D&D 5E Why AD&D Rocks and 3e - 5e Mocks all over AC...

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Chain was Excellent against slashing attacks, not just "Good". It was certainly better than Leather.
...

In short, heavier armor was generally simply "better", but according to the table above Leather is the best overall with two Goods and an Excellent. That alone tells me this is not a realistic system at all. There might be more to it I am missing, but those are my first thoughts anyway.
I was in part just offering it as a counterpoint that any weapon vs. ac system would necessarily look like the Greyhawk and 1E ones, but yeah, I think Delta's first crack at it doesn't quite work.

Did you check out Matthew's points in the comments? I like his ideas, though I'd be inclined to bump his suggested +1s to +2s, because I agree with Delta that +1 bonuses are a little too small and fiddly to really bother with.
 

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I'm this close to just making armor a thing that holds magic enhancements and just doing AC by level +DEX/INT.
This favors dex/int classes! (semi-sarcastically)

Going all-in on armor as fashion choice would be best served by having each class use its own setup for AC, although there may be redundant results (ie all arcane casters get mage armor of 11 + spellcasting mod.)
 

GreyLord

Legend
If we wanted to go more the AC damage resistant type fashion, I think putting STR requirements on Heavier armors as well as making heavier armors able to simply stop a certain amount of damage would be acceptable

Let's say Leather armor allows you to get a bonus of +5 from your Dexterity bonus.

Then Chain only allows a +2 DEX bonus...BUT...automatically negates any damage done under 3 damage. Thus, if it is less than 3 damage, you take NO damage. You also need at least a 10 STR to even wear it.

Plate allows no DEX bonus, but automatically negates any damage done under 8 HP. You also need at least a 15 STR to wear it.

Or you could require the STR bonus to add your DEX bonus as well. For example, a one to one ratio would mean with plate, if you have a 16 STR you could gain up to +3 DEX bonus as well...or a 12 STR would give you a maximum of +1 DEX bonus in plate...etc.

I could buy that for a very weak character, moving in heavier armors could make it hard to utilize your agility, but at the same time, I don't buy these arguments who are trying to say that plate is overly restrictive or so much more restrictive than Leather (having worn both myself, as well as Chain, though that of course was a recreation of it) that you completely lose any and all your DEX ability to dodge, deflect, parry, or even move in it.
 

Oofta

Legend
If we wanted to go more the AC damage resistant type fashion, I think putting STR requirements on Heavier armors as well as making heavier armors able to simply stop a certain amount of damage would be acceptable

Let's say Leather armor allows you to get a bonus of +5 from your Dexterity bonus.

Then Chain only allows a +2 DEX bonus...BUT...automatically negates any damage done under 3 damage. Thus, if it is less than 3 damage, you take NO damage. You also need at least a 10 STR to even wear it.

Plate allows no DEX bonus, but automatically negates any damage done under 8 HP. You also need at least a 15 STR to wear it.

Or you could require the STR bonus to add your DEX bonus as well. For example, a one to one ratio would mean with plate, if you have a 16 STR you could gain up to +3 DEX bonus as well...or a 12 STR would give you a maximum of +1 DEX bonus in plate...etc.

I could buy that for a very weak character, moving in heavier armors could make it hard to utilize your agility, but at the same time, I don't buy these arguments who are trying to say that plate is overly restrictive or so much more restrictive than Leather (having worn both myself, as well as Chain, though that of course was a recreation of it) that you completely lose any and all your DEX ability to dodge, deflect, parry, or even move in it.
The problem wr DR as AC is the way D&D is designed. A Hydra has many small attacks that would never do damage, a Frost Giant (same CR) has a couple of big hits. The math and logic behind CR isn't great as is, DR would make it worse.
 


GMMichael

Guide of Modos
. . . A Hydra has many small attacks that would never do damage, a Frost Giant (same CR) has a couple of big hits. The math and logic behind CR isn't great as is, DR as written would make it worse.
Fixed it. You know, I've never seen damage reduction in 5e, but I saw it in 3e. A pretty simple fix to the 3e version is to require minimum damage - so your example hydra would still do damage if the DM fudged rolled high enough.
 

Brainwatch

Explorer
The problem wr DR as AC is the way D&D is designed. A Hydra has many small attacks that would never do damage, a Frost Giant (same CR) has a couple of big hits. The math and logic behind CR isn't great as is, DR would make it worse.
One work around for this is to have the DR apply per turn, not per attack. For example, a fighter with DR 8 is attacked by a big brute for 15 damage. His DR reduces that to 7 (15 - 8 = 7). A Second fighter with the same DR 8 is attacked by 3 weaker foes who do 4, 5 & 6 damage respectively. Fighter 2 takes 0 damage from the first attack, but only has 4 DR remaining this turn (8DR - 4 Damage = 4 DR remain). Fighter 2 takes 1 damage from the second attack burning through remaining DR (5 - 4 =1) and takes full damage from the third attack (6 - 0 = 6). For both cases total damage on the turn was 15, and both fighters took 7 points of damage after DR. It's a bit more fiddly with the math, but doesn't penalize small damage attacks as much.

Question: Does armor DR affect spell damage? If 'Yes', all around tougher to kill. If 'NO' tougher to kill with weapons only, spells same.

As an aside: DR per turn could be a class feature for the fighter, with bonuses to armor DR at higher levels. This would make the fighter harder to kill with weapons, without just an hp increase, meaning damaging spells would be more useful against them.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Fixed it. You know, I've never seen damage reduction in 5e, but I saw it in 3e. A pretty simple fix to the 3e version is to require minimum damage - so your example hydra would still do damage if the DM fudged rolled high enough.
Mod Note:

”Fixed it.” edits of other’s quotes may be common elsewhere, but it’s kinda frowned on here because it can lead to confusion. So please don’t do that.
 

James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Supporter
Yeah I remember when the 3e Unearthed Arcana touted "armor as DR" as an option, and for a hot minute, it was the bee's knees. Then I pointed out that lowering AC to get a few points of DR was foiled by the Power Attack feat, so only low Strength, Finesse builds would be affected by this change.

But as long as there is a system that makes AC agnostic from armor, 5e can avoid falling into the same trap with things like GWM.
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
This favors dex/int classes! (semi-sarcastically)

Going all-in on armor as fashion choice would be best served by having each class use its own setup for AC, although there may be redundant results (ie all arcane casters get mage armor of 11 + spellcasting mod.)
As I stated on other threads, I would be willing to add something like the Rock Hard Abs feat that let you use STR instead while shirtless.

Maybe a Disarming Confidence for CHA, Danger Sense for WIS, and Beef Tank for CON.
 

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