?

Log in

No account? Create an account
D&D 3E
I'm looking to use an Armor as Damage Reduction system for my game. I… 
16th-Jun-2006 05:52 pm
chocobo
I'm looking to use an Armor as Damage Reduction system for my game. I am aware of the variant in Unearthed Arcana, but I'm looking for a system where armor gives only DR and not also an AC bonus. Any ideas on a good scale for the DR (so what DR leather armor gives, what DR full plate gives)? Or how to have magic bonuses (such as on "full plate +2") apply?

My current thought is to have DR range from 1/- (leather armor) to either 4/- (full plate) or 8/- (full plate), or possible have the armor reduction be a range (so leather reduces by 1d2, fullplate by 2d4 or something). I was originally thinking that I could just have the "+1" magic bonus add to the armor's DR, but I'm starting to wonder if that will work. Any suggestions?
Comments 
17th-Jun-2006 12:18 am (UTC)
I would have them replace their AC bonus with DR (so Full Plate grants a DR of 8/-). If you're going to do it this way, I would also allow different sources of DR to stack.
17th-Jun-2006 01:27 am (UTC)
I was planning on having armor DR stack with other DR. Any idea for what a magical enhancement does to armor then?
17th-Jun-2006 02:00 am (UTC)
Stack as well.
18th-Jun-2006 02:50 pm (UTC)
I got another question:

I'm thinking Natural Armor should work the same way as normal armor (since they are both armor after all). Should I have natural armor work on the same scale? Or maybe be 1/2 the bonus? I'm just thinking that some of these creatures with +10 Natural Armor are going to be really tough, and that dragon with a +30 natural armor is crazy (though I do like the idea that you can't get through Smaug's hide).
17th-Jun-2006 01:53 am (UTC)
It sounds like you're all taken care of, but here's the d20srd link anyway:

http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm

Are you sure it's balanced having full plate grant DR 8/-, though? Even with it granting zero armor bonus? It seems to me that, point for point, DR is more powerful than an armor bonus.

I'm sure someone has done the math for this at some point in the past.
17th-Jun-2006 02:12 am (UTC)
I ran some numbers actually. What I figure is that losing 8 points of AC means the opponent hits you 40% more often, so on average does 40% more damage. So if the opponent does (on average) 20 points of damage or less, you've got the advantage (he's losing 8/20 of his damage, which is a 40% reduction). If he does 21 of more points of damage, he's losing 8/21 of his damage, which is a 38% loss--a number that only goes down as the average damage dealt goes up.

So for creatures that do less than 20 damage a hit, you're doing better. For those that do more, you're doing worse. As a point of comparison, a Green Dragon's bite attack (primary physical attack of an "average" evil dragon) does 20 points of damage average at age Very Old (CR 19). On the other hand, a Huge Earth Elemental (CR 7) does 20 points of damage on average. Based on these two data points, it seems like armor will generally improve for most the game (which I'm okay with), but there are always big baddies who can bust through it.
17th-Jun-2006 02:16 am (UTC)
Furthermore, the chance of getting hit increases by .05*Bonus [Bonus is the armor bonus], so we're looking for the Damage where Bonus/Damage = .05*Bonus. Simple math gives us that Damage = Bonus/(.05*Bonus), or Damage = 20. Thus the threshhold for your armor doing well is always 20 damage on average, no matter what armor you're wearing.

So the question is, do more creatures do >20 damage a hit or <20 damage a hit?
17th-Jun-2006 02:19 am (UTC)
You went into that way more accurately than I had the patience for, but you're dead on.
17th-Jun-2006 02:23 am (UTC)
I like math a lot ;p

You also have a good point, that any abilities that rely on simply hitting the guy rather than doing actually damage are going to be more powerful. It's something else to consider, but I think it will work out since I think most creatures do less than 20 damage average a hit.
17th-Jun-2006 02:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, but the DM is going to know which ones don't.

When it comes down to it, D&D is a subjective game balanced by the DM rather than an objective game balanced by mechanics.

*shakes fist at Rule 0*
17th-Jun-2006 03:40 am (UTC)
Fortunately, most of those things involve a save (I'm running a sorceress in August that has a snake familiar, so I've been looking it all up) and save-based special attacks are often kind of sucky. They get less powerful as the characters advance, basically. Which is kind of the opposite of the armor thing, but it's not a big enough discrepancy to cause a problem. I think. (It's late.)
17th-Jun-2006 02:17 am (UTC)
Considering that you're pretty much guaranteed to get hit by every attack as a Heavy Armor fighter to some degree or another? Yes, in the sense that it's not "way better" than simply having an ungodly high AC (which I'd actually prefer).

Think about it, a max level Dwarven Defender in Full Plate +5 would only have a DR of 16/-, but an AC of 11. If he goes up against a max level Rogue (who's either going to use Hide and Move Silently over and over again or simply combine things like Improved Critical and Telling Blow), that Rogue is going to be averaging 33 damage (assuming no bonuses from stats or magic enhancements) and is guaranteed to hit on the first attack unless he rolls a 1. And, in the event of a full attack, is guaranteed pretty much guaranteed to hit on the second attack, too (again, assuming no stat or magic enhancement bonuses) and extremely likely to hit on the third attack. Forgetting damage dice on this, think about how powerful the Wounding enhancement becomes if this rule is adopted.
17th-Jun-2006 05:11 am (UTC)
IMC - which I really have to get back into running, darn you city of heroes! -- I treat armor and shields differently. A shield doesn't let someone "touch" you, while armor does (and armor can be damaged.)

If you go for armor as DR, I suggest the same -- don't let shields grant DR, but leave them as real AC.

Mechanically wise, if you want just DR, go for the full bonus. It's almost impossible to slice somoene in real full plate with a longsword anyway -- why not make it so in the game?
17th-Jun-2006 01:02 pm (UTC)
While I like the idea that armor takes damage and can be broken (I used to play in a MUD that did that), I think it might be a little overly complicated. I'll probablyjust stick with the sunder special ability for breaking stuff.

But I was also thinking that I would have to do shields differently. One thought was to try and develop a "parry" system, where you can basically attempt to use a shield to block an attack. I'm thinking you make an opposed check d20+BAB+str+shield bonus against the attack to hit you. If you win, you block the attack.

Of course I'd have to math out how effective this is, and I'm not sure this wouldn't slow down gameplay a little TOO much (I don't mind a little bit of slow-down, but shield use could certainly become really complicated--especially for a group of NPCs using shields). But then I'm not sure how many PC are going to use shields on a regular basis). You could also try to parry with a weapon in lieu of an attack (basically instead of fighting defensively. Or, if you have multiple attacks, you could devote one to parry and one to attacking. This makes two-weapon fighting pretty effective on attack/defense).

The other simple option would be, as you suggest, just letting shields give their normal bonus to your Defense (the to-hit number) rather than to your Armor.
17th-Jun-2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
While I like the idea that armor takes damage and can be broken (I used to play in a MUD that did that), I think it might be a little overly complicated. I'll probablyjust stick with the sunder special ability for breaking stuff.

It's not all that complex in play -- the attacker still rolls to hit, and rolls damage if they're above a certain number. It meshes pretty well with my HP-replacement, and what slowdown there is doesn't make the RP value I get any less.

The problem with sunder is that (1) you can't sunder armor in d20 and (2) it's WAY too hard to expect PCs to guess "I should sunder his armor". I ran a high-armor NPC villian a ways back, and my players hated having to open him out of his can. It just wasn't fun.

But I was also thinking that I would have to do shields differently. One thought was to try and develop a "parry" system, where you can basically attempt to use a shield to block an attack. I'm thinking you make an opposed check d20+BAB+str+shield bonus against the attack to hit you. If you win, you block the attack.

Just make it a standard action, and have shield proficency give you a free "parry" action each round.

PCs dont use sheilds because they aren't worth the investment. If you give them something special they will be used.
18th-Jun-2006 03:27 am (UTC)
Do you have a link to how you run breaking armor? I'm curious to see your system (and see if I might want to use it/adapt it, if that's alright).
17th-Jun-2006 08:10 am (UTC)
You might want to look at the Conan system. It's a system that works quite nicely but you would probably need the whole thing to go across to it.
Basically weapons get an armour piercing value too, to which you add your strength to see the total armour piercing. If you beat the armour piercing value of the armour you ignore half it's DR. Finesse has to hit AC+DR but if it beats that ignores all DR. It's generally a bit more deadly a system with weapons doing more damage and massive damage saves at 20 damage (difficulties are higher too).
An example would be a mail shirt: DR 5, max dex +4, armour check -3, 60% SFC. Put that up against a guy with a short sword D8 damage, 3 armour piercing. AC is based on either parrying or dodging which increases with level, varying depending on class.
This page was loaded Apr 19th 2018, 9:42 pm GMT.