An alternative to Armor Check Penalty


General Discussion


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So those who have seen some of my previous posts probably noticed that I'm not a big fan of ACP and speed penalties from armor. I do think both share three main issues:

1 - Overcomplicated. Although it might be confusing for very new players, I don't think subtracting a number from your checks or you speed is hard. The problem is knowing which actions it applies to, and if things are going to work as Jason said on the stream (some non-Attack uses of Athletics also don't get ACP), it's going to get even worse.

2 - Heavily punishing for martials. Right now both of those make heavy armor extra punishing for melee Strenght-focused characters, who are the ones supposed to be good with heavy armor in the first place. You basically only use it if you are "forced" to by having low Dex.

3 - Too easy to get for spellcasters. Currently a Wizard or a Sorcerer can get a Paladin Dedication or a Fighter Dedication and another feat to just unlock heavy armor and increase their AC by a ton with no stat investment. ACP and speed penalties are also a lot less harsh for them in general than they are for martials.

I'm here to present an alternative for those who have a similar feeling. I've been using it for 2 or 3 sessions in my home game and it's working great:

ACP and speed penalties are removed. The Clumsy trait is removed as well. Some armor and shields have a Minimum Strength stat, that goes as follows:

Chain mail, breastplate and heavy shields: 12

Splint mail and half plate: 14

Full plate: 16

If you wear a piece of armor or a shield that you don't fulfill the minimum Strength requirement, you get a -4 untyped penalty to ALL Acrobatics, Athletics, Stealth and Thievery checks, your speed is reduced by 10 feet and you have to pass a DC 5 flat check every time you try to cast a spell with a Somatic Casting or Verbal Casting action or fail and lose the spell.

The Noisy trait gives you a -2 item penalty to all Stealth checks.

Being encumbered now gives you a -2 item penalty to all Acrobatics, Athletics, Stealth and Thievery checks.

Unburdened Dwarf's ability becomes: You can ignore the speed penalty from being encumbered and you can wear armor and shields with no downsides even if you don't meet the minimum Strength requirement.

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