Armor Damage Reduction, Defense





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  1. #1

    Armor Damage Reduction, Defense

    I have a few problems with Armor Class in D&D as it stands.

    1) It doesn't increase with level, unlike Attack. So it seems combat ability increases focus only on offense, not defense. This does'nt seem right to me when combat training only teaches you how to attak, not to defend.
    2) You can only get a high AC with magic armor and items. Even a warrior in normal full plate armor gets hit pretty often when fighting high level opponents.

    Then I read the Defense rules from Star Wars and Wheel of Time and felt this was a great idea. It solved all my problems but created another. Characters without any armor can nowl have a decent chance of avoiding getting hit but with magic armor and items, Defense scores get a bit too high.

    Then I saw the armor and Damage Reduction rules from Judge Dredd. I'm in the process of converting the armor types from D&D (chainmail etc) and would appreciate some ideas and input. I also need some suggestions for magical armor. My idea is to only allow magic weapons equal to the magic armor plus to damage the character UNLESS there is a critical hit then normal weapons can hurt as well. What do you all think?

 

  • #2
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    ° Ignore Crothian
    Well, there is the Expertise and Superiuuor Expertise feats. There are also many, many prestige classes that offer some short of AC bonus. I'm not argueing with your point, just it's not nessisarily as bad as you think.

    Defense bonus is okay, but it makes it tough to decide who gets what bonus. In star wars the defense bonus equal base reflex save +2. I think that works pretty well and is real easy to do.

    DR for Armor, I like have it equal 1/2 the armor bonus. I've not seen any official armor DR rules like Judge Dread or Modern Combat versions. I think the magical bonus should should be split up into addiing to DR and adding to AC. Otherwise DRs would get to high, too easily. You also have to make it so that magical DR, class feature DR, and armor DR do not stack.

  • #3
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    ° Ignore Wolf72
    I gave heavy armor DR 1 ... pretty simple (have yet to try it out though)
    If there's two things Wookies don't like, it's losing and people questioning their foreign policy ... Legostar Galactica

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  • #4
    Originally posted by Crothian
    Well, there is the Expertise and Superiuuor Expertise feats. There are also many, many prestige classes that offer some short of AC bonus. I'm not argueing with your point, just it's not nessisarily as bad as you think.

    Well, only those classes seem to get special AC bonuses. This way all the classes get the Defense bonus. I am just going to allow Expertise as a Feat and this allows the fighter to parry most attacks effectively. Superior Expertise is probably too much.

    Originally posted by Crothian
    Defense bonus is okay, but it makes it tough to decide who gets what bonus. In star wars the defense bonus equal base reflex save +2. I think that works pretty well and is real easy to do.

    This is just what I am going to do.

    Originally posted by Crothian
    DR for Armor, I like have it equal 1/2 the armor bonus. I've not seen any official armor DR rules like Judge Dread or Modern Combat versions. I think the magical bonus should should be split up into addiing to DR and adding to AC. Otherwise DRs would get to high, too easily. You also have to make it so that magical DR, class feature DR, and armor DR do not stack.

    This is a good idea, but I think I'll make the DR equal to the armor bonus but critical hits automatically bypass the armor DR, since most armor have gaps and weak points. I may have to make rules for called shots to exposed areas to balance all this. I think I'll take your idea and split the armor bonus between DR and AC. Not stacking DR is pretty much a given, since there are rules against stacking AC bonuses and Saving Throw bonuses in place.

  • #5
    Here's something I'm in the middle of developing for my Basic D&D campaign--you may, or may not, be able to mine it for ideas in 3e...

    Weapon damage varies by armour type.

    Bladed weapons (ex. swords) score full damage versus unarmoured and lightly rmoured foes. While their damage die is reduced 1 step (i.e. d8->d6) vs medium armours, and 2 steps vs heavy.

    Chopping weapons (ex. axes) score full damage vs all armours save heavy--against the latter they have their damage reduced by 2 steps. Chopping weapons are slower than blades.

    Metal crushing weapons (ex. maces) score full damage vs all armours, but are slower than both swords and axes.

    Here are a few sample values that I will probably end up using...

    WEAPON: NONE / LIGHT / MEDIUM / HEAVY / INITIATIVE

    Broadsword: d8 / d8 / d6 / d4 / fast

    Axe: d8 / d8 / d8 / d4 / average

    Mace: d6 / d6 / d6 / d6 / slow


    Tiny versions reduce damage by 2 steps, and increase speed by 2 (to a max of fast).

    Small versions reduce damage by 1 step, and increase speed by 1 (to a max of fast).

    Hand-and-a-half versions used one-handed reduce speed by 1 step--when used two-handed they instead increase damage by 1 step.

    Large versions increase damage by 2 steps, and lower speed by 1.

    Wooden crushing weapons are treated as the metal equivalent, but do 1 step less damage and are 1 step faster (to a max of fast).

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    ° Ignore Sepulchrave II
    If you add a defense bonus, you will need to reconsider what hit points mean - at present, as level increases, an increase in hit points can be partially attributed to an increasing ability to minimize damage sustained from attacks.

    You could go for a Wound Point/Vitality Point system. There are dozens of variations in circulation.

    You'll need to consider whether defense stacks with armour wholly, partially or not at all.

    If armour absorbs damage, you might want to consider the idea that certain weapons are more effective against certain kinds of armour. Some kind of penetration value might be necessary.

    Spells which cause damage will need to be reconsidered in the light of all of this.

    My advice: unless you're prepared to make major modifications to the system, leave it alone. One thing leads to another, then another, then another. It will eat away at your spare time, as you endlessly tweak and attempt to rationalize.


    Of course, YMMV.


    Sincerely,

    - A reformed reformer.

  • #7
    I tried the armor=damage reduction a while back. If you let armor provide full damage reduction that is bad as it makes armor too good. However 1/2 seems a bit too little. I think the best way to handle it is armor provides damage reduction equal to 1/2 it AC bonus. The other half of the bonus convers damage from real damage to subdual (making people less likely to blead to death).

    Shields provide cover, as they don't make sense with damage reduction, and they might be able to stop ray attacks. This makes shield important, whereas now I have almost never seen a charachter who uses a shield.

  • #8
    The reason I shied away from using DR, is that the D&D AC system (in all its incarnations) is a representation of how difficult it is to 'damage' a foe.

    By introducing DR on top of AC, you wind up with a situation where a foe may be 'hit' (which by D&D conventions implies damage) but not 'damaged'.

    That's why I'm going to the reduced damage die type--that way, some damage will always be done on a 'hit'.

    If you like the concept (but don't care for the Basic D&D specifics given above) you could simply apply a modifier to the damage die type for each armour, and this could even vary depending upon weapon type. For example (using the same assumptions in my table above--though these could easily be modified to fit your own vision)...

    DAMAGE DIE TYPE MODIFICATIONS

    DAMAGE: NONE / LIGHT / MEDIUM / HEAVY

    Slash: 0 / 0 / -1 / -2

    Chop: 0 / 0 / 0 / -2

    Crush: 0 / 0 / 0 / 0

    ...d2...d3...d4...d6...d8...d10...d12...d12+1...


    If you leave aside initiative modifications, you could instead actually increase the die vs certain armours for Slash and/or chop, in order to balance things (assuming you feel things need balancing).

    Anyway, just a couple of ideas.

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    ° Ignore willpax
    I combine the vitality points/wound points system with a limited damage reduction system and a different kind of increased defense.

    Armor has half of its value (rounded up) as armor class (reflection) and half (rounded down) as absorption; however, this absorption only takes effect when the character takes wound damage.

    So, for most of the fight, combat proceeds normally. Armor only gives people extra protection against critical hits. However, with lower armor values overall, having the extra AC helps prevent confirmation of threats (as does a looser rule for shifting attack values to defense).

    I've found this to be simple and fun.
    O, it is excellent to have a giant's strength, but it is tyrannous to use it like a giant. (Isabella, Measure for Measure II.ii.108-110).

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    ° Ignore Broken Fang
    You could always play GURPS...this is pretty much waht they do.

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