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Papa Goob

Armor rules

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We've got discussions scattered throughout multiple threads concerning armor use.. upping the armor scale to 5, making articulated plate monstrous, requiring a helm to be within 1 armor point (material wise) to count, etc etc. Of all this, what would people like to see added, removed, updated?

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The part about helm being within 1 point of the torso was not something that needed to be added, just clarified.

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Did we ever toss around the idea of a great helm (i.e. face-covered) adding 2 points to armor, or am I making that up?

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My proposal is that we add a 5th level to the existing scale: one for articulated full plate armor. That's all I'd change.

 

I'm against giving people a bonus for impeding their vision. Full face helmets are dangerous - take it from the guy who wore a sallet for years. I ALWAYS fought with the visor rammed up anyways. I could see maybe offering two points for a metal helmet to differentiate it from the cheesy leather hats.

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I would be in support of 2 points for metal VS 1 point for leather.

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Full disclosure: To my knowledge only 4 sets of plate have ever seen game here at Novitas. 3 of them are currently in my party (I'm wearing one). I know that another is likely to see play soon in the HoCB. This discussion was first suggested in the old forums (can someone help me link to them please?) months before all but one of these breastplates ever saw game.

 

Articulated Plate: Armor cap is currently 4 (5 with a helmet). Under the current ruling there is no reason at all to wear actual plate (articulated or not) on the limbs. Chain, studded heavy leather, etc. already get their value bumped up to match the torso o' steel anyway. Articulation refers more typically to the coverage of joints in all stages of motion. For those unfamiliar think the classic image of a knight in shining armor. Total, moving, steel everywhere coverage. Heavy as heck, noisy, slow, major OOG upkeep.

 

Even if we created a 5th class of armor there wouldn't be much articulation about it. Armor value is derived from the torso and a closed breastplate might get a gorget or pauldrons, but there is little more that can be done for it. Gorgets are useless in this system as neck shots are without value and helmets grant the armor point. Pauldrons cover the joint to the arm, this automatically assumes that the arms are going to be covered with plate, which is also valueless in our system.

 

Enhance armor is useless while wearing plate unless you are using it to raise the value of the limbs to within 1 pt of the torso. Since it is explicitly stated that nothing can raise armor above 4 (5 w/ hat), the only real and practical benefit for creating an "articulated plate" class of armor is to allow players with 4 pt armor to get a benefit from the Enhance Armor spell.

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Monstrous Plate

 

This was suggested by a player back on the old forums and has been tossed around for a while since. Allowing plate to count as monstrous. The idea here is to give value to plate armor that separates it from the other 4 point armors which include partial plate+chain, reinforced hide armor, scaled hide, and the like. Currently as described above there is no reason to wear plate on the limbs because a player can simply wear armor of a lesser value and have it count for the torso value anyway. Also, because of the armor cap, Enhance Armor garners little to no benefit.

 

Because the plate is monstrous its actual armor value does not change and the cap can still apply. There becomes a reason for players to actually go through the upkeep and discomfort of wearing the plate because there is a benefit that cannot be gained by simply casting what is currently a 2nd lvl spell (possibly to become a 1st lvl spell).

 

Additionally, it gives a real reason for pla yers to go to the hassle and expense of acquiring and wearing plate for the extremities. While a character may opt to wear a 4 pt breastplate and 3 pt limbs for a combined value of 4 armor, the limbs would not gain the benefit of being monstrous as they are explicitly not plate.

 

Example: Rothgar has a breastplate and is wearing studded heavy leather vambraces. His total armor value is 4 for the covered areas. Only his torso armor counts as monstrous. If he receives blows to the chest his total armor value only drops by 1 pt per hit. If, however, the NPC attacking him uses some fancy bladework he may land a 3 damage blow on Rothgar's vambraced arm. Since the vambraces are not plate (and there for not monstrous) his total armor value drops by 3 pts. Thus only his torso is benefitting from the addtional quality that plate provides.

 

Now the practice of wearing inferior armor on the limbs still is valid for all types of armor, but there is an incentive to commit to something heavier and harder to come by. For a player who is head to toe in plate, there is an actual reason to wear it all as opposed to just casting Enhance Armor on themselves.

 

Also, it might be annoying and redundant to use Magic Armor and Improved Magic Armor over plate. The power points used to fuel the Magic Armor would be better spent on Mend Armor instead. This way there might eventually become common practice that light armor users (mages and the like) would use body and magic armor to supplement their lighter armor. Those who wear plate might just rely on their armor to get through the dangers of combat, preferring to save the power to mend their armor afterward. If there were a fight that was looking to be particularly horrible, it might be worth layering up all the magical and mundane protections, but in general practice this might fall out of favor.

 

It seems out of place to me that a character could ever do enough sit ups in a lifetime to condition their bodies to be a resilient and pain resistant as a man in full plate.

 

With the addition of a 3rd lvl spell added to Battle Magic, and the proposed ability of Smite to ignore monstrous I think that this is an even more balanced proposition than it was before.

 

Possible adjustments: Only allow plate to count as 3 monstrous armor. That way wearing a plate helm would take the total armor value up to a total of 4.

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I'm trying to keep an open mind about this, but I still think the plate-is-monstrous ability is too complicated, and may increase instances of rhino-hiding. I'd like to find other, simpler things that make plate more attractive.

 

What if we simply do away with the "within one point of the torso's value" addendum? All your armor must match to gain armor value for all the pieces. You're still free to count parts as less, or not get a benefit for other parts.

 

This would remove the dodge of wearing rivet-studded vege-tanned bracers with a plate breastplate with spaulders and claiming full coverage. It also eliminates the dodge of wearing studded light leather bracers with a chain shirt and taking 3 all over.

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I must say that wearing plate is both a huge PITA as well as an exspensive proposition to get the whole coverage. I don't mind rewarding the players who go out of their way to not only wear that heavy crap all damn day but also to deal with the upkeep of it. Also plate just looks damn cool. I think one of the major reasons other than the general pain of it is that the only incentive to wear it is 1 more point of armor. That to me just isn't worth by far the expense nor the exhaustion of wearing a suit for a day of fighting and running.

 

Justin's idea will start to really distinguish the heavy infantry types from the light skirmisher types. The mages will rely on their magic to protect them while the fighters will rely on their steel to do so.

 

Basically the way it is now wearing plate slows one down so much that the extra point of armor granted from it doesn't really matter. That point, or more, is taken because your usually getting hit more often due to being slowed down by the armor your wearing. This is just inconsistant to me and makes no sense for anyone to wear. I'm pretty sure Justin Howard stopped wearing Dave's plate for just that reason. He was getting one or two more points of protection but was getting hit twice as much.

 

The monstrous idea is the only one I've seen so far that makes it worth the effort. With plate as monstrous you can at least take the couple extra shots you're sure to from being slowed down. If we make Smite and the level 3 tag bag ignore monstrous then even more so. Also it makes things like Hand of Death and Two Step even more the answer for taking down people in armor.

 

As an added thing we could make Vial of Acid ignore Monstrous as well perhaps. I'm thinking of Aliens where the marines are frantically stripping off their armor as it burns away. Anyway those are my first quick thoughts on the matter.

 

-Brian

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I'm trying to keep an open mind about this, but I still think the plate-is-monstrous ability is too complicated, and may increase instances of rhino-hiding. I'd like to find other, simpler things that make plate more attractive.

 

You could be right. I appreciate the open mind. It might add a little bit of complication leading to a few honest mistakes, but I'm not sure that it would last. In the case of someone using Magic Armor over plate anyway(inefficient as that may be) they might be getting an extra two blows out of their armor if hit for 1's. An extra single hit from the MA if hit for 2's. Anything over that counts as a hit to the plate anyway. Below the plate is Body, which of course would not be monstrous. After counting those 4 blows (doing no subtraction from multiple sources) they would have to be able to count damage normally, from a max of 4 or less to begin with. In the case of being hit by multiple sources from different calls ("1!, 3!, 2!, 2!") all of that is counting blows instead of doing subtraction.

 

One of the hopes here is that people who use this option will be choosing to rely on their armor and then cast Mend Armor. This way the Power Point efficiency lends suggestion to forgoing Magic Armor (a spell that is currently too good not to have) for Mend Armor. Knowing that you have 4 hits no matter what the source before you need to start counting Body damage is easier math, I think. If it isn't easier I really don't think it would be much harder.

 

Really if we want to reduce rhino-hiding I think that our plan (this may be news to players) about a more constant GM presence in the field as observers to combat is going to be our best option. Players who cheat will continue to cheat regardless of what they are wearing on their backs. If they have a positive attitude and feel that the game is going the way it ought to be I think that they will be less grabby and "forget" the rules when convenient. Better enforcement of combat rules and policies falls on all our shoulders player and GM alike, but unlike players GMs in the field can lay down the law of need be. I'm not really seeing this as something that will encourage cheating. If we have GMs in the field and they're paying attention, they'll know if this is contributing to the problem. I don't think we need to send baby-sitters just for plate-users either. We're doing the field GM thing anyway.

 

This would remove the dodge of wearing rivet-studded vege-tanned bracers with a plate breastplate with spaulders and claiming full coverage. It also eliminates the dodge of wearing studded light leather bracers with a chain shirt and taking 3 all over.

 

While I would personally have preferred that if we were starting from scratch, I think that at this point there are far too many people who's character's gear is built around that rule. I think that this (as much as I like it thematically) would really hurt at lot of our players. Many of them who wear chain and paid for armor use are wearing 2pt bracers and would suddenly be unable to take advantage of those points, or be forced to take no coverage on the limbs... In the case of players having to take no limb coverage to keep the torso value I think that we might also have a rhino-hiding problem. "Oooops I forgot..." of "It hit the edge of my armor, that counts" A lot of people missing that protection they are used to and thinking after the fight "It isn't so bad if I made just a little mistake this time." I'm sure it already happens and a little bit of disgruntled mixed into people who feel something has been taken away might take us into rhino-world too. I'm not sure if this will help us much more. *See discussion on rhino-hiding above.*

 

Some player feedback could be helpful here.

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But does it hurt anything to do it?

*This is in reference to adding a 5th level of armor worth 5 points called Articulated Plate.*

 

I doubt that it would hurt much or even change much other than to see Enhance Armor used more often. I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) you are the only one ever to have a set of plate so complete as to qualify for the proposed 5th lvl of armor. All one would get for wearing such a heavy, hard to maintain suit would be a single extra armor point. The same advantage could be gained by using one or two Power.

 

I think if it doesn't hurt, but won't help us see much more armor use it wouldn't do a lot of good either. We already have nearly everyone wearing a blue strip anyway.

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If we're worried about the monstrous thing then another thing we could do for plate is they could call "no effect" on the first damage that hits them for the day. Similar to how Ogres ignore the first compulsion tag bag. Basically someone in a suit of undamaged plate can ignore the first hit in combat and then they start to take damage normally.

 

This would give them at least one hit which they're bound to take anyway as they're slower but still give that impression that plate is bad ass and someone wearing it can ignore a hit or two before having to worry. Just another quick thought I had on the subject.

 

-Brian

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I wouldn't take 5 for my armor, it's got too much leather. The joints and back-and-breast are all articulated, but the limb coverage is studded heavy leather. Rich Hewitt has a set of full articulated plate.

 

Drew now owns a set of armor that'll count as 4 point, but not 5, as well.

 

This argument:

Justin's idea will start to really distinguish the heavy infantry types from the light skirmisher types. The mages will rely on their magic to protect them while the fighters will rely on their steel to do so.

sounds attractive, until you remember that we're a classless system. Then it gets thrown away... :P

 

You're probably right about removing the leather-arms-and-legs dodge. That'll screw people with leather helmets too.

 

So the proposal is this:

 

1 point

+ approved costume

+ light helmet only

+ light leather

 

2 points

+ heavy helmet only

+ studded light leather

+ vege-tanned leather

+ light leather and a light helmet

 

3 points

+ studded vege-tanned. Requires Armor Use skill.

+ chain. Requires Armor Use skill.

+ other thick or layered heavier leather stuff (leather scaled, hide, leather brig, etc.) that isn't stiff like plate. Requires Armor Use skill.

+ any 1-point armor with a heavy helmet (no Armor Use required)

+ any 2-point armor with a light helmet (no Armor Use required)

 

4 points

The qualification for 4-point armor is rigidity - the ability to withstand blunt force trauma. 4-point armor grants the wearer the Monstrous ability, meaning the wearer will usually take only 1 point of damage from any source, regardless of the amount of damage called.

+ plate armor. Requires Armor Use skill.

+ metal reinforced 3-point armor. Significant portions of this type of armor will contain solid metal plates, but the underlying armor would only qualify as 3-point armor alone (plate-and-chain, splinted hide/heavy leather, metal brigandine, metal scales, etc.). Requires Armor Use skill.

+ any 2-point armor with a heavy helmet (no Armor Use required)

+ any 3-point armor with a light helmet (no Armor Use required)

 

5 points

The qualifications for 5-point armor is rigidity and articulation - pieces of the armor hinge and move with the joints of the body while providing complete, rigid coverage over 75% of the covered areas. 5-point armor grants the wearer the Monstrous ability, meaning the wearer will usually take only 1 point of damage from any source, regardless of the amount of damage called.

+ articulated plate armor. Requires Armor Use skill.

+ any 3-point armor with a heavy helmet (no Armor Use required)

+ any 4-point armor with a light helmet (no Armor Use required)

 

6 points

+ any 4-point armor with a heavy helmet

+ any 5-point armor with a light helmet

 

7 points

+ any 5-point armor with a heavy helmet

 

 

Notes:

 

+ The Monstrous ability is only granted to areas covered with 4-point or 5-point armors, not to areas covered by 3-point armors being counted as 4 points because of the player wearing 4-point torso armor.

+ Light helmets are helmets that do not cover the back and sides of the head and neck or the face.

+ Heavy helmets are helmets that cover the entire head and face and are held on with a chin strap.

+ Helmets must be constructed of materials that conform to the requirements for other armored areas, ie. within one point of the torso armor value. Players may always count a piece of armor as less protection than it's material construction would allow.

 

***************************

 

Does this accurately represent the current thinking?

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Question:

 

Would gaining the monstrous ability from armor only count when damage is applied to the armor, or to all "hit points"? There seems to be a discrepancy on the issue between the spell and the monster ability.

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The Monstrous ability would only apply when you take hits on an area covered by 4- or 5-point armor. My armor, for example, would not get the Monstrous ability when taking hits on the forearms, thighs or shins, as those areas aren't covered by plate, but by studded heavy leather.

 

The Monstrous ability, to be consistent with other uses of it, should apply to damage taken to physical armor or Body, but not Magic Armor.

 

The consistency of the Monstrous ability is being addressed in the new version of the rulebook and Encounters Codex. We do not have a solid answer yet if this will stay this way or change.

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So the proposal is this:

...

Does this accurately represent the current thinking?

I would be comfortable with helms simply not adding to total armor if they are below the cuttoff value as limbs do. In other words, we could avoid the extra points for heavy helms IMO. I'm not particularly for or against them. Universal armor is a big deal in our location based system.

 

My proposal was in lieu of adding a 5th armor level. If we feel it is necessary to still add this, I'd be amenable. I figured initially that full plate plus a steel helm would account to a grand total of 5 monstrous armor. That would be plenty IMO. More is good for the desire to see plate become desirable, but I don't know as the extra two points of monstrous armor are imperative. Perhaps we keep the 2pt helms and skip the new armor level? I think it will be enough of a change without it. I'm not trying to pee in your koolaid, just that the proposal was an alternative to that, not initially meant to stack with it.

 

Otherwise, yes that is a very well laid out description. Well done.

 

The Monstrous ability, to be consistent with other uses of it, should apply to damage taken to physical armor or Body, but not Magic Armor.
This might be redundant, but I though better to clarify. That is not to say in any way that hits to the body on areas of fully breached plate will be treated as monstrous. Damage occurs normally after armor is rendered useless unless there are forces at work. You are talking about monster descriptions and the Abomination spell. This is what you mean, yes?

 

This argument:

Justin's idea will start to really distinguish the heavy infantry types from the light skirmisher types. The mages will rely on their magic to protect them while the fighters will rely on their steel to do so.

 

sounds attractive, until you remember that we're a classless system. Then it gets thrown away...

If a Battle Magic specialist wants to wear armor, or an Aegis user really wants to throw Improved Magic armor over their 40 lbs of plate... so be it. Good for them.

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I would like it better if magic damage from magic dart negated the monsterous effect of 4+ armor..

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ahh but the new anti-monterous dart takes care of this allready

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I have a question on whether arrows to the helmet count as a hit. I went to one larp in which they don't and I could guess that'd be different here.

 

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1 hour ago, C.J./Librantus said:

I have a question on whether arrows to the helmet count as a hit. I went to one larp in which they don't and I could guess that'd be different here.

 

The head is not a legal target for damage, helmet or not regardless of weapon type (missile/melee). However, if you get bopped in the head with a tagbag which is our thrown magic signifier (literally a cloth square filled with bird seed), you do have to take whatever effect that was.

 

TL;DR: arrows and weapons to the head no, tag bags yes. Regardless of helmet usage.

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