Realistic Armor Values Vs. Weapon Damagr


Homebrew and House Rules


Hello again everyone, I've got another question pertaining to armor and weapon damage.

Currently as the system is we have things like Full-Plated armor wearing soldier being able to be damage by things like a longsword (slashing damage). Now I'm no militaristic historian and I don't know everything there is to know about different armors and weapons, but I do know that plated armor was exceptional against slashing weapons and blunt weapons such as a mace did well against it due to it 'grabbing' it better.

I was wondering your opinion, if this would be feasible and help the game feel a bit more realistic without adding too much to bloat number crunching, as well as give a reason to pick a wider variety of armors and not just the 'top' armors.

Thoughts? Ideas? Is there already something like this? (I already looked at the DR variant as well but it's not exactly what I'd call balanced.)


Ad&d had that in a very convoluted way, everybody hated it and houseruled it out. 2nd edition had a simpler version (chain mail had -2 vs slashing, +2 vs bludgeoning), and nobody ever kept using it.


With current overall AC system and all fiddly little additions to it from dozen different sources it won't work.

Scarab Sages

A better option would to give armor a small amount of DR vs certain attacks. Perhaps plate has DR 3/ Bludgeoning or Piercing.


Chain weapon like a flail can go over the top of a shield and bash your enemy in the head, but pursuing a system that breaks down all such intricacies will only lead to unrewarding complications.


Seems reasonable enough to me, so long as you are willing to keep track of it and your players are on board. Might be easiest to keep AC the same but give them DR towards slashing/blunt/piercing as appropriate, since you're not necessarily harder to hit, just harder to hurt.


There have been a variety of different "armor as damage reduction" type alternate rules systems out there over the years. They add a degree of complexity to the game that isn't there with the base system. It's up to you to determine if any of them accomplish what you want, or create your own; then, it's up to you to determine if the extra bookkeeping is worth the effort.


Well if you don't want to use DR then...

Currently armor is 100% effective some of the time represented by incorporating it into the AC hit or miss mechanic with dodge chance. You could say that the armor bonus is different vs different weapons.

Ex: Plate provides +8 AC and an additional +2 vs slashing damage, or something like that.

This would represent that there is a higher probability that the armor deflects a slashing weapon than a blunt or piercing weapon.

Since I think in general you will find that armor is most effective against slashing weapons you could simply make it a weapon quality (and leave armor unchanged), slashing weapons deal more damage than P or B already but say that they have -1 to hit foes in medium armor and -2 to hit foes in heavy armor. Or something to that effect.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Weapon Types vs Armor Types, AD&D 1st edition.
If you want it, it is there.
Nearly every possible weapon vs nearly every possible armor.

Eventually, you will find it too cumbersome to use.

Scarab Sages

Yeah, this isn't really the system for realistic armor vs weapon treatment. GURPS does a better job, with armor giving passive defense (a bonus that makes you more able to dodge/parry attacks similar to AC) and DR that may vary against what type of damage you get hit with.

It's not as cumbersome in GURPS, because there are less types of armor and damage, and you use an active defense roll.


@Everyone:
That's exactly what I don't want, too much tinkering can lead to too much number crunching and that's never fun. I was wanting just a base plus or negative against the armors. Like some of you said, lets say full-plate AC +9 & +2/Slashing? Something like that.

Im just wanting that.. Fear maybe? When you have a longsword and a full-plated knight comes out. I want you to either have that backup weapon or think ,"I'm screwed." Then run, die or get lucky.


Just to make sure everyone knows as well, I'm just wanting a simplified version of realism. It doesn't need to be super complex or detailed, just a blanketed thing over the armors. Maybe something like I stated above?

Full-plate
Arcane Spell Failure Chance: 35%
Armor Type: Heavy Armor
Armor/Shield Bonus: +9
Slashing/Bludgeoning/Piercing Bonus: +2/-2/+0
ArmorCheck Penalty: –6
Max Dex Bonus: +1


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

The problem with weapon type vs armor type is it's complex. Once you start using it, there's the constant nitpicking, and then you make it more complex.

For something simple, try going through every armor type and assign it a DR vs each weapon type (B/P/S), something like 3 points. So every armor will have a DR 3 or DR 0 vs each type of damage (B/P/S).

Then reduce the Crit multiplier by 1 for every weapon facing Armor DR - those types of weapons should do less with a Crit hit.
(This will prevent most weapons from getting Crits against certain armors)

Then determine if any weapon types should do more damage to specific armor types, increase their Crit multiplier by 1.

Then since those weapons should be more effective (i.e. penetration) vs those armor types give them a bonus to hit of +1 - +2 or a bonus to damage the same as the DR of 3.

See, it gets complicated quickly.

If you are just going to do it for one or two points of damage, I wouldn't bother with it. To make it meaningful, use three or four points.


Then you might want to consider whether a dragon's scales are more like plate or scale. And is a giant's thick skin like leather or hide? And so on.

Don't go there. The game's stupidly complex as it is.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You can only use the system for manufactured weapons vs manufactured armor, approximating creature hides to armor types will REALLY gum up the system!


And then you get to fun edge cases. A battleaxe and a longsword are both slashing, but some might argue that the axe would thump harder, despite its slashing designation -- yes, it's meant to chop but it's not the same as a sword slash.

Then you get your players wanting to alter their damage types depending on what's going on, and basing it on the idea that really, weapons did let you do that. 'I want to stab him with my sword now.' 'What, of course my pick/warhammer has a hammer/pick on the reverse of the head!'

Plus, there's the joy that natural weapons are going to be used against all this armour. What AC are you rolling against to chomp someone?

I remember seeing the 2d edition version of these things. I'd say the loss of realism here is acceptable.

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