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big teej
2010-07-28, 08:33 AM
greetings members of the playground, I have another question for ye.

"is there a workable mechanic for working out how armour is damaged in combat?"

the following round spawned this question

the player had full plate, and was struck by a heavy pick that rolled a natural 20. now, obviously, being in full plate, there really isn't anywhere for the pick to stick into his body and poke out the other side, especially while representing X4 crit damage

my group is very big on descriptions beyond 'you hit it with your axe, you deal x damage' we prefer something more along the lines of "you bring your warhammer down in a deadly arc, crushing the skull of your opponent, sending bits of skull and jellied brains flying for several feet"

so, in keeping with this, I wanted to rule that the player had been taken in the gut/chest/torso area by the pick and it protruded from the other side (the character was reduced to about -5 in one hit, so I felt justified in that)
but I hesitated because (OBVIOUSLY) that would completely ruin his armour. so I instead stated that the pick wielding monstrosity caught him in a gap in his armour when he missed an attack.

sooooo

how to deal with damaged armour/weapons and descriptions of just how much damage things do?

ready...
GO!

and yes, I have learned my lesson about giving bad guys x4 crit weapons.... do it more.:smallwink:

Schylerwalker
2010-07-28, 08:37 AM
It's a sticky wicket. For instance, once the party I was running through an adventure got into a fight with several clerics in magical chainmail. They beat the living SNOT out of them with melee and ranged weapons and a variety of blasty spells.

After the fight was over and they descended like crows to loot the poor bastards, I hesitated. After all, in battering these guys to death, shouldn't the armor have been torn to shreds? Being as we hadn't talked about such a house rule beforehand, I didn't say anything, but it got me to thinking.

This has happened many times - on both sides. For example, a fellow party member will die horribly against a full attack from a dragon. They don't feel like resurrecting him, and decide to loot his mangled corpse - which included a suit of +3 spiked mithral full-plate, acid resistance 15. They'd commissioned specifically before going out to fight the ancient black dragon. However, I pointed out...a dragon had just full-attacked the crap out of the guy wearing the armor, no less than three times.

Could you imagine the state it would be in?

hamishspence
2010-07-28, 08:38 AM
"Punctured Armour"- all critical hits against the character go up by 1 multipler, until the damage is repaired.

So: X2 becomes X3, X3 becomes X4, and so on.

This represents the fact that though the hole is small and most blows will hit the undamaged parts of the armour, a good strike will go straight into the hole, and into unprotected flesh.

Earthwalker
2010-07-28, 08:41 AM
I don't think any of the armour in DnD provides complete cover. So having the pick slide between the plates and bury itself into the wearer is fine I don't see a need for armour damage in most cases to be honest.

What you did saying he was hit at a joint and was just unlucky seems fair.

Vantharion
2010-07-28, 11:10 AM
You could do something to the effect of:
Higher temporary dex penalty.
lower max dex bonus
Lower AC reward
Harder to attack in.
Those penalties would make it so dead player's armor isn't quite as 'usable' and requires the players to spend SOME money to get the value that is there.

You can also have it be morally problematic to 'loot' a dead adventurer, it's a good agreement to make so players can't abuse killing and recreating party members... or letting them die for their loot. If morals don't work, resort in curses or strong curses. This can range from the blood of the dead player becoming an ooze to defend its possessions. The armor can animate and do the same. The armor can provide negative effects instead of positive ones.
Lots of options here.

Deen Fellithor
2010-07-28, 11:15 AM
hello, thread! destroying players armor just seems wrong i know i would not like it at all if my dm told me my armor would no longer owkr after a crit aganst me.

cheers,
Deen Fellithor:smallwink:

Glimbur
2010-07-28, 11:18 AM
Like rules about getting maimed in combat, rules that damage armor in combat only hurt the PC's in the long run. Do you really want to do all that bookkeeping to track whose armor is damaged how?

Caphi
2010-07-28, 11:21 AM
"Punctured Armour"- all critical hits against the character go up by 1 multipler, until the damage is repaired.

So: X2 becomes X3, X3 becomes X4, and so on.

Unarmored characters don't get increased critical rates against them, so why would someone wearing damaged armor? This means you can take the armor off and magically be less vulnerable to criticals by wearing the shirt that was under the armor in the first place.

Ponce
2010-07-28, 11:58 AM
Armour most definitely does not need to be nerfed. This is a bad idea.

Gerrtt
2010-07-28, 12:09 PM
This is also the kind of thing that hurts your players in the long run. Their characters will only fight each enemy once, thus only hurting their armor and chances for survival one time. However, the armor they wear will have to be constantly repaired, even in mid adventure, because as the PCs they are intended to survive for longer.

If you want to hurt their armor, use the sunder action. That's what it's there for and it already has built in mechanics.

On a side note, I really did consider doing this several years ago and ultimately decided that a) it wasn't in my players favor in terms of adding fun to the game and b) too much danged bookkeeping, I was doing enough as a DM.

hamishspence
2010-07-28, 12:14 PM
Unarmored characters don't get increased critical rates against them, so why would someone wearing damaged armor? This means you can take the armor off and magically be less vulnerable to criticals by wearing the shirt that was under the armor in the first place.

This can be solved by treating unarmoured characters as equivalent to characters in punctured armour.

However, it might be a bit mean to all those characters who don't wear armour.

In general it's probably a better idea to ignore the effects of what "ought" to damage armour badly.

Devils_Advocate
2010-07-28, 12:37 PM
Well, if you're going to have armor absorb some of the damage of a successful attack, that means that characters have to worry about repairing it, but it also means that it grants them DR. (Since it's, you know, absorbing some of the damage.) You could have it work less well when it's down on HP, too; but barring other variant rules, you'd be modeling damage to armor more realistically than damage to characters in that case (instead of just modeling damage to armor at all)!


You can also have it be morally problematic to 'loot' a dead adventurer, it's a good agreement to make so players can't abuse killing and recreating party members... or letting them die for their loot. If morals don't work, resort in curses or strong curses. This can range from the blood of the dead player becoming an ooze to defend its possessions. The armor can animate and do the same. The armor can provide negative effects instead of positive ones.
I'm OK with Nethack having the equipment of deceased player characters randomly cursed, but for a tabletop roleplaying game, the prospect of the universe knowing who the PCs are is a bit gamy (pun intended). Looting corpses is like half of what adventurers do. Their fallen allies should by all rights be more OK than anyone else they loot with the party taking their stuff. Recovering your dead companion's stuff ought to be less morally dubious and less likely to incite supernatural vengeance than usual. (Unless you actually did deliberately get him killed. That sort of betrayal ain't pretty.)

The easiest way to prevent players abusing being able to conveniently replace deceased party members is to not let them do that. If the party decides not to or can't have the dead member resurrected, have the replacement character come in two levels lower with NPC WBL. Once they've extracted themselves from the environment that just killed one of them and made their way back to a place where they can find a new member.


If you want to hurt their armor, use the sunder action.
That in itself would require a house rule, however, as worn armor normally can't be sundered, presumably because it's assumed to be taking significant blows already. Similarly, you don't damage your own weapon by attacking with it, even if you're trying to sunder something really hard.

As a general principle, the preternatural resilience of various creatures in the d20 system extends to their equipment. Attended objects are simply unrealistically safer than unattended objects, which is just an extension of the lack of realism afforded to creatures themselves. A character's gear is in a very real sense a part of her. This is why armor doesn't help against touch attacks, equipment can be transformed along with you, etc. And given that we're going to lump a person's dead hair and skin and so on in with her living body, it actually does seem to make the most sense to just extend this principle to cover everything she's got on her.

Person_Man
2010-07-28, 12:46 PM
Damaging armor (and treasure in general) nerfs non-casters, who depend on it to survive and be useful in combat. So I would never damage it, and in general never Sunder or steal any object the PC has unless it's a plot point to do so.

Spiryt
2010-07-28, 12:53 PM
Lack of armor damage is only chip on otherwise tremendous verisimilitude, as well as realistic and detail full facade of D&D 3.5.

Also, armours and melee characters desperately need another nerf.

In short, this is great idea.

Dizlag
2010-07-28, 12:56 PM
Well, if you're going to have armor absorb some of the damage of a successful attack, that means that characters have to worry about repairing it, but it also means that it grants them DR. (Since it's, you know, absorbing some of the damage.) You could have it work less well when it's down on HP, too; but barring other variant rules, you'd be modeling damage to armor more realistically than damage to characters in that case (instead of just modeling damage to armor at all)!

This! What Devils_Advocate said! You should stay away from destroying armor, but reducing it's effectiveness is the way to go. I know in Hackmaster 4e each type of armor had a DR and every time you took a hit, that armor's DR would be reduced by 1, no matter how much damage was taken. When the armor got to 0 DR, then it was useless as if you were wearing just clothes. You probably shouldn't go this far, but just have the armor loose it's DR until you get it fixed and you might have something that works.

Also, in Hackmaster Basic if someone misses you in combat and you are wielding a shield, the shield gets hit and if too much damage was taken then it might be destroyed. I can see a wooden shield getting destroyed with a huge warhammer pounding on it before an entire suit of plate mail getting destroyed by the same pounding. Then again, that gets into destroying armor again. :smallsmile:

Dizlag

JaronK
2010-07-28, 01:02 PM
The only way this is a good idea is if armor is boosted in some other way to make in necessary.

For example, if all armor gave DR equal to the AC bonus it currently gives (in addition to the AC), but every time a critical hit was landed the DR value was reduced by one, you could have armor damage work okay. Then everything is a threat (because everything can at least crit) and damage works, but armor isn't made worse.

JaronK

Hurlbut
2010-07-28, 01:09 PM
In PF, when the armor is damaged enough to the point of having less than half of its hp remaining it gain broken condition. Its Armor Bonus is halved rounded down, its ACP doubled.
If it was magically enchanted, it could be repaired with a mending or make whole spell or repairing it normally cost half materials that was used to make it and half time.
If it was non magical, an armorsmith can simply repair it (1 hour of work per damage point). Though it cost 1/10 of the item's original price (the armorsmith could charge more if the armor was damaged more badly or ruined).

Dizlag
2010-07-28, 01:49 PM
The only way this is a good idea is if armor is boosted in some other way to make in necessary.

For example, if all armor gave DR equal to the AC bonus it currently gives (in addition to the AC), but every time a critical hit was landed the DR value was reduced by one, you could have armor damage work okay. Then everything is a threat (because everything can at least crit) and damage works, but armor isn't made worse.

JaronK

Yes, that's the way it works in Hackmaster and what I was thinking here, just neglected to say it. Didn't think about this only happening on a critical hit, I was just thinking whenever you get hit. Crits don't happen too often, but when they do, like the OP was thinking, a flavorful description of the melee including a puncture in the armor or what not could be added.

Dizlag

Mojo_Rat
2010-07-28, 02:07 PM
a Dm i useto play with for 1st edition had a house rule where anyone rolling a crit on you it lowered the AC of your armor by 1 until you got it repaired.

it mostly worked aside from the few occasions where you got crited so much your armor fell apart from having 0 ac.


but dont know how well this works.


ultimately the modern game doesnt handle Equiptment damage well. It mostly comes up when you have to make a reflex save and roll a 1.

Ernir
2010-07-28, 02:38 PM
Meh. It may not be the most realistic thing in the world, but I assume that armor repairs are something that happens in the background, and that they can be done by anyone who is proficient with that type of armor. I don't emphasize it because I don't think armor damage adds any fun to the RP, just like sword oiling/sharpening and toilet trips.

If the descriptions of armor damage were over-the-top enough, and it's bugging you that it's usable right away, there's always the "repair" aspect of the craft skill.

Generally, you can repair an item by making checks against the same DC that it took to make the item in the first place. The cost of repairing an item is one-fifth of the itemís price.
Assume that magical energies are unaffected, give the players a day to have the local dwarf hammer the full plate back into shape, and off you go. :smalltongue:

big teej
2010-07-28, 05:01 PM
Like rules about getting maimed in combat, rules that damage armor in combat only hurt the PC's in the long run. Do you really want to do all that bookkeeping to track whose armor is damaged how?

no, no I do not, this right here made me immidietly go 'you know what? it's not that important' :smallredface:


Armour most definitely does not need to be nerfed. This is a bad idea.

I wasn't trying to nerf armour, I just occaisionally get hung up on certain things that don't match up to reality (which thankfully are ,in a way, few and far between)


The only way this is a good idea is if armor is boosted in some other way to make in necessary.

For example, if all armor gave DR equal to the AC bonus it currently gives (in addition to the AC), but every time a critical hit was landed the DR value was reduced by one, you could have armor damage work okay. Then everything is a threat (because everything can at least crit) and damage works, but armor isn't made worse.

JaronK

I.... may try this... this sounds Like a nice middle ground, and the two worst things that can happen are

1. the players say 'no way' and we drop it and carry on
2. the players say 'lets try it' and then hate it.... and we drop it and carry on.

also



I don't think any of the armour in DnD provides complete cover. So having the pick slide between the plates and bury itself into the wearer is fine I don't see a need for armour damage in most cases to be honest.

What you did saying he was hit at a joint and was just unlucky seems fair.

Thanks, I had a huge "uh oh" moment when the pick critted, because our group has a well established practice of 'nat 20 = obliterated enemy' so when I rolled the 20 several things went through my mind

"oh @#%#" being the first
He just had an extra hole placed through his body
I can't kill his character! it's his first time playing! it's SESSION ONE!!
what do I do!!!!
-deep breath-
aha moment
?
profit! I mean uh... gap in the armour!



all in all, aside from running the DR bit past my players, I think I'll stick to the 'gap in the armour' bit...

until someone gets armour that grants DR anyways, in which case... I'll be back, and we can have this discussion all over again.


I bow to the combined intellect and wisdom of the playground :smallcool:

Aroka
2010-07-28, 06:11 PM
A hole in your armor made by a single attack is going to be pretty small and probably has no effect that needs to, or could, be measured in a game of D&D's low granularity.

Dr.Epic
2010-07-28, 06:13 PM
I don't think you need to calculate the amount of damage armor takes. D&D isn't real life and if you try to include all the tiny factors and circumstances of real life in the game, D&D would get overly complex and slow down game play.