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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Orc in the Playground
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    Oct 2009

    Default Armor as Vitality Variant

    This is an idea I'm exploring. In a system that uses Vitality and Wounds, or something similar, the main benefit of armor would be to grant extra Vitality. Some points of discussion:

    • What's the simplest way to implement this?
    • Has anybody used this idea before?
    • How well-suited is it for D&D / d20?

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    May 2009

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    Quote Originally Posted by Merk View Post
    This is an idea I'm exploring. In a system that uses Vitality and Wounds, or something similar, the main benefit of armor would be to grant extra Vitality. Some points of discussion:

    • What's the simplest way to implement this?
    • Has anybody used this idea before?
    • How well-suited is it for D&D / d20?
    -Armor as DR rules exist in Unearthed Arcana.

    -As "Vitality Points" you're adding yet another mechanic to AC, DR, fast healing, resistances.... why?

    -No, it's bad, many things have other effects on hits. Fighters will get energy drained constantly by undead normally considered a minor annoyance (wights with their mighty +3 to hit against plate mail and shield fighter with 10 dex? 15% of hitting and thus causing a negative level. Same fighter with armor as something else? somewhere around 65%...)

    You'll make the game more lethal to low level fighters, which is really the only place fighters shine.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    It's been done in some systems (Lone Wolf rpg comes to mind), but it's not a very good solution. If you have 12 hit points and your armour grants you extra 3, what happens if you get wounded and then take off your armour? If you lose three from the total, then take the armour off, are you actually wounded, or does the damage represent damage to the armour? Can you keep putting on new suits of armour and be fine after taking lots of damage (as long as it comes in low amounts)? What if you're down to one hit point and take off your armour? Do all the hit points heal with you, or do you have to repair armour separately? How do healing potions or spells work (if any)?

    It can work well if everyone treats this as an abstraction, and no-one tries to abuse the system. Simplest way? You ignore all the questions I've just mentioned, and act as if the character simply had more hit points, and ignore the fact that some of them come from the armour. In d20/D&D, it almost certainly wouldn't work, too many things work in a way that makes implementing it convincingly very difficult or impractical, if not outright impossible.
    LGBTitP

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
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    Oct 2009

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    What if it were implemented with the following considerations (mind, this isn't necessarily for D&D or d20):

    • Vitality from armor is treated like "temporary HP"; in the example of the guy with 12 HP and another 3 from armor, if he takes 8 damage, he's at 7 HP overall. If he later removes the armor, he's still at 7 HP, but healing magic can only bring him back up to 12.
    • If he decides to put the armor back on at this point, it doesn't raise his current HP, so he'd have 7/15.
    • That said, healing magic will be only directed at "Wounds"; "Vitality" automatically restores to maximum each encounter
    • On-hit effects are in general nerfed and always allow a save to resist/negate
    Last edited by Merk; 2011-06-29 at 08:49 PM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    May 2009

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    Quote Originally Posted by Merk View Post
    What if it were implemented with the following considerations (mind, this isn't necessarily for D&D or d20):

    • Vitality from armor is treated like "temporary HP"; in the example of the guy with 12 HP and another 3 from armor, if he takes 8 damage, he's at 7 HP overall. If he later removes the armor, he's still at 7 HP, but healing magic can only bring him back up to 12.
    • If he decides to put the armor back on at this point, it doesn't raise his current HP, so he'd have 7/15.
    • That said, healing magic will be only directed at "Wounds"; "Vitality" automatically restores to maximum each encounter
    • On-hit effects are in general nerfed and always allow a save to resist/negate
    Then you've created your own gaming system, and I can't judge it just based on how you run armor.

    I'm not saying it doesn't work, but it it definitely doesn't work in a d20 system. Not having played the system you're creating, I can't say if it does or doesn't work there.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    Quote Originally Posted by Merk View Post
    What's the simplest way to implement this?
    Armor adds directly to Hp, and gets damaged, eventually requiring repair or replacement. A slightly more complicated way to do this would be to have armor take 50% of the damage a character takes and gradually deplete, an even more complicated way would be to have armor take a variable percentage determined by the incoming weapon.
    Quote Originally Posted by Merk View Post
    Has anybody used this idea before?
    Warrior Rogue and Mage has this as an optional rule, I can confirm its functionality. I've seen it in Fudge as well, though I consider that a bad idea most of the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Merk View Post
    How well-suited is it for D&D / d20?
    Not very. It could potentially work in low optimization e6, but even then armor as DR is probably a better idea.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Titan in the Playground
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    Sep 2008

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    If one wants to model armour damage, maybe make it so that a critical (natural 20?) will do a (normal?) damaging an object hit to the armour. That way it is common enough to matter, but not, hopefully, so common it feels like you are a wearing wet cardboard breastplate. It also makes adamantine armour useful besides its (pretty pitiful) DR. You would need to up wealth by level to make up for repair and even replacement costs. Perhaps also the same for weapons.
    All in all though, this feels a bit too gamey for my tastes.
    I just assume that downtime characters with armour are preforming maintenance, pounding out dents, sewing leather back together, replacing broken links, et cetera .
    Last edited by Ravens_cry; 2011-06-30 at 06:37 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Calanon View Post
    Raven_Cry's comments often have the effects of a +5 Tome of Understanding

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Captain Six's Avatar

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    Oct 2008

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    It's a fairly common rule in Boffer LARP, where there are no 'attack rolls' and DR is A) Hard to calculate in intense combat B) Incredibly broken in systems without variable damage.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Knaight's Avatar

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    Aug 2008

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Six View Post
    It's a fairly common rule in Boffer LARP, where there are no 'attack rolls' and DR is A) Hard to calculate in intense combat B) Incredibly broken in systems without variable damage.
    Or Boffer LAP for that matter.
    I would really like to see a game made by Obryn, Kurald Galain, and Knaight from these forums.

    I'm not joking one bit. I would buy the hell out of that.
    -- ChubbyRain

    Current Design Project: Legacy, a game of masters and apprentices for two players and a GM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Aug 2010
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    Lacey, Washington
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    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    What about Monks?
    ^~Cody T.~^

    "I see now that the circumstances of one's birth are irrelevant; it is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are." - Mewtwo

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SolithKnightGuy

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    Sep 2009
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    UK

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    Monks use their Ki to provide extra temp HP equal to the armour they would have got?
    "Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Ftagn!" said the cultist.
    "Oh bother," said Pooh.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Orc in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Jul 2009

    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    How about a system in which armor adds both vitality points (though I prefer DR) and AC? Tin cans get the extra HP and they still get to be hard to hit. Of course, the result is going to be making melee even less useful and archery completely worthless.

    Maybe the best solution would be to keep the bonus to AC and have armor grant energy resistance, since that platemail should infact protect you better against a fireball or acid breath then a t-shirt. As a rule of thumb the guys with the heaviest armor are also the most vulnerable to those sort of attacks anyway with their poor reflex saves. That way you're giving your tanks something nice without nerfing them with it too.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    TheThan's Avatar

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    GI Joe Headquarters
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    Default Re: Armor as Vitality Variant

    The starwars D20 game (not saga edition) uses vitality and wound points. It also uses armor as damage reduction.

    The problem with the system is that itís either extremely lethal or its extremely tanky. See the way it works is that if you suffer a critical hit, you take wound point damage, which can kill you outright (if it doesnít well youíre still going to be incapacitated). OR, you never roll a critical hit and your opponents take a ridiculous amount of damage before they even get close to going down.

    So from the Dmís perspective, itís hard to actually challenge them, but if you do, then you can get a TPK very quickly and with out even intending to.

    Now that being said, I can see this working if armor provides a variable amount of vitality points. Say each armor typeís vitality point total is equal to the characterís HP multiplied by a factor. This can be combined with a ďheroic AC bonusĒ ala saga edition to make a fairly interesting functioning ruleset. Granted the more constitution you have, the better that armor will be. But thatís not any more ridiculous than most of the standard methods of determining HP.

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