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
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

Legend
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.
 

Oofta

Legend
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.
EDIT: ninja'd by an admin. FYI while I don't care, "fixing" someone's post is apparently considered a Bozo no-no on this sight.

But I still think it has a ripple effect. If my monk fights someone with DR, suddenly hitting a lot is significantly worse than the rogue who has a single (sneak) attack. In addition IIRC, DR in 3E was pretty low. Wasn't it something like 2 points? I always thought it was more headache than it was worth. In addition it's far different from the proposed 8 points of DR suggested in the post I was quoting.

I will be the first to admit that armor is pretty FUBARed. Someone in high quality plate should be very hard to damage unless you wrestle them to the ground and stab them in the face. But that wouldn't work for D&D combat. So with a high DR you'd have to have some way to bypass it, but then in D&D people can take multiple hits ... and it would just be a mess. IMHO of course.
 

Oofta

Legend
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.
Maybe? What about multiple attackers then? Let's say you're PC is being turned into a pincushion by a horde of goblins all attacking from range. Some arrows are going to find a gap in the armor just by shear luck. How do you model that?

Question: Does armor DR affect spell damage? If 'Yes', all around tougher to kill. If 'NO' tougher to kill with weapons only, spells same.
I've always thought armor should help with dex saves. Not sure how.
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.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Maybe? What about multiple attackers then? Let's say you're PC is being turned into a pincushion by a horde of goblins all attacking from range. Some arrows are going to find a gap in the armor just by shear luck. How do you model that?


I've always thought armor should help with dex saves. Not sure how.
Shields should totally grant a benefit to Dex saves, especially against breath weapons. But I'm all about adding functionality to shields, because shields are a big deal in real world combat, for a wide variety of reasons.

Here's my easy fix for armor. Actual physical armor (not namby pampy Mage Armor) protects you from a set amount of damage based on it's protective value. So say, as an example (these probably aren't the numbers I would use, but it's an example):

Light armor: 1 hp/level.
Medium armor: 2hp/level.
Heavy armor: 3 hp/level.

A 5th level character wearing heavy armor ignores the first 15 points of damage they take. They can regain this "damage buffer" by performing some minor repairs to the armor, ie, after completing a short or long rest.
 

Oofta

Legend
Shields should totally grant a benefit to Dex saves, especially against breath weapons. But I'm all about adding functionality to shields, because shields are a big deal in real world combat, for a wide variety of reasons.

Here's my easy fix for armor. Actual physical armor (not namby pampy Mage Armor) protects you from a set amount of damage based on it's protective value. So say, as an example (these probably aren't the numbers I would use, but it's an example):

Light armor: 1 hp/level.
Medium armor: 2hp/level.
Heavy armor: 3 hp/level.

A 5th level character wearing heavy armor ignores the first 15 points of damage they take. They can regain this "damage buffer" by performing some minor repairs to the armor, ie, after completing a short or long rest.
When I first saw Shield Master I thought it was awesome. Finally a way to improve my poor strength based fighter's dex save and push people around in combat or knock them prone to get advantage. Then I read it again. Dex save? Only if you're the sole target*, so ... two spells in the book. But I can still push people around as a bonus action, right? Well, then Crawford came out against that as well. The feat is now practically pointless - in the few cases where it would be useful I can just use one of my attacks to get the same result. :(

In my home game I can make it happen, I think shields should be better. Maybe someday we'll have official rules to support that iconic imagery in fantasy of having a shield blocking a breath weapon. I'm not going to hold my breath.

*which also adds confusion. If a hell hound breaths fire on my fighter and they're the only one in the AOE, do I get the bonus? If I do, why do I lose it if someone else happens to also be included? Why can I block that disintegrate with my shield if I'm the only target but not if the sorcerer targeting me used twin spell?
 

Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Maybe? What about multiple attackers then? Let's say you're PC is being turned into a pincushion by a horde of goblins all attacking from range. Some arrows are going to find a gap in the armor just by shear luck. How do you model that?
Criticals bypass/ignore any and all DR effects.

Howzat?
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
When I first saw Shield Master I thought it was awesome. Finally a way to improve my poor strength based fighter's dex save and push people around in combat or knock them prone to get advantage. Then I read it again. Dex save? Only if you're the sole target*, so ... two spells in the book. But I can still push people around as a bonus action, right? Well, then Crawford came out against that as well. The feat is now practically pointless - in the few cases where it would be useful I can just use one of my attacks to get the same result. :(

In my home game I can make it happen, I think shields should be better. Maybe someday we'll have official rules to support that iconic imagery in fantasy of having a shield blocking a breath weapon. I'm not going to hold my breath.

*which also adds confusion. If a hell hound breaths fire on my fighter and they're the only one in the AOE, do I get the bonus? If I do, why do I lose it if someone else happens to also be included? Why can I block that disintegrate with my shield if I'm the only target but not if the sorcerer targeting me used twin spell?
I'd like to like this post, but it really is a sad state of affairs. D&D traditionally just treats shields as this AC booster you strap to your arm and hide behind. You might get some neat optional rules, but by and large, if you want to do something cool with a shield, you need some kind of special feature, as if anyone with proficiency has no idea how to actually employ one to bash foes, knock people off balance, use it to brace a spear, form a shield wall, angle it to provide cover from arrow fire, etc. etc..
 


Lanefan

Victoria Rules
If they weren't so rare, maybe. It's a nice buff for critical hits, but it's still 5% of the time for most people.
In the situation described - goblins pincushioning someone in plate with many arrows hoping a few get through - having crits bypass DR would I think model quite well the idea of the occasional lucky shot getting through a crack and really hurting the armour's occupant.

'Cause otherwise, the plate-wearer will become nigh-invulnerable to most ordinary attacks; and that's just too good.

The other aspect here, not yet touched on I don't think, is that any type of DR effect that reduces melee/missile damage but leaves magic damage alone only serves to power up the casters even further in relation to the fighters.
 


Brainwatch

Explorer
In the situation described - goblins pincushioning someone in plate with many arrows hoping a few get through - having crits bypass DR would I think model quite well the idea of the occasional lucky shot getting through a crack and really hurting the armour's occupant.

'Cause otherwise, the plate-wearer will become nigh-invulnerable to most ordinary attacks; and that's just too good.

The other aspect here, not yet touched on I don't think, is that any type of DR effect that reduces melee/missile damage but leaves magic damage alone only serves to power up the casters even further in relation to the fighters.
I like the idea of Crits bypassing DR, makes them extra special.

As to powering up casters if DR doesn't affect magic No, but Yes. No it doesn't power up casters, they do the same damage they are doing now to the armor wearer. But yes in the sense that the wizard's melee body guard is now doing less damage to the armor wearer. I think the simplest way would be to just let DR effect any source of damage. Then there is no debate on whether something is magic damage or not. In essence DR/turn would function as an non-magical temp hp source.
 

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