Armor as DR: My Take after a few sessions


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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First, I want to say How much i love Pathfinder and how much I love UC. Good work.

Now.

I have always been looking for a good Armor as DR system. What follows is my thoughts and feelings after several sessions using the armor as DR rule printed in UC.

-I am the gamemaster.

-The Defense Score rule needs work. Honestly, my players and the bad guys were getting hit left and right. Without the armor as DR they'd be D-E-D! After the first session, I wrote some modified Class Defense Bonus rules culled from Unearthed Arcana, and that seemed to work ok.

-As written, the characters base attack bonus and all feats, abilities, etc. that increase the attack bonus are meaningless, due to the fact that the actual attack roll is nearly meaningless, unless the opponent has dodge and deflection style bonuses out the wazoo.

-What does become important is the damage roll. The pc has only a few options when it comes to increasing his damage roll, and the Armor as DR rules as printed almost railroads the weapon wielding pc's into getting bigger and badder weapons.

-And, unless I am doing something wrong, as soon as everyone has magical weapons, the system no longer works anyway, unless the armor is Adamantine. So, most everyone will be walking around with low AC's in armor that offers 0 protection against anyone equal to or slightly higher than themselves in power.

-During the game, the players were getting frustrated because they were rolling well on the attack roll (meaningless as the bad guy had a defense of 11, it was a 1st level adventure) and they couldn't get past his DR. Ultimately, they ended up pulling a Goku vs. Raditz vs. Piccolo, where the two strongest in the group would try and hold the enemy down while they took turns attacking him, because being pinned and held bypasses the armor as DR.

-And, strangely enough, at the end of the latest adventure, the pc's made level 3, two of them went and took a level of sorcerer and picked the Arcane Strike feat.

In conclusion, I really think there is a need for an armor as DR system, especially if you are using Firearms in your campaign, as I am, but I feel that this system is flawed, and either needs more work, or needs to be redone. And there needs to be a defense bonus system added to increase the AC/Defense naturally as one levels ie the base Attack Bonus. And the critical defense roll is confusing until you get the math down.

What are some of your experiences?


Since I don't think armour is good enough in general I am trying out a basic armour DR system.

Amour still gives its AC bonus

Light armour give DR 1/_

Medium Armour DR 2/_
Heavy Armour DR 3/_

Full plate DR 4/_

( full plate is exceedingly rare in my campaign)

I have concidered making full plate 5/_ and Half plate 4/_

This DR stacks with all other DR.

I gave the players the responsability of rememberingto take off the damage. SO far there has been no problems.


In exalted, armor raises your soak, which is much like DR. However, in exalted even after applying the Soak, damage can never be lowered to below the Exalt's Essense (roughly analogous to level, or power range) barring specific effects. What if, in addition to Armor as DR, damage could not be reduced below the attackers Hit Dice, so that Big Weapon users have the chance to break through DR entirely, but TWF, multiattack natural weapons and so on can still go 'death of a thousand cuts' style.


When i was in the military (waaaay back in the 90's, lol) I got a chance to wear some armor gear, and we messed around with bean bag shotguns, just to see how much protection the flack vests gave you. And I tell you what, even with the flack vest, it still HURT. and it could knock you down.

so, maybe, a better system would be half dr half non-lethal damage.

But honestly, I wouldn't mind using the standard armor bonus system a long with an armorless defense bonus system that was decent. I can see the armor bonus as a "To Hurt mechanism" and not a "To Hit mechanism".

And, to hearken back to the old days, perhaps the armor as DR system shouldn't be DR/Armor, but certain types of weapons could bypass it. Chain shirt could be DR 4/piercing, and plate armor could be DR 9/bludgeoning.

just a few thoughts.


A couple notes:

Quote:
The Defense Score rule needs work. Honestly, my players and the bad guys were getting hit left and right. Without the armor as DR they'd be D-E-D!

That's kind of the point. If your defense is as high, or almost as high, as normal, AND you have a bunch of additional DR, you've severely de-powered physical combat. In order to add enough DR to matter, they had to decrease defense for heavily armored characters. Lightly armored characters shouldn't suffer much of a defense penalty.

Quote:
And, unless I am doing something wrong, as soon as everyone has magical weapons, the system no longer works anyway, unless the armor is Adamantine. So, most everyone will be walking around with low AC's in armor that offers 0 protection against anyone equal to or slightly higher than themselves in power.

You're doing something wrong. Non-magic, non-adamantine armor gives DR/magic. Magical, non-adamantine armor gives DR/adamantine. You need +4 or adamantine weapons to bypass even +1 armor.

Quote:
Ultimately, they ended up pulling a Goku vs. Raditz vs. Piccolo, where the two strongest in the group would try and hold the enemy down while they took turns attacking him, because being pinned and held bypasses the armor as DR.

You don't have to pin or paralyze. The Grappled and Entangled conditions halve armor DR.


well heavy armour carries a lotof problems wit it, I can not see why it was prefered by armies with it having so much bad to so little good.

I have not yet found that a low DR value assigned to armour has sidrupted the game, and it has in fact proven enough of a DR to be meaningful.

Liberty's Edge

Just steal it all from GURPS: weapons and armor.


none of my players have a Strength score over 10. Average melee damage is 1d6-1. Average ranged damage is 1d8.

@Fozbek: I am more concerned with the gimping of the importance of the attack roll in favor of the damage roll. With the defense score system as written, characters are going to be hitting at least 90% of the time. There are a lot of feats, spells, and abilities that increase the attack roll, but there is not as much to increase the damage output that is directly under the control of the player (skills, feats, powers, etc), except maybe magic spells. One such feat requires several levels in Fighter, so, in my opinion, it kind of shoehorns you into either having a big weapon with lots of strength, or not being able to do much damage at all. Or play a spellcaster.

If there were more options out there to increase damage rolls, the system would be a little better as written.

I wrote up my own class defense bonus rules, and snagged the armor as dr rules from Unearthed Arcana, and so far so good. I will post them sometime, as soon as i get my Google Sites working.


Mike Schneider wrote:
Just steal it all from GURPS: weapons and armor.

lol

From the hours i spent playing GURPS back in the day, I still see hex maps flashing before my eyes as I am driving down the road! :)


I used to have an armor as DR system in an old home-brew Campaign. basically all classes gained 1/2 their Bab as a bonus to damage and AC (renamed to defense). But the defense score was limited by the max dex score as if it was a dex bonus. All armors had their max dex bonus increased, light armors by +6, medium armor +4 and heavy armors +2. I created a new combat options which allowed you to take a -4 penalty to hit to ignore 2 points of armor. Critical hits automatically bypassed armor DR. It actually worked pretty well, but was deadly for unarmored characters which is why I increased the defense bonus and ac bonus for fighting defensively when unarmored. I also had rules which allowed certain weapons like crossbows and firearms to ignore some armor DR.


Swordsmasher wrote:
none of my players have a Strength score over 10. Average melee damage is 1d6-1. Average ranged damage is 1d8.

Perhaps this wasn't the party to try this system out on, then? Your party is VERY nonstandard and VERY low-damage.

Quote:
@Fozbek: I am more concerned with the gimping of the importance of the attack roll in favor of the damage roll. With the defense score system as written, characters are going to be hitting at least 90% of the time.

Depends on the target. Guy in heavy armor or monster with tons of natural armor? Sure. Guy in light or no armor or monster that depends mostly on non-natural-armor defenses? No, not at all, not even close.

Quote:
There are a lot of feats, spells, and abilities that increase the attack roll, but there is not as much to increase the damage output that is directly under the control of the player (skills, feats, powers, etc), except maybe magic spells.

Sure there is.

Rage. Inspire Courage. Weapon enhancements (including ones that bypass DR completely such as flaming). Prayer. Bull's strength. Power Attack. Hammer The Gap. Clustered Shots. Point Blank Shot. Arcane Strike.

Your problem is that you intentionally threw your party of low-damage characters against enemies with high DR, not that there's no way to increase your damage.


As sort of a throw-away idea, what if all armor types gain DR in addition to the AC bonus, equal to half the armor's AC bonus (rounded up).

* Light armor would grant DR/bludgeoning or piercing, DR/bludgeoning or slashing, or DR/piercing or slashing.
* Medium armor would grant DR/bludgeoning, DR/piercing, or DR/slashing.
* Heavy armor would grant DR/-. (And it would stack with Barbarian DR and Adamantine DR).

Seems silly to have these damage types and not use them. On the other hand, I have no idea what specific type of DR to assign to which specific armor types, so don't ask. =p


Swordsmasher wrote:

none of my players have a Strength score over 10. Average melee damage is 1d6-1. Average ranged damage is 1d8.

Were they intentionally made bad?

Did they at least have Sneak attack (that stacks for overcoming DR)
Quote:


There are a lot of feats, spells, and abilities that increase the attack roll, but there is not as much to increase the damage output that is directly under the control of the player (skills, feats, powers, etc), except maybe magic spells.

Power Attack, Deadly aim, Bueler's Bite, etc.

The issue was your player's had bad stats for dealing damage.

Liberty's Edge

Swordsmasher wrote:

none of my players have a Strength score over 10. Average melee damage is 1d6-1. Average ranged damage is 1d8.

@Fozbek: I am more concerned with the gimping of the importance of the attack roll in favor of the damage roll. With the defense score system as written, characters are going to be hitting at least 90% of the time. There are a lot of feats, spells, and abilities that increase the attack roll, but there is not as much to increase the damage output that is directly under the control of the player (skills, feats, powers, etc), except maybe magic spells.

Agile weapon property.


Arcane_Guyver wrote:

As sort of a throw-away idea, what if all armor types gain DR in addition to the AC bonus, equal to half the armor's AC bonus (rounded up).

* Light armor would grant DR/bludgeoning or piercing, DR/bludgeoning or slashing, or DR/piercing or slashing.
* Medium armor would grant DR/bludgeoning, DR/piercing, or DR/slashing.
* Heavy armor would grant DR/-. (And it would stack with Barbarian DR and Adamantine DR).

Seems silly to have these damage types and not use them. On the other hand, I have no idea what specific type of DR to assign to which specific armor types, so don't ask. =p

I actually though about this a lot when making my super simple Armour DR thing. But i decided that it was too much for my players to keep up with, that would not be true for all groups, but it would be for mine.

I require that they remember to take the damage down by their DR number when they get hit. trying to have them realize that if the guy is using a long sword they get a DR 3 but if he is using a Military picck they don't would be overly commplicated for 2 of my 5 players. They would just never subtract their DR and it would lose its functionality.
HTere are also some problems with this,Some peircing weapons are more will go through a breatplate ( military pick) others will never ever tdo that. For example realisticly, a man in full plate armour is rapier proof, period, he can stand there and let the guy with the rapier poke at him all day, he is never going to get hurt.

Plus it is a major over simplification, just as much probably as not worrying about it. ( an estoc is a peircing sword for fightng plate, a rapeir is essentially useless against armour) Chain can be cut by a strong sword cut, and the padding beneath it softens blows, frankly properly worn armour is going to reduce damage from anything which gets through.

However if you were inclinded to go this route

My suggestions

Padded -- peircing

Leather-- Slashing

Studded leather -- blunt, (is it still supple while leather is hard? If not then slashing like leather)

Chain shirt ---blunt

Hide -- (iffy, this depends on how you decide hide armour is made, Blunt or slashing)

Scalemail-- blunt

Chainmail --blunt

Breast plate --- piercing or if you feel piercing is over represented slashing for strikes between the plates since it has chain backing.

Splint-- Piercing

Banded-- Piercing

Half-Plate - Piercing

Full plate - Piercing ( really FDull plate is so awesomely frightening I would probably just make it DR/_ even within this system.

Personally I would not allow rapiers to get act as peircing against heavy armour.

Liberty's Edge

In reality heavy armor is so effective against most weapons that the only way to deal with it was to invent polearms which were literal can-openers. Aside from that, axes and mace-and-chain (heavy spiked iron ball on a chain) were about the only things effective (you'd swing a M&C over a defender's shield, ring his helmet like a bell, and then blow him down while he stood there stunned). There's a realistic fight scene in the old classic The Black Shield of Falworth where various weapons are in action with consequences (bashed armor, sundered shields, etc).


In my games, I've combined the Wounds based HP system, the Armor as DR system and the Class Based Defense system.

Basically, the Class defense system boost the AC back up to a level where missing is possible and DR reduces damage a bit, giving the PC's increased survivability and making the "one vs. many/squishy boss monster" problem a little less problematic. The Wounds system means that even though everything is a bit more durable, they still take penalties from getting hurt too badly. My players find that Sneak Attacks and Crits are more interesting with these variant rules also.

Shadow Lodge

Swordsmasher wrote:

First, I want to say How much i love Pathfinder and how much I love UC. Good work.

Now.

I have always been looking for a good Armor as DR system. What follows is my thoughts and feelings after several sessions using the armor as DR rule printed in UC.

-I am the gamemaster.

-The Defense Score rule needs work. Honestly, my players and the bad guys were getting hit left and right. Without the armor as DR they'd be D-E-D! After the first session, I wrote some modified Class Defense Bonus rules culled from Unearthed Arcana, and that seemed to work ok.

-As written, the characters base attack bonus and all feats, abilities, etc. that increase the attack bonus are meaningless, due to the fact that the actual attack roll is nearly meaningless, unless the opponent has dodge and deflection style bonuses out the wazoo.

-What does become important is the damage roll. The pc has only a few options when it comes to increasing his damage roll, and the Armor as DR rules as printed almost railroads the weapon wielding pc's into getting bigger and badder weapons.

-And, unless I am doing something wrong, as soon as everyone has magical weapons, the system no longer works anyway, unless the armor is Adamantine. So, most everyone will be walking around with low AC's in armor that offers 0 protection against anyone equal to or slightly higher than themselves in power.

-During the game, the players were getting frustrated because they were rolling well on the attack roll (meaningless as the bad guy had a defense of 11, it was a 1st level adventure) and they couldn't get past his DR. Ultimately, they ended up pulling a Goku vs. Raditz vs. Piccolo, where the two strongest in the group would try and hold the enemy down while they took turns attacking him, because being pinned and held bypasses the armor as DR.

-And, strangely enough, at the end of the latest adventure, the pc's made level 3, two of them went and took a level of sorcerer and picked the Arcane Strike feat.

In conclusion, I really think there is...

i still refuse to play in a armor=dr game simply due to the fact that a fully legit barbarian can completely by pass all armor reduction during a rage, so a barbarian can one hit any level appropriate npc at every level past 5... all he needs is a wizard to hold action for dispels and they can 2 man every dungeon.

Liberty's Edge

In GURPSm armor possesses both deflective (what would would call "AC") and ablative (DR) properties in varying degree.

Yeah: certain character abilities would have to be modified.


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Mike Schneider wrote:
In reality heavy armor is so effective against most weapons that the only way to deal with it was to invent polearms which were literal can-openers. Aside from that, axes and mace-and-chain (heavy spiked iron ball on a chain) were about the only things effective (you'd swing a M&C over a defender's shield, ring his helmet like a bell, and then blow him down while he stood there stunned). There's a realistic fight scene in the old classic The Black Shield of Falworth where various weapons are in action with consequences (bashed armor, sundered shields, etc).

By the time plate armor had been developed sufficient to fully protect against massed archers, heavier crossbow designs were readily available and the arquebus had already started hitting the battlefield. Historically, that made the development of plate armor a near-complete wash that was perennially a step behind weapons development, and not even worth it considering the drawbacks (the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt were arguably lost due to the heavy French armor slowing down and exhausting the French men-at-arms, who by the time they reached the British lines were in absolutely no shape to fight and were cut to pieces, among other factors).


Eacaraxe wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
In reality heavy armor is so effective against most weapons that the only way to deal with it was to invent polearms which were literal can-openers. Aside from that, axes and mace-and-chain (heavy spiked iron ball on a chain) were about the only things effective (you'd swing a M&C over a defender's shield, ring his helmet like a bell, and then blow him down while he stood there stunned). There's a realistic fight scene in the old classic The Black Shield of Falworth where various weapons are in action with consequences (bashed armor, sundered shields, etc).

By the time plate armor had been developed sufficient to fully protect against massed archers, heavier crossbow designs were readily available and the arquebus had already started hitting the battlefield. Historically, that made the development of plate armor a near-complete wash that was perennially a step behind weapons development, and not even worth it considering the drawbacks (the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt were arguably lost due to the heavy French armor slowing down and exhausting the French men-at-arms, who by the time they reached the British lines were in absolutely no shape to fight and were cut to pieces,

among other factors).

This is total BS, plate armour trucked right along for well more than a 150 years after Agincourt, even agianst bullets. The French lost at Agincourt because the French were stupid, not becuase their armour sucked, less than 20 years later the French went and got Italian mercs and the English found their armour quite arrow resistant.

Plate armour was so effective it is hard to describe it, it took a longtime for the gun to outpace the armourer.


TheSideKick wrote:
i still refuse to play in a armor=dr game simply due to the fact that a fully legit barbarian can completely by pass all armor reduction during a rage, so a barbarian can one hit any level appropriate npc at every level past 5... all he needs is a wizard to hold action for dispels and they can 2 man every dungeon.

I honestly have no idea what the heck you are talking about. What ability is this that barbarians get at level 5 that allows them to completely bypass all DR and kill every enemy in a single hit regardless of their hit points?


Elthbert wrote:
This is total BS, plate armour trucked right along for well more than a 150 years after Agincourt, even agianst bullets...Plate armour was so effective it is hard to describe it, it took a longtime for the gun to outpace the armourer.

An astute observer may note this is because of the problems inherent with early firearms, rather than the effectiveness of armor. Namely, a combination of rarity, accuracy, a lack of dependability and horrendous reload times. Ever wonder why plate armor practically vanished around the development of the flintlock opposed to the matchlock? It wasn't because plate armor could stop a bullet.

Quote:
The French lost at Agincourt because the French were stupid, not becuase their armour sucked, less than 20 years later the French went and got Italian mercs and the English found their armour quite arrow resistant.

...you think men-at-arms on a forced march, reaching the battlefield then having to march another 300 yards through mud and a hail of arrows wearing plate armor had nothing to do with the English victory at Agincourt? Nearly every historian I've ever read or spoken with on the subject disagrees with you; some may attribute the victory more to other factors, but the fact French armor was severely detrimental to their own forces is a universal concession.

Liberty's Edge

Eacaraxe wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
The French lost at Agincourt because the French were stupid, not becuase their armour sucked, less than 20 years later the French went and got Italian mercs and the English found their armour quite arrow resistant.
...you think men-at-arms on a forced march, reaching the battlefield then having to march another 300 yards through mud and a hail of arrows wearing plate armor had nothing to do with the English victory at Agincourt?

You're not arguing against the preposition that the French were stupid at Agincourt.

Shadow Lodge

Fozbek wrote:
TheSideKick wrote:
i still refuse to play in a armor=dr game simply due to the fact that a fully legit barbarian can completely by pass all armor reduction during a rage, so a barbarian can one hit any level appropriate npc at every level past 5... all he needs is a wizard to hold action for dispels and they can 2 man every dungeon.
I honestly have no idea what the heck you are talking about. What ability is this that barbarians get at level 5 that allows them to completely bypass all DR and kill every enemy in a single hit regardless of their hit points?

you assume a single ability? i have homework for you, get a beastiary and build the best barbarian you can (that's legal)and see how hard you hit vrs the total hp of the cr appropriate monster. then assume that they only miss on a 3 or lower... because they would.

then take DR out of the equation. you will se what im saying.


Mike Schneider wrote:
You're not arguing against the preposition that the French were stupid at Agincourt.

Well, it is the French. They haven't exactly been stellar at warfare since, at least when not led by a sixteen year old girl or a runt Corsican. Or when fighting the Austrians. Or when Alsace-Lorraine is at stake...heh heh.


TheSideKick wrote:


you assume a single ability? i have homework for you, get a beastiary and build the best barbarian you can (that's legal)and see how hard you hit vrs the total hp of the cr appropriate monster. then assume that they only miss on a 3 or lower... because they would.
then take DR out of the equation. you will se what im saying.

First- Sidekick, you do have a point it there, but you are stating an opinion without backing it up with examples, and using language that makes you come across as an elitist jerk. Please note that I'm not attacking you, just pointing out that your point would be better made with examples up front and letting them speak for themselves.

Second- Any Armor As DR system that reduces the AC quotient of armor is going to result in far more successful hits. That's obvious.

The argument here isn't about if Armor as DR works, it's about what is required in order to make it work.

The answer is to simply provide another way of boosting AC back up.

Functionally all this does is make the players and monsters a little bit more durable. The merits and flaws of that are arguable. Personally I don't mind.


Eacaraxe wrote:
Mike Schneider wrote:
You're not arguing against the preposition that the French were stupid at Agincourt.
Well, it is the French. They haven't exactly been stellar at warfare since, at least when not led by a sixteen year old girl or a runt Corsican. Or when fighting the Austrians. Or when Alsace-Lorraine is at stake...heh heh.

In fact, it's worse than that : french generals always plan their strategy for the next war as if it was the precedent.

In World War One (and in 1870), they used tactics from Napoleanian wars.

In World War Two, they thought a trench war would happen.

I fear that if World War 3 ever occur, they may try blitzkrieg ...


Noir le Lotus wrote:
In World War Two, they thought a trench war would happen.

This on its own isn't terrible (let's face it, European military minds at the time were still married to Clausewitz and Mahan) but for the fact the man who literally wrote the book on blitzkrieg was French (Charles du Gaulle), and was nearly laughed out of the country for it. But hey, at least the Germans took him seriously. Not that they were, you know, phenomenally successful and all but guaranteed to win the war up until Operation Barbarossa or anything.

Anyhow, veering back on topic...what was the point again? Oh. Historically, plate armor got the hind teat. Sure it could fend off arrows, but that was about it. It exhausted the men-at-arms wearing it, slowed them down (especially in inclement conditions) and limited their vision and hearing, and ultimately rendered them unable to fight at full strength; to boot, by the time it became readily available people had invented weapons to counter it.

How does that factor into game mechanics? Well...t+$$ if I know. Armor as DR makes sense for the heavier stuff, but for the lighter it's still better as AC, at least IMO. Honestly, I'd be tickled with a hybridized system in which light armors have higher AC and little to no DR, medium armors are a balance, and heavy armors have lower AC and high DR. To compensate, don't muck around with class defense bonuses but change BAB (+1/4 per level for low, +1/2 level for mid, +3/4 level for high). Let casters use their primary attribute as the to-hit for touch attacks. But, that's just me tossing a thought out for the sake of discussion.


okay so to start off, remember that lowering the ac so that we can hit is supposed to balance out that we are doing less damage, your party seems really low on the damage scale and I would have to say unless they have a lot of attacks or really high crits I still see them having problems in a normal game.

now then, one thing I have used in previous attempts of armor is DR, was slashing goes against it as normal, piercing ignores half, and bludgeoning deals the prevented damage as subdual damage.

results: barbarian with a big hammer smashing heavily armored enemies unconscious, or later in the game after he took improved sunder, just smashing their armor, and going to town on the squishy insides.

The two weapon fighter, and archers ran into a little trouble but arrows doing piercing damage were able to get a little through and now that they could not miss it became an every round rapid shot and everything else they could throw in.

Two weapon fighter, had a little bigger of a problem since he chose slashing weapons, but he invested in high crit weapons and was able to dish out some damage, also he eventually started throwing on magic damage types to his weapons, and buffs from the party wizard or cleric can make a big difference especially when the size penalty to hit really doesn't matter.

Lastly don't forget guns at first increment hit touch ac which was without armor, thus in this case should be without DR. so they don't get more accurate they just punch past dr better.


TheSideKick wrote:
then take DR out of the equation.

Why? Why do barbarians get to ignore DR? There is no ability they have that allows them to do this.


LordKadarian wrote:
Lastly don't forget guns at first increment hit touch ac which was without armor, thus in this case should be without DR. so they don't get more accurate they just punch past dr better.

Actually, guns halve DR within their touch attack range, not ignore it.


Eacaraxe wrote:


An astute observer may note this is because of the problems inherent with early firearms, rather than the effectiveness of armor. Namely, a combination of rarity, accuracy, a lack of dependability and horrendous reload times. Ever wonder why plate armor practically vanished around the development of the flintlock opposed to the matchlock? It wasn't because plate armor could stop a bullet.

At the seige of Galera Don John of Austria was shot repeatedly, once at close range by arquebus bullets, though the close range shot was strong enough to carry him off his feet it did not penetrate his armour, nor did the other shots, he was an important man, so what precisely happened to him is recorded, but being shot with no effect was quite common. The decrease in reloading times certianly had an effect on the end of full plate (significant armour was worn by cavalry for a much longer time) the ability to shoot 3 or 4 times during a charge as opposed to 1 time greatly increased the chance of a lucky shot, but it had at least as much to do with the development of volley fire and professional drill by the Dutch during the 80 years war. Also improvments in gunpowder and barrel manufacture allowed for higher velocity bullets.

In short guns got better, eventually they got good enough that full plate was not viable anymore, so most troops kept armour on thier torso and dumped the rest.

Eacaraxe wrote:


...you think men-at-arms on a forced march, reaching the battlefield then having to march another 300 yards through mud and a hail of arrows wearing plate armor had nothing to do with the English victory at Agincourt? Nearly every historian I've ever read or spoken with on the subject disagrees with you; some may attribute the victory more to other factors, but the fact French armor was severely detrimental to their own forces is a universal concession.

Hmm, didn't I say the French were stupid? There was almost nothing the French did right during that battle. allowing thier own forces to be squeezed so much that they were unable to move goes right up there in the annals of stupid military blunders. I think making a forced march, arriving on the battle feild and then having to march another 300 yards through mud and a hail of arrows to attack a fortified and prepared position defended by 5000 longbow men is stupid.

The english loosed somthing like 500,000 arrows, taking the high side of french casualties at about 10,000 thats one dead for eery 50 arrows.
If the french did everything the same in that battle, but thier troopswere wearing no armour at allthey would have still lost, they just would have had a lot more dead men.

Agincourt was a victory of superior generalship not of superior weapons.


Elthbert wrote:
The decrease in reloading times certianly had an effect on the end of full plate (significant armour was worn by cavalry for a much longer time) the ability to shoot 3 or 4 times during a charge as opposed to 1 time greatly increased the chance of a lucky shot, but it had at least as much to do with the development of volley fire and professional drill by the Dutch during the 80 years war. Also improvments in gunpowder and barrel manufacture allowed for higher velocity bullets.

This is a highly understated fact, but the arquebus actually reloaded faster, was lighter, and generally had a higher caliber than the musket until the very late 18th Century. Arquebus were also matchlock firearms, which made them extremely unreliable and prone to misfire. The development of the wheellock and corresponding doglock, and later the flintlock were the tipping point in the reliability of firearms which made them feasibility infrantry weapons. Yes, improvements in gunpowder and barrel manufacture were there as well, but played less a role (at least in my opinion) than the development of trigger mechanisms at the time.

Doctrinal shifts were important yes, but those in themselves a response to the rise of the firearm and increases in reliability which made them feasible infantry weapons.


Eacaraxe wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
The decrease in reloading times certianly had an effect on the end of full plate (significant armour was worn by cavalry for a much longer time) the ability to shoot 3 or 4 times during a charge as opposed to 1 time greatly increased the chance of a lucky shot, but it had at least as much to do with the development of volley fire and professional drill by the Dutch during the 80 years war. Also improvments in gunpowder and barrel manufacture allowed for higher velocity bullets.

This is a highly understated fact, but the arquebus actually reloaded faster, was lighter, and generally had a higher caliber than the musket until the very late 18th Century. Arquebus were also matchlock firearms, which made them extremely unreliable and prone to misfire. The development of the wheellock and corresponding doglock, and later the flintlock were the tipping point in the reliability of firearms which made them feasibility infrantry weapons. Yes, improvements in gunpowder and barrel manufacture were there as well, but played less a role (at least in my opinion) than the development of trigger mechanisms at the time.

Doctrinal shifts were important yes, but those in themselves a response to the rise of the firearm and increases in reliability which made them feasible infantry weapons.

The doctrinal shifts took place more than 50 years before the invention of the flintlock.

Arquebus certianly were matchlocks, but your wrong, Muskets were of bigger caliber than Arequebus', of course this was done in gauges not caliber, Arequebus usually whee 20 gauge and muskets 12 or 10, a significant increase. Even at close range a good suit of armour, particularly the breastplate could stop even the musket round, they could not stop shot from acannon however, andthe use of caseshot/ grapeshot significanly reduced the usefulness of plate charging defensive positions which had cannon, which was most of them. THis also somewhat had a cyclical effect, you decrease the amount of heavy armour do to cannon, then you make the musket more useful against the now more lightly armoured troops, this causes an increase in the number of muskets, and so on.


Elthbert wrote:

The doctrinal shifts took place more than 50 years before the invention of the flintlock.

Arquebus certianly were matchlocks, but your wrong, Muskets were of bigger caliber than Arequebus', of course this was done in gauges not caliber, Arequebus usually whee 20 gauge and muskets 12 or 10, a significant increase. Even at close range a good suit of armour, particularly the breastplate could stop even the musket round, they could not stop shot from acannon however, andthe use of caseshot/ grapeshot significanly reduced the usefulness of plate charging defensive positions which had cannon, which was most of them. THis also somewhat had a cyclical effect, you decrease the...

You're conflating shot and rounds. Indeed it's true the arquebus could be loaded with shot instead of a ball (really, any smoothbore can effectively fire shot, but we're keeping the conversation limited to the arquebus and the musket for now) where doing the same with a musket was...less than optimal...but arquebus typically ranged around .60-.65 caliber, which was unmatched by muskets until the 18th Century when they pushed to .70-.75 caliber (the earliest muskets actually being around .58 caliber, if I recall correctly). Canister shot wasn't invented until the 18th Century also, by the way (heck, chain shot is older than canister shot); you're right to point out scatter or grapeshot, though.

The flintlock was on the scene in the early 17th, by the way...right alongside those "doctrinal shifts" you mentioned. In fact, if I remember right around the midpoint of the 80 Years' War was when the arquebus fell out of style in continental Europe.


Eacaraxe wrote:
Elthbert wrote:

The doctrinal shifts took place more than 50 years before the invention of the flintlock.

Arquebus certianly were matchlocks, but your wrong, Muskets were of bigger caliber than Arequebus', of course this was done in gauges not caliber, Arequebus usually whee 20 gauge and muskets 12 or 10, a significant increase. Even at close range a good suit of armour, particularly the breastplate could stop even the musket round, they could not stop shot from acannon however, andthe use of caseshot/ grapeshot significanly reduced the usefulness of plate charging defensive positions which had cannon, which was most of them. THis also somewhat had a cyclical effect, you decrease the...

You're conflating shot and rounds. Indeed it's true the arquebus could be loaded with shot instead of a ball (really, any smoothbore can effectively fire shot, but we're keeping the conversation limited to the arquebus and the musket for now) where doing the same with a musket was...less than optimal...but arquebus typically ranged around .60-.65 caliber, which was unmatched by muskets until the 18th Century when they pushed to .70-.75 caliber (the earliest muskets actually being around .58 caliber, if I recall correctly). Canister shot wasn't invented until the 18th Century also, by the way (heck, chain shot is older than canister shot); you're right to point out scatter or grapeshot, though.

The flintlock was on the scene in the early 17th, by the way...right alongside those "doctrinal shifts" you mentioned. In fact, if I remember right around the midpoint of the 80 Years' War was when the arquebus fell out of style in continental Europe.

I am notconflating them, I just couldn't remember wthe name forthe type of scattershot in use at the time.

As to the musket, your simply wrong. 16th century muskets were huge and fired a very large projectile, 8 to 10 gauge ( or well over 80 caliber).

http://books.google.com/books?id=jl5thJiXkgsC&pg=PA14&lpg=PA14& dq=16th+century+musket+gauges&source=bl&ots=kf4iWndMbt&sig=bblU X-zTSp7UsXlKEQQ7RN-rX5g&hl=en&ei=hTNoTsfzBITMsQLxnez-DQ&sa=X&am p;oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CE8Q6AEwBg#v=onepage&a mp;q&f=false
please see the above citation

Further, the shifts in training started under William of Orange, this is at least 25 years before the flintlok even was invented and more than 50 before it became commonplace.


Elthbert wrote:
As to the musket, your simply wrong. 16th century muskets were huge and fired a very large projectile, 8 to 10 gauge ( or well over 80 caliber).

From your citation: The word "musket" derived from a Spanish word and is an interchangeable term for a heavier, wider-bore derivation of the arquebus that was still a matchlock. Either way you're pointing at the largest, outlying weapons of the era to make your point.

8-ga. is equivalent to .835 caliber, and 10-ga. is equivalent to .775 caliber. Just throwing that out.


Eacaraxe wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
As to the musket, your simply wrong. 16th century muskets were huge and fired a very large projectile, 8 to 10 gauge ( or well over 80 caliber).

From your citation: The word "musket" derived from a Spanish word and is an interchangeable term for a heavier, wider-bore derivation of the arquebus that was still a matchlock. Either way you're pointing at the largest, outlying weapons of the era to make your point.

8-ga. is equivalent to .835 caliber, and 10-ga. is equivalent to .775 caliber. Just throwing that out.

.835 caliber is well above 80 caliber I mean that is almost the same differnce between the .357/38 line and the .40 caliber and I think of the .40 as a much bigger round.

And yes I am pointing to the biggest outlying guns, to point out that even they could not reliably penetrate plate armour as late as the 1570's. The arquebus was even less likely to do so. It was only later that guns became able to do so and finally put away full armour, like 1640-50's later, a full 230 years after Agincourt.

Plate armour was the (&*^*^(&.


Elthbert wrote:
It was only later that guns became able to do so and finally put away full armour, like 1640-50's later, a full 230 years after Agincourt.

Yet, Maximillian and Gothic armor and its derivations -- which is the "plate armor" we're discussing given the D&D context and connotations, at least I am -- enjoyed a peak of approximately one hundred years and fell out of style even before the popularization of the firearm. By the time period we're discussing (the transitional phase between the arquebus and the musket, and the rise of the flintlock, the mid-17th Century) combatants typically only wore a cuirass.

Now, I would love to hear your explanation of that, given as you put it, "plate armor was the s+&~".


Responding to the OP concerning the topic of the thread:

What's this about armor=dr rules lowering AC to the point of ridiculousness?

An average tenth level fighter with a (+2 weapon, +2 weapon training, greater weapon focus, 20 Strength) has about +21 or so to hit, meaning he could hit a CR 18 very old red dragon on a roll of 15 or better, never mind the CR 10 shield archon with his pitiful 28 AC, which is the highest of all CR 10s I could find.

Buff the fighter even a little and his attack rolls are way better than they need to be already in order to hit even the toughest bad guys.

So yes, AC=DR means damage is more important for weapon users, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, just different, and by no means impossible.

Now, getting more agile characters to figure out how to pump up their damage is a bigger issue, but one also easily fixed via feats like clustered shots, hammer the gap, the vital strike line, etc.

With the new rules you still get your armor's enhancement bonus plus 1/5th your level to Defense. A fighter in +3 full plate and a +2 heavy shield at level 10 should get +2 defense from his level, +3 from his armor enhancement, +5 defense from his shield and have DR 11/adamantine to boot. His defense could easily be in the mid to upper 20's and maybe still higher.

This makes the maximum AC loss for a heavy armored PC 8 or so for full plate. The agile characters only lose a tiny portion of their AC.

Granted, a very old red dragon has a about a 9 Defense before buffing, but he also has about 50 DR/adamantine or about 60/epic with stoneskin cast. But this kind of sounds like what a dragon of those proportions should be able to shrug off IMO. That shield archon would only have about 10 DR/evil and 13 DR/adamantine btw and a defense of 15.


Eacaraxe wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
It was only later that guns became able to do so and finally put away full armour, like 1640-50's later, a full 230 years after Agincourt.

Yet, Maximillian and Gothic armor and its derivations -- which is the "plate armor" we're discussing given the D&D context and connotations, at least I am -- enjoyed a peak of approximately one hundred years and fell out of style even before the popularization of the firearm. By the time period we're discussing (the transitional phase between the arquebus and the musket, and the rise of the flintlock, the mid-17th Century) combatants typically only wore a cuirass.

Now, I would love to hear your explanation of that, given as you put it, "plate armor was the s%+%".

Heavy armour was worn right through the 1570's by virtually every horseman who could buy it. Full plate the firearm was well established well before that. In fact it was worn quite often into the 30 years war. I readily acknowledged that guns out paced it, but it was inthe 17th century, I believe if you go back and read my initial post you will find I never mad a claim otherwise. You will notice I also stated, that the cavalry continued to wear a cuirass even after the use of full plate fell out ov faor precisely because it could turn a bullet.

The firearm was quite popular in the early 16th century, but Plate trucked on. Furthermore, the initial arguement that somehow the crappyness of plate armour lead to the defeat at agincourt to the " almighty longbow" has been dealt with. You are using the classic tactic of those defeated in an arguement, --- keep changing the argument until you find something you can win at.

The fact is, Plate armour was incredible and made the wearer much scarier than its D&D manifestations would have you believe. your position that it was simply outpaced by weapon development is absurd, and I have given you specific examples of that. I really don't wee what more there is to discuss on the matter.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Eacaraxe wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
It was only later that guns became able to do so and finally put away full armour, like 1640-50's later, a full 230 years after Agincourt.

Yet, Maximillian and Gothic armor and its derivations -- which is the "plate armor" we're discussing given the D&D context and connotations, at least I am -- enjoyed a peak of approximately one hundred years and fell out of style even before the popularization of the firearm. By the time period we're discussing (the transitional phase between the arquebus and the musket, and the rise of the flintlock, the mid-17th Century) combatants typically only wore a cuirass.

Now, I would love to hear your explanation of that, given as you put it, "plate armor was the s&$&".

The problem is that plate armor that could reliably stop bullets was 'the REALLY EXPENSIVE s#!&'. Why buy that one suit of armor when you can instead equip a number of guys with muskets and go to town on volley fire?

EDIT: 850lb. Arbalest fired at 15 yards into flat steel.Considering the fact that a flat sheet of steel might only require 20% of the force required for a good plate harness- crossbows ain't got s*$@.


Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:
Eacaraxe wrote:
Elthbert wrote:
It was only later that guns became able to do so and finally put away full armour, like 1640-50's later, a full 230 years after Agincourt.

Yet, Maximillian and Gothic armor and its derivations -- which is the "plate armor" we're discussing given the D&D context and connotations, at least I am -- enjoyed a peak of approximately one hundred years and fell out of style even before the popularization of the firearm. By the time period we're discussing (the transitional phase between the arquebus and the musket, and the rise of the flintlock, the mid-17th Century) combatants typically only wore a cuirass.

Now, I would love to hear your explanation of that, given as you put it, "plate armor was the s&$&".

The problem is that plate armor that could reliably stop bullets was 'the REALLY EXPENSIVE s~!~'. Why buy that one suit of armor when you can instead equip a number of guys with muskets and go to town on volley fire?

Absolutely, but you still see pretty extensive armour up until the 1640's, 3/4 plate more than full plate, but still fully articulated plate armour.

No doubt the increasing size of army's had a major effect on this, you could equip a LOT of men with muskets for the price of good armour suits.


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


Eacaraxe wrote:


Yet, Maximillian and Gothic armor and its derivations -- which is the "plate armor" we're discussing given the D&D context and connotations, at least I am -- enjoyed a peak of approximately one hundred years and fell out of style even before the popularization of the firearm. By the time period we're discussing (the transitional phase between the arquebus and the musket, and the rise of the flintlock, the mid-17th Century) combatants typically only wore a cuirass.

Now, I would love to hear your explanation of that, given as you put it, "plate armor was the s#~#".

It fell out of favor when it became cheaper to equip 100 men with muskets, bayonets, balls, and powder and they would have a greater effect on the battlefield. The Cuirass was good enough for its price. Getting hit in the arm or the leg wasn't as likely to kill you, and getting hit in the face would kill you regardless. Even the modern cuirass worn by heavy cavalry during the Seven Year War was reliable enough to stop a shot to the chest. What it wouldn't save it your horse and it wouldn't prevent you from flying out of the saddle and snapping your neck on impact.

Quantity over quality. Wins every time.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber
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.


Elthbert wrote:
Furthermore, the initial arguement that somehow the crappyness of plate armour lead to the defeat at agincourt to the " almighty longbow" has been dealt with. You are using the classic tactic of those defeated in an arguement, --- keep changing the argument until you find something you can win at.

I didn't say it was because of the longbow. Here, allow me to quote my original statements:

Quote:
...the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt were arguably lost due to the heavy French armor slowing down and exhausting the French men-at-arms, who by the time they reached the British lines were in absolutely no shape to fight and were cut to pieces, among other factors...
Quote:
...you think men-at-arms on a forced march, reaching the battlefield then having to march another 300 yards through mud and a hail of arrows wearing plate armor had nothing to do with the English victory at Agincourt?

In other words, plate armor is heavy, hot and exhausts its wearer. My original point was that plate armor, however effective, was impractical. Not to put too fine a point on it, another quote of mine from this very thread:

Quote:
Historically, plate armor got the hind teat. Sure it could fend off arrows, but that was about it. It exhausted the men-at-arms wearing it, slowed them down (especially in inclement conditions) and limited their vision and hearing, and ultimately rendered them unable to fight at full strength; to boot, by the time it became readily available people had invented weapons to counter it.

This is not inclusive to only the flintlock musket, which as you ceded was the death of plate armor (even though it had been dying a two-hundred-year-long death before even the cuirass was discarded).

You're the one that got off on whether period firearms could penetrate plate armor. The reason I've been trying to veer away from that is because it is wholly irrelevant to the point I've been trying to make from the beginning: 1) plate armor was impractical, and 2) firearms became more and more practical. But go right ahead and claim I'm trying to change the subject, despite having cited my own posts on this very thread.


Wow.

Cue historical accuracy tiffs with accompanying off-boards links and European intelligence being called into question.

This thread jack is now complete.

I'm calling the time of death at 4:07AM Eastern Standard Time.


@ Eacaraxe--

Nice picking and choosing from your early posts.

What you said was.

Quote:


By the time plate armor had been developed sufficient to fully protect against massed archers, heavier crossbow designs were readily available and the arquebus had already started hitting the battlefield. Historically, that made the development of plate armor a near-complete wash that was perennially a step behind weapons development, and not even worth it considering the drawbacks (the Battles of Crecy and Agincourt were arguably lost due to the heavy French armor slowing down and exhausting the French men-at-arms, who by the time they reached the British lines were in absolutely no shape to fight and were cut to pieces, among other factors).

This particlulary the bolded part is utter silliness.

Plate armour was used by virtually everyone who could get it for several hundred years. THey were not using it becuase it was impractical, people who live and die by thier equipment do not choose to use impractical equipment becuase it is stylish. They certianly do not pay huge sums of money for equipent that is going to get them killed. Further it does not take centuries for such men to determine that these things are counter productive.
I find that people who make claims like "had been dying a two-hundred-year-long death" have little concept of historical period. Nothing dies for 200 years, most things don't even exist for 200 years, plate armour was in general use for several hundred years and continued in limited but real battlefield use for a couple of hundred years after that.
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?

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