OneDnD Armor training

I think it is time to revaluate armor training.
Only having 3 categories of light, medium and heavy is too restricting.
I think we should also add simple and martial armors.

Simple might be light up to leather, medium up to chain shirt and heavy up to chain mail.
This way, classes could determine if you get any category, and subclasses can upgrade to martial from simple.

This would be a boon for the cleric. At level 1 and 2, you usually start with simple armors anyway. And then when domain kicks in, you can upgrade to better armors if this makes sense for the respective domain.
 

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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
I think it is time to revaluate armor training.
Only having 3 categories of light, medium and heavy is too restricting.
I think we should also add simple and martial armors.

Simple might be light up to leather, medium up to chain shirt and heavy up to chain mail.
This way, classes could determine if you get any category, and subclasses can upgrade to martial from simple.

This would be a boon for the cleric. At level 1 and 2, you usually start with simple armors anyway. And then when domain kicks in, you can upgrade to better armors if this makes sense for the respective domain.
There's not a lot of granularity with armors, since they range from "Dex +11" to "18". So the only way to add more armor types would be to break apart the existing three categories, which I think would be more restrictive- now you'd have "lightest of the light", "heaviest of the light, heaviest of the medium", "lightest of the heavy", and "heaviest of the heavy" as armor categories, all for what will eventually turn out to be a difference of 1 AC between categories, at best.

So you would have to add some other benefit to armor to justify this change.

Personally, as I see it, the game already has an issue that AC should rise as proficiency bonus does, but it doesn't- it rises based on how much money you can throw at your armor budget, and then completely stalls out, which means at lower tier play, it's possible to become "unhittable", but at higher tier play, AC becomes less and less relevant unless magic armors are added- and since the game considers these "optional", there's no real guidance for how/when/why to add them.

Many DM's who see AC's of 21 in low tier play are very loath to give players more options to boost defense, even when higher CR monsters gain a hit rate of 50% or better.

So I say instead that the entire system needs to be reworked, with armor doing something other than determining AC, so that AC can scale in a reasonable fashion.
 

To your rant:

I could see level gating heavier armor with that training and lower money cost.

I break it up a little more:

Light, simple: 11 dex bonus top. Maye add one with 12 + dex bonus and disadvantage
Light, martial: 12+dex bonus top or 13 with disadvantage.

Medium, simple: 13+dex (max 2) or 14+dex (max 2) and disadvantage.
Medium, martial: 14 + dex (max2) or 15 +dex (max 2) and disadvantage.

Heavy, simple: 16 or 17 with disadvantage
Heavy, martial: 17 or 18 with disadvantage.

Yes, the upgrade is just +1 armor, but martial weapon over simple is usually only one point of damage too. It also adds flexibility.

I don't want to see proficiency bonus on armor, because I like the idea of having static DCs.
I could however see martial characters gain bonuses to their AC when they get extra attacks. Or having some martials start with bonuses to certain armors and upgrade from simple to martial later.

I want it class level gated, to have another incentice to stay at a martial class.
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
As soon as I saw this in the Cleric thread I was impressed. I think it's a very clever design choice!

Treat Armor Proficiencies like we do Weapon Proficiencies! Like the Rogue doesn't get all martial weapon type, but they get -some-. So you could have some classes, like Druid, gain only -specific- armor proficiencies.

That's a clever lever!
 

Amrûnril

Adventurer
I like this idea in that it gives a way to decouple armor quality from strength vs. dexterity focus. As things currently stand, DEX-based characters gain little benefit from armor training, and characters without armor training severely handicap themselves by prioritizing STR over DEX. Whereas if STR vs. DEX and trained vs. untrained could vary independently of one another, that would facilitate more flexibility in character building.
 

I mean, I feel like you could simplify it further. Basically 5E D&D, once you're past level 3 or so, has 4 armour options:

Studded Leather - AC12 + full DEX

Breastplate - AC14 + DEX max 2
Half-plate - AC15 + DEX max 2 Disadvantage on Stealth

Plate - AC18 no DEX Disadvantage on Stealth

Everything else is kind of an irrelevance or ultra-niche corner case, or, at best "a thing you own until level 2-3 when you have enough money to buy the real thing". A very few campaigns might make it to 4-5 before anyone can afford Plate but come on.

It feels like there's a lot of wasted design space here.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Or, as this flowchart puts it:

10370356_736316069763369_999182057157005657_n.jpg
 

Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
Definitely needs more levers in the armor section of the book, yeah. But not too much more complexity as a constant thing.

Like... what if some armors that aren't maxed out for their category on AC bonus instead provided 1-2 points of damage reduction, or something?
 

mellored

Hero
I kind of feel each class should just get AC.

Wizards, bards, Sorcerers: 15 AC.
warlocks, rogues, barbarians: 16 AC
Clerics, druids, monks, artificer: 17 AC
Fighters, Paladins: 18 AC.
+2 with shield as normal.

And dex is no longer required for everyone.

And magic armors are now open to being interesting.
 


Kinematics

Adventurer
Some interesting thoughts. Mixing in with stuff I've seen on YouTube channels, like Tod's Workshop or Shadiversity, my thoughts on design:

First, four general types of armor: padded cloth, leather (either advanced cloth or with metal plates [brigandine]), chain, and plate.

--
Plate does great against arrows (seen in Tod's Workshop experiments). It's only really vulnerable when the arrows hit the joints or the parts where plate gives way to chain. It's also great against swords. Blunt weapons work well.

Chain works against swords. Arrows go right through it. Middling protection against blunt weapons.

Cloth does great against blunt weapons, and provides middling-low protection against piercing and slashing.

Leather would either be an enhanced cloth, or a structure that's sort of like chain in general protection (ie: brigandine). Probably treat brigandine as its own category, and consider the cloth-based leathers as variations on cloth itself.
--

So then you assign that stuff as traits.

Cloth: Resistant to bludgeoning.
Brigandine: ??? (resistance to area damage, maybe?)
Chain: Resistant to slashing.
Plate: Resistant to slashing. Flat damage reduction.

Then you look at how it affects AC. AC represents how hard it is to do damage to you (not necessarily how hard it is to hit you). The question is, does Dex really help you move better in lighter armor? And does it not help you move in heavy armor?

Based on demonstrations people have done in plate mail, Dex should potentially help moving in heavy armor. At the same time, padded cloth is actually rather restrictive due to its bulky nature. So I have to wonder if Dex is really proper to use in general for calculating AC.

So, taking ideas people have mentioned above, what about: Simple armors add 1/2 your proficiency bonus, and martial armors adds your full proficiency bonus to your AC?

But then, I'm not sure splitting armors into simple and martial types really works. Perhaps a better approach would be to treat it like skills (like now with light/medium/heavy). You can have basic training in armor, or martial training in armor, or no training in certain armors. Rather than the armor itself determining the proficiency bonus applied, it's the training/skill. So a fighter with martial training in plate mail can add his full proficiency bonus to his AC, while the wizard with only basic training in cloth armor can add half his proficiency bonus to his AC, and with no training in plate armor would be stuck with only the baseline AC of that armor.

And then the base AC would be the baseline of how well a type of armor helps you avoid being hit. Assuming Dex is not being added to any armor type, it might be something like:

Cloth: 13
Chain/Brigandine: 14
Plate: 15

That would bump up to 15/16/17 with a level 1 proficiency bonus of +2 for martials, then 16/17/18 at level 5, etc. Someone with basic training would be at 14/15/16 at level 1, then 15/16/17 at level 9, etc.

Cloth armors would work best in low-level fist fights and drunken brawls, where no weapons are being drawn. Resistance to bludgeoning damage makes that much more survivable.

Chain armor would be best when dealing with typical single opponents with swords. City guards dealing with bandits and criminals, rather than soldiers on a battlefield.

Plate armor is the armor of the battlefield. Still not sure of the overall mechanics of it.

Not entirely sure about brigandine, but if it goes with the resistance to AOE, it might be an anti-mage option.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I kind of feel each class should just get AC.

Wizards, bards, Sorcerers: 15 AC.
warlocks, rogues, barbarians: 16 AC
Clerics, druids, monks, artificer: 17 AC
Fighters, Paladins: 18 AC.
+2 with shield as normal.

And dex is no longer required for everyone.

And magic armors are now open to being interesting.
This is how 13th Age does it. Assuming you have normal equipment, AC is by class. There are options if you want less than the best for you, or want to take penalties and wear heavier. They also do weapons like that with a bit of granularity - just categories like small, light/simple, heavy/martial and 1H or 2H, and for each you have a damage and a potential penalty.

So you can skin your armor and your weapons to be whatever best fits your character within that category without having to take something mechanically sub-optimal just to meet your narrative description. One character might have bamboo armor and another wolf hides and no one is penalized for their description.
 

I think it is time to revaluate armor training.
Only having 3 categories of light, medium and heavy is too restricting.
I think we should also add simple and martial armors.

Simple might be light up to leather, medium up to chain shirt and heavy up to chain mail.
This way, classes could determine if you get any category, and subclasses can upgrade to martial from simple.

This would be a boon for the cleric. At level 1 and 2, you usually start with simple armors anyway. And then when domain kicks in, you can upgrade to better armors if this makes sense for the respective domain.
I wanted to play with using the proficiency bonus. Something like you get 1/2 bonus if you are not prof... but if you are prof not only do you get the full AC bonus, but you can reduce slashing piercing and bludgeoning damage equal to your prof, and half prof for force and maybe something else...
 

leonardozg

Because I'm the DM
I kind of feel each class should just get AC.

Wizards, bards, Sorcerers: 15 AC.
warlocks, rogues, barbarians: 16 AC
Clerics, druids, monks, artificer: 17 AC
Fighters, Paladins: 18 AC.
+2 with shield as normal.

And dex is no longer required for everyone.

And magic armors are now open to being interesting.
It's a big restriction, it just make some builds impossible. 13th Age does it, but even there you have 2 armor options.
 

leonardozg

Because I'm the DM
I mean, I feel like you could simplify it further. Basically 5E D&D, once you're past level 3 or so, has 4 armour options:

Studded Leather - AC12 + full DEX

Breastplate - AC14 + DEX max 2
Half-plate - AC15 + DEX max 2 Disadvantage on Stealth

Plate - AC18 no DEX Disadvantage on Stealth

Everything else is kind of an irrelevance or ultra-niche corner case, or, at best "a thing you own until level 2-3 when you have enough money to buy the real thing". A very few campaigns might make it to 4-5 before anyone can afford Plate but come on.

It feels like there's a lot of wasted design space here.
There should have a tradeoff when chosing armor. There is no reason besides money to take leather, hide or splint, and money is just a matter of time, once you get it there is no reason to get these armors.
 

rules.mechanic

Craft homebrewer
A little note on proficiency bonus for AC. If you apply a global -4 correction factor, you can use proficiency bonus (or restrict to those with martial training), or -2 correction if using a half-proficiency system, or -3 if martials get full proficiency and non-martials get half-proficiency. We tried put all those varients when we started with homebrewed defense rules early in 5e. It felt better than the current system (a sense of martial skill in defense that improved over time) but we found it still lacked the feeling of an active defense. We then went with having the defender to roll a proficiency die (and the -4 correction factor), and it did feel more like the defender was actively doing something, but it felt a bit too swingy at higher levels and slowed combat esp with multi-attacks. Where we landed was with a limited number of "defense dice" (based on your number of attacks) that you only get if you took a melee action. Which is ideal for us - defense goes up with level, but not too much, involves active decision, but doesn't slow things too much. But YMMV!
 



leonardozg

Because I'm the DM
AC(no armor): 10+prof bonus
Light armor: 12+prof bonus, min Str 12
Medium armor: 14+prof bonus, min Str 14
Heavy armor: 16+prof bonus, stealth disadvantage, min Str 16

remove +X armor magic items completely.
I prefer to use odd numbers for ability requirements because the even numbers already give a bonus.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
AC(no armor): 10+prof bonus
Light armor: 12+prof bonus, min Str 12
Medium armor: 14+prof bonus, min Str 14
Heavy armor: 16+prof bonus, stealth disadvantage, min Str 16

remove +X armor magic items completely.
I mostly like this, but I think the Strength requirements should be lower, especially for light armor. Many classes that get light armor are not incentivized to have Strength, like Rogues.

If this is about "Strength should matter", armor already has weight, and you need some Strength to carry it around. Making people have to have higher Strength to be able to use a class feature (armor proficiency) seems a bit odd.

How about:

Light Armor, no minimum Strength.
Medium Armor, Strength 11.
Heavy Armor, Strength 13.

Instead?
 

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