Saturday, March 13, 2010

D&D Armor is just soooooooo Out of WACK!

So, have you ever noticed that d20 Armor rules are totally and completely out of wack?  Is it the same with D&D 4e, or was Mike Mearles an actual Medieval Martial Artist and he set the record straight?   Well, here is the problem with Armor in d20:

"This is a bit off-topic, but have you ever noticed that the armor design (not visual, system-wise) are really weird? Specially with heavy armors. An example of this is the half-plate, it's got worse max dex bonus than the full plate, worse armor check penalty and worse arcane spell failure, shouldn't it be the other way around? It's so weird, that having a chain shirt is sometimes a better choice of armor than the rest of them, with the exception of having a mithril full plate. And i hate d20 shields.

Now that that rant's over, back to business. Considering the fact that restricting equipment due to character level doesn't really work that well in an pen & paper rpg, people should be able to get pauldrons from the start. I do agree that cloak providing DR is absurd, but leather gloves, helm and boots should give you DR, that's not insane(they work against a club, not so well against a sword hahahahaah). And in the case of the plate, the DR would be divided between the chest and legs, 5 & 3 respectively, at least that's what I've thinking. It's mainly because I've never assumed that armor includes helm, boots and gauntlets, that's why I'm not "removing" more DR from the full plate, because the armor covering almost all your body, except hands, feet and head, still deserves dr 8 hahahahahaha.

I'm still thinking how to handle it, Item levels still seem the best idea so far, just need to figure out what each item level provides for damage/DR(in armor). The other idea I have, like i mentioned before, was damage increase depending on by how much you exceed someone's "defense". Maybe both ideas are not mutually exclusive.

I'd love to use durability rules, which would let me explain how different materials in weapons affect the items hit by those weapons, but if there's one rule that's horrible to keep track of, it's durability. If keeping track of how much damage an item has taken with sunder is already difficult, specially with multiple items getting damage, doing so for every item in the game, even without sunder, is 10 times as hard, and boring.

I really need to thank you for the DR/bludgeoning idea, it's brilliant.

I'll be sitting down this weekend and start writing stuff up."

That is from the Unofficial World of Warcraft RPG Forums -- the kind that is up since White Wolf and Blizzard dropped the RPG license. Apparently, someone from the forum said that there is a problem with how Armor works in the game.  I've been asking around to see if anyone else noticed the problem.  Well, when a Martial Artist knowledgeable in Medieval fighting arts (the Arts of Mars everyone!) spoke up on the ICE forums I had to read what he had to say.

"There are so many things wrong with arms & armour in their game that I can’t stand to read it.

A half-plate is of course ligther than a full suit, because it’s basically a full suit from which you remove the legs’ covering. Sometimes the removal occured on the battlefield (like knight Bayard did at Marignan). The point was to lighten the suit and to gain speed and mobility. Writing the contrary, even in a gaming manual, is so wrong it should tear a hole in the space and time continuum.

Some fighters only wore armour on the fore leg (the one you put in front while fighting). Philippe de Lalaing did, and so did the roman hastati of the camillan period."

So, what can we do to fix this?  Best place to start is simple.  60 lbs is the limit a body can take.  Walk a mile in Maille, and it needs to weigh 40 lbs (or less).  I'll be working on rules that will change how Armor works in Pathfinder d20.  If anyone didn't do it first.  As for you D&D 4e buffs, if you find glaring inconsistencies in your game -- you know where to start. 

1 comment:

Norman Harman said...

All ways figured plate mail/half plate was http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plated_mail

And full plate this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_armour

Not that half plate was a suit of Maximilian with the pants taken off.

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