D&D 5th Edition Natural armor as DR


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    Natural armor as DR

    I know that this is always a sensitive topic, but I'm going to ask anyway.

    Let's assume I was using the following rules:

    - armor and shields provide bonuses to AC
    - natural armor provides DR, not AC bonus
    - DR from NA can never drop damage from a hit below a minimum of 1

    What would be the obvious problems with these rules?

    (And please don't freak out... it's not a suggestion for 5e, it's just a question. We already know that NA = AC bonus as usual in 5e)
    "There is no survival without order, there is no evolution without chaos."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    I know that this is always a sensitive topic, but I'm going to ask anyway.

    Let's assume I was using the following rules:

    - armor and shields provide bonuses to AC
    - natural armor provides DR, not AC bonus
    - DR from NA can never drop damage from a hit below a minimum of 1

    What would be the obvious problems with these rules?

    (And please don't freak out... it's not a suggestion for 5e, it's just a question. We already know that NA = AC bonus as usual in 5e)
    Armour as DR can work just fine in my opinion. Problem is choosing the numbers. A lot of "stuff" gets hidden away in hit points and damage ratings.

    For instance, should natural armour protect a creature from poisonous bites? As just DR, it would not . . .

    Should it protect less versus deadly strike and sneak attack, but more against dual-weapon users? Because you'll get that, too . . .

  • #3
    What do hits represent in this rules case? Wounds only, or wounds plus stamina/luck, or stamina/luck only?

    Because I can imagine natural armor tough enough that a certain weapon or bite might not get through it -- so "0" hits as a result of DR may be appropriate if hits are wounds only, but a minimum of "1" might be acceptable if hits represent stamina/luck or a combination.
    "The Soul of D&D? It's rolling a natural 20 when you're down to 3 hit points and the cleric's on the floor and you're staring that sunnavabitch bugbear right in his bloodshot eye and holding the line just long enough to let the wizard unleash a fireball at the guards who are on their way, because they're all that stands between you, the Foozle and Glory." - WizarDru

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    I like the idea. I find it confusing, if "extra tough" for some critters is NA and for some DR. Putting everything in AC is alright as well, for my taste.

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    Conceptually, I like armor as damage reduction, but there's a challenge of implementing it in D&D Next. The current design has both hit points and damage scale with level to represent combat skill and experience.

    For damage reduction to work as intended it needs to scale with the skill of the attacker. This could be as conceptually simple as DR reducing a percentage of dealt damage, but that can get difficult to adjudicate.

    It could also be described as reducing damage by one point per die. Thus, if a monster with DR 1 gets hit by a fighter who puts three dice into Deadly Strike, the damage would be reduced by 4 (one for the weapon die plus three for deadly strike).

    That could work, and it's reasonably simple, but it's still more complex than just increasing AC.
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    If that is the case, I think that you still need SOME bonuses to AC. So I would suggest splitting the AC/DR split right down the middle for all NA values. By that I mean making only half the NA bonus apply to DR and the other half staying with AC. I mean someone at WotC has likely crunched the numbers to assign the NA value where it is and the math currently works for the full value so dropping NA to DR changes things a fair bit.

    Beyond this, you will encounter niche cases that you might have to recalculate or fix but NA as DR should work fine.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    I know that this is always a sensitive topic, but I'm going to ask anyway.

    Let's assume I was using the following rules:

    - armor and shields provide bonuses to AC
    - natural armor provides DR, not AC bonus
    - DR from NA can never drop damage from a hit below a minimum of 1

    What would be the obvious problems with these rules?
    Couple of things, Damage Reduction in the RAW, is 1/2 damage vs. certain damage types, in the form of Damage Resistance. Fire Resistance means you take 1/2 damage from fire. It also exists strangely when you are poisoned (intoxicated) you take less damage (1d6), I guess HP which represent, stamina, luck, skill, speed, agility, and energy, when intoxicated this increases... :\

    Perhaps DR could simply be bonus HP... If you have DR 2 that means you get +2 HP/level. A very simple solution. So if for instance you have Natural armor represent DR and you had NA +2 and were a 14 HD creature that means you get +28 bonus HP. It does not tread on the current DR rule too.

    Last point on this, which heavily interacts with the damage system... This has been adequately addressed in the playtest packets. Damage to objects, hardness, etc. Just how do you break down a door. Does it have Damage resistance to all damage? I do not like that. For instance, a castle wall, say might have 200 HP and damage resistance all. Well... there is a problem still it can be knocked down by a level 1 wizard. 8| Infinite magic missiles, a wizard just doing 1 damage per round can take it down in 20 minutes. I feel like there should be some rule here. Damage Resistance/Hardness was the rule in previous editions. Other games use things like can only be damaged with "heavy" damage catapults, certain spells etc. The problem also exists with sundering items and gear. Perhaps damage is not tallied in these cases and you just go off of a save based on the damage dealt to see if it is destroyed otherwise the damage is resisted. IDK, any way they go the designers work is cut out for them. And walls do not have skill, luck, speed, agility, and energy...
    Sadrik

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadrik View Post
    Couple of things, Damage Reduction in the RAW, is 1/2 damage vs. certain damage types, in the form of Damage Resistance. Fire Resistance means you take 1/2 damage from fire. It also exists strangely when you are poisoned (intoxicated) you take less damage (1d6), I guess HP which represent, stamina, luck, skill, speed, agility, and energy, when intoxicated this increases... :\

    Perhaps DR could simply be bonus HP... If you have DR 2 that means you get +2 HP/level. A very simple solution. So if for instance you have Natural armor represent DR and you had NA +2 and were a 14 HD creature that means you get +28 bonus HP. It does not tread on the current DR rule too.

    Last point on this, which heavily interacts with the damage system... This has been adequately addressed in the playtest packets. Damage to objects, hardness, etc. Just how do you break down a door. Does it have Damage resistance to all damage? I do not like that. For instance, a castle wall, say might have 200 HP and damage resistance all. Well... there is a problem still it can be knocked down by a level 1 wizard. 8| Infinite magic missiles, a wizard just doing 1 damage per round can take it down in 20 minutes. I feel like there should be some rule here. Damage Resistance/Hardness was the rule in previous editions. Other games use things like can only be damaged with "heavy" damage catapults, certain spells etc. The problem also exists with sundering items and gear. Perhaps damage is not tallied in these cases and you just go off of a save based on the damage dealt to see if it is destroyed otherwise the damage is resisted. IDK, any way they go the designers work is cut out for them. And walls do not have skill, luck, speed, agility, and energy...
    Good points.

    Damage Resistance could be enough so that we don't need to have Damage Reduction in the game, e.g. if monsters with a very tough hide get Damage Resistance to all 3 types of weapon damage, then it would serve a similar purpose as Damage Reduction. The statistics would be different, -50% instead of -X fixed amount, but frankly I don't know which one is better.

    I don't like the idea of bonus HP however. Mechanical effect might be similar on average, but certainly doesn't "feel" as Damage Resistance/Reduction.

    IIRC Hardness worked exactly like DR... or not? It's an obnoxious rules however IMHO, because objects don't strike back, thus if you can deal 1 point of damage, you can keep going until you break it, otherwise you just can't break it. Only once in a while the time may be an issue, but normally it's not. It's not worth a rule IMHO if the result is that half of the gamers will be unsatisfied by whatever rule they come up with.

    BTW Damage Reduction for Intoxicated is because when you are drunk you can soak up a lot more damage (and pain) than when sober. IMHO it's however a bit dangerous design, because most likely the same condition will be used in other circumstances just because maybe the word "intoxicated" can refer to other cases, where the damage reduction effect would be inappropriate.
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    "You have to see past the RAW to understand the rules of the game."
    "And rules are OVERRATED by the way!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sadrik View Post

    Perhaps DR could simply be bonus HP... If you have DR 2 that means you get +2 HP/level. A very simple solution. So if for instance you have Natural armor represent DR and you had NA +2 and were a 14 HD creature that means you get +28 bonus HP. It does not tread on the current DR rule too.
    I, too, like it as bonus hp - especially if it is tracked as a seperate total. You could even put a limit on how much it can soak at one time - leather might have 8 hit points, but you could only put 2 damage to it from one blow, whereas chain mail might have 40 hit points but can only absorb up to 4 hp per blow.

    I think a hp bonus at its most basic keeps the math a bit simpler (my own example is a bit more involved), and you could also build sundering into it; once the DR hit points are gone, the armor is breeched/broken.
    "If it has stats, we can kill it." - T.G. Jackson, intro to 3rd ed Hackmaster

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stormonu View Post
    I, too, like it as bonus hp - especially if it is tracked as a seperate total. You could even put a limit on how much it can soak at one time - leather might have 8 hit points, but you could only put 2 damage to it from one blow, whereas chain mail might have 40 hit points but can only absorb up to 4 hp per blow.

    I think a hp bonus at its most basic keeps the math a bit simpler (my own example is a bit more involved), and you could also build sundering into it; once the DR hit points are gone, the armor is breeched/broken.
    While simple, just being more hit points doesn't accomplish the goal of DR, which is to make all attacks less effective, or possibly ineffective. Hit points can be removed through attrition. DR can't, and that's a fundamental aspect of DR.
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