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

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xanther

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I haven't read the other thread. Does your system include damage to armour as a thing?
It did in the beginning, then there was much record keeping and gnashing of teeth. I jettisoned that and did not miss what it added, it also led to players lugging around back-up suits of armor..so not so genre inspiring for me.

These days unless the attack specifically hurts armor (like certain incredibly strong acids or magic) the armor is unfazed...though I will through often force them to do repairs as best they can in down time and in town before start imposing penalties (which hate as need to keep notes/book keep). I would usually first start with noise (I have simple mechanics for noise and senses, noise is bad) then onto initiative penalties, before getting to armor rating reduction.

I have never gotten there and it likely provides a unwarranted benefit to the PCs but never felt it lessened verisimilitude.

I may have armor get damaged if there is massive damage taken, that pulps the PC.

I do allow players to take the option of letting the armor absorb extra damage but get damaged in the process (damage is just a reduction in armor rating so one to one)....that is pretty desperate as that damage done requires a forge and armorer to repair if it can be repaired at all.
 

Fenris-77

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The only system I've ever played with armour damage that I didn't hate was Black Hack 2E. Even there though, in order to make it work they changed from a straight damage reduction system in 1E to a system with Armour Dice in 2E. An armour die can be 'broken' to negate all damage from a single blow, but then has to be repaired. PCs can repair on the road, but often will have to go to a smith at some point. The heavier the armour the more dice you get.

It's an ok system. I don't love it, but it works. You sacrifice some granularity and whatnot on the damage reduction end in order to have a mechanic that's easily trackable in-game (that part works like a charm).
 

xanther

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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.

I model this by adding in a second type of HP, stun HP. If armor exceeds a weapons "penetration" it down covert the lethal damage to stun damage. That is what is happening to the sword. If a weapon normally does stun damage it still does stun damage on down conversion. This is where the hammer would be preferred because it does stun damage already as base so the down conversation does not matter. I personally don't make a hammer perform any better, could though just give it an extra attack die, like I give staves an extra defense die.

I just consider the hammer a more logistically sound choice, a cheaper weapon...likely in medieval times far, far, cheaper than a sword. Like 2000 Corolla vs 2021 Bentley less expensive. :smile: Also would rather break and dull my hammer than my finely crafted sword.

I try to keep in my mind that in history, logistics and cost mattered, maybe not so much for a band of brave, swimming in gold, adventurers. Also relative prices in medieval life for things like swords, armor and war horses are so, so much greater than in any rpg I've seen...which I am happy for...but the arming decisions of history have as much to do with can you afford it as performance.

So war hammers may not perform all that better than swords....a solid sword blow will still dent the plate and send shock into the person like a hammer blow...again I shall reference Forged in Fire where can see for yourself the damage a blade can inflict on armor and armor on your blade. Yet hammers are far, far, less expensive ...and likely less likely to break and less likely to slide off late stage plate armor.

Not in practice. Success levels and such have to be calculated with every roll, ....

Not always, depends on your mechanics if you have to calculate anything. Agree having to calculate, like I beat the roll by x, or making another roll, ugh. Though I am enamored with the Dragon Warrior bypass approach.

In a count success system you just count them, as in every die in front of you that reads 6 is a success, your "degree" simply is the number of success you have) or are using for that particular action).
 

xanther

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The only system I've ever played with armour damage that I didn't hate was Black Hack 2E. Even there though, in order to make it work they changed from a straight damage reduction system in 1E to a system with Armour Dice in 2E. An armour die can be 'broken' to negate all damage from a single blow, but then has to be repaired. PCs can repair on the road, but often will have to go to a smith at some point. The heavier the armour the more dice you get.

It's an ok system. I don't love it, but it works. You sacrifice some granularity and whatnot on the damage reduction end in order to have a mechanic that's easily trackable in-game (that part works like a charm).
What do Armor Dice do for you mechanically? Do you roll them and that is the amount of damage they reduce?

Granularity I can take or leave, ease of use in play is more important.

For things I will often use a quality system, especially in a post-apoc setting. An items quality is the number of die you roll when you need to see it it breaks or fails or such. If you get the required number of success you pass, otherwise it fails, breaks, quality decreases, etc.
 

Fenris-77

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What do Armor Dice do for you mechanically? Do you roll them and that is the amount of damage they reduce?
No, although I get why that's your guess. You have X dice based on armour heaviness, usually 4 or less. Each die can be 'broken' to negate all the damage from a single attack, decided after damage is rolled. Once it's broken you get one chance to fix it in the field, after which you need an armourer. It's actually pretty slick.
 

xanther

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No, although I get why that's your guess. You have X dice based on armour heaviness, usually 4 or less. Each die can be 'broken' to negate all the damage from a single attack, decided after damage is rolled. Once it's broken you get one chance to fix it in the field, after which you need an armourer. It's actually pretty slick.
Why call them dice then? I'd just call them armor points. Does one just use dice as temporary tokens (coins would work too) so don't have to track which "armor point" loss on the character sheet is permanent and which you still have a chance to fix?

Think I would hand out some "token" if you take the damage option then at the end you either repair and give it back or mark the loss in armor points on your character sheet and give it back.
 

Fenris-77

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Well, you roll the armour die when you attempt to fix it, so it's not quite as odd as it sounds. In practice, you have in one pool, you move them to another, and then roll 'em to see if you can move it back. It's pretty low overhead.
 

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Ahem, xanther xanther I agree with pretty much everything else you said, especially the weaknessess of AC-as-difficulty, but...a few notes, if you don't mind.

1) It should be "wizard/commoner to dragon", dammit! Housecats are above the wizard in the foodchain, as we know:grin:!

2) The warhammer is actually a stabby weapon (more like a pick). In your system it would be a high-penetration weapon.
Also, "stun as normal damage" shouldn't apply to weapons meant to cause blunt damage. A mace doesn't stun, it breaks bones and ruptures internal organs...same as a sword, actually. Except even harder to heal, as Butcher can probably attest...I've been told so by one of his colleagues (you first have to open the patient, and the diagnosis is harder because you can't just assess visually:shade:). So it should be a high-damage, lower penetration weapon (armour is likely to help a bit).
"Stun" would be better reserved for light blunt weapons, fists and kicks without the benefit of placement and biomechanics, and low-amplitude throws (or throws on a padding).

3) Pollaxes and the like can definitely damage armour. In fact, it's part of the normal function of such weapons. And such openings were used to then finish the opponent by driving a weapon through the crack.
 

Chris Brady

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I've been kicking around several ideas for a while for 5e.

For AC, certain classes like Rogue, all four Fighting types, maybe Clerics with Martial Weapons proficiencies, combat styled Bards, they get to add their Proficiency Bonus to AC, while Armour is Damage reduction (Their AC bonus -10).

The other thing I've been considering is that for basic Fighters at least (And maybe Barbarians, as the Rage bonus kinda sucks) is to also add their Proficiency to damage, as the more experienced in combat the better they can both protect themselves and accurately fight back. The Ranger and Paladin get magic to help boost their damage.

It's not super detailed, and I don't want it to be. The only hang up I had was Magic Missile, but I waved it away, because unlike say Eldritch Bolt, it ALWAYS hits, so DR doesn't affect it.

I've tested it once, in a campaign and the Players were fine with it, but at the same time, I'm not sure if I just made it overly clunky, and I may be missing something. And one test is just... One test. Not very indicative of it working.

It was something I wanted to do for a Swashbuckler style game (As well as a Sword and Sorcery) where heavy armour are a thing of the past (Or in the case of S&S heroes, never much of a thing), but still allow for monsters and other things to be viable.
 

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I've been kicking around several ideas for a while for 5e.

For AC, certain classes like Rogue, all four Fighting types, maybe Clerics with Martial Weapons proficiencies, combat styled Bards, they get to add their Proficiency Bonus to AC, while Armour is Damage reduction (Their AC bonus -10).

The other thing I've been considering is that for basic Fighters at least (And maybe Barbarians, as the Rage bonus kinda sucks) is to also add their Proficiency to damage, as the more experienced in combat the better they can both protect themselves and accurately fight back. The Ranger and Paladin get magic to help boost their damage.

It's not super detailed, and I don't want it to be. The only hang up I had was Magic Missile, but I waved it away, because unlike say Eldritch Bolt, it ALWAYS hits, so DR doesn't affect it.

I've tested it once, in a campaign and the Players were fine with it, but at the same time, I'm not sure if I just made it overly clunky, and I may be missing something. And one test is just... One test. Not very indicative of it working.

It was something I wanted to do for a Swashbuckler style game (As well as a Sword and Sorcery) where heavy armour are a thing of the past (Or in the case of S&S heroes, never much of a thing), but still allow for monsters and other things to be viable.

One of the big issues armour as damage reduction faces in D&D is the huge amount of scaling that needs to be covered (damage reduction good enough to be of use against a frost giant probably means that a thousand goblins can shoot arrows at you all day with no effect). The other is that numerical damage reduction becomes really really good against multi-attacks, and progressively less effective against big single target damage like sneak attacks or high damage spells.*

If you want armour to function as damage reduction in 5e I'd recommend going with giving it resistance (because half damage always scales and is always easy to calculate).

So perhaps armour grants both damage resistance and an AC deflection bonus (so you can distinguish between different levels of armour.)

Personally, for simplicity's sake, I'd probably go with changing only Heavy armour so that it grants resistance, but reduce the AC by about 3 or 4. (And then I'd mess with the Barbarian a little, as we just stole his schtick and gave it to the heavy armour wearers - where to be fair it would seem to fit better - but it means the barbarian lost some mechanical differentiation).


*If you were to remove all multi-attacks and just combine all the damage into one attack like in 13th Age (which also has the benefit of speeding up combat considerably), then you'd only have the first problem, altough scaling the increase in armour vs damage would require some careful consideration of the maths.
 
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AsenRG

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Is there a good reason to use either of those over the original Riddle of Steel?
Other than the IP reasons? Mostly no. Though some rules that were in the supplements are now in one book, which is more convenient. Not sure if all the rules were there, though.

But the original TRoS is unavailable legally...well, it was available semi-legally through the TRoSfans forums, at one point, but the scans they were offering (of course I purchased them, nobody doubted that:grin:!) was really hard to read.

So...convenience and legality in the first place. The differences in rules are minimal AFAIR.

TRoS remains my "gold standard" for detailed realistic games, like how LotW remains my gold standard for detailed cinematic games.

Though sometimes I want less details, or more streamlined resolution, or both...and then I pick either Mythras (usually that one....:tongue:), ORE, OMNI, Iconclaw/Myriad Song/Sanduine's Usagi Yojimbo, Maelstrom, Honor+Intrigue, or my Traveller/Cepheus/Zenobia mix:shade:.
 
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raniE

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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.

"Touch AC" isn't really a difficult thing to handle though, although it is an extra rule. I do agree that the higher HP fighter not getting their benefit of being able to avoid such damage is a problem, and think it is usually more reasonable to handle such attacks using for instance a save system (where your saves tend to get better with higher levels). Not every effect needs to be resolved through armor and hit points.

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.

You can do this with an AC system though, there's nothing stopping you. As I've already pointed out Lamentations of the Flame Princess lets a light crossbow ignore 2 points of AC, a heavy crossbow lets you ignore 4 points of AC. That's exactly the same as AP 2 and AP 4. The light crossbow does the same damage as a short bow, fires less frequently but goes through armor more easily. So what is the difference here? The damage type vs armor type tables are no more an integral part of a system that uses Armor Class than lower AC being better and needing to use THAC0 is.

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.


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.
What? That... uh, that doesn't exactly scan there. A Hippo will have a higher armor class than an unarmored human, so it will be more difficult to land a damaging hit on it with a longsword. You get the same effect with a DR system, the armor rating of the hippo will cause you to do less damage with your attack. Unless you are specifically using armor penetration rules, an armor penetrating weapon like a military pick or a rondel dagger will not be better against a hippo than a longsword in either system, and if you are they will be. As for the sword always doing full damage no matter the skill of the wielder, that is not related to AC vs DR at all. Plenty of systems that use armor as DR have random weapon damage that does not depend one whit on the skill of the wielder, and you can make an armor as AC system where the skill of the wielder is a prime determinant in how much damage is done (for instance, you can have damage done be equal to the difference between the modified roll and the armor class, or you could add that difference to the damage being done, or you could base it on level, or what have you).
 

AsenRG

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Le sigh.

Armour Class systems would usually lead to the hippo/ogre with a club weigng over a score of kilograms, having high attack scores. Thus, a fighter in mail armour has been chewed out but alive (thanks to the high HP that usually go with it) at the end of the fight in which he killed a hippo/ogre with a longsword. The same fighter without a mail is probably toast, because basically all the attacks go in, and he can't withstand that much!

So basically, the chain mail saved him from the hippo bites/trampling/crushing blows from the ogre's hand-propelled catapult ball on a stick...
I'll let you fight it out with Fenris-77 Fenris-77 whether that makes any frigging amount of sense:devil:!

Armour Protection systems would have the hippo having extremely high damage where you either kill it fast, before it lands a serious hit, or you probably die. It's an all-or-nothing affair in most of them. To compensate, most of these have the ability to defend actively. Which you really, really should use.

Sure, if all you care about is "win or lose", maybe it's the same to you. It's not quite the same me, though:thumbsup:.
 

raniE

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Yes, indeed. Can a moderator move the posts to a new thread, please... @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:!
What I'm saying is that amount of rules is a different argument than AC vs DR, and most examples of how DR systems do things better involve adding rules that can, and have, been added to systems that use AC. Divorced from actual systems which have chosen differently, DR is not automatically more rules heavy than AC. You can run an AC system with hit locations etc. I just find it easier to actually account for differing levels of armor coverage in an AC system that doesn't use hit locations than in a DR system that doesn't use hit locations. Is it even easier in a DR system that does use hit locations? Of course, but that doesn't change the first thing.

On the feasibility of Ogres and such, the solution there is simple, just give the ogres hammer a DR rating (or give the ogre a better attack bonus, as is done in later editions of D&D where they get their prodigious STR bonus added to their to hit rolls). Then only DEX bonuses or dodge action bonuses will count toward AC (which is why say ogres and other big beasties used to get a malus to hit halflings in older editions of D&D, because they're small and can more easily move out of the way of those oversized beasts). But be careful what you wish for, because if we're really going by what makes sense from a physics perspective, then the ogre is going to fall down because its body shape is wrong for its mass and it can't move its arms well enough to swing that hammer.
 

TJS

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You can do this with an AC system though, there's nothing stopping you. As I've already pointed out Lamentations of the Flame Princess lets a light crossbow ignore 2 points of AC, a heavy crossbow lets you ignore 4 points of AC. That's exactly the same as AP 2 and AP 4. The light crossbow does the same damage as a short bow, fires less frequently but goes through armor more easily. So what is the difference here? The damage type vs armor type tables are no more an integral part of a system that uses Armor Class than lower AC being better and needing to use THAC0 is.
I'm just going to pick this out, because I think there are a couple of problems here.

1) Being able to ignore points of AC, only works if the AC is purely based of armour. If someone has a different source of a high AC, then the crossbow ignoring two points of that AC doesn't make any sense. Does the crossbow ignore two points of the wizard's AC if has no armour on? This sort of falls back into the problem of conflating speed with resistance. The whole benefit of an AC system is the simplicity by conflating the two into a single abstraction.
2) This is partly personal preference I guess, but I've always found that alterations to the basic system in D&D, so that you need to know not just if you hit or not but how much you hit by, tend to have a disproportiante slowing effect on the game, in comparison to what you gain.

I tend to think that this is a little like the difference between roll under and rollover system. Roll under systems can be simpler, until you want to reach a certain level of complexity in what you are trying to model and then they can often lead to being more difficult to handle.

Or in other words, if you're trying to model complex interactions, an AC system is an awkward way to do it. It's strength lies in the simplicity of the abstraction.
 

raniE

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Le sigh.

Armour Class systems would usually lead to the hippo/ogre with a club weigng over a score of kilograms, having high attack scores. Thus, a fighter in mail armour has been chewed out but alive (thanks to the high HP that usually go with it) at the end of the fight in which he killed a hippo/ogre with a longsword. The same fighter without a mail is probably toast, because basically all the attacks go in, and he can't withstand that much!

So basically, the chain mail saved him from the hippo bites/trampling/crushing blows from the ogre's hand-propelled catapult ball on a stick...
I'll let you fight it out with Fenris-77 Fenris-77 whether that makes any frigging amount of sense:devil:!

Armour Protection systems would have the hippo having extremely high damage where you either kill it fast, before it lands a serious hit, or you probably die. It's an all-or-nothing affair in most of them. To compensate, most of these have the ability to defend actively. Which you really, really should use.

Sure, if all you care about is "win or lose", maybe it's the same to you. It's not quite the same me, though:thumbsup:.

Higher HP is also not to do with AC. You can have a system which uses armor as DR but has inflating hit points (hello Tunnels & Trolls), or one that uses AC but doesn't increase HP from the starting value. You're arguing something different than AC vs DR here, but conflating what you're arguing with whether a system uses AC or DR.
 
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raniE

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I'm just going to pick this out, because I think there are a couple of problems here.

1) Being able to ignore points of AC, only works if the AC is purely based of armour. If someone has a different source of a high AC, then the crossbow ignoring two points of that AC doesn't make any sense. Does the crossbow ignore two points of the wizard's AC if has no armour on? This sort of falls back into the problem of conflating speed with resistance. The whole benefit of an AC system is the simplicity by conflating the two into a single abstraction.
2) This is partly personal preference I guess, but I've always found that alterations to the basic system in D&D, so that you need to know not just if you hit or not but how much you hit by, tend to have a disproportiante slowing effect on the game, in comparison to what you gain.

I tend to think that this is a little like the difference between roll under and rollover system. Roll under systems can be simpler, until you want to reach a certain level of complexity in what you are trying to model and then they can often lead to being more difficult to handle.

Or in other words, if you're trying to model complex interactions, an AC system is awkward way to do it. It's strength lies in the simplicity of the abstraction.
Typically all the armor penetration rules in LotFP refer to "unadjusted AC" that is AC without dexterity adjustments, adjustments for parry/guard or Defensive fighting or pressing. This does mean more rules, but so does the addition of AP2 in a DR system, using defense rolls for every attack etc. In practice, the LotFP approach remains light and does not disproportionately affect the speed of combat, at least in my experience. But then I also don't think roll over has any mechanical advantage to roll under so ...
 

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Higher HP is also not to do with AC.
Hence the qualifier "usually" in my post, if you'd notice...:thumbsup:

Also, if you don't have a pool of "defense points", you'd need something else for your defense. And that usually means "active defenses".
At which point all the benefits of your simpler armour-as-difficulty system have gone through the window...:shade:

Of course, if you can show me a system that has AC, doesn't escalate HP, and has no active defenses, go ahead, I'd like to learn about it:grin:!
 

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Typically all the armor penetration rules in LotFP refer to "unadjusted AC" that is AC without dexterity adjustments, adjustments for parry/guard or Defensive fighting or pressing. This does mean more rules, but so does the addition of AP2 in a DR system, using defense rolls for every attack etc. In practice, the LotFP approach remains light and does not disproportionately affect the speed of combat, at least in my experience. But then I also don't think roll over has any mechanical advantage to roll under so ...
LOFTP can get away with it because it's a simple OSR game. If you used such a system in 5e it would have a whole lot of ripple effects that would cause problems.

I tend to feel that AP numbers in a DR system are generally not a very good approach either. Often it doesn't really make a significant enough difference compared to just adding 2 to the damage. (If you are regularly fighting people with no armour than it might be worthwhile)
 

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LOFTP can get away with it because it's a simple OSR game. If you used such a system in 5e it would have a whole lot of ripple effects that would cause problems.

I tend to feel that AP numbers in a DR system are generally not a very good approach either. Often it doesn't really make a significant enough difference compared to just adding 2 to the damage. (If you are regularly fighting people with no armour than it might be worthwhile)
Yes, it is always dependent on context. Although I'm not sure how much of a ripple effect such a change in 5e would have. Sure, some weapons would be simply far better than others, but that's the case now as well. In a DR system, not having DR has the same effect as in an AC game with no rules for armor penetration (or other differentiation other than damage), a sword and a mace are functionally the same, and increasing the mace's damage to show it is better against armor just means the sword becomes worse in all situations. And to me at least it is pretty common to meet enemies with varying levels of armor. LotFP has tilted ever more toward the early modern era, where you are going to be fighting a lot of people with no armor, and some in the best plate armor ever designed. So having a rule where your rapier is good against the first, but not so much against the latter, is good game design to get the same kinds of decisions made by players as were made by people back then (rapiers as standard side arms, halberds, pikes or great zweihänders for battlefield use).
 

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Hence the qualifier "usually" in my post, if you'd notice...:thumbsup:
Yes, but my point is that then you're no longer talking about AC, but about a particular system as a whole.
Also, if you don't have a pool of "defense points", you'd need something else for your defense. And that usually means "active defenses".
At which point all the benefits of your simpler armour-as-difficulty system have gone through the window...:shade:

Of course, if you can show me a system that has AC, doesn't escalate HP, and has no active defenses, go ahead, I'd like to learn about it:grin:!
'I know I've seen some OSR game without escalating HP, but I'm drawing a blank on the name. I'll get back to you on that if I find it again.
 

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"Touch AC" isn't really a difficult thing to handle though, although it is an extra rule. I do agree that the higher HP fighter not getting their benefit of being able to avoid such damage is a problem, and think it is usually more reasonable to handle such attacks using for instance a save system (where your saves tend to get better with higher levels). Not every effect needs to be resolved through armor and hit points.



You can do this with an AC system though, there's nothing stopping you. As I've already pointed out Lamentations of the Flame Princess lets a light crossbow ignore 2 points of AC, a heavy crossbow lets you ignore 4 points of AC. That's exactly the same as AP 2 and AP 4. The light crossbow does the same damage as a short bow, fires less frequently but goes through armor more easily. So what is the difference here? The damage type vs armor type tables are no more an integral part of a system that uses Armor Class than lower AC being better and needing to use THAC0 is.





What? That... uh, that doesn't exactly scan there. A Hippo will have a higher armor class than an unarmored human, so it will be more difficult to land a damaging hit on it with a longsword. You get the same effect with a DR system, the armor rating of the hippo will cause you to do less damage with your attack. Unless you are specifically using armor penetration rules, an armor penetrating weapon like a military pick or a rondel dagger will not be better against a hippo than a longsword in either system, and if you are they will be. As for the sword always doing full damage no matter the skill of the wielder, that is not related to AC vs DR at all. Plenty of systems that use armor as DR have random weapon damage that does not depend one whit on the skill of the wielder, and you can make an armor as AC system where the skill of the wielder is a prime determinant in how much damage is done (for instance, you can have damage done be equal to the difference between the modified roll and the armor class, or you could add that difference to the damage being done, or you could base it on level, or what have you).
Big guys like Hippos tend to have ACs in the 12 range, much like Ogres. They're stupid easy to hit and swords do full damage. I dont actually have an issue with that but it really isn't any kind of realistic. There's a reason that single big bads underperform their CR in 5E.
 
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Ahem, xanther xanther I agree with pretty much everything else you said, especially the weaknessess of AC-as-difficulty, but...a few notes, if you don't mind.

1) It should be "wizard/commoner to dragon", dammit! Housecats are above the wizard in the foodchain, as we know:grin:!

2) The warhammer is actually a stabby weapon (more like a pick). In your system it would be a high-penetration weapon.
Also, "stun as normal damage" shouldn't apply to weapons meant to cause blunt damage. A mace doesn't stun, it breaks bones and ruptures internal organs...same as a sword, actually. Except even harder to heal, as Butcher can probably attest...I've been told so by one of his colleagues (you first have to open the patient, and the diagnosis is harder because you can't just assess visually:shade:). So it should be a high-damage, lower penetration weapon (armour is likely to help a bit).
"Stun" would be better reserved for light blunt weapons, fists and kicks without the benefit of placement and biomechanics, and low-amplitude throws (or throws on a padding).

3) Pollaxes and the like can definitely damage armour. In fact, it's part of the normal function of such weapons. And such openings were used to then finish the opponent by driving a weapon through the crack.

I mean the warhammer is both, usually. Spike on one side of the head, blunt on the other, same as with a bec-de-corbin or lucerne hammer (and similar to pollaxe except that had an axe instead of the blunt part of the head)
 

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Yes, but my point is that then you're no longer talking about AC, but about a particular system as a whole.
No, I'm talking about the way most systems that use this do it. Because when you're talking armour, at some point you've got to talk wounding as well...no way around that. Because "what happens after it starts hurting despite the armour" is kinda important...:grin:


'I know I've seen some OSR game without escalating HP, but I'm drawing a blank on the name. I'll get back to you on that if I find it again.
Without escalating HP and without active defenses, please:thumbsup:! And yeah, if you remember the name, let me know - even in PM, if you remember it after the thread has been over!

Hope you don't mean Dragon Warriors, because armour is actually DC there, it's just an all-or-nothing DC (a.k.a. Damage Save). And it has separate, skill-based, defense numbers.

Big guys like Hippos tend to have ACs in the 12 range, much like Ogres. Theyre stupid easy to hit and swords do dull damage. I dont actually have an issue with thatz but it really isn't any kind of realisric. There's a reason that single big bads underperform their CR in 5E.
Yeah, that's the issue for me as well.
Claiming it's fun to play and has the right amount of detail for your tastes? Sure-some people love it. I don't, but I recognize being a minority, there...:tongue:
Claiming it's a better representation of reality? Eh, no, that's where I objected, as evidenced in the thread:devil:!


Now - I've been told that "all or nothing" is actually how it works when it comes to shooting weapons. I can't comment on those*, but if it's true, it would make more sense to use AC, maybe?
Which is what Classic Traveller did. Though it was coupled with Weapon-vs-Armour tables and, notably, active defenses (including dodging for shooting).

*I just don't know enough on how bullets interact with armour...most of the things I know about bullets are related to how they interact with flesh and bone.
 

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Big guys like Hippos tend to have ACs in the 12 range, much like Ogres. Theyre stupid easy to hit and swords do dull damage. I dont actually have an issue with thatz but it really isn't any kind of realisric. There's a reason that single big bads underperform their CR in 5E.
We might be talking past each other, I'm talking about AC as a concept, which is part of many systems. If you are talking specifically about D&D 5e, then that's a big difference to just talking about AC as an isolated system component. 5e does a lot of things I don't like system-wise (and some I do), but it certainly isn't the end all, be all of AC systems. As for hippos, I can't really find any stats for them in older versions of D&D, nor in 5e, which is weird considering they are the deadliest animal on the planet to humans. But then, you might remember my thread from a while back on how I think animals are overinflated in most rpgs, so perhaps that's just as well.
 

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I mean the warhammer is both, usually. Spike on one side of the head, blunt on the other, same as with a bec-de-corbin or lucerne hammer (and similar to pollaxe except that had an axe instead of the blunt part of the head)
I''ll concede the point (or the blunt, actually...:grin:), but against plate, it was usually the point that was used. The hammer was used against inferior armour, from what I've been told, or - importantly - to damage the armour for the spike.

I can't really comment on that, though, since I've almost never trained with it. So take the above with a grain of salt, and keep in mind the people who told me so were simply historians/historians-in-training who studied HEMA in the same club as me:thumbsup:!
I don't remember what the conclusions were based on, sorry.
 

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We might be talking past each other, I'm talking about AC as a concept, which is part of many systems. If you are talking specifically about D&D 5e, then that's a big difference to just talking about AC as an isolated system component. 5e does a lot of things I don't like system-wise (and some I do), but it certainly isn't the end all, be all of AC systems. As for hippos, I can't really find any stats for them in older versions of D&D, nor in 5e, which is weird considering they are the deadliest animal on the planet to humans. But then, you might remember my thread from a while back on how I think animals are overinflated in most rpgs, so perhaps that's just as well.
Well, yes and no. I was using 5e as an example of a system that, at some point, tries to substitute HP for 'really hard to hurt' and kinda fails.

I'd prefer to see a Hippo in a system that uses armour as damage reduction and set that bar high. It just makes more intiotive sense to me. YMMV of course.
 

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No, I'm talking about the way most systems that use this do it. Because when you're talking armour, at some point you've got to talk wounding as well...no way around that. Because "what happens after it starts hurting despite the armour" is kinda important...:grin:



Without escalating HP and without active defenses, please:thumbsup:! And yeah, if you remember the name, let me know - even in PM, if you remember it after the thread has been over!

Hope you don't mean Dragon Warriors, because armour is actually DC there, it's just an all-or-nothing DC (a.k.a. Damage Save). And it has separate, skill-based, defense numbers.

Nope. Dragon Warriors isn't an OSR game either, it was actually made during the 80s. OSR games to me are more modern ones taking cues/being essentially copies of games from the 1970s and 1980s. The actual games from then don't fall into the same category.

Yeah, that's the issue for me as well.
Claiming it's fun to play and has the right amount of detail for your tastes? Sure-some people love it. I don't, but I recognize being a minority, there...:tongue:
Claiming it's a better representation of reality? Eh, no, that's where I objected, as evidenced in the thread:devil:!


Now - I've been told that "all or nothing" is actually how it works when it comes to shooting weapons. I can't comment on those*, but if it's true, it would make more sense to use AC, maybe?
Which is what Classic Traveller did. Though it was coupled with Weapon-vs-Armour tables and, notably, active defenses (including dodging for shooting).
Pretty much yeah. Ballistic armor is either going to stop the bullet, leaving you with maybe a bruise, or it is going to go right through and mess you up (but it will of course have lost some energy going through the armor). Of course how much it messes you up caries enormously, whether or not it had to go through a bullet resistant vest to get there. But really, that's the case for most older armor as well. An attack is either going to bounce or deflect off the plate, or it's going to make a hole and mess you up, or it is going to go through a gap in the armor.

*I just don't know enough on how bullets interact with armour...most of the things I know about bullets are related to how they interact with flesh and bone.
One of the big things is that the heavier trauma plates, which are what protect against higher energy higher caliber rounds, tend to only be useful for a few hits. Steps have been taken to rectify this but I don't think we're there yet.
 

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Well, yes and no. I was using 5e as an example of a system that, at some point, tries to substitute HP for 'really hard to hurt' and kinda fails.

I'd prefer to see a Hippo in a system that uses armour as damage reduction and set that bar high. It just makes more intiotive sense to me. YMMV of course.
Same thing with me and ogres.


BTW, there are videos of people killing hippos with spears. And here's an actual account if you want it:grin:!
 

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Well, yes and no. I was using 5e as an example of a system that, at some point, tries to substitute HP for 'really hard to hurt' and kinda fails.

I'd prefer to see a Hippo in a system that uses armour as damage reduction and set that bar high. It just makes more intiotive sense to me. YMMV of course.
I could only find stats for hippos in one game, Drakar och Demoner (a Swedish BRP variant) There they have a DR of 5 and 27 HP (a normal human has 12 hp, DR 5 is the equivalent fo scale mail). But a two-handed sword, which is what a longsword is, does 2d10 damage, plus damage bonus (but you're unlikely to have any damage bonus as a human). A pollaxe does 3d6 damage in the game, so in the same damage range. There are no rules for armor penetration so the long sword is a great weapon to take it down with.
 

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I could only find stats for hippos in one game, Drakar och Demoner (a Swedish BRP variant) There they have a DR of 5 and 27 HP (a normal human has 12 hp, DR 5 is the equivalent fo scale mail). But a two-handed sword, which is what a longsword is, does 2d10 damage, plus damage bonus (but you're unlikely to have any damage bonus as a human). A pollaxe does 3d6 damage in the game, so in the same damage range. There are no rules for armor penetration so the long sword is a great weapon to take it down with.
And in reality, trying to kill a Hippo with a longsword is .. um .. foolish. At least in reality. Which isn't actually that important.
 

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Same thing with me and ogres.
The big problem there is that an ogre isn't realistic. Big animals aren't shaped like humans.
BTW, there are videos of people killing hippos with spears. And here's an actual account if you want it:grin:!
Yes, this ties into my "animals are often overrated" thing. A hippo has very thick hide (2 inches), but a thin metal plate is going to be a much better defense against a sharp metal point than hippo hide, even if the hippo hide is going to be better than buff coat (surviving examples are from 0.06 to 0.22 inches).
 

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Nope. Dragon Warriors isn't an OSR game either, it was actually made during the 80s. OSR games to me are more modern ones taking cues/being essentially copies of games from the 1970s and 1980s. The actual games from then don't fall into the same category.
I agree, but some people lump it with the OSR...it's an understandable mistake in my book, since it was re-released relatively recently:smile:.
Pretty much yeah. Ballistic armor is either going to stop the bullet, leaving you with maybe a bruise, or it is going to go right through and mess you up (but it will of course have lost some energy going through the armor). Of course how much it messes you up caries enormously, whether or not it had to go through a bullet resistant vest to get there.
So, armour as both AC and DR?
GURPS 3e had it right:wink:?

But really, that's the case for most older armor as well. An attack is either going to bounce or deflect off the plate, or it's going to make a hole and mess you up, or it is going to go through a gap in the armor.
Well duh...that's how any armour can work: completely, partially, or not at all:grin:!
And that's also easier to model in a DR system. "Bounces off" is when the damage was low enough nothing went through. "Getting to a gap" is a called shot or critical. "Goes through and messes you up" is when the damage rolled exceeds DR.
AC systems model the first, but have basically no means to model the weakened damage. It's all-or-nothing.

Which, again, might be how you want it for playability reasons. I'm just arguing which one models reality better. That's actually why I prefer it: if I believed otherwise, I'd have gone for Armour-as-TN.

One of the big things is that the heavier trauma plates, which are what protect against higher energy higher caliber rounds, tend to only be useful for a few hits. Steps have been taken to rectify this but I don't think we're there yet.
That's an interesting piece of data, thank you:thumbsup:!
So...the armour is ablative in this case?


The big problem there is that an ogre isn't realistic. Big animals aren't shaped like humans.
Gorillas are offended. Humans are definitely shaped like them:devil:!

Yes, this ties into my "animals are often overrated" thing. A hippo has very thick hide (2 inches), but a thin metal plate is going to be a much better defense against a sharp metal point than hippo hide, even if the hippo hide is going to be better than buff coat (surviving examples are from 0.06 to 0.22 inches).
Yeah, if you remember, I was with you in that thread, so no argument there!


Which actually got me thinking about animal styles.
So at the end I had demons using a "Human Slayer Fist" style, which was strictly forbidden to teach to humans:evil:!
 

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And in reality, trying to kill a Hippo with a longsword is .. um .. foolish. At least in reality. Which isn't actually that important.
Trying to kill a hippo with any melee weapon is foolish, but I'm pretty sure you could do it with a long sword.
 

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Trying to kill a hippo with any melee weapon is foolish, but I'm pretty sure you could do it with a long sword.
I'm pretty sure you'd get crushed like a bug. I just don't see a longsword doing enough damage in the, likely, one shot you'd get to make any kind of difference. Blah blah, anyway, I'm really not arguing about fantasy longswords or hippos, just the issues that crop up when we try to apply RPG stats to real life and vice versa. It gets sticky.
 

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One of the issues I remember in 3e is that really strong creatures like giants had massive strength scores which meant that they were really like to hit, when really the fiction of fighting such creatures is more often about nimbly dodging that one blow that would squish you totally if you got hit.
 

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I agree, but some people lump it with the OSR...it's an understandable mistake in my book, since it was re-released relatively recently:smile:.

So, armour as both AC and DR?
GURPS 3e had it right:wink:?


Well duh...that's how any armour can work: completely, partially, or not at all:grin:!
And that's also easier to model in a DR system. "Bounces off" is when the damage was low enough nothing went through. "Getting to a gap" is a called shot or critical. "Goes through and messes you up" is when the damage rolled exceeds DR.
AC systems model the first, but have basically no means to model the weakened damage. It's all-or-nothing.

Yeah except that isn't really how they worked either. I don't think any swing with even a two handed sword is going to slash through full plate. Even halfswording and striking with the point is more about hitting gaps. And if you do get through, say with a war hammer, while the force that reaches your opponent will be less that doesn't necessarily mean you'll do that much less actual damage, it depends entirely on what you hit. If you really wanted to simulate this you'd have to first have a Penetration roll, to see if you got through the armor, and then have a damage roll, possibly modified by the results of the penetration roll. The AC system meanwhile can model both at the same time. Sometimes you beat the AC and only do 1 point of damage. Okay, so maybe you got through the plate but your blow was so weakened by it that you didn't do a lot of damage. another time you beat the AC and do 10 damage. Okay, so you found a gap and drove your weapon in through there doing a lot of damage. So you can get the same outcomes, you just have to interpret the results as a whole.

Which, again, might be how you want it for playability reasons. I'm just arguing which one models reality better. That's actually why I prefer it: if I believed otherwise, I'd have gone for Armour-as-TN.

Neither system models how this actually works, the best we can hope for is outcomes that reflect reality.

That's an interesting piece of data, thank you:thumbsup:!
So...the armour is ablative in this case?
Pretty much yeah, far more so than most medieval armor.
 
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