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

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raniE

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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.
Again though, humans became masters of the world and top of the food chain during the stone age. We didn't need fancier technology than fire and flint knapping to become the terrors of the world. You got a link to how people use spears to kill hippos from A AsenRG , and a long sword is essentially a fully metal spear, with sharp edges as well as a sharp point. Now, this is dangerous, but it doesn't mean it can't be done and the odds are on the side of the human. But the odds are on your side in a game of Russian roulette as well. You have an 83.33% chance of coming out alive of that one after all.
 

Fenris-77

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Again though, humans became masters of the world and top of the food chain during the stone age. We didn't need fancier technology than fire and flint knapping to become the terrors of the world. You got a link to how people use spears to kill hippos from A AsenRG , and a long sword is essentially a fully metal spear, with sharp edges as well as a sharp point. Now, this is dangerous, but it doesn't mean it can't be done and the odds are on the side of the human. But the odds are on your side in a game of Russian roulette as well. You have an 83.33% chance of coming out alive of that one after all.
None of that means you can kill a hippo with three feet of pointy steel. With a spear? Sure. With many spears? Even better. The longsword isn't the tool for that job, and no, it's not a metal spear. Just to pick one rather important difference, you can't set it against a charging hippo.

I can't believe we're having this argument btw, it's very silly. :grin:
 

AsenRG

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On the Great Hippo Debate, I'd like to point out that 1) thrown spears were preferred and 2) when the hippo approached, it was driven off by spears (presumably used up-close), so obviously it's not an unstoppable machine, and 3) some people still got wounded during those hunts.
I'm sure you're all going to take this to support your side, too...:gunslinger:

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.
Slash through? Probably not, though there is evidence to the contrary in some chronicles (where the zweihander was considered a one-hit-weapon...at a time when plate was becoming prevalent).

But mostly, I think it might weaken and crack it, so you'd have to go through on subsequent attempts (basically creating another gap for the point). That's what our experiments with lamellar showed, at least. I'd figure plate would be similar, since lamellar has smaller, but still plates.

Even halfswording and striking with the point is more about hitting gaps.
I know. And controlling the bind, and forcing the point to an actual gap...:grin:

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.
So you're in support of hit locations now:tongue:?

Also, of course it's going to be less. If I stick 2 inches of a spike in you*- and most spikes widen progressively - the odds are good it would be less damage in most places, than I was to stick 6 inches of the same spike in you, going through and opening an exit wound as well:devil:!


*Grammatical "you" and me being to lazy to rewrite.
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.
Or, you know, I could just have a soak roll modifying the damage, which allows me both in one roll.

Or I could have flat DR for the armour (per location) and offload the "how well it connected" to the MoS of the attack roll and strength of the attacker...hey, this actually reminds me of a system:shade:!

Or, of course, I could have armour save as in Zenobia/Dragon Warriors, and then modify the damage based on the type of armour (which neither of them does, but it's possible).

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.
Sure you can. And all three of the solutions above do the exact same thing...while also accounting for better-executed attacks being more likely to deliver the heavy damage!
Neither system models how this actually works, the best we can hope for is outcomes that reflect reality.
And I offered you a solution which does exactly that, above (the third one).

Pretty much yeah, far more so than most medieval armor.
Interesting.
And it reminds me of prison armour as well.
 

raniE

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None of that means you can kill a hippo with three feet of pointy steel. With a spear? Sure. With many spears? Even better. The longsword isn't the tool for that job, and no, it's not a metal spear. Just to pick one rather important difference, you can't set it against a charging hippo.

I can't believe we're having this argument btw, it's very silly. :grin:

Sure you can set it against a hippo charge. Just plant the hilt in the ground, keep your hands on the blade (a normal longsword technique anyway) and aim it toward the hippo. The hippo is very low off the ground so it'll run into it even if it is shorter than a typical spear.

And sure it's a silly argument, but I spent pages using statistics and facts to try to convince people that wolves aren't human killing machines and most predatory wolf attacks have been against children.
 

AsenRG

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Sure you can set it against a hippo charge. Just plant the hilt in the ground, keep your hands on the blade (a normal longsword technique anyway) and aim it toward the hippo. The hippo is very low off the ground so it'll run into it even if it is shorter than a typical spear.

And sure it's a silly argument, but I spent pages using statistics and facts to try to convince people that wolves aren't human killing machines and most predatory wolf attacks have been against children.
Let's set old debates aside, can we:thumbsup:?
 

AsenRG

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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.
Yeah, there is that as well.
And amusingly, said fiction holds better in a DR system:shade:!
 

raniE

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Slash through? Probably not, though there is evidence to the contrary in some chronicles (where the zweihander was considered a one-hit-weapon...at a time when plate was becoming prevalent).

But mostly, I think it might weaken and crack it, so you'd have to go through on subsequent attempts (basically creating another gap for the point). That's what our experiments with lamellar showed, at least. I'd figure plate would be similar, since lamellar has smaller, but still plates.


I know. And controlling the bind, and forcing the point to an actual gap...:grin:


So you're in support of hit locations now:tongue:?
We're talking about having more than 100 hit locations on your body, nothing as coarse as "head, torso, left arm, right arm, left leg, right leg." So no, I don't think that's useful, I think the dice as randomisers to a fine job already of showing if you got a hit to a more or less vital area.

Also, of course it's going to be less. If I stick 2 inches of a spike in you*- and most spikes widen progressively - the odds are good it would be less damage in most places, than I was to stick 6 inches of the same spike in you, going through and opening an exit wound as well:devil:!
Odds, sure, but you might end up with a less deep penetration doing a lot more damage than even a hit on an unarmored person. Armor as DR has difficulty modeling that, until you start piling on the rules.
*Grammatical "you" and me being to lazy to rewrite.

Or, you know, I could just have a soak roll modifying the damage, which allows me both in one roll.

Or I could have flat DR for the armour (per location) and offload the "how well it connected" to the MoS of the attack roll and strength of the attacker...hey, this actually reminds me of a system:shade:!

Or, of course, I could have armour save as in Zenobia/Dragon Warriors, and then modify the damage based on the type of armour (which neither of them does, but it's possible).
Yes, you can do this with a lot of systems, the point is that you can only do it in DR systems by adding a bunch of rules to the basic "roll to hit, roll damage, subtract armor value from damage". It has nothing to do with AC or DR, and everything to do with adding in more rules to make the sequence more realistic, but that forces you to add even more rules or the results your system generates will become less realistic.

Sure you can. And all three of the solutions above do the exact same thing...while also accounting for better-executed attacks being more likely to deliver the heavy damage!

And I offered you a solution which does exactly that, above (the third one).

No, you offered something that you say models the sequence better. But I'm much more interested in realistic, or at least verisimilitudinous, outcomes. As I pointed out earlier, in this post and in previous ones, increasing the detail and realism of part of the system can actually decrease the realism of the outcomes if you don't model everything with the same level of detail. And I'd rather have a system that moves relatively fast and produces fairly realistic outcomes, than one which moves slower and produces less realistic outcomes, or one that moves at a glacial pace but produces results mostly in line with the first system but sometimes a bit more realistic.

Interesting.
And it reminds me of prison armour as well.
What, like taping phonebooks to your body?
 
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Fenris-77

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I have a longsword, and I just spent a bunch of humorous moments crouched down on my kitchen floor trying to figure out how setting against a charge would be accomplished. I failed. Small sample size, I'll grant you.
 

TJS

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I have a longsword, and I just spent a bunch of humorous moments crouched down on my kitchen floor trying to figure out how setting against a charge would be accomplished. I failed. Small sample size, I'll grant you.
You wait for the hippo to open it's jaws and then you stab through the roof of it's mouth into it's brain.

hippo-information-and-facts.jpg
 

raniE

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I have a longsword, and I just spent a bunch of humorous moments crouched down on my kitchen floor trying to figure out how setting against a charge would be accomplished. I failed. Small sample size, I'll grant you.
What are your problems in comparison to doing it with a spear on the same floor?
 

raniE

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Matadors kill bulls with an estoc, essentially a longsword built only for thrusting. And while they are smaller than hippos, it's still in the same ballpark (the heaviest bull on record weighed 1,740 kg, the typical Spanish fighting bull weighs between 400 and 700 kg, the largest hippos can weigh up to 4,500 kg, but typical weight is 1,300 to 1,500 kg) and much heavier than a human.
 

robertsconley

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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).
In the seconds that combat plays out the difference between being naked and having well-fitted armor are negligible. Where it matters is in endurance over the course of hours. And in a few specific instances like an all out sprint which rarely happens in actual combat.

While I may not have fought with real medieval weapons, I have worn medieval armor during an intense battle and throughout the day. It not hindering but it is tiring. But not so tiring that it can't be managed. But if I was forced to keep on the move hours on the time I would have to make a serious choice about keeping the armor on or taking it off.

The key to well-fitted armor is largely in the straps. The actual pieces whether they are have a leather foundation, chainmail, or plate have a lot of wiggle room for fit, however proper belts and straps do not. Mess up the straps and you feel it quick.

Incidentally the worse armor to wear is chainmail as it hangs off a few pressure points. You can get around this with proper belting but compared to leather (with metal or plain) and plate it is noticeably more fatiguing to wear. Plate in contrast is far easier to wear for longer unless you have a suit of something like joust armor.
 

raniE

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In the seconds that combat plays out the difference between being naked and having well-fitted armor are negligible. Where it matters is in endurance over the course of hours. And in a few specific instances like an all out sprint which rarely happens in actual combat.

While I may not have fought with real medieval weapons, I have worn medieval armor during an intense battle and throughout the day. It not hindering but it is tiring. But not so tiring that it can't be managed. But if I was forced to keep on the move hours on the time I would have to make a serious choice about keeping the armor on or taking it off.

The key to well-fitted armor is largely in the straps. The actual pieces whether they are have a leather foundation, chainmail, or plate have a lot of wiggle room for fit, however proper belts and straps do not. Mess up the straps and you feel it quick.

Incidentally the worse armor to wear is chainmail as it hangs off a few pressure points. You can get around this with proper belting but compared to leather (with metal or plain) and plate it is noticeably more fatiguing to wear. Plate in contrast is far easier to wear for longer unless you have a suit of something like joust armor.
I've worn mail, it's hell it just rests on the shoulders, and the hips if you add a belt (intertestingly here, despite modern armor being more plate based, it hangs more like mail, on your shoulders and hips). I don't think the fatigue problems are limited to a span of hours though. Especially close fitted helmets make breathing hard (as well as hindering vision and hearing) and the pig faced bascinet came with quick-release pins for the faceplate at times. You might want it on the approach to not get hit in the face with an arrow, but not when you get into close combat.

But when it comes to sprinting, yeah, you'll note that this was in response to someone talking about a fully armored man running after fleeing enemies and cutting them down, or running away and cutting down pursuers (originally from the morale thread after all). In that context you simply will not be as fast when your legs are forced to propel all the extra mass attached to them as someone who isn't wearing plate. Leg armor, especially for the lower legs, was also the first armor to go when armor started to be phased out in the early modern era. The cuirass stayed, the helmet stayed, the arm cannons, even the tassets stayed at first, but the lower leg armor actually worn on the legs went out fast. They're the biggest hindrance to movement.
 
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raniE

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A AsenRG Ok, I found one, I don't think it was the one I was thinking of but it's one I had on my shelf. Dark Sagas. The game uses 2d6+attribute vs target number for most things. Attributes range from 1-10, with 6 as max during character creation. Combat Ability is one of the core attributes, so to attack you roll 2d6+combat ability+mods (Warriors get +1 to attack with any weapons, dwarves get +1 to attack with hammers and axes, etc), against a static defense target number of 7+Quickness (another attribute, so 1-10 with 6 max at start)+ armor bonus (ranging from +1 for light armors like a gambeson or buff coat to +4 for full plate, with a shield being another +2). Hit points are determined at start depending on your class, ranging from Physique (again, 1-10 with 6 max at start) + 8 for Wizards, to Physique +20 for Dwarves.

Now, this system does have some ability to increase your HP, so it isn't a perfect match. Experience points let you buy new spells, languages, literacy or for warriors combat styles, but it also lets you increase your attributes, which includes Physique, up to 10. If you increase your Physique, your HP will increase accordingly. You can also buy extra hit points (or magic points for powering spells) separately from attributes, but a maximum of 10 extra . So if you are a Warrior, You might start with 20 HP (Physique 4, +16 for being a warrior) and you'd be able to buy your way up to 36 HP if you spent all your experience points on Physique and hit points. In a D&D 5e campaign, this would be like going from a level 2 Fighter (typical HP 20), to a level 4 Fighter (typical HP 36). In OSR terms, maybe more like 3-4 levels of increase instead of 2, and starting from level 3-4, but still not a massive increase.
 

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This armour debate reminds me of the old saw about Value for money - Fast, Quick, Cheap - pick 2.

So in a game context what are the variables of what we are trying to model, and what are the principles we are looking to balance?

Can we say:

Verisimilitude - the outcome of the interactions of weapons and armour feels real for it's genre
Ease of resolution - how many decisions, checks of details and rolls of dice are needed
Choices of character & play - that there are choices of weapon and armour that are different and have game tradeoffs (i.e. encumbrance/damage absorbtion/accuracy/cost/training difficulty/whatever)

Can we agree these as the probable tradeoffs for a combat system in a roleplaying game context? If we can does that help the discussion and why we might individually prefer one system or another?

Or is this debate about realism as much as we can judge that ,allowing for the fact that we are modelling the impact of 11' tall humanoids wielding hammers the size of the knight they are trying to mash?
 

raniE

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This armour debate reminds me of the old saw about Value for money - Fast, Quick, Cheap - pick 2.

So in a game context what are the variables of what we are trying to model, and what are the principles we are looking to balance?

Can we say:

Verisimilitude - the outcome of the interactions of weapons and armour feels real for it's genre
Ease of resolution - how many decisions, checks of details and rolls of dice are needed
Choices of character & play - that there are choices of weapon and armour that are different and have game tradeoffs (i.e. encumbrance/damage absorbtion/accuracy/cost/training difficulty/whatever)

Can we agree these as the probable tradeoffs for a combat system in a roleplaying game context? If we can does that help the discussion and why we might individually prefer one system or another?

Or is this debate about realism as much as we can judge that ,allowing for the fact that we are modelling the impact of 11' tall humanoids wielding hammers the size of the knight they are trying to mash?
Kind of, but it isn't really a "choose 2 out of 3" of those. I want all 3 of those, but perhaps not to the same degree as others. When it comes to weapons and armor I am in particular less concerned about specifics of realism/verisimilitude in the small details than I am about the realism/verisimilitude of combat outcomes/choices. A more holistic view if you will. If a pollaxe is a better weapon than a rapier against a guy in full plate, but a rapier is really good against unarmored opponents, then I'm generally happy. Detailed rules often fall into what I consider a trap of ever increasing detail for the sake of realism, but end up actually decreasing the actual realism in play, because not all aspects were modeled for. Individual changes must always be weighed against "ok, but what does this do to the system as a whole". Say you start out with a simple system of roll to hit, roll for damage, all weapons do 1d6 damage. Ok, so every weapon is the same. Well, you say that swords should be better than daggers, so you give the weapons different damage dice, or at least bonuses to the die roll. Ok, but now a mace and a sword are always the same, or one is always better than the other. Ok, so you add rules for armor penetration, and then reach, and then specific hit locations etc etc etc and you just need to keep going. In the end, you need to find a set of rules that will lead to the expected outcomes and choices but doesn't become so insanely rules heavy that it is too cumbersome to use. And different rules will be differently cumbersome to different people, and their level of tolerance for cumbersomeness will differ too.
 

zanshin

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Kind of, but it isn't really a "choose 2 out of 3" of those. I want all 3 of those, but perhaps not to the same degree as others. When it comes to weapons and armor I am in particular less concerned about specifics of realism/verisimilitude in the small details than I am about the realism/verisimilitude of combat outcomes/choices. A more holistic view if you will. If a pollaxe is a better weapon than a rapier against a guy in full plate, but a rapier is really good against unarmored opponents, then I'm generally happy. Detailed rules often fall into what I consider a trap of ever increasing detail for the sake of realism, but end up actually decreasing the actual realism in play, because not all aspects were modeled for. Individual changes must always be weighed against "ok, but what does this do to the system as a whole". Say you start out with a simple system of roll to hit, roll for damage, all weapons do 1d6 damage. Ok, so every weapon is the same. Well, you say that swords should be better than daggers, so you give the weapons different damage dice, or at least bonuses to the die roll. Ok, but now a mace and a sword are always the same, or one is always better than the other. Ok, so you add rules for armor penetration, and then reach, and then specific hit locations etc etc etc and you just need to keep going. In the end, you need to find a set of rules that will lead to the expected outcomes and choices but doesn't become so insanely rules heavy that it is too cumbersome to use. And different rules will be differently cumbersome to different people, and their level of tolerance for cumbersomeness will differ too.
Sure, but it's a question of what you prioritise, and I think there are trade offs as you have set out. I think it's a matter of personal sweetspots.

I used to value verisimilitude much more highly than I do now. I think my priorities would go Ease/Choice/Verisimilitude now.
 

raniE

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Sure, but it's a question of what you prioritise, and I think there are trade offs as you have set out. I think it's a matter of personal sweetspots.

I used to value verisimilitude much more highly than I do now. I think my priorities would go Ease/Choice/Verisimilitude now.
Yeah, I value ease of use and speed higher than I used to now, and for the level I like I find Armor Class gives me more verisimilitude for the same ease than Damage Reduction.
 

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But when it comes to sprinting, yeah, you'll note that this was in response to someone talking about a fully armored man running after fleeing enemies and cutting them down, or running away and cutting down pursuers (originally from the morale thread after all). In that context you simply will not be as fast when your legs are forced to propel all the extra mass attached to them as someone who isn't wearing plate. Leg armor, especially for the lower legs, was also the first armor to go when armor started to be phased out in the early modern era. The cuirass stayed, the helmet stayed, the arm cannons, even the tassets stayed at first, but the lower leg armor actually worn on the legs went out fast. They're the biggest hindrance to movement.
Sure but... :wink: we are talking conflict between combatants so everybody will be armored. So effectively it is a wash. As for history the most heavily armored individuals were also mounted, especially in the medieval and dark ages. The mix was different for classical and ancient period but so was the armor they wore. In short it depends on the circumstances.

Finally historically most of the deaths and causalities in medieval battles occurred during the rout i.e. after the morale check was failed.
 

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Sure but... :wink: we are talking conflict between combatants so everybody will be armored. So effectively it is a wash. As for history the most heavily armored individuals were also mounted, especially in the medieval and dark ages. The mix was different for classical and ancient period but so was the armor they wore. In short it depends on the circumstances.

Finally historically most of the deaths and causalities in medieval battles occurred during the rout i.e. after the morale check was failed.
Most of the combats simulated in RPGs are not after a rout, that's the bit most likely to get handwaved, or moved away from combat rules.
 

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This armour debate reminds me of the old saw about Value for money - Fast, Quick, Cheap - pick 2.

So in a game context what are the variables of what we are trying to model, and what are the principles we are looking to balance?

With Armor Class is all comes back to these charts from Chainmail.

1623256283724.png

1623256324747.png

In a wargame meant to handle hundreds of combatants fighting hundreds of combatants, you want things to be quick and easy. Nor you care much about the in between results. Either the target was dead or alive is pretty much the only thing one had time for.

So the Man to Man chart works by comparing weapons being used against the armor of the target. The main combat table was concerned about a set of equipment that includes both weapons and armor versus another set of equipment.

The result were similar to both either the target(s) were alive or dead (or out of the fight at least).

The alive or dead part got expanded into hit point as a binary result proved not fun for a campaign focused on playing individuals. But idea of Armor as the factor remain consistent as it transformed into Armor Class. But instead the odds being determined by what weapon being used it was primarily determined by how experienced the character was.

The consequences of this path of development is that D&D Armor Class (and hit points) never address what injuries the character suffered. Or even if the weapon attack actually touched the target. Instead with the switch to hit point it focuses on combat endurance. As a result it makes sense that armor would increase the length of time you can fight until you were taken out. Just as it made sense in chainmail that armor would make the target easier or harder to kill.

However if one consider known whether a weapon attack actually hit, or have a clear idea of the injuries suffered by the character. Then you need something like Runequest or GURPS which add extra steps to resolving a round of combat.

The advantage of Armor Class is that it is fast. However without an explanation like above it looks arbitrary and folks have trouble visualizing the action. The advantage of adding in a Damage Reduction step is that it is easier to visualize. Probably makes corner cases like knocking something out of a target's hand easier to adjudicate. But the downside is an increase in mechanical complexity.

All and all I prefer how Runequest, GURPS, etc. handle armor as damage reduction. However since I figured the above out, I haven't had any issues adjudicating or describing similar results using Armor Class.
 

robertsconley

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Most of the combats simulated in RPGs are not after a rout, that's the bit most likely to get handwaved, or moved away from combat rules.
I wouldn't be sure about that. I found that when I use morale and a rout occurs that the players will go after the opposition to make sure they don't reform and come back at the party. Some will still escape but never as many that try to run for it at first.

It happens in my campaign that a defeated enemy that routed will reform and appear again later in the campaign or adventure.
 

raniE

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Sure but... :wink: we are talking conflict between combatants so everybody will be armored. So effectively it is a wash. As for history the most heavily armored individuals were also mounted, especially in the medieval and dark ages. The mix was different for classical and ancient period but so was the armor they wore. In short it depends on the circumstances.

Finally historically most of the deaths and causalities in medieval battles occurred during the rout i.e. after the morale check was failed.
Not really. Even in battles the amount of armor is going to vary a lot between various units (a crossbowman or pikeman is not going to be as heavily armored as a man-at-arms) and this goes even more for rpg characters. A wizard may be wearing nothing heavier than some wool clothes. Men-at-arms fought dismounted a lot too, and this is obviously the case in the example, otherwise why would we be talking about how fast he could run and not his horse?

As for your last point, yes, this was again exactly what was being discussed there. But this usually took the form of cavalry, especially light cavalry, pursuing, not so much a man-at-arms in full Milanese plate running after a fleeing pikeman in only a munitions cuirass and helmet. The pikeman will outpace the man-at-arms unless he falls or is wounded already.
 

raniE

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I wouldn't be sure about that. I found that when I use morale and a rout occurs that the players will go after the opposition to make sure they don't reform and come back at the party. Some will still escape but never as many that try to run for it at first.

It happens in my campaign that a defeated enemy that routed will reform and appear again later in the campaign or adventure.
This thread was born out of the morale thread, but the side discussion about Armor Class vs Damage Reduction was moved out as it was taking over the thread. It's be a bit silly if we had to do the same thing but backwards, so maybe take the discussion about fleeing (which I do find interesting, otherwise I wouldn't have started a thread about morale) back there?
 

raniE

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With Armor Class is all comes back to these charts from Chainmail.

View attachment 31768

View attachment 31769

In a wargame meant to handle hundreds of combatants fighting hundreds of combatants, you want things to be quick and easy. Nor you care much about the in between results. Either the target was dead or alive is pretty much the only thing one had time for.

So the Man to Man chart works by comparing weapons being used against the armor of the target. The main combat table was concerned about a set of equipment that includes both weapons and armor versus another set of equipment.

The result were similar to both either the target(s) were alive or dead (or out of the fight at least).

The alive or dead part got expanded into hit point as a binary result proved not fun for a campaign focused on playing individuals. But idea of Armor as the factor remain consistent as it transformed into Armor Class. But instead the odds being determined by what weapon being used it was primarily determined by how experienced the character was.

The consequences of this path of development is that D&D Armor Class (and hit points) never address what injuries the character suffered. Or even if the weapon attack actually touched the target. Instead with the switch to hit point it focuses on combat endurance. As a result it makes sense that armor would increase the length of time you can fight until you were taken out. Just as it made sense in chainmail that armor would make the target easier or harder to kill.

However if one consider known whether a weapon attack actually hit, or have a clear idea of the injuries suffered by the character. Then you need something like Runequest or GURPS which add extra steps to resolving a round of combat.

The advantage of Armor Class is that it is fast. However without an explanation like above it looks arbitrary and folks have trouble visualizing the action. The advantage of adding in a Damage Reduction step is that it is easier to visualize. Probably makes corner cases like knocking something out of a target's hand easier to adjudicate. But the downside is an increase in mechanical complexity.

All and all I prefer how Runequest, GURPS, etc. handle armor as damage reduction. However since I figured the above out, I haven't had any issues adjudicating or describing similar results using Armor Class.

You can clarify what injuries a character suffers too in a D&D style system. Adventurer, Conqueror, King has a table you roll on if you reach 0 HP, but you don't do it during the fight, you roll on it when someone comes and checks on the casualty. Keeps the combat flowing and then you deal with the aftermath later.
 

xanther

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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.
That makes sense, I do like using dice in this fashion.
 

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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:!
Yes I forgot that. :smile:


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).

I get what you are saying here. I thought people were being less precise about the term, glad they meant the basically pick type hammer. In all though either way works, and I prefer the high 'penetration" approach and it makes even more sense with the pick type war hammer.

Yes HTH stuff is stun only, at least until you reach the higher levels of the mystical martial arts :smile: Or wear some cestus.

As to stun breaking bones and the like, some weapons I have stun as an option for damage type (say you don't want to kill them) and others can do stun damage only. On the latter I may be missing some things for the sake of simplicity and abstraction.

Weapons that fall under the class of Mace have stun as an damage option, or you can do lethal damage with it. In general I have few weapons that do stun only, the "hammer" I was thinking of originally was more a mallet type deal.

I tend to abstract damage a fair bit and the broken bones type thing is more for critical type damage. Which in the interest of fuller disclosure I use three damage and HP types: Critical, Lethal and Stun.

A point of clarification on nomenclature, critical damage does not arise from critical hits. Critical HP are basically what we in the real world would consider damage, you get few and they are hard to add, and it takes weeks or months to heal such damage. Few weapons do such critical damage, only high level and high tech stuff like vorpal blades, high tech weapons, and certain magic...as well as things that are just nasty like a fall from substantial height, lava, etc. You really want good armor to down convert it to lethal damage.

What most systems call a "critical hit" in my approach is just applying more of your success to damage or to aim and hit a vulnerable spot.

So Critical HP are basically your actual physical ability to resist damage, while Lethal and Stun HP include a lot else to keep the heroic genre feel.

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.

Agreed. In my approach they have higher "penetration" as do axes as a class, and being two handed you get an extra attack die, which means a chance for more damage. Their downside is they are slow (initiative penalty) and not well suited to a 5' corridor or less :smile: That and they take 2 hands precluding shield use.
 

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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)
Fair enough. Such war hammer just has a higher penetration in my approach, and may give it a stun damage only option to reflect the hammer head side.
 

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....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. ...
Not at all from one of my best friends actually being a cop and having been shot with a vest on. You can see it in the actual technical specs of this type of armor. It spreads out the impact and keeps the bullet from going into you but the vest deflects in and if it deflects in too much in the wrong place organ trauma, broken bones...that is you can still die. This is a great example of what I call damage down conversion.

It is in no way shape or form "maybe a bruise."
 

raniE

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Not at all from one of my best friends actually being a cop and having been shot with a vest on. You can see it in the actual technical specs of this type of armor. It spreads out the impact and keeps the bullet from going into you but the vest deflects in and if it deflects in too much in the wrong place organ trauma, broken bones...that is you can still die. This is a great example of what I call damage down conversion.

It is in no way shape or form "maybe a bruise."
I was talking more about military grade stuff, the type with plate inserts. Those don’t really deflect much, they can’t as they’re solid. But I checked on the fabric types, and apparently the US standards allow for twice as much deflection as the European standards. 44mm for NIJ vs 25 mm for VPAM. That’s messed up, but also interesting info to someone who doesn’t live in the US.
 

Fenris-77

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What are your problems in comparison to doing it with a spear on the same floor?
About 3 or 4 feet in length plus anywhere to hold it closer to the pointy bit? Unless you happen to get it in the head, it'll be eating your tripes before you get it stuck in it's belly. Granted I don't have a lot of experience hunting hippos with a longsword...
 

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About 3 or 4 feet in length plus anywhere to hold it closer to the pointy bit? Unless you happen to get it in the head, it'll be eating your tripes before you get it stuck in it's belly. Granted I don't have a lot of experience hunting hippos with a longsword...
You can grip a sword by the blade. As for hitting the head, I'm not sure how you could miss it. A hippo is mainly head from the front, they have itty bitty little legs and massive heads. You'd not be able to hit the belly with a spear set against its charge either, you'd have to go for the head then too, or at least the neck.
 

Fenris-77

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You can grip a sword by the blade. As for hitting the head, I'm not sure how you could miss it. A hippo is mainly head from the front, they have itty bitty little legs and massive heads. You'd not be able to hit the belly with a spear set against its charge either, you'd have to go for the head then too, or at least the neck.
I don't understand how you don't see the massive problem of how close the sword leaves you to the target. Or the problems of having to firmly grip a sword blade, but that's more easily fixed with gauntlets of some kind. Anyway, I'm about done with the hippo hunting example....
 

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I don't understand how you don't see the massive problem of how close the sword leaves you to the target. Or the problems of having to firmly grip a sword blade, but that's more easily fixed with gauntlets of some kind. Anyway, I'm about done with the hippo hunting example....
I'm not! We are talking hippo hunting in real life? That hippo head is got some thick bone, so poking it in the head is not going to save you. Also, the hippo is moving all the time so even if you stick it good with your spear, there is a very good chance it could be wrenched out of your hands by just the hippo body movement.

Now, in my mind, the only real chance you have quickly is if you can throw a spear or something when it opens its mouth in a threat display or to chomp on you...but then you got to get out of the way fast. One might be able to dance around the hippo and slowly wear it down, but that is going to depend a lot on how fast and in condition you are and the terrain. Or if one is agile perhaps get onto its back, I'd suggest practicing the ancient art of bull vaulting to get ready (that is a real thing by the way), can't be much harder than jumping over a moving car :smile:.

Thing with the hippo, getting close enough to use a melee weapon (even a spear) is going to put you in range of easily being hit by the hippos body. That alone is enough to knock you down and once down you are a goner.

OK now can we talk Rhinos? :smile:
 

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I don't want to derail things... but this thread reminds of me why I much prefer to abstract damage avoidance by the skill of the opponents and leave the absorption abstraction to the armor.

Fantasy Craft (if we're keeping to "D&D") did this by assigning Defense Value based on Class level progression with obvious combat types having stronger progression. This also meant casters could effectively wear armor.

Talislanta does this - as your penalty to hit anyone with a melee attack is their total +hit bonus your opponent has with whatever weapon they're using to actively defend.

Savage Worlds does this by assigning a derived Parry rating based on the Fighting score of the melee opponent.

This is still in keeping with the idea that 1) Casters aren't very good at fighting 2) Lightly Armored warriors are very much a thing (they just can't take big hits) 3) Heavily armored warriors will beat you by attrition if nothing else.

I never understood why D&D never went this way. It seems to thread a lot of needles in the AC debate that's raged for decades.
 

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Not at all from one of my best friends actually being a cop and having been shot with a vest on. You can see it in the actual technical specs of this type of armor. It spreads out the impact and keeps the bullet from going into you but the vest deflects in and if it deflects in too much in the wrong place organ trauma, broken bones...that is you can still die. This is a great example of what I call damage down conversion.

It is in no way shape or form "maybe a bruise."
I know folks like the "cool" kids on the block better like the latest edition of Mythras and Savage Worlds :wink: But like always GURPS has it covered without having to go into a mountain of math or mechanics.

Page 379 Core Book - Campaigns
1623340777866.png
 

raniE

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I know folks like the "cool" kids on the block better like the latest edition of Mythras and Savage Worlds :wink: But like always GURPS has it covered without having to go into a mountain of math or mechanics.

Page 379 Core Book - Campaigns
View attachment 31782
Problem with GURPS there though is the very variable bullet damage means bullet-resistant armor does not have the type of effect it should have, where a certain class of armor will stop a bullet of a given caliber at a certain speed, almost every time (the first hit at least).
 

raniE

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I'm not! We are talking hippo hunting in real life? That hippo head is got some thick bone, so poking it in the head is not going to save you. Also, the hippo is moving all the time so even if you stick it good with your spear, there is a very good chance it could be wrenched out of your hands by just the hippo body movement.

Now, in my mind, the only real chance you have quickly is if you can throw a spear or something when it opens its mouth in a threat display or to chomp on you...but then you got to get out of the way fast. One might be able to dance around the hippo and slowly wear it down, but that is going to depend a lot on how fast and in condition you are and the terrain. Or if one is agile perhaps get onto its back, I'd suggest practicing the ancient art of bull vaulting to get ready (that is a real thing by the way), can't be much harder than jumping over a moving car :smile:.

Thing with the hippo, getting close enough to use a melee weapon (even a spear) is going to put you in range of easily being hit by the hippos body. That alone is enough to knock you down and once down you are a goner.

OK now can we talk Rhinos? :smile:

The thing is you don't have to guess. There's a firsthand account of how people hunt hippos today, or at least recently, posted in this thread. They go out in boats and throw spears at them, then herd the hippo where they want it and finish it off or let it die of blood loss. This idea that human beings with weapons can't go up against animals has got to stop. It has nothing to do with reality.
 
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