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    Pixie in the Playground

    Join Date
    Aug 2016

    Default Armor as Damage Reduction

    Now this is something I have wanted to do for a long time. But the official pathfinder option was a mess. So I wrote up this. It's actually a little simpler than the original, I'm surprised of myself.

    I'm DMing a game that has been going for a few months now, and I'm talking with my players about maybe using these rules. What I'm really looking for here is other people who have tried doing this and what their thoughts are.

    If you want the tl;dr of it all, the example at the bottom sums it up nicely

    Armor as Damage Reduction
    In this alternative system, a creature instead has a Defense score. Defense is similar to touch AC in the standard Pathfinder Roleplaying Game rules, but it also adds the shield bonus (including any enhancement bonus to the shield), and any enhancement bonus to armor.

    Defense = 10 + shield bonus + Dexterity modifier + half natural armor + other modifiers (including armor's enhancement bonus, but not armor bonus) Defense represents how easy or difficult it is to hit a creature. The shield bonus is added because a creature is considered to be actively blocking attacks with its shield whenever it can, which is whenever it would gain its Dexterity bonus to AC and not be flat footed.

    Losing Dexterity Bonus to Defense: Situations or effects that would cause you to lose your Dexterity bonus to AC instead cause you to lose your Dexterity bonus to Defense. Also, whenever you lose your Dexterity bonus to Defense, you also lose any shield bonus to Defense, since when you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC, you also lose the ability to properly respond to attacks with your shield.

    Flat Footed Defense: You do not gain your Dexterity or shield bonus to your Defense if you are flat footed or lose your Dexterity bonus to Defense; thus, your Flat Footed Defense is usually equal to 10 + deflection + half your natural armor bonus.

    Class defense bonus: You get a Dodge bonus to defense based on your base reflex save. Each level in a class that has a good reflex save gives a Dodge bonus equal to 2+½ of the class level. Each level in a class that has a poor reflex gives a Dodge bonus equal to ⅓ of the class level. When multiclassing into more than one class that gives good reflex saves you do not get the +2 dodge from the first level in subsequent classes. This dodge bonus is capped by your armor's maximum dexterity bonus. For example, a 6th level rogue gains an additional +5 dodge bonus to defense, a 9th level paladin in standard full plate gains only a +1 dodge bonus to defense, even though his level gives him +3 dodge bonus to defense, and a 4 rogue/4 ranger gets a +6 dodge bonus to defense.

    DR/Armor: This type of DR blocks the damage of all attacks that would normally be affected by DR, based on the composition of the armor (see Table 5–1). Unlike most forms of damage reduction, DR/armor stacks with other types of DR. For instances, when fighting a skeleton with DR 5/bludgeoning and DR 3/armor (+2 for armor, +1 for natural armor), the skeleton's DR/armor reduces 8 points of damage from non-*bludgeoning attacks, and 3 damage from bludgeoning weapon attacks.

    Natural Armor Bonus and DR: half of a creature's natural armor bonus (rounded down) is added to it's flat footed defense. The remainder becomes it's natural DR. If a creature is wearing armor and has a natural armor DR, the creature adds its armor bonus to its natural armor DR to determine the amount of DR/armor that it has

    For instance, if a creature wearing a +2 chain shirt has DR 6/armor is then subject to a barkskin spell cast by a 6th level druid (gaining a +3 natural armor bonus), its DR becomes DR 8/armor, and its defense increases by 1 for the duration of the spell.

    Armor in this system keeps all of its normal statistics and qualities, but its armor bonus (including any enhancement bonus added to the armor bonus) is converted to DR/armor. The DR an armor provides is equal to its total armor bonus with a bonus based off of the weight class of the armor and the BAB of the wearer. Creatures not proficient with the armor they are wearing do not get this bonus. The DR bonus of adamantium armor adds onto DR/armor.

    Table: BAB bonus to DR
    BAB Light Medium Heavy
    1 +0 +0 +0
    2 +0 +0 +1
    3 +0 +0 +1
    4 +0 +1 +2
    5 +1 +1 +2
    6 +1 +1 +2
    7 +1 +2 +3
    8 +1 +2 +4
    9 +1 +2 +4
    10 +2 +3 +5
    11 +2 +3 +5
    12 +2 +3 +6
    13 +2 +4 +6
    14 +2 +4 +7
    15 +3 +4 +7
    16 +3 +5 +8
    17 +3 +5 +8
    18 +3 +5 +9
    19 +3 +6 +9
    20 +4 +6 +10

    Using Armor without Proficiency: Creatures using armor they are not proficient with do not gain the bonus per BAB to the DR, on top of any of the other normal penalties for using armor without proficiency.

    Unusual Creatures and Armor DR: Amorphous or incorporeal creatures have an easier time bypassing DR/armor. When they attack a creature with DR/armor, they typically treat that DR as a fraction of the DR/armor. Attacks by incorporeal creatures entirely ignore the DR unless that DR comes from a force effect or from armor with the ghost touch special armor quality..

    Critical Hits and Defense
    To confirm a critical hit the attacker must confirm the attack against what the target's armor class would be without these rules.

    Bypassing Armor
    Adamantine weapons ignore non magical armor.
    Brilliant energy weapons bypass any DR provided by armor.

    Attacking Creature Type DR Modifier
    Amorphous (oozes, oozelike creatures, and any creature with the amorphous ability.) ×1/2
    Incorporeal ×0 (×1 if DR is from a force effect or ghost touch armor)
    Swarm of Tiny creatures ×1/2
    Swarm of Diminutive creatures ×1/4
    Swarm of Fine creatures ×0


    Let's make an example of Fighty Mc.Murderface. Fighty’s a level 6 fighter and has the following.

    +1 full plate
    +1 heavy shield
    +3 deflection (Shield of faith)
    +3 natural armor (barkskin)
    Armor training
    14 dexterity

    Here, Mr. Mc.Murderface has a defence of 22. [10 +1 (armor enchantment), +3 shield, +3 deflection, +1 natural (half of natural rounded down), +2 dexterity, +2 dodge bonus from reflex]. If anyone wants to hit Murderface they have to get 22 or higher on their attack roll. Not bad.

    Now, when he gets hit his armor protects him. He has a DR of 15. [9 full plate, +1 enchantment bonus on armor, +3 from BAB in heavy armor, +2 barkskin (half of natural rounded up).] That’s pretty tough…

    Let’s say someone gets a natural 20 on fighty. Instead of rolling versus Murderface’s defence, they roll against his original AC. when defending against a critical hit Murderface's Armor class is 31. [10 +10 armor, +3 shield, +3 deflection, +3 natural, +2 dexterity.] This is also the AC Murderface would use without these rules.

    this is a really strong example. Murderface has pretty much the best equipment he can get at his level. and he has two party members buffing him. DR 15 at level 6 is pretty crazy, but AC 31 at level 6 is a little crazy too.
    Last edited by Tinskin; 2016-08-13 at 07:10 PM.

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