log in or register to remove this ad

 

D&D 5E Block, Dodge, and Armor as DR

BookTenTiger

He / Him
I was remembering fondly playing d20 Conan, one of my favorite d20 games. I was thinking about what it would look like to port something from d20 Conan into 5e.

In d20 Conan, your character had two defenses: Block and Dodge.

Block = 10 + Strength Modifier + Shield
Dodge = 10 + Dexterity Modifier

Armor then served as Damage Reduction instead of a bonus to Armor Class.

I believe there were some restrictions on when you could Block instead of dodge, such as against Ranged Attacks.

The other important rule was Massive Damage. When characters received 20 or more damage, they had to make a Constitution Saving Throw (I believe it was against half the damage) or die. It was a pretty brutal system.

So what would this look like ported over into 5e?

  • Overall, characters would get hit more often. However, they would take less damage. But effects that happen on a hit, such as a snake's grapple or a drow's poison, would occur more often.
  • Strength builds could still have solid Defense.
  • Armors would lose their AC but gain DR.
    • This could also be a neat opportunity to add some more flavor to armor, such as Double Damage Resistance that only effects some kinds of damage. For example, one kind of armor could have Double-Damage Resistance against piercing, and other slashing.
  • If the Massive Damage system were ported over, characters would be saving against Massive Damage quite often from spells, though not often from weapon attacks.
    • I also think in 5e this kind of Massive Damage system would send characters to 0 HP instead of outright killing them. OR a failed Saving Throw versus Massive Damage could result in a failed Death Save, even as the character is still conscious and fighting.
What are your thoughts?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

ardoughter

Hero
Supporter
More trouble than it is worth. The current system is balanced on the D&D paradigm. Change that to the Conan D20 one and every thing, Spell damage output, monster hp, AC and damage output has to be changed to match.
It would be better to port the elements of D&D you want in to Conan D20 than the other way around.
 

pming

Legend
Hiya!

We played the 1st version of the Conan game that Mongoose (?) put out. IIRC, we did a quick little session to get a feel for it, then I had them up their PC's to level 4. Then I pulled out "The Forbidden City". :) This is, imnsho, the perfect "Conan adventure" (at least for AD&D). We had a lot of fun in it, played for a few sessions. Definitely a system I'd play again... but, again, we just DO NOT like "Feats" at all, and the "high numbers/attacks" inherent to the 3.x/d20 system wasn't something we wanted to get into.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

Mordhau

Adventurer
You can't use Armour as DR as a number. It doesn't work due to scaling issues. Either it becomes increasingly less useful as you level up or it scales and you quickly reach a point where PCs are completely invulnerable to less threats.

To even have a stab at it you would need to really go through all the monsters and rewrite them with those issues in mind. (For one thing, DR means that single high damamge attacks becomes much more threatening when compared to single attacks - and inversely Fighters get screwed more than rogues if fighter monsters with DR). One thing to remember is that D20 Conan was never intended to work with regular 3.X monsters.

If you want Armour as DR you need to work with the concept of Resistance (because half damage scales at all levels and against all kinds of attacks).
 

Nebulous

Legend
I would love to see something like this in D&D, but it would be a 6e overhaul. You can't muck with the mechanics like that without tremendous ripple effect.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
More trouble than it is worth. . . It would be better to port the elements of D&D you want in to Conan D20 than the other way around.

I would love to see something like this in D&D, but it would be a 6e overhaul. You can't muck with the mechanics like that without tremendous ripple effect.
Or you can try it at your home table, and watch all hell break loose!

Armor as DR works well, but it needs a limit. Otherwise you can get a slight invincibility problem. My solution is minimum damage: a successful hit can't be reduced to zero damage.

So more hits and limited DR sounds like fun!
 


I've tried to tinker with alternate armour rules in D&D, but it's a huge amount of work. Once you get into adjusting damage and hit points for everything you're really getting into new system territory.

I'd prefer to play something that has DR baked in, like witcher. It uses fairly static HP and damage and therefore can use armour as DR much more effectively.
 

AtomicPope

Adventurer
We played the 1st version of the Conan game that Mongoose (?) put out. IIRC, we did a quick little session to get a feel for it, then I had them up their PC's to level 4. Then I pulled out "The Forbidden City". :) This is, imnsho, the perfect "Conan adventure" (at least for AD&D). We had a lot of fun in it, played for a few sessions. Definitely a system I'd play again... but, again, we just DO NOT like "Feats" at all, and the "high numbers/attacks" inherent to the 3.x/d20 system wasn't something we wanted to get into.
Completely agree. I loved, and hated, the Conan system from Mongoose. There was a unique balance between dodgers, parriers, and blockers that made the system kewl. I really liked their magic system as it rewarded "evil." The easiest way to cast powerful spells was sacrifice. It really fit into the Conan themes.

Not to highjack the thread but the "realism" of armor as DR is only offset by weapon variety. That means completely overhauling the system, and making it a lot like AD&D with armor mods for weapons.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
If you want to do something like this, I would recommend looking at warhammer frpg (I am most familiar with 2nd edition and I recommend it).

It is more realistic. But the problem with these systems is that they add steps to the "combat protocol". Let me illustrate

D&D:
Roll to hit enemy AC --> Roll for damage --> Apply damage

Warhammer:
Roll weapon skill check --> enemy rolls to dodge or parry (if succeeds, attack fails) --> roll damage --> reduce damage by toughness and armor --> apply damage --> roll for critical hit if wounds (hp) reaches zero

(Oh, and I skipped what happens if you roll max damage, and hit location. )

It's more realistic! It takes into account the skill of the attacker and defender, the armor is a last line of defense, a lot of attacks miss... Buuuut is it worth it? Is it more fun? That's the question you have to ask.
 


Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
The problem with DR, other than being a lot of overhead, is that it totally nerfs some monsters while having minimal impact on others. Something that relies on a bunch of low impact hits may mean their attacks have no impact while heavy hitters that rely on one or a few attacks are relatively unaffected.

I don't know how you fix that with the way that D&D works. As far as realism, someone in full plate should be pretty impervious to most normal attacks. To take out someone in high quality plate armor you had to grapple and overwhelm to the point you could pry open their armor and stab them in the face. They were the tanks of their day. But that doesn't necessarily make for fun game.
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
I honestly like this a lot... Might use it as a Houserule for the Project Chronicle setting.

Dodge: 10+Dex+Wis
Parry: 10+Str+Con
Block: 10+Shield+Int

Most of the time players choose which defense type to use, but some attacks (Like spells that would normally target AC) go after a specific defense type.

That'll probably result in 3 different levels of AC, Really. Strongfighters will always try to parry, Lightfighters will always try to dodge. And smart characters will try to keep a shield handy...

Personally I like it. Helps reinforce Sword and Sorcery character identity.
 

dave2008

Legend
You can't use Armour as DR as a number. It doesn't work due to scaling issues. Either it becomes increasingly less useful as you level up or it scales and you quickly reach a point where PCs are completely invulnerable to less threats.

To even have a stab at it you would need to really go through all the monsters and rewrite them with those issues in mind. (For one thing, DR means that single high damamge attacks becomes much more threatening when compared to single attacks - and inversely Fighters get screwed more than rogues if fighter monsters with DR). One thing to remember is that D20 Conan was never intended to work with regular 3.X monsters.

If you want Armour as DR you need to work with the concept of Resistance (because half damage scales at all levels and against all kinds of attacks).
You can use Armor DR in 5e. We have used it for over 5 years now and it works really well for us.
 

dave2008

Legend
The problem with DR, other than being a lot of overhead, is that it totally nerfs some monsters while having minimal impact on others. Something that relies on a bunch of low impact hits may mean their attacks have no impact while heavy hitters that rely on one or a few attacks are relatively unaffected.

I don't know how you fix that with the way that D&D works. As far as realism, someone in full plate should be pretty impervious to most normal attacks. To take out someone in high quality plate armor you had to grapple and overwhelm to the point you could pry open their armor and stab them in the face. They were the tanks of their day. But that doesn't necessarily make for fun game.
We fix this by only having DR come into effect on a confirmed critical (or when HP = 0). Otherwise a hit just removes HP and doesn't seriously wound you (reducing your bloodied hit points). This system makes crits more exciting (and potential dangerous) and heavy armor more important. Also, since it only comes into effect on crits (and @ 0) it doesn't have much overhead.
 

dave2008

Legend
I've tried to tinker with alternate armour rules in D&D, but it's a huge amount of work. Once you get into adjusting damage and hit points for everything you're really getting into new system territory.

I'd prefer to play something that has DR baked in, like witcher. It uses fairly static HP and damage and therefore can use armour as DR much more effectively.
We were able to add DR to 5e rather simply, with very minimal changes (no changes to HP or damage, maintain armor AC, a simple method to determine armor DR and wound points). I've talked about it a lot on these forums, but no one else seems to like. or hasn't decided to try, it. But our group loves it and that is all I really care about!
 

dave2008

Legend
I honestly like this a lot... Might use it as a Houserule for the Project Chronicle setting.

Dodge: 10+Dex+Wis
Parry: 10+Str+Con
Block: 10+Shield+Int

Most of the time players choose which defense type to use, but some attacks (Like spells that would normally target AC) go after a specific defense type.

That'll probably result in 3 different levels of AC, Really. Strongfighters will always try to parry, Lightfighters will always try to dodge. And smart characters will try to keep a shield handy...

Personally I like it. Helps reinforce Sword and Sorcery character identity.
Adding two modifiers to your defense score makes more sense as it gets the numbers closer to the base assumptions of 5e. I wonder how spells like shield and bless would figure into this type of defense?
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
Adding two modifiers to your defense score makes more sense as it gets the numbers closer to the base assumptions of 5e. I wonder how spells like shield and bless would figure into this type of defense?
Talking with my players, there's a suggestion to do 10+Stat+Prof, instead. Or maybe 8+Stat+Prof.

That way both Adepts and Berserkers get to be better at dodging or just tanking hits at low level, and get a boost at higher levels.

Both those spells would retain normal function, in my opinion.
 

Stalker0

Legend
My issue with armor as dr is it tends to unbalance weapons, which while realistic also removes aspects of versatility. Throwing a dagger doesn’t work very well when dr drops the damage to nigh 0
 

Steampunkette

Shaper of Worlds
Supporter
My issue with armor as dr is it tends to unbalance weapons, which while realistic also removes aspects of versatility. Throwing a dagger doesn’t work very well when dr drops the damage to nigh 0
It's true...

Though, full disclosure: I'm thinking of doing this for -players- only. With NPCs retaining a singular AC and no additional DR.
 

Level Up!

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top