D&D General Armour class and essentialism

Ixal

Hero
No thanks, damm the tropes but armor needs to be useful and the best form of defense to justify putting up with all the disadvatages it has and to break the Dex dominance.
 

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payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
Which is perfectly fine, everyone has their own preferences. I sometimes find myself missing crufty old school rules systems with hidden gems and odd paths to power buried in pages and pages of text- even though I know that it's terrible game design.
Crufty old school? I guess I see it as entirely tactical at expense of strategy new school.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
I think it’d be good if the light armours had the dex bonus uncapped representing a better chance to dodge, perhaps with the very light armours some classes (bard rogue ranger, maybe fighter too) getting inherent advantage to AC checks while wearing those lightest armours to represent their talent in dodging (other classes require a feat for advantage), whereas the heavy armours have two AC values, a lower one that functions regularly as it currently does and a second higher AC that alows you to take half damage, indicating a lesser capacity to dodge completely but a higher rate of the armour protecting from receiving serious injuries.
Medium armour functions as it currently does, with a capped dex bonus, it has a higher AC than the lower AC range of a comparable heavy armour but not reaching as high as the half damage AC threshold
 
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James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Crufty old school? I guess I see it as entirely tactical at expense of strategy new school.
I hope you didn't take that as a comment about the games you play, it was simply an example of how preferences can differ. I have a soft spot for older games with odd subsystems and are rough around the edges, with interesting things they allow for if you dig into them- your Rolemasters and GURPS and TORG's, if you will.
 

payn

He'll flip ya...Flip ya for real...
I hope you didn't take that as a comment about the games you play, it was simply an example of how preferences can differ. I have a soft spot for older games with odd subsystems and are rough around the edges, with interesting things they allow for if you dig into them- your Rolemasters and GURPS and TORG's, if you will.
I didnt, I was just trying to be cute while also sayin it how I see it with modern design.
 


NotAYakk

Legend
The 5e way to fix this problem is to use the game element that is analogous to 4e's builds to do it - the subclass. Subclasses are basically pre-built builds, and so a CHA based Barbarian subclass (that lets you swap any CON-based bonus in the Barbarian class out for CHA) or a STR based Monk subclass would be the 5e way to solve this problem. The downside of using subclasses is that the 5e model is to tie specific flavor to subclasses and so that design space doesn't get explored in the same way that builds (which relied on the player to supply their own flavor to a large degree) did.
5e subclasses have some of that mojo, but not as much.

Tasha's "alternative class features" can be leveraged, especially if you make them packages. Basically, you could have bolt-on subclasses that replace some subset of abilities in the main class.

Tasha's has ones that tweak one series of abilities; there is nothing stopping someone from having a package replaces some other subset of abilities.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The issue here is that class, moreso than race, is completely built on archetypes. While you single out unarmored defense as an example of essentialism, you can quite easily do the same with nearly every class: rogues are always agile and nimble, priests are wiser than other people, arcane magic is reserved for the smart or the charismatic. Bards and paladins are always socially adept, etc. Further, bard, monk, barbarian, druid, even warlock and paladin all have some cultural elements dragged in from the origin of the archetype. You won't escape those tropes without losing those names. (See also: the whole debate on why druids have armor restrictions). Thus, you are looking at a symptom of the larger whole: classes being a fairly narrow archetypes that are dependent on certain ability scores.

If you want to fix the problem of class and essentialism, you must:

  • Remove ability scores from having any influence on class ability. A wizard has the same magical power if he has an 8 or an 18 Int.
  • Remove or rename classes that have strong cultural elements so that they no longer stand in for a specific culture.
I think the real issue here is the racialization of the Monk class. Archetypes, in and of themselves, aren’t essentialist. But, when the nimble martial artist with mystical powers archetype is East-Asian coded, that’s not a great look.
 

Stalker0

Legend
One idea you could go with if you wanted to create a true dichotomy.

Unarmored Fighters have high AC....against a single opponent. Using all of their skill, speed, and cunning, they are able to nimbly dodge out of the way.

Armored fighters are good against a group. Against multiple targets, you can't realistically keep track and dodge them all, and so that is why armor is so important.


This is a bit more realistic as well. The idea that dex helps you dodge is fine and all, but the idea that it lets you dodge 8 people are once is a bit nuts. Armor on the other hand is always working for you.
 

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