5E House rule for Victorian era aesthetic - no armor

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I mean, yes and no. The "brace of pistols" was a thing. But it was kind of... hardcore.
PCs are the 0.01% though. The heroes. The hardcore. We don’t play peasants and farmers in D&D, we play adventurers. We’re Indiana Jones and Conan and Luke Skywalker and James Bond.
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
PCs are the 0.01% though. The heroes. The hardcore. We don’t play peasants and farmers in D&D, we play adventurers. We’re Indiana Jones and Conan and Luke Skywalker and James Bond.
It shouldn't even be the default option for every hardcore adventurer, is what I'm saying. If you put together a party of Natty Bumppo and d'Artagnan and Rob Roy and Blackbeard (anachronistic, I know), only one of them is going to carry a brace of pistols.
 

bedir than

Explorer
I mean, yes and no. The "brace of pistols" was a thing. But it was kind of... hardcore. Ideally the rules would allow for a PC to go that route and carry, say, four to six guns. But it shouldn't incentivize that as the normal best practice in combat, because it definitely wasn't.

I'm almost tempted to steal an idea from video games and introduce the concept of "weapon sets". The idea being you can only have so many weapons ready for immediate use at a time. Can't strap sixteen different swords to your belt, can't carry twelve holstered pistols. So maybe the brace of pistols guy can have two pistols in "set 1", two more in "set 2", and a final two in "set 3" that he got from a class feature or feat. But then that's it for him: no backup melee weapon feasible. In contrast, another PC might instead have one pistol in "set 1" and then a sword-cane and cape in "set 2".
Yeah, for sure. I'm not suggesting it be unlimited. It probably maxed out at about 3 firearms loaded.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I'm with you on the history but I don't follow your logic here. You say nobody is wearing armor during this period, which is true. So doesn't that increase the demand for a rules revision allowing for practical unarmored combat?
The logic is that a Campaign based on the times and feel of Victorian Era/Wild West is that the unarmed combat rules as-is will be sufficient since most combats should be virtually weaponless. Combat with truly dangerous weapons will be exceptional, and most will take steps to avoid going down that path.

So, avoidance of conflict would be preferable over hoping to survive one. IOW, it’s a campaign-level difference in playstyle. A typical D&D party approach to combat would be...at odds with the genre conventions.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
It shouldn't even be the default option for every hardcore adventurer, is what I'm saying. If you put together a party of Natty Bumppo and d'Artagnan and Rob Roy and Blackbeard (anachronistic, I know), only one of them is going to carry a brace of pistols.
Sure, obviously, if you choose three people without braces of pistols, then none of them have braces of pistols. If you put together a party of Narbolg the goblin gunslinger, Petre the French-influenced pistoleer, and Doctor Victor Von Wolfhausen-Smythe the vampire-hunting marksman, then all of them have braces of pistols.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
The logic is that a Campaign based on the times and feel of Victorian Era/Wild West
To clarify, I have some knowledge of what Rangerwickett is discussing. It's not exactly Victorian, and isn't Wild West. He's talking about the ZEITGEIST setting, which folks might not be familiar with.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
To clarify, I have some knowledge of what Rangerwickett is discussing. It's not exactly Victorian, and it's definitely not Wild West (like really not Wild West - I think it was you who brought the Wild West into the thread). It's fantasy, not historical. He's talking about the ZEITGEIST setting, which folks might not be familiar with, but it's not really either of those two things (and of those two things, a lot more not Wild West than Victorian). But to double clarify, totally not Wild West.
In post #34, Paul Farquhar- not me- pointed out that the Wild West was roughly contemporaneous with the Victorian era. (Which I knew, having run a Supers 1900 campaign.)
 

TheCosmicKid

Adventurer
Sure, obviously, if you choose three people without braces of pistols, then none of them have braces of pistols. If you put together a party of Narbolg the goblin gunslinger, Petre the French-influenced pistoleer, and Doctor Victor Von Wolfhausen-Smythe the vampire-hunting marksman, then all of them have braces of pistols.
You're missing my point. If the rules are written carelessly, the brace of pistols becomes the clear optimal choice and every competent adventurer ought to be carrying them. That's not the case in historical reality or in period adventure fiction. There need to be tradeoffs in the rules such that carrying a brace of pistols is possible but that other options are viable as well. You can build a party of D&D adventurers all armed with greataxes, too. But you don't have to.
 

cbwjm

I can add a custom title.
What about taking from Conan RPG? Something like the following:

Dodge AC = 10 + half proficiency bonus + dexterity modifier.
When attacked by 3 or more opponents, you have a minor (-2) penalty to your Dodge AC.

Parry AC = 10 + half proficiency bonus + strength modifier.
Normally, Parry AC cannot be used against a ranged attack.

Maybe a monk can substitute their Wisdom modifier for both dodge and parry AC.

Maybe each class gains a 1 time +2 AC bonus to one or the other defence (no bonus from multiclassing).

A shield adds +2 to parry AC. A shield adds +2 to Dodge AC against ranged attacks only.
The dual wield feat adds +1 to Parry AC when using two weapons.

A 1st level fighter with a shield and strength 16, dexterity 10 has the following defences.
Dodge AC 11 (13 against ranged).
Parry AC 16

Actual armour could reduce damage as a reason to wear it.
 

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