D&D 5E Armor idea would like some feedback was inspired by Nerdarchy video on armor that was posted on YT recently. " D&D Equipment: Armor Sucks! Let's Fix I

HomegrownHydra

Adventurer
As the title suggested was thinking on the lines of armor damage absorption with armor having hp of some amount before the adventure needs to go get it repaired. This would apply only to medium and heavy armor to make armor wearing players get a benefit for doing so since thematically they aren't really dodging.
With any magic armor they would get a bonus to damage absorption which could be a 1d4 per attack or just a flat amount?? I haven't gotten too much further than that.

Comments and feedback welcome good or bad hit me with your thoughts.

This concept of course would not be for everyone and that is fine it was just an idea in my head.
Anytime mechanical changes are discussed, the purpose of the changes should be spelled out because the purpose will determine what changes are appropriate and fun. So what is the problem you are trying to address? What is the goal you have in mind?
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
As someone who is relativly new to D&D and TTRPG in general I did not know that about OSR games thank you for that information.
as for the micro math that is a concern and would in general slow the game down which combat is something that can take a good chunk of time as is.
Feel free to experiment as you're feeling out the style of game & house rules you like. "Players, I'm trying this thing out, don't know how it will go, may need to course correct, is that ok with you?" If you have enough gaming time to have a point of comparison for how long baseline / rules-as-written combat plays, give it a shot.

It's hard to ever say that a house rule is "good" or "bad", because the same house rule might play differently between two different groups due to play styles, GM rulings, and party composition.

I have though about HP or durability of armor and perhaps that is a bit much it was more of balance idea and something to sink gold into since in 5e gold is kinda useless but I have kinda fix that problem by giving out less and making mundane items more valuable and adding in additional options for mundane items.
To minimize additional tracking of points, you could just have a "sundered/broken" state where the armor ceases to function. Placing an X on your sheet or a mental flag "armor is broken" is probably easier than tracking another pool of points.

As someone did point out there is a feat in 5e "Heavy armor master" that does a flat 3 damage reduction which I think is not worth a feat but I could slap it onto medium and heavy armor? It is a small amount but over time it does end up helping a lot also would be easy enough to calculate?

The idea of rolling a d4 is because players and myself just like to roll dice lol but perhaps a flat amount is faster ?
5e's is a "rules ecology" or "rules dominos" in that one rule here can trickle over and effect another rule over there, and when designing / house ruling you often need to keep other rules in mind because they interface with the rule you're working on. Very few rules in 5e are totally isolated.

On paper, you're right, Heavy Armor Master is kinda underwhelming. However, remember what I said about 5e being full of characters/monsters making multiple attacks each round? Multiattack quickly becomes a standard ability monsters have. And against groups of enemies where the tank PC is at the frontline receiving more focused fire than other PCs? That's more attacks. And that means more chances for that 3 damage reduction to kick in on each attack. So it's not just potentially sparing you 3 damage per round, but maybe more like 9 damage per round, 12, or even more.

So, applying that to all Medium/Heavy armor is a significant boost (depending if you're taking away anything, like replacing AC with a soak system).

As far as making it a die roll instead of flat 3... again this is a good time to look at other rules that might impact gameplay. One that comes to mind is the Battlemaster's parry maneuver, which involves a reaction die roll; I could imagine a scenario where the Battlemaster rolls to parry (reducing damage), then they roll d4 for the armor damage reduction. Now imagine that Battlemaster facing two hobgoblins, ok that's a die roll to parry, and 2d4 rolls to soak. NOW imagine that Battlemaster facing two githyanki warriors with multiattack, ok, that's a die roll to parry, and 4d4 rolls to soak... So you need to figure out how much handling time that's adding and whether worth it for you.

Maybe for your group that's happy to roll, that's fun! Go for it!
 

dave2008

Legend
As the title suggested was thinking on the lines of armor damage absorption with armor having hp of some amount before the adventure needs to go get it repaired. This would apply only to medium and heavy armor to make armor wearing players get a benefit for doing so since thematically they aren't really dodging.
With any magic armor they would get a bonus to damage absorption which could be a 1d4 per attack or just a flat amount?? I haven't gotten too much further than that.

Comments and feedback welcome good or bad hit me with your thoughts.

This concept of course would not be for everyone and that is fine it was just an idea in my head.
I could do something like this in a gritty / dangerous version of D&D. However, it is probably different from what your thinking. Here is my proposal:
  1. Keep AC as is. It still is a combination of armor and dexterity reducing the chances you take a serious blow.
  2. You have Hit Points and Armor Points.
  3. Hit Points. HP is roughly size based. Depending on how dangerous you want it to be, HP = Con Mod + Strength Mod or (Con + Strength)/2 or Con + Strength. This result is multiplied by size (1 for Medium, 2 for Large, etc.). And that is it, HP either don't improve or improve very minimally.
  4. Armor Points. Are like a type of temp. hit points and work just like HP. Each type of armor gives a different amount of points. When AP = 0, you take damage to HP. You can repair your armor to regain AP. The ease or difficulty of this depends on how dangerous you want things to be.
  5. Shields. Not sure, but I am inclined to have them work normally.
  6. Magic Armor. Magic armor adds to the Armor Points maybe +10 per plus per category? So +10 per plus for low and +30 per plus for heavy. So in the table below, +3 full plate gives you 140 Armor Points? Also, maybe magic armor is semi-self repairing? Like magic items charges they regain some number of armor points per day?
  7. Crits. Maybe critical hits avoid armor and take damage directly from HP. This might be to deadly for some.

Armor

���
ArmorArmor PointsArmor Class (AC)StrengthStealthWeight
Light Armor
Padded211 + Dex modifierDisadvantage8 lb.
Leather511 + Dex modifier10 lb.
Studded leather712 + Dex modifier13 lb.
Medium Armor
Hide1012 + Dex modifier (max 2)12 lb.
Chain shirt1513 + Dex modifier (max 2)20 lb.
Scale mail2014 + Dex modifier (max 2)Disadvantage45 lb.
Breastplate2514 + Dex modifier (max 2)20 lb.
Half plate3015 + Dex modifier (max 2)Disadvantage40 lb.
Heavy Armor
Ring mail3514Disadvantage40 lb.
Chain mail4016Str 13Disadvantage55 lb.
Splint4517Str 15Disadvantage60 lb.
Plate5018Str 15Disadvantage65 lb.

There of course things to consider with this proposal. Such as: any spell that is reliant on hit points probably needs to be revised. Healing spells are less effective, but Sleep would be way more effective. Things like that.
 

Azzy

ᚳᚣᚾᛖᚹᚢᛚᚠ
In Interlock-powered (like Cyberpunk and Mekton) games from R. Talsorian Games, armor has a Stopping Power (SP) rating (typically from 5 to 25). Armor reduces an amount of damage equal to its SP. However, every successful hit reduces the armor's SP by 1 (with armor effectively destroyed at SP 0), so even if your attack doesn't deal enough damage to penetrate the opponent's SP, if you keep hitting them you'll eventually reduce their SP enough that your damage will penetrate. In Mekton, if your attack roll beats the opponents defense roll by 10 or more, you ignore the opponent's armor SP altogether.
 

I like the idea of armour soak but I worry that it's just another die roll to make. WHich is weird since I like complicated systems.

I'd go with a flat number soak, but tie it to damage type. For example a coat of mail might soak 4 piercing, 3 slashing and 0 bludgeining, A magic coat of mail might add 5 fire soak and 5 cold soak to that.
 

Nightbeat84

Explorer
Anytime mechanical changes are discussed, the purpose of the changes should be spelled out because the purpose will determine what changes are appropriate and fun. So what is the problem you are trying to address? What is the goal you have in mind?
Wanted to make heavy armor Strength base builds feel more tanking if that make's sense? Want to reward them since in D&D dexterity is considered a god stat
 

Nightbeat84

Explorer
I like the idea of armour soak but I worry that it's just another die roll to make. WHich is weird since I like complicated systems.

I'd go with a flat number soak, but tie it to damage type. For example a coat of mail might soak 4 piercing, 3 slashing and 0 bludgeining, A magic coat of mail might add 5 fire soak and 5 cold soak to that.
Ya a die roll can complicate things and slow things down a little, a flat rate might be better but at the same time I would not have so many variants had and idea to have heavy armor be 4 damage and medium be 3 bludgeoning, piercing and slashing
 

Nightbeat84

Explorer
I could do something like this in a gritty / dangerous version of D&D. However, it is probably different from what your thinking. Here is my proposal:
  1. Keep AC as is. It still is a combination of armor and dexterity reducing the chances you take a serious blow.
  2. You have Hit Points and Armor Points.
  3. Hit Points. HP is roughly size based. Depending on how dangerous you want it to be, HP = Con Mod + Strength Mod or (Con + Strength)/2 or Con + Strength. This result is multiplied by size (1 for Medium, 2 for Large, etc.). And that is it, HP either don't improve or improve very minimally.
  4. Armor Points. Are like a type of temp. hit points and work just like HP. Each type of armor gives a different amount of points. When AP = 0, you take damage to HP. You can repair your armor to regain AP. The ease or difficulty of this depends on how dangerous you want things to be.
  5. Shields. Not sure, but I am inclined to have them work normally.
  6. Magic Armor. Magic armor adds to the Armor Points maybe +10 per plus per category? So +10 per plus for low and +30 per plus for heavy. So in the table below, +3 full plate gives you 140 Armor Points? Also, maybe magic armor is semi-self repairing? Like magic items charges they regain some number of armor points per day?
  7. Crits. Maybe critical hits avoid armor and take damage directly from HP. This might be to deadly for some.

Armor

���
ArmorArmor PointsArmor Class (AC)StrengthStealthWeight
Light Armor
Padded211 + Dex modifierDisadvantage8 lb.
Leather511 + Dex modifier10 lb.
Studded leather712 + Dex modifier13 lb.
Medium Armor
Hide1012 + Dex modifier (max 2)12 lb.
Chain shirt1513 + Dex modifier (max 2)20 lb.
Scale mail2014 + Dex modifier (max 2)Disadvantage45 lb.
Breastplate2514 + Dex modifier (max 2)20 lb.
Half plate3015 + Dex modifier (max 2)Disadvantage40 lb.
Heavy Armor
Ring mail3514Disadvantage40 lb.
Chain mail4016Str 13Disadvantage55 lb.
Splint4517Str 15Disadvantage60 lb.
Plate5018Str 15Disadvantage65 lb.

There of course things to consider with this proposal. Such as: any spell that is reliant on hit points probably needs to be revised. Healing spells are less effective, but Sleep would be way more effective. Things like that.
So based on this table and what you described that AP is like temp HP so on a hit the armor would take the blow first then HP except on crits ?
I posted on reddit and others have pointed out that perhaps AP would be to complicated in the vain of 5e design so perhaps just opting to
  • While you are wearing heavy armor, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage that you take from attacks is reduced by 4.
  • While you are wearing medium armor, bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage that you take from attacks is reduced by 3.
Magic armor like a +1 would bump heavy to a 5 and medium to a 4, a +2 would make heavy to a 6 and a medium to a 5 etc.....?
As for armor repair it could be more of a narrative aspect and if I remember to remind the players when they reach a town or city to have to get there armor repaired before the next outing?
Thank you for your very extensive idea though perhaps in the future.
 

Nightbeat84

Explorer
Feel free to experiment as you're feeling out the style of game & house rules you like. "Players, I'm trying this thing out, don't know how it will go, may need to course correct, is that ok with you?" If you have enough gaming time to have a point of comparison for how long baseline / rules-as-written combat plays, give it a shot.

It's hard to ever say that a house rule is "good" or "bad", because the same house rule might play differently between two different groups due to play styles, GM rulings, and party composition.


To minimize additional tracking of points, you could just have a "sundered/broken" state where the armor ceases to function. Placing an X on your sheet or a mental flag "armor is broken" is probably easier than tracking another pool of points.


5e's is a "rules ecology" or "rules dominos" in that one rule here can trickle over and effect another rule over there, and when designing / house ruling you often need to keep other rules in mind because they interface with the rule you're working on. Very few rules in 5e are totally isolated.

On paper, you're right, Heavy Armor Master is kinda underwhelming. However, remember what I said about 5e being full of characters/monsters making multiple attacks each round? Multiattack quickly becomes a standard ability monsters have. And against groups of enemies where the tank PC is at the frontline receiving more focused fire than other PCs? That's more attacks. And that means more chances for that 3 damage reduction to kick in on each attack. So it's not just potentially sparing you 3 damage per round, but maybe more like 9 damage per round, 12, or even more.

So, applying that to all Medium/Heavy armor is a significant boost (depending if you're taking away anything, like replacing AC with a soak system).

As far as making it a die roll instead of flat 3... again this is a good time to look at other rules that might impact gameplay. One that comes to mind is the Battlemaster's parry maneuver, which involves a reaction die roll; I could imagine a scenario where the Battlemaster rolls to parry (reducing damage), then they roll d4 for the armor damage reduction. Now imagine that Battlemaster facing two hobgoblins, ok that's a die roll to parry, and 2d4 rolls to soak. NOW imagine that Battlemaster facing two githyanki warriors with multiattack, ok, that's a die roll to parry, and 4d4 rolls to soak... So you need to figure out how much handling time that's adding and whether worth it for you.

Maybe for your group that's happy to roll, that's fun! Go for it!
Thank you for your reply it has definitely given me a pause and time to reflect and that you are right that the rules and from my own experiance can lead to a domino effect with other rules lol.

I have tried other homebrew rules and in the end they end up being forgotten and not used, they seem good in my head but ended up not doing what I though it would and not all tables are the same lol.

I will be trying a simpler version without the durability and if we don't like it we will drop it.

You are right that on creatures with multi attack it definitely scales better and through out the adventuring day it also scales in the end can save a fair amount of HP. With that in mind I think what I will is remove the feat and apply it to the armors. Heavy armor will be a 4 and medium will be a 3. I can adjust as things go by and for the magical versions with the +1 the armor DR increases by that amount so heavy armor will be a 5 and medium will be 4.

Thank you for your incite in this.
 

Nightbeat84

Explorer
I use a flat Damage reduction number based on the type of armour. Keeps rolling to a minimum. Has worked well. Even have consumable type armour that soaks up a single hit when the player chooses to use it. Shields can be used to negate a critical hit, but if they do, they are shattered. Also have helmets, gauntlets and greaves, each providing more DR.
Could you give me a break down for your armors and how helmets, gauntlets and such would add DR? I am very curious about that since in 5e those items essentially do nothing would be interesting to know what you did ?
 

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