Armor as DR: My Take after a few sessions


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Elthbert wrote:

An example, this doesn't show nearly enough of the armour but gets the point across, this was nota nobleman's armour, just armour for the heavy cavalry.

http://cleveland.about.com/od/artmuseumsandgalleries1/ig/Arms-and-Armor-at- CMA/Three-quarter-Armor---Calvary.htm

I just get an 404 error with that link... was it something like this fellow?

The point of the 3/4 armor was to be able to thicken the armor, while keeping weight the same, though, right? I would think that should also keep costs down, too. Like you said upthread, it was a transitional period.

http://cleveland.about.com/od/artmuseumsandgalleries1/ig/Arms-and-Armor-at- CMA/Three-quarter-Armor---Calvary.htm

try that one....

Yes but this is an actual peice not an engraving, and he has a fully enclosed helm


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Elthbert wrote:
Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Elthbert wrote:

An example, this doesn't show nearly enough of the armour but gets the point across, this was nota nobleman's armour, just armour for the heavy cavalry.

http://cleveland.about.com/od/artmuseumsandgalleries1/ig/Arms-and-Armor-at- CMA/Three-quarter-Armor---Calvary.htm

I just get an 404 error with that link... was it something like this fellow?

The point of the 3/4 armor was to be able to thicken the armor, while keeping weight the same, though, right? I would think that should also keep costs down, too. Like you said upthread, it was a transitional period.

http://cleveland.about.com/od/artmuseumsandgalleries1/ig/Arms-and-Armor-at- CMA/Three-quarter-Armor---Calvary.htm

try that one....

Yes but this is an actual peice not an engraving, and he has a fully enclosed helm

I think their website must not like me... I have a decent idea of what you're talking about, though.


Plate armor stopped being COST effective far before it stopped being effective

Peasant lives are cheap. Who cares if they're not wearing armor? Half the point of firearms was that it was easier to teach people to fire them and didn't require the upper body strength of a longbow. Why bother armoring the peasants when the same money could buy another 20 guns?


Bringing this back around on topic (please let us get back on topic!), after reading the Armor as DR rules, I find myself wondering why a Class Defense Bonus a-la Unearthed Arcana didn't make itself known in those rules, as well. As some others have insinuated, I find myself understandably puzzled - as someone gets more experienced in Combat, shouldn't they also therefore become more adept at getting out of the way of the incoming blow? The 1/5th level bonus is all fine and well, but it doesn't really map all that well to real honest-to-goodness experience and training.

Speaking as someone who's put on various types of armor, helms, and shields, and gone to town on other equally idiotic persons (also so equipped), I have to say that within a relatively short period of time I learned very handily how to simply not be there when the blow came in. When I couldn't get out of the way, well, that was what shields and parries were for. This was true for heavy-armor fighting as well as fencing and the like - necessity being what it was, as I "gained in experience," I learned to get out of the way. Was I hitting hard enough to make a difference against a very experienced combatant? No, not really. But I was getting out of the way of well over half of their blows - what they landed hurt like hell, but first they had to connect.

All this of course wraps back around to "is the 1/5th Level Bonus a suitable model of that ability?" Is it an accurate representation of "learning to get out of the way"?

I'd contend that it's not, really. I'm not sure that 1/4th (or even 1/2) Level is a decent contender, either.

Ultimately I'm not sure I have a suitable answer to that particular problem. Overall I'm pleased with the Armor as DR concept, but I'm wondering if it could have used more playtesting.


The reason a Class Defense Bonus didn't work itself into these rules is that it has no place in them. Even in Unearthed Arcana they're two separate optional rules.

Light armor classes barely lose any AC from the UC Armor as DR rules and gain a small amount of DR. Heavy armor classes lose up to 9 AC, but gain a HUGE amount of DR.

If you were to give everyone 1/4 their BAB to their defense, then light armor characters would actually end up with a higher AC than no-optional-rules versions of the same character plus DR.


jemstone wrote:

Bringing this back around on topic (please let us get back on topic!), after reading the Armor as DR rules, I find myself wondering why a Class Defense Bonus a-la Unearthed Arcana didn't make itself known in those rules, as well. As some others have insinuated, I find myself understandably puzzled - as someone gets more experienced in Combat, shouldn't they also therefore become more adept at getting out of the way of the incoming blow? The 1/5th level bonus is all fine and well, but it doesn't really map all that well to real honest-to-goodness experience and training.

Speaking as someone who's put on various types of armor, helms, and shields, and gone to town on other equally idiotic persons (also so equipped), I have to say that within a relatively short period of time I learned very handily how to simply not be there when the blow came in. When I couldn't get out of the way, well, that was what shields and parries were for. This was true for heavy-armor fighting as well as fencing and the like - necessity being what it was, as I "gained in experience," I learned to get out of the way. Was I hitting hard enough to make a difference against a very experienced combatant? No, not really. But I was getting out of the way of well over half of their blows - what they landed hurt like hell, but first they had to connect.

All this of course wraps back around to "is the 1/5th Level Bonus a suitable model of that ability?" Is it an accurate representation of "learning to get out of the way"?

I'd contend that it's not, really. I'm not sure that 1/4th (or even 1/2) Level is a decent contender, either.

Ultimately I'm not sure I have a suitable answer to that particular problem. Overall I'm pleased with the Armor as DR concept, but I'm wondering if it could have used more playtesting.

I agree, but i don't think everyone should be learning to get out ofthe way at teh same rate.

Back before 3rd edition I had homebrewed a system where by classes base AC dropped by 1 everytime they got a weapon profiecentcy (which back then was not all that often) Fighters started at 9 instead of 10, armour class granted from armour stacked with said armour.

Perhaps people should get an AC bonus equal to 1/4 of their BAB?. or even 1/3 or their BAB. This give melee classes the advantage they should get here., So a 10th level wizard gets a +1 to their ac and a fighter gets +2, but by 12th level that is +1 and +3? or if you went 1/3 it would be +2 and +4 at 12th level. Just a thought.


Fozbek wrote:

The reason a Class Defense Bonus didn't work itself into these rules is that it has no place in them. Even in Unearthed Arcana they're two separate optional rules.

Light armor classes barely lose any AC from the UC Armor as DR rules and gain a small amount of DR. Heavy armor classes lose up to 9 AC, but gain a HUGE amount of DR.

If you were to give everyone 1/4 their BAB to their defense, then light armor characters would actually end up with a higher AC than no-optional-rules versions of the same character plus DR.

only if you don't count magical enhancment. While monsters are scaled aroundcertian probable ACs at certain levels it also presumes a certain level of magical help, even a full BAB class would only get 5 points of AC at 20th level, not even the value of +5 padded armour.


Fozbek wrote:

The reason a Class Defense Bonus didn't work itself into these rules is that it has no place in them. Even in Unearthed Arcana they're two separate optional rules.

Light armor classes barely lose any AC from the UC Armor as DR rules and gain a small amount of DR. Heavy armor classes lose up to 9 AC, but gain a HUGE amount of DR.

If you were to give everyone 1/4 their BAB to their defense, then light armor characters would actually end up with a higher AC than no-optional-rules versions of the same character plus DR.

I'm not suggesting giving everyone 1/4 their BAB. I'm saying I'm not sure that the rule in the Armor as DR option of "1/5th your Level to your Defense" as mentioned up-thread by Derivous is appropriate, and wondering if that's a sufficient method of emulating "as you get more experience, you learn how to get out of the way."

To take it a bit further...

Elthbert wrote:


I agree, but i don't think everyone should be learning to get out ofthe way at teh same rate.

Pretty much what I'm getting at. A Fighter, whose stock-in-trade is taking (and avoiding) damage, or a Rogue, who is thoroughly invested in not being there will have entirely different abilities where Defense is concerned than, say, a Wizard - who most likely should have some kind of magical barrier between him and the incoming pointy thing, really.

Elthbert wrote:


Back before 3rd edition I had homebrewed a system where by classes base AC dropped by 1 everytime they got a weapon profiecentcy (which back then was not all that often) Fighters started at 9 instead of 10, armour class granted from armour stacked with said armour.

Perhaps people should get an AC bonus equal to 1/4 of their BAB?. or even 1/3 or their BAB. This give melee classes the advantage they should get here., So a 10th level wizard gets a +1 to their ac and a fighter gets +2, but by 12th level that is +1 and +3? or if you went 1/3 it would be +2 and +4 at 12th level. Just a thought.

I'm not sure equating it to BAB is a solution, but barring dragging the Class Defense bonuses out from UA, it might suffice. The problem then becomes how to handle situations like my own - I was not a very experienced fighter, yet I was literally getting out of the way of 35-50% of the blows that many more experienced fighters were trying to land on me. It actually made my trainer frustrated, because part of the training is to learn how to take and gauge the blows for tournaments - it wasn't my fault I simply got out of the way!

Would that make me a "Rogue"? Should a "Rogue" have a bonus to this value? It's all very complex and convoluted and needs a lot more thought, I'd say. (Being at the office, just now, I'm not able to give it the thought it needs. Bah.)


Elthbert wrote:
Fozbek wrote:

The reason a Class Defense Bonus didn't work itself into these rules is that it has no place in them. Even in Unearthed Arcana they're two separate optional rules.

Light armor classes barely lose any AC from the UC Armor as DR rules and gain a small amount of DR. Heavy armor classes lose up to 9 AC, but gain a HUGE amount of DR.

If you were to give everyone 1/4 their BAB to their defense, then light armor characters would actually end up with a higher AC than no-optional-rules versions of the same character plus DR.

only if you don't count magical enhancment. While monsters are scaled aroundcertian probable ACs at certain levels it also presumes a certain level of magical help, even a full BAB class would only get 5 points of AC at 20th level, not even the value of +5 padded armour.

Magical bonuses in the UC version of Armor as DR add to both defense and DR. So yes, actually, the +5 bonus from level 20 while wearing +5 padded armor would give 20 defense and DR 15/-, vs a standard fighter with the same armor having a 16 AC and DR 5/-.


jemstone wrote:
I'm not sure equating it to BAB is a solution, but barring dragging the Class Defense bonuses out from UA, it might suffice. The problem then becomes how to handle situations like my own - I was not a very experienced fighter, yet I was literally getting out of the way of 35-50% of the blows that many more experienced fighters were trying to land on me. It actually made my trainer frustrated, because part of the training is to learn how to take and gauge the blows for tournaments - it wasn't my fault I simply got out of the way!

Thats your 10 ac +dex bonus


Fozbek wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
Fozbek wrote:

The reason a Class Defense Bonus didn't work itself into these rules is that it has no place in them. Even in Unearthed Arcana they're two separate optional rules.

Light armor classes barely lose any AC from the UC Armor as DR rules and gain a small amount of DR. Heavy armor classes lose up to 9 AC, but gain a HUGE amount of DR.

If you were to give everyone 1/4 their BAB to their defense, then light armor characters would actually end up with a higher AC than no-optional-rules versions of the same character plus DR.

only if you don't count magical enhancment. While monsters are scaled aroundcertian probable ACs at certain levels it also presumes a certain level of magical help, even a full BAB class would only get 5 points of AC at 20th level, not even the value of +5 padded armour.
Magical bonuses in the UC version of Armor as DR add to both defense and DR. So yes, actually, the +5 bonus from level 20 while wearing +5 padded armor would give 20 defense and DR 15/-, vs a standard fighter with the same armor having a 16 AC and DR 5/-.

I agree, thats a problem


I think the armor as DR optional rule makes for an interesting start of an idea that's not fully fleshed out yet & needs more components.
1:attacks from the same kind of creature should have the potential to bypass certain types/% of DR against others of that same kind (I used kind instead of type because type might potentially make it too broad)
2: It should add more types of armor & armor enhancements that do things like raise the dex cap on heavy armors or ac on light armors, Possibly with medium armors getting classed in with light or heavy ones depending on which end of the spectrum they fall in in need be
3: There should be enhancements that raise what is needed to bypass DR in a more granular fashion than magic>adamantine

The fact that armor functions differently than core means that improved armorsdon't break the game as long as they don't improve that type's new strong point (heavy armor's DR/, light's potential defense class)

I think the real potential lies in a path towards building around the things that start to fall apart in epic play.


Elthbert is correct. Watch the History Channel's Modern Marvels: Armor. The term bullet proofing actually came from armorsmiths who would shoot their armors at close range to prove the armor would withstand gunfire. The worst it would do was leave a little ding in the armor.

What really led to the fall of armor was the cost.


Finally! Posters posting about the original post FTW!

Maybe adding one's base reflex save bonus to defense would be a good start for class-based defense bonuses - IF you wanted them.

But I think 1/5th level plus armor enhancement bonus is quite enough.

The AC=DR rules kind of assume characters and monsters will be getting hit more often. It essentially takes that whole HP=AC concept to the next logical step.

People who have gobs of HP and DR are more survivable with this rule (which, I would argue, is already the case with the standard rules). It also makes shields (and feats that give shield bonuses), spells that offer AC and natural armor, and class abilities with either DR or natural armor as class abilities much better. It also makes the druid's wildshape much better at all levels.

I think this is kind of the point.

Maybe we should post example characters to compare?


I will say this, though:

Armor as DR could make combat slow down quite a bit due to there being many more hits and subsequently damage dice rolled.

AC is a much simpler, more streamlined concept that tosses accuracy (as far as theme-rule synchronization is concerned) in order to quicken the pace.


Personally I think if you want an armor as damage reduction fix for your games, make the AC bonus from your armor also convert an equal amount of the damage to nonlethal in addition to making you harder to hit. Doesn't change the flow of combat at all, but it makes it less likely that a PC is going to be killed accidentally, and it makes healing in combat a hell of a lot more effective.

Example: A guy is wearing a chain shirt making his AC 14. Someone strikes him with a longsword for 4 damage. He is hit for 4 nonlethal damage due to his armor. When his nonlethal damage and current HP meet he falls unconscious. However, he is much farther from being dead since he suffered no lethal wounds and just got winded.

Later a guy in full plate (AC +9) is fighting an ogre. He's getting slammed for 18 damage per round by the ogre, but the first 9 of it is nonlethal. Won't matter for the guy in the armor since he's still going to drop when he would normally drop. However the party's cleric moves up and casts cure light wounds on him and heals 11 Hp and 11 nonlethal damage, meaning that not only did he heal the Fighter's wounds but also recovered his nonlethal damage by an equal amount.

Suddenly, healing in combat is more viable since healing heavy AC targets is like getting bonus healing.

Creatures immune or resistant to nonlethal damage would be tougher with such a variant of course, because a barbarian with DR 10/nonlethal would basically ignore a lot of incoming damage if he was also wearing some strong armor. Likewise, undead and constructs with armor would have some additional damage mitigation.


The issue here as I see it is that D20's combat rules are derived from tabletop wargaming. The more realistically you try to portray combat under a wargaming rule- or mind-set, the more clogged with rules it's going to be. You can't avoid it.

For example, AD&D 2nd ed.'s variant rules for AC by attack type. Full plate was, if I remember right (it's been a couple decades), AC 2 versus pierce, 0 versus blunt, and -2 versus slash...or something like that. More realistic than the basic rule, yes, but more convoluted and as a result a real pain in the arse. Then again that ruleset was so clogged with inane, counter-intuitive BS for the sake of "realism" any time I played it I ended up so frustrated I could have choked a newborn baby with its own umbilical cord.

As I mentioned a few posts up, if you want a more realistic system my personal take is to add a sliding scale of AC and DR. Light armors have higher AC and less DR, medium armors have equal AC and DR, heavier armors have lower AC and higher DR. Enhancement bonuses apply to the higher of those two values (meaning a higher AC for light and a higher DR for heavy) or to both if they're equal (keeping medium armor viable). To compensate and to make AC "tanking" more viable at higher levels, universally reduce BAB (one-quarter HD for slow, half HD for medium, three-quarters HD for fast). Last, add expensive and high-AC light armors and cheap but low-DR heavy armors (or tweak existing ones) for the relatively meaningless level 1-3 quasi-"progression" of armor.

For example, chain shirts could cost 750gp and provide AC 8 but 0 DR. Splint mail, which I've never seen anyone use voluntarily, could cost 50 gp and provide 0 AC but 2/- DR (with an axed armor check penalty). On the other end of that scale, padded provides 2 AC and 0/- DR and full plate provides 0 AC and 8/- DR. For medium, armored coats provide 1 AC and 1/- DR up to breastplates which provide 4 AC and 4/- DR. Just ballparking it for the purpose of demonstrating what I mean.

In the end, no mechanical system will be a perfect analog for real life. It's a set of numerical values which represent actions performed by characters to their players, balanced by the need for expedience and ease of use. Any mechanical system will have its benefits and drawbacks, and quite frankly looking for a perfect analog will for those reasons ultimately be a fool's errand.

Quote:
Personally I think if you want an armor as damage reduction fix for your games, make the AC bonus from your armor also convert an equal amount of the damage to nonlethal in addition to making you harder to hit. Doesn't change the flow of combat at all, but it makes it less likely that a PC is going to be killed accidentally, and it makes healing in combat a hell of a lot more effective.

This is also a good way to handle it without excessively monkeying with rules.

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AS for its weight, a suit of full plate, with sword/axe weighs less than the ruck worn by modern soldiers, and that weight was evenly distributed over the body. Perhaps carrying all that gear is impractical and the marines should just dump it?

Okay, I'm not letting this one slide. This is going to be my last word on the derail. That's an absolute nonsense, false equivalence to play up plate armor.

One source, here.

If I remember my numbers right from my friends who've served in Iraq and Afghanistan, your typical combat patrol or fighting load is about 60-70 pounds. Combat operation or approach load is in the neighborhood of 90-100. Extended operational loadout pushes 130. Loads differ depending on combat role and the nature of an operation; riflemen are going to carry less, machine gunners and artillerymen carry more. That's also everything including the kitchen sink (by the book a shaving kit is part of the assault pack for example), and yes it is impractical and a universal gripe from soldiers.

If you're comparing the medieval guy who's carrying just his armor and weapon to the modern warfighter, let's use a true equivalence and look at just the modern warfighter's armor and weapon. IBA is 17 pounds, M-16 is 8, Beretta is 2, and figure spare mags clocks in at 5. Ballparking it, you're talking 35-40 pounds. Go with the up-armored IBA variant (can't remember its name, E-STOL or something) which is 33 pounds IIRC, and you're talking around 50-55 pounds. In the former case, that's still less (and I'll be charitable here) than three-quarters plate on its own; in the latter, it's merely comparable.

As far as playing semantics with my choice of words, would you disagree with the statement "after peaking in the mid-2nd Century, the Roman Empire suffered a three-century long death, culminating in 476 with the deposition of Romulus Augustus" or claim that it lacks historical perspective? Because, that's the prototypical remark any history professor will use to summate the decline of Rome.


Eacaraxe wrote:
Ashiel wrote:
Personally I think if you want an armor as damage reduction fix for your games, make the AC bonus from your armor also convert an equal amount of the damage to nonlethal in addition to making you harder to hit. Doesn't change the flow of combat at all, but it makes it less likely that a PC is going to be killed accidentally, and it makes healing in combat a hell of a lot more effective.
This is also a good way to handle it without excessively monkeying with rules.

Glad you like it. ^.^


Ashiel, that is a very good idea. In-combat healing could definitely use the boost, but wouldn't fast healing or regen basically turn that non-lethal damage converting into straight up DR?

(I really don't know. I can never remember the rules for fast healing/regen... Trolls are infrequent in my games...)

Continuing with the UC optional rule: I wonder if attaching the called shot rule to this would make it any better for finesse characters? Yes, it would V.A.T.S. it up. But taking those penalties to hit wouldn't be nearly as bad for the 15 base attack classes with AC=DR rules in place and they'd still have to do at least a point of damage to inflict penalties.

I guess the aim of that would be firmly cementing a character's place in combat.

The finesse guys, firearm users, etc. would be combat managers/debuffers while the big ol barbarian with his mighty cleaving nail-board and the pally with smite would be for powering through DR...

Wow. I just remembered smite blew through DR.... That make this optional rule a bit too good for those guys. That red dragon would have a defense of about 5 and zero DR versus the pally.


Derivous wrote:

Ashiel, that is a very good idea. In-combat healing could definitely use the boost, but wouldn't fast healing or regen basically turn that non-lethal damage converting into straight up DR?

(I really don't know. I can never remember the rules for fast healing/regen... Trolls are infrequent in my games...)

Continuing with the UC optional rule: I wonder if attaching the called shot rule to this would make it any better for finesse characters? Yes, it would V.A.T.S. it up. But taking those penalties to hit wouldn't be nearly as bad for the 15 base attack classes with AC=DR rules in place and they'd still have to do at least a point of damage to inflict penalties.

I guess the aim of that would be firmly cementing a character's place in combat.

The finesse guys, firearm users, etc. would be combat managers/debuffers while the big ol barbarian with his mighty cleaving nail-board and the pally with smite would be for powering through DR...

Wow. I just remembered smite blew through DR.... That make this optional rule a bit too good for those guys. That red dragon would have a defense of about 5 and zero DR versus the pally.

Does it bypass dr\ ___ type DR's?


Well, it says of smite evil that, "Regardless of the target, smite evil attacks automatically bypass any DR the creature might possess."

That is a considerable power with AC=DR rules. It might even open up a few pally builds that don't require much in the way of a strength score.


Derivous wrote:

Ashiel, that is a very good idea. In-combat healing could definitely use the boost, but wouldn't fast healing or regen basically turn that non-lethal damage converting into straight up DR?

(I really don't know. I can never remember the rules for fast healing/regen... Trolls are infrequent in my games...)

Fast healing would benefit from it, as would regeneration. However, regeneration typically can be shut off, and in my experiences fast healing usually isn't fast enough to matter most of the time. For example, hydras have one of the largest fast-healing powers in the game, and yet I've seen players carve a hydra apart in a round or two just with strait damage.

The real issue with the damage->nonlethal variant is it makes undead, constructs, and those immune to nonlethal damage substantially more dangerous than their normal counterparts, as the armor effectively becomes damage reduction that stacks with other damage reduction (a skeleton in chainmail would convert the first 6 damage into nonlethal, which it's immune to, and then possibly ignore 5 more points if not from a bludgeoning source, making all but the fiercest of slashing or piercing attacks completely useless). To a degree this makes sense, as they can't suffer the trauma and pain of the blow, it's either it has kill-power or it doesn't. However, sense and gameplay don't always see eye to eye.

This is especially true if you have any construct or undead characters in a party (such as one of the players being raised as a ghoul, mummy, lich, or similar; or someone playing a warforged for an Eberron game), but also with the barbarian ability that gives DR 10 vs nonlethal damage. It makes them amazingly tough and hard to kill under this variant, since they can possibly soak up to 15 points of damage (+5 full plate w/armor kilt) due to armor.

Tinkering with it some more, it might be wise to put some sort of limiter on how much of a benefit you can get from the armor for those immune to nonlethal damage, but that also feels a bit forced. So I guess it depends on which you consider to be more important.


Here is my fix I was working on, tell me what you guys think.

Armor as DR.

Different things like certain energy types and weapon damage types reducing the effectiveness, depending on armor, though not completely negating it.

Larger opponents/weapons reducing the effectiveness of armor.

Class Ref save bonuses apply as dodge bonus toDefense while in light armor, 1/3 in medium armor, and nothing in heavy armor. +1 Dodge bonus in no armor.

Thoughts?


Here is my fix I was working on, tell me what you guys think.

Armor as DR.

Different things like certain energy types and weapon damage types reducing the effectiveness, depending on armor, though not completely negating it.

Larger opponents/weapons reducing the effectiveness of armor.

Class Ref save bonuses apply as dodge bonus to Defense while in light armor, 1/3 in medium armor, and nothing in heavy armor. +1 Dodge bonus in no armor.

Thoughts?


lastspartacus wrote:
Thoughts?
Quote:
Different things like certain energy types and weapon damage types reducing the effectiveness, depending on armor, though not completely negating it.

Too complicated for too little benefit. It sounds OK on paper, but it's going to slow the game to a crawl in practice.

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Larger opponents/weapons reducing the effectiveness of armor.

Don't like it in the base version, don't like it here.

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Class Ref save bonuses apply as dodge bonus to Defense while in light armor, 1/3 in medium armor, and nothing in heavy armor. +1 Dodge bonus in no armor.

Way overkill. Light armor wearers will be completely and totally untouchable, with significantly higher Defense and DR. Light armor wearers lose, at most, 4 AC with the Ultimate Combat Armor as DR optional rule; you're replacing it with up to +12 Defense. That's absurd.


The best, yet slightly complicated, idea I've come up with is still:

Use the normal rules out of Ultimate Combat: non-magic bonus to dr/magic, ect
This is balanced by the die of damage the weapon does.

Add Con mod to this DR, whatever type it might be.
This balances out Str mod to damage.

Add BAB to hit and to defense
This balances out each based on level and class.

Dex and other bonuses add as normal for touch and flat-footed, ect

Add armor magic bonus to DR and Defense, this balances with magic weapons adding to hit and damage.

This creates a system where,a 15th level fighter fighting a 15th level fighter both with +5 weapons and armor balance out and the dice are the important things... But if one is higher level or has better weapons they quickly become deciding factors.... Training and equipment matter.

If your worried about unarmored people, realize, that in life, unarmored people get killed real quick.

In this system I also suggest that the DC of caster spells are all changed to 1/2 caster level + 10 + casting stat, regardless of the spell. And realize DR even /- doesn't work for energy damage. Wizards with their lack of armor can do massive damage, but must look out for the fighter that can rip through their defenses.

Also this works well with the Wounds and Vigor system.


Ugh. That dramatically tips the scales towards heavy armor. It's basically impossible to kill a full BAB character in full plate with those rules unless you can bypass their armor DR. No, really, I mean it. Even a sneak attacking rogue averages to roughly one damage per attack.


Fozbek wrote:
Ugh. That dramatically tips the scales towards heavy armor. It's basically impossible to kill a full BAB character in full plate with those rules unless you can bypass their armor DR. No, really, I mean it. Even a sneak attacking rogue averages to roughly one damage per attack.

It does, but the point of the rogue is to catch the fighter unaware, not just flank.

If you want it to lean a little more that way take away the BAB bonus to defense when he looses his dex (that's the other thing I did).


Eric The Pipe wrote:
Fozbek wrote:
Ugh. That dramatically tips the scales towards heavy armor. It's basically impossible to kill a full BAB character in full plate with those rules unless you can bypass their armor DR. No, really, I mean it. Even a sneak attacking rogue averages to roughly one damage per attack.

It does, but the point of the rogue is to catch the fighter unaware, not just flank.

If you want it to lean a little more that way take away the BAB bonus to defense when he looses his dex (that's the other thing I did).

That forces every single Rogue ever to have 13 Intelligence (which is nearly worthless for them) and spend feats on Combat Expertise (which is worthless for them), Two-Weapon Feint (which doesn't nearly make them viable by itself), and Improved Two-Weapon Feint (which they can't take until level 9 at the earliest and which has 3 pre-req feats as well as high stat requirements). It also forces them into a two-weapon fighting style, because Improved Feint only allows them to make a single attack and Greater Feint actually does almost nothing for the Rogue that uses it.


Fozbek wrote:
lastspartacus wrote:
Thoughts?
Quote:
Different things like certain energy types and weapon damage types reducing the effectiveness, depending on armor, though not completely negating it.

Too complicated for too little benefit. It sounds OK on paper, but it's going to slow the game to a crawl in practice.

Quote:
Larger opponents/weapons reducing the effectiveness of armor.

Don't like it in the base version, don't like it here.

Quote:
Class Ref save bonuses apply as dodge bonus to Defense while in light armor, 1/3 in medium armor, and nothing in heavy armor. +1 Dodge bonus in no armor.
Way overkill. Light armor wearers will be completely and totally untouchable, with significantly higher Defense and DR. Light armor wearers lose, at most, 4 AC with the Ultimate Combat Armor as DR optional rule; you're replacing it with up to +12 Defense. That's absurd.

Its not absurd at all, but merely halway keeps up with BAB. a fighter smacking a rogue of the same level would still have a greatly favorable chance of hitting.


The system in UC doesn't work too well.

Basically you make it easier to hit and, to counter this, make each hit worth less damage.

This broad but accurate definition shows the problem, you can't put in general changes like this into a complex system without running into difficulties.

The first arives with Level 6 for martial classes when getting your iterative attack may mean that you suddenly deal almost double the damage.

It also causes more rolls as the to hit roll is getting more and more trivial and thus nearly every attack will hit but may deal no damage at all - so I now need two rolls to determine wether I am successful or not.

Finally Criticals are the way to go. Falchion and Scythes are so much better in this system that all other melee weapons are basically obsolete, same with the must-have critical chain feats.

Not impressed.


lastspartacus wrote:
Its not absurd at all, but merely halway keeps up with BAB. a fighter smacking a rogue of the same level would still have a greatly favorable chance of hitting.

It's trivially easy to get to nearly untouchable AC in the normal game, without getting a free and clear +8 to your AC just for existing. +8 AC is absolutely massive when your random variance is only 20.

MicMan wrote:
the to hit roll is getting more and more trivial and thus nearly every attack will hit

Is this based on playtests or napkin math? Because, again, only heavily armored characters (and monsters with tons of natural armor) lose a significant amount of AC.


MicMan wrote:

The system in UC doesn't work too well.

Basically you make it easier to hit and, to counter this, make each hit worth less damage.

This broad but accurate definition shows the problem, you can't put in general changes like this into a complex system without running into difficulties.

Exactly. I don´t know how anybody could write this without seeing the obvious issues.

It´s like some beta-test that was pushed out to print without the necessary work.
I mean, the idea COULD work, but you would probably want some combination of: scaling defense bonus, possibly with additional bonus vs. Crits, the exact amount of which would be tweaked along with exact amount of DR per armor, looking at multiple types of characters/monsters at multiple level tiers... I.e., how people analyzed ¨Maneuver AC¨ during the Core Rules playtest. It seems obvious that such basic testing was never done, yet this in-complete, monkey-wrench-in-a-complex-system rule was sent out to print anyways. Why bother if it´s going to be this bad?


Fozbeck, where are you getting your numbers.

Also, what is your definition of near untouchable AC in a system that doesn't count armor toward AC?


lastspartacus wrote:

Fozbeck, where are you getting your numbers.

Also, what is your definition of near untouchable AC in a system that doesn't count armor toward AC?

It counts enhancement bonuses to armor toward Defense, so a +5 chain shirt still gives 5 Defense. And, IMO, that works for bracers of armor, too, so that's 8 there. However, I won't use that for my example.

10 base, 10 dex, 2 dodge (Dodge feat + haste), 5 (+5 silk armor), 7 (+5 heavy shield; note that mithral heavy shields have no penalty for non proficiency), 5 deflection (ring of protection +5), 1 insight (dusty rose prism ioun stone) = 42, before any special buffs (I consider haste to be required by this point), cover, or whatever else.

A CR 20 monster has a +30 for its high attack. That means they have a less than 50% chance to hit with their best attack before adding in your +12 to Defense from the high Reflex save. With that, they only hit on a 20 (hell, even +6 from a poor Reflex save brings them to 15% chance to hit)--and they're still dealing with the character's DR 15/adamantine (6 from armor, 4 from levels, 5 from an amulet of natural armor +5).


I'm about to start a six-shooter and sorcery game for my group and I've decided to try a variant of the Armor as DR rules. Before I post them up, I want to note, I like a smidge of realism with my playability, and I've used rules similar to these in past games with moderate success (they were a little too complicated so they slowed up combat somewhat) so I've tried to streamline them to make them fun and fast with just a hint of vermissilitude.

The DR value of armor is largely unchanged. DR = Armor/Natural Armor bonus + 1/5 HD

Defense Bonus is likewise similar. 10 + Dex bonus + deflection, dodge, shield, enhancement bonuses.
(my group has always used Trailblazer alongside PF, so we use the Combat Reaction rules with Dodge and Block, I might alter Dodge so it uses the character's Reflex save, I dunno yet though, still pondering)

I like the suggestion of armor converting damage to non-lethal, so I'll be using a variant of that as well.

Now the major change is that damage vs. DR will go like this

all armor DR's will have an Protection Value instead of DR/-, or DR/Magic. This Protection value is equal to the Hardness of the suits material + it's Armor Bonus. Natural Armor bonuses will be 5 or 10 + NA bonus (I'm thinkin' 10 but I haven't played with the numbers enough to be certain yet)

all damage totals will have an accompanying Armor Penetration #, that is figured out by taking the hardness of the weapon's material (generally 10 for steel/iron) + the max of the weapon's damage dice (so 4 for a dagger, 8 for a longsword, etc...) + a size bonus (probably just the same as CMB bonuses due to size, still fiddlin'). Natural Attacks (claws/tooth/slams) will have a AP bonus of twice their max damage dice (so 2d6 claws have an AP of 24)

when damage is tallied, you compare the weapons AP vs the armor's PV, if the attack exceeds the protective value of the armor, you convert the armor's DR to non-lethal damage and the rest is lethal as normal. If the armor's PV is higher than the attacks penetration rating however, you treat the DR as normal.

So for instance a steel dagger vs a steel breast plate would go something like.

1d4 damage with AP 14, vs the armor's PV of 16, so any damage up to 6 would be negated. Pretty normal for the rules as is

now instead it is a mithral dagger (AP 19), or a +2 dagger (AP 18, steel (10) + dagger (4) + magic enhanced hardness (4) vs the same breastplate, up to 6 of the damage would instead be converted to non-lethal damage.

so while there is a minute or two of extra work in the beginning to find the AP value of a weapon or the PV of armor, after that it is a simple and speedy thing to just call out that number and compare.

any suggestions or critiques?


some back of the napkin type example improvements I could think of in the armor department to help fix the system. Names are just throwing it out :)


  • Magecrafted: Special magics worked into this armor at the time of creation allow up to the enhancement bonus of the armor to be shifted between the dex cap and armor bonus (or vice versa) at the time of armor's creation. [low cost?]
  • Adamantine threaded/woven: This enhancement raises the catch to bypass the DR of armor's by one step (up to adamantine) and allows 50% of the armor's DR to count towards adamantine weapons. This can be applied to any type of armor [low Moderate cost?]
  • Tempered: This enhancement can be applied to any type of metal armor and adds the armor's enhancement bonus to the armor's DR catch making armor that would otherwise require "mere" /adamantine to bypass require /]+enhancenment]adamantine (not sure if that should be enhancement,adamantine?) for example, /magic would need /[+enhancement]magic [moderate cost?]
  • Gnome/dwarf crafted: the gnomes/dwarves have long had fueds with giants & have adapted techniques in helping to protect against larger creatures allowing one additional size increment before the attacker is able to bypass the DR on armor's with this enhancement. This enhancement can be applied to any type of armor [low moderate cost?]
  • Since armor now applies to different things differently and doesn't break down if it gives more than +5 plate &+5 tower like it does under normal rules, it's possible to have armor go higher than +5 and not break down horrifically to make the +5 plate& tower user untouchable Someone mentioned a rogue earlier being unable to hurt someone in full plate at low levels a +10 fullplate wearing ~epic level wearing fighter would presumably have dr23/+10,Adamantine. Lets say an equal level rogue has a +5 flaming dagger, sure the dagger's d4 is still irrelevant, the d6 of flaming ignores the DR & the 10d6()or more) of sneak attack is still capable to punching past the DR on all but the worst rolls& all three of the rogue's attacks are almost certain to hit. where before the second/third were probably just likely to miss and deal no damage to easily make up for the reduced damage per hit.


Fozbek wrote:
That forces every single Rogue ever to have 13 Intelligence (which is nearly worthless for them) and spend feats on Combat Expertise (which is worthless for them), Two-Weapon Feint (which doesn't nearly make them viable by itself), and Improved Two-Weapon Feint (which they can't take until level 9 at the earliest and which has 3 pre-req feats as well as high stat requirements). It also forces them into a two-weapon fighting style, because Improved Feint only allows them to make a single attack and Greater Feint actually does almost nothing for the Rogue that uses it.

Please do not tell me what is now "required" based on some rule changes. You'll find it's only required if your goal is to break the system, that I can do without help. The word you want is desired, it is desired to have a 13 Intelligence, and desired to have combat expertise, and all that other crap. The only thing that is required to live and die, and without one you can not do the other.

For the record, I always play rogues, and I always have as high a Intelligence as I can.


Fozbek wrote:
...Is this based on playtests or napkin math?...

Try to read my post again, maybe even all of it and I think you might understand in which context I said what you quoted.

It still stands, AC as DR doesn't work without many special rulings and adjusts for certain monsters/corner cases as the system simply doesn't support it.

So, imho, we can't really present a working system in the confines of this board.


I can live with armor as AC, like normal, though I really wish there was a way to make lighter armed combatants shine.

Really, my only REAL problem is that PCs dont get harder to hit as they level, naturally. Fighters just get better and better at hitting each other and not defending. The reliance on equipment is problem number two,

but if I could figure out some way to make a class defense bonus to work, id be happy.


At mid to high Level Fighters & co hit with the first (or the first two) attacks almost always. This gives a reliable source of damage and serves to define a role for these classes.

If you introduce a scaling AC you cause these classes to hit less often, empowering classes like the Wizard who usually has no need to hit.

Also this has the potential to prolong fights, because hitpoints already scale higher than damage, and could cause rounds in which the Fighters don't accomplish anything at all.

I think we can all agree that this would not be good.

So the system represents "tougher" less as harder and harder to hit naturally but as harder and harder to wound meaningfully.


http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm

^That. All you need to do is modify the AC bonus of each armor, and you should be all set.

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