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Complaining about armor...again...

 
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Metathiax
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 321
Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 2:23 am    Post subject: Complaining about armor...again... Reply with quote

Armor might well be the only (or most) controversial topic of the revision as far as I'm concerned.

I was initially unsure about the new shield rules but I ended up adopting them and they work fairly well.

I'm fine with the "requisite - strength" formula; favoring high strength characters is a decent (or at least defendable) design choice but the Armor Use discipline now appears somewhat underwhelming. I feel that, with the revision, it should reduce a character's impedance score by 2 per grade to be worthwhile. It is often (much) less expensive in skill points (and a lot more useful) to simply increase a character's strength than to purchase ranks of Armor Use. I would personally tend to favor training in Armor Use more than as it stands.

Also, by merging the Armor Use and Shield Use disciplines together (which in itself is a good move), it introduces a minor oddity by not allowing a starting character to compensate for both armor and shield impedance at 1st skill level (ranks in both Armor Use and Shield Use could be purchased at once in the original version).

Again, individual strength requisites are subject to debate and personal preferences (for example, there are no mechanical incentives to pick a leather armor over the cheaper and less impeding padded armor) but I'm not too fond of essentially giving free access to padded or leather armor to every starting character (which have a base strength of 7). I don't mind moving away from some D&Dism such as forbidding arcane casters from wearing armor (and that was probably the intention in the first place) but I would rather have my players invest to gain this ability instead of handing it to them.

Obviously, even though the previous might sound unintentionally rantish, these issues are no biggie and, after all, they can easily be "fixed" to one's liking with simple house rules (which I did).

Still, I wanted address the subject... Wink
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Chaoswarrior
Strategoi


Joined: 18 Jul 2013
Posts: 25
Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used Meta's armor chart for my first session with the guys. Worked well enough for the new impedence, but they took a beating with only leather and padded armor.

I'm wondering does the low absorbtion by armor really hold up at higher levels? Has anyone used higher absorbtion values and did that work out well or was it too powerful?
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Metathiax
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
Posts: 321
Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chaoswarrior, I'm glad to be hearing about your game and to be getting your feedback.

My players with warrior-like characters tend to either go the agile and more lightly armored route or the strong and more heavily armored route. Investing in Agility and not getting hit in the first place obviously helps with survivability.

If you intend to significantly tweak the armor absorption ranges, I recommend that you keep in mind that armor stacks with shields and spells, magic armor can be significantly more effective, and the opposition will also benefit from it.

Combat may end up dragging if neither sides are able to injure the other. Dealing 0 damage too often upon a successful hit can become quickly frustrating.

You might also want to take a look at pages 4 to 6 of the first WGJ (linked here) for a couple of alternative ways to deal with armor. They were written for the original version of the game but they could easily be revised for use with the current one.
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Metathiax
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Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chaoswarrior,

Should you be interested, here are three increasingly boosted (and untested) versions of my armor house rules. I think I would favor the first one.

Alternative Armor A
Alternative Armor B
Alternative Armor C

If you dislike the blunt/edged weapon differentiation, just go with the edged column. One instance involves a 1d5 which might sound somewhat wonky. It would be simulated by using a halved d10.

Let me know what you think.
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Chaoswarrior
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Joined: 18 Jul 2013
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Location: Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the variation for edge/blunt. I really like the 11 str requirement for leather...my PC that was playing a wizard was like "Oh crap, I can't wear armor without negatives" since he had already made out his character before the session and had picked armor using the chart from the book.

Im going to try a mixture of the three. I like full plate doing 1d10/1d12 but I like the variation using the d5. Next session is in a few weeks, I will let you know how it goes.
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Metathiax
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Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done some number crunching by confronting basic weapons (dagger, spear, and long sword) and armors (leather, chain mail, and plate with or without a shield) for the previous scenarios (my current house rules and the three alternatives).

Here's the Excel spreadsheet.
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Chaoswarrior
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 08, 2014 8:33 pm    Post subject: Armor Reply with quote

Well, I used the alternative armor list A Friday night. My group consists of five players that used leather, padded, and studded leather. The increase in damage absorption seemed negligible. The guys seemed unimpressed with the higher absorption and asked for even higher absorption numbers after getting beat down multiple times from a lot of armor absorption rolls of 1.

They fought a group of 8 goblins (damaged from destroying a group of 8 miners) using crude daggers, a hobgoblin cleric with a mace, and two war dogs. Then I ran them through the Niven's creek adventure and I had to dial down the damage the draugr and the two giant centipedes. They dealt enough damage to kill some of the guys with full hit points.

Another unrelated question. I couldn't find any rules saying it, but the vials that fell from the ceiling in room 3 of the Niven's Creek adventure; does the endurance damage just affect skills or does it change hit point totals? I reduced the affected pc's hit points, but told him I would ask for future reference.
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Metathiax
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Joined: 02 Oct 2010
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Location: Montreal, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:12 am    Post subject: Re: Armor Reply with quote

Chaoswarrior wrote:
Well, I used the alternative armor list A Friday night. My group consists of five players that used leather, padded, and studded leather. The increase in damage absorption seemed negligible. The guys seemed unimpressed with the higher absorption and asked for even higher absorption numbers after getting beat down multiple times from a lot of armor absorption rolls of 1.


Don't hesitate to adjust it to your group's liking. The only wrong way to do it is one that you don't find fun. I will be interested to hear what you have settled on.

Chaoswarrior wrote:
Another unrelated question. I couldn't find any rules saying it, but the vials that fell from the ceiling in room 3 of the Niven's Creek adventure; does the endurance damage just affect skills or does it change hit point totals? I reduced the affected pc's hit points, but told him I would ask for future reference.


Under Endurance on page 8 of the player's book, there's a note stating that health points are also affected.
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Metathiax
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been thinking about an oddball method of dealing with armor which involves some resource management on the players' part. Bear in mind that it might be broken but here it is anyway.

Instead of having armor reduce damage on every attack, armor absorbance would be rolled only once at the start of every combat encounter.

Leather : 1
Padded : 1 + 1 vs blunt weapons
Studded Leather : 1 + 1 vs edged weapons
Ring : 1d2
Chain mail : 1d2 + 1 vs edged weapons
Splint : 1d2 + 1 vs blunt weapons
Scale : 1d3
Banded : 1d3 + 1 vs edged weapons
Plate : 1d4
Full plate : 1d4 + 1 vs edged weapons

Alternatively, each armor type could grant a fixed amount of absorbance points.

Leather : 1
Padded : 1 + 1 vs blunt weapons
Studded Leather : 1 + 1 vs edged weapons
Ring : 2
Chain mail : 2 + 1 vs edged weapons
Splint : 2 + 1 vs blunt weapons
Scale : 3
Banded : 3 + 1 vs edged weapons
Plate : 4
Full plate : 4 + 1 vs edged weapons

Every point of absorbance that is obtained can be spent at any time during the encounter to negate up to 10 points of damage on a given attack. More than one point can be spent on a single attack. Some armor types grant a bonus point that can only be spent against blunt or edged weapons.

For example, a character wearing chain mail rolls a 2 on his absorbance roll at the beginning of the combat encounter in addition to a bonus point vs edged weapons. He first gets hit by a dagger for 2 points of damage, the player decides not to use his absorbance, and then loses 2 health points. The character is later hit with a long sword and suffers 8 points of damage. The player decides to use his bonus point vs edged weapons to completely negate the damage. The same unlucky character is then the victim of a critical hit with a maul for 16 points of damage. He can either use one point of absorbance to negate 10 points of damage and lose 6 health points or spend both of his remaining points of absorbance to completely negate the damage.

I'm just not sure how I would deal with shields. Have them grant additional points of absorbance (1d6-4/1d6-3/1d6-2 respectively) to be used as described above or have them grant a bonus to dodge (+1/+2/+3 respectively or twice those numbers when used as cover)? On one hand, I'm worried that the character will discard his shield in the middle of combat if it does not grant any absorbance or once the absorbance is spent. On the other hand, I wonder if a bonus to dodge would be unbalancing especially in the case of magic shields although I think I would favor the dodge bonus approach.
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