PDA

View Full Version : Armor-granted DR - w/o complications or balance issues



nonsi
2018-11-12, 10:03 AM
.

Armors grant DR to some degree, provided that the wearer is aware of the incoming attack and may properly defend themselves.
If you're flatfooted, flanked, or lose your Dex-bonus to AC for any reason, you don't benefit from armor-associated DR.


All armors grant DR 1/― from the get go.
Some armors may grant higher DR, depending on the specific armor. See the "Damage Reduction" column in the first table here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm).
To gain DR 2/― from armor, you must have at least BAB +4.
To gain DR 3/― from armor, you must have at least BAB +8.
To gain DR 4/― from armor, you must have at least BAB +12.



With level progression, characters learn to make more out of their armor Ė in the form of DR.

For armors with which the character is proficient, at BAB +2 ... +8, each +2 armor-bonus to AC (not including magical bonuses) grants DR 1/―, capped by Ĺ the characterís BAB.
Examples:
1. DR 1/― from Leather (or better) armor, starting at BAB +2
2. DR 2/― from Chain Shirt (or better) armor, starting at BAB +4
3. DR 3/― from Banded Mail (or better) armor, starting at BAB +6
4. DR 4/― from Full Plate armor, starting at BAB +8

Starting at BAB +10 and every +2 increase thereafter, the DR increases by 1 for any armor youíre proficient with. This does not progress beyond BAB +20.

Armor-associated DR stacks with any other DR.

Armor-associated DR is gained from experience only. It doesnít apply to monster HD / racial HD. Only BAB gained by actual level progression counts.


This makes Leather armor end up with DR 7/― and Full Plate end up with DR 10/―.
Breastplate would grant a level 20 Barb an accumulated DR 13/―.



Clarification: The idea is to add DR on top of AC, not to replace armor-bonus to AC.

Design Note: the idea is to scale DR with the armor types, but to avoid making things broken at low levels. At mid-levels, the party tank and the healer will enjoy decent lastability.

Nifft
2018-11-12, 08:23 PM
.
.
Not sure this helps much.

The values seem a bit low.

nonsi
2018-11-13, 01:59 AM
.
.
Not sure this helps much.

The values seem a bit low.


Guess I could lower the BAB requirements to +4/+7/+10, or +3/+6/+9, but I'm not sure about it.
W/o lowering armor ACs, DR 3/― and up is definitely broken at 1st level.
Also, the Barb gets DR 1/― at 7th level and DR 4/― at 16th, and I see no reason why both factors of DR shouldn't stack.

Maat Mons
2018-11-13, 02:15 AM
You know theoretically, each point of AC is supposed to decrease your chances of being hit by 5%. And, on average, being hit by attacks 5% less often means you take 5% less damage in the long run.

So, in a sense, we can say that the intention is for the protection of a suit of full plate to be on par with 40% DR. That means, if we want to know how much flat damage reduction a suit of full plate should offer to a 20th-level character, we just have to ask ourselves "What's 40% of the average damage a 20th-level character takes per hit?"

nonsi
2018-11-13, 03:40 AM
You know theoretically, each point of AC is supposed to decrease your chances of being hit by 5%. And, on average, being hit by attacks 5% less often means you take 5% less damage in the long run.

So, in a sense, we can say that the intention is for the protection of a suit of full plate to be on par with 40% DR. That means, if we want to know how much flat damage reduction a suit of full plate should offer to a 20th-level character, we just have to ask ourselves "What's 40% of the average damage a 20th-level character takes per hit?"

It doesn't seem right to me to allow a 1500gp worth of mundane equipment to deny 40% of the average damage that a 20th level frontliner is expected to take/negate overall.
+9 to AC and +4 DR seem more than reasonable for a single mundane item to me.

My only dilemma is the correct pace at which armor-associated DR should be available.
By the responses so far, it seems that I'm pulling upward toward 12 while you two are pulling downward. Just how much downward is unclear to me.
Now that I think of it, maybe certain feats could up armor-associated DR somewhat.

Knaight
2018-11-13, 05:22 AM
It doesn't seem right to me to allow a 1500gp worth of mundane equipment to deny 40% of the average damage that a 20th level frontliner is expected to take/negate overall.
+9 to AC and +4 DR seem more than reasonable for a single mundane item to me.

It doesn't do that. It negates 40% of the average damage that comes through attack rolls (approximately, there's enough that falls/rises off/over the scale to throw it off a bit). Anything resisted with a save bypasses it entirely. That's what the +8 AC does on its own, so if you replace AC with DR you'd want something similar.

EDIT: More precisely, 40% of the time it negates damage that comes through attack rolls. Unless they attack rolls generally hit 100% of the time that actually negates more than 40% of incoming damage, to a theoretical maximum of 88.9% damage reduction for attacks that hit on an 11 when unarmored. I'd repeated phrasing used in the thread, but said phrasing is sloppy, and it's only not edited to be better because it's been quoted.

nonsi
2018-11-13, 06:12 AM
It doesn't do that. It negates 40% of the average damage that comes through attack rolls (approximately, there's enough that falls/rises off/over the scale to throw it off a bit). Anything resisted with a save bypasses it entirely. That's what the +8 AC does on its own, so if you replace AC with DR you'd want something similar.

Oh, now I get the problem.
I was talking about adding DR on top of AC, not instead.

Knaight
2018-11-13, 06:20 AM
You know theoretically, each point of AC is supposed to decrease your chances of being hit by 5%. And, on average, being hit by attacks 5% less often means you take 5% less damage in the long run.

Not quite. Going from getting hit 100% of the time to 95% of the time corresponds to 5% less damage in the long term. On the other extreme going from getting hit 10% of the time to getting hit 5% of the time corresponds to 50% less damage in the long term (counting only AC intercepted damage sources). In practice it ends up somewhere between those numbers, and each point of AC does a different amount, with subsequent points adding more than prior points up until you force the auto-20 hit rules, at which point it does nothing.

For n points of AC the expected reduction is (5n/h)%, where h is the earlier hit chance, assuming that you're not running into automatic hit and miss rules.


Oh, now I get the problem.
I was talking about adding DR on top of AC, not instead.
That still works out to an increase of more than 40% from a mundane item, here 45+% to start with, before DR is taken into account. Which still only applies to damage from non-touch attacks.

nonsi
2018-11-13, 08:11 AM
Not quite. Going from getting hit 100% of the time to 95% of the time corresponds to 5% less damage in the long term. On the other extreme going from getting hit 10% of the time to getting hit 5% of the time corresponds to 50% less damage in the long term (counting only AC intercepted damage sources). In practice it ends up somewhere between those numbers, and each point of AC does a different amount, with subsequent points adding more than prior points up until you force the auto-20 hit rules, at which point it does nothing.

For n points of AC the expected reduction is (5n/h)%, where h is the earlier hit chance, assuming that you're not running into automatic hit and miss rules.


That still works out to an increase of more than 40% from a mundane item, here 45+% to start with, before DR is taken into account. Which still only applies to damage from non-touch attacks.

I still can't put my finger on your conclusion regarding my proposal in the OP.

Glimbur
2018-11-13, 10:25 AM
What kind of attacks that are affected by DR are mid level characters being targeted with? A CR 11 cloud giant is rocking 4d6+18 damage per swing, which makes 4 DR feel pretty insignificant. It's an interesting idea but I think it needs to scale faster.

nonsi
2018-11-13, 11:38 AM
What kind of attacks that are affected by DR are mid level characters being targeted with? A CR 11 cloud giant is rocking 4d6+18 damage per swing, which makes 4 DR feel pretty insignificant. It's an interesting idea but I think it needs to scale faster.

ATM, it's an added bonus that doesn't cost any additional character resources. Nevertheless, when you say "faster", what do you have in mind?

XionUnborn01
2018-11-13, 01:40 PM
ATM, it's an added bonus that doesn't cost any additional character resources. Nevertheless, when you say "faster", what do you have in mind?

The problem is that, at 20th level or at 12th even, 4 DR is basically nothing. Maybe it increases at 2bab, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20 that way its 8dr at 20th. Still not amazing but might actually make a difference.

nonsi
2018-11-13, 02:10 PM
The problem is that, at 20th level or at 12th even, 4 DR is basically nothing. Maybe it increases at 2bab, 5, 8, 11, 14, 17, 20 that way its 8dr at 20th. Still not amazing but might actually make a difference.

1. Your suggested progression still spells out 4 DR at BAB +12.
2. How do I reconcile the different armor types with your proposed progression?

Erloas
2018-11-13, 03:06 PM
I would scale DR based on the AC, and then scale it up every 4 levels.

Starting point: AC/3 (normal rounding) gives DR
So:
AC 1 armor = 0 DR

AC 2, 3, 4 armor = 1 DR

AC 5, 6, 7 armor = 2 DR
AC 8, 9 armor = 3 DR

At level 4 those x2:, so 0, 2, 4, 6
level 8, x3 = 0, 3, 6, 9
level 12, x4 = 0, 4, 8, 12
level 16, x5 = 0, 5, 10, 15
level 20, x6 = 0, 6, 12, 18

That seems like a reasonable starting off point. If you wanted that to increase with magic bonuses or not would be a matter of balance to be determined. By having the DR scale to the armor you're not getting the same DR in cloth as you are in full plate. Depending how those numbers feel, you could instead round down (so 1, 2=0, 3, 4, 5 =1, etc) or you could round up. If you wanted a larger spread, divide by 2 instead, a smaller spread, divide by 4. Less progression then change it after 5-6 levels instead of 4.

If you wanted it more restrictive you could add it to something like Armor Focus feat for 1-8, Improved Armor Focus for 12-20, something a martial class would be likely to do anyway.

Maat Mons
2018-11-13, 06:14 PM
On the other extreme going from getting hit 10% of the time to getting hit 5% of the time corresponds to 50% less damage in the long term (counting only AC intercepted damage sources).

10% versus 5% is a 5 percentage point difference. I'm sorry if my phrasing was ambiguous. I figured saying "percentage point" would confuse anyone who wasn't familiar with statistics.




Oh, now I get the problem.
I was talking about adding DR on top of AC, not instead.

Now, my experience with high-level play is limited. But my understanding is that, since attack bonus increases with level/CR more rapidly than AC, the value of an armor's AC bonus diminishes with level.

So, at 1st level, a suit of armor makes a big difference in average damage taken. Conversely, at high level, wearing armor takes you from being hit on anything but a natural 1 to ... still being hit on anything but a natural 1.

If we figure that the armor's AC bonus is, after a point useless, then, after that point, it really doesn't matter if the new benefit is on top of it or instead of it.




Design Note: the idea is to scale DR with the armor types, but to avoid making things broken at low levels.

Why does there need to be any DR at 1st level? Isn't the AC bonus from armor a pretty substantial benefit at that level?




It doesn't seem right to me to allow a 1500gp worth of mundane equipment to deny 40% of the average damage that a 20th level frontliner is expected to take/negate overall.
+9 to AC and +4 DR seem more than reasonable for a single mundane item to me.

ATM, it's an added bonus that doesn't cost any additional character resources.

Putting 20 levels into a martial class is an investment. Creating a system whereby the people who have made that investment use armor more effectively is not the same as making the armor itself more powerful. A 20th-level character can use a free quarterstaff more effectively than a 1st-level character can. The quarterstaff itself is not is not overpowered because of this.

mabriss lethe
2018-11-13, 07:46 PM
OK. Here's a thought. Don't worry about DR and AC stacking at all, or whether or not it's level dependent. Just keep it as part of the equipment. If you feel like it's too powerful, just make sure that DR from conventional armor can be overcome by one of the three basic weapon damage types, then go nuts. Chain shirt would still retain its AC bonus no matter what, but would be overcome by a piercing weapon. Plate would be vulnerable to Bludgeoning, Hide to Slashing (or whatever you ultimately decide, those are just arbitrary, off the cuff choices). Magic enhancement could change it to X/-, but I'm not sure exactly how I'd do that at the moment, it's easy for that to get too fiddly.

Erloas
2018-11-13, 09:09 PM
So here is an updated set of versions. All the options end up more powerful than the original, but I think it gives a reasonable progression. I decided to skip level 1-3, going with AC being a big enough boost as it is then. I also went ahead and expanded it to AC 14, in case you wanted to include the enchantment bonus, so +5 full plate would be the 14 row. (not that a level 4 is going to be running around in +5 full plate, but whatever) If not, just ignore that and the table stops at AC 9. Seems like a lot all at once, but once you pick a method 3/4 of the table goes away. If you wanted to start it at a different level and progress less just drop the 16-20 column and readjust the level spread.

The formula is pretty straight forward, AC/3 or AC/4, just rounded differently and then multiplied as level increases.



AC
Large Spread, round normal
Large Spread, round down
Small Spread, round normal
Small Spread, round down


Level
4-7
8-11
12-15
16-20
4-7
8-11
12-15
16-20
4-7
8-11
12-15
16-20
4-7
8-11
12-15
16-20


multiplier
x1
x2
x3
x4
x1
x2
x3
x4
x1
x2
x3
x4
x1
x2
x3
x4


1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0


2
1
2
3
4
0
0
0
0
1
2
3
4
0
0
0
0


3
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
0
0
0
0


4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4


5
2
4
6
8
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4


6
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
1
2
3
4


7
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
1
2
3
4


8
3
6
9
12
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8


9
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8


10
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12
2
4
6
8


11
4
8
12
16
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12
2
4
6
8


12
4
8
12
16
4
8
12
16
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12


13
4
8
12
16
4
8
12
16
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12


14
5
10
15
20
4
8
12
16
4
8
12
16
3
6
9
12

nonsi
2018-11-14, 02:35 AM
Now, my experience with high-level play is limited. But my understanding is that, since attack bonus increases with level/CR more rapidly than AC, the value of an armor's AC bonus diminishes with level.
So, at 1st level, a suit of armor makes a big difference in average damage taken. Conversely, at high level, wearing armor takes you from being hit on anything but a natural 1 to ... still being hit on anything but a natural 1.
If we figure that the armor's AC bonus is, after a point useless, then, after that point, it really doesn't matter if the new benefit is on top of it or instead of it.

There are AC factors other than just the armor:
1. Mithral - improves Dex benefits.
2. Magical bonuses.
3. Feats
4. Buff spells and effects.
5. Circumstance bonuses.
6. Battle strategy and tactics.

Yes. There comes a time when all those can't keep up, but that usually happens at epic levels.





Why does there need to be any DR at 1st level? Isn't the AC bonus from armor a pretty substantial benefit at that level?

I'll make it BAB +1 rather than level 1.





Putting 20 levels into a martial class is an investment. Creating a system whereby the people who have made that investment use armor more effectively is not the same as making the armor itself more powerful. A 20th-level character can use a free quarterstaff more effectively than a 1st-level character can. The quarterstaff itself is not is not overpowered because of this.

We see things eye to eye on this one.

nonsi
2018-11-14, 02:42 AM
So here is an updated set of versions. All the options end up more powerful than the original, but I think it gives a reasonable progression. I decided to skip level 1-3, going with AC being a big enough boost as it is then. I also went ahead and expanded it to AC 14, in case you wanted to include the enchantment bonus, so +5 full plate would be the 14 row. (not that a level 4 is going to be running around in +5 full plate, but whatever) If not, just ignore that and the table stops at AC 9. Seems like a lot all at once, but once you pick a method 3/4 of the table goes away. If you wanted to start it at a different level and progress less just drop the 16-20 column and readjust the level spread.

The formula is pretty straight forward, AC/3 or AC/4, just rounded differently and then multiplied as level increases.



AC
Large Spread, round normal
Large Spread, round down
Small Spread, round normal
Small Spread, round down


Level
4-7
8-11
12-15
16-20
4-7
8-11
12-15
16-20
4-7
8-11
12-15
16-20
4-7
8-11
12-15
16-20


multiplier
x1
x2
x3
x4
x1
x2
x3
x4
x1
x2
x3
x4
x1
x2
x3
x4


1
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0
0


2
1
2
3
4
0
0
0
0
1
2
3
4
0
0
0
0


3
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
0
0
0
0


4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4


5
2
4
6
8
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4
1
2
3
4


6
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
1
2
3
4


7
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
1
2
3
4


8
3
6
9
12
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8


9
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12
2
4
6
8
2
4
6
8


10
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12
2
4
6
8


11
4
8
12
16
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12
2
4
6
8


12
4
8
12
16
4
8
12
16
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12


13
4
8
12
16
4
8
12
16
3
6
9
12
3
6
9
12


14
5
10
15
20
4
8
12
16
4
8
12
16
3
6
9
12




I get what youíre aiming at here, and it does have its internal logic, but I donít like the ever-increasing disparity between the different armor types. Also, there should come a time where experience is the added value no matter what armor-type youíre wearing.
Also, for the sake of gameflow practicality, Iíd prefer not to add another table that requires consulting. Just the opposite Ė Iíd rather eliminate tables wherever possible.

I have this image in my head from the movie ďTroyĒ of Achilles reigning supreme in his leather armor Ė and I want leather to count for high level characters as well.
It also doesnít add up for me that DR will have value jumps (e.g. like your table displays from AC 4 to AC 5 for the ďLarge Spread, round normalĒ column).

ATM it makes the most sense to me that:
1. The armors will fulfill their DR full potential at BAB +2 / +4 / +6 / +8. Instead of consulting the table (as suggested in the OP) Iíll set it at [base DR = AC/2; magical bonuses donít count]
2. Starting at BAB +10 and every +2 increase thereafter, the DR increases by 1 for any armor youíre proficient with.
3. Armor-associated DR doesn't advance passed BAB +20.
4. Armor-associated DR is gained from experience only. It doesnít apply to monster/racial HD. Only BAB gained by actual level progression counts.

This would make Leather armor end up with DR 7/― and Full Plate end up with DR 10/―.
Breastplate would grant a level 20 Barb a total DR 13/―.

The numbers seem to add up.
Also, the above proposal will have no impact on monster taken as is from the MM_X books.

nonsi
2018-11-14, 02:43 AM
OK. Here's a thought. Don't worry about DR and AC stacking at all, or whether or not it's level dependent. Just keep it as part of the equipment. If you feel like it's too powerful, just make sure that DR from conventional armor can be overcome by one of the three basic weapon damage types, then go nuts. Chain shirt would still retain its AC bonus no matter what, but would be overcome by a piercing weapon. Plate would be vulnerable to Bludgeoning, Hide to Slashing (or whatever you ultimately decide, those are just arbitrary, off the cuff choices). Magic enhancement could change it to X/-, but I'm not sure exactly how I'd do that at the moment, it's easy for that to get too fiddly.

I see the common sense in this approach (though I think you got chain and plate reversed), but it seems to me that this will overshadow armor-DR being mostly associated with combat experience and usage technique. Plus, itís another level of complication thatís gonna be there practically all the time.

Erloas
2018-11-14, 12:34 PM
It's really only a table in so far as it helps visualize a simple formula.

As for the disparaties\jumps, it's going to happen with any changing system, I had tried to get it to mostly align with the light\medium\heavy progression, but even there they have overlaps. Of course there could just be 3 progressions, tied to each type, all light the same, all medium the same, all heavy the same.

Trying to keep plate and leather as viable options just ignores that they are designed for very different classes. Does it make sense that the rogue and fighter get the same protection out of very different types of armor? To me it seems like my progression would give the biggest benefit to those that specialize in heavier armor, which seems like the point.

As for tying the increase to BAB instead of level, that would be easy, just change level on the table to BAB and it's done, tweak as necessary.

An addative progression rather than multiplitive would keep things closer, but also tends to make them less important at higher levels. It also makes the formula\table more complicated and has to be checked and changed more often for the players.

If you want it really simple and not really tied to armor, just use BAB/2, maybe +1/2/3 for light/medium/heavy. That would leave a 20 fighter at DR 11 in light or DR 13 in heavy. Or a 20 rogue at DR 8.

nonsi
2018-11-14, 06:22 PM
It's really only a table in so far as it helps visualize a simple formula.


Still, it's another table to deal with.





Of course there could just be 3 progressions, tied to each type, all light the same, all medium the same, all heavy the same.


With the right values, this could work.





Trying to keep plate and leather as viable options just ignores that they are designed for very different classes. Does it make sense that the rogue and fighter get the same protection out of very different types of armor? To me it seems like my progression would give the biggest benefit to those that specialize in heavier armor, which seems like the point.


A level 20 fighter will gain DR 10/― from his Full Plate.
A level 20 rogue will gain DR 4/― from his Leather armor.

The Fighter has more HP, better AC, better DR and a shield - and its WBL is typically more combat-stats-oriented. The Fighter is obviously superior in straight combat in every possible way.






An addative progression rather than multiplitive would keep things closer, but also tends to make them less important at higher levels.


That's inevitable when scaling values gradually over a finite space of 20 levels.





If you want it really simple and not really tied to armor, just use BAB/2, maybe +1/2/3 for light/medium/heavy. That would leave a 20 fighter at DR 11 in light or DR 13 in heavy. Or a 20 rogue at DR 8.


Sure, but I'd prefer a more substantial gap between different armor types. I just don't want that gap to constantly increase (only to a point: BAB +8 in this particular case).
Also, I really don't want low levels to benefit from significant DR - where it's clearly not required.

Erloas
2018-11-14, 09:39 PM
The Fighter has more HP, better AC, better DR and a shield - and its WBL is typically more combat-stats-oriented. The Fighter is obviously superior in straight combat in every possible way.

The thing is nothing you do in the armor system is going to change that. If your goal is to make a rogue more suvivable there are better ways to do that.

The main issue I would see is what would any system do to classes that are already good and can wear armor, like the divine classes? But in the end, anything you do with the armor system will affect everyone that uses armor. If you want to be much more selective on who gets the bonus and when, that is more of a feat or class ability sort of area.

If you think armor should provide more benefits than it currently does, then change armor to a system that makes sense and works for you. Adjust and balance the classes as needed, but don't make a base system like armor not have consistency because some classes use that system than others do.

If you don't want it to start working until level 5 or 10 or 8 or 12, then start the progression there, but that again starts to look a lot more like class abilities than a mundane property of gear.

nonsi
2018-11-15, 01:35 AM
The thing is nothing you do in the armor system is going to change that. If your goal is to make a rogue more suvivable there are better ways to do that.

The main issue I would see is what would any system do to classes that are already good and can wear armor, like the divine classes? But in the end, anything you do with the armor system will affect everyone that uses armor. If you want to be much more selective on who gets the bonus and when, that is more of a feat or class ability sort of area.

If you think armor should provide more benefits than it currently does, then change armor to a system that makes sense and works for you. Adjust and balance the classes as needed, but don't make a base system like armor not have consistency because some classes use that system than others do.

If you don't want it to start working until level 5 or 10 or 8 or 12, then start the progression there, but that again starts to look a lot more like class abilities than a mundane property of gear.

My goal here is not to provide a class-driven solution, but to make armor better horizontally.

The thought here is that thereís only so much that low level characters can make out of their armor on one hand, but that thereís more to make out of armors that inherently provide better protection on the other... and still it takes time and experience to make the most out of them.
Beyond 6th level (real-world heroes about whom stories linger for centuries and even millennia), when characters start to deal with mythical creatures, they all learn to slowly maximize their armor protection to absorb and divert more of the damage Ė a slow process that the more melee-inclined characters are better at.

AndÖ itís a simple-to-implement solution that comes for free w/o requiring more feats or any other character resources. And itís not meaningless on one hand and not broken on the other.
And given that Full Plate grants more than double the DR that the Barb gets at every level, and given that the Barb also benefits from it, and given that this solution is equally valid for core 3.5e and my overhaul project, Iím happy with the result :smallsmile:

Knaight
2018-11-15, 03:55 AM
Beyond 6th level (real-world heroes about whom stories linger for centuries and even millennia), when characters start to deal with mythical creatures, they all learn to slowly maximize their armor protection to absorb and divert more of the damage Ė a slow process that the more melee-inclined characters are better at.

You could tie it to BAB - every new attack is also an armor DR multiplier. This also makes it more useful for dedicated combat classes, and while this does help the rogue less that's not necessarily an issue considering just how good their main stat is (by physical stat standards).

nonsi
2018-11-15, 04:46 AM
You could tie it to BAB - every new attack is also an armor DR multiplier. This also makes it more useful for dedicated combat classes, and while this does help the rogue less that's not necessarily an issue considering just how good their main stat is (by physical stat standards).

1. I would assume that heavy armor should grant higher DR than light armor, given all other parameters are equal. How do you model that with the above proposal?
2. Others hear have claimed that DR 4 is not enough to be meaningful at level 20. Not for heavy armor at least.

Knaight
2018-11-15, 04:50 AM
1. I would assume that heavy armor should grant higher DR than light armor, given all other parameters are equal. How do you model that with the above proposal?
2. Others hear have claimed that DR 4 is not enough to be meaningful at level 20. Not for heavy armor at least.

1. Base DR = AC/2
2. Armor DR = Base DR*Number of attacks from BAB.

nonsi
2018-11-15, 05:03 AM
1. Base DR = AC/2
2. Armor DR = Base DR*Number of attacks from BAB.

That will put Rogue 20 vs. Fighter 20 at DR 3 vs DR 16.
That kind of disparity will make the Unfettered Warrior character concept an obviously inferior choice and shift the meaningful difference from the character to his/her gear - the exact opposite of what I'm aiming for.

[Edit:]

Also, your formula makes Full Plate grant DR 4/― at 1st level.
I believe that this is too much.

Nifft
2018-11-15, 12:49 PM
That will put Rogue 20 vs. Fighter 20 at DR 3 vs DR 16.
That kind of disparity will make the Unfettered Warrior character concept an obviously inferior choice and shift the meaningful difference from the character to his/her gear - the exact opposite of what I'm aiming for.

Make armor penalize AC and give significant DR. Now instead of wearing heavy armor and getting both, you need to decide which one you want more.

Then give a nod to the acrobats wearing full-plate and remove all Dexterity caps -- you can have both, but you pay more for having both, and your AC won't be as high as someone who only focused on dodging.

nonsi
2018-11-15, 01:29 PM
Make armor penalize AC and give significant DR. Now instead of wearing heavy armor and getting both, you need to decide which one you want more.

Then give a nod to the acrobats wearing full-plate and remove all Dexterity caps -- you can have both, but you pay more for having both, and your AC won't be as high as someone who only focused on dodging.


Iím trying to maintain a delicate equilibrium here.
I want heavy armor to be obviously superior to light armor, just not to a point where the tin-can character (as a package) is obviously better than the unfettered warrior acrobat.
I donít want light/medium/heavy armors to all be equally worthwhile, because that would automatically tilt the choice to the lighter armor.
Light armor has lower encumbrance, doesnít limit (or hardly limits) your Dex and doesnít restrict your movement or tumbling (and would probably take a smaller bite into your characterís cashflow). There are ways to narrow that gap back in favor of heavy armor, but thatíll come with a heavy toll in character resources (plural).

Iím not gonna alleviate armor restrictions based on BAB alone, because thatíll tilt things in favor of the heavier armors. There are feats for that.

I want to come as close as possible to a point where player-choices are based on the character they envision and as little as possible on char-op strategies.

Nifft
2018-11-15, 01:52 PM
I want to come as close as possible to a point where player-choices are based on the character they envision and as little as possible on char-op strategies.

If you want to reduce char-op strategies, then you need to remove the reward for op'ing chars.

Remove any mechanical benefits of armor. All values for AC and DR are class-based; clothing does not make the man.

Maybe you can suffer some small penalty for not wearing appropriate clothes, if you want bath / sleeping / undercover encounters to be differently exciting.

There you go, now just make an Unfettered Warrior class which gets full AC while not wearing armor, and a Heavy Infantry class which gets full AC (and better DR) while wearing all the armor.

Lacuna Caster
2018-11-15, 02:01 PM
Make armor penalize AC and give significant DR. Now instead of wearing heavy armor and getting both, you need to decide which one you want more.
Things do get a little incongruous when wearing more armour actually makes your armour class go down.

nonsi
2018-11-15, 03:03 PM
Things do get a little incongruous when wearing more armour actually makes your armour class go down.

I think this is covered adequately with the Max-Dex restriction (affects AC) and skill-checks penalties.

Nifft
2018-11-15, 03:27 PM
Things do get a little incongruous when wearing more armour actually makes your armour class go down.

I mean, it can already do exactly that. That's an incongruity which exists already in Core D&D.

Take a guy with Dex 30 and put him in any mundane, non-magical Heavy armor.


So yeah, you can decide the effect is incongruous, but you need to understand that the system is already chock full of exactly these incongruities ... changing the system to make it better won't necessarily remove every incongruity, but you can't really blame the change for not fixing something that was always already "broken".

(Scare-quotes because it's not actually broken, it's just you seeing something for the first time and being surprised. It was always there, and the game works fine with it.)

Lacuna Caster
2018-11-15, 03:38 PM
I mean, it can already do exactly that. That's an incongruity which exists already in Core D&D.

Take a guy with Dex 30 and put him in any mundane, non-magical Heavy armor.
Yeah, but that's exceptional rather than the rule. Under this system, armour is explicitly the one thing that does not boost your armour class.

I'm not saying it's a problem mechanically, but you might want to rename it to something other than 'armour class' at this point.

JNAProductions
2018-11-15, 03:53 PM
Yeah, but that's exceptional rather than the rule. Under this system, armour is explicitly the one thing that does not boost your armour class.

I'm not saying it's a problem mechanically, but you might want to rename it to something other than 'armour class' at this point.

DC to be struck?

Strike DC, to shorten it?

Erloas
2018-11-15, 03:59 PM
What about keeping a fairly high difference in AC/DR for heavy versus light armor, but figuring out other (mundane) properties that would make sense for different armor types?

As an example, think about welding, cutting, and electrical work done in real life, that is all done with heavy clothing or leather and metal is removed whenever possible. So normal DR for leather is less, but it gains some specific DR against fire and electricity.


Maybe some of the medium armors, I'm thinking chain and scale specifically, maybe hide and lamellar too, have an increase in max dex and lower armor check penalty as your strength goes up. With the idea that the added bulk and weight is the limited factor, not the articulation of the parts of things like plate, so if you're strong enough you don't notice it. That would make them good choices for characters with both good strength and dex.


Maybe a few types are less obvious and can easily be hidden, so you can go into a tavern or party wearing and armored coat or tunic/quilted/padded and no one else would recognize you're ready to fight. (A bit more on the RP side of things, but "how are you going to disguise going into the Baron's ball wearing full plate" issues would give them another option. Would be more practical for some campaigns/adventures than others.)


In short, find different bonuses for each general type of armor so there are reasons to look at one type over another more than just straight AC/max dex.

Lacuna Caster
2018-11-15, 04:21 PM
DC to be struck?

Strike DC, to shorten it?
'Defence' should work fine.

Knaight
2018-11-16, 07:47 AM
That will put Rogue 20 vs. Fighter 20 at DR 3 vs DR 16.
That kind of disparity will make the Unfettered Warrior character concept an obviously inferior choice and shift the meaningful difference from the character to his/her gear - the exact opposite of what I'm aiming for.

[Edit:]

Also, your formula makes Full Plate grant DR 4/― at 1st level.
I believe that this is too much.

Assuming +5 armor that leaves Rogue 20 at 3*(1+5)/2 and Fighter 20 at 4*(8+5)/2, specifying all numbers and deliberately using the extremes, which works out to 9 and 26. As for it shifting the difference from the character to their gear that's no different from the current system, and doesn't really hold - that DR 9 is better than the DR 6 the +5 full plate would grant some level 1 character, despite being the lightest armor; similarly this obviously inferior choice is likely a stronger character even with that difference, particularly as they are likely to have a better AI due to Dex scaling.

As for full plate granting DR 4/- at first level, yes, it does that. Any game anywhere near WBL is pretty unlikely to see that though, and by the time full plate is affordable DR 4 is nice but hardly huge.


I want to come as close as possible to a point where player-choices are based on the character they envision and as little as possible on char-op strategies.
Adding more fiddly mechanics is the exact wrong way to go about this. Adding DR to armor gives another variable to play with when optimizing, and changes basically nothing about the character envisioning process. Working on the assumption that "the character they envision" is associated with a particular set of tools used primarily as stylistic elements (as opposed to something like a character having armor indicating that they can afford it as it's generally just better to have) you'd generally want to move in the opposite direction, where you reduce the mechanical variety of armor, weapons, etc. such that each mechanical piece corresponds to more setting pieces.


'Defence' should work fine.
Especially given that it has been working fine in a lot of games for decades now.

olskool
2018-12-19, 08:19 PM
I do not know how this would work with 3.5e as I just returned to D&D5e AS A PLAYER after a 20 odd year hiatus. I have, however, adapted an old rule we used in the early 90's AD&D to 5e. It is based on the idea that armor provides not only an AC adjustment but also limited Damage absorbtion based on the armor type. The two numbers are separate from each other and dependant on its construction. Here is a short list of Armor Types and what we call Armor Points or AP.

Padded, Light Hide, or Light Leather: 1AP
Heavy Leather (Cuir bouilli), Heavy Hide, Studded or (leather) Scaled Leather: 2AP
Light Wooden or Bone Armor: 2AP
Hardwood Armor: 3AP
Ringmail or Byzanted Armor: 2AP
Banded Armor (Lorica Segmenta type): 3AP
Partial Plate Armor (light Greek Hoplite): 3AP
Elvan Chainmail Armor: 4AP
Scalemail or Overlapping Ringmail Armor: 3AP
Butted Chainmail Armor: 3AP
Riveted/Forged Chainmail Armor: 4AP
Brigandine Armor/Coat of Plates: 4AP
Splinted or Platemail Armor: 4AP
Articulated Plate Armor: 5AP
Dwarven Plate Armor: 5AP

The AP for each armor type is based on both its construction and its level of coverage. For example, Partial Plate Armor is representative of the ancient Greek Curiass, Grieves, Vambraces, and splinted leather skirt. There are large areas like the upper arms and legs left exposed and the plates themselves were fairly thin (20 gauge to 22 gauge on average). This resulted in it earning a 3AP rating. It will absorb the damage from a Shortsword about half the time. Full Plate can make you fairly immune to dagger thrusts. In D&D5e, we add the following rule. Weapons which do Piercing Damage IGNORE Either 1 point or 2 points of AP. Those weapons which are LIGHT and do Piercing Damage (Daggers, Shortswords) ignore 1 point of AP. Heavy "Piercing" Weapons (Warhammer Spikes, Crossbow Bolts) ignore 2 points of AP. This means a Dagger's damage isn't reduced at all by Padded Armor but is reduced by 4 points by Full Plate. The system has been used for a while and works well (in 2e and 5e anyway).

nonsi
2018-12-20, 01:01 AM
Working on the assumption that "the character they envision" is associated with a particular set of tools used primarily as stylistic elements (as opposed to something like a character having armor indicating that they can afford it as it's generally just better to have) you'd generally want to move in the opposite direction, where you reduce the mechanical variety of armor, weapons, etc.



The goal is to reduce the effect of gear as much as possible, but not to eliminate it altogether. After all, picking the right tool is a part of RL.

What I'm aiming for with my armor-based DR rules is to describe a difference based on the armor's expected effectiveness on one hand, but make it relatively marginal on the other. The difference in various armor types begins at BAB +4 and culminates at BAB +8 - and that's it.
The fact that a level 20 fighter in full plate ends up with DR 10 while a level 20 rogue in chain shirt ends up with DR 4 has more to do with Fighter vs. Rogue than full plate vs. chain shirt, given that a level 20 fighter in chain shirt would have DR 8.
The class has its weight and gear has its weight - it's just that the class poses a more significant difference - especially since it's the fighter that comes with a better armor to begin with. But that doesn't invalidate the unfettered warrior concept.


As for narrowing the gap between weapons - that's exactly the drive behind replacing official crit-rules with attack-roll-based damage in my overhaul project (click my sig and go to post #3 if you're curious).

nonsi
2018-12-20, 01:07 AM
I do not know how this would work with 3.5e as I just returned to D&D5e AS A PLAYER after a 20 odd year hiatus. I have, however, adapted an old rule we used in the early 90's AD&D to 5e. It is based on the idea that armor provides not only an AC adjustment but also limited Damage absorbtion based on the armor type. The two numbers are separate from each other and dependant on its construction. Here is a short list of Armor Types and what we call Armor Points or AP.

Padded, Light Hide, or Light Leather: 1AP
Heavy Leather (Cuir bouilli), Heavy Hide, Studded or (leather) Scaled Leather: 2AP
Light Wooden or Bone Armor: 2AP
Hardwood Armor: 3AP
Ringmail or Byzanted Armor: 2AP
Banded Armor (Lorica Segmenta type): 3AP
Partial Plate Armor (light Greek Hoplite): 3AP
Elvan Chainmail Armor: 4AP
Scalemail or Overlapping Ringmail Armor: 3AP
Butted Chainmail Armor: 3AP
Riveted/Forged Chainmail Armor: 4AP
Brigandine Armor/Coat of Plates: 4AP
Splinted or Platemail Armor: 4AP
Articulated Plate Armor: 5AP
Dwarven Plate Armor: 5AP

The AP for each armor type is based on both its construction and its level of coverage. For example, Partial Plate Armor is representative of the ancient Greek Curiass, Grieves, Vambraces, and splinted leather skirt. There are large areas like the upper arms and legs left exposed and the plates themselves were fairly thin (20 gauge to 22 gauge on average). This resulted in it earning a 3AP rating. It will absorb the damage from a Shortsword about half the time. Full Plate can make you fairly immune to dagger thrusts. In D&D5e, we add the following rule. Weapons which do Piercing Damage IGNORE Either 1 point or 2 points of AP. Those weapons which are LIGHT and do Piercing Damage (Daggers, Shortswords) ignore 1 point of AP. Heavy "Piercing" Weapons (Warhammer Spikes, Crossbow Bolts) ignore 2 points of AP. This means a Dagger's damage isn't reduced at all by Padded Armor but is reduced by 4 points by Full Plate. The system has been used for a while and works well (in 2e and 5e anyway).


For the sake of simplification, I ruled 1/2 AC bonus (rounded down) instead of figuring DR by specific armor type.
I see no advantage to the latter over the former, so simplification wins here easily.

I can definitely see the common sense behind different damage types playing a part in DR of different armor types (e.g. chain being the most effective vs. piercing damage), but I didn't want to get into that level of complication.