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!

Armor as Armor vs Armor as DR


Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew


Which do you prefer?
On the same note...Do you prefer Hit Points as Hit Points or Hit Points as Vitality Points?

Cheliax

Armor as DR and HPs as VPs.

Osirion

In my current mindset, I find that Armor as DR is unnecessary. In the abstraction of combat, better AC is already equivalent to DR. On a related note, I dislike DR X/Y for creatures, preferring the old binary system which made more sense when related to AC.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Cards, Companion, Modules Subscriber

In the given system, armor as DR just does not work as well IMO. The combatants get hit more often, and the DR granted by armor (if recalculating 1 point AC = 1 point DR) gets negligible at higher levels. If an enemy causes, say, 50 hp damage per hit, getting 9 points DR is nice, but if he scores 45% more hits, those 9 points don´t account to much. The higher the damage dealt per hit, the less important DR becomes. (Disclaimer: I did not do the math. I think that the systems works best "as is", but this is a gut feeling.)


Speaking as a person who has switched to Armor as DR in the past, if you make no other changes to the system, it has the effect of dragging combats out much longer. Hits which would normally have put someone down become near-fatalities, and lesser hits are virtually ignored.

Oh, and the "I don't like armor" people act as if you're twisting their arms to make them wear it. Even though no other changes are made, they complain that "you're making armor too important" and "but I like my swashbuckler".

Kind of like those people who will never make more than $50,000 a year complaining about taking away tax cuts for the people who make over $250,000 a year. It has absolutely no effect on them, but they insist the change is earth-shattering.

People!


Shouldn't armor as DR have something that bypasses it? Chain or ring mail vs piercing weapons....no good, no reduction.


My house rule is that Armor as DR just gets added directly to the base armor value. No reduction. (natural armor works similarly)

Then I assign certain weapons the ability to bypass certain types of armor. (Picks and Poniards pretty much punch through everything, leather and chain doesn't do much against bludgeoning weapons)

I find that all this does to the game is make fights last about 2 rounds longer.


It used to be armor as DR for me, but I've since totally changed the way I interpret hit points. Armor as DR makes a lot of sense if hit points represent literal wounds, which is why it also jives well with things like hit locations. Some games do this quite well.

But hit points in in Pathfinder are defined as abstract, and in that context, armor as DR assumes just a little too much. If I am describing most non-critical hit point damage as parrying (character prowess turning a serious blow into a lesser one, as HP are defined) then it doesn't rightly make sense that armor enters into it at all.

Of course, you can make the same argument for armor as armor, but for me it is easier to wrap my head around armor preventing loss of "abstract defense" or "readiness", not just decreasing each instance of it.

It's taken me years to finally settle my beef with HP, and sadly the DR rule I once loved so well has no place in the new paradigm.


My understanding is if you use Armor as DR then you should use the optional rule for hit points as well....it does seem to be a lot to keep in mind for a game.


Undecided for my parts.

Both work well in their respective game systems, but slapping armour as DR in a Pathfinder game is rather wonky IMO. I'm not a fan of hit points being both abstract AND concrete however, although Evil Lincoln's Strain/Injury variant rule goes a long way to fix that issue without resorting to two distinct pools for wounds and vitality.

One other method that I'm growing warmer to is armour as saving throw (hit points represent abstract fatigue and strain, critical hits create potentially deadly wounds unless armour saves). The new cubicle 7's The One Ring rpg uses this with brio, proving that this method is not restricted to wargames.

'findel


Now that I think about it even using armor as armor some should be bypassed by certain weapons.

Paizo Employee Digital Products Assistant

Moved thread.

Grand Lodge

Evil Lincoln wrote:

It used to be armor as DR for me, but I've since totally changed the way I interpret hit points. Armor as DR makes a lot of sense if hit points represent literal wounds, which is why it also jives well with things like hit locations. Some games do this quite well.

But hit points in in Pathfinder are defined as abstract, and in that context, armor as DR assumes just a little too much. If I am describing most non-critical hit point damage as parrying (character prowess turning a serious blow into a lesser one, as HP are defined) then it doesn't rightly make sense that armor enters into it at all.

Of course, you can make the same argument for armor as armor, but for me it is easier to wrap my head around armor preventing loss of "abstract defense" or "readiness", not just decreasing each instance of it.

It's taken me years to finally settle my beef with HP, and sadly the DR rule I once loved so well has no place in the new paradigm.

Using the Injury vs. Strain system, amour as DR against Injury works ... or possibly converting X damage to strain?


xanthemann wrote:
Now that I think about it even using armor as armor some should be bypassed by certain weapons.

Indeed, some weapons performed better against certain armours and similarly, certain armours performed particularly well against certain weapons...

2e AD&D had modifiers to AC depending on the type of armour worn vs type of weapon used against you.

'findel


I remember that. Why did it stop there, or did I just miss it?


xanthemann wrote:
I remember that. Why did it stop there, or did I just miss it?

Not sure, but I would expect eliminate unnecessary layers of complexity. Besides, it would be running as a parallel sub-system to DR/slashing/bludgeoning/piercing.

But even that was not perfect IMO (additional layer of complexity aside), as not all slashing weapons perform the same (axe vs. sword for example), not all piercing weapons perform the same (arrow vs. short sword for example) and not all bludgeoning weapons perform the same (quaterstaff vs. war-hammer for example).

Short of having different damage effects for each weapon like in Rolemaster, I still prefer the simple and abstract default method of Pathfinder for this system, for simplicity's sake.

'findel

Grand Lodge

xanthemann wrote:
I remember that. Why did it stop there, or did I just miss it?

Another layer of Mathematics. Just like the 1st Ed AC/Weapon modifiers.


Helaman wrote:
Evil Lincoln wrote:

It used to be armor as DR for me, but I've since totally changed the way I interpret hit points. Armor as DR makes a lot of sense if hit points represent literal wounds, which is why it also jives well with things like hit locations. Some games do this quite well.

But hit points in in Pathfinder are defined as abstract, and in that context, armor as DR assumes just a little too much. If I am describing most non-critical hit point damage as parrying (character prowess turning a serious blow into a lesser one, as HP are defined) then it doesn't rightly make sense that armor enters into it at all.

Of course, you can make the same argument for armor as armor, but for me it is easier to wrap my head around armor preventing loss of "abstract defense" or "readiness", not just decreasing each instance of it.

It's taken me years to finally settle my beef with HP, and sadly the DR rule I once loved so well has no place in the new paradigm.

Using the Injury vs. Strain system, amour as DR against Injury works ... or possibly converting X damage to strain?

Nothing wrong with it, but I wouldn't do it. Breaks all the ground rules — changes combat balance, adds steps to the process. If I felt that it was more "accurate" or "realistic", then I'd probably scrap HP altogether.

That's really how I feel about the whole OT. The cons for both methods are obvious, and it's very hard to hold up a single "pro" for either. The RAW has simplicity as a pro, and so I stick with that, because if I want to add "realism" I'll try and do it in a simpler way.

I think they're all cool rules, btw. Just answering the OP's question: which and why?


1 person marked this as a favorite.

... that being said, as far as houserules are concerned, I did add another weapon quality call armour piercing. In effect, armour piercing weapon gain a +2 circumstantial bonus against armoured opponents (both natural or manufactured).

Not all piercing and bludgeoning weapons get that quality, but hammers, picks, lances, longbows and crossbows do get it. Other weapons can acquire it as a +1 magical quality.

'findel


The Armor Piercing thing is nice. I'll have to keep it in mind.

BTW I'd like to thank everyone for their input, as I am sure my group would also.

Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder RPG / Suggestions/House Rules/Homebrew / Armor as Armor vs Armor as DR 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.