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

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
I agree the weapon-vs-armour-type business is overly complicated for most purposes, and have thus never used it myself; but I can't see a way of differentiating different weapons' effects on different armours that doesn't end up looking pretty much like those tables.
Well, you could use simpler versions like the 2E optional rule which just gave bonuses or penalties for slashing/piercing/bludgeoning as broad categories against each armor type, rather than for each weapon.

Or one of the proposed similar systems discussed here:
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Oofta

Legend
Does it, though?

Curious for anyone reading: do any of you have long-term stats for your games around survivability or death frequency by class? I do, for my/our games, and they show that absent a few rarely-played outliers survivability doesnt really depend on class much if at all; but I'd be interested in seeing stats from different versions/editions of the game to see if this finding holds up there.

In my experience the PCs with the best AC tend to get targeted the most often. Unless of course you're a mean DM that likes to have feints and flank attacks at the PCs that always want to be two football fields away from the rest of the party. 🏹
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Or one of the proposed similar systems discussed here:
The problem with most systems like these is they try to strike a balance when frankly there shouldn't be any:

1656017490831.png

Chain was Excellent against slashing attacks, not just "Good". It was certainly better than Leather.

And Plate was not "Poor" against crushing attacks, it was still better than Leather or Chain. The arming doublet worn beneath Plate provided very good protection from crushing attacks. Now, was it's crushing protection as good as piercing? Maybe better, actually, because the rigid plates would disperse the energy over a greater area, as were a piercing weapon's point could have enough energy to penetrate the metal, but then the padding beneath would protect the wearer from most serious injury.

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.
 



GreyLord

Legend
So uh...

All the Dex in the world will let you dodge some attacks in light armor to minimize the damage you take. In heavy armor, the same amount of dodging makes no difference 'cause they'll hit metal instead of you.

Not getting Dex to AC in full plate has nothing to do with being -unable- to dodge. It's being unable to dodge more effectively than the armor already is at stopping you from taking damage.

You ever tried dodging in FULL EFFECTIVE (not the wimpy stuff some call leather, because that stuff wouldn't stop a dull kitchen knife, we aren't talking the leather you use for clothes which aren't armor at all, except in someone's dreams) Leather armor. That stuff isn't so easy to dodge in as many think.

Having actually worn the type of leather and plate as well, it's not that much easier to "dodge" in the leather than the plate, and if the plate has no leather under it, may actually be easier in the plate then the leather.
 


Steampunkette

Rules Tinkerer and Freelance Writer
Supporter
You ever tried dodging in FULL EFFECTIVE (not the wimpy stuff some call leather, because that stuff wouldn't stop a dull kitchen knife, we aren't talking the leather you use for clothes which aren't armor at all, except in someone's dreams) Leather armor. That stuff isn't so easy to dodge in as many think.

Having actually worn the type of leather and plate as well, it's not that much easier to "dodge" in the leather than the plate, and if the plate has no leather under it, may actually be easier in the plate then the leather.
Really depends on how the cuirass is formed. If it's boiled plates strung or fastened together, it's much easier than a more solid one-piece cuirass.

For example, a leather version of the lorica segmentata.

3e4a323ec21130cc1a78e6f5a4d91261.jpg


Overlaying segments of leather protection arranged in such a way as to provide flexibility. Yes, each ring is boiled and hardened making it a pain in the behind to don, but it's far less difficult to move in than, say, linothorax.

linothorax-arrow1.jpg


Because while the Linothorax was made of layered and glued linen, it became about as hard as bone or plaster. Highly inflexible and you had to be stitched into it. Also it smelled like rotting meat which sucked.

Brigandine (Studded Leather for most people) with it's interlocking metal plates to give increased flexibility and mobility.


I'm not saying it's -flawless- or anything. But the design of a given suit of leather armor, or linothorax, or brigandine, is going to make a big impact on how easy or difficult it's going to be, regardless of the material it is made of.
 

James Gasik

Legend
D&D is weird in that respect that you have different levels of technology present with armor that in our world, at least, didn't coexist at the same time. Like articulated plate mail was invented in what, the 14th century?
 

Micah Sweet

Legend
I really think that, if you have an issue with plate armors just being better in most circumstances (as research would seem to suggest), just ban it in your games. That would help with the anachronism issue too.
 

So uh...

All the Dex in the world will let you dodge some attacks in light armor to minimize the damage you take. In heavy armor, the same amount of dodging makes no difference 'cause they'll hit metal instead of you.

Not getting Dex to AC in full plate has nothing to do with being -unable- to dodge. It's being unable to dodge more effectively than the armor already is at stopping you from taking damage.
Actually dodging a blow is much harder and rarer than D&D would imply. Outside of simply moving back out of an opponent's range as they attack, avoiding a strike with a weapon is really difficult. Ducking and sidestepping are not a primary defensive technique in any armed combat system that I am aware of. Parrying/blocking is how attacks are generally defended against in armed combat simply because the body doesn't generally move fast enough compared to the speed of a weapon.

Having said that, Dexterity in 5e is grace and balance, and both of those are important defensively. Not specifically to avoid every attack, but to avoid making a mistake or losing your footing that would make you vulnerable to an attack. This would still be of use in heavy armour simply because losing your footing was one of the few ways that you could be made vulnerable while in plate.

Couldn’t one argue high Dex would also let you parry or block more effectively besides just dodging? I imagine armor would impact those actions even less than your ability to dodge incoming attacks.
You could make just as much argument for Strength, granting speed of motion of your weapon and more control of your opponent's when blocking or deflecting. Outside of pure skill, both Dex and Str in their 5e incarnations are important.
 

James Gasik

Legend
I really think that, if you have an issue with plate armors just being better in most circumstances (as research would seem to suggest), just ban it in your games. That would help with the anachronism issue too.
You know, the way 5e is designed, I don't think much would be harmed if Heavy Armor didn't exist. Fighters would have to have a 14 Dex. They'd lose 1 AC.

Clerics and Paladins might have some woes, which would cause them to lose 2 AC if they can't afford a 14 Dex. But only some Clerics get Heavy Armor anyways. And this might make shields look like a better investment?*

*Though admittedly, the spellcasting rules could use a slight tweak- if a Cleric is meant to have a shield and cast spells, not having them lose an action to stow a weapon OR make them toss it on the ground would be nice.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
You could make just as much argument for Strength, granting speed of motion of your weapon and more control of your opponent's when blocking or deflecting. Outside of pure skill, both Dex and Str in their 5e incarnations are important.

I know many people have suggested removing CON and incorporating the hit point bonus from STR (or elsewhere even) with CON gone.

Then, DEX could be used for attack rolls and AC, while STR could be used for damage rolls and hit points. In this way DEX counters DEX (bonus to hit vs. AC) and STR counters STR (bonus damage vs. extra hit points).

Just a thought I've been toying around with...
 

James Gasik

Legend
I know many people have suggested removing CON and incorporating the hit point bonus from STR (or elsewhere even) with CON gone.

Then, DEX could be used for attack rolls and AC, while STR could be used for damage rolls and hit points. In this way DEX counters DEX (bonus to hit vs. AC) and STR counters STR (bonus damage vs. extra hit points).

Just a thought I've been toying around with...
It's an interesting idea. Now whether more skills and initiative is equal to being a better saving throw (covering Str and Con saves) would be debatable. And there's still ranged weapons rules to consider.
 

DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
It's an interesting idea. Now whether more skills and initiative is equal to being a better saving throw (covering Str and Con saves) would be debatable. And there's still ranged weapons rules to consider.
Yep, there are reasons why I haven't adopted it whole-heartedly....

For ranged weapons, the rules would still be DEX for attacks, STR for damage. Ranged weapons with the loading property do not add STR mod to damage. That is my current take, anyway.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
The video doesn't really show much beyond a few moments of not at all extreme athletics exertion as others have pointed out. The body itself has limits that strength*20 encumbrance limits & forced march/starvation rules run well beyond, like this trivial strength6 or 7ish problem. People die during boot camp/basic training from the intensity of things every so often & at one point many years ago the Massachusetts statey's had to lower their basic training because a marine or something died trying to complete it hoping to join the state police.
 

GMMichael

Guide of Modos
Curious for anyone reading: do any of you have long-term stats for your games around survivability or death frequency by class? I do, for my/our games, and they show that absent a few rarely-played outliers survivability doesnt really depend on class much if at all; but I'd be interested in seeing stats from different versions/editions of the game to see if this finding holds up there.
I think you took half of my point here, and interpolated the other half. Yes, I'm saying that a character's final AC doesn't pertain to what most of the discussion here is about (armor weight, quickness, parrying, synergy...whatever). But that's not to say that character class should be the focal point here. (Since a high AC can be reached by any class through multiple means.)

Take two characters with equal AC. One is unarmored and one is armed to the teeth. You can imagine, but you can't officially say that as both avoid damage, the heavily armored character isn't dodging blows while the unarmored character's clothes aren't simply absorbing the damage. All they're objectively doing is avoiding damage. So it's not really "ridiculous assumptions regarding armor" or "fallacious views of how mobile knights were?" It's just, "are you using the rules as written?"

If, say, D&D had one type of protection that kept a defender away from blows and another type that reduced the amount of damage that a connecting blow did, then you'd have a more constructive "is armor maneuverable" conversation. Add to that a type of damage that meant you took bodily harm, versus another type that just means you're getting winded. Then we'd really be in a position to say that AD&D was more realistic or that 5th edition somehow does it wrong.
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
D&D is weird in that respect that you have different levels of technology present with armor that in our world, at least, didn't coexist at the same time. Like articulated plate mail was invented in what, the 14th century?
Given that I have cultures coexisting in my worlds that missed each other by centuries if not millenia in real life, anachronisms are not a problem. :)
 

James Gasik

Legend
Oh no, I was more commenting about armor innovations that make a particular type of armor more or less easy to move about in, and such, like how one's leather armor could be constructed as show in a previous post.
 

Staffan

Legend
If you want to do detailed armor, I think Pathfinder 2 does it pretty well. Each suit of armor has a few relevant stats:
Category: Unarmored, Light, Medium, Heavy. Primarily for proficiency purposes.
AC bonus: The bonus you get to AC for having that type of armor.
Dex Cap: The maximum bonus you get to AC from your Dexterity when wearing that type of armor. Notably, for light and medium armors AC bonus and Dex Cap almost always sum to +5, and for heavy armor +6.
Check penalty: A penalty to Strength- and Dexterity-based checks other than attack rolls. Almost always -1 for light armor, -2 for medium, and -3 for heavy.
Speed penalty: How much slower you move in that armor.
Strength: How much Strength you need to both negate the check penalty and reduce the Speed penalty by 5 ft. There is a strong inverse correlation with the Dex Cap: with a few exceptions they are +4/10, +3/12, +2/14, +1/16, and +0/18.

The effect is that most combat-focused characters will have similar AC, with heavy armor wearers having a 1-point advantage. It also means that medium and heavy armor primarily have an offensive function: they mean you can put points in Strength rather than Dexterity and still maintain a good AC. Chain mail with Dex 12 and Str 16 will get you the same AC as leather with Dex 18 and Str 10. PF2 is also much stingier with giving out Dexterity to damage: basically the only way is to have a particular Rogue sub-class. So if you want to hit hard and don't have class abilities like Sneak Attack you need a good Strength, which means you won't have as many points available for Dexterity, which means you want medium or heavy armor.
 

An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top