder Society

Pathfinder Beginner Box

Pathfinder Adventure Card Game

Pathfinder Comics

Pathfinder Legends

PaizoCon 2014!

Why full plate wearers will not sink in water in PFO.


Pathfinder Online

1 to 50 of 93 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Cheliax Goblin Squad Member

I have seen some posts regarding the use of heavy armor and how in PFO you should sink like a rock. I want to clear the air and say that in Pathfinder, full plate is actually quite buoyant compared to armor in real life. Don't believe me?

Basic Presumptions
1) A character will not wear heavy armor unless trained in the use of that armor.
2) A character will opt for masterwork full plate over full plate because MWK FP is only 10% more expensive and rarely would anyone buy FP just to sell it for half to pay for MWK FP.
3) A character should have a rank or two in swim if they are going to be trying to swim in heavy armor.

Remember, these aren't minor nobles wearing armor for sport or war, typically these are trained, seasoned warriors that do this professionally without the middle-ages lack of proper diet & nutrition. These are heroic characters with special abilities above & beyond the average citizenry or even minor nobles.

Remember, fighters can eventually offset all movement-related penalties to heavy armor, so by high level these guys could theoretically be doing Olympic-style backflips and somersaults in their 50lb suits of armor and carrying 150 pounds of other equipment.

Regardless of what the real-life counterparts are, let's examine the game itself.

2nd level fighter example:

A 2nd level fighter wearing masterwork full plate (AC penalty -5), with 2 ranks in swim and an easily believable 16 strength has a modified swim rating of +0, which means that he can easily swim in calm water by taking 10.

To put it more succinctly, a 2nd level typical fighter trained in swim is able to do laps in swimming pools, dive, and otherwise move around in water without even trying hard. In fact, he could carry another 25 pounds in gear and swim 30' per round every 6 seconds. This is equivalent to 3.41 miles per hour.

Our fighter takes on the 200m freestyle, which is the equivalent of swimming an Olympic pool back and forth two times (4 one-way trips). Here are his times:

2nd level fighter in 150lbs gear: 2:11.2

This actually would have beat the World record until 1927, when American Johnny Weissmuller beat his own prior two world records. Swimmers, especially past WWII have gotten much faster, so now the US World record is Michael Phelps: 1:42.96

But, suffice to say, this time posted by our 2nd level fighter is still fast enough to win some high school meets. He is quite an accomplished swimmer, but what turns him into a world-class swimmer is he does so with 75lbs of gear and heavy armor.

Conclusion: Essentially, a couple ranks in swim and a good strength are enough to overcome the dangers of swimming in full plate. Since virtually anyone wearing full plate will be trained in using this armor, and typically will gave a good strength in order to carry the armor, it would not take long for a character to overcome any chance of sinking, and in fact will be such accomplished swimmers that they will be quite fast under normal circumstances.

Even in combat, things aren't entirely grim, for fighter-types will be able to hold their breath, even under duress for 1/2*their constitution score before taking damage. They can make attempts to resurface during this time, which can be dangerous since they are not fighting the monsters but saving their own skin. Thus, it isn't the swimming that is so dangerous, it is going underwater while fighting that is dangerous.

Thus, stronger characters (and trained characters with some experience) will be able to swim suitably in heavy armor under normal circumstances.

Goblin Squad Member

Very nice analysis. Thank you! I have been thinking about it, and it would be a pain to have a character used to handling heavy armor that wouldn't be able to swim in it.

However, if Weakley the Weak Wizard decided to try on his brother's suit of full plate and go for a dip, I'd expect him to sink like a rock... a rock encased in metal.

EDIT: As I was thinking about it, even outside of PnP rules, you could make some kind of Armor Mastery skillset, maybe part of the Fighter and Paladin archetypes. Training in that skillset and gaining its merit badges would reduce, and eventually remove, the problems with swimming/running/resting in heavy armor.

Goblin Squad Member

If PFO would feature the whole ruleset you might be right, but as the devblogs say, they won't be implementing the every single rule. They will basically develop a new rulesystem which can be applied to a MMO, so there's still a chance for metal sinking.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The bridges and boats must have a reason to exist! sink the Plate packers!
Paid for by Teamsters Union.


Since you can swim in plate in real life (albeit not easily) there is no reason to think it would be otherwise in PFO or PF.

Goblin Squad Member

Okay, I have been doing some research to satisfy my own curiosity. I found this video of an actual attempt.

First things to note, there is a huge difference between swimming and buoyancy....and swimming underwater, is swimming.

I also read numerous accounts of other peoples attempts and/or rationalizations. What I concluded is that it is possible to swim in heavy armour (note the guy in the video above is not also wearing a layer of mail). However, there is a huge difference between swimming and being remaining on the surface. You can swim underwater, or even walk across the bottom of a body of water. I know when I scuba dive, I only need about 25lbs of weights to be able to walk across the bottom, 70-90 lbs or more would make it difficult for me to leave the bottom for extended periods.

If you watch the video above, the guy can get forward momentum, which technically is swimming, but as soon as his feet leave the ground he begins to sink. He cannot keep his head above the surface, yet he acknowledges someone very strong probably could...for a short period of time.

Therefore, I am all for allowing heavy armour wearers to swim and sink while doing so. Fighting this tendency to sink, should expend whatever the game equivalent to energy or stamina is...and you should have a limited amount of breath (under non-magical circumstances). Neutrally buoyant swimmers (aka, not wearing armour) should be able to swim freely in 3d without expending the stamina/energy. Limitations like this are really important because they help create and maintain balance between various character/class types.

Goblin Squad Member

OP you are making way to many references to tabletop mechanics.

The reason players shouldn't sink in heavy armor is because too much realism will hurt video games. Certain things can't be realistic, and if you have other things that are very realistic it pokes holes in your game.

Heavy armor should give you a huge swim speed penalty to the point you are better off crossing a bridge.

Heavy armor + water breathing, should be a fun way to explore underwater.

Goblin Squad Member

Here is a further discussion of the video I posted above by what I assume are people more knowledgeable about armour that most of us; including further discussion by the guy who ran the test.

Their general conclusion that the next logical test is figuring out if a panicked person in plate armour can remove solo before he drowns. To this question the OP, the guy who conducted the experiment, said even in the best of conditions he cannot remove all parts of his armour alone. It is a team effort (this always amuses me when the warrior in full plate throws his armour on quick...in PnP games). He would be forced to cut it off.

I also think it important to note that I would refer to what he is wearing as half-plate...this and this is full plate...and I imagine it is much less articulate and maneuverable.

Here is another example of what happens to seasoned warriors in the finest plate, when they play in water.

Goblin Squad Member

Frencith, add to that the fact that swimming in a river is a bit more difficult than in just a swimming pool.

Goblin Squad Member

True.


This is another one of those oddities that come when you crunch the numbers. Encumbrance rules tend to end up with just the barest nod to realism. The reason is they're not fun. They're just rules that stop you doing things you want to. Like backpack rules. It's a move action (I think) to get an object from your backpack. Have you seen someone look for their keys in her handbag? It should be a full round to retrieve backpack, a standard action to open it, and then you'd probably have to just pour everything out in order to get the object you want in less than a full round. The reason it isn't? Because it wouldn't be much fun, it would simply limit the player for no really good reason other than 'realism'. If you don't want characters to swim in armour, just use GM Fiat to say "I know the rules say you can swim. You can't. You sink. Fortunately, the rules for holding your breath are equally daft so you don't drown."

Goblinworks Executive Founder

I know that for lifeguard training I had to find and retrieve a 150 lb mannequin from the bottom. Granted, I didn't have the hydrodynamic issues involved with wearing armor, I didn't have to swim far, and most of the weight was offset by buoyancy.

It's not uncommon for trained competition swimmers to hold their breath for two or three minutes during heavy physical exertion. That's more than enough time to walk/swim across the bottom of a narrow river. Untrained swimmers in swim gear often have trouble in water which is simply over their head.

Cheliax Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:

OP you are making way to many references to tabletop mechanics.

The reason players shouldn't sink in heavy armor is because too much realism will hurt video games. Certain things can't be realistic, and if you have other things that are very realistic it pokes holes in your game.

Heavy armor should give you a huge swim speed penalty to the point you are better off crossing a bridge.

Heavy armor + water breathing, should be a fun way to explore underwater.

Thanks Valkenr, you are right. They won't be implementing all of the rules.

I think the devs will have to have a good reason to take all the time to code and QA test all of the mechanics around sinking in water. Unless there is a pressing argument that this relatively minor feature be in the initial release...my guess is that it will not make the cut.


There was a story of a roman guy who wore a cork suit under his armor to swim across a river at night. Rattan and bmboo armor were used in the east and some islands in the pacific. There was also some paper armor that was highly effective (stops bullets) that could be made moderately water resistant and buoyant with grease or oil.

Personally I don't need to be able to swim anyway if it takes to many development resources away from the rest of the game.

Goblin Squad Member

I don't have any problem with the game having terrain hazards like water. There could be other hazards which affect lighter armored persons, or even magic sinkholes that rob mages of some of their power. Anything in moderation and balance can add flavor to the game.

Goblin Squad Member

GunnerX169 wrote:
There was a story of a roman guy who wore a cork suit under his armor to swim across a river at night. Rattan and bmboo armor were used in the east and some islands in the pacific. There was also some paper armor that was highly effective (stops bullets) that could be made moderately water resistant and buoyant with grease or oil.

Of course, there are easy magical solutions, no-sink backpacks which act as a life preserver. Or technical solutions..inflatable bladders to increase displacement and hence buoyancy.

Goblin Squad Member

Or grabbing a log. The guy in the swimming video was having trouble in his armor, but not that much trouble.

Goblin Squad Member

True, but he was in clear water just over his head in depth and only swam 10-15 feet. I could see panic setting in real quick if you feel into black water ...who knows how deep...and who knows what is in it...and you just keep sinking....forward momentum or not.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

200 meter freestyle is equal to 656 feet.

A second level fight gains no bonus modifications to movement in Heavy armor, so is moving at 20 feet per round. While swimming, as a full round action, the 2nd level fighter may move 10 feet. This requires 66 total rounds to complete 200 meters. At 6 seconds per round, times 66 rounds we get 396 seconds which is 6.6 minutes.

A 7th level fighter with a base movement of 30 feet per round is able to accomplish the same goal in 44 rounds. That is 264 seconds, which is 4.4 minutes.

Higher rolls do not produce faster movement. So assuming 7th level for a moment with 7 ranks in swimming and a lowly STR of 18 he has a +14 before penalties. Masterwork Armor and Armor Training reduces the -6 armor penalty to only -2 for a net of +12. Taking 10 allows success for any swim check (except stormy water- but any roll of 8 or above succeeds even then).

So speeds were off a little with the OP but the essence is still there.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Swimming in DnD online is about as realistic as it is in PnP, you wear armor you will swim slower and lose air faster due to "fatigue"...that is as real as swimming EVER needs to be in a video game

Goblin Squad Member

Personally, I think it would be more fun to not be able to swim in armor.

Could be I'm strange, though.


Not much point in having a moat around a castle then if all it does is slow them down. That's one of the things people will say looks cool to have, but if it has no game effect, there is no point in bothering to put effort into coding it in. The more realism you remove from any game, the less point certain facets of the game have. No sinking plate wearers in water means no moats around castles for defense, because that was part of the reason for them; preventing heavily armored people from having easy access, and for stopping an easy siege attack using ladders or smaller siege machines like covered rams. You didn't care so much about the leather wearers, you could kill them easily with bows. Normally this is why the plate wearer was riding a warhorse using a lance. He was a turtle on the ground. And EASILY overwhelmed.

And with the River Kingdoms, most castles probably have them, but the MMO may as well do away with them if water has little to no effect on you if you want to strap on 50+ lbs of armor and go swimming with no real drawbacks. After all, whats the point then of wearing LIGHT armor? You can actually swim pretty easily in leather since it's boiled and won't absorb much water when wet, which is part of the point of it. If heavy armor has no real drawbacks, who would bother to wear light armor then unless the arbitrary rules of a game forced them to?

This is one of those situations where the drive to make a game fun removes a lot of the reasons behind other game aspects.

And FYI, NO ONE swims in full plate, they dog paddle, and that they do poorly. The game rules are a bit pants in that regard, it turns effort into something that is reduced to a straight die roll, which is making a mockery out of an act that should be practically impossible even in calm water. The weight carrying rules ignore the fact that a human is standing on solid ground. Try carrying max weight in water, and watch yourself sink like a rock. It's simple physics; we need the ground to push against to carry anything. Water cannot provide that, no matter how fast you flail your arms against it.

That video is nice to watch, but people are ignoring the fact that he's got a breather on the whole time and is replacing oxygen. He claims that someone who could hold their breath could do it, but without truly testing that claim, he's full of it. Carrying that weight in water, fighting water resistance and drag, and dealing with mounting oxygen loss and accompanying acidosis? Please, get real. You are a dead man if you try this. Plus, that armor he's wearing is modern age steel, not feudal era steel. It's too thin and light, and is not properly surrounding him in total. I've SEEN feudal full plate armor; it's like wearing a tin can. There is metal all around, held on by straps. If his test does anything at all, it shows the lengths that some people will go to to prove their point, regardless of facts. He's ignoring some pretty glaring ones. Without that tank of air and people around to save his dumb ass, he's a corpse, but he wouldn't admit that, just claims 'you need more muscles'. Lame. And he already states it's a half suit. What self respecting warrior is going to bother with a half suit? The thread itself was started with FULL PLATE ARMOR as the basis of the claim, and he can't even do it in HALF PLATE with space age material and modern day magic (tank of air).

Humans are only slightly less dense than water, barely buoyant, and adding even 25 lbs of weight on the body from clothing and associated extra encumbrance from water absorption, and you are working your ass off to keep your head above water just treading in it. Do it in full plate, and that for maybe a couple minutes max, while your armor slowly fills with water and the under padding soaks it up like a sponge (that's right, no one wears plate on bare skin), adding more weight and making it that much harder and eventually impossible. It's high fantasy to expect anyone to be able to swim while bearing heavy armor, weapons, and whatever else they have, without the aid of a bunch of magic (or tank of air) that includes water breathing or some form of access to air. In fact without the fantasy aspect, none of the typical heroic behavior of characters would be possible.

So in the real world, non magical full plate armor and no magic assistance, and you go swimming for any distance longer than 10-20 feet and over your head height, you should start to drown. I'll grant that 10-20 feet distance on the bottom is doable, but only out of desperation to live if you fall in. And I hope it's easy to climb out the other side, and the bottom isn't too muddy, or too deep down, otherwise . . . but for the game, it's probably going to continue to be a joke, with or without magic.

Goblinworks Executive Founder

tldr; "unless normal people can do it it's impossible"

Normal people can't swim in swim trunks. People drown all the time, even in water over their head. Practiced swimmers can hold their breath for minutes during heavy exertion, and carry significant weight while swimming.

I think the penalty for encumbrance should be high, but not mathematically insurmountable. Items carried in hand are a bigger problem than items worn.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.
DeciusBrutus wrote:

tldr; "unless normal people can do it it's impossible"

Normal people can't swim in swim trunks. People drown all the time, even in water over their head. Practiced swimmers can hold their breath for minutes during heavy exertion, and carry significant weight while swimming.

I think the penalty for encumbrance should be high, but not mathematically insurmountable. Items carried in hand are a bigger problem than items worn.

Well no I wouldn't go that far, I would put it as it is unlikely anyone in history was ever able to do it far long or well. That being said I also agree that there should be a stiff penelty for swimming in heavy armor.

With few limits on what skills any archtype can take, I would say that heavy armor should posses heavy penelties for most non-combat activities, including swimming, jumping, spellcasting, precision focused class skilled and if they are in the game, sneaking and ballancing.

Considering there aren't likely going to be arbitrary limits on what armor proficiancies one can take (IE there is no limited number of "feat" equivelents etc...), all armors should be comperable but different. There should be advantages and disadvantages to each type, rather than a "this is the heaviest armor my class is allowed therefore it is always the best for any and every situation" that most MMO's have.

Goblin Squad Member

Swimming in heavy armor is essentialy "Monty Python" despite what DnD rules might say...and despite what someone can barely/kinda halfway manage if they were stronger under the absolute perfect controled test conditions.

First, we'd have to define what we were talking about in terms of the armor being used. There was huge variation in armor that was called "plate" over the centuries and from region to region. Fully articulated field plate was a pretty late development....alot different then say 11th century plate-mail. Jousting plate is yet very different again (there are historical accounts of people drowning in 1/2 feet of water while wearing it, because they fell into a stream and were unable to get up under thier own power). Next you have the issue of the metal used for construction itself. Modern steel is MUCH lighter and thinner then most of the period stuff. Next you need to understand that you are NOT just dealing with the plate and/or mail itself... you are also going to have a padded gimbeson underneath that is going to fill up with water like a sponge. Heck...forget the armor...just try to see how difficult it is to swim with a thick layer of clothing on...then imagine the weight and encumberance of armor after that. Now thing about doing that when you have to deal with waves and turbulance and wind...and do it possibly over an extended distance and for an extended time. Historicaly, warriors in heavy armor went straight to the bottom when they went in.... though most people in the Middle Ages didn't swim well to begin with.

Finally, even if we completely throw out the "realism" factor (it is a game with magic in it after-all).... what game function is being served by making heavy armor swim-able? Do you want 1 peice or style of equipment that is always "the Best" regardless of the situation the character is placed in? Do you want thing like terrain or water hazards to not matter?

For my book, we'd end up with a much better game....regardless of realism.... to make heavy armor disadvantegous in a varierty of situation...and not just water hazards.... swamp, mud, desert heat, rocky uneven ground, steep inclines, desnse undegrowth or even just plain old forced marching ...should be disadvanagerous to heavy armor.... at the same time heavy armor should afford darn good protection in the press of melee where footing is good and solid.

Weighing advantages against disadvantages is what tactical gameplay is all about.

Goblin Squad Member

Agreed, I loved Onishi's argument that every type of armor should have advantages and disadvantages. I would love to see some attempt to balance them outside of use. On the other hand, I totally concur with Mel's point about there being many different versions of the same type of armor across the centuries, and for many different uses. Pikeman plate would have had completely different design that plate made for cavalry...and both of those completely different than jousting. I would hope our crafting system will allow for variation of this sort. Please allow us to craft "light" plate and "heavy" plate, based upon materials and perhaps even quantities of those materials. Allow us this as a way to customize gear for the focus of the wearer.

Goblin Squad Member

Bottom line, your gear choice should never get you killed by nature. If you could, it would make for lots of frustration.

Gear should be highly customizable and have benefits and disadvantages. There should be ways to do many things to armor, like making 50 pounds of steel float, but that would make it so other benefits couldn't be applied.

Goblin Squad Member

@Valkenr, I hate to play Devil's Advocate, but when you say "your gear choice should never get you killed by nature", does that also apply to Lava? Or do you accept that something like "Boots of Lava-Walking" probably should be required?

I realize it's a silly example. I'm just trying to make the point that it's not as cut-and-dried as that.

I get the argument that it's a lot less for, apparently for a lot of people here, to worry about falling into water. For me, I believe it would actually make the game more fun.

At any rate, it's GW's decision and I'm not going to pick up my things and go home if they don't do what I want :)

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I would actualy like to see a game where environmental hazards played more of a role. Why should critters & humanoids be the only dangers encountered in the Wild?

What's less acceptable from a game-play perspective about getting killed by trying to cross a raging river at a bad spot (and not taking off your armor before you do so) then getting killed because you took on a Dire Bear that was a little over your head?

They both involve player game-play choices to attempt a challange that might otherwise be avoided and how the player equips, trains and prepares for the challenge can/should have an effect on thier chances of success.

Don't get me wrong...I love combat.... but I have a really hard time understanding player insistance that the only acceptable risks/challenges that are presented to them should come in the form of monsters and combat.

I think having OTHER types of risks/challenges present adds alot of variety and interesting situations and game-play decisions. In my book, it helps bring the game world more alive. It also helps provide for greater differentiation between characters and other roles that players take on (wilderness guide anyone?). Folks always complain that characters seem to fall into 1 of the 3 basic Holy Trinity roles... well here is an entirely different sort of role availble for characters to take on for an entirely different set of challenges...the role of being able to navigate terrain hazards and get you safely from point A to point B. It could add a whole new dimension to how classes like Ranger or Barbarian are played in MMO's....and frankly it could also help set a game apart from others out there.

Obviously travel along already well established paths/roads should lack (for the most part) such hazards....but setting off into the unexplored Wilderness to find what's there could have it's own set of challenges/risks to overcome that had nothing to do with monsters.

How much more exciting and interesting would Wilderness exploration be if in addition to things like hostile monsters you also had to consider stuff like...fording raging whitewater rivers, scaling steep mountain ranges, crossing burning deserts and dense sweltering jungles, worrying about blizzards and sandstorms and rockslides and avalanches....and yes, throwing this one in for Nihimon, Lava?

Goblin Squad Member

GrumpyMel wrote:

I would actualy like to see a game where environmental hazards played more of a role. Why should critters & humanoids be the only dangers encountered in the Wild?

... I have a really hard time understanding player insistance that the only acceptable risks/challenges that are presented to them should come in the form of monsters and combat.

Folks always complain that characters seem to fall into 1 of the 3 basic Holy Trinity roles...

Spot on. If we want a game that encourages varied characters, then challenges and risks should come from any number of sources. Combat should not be the only risk in the game.

Goblin Squad Member

"Tanks" in a swampy region would be something entirely different than "tanks" in the plains...Heavy armor wearers would end up too stuck in the mud (and rusted) to move (if they can avoid stepping in deeper water), much less do their job.

Goblin Squad Member

@Forencith

Is this a swamp of hydrochloric acid? If it can cause iron to oxidize that fast i think the damage from the highly acidic waters to your skin would be a much larger issue.

I don't they should be too stuck to move, but they should move very slow.

@Nihimon

What I mean is that your armor will never be the direct reason you are killed, such as sinking in water or a magical pixie that floats around the world 1 shotting people who wear studded leather boots.

If armor slows you down, you can still die if you can't move out of the way fast enough, such as a lava flow or being pulled far under water in heavy armor and unable to swim up fast enough.

Well, armor should have nothing to do with this, it should be based off the weight of everything you are holding. Going into a river with a bag of rocks should be just as bad as full plate.

If a system is put in place where your armor can get you killed, removing it should be an easy task and it should be possible to save yourself. If you strip off your armor while sinking, it shouldn't be too much of an ordeal to retrieve it one piece at a time, assuming the water isn't too deep.

Goblin Squad Member

Valkenr wrote:
... a magical pixie that floats around the world 1 shotting people who wear studded leather boots.

Thanks for the visual! :)

I don't have a problem with being able to remove your armor quickly while you're sinking. Hopefully, PFO will have a good system for having gear on the ground. I would be quite happy if they just gave you the ability to /unequipall and /dropall, leaving behind a backpack with all your stuff in it.

Goblin Squad Member

1 person marked this as a favorite.

We should not forget that PFO still remains a game and not real life. Usually, I'm all for realism, but there are certain parts of games in which realism is just a pain in the ass. Really having to eat and drink all the time would be absolutely terrible, since we don't get the reward of "tastiness" if you know what I mean.

I can see the appeal of it, yes, but as soon as you get into game routine everything which is not core-material gets annoying. The freshness of those ideas wears off after time and if you see yourselves having to find a way around every damn river in the game because you can't lose your armour you will throw your keyboard against a wall. Having consequences is one thing and wanting immitate evey single thing from real life is another. If you really want to implement rust or burnt leather you d'also have to implement broken bones, illnesses that last for hours and so on.

Goblin Squad Member

Caedryan wrote:

We should not forget that PFO still remains a game and not real life. Usually, I'm all for realism, but there are certain parts of games in which realism is just a pain in the ass. Really having to eat and drink all the time would be absolutely terrible, since we don't get the reward of "tastiness" if you know what I mean.

I can see the appeal of it, yes, but as soon as you get into game routine everything which is not core-material gets annoying. The freshness of those ideas wears off after time and if you see yourselves having to find a way around every damn river in the game because you can't lose your armour you will throw your keyboard against a wall. Having consequences is one thing and wanting immitate evey single thing from real life is another. If you really want to implement rust or burnt leather you d'also have to implement broken bones, illnesses that last for hours and so on.

While I agree with the idea that fun should trump realism, I still see benefits regardless of reality to the concept. The biggest one being specific advantages to not wearing the heaviest strongest armor around. Yes if the game has a river every few feet that would be a huge annoyance, on the other hand if rivers were rare and only in certain areas, then it would be situational advantages and disadvantages based on where you were going. Lets say there was a chartered company of mostly people who specialized in light/no armor, it would make sense for them to specifically chose to build their city on a hex in which there was a good amount of water, as it would disadvantage their opponents more then themselves.

I'm a huge supporter of many things where X is good for somethings, but terrible for others, or Y is good for somethings but not for others. Strategic decisions being made before attempting an action make sense to me. If you are traveling to X kingdom in which there are multiple rivers lakes etc... that block your way, you can chose to put on better water for it, or perhaps to bring a wizard with the water walk spell prepared etc... I preffer for battles, trips etc... to give an advantage to the person who actually studied the terrain and planned for the situation. Rather than the advantage almost uniformly going to the person who's played longest, or who has the build/gear/armor that is better for every situation. I would rather be better in situation X but worse in situation Y, rather than have a system of universal best and worse.

Goblin Squad Member

I absolutely agree with you. I just think realism should not be implemented only for the sake of realism. Every aspect of a game should have a specific function. Your idea is great but a river should not only be a disadvantage: the aggressors should also have the possibility to build a prmitive bridge for instance. Every mechanic should have it's "raison d'être"

Goblin Squad Member

And...this does not mean you can just remove your armor and "carry it in your inventory" to prevent sinking...


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Forencith wrote:
And...this does not mean you can just remove your armor and "carry it in your inventory" to prevent sinking...

All too true. If anything it should be more of a hindrance when it's packed away, since at least when you're wearing the armor it's weight is spread out and supported in a more efficient manner.

I like the idea of heavy encumbrance/heavy armor slowing you down and making it difficult or potentially impossible to navigate certain terrain hazards (minus magic). I'd love to see mobility modifiers make heavier armors just enough of an inconvenience that many people would choose to go with lighter armors (or none at all) and depend on dodge more than DR. Of course I've always been a believer that heavier armor shouldn't make you harder to hit, but just make more of those hits not matter (and possibly make you easier to hit).

Probably more of a pain to code than it's worth, but I'd love to see some types of armor and clothing (especially robes) be earmarked as "absorbent" and apply special game effects after being drenched in water, or acid, or minotaur urine...

Goblin Squad Member

Forencith wrote:
And...this does not mean you can just remove your armor and "carry it in your inventory" to prevent sinking...

yes

Myself wrote:


If a system is put in place where your armor can get you killed, removing it should be an easy task and it should be possible to save yourself. If you strip off your armor while sinking, it shouldn't be too much of an ordeal to retrieve it one piece at a time, assuming the water isn't too deep.

Goblin Squad Member

picking up armor that i had to drop to prevent drowning, thats how i want to spend my play time woooohoooo. heavy front line characters are hard enough to find in most games, why would you want to make it even more difficult.

Goblin Squad Member

Imagine you're standing on the edge of a cliff with a 1,000 foot drop to a rocky bottom. The other side is at least 100 yards away, and it looks like you'll have to walk several miles out of your way to find a pass that will get you across.

Now, imagine that someone is complaining that they can't just automatically (without using any magic) air-walk across it, and they are upset that you're suggesting they shouldn't be able to. You say it's silly and too unrealistic even for a fantasy game. They say it would be too much of an inconvenience to have to deal with not being able to air-walk across the chasm.

That's pretty much how I feel. Swimming around encumbered (regardless of the source) is just silly and too unrealistic even for a fantasy game. I don't know what the numbers are, but at some point, the amount of dead weight you're carrying is going to limit you to doing nothing more than jumping off the bottom, and that's only if it's not so muddy that you just get stuck.

There are tricks like inflating sheep stomachs with air and using them for buoyancy. I'd love to see things like that in-game. Just like I'd love to see hang-gliders (preferably piloted by a goblin with a keg of black powder and a lit fuse).

Goblin Squad Member

Benoc wrote:
picking up armor that i had to drop to prevent drowning, thats how i want to spend my play time woooohoooo. heavy front line characters are hard enough to find in most games, why would you want to make it even more difficult.

"Getting hit in combat, maybe even suffering a debuff that will make my skills less effective and having to wait a couple minutes for it to wear off, that's how I want to spend my play time wooohooo."

The point here is that traveling and exploring can be as much a part of the game as combat is...rather then just a time-sink that players must suffer through in between combats.

In order for that to happen there need to be meaningfull game-play decisions involved in that element of play. That includes things like selecting the proper equipment for the job. That's no different then suffering a debuff or extra damage when fighting an Ice Elemental if you haven't taken some precautions to obtain some sort of Protection from Cold (Spell, Potion, Scroll, Warm Clothes, etc).

P.S. I pretty much play a heavy armored front line fighter in most MMO's I play...and I'm expecting to in PFO as well. I don't WANT my choice of armor to have ZERO drawbacks. That's boring and mind numbingly simplistic. Just as I want my choice of armor to provide advantages in the right situations, I want it to provide disadvantages in the wrong situations. How I adapt my play to take advantage of my strengths and minimize my weaknesses is part of the fun/strategy of playing a game....else it's nothing more then pressing buttons and seeing pretty colors.

Goblin Squad Member

Claiming something shouldn't be done for the sake of realism in a game dependent on dragons, ogres and people capable of generating fire out of pure will and esoteric hand signals has always seemed to me like a bit of cognitive dissonance.

I don't want to see people unable to sink in armor because I think its an unnecessary barrier to having fun for that type of character. Slow them down, in and out of the water, sure, but placing a barrier across the land for one small subset of players simply because of a choice in play style doesn't seem that fair. Yes, they can take it off and put it on, but that's just imposing an inconvenience for the sake of imposing.

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:

Claiming something shouldn't be done for the sake of realism in a game dependent on dragons, ogres and people capable of generating fire out of pure will and esoteric hand signals has always seemed to me like a bit of cognitive dissonance.

I don't want to see people unable to sink in armor because I think its an unnecessary barrier to having fun for that type of character. Slow them down, in and out of the water, sure, but placing a barrier across the land for one small subset of players simply because of a choice in play style doesn't seem that fair. Yes, they can take it off and put it on, but that's just imposing an inconvenience for the sake of imposing.

- There is no assumption that bridges/ferries will not exist along both major and minor travel routes.

- There is no assumption that many smaller rivers and streams won't be fordable at a suitable number of spots. Just might take a little extra seaching/travel to find the right spot.

- There is no assumption that players can't find assistance (spells, a ranger making a raft, or setting up a guide rope) or have some method (i.e. removing the armor and ferrying it across a few pieces at a time) to work with crossing water (or other environmental) hazards.

How would you go about making travel/exploration a fun/interesting part of the game without implimenting some negative consequence/risks if players make sub-par equipment and game-play choices for dealing with specific travel/exploration hazards?

Respectfully, I don't see much difference between quoted statement and someone saying that they don't ever want the character to be slain/defeated in combat if they make the worst possible equipment choices for a particular combat situation....and are unwilling/unable to make any adjustments to thier strategy to compensate for it. Being defeated in combat is "not fun" ....what makes that an acceptable outcome when the player makes the worst possible game-play choices....and not acceptable when it comes to doing the same thing when it comes to travel/exploration aspects of a game?

Goblin Squad Member

whew... long winding response incoming.

Grumpy at no point did I present any negatives to the assumptions you cite. What I am referencing is the amount of hassle that is implied to one small subset of players at the benefit of no one. The travel/exploration will be inherently fun by the discovery of new areas and new content (in the form of monsters, dungeons, resources etc.). With Heavy armor, or encumbrance as some have suggested, having significant penalties to travel (ie preventing someone from even entering water without the risk of death) all you're doing is selecting for one type of player over another, or imposing some obligatory hassle to those that are selected for heavy plate. To me, that's not a fun addition to gameplay, that's a limitation applied for no tradeoff.

I never intended to imply there should be no penalties to exploration when one chooses heavy over light. I simply don't want to see some people barred from performing any of the available options of exploration or resource gathering based on a combat related choice. Your connection between my statement and someone's ability to perform in combat with "sub-par" gear is tenuous at best. Exploration and resource hunting shouldn't be a zero sum experience, where as combat (more or less) must be a zero sum situation. Exploration and resource hunting would certainly be more efficient and effective if your encumbrance were less than a heavier character. In combat, One person (or group) wins and the other dies. If you choose "sub-par" equipment (however that straw man is defined) I'd expect you to be less effective and so die more than someone who is more optimized.

Your comparison is at its core "If someone doesn't specialize in a task, they can have no capacity in said task" where my point is "If someone doesn't specialize in a task, they should have less efficacy than someone who does, but that shouldn't limit them from attempting the task."

The key to this disagreement is at its core whether or not someone sinks in plate. How does someone swimming across a stream without having to jump through some hoops become a detriment to anyone else's gameplay experience? How does having to jump through some hoops to swim a river provide benefit for someone that wants to wear plate?

Additionally, we are talking about a game that we hope for long lasting success. As such Its my opinion that a wider more inclusive approach is better than a narrow, niche based approach. that is to say, I hope there will be a multitude of niches that can be filled with varying levels of success by as many people as want to can attempt to fulfill as many niches as they like.

Goblin Squad Member

Gruffling wrote:
... at the benefit of no one...

I disagree.

Gruffling wrote:
With Heavy armor... having significant penalties to travel (ie preventing someone from even entering water without the risk of death) all you're doing is selecting for one type of player over another, or imposing some obligatory hassle to those that are selected for heavy plate.

Actually, I would really like it if everyone generally chose to find a ford or a bridge rather than just jumping in the water and swimming across. I'd like there to be a bit of a challenge to cross a river. I'd also like there to be a bit of a challenge to crossing a desert.

Gruffling wrote:
How does someone swimming across a stream without having to jump through some hoops become a detriment to anyone else's gameplay experience?

How does casual air-walking across a chasm become a detriment to anyone else's gameplay experience?

Gruffling wrote:
... a wider more inclusive approach is better than a narrow, niche based approach.

This is actually a very good argument. Most of the people who come to play PFO will probably expect to be able to swim in full plate. They will probably be frustrated the first time they try and learn they can't.

I'd really like to change that expectation though.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Most of the people who come to play PFO will probably expect to be able to swim in full plate. They will probably be frustrated the first time they try and learn they can't.

In my experience from playing Wurm... People would walk onto a tile of lava, which killed them near instantly and consumed their body with everything they carried (except no-drops) - then upon respawning complain that they couldn't have expected it to kill them. Um, ok, sure. You won't do that a second time, will you?


From what I understand which, arguably, isn't much, you gain the ability to use (wield/wear) certain gear by unlocking merit badges or gaining levels in particular classes. Wouldn't it just be easy enough to say that if you unlock the ability to wear heavy armor, you are considered to have the competency and ability to move in heavy armor (albeit maybe slower) with the same relative proficiency as you could without? If this includes swimming, I don't see what the big deal would be for allowing individuals who are proficient in heavy armor (more than likely the big beefy fighter types) to swim in heavy armor.

If a twig of a wizard tried to put on heavy armor, I would expect them to sink like a stone to the bottom (where, presumably, they would cast water breathing on themselves). However, from what I've read, I don't believe said wizard will be able to even equip said heavy armor without the appropriate training (which would assume he is strong enough to move about in heavy armor normally... albeit, again... slower than normal).

Just a thought.

Goblin Squad Member

Nihimon wrote:
Gruffling wrote:
... at the benefit of no one...

I disagree.

Please suggest the benefits you forsee.

Quote:
Gruffling wrote:
With Heavy armor... having significant penalties to travel (ie preventing someone from even entering water without the risk of death) all you're doing is selecting for one type of player over another, or imposing some obligatory hassle to those that are selected for heavy plate.

Actually, I would really like it if everyone generally chose to find a ford or a bridge rather than just jumping in the water and swimming across. I'd like there to be a bit of a challenge to cross a river. I'd also like there to be a bit of a challenge to crossing a desert.

I can appreciate that from a gaming purist perspective, but even on the table i find it hard to impose such challenges without garnering some groans. I just don't know if I see an MMO having the space for it.

Quote:
Gruffling wrote:
How does someone swimming across a stream without having to jump through some hoops become a detriment to anyone else's gameplay experience?

How does casual air-walking across a chasm become a detriment to anyone else's gameplay experience?

I'm just not seeing the comparison to a chasm. Maybe in lieu of your opinion that travel should be more rather than less challenging, but the Air-walk fall flat for me for several reasons. One: its very possible that given the right skills, a chasm can be crossed with more of a sense of adventure than "take off armor, move across, put on armor". Two: No expectation should exist to simply air-walk a chasm without being some specialized jumper or air-mage. And to answer the question directly, everyone can expect to swim, not everyone can expect to fly. And you seem to be implying by your question that the problem is with immersion and how it relates to gameplay experience. Hard to know exactly, as you're somewhat sparse on what you're looking for as an answer. Seems like apples and oranges to me.

Quote:
Gruffling wrote:
... a wider more inclusive approach is better than a narrow, niche based approach.

This is actually a very good argument. Most of the people who come to play PFO will probably expect to be able to swim in full plate. They will probably be frustrated the first time they try and learn they can't.

I'd really like to change that expectation though.

Unfortunately, the expectations exist, not just from other MMO/Video game players, but also the general tabletop players. And still i'm not seeing the benefit of forcing a small subset of players to conform for this limited situation.

Goblin Squad Member

Ultimately, I'm just stating my own preferences. I've always had a strong dislike for underwater zones, going back to EverQuest. Swinging a Two-Handed Sword underwater as effectively as I do in air just makes me view the game as "silly and too unrealistic, even for a fantasy game".

If you don't find my arguments (such as the air-walking across a chasm analogy) persuasive, it's not going to help if I repeat them.

Gruffling wrote:
No expectation should exist to simply air-walk a chasm without being some specialized jumper or air-mage.

I'll end by stating, just as plainly: No expectation should exist to simply swim across a river while encumbered unless you have some kind of buoyancy aid.

1 to 50 of 93 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Paizo Licensed Products / Pathfinder Online / Why full plate wearers will not sink in water in PFO. All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.

©2002–2014 Paizo Inc.®. Need help? Email customer.service@paizo.com or call 425-250-0800 during our business hours: Monday–Friday, 10 AM–5 PM Pacific Time. View our privacy policy. Paizo Inc., Paizo, the Paizo golem logo, Pathfinder, the Pathfinder logo, Pathfinder Society, GameMastery, and Planet Stories are registered trademarks of Paizo Inc., and Pathfinder Roleplaying Game, Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Pathfinder Adventure Path, Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, Pathfinder Player Companion, Pathfinder Modules, Pathfinder Tales, Pathfinder Battles, Pathfinder Online, PaizoCon, RPG Superstar, The Golem's Got It, Titanic Games, the Titanic logo, and the Planet Stories planet logo are trademarks of Paizo Inc. Dungeons & Dragons, Dragon, Dungeon, and Polyhedron are registered trademarks of Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc., and have been used by Paizo Inc. under license. Most product names are trademarks owned or used under license by the companies that publish those products; use of such names without mention of trademark status should not be construed as a challenge to such status.