When a Knight lunges out, and a Bassinet protects your snout, that's Armour-eh?

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TJS

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MOD NOTE: Tangent moved from the Morale Thread
I don't think there is any aspect of this debate that doesn't work for D&D in particular.

D&D supports all kind of playstyles, and there is a wide variety of D&D's to choose from.
I think the way heavy armour slows you down is valid. I don't think it's so much of an issue in 5e unless you're using the variant encumbrance rule.

It's one of infuriating things about modern D&D, the way that the whole game is written around the necessity of some characters to always be in stonking big heavy armour, while for others it's completely unneccessary. It does tend to make certain things like running away or using stealth difficult. I'm remembering there was at least once playing 3rd edition when retreat was attempted and then we had to go back because at least one character was slow as shit.
 
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Chris Brady

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I think the way heavy armour slows you down is valid. I don't think it's so much of an issue in 5e unless you're using the variant encumbrance rule.

It's one of infuriating things about modern D&D, the way that the whole game is written around the necessity of some characters to always be in stonking big heavy armour, while for others it's completely unneccessary. It does tend to make certain things like running away or using stealth difficult. I'm remembering there was at least once playing 3rd edition when retreat was attempted and then we had to go back because at least one character was slow as shit.
The problem is that armour in D&D is actually a damage avoidance system, rather than mitigation. Realistically, (And I used that term loosely) a man in a suit of plate is more or less proof against most but the heaviest of weapons. So although he may be slower, but against those with light armour and weapons, he would be a terror. And he's slower not in terms of actual speed but endurance. Running with 20-40lbs, even as well displaced as the weight is, would tire you out quicker than anyone less armoured, although until you do, you'd be just as fast and able to cut them down with impunity.
 

TJS

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The problem is that armour in D&D is actually a damage avoidance system, rather than mitigation. Realistically, (And I used that term loosely) a man in a suit of plate is more or less proof against most but the heaviest of weapons. So although he may be slower, but against those with light armour and weapons, he would be a terror. And he's slower not in terms of actual speed but endurance. Running with 20-40lbs, even as well displaced as the weight is, would tire you out quicker than anyone less armoured, although until you do, you'd be just as fast and able to cut them down with impunity.
By 'valid' I meant it's an issue you will face with running away. Not that it's a good rule.
 

zanshin

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Well yes. But the reason I said 'modern D&D' was that problem got worse. In AD&D the Fighter who puts away his Plate and wears leather armour has the same AC as the rogue. In WOTC D&D he now has a much lower armour class.

This is the issue when systems design the trade-off between armour and speed in terms of defence (and largely ignore utility).
If he has the same dexterity as the rogue, he has the same armour class in 3e/4e and 5e. If he doesn't have the same dex as the rogue, he has a worse AC in AD&D.

The cleric virtually always has a worse AC than the rogue if he unpeels his plate, but hey, zone of silence 15'.

The main paradigm shift I see over time is the reduction in the number of hirelings and henchmen, and greater intricacy of options for the PC's. This puts the characters front and centre, which is my preference for an RPG.

Wargame, sure, leaders provide morale boosts and command options and I love me some GMT Great Battles of History. But RPGs, different focus.
 

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If he has the same dexterity as the rogue, he has the same armour class in 3e/4e and 5e. If he doesn't have the same dex as the rogue, he has a worse AC in AD&D.
But he doesn't have the same dexterity, because he gains no benefit from dexterity when wearing heavy armour. Plus ability scores in WOTC D&D get raised regularly, and in comparative terms raising one ability score is the same as lowering all the others (which basically pushes characters into specialisation).

It's not a paradigm shift. It's just taking a problem that already existed and making it worse.

It's something you notice when you have say, characters ambushed in the middle of the night and therefore it doesn't make sense for them to be wearing armour, or at the noble's ball and it get's attacked etc. You get this situation where some characters are completely unnaffected by the context, some are very minimally affected, and some are rendererd basically defenceless. It's clearly not an intended part of the game design that you should be changing your level of armour based on the context in the world - it's clearly assumed that what you use you use all the time.

Now part of the difference in WOTC D&D is just that players are much more aware of what the baseline for their characters should be, and that has a pyschological effect, but the mechanics have compounded the issue.
 
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raniE

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The problem is that armour in D&D is actually a damage avoidance system, rather than mitigation. Realistically, (And I used that term loosely) a man in a suit of plate is more or less proof against most but the heaviest of weapons. So although he may be slower, but against those with light armour and weapons, he would be a terror. And he's slower not in terms of actual speed but endurance. Running with 20-40lbs, even as well displaced as the weight is, would tire you out quicker than anyone less armoured, although until you do, you'd be just as fast and able to cut them down with impunity.
How is that a problem in D&D? Realistically, if plate armor is impervious to a sword, then D&D Armor Class makes total sense. Either you hit the armor, in which case you aren’t going to do any damage, or you got your weapon in through a gap, in which case the armor isn’t going to protect you from the damage.

And no, I’m pretty sure that wearing 20-40 lbs of plate would actually make you slower than someone who wasn’t, not just tire faster. You can run and jump and do cartwheels in plate armor, but you can do those things better if unarmored. There’s a reason athletes wear almost nothing (or actually nothing in the case of Ancient Greece).
 

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How is that a problem in D&D
You either take FULL damage (Yes, even 1 point of damage is FULL damage), or nothing. Armour doesn't actually work that way. Let me use my old faithful.

Strap me down to a chair, hit me in the torso with a bat. Odds are, you broke something in me. Put a leather jack of some sort, repeat. The leather will have absorbed a certain amount, but let the rest through. Put a chain harness, repeat. I MIGHT have a bruise, but I didn't avoid the blow. Can't really. Put me in plate, repeat one last time, odds are, at best, you dented the cuirass or broke the bat.

But at no time did I move out of the way to AVOID getting hit. AC is a binary hit/miss mechanic that players have to mentally gymnast around to accept that it absorbs damage.
 

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You either take FULL damage (Yes, even 1 point of damage is FULL damage), or nothing. Armour doesn't actually work that way. Let me use my old faithful.

Strap me down to a chair, hit me in the torso with a bat. Odds are, you broke something in me. Put a leather jack of some sort, repeat. The leather will have absorbed a certain amount, but let the rest through. Put a chain harness, repeat. I MIGHT have a bruise, but I didn't avoid the blow. Can't really. Put me in plate, repeat one last time, odds are, at best, you dented the cuirass or broke the bat.

But at no time did I move out of the way to AVOID getting hit. AC is a binary hit/miss mechanic that players have to mentally gymnast around to accept that it absorbs damage.
I mean, you just pointed out that armor pretty much works that way. The leather jack isn't really armor in most D&D systems, it's just fancy clothes. The mail is worn with padding underneath. Armor needs to be bypassed (a bodkin arrow going through the mail links, a rondel dagger going into a gap in the plates) or destroyed (a bec-de-corbin hitting with enough force to go through a plate) or it will protect completely against the hit. There's no mental gymnastics involved, you're just determining whether you hit the person or their armor.

The system where armor absorbs a certain amount of damage from blows leads to only the most powerful blows being able to penetrate the armor instead, no bypassing. Unless you start adding in more rules, but you're then getting the same actual results as D&D, just with more steps.

When I started playing rpgs I did so with TFT and BRP, two systems where armor absorbs some of the damage. I thought the D&D Armor Class system was kind of dumb then. But every time I learned something about how armor actually worked, the D&D system of Armor Class started making more sense. Now I see it as modeling how a lot of armor actually works (you either do nothing, or you find a way around it) fairly well, and have lost some appreciation for the "armor absorbs a certain amount of damage from every hit" systems.
 

zanshin

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But he doesn't have the same dexterity, because he gains no benefit from dexterity when wearing heavy armour. Plus ability scores in WOTC D&D get raised regularly, and in comparative terms raising one ability score is the same as lowering all the others (which basically pushes characters into specialisation).

It's not a paradigm shift. It's just taking a problem that already existed and making it worse.

It's something you notice when you have say, characters ambushed in the middle of the night and therefore it doesn't make sense for them to be wearing armour, or at the noble's ball and it get's attacked etc. You get this situation where some characters are completely unnaffected by the context, some are very minimally affected, and some are rendererd basically defenceless. It's clearly not an intended part of the game design that you should be changing your level of armour based on the context in the world - it's clearly assumed that what you use you use all the time.

Now part of the difference in WOTC D&D is just that players are much more aware of what the baseline for their characters should be, and that has a pyschological effect, but the mechanics have compounded the issue.
Archery & Initiative benefit from Dexterity, & two weapon fighting in AD&D. I agree re context, but that's just as true of the Fighter not being in his +3 Plate in AD&D as of the 5e Fighter. D&D being D&D there are options for magically easy donnable plate, which are the get around for not disproportionately affecting the heavy armour dependent.

You could argue that D&D makes not being armoured disproportionately beneficial for the non armour wearers compared to the reality.

You could also argue that RQ 2 (the BRP I am most familiar with) treats armoured people unrealistically by having no affect on their movement providing they have the capacity to wear heavy armour, which might be one of the reasons it is easier to retreat in that system (plus mobility of course, amazing spell).

I think the mental framework for combat and the level of challenge are far more important in this than the rules - D&D has supported murder hobo (the quintessential scout the challenge, pick on the weak, burn them with fire) and heroic epic fantasy.

I personally don't like removing the characters choices outside of spells designed to do that, and I prefer the impact of those to be short, so I wouldn't want morale rules for PC's. Retainers, sure, but players come to have fun and express their character. Taking that away from them damages the roleplay.
 

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You either take FULL damage (Yes, even 1 point of damage is FULL damage), or nothing. Armour doesn't actually work that way. Let me use my old faithful.

Strap me down to a chair, hit me in the torso with a bat. Odds are, you broke something in me. Put a leather jack of some sort, repeat. The leather will have absorbed a certain amount, but let the rest through. Put a chain harness, repeat. I MIGHT have a bruise, but I didn't avoid the blow. Can't really. Put me in plate, repeat one last time, odds are, at best, you dented the cuirass or broke the bat.

But at no time did I move out of the way to AVOID getting hit. AC is a binary hit/miss mechanic that players have to mentally gymnast around to accept that it absorbs damage.

Nah, a bat to a plate can still knock you out. Blunt weapons are some of the best weapons against armor, because the concussive force can ignore the armor--which is true for all weapons, but blunt weapons generate the most concussive force. Swords SUCK against armor, though, but do the most damage against unarmored opponents. That's the reason different types of weapons were used throughout history, some of them are better against armor, others have better reach, etc.

But otherwise I tend to agree that Armor as Absorption is generally better emulation than Armor as Deflection, though, there's arguably a degree of both IRL, since some armor (particularly plates and heavy armor with neck guards and such) where specifically designed to help make weapons (specially bladed weapons) slide off ineffectively, which could be interpreted as "Armor as Deflection". But generally speaking I think that the default function of armor is to be "Armor as Absorption", while the "Armor as Deflection" bits are an additional component that grew out of innovation in armor creation over time. Weapons simply do not do the same amount of damage against armor, even if you manage to find an opening with your sword, because the amount of penetration that you're going achieve through a tiny gap in the armor is NEVER going to be the same as you would against an unarmored opponent you can slice all the way through.
 

raniE

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Nah, a bat to a plate can still knock you out. Blunt weapons are some of the best weapons against armor, because the concussive force can ignore the armor--which is true for all weapons, but blunt weapons generate the most concussive force. Swords SUCK against armor, though, but do the most damage against unarmored opponents. That's the reason different types of weapons were used throughout history, some of them are better against armor, others have better reach, etc.

But otherwise I tend to agree that Armor as Absorption is generally better emulation than Armor as Deflection, though, there's arguably a degree of both IRL, since some armor (particularly plates and heavy armor with neck guards and such) where specifically designed to help make weapons (specially bladed weapons) slide off ineffectively, which could be interpreted as "Armor as Deflection". But generally speaking I think that the default function of armor is to be "Armor as Absorption", while the "Armor as Deflection" bits are an additional component that grew out of innovation in armor creation over time. Weapons simply do not do the same amount of damage against armor, even if you manage to find an opening with your sword, because the amount of penetration that you're going achieve through a tiny gap in the armor is NEVER going to be the same as you would against an unarmored opponent you can slice all the way through.

In the end, if you can't penetrate the armor with your weapon and need to look for gaps, what does it matter if the game simulates this through a system of damage absorption or making it harder to score a damaging hit? Both will lead to the same outcome, a person in armor will be far less likely to take any damage from an attack.
 

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In the end, if you can't penetrate the armor with your weapon and need to look for gaps, what does it matter if the game simulates this through a system of damage absorption or making it harder to score a damaging hit? Both will lead to the same outcome, a person in armor will be far less likely to take any damage from an attack.

The difference is that Armor as Deflection tends to create more logical inconsistences than Armor as Absorption, because Armor as Deflection relies on an attack roll being made for armor to even be useful, while Armor as Absorption can make armor useful even when you can't move or against damage from blasts, which Armor as Deflection generally offers no protection against. And that's not even getting into the whole Dexterity/Dodge AC vs Actual Armor AC complication, where you need to keep track of different ACs for Dodge vs Actual Armor vs Touch AC. None of which are necessary to track if armor is just absorption.

In Armor as Absorption all AC is just Touch AC, and armor always offers some protection even if you can't avoid getting hit. It also makes heavily armored opponents near-impossible to seriously hurt without high-impact weapons, which is closer to reality, where you can't generally hurt a plate armored opponent with a dagger, unless you wrestle them to the ground and stick it their neck.

It can also make weapon vs armor rules more meaningful, because certain weapons (blunt, axes, armor piercing) can ignore some of that damage absorption, making them more useful against heavily armored opponents than others (knives and swords). Granted, this part can be also emulated as AC bonuses in Armor as Deflection, but I think it becomes more important when you have to rely on weapon vs armor bonuses to even damage heavily armored opponents.

Though, I suppose it depends on what you want to get out of the game and how detailed or abstracted you want combat to be.
 

raniE

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The difference is that Armor as Deflection tends to create more logical inconsistences than Armor as Absorption, because Armor as Deflection relies on an attack roll being made for armor to even be useful, while Armor as Absorption can make armor useful even when you can't move or against damage from blasts, which Armor as Deflection generally offers no protection against. And that's not even getting into the whole Dexterity/Dodge AC vs Actual Armor AC complication, where you need to keep track of different ACs for Dodge vs Actual Armor vs Touch AC. None of which are necessary to track if armor is just absorption.
Which is really no more complicated than having to first roll to hit, then roll to dodge/parry, and then compare the damage to the armor (and not all games use touch AC, which is usually the same as for dodging). As for blasts and the like, I'm not entirely convinced mail armor would be much good protecting against say a dragon's fire. Most of those allow for saving throws as well, and it's trivial to let the AC bonus extend to Saving throws against physical damage if you want to (as has been done in Lamentations of the Flame Princess).

In Armor as Absorption all AC is just Touch AC, and armor always offers some protection even if you can't avoid getting hit. It also makes heavily armored opponents near-impossible to seriously hurt without high-impact weapons, which is closer to reality, where you can't generally hurt a plate armored opponent with a dagger, unless you wrestle them to the ground and stick it their neck.
You can't really hurt someone in plate armor with a longsword either, unless you stick a point in through a gap or wrestle them to the ground and murder stroke them. How much damage the weapon is capable of doing to an unarmed opponent (and you can kill someone with a dagger just as well as with a sword) doesn't have too much to do with how well it will penetrate armor.

It can also make weapon vs armor rules more meaningful, because certain weapons (blunt, axes, armor piercing) can ignore some of that damage absorption, making them more useful against heavily armored opponents than others (knives and swords). Granted, this part can be also emulated as AC bonuses in Armor as Deflection, but I think it becomes more important when you have to rely on weapon vs armor bonuses to even damage heavily armored opponents.
This requires specific rules in both cases though, either weapon type vs armor type modifiers to Armor Class, or armor penetration values for certain weapons that allow them to ignore some of the armor value. So no advantage to either side there. Most games with armor absorption also have critical hit rules where you get to ignore the armor completely. For example in Mythras a critical hit is achieved when you roll 10% or less of your modified skill, and a critical allows you to bypass armor if you choose that as your effect (which you probably do if the opponent is wearing any appreciable armor). Similarly, in Big Gold Book BRP a critical is when you roll 5% or less of your modified skill value, and a critical hit in combat does both maximum damage and ignores all armor. In GURPS, a critical hit is any roll of 3 or 4 on the 3d6 to hit, and also 5 if your modified skill is 15, and also 6 if your modified chance is 16. A critical in GURPS can either increase damage (to triple, double or just maximum roll results) or cause only half of the targets armor value to apply (or some other effects not really related to armor).

But that's just a critical hit though. Okay, sure, but in AD&D 2e (the old school D&D rule set I'm most familiar with) a normal soldier (0 level) can damage a fellow in full plate only on a hit roll of 19 or better, that's just a 10% chance to get a hit, very similar to BRP rules with criticals ignoring armor. If we're using the weapon type vs armor modifiers, the soldier needs to roll a 19 to land a damaging hit with a bludgeoning weapon (like a mace), but needs to roll natural 20s to land a hit with piercing (military pick) or slashing (broad sword) weapons. Even a 4th level fighter, a very accomplished warrior, needs to roll a 16 to hit someone in full plate with a bludgeoning weapon, needs a 19 to inflict damage with a piercing weapon and still needs to roll a 20 to get any damage done against someone in full plate with a sword or axe.

So with both types of systems you get the ability to hit someone through plate with a dagger if you can find a chink in their armor with a good enough attack roll, often along the lines of 5-10% chance. Where's the real difference here?
Though, I suppose it depends on what you want to get out of the game and how detailed or abstracted you want combat to be.
I think Armor Class basically accomplishes the same thing as a more complex system does. Armor Class can easily handle partial armor for instance. In an AC system you can just have limited armor give less of a bonus to AC, as it is a lot easier to find a gap when you aren't wearing full armor. Take Lamentations of the Flame Princess for instance. An unarmed normal man has an Armor Class of 12. A munitions plate cuirass with a gorget (or "Pikeman's armor" as the game also calls it) gives you an AC of 14. Adding the tassets gives you an additional +1. Adding a morion helmet gives you an additional +1 armor (and a +1 to any saving throws against physical damage), adding a buff coat to that gets you another +1 for a total of AC 17. But you could also just wear the helmet for a 13 AC, or wear just the gorget for a 13, or both for a 14. In an armor as damage absorption system, this requires you to use rules for hit locations, which complicates the game a lot, or else decide that someone using a helmet makes the damage potential of any hit, even one aimed straight at the torso, lower.
 
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zanshin

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The difference is that Armor as Deflection tends to create more logical inconsistences than Armor as Absorption, because Armor as Deflection relies on an attack roll being made for armor to even be useful, while Armor as Absorption can make armor useful even when you can't move or against damage from blasts, which Armor as Deflection generally offers no protection against. And that's not even getting into the whole Dexterity/Dodge AC vs Actual Armor AC complication, where you need to keep track of different ACs for Dodge vs Actual Armor vs Touch AC. None of which are necessary to track if armor is just absorption.

In Armor as Absorption all AC is just Touch AC, and armor always offers some protection even if you can't avoid getting hit. It also makes heavily armored opponents near-impossible to seriously hurt without high-impact weapons, which is closer to reality, where you can't generally hurt a plate armored opponent with a dagger, unless you wrestle them to the ground and stick it their neck.

It can also make weapon vs armor rules more meaningful, because certain weapons (blunt, axes, armor piercing) can ignore some of that damage absorption, making them more useful against heavily armored opponents than others (knives and swords). Granted, this part can be also emulated as AC bonuses in Armor as Deflection, but I think it becomes more important when you have to rely on weapon vs armor bonuses to even damage heavily armored opponents.

Though, I suppose it depends on what you want to get out of the game and how detailed or abstracted you want combat to be.
Big segue.

The fact of someone wearing armour will affect how easy they are to hit, because depending on your weapon, you know that it will be pointless targetting certain areas. Equally, they may be freer to attack others because they know they can ignore some blows and techniques.

If all I have is my fists and I am facing someone with a crash helmet, I am not going to be punching the head - so a target of opportunity that I would use against someone not so armoured disappears. They are harder to hit and damage. Whether or not I can touch their head is inconsequential in a real combat.

Both are models for how we resolve our games, and both have validity.

Bottom line is , professionals wear armour if it's effective against the weapons they face, because it adds to their survivability significantly. If we want to model genres then we make special rules to accommodate Conan and Wuxia kung fu masters, and thats fine, because we are playing games.
 
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The difference is that Armor as Deflection tends to create more logical inconsistences than Armor as Absorption, because Armor as Deflection relies on an attack roll being made for armor to even be useful, while Armor as Absorption can make armor useful even when you can't move or against damage from blasts, which Armor as Deflection generally offers no protection against. And that's not even getting into the whole Dexterity/Dodge AC vs Actual Armor AC complication, where you need to keep track of different ACs for Dodge vs Actual Armor vs Touch AC. None of which are necessary to track if armor is just absorption.

In Armor as Absorption all AC is just Touch AC, and armor always offers some protection even if you can't avoid getting hit. It also makes heavily armored opponents near-impossible to seriously hurt without high-impact weapons, which is closer to reality, where you can't generally hurt a plate armored opponent with a dagger, unless you wrestle them to the ground and stick it their neck.

It can also make weapon vs armor rules more meaningful, because certain weapons (blunt, axes, armor piercing) can ignore some of that damage absorption, making them more useful against heavily armored opponents than others (knives and swords). Granted, this part can be also emulated as AC bonuses in Armor as Deflection, but I think it becomes more important when you have to rely on weapon vs armor bonuses to even damage heavily armored opponents.

Though, I suppose it depends on what you want to get out of the game and how detailed or abstracted you want combat to be.
This has generally been my conclusion after these decades of trying both of many flavors.

Both approaches can work, both can be overly complicated. In general though removing armor from the "to contact" equation I've found leads to easier emulation and verisimilitude or how armor works in genre and to a degree IRL if that matters. More importantly it leads to tactics and actions that provide a greater feel of verisimilitude and genre instead of what I'd call "wonky" behavior, tactics and outcomes that fail to jive with either genre or life, but maximize the power of the game rules.

A topic close to my rules heart but not sure this thread is the place to go on about it.
 

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I mean, you just pointed out that armor pretty much works that way. The leather jack isn't really armor in most D&D systems, it's just fancy clothes. The mail is worn with padding underneath. Armor needs to be bypassed (a bodkin arrow going through the mail links, a rondel dagger going into a gap in the plates) or destroyed (a bec-de-corbin hitting with enough force to go through a plate) or it will protect completely against the hit. There's no mental gymnastics involved, you're just determining whether you hit the person or their armor.

The system where armor absorbs a certain amount of damage from blows leads to only the most powerful blows being able to penetrate the armor instead, no bypassing. Unless you start adding in more rules, but you're then getting the same actual results as D&D, just with more steps.

When I started playing rpgs I did so with TFT and BRP, two systems where armor absorbs some of the damage. I thought the D&D Armor Class system was kind of dumb then. But every time I learned something about how armor actually worked, the D&D system of Armor Class started making more sense. Now I see it as modeling how a lot of armor actually works (you either do nothing, or you find a way around it) fairly well, and have lost some appreciation for the "armor absorbs a certain amount of damage from every hit" systems.
Look, you're OK with the AC system is fine. I'm explaining why I can't accept it.
 

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Nah, a bat to a plate can still knock you out. Blunt weapons are some of the best weapons against armor, because the concussive force can ignore the armor--which is true for all weapons, but blunt weapons generate the most concussive force. Swords SUCK against armor, though, but do the most damage against unarmored opponents. That's the reason different types of weapons were used throughout history, some of them are better against armor, others have better reach, etc.

But otherwise I tend to agree that Armor as Absorption is generally better emulation than Armor as Deflection, though, there's arguably a degree of both IRL, since some armor (particularly plates and heavy armor with neck guards and such) where specifically designed to help make weapons (specially bladed weapons) slide off ineffectively, which could be interpreted as "Armor as Deflection". But generally speaking I think that the default function of armor is to be "Armor as Absorption", while the "Armor as Deflection" bits are an additional component that grew out of innovation in armor creation over time. Weapons simply do not do the same amount of damage against armor, even if you manage to find an opening with your sword, because the amount of penetration that you're going achieve through a tiny gap in the armor is NEVER going to be the same as you would against an unarmored opponent you can slice all the way through.
I've worn plate and unless you aim for the head (And that IS what you should be doing, however, most random strikes won't) getting hit in the torso with a blunt weapon doesn't do as much as you'd think. But a smash in the helmet, doesn't need to actually touch you, just has to transfer the energy. But in the context of D&D, it's almost always a torso shot unless a critical hit. If you want to describe it as that.
 

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Look, you're OK with the AC system is fine. I'm explaining why I can't accept it.
Yes and I'm explaining why I can accept it.
I've worn plate and unless you aim for the head (And that IS what you should be doing, however, most random strikes won't) getting hit in the torso with a blunt weapon doesn't do as much as you'd think. But a smash in the helmet, doesn't need to actually touch you, just has to transfer the energy. But in the context of D&D, it's almost always a torso shot unless a critical hit. If you want to describe it as that.
Why would it almost always be a torso hit in the context of D&D? D&D doesn't use hit locations.
 

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Yes and I'm explaining why I can accept it.
And I respect that.
Why would it almost always be a torso hit in the context of D&D? D&D doesn't use hit locations.
Because most armour, if I remember my 5e books, don't have helmets or limb protection. A Chain Shirt for example, all it does it protect the chest. The Breastplate comes with greaves, I believe. Hide armour doesn't have arm protection, I believe. Banded and Splint mail doesn't have a helmet.

And I believe back in 2e, one of the source books made that claim. I know I got that impression around that time. I could be wrong there, though.
 

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And I respect that.

Because most armour, if I remember my 5e books, don't have helmets or limb protection. A Chain Shirt for example, all it does it protect the chest. The Breastplate comes with greaves, I believe. Hide armour doesn't have arm protection, I believe. Banded and Splint mail doesn't have a helmet.

And I believe back in 2e, one of the source books made that claim. I know I got that impression around that time. I could be wrong there, though.
Most/all armor will have helmets (the head is always the first location you put armor on) even if not explicitly mentioned. The lack of limb protection for some would be why a chain shirt or breastplate has a lower AC than chain mail or full plate (or half plate, which is the one which mentions greaves but in reality half plate omitted lower leg armor entirely, and often lower arm protection too), it covers less of the body with metal. This is more easily seen when working with armor parts like the LotFP system does, where a cuirass gives +2 AC, a helmet gives another +1, the tassets give yet another +1 etc. In 5e you can also easily see that either coverage or quality can increase an armor's protectiveness. Thus, a breastplate, which consits of a cuirass and helmet, gives equal protection to a suit of scale armor that covers the whole body, including the legs, arms and hands with metal plates over fabric (so this could be a brigandine, where the plates are on the inside, or a coat of plates where they're on the outside). This because while the scale armor covers more, the quality of protection it gives is less than that offered by a solid piece of steel.

In the 2e Arms and Equipment Guide, more details are given on head protection than in the main rules (which lists two types of helms in the armor section but nothing further. They are pretty much assumed, the book states they "are part of a warrior's basic protection. Failure to use proper headgear leaves a character open to called shots by opponents or to other disadvantages at the DM's option." Then it goes into more details on the optional rules for hearing and vision checks from the complete Fighter's Handbook and outlines what penalties the various helms/coifs give to those. The complete Fighter's handbook also states on helms that not wearing one opens you up to called shots to the head but otherwise doesn't change your AC and negatively impacts hearing and vision checks, so basically the same information. So helms are generally assumed, but you can take yours off if you need to listen/see something. Wearing closed helms like a bascinet or great helm together with a suit of plate armor also gives you advantages on saving throws vs dragon breath and effects that target the eyes, like hypnotism. All the special helm rules are noted as optional, so the default is really that your character has an appropriate helmet for their armor.
 

AsenRG

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You either take FULL damage (Yes, even 1 point of damage is FULL damage), or nothing. Armour doesn't actually work that way. Let me use my old faithful.

Strap me down to a chair, hit me in the torso with a bat. Odds are, you broke something in me. Put a leather jack of some sort, repeat. The leather will have absorbed a certain amount, but let the rest through. Put a chain harness, repeat. I MIGHT have a bruise, but I didn't avoid the blow. Can't really. Put me in plate, repeat one last time, odds are, at best, you dented the cuirass or broke the bat.

But at no time did I move out of the way to AVOID getting hit. AC is a binary hit/miss mechanic that players have to mentally gymnast around to accept that it absorbs damage.
Yes, that's how it basically works. So Armour as Absorption with the ability to take a penalty to hit an unarmoured location is where it's at.

The thing is, you should also add attack success level to the damage (or have levels - glancing hit, full damage, bonus damage, as in Talislanta). And with low enough success level even a leather jack should be able to stop smaller weapons' damage.

Because when you're NOT strapped to a chair, your defense only needs to be good enough to weaken the hit and turn it into a glancing hit, which your armour would then negate. Sure, you want to avoid it altogether...but you can live with some glancing hits.


The system where armor absorbs a certain amount of damage from blows leads to only the most powerful blows being able to penetrate the armor instead, no bypassing. Unless you start adding in more rules, but you're then getting the same actual results as D&D, just with more steps.
And that's true to life. You see someone with a sword he doesn't know how to hold, you laugh from inside your plate armour and step in to kill him.
You see the same guy with a halberd or pollaxe, you try and negotiate anyway, if possible. Because even a lucky hit can ruin your armour and your health.

Also, "you can take a penalty to the attack roll to avoid armour" is such a miniscule addition that it wouldn't be felt at all in most combat systems.
And, as pointed out, armour as absorption resolves the matter of attacks when you're not able to move (but the opponent doesn't have a good opportunity to find a weak spot - or to create it, say by lifting your visor and stabbing you in the face with a rondel dagger:thumbsup:).

Nah, a bat to a plate can still knock you out.

Over, yes, it can. Out, unlikely. Unless some very specific places are struck.

Why? Well, many plate armours (and most helmets) simply do the same thing a fencing mask does today: they're not touching your body directly! Yes, they're resting on your shoulders, but other than that, there's the best kind of insulation from concussive damage: empty space. Oh, and the helmet is put in such a way it limits how much a hit can shake your head.
Heavier armours are severely underestimated in most games.
 

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Yes, that's how it basically works. So Armour as Absorption with the ability to take a penalty to hit an unarmoured location is where it's at.

The thing is, you should also add attack success level to the damage (or have levels - glancing hit, full damage, bonus damage, as in Talislanta). And with low enough success level even a leather jack should be able to stop smaller weapons' damage.

Because when you're NOT strapped to a chair, your defense only needs to be good enough to weaken the hit and turn it into a glancing hit, which your armour would then negate. Sure, you want to avoid it altogether...but you can live with some glancing hits.

Armor Class does all this already, without adding in more rules.

And that's true to life. You see someone with a sword he doesn't know how to hold, you laugh from inside your plate armour and step in to kill him.
You see the same guy with a halberd or pollaxe, you try and negotiate anyway, if possible. Because even a lucky hit can ruin your armour and your health.

No, because now you're talking about different weapons, not how powerful the blows are. And many AC games deal with this. AD&D 1e and 2e both have the modifiers for different attack types against different armor types, LotFP gives polearms a +1 against AC 16 or better, rapiers and minor weapons like knives a -2 to attacks against AC 15 or better, and lets crossbows and firearms totally ignore 2 (light crossbows), 4 (heavy crossbows) or 5 (firearms firing ball at close range) points of armor. Meanwhile many games that have armor simply reduce damage from inflicted hits do nothing to differentiate an attack from a bec-de-corbin or warhammer from that of a longsword or dane axe, other than how much damage they do, but that means that the one with better damage will be better in all situations, not just against armor. So the situation you outline above would actually be a thing in say Lamentations of the Flame Princess or AD&D 2e (where polearms are generally amazing as they usually have two modes of damage dealing due to the complex heads) where the halberds and poll-axes would get better results against armor, but less so in many BRP games where a halberd and a greatsword are functionally pretty much the same. It has nothing to do with either armor modeling system in itself.

Also, "you can take a penalty to the attack roll to avoid armour" is such a miniscule addition that it wouldn't be felt at all in most combat systems.

It's a pretty big addition, especially since you need to figure out "okay, how covering is this armor" for every piece of armor, and at that point you've basically created a hit location system. With Armor Class, you can have a breastplate and helmet give the same AC as a full suit of lesser armor, the fact that it is a better defense is countered by the lesser armor being more difficult to find gaps in.

And, as pointed out, armour as absorption resolves the matter of attacks when you're not able to move (but the opponent doesn't have a good opportunity to find a weak spot - or to create it, say by lifting your visor and stabbing you in the face with a rondel dagger:thumbsup:).

I'm not sure what problem it's meant to resolve? If I can't just go up and get inside a weakspot then the enemy isn't helpless. I'd still roll to hit in both cases, although probably with a bonus to hit. In an AC system, this will increase the chance that the attack connects, ie that a gap in the armor is found. In a system with Damage Reduction, like a BRP or GURPS game, this will increase the chance of a critical hit, which will bypass armor in most BRP games and can do so in GURPS, and will also let the attacker do a called shot against any gaps (which due to the bonus for attacking someone who cannot move will be easier) in GURPS. If the enemy can't stop me in any way, then they're helpless and yeah, you can get through the gaps then. If you're say trying to kill a downed horseman but his buddies are coming up then yeah, we're back to the first situation of attacking with a bonus which has similar effects no matter if you use an AC or DR system.

Over, yes, it can. Out, unlikely. Unless some very specific places are struck.

Why? Well, many plate armours (and most helmets) simply do the same thing a fencing mask does today: they're not touching your body directly! Yes, they're resting on your shoulders, but other than that, there's the best kind of insulation from concussive damage: empty space. Oh, and the helmet is put in such a way it limits how much a hit can shake your head.
Heavier armours are severely underestimated in most games.

edit: Accidentally left a part unfinished, edited it and cleaned it up.
 
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Armor Class does all this already, without adding in more rules.
Not the part about protecting you from attacks that don't need to roll to hit, it doesn't:thumbsup:.

No, because now you're talking about different weapons, not how powerful the blows are.
Different weapons deliver blows with different power. Why is that somehow a problem? Both an arming sword and a halberd can chop. The halberd has two hands and lots of leverage to make the chop stronger...and it does just that.
It's actually already represented - even in D&D. The bigger damage dice of the halberds are a good hint in that direction, IMO...though not nearly enough.


And many AC games deal with this. AD&D 1e and 2e both have the modifiers for different attack types against different armor types, LotFP gives polearsm a +1 against AC 16 or better, rapiers and minor weapons like knives a -2 to attacks against AC 15 or better, and lets crossbows and firearms totally ignore 2 (light crossbows), 4 (heavy crossbows) or 5 (firearms firing ball at close range) points of armor.
Yes, they do. And that way is way more cumbersome than the interaction of two rules that I suggested.

Meanwhile many games that have armor simply absorb damage from inflicted hits do nothing to differentiate an attack from a bec-de-corbin or warhammer from that of a longsword or dane axe, other than how much damage they do, but that means that the one with better damage will be better in all situations, not just against armor.
Which is basically the case anyway. I've only trained with swords and spears. If I take a halberd, I use it as a combination of both, meaning my technique actually takes a hit...and yet I'm more efficient against another sword-user that was just seconds ago making me run all over the field.
Pretty much the same result with a spear, where I have only a fraction of the training I have with a sword, BTW.

So the situation you outline above would actually be a thing in say Lamentations of the Flame Princess or AD&D 2e (where polearms are generally amazing as they usually have two modes of damage dealing due to the complex heads) where the halberds and poll-axes would get better results against armor,
According to your rules summary, that's untrue. Knives don't take a penalty against plate, they are a weapon of choice...because it's easier to bypass it with them. You just have to initiate a grapple first, of course, but that's often doable.

but less so in many BRP games where a halberd and a greatsword are functionally pretty much the same. It has nothing to do with either armor modeling system in itself.
They are pretty close indeed. And a greatsword should also have a bonus against armour in your system as well (as well as different modes of attack). If it doesn't (I don't remember), that's another strike against LotFP.

It's a pretty big addition, especially since you need to figure out "okay, how covering is this armor" for every piece of armor,
No, you don't. Usually it's a fixed penalty in direct proportion to the amount of DR you're ignoring (depending on the RNG).
Yes, avoiding a plate is much harder than hitting an uncovered place of a chainmail IRL as well. Many of the weak places of the chain are protected in plate, like joints. So it does make sense.

Another approach is GURPS: you simply have penalties for hitting smaller places...which are also less often protected. And it also works.

and at that point you've basically created a hit location system.
Actually, in my games, you can assume we're starting with having one...:grin:

With Armor Class, you can have a breastplate and helmet give the same AC as a full suit of lesser armor, the fact that it is a better defense is countered by the lesser armor being more difficult to find gaps in.
That's another issue that is specific to Armour Class systems. Not existing in my preferred approach.

I'm not sure what problem it's meant to resolve?
Area damage:thumbsup:!
Also, I wouldn't ask you to roll attack to hit a bound opponent. That's just BS. Use an action, deliver damage. If there's nobody else to stop you, like after a Sleep spell, use a round, roll to see if he dies on the spot or later...or just weave it and declare them dead:devil:!
 

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Not the part about protecting you from attacks that don't need to roll to hit, it doesn't:thumbsup:.
Sure it does, we've already covered this. Armor can just give a bonus to the saving throw you make against area damage. And some area damage armor won't do a lick against.

Different weapons deliver blows with different power. Why is that somehow a problem? Both an arming sword and a halberd can chop. The halberd has two hands and lots of leverage to make the chop stronger...and it does just that.
It's actually already represented - even in D&D. The bigger damage dice of the halberds are a good hint in that direction, IMO...though not nearly enough.

You're missing the point. Instead of a halberd and an arming sword compare a war hammer, a shortish one, and an arming sword. Two one-handed weapons. The sword is almost certainly a better weapon than the hammer against an unarmored opponent. But against an enemy in heavy armor you would rather have the war hammer. How do you model this in a game where armor functions as Damage Reduction? You need to add in extra rules, same as in an AC system.

Yes, they do. And that way is way more cumbersome than the interaction of two rules that I suggested.

Not in practice. Success levels and such have to be calculated with every roll, with the weapons all you have to do is remember what you're armed with. You don't need to remember the rules for crossbows if you aren't using a crossbow.

Which is basically the case anyway. I've only trained with swords and spears. If I take a halberd, I use it as a combination of both, meaning my technique actually takes a hit...and yet I'm more efficient against another sword-user that was just seconds ago making me run all over the field.
Pretty much the same result with a spear, where I have only a fraction of the training I have with a sword, BTW.

This has nothing to do with Armor as DR or Armor reducing your chance to score a hit.

According to your rules summary, that's untrue. Knives don't take a penalty against plate, they are a weapon of choice...because it's easier to bypass it with them. You just have to initiate a grapple first, of course, but that's often doable.

No, it isn't untrue, it just applies to the actual situation you laid out, which was pollaxe vs sword. You can say that you find the rules for using knives in a grapple wrong, but that doesn't change the fact that LotFP explicitly creates the situation you laid out in your post above (an opponent with a sword is less dangerous to you than the same opponent with a pollaxe).

They are pretty close indeed. And a greatsword should also have a bonus against armour in your system as well (as well as different modes of attack). If it doesn't (I don't remember), that's another strike against LotFP.

Should the greatsword have the same bonus against armor as a pollaxe? Should they do the same damage against unarmored opponents? Should one have an advantage against one and the other an advantage against the other?

No, you don't. Usually it's a fixed penalty in direct proportion to the amount of DR you're ignoring (depending on the RNG).
Yes, avoiding a plate is much harder than hitting an uncovered place of a chainmail IRL as well. Many of the weak places of the chain are protected in plate, like joints. So it does make sense.

I've never seen that system ever actually. GURPS doesn't do it that way, BRP games don't work that way, etc. And again, this assumes the same coverage. I'd say it's easier to hit the gaps in the armor of a guy wearing only a morion helmet and a breastplate than it is hitting a gap in full mail armor (including a coif, leggings, mitts, a great helm etc).

Another approach is GURPS: you simply have penalties for hitting smaller places...which are also less often protected. And it also works.

Yes, I mentioned those.

Actually, in my games, you can assume we're starting with having one...:grin:

Right, which to me means the same end result for more rules effort.

That's another issue that is specific to Armour Class systems. Not existing in my preferred approach.

That isn't an issue, that's an easier way to handle the same thing that a DR system does. There are many DR systems which don't use hit locations at all.

Area damage:thumbsup:!

Which again is not dependent on the AC system. You can give area damage a to hit roll too, same as any other attack.

Also, I wouldn't ask you to roll attack to hit a bound opponent. That's just BS. Use an action, deliver damage. If there's nobody else to stop you, like after a Sleep spell, use a round, roll to see if he dies on the spot or later...or just weave it and declare them dead:devil:!
Yes, that's my point, there is no such situation as you outlined, so I don't get what problem with Armor Class you think you are addressing there.
 
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AsenRG

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Sure it does, we've already covered this. Armor can just give a bonus to the saving throw you make against area damage. And some area damage armor won't do a lick against.
Sure. And those are noted as "ignore armour DR".
You're missing the point. Instead of a halberd and an arming sword compare a war hammer, a shortish one, and an arming sword. Two one-handed weapons.
So?

The sword is almost certainly a better weapon than the hammer against an unarmored opponent.
Citation needed... better for who? For someone used to felling trees or smithing? I'd rather give him the hammer. For a fencer, yes.

But against an enemy in heavy armor you would rather have the war hammer.
Yes.

How do you model this in a game where armor functions as Damage Reduction? You need to add in extra rules, same as in an AC system.
No. You add "AP2 against armour" to the weapon description and you're done with it. Seen it in way too many games to count, including on ammo.
Not in practice. Success levels and such have to be calculated with every roll, with the weapons all you have to do is remember what you're armed with. You don't need to remember the rules for crossbows if you aren't using a crossbow.
Sure, but you need to remember them to determine whether you want to switch to crossbow. So no, in practice, it's not reasonably lighter.

This has nothing to do with Armor as DR or Armor reducing your chance to score a hit.
Of course it doesn't. It was related to your assertion that "(m)eanwhile many games that have armor simply absorb damage from inflicted hits do nothing to differentiate an attack from a bec-de-corbin or warhammer from that of a longsword or dane axe, other than how much damage they do, but that means that the one with better damage will be better in all situations, not just against armor."
And this was my rebuttal: yes, some weapons are superior. Except possibly in tight quarters.
No, it isn't untrue, it just applies to the actual situation you laid out, which was pollaxe vs sword.
Well, of course it relates to what I'm talking about. Much to my chagrin, I don't have predictive powers, so can't address what you're going to say next.

You can say that you find the rules for using knives in a grapple wrong, but that doesn't change the fact that LotFP explicitly creates the situation you laid out in your post above (an opponent with a sword is less dangerous to you than the same opponent with a pollaxe).
And the same is true in BRP or any system like it, say Maelstrom...which is actually a better example. The opponent with a pollaxe is more dangerous. Sometimes much more dangerous, which is closer.

Maelstrom also has weapons that add (or subtract) to your attack and defense scores. Which is...exactly what we're talking about here:grin:!
Oh, and it's a DR system.

Should the greatsword have the same bonus against armor as a pollaxe? Should they do the same damage against unarmored opponents? Should one have and advantage against one and the other an advantage against the other?
Not the same, but close - it's a matter of system granularity; probably yes, since the damage we're talking about is "overkilled"'; that's an interesting question that I haven't been able to explore, but my gut feeling is "no".
I've never seen that system ever actually.
Synergy v2, Honor+Intrigue, Savage Worlds, and I think some setting rules for Cepheus Engine. Oh, and TRoS and its derivatives, of course. And funniest of all, Feng Shui 2, if you get the GM to allow it as a "stunt" (for -2).
That's off the top of my head...I might find others if I search my Drivethru library!

GURPS doesn't do it that way, BRP games don't work that way, etc. And again, this assumes the same coverage. I'd say it's easier to hit the gaps in the armor of a guy wearing only a morion helmet and a breastplate than it is hitting a gap in full mail armor (including a coif, leggings, mitts, a great helm etc).
Again, this isn't a problem unless you give the same AC to both.

And with your example, you very much need a hit location system, because the mail and the great helm DO NOT provide the same DR in any gameworld I can think of:grin:!

Yes, I got it, you dislike hit locations. But then you're already willing to take a tradeoff on realism in the name of expediency (different locations aren't the same thing). So you can as well go for AC-as-TN2Hit as well!

And that's fine. I just consider the opposite option to add a negligible weight of rules. If your estimate is different...well, run a different system:tongue:!

Yes, I mentioned those.
I know, I added it for completeness.
Right, which to me means the same end result for more rules effort.
See above.
To me, it's not the same result, so I consider the effort well-warranted.
That isn't an issue, that's an easier way to handle the same thing that a DR system does. There are many DR systems which don't use hit locations at all.
Your argument was that "(w)ith Armor Class, you can have a breastplate and helmet give the same AC as a full suit of lesser armor, the fact that it is a better defense is countered by the lesser armor being more difficult to find gaps in"...thus making it harder to determine protection based on the DC.

My answer was "that's only a problem in AC-as-Defense" systems. Because I can't really think of a DR system where those would have the same DR.

And, as you pointed out, the matter would be resolved easily in GURPS/BRP: by adding a bigger penalty to hit the smaller gaps (and in GURPS, if the penalty makes you miss the attack by 1 exactly, you hit the neighbouring protected part and roll vs the armour normally).

So yes, that's an issue specific to Armour-as-defense systems.


Also those systems are already making a tradeoff on realism. And said trade-offs are fine...I just don't like being told that actually using blades would work the same way:gunslinger:.

Which again is not dependent on the AC system. You can give area damage a to hit roll too, same as any other attack.
And what happens if the grenade misses it?
Also, it is adding an unnecessary to-hit roll, so that's not helping your case that AC is easier to use...:devil:
And of course, you can then expect people arguing that in your system, armour makes you better able to dodge area damage...:evil:

Yes, that's my point, there is no such situation as you outlined, so I don't get what problem with Armor Class you think you are addressing there.
Again, there is.
Apart from grenades/fireballs, there is also the ability to finish off a temporarily disabled opponent who might get up again if not finished, while his friends are still fighting you.

In Armour-as-defense, it doesn't make sense for the armour to give the same defense (because it assumes you can move and thus are making your weak spots harder to hit, even if you don't have "Dexterity bonus"...any movement helps a lot).
So now you still have to estimate a different bonus for different armours...or guess what kind of strikes can just punch through the armour. Using AC didn't save you that effort.

In DR systems, the DR is the same, the penalty to avoid the armour is the same, you just add successes from the attack roll to estimate how much your ability to hit it with a full swing helped (much harder to do when someone is fighting back).
Much simpler in comparison.
 

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Sure. And those are noted as "ignore armour DR".
Right, so again, nothing to do with AC vs DR.
So a weapon can be better in some situations (say against someone wielding armor) and worse in others.
Citation needed... better for who? For someone used to felling trees or smithing? I'd rather give him the hammer. For a fencer, yes.

I'd probably give them the sword anyway. You can use it in a similar way anyway if all you are going to do is chop.

Yes.


No. You add "AP2 against armour" to the weapon description and you're done with it. Seen it in way too many games to count, including on ammo.
So you're saying "no, you don't need to add an extra rule in to differentiate between weapons' armor piercing abilities, all you have to do is add in an extra rule." Que? You're saying the exact same thing I'm saying. "AP2 against armor" is an extra rule. It may not be complicated (or it may be, depends on the system) but it certainly is an extra rule, that isn't there if we're only differentiating based on damage.
Sure, but you need to remember them to determine whether you want to switch to crossbow. So no, in practice, it's not reasonably lighter.
Sure, but that's the same for everything, including your AP 2 rule above which is no simpler than "ignores 2 points of armor", it could in fact even be written exactly the same way in both an AC or a DR system.

Of course it doesn't. It was related to your assertion that "(m)eanwhile many games that have armor simply absorb damage from inflicted hits do nothing to differentiate an attack from a bec-de-corbin or warhammer from that of a longsword or dane axe, other than how much damage they do, but that means that the one with better damage will be better in all situations, not just against armor."
And this was my rebuttal: yes, some weapons are superior. Except possibly in tight quarters.
Except you've rebutted yourself above when you said some weapons should have AP 2. Some weapons could still be superior in all circumstances, they'd just have both a higher damage and better Armor penetration. But not having any armor penetration rules means all you have to determine armor penetration on is how much damage it does to an unarmored person. So in this system (not whatever your favorite system is, we're not discussing specific systems, we are discussing the basic concept of AC vs DR) you can have a weapon A that is generally superior to weapon B in all respects, you can have a weapon X and a weapon Y that are identical, but there is no way to have a weapon Q which does less damage than weapon Z but is better at penetrating armor than it. The only way to do that is to add in an extra rule, like "Armor Penetration 2" as you mention above. This holds true for both AC systems (D&D 5e) and DR systems (BRP Big Gold Book).

Well, of course it relates to what I'm talking about. Much to my chagrin, I don't have predictive powers, so can't address what you're going to say next.

Yes, but I don't have predictive powers either, I can also only work off what yoou give me. You gave me an example, I presented a system which uses AC which has rules that would lead to exactly what your example says. You can't then say I'm wrong because the ruleset doesn't handle some other situation in a particular way.

And the same is true in BRP or any system like it, say Maelstrom...which is actually a better example. The opponent with a pollaxe is more dangerous. Sometimes much more dangerous, which is closer.

This depends entirely on the iteration of the BRP rules. In many BRP versions, a spear is a worse weapon than a sword, simply because they don't have the extra rules required to make it better than a sword.

Maelstrom also has weapons that add (or subtract) to your attack and defense scores. Which is...exactly what we're talking about here:grin:!
Oh, and it's a DR system.

So? Again, that is a specific system. Yes, you could do that in a DR system, and you could do it in an AC system.

Not the same, but close - it's a matter of system granularity; probably yes, since the damage we're talking about is "overkilled"'; that's an interesting question that I haven't been able to explore, but my gut feeling is "no".

Synergy v2, Honor+Intrigue, Savage Worlds, and I think some setting rules for Cepheus Engine. Oh, and TRoS and its derivatives, of course. And funniest of all, Feng Shui 2, if you get the GM to allow it as a "stunt" (for -2).
That's off the top of my head...I might find others if I search my Drivethru library!
I have no idea what Synergy is and I haven't played Honor+Intrigue, but when it comes to Savage Worlds, the rule set I have states that attacking a small target like an eyeslit in a helmet is a flat -6, not related to the armor value at all. So where did this rule come from for Savage Worlds?

Again, this isn't a problem unless you give the same AC to both.
This isn't a problem I'm presenting, it's a solution.

And with your example, you very much need a hit location system, because the mail and the great helm DO NOT provide the same DR in any gameworld I can think of:grin:!
No you don't that's the point. You say "all right, so AC 16 can be either full knightly chainmail, or it can be a cuirass with a gorget, tassets and a morion helmet a la 16th century pikemen". And you get very similar effects, for a lot less effort. The goal, for me at least, is to try to have the rules give results that match either reality, or at least popular misrepresentations of reality from fiction (like being able to easily knock someone out with a blackjack to the skull even though you're more likely to either just have them say "ow" and be fine, or have a cracked skull and fall into a coma). Once you start adding in detail, you need to keep adding more detail or the system will start producing unrealistic results because you made it lopsidedly simulationist. Eventually you'll end up with a physics textbook as your basic rules.

Yes, I got it, you dislike hit locations. But then you're already willing to take a tradeoff on realism in the name of expediency (different locations aren't the same thing). So you can as well go for AC-as-TN2Hit as well!

See above about tradeoffs in realism. You need to keep the entire system on the same abstraction level. If you don't, your realistic rules will start producing unrealistic results rapidly.
And that's fine. I just consider the opposite option to add a negligible weight of rules. If your estimate is different...well, run a different system:tongue:!

I mean, same to you?
I know, I added it for completeness.

See above.
To me, it's not the same result, so I consider the effort well-warranted.

Your argument was that "(w)ith Armor Class, you can have a breastplate and helmet give the same AC as a full suit of lesser armor, the fact that it is a better defense is countered by the lesser armor being more difficult to find gaps in"...thus making it harder to determine protection based on the DC.

My answer was "that's only a problem in AC-as-Defense" systems. Because I can't really think of a DR system where those would have the same DR.
And your answer is a non-sequitur, because I did not present a problem, I presented a simpler way of doing the same thing. So you saying "that's only a problem" makes no sense to me, because I have no idea what you consider the problem to be, as I didn't portray a problem, only a solution.
And, as you pointed out, the matter would be resolved easily in GURPS/BRP: by adding a bigger penalty to hit the smaller gaps (and in GURPS, if the penalty makes you miss the attack by 1 exactly, you hit the neighbouring protected part and roll vs the armour normally).
Right, and now you've added more complexity to the game. Not a lot, but more. And all for no change in outcome.

So yes, that's an issue specific to Armour-as-defense systems.

I still don't know which "issue" you are talking about here.

Also those systems are already making a tradeoff on realism. And said trade-offs are fine...I just don't like being told that actually using blades would work the same way:gunslinger:.

Right, but that again has nothing to do with AC vs DR, as I have shown and you have agreed with.

And what happens if the grenade misses it?
Then the person takes no damage. But anyone else in the area of effect wearing worse armor may be injured.
Also, it is adding an unnecessary to-hit roll, so that's not helping your case that AC is easier to use...:devil:
How is it adding an unnecessary to hit roll? Which system doesn't use some kind of rule to determine where say a grenade, missile or the like lands?
And of course, you can then expect people arguing that in your system, armour makes you better able to dodge area damage...:evil:
I mean, then they're idiots, that isn't really my problem.
Again, there is.
Apart from grenades/fireballs, there is also the ability to finish off a temporarily disabled opponent who might get up again if not finished, while his friends are still fighting you.
Which I already mentioned earlier, you just give an attack bonus.
In Armour-as-defense, it doesn't make sense for the armour to give the same defense (because it assumes you can move and thus are making your weak spots harder to hit, even if you don't have "Dexterity bonus"...any movement helps a lot).
So now you still have to estimate a different bonus for different armours...or guess what kind of strikes can just punch through the armour. Using AC didn't save you that effort.
Sure it makes sense to use the same Armor value. You just give the attacker a bonus to hit. You would have to discount the shield bonus if they're using a shield though, sure. Same thing you'd do in GURPS, BRP systems, any number of systems really.
In DR systems, the DR is the same, the penalty to avoid the armour is the same, you just add successes from the attack roll to estimate how much your ability to hit it with a full swing helped (much harder to do when someone is fighting back).
Much simpler in comparison.
No, that is for specific DR systems which use degrees of success, and in that way. BRP gold book doubles your attack skill when attacking a downed enemy, and halves their defense skills. In GURPS you can make an all-out-attack with no risk of counterattack. But those are all different DR systems, with different rules.
 

AsenRG

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A AsenRG I think if you want to talk more about armor you should start a different thread for that discussion though.
Yes, indeed. Can a moderator move the posts to a new thread, please... Bunch Bunch I think I saw you online:thumbsup:?

Also, man, I just want to make it clear: what we disagree with you here is how much rules are warranted!

You're saying: to hit vs AC and damage is optimal for you, because to you the extra detail adds nothing...barring a few cases that you consider to be edge cases.

It's very much not optimal for me, and doesn't deliver what I'd consider similar results. Though I can live with it in Classic Traveller and similar systems, like Spellcraft&Swordplay (amusingly, both use Weapon-vs-Armour tables).

Same thing on all the accounts, really, it's all about speed vs exact representation...sorry, man, but armour shouldn't protect you at all against a Goliath/Ogre using a genuine 20-kgs stone hammer! It's going to smash right through plate, that's the kind of things small catapults launch:grin:. At this point the ogre is delivering "save-or-die touch attacks": if he touches you, you die.

But you can make him miss, and miss, and miss...no, you can't block that thing, either, but you can make him miss (a parry would be extremely difficult, and still only work to help your dodge - more like a skilled bind combined with dodging than a parry, really).

And if you kill him while he's missing, you win. If not? Well, you're crippled and/or dead. It's really simple!
And this is how it would go in The Riddle of Steel and similar games, up to and including "armour doesn't do anything against those attacks" and "you can't block". But they are slower as well...
More realistic? Undoubtedly. Slower? That, too...:shade:

So no system really gets you both. We're basically arguing what to prioritize.

And now we can keep arguing it in a new thread:tongue:!
 

Bunch

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Yes, indeed. Can a moderator move the posts to a new thread, please... Bunch Bunch I think I saw you online:thumbsup:?

Also, man, I just want to make it clear: what we disagree with you here is how much rules are warranted!

You're saying: to hit vs AC and damage is optimal for you, because to you the extra detail adds nothing...barring a few cases that you consider to be edge cases.

It's very much not optimal for me, and doesn't deliver what I'd consider similar results. Though I can live with it in Classic Traveller and similar systems, like Spellcraft&Swordplay (amusingly, both use Weapon-vs-Armour tables).

Same thing on all the accounts, really, it's all about speed vs exact representation...sorry, man, but armour shouldn't protect you at all against a Goliath/Ogre using a genuine 20-kgs stone hammer! It's going to smash right through plate, that's the kind of things small catapults launch:grin:. At this point the ogre is delivering "save-or-die touch attacks": if he touches you, you die.

But you can make him miss, and miss, and miss...no, you can't block that thing, either, but you can make him miss (a parry would be extremely difficult, and still only work to help your dodge - more like a skilled bind combined with dodging than a parry, really).

And if you kill him while he's missing, you win. If not? Well, you're crippled and/or dead. It's really simple!
And this is how it would go in The Riddle of Steel and similar games, up to and including "armour doesn't do anything against those attacks" and "you can't block". But they are slower as well...
More realistic? Undoubtedly. Slower? That, too...:shade:

So no system really gets you both. We're basically arguing what to prioritize.

And now we can keep arguing it in a new thread:tongue:!
Hard to believe but I'm actually not a mod!! Crazy right!?!?
TristramEvans TristramEvans Baulderstone Baulderstone Endless Flight Endless Flight Black Leaf Black Leaf

Can one of you help with this issue?
 

Séadna

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I’m out selling houses, and its a bit of a chore to do that on my phone, but I’ll check back when I get home later.
Sorry but couldn't you pause your meetings? A quick "Excuse me, something has come up on this website where I talk about being a pretend gnome" and the buyers will understand.
 

xanther

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Yes, that's how it basically works. So Armour as Absorption with the ability to take a penalty to hit an unarmoured location is where it's at.

The thing is, you should also add attack success level to the damage (or have levels - glancing hit, full damage, bonus damage, as in Talislanta). And with low enough success level even a leather jack should be able to stop smaller weapons' damage.
This is my favored approach (see the Armor thread under Design sub-forum), absorption, but also conversion to a "lesser" form of damage. This provides verisimilitude in that both armor negates some damage and the idea that plate armor keeps you from getting cut but a good blow can still ring you bell, i.e. it converts lethal damage to stun.

So far AC (will use that to mean armor treated as in D&D and the like) can do this and it just ignores things like stun damage. Fair enough. The above approach however does not require a separate determination for touch armor class, that is the chance to just contact as armor does not change the chance to contact just damage.

To combine contact & damage (as AC does) is a simplification that works in medieval miniatures par excellance, not so much when one adds in magic and where mere touch is enough (no penetration require) in that case the benefits (to me) are overridden by the added complication of a second "touch" AC. Again not a major issue or much work to note a second AC, but is is an inherent one with this approach.

To be honest, my approach uses a second type of HP, so fair is fair. However, I can get a lot of mileage out of that extra number "Stun HP" to better provide for attacks that s knock you out, without having to start doing at 1/2 HP this, at 3/4 HP that. So it serves both a purposes for armor as a well as for types of damage.

The D&D AC approach also places the defensive abilities of a fighter to block a blow into something else, HP it seems, unless it is Dexterity then that is AC, or at least sometimes; just a further complication on when you do or do not get a bonus arising from the assumptions made for AC.

So with HP you are combining defensive ability and physical ability to withstand damage, unless you hold that there is no increase in defensive ability with level. Again this simplification works well when all the underlying assumptions hold, like for medieval miniatures. For example, assumptions such as everyone is the same species and can take about the same amounts of damage, and assumes all bad contact effects cause HP damage so having higher HP represents being able to "avoid" such.

But when the participants become much general and range from house cat to dragon, the simplification can break down. For example, when a mere touch can cause harm (of a non-HP variety) HP provide no defense and they negate some of the presumed ability to avoid contact a higher level fighter would have.


Another benefit as armor as absorption is the concept of weapon vs AC can be incorporated with out a table or matrix of weapon type v armor type. Rather weapons can be rated for a "penetration." For me this "penetration" approach provides greater verisimilitude to how armor works. In my above approach, if weapon penetration exceeds an armor rating the armor can no longer down convert damage to a "lesser" form.

Hence the crossbow, perhaps no more damage than an arrow (or even less) against an unarmored opponent, but it can get through plate; or any heavy stabbing weapon meant to penetrate armor.

Similarly, from readings on history and how the padded type armor of the Persians was like "butter" against the swords of the Greeks; "penetration" can do that. Easier to assign a "penetration" number to a weapons instead of weapon vs. AC; as well "penetration" is an easy thing to increase to reflect advanced or magical metals, etc.



I build in the ability to bypass/aim etc. into the count success system. Each success does a base amount of damage based on strength, so if you are strong you can drive the dagger further through the chainmail...or if "skilled" you have extra success that in turn provide extra damage which abstractly represents your ability to hit the weak spots in the best way, or a "critical hit." OR one can apply success to aim to hit the small less armored spot, smaller the spot more successes needed.

In any case there is no separate system for aiming or doing more damage, success can be used to do either. And the "degree of success" is literally staring you in the face (e.g. the number of die that read 6) and they are tactile, can serve as "tokens" can move 3 aside to represent aim, move 1 aside to represent damage, etc. No need to remember, mark you sheet or look stuff up. No need to remember if hit by x, or or a roll off y or z is extra damage, etc.

So combined when: armor absorbs and converts damage, weapons have a "penetration" stat and damage based on strength, and add in a count success system; you can get, in my view, a lot of the verisimilitude of armor, and the historical developments in weapons to counteract armor, without the need for different AC for touch etc. or a weapon v armor type matrix. Or added book keeping.

To be honest tried several times to use weapon v AC in the day, never worth the effort (let alone if one wanted to apply it to monsters) and generally never used it but always liked the concept. So having the ability to do the weapon v armor is just icing really.

What having a weapon with penetration does do in my games as it effectively "halves" the HP of an opponent, as they can no longer down convert lethal damage to stun damage. Conversely, good armor can effectively "double" you HP as an enemy needs to go through all your Stun HP before getting to you Lethal HP.


In terms of linear algebra, when a game mechanic combines what I view as orthogonal concepts such as chance to contact and chance to damage in AC; and the orthogonal concepts chance to contact (e.g. dodge) and damage can take in HP you have basis issues and HP and AC are no longer linearly independent. My view is it is better to take the "basis vectors" of, (x) chance to contact, (y) chance to damage and (z) damage can take, into separate game elements/statistics. X is governed by PC skill; Y is governed by armor rating; and Z is governed by HP. In D&D X is governed by AC and HP, Y is governed by AC and HP, and Z is governed by HP...which all works well when the original base assumptions are met...but when they are not all sorts of exceptions are applied to maintain verisimilitude.

To sum up this very long winded post. I view armor, chance to be contacted, how a weapon does damage, and HP as all interrelated, and it is how you handle them in combination that makes it easy or hard to achieve verisimilitude.
 

Fenris-77

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In a nutshell, here's my problem with the AC answer to what armour does, and oddly the example doesn't involve armour. Let's say you have a longsword and you get attacked by, IDK, a Hippo. No armour at all, but a tough hide, and more importantly a very thick hide, and lots of fat, etc etc. No one in their right mind tries to hit a Hippo with a longsword. But in D&D, it's actually stupid easy, and always does full damage, even in the hands of a talentless twat of a swordsman. It just doesn't even pass the laugh test for me, never mind examples where actual armour is involved. Don't get me wrong, I can play 5E and enjoy it, the the AC system as it currently exists is silly. Armour as damage reduction is a mush easier pill for me to swallow.

This isn't a critique of 5E at all, just a commentary on mechanic set next to another. Bashing 5E about this is like kicking an adorable but retarded puppy.
 

xanther

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....So no system really gets you both. We're basically arguing what to prioritize....
I tend to think the approach I use can, it seems that way in play...both speed and a lot of the verisimilitude you mention. Armor is still just represented by 1 number, weapons by size and just 1 number, (I'm off course not including encumbrance or cost :smile: )....damage, movement and weapon attack and defense and anything else you can think of your character can do uses 1 throw of the dice (per "round"). AND you have tactical flexibility and choice without having to use a subsystem or book keeping or feats.

No table look ups required, all the "book keeping" is in the dice before you, all the relative degrees of skill are represented in the number dice before you.

-end "sales" pitch-
 

Fenris-77

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I tend to think the approach I use can, it seems that way in play...both speed and a lot of the verisimilitude you mention. Armor is still just represented by 1 number, weapons by size and just 1 number, (I'm off course not including encumbrance or cost :smile: )....damage, movement and weapon attack and defense and anything else you can think of your character can do uses 1 throw of the dice (per "round"). AND you have tactical flexibility and choice without having to use a subsystem or book keeping or feats.

No table look ups required, all the "book keeping" is in the dice before you, all the relative degrees of skill are represented in the number dice before you.

-end "sales" pitch-
I haven't read the other thread. Does your system include damage to armour as a thing?
 

xanther

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In a nutshell, here's my problem with the AC answer to what armour does, and oddly the example doesn't involve armour. Let's say you have a longsword and you get attacked by, IDK, a Hippo. No armour at all, but a tough hide, and more importantly a very thick hide, and lots of fat, etc etc. No one in their right mind tries to hit a Hippo with a longsword. But in D&D, it's actually stupid easy, and always does full damage, even in the hands of a talentless twat of a swordsman. It just doesn't even pass the laugh test for me, never mind examples where actual armour is involved. Don't get me wrong, I can play 5E and enjoy it, the the AC system as it currently exists is silly. Armour as damage reduction is a mush easier pill for me to swallow.
....
Not so certain a longsword would not hurt a hippo...or in the hands a a skilled, wicked fast and suicidal swordsman not be driven deep in the right spot...but I am not going to try. :smile:

I will say, one is a Hippo would have some damage absorption, and it should have enough "HP" that the upper class twit of the year can do little in a blow. In my view a system with degree of success distinguishes between the elite swordsman and twit. I prefer a twit does not always have a 5% of a "critical" rather the mechanics being the twit can never reach the level an elite swordsman can.

Since I'm on a roll, here is how I do a hippo. Your ability with a sword is reflected in combat dice and skill. It is a count success system and a 5 or 6 on a success. Roll the number of combat dice, use your skill to raise or lower die. Say you roll 3 dice and have a +3 skill. You can add +3 to one die, +2 to one and +1 to another, or +1 to all three.

A hippos hide/fat (padding) bone structure etc. is going to have an armor rating. If it is equal to or higher that the penetration of your sword is will down convert lethal damage to stun (hippos have a bunch of stun HP), now if that sword is magical it could possibly cut through that tough hide like "butter" which means no down conversion and suddenly the hippo has "lost" half their HP or more.

That is just the weapon v beast.

In my view hippos are aggressive MFs, they have a higher than average number of combat dice and combat skill compared to your typical herbivore (also they have high moral...or for me they are likely to fight and unlikely to flee).

Just for an example say they have 3 combat dice and +3 skill, do high base damage do to strength and size, and has a lot of HP.

A warrior who has been about many a battle would have perhaps 4-5 combat dice and +3 to +4 skill, and the warrior will be strong each hit doing goodly damage.
Of course each hit of the hippo does even more AND the warrior will need to roll to avoid being knocked down if hit (which is easy to determine as armor is not part of the equation of whether or not the hippo touches you).

A twit will have the minimum 1 combat dice and no skill, maybe even a -1 skill...meaning only a success on a 6.

Let's first assume the hippo is out of the water.
In combat the hippo rolls it's 3 dice and applies it's +3 skill, the skilled warrior say rolls 4 dice and +4 skill. On average, with some rounding, the hippo will get 2 success and the warrior 3 success each round.

Here is where tactics come into play as those success are not just do I hit (unless you want them to be). They are the power each side has to move, defend, attack, etc. Important to note each side gets a free "base move" tied to how fast they can move, if hippo faster than warrior the warrior will have to spend success to get away while the hippo can us it's base move to stay in range.

The wise warrior will use 2 success as defense to counter the hippos all out attack (this is where abstract the defense as a block/dodged, etc. it takes whatever form it need to negate an opponent attack success), ....
because a hit from a hippo can hurt and knock you down (which will cost you a success to get up)..and you want to get up as being prone limits you and give the hippo a bonus.

Also I give the jaws of a hippo good penetration so only if the warrior has very heavy armor could it down convert the hippo "bites" to stun damage,, then again heavy armor is going to make it hard to run away.

So each "round" on average, the warrior has 1 success left to attack the hippo or use it to move (in addition to the free move) and try to flee. Since it is only 1 success, and thus just x1 base damage, it can hurt the hippo but far from slaying it and may make it angry. And certainly not enough to make an "aimed" attack.

Oh on anger, perhaps the hippo will go berserk, which gives it an extra combat die to attack with and it can't use any successes to defend/block etc. Not that the hippo cares. But now the hippo would have 4 dice and a +3 skill, with an average of 3 success per "round." Now the warrior is using every success just to stay alive. These are all averages, so in any one "round" one side could have one less, one more etc. and the tables can turn.

Wait...that is not all. I use initiative. If the warrior gains initiative in a "round" (lets hope) and it comes to it he can strike a killing blow but leaves himself without defense...that means his blow will be resolved first and if the hippo is killed all hits by the hippo that round are ignored...it died upon the sword of the warrior while attacking.

In short, the warrior has a slight skill advantage, yet the hippo can take many hits from the warrior, but if the warrior is hit it could put them back on their heels such that they never recover. That is just attack, defense, and move options. The warrior could use 2 success to block/dodge and the other to do something like scamper up a 4 foot rock or leap behind a tree...basically try to position for future advantage. After all this is a dumb (if dangerous) beast.


Now the twit...they are dead unless very lucky. On average they get a success 1 in 6 rounds, while recall the hippo gets 2. It is over for the twit round 1 unless very lucky.


The above is all on land. Put the hippo in water, where I would give it no penalties on combat as that is where it lives. However the human, certainly skill penalties for swinging the sword in water, how encumber is the warrior?, how deep is the water?, is the bottom muddy?....all of a sudden fighting the hippo in water spells doom. The warrior may need to spend a success just to not go under, and get skill penalties for fighting in the water.

Hey though, I am nothing if not into heroic fantasy....so a powerful fighter may have 6 combat dice and +6 skill, and a magical weapon and magical armor, and maybe they just so bad ass they are hard to knock down (the warrior decided to take improvements to his knockdown modifier/save in character advancement....good against giants and hippos alike). Now the hippo is BBQ.

That's my take on it.
 
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