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View Full Version : D&D 5e/Next 5e Variant: Armor as Temp HP (no longer flat reduction)



Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-27, 10:20 AM
Spinning out of this thread (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?588726-The-Decline-of-Armor-in-D-amp-D), I got to thinking... it's generally agreed that it's more "realistic" for armor to reduce damage than it is to reduce your to-hit. It's also generally agreed that you can't really fit that into the D&D paradigm without totally rewriting everything. Well...that sounded like a challenge to me. One buttload of math (https://www.dropbox.com/s/cv35xelv4q86gl8/Armor%20to%20Soak.xlsx?dl=0) later, I think I've cracked it. BEHOLD:

Armor Class: A character's Armor Class (AC) is 10 plus their Dexterity modifier. If they're wearing Medium Armor, they can't apply more than a +2 bonus towards their AC; if they're wearing heavy armor, they can't add their Dexterity to AC. Shields and the Defensive fighting style still work normally.

Soak: Rather than increasing armor class, wearing armor provides Soak. Every round, your armor can absorb damage equal to its soak-- up until that point is reached, attacks don't reduce your hit points at all. The amount of soak provided depends on the type of armor you're wearing, and on your level:


Armor Type
Soak


Unarmored
None


Light Armor
1/2 level + 2


Medium Armor
Level + 1


Heavy Armor
2 * level +2


Plate Armor
2.5 * Level +2


Always round down when calculating your soak. Magic armor applies its bonus to your level when calculating soak, rather than to AC. For example, a 10th level character wearing a suit of +2 scalemail would have a Soak of 26.

Apply your soak before your Resistances, if any apply.

Monsters and Soak
Not all monsters have soak--only those whose Armor Class entry specifies natural armor. Subtract 10 + its Dexterity to determine how much natural AC it has, and give it soak based on that value. (Specifically, as if it were wearing +X armor, where X is the difference between its natural armor and the next lowest category of armor, with CR in place of its level).


Armor Points: Wearing armor grants a character Armor Points. Similar to temporary hit points, Armor Points (AP) are a buffer against damage, representing how many hits your armor can safely absorb before being disabled. Just like temporary hit points you have AP and are damaged by an attack, your AP are lost first and any leftover damage carries over to your temporary hit points (if any), then to your normal hit points. Note that AP only apply against weapon and spell attacks-- effects requiring saving throws, such as a Fireball spell, ignore them completely.

Healing can't restore AP. However, the Mending cantrip restores a number of AP equal to the caster's spellcasting ability modifier, and anyone proficient in the type of armor they're wearing can restore all their lost AP by taking one minute to quickly patch up broken straps and dents.

AP are based on your level and on the type of armor you're wearing. A character gains one AP per level per point of bonus AC granted by their armor (that is, AC above 10). For example, wearing Leather Armor would receive 1 AP/level, while someone wearing a Breastplate would gain 4 AP/level, and a suit of plate mail grants a whopping 8 AP/level.
(I know that seems like too convenient a value to be right, but I swear--I did the calculations for how much each extra point of AC is worth, based on three rounds of combat, and it comes out to almost exactly that)

AP and Monsters: Figuring out how many AP a monster has is simple. First, determine its armor bonus by subtracting 10+its Dexterity modifier from its written AC. Multiply that value by its CR to get its total AP. (For simplicity's sake, you might as well go ahead and combine their AP and HP pools--the differences are functionally irrelevant for monsters who'll only appear for a single encounter at a time).

Effect: Ideally, you'll see a real difference between heavily-armored and lightly-armored characters. A Monk or Rogue will get hit very rarely, but almost every shot will come out of their real health. A Fighter or Paladin, on the other hand, will be struck regularly--but they'll be able to absorb those shots with no ill effect.




I started by calculating how likely a monster of CR X was to hit each AC from 10-25, using the "Monster Stats by CR" table in the DMG to get my numbers1.
Then, figuring that the most common case for monsters seems to be two swings/action, I multiplied half the expected DPR2 by their chance of hitting a given AC, to determine the average DPR of each attack.
Subtracting that value from the the original expected DPR/swing gives me a number for how much a given AC reduces a monster's DPR.
Subtracting the reduction of AC 10 tells me how much extra damage reduction each point of AC is worth.
I estimated how much each kind of armor increases your AC from the base of 10, on average: light, medium, heavy, and plate (which is better enough and expensive enough it's practically a category of its own)3. I figured that light armor was a +2 boost, medium armor a +4, heavy a +6, and plate a +8--AC 12, 14, 16, and 18.
I ran some linear regressions against my chosen values, comparing damage negated to AC, and simplified the resulting formulas to something usable.


Assumptions
1: To keep from making things too complicated, I did all my math for players of level X fighting a monster of CR X. I'm not sure how badly things start to warp if you move away from that, but that's a baseline medium encounter, and this gets exponentially more complicated if I do anything else, so...
2: DMG page 278 says to calculate DPR by taking the average damage of each attack, but says nothing about the chance to hit. Thus, I'm assuming that the DPR column of the table is assuming all attacks hit, and so it makes a good stand-in for damage/attack.
3: Specifically, I figured these against a base AC of 10+Dex, capped a +2 for medium armor and a flat 10 for heavy armor.


Armor Class: A character's Armor Class (AC) is 10 plus their Dexterity modifier. If they're wearing Medium Armor, they can't apply more than a +2 bonus towards their AC; if they're wearing heavy armor, they can't add their Dexterity to AC. Shields and the Defensive fighting style still work normally.

Soak: Wearing armor reduces all damage you take, by a value based on your level. The heavier the armor, the more soak it provides:


Armor Type
Soak


Unarmored
None


Light Armor
1/4 level


Medium Armor
1/2 level + 1


Heavy Armor
3/4 level +2


Plate Armor
Level +2


Always round down when calculating your soak. Magic armor applies its AC bonus towards your soak instead of your AC. Apply your soak before your Resistances, if any apply.

Attacking with Advantage
If you have advantage on your attack roll, you can choose to forfeit the extra die roll. If you do, your opponent's soak is halved against your attack.

Monsters and Soak
Not all monsters have soak--only those whose Armor Class entry specifies natural armor. Subtract 10 + its Dexterity to determine how much natural AC it has, and give it soak based on that value. (Specifically, as if it were wearing +X armor, where X is the difference between its natural armor and the next lowest category of armor, with CR in place of its level)


Natural Armor Bonus
Soak


1
1


2
1/4 CR (min 1)


3
1/4 CR +1


4
1/2 CR +1


5
1/2 CR +2


6
3/4 CR +2


7
3/4 CR +3


8
CR +2


9
CR +3


10
CR +4


11
CR +5


12
CR +6


13
CR +7


14
CR +8


15
CR +9





The Barbarian's Unarmored Defense instead grants them soak as if they were wearing medium armor.
The Monk's Unarmored Defense works normally-- they get no soak, but exceptionally high AC.
Mage Armor and the Lizardfolk's Natural Armor give you soak as though you were wearing +1 light armor.
Barkskin and the Tortle's Natural Armor give you soak as though you were wearing heavy armor.

Kyutaru
2019-05-27, 10:45 AM
This hasn't addressed the flip-side of the equation. Specifically, how should attack bonuses now be handled? All those monsters were balanced assuming they needed +17 to hit your AC. Currently it seems like unarmored rely on dodging while armored rely on soaking which is typically how it works.

JNAProductions
2019-05-27, 11:30 AM
Heavy armor (which you can get at level 1) gives 2 Soak at level 1.

That's not a HUGE deal, but at level, say, 6 (when you can quite probably afford Plate) you have a Soak of 8. That's enough that many low CR creatures can't hurt you at all, barring a crit.

I notice in your "Behind the Scenes" you talk about using Level X Party versus CR X monster. That's... That's not how 5E works. (Or, at least, it's designed to work in more than just that way.) Lots of small monsters are meant to stay a threat, and this negates that. While I am okay with a level 20 armored juggernaut being practically immune to goblins and commoners, this happens at level 6 for someone in Plate. (1d6+2 damage on Goblins.) And once they hit level 12, they're LITERALLY IMMUNE to Goblin attacks-not even on a max damage crit can they hurt the Plate wearer.

Grod, you do a lot of good work. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. It needs SERIOUS tweaking to be made consistent with 5E's design goals.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-27, 12:11 PM
Heavy armor (which you can get at level 1) gives 2 Soak at level 1.

That's not a HUGE deal, but at level, say, 6 (when you can quite probably afford Plate) you have a Soak of 8. That's enough that many low CR creatures can't hurt you at all, barring a crit.

I notice in your "Behind the Scenes" you talk about using Level X Party versus CR X monster. That's... That's not how 5E works. (Or, at least, it's designed to work in more than just that way.) Lots of small monsters are meant to stay a threat, and this negates that. While I am okay with a level 20 armored juggernaut being practically immune to goblins and commoners, this happens at level 6 for someone in Plate. (1d6+2 damage on Goblins.) And once they hit level 12, they're LITERALLY IMMUNE to Goblin attacks-not even on a max damage crit can they hurt the Plate wearer.

Grod, you do a lot of good work. Unfortunately, this is not one of them. It needs SERIOUS tweaking to be made consistent with 5E's design goals.
It's mostly a thought experiment, but it does kinda kick bounded accuracy to the curb, yeah. Umm, let's see... if we assume a typical low-level creature does an average of 5 dmg (which looks to be the case with most low-level humanoids) and a max of 10...

Light armor totally soaks the average at lv 20
Medium armor totally soaks the average at 8, and the max at 18
Heavy armor totally soaks the average at 4, and the max at 11
Plate totally soaks the average at 3, and the max at 6

That's...I think pretty reasonable for medium and heavy armor, but you're right; it's pretty damn low for plate. Hmm...maybe if we allow everyone a built-in power attack option, say switching their Proficiency bonus from attack to damage? (That also helps with Kyutaru's point about high attack bonus monsters). That gives us avg 7/max 12...

Light armor can never totally soak the average power attack
Medium armor totally soaks the average power attack at 12, and the max never
Heavy armor totally soaks the average power attack at 7, and the max at 16
Plate totally soaks the average power attack at 5, and the max at 12

That looks a lot more reasonable-- you can't reach 100% soak until you're a full two tiers ahead.

Another consideration, I suppose, would be to limit soak to attacks specifically, as opposed to any damage. That might be a good idea, now that I think about it--not only does it stop save/AoE damage effects from being unnecessarily weakened, it also encourages less conventional tactics--a tribe of kobolds might not be able to hurt the high-level Fighter with knives, but they can drench him in oil and set him on fire.

Having soak be halved if restrained, incapacitated, or grappled might would help too, and would still fit realism (if you were facing a guy in plate, the strategy was generally to pin him and stick a knife through a gap in his armor). Or maybe a broader "if you attack with advantage, halve soak"? That adds a bit more complexity, but keeps the value of having advantage. Could replace the need for power attacks, too...

EDIT: Actually, I'm really liking the idea of letting Advantage halve soak. It means that...

Light armor can never totally the average attack with advantage
Medium armor totally soaks the average attack with advantage at 18, and can never soak max damage
Heavy armor totally soaks the average attack with advantage at 11, and can never soak max damage
Plate totally soaks the average attack with advantage at 8, and the max at 18. (And not even plate can soak a max damage crit of ~14 damage)

In other words, goblins are less and less of a threat, but you can never totally ignore them (unless you're a T4 character with magic platemail, at which point damn right you should be immune to goblins).

Kyutaru
2019-05-27, 12:46 PM
That's...I think pretty reasonable for medium and heavy armor, but you're right; it's pretty damn low for plate. Hmm...maybe if we allow everyone a built-in power attack option, say switching their Proficiency bonus from attack to damage? (That also helps with Kyutaru's point about high attack bonus monsters).
I'm a fan of this concept because it opens up the ideas of Light and Heavy attacks. Light attacks are used to hit frequently against dodgy enemies while Heavy attacks are used to power through tough enemies. As you level, you end up spamming Heavy attacks more often on weaklings to finish them off more easily while Light attacks may be needed to defeat strong bosses with frighteningly high defenses.

A Light critical will also barely hurt and is predominantly for accuracy against enemies that have ludicrously high Touch AC and low health anyway while a Heavy critical would slaughter weak foes and put a dent in a dragon's iron hide. Fighters can more easily perform Heavy attacks while other classes might be stuck relying on Light attacks just to have a hope of hitting at all.

JNAProductions
2019-05-27, 12:57 PM
Yeah, I'm cool with a 20th level magic Plate wearer being basically immune to goblins.

And, while there is still an issue (namely, PvP) since hordes of weak enemies can Help each other, that solves most of the problems.

It did occur to me while showering, though, that two Plate-wearing Fighters trading blows at level 20 literally can only hurt each other about 15% of the time on a CRIT, with greatswords. It's almost 20% with greataxes, but god forbid you use a longsword-you literally couldn't hurt them.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-05-27, 01:04 PM
I'm a fan of this concept because it opens up the ideas of Light and Heavy attacks. Light attacks are used to hit frequently against dodgy enemies while Heavy attacks are used to power through tough enemies. As you level, you end up spamming Heavy attacks more often on weaklings to finish them off more easily while Light attacks may be needed to defeat strong bosses with frighteningly high defenses.

A Light critical will also barely hurt and is predominantly for accuracy against enemies that have ludicrously high Touch AC and low health anyway while a Heavy critical would slaughter weak foes and put a dent in a dragon's iron hide. Fighters can more easily perform Heavy attacks while other classes might be stuck relying on Light attacks just to have a hope of hitting at all.

And all of this will dramatically slow down combat for everyone. Now you have several more steps to resolve each and every attack, of which some monsters are making lots. And they're conditional steps at that. And all for an even more gamified, non-simulationist result.

Basically, this type of granularity requires sacrificing everything that 5e is designed to do--focus on simplicity, narrative, and archetypes over false realism and crunch. It's the sort of thing that has to be built into a system from the core, not stapled on top. It also mainly screws over martials, because casters don't have to interact with that whole system much at all. No thanks.

Kyutaru
2019-05-27, 01:12 PM
And all of this will dramatically slow down combat for everyone. Now you have several more steps to resolve each and every attack, of which some monsters are making lots. And they're conditional steps at that. And all for an even more gamified, non-simulationist result.

Basically, this type of granularity requires sacrificing everything that 5e is designed to do--focus on simplicity, narrative, and archetypes over false realism and crunch. It's the sort of thing that has to be built into a system from the core, not stapled on top. It also mainly screws over martials, because casters don't have to interact with that whole system much at all. No thanks.
I'm not sure what you mean or where you see additional steps. Okay, there's one additional step... measure your base attack bonus with and without proficiency and write it on your character sheet.

In combat, you're literally only choosing do you want to make a Light attack (+proficiency to Hit) or a Heavy attack (+proficiency to Damage). Against rogue-like enemies, the Light attacks are preferred. Against fighter-like enemies, the Heavy attacks are preferred. Against some middling average opponent, you have to decide to want to risk a decisive swing or go for the more assured hope of some damage, which can even depend on what sorts of bonuses your weapon or class features offer you.

It truly doesn't sacrifice simplicity at all. It grants Proficiency a choice between applying to Hit or Damage. Options are what this edition seems to be all about. Similarly, armor provides the option of dodging or mitigating. Everyone uses the same system and crunch with different numbers depending on their focus and the end result plays out similarly with a new meta created for players to consider.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-05-27, 01:18 PM
I'm not sure what you mean or where you see additional steps. Okay, there's one additional step... measure your base attack bonus with and without proficiency and write it on your character sheet.

In combat, you're literally only choosing do you want to make a Light attack (+proficiency to Hit) or a Heavy attack (+proficiency to Damage). Against rogue-like enemies, the Light attacks are preferred. Against fighter-like enemies, the Heavy attacks are preferred. Against some middling average opponent, you have to decide to want to risk a decisive swing or go for the more assured hope of some damage, which can even depend on what sorts of bonuses your weapon or class features offer you.

It truly doesn't sacrifice simplicity at all. It grants Proficiency a choice between applying to Hit or Damage. Options are what this edition seems to be all about. Similarly, armor provides the option of dodging or mitigating. Everyone uses the same system and crunch with different numbers depending on their focus and the end result plays out similarly with a new meta created for players to consider.

You're making a distinct choice for each and every attack. And you're doing so conditionally for every attack (based on who you're attacking). It also requires (for proper use) you to know what kind of armor the enemy has on--how does natural armor play into this? Many foes that you're facing will not have manufactured armor at all.

So at best, it's a set-it-and-forget-it thing per combat (in which case the whole point is lost). At worst, it causes dithering and "turn optimization", something that the designers have explicitly said they don't want. People shouldn't feel bad about not taking the "optimal" action. And neither has any verisimilitude benefits--the whole system is so far from that that you're moving deck chairs.

Plus now you need to rewrite all monster stat blocks, because it's not so obvious some times. And you've dramatically increased the most boring part of the game, the DM making decisions for the NPCs and looking up stuff (because no DM will have these numbers memorized for every combination).

You're looking at rewriting one of the three core mechanics (Attack rolls). Not only that, you're looking at changing a fundamental constant--you always add proficiency to a d20 roll if you have the relevant proficiency. That's hecka confusing to add exceptions to.

Kyutaru
2019-05-27, 01:26 PM
Fair points. I'll take a moment and consider whether the trade-off is worth the investment. I need to go crunch some numbers. On the bright side, I can finally see some distinctions possible for Strength-based vs Dexterity-based combat instead of treating them as identical.

JNAProductions
2019-05-27, 01:29 PM
Also, looking at a monster...

The Tarrasque has 39 soak. Did you mean to make him completely and utterly immune to weapon attacks? Because a Greataxe (12) with 20 Strength (+5), a crit (+12), and GWM on (+10) does exactly 39 damage.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-27, 02:27 PM
And all of this will dramatically slow down combat for everyone. Now you have several more steps to resolve each and every attack, of which some monsters are making lots. And they're conditional steps at that. And all for an even more gamified, non-simulationist result.

Basically, this type of granularity requires sacrificing everything that 5e is designed to do--focus on simplicity, narrative, and archetypes over false realism and crunch. It's the sort of thing that has to be built into a system from the core, not stapled on top. It also mainly screws over martials, because casters don't have to interact with that whole system much at all. No thanks.
It'll slow things some, sure-- that's inevitable. If you're using an optional rule like this, it's because you've decided you want to build upon the basic system-- and if you've hit that point, you're probably already comfortable with the base rules. I certainly want it to be as simple and usable as possible, but I'm not going to worry about a table full of total "what do I add to my attack again?" newbies either.

"To power attack or not to power attack" isn't going to bog anything down, I don't think. It's hardly an intricate tactical decision. Is he big and lumbering? Power attack. Is he quick and agile? Regular attack. Is this an aggressive enemy like an Orc? Power attack. Is this a cautious enemy like a goblin? Regular attack. Boom, easy. "Add proficiency to attack or damage" is an easy enough houserule, and knowing a monster's proficiency bonus takes, like, two seconds even if you don't remember the breakpoints.

Casters... yeah, that is something to watch for. In theory, this shouldn't actually affect the balance too much-- the damage blocked by your Soak is roughly equal to the amount that would be blocked by a having a higher armor class. Casters can bypass that by switching to save-or-X spells... but they can also bypass AC by switching to save-or-X spells under normal rules, so I'm not sure how much is really gained or lost. In practice... that's a question, yeah.


Also, looking at a monster...

The Tarrasque has 39 soak. Did you mean to make him completely and utterly immune to weapon attacks? Because a Greataxe (12) with 20 Strength (+5), a crit (+12), and GWM on (+10) does exactly 39 damage.
:smalleek: Damn. That was, uh... not the intention, no. Dang. A hard cap, I guess? Or maybe not... I also forgot the lesson from 3.X that DR pushes you even harder towards big two-handed weapons. And I probably should redo the math to have it based on the player's expected DPR, not another monsters. Gah. :smallsigh:

...I think I'm seeing where I went wrong. Damage blocked by AC is an over-time thing--it starts out all-or-nothing, and gets ground down towards the average as you make more and more attacks, whereas soak is static, and doesn't change as you swing multiple times. It might work out to the same damage over the course of 3 rounds, but... it'll be a steadier trickle of smaller values, with the potential to completely shut things down in a way that AC has a much harder time doing.

Per-round soak, or even per-encounter soak (which would work out pretty much like temporary hit points), might be more appropriate. It's not as nice a distinction between "dodging" and "tanking," but it'll probably be more functional...

JNAProductions
2019-05-27, 02:29 PM
Yeah, Soak seriously hurts people who make lots of weaker attacks (Fighters) and rewards those who deal smaller amounts of stronger attacks (Paladins, Rogues).

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-27, 05:10 PM
Mkay. Updated with a different direction-- instead of soak, I'm now modeling armor as a per-encounter pool of temporary hit points, about equal to the amount of damage your armor would have protected you from over three rounds of combat.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-05-27, 05:56 PM
Mkay. Updated with a different direction-- instead of soak, I'm now modeling armor as a per-encounter pool of temporary hit points, about equal to the amount of damage your armor would have protected you from over three rounds of combat.

In order to figure out how much damage the armor would have prevented, you have to be making very large assumptions about the distribution of ATK and DMG values, assumptions that will not usually hold. So armor becomes a crapshoot. If you fight a lot of low ATK, low DMG creatures, you're drastically underselling the protection, and vice versa for few big heavy hitters.

Let's run some numbers on a bunch of different assumptions. We'll use a few different levels for comparison and standardize on heavy armor (to see the effect most thoroughly). Assuming 4 players, medium or hard encounters.

Level 1, chain + shield. Total armor points: 8.
Situation 1: 3 CR 1/4 creatures (ie goblins), Medium fight. ATK average for CR 1/4 is 4, average DPR is 5 (~8 for a crit).
Old way: Hit chance = 35%, average damage is 5*0.3+8*0.05 = 1.9. Expected damage intake vs 3 of them for 3 rounds: 16.7 damage.
New way: Hit chance = 75% (AC 10), average damage is 5*0.7+8*0.05 = 3.9. Expected damage intake vs 3 of them for 3 rounds: 35.1.
Delta (expected AP): 18.39.

Ooops?

Situation 2: 1 CR 1. Medium fight. ATK average for CR 1 is also 4, average DPR is 13 (~21 for a crit).
Old way: Hit chance = 35%, average damage is 4.95. Expected damage intake for 1 for 3 rounds: 14.85
New way: Hit chance = 75%, average damage is 10.15. Expected damage intake for 1 for 3 rounds: 30.45.
Delta: 15.6

Ooops?

I think your assumptions were screwy. I'm not going to go higher levels, because this is already a problem. Your numbers are about half of what they should be, unless you meant take the armor's old AC value, in which case you're already seeing swings based on encounter composition. The problem will only get worse at higher levels, because the median CR drops off non-linearly with level. CR = level is a horrible, horrible, no good assumption for 5e. It's not right for deadly solo encounters; it's not right for even two-monster encounters. Ironically, CR = level is the one thing that you rarely, if ever, should face. Oh, and scaling this with level is a total :sideways_owl:. A median encounter for a level 2 party doesn't do 2x the damage of a median encounter for a level 1 party. Not even close, and the two scale at completely different rates.

Plus, you're then having to track and adjust this extra pool of quasi-health, and mending is now mandatory for all parties.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-27, 07:36 PM
Look, this may not be a great idea, this certainly isn't an easy idea, and I may be flying too close to the sun but I'm too stubborn to let this go, dammit. Besides, I've got a week off between jobs, what else am I going to do with my time? Something productive? :smalltongue:


Old way: Hit chance = 35%, average damage is 4.95. Expected damage intake for 1 for 3 rounds: 14.85
New way: Hit chance = 75%, average damage is 10.15. Expected damage intake for 1 for 3 rounds: 30.45.
Delta: 15.6
That's pretty close to how it should be, though? Your AP aren't supposed to absorb all the damage you take, just the difference between (DPR reduced by old AC) and (DPR reduced by new AC ~10). The old way, you take about 15 damage; the new way, you take 30 damage, but your plate absorbs 14 points of that, so your character only loses about 16 HP. About the same net effect, but a different feel.

Good point about encounter composition, though... instead of working out 1 encounter from 1-20, it probably would be better to average the results from several different encounter types at a few checkpoint levels (say 3, 7, 14, and 18--halfway through each tier). One fight with an equal number of foes, one with a higher-level boss, and one with a whole bunch of low-level mooks?

(Minor quibble: Mending isn't obligatory; anyone can fix their armor with a minute's downtime)

Kane0
2019-05-27, 07:45 PM
How much would it change to grant the Armor Points per turn instead of per encounter?

PhoenixPhyre
2019-05-27, 08:08 PM
Look, this may not be a great idea, this certainly isn't an easy idea, and I may be flying too close to the sun but I'm too stubborn to let this go, dammit. Besides, I've got a week off between jobs, what else am I going to do with my time? Something productive? :smalltongue:


That's pretty close to how it should be, though? Your AP aren't supposed to absorb all the damage you take, just the difference between (DPR reduced by old AC) and (DPR reduced by new AC ~10). The old way, you take about 15 damage; the new way, you take 30 damage, but your plate absorbs 14 points of that, so your character only loses about 16 HP. About the same net effect, but a different feel.

Good point about encounter composition, though... instead of working out 1 encounter from 1-20, it probably would be better to average the results from several different encounter types at a few checkpoint levels (say 3, 7, 14, and 18--halfway through each tier). One fight with an equal number of foes, one with a higher-level boss, and one with a whole bunch of low-level mooks?

(Minor quibble: Mending isn't obligatory; anyone can fix their armor with a minute's downtime)

Your system grants an absorption of 8, because I was using chainmail + shield (6 + 2). That's a far cry from 18, which is the delta for a mass of mooks. Or even 16, which is the delta for a single CR = level. I calculated the damage you take with (high AC) and subtracted the damage you take with (low AC). That's what the armor does...and your numbers just don't add up.

And plate doesn't reduce 14...it absorbs 8 at level 1, if you could get plate.

I think you need to recheck your math. Your math has a serious issue.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-27, 08:46 PM
Your system grants an absorption of 8, because I was using chainmail + shield (6 + 2). That's a far cry from 18, which is the delta for a mass of mooks. Or even 16, which is the delta for a single CR = level. I calculated the damage you take with (high AC) and subtracted the damage you take with (low AC). That's what the armor does...and your numbers just don't add up.

And plate doesn't reduce 14...it absorbs 8 at level 1, if you could get plate.

I think you need to recheck your math. Your math has a serious issue.
...shoot, you're right, I was looking at an old... bleh. Got excited about better curves and didn't look closely enough at the low levels-- the values do catch up, I think, but you're right; they're way off at level 1. The regressions for curves that include a constant (and a rounded-to-the-nearest-integer version) are:

Light Armor: (y = 0.9652x + 6.9655) -> lv+7
Medium Armor: (y = 2.7909x + 8.4355) -> 3*lv +8
Heavy Armor: (y = 4.6166x + 9.9055) -> 5*lv +9
Plate: (y = 6.4423x + 11.376) -> 6*lv+10

Which is, uh... not terrible--1/3/5 is an easy enough combination to remember, and plate can easily be defined as a sort of pseudo-magic-item, "heavy armor with a +1/lv bonus," but the constants are pretty gross. I'll make up some better benchmark encounters to test them against in the morning.


How much would it change to grant the Armor Points per turn instead of per encounter?
Roughly? Divide the above values by 3. It's a bit more math to keep track of, but it keeps heavier armor types feeling heavy the whole fight...

Kyutaru
2019-05-27, 09:16 PM
How much would it change to grant the Armor Points per turn instead of per encounter?

D&D tends to resolve itself quickly. Four to five turns and combat is basically over. All the real damage happens turn 1 which is why avoidance or buffer systems were preferred to a per turn replenishment. Since the oldest D&Ds, the cleric was basically a medic to patch you up between fights. It doesn't really work well on an over time basis.

Looking at ways to implement an Armor Saving Throw for damage instead. Reducing the entire game to saving throws may be the more palatable approach and easier to balance.

AdAstra
2019-05-27, 10:53 PM
This is a neat system, but I do see some things that could be major issues just conceptually.

First off, how are monks, barbarians, and other characters with alternate AC calculations supposed to use this system? I could see this being especially problematic for the barbarian, which might be able to wear medium armor for the AP, as well as using their unarmored defense for AC.

One minute to fully restore all your AP seems kinda odd. Having an up-to 160 AP buffer for pretty much every fight at lvl 20 seems like it would make you practically immune to lower-level attrition.

The bounded accuracy concept kinda gets, amplified? For fighters, the AC range effectively becomes 9 to like 18 at most? This would seem like it would encourage just dumping AC entirely if you can't get it above a certain level, since you'll probably end up getting hit anyway. Even the weakest creatures will be hitting someone with 9 AC far more often than not, and if a creature has a +13 to hit, there is no difference at all between AC 9 and 15, and an AC 18 character only takes like 20% less damage, nowhere near enough to compensate for the lower AP. Creatures like that (ex: Rocs) could easily be thrown into the fray as soon as level 8 or 9. This seems like it would hasten the issue that can occur at very high levels, where super high attack bonuses render high AC far less effective.

EDIT: also temp HP applying only after AP is spent seems like it would make temp HP far less useful for characters that rely on AP, especially since higher AC can effectively allow those temp HP to last longer.

Segev
2019-05-28, 12:52 AM
This really is he kind of thing the whole combat subsystem has to take into account from the ground up. Fundamental changes to paradigm like this canít be done as a patch.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-05-28, 09:01 AM
Eyah. I did some work based on my monster data numbers.

The expected damage over three rounds is messy.

https://www.admiralbenbo.org/images/misc/cr-dmg-soak.png

The vertical axis is the difference in expected damage using chain + shield (AC 18) vs AC 10. Ideally this should scale some way that lets us just make some equation. It doesn't, especially above CR 15. You can see the step change at CR 6 (the first time you're seeing Tier 2 monsters), plus the weirdness of high-CR monsters. And this is even worse because lots of these guys are doing largely spell damage, which does not impact armor at all.

As Segev said, this sort of change would require a total rewrite of the core system from the ground up.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-28, 10:30 AM
First off, how are monks, barbarians, and other characters with alternate AC calculations supposed to use this system? I could see this being especially problematic for the barbarian, which might be able to wear medium armor for the AP, as well as using their unarmored defense for AC.
Monks would have no AP, but would have the highest AC by a significant margin-- they'd functionally be using the old system. The Barbarian's unarmored AC, by contrast, would provide AP as medium armor. And so on; I'll address individual bits once I've worked out a more functional system.


Looking at ways to implement an Armor Saving Throw for damage instead. Reducing the entire game to saving throws may be the more palatable approach and easier to balance.
Mutants and Masterminds works that way.


This really is he kind of thing the whole combat subsystem has to take into account from the ground up. Fundamental changes to paradigm like this canít be done as a patch.
Well, yeah. I'm tinkering with 5e's single most significant balancing element; that's going to get messy. But **** it, I like theory-crafting; I'm going to keep working on it.


Eyah. I did some work based on my monster data numbers.
Ooh, I did not notice you had those. That'll be a really useful resource.


The expected damage over three rounds is messy.

https://www.admiralbenbo.org/images/misc/cr-dmg-soak.png

The vertical axis is the difference in expected damage using chain + shield (AC 18) vs AC 10. Ideally this should scale some way that lets us just make some equation. It doesn't, especially above CR 15. You can see the step change at CR 6 (the first time you're seeing Tier 2 monsters), plus the weirdness of high-CR monsters. And this is even worse because lots of these guys are doing largely spell damage, which does not impact armor at all.

As Segev said, this sort of change would require a total rewrite of the core system from the ground up.
I actually don't think it's as bad as you think. It does go weirdly haywire as you move into T4, but you can get a pretty tight fit (R2>0.9) up until then. (Especially if you cap the to-hit chance at .95, since a nat 1 is always a miss).

Morty
2019-05-28, 10:46 AM
I think choosing between AC and soak might be one of the problems here. In Exalted, which sort of started this whole thing, heavier armor penalizes defence but you still nonetheless have your Parry or Dodge. Is Parry even penalized by armor? I can't remember, but the point is that I can't think of a system where you trade being easy to hit for damage to this degree.

Kyutaru
2019-05-28, 10:51 AM
I think choosing between AC and soak might be one of the problems here. In Exalted, which sort of started this whole thing, heavier armor penalizes defence but you still nonetheless have your Parry or Dodge. Is Parry even penalized by armor? I can't remember, but the point is that I can't think of a system where you trade being easy to hit for damage to this degree.
A method used by Warhammer 40k is to make hit chance independent of armor. So you're rolling against your own personal skill for hitting and then the enemy rolls their armor saves for defense against all successful hits. This asymmetric approach comes with the Strength vs Toughness comparisons for determining whether the shot actually wounds which is where bulkiness truly is incorporated. In this setting, being hit is almost a foregone conclusion and instead what matters is whether you can survive the hit due to natural resilience or lucky armor deflections.

Kane0
2019-05-28, 04:18 PM
Incorporate Prof bonus into AC? Scales with to-hit.

Bjarkmundur
2019-05-28, 04:59 PM
Gaining "temporary hit points" based on your armor when you roll initiative is a pretty clean solution. That being said, 90% if this thread is above my level.

Should still note in your 1st post that AP refresh when you roll initiative if that's the intention.



I've been toying with my own version of making armor more interesting. in the middle ages, gambeson (padded armor) was made as an answer to bludgeoning weapons, mail was designed to thwart slashing weapons, and the plate was made to shore up the mail's weakness to piercing weapons. You never wore just one type of armor, you usually had layers. Padding under mail under plate. I was thinking about bringing this all into 5e by letting light armor give resistance to bludgeoning damage, medium armor resistance to slashing and bludgeoning, and heavy armor gives resistance to all three damage types. I'd have to crunch some numbers for the rest of it though.The idea is still to have light armor grant more AC than heavy armor.

Tvtyrant
2019-05-28, 06:27 PM
I wonder if there is a dice based solution? Instead of using the attack and damage bonuses it focuses on the D20 itself; if wearing medium armor rolls of less then 10 are automatically glances and deal no damage, heavy armor rolls of 13 or less are auto-glances. Now "direct hits" always do something, but a character on average receives a lot less damage during combat.

So AC for armor goes way down, but a fair percentage of attacks do nothing at all. It doesn't stop you from getting mobbed by poors, or have weird implications for monsters.

JNAProductions
2019-05-28, 06:53 PM
I wonder if there is a dice based solution? Instead of using the attack and damage bonuses it focuses on the D20 itself; if wearing medium armor rolls of less then 10 are automatically glances and deal no damage, heavy armor rolls of 13 or less are auto-glances. Now "direct hits" always do something, but a character on average receives a lot less damage during combat.

So AC for armor goes way down, but a fair percentage of attacks do nothing at all. It doesn't stop you from getting mobbed by poors, or have weird implications for monsters.

Eh... For reference, the Tarrasque has +19 to-hit. That gives you an effective AC of 33 in Heavy Armor-the equivalent of having Full Plate +3, Shield +3, Shield of Faith, and Shield.

Even against weaker people, like, say, a random CR 10ish Genie (gonna google them now) has +9 to-hit. That's an AC of 23, the equivalent of Full Plate +1, Shield +1, and the Defensive Fighting Style.

Tvtyrant
2019-05-28, 07:08 PM
Eh... For reference, the Tarrasque has +19 to-hit. That gives you an effective AC of 33 in Heavy Armor-the equivalent of having Full Plate +3, Shield +3, Shield of Faith, and Shield.

Even against weaker people, like, say, a random CR 10ish Genie (gonna google them now) has +9 to-hit. That's an AC of 23, the equivalent of Full Plate +1, Shield +1, and the Defensive Fighting Style.

You can tune the numbers down, but I think as far as modeling reality and being simple it meets both goals without changing the game math dramatically.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-28, 07:25 PM
Incorporate Prof bonus into AC? Scales with to-hit.
Hmm. Would be iffy for lighter armor wearers who are adding a lot of Dex. When I was working on my "5e without ability scores (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?503455-5e-Without-Ability-Scores-skills-Skills-Skills)" project, I did toy with the idea of giving everyone the same (level-based) AC and having the different armor types provide different secondary benefits-- Heavy Armor Master style reduction for heavy armor, negating AoOs for light armor, that sort of thing... never even had a clue about medium armor, though.


I wonder if there is a dice based solution? Instead of using the attack and damage bonuses it focuses on the D20 itself; if wearing medium armor rolls of less then 10 are automatically glances and deal no damage, heavy armor rolls of 13 or less are auto-glances. Now "direct hits" always do something, but a character on average receives a lot less damage during combat.

So AC for armor goes way down, but a fair percentage of attacks do nothing at all. It doesn't stop you from getting mobbed by poors, or have weird implications for monsters.
Hmm...interesting. In theory, it ought to work-- if the +8 AC from plate reduces your chance of getting hit by 20%, you can ignore d20 rolls of 1-5 and get a similar effect... the problem, though, is that while it works at high levels (ie, if the Tarrasque is only missing you on a nat-1), it get clunkier at low levels, when that roll of 5 would have missed your AC 10 anyway. But even if you worked the math all out, I don't think it would feel different enough. It's basically the same as an attack missing because you have a high AC; I don't think the slight difference is worth the added complexity.

Tvtyrant
2019-05-28, 07:59 PM
You could make it much stronger at lower levels and nearly identical at higher by making it even or odd rolls are blanked. The die doesn't care how we parse out ten, so "all odd die rolls are deflected" would amount to 50% against something that hits all the time but still be relevant against creatures that hit half the time.

At that point armor becomes basically binary; you either have a high AC character or an armored character.

Man_Over_Game
2019-05-29, 10:32 AM
That being said, 90% if this thread is above my level.



Yeah, that's kinda how I've been feeling. I do want to point out that, while Mending says it is instantaneous, it takes a minute for it to repair anything.

I've been thinking about this for a while now. There's a few concerns that we need to address:


AC isn't accurate with how real armor works. A slow knight is not hard to hit, he just doesn't take much damage.
Making a THP, low AC solution means the knight is getting hit constantly, being afflicted against many on-hit effects (like poisons).
Damage Reduction isn't 100% accurate either, as something like a Rogue has a greater impact than someone with a giant weapon.
We want the solution to be as simple as possible.


Hmm...So, taking a note from Heavy Armor Master, we could do something like this:

Attacks you take from weapons deal half damage while you have Armor HP (AHP). When your armor blocks these attacks, your armor takes an equal amount of weapon damage against its AHP.

This does a few things:

Makes the knight an easier target, as intended.
Reduces the effectiveness of on-hit effects.
Loses AHP based on brute force vs. finesse from on-hit effects.
Makes the armor last a bit longer in battle, while also not making the wearer indestructible.


Now the Knight is an effective counter against Rogues or poison wielders, who don't deal much weapon damage. They're still vulnerable to shot-based magic, which means that cantrips and attack spells (Scorching Ray) get more value. The armor is much less likely to be disabled early on in combat, making it an actual feature of your character rather than a temporary buff. Unless someone is using GWM to destroy someone's armor quickly, a knight could be expected to have his armor last the fight (but just barely). The knight is constantly receiving minor damage, meaning that it's easy to gradually heal, which is countered by the fact that the knight is more susceptible to attack magic.

Kyutaru
2019-05-29, 10:44 AM
AC isn't accurate with how real armor works. A slow knight is not hard to hit, he just doesn't take much damage.
AC isn't really meant to be avoidance though. It features armor and natural armor that represent toughness. It includes shields that feature blocking rather than dodging. It simply means the hit was a glancing blow at best and didn't harm the target. Full plate knights might be getting hit quite a lot, and you can math out whether their armor protected them or the dodging did, but the actual armor deflects the blow enough that it was not capable of wounding. For D&D, they combine the Chance to Hit with the Chance to Wound that other RPGs leave separate.

Splitting damage between armor and user is okay though doesn't portray this concept of fully deflecting blows. Whether rogue or warrior, your attack needs to penetrate the armor to do anything at all. Which is another reason I'm working on possible armor saves because Armor Penetration should be a thing.

Breccia
2019-05-29, 11:51 AM
I've done something vaguely similar in the past: armor that also grants temp hp, but you need special training (a Feat) to do it. Simply put, I am 100% in favor of a class ability, Feat, or similar rule that lets some people just flat-out be better in heavy armor than others, just like with weapons.

But replacing the whole mechanic of AC goes against the grain. And I am not okay with "unbreakable" armor that can't be bypassed -- armor has chinks that a blade can find. And I am less okay with a knight in plate mail laughing off shocking grasp because he's wearing metal armor.

The idea has enough merit to warrant finding a hybrid system, so please continue your efforts. But I don't think giving everyone Touch AC and making 100% of the rest into HP a wizard can fix fits the way it's written here.

While you're at it, also keep this in mind:
A) The players have another encounter after this one.
B) The enemies, typically, do not.

Any change like this one blatantly favors the bandits, monsters, and villain henchmen who can "burn" all their Armor Points in the only fight they'll ever have, turning them into bullet, arrow, sword and/or magic missile sponges, while the PCs have to ration out their Armor Points like sugar in Blitz London and don't get the full effects. I chose that metaphor on purpose because carrot cake is awesome and came from a direct result of sugar rationing. Adversity can bring about great things.

Make us a carrot cake. You clearly have the baking tools, and this thread is full of hungry people.

I'll offer a few "spices": the variant I used in my campaign, with Feat training required, was ceramic plate with 10 hit points. The user could shunt any/all damage taken -- except that which made no sense like breathing poison gas, drowning, or psionic damage -- to the Ablative Armor, which being ceramic, was resistant to fire, lightning, cold, acid, and what poison damage it was allowed to take at all. For players, it was a "get out of OH GOD NOT THE FACE free" card they could play once, while for enemies, it was a clear DM "force" for the party to use intelligent tactics: weapons and selective spells against the AA users so they weren't wasting high level spells for minimal results. Later, the PCs researched special thunder damage they could use that ate AA like popcorn.

Perhaps your system could do something similar?

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-29, 04:27 PM
Thinking out loud as I type...

I think I still like soak the best. The flat damage reduction seems like it'll feel the most like attacks bouncing off your armor, more than miss chance or some sort of temporary HP analogue
Soak-per-attack is, as has been pointed out, unacceptable-- different classes and archetypes deal damage in different ways, and any sort of per-attack reduction is going to warp the game towards Rogues and other single-big-attack-ers.
The reason that soak-per-attack doesn't work is that 5e isn't balanced around damage-per-attack, it's balanced around damage per round. Rogues make one big attack, dual-wielding Fighters make lots of small attacks, and everything in between.
If armor protects you from one guy's attack, it should probably be equally effective against another guy's-- a strict per-round limit would be thematically weird, and would push parties to focus-fire even more than HP already does.
So... how about soak per turn? Roll all your attacks, roll all your damage, subtract soak and boom, HP damage.
That said, things like resistances and dividing up attacks might make that awkward; making soak a temp-HP-analogue will probably be simpler.


Running the numbers*, I get:

Light Armor: 10+Dex AC, 1/2 lv +1 soak
Medium Armor: 10+Dex (max 2) AC, lv +1 soak
Heavy Armor: 10 AC, 2*lv + 2 soak
Plate: 10 AC, 2.5*lv + 2 soak



*If we discount T4 levels, the damage negated/level curves are beautifully straight. And given that levels 17-20 are both rarely played and heavily varied based on player builds and magic items, I don't mind if those are a little off and high-level heavy-armor types come off a bit better.

Segev
2019-05-29, 07:13 PM
Another way to approach it would be to make it a straight improvement to armor users. Instead of making it something that is "free" with armor, and thus has to come back out of armor in some fashion elsewhere, make it something simple-to-use that costs a resource. This could be a feat, or even a class feature or a complete archetype.

New Feat: Artificial Carapace
When you are wearing armor with which you are proficient, it gives you temporary hit points. Light armor gives you 1. Medium armor gives you half your proficiency bonus (round down). Heavy armor gives you your proficiency bonus. These temporary hit points refresh at the start of each creature's turn during combat, and are restored every few seconds outside of combat as you make the most of your armor's ability to keep you safe. They do not stack with themselves, nor with any other source of temporary hit points.

Bjarkmundur
2019-05-30, 05:29 AM
Thinking out loud as I type...
*snip*

Getting this thought process actually explains a lot! I think I'm getting it now, and getting hyped.

Light Armor:

So we're looking at 14 AC, 3 soak/turn at level 4

Medium Armor:

12 AC, 5 soak at level 4

Heavy Armor:

10 AC, 10 soak

Plate:

Don't give level 4 players full plate lol

I've got so many questions that would be inappropriate to ask at this point of the project xD

So we've divided the "glancing blow" into two categories of dodging and soaking. Interesting.

And yeah, don't worry about post level 16, even the official material goes to weird places at the high levels.

I'm guessing this changes to-hit, as well as mage armor and barkskin?

Giving armor two properties makes all armor upgrades (Splint, breastplate etc) and magic armor that much more interesting.

Is rolling dice for soak more engaging than having it a static number, or simply more complicated? A good rule of game design is making things convoluted enough to make comparisons difficult.
If I were, for example, to make three tanky character classes, I'd give one a way to dodge, one a way to increase his AC, and another a way to heal. This makes comparing them much more difficult, even though I've balanced them to have the same level of tankyness. Variety is the spice of FRPGs.
You've got the soak and AC values at a good place. Should they be kept there, or translated into less-comperable elements, like turning them into dice and dice scalings, which would be tuned to give them different properties. I can imagine light armor high varience built into its dice scaling, since the difference of dodging and almost dodging is huge when not wearing armor for backup. Plate would however have less variance. You know, the little nuances that make these games. We've already established that this optional rule doesn't have to meet the absolute highest standards for simplicity since it's an optional rule to add more mechanics to the game.

Light Armor has a number of soak dice equal to your proficiency bonus.
Medium Armor has a number of soak dice equal to half your level.
Heavy Armor has a number of soak dice equal to your level.

Padded Armor - 1d4 soak - Stealth Disadvantage
Leather Armor - 1d4 soak
Studded Leather - 1d6 soak

Chain Shirt - 1d4 soak
Scale Mail - 1d6 soak - stealth disadvantage
Breastplate - 1d6 soak
Half-Plate - 1d8 soak - stealth disadvantage

Chain mail - 1d4 soak - stealth disadvantage
Splint mail - 1d6 soak - stealth disadvantage
Plate - 1d8 soak - stealth disadvantage

Shield - ?????
+1 Magic armor - 1 extra soak dice

Dienekes
2019-05-30, 01:07 PM
Would it be too complicated to try and fix the problem with soak per round against big single hits to simply give melee characters the option to choose how they would attack? Stuff like the old Two-Weapon Rend to add your main and offhand weapons damage together before calculating how the Armor deals with it.

I just kind of feel giving martial more options to handle problems might be more fun than just a refreshing pool that must constantly be mathed our at the table.

jjordan
2019-05-30, 01:50 PM
I use armor points. But I use them differently.

Armor points are measure of the durability of your armor. I keep track of what armor the character is wearing and how that contributes to their AC. If an attack would have hit the character if they weren't wearing the armor (but misses because they are) the damage gets applied to the armor instead. The effectiveness of armor goes down as it takes more damage. Fully repairing good armor takes skilled craftsmen days, not minutes. Simpler armor can be repaired more easily by people with less skill. I also allowed armor to be fitted and drop some of the dexterity penalties/limitations (but not all).

So armor protects, takes damage, degrades, and requires repair and maintenance. No rules have to be rewritten and players have additional options where armor is concerned (more 'practical' things to spend money on).

It's the kind of logistical detail that lots of people dislike but I appreciate them and feel that if you don't apply the details slavishly they contribute to the flavor of the game rather than becoming an impediment to play.

Bjarkmundur
2019-05-30, 02:19 PM
This thread is just all sorts of interesting. I'd like to point out though, that even though every reply comes up with their own way of increasing the depth of armor mechanics, I'm pretty sure any and all of them would love to use the current version of your 1/round soak. It's intricate, yet simple, it works with the balance of the game and is quite intuitive to use.

PhoenixPhyre
2019-05-30, 02:33 PM
This thread is just all sorts of interesting. I'd like to point out though, that even though every reply comes up with their own way of increasing the depth of armor mechanics, I'm pretty sure any and all of them would love to use the current version of your 1/round soak. It's intricate, yet simple, it works with the balance of the game and is quite intuitive to use.

I wouldn't. It's a bunch of extra book-keeping that slows things down without actually solving any problems I have. It all feels like a solution in search of a problem.

Tvtyrant
2019-05-30, 03:10 PM
I wouldn't. It's a bunch of extra book-keeping that slows things down without actually solving any problems I have. It all feels like a solution in search of a problem.

The base premise is some don't like the current paradigm. If you do it isn't for you, which is just fine.

Bjarkmundur
2019-05-30, 03:15 PM
I wouldn't. It's a bunch of extra book-keeping that slows things down without actually solving any problems I have. It all feels like a solution in search of a problem.

I don't think you fit the criteria "people who commented on this thread with their own armor mechanics", and you've made yourself quite clear before. Thanks though, one always needs opposition to make sure one arrives at the best possible conclusion.

I'd group this whole discussion under the same clause as magic items, lingering injury, and flanking; they're all presented to us as optional rules. Homebrews are always optional rules and should be treated as such.

AdAstra
2019-05-31, 02:14 AM
Another way to approach it would be to make it a straight improvement to armor users. Instead of making it something that is "free" with armor, and thus has to come back out of armor in some fashion elsewhere, make it something simple-to-use that costs a resource. This could be a feat, or even a class feature or a complete archetype.

New Feat: Artificial Carapace
When you are wearing armor with which you are proficient, it gives you temporary hit points. Light armor gives you 1. Medium armor gives you half your proficiency bonus (round down). Heavy armor gives you your proficiency bonus. These temporary hit points refresh at the start of each creature's turn during combat, and are restored every few seconds outside of combat as you make the most of your armor's ability to keep you safe. They do not stack with themselves, nor with any other source of temporary hit points.

While I think this a is a good idea to pursue, this particular execution overlaps a lot with Heavy Armor Master. Also, it allows armor to protect against things it really shouldn't (ie psychic and poison), and if it's restricted to physical damage, it's probably significantly worse for anyone who can get HAM.

Segev
2019-05-31, 08:32 AM
While I think this a is a good idea to pursue, this particular execution overlaps a lot with Heavy Armor Master. Also, it allows armor to protect against things it really shouldn't (ie psychic and poison), and if it's restricted to physical damage, it's probably significantly worse for anyone who can get HAM.

I'm AFB: remind me what HAM does, please?

PhoenixPhyre
2019-05-31, 08:57 AM
I'm AFB: remind me what HAM does, please?

Reduces nonmagic bludgeon, pierce, slash by 3.

Segev
2019-05-31, 09:56 AM
Reduces nonmagic bludgeon, pierce, slash by 3.

Equally redundant with the current proposed changes by the OP, then, isn't it?

PhoenixPhyre
2019-05-31, 10:31 AM
Equally redundant with the current proposed changes by the OP, then, isn't it?

Absolutely. That's one (minor) reason I'm not so fond of such changes--you have to rework tons of material so it doesn't conflict. Good variant rules drop right in with limited fit and finish changes to anything not directly affected.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-05-31, 10:32 AM
Equally redundant with the current proposed changes by the OP, then, isn't it?
It was my original inspiration, but yeah--I'm thinking I'll replace Heavy/Medium Armor Mastery with a single "Armor Mastery" feat giving a unique ability to all three armor types. Something like...

Armor Mastery
Prerequisite: Proficiency in one type of armor

Select one type of armor you are proficient in--light, medium, or heavy. While wearing armor of that type, you gain the following ability. Once you have used the ability granted by this feat a total of three times, you may not use it again until you have completed a short or long rest.

Light Armor: As a reaction when you are hit by an opportunity attack, you may cause that attack to miss.
Medium Armor: As a reaction when you're attacked, you may add your proficiency bonus to either your armor class against that attack or your soak for the round. You may use this ability after seeing the result of the attack roll, but before the result is announced.
Heavy Armor: As a reaction when you're hit by an attack, you can double your soak for the round.

Special: You may choose this feat multiple times, selecting a new type of armor each time.

AdAstra
2019-06-01, 07:17 AM
In regards to easy-to-slot-in changes, if heavier armors need just a little bit of a boost, we could crib from things like 40k and have some sort of armor save against being brought to 0 hp. Perhaps something along the lines of

"If damage would reduce you to 0 HP, you may make an armor save. The DC equals 20 or half the damage you take, whichever is higher. You can gain no bonus to this saving throw except for your armor's base AC (before dex bonuses) -10 (so Plate would give a +8, studded leather a +2). If you succeed, you are instead knocked prone, brought down to 1 hit point, and your armor receives some minor damage, preventing you from using this property with this set of armor again until your next long rest, when you can make necessary repairs."

This allows for armor to have that damage-absorbing ability to some extent, buffs heavier armor, and captures the classic image of a person who takes a seemingly lethal blow, only to stagger back to their feet, clutching their dented breastplate/helmet/codpiece. It's also extremely easy to add to the game, requiring basically nothing else to be adjusted or removed aside from taking into account the balance shifts.

Interestingly, if each set of armor gives its own armor save, that would encourage wearing/carrying multiple sets (sorta like the real practice of wearing mail and gambesons under plate), though that could get out of hand quickly so DM discretion is advised. Hell, maybe it would give 20 dex characters reason to put on some halfplate if they're going somewhere nasty..

EDIT: changed some wording as to not allow for save-boosting abilities to be used with this, plus some other minor revisions.

Bjarkmundur
2019-06-01, 08:02 AM
*snip*

Simple and dramatic. It doesn't come up all that often, but it does help players realize that the only DIRECT hits are the ones that bring you down to 0 hp. I have a pet peeve against players dealing 10 damage to a creature and narrating it like they just hacked both arms and one ear off. Just, no. The only attack that actually hits you, is the one that brings you down.

...why DC 20 though? I feel like 15 sounds much more reasonable, especially since it's only applicable once every three or more fights.
There's a lot that can be done using an Armor Save mechanic. I'd love to discuss it on a dedicated thread.

Edit: I, of course, keep my mouth shut during sessions, people can flavor things as they want.

AdAstra
2019-06-01, 08:55 AM
Simple and dramatic. It doesn't come up all that often, but it does help players realize that the only DIRECT hits are the ones that bring you down to 0 hp. I have a pet peeve against players dealing 10 damage to a creature and narrating it like they just hacked both arms and one ear off. Just, no. The only attack that actually hits you, is the one that brings you down.

...why DC 20 though? I feel like 15 sounds much more reasonable, especially since it's only applicable once every three or more fights.
There's a lot that can be done using an Armor Save mechanic. I'd love to discuss it on a dedicated thread.

Edit: I, of course, keep my mouth shut during sessions, people can flavor things as they want.

I didn't want the Armor Save to outclass existing don't-die features like Relentless Endurance and Relentless Rage. Means you might not even have to rebalance anything since the power's relatively small. Plus, full plate essentially gives you a 45% chance to avoid unconsciousness once per long rest. Even studded leather gives a 10% chance, small odds, but it makes sense that lighter, quicker armors are apt to fail you when you need it most. I think it's a bit better if it's not something you can count on, so that it's a nice and dramatic moment when it does happen (or doesn't).

Obviously one can adjust to taste, and I hope people do. Perhaps combining it with the ceramic plates mentioned earlier in the thread to give you better odds or can be replaced to "refresh" your armor save. Or maybe, since I forgot earlier, having things that obviously bypass armor, like poison or psychic, negate the armor save. Perhaps you could use your armor save to negate a critical hit instead, turning it into a normal blow. Lots of possibilities.

EDIT: Also, looking at your homebrew sig, I see you've got something similar. Is this a bit of convergent evolution we've got going on, or did you think it was good enough of an idea to make your own version so soon? Regardless, I'm flattered

Bjarkmundur
2019-06-01, 04:19 PM
EDIT: Also, looking at your homebrew sig, I see you've got something similar. Is this a bit of convergent evolution we've got going on, or did you think it was good enough of an idea to make your own version so soon?

I went straight from reading your Armor Save idea to cooking up my own version of it ^^
I just posted a thread about on 5e. The idea of using armor as a resource is just beautiful.

EDIT: <3 <3 <3 for reading my sig <3 <3 <3

Ogrillian
2019-06-02, 02:51 AM
Just a thought but how a about a simple penalty against attacks

Feat Armor Master youíve learned how to use your armor to your full advantage.
Light Armor gains +1AC and a -1 to damage for any attack that hits you. Magic ignores this penalty.

Medium Armor subtracts of half your proficiency modifier (rounded down) to damage for any attack that hits you. Magic is -1

Heavy Armor subtracts your proficiency modifier to damage for any attack that hits you. Magic halves this penalty.

If Armor is enchanted with Resistance you may add +2 to the Resistance.

Shields add -1 to penalty


Edit: gonna try and flesh this into a subclass, fighter or paladin though?

Marcus Amakar
2019-06-02, 06:03 AM
I really like the AP idea so far but its still got the weirdness of armour stopping providing protection halfway through a long fight.

So what about AP/turn, but a maximum of half the damage can be blocked from any one attack. This would no longer penalise multiple smaller attacks, but would mean more damage can be absorbed from big attacks than DR per attack.
Thus armour wouldn't be degraded over time, but one can still get the feeling of amour being overwhelmed by suffering multiple attacks a turn.

As an added advantage this would also remove the need for armour repair (although this may not be seen as an advantage depending on whether you see armour repair as a feature or a bug)

Off the top of my head example (not tested for balance):

AP: Refreshes every turn. Each turn, may block incoming damage equal to AP, but may only block upto half the damage from any one attack

Light Armour:
AC: 10+Dex
AP/turn: Proficiency mod

Medium Armour:
AC: 10+Dex (up to a maximum of +2)
AP/turn: 2*Proficiency mod

Heavy Armour:
AC: 10
AP/turn: 3*Proficiency mod

Full Plate:
AC:10
AP/turn: 4*Proficiency mod

Breccia
2019-06-02, 10:23 AM
I really like the AP idea so far but its still got the weirdness of armour stopping providing protection halfway through a long fight.

To be fair, there's some truth to this. Real-life metal armor was heavy. While knights and soldiers were trained to use it properly -- adjusting their body so that blows deflected at an angle, reducing the effective impact -- stamina is a finite resource. Wearing down an encumbered foe is a valid option. Regardless of your training, 50 pounds of steel is 50 pounds of steel. So, if you wanted to follow that line of thinking, having "armor points" run out in a long fight, in which the character is attacked dozens of times, actually makes sense. I mean, to a certain extent, that happens with regular ol' hit points, too. That guy with 70 HP isn't taking a sword to the face and shrugging it off, his experience and luck have him yank his head back just in time, turning what would kill a normal man into a bleeding cut on the cheek (very anime).

But, of course, this is D&D and the fights don't need to 100% follow real-life biology and physics, or that dragon can't even stand up, let alone fly. So I completely understand either way.

I'll also admit I completely forgot about Heavy Armor Master.

Potato_Priest
2019-06-02, 10:58 AM
Eh... For reference, the Tarrasque has +19 to-hit. That gives you an effective AC of 33 in Heavy Armor-the equivalent of having Full Plate +3, Shield +3, Shield of Faith, and Shield.

Even against weaker people, like, say, a random CR 10ish Genie (gonna google them now) has +9 to-hit. That's an AC of 23, the equivalent of Full Plate +1, Shield +1, and the Defensive Fighting Style.

I think TVtyrant was talking about the unmodified d20. So if the tarrasque rolled a 12 before modifiers, it would hit a medium armor wearer but not a heavy armor wearer.

JNAProductions
2019-06-02, 10:58 AM
I think TVtyrant was talking about the unmodified d20. So if the tarrasque rolled a 12 before modifiers, it would hit a medium armor wearer but not a heavy armor wearer.

I know. That's an issue.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-06-02, 05:54 PM
In regards to easy-to-slot-in changes, if heavier armors need just a little bit of a boost, we could crib from things like 40k and have some sort of armor save against being brought to 0 hp. Perhaps something along the lines of
It's not really a case of needing the boost, but that's a cool idea.


I really like the AP idea so far but its still got the weirdness of armour stopping providing protection halfway through a long fight.

So what about AP/turn, but a maximum of half the damage can be blocked from any one attack.
That's sorta what I wound up at. (Sorry; I should probably update the OP). Your armor can soak so much damage per turn; anything beyond that gets through full force. It makes (I think) lighter armor more useful against a single powerful enemy who'll easily smash through your soak, but leaves heavier armor faring better against lots of smaller foes who'll have trouble penetrating.

AdAstra
2019-06-03, 04:48 AM
It's not really a case of needing the boost, but that's a cool idea.


That's sorta what I wound up at. (Sorry; I should probably update the OP). Your armor can soak so much damage per turn; anything beyond that gets through full force. It makes (I think) lighter armor more useful against a single powerful enemy who'll easily smash through your soak, but leaves heavier armor faring better against lots of smaller foes who'll have trouble penetrating.

I really like the idea of AP that regenerates at the beginning of your turn or something like that. Could create an added layer of tactics, trying to tank just[ enough damage to maximize the effectiveness of your armor and protect other PCs while not taking unnecessary HP damage.

How would you best solve the AC scaling issue, though? It almost seems more important in a lot of ways. As you get higher in level and encounter higher and higher to-hit bonuses, the level your AC needs to be to not be completely useless gets higher as well.

If you don't fix that, you'll likely fail in the design goal of making high-AC characters better than high-soak ones. As soon as you start to face off against attack bonuses of at least +8, you start progressively inching up the list of ACs that are no more effective than just dumping it entirely.
Using the Roc example I mentioned earlier, an AC 15 character will get hit just as often as an AC character (only nat 1s). AC 18 (Max Dex with a shield and Defense FS in your system) characters will only suffer marginally less (>25%).
At that point I'd rather just take the soak and boost HP to increase the time I can survive the hits I know I will take. As long as the per-round soak's greater than 15 or so, I should be getting a significantly greater damage reduction than 18 AC gives.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-06-03, 05:43 AM
That's the idea-- if I did the math right, the amount of soak you get per round should roughly equal the amount of damage AC 16-18 would have prevented.

AdAstra
2019-06-03, 07:53 AM
That's the idea-- if I did the math right, the amount of soak you get per round should roughly equal the amount of damage AC 16-18 would have prevented.

Does that include the AC range from 10-15, though? Because the "no amount of armor helps" thing is significantly more impactful for them. If I understand the math right, this'll include most or all non-dex shield users, medium armor users (with or without shields), characters that don't use armor or only have light (most casters and rogues). For medium armor you can take that into account, but with light, making it too absorbent risks light-shield-defense characters being too tanky, while making it not enough so makes characters without as much AC in a bad spot. I could see rogues especially being weird, especially since they're one of the characters meant most to embody the idea of dodging everything, yet their AC will be 15 at most, insignificant against increasingly more creatures as you go up in CR (though not nearly as many as I initially thought, luckily enough, glad to know the super-high to-hit mods aren't too common overall)

Kyutaru
2019-06-03, 08:50 AM
Perhaps then the Warhammer approach is indeed warranted and attack rolls should not even be much of a thing. Rather than stronger creatures getting progressively more difficult to even strike, let their scales become progressively more difficult to penetrate. Modifiers to attack should simply apply to damage and particularly magic armor can improve its class. Armor passively negates damage while encumbrance dictates how mobile the target is.

New attack roll: d6 - Encumbrance based

Critical Threat - rolled a 6
No Armor - 5+ to hit
Light Armor - 4+ to hit
Medium Armor - 3+ to hit
Heavy Armor - 2+ to hit
Blatant Failure - rolled a 1

Combined with some form of damage reduction that thickens Dragon scales, even on a per round basis such as striking the weak points you've already cracked, combat becomes more about being able to damage the enemy at all rather than a game of Dodgeball.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-06-03, 09:14 AM
Does that include the AC range from 10-15, though?
... It should, but I'm realizing I might not have done it quite right. I based the calculations on how much damage each point of AC above 10 would prevent-- so AC 12 for light, 14 for medium, and 16/18 for heavy/plate-- figuring that Dex bonuses wouldn't matter because they're the same either way. But it occurs to me that might not be quite accurate, because I think "AC 10->12" and "AC 13-15" probably aren't equal...

Kyutaru
2019-06-03, 10:32 AM
Come to think of it, why not use Attack as an armor pen roll? Tremendously strong creatures or agile attackers can easily shred or bypass armor while ghostly beings face your touch AC anyway. The higher you roll the more armor you ignore. So it literally increases your damage to roll well while not being entirely mandatory to do so and placing an artificial cap on attack bonuses since +66 attack modifier penetrates your 10 light armor protection just as effectively as a wizard's dagger attack. Excess attack is lost just as the accuracy system yet damage still goes through without relying on blind luck. Miss chance replaces the evasiveness of dexterity or lighter armors and plate becomes your go-to for minions while standing toe to toe with a dragon instead prefers the monk/rogue who ignores fire breath and dodges.

Segev
2019-06-03, 10:37 AM
Come to think of it, why not use Attack as an armor pen roll? Tremendously strong creatures or agile attackers can easily shred or bypass armor while ghostly beings face your touch AC anyway. The higher you roll the more armor you ignore. So it literally increases your damage to roll well while not being entirely mandatory to do so and placing an artificial cap on attack bonuses since +66 attack modifier penetrates your 10 light armor protection just as effectively as a wizard's dagger attack. Excess attack is lost just as the accuracy system yet damage still goes through without relying on blind luck. Miss chance replaces the evasiveness of dexterity or lighter armors and plate becomes your go-to for minions while standing toe to toe with a dragon instead prefers the monk/rogue who ignores fire breath and dodges.

Isn't this essentially reinventing the current system, where armor class is pitted against attack roll?

Kyutaru
2019-06-03, 10:52 AM
Isn't this essentially reinventing the current system, where armor class is pitted against attack roll?

Swapping out rocket tag for attrition, yes. Much like the war games the entire system was originally based on.

AdAstra
2019-06-03, 12:55 PM
Swapping out rocket tag for attrition, yes. Much like the war games the entire system was originally based on.

I mean, while Chainmail might have more "health" per side, any individual soldier, which formed the basis for the character in early TTRPG, was extremely squishy. You get hit, you died. Only the unit as a whole had staying power. And I'd also hardly consider 5e to have rocket tag gameplay except at very low levels and against other PCs, and maybe facing off against the most powerful threats, which I feel is more of a symptom of most of those going up to CR 30, and PC magic items, which they'll usually need, more often provide damage or utility rather than defense.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-06-03, 08:32 PM
... It should, but I'm realizing I might not have done it quite right. I based the calculations on how much damage each point of AC above 10 would prevent-- so AC 12 for light, 14 for medium, and 16/18 for heavy/plate-- figuring that Dex bonuses wouldn't matter because they're the same either way. But it occurs to me that might not be quite accurate, because I think "AC 10->12" and "AC 13-15" probably aren't equal...
Update: I ran the revised math and updated the OP with the latest version.

Bjarkmundur
2019-06-04, 02:47 AM
Update: I ran the revised math and updated the OP with the latest version.

I like it! Well done ^^
I don't quite get the monster rules, but I love the fact that you matched this problem so hard that you even got a formula for monsters as well.

AdAstra
2019-06-04, 03:38 AM
Update: I ran the revised math and updated the OP with the latest version.

This is interesting, but a some of the wording isn't really explained. How exactly does magic armor boost soak? Does it just add a +1, +1 per level, +0.5 per? How do barbarians apply their soak, do they just count as having medium armor with no Dex limit? Since calculating monster soak acts like magic armor, knowing how the magic armor bonus actually affects soak is critical. Also, it's not quite clear whether soak is a damage reduction or damage threshold. I will assume the former for this analysis. I will also assume that Armor Soak applies to all attack damage because of the wording.

Okay now on to the actual critique. If the soak is per turn, that would seem to make smaller monsters functionally useless against even moderately high-soak creatures. At lvl. 10, a fighter in plate has 17 soak per turn, meaning against pretty much everything CR 2 and below they're immune to most damage, barring crits and similar high-damage effects, and even those will do scratch damage. At lvl 20, you'll probably have greater than 32 soak (from magic armor) per turn. That's enough to tank nearly half the damage output of an Ancient Red Dragon, which seems a lot more than even magic plate would normally prevent. A T-Rex bite will do 1 damage to you on average, even without magic armor. Also, per-turn soak makes a lot of legendary action attacks, which will take place at the end of other player's turns, kinda useless, since they have to get through a player's presumably unblemished soak. A raging lvl 20 Bearbarian can get as much as 17 AC, 21 soak, and resistance to all non-psychic damage.
The per-turn soak seems like it would kinda throw bounded accuracy out the window, making even swarms of lower-CR creatures irrelevant to high-soak characters, unless the DM has them take the Ready action to make all their attacks in one turn, which seems a little cheesy (a Lvl. 11 fighter in plate could literally fall asleep while being mauled by an infinite number of wolves, who even on a max damage crit can only do 18, one less than the 19 soak the fighter has, so long as they all take their own turns). If the DM does have weaker creatures use their ready action to all attack at once, they can bypass a lot of the soak entirely, which I guess uses their reaction and doesn't work with multiattack, but that arguably just incentivises using the creatures that lack it? It seems like it would cut out a lot of complication by just making soak recharge at the beginning of your turn, rather than on everyone's turn, to at least avoid weirdness like that

Bjarkmundur
2019-06-04, 01:05 PM
Oooo, you're right, since it's per-turn :/

I do like to take 4 of medium-sized low-CR creatures and bunching them into a single throng/swarm/group. I think there are rules regarding this somewhere. It really speeds up fights against low CR threats.

If I take 4 medium sized CR 2 creatures, and give them a 2x2 token on a battlemat, I can place 4 tokens on the field and get a Hard encounter for a level 18 group.

Personally, if my level 18 group were to fight less than twelve CR 2s i'd probably just say "you proceed to kick their asses. Roll for me a dexterity saving throw, a constitution saving throw, and spellcasters roll a spellcasting ability check". With those rolls I'd give a quick narration of the fight, and distribute effects and lost spell slots based on the rolls. Alternatively, not every fight has to be turn-by-turn with full encounter rules. Sometimes you can just do it as collective storytelling spanning a couple of rounds, and then finish it up with "and you proceed to murder the **** out of them".

Grod_The_Giant
2019-06-04, 05:08 PM
AdAstra: Yeah... you're right; per-round soak is a lot more feasible then per-turn. There will still be some bounded accuracy blunting, but it shouldn't be that bad. Especially if you combine it with a gritty realism or vitality-and-wound-point system...

Also, a thought: what if beating the target AC by 10 lets you deal an extra die of weapon damage? Helps keep high attack bonuses from being meaningless. Not sure what the effect on dpr would be though.

Moxxmix
2019-06-04, 05:24 PM
It depends on whether a swarm are all acting on the same initiative, or if they have individual initiatives. If they have the same initiative, then soak-per-turn quickly gets overwhelmed compared to normal AC calculations. If they have different initiatives, then soak-per-turn becomes seriously overpowered compared to standard AC.

Soak-per-round balances things against swarms if they attack together, but further overpowers things against non-swarm fights.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-06-04, 08:33 PM
Given that I calibrated it against non-swarm encounters, it should work out alright. A level 5 fighter in plate might be soaking 14 damage, but the troll they're fighting is landing every hit and dishing out 29 damage. So he takes a net 15. Meanwhile, the Monk with 18 AC is taking, on average, 17. Different methods, different feel, comperable result.

Bjarkmundur
2019-06-05, 01:09 PM
Wait, now I'm confused. Did you decide on whether soak should refresh at the start of each turn, or at the start /end of your turn?

Grod_The_Giant
2019-06-05, 01:30 PM
Wait, now I'm confused. Did you decide on whether soak should refresh at the start of each turn, or at the start /end of your turn?
I switched it to the start of your turn.

Speaking of, which nomenclature do you guys think works better? Soak or Armor Points (AP)?

Kyutaru
2019-06-05, 02:05 PM
I switched it to the start of your turn.

Speaking of, which nomenclature do you guys think works better? Soak or Armor Points (AP)?

Soak for consistency between other games as it's used in Vampire and AP tends to mean armor penetration.

Bjarkmundur
2019-06-05, 04:19 PM
Soak for consistency between other games as it's used in Vampire and AP tends to mean armor penetration.

agreed, since resistance, resilience, toughness and all the other basic ones are already taken.

AdAstra
2019-06-05, 09:06 PM
AP definitely has a lot of connotations from other games, yeah. Soak's probably better, but if you're looking for alternative names you could also call it Protection or Protection Points.

EDIT: Just realized Protection is a fighting style. Then again, how many people actually take it in the first place? You could also call it Fortification or Fortification Points

Bjarkmundur
2019-06-06, 03:51 AM
AP definitely has a lot of connotations from other games, yeah. Soak's probably better, but if you're looking for alternative names you could also call it Protection or Protection Points.

EDIT: Just realized Protection is a fighting style. Then again, how many people actually take it in the first place? You could also call it Fortification or Fortification Points

I'm still very excited about rolling dice, if I were to implement this. I'd call them Defense Dice *queue theme song and epic guitar*

AdAstra
2019-06-06, 09:44 AM
AdAstra: Yeah... you're right; per-round soak is a lot more feasible then per-turn. There will still be some bounded accuracy blunting, but it shouldn't be that bad. Especially if you combine it with a gritty realism or vitality-and-wound-point system...

Also, a thought: what if beating the target AC by 10 lets you deal an extra die of weapon damage? Helps keep high attack bonuses from being meaningless. Not sure what the effect on dpr would be though.

Crap, forgot to mention this earlier. Wouldn't the math have to be changed to account for the fact that soak now recharges slower? Or did you calibrate it on the assumption of one opponent, in which case it shouldn't need to be any different? I would assume if you built it on the basis of anything else, you'd have to increase the soak since not every enemy has to get through the character's total.

The "more damage for higher attack rolls" idea is good, but basing it off weapon damage dice seems problematic. Different enemies use different dice and combinations of dice, so the effect's not really consistent between monsters. Big monsters, which usually use larger numbers of dice, would probably benefit proportionally less, though that's probably a good thing. As good as it is, I think it might change the math too unpredictably to be worth it as a modification to an existing system. Monsters would probably have to be built on that assumption.

I'm still kinda worried that the modified AC range may hurt your design goals. With the bonkers to-hit mods some monsters get, in most cases I'd rather reliably prevent some damage rather than take a slim chance of preventing all of it. AC offers dramatically better returns for being way higher than to-hit, which means high-AC characters are most likely going to be better against weaker enemies, if anything. That really conflicts with the idea of dodging characters being good against powerful monsters and heavy armor characters being better against swarms

As much as I've been kinda trying to tear this idea apart, I want to clarify it's great, and I'm sorry if I come across as harsh! You're on the right track here, and I'm glad to do anything I can to help you refine it.

Grod_The_Giant
2019-06-06, 12:37 PM
The math was calculated using a single equal-CR opponent, so it should still be about right?

For the high-attack-bonus-damage... maybe +Proficiency? Half your Level/CR?

As for soak being better against monsters with bonkers to-hit...I guess? The game in general feels like it's saying heavy armor is better than medium is better than light; I'm not too upset if that's the case here as well.

AdAstra
2019-06-06, 04:07 PM
The math was calculated using a single equal-CR opponent, so it should still be about right?

For the high-attack-bonus-damage... maybe +Proficiency? Half your Level/CR?

As for soak being better against monsters with bonkers to-hit...I guess? The game in general feels like it's saying heavy armor is better than medium is better than light; I'm not too upset if that's the case here as well.

Ok good to know. Canít see any problems with changing it if thatís how it was originally calculated.

Yeah I have no idea how one would calculate that to make it match up with existing math. Maybe rather than exceeding AC by ten, you deal bonus damage if you hit double the AC? makes it significantly less likely for higher-AC characters, since each point of AC pushes the threshold up by 2 rather than one. Maybe damage equal to the attack bonus? Would definitely need to recalculate the soak values if you did anything like that though.

I see no issues with heavy armor being better, I just brought it up because I think you (or maybe someone else) wanted to have dodging be better against big creatures and armor better against swarms. If thatís not a major goal then go right ahead.