Reading Shadow, Sword & Spell

Swanosaurus

Adventurer
I'm reading Shadow, Sword & Spell at the moment and thought I'd just start a thread with some observations and questions (since I know @rogue_richard is active here).

First: While I'm still not quite sure why it works with 2d12 insteab of 2d10, I like the core resolution mechanism. It is not terribly original, but simple: Roll, add your stat and reach a target number. Degree of success (how much higher you roll) often adds to effect, degree of failure (how much you remain under) can cause trouble.
I'm not quite sure why ability checks are a separate thing, though ... the roll-high mechanism is basically the same, but why, instead of moving the target number, do you modify the roll here? It seems weird to have to systems for basically the same thing that are that similar.

I like the skill list and the general degree of complexity looks just right for me.

Now, since I tend to jump around, two questions that might seem random, but follow from my reading process (which usually involes jumping ahead to the magic section at some point):

First, armor: Armor is ablative, which is a little unusual, but can be done well. I'm nit quite sure here, though: If I'm reading the rules on p. 39 correctly, it seems that if you're wearing your armor, the only way an opponent can wound you would be by totally destroying your armor first (because it becomes unsalvagable as soon as it goes down to 0, and before it is down to 0, it will absord all damage). Is that right?

Second, resistance to magic: This seems to fall under the rules for ability checks (pp 37-38), but there's also the passage on Resistance on p. 88, which first states that you resist with an opposed will roll (first paragraph), and then follows it up with a seemingly slightly contradictory paragraph about putting Spell Rank against the Resist skill that sounds as if against magic, the Resist skill is used no matter what.

It might very well be that I'm missing important stuff, because as I said, I read the basics and most of combat and then jumped to magic (because magic is typically one of the things that make or break a fantasy system for me).

Speaking generally, I think I like the system - it seems like a good and flexible rules-lite set of rules along the lines of Barbarians of Lemuria.
 

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