PDA

View Full Version : Simplified Improved Armor



Deepbluediver
2013-07-02, 02:56 PM
One of the things that I don't really like about standard D&D is that armor doesn't upgrade very well, or very easily. You've got lots of different types of armor, a few lackluster special materials, and then it's all magic.
This grows out of an earlier thread about improving armor that got way more involved than I intended, reading some threads about simplification, and a few questions posed and answered in the RL Arms and Armor thread. It's also inspired a bit by computerized MRPGs, though I hope that doesn't turn anyone off.

As always, I welcome any and all feedback or criticism.
And apologize for my atrocious table-making skills.


Edit 9/2017: Here (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?534853-Weapons-amp-Upgrades-Fix-(for-use-with-3-5-amp-Pathfinder)&p=22339289) is the accompanying weapons upgrade fix.

Rules Changes

Base AC is 5 + 1/2 BAB, instead of just a flat "10"
Shields add their AC bonus against touch attacks
ACP now applies to Initiative checks as well as skill checks
Enhancement bonuses as they previously functioned are gone (how magic enchantments interact is a WIP)
Medium armor still reduces your speed, but by less than heavy armor (see next post)
All armor can be worn by any creature whose size category and body-type (i.e. biped, etc) match. Yes this isn't very realistic. No I don't care.


Basic Armor


Type
Cost
Weight
AC Bonus
DR
Max Dex
ACP
SFC


Light


Cloth
5 gp
10 lb.

1
none

7
-1
10%


Leather
15 gp
15 lb.

2
1/-

6
-2
15%


Medium


Scale Mail
40 gp
25 lb.

3
3/-

3
-4
35%


Chain Mail
120 gp
20 lb.

4
2/-

4
-3
25%


Heavy


Banded Mail
300 gp
35 lb.

5
3/-

2
-6
35%


Plate Mail
1,000 gp
45 lb.

7
4/-

1
-7
45%


Shields


Buckler
3 gp
3 lb.

1
—

—
—
10%


Infantry Shield
10 gp
8 lb.

2
—

8
-2
20%


Tower Shield
20 gp
20 lb.

4
—

4
-5
40%


The primary thing to take note of here is that pretty much all armor gets Damage Reduction. There was a version of this in UA, but it wasn't really worth it, because it decreased the AC bonus in exchange. I'm aiming to fix that.


Upgraded Armor
The way this chart works requires a little but of explanation- so that I don't need to make an entire separate chart for every kind of armor at every level, you add the numbers in this chart (or take whatever other action it dictates) to the numbers in the first chart.
For example, Superior Chainmail would have an AC bonus of +5 and a DR of 3/-. Masterwork Banded Mail would give and AC bonus of +8 and have 7/- DR.
If you are still confused, let me know and I'll try to describe it a different way.



Quality
Cost
AC Bonus

DR
Max Dex
ACP
Sp. FC


Superior
3,600 gp

+1

+1/-
1 greater
1 less
—


Exceptional
14,400 gp

+2

+2/-
2 greater
2 less
5% less


Masterwork
50,400 gp

+3

+4/-
3 greater
3 less
10% less


Perfected
151,200 gp

+4

+6/-
4 greater
4 less
15% less


Legend-Wrought
~500,000 gp*

+6

+8/-
5 greater
5 less
20% less


Mstwk Shield
14,400 gp

+2

—
2 greater
2 less
10% less


*A note about Legendwrought armor
Although there is a value listed for Legendwrought armor, they are effectively priceless. There simply isn't a market for stuff of this rarity and infamy- it would be like trying to put a price on the Statue of Liberty or some other massively important cultural monument or familial icon. Anyone who possesses Legendwrought armor is already so powerful that material wealth is largely irrelevant to them (except, perhaps, as a way to motivate lesser beings). Anyone who comes into possession of Legenwrought armor who ISN'T that powerful, is very rapidly going to become the target of every being within several plane's distance who IS.


Descriptions
There's a certain amount of abstraction going on here. There are dozens of different varieties of RL armor and probably hundreds of combinations you could get by mixing and matching in various ways, but in game terms you could classify the majority of them into one of these categories.
For example, a solid metal Breastplate might provide you the equivalent amount of protection of a full suit of Chain-Mail, but you should only differentiate between the two if your group really thinks it's important and wants to track things like extra damage dealt to the extremities.

Cloth Armor pic (https://img1.etsystatic.com/000/1/6664294/il_fullxfull.300955301.jpg) link1 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambeson) link2 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_armour)
Layers of cloth (usually linen or silk) are glued together, sometimes over a stiff framework. Mostly favored for its light weight, ease of use, and comfort. You cannot upgrade common cloth armor beyond the "Superior" quality; there's only so much you can do with the limited materials involved.

Leather Armor pic1 (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61NRmFB0QYL._SY445_.jpg) pic2 (https://i.pinimg.com/736x/b0/20/ea/b020ea1a06630ce6743b2ec628c19014--sith-costume-leather-armor.jpg) pic3 (https://i.pinimg.com/736x/da/b0/e9/dab0e990f51cb3cca0dc9aab064db0ab--rogues-leather-armor.jpg)
Preserved leather, usually boiled to increase stiffness. Sometimes layered and fastened together for increased protection and durability. You cannot upgrade common leather armor beyond the "Exceptional" quality; there's only so much you can do with the limited materials involved.

Scale Mail pic1 (https://us.v-cdn.net/5021068/uploads/attachments/1/7/8/8/3/6/23766.jpg) pic2 (https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5f/Karuta_tatami_dou_3.JPG/800px-Karuta_tatami_dou_3.JPG)
Small overlapping pieces of a solid material are attached to a backing of cloth and/or leather. Metal is the most common substance, though ceramic and wood can also be used. This category also includes lamelar armors that are woven together instead of being fastened to another material.

Chainmail pic (https://sep.yimg.com/ay/yhst-55945181203785/chain-mail-armor-shirt-4.jpg)
Metal is formed into hundreds of tiny loops and linked together. This armor tends to be lighter and more flexible than Scale Mail, and with a more consistent layer of protection for jointed areas, but overall doesn't provide as good a level of impact resistance (translating into a higher AC, lower DR, lower ACP)

Banded Mail pic (http://www.talismancoins.com/catalog/Roman_Legionary_in_Lorica_Segmentata_Armor.jpg)
Various-sized metal plates are riveted together in a manner similar to scale mail, but in a heavier formation for greater protection.

Plate Armor pic (https://i.pinimg.com/originals/52/a8/fe/52a8feb2ecd75fa689f1b5024fe35257.jpg)
A large metal suit that encloses the entire body, with few gaps or weakpoints. An underlayer of padded material further helps insulate the wearer from harm.

Buckler pic (http://www.woodenswords.com//v/vspfiles/photos/BUCKLER-S-2T.jpg)
A buckler is a small shield, usually 6-12 inches across (for a medium creature) that is held in one hand. They are usually used by less well-to-do or more mobile fighters, and are therefore most commonly made of wood. You cannot craft Masterwork quality bucklers.

Infantry Shield pic1 (https://i.pinimg.com/736x/e3/26/fa/e326fa4a4c7ee2fcc0aede1f31a16a46--medieval-armor-shield-design.jpg) pic2 (https://larpwarriors.co.uk/media/catalog/product/cache/4/image/800x800/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/h/u/huge_viking_shield_large.jpg)
The basic shield is usually a diamond or circle shape, and is slightly less than half the height of the creature carrying it; for a medium sized humanoid this usually means about 2-2.5 ft. across. They can be made of wood, metal, reinforced hide, or any combination thereof.

Tower Shield pic1 (https://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/dark-heresy-rp/images/9/92/Tower-shield-onhand.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20141218035558) pic2 (http://www.primaryhomeworkhelp.co.uk/romans/images/soldiers/prot.jpg)
This very large shield provides protection for its bearer across nearly the entire width of their body and from shoulder to thigh, at least, and sometimes is even larger.


Special Materials
Armor made from special materials is almost always of at least Superior quality (you can make regular armor this way, but there isn't much point to it).

Mithril
Mithril's primary benefits are it's reduced weight and the ease with which it can be worked and molded to provide more complete coverage. Mithril cannot be used to make cloth or leather armors, obviously.
Mithril armor weighs 25% less than the same type of steel armor.


Quality
Cost
AC Bonus

DR
Max Dex
ACP
Sp. FC


Superior
5,580 gp

+2

+1/-
2 greater
1 less
10% less


Exceptional
22,3200 gp

+3

+2/-
4 greater
2 less
10% less


Masterwork
78,120 gp

+4

+4/-
8 greater
3 less
15% less


Perfected
234,360 gp

+6

+6/-
12 greater
4 less
15% less


Legend-Wrought
~800,000 gp

+8

+8/-
16 greater
6 less
20% less


Mstwk Shield
22,320 gp

+3

—
4 greater
2 less
15% less



Adamantine
Adamantine is a rare and very durable metal, but its hardness makes it difficult to work with, and tends to break if shaped into small pieces. For this reason, Adamantine can only be used to make Banded Mail, Plate, and Shields.
Adamantine armor weighs 25% more than the same type of steel armor.


Quality
Cost
AC Bonus

DR
Max Dex
ACP
Sp. FC


Superior
6,300 gp

+1

+2/-
no change
—
—


Exceptional
25,200 gp

+2

+5/-
no change
—
—


Masterwork
88,200 gp

+3

+8/-
1 greater
1 less
5% less


Perfected
264,600 gp

+4

+12/-
2 greater
2 less
5% less


Legend-Wrought
~1,000,000 gp

+6

+16/-
3 greater
3 less
10% less


Mstwk Shield
25,200 gp

+3

—
2 greater
1 less
5% less


Darkwood
Also called "ironwood" in some areas, darkwood is a favorite of druids who dislike metalic armor and weapons. Wood, however, is both more brittle and not as elastic as metal, and therefor can only be shaped into pieces suitable for Scale Mail, Banded Mail, and shields.
Darkwood armor weighs 25% less than similar quality steel armor.


Quality
Cost
AC Bonus

DR
Max Dex
ACP
Sp. FC


Superior
4,680 gp

+2

+1/-
1 greater
1 less
10% less


Exceptional
18,720 gp

+3

+2/-
2 greater
2 less
15% less


Masterwork
65,520 gp

+4

+4/-
3 greater
3 less
20% less


Perfected
196,560 gp

+6

+6/-
4 greater
4 less
25% less


Legend-Wrought
~650,000 gp

+8

+8/-
5 greater
6 less
35% less


Mstwk Shield
11300 gp

+3

—
2 greater
2 less
15% less


Dragonhide
Dragonhide armor has a curious property- rather than increasing protection against melee attacks, it grants the wearer Energy Resistance, usually of the same kind of breath weapon that the dragon it was made from used (it still retains the base DR for an armor of it's type). Leather Dragonhide armor can be improved above the normal limit of "Exceptional". A regular quality Dragonhide shield has ER 5 and costs 3600 gold. Dragonhide can only be used in Leather and Scale Mail armors, and shields.


Quality
Cost
AC Bonus

ER*
Max Dex
ACP
Sp. FC


Superior
5,580 gp

+2

5
2 greater
1 less
10% less


Exceptional
22,320 gp

+3

10
4 greater
2 less
15% less


Masterwork
78,120 gp

+4

15
8 greater
4 less
20% less


Perfected
234,360 gp

+6

20
12 greater
6 less
25% less


Legend-Wrought
~800,000 gp

+8

30
16 greater
8 less
35% less


Mstwk Shield
22,320 gp

+4

10
4 greater
3 less
15% less


Spellweave
Spellweave is a special cloth made using rare and exotic fibers, often with tiny chips of crystal, metal, bone, or other special materials woven into it. Spellweave has 2 interesting characteristics- rather than increasing DR it improves Spell Resistance and is easier (cheaper) to enchant than normal armor. It can only be used in cloth armor, but it can be used to make improved varieties above the normal limit of "Superior".


Quality
Cost
AC Bonus

SR
Max Dex
ACP
Sp. FC
Ench. Discount


Superior
4,680 gp

+1

+2
no change
—
5% less
20%


Exceptional
18,720 gp

+2

+3
1 greater
—
10% less
25%


Masterwork
65,520 gp

+3

+4
2 greater
1 less
10% less
30%


Perfected
196,560 gp

+4

+5
3 greater
1 less
10% less
35%


Legend-Wrought
~650,000 gp

+5

+6
3 greater
1 less
10% less
40%



Crude Armor
Crude is a quality of armor that is either made from substandard or scavenged materials, such as soft metals like copper or untreated wood and leather, or has not been maintained and has degraded from the level at which it was originally manufactured.
Crude Armor costs 1/5th (20%) as much as regular armor of that type.
Cloth- crude cloth armor is basically just clothing with and ACP and SFC- it provides no benefits to your AC or DR.
Leather- leather armor of this quality has it's AC bonus decreased by 1 and it's ACP increased by 1
Scale and Chain Mail- both of these armors have their AC bonus and Max Dex decreased by 1, the ACP increased by 1
Banded Mail- crude banded mail has it's AC bonus decreased by 1, Max Dex decreased by 2, and the ACP increased by 2
Plate- crude plate armor has it's AC bonus and Max Dex decreased by 2, and the ACP increased by 3

Deepbluediver
2013-07-02, 02:58 PM
Armor and Ecumberance
Medium and Heavy armors reduce your speed, in addition to their greater ACP. Medium armor reduces your speed by approx. 15%, heavy armor by roughly 33%.

Also, carrying a light load does not reduce your speed, but a medium or heavy load will. This can stack with armor to a certain degree, though the weight of any armor you are wearing does not additionally contribute to encumberance.
Carrying a Medium load while wearing medium armor reduces your speed to the same as if you where in heavy armor. A heavy load in medium armor, or a medium or heavy load in heavy armor reduces your speed to 50% of max.
Encumberance no longer affects maximum dexterity or ACP though.

Movement in Armor


Base Speed
Medium Armor
Heavy Armor


10
10
10


15
15
10


20
15
15


25
20
15


30
25
20


35
30
25


40
35
25


50
40
35


60
50
40


70
60
45


80
70
55


90
75
60


100
85
65


120
100
80


150
125
100


200
170
135


300
250
200



Encumbered Speed



No Armor
Light
Medium
Heavy


No Load
Max
Max
85%
66%


Light
Max
Max
85%
66%


Medium
85%
85%
66%
50%


Heavy
66%
66%
50%
50%




Suggested Level
This is generally the level at which I feel you can introduce upgraded armor into your campaign without seriously impacting the game's balance. Obviously there is some variance and GMs should tailor the system to suit their individual needs. Crude armor is generally only used for NPCs, or if the game is starting from a point at which the PCs would have very limited resources.

Also, I prefer a homebrewed setting where all adult humanoids (including the players) start off with 3 HD. Humanoids with 1 or 2 HD are used to represent children and teenagers, but starting at level 3 has a number of benefits and resolves (IMO) several well-known problems with low-level play. This chart is based on that, but anyone should feel to re-assign level-appropriate gear as necessary to fit their own campaign.

If you are still concerned about players getting gear that is to powerful for their level, you can impose a BAB requirement to indicate that they are sufficiently skilled in combat to handle more complex armor. Anyone who doesn't meet the necessary BAB takes a non-proficiency penalty when wearing that level of armor.



QUALITY
LEVEL
BAB


Crude
1-5
+0


Regular
3-8
+0


Superior
6-12
+1


Exceptional
9-16
+3


Masterwork
12-20
+6


Perfected
16-25
+10


Legendwrought
21+
+15

eftexar
2013-07-02, 03:14 PM
I think the 5 + 1/2 HD, for AC, is definitely a step in the right direction. As is shields bonuses to touch.

The upgraded armor to me seems off though. The decrease in maximum dex seems like a step backward.
Personally I don't see why light armor needs a max dexterity. Why not remove this limitation and move the 6s, to medium, and the 3/4, to heavy?

As far as upgrading goes I would separate the AC/DR increase from the other mechanics, instead making those special materials.

Deepbluediver
2013-07-02, 03:34 PM
The upgraded armor to me seems off though. The decrease in maximum dex seems like a step backward.
Personally I don't see why light armor needs a max dexterity. Why not remove this limitation and move the 6s, to medium, and the 3/4, to heavy?

Sorry, I think this was an issue with my ham-fisted attempts at typing. There was an extra "|" in the chart, pushing everything over one column. Improved armors should now increase the Max Dex limit.


As far as upgrading goes I would separate the AC/DR increase from the other mechanics, instead making those special materials.

I've now added charts for special materials, which does something similar to that, I think. Mithril grants better AC and higher max dex, Adamantine pumps up DR.
There are also a few other materials for those characters who don't feel like turning themslves into walking lighting rods. :smallwink:

Basically though, you can improve your armor along both axis (axises? axi?). You can improve the quality, and/or hunt down special materials for it.


Edit: The speed chart is now up as well.

TuggyNE
2013-07-02, 09:57 PM
Wouldn't it be more logical to use 5 + 1/2BAB instead of HD? Not all combatants are necessarily equally skilled at defending themselves.

GunbladeKnight
2013-07-02, 11:13 PM
Low levels are already deadly enough, and now they are being pushed into auto-hit territories. In fact, unless you spend significant resources for a dancing shield or choose a sub-optimal choice, you fall behind normal characters until 10th level.

The DR is really nice.

Deepbluediver
2013-07-03, 08:54 AM
Wouldn't it be more logical to use 5 + 1/2BAB instead of HD? Not all combatants are necessarily equally skilled at defending themselves.

It would be a valid alternative, I think.

There are a couple of things to consider with this- classes with high BAB are more likely to be wearing heavier armor in the first place. So it seems to be doubling-down on defense. I don't really see wizards being significantly weakened by this, but there are a fair number of melee-heavy classes with the moderate BAB progression.

Secondly, the original number never adjusted with level, but WotC thought it was a good idea that 2 characters with identical stats standing naked in a field would have the same chance to be hit with an attacks. With everything else that I was altering, I didn't really feel an impetus to change this as well.

Lastly, this alteration was intended to apply to NPCs and monsters as well. Some creatures might need adjustments to Natural armor or other stats, especially since HD (and BAB) can get pushed kind of high at upper levels.


None one of those are really arguments for or against the way I did things; they are just the kind of thoughts that where taken into consideration. Do you feel strongly that BAB would be a better determinator for base AC?


Low levels are already deadly enough, and now they are being pushed into auto-hit territories. In fact, unless you spend significant resources for a dancing shield or choose a sub-optimal choice, you fall behind normal characters until 10th level.

I was hoping that the DR and better upgrades would mitigate that somewhat, but I recognize that not every character wears armor. Even going from 1 hit in 2 to 3 hits in 4 coud be tough. The only mitigating benefit would probably be that any enemy would be suffering from this as well.

BAB increases at a minimum rate of 1 per 2 levels, and that the flat "10" from AC was supposed to balance the d20 roll. If I altered the base number to be 10 + 1/2 HD (or 1/2 BAB, as per the suggestion above) would that push things too high at upper levels? How does the level of AC increases for the upgraded armors compare to normal attack-roll bonus progression?

Are there any other options you can suggest?


The DR is really nice.

Thanks. The core rulebooks seemed really reluctant to hand out DR to players, even at high levels, but I think having it be more easily available makes armor feel more like it's actualy protecting your character, if that makes any sense.

Balancing DR is kind of tricky because, as I'm sure you are aware, unlike AC it doesn't scale nice and linearly and the rate of damage per attack can vary wildly depending on the encounter. The values where mostly done just by eyeballing what I thought would be significant amounts, but it would take some serious playtesting to fine tune it. At upper levels, the high DR makes heavily armored characters much more resistant to scenarios like Tucker's Kobolds, but I'm sure a clever DM could find ways around that. Especially since the entire party is unlikely to be decked out in full plate.

Yitzi
2013-07-03, 09:36 AM
The basic idea is a good one. However:

1. Do the AC and DR/ER both apply, or is it that if the AC would make you miss, you apply the DR/ER instead? After all, the idea you're working with seems to be that the AC is how much it covers (how hard it is to get past), and the DR/ER is how much it protects if the attacker doesn't get past it.
2. Adamantine has a lower max DEX bonus for Legend-wrought than for perfected. You sure you want that?

Deepbluediver
2013-07-03, 10:08 AM
1. Do the AC and DR/ER both apply, or is it that if the AC would make you miss, you apply the DR/ER instead? After all, the idea you're working with seems to be that the AC is how much it covers (how hard it is to get past), and the DR/ER is how much it protects if the attacker doesn't get past it.

I think I'm a little confused by the question, since it seems like having both apply is fairly straightforward. :smallconfused:

Doesn't DR normally just reduce the damage you take from attacks that get past your AC? Can you ask the question in another way? (are you asking how this version of armor corellates with RL armor and melee combat, in what it represents?)



2. Adamantine has a lower max DEX bonus for Legend-wrought than for perfected. You sure you want that?

There where typos in there; thank you for bringing it to my attention.
The Mstwk and Perfected versions where off, probably from bad copy-pasta; L-Wrought was actually the correct one. It should be a more standard progression now.

Yitzi
2013-07-03, 12:21 PM
I think I'm a little confused by the question, since it seems like having both apply is fairly straightforward. :smallconfused:

Doesn't DR normally just reduce the damage you take from attacks that get past your AC? Can you ask the question in another way? (are you asking how this version of armor corellates with RL armor and melee combat, in what it represents?)

Basically, that's what I'm asking. Normally, AC and DR represent two mutually exclusive possibilities of protection (either the blow doesn't connect, or it connects but doesn't do as much damage.) Here, armor has only one possibility of protection: The attack hits where the armor is (instead of where it isn't), and the armor then provides some protection.

Or, to put it another way: If someone's attack roll is above the AC, does that mean that the armor did protect the wearer (in which case why is that harder to achieve when the armor has more coverage) or that it did not (in which case why would the armor give damage reduction?)

Rainbownaga
2013-07-03, 12:44 PM
Basically, that's what I'm asking. Normally, AC and DR represent two mutually exclusive possibilities of protection (either the blow doesn't connect, or it connects but doesn't do as much damage.) Here, armor has only one possibility of protection: The attack hits where the armor is (instead of where it isn't), and the armor then provides some protection.

Or, to put it another way: If someone's attack roll is above the AC, does that mean that the armor did protect the wearer (in which case why is that harder to achieve when the armor has more coverage) or that it did not (in which case why would the armor give damage reduction?)

DR can also mean the target missed the actual armor, and by doing so missed out on getting the extra damage they otherwise might have (slashing the leg instead of the abdomen or face).

They can be compatable too; a miss means the blow was deflected completely, a hit means some of the damage went through (or the attack was redirected to a less protected but less vulnerable location.

The only thing that makes this fall apart is armour that doesn't cover your 'weak spots' or breastplates somehow completely negating small hits (like dagger or swarm damage) that would realistically hit your arms and face as well.

Of course, d&d already has that issue with adamantine breastplates anyway.

Yitzi
2013-07-03, 01:40 PM
DR can also mean the target missed the actual armor, and by doing so missed out on getting the extra damage they otherwise might have (slashing the leg instead of the abdomen or face).

Perhaps so, but then why would adamantine give more DR?


They can be compatable too; a miss means the blow was deflected completely, a hit means some of the damage went through (or the attack was redirected to a less protected but less vulnerable location.

So adamantine is less able to deflect it completely than mithril is, but redirects it to less vulnerable locations?

Deepbluediver
2013-07-03, 02:09 PM
Basically, that's what I'm asking. Normally, AC and DR represent two mutually exclusive possibilities of protection (either the blow doesn't connect, or it connects but doesn't do as much damage.) Here, armor has only one possibility of protection: The attack hits where the armor is (instead of where it isn't), and the armor then provides some protection.

Rainbownaga answered some of this. My understanding of how AC related to melee attacks and armor was that it not only indicated when an attack missed, but when it didn't hit hard enough or at the right angle to deal you any damage. Sort of like how a touch-attack doesn't harm you physically.

Not beating AC is indicative of a miss, or a blow glancing off your armor. The DR is the armor helping shrug off the blows that land. Like getting clocked in the head with a mace, but your helmet reduces it to a concusion or some scrapes rather than having it splatter your skull all over.
Another example is some one jamming a blade in one of the joints in your armor, but the leather backing, cloth padding, or chain underlayer limits the damage.


The only thing that makes this fall apart is armour that doesn't cover your 'weak spots' or breastplates somehow completely negating small hits (like dagger or swarm damage) that would realistically hit your arms and face as well.

Of course, d&d already has that issue with adamantine breastplates anyway.

As I said initially, there's some level of abstraction at play here. A solid steel breastplate might give an equaivalent amount of protection as a full suit of scale mail, and a chain mail shirt would relate the same way to leather armor.

If you wanted to rule that the DR doesn't apply to damage from touch attacks the same was the AC doesn't, you could probably make that argument, though ideally the armor was supposed to provide at least a little protection against magic as well. I can fluff a reason for while almost any energy-based attack would be dulled.


Perhaps so, but then why would adamantine give more DR?
...
So adamantine is less able to deflect it completely than mithril is, but redirects it to less vulnerable locations?

Almost anything I do with armor won't line up perfectly with a related real-world scenario. If I wanted to be absolutely realistic, all armor should reduce your Dexterity (and therefore AC) by varying degrees. There is a reason gymnasts, track athletes, and swimmers all compete as close to naked as decency allows.
From a game balance perspective though, armor would then need truly massive amounts of DR to compensate, and DR is a lot harder to balance than AC.

When designing the various armors, I tended to look more at game balance, and then justified the the result with fluff from the back end.

Mithril's schtick is that its lightweight and easy to work with; good mithril armor is almost like a second (super dense) skin.
Adamantine, by comparison, is much harder to shape, so armor made from it is usualy chunkier. More gaps or weak points, but the metal and the padded underlayer shrug off attacks better.
I'm not sure what would happen if someone tried to make an alloy of mithril and adamantine; probably that it would either fall apart or average out to be the same as steel.

From a player perspective, they are at opposite ends of the design spectrum. Mithril armor was intended that at the higher upgrade levels, you could basically stop worrying about the Dex cap. Adamantine, on the other hand, was for the player who wanted to make dex his dump stat but still be a tank.

IMO, WotC missed an opportunity with special materials for armor; all mithril does is decrease your ACP slightly, and I can't recall adamantine off the top of my head. I was looking to expand the options somewhat, so that between different types, qualities, and materials, players could arrange almost any combination that suited them.

Zombimode
2013-07-03, 02:39 PM
Hm, this looks quite intriguing, but:



ACP now applies to Initiative checks as well as skill checks

uhm, what?

This looks like giving those heavy armor type the finger. ACP on skills, speed penalties, heavy weight and higher costs all while not getting actually higher ACs then light-armor guys is enough downsides. Also, it doesn't resonate fluff-wise, at least not with me (ignoring the fact heavy-armor types already have typically a lower initiative score that light-armor guys since they have probably a much lower dex to begin with).

Yitzi
2013-07-03, 03:01 PM
If you wanted to rule that the DR doesn't apply to damage from touch attacks the same was the AC doesn't, you could probably make that argument, though ideally the armor was supposed to provide at least a little protection against magic as well. I can fluff a reason for while almost any energy-based attack would be dulled.

I'd also say that if using weapon finesse (which is about precise strikes, and thus can be assumed to hit where the armor isn't), the DR shouldn't apply or should be turned into extra AC. Which is pretty good balance-wise too, as it means that heavy armor doesn't make DEX-based builds useless.


Mithril's schtick is that its lightweight and easy to work with; good mithril armor is almost like a second (super dense) skin.
Adamantine, by comparison, is much harder to shape, so armor made from it is usualy chunkier. More gaps or weak points, but the metal and the padded underlayer shrug off attacks better.

Why would the padded underlayer (which is what you hit if you beat AC) shrug off attacks better?


IMO, WotC missed an opportunity with special materials for armor; all mithril does is decrease your ACP slightly

No, it does increase the max DEX bonus by two points; if you're trying to boost your AC, mithral full plate is usually your best option (though mithral chain shirt is almost as good with a good DEX, and a lot cheaper, and if you really optimize for it, eventually your DEX can get high enough that bracers of armor are the best bet.)


and I can't recall adamantine off the top of my head.

Fairly minor damage resistance.

TuggyNE
2013-07-03, 07:12 PM
There are a couple of things to consider with this- classes with high BAB are more likely to be wearing heavier armor in the first place. So it seems to be doubling-down on defense.

Since all your armors have between 6 and 8 armor bonus + max Dex, that's kind of misleading: heavy armor merely allows for less investment into Dex, rather than actually raising AC.


Lastly, this alterating was intended to apply to NPCs and monsters as well. Some creatures might need adjustments to Natural armor or other stats, especially since HD (and BAB) can get pushed kind of high at upper levels.

A lot of monsters, especially undead, tend to have inflated HD but slow BAB progressions, so while BAB is generally closer to CR, HD vary wildly. For example, a CR 6 monster can have anywhere from 5 HD (pyrohydra, cryohydra, xill) to 20 HD (gray render zombie).


BAB increases at a minimum rate of 1 per 2 levels, and that the flat "10" from AC was supposed to balance the d20 roll. If I altered the base number to be 10 + 1/2 HD (pr 1/2 BAB, as per the suggestion above) would that push things too high at upper levels? How does the level of AC increases for the upgraded armors compare to normal attack-roll bonus progression?

At level 1, 10 + ½BAB gives exactly the same AC as the Core version, or maybe 1 less in some cases. At level 20, comparing +5 mithral full plate (35500gp) with masterwork mithril plate (38000gp) gives +13 armor/+3 Dex vs +11 armor/+9 Dex/+10 BAB is a full 14 points higher, which is kind of surprisingly a lot. Maybe cutting down on the "double normal max Dex progression" stuff would help. (Instead, just make mithril add the same flat bonus to all max Dex.)

Deepbluediver
2013-07-03, 10:56 PM
This looks like giving those heavy armor type the finger. ACP on skills, speed penalties, heavy weight and higher costs all while not getting actually higher ACs then light-armor guys is enough downsides. Also, it doesn't resonate fluff-wise, at least not with me (ignoring the fact heavy-armor types already have typically a lower initiative score that light-armor guys since they have probably a much lower dex to begin with).

Heh, I wondered if some one was going to bring that up.

Basically, I wanted there to be trade offs for armor, and ACP doesn't reliably show up in combat all that often. I've tried to improve armor in the most obvious ways, but I like the idea of some one wearing heavy armor to have a feeling of slowness about them. The goal was that a fighter in heavy armor and a fighter in medium armor will have slightly different results beyond just increases in AC (and now DR), and it's up to the player to decide which they prefer.

Also, as you pointed out, the heavy armor types usually don't find it valuable to stack Dex, and although combat tends to become very rocket-tag-ish at higher levels, its hardly the most broken thing about the game. Overall, I didn't see this changing much in the long run.

All that being said, an Initiative check is another part of the game that I don't like how it functions. It's basically just a Dexterity check, which works alright for some classes, and less well for others, but I can't fix things in a vacuum.

If you want a better version of Initiative, I would make the bonus equal to Dex+Wis+1/2 BAB. The Dex represents your reaction time, the Wisdom your awareness of your sourroundings, and the BAB your general combat prowess. There's also a link in my extended sig to an Initiative discussion, which includes a homebrew system for seperating it from Ability scores entirely and instead basing it on level and class (or creature type), if that appeals to you.


I'd also say that if using weapon finesse (which is about precise strikes, and thus can be assumed to hit where the armor isn't), the DR shouldn't apply or should be turned into extra AC. Which is pretty good balance-wise too, as it means that heavy armor doesn't make DEX-based builds useless.

You can do that, if you want. I'm not likely to, because I took a slightly different approach to TWF in my revised weapon-style chains, but it could be a viable option. I just don't want my armor alterations to amount to a big fat "meh" in the end because of all the ways to circumvent them.


Why would the padded underlayer (which is what you hit if you beat AC) shrug off attacks better?

Honestly, I don't really have a good answer for that. But as I outlined above, beating AC is not just about hitting where the armor isn't; its about any attack that hits with enough force OR in the right area to do significant damage. A suit of leather armor might provide just as much coverage overall, but obviously less protecion.

The best I can do is say that since the AC increases in a manner similar to normal armor, the design is probably fairly similar. The fact the DR increases much more rapidly for those hits that would have hurt, can be attributed to some anamolous property of the metal itself. There's a certain amount of "it just is" in that answer, but it didn't really bother me because it exists in the same world as man-sized insects and flying dragons.
If you want a realistic game, d20 modern is that way ;P ----->
If you don't like it, feel free to find some other method of differentiating Adamantine. Maybe make in an inherently anti-magic armor, in which case you can attribute 100% of the explanation to "a wizard did it" (aka, it's magic so it doesn't conform to rational thought). Or you could keep the DR the same and increase it's AC above mithril, so you have a steel -> mithril -> adamantine sort of progression.
If you like some but not all of my ideas, I'd be happy to see where you homebrew further.


No, it does increase the max DEX bonus by two points; if you're trying to boost your AC, mithral full plate is usually your best option (though mithral chain shirt is almost as good with a good DEX, and a lot cheaper, and if you really optimize for it, eventually your DEX can get high enough that bracers of armor are the best bet.)

My mistake then. Still, the idea that you can get more AC by not wearing armor kind of bugs me. Hopefully, this new version of armor pushes the level of optimaztion that it would take to reach that point from "fairly easy" to "fairly ridiculous", and encourage more people to use armor for protection.


Fairly minor damage resistance.

What's "damage resistance"? Is that just another name for "Damage Reduction"?
Still, it would seem WotC and I had the same idea, I just picked higher numbers.


Since all your armors have between 6 and 8 armor bonus + max Dex, that's kind of misleading: heavy armor merely allows for less investment into Dex, rather than actually raising AC.

Hmm...ok, I hadn't really thought of it that way, but I see what you are saying. Still, at lower levels I think that players would have fewer points and resources to dump into any given stat, and that armor would at least be a consideration. At higher levels, if you want to build for it I think that armor+Dex could still outpace Dex alone for most people.

Also, I dislike magic items that are just ability or stat increases; I find them, and the magic-mart style of gameplay boring (you may have picked up on some of that from my comments in other threads). And while I try to make my homebrew mostly usable in any game, some of that bias or preference inevitably seeps in.
If you have any suggestions for how to change things, I'm all ears.


A lot of monsters, especially undead, tend to have inflated HD but slow BAB progressions, so while BAB is generally closer to CR, HD vary wildly. For example, a CR 6 monster can have anywhere from 5 HD (pyrohydra, cryohydra, xill) to 20 HD (gray render zombie).

I see what you are saying. Still, I don't necessarily consider that a bad thing. If creatures all have the same stats behind the name, then encounters can get kind of boring. The idea that a fight with 2 similarly CR'd monsters might require varying tactics would be appealing to me.

It's certainly something I need to keep in mind, but ultimately I would want to see if it is actually gamebreaking before I declared the rules unworkable.

Also, monsters with stupidly inflated HD (particularly undead) is one more item on my list of things to fix.


At level 1, 10 + ½BAB gives exactly the same AC as the Core version, or maybe 1 less in some cases. At level 20, comparing +5 mithral full plate (35500gp) with masterwork mithril plate (38000gp) gives +13 armor/+3 Dex vs +11 armor/+9 Dex/+10 BAB is a full 14 points higher, which is kind of surprisingly a lot. Maybe cutting down on the "double normal max Dex progression" stuff would help. (Instead, just make mithril add the same flat bonus to all max Dex.)

So if I leave it at 5+1/2, then it will only be 9 points higher, assuming the player has the maximum dexterity bonus. Theoretically, there isn't any max on the amount of Dex you can stack with Bracers of Armor, correct?

Ultimately, my goal for this project is to have a situation where the vast majority of players prefer to use actual armor rather than the Bracers or something equivalent, so I can remove those items from the game and replace them with things that are actually interesting.

Again, I appreciate you bringing this to my attention, and I will certainly keep it in mind, but I don't think I would call it a problem. After all, I set out with the goal of improving armor. I think I'll leave the base value at +5, and sleep on the idea of using BAB instead of HD.

It's kind of late and my vision is going fuzzy, but you've given me a lot to consider. Time to let it all percolate through my brain a bit. :smallsmile:

Yitzi
2013-07-03, 11:51 PM
What's "damage resistance"? Is that just another name for "Damage Reduction"?

Not so much "another name" as "I got the name wrong", but yeah.

unbeliever536
2013-08-26, 09:16 PM
Can we get some weights for different armors? Or do you intend that they use core weights? If so, is an "Infantry Shield" a heavy or light shield?

I definitely support keying AC off of BAB over HD, since BAB is much more consistent and better reflects fighting skill. Why not switch the base value to 8? This gives a good middle ground between 5 and 10. AC is still larger at high levels, but it was too low to begin with (everyone in core can pretty much hit whatever they want without really trying by level 10).

Deepbluediver
2013-08-27, 08:33 AM
Can we get some weights for different armors? Or do you intend that they use core weights? If so, is an "Infantry Shield" a heavy or light shield?
It was originally the intention that players could use the same weights as core, but you're right about needing something for the infantry shield. I've added weights to the chart now; primarily they correspond with core, though there have been a few minor adjustments to better represent what I was going for.

The I. Shield, specifically, is an average of the two kinds of heavy shields. Wood is less dense than metal, but you'd need more of it to make a shield, so I'm working off the (possible false) assumption that a wooden shield and a metal shield would be of relatively even weight.


I definitely support keying AC off of BAB over HD, since BAB is much more consistent and better reflects fighting skill. Why not switch the base value to 8? This gives a good middle ground between 5 and 10. AC is still larger at high levels, but it was too low to begin with (everyone in core can pretty much hit whatever they want without really trying by level 10).

Alright, done. I did have reasons for making it go by HD originally, but my design-philosophy has changed somewhat since then, and I no longer find that position defensible.

I'm going to leave that base value at 5 for the moment, because I do want to encourage people to wear armor, and also because I don't really mind lower level play being kind of dangerous. With other homebrew, I've tried to do a lot to improve the first few levels, and this is one area where I don't mind seeing a small nerf. I don't think it would hurt that game if players had to worry a little more about not getting stabbed in the gut with a sword.



Lastly, I have to apologize for never going back and finishing the section on enchantments. I have not abandoned this project, but I've been side-tracked lately by a stint of vacation and some very interesting but involved discussions on how magic in D&D should work. Also, it's hard to come up with interesting armor enchants. I think the weapons section is pretty close to being ready to post though, maybe I'll be able to come back and work on it more then.

Yakk
2013-08-27, 08:55 AM
Your costs are junk.

As an example, compare Legendary Steel to Perfected Mithril.

You should have costs for things reflect how good they are.

Similar problems happen when you compare the various kinds of armor in a given category to each other, after you apply large amounts of bonuses via "better quality".

Doing matrix-based stuff like the above looks easy, but generally generates junk entries. You either need to look at the entire matrix and make sure that each location is tempting for some reason (price or whatever), or you should do away with a huge matrix of possibilities of which 90% are junk items that are dominated by some other combination.

unbeliever536
2013-08-27, 02:41 PM
Your cost for Perfected Dragonhide armor is less than your cost for Masterwork Dragonhide. Presumably this is a mistake?

In general, Dragonhide is significantly more expensive than mithril but not siginificantly better. I would reduce its cost to be more in line with mithril. Both types are notably better than Darkwood (except that druids get darkwood), so that should get a cost reduction as well. Incidentally, can a druid wear scale mail?

Jormengand
2013-08-27, 02:59 PM
If spellweave can only be used in cloth armour, why does it list impossible improvement categories (those above superior)?

Deepbluediver
2013-08-27, 03:28 PM
Your costs are junk.
Of all the things in the chart, the costs are the easiest to change.

Personally, I've never really like the magic-mart style of item acquisition. If you give players a mountain of gold and say "buy anything" then I'm sure they will math out exactly what the best deal is down to the copper. In any game where I had any influence, armor upgrades would be acquired in some fashion when it was appropriate, rather than just have players walk around with the wealth of an entire kingdom in their pocket.


As an example, compare Legendary Steel to Perfected Mithril.

You should have costs for things reflect how good they are.

Perfected Mithral is cheaper, yes, but Legendary Steel has more DR. There isn't a perfectly linear progression; assuming the player has a choice between one or the other, then the decision is up to them.

If you disagree, what prices would you suggest for these items? What kind of pricing dynamic do you have in mind?


Similar problems happen when you compare the various kinds of armor in a given category to each other, after you apply large amounts of bonuses via "better quality".
I'm not quite sure what you mean, since you didn't really say what was the problem in the first place.


Doing matrix-based stuff like the above looks easy, but generally generates junk entries. You either need to look at the entire matrix and make sure that each location is tempting for some reason (price or whatever), or you should do away with a huge matrix of possibilities of which 90% are junk items that are dominated by some other combination.

I have gone through it all, and there are some quirky spots, yes, but I think the majority of it works out alright.

If you have specific suggestions for things that are too expensive or too cheap or have poor stat-allocations, I'd be happy to see what I can do about reworking the values.


Your cost for Perfected Dragonhide armor is less than your cost for Masterwork Dragonhide. Presumably this is a mistake?
Yes, there was a missing "0". Thank you for pointing that out.


If spellweave can only be used in cloth armour, why does it list impossible improvement categories (those above superior)?
Spellweave can be used to manufacture cloth armor above the normal quality limit because it's a special material. I'll add in a line to make that more explicit.

I put the cap in for normal armor because making Legend-Wrought Cloth armor did weird things to game balance.

Amechra
2013-08-27, 09:25 PM
I like this, simply because you could change Armor Specialization to upgrade your armor by a step (so standard armor that you wear would be treated as if it were Superior armor.)

Mind if I steal this and use it as part of a... something?

unbeliever536
2013-08-27, 09:59 PM
Of all the things in the chart, the costs are the easiest to change.

Personally, I've never really like the magic-mart style of item acquisition. If you give players a mountain of gold and say "buy anything" then I'm sure they will math out exactly what the best deal is down to the copper. In any game where I had any influence, armor upgrades would be acquired in some fashion when it was appropriate, rather than just have players walk around with the wealth of an entire kingdom in their pocket.

Perfected Mithral is cheaper, yes, but Legendary Steel has more DR. There isn't a perfectly linear progression; assuming the player has a choice between one or the other, then the decision is up to them.

If you disagree, what prices would you suggest for these items? What kind of pricing dynamic do you have in mind?

I editted this into my last post while you were responding, so I'm posting it again with more specifics.

Pricing is useful because of WBL guidlines, and it helps the GM compare and make sure (s)he's giving gear of roughly equal value to all players.

In general, Dragonhide is significantly more expensive than mithril but not siginificantly better. Energy resistance is not that much better than DR. In fact, I would rate them about the same. My suggestion would be to price mithril and dragonhide the same (maybe dragonhide a little more expensive, in the neighborhood of 10% max). As it stands, mithril plate is essentially strictly better than leather dragonhide at the legend-wrought level.

Both mithril and dragonhide are notably better than Darkwood (except that druids get darkwood), so that should get a cost reduction as well. Maybe price it 10-20% below mithril. Incidentally, can a druid wear regular scale mail, given that you say it may be made of wood/lamelar?

In general, ACP gets reduced to or near zero for essentially all high level armors. Given this, I think there needs to be another way to make nonproficiency hurt. I suggest making armor simply do less (reduced AC bonus, reduced DR) for those who are nonproficient (ie, they don't know how to move in a way that maximizes the armor's protective power). An Armor Bonus and DR reduction of 1 point for light armor, two points for medium armor, and three points for heavy armor, as well as a minimum ASF of 10% or so would be enough to make wearing armor that you are not proficient with generally not worthwhile. The exception would be for monks, for whom it kills a bunch of class abilities already, and psionic characters. Not sure what to do about psionic characters.

A few more points of clarification:
1) To price an improved armor, I add its base price in the original chart to the price in whatever improvment chart I'm using (generic upgrades or an appropriate special material) and nothing else, right? I don't have to masterwork twice to get a special material?
2) Does dragonhide give the base DR in addition to energy resistance, or just ER?
3) When I make an armor of special materials, can I always go up to Legend-wrought regardless of normal restrictions, or is that only with cloth/spellweave?

Deepbluediver
2013-08-28, 10:52 AM
Pricing is useful because of WBL guidlines, and it helps the GM compare and make sure (s)he's giving gear of roughly equal value to all players.
Acknowledged, but simply going by price won't mean that all gear is equally useful to all characters (I can distribute an "equal" value of gear by just giving every in the party a suit of plate-armor, but that will only make the fighter happy). Ultimately it's up to them (the GM) to look at the group, the challenges they are going to face, and distribute award or direct them towards improvements as appropriate.

As I said, of all the things on the chart, the price is the easiest to alter. Many costs in D&D are imbalanced or nonsensical, the WBL chart is bjorked except in a few very specific instances, and it's not hard for players to gain wildly different benefits from the same amount of gold (whether because of class, or player-skill, or splatbooks available, etc)

So yes, having a price-chart can he helpful, and I'll seriously consider any advice on adjustments for improving things, but I'm not going to make myself crazy over it.


In general, Dragonhide is significantly more expensive than mithril but not siginificantly better. Energy resistance is not that much better than DR. In fact, I would rate them about the same. My suggestion would be to price mithril and dragonhide the same (maybe dragonhide a little more expensive, in the neighborhood of 10% max). As it stands, mithril plate is essentially strictly better than leather dragonhide at the legend-wrought level.

Both mithril and dragonhide are notably better than Darkwood (except that druids get darkwood), so that should get a cost reduction as well. Maybe price it 10-20% below mithril.

Done and done. Dragonhide is now priced the same as Mithril, and Darkwood has a 20% discount. Also, I opted not to try and limit how easy or difficult it would be to obtain certain materials by the rules; ultimately that's up to the GM and how he or she wants to run their world. But I envisioned this system as having only regular Steel/Leather armor being widely available, with maybe mithril showing up on occasion. Anything more exotic (Dragonhide, Adamantine, Darkwood, or others) would either be found as a one-of-a-kind treasure, or hunted down and/or crafted specifically.


Incidentally, can a druid wear regular scale mail, given that you say it may be made of wood/lamelar?
So long as it's not metal, then yes, of course (technically they CAN wear metal armor too, it just interferes with some of their class abilities). That was intentional, since there is no longer a "Hide" category for medium armor.
I read up on actual armor-crafting, then had a discussion with several posters in the Real-World Arms and Armor thread, and ultimately I decided that several of the D&D armors where either pointless, impossible, or nonsensical. Throughout history, armor has appeared in pretty much every kind of weight, configuration, and material imaginable, but it wasn't necessary try and represent all those different things to get a decent distribution of variety and stats in the game.

In general, ACP gets reduced to or near zero for essentially all high level armors. Given this, I think there needs to be another way to make nonproficiency hurt. I suggest making armor simply do less (reduced AC bonus, reduced DR) for those who are nonproficient (ie, they don't know how to move in a way that maximizes the armor's protective power). An Armor Bonus and DR reduction of 1 point for light armor, two points for medium armor, and three points for heavy armor, as well as a minimum ASF of 10% or so would be enough to make wearing armor that you are not proficient with generally not worthwhile. The exception would be for monks, for whom it kills a bunch of class abilities already, and psionic characters. Not sure what to do about psionic characters.
I definitely agree. I had planned on giving more extensive rules for non-proficiency in the weapons overhaul, but that had been delayed somewhat.

In addition to a reduction in AC and DR, I was planning on having non-proficiencies boost ACP and increase the speed-reduction; another possibility was having it reduce the dex-cap. While I want characters to make choices between armor, I also want to encourage players to find the armor-proficiency feats valuable enough to seriously consider taking them. So wearing armor for a non-proficient character should definitely be a no-no.

With regards to Monks, I have my own homebrew fix for the class, and while the basic monk remains armor-less, there is an optional class feature that lets them wear armor. I wanted it to be easier to make a multiclass monk, and to not have to balance an AC score entirely without the possibility of normal benefits.

With regards to psionics...I'm not really familiar with those rules. I keep intending to become more knowledgeable in that area, but for now it will probably be limited to the same chance for power-failure that arcane casting is.


1) To price an improved armor, I add its base price in the original chart to the price in whatever improvment chart I'm using (generic upgrades or an appropriate special material) and nothing else, right? I don't have to masterwork twice to get a special material?
I believe that is correct, yes (I'm just slightly confused by the wording).

At the higher levels, the price of improvements frequently eclipses the base price, because of the craftsmanship required. While rare materials may push the cost even higher, there should be no doubling-up on the level of improvement.


2) Does dragonhide give the base DR in addition to energy resistance, or just ER?
Hmm...I hadn't really considered that, but I guess I would rule that it keeps it's base DR. (there was nothing in the original text to indicate that it should lose it).


3) When I make an armor of special materials, can I always go up to Legend-wrought regardless of normal restrictions, or is that only with cloth/spellweave?
Should be any material; I'll add more additional language to help clarify.
This all very useful, because it gets at potential problems I hadn't really thought about or had just assumed worked one way or the other.
Homebrewing will be so much easier when humanity evolves to the point where we develop psychic powers and can just read each other's minds directly. :smalltongue:



Now, since you've been so helpful, I've got one more thing that's been on my mind, and maybe you can weigh in on it. There isn't really a question here, but it's something that's been niggling at my thoughts.
I originally made spellweave armor because, like I said, I was taking some inspiration from videogames, and I wanted there to be an armor-option for casters. However, it's still armor, meaning most full-casters won't be proficient, so as it stands it probably only appeals to a very narrow group of classes, like the bard. The rules for enchanting armor have been delayed, but I had planned on making spellweave easier to enchant than regular, non-armor based clothing, but even so I don't know if the minor stat-boosts it provides are sufficient to justify expending a feat.
Thoughts?


Edit: Forgot to reply to the other post.

I like this, simply because you could change Armor Specialization to upgrade your armor by a step (so standard armor that you wear would be treated as if it were Superior armor.)

Mind if I steal this and use it as part of a... something?
Short answer first- anything and everything I post is steal-able, quotable, or free to be further modified as desired. All I ask is that if you try it out, let me know how it goes.

Secondly, that's an interesting idea. I recognize that some classes need to be more powerful and more versatile, and less gear-dependent, but I still like SOME power to be derived from the items or treasure you acquire. Part of it's my fondness for computer-based RPGs, but it's the kind of thing I don't want to get rid of entirely; on the contrary, some groups of classes, like casters, should be MORE gear-dependent, IMO. But not everyone agrees with me, or has exactly the same preferences, so if a different method of doing things is better for you, then please, by all means take it and run with it.

ironwizard
2013-08-28, 11:25 AM
You could make cloth armor (or spellweave cloth) a non-armor. Or errata that all casters are proficient with just cloth (or just spell-weave cloth). Might not be what you're looking for, but it is simple.

In general though, I like this change. Have a kudo.

unbeliever536
2013-08-28, 03:40 PM
I definitely agree. I had planned on giving more extensive rules for non-proficiency in the weapons overhaul, but that had been delayed somewhat.

In addition to a reduction in AC and DR, I was planning on having non-proficiencies boost ACP and increase the speed-reduction; another possibility was having it reduce the dex-cap. While I want characters to make choices between armor, I also want to encourage players to find the armor-proficiency feats valuable enough to seriously consider taking them. So wearing armor for a non-proficient character should definitely be a no-no.

With regards to Monks, I have my own homebrew fix for the class, and while the basic monk remains armor-less, there is an optional class feature that lets them wear armor. I wanted it to be easier to make a multiclass monk, and to not have to balance an AC score entirely without the possibility of normal benefits.

With regards to psionics...I'm not really familiar with those rules. I keep intending to become more knowledgeable in that area, but for now it will probably be limited to the same chance for power-failure that arcane casting is.

Psionic characters in core can wear armor essentially without penalty, like divine casters (except psions don't have to worry about melee, so normal nonproficiency penalties don't make much difference to them). It's like divine magic, basically.

As to what nonproficiency can do, what if it limits your ability to use improved versions of an armor (ie, all armor of Superior+ quality is treated as Superior if you aren't proficient). That way, even when the bonuses start to eclipse any reasonable penalties, the power of armor you aren't proficient with is still limitted to much less than that of armor you are proficient with. Add some penalties on top of that to make it worse than armor at the same quality level, and no one would consider buying a high level armor they weren't proficient with (which is when it matters most, since that's where the penalties start going away).



Now, since you've been so helpful, I've got one more thing that's been on my mind, and maybe you can weigh in on it. There isn't really a question here, but it's something that's been niggling at my thoughts.
I originally made spellweave armor because, like I said, I was taking some inspiration from videogames, and I wanted there to be an armor-option for casters. However, it's still armor, meaning most full-casters won't be proficient, so as it stands it probably only appeals to a very narrow group of classes, like the bard. The rules for enchanting armor have been delayed, but I had planned on making spellweave easier to enchant than regular, non-armor based clothing, but even so I don't know if the minor stat-boosts it provides are sufficient to justify expending a feat.
Thoughts?

If spellweave is easier to enchant in addition to its already much reduced cost versus armor of similar quality, it might just be the go-to armor if you want early access to magical armor properties. That would definitely make it an option for a wide variety of characters beyond just light-armored spellcasters.

If you want to make the basic option more enticing for spellcasters, you could make spellweave extend the duration of buffs cast on the wearer, however you want to define "buff". I suggest making them last twice as long or as CL +2, whichever is longer. Alternately, you could make it allow a caster to concentrate on two spells at once (ie, they can use a standard action to maintain a spell with a duration of Concentration and also cast another such spell or maintain two).



Secondly, that's an interesting idea. I recognize that some classes need to be more powerful and more versatile, and less gear-dependent, but I still like SOME power to be derived from the items or treasure you acquire. Part of it's my fondness for computer-based RPGs, but it's the kind of thing I don't want to get rid of entirely; on the contrary, some groups of classes, like casters, should be MORE gear-dependent, IMO. But not everyone agrees with me, or has exactly the same preferences, so if a different method of doing things is better for you, then please, by all means take it and run with it.

There's a difference between making your characters capable of working without equipment (or without appropriate equipment) and making their abilities completely independent of gear. I think the first is definitely something to aim for, but it shouldn't get in the way of boosting the power and versatility of gear, which is something that's sorely lacking in core, especially for armor. Which, by the way, I haven't yet thanked you for fixing.

e: Also, in this fix, can a Tower Shield still be used to gain cover? If not, is Tower Shield Prof still a separate feat? Also, is there any point in buying an adamantine shield other than improved durability?

Deepbluediver
2013-09-04, 03:37 PM
Psionic characters in core can wear armor essentially without penalty, like divine casters (except psions don't have to worry about melee, so normal nonproficiency penalties don't make much difference to them). It's like divine magic, basically.
Do Psionic powers have verbal and/or somatic requirements like spells? The easiest thing would be just to slap a "psionic manifestation failure chance" on there like the AFC, but perhaps we can get more interesting than that.
What if the non-proficiency penalty for armor is that they make powers cost more points to use? I'm not really sure how the fluff for this would work yet (as I admitted, I'd barely qualify as an amatuer when it comes to psionics) but it kind of makes a halfway-point between arcane's "can't wear armor" and divine's "armor doesn't matter".


As to what nonproficiency can do, what if it limits your ability to use improved versions of an armor (ie, all armor of Superior+ quality is treated as Superior if you aren't proficient). That way, even when the bonuses start to eclipse any reasonable penalties, the power of armor you aren't proficient with is still limited to much less than that of armor you are proficient with.

Hmm...that might work. I might alter it to be flexible; something like "1 level less than described", or base it on the level of proficiency you do have (so a fighter suffers less than a wizard for wearing plate if he's not proficient). But otherwise, it's a possibility. I'll need to graph some numbers and think about how to phrase the rules, but this could be a good solution.


If spellweave is easier to enchant in addition to its already much reduced cost versus armor of similar quality, it might just be the go-to armor if you want early access to magical armor properties. That would definitely make it an option for a wide variety of characters beyond just light-armored spellcasters.

Hadn't really considered it that way. I didn't really want EVERYONE to dress up in spellweave, I just didn't think that with the opportunity costs involved, casters would consider it a reasonable choice. Also, I'd like to have on the table the Battle Caster feat (from the PHB II, I think) which helps mitigate the spell failure chance from armor as well.

I'll have to really brainstorm a bit and try to picture how everything might fit together.


If you want to make the basic option more enticing for spellcasters, you could make spellweave extend the duration of buffs cast on the wearer, however you want to define "buff". I suggest making them last twice as long or as CL +2, whichever is longer. Alternately, you could make it allow a caster to concentrate on two spells at once (ie, they can use a standard action to maintain a spell with a duration of Concentration and also cast another such spell or maintain two).

I think defining exactly what a "buff" is and how that might work would be tricky without either pages of text or putting a lot of decisions on the GM in a case-by-case basis. The second idea is more appealing, though I'm not sure I'd want to make something as game-changing as that into a core part of the rules; it feels more like it should be a magical enchantment of it's own.

What I might end up doing is having spellweave increase spell-resistance instead of DR, like Dragonhide and ER. However, my magic system is currently under revision, so I wouldn't want to put any numbers in that until I get a handle on how the other things are going to work.


Also, in this fix, can a Tower Shield still be used to gain cover?
I'll be honest; I've never really been thrilled with how the cover/concealment rules work, but I don't have a good fix for them atm. Beyond banning shenanigans like hiding behind your shield, and having your shield disappear with you, I'm going to say that anything I haven't specifically mentioned works like RAW.

TL;DR: Yes


is Tower Shield Prof still a separate feat?
The short answer is, I haven't decided.
When I still had both medium and light shields, I was thinking that I could have some overlap between the feats, so if you had NO proficiency you could gain Bucklers, Light and Heavy, but if you had ANY shield proficiency taking the same feat just once would grant you Light, Heavy, and Tower; essentially everything you might be missing.

These days though, I think I would prefer to just combine the armor and shield proficiency feats, so that light armor is always accompanied by proficiency with Bucklers, medium armor with Infantry Shields, and heavy armor with Tower Shields.


Also, is there any point in buying an adamantine shield other than improved durability?
Ok, story time: Originally, shields also provided DR, and the adamantine shield had an appropriately larger DR bonus. At some point while tweaking the rules, I opted to remove that part in exchange for the other functional changes, but I never updated the stats on adamantine. The plan was that it could still be enchanted to a greater degree than steel (part of the magic rules that didn't get posted). That alone, however, is probably not significant enough to justify the hefty price increase.
Again, I'll see if I can't brainstorm up something suitable.


Also, thank you very much for all your input and feedback, it's exceptionally beneficial just from a rules perspective, and it helps keep me focused and motivated.

TuggyNE
2013-09-04, 07:24 PM
Do Psionic powers have verbal and/or somatic requirements like spells?

No.


The easiest thing would be just to slap a "psionic manifestation failure chance" on there like the AFC, but perhaps we can get more interesting than that.
What if the non-proficiency penalty for armor is that they make powers cost more points to use? I'm not really sure how the fluff for this would work yet (as I admitted, I'd barely qualify as an amatuer when it comes to psionics) but it kind of makes a halfway-point between arcane's "can't wear armor" and divine's "armor doesn't matter".

I have no idea how that would make sense fluff-wise; psionics is about pure mental effort being translated directly into the desired effect, with nothing more than concentration required.

unbeliever536
2013-09-04, 09:25 PM
Do Psionic powers have verbal and/or somatic requirements like spells? The easiest thing would be just to slap a "psionic manifestation failure chance" on there like the AFC, but perhaps we can get more interesting than that.
What if the non-proficiency penalty for armor is that they make powers cost more points to use? I'm not really sure how the fluff for this would work yet (as I admitted, I'd barely qualify as an amatuer when it comes to psionics) but it kind of makes a halfway-point between arcane's "can't wear armor" and divine's "armor doesn't matter".



Honestly, it probably makes more sense to make divine suffer some minimal spell failure chance than to do try to give one to psionics.



Hmm...that might work. I might alter it to be flexible; something like "1 level less than described", or base it on the level of proficiency you do have (so a fighter suffers less than a wizard for wearing plate if he's not proficient). But otherwise, it's a possibility. I'll need to graph some numbers and think about how to phrase the rules, but this could be a good solution.



I would feel better about a hard limit (plus penalties that make the lower-value armors not worthwhile) so that wearing armor with which you are not proficient is almost totally valueless.



Hadn't really considered it that way. I didn't really want EVERYONE to dress up in spellweave, I just didn't think that with the opportunity costs involved, casters would consider it a reasonable choice. Also, I'd like to have on the table the Battle Caster feat (from the PHB II, I think) which helps mitigate the spell failure chance from armor as well.

I'll have to really brainstorm a bit and try to picture how everything might fit together.


It wouldn't be everyone as long as you're careful about the power level of the possible enchantments; as long as I can't buy strictly better armor by magicing up some spellweave, it's not going to appeal to every character (but it will appeal to a number of characters in many classes, which I think is good)



I think defining exactly what a "buff" is and how that might work would be tricky without either pages of text or putting a lot of decisions on the GM in a case-by-case basis. The second idea is more appealing, though I'm not sure I'd want to make something as game-changing as that into a core part of the rules; it feels more like it should be a magical enchantment of it's own.

What I might end up doing is having spellweave increase spell-resistance instead of DR, like Dragonhide and ER. However, my magic system is currently under revision, so I wouldn't want to put any numbers in that until I get a handle on how the other things are going to work.


That could work, but it doesn't specifically benifit casters. Maybe it grants a simple CL buff? I think I just had concentration on the brain because of Vadskye's spell reformation stuff.



I'll be honest; I've never really been thrilled with how the cover/concealment rules work, but I don't have a good fix for them atm. Beyond banning shenanigans like hiding behind your shield, and having your shield disappear with you, I'm going to say that anything I haven't specifically mentioned works like RAW.

TL;DR: Yes

The short answer is, I haven't decided.
When I still had both medium and light shields, I was thinking that I could have some overlap between the feats, so if you had NO proficiency you could gain Bucklers, Light and Heavy, but if you had ANY shield proficiency taking the same feat just once would grant you Light, Heavy, and Tower; essentially everything you might be missing.

These days though, I think I would prefer to just combine the armor and shield proficiency feats, so that light armor is always accompanied by proficiency with Bucklers, medium armor with Infantry Shields, and heavy armor with Tower Shields.



Given that they still can be used for total cover (baring obvious shenans), I think it still makes sense to make them a separate feat, baring further changes. They are as superior to the next lighter shield as they would be in core. That said, I do like your idea.



Ok, story time: Originally, shields also provided DR, and the adamantine shield had an appropriately larger DR bonus. At some point while tweaking the rules, I opted to remove that part in exchange for the other functional changes, but I never updated the stats on adamantine. The plan was that it could still be enchanted to a greater degree than steel (part of the magic rules that didn't get posted). That alone, however, is probably not significant enough to justify the hefty price increase.
Again, I'll see if I can't brainstorm up something suitable.

Also, thank you very much for all your input and feedback, it's exceptionally beneficial just from a rules perspective, and it helps keep me focused and motivated.

One other thing that worries me about adamantine (in all its forms) is that the weight increase is very significant, and could be a significant mobility penalty. I would suggest dropping it to a 20% increase in weight. I'm also somewhat worried about the low max dex. I'd suggest allowing it to go at least as high as regular armor.