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Title: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 13, 2010, 09:02:17 PM
Concept
* Based on late 15th century - early 16th century Europe.
* As continental population exploded and social and cultural values were radically transformed, demonic influences became more accessible.  In an effort to improve military might without depleting resources on training, states chartered schools of magic which were affordable to commoners and churned out large numbers of brash and ambitious neophyte wizards.  Many of them were lured towards the quick and easy path of profane power.  However, the repercussions to nature and society would be deep and volatile. 
* Amongst others, players may take the role of displaced or landless nobles, holy warriors or black knights in the service of demon lords, experienced wizards or partially-possessed warlocks, or oriental mercenaries and emissaries looking to take advantage of lucrative opportunities and political instability.
* As a result of great turmoil combined with the new magic-economy, the adventurer class emerged.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Locke on April 14, 2010, 11:12:32 AM
Sounds cool.  What makes this system or world unique?  It seems like a DnD module could do this.  Are you thinking of this as a module or a whole game?  Would you lean toward steampunk or a keep it more technologically and historically accurate?

It sounds like it could be more of a narrative political game than a hack and slash system.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 14, 2010, 04:54:02 PM
Sounds cool.  What makes this system or world unique?  It seems like a DnD module could do this.  Are you thinking of this as a module or a whole game?  Would you lean toward steampunk or a keep it more technologically and historically accurate?

It sounds like it could be more of a narrative political game than a hack and slash system.

The setting, which is for a whole game, is intended to be technologically accurate.  It won't be historically accurate as it's in a made-up world.  I'll get into granular details in my subsequent posts, but the setting will be absent of several fantasy conventions, such as dragon-slaying, civilizations of dwarfs and elves, or elaborate dungeons to crawl around in.  Instead, the game will focus on:

* A sprawling demonology with complex personalities, hierarchies, and motives, and the manner in which humans interact with them. 

* The impact of abusive magic on the landscape.

* The pursuit of prestige and influence.

* Highly lethal combat that takes the form of robust tactical skirmishes predominantly against opponents who are thinking, reasoning combatants.  I intend for the system to be able to handle large numbers of opponents without breaking down.


As I don’t like to design restrictive architectures, the game is intended to accommodate various styles (referring to your hack n slash / political narrativism dichotomy).  To speak in a language that is familiar to forge posters, the framework of my design methodology is simulationist, the execution is gamist, and the resolution is narrativist.

*The simulationist framework adds consistency and feasibility to both the system and setting.  Despite the fantastic elements involved, internal logic and profundity suspends disbelief.

*The gamist execution gives my designs tactical balance, versatility, and complexity.  I enjoy building systems that give the players meaningful, concrete choices.  In my opinion, these virtues are tantamount to interactivity.

*With the previous two elements in place, narrativist designs encourage player creativity while simultaneously preventing arbitrary hand-waving.  For example, by putting fortune at the beginning and designing very generalized tactical maneuvers, players are given significant freedom to describe what is happening based on the calculation results.  Thus, even social mechanics can have a balanced, simplistic gamist execution without interfering with the players’ descriptive flair.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: MacLeod on April 14, 2010, 06:50:26 PM
Sounds intriguing though I'm not one for 'highly lethal' combat systems. At least, not highly lethal to the players.

I'm interested to know how you plan on mapping out the demonology aspect. How much depth will it have? What influences will you draw on? Will you make use of specific sources?


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 14, 2010, 08:13:51 PM
I'm interested to know how you plan on mapping out the demonology aspect. How much depth will it have? What influences will you draw on? Will you make use of specific sources?

I plan on making strong analogues to Renaissance Europe, but the demonology will probably be less direct.  Although the majority will be brutal antagonists, many of them will be morally ambiguous at worst, and some may even be altruistic; after all, this world is more conducive to free thought and diplomatic means of settling differences.  The exception will probably be the asian demons - Tengu in particular.

Keep in mind that these are very raw ideas, and I have a habit of tearing my ideas apart.  My posts will be predominantly centered on system until I have fleshed out the concept some more.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 14, 2010, 11:15:30 PM
Combat Concept (without concrete distance increments)
It seems like a scout has exposed the Sir Elric's group on their way to the warlock's keep.  As they ride their horses over the hill, a group of twelve demons on horseback led by a Black Knight charge in a line down an adjacent hill towards them.  Elric, seeing as he's grossly outnumbered, uses his "leadership" skill to command his group into a favorable position, with his brother, Lord Vesperillo, in the center as he and his warriors fall in on both sides of the wizard.

Round 2 - Sir Elric and his warriors wait at the top of the hill as the demons continue charging.  Lord Vesperillo begins his incantation, which he is concentrating intently on.  It looks like it will be a powerful spell, but he doesn't bother to hasten it as the spell is naturally timed to hit the group as they start coming up the hill.  The player rolls a 3 (within the success range) on the standard dice rank (1d10), which means that the spell will be prepared on time.

Round 3 - Sir Elric's group wait.  The Black Knight's group starts travelling up the party's hill.

Round 4 - Vesperillo’s robes flap about as a strong wind surrounds him.  He holds his palms out in front of him wide.

Round 5 - As Vesperillo yells the command word, Sir Elric yells "Charge on the outside!".  The warriors on both sides ride down to the tail ends of the demons’ line as a huge blast of wind smashes into the Black Knight and 3 demons on each side of him.  Vesperillo’s player rolls attack dice (d6 for the spell’s improved power = 2, 3, 2, 1, 1, 4, 1; armor check for Black Knight 1d4= 3).  The GM lets the player describe what happened.
Vesperillo: “Everyone falls off their horse and tumbles down the hill except for one demon on the right side.  Horses fall on top of 3 of them, including the Black Knight,  as 2 demon underlings are instantly crushed to death.”

Round 6 - The outsides of the line meet with Sir Elric and his warriors (attack vs. fight back all of them).  Since Elric’s group have the high ground, they get a dice bonus.  (Elric 4 vs. demon 1 = 1d4 vs. 2d10 = 2 vs. 13)
Elric: “I cut into the demon’s shoulder as he falls off his horse.”
(Warrior Cheng vs. Demon = 4 vs. 2 = 1d6 vs. 2d8 = 1 vs. 11)
Cheng: “I lop the demon’s head off with my broadsword.”
(Squire Almaric vs. Demon = 3 vs. 2 = 1d8 vs. 1d12 = 8 vs. 2; half plate armor check = 1d8 = 7, fail)
GM: “The demon’s war sword strikes your helmet as the momentum causes you to fall backwards off your horse.  You are “injured” as a few ribs are broken from the fall.”
(Warrior Jin vs. Demon = 4 vs. 2 = 1d6 vs. 2d8 = 5 vs. 10)
GM: “As you close in with your spear, the demon’s sword deflects it and you two pass by each other.”
Two remaining demons who weren’t hit from the blast or in the melee charge towards Vesperillo.  Vesperillo begins casting a spell to shield himself (1d6 = 1).  The incantation and gesture is easy for him as he quickly surrounds himself in an invisible skin of magical energy.

In the end, the horde of demons and the Black Knight are slain, but unfortunately, Squire Almaric is killed in battle.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 15, 2010, 09:39:44 PM
Melee Combat
There will be many modes of close-quarters combat.  Each mode has its own methods of use, so you would have to develop them individually.  There will even be secondary modes for significantly different methods of using the same primary mode.  For example, the long sword will have its standard fighting mode and an armored fighting mode (significant use of grappling and half-swording).  Sword and buckler may be another secondary mode.


Primary Modes - Weapon benefits listed below are based upon the research I’ve been doing on historical usage, with the ARMA website as a significant source.  (There are more modes, but I haven’t gotten around to researching them yet.)

Grappling - Excellent for bypassing defensive measures.
Pugilism - Terrible armor penetration, range and lethality, but excellent speed.
Long Sword - Decent armor penetration and lethality; good range and good speed
Great Sword - Good range, excellent lethality (improves range of success), and decent speed
Hand-and-a-Half Sword - Good range, lethality, and speed.
Small Sword - Poor range, but decent armor penetration and speed
Rapier - Terrible armor penetration, but good lethality and excellent speed.
Dagger - Terrible range, but good armor penetration and excellent speed in very close quarters.
Spear - Excellent range and good armor penetration.  Especially useful when mounted (attack vs. fight back very lethal when two combatants are mounted; superior range allows an unopposed attack)
War Hammer - Excellent armor penetration and good speed, but low range.
((Note: I’m going to have to re-evaluate weapons to make sure they’re well-balanced; weapons will typically have a zero-difference in numerical comparison to each other.  Therefore, the player will need to decide carefully the appropriate weapon for the situation.)


Lethality - Lists the level of success for the given number rolled when attacking.
1. Terrible Lethality
   1 = Moderate Success
   2 = Minor Success
   3 = Minor Success
2. Poor Lethality
   1 = Moderate Success
   2 = Moderate Success
   3 = Minor Success
3. Standard Lethality
   1 = Critical Success
   2 = Moderate Success
   3 = Minor Success
4. Decent Lethality
   1 = Critical Success
   2 = Moderate Success
   3 = Minor Success
   4 = Minor Success
5. Good Lethality
   1 = Critical Success
   2 = Moderate Success
   3 = Moderate Success
   4 = Minor Success
6. Excellent Lethality
   1 = Critical Success
   2 = Critical Success
   3 = Moderate Success
   4 = Minor Success


Speed
In an attack vs. fight back scenario, speed determines who rolls first.  This is important because the faster combatant rolls first, which means that if he rolls within the moderate or critical success range, he will prevent the opposing roll of his opponent.


Range
Superior range disallows the other combatant from using the attack or fight back option until he has closed the distance, which (usually) requires a successful opposing roll.  Also, unless if the other combatant uses a skill point (“close-in” special maneuver) or succeeds his roll for closing the distance by at least a moderate amount, he will be unable to make a follow-up attack immediately after closing the distance.


Armor Penetration
The lethality of your weapon won’t matter if your opponent’s armor is going to stop it anyway.  The armor penetration value of your weapon increases the dice rank of your opponent’s armor check by 1 rank per point.


((More to come on melee combat rules…))


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: stefoid on April 16, 2010, 02:36:33 AM
I reckon dark age is better than renaissance for the type of setting you describe.  Dark ages are just so much more interesting and potential filled, to me anyway.   Themes common to dark ages that offer great hooks for roleplaying:

1)  recent disaster(s) (whether natural, political or supernatural or a combination) that have resulted in the breakdown of the old civilization
2)  displaced and dispossessed peoples
3)  a search for new meaning since the 'old ways' have failed
4)  radical tilting of the previous balance of power and no new equilibrium yet established -> power struggle to achieve new world order
5)  a breakdown of law and order resulting in the growth of petty tyrants, warlords, pirates, brigands and freebooters
6)  an upswing in provincial and isolationist thinking since trade and learning have dwindled.

Its no coincidence that some of the most heroic and enduring myths have sprung from  dark ages such as the tales of Homer from the late bronze dark age and Aurthurian legends after the fall of Rome.

A mini-dark age cose to your intended period is the 1300s.  check it out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crisis_of_the_Late_Middle_Ages


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 17, 2010, 10:54:43 PM
I wanted something that I felt was more complex to work with; the late War of the Roses period to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I presents a setting concept rich in political and religious intrigue as well the potential for bloody violence.  Not only that, but I really would like to model the sophisticated martial styles of that time period in my combat system.   In addition, the church is quite the monolith at this point, and I felt that demonic subjects would be particularly relevant given the artistic expressions of contemporaries such as Hieronymus Bosch.

I also plan on integrating Chinese influence into the European motif.  The Ming dynasty saw a huge surge of interaction between the Europeans, and by placing stong emphasis on this idea, I can create an elaborate dynamo between European politics, the Church (witches really will be burned), supernatural abominations, and oriental imperialists (as well as their own brand of strange magics).



Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 19, 2010, 09:06:38 PM
More on Combat Mechanics

Shields and Bucklers
On offense, shields and bucklers give a combatant bonuses to open his opponent's guard as well as to close in on his opponent.  When actively defending, a shield or a buckler will improve your success rate.  When fighting back, you will have an improved armor check dice rank.  A buckler has smaller values, but will allow a combatant to use a weapon in a two-handed manner to improve lethality.

Armor
When an opponent scores an attack within the success range, you must make an armor check (standard dice rank).  Rolling within the armor's success range will reduce or nullify injury to your character.  Armor coverage will affect the range of success, whereas the strength of the armor will affect the degree of protection (from minor - moderate - critical) within the range of success.  The armor penetration value of a weapon will penalize the dice rank a combatant must roll when making an armor check.  Finally, the quality of the armor will affect the critical failure range of the armor check.  Should a combatant roll within the critical failure range, his armor will degrade in quality and the strength value of his armor may degrade as well.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 20, 2010, 03:31:01 PM
Combat Sequencing Mechanics (Pending)


Rationale
To devise a method that allows combatants to be easily mobilized and organized so that the system doesn't break down on larger scales.  Although complex, the sequencing method will make individual initiative rolls or static sequence values obsolete.  Thus, less rolling as well as bookkeeping will be required in combat resolution, which results in a net streamlining effect.


Concept
A combat round will be divided into distinct phases from first to last in the round: the command phase, the movement phase, the attack phase, the follow-up phase, and the spell/item phase.

Command Phase - This phase is reserved for characters using their leadership skills to organize the actions of their party (a leader must already be decided upon by the party before combat).  Those commands will be executed by the party in their respective phases.  Rotation is by individual.

Movement Phase - This phase is reserved for combatants who are moving as their first action for the round (command phase notwithstanding).  The rotation is by party, in which the party that initiated combat moves first, and then in order as determined by the GM.

Attack Phase - This phase is reserved for combatants who are attacking/fighting back or defending as their first action for the round.  The rotation is by group of combatants directly engaged in combat with one another.

Follow-Up Phase - This phase is reserved for combatants making follow-up attacks to a movement action and for combatants responding to follow-ups.  The rotation is the same as the attack phase.

Spell/Item Phase - This phase is reserved for combatants who are using items or casting spells.  Rotation is by individual.


How to Execute
When it has been declared that combat has begun, the GM asks the players what general action they will execute: command, movement/move-and-attack, attack/defend, or spell/item use.  The GM is then able to determine which phases of combat need to be acted out as well as the order of rotation within each phase.

*Once combat has been initiated, players will have no opportunities to collaborate with each other and determine a strategy.  The leadership skill, being the exception, will allow players to organize themselves in the chaos of combat.  If a group leader issues a command, the group members (including the leader) may change their actions in accordance with the command. 

*Otherwise, if combatants want to change their actions, they may suffer penalties (as a result of hesitation or not being prepared).

*The GM may use any manner of determining order of rotation within each combat phase.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on April 23, 2010, 08:23:33 AM
Tactical Provisions for Melee Combat

I. Engage (Attack) - To exchange blows or techniques in all manners, combining offensive and defensive movements.
   Skilled Maneuvers for Melee Combat
   1. Follow-up attack
   2. Disarm
   3. Open guard
   4. Covered attack
II. Defend - In preparation to ward off or evade blows and techniques.
   Skilled Maneuvers for Melee Combat
   5 Counterattack
   6. Traverse
   7. Close-in


Skilled Maneuvers for Melee Combat

1. Follow-Up Attack - Upon scoring at least a moderate success on your standard attack, you may immediately make a free attack.  You may not make consecutive follow-ups or follow-up after a counterattack.  Add the speed bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

2. Disarm - Instead of a standard attack, attempt to disarm the opponent at a +1 DR penalty.  Upon scoring at least a moderate success, you may immediately make a free attack.  This technique ignores all bonuses granted from the defend option, including any shield/buckler bonuses.  Add the maneuverability bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

3. Open Guard - Instead of a standard attack, attempt to break the defense of your opponent (feints or controlling your opponent‘s arms/legs/weapon, etc.).  Upon success, you may immediately make a free attack.  Add the maneuverability bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

4. Covered Attack - Make a standard attack at a +1 DR penalty.  If your opponent succeeds the opposing attack against you (or an attack made after a successful defense), that attack must be re-rolled ( if successful, the re-rolled attack may not surpass the original degree of success).  Add the speed bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

5. Counterattack - If the attacker rolls a 7 when you are defending, you may immediately make a free attack.  Add the speed bonus of your primary mode to the attack.

6. Traverse - If the attack rolls a 7 when you are defending, you may immediately attempt to flank your opponent at a -1 DR bonus.  Upon scoring at least a moderate success,  you may immediately make a free attack.

7. Close-In - If the attacker rolls a 7 when you are defending, you may attempt to break the distance gap between you and your opponent.  Upon scoring at least a moderate success, you may immediately make a free attack.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on May 08, 2010, 01:07:12 PM
Working on adding horse mechanics to the game.  Here's what I got so far:
*Courser, Destrier, and Palfrey horse types. (Reading contradicting statements on the Destrier vs. Courser; I need to know which one was more powerful on the battlefield)
*Horses give the trained rider +2 skill vs. ground combatants; charging increases to-hit and power of attack, but exposes the rider to attack and extra lethality (from momentum) as well.
*Halberds and pikes are the best weapons against mounted opponents, with the former better against mounted opponents in plate armor.  (It's going to be a pain in the ass for your characters to choose the right weapon combinations for battle; I will impose a limit on how many weapons can be carried by a character at any given time.)
*Wizards can't cast very well while mounted, and oriental sorcerers usually can't use magic at all because very specific body postures are required for their expressions.  Thus, in such battles, it's best to keep the caster at the rear in a fixed position or have them simply engage the enemy in melee combat like everyone else.  (Notice how casters don't undermine melee combatants in combat potential.)


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on May 17, 2010, 05:16:57 AM
New Play Concept

While at his estate, Lord Thomas Somerset is about to be arrested for conspiring to overthrow the newly crowned, barely legitimate king.  The Duke of Westhaven walks inside along with armed guards and explains to him that he will be taken to "The Spire" and that his coffers and lands will be seized by the crown as well.  Lord Thomas knows what's in store for him - a swift trial followed by an even swifter execution - so he decides to take his chances and fight his way out.

Quote
Player - Do I have any weapons on me?
GM - Just your dagger.  Your rapier was left on the table, which just so happens to be behind the guards.
Player - Damn.  I’m not very skilled with a dagger.  What weapons are the guards carrying?
GM - The guards are holding halberds.  They are also wearing breastplates.
Player - Alright.  I’m going to draw my dagger and go for a sudden, surprise attack to the exposed neck.
GM - There’s a good deal of unprotected area, so you’ll only suffer +1 DR to your attack roll after skill comparison.  (GM determines that the guard doesn’t have a significant amount of combat experience, so he rolls a higher dice rank against surprise, which is 1d12.  The GM rolls a 6, which means the guard cannot make an opposing roll this round and the default attack dice against him is DR 0, modified to DR 1 from the aimed attack to the unprotected body area.)  Ok, roll DR 1 for your surprise round attack.
Player - (Scores a 1 on his roll, which is a critical hit).  I swiftly draw my dagger and thrust it into his neck before he can even react.  Blood squirts and gushes from the severed carotid artery as I pull the blade out.
GM - (The guard must make a morale check, using 1d8.  He scores a 3, a minor success, which means he hesitates; he can make no opposing rolls for the round and attacks made against him get a -1 DR bonus.  The GM rolls for Duke Westhaven, 1d4, and scores a 1, so he suffers no effect.)   After seeing you kill the guard, the other guard watches the other in shock as he gurgles and grasps his neck.  The guard hesitates to attack you.  The first round has started, and it’s your turn.
Player - I can automatically close the distance against the guard, right?
GM - That’s right.
Player - Ok, I close in on him, and strike at the other guard’s neck.
GM - (The GM determines the skill comparison: 2 for Thomas’ skill with the dagger and 1+1 for the guard’s skill with grappling to shove off Thomas with the shaft of his halberd.  The modifiers for the aimed attack penalty, the close range bonus for the dagger, and the hesitation attack bonus total -1 DR, so Thomas must roll 1d8 for the attack.)  Roll 1d8.
Player - (The player rolls a 2, which is a moderate success.)  The blade misses the target but digs in near the collarbone as the guard screams out in agony.  I make a follow-up attack with my grappling skill and attempt to shove him into Duke Westhaven.
GM - What’s your grappling skill?
Player - I have a 3.
GM - (The GM determines that the attack gets a total bonus of -3 DR from the guard being in an injured state for -2 and from the speed bonus of the grappling attack granted by the “follow-up” skilled maneuver.  The GM also rolls against Duke Westhaven’s acrobatics skill in case the guard is pushed into him.  Since the position of the table and chairs don’t give him much room to maneuver, the GM decides to be generous for the sake of narrative and determines that the roll against him receives a -2 DR bonus, which comes out to a d4.  The GM rolls a 2.)
Ok, roll DR 1.
Player - (The player rolls a 1 on the d4 roll; a critical success.)  I shove the guard as he trips over the other fallen guard…
GM - and tumbles into Duke Westhaven.  They both crash into the table and chairs, falling to the ground!
Player - Nice! 
GM - Alright.  So, you can either continue fighting or make a run for it.  Your call.
Player - I got really lucky with those rolls.  I don’t want to push it further.  I’m going to grab my sword and get out of here.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on May 18, 2010, 12:09:46 PM
Implications
*In spirit with my research on renaissance fighting methods, grappling is a practical combat option and is simple to understand and execute.  Grappling exchanges will commonly be mixed in with weapon exchanges, especially during armored combat.

*Aimed attacks are handled with simplicity and allow you the opportunity to bypass armor as you see fit.  If armor leaves large areas exposed, like a breastplate, then your aimed attacks suffer a +1 DR penalty; +2 for areas exposed by armor such as three-quarter plate; +3 for the miniscule areas left exposed by full Gothic or Maximilian-style suits of armor.

*Both combatants' skill and situational modifiers are scaled seamlessly using the graduated dice method.  In the example above, the player took advantage of situation and position to account for the disparity in skill.  In other games, he would not have been allowed such command over the circumstances.  I attribute this both to the inherent lethality of the system (many combat encounters are resolved in a coup de main; hit points blunt the importance of situation, as situation is not likely to help you take your opponents out of the fight in a single movement, and a higher-skilled opponent will be able to catch up to your advantage) and the numerically-reliable manner in which the dice scales. 
Thus, position and circumstance dictate the flow of action in combat rather than the personal power of each combatant.  These elements determine what weapons, manner of attack, and manner of maneuvering are best suited to the situation; there is no single tactic you can use over and over again to win every fight.
As a result, your character is likely to die in combat.  This is intentional.  However, character creation is also intended to be a very quick process, so you can get back in the action.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on May 25, 2010, 10:51:56 PM
Armor
When you get struck in combat, an armor check is made using the appropriate dice rank.  There are two main attributes of armor - strength and coverage - which directly affect the success of your armor check and are based upon the overall protection of your entire body.  The coverage attribute affects how likely it is that you will be protected at all.  Thus, the better your armor's coverage, the lower the dice rank you roll.  The strength attribute affects the quality of protection you receive within the success range.  There are three possible degrees of protection from any given integer within the success range: critical (3 points), moderate (2 points), and minor (1 point).  If the degree of success from the opponent's attack is greater than the degree of protection offered by your armor check, then you subtract the point value of your armor check (listed above) from your opponent's attack to determine the actual effect of the attack.

For example, let’s say your opponent’s attack is a critical success.  You roll your armor check, which comes out to a 3 (the attributes of your armor determine that this is a moderate success).  Subtracting the value of your armor’s success (2) from your opponent’s attack (3) means that the actual effect of the attack is 1, which results in a minor success for the attacker.

To account for all possible combinations of armor (and thus, adhering to design criteria demanding mechanical fluidity), the system uses a formula for determining the exact range of coverage and strength.


Determining Coverage
Your overall coverage value will start at a base of 0, which represents dice rank 0 and the maximum amount of coverage possible.  Coverage does not consider individual armor types (plate/mail/leather, etc.); if the body is covered by some type of valid armor type, then it counts for consideration.
1.  Add 1 dice rank for each half of torso area unprotected (2 increments of coverage). 
2.  Add 1 dice rank for each half of total leg area (with both legs in consideration) unprotected (2 increments of coverage). 
3.  Add 1 dice rank if less than 2/3 of the total arm area (with both arms in consideration) are unprotected (1 increment of coverage).
4.  Add 1 dice rank for each half of head coverage unprotected (+1 for open-faced helms or if the visor of a full coverage helmet is raised) (2 increments of coverage).

Formulas will be pre-calculated for common armor combinations to minimize effort. 
Examples:
Tournament Armor / Gothic Armor / Maximilian Armor - DR 0
Three-quarters Plate - DR 1 (1d4)
Reduced Plate (helm and cuirass) - DR 4 (1d10)


Determining Strength
Each armor type (padded, leather, studded, jack of plate, mail, plate, tournament / heavy plate) has a base value of protection per increment of coverage.  Add up the values of each increment to determine your overall armor strength.

Overall Armor Strength - Lists the degrees of protection, or success, for the given number rolled for your armor check.

Very Poor
1 = Minor
2 = Minor
3 = Minor

Poor 
1 = Moderate
2 = Minor
3 = Minor

Moderate
1 = Moderate
2 = Moderate
3 = Minor

Good
1 = Critical
2 = Moderate
3 = Minor

Very Good
1 = Critical
2 = Moderate
3 = Moderate

Excellent
1 = Critical
2 = Critical
3 = Moderate

Maximum
1 = Critical
2 = Critical
3 = Critical

Formulas will be pre-calculated for common armor combinations to minimize effort. 
Examples:
Gothic / Maximilian Armor - Excellent
Tournament Armor - Maximum (Note: combined with 0 DR from the armor’s overall coverage value means that every hit that isn’t precisely aimed at a vulnerable area or doesn’t have an armor penetration value will not harm the combatant.)

In my next post, I’ll discuss other aspects of armor.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on May 26, 2010, 10:04:48 PM
...the helmet in particular.  To draw similarities from my own experiences, even boxing headgear can be quite cumbersome if you have not spent many good training hours getting accustomed to it.  The models with heavier padding tend to restrict your vision, and models that don't fit properly move too much and distract you.  Thus, I've actually taken a preference for the lightest headgear, and despite the reduced degree of protection, I'm actually protected better because I am able to focus on what's going on.  I can only imagine knights felt the same way about their helmets, often choosing to sacrifice protection for less cumbrance. 

From what I've read of helmets of the day, and from what I couldn't logically assume otherwise, they severely restricted vision and were extremely stifling.  By bridging my own experiences with my research, I would have to extrapolate that helmets, especially ones with closed visors, presented many tangible hindrances to accompany its protective benefits.  I intend to model these factors within the system.  (Note: because of the high granularity, and because game masters are likely to overlook them, these rules will probably be listed as optional, or I may simplify them in another way).

1.  Severe loss of vision - This means that the combatant has a lower range of awareness.  Also, opponents that are able to flank the combatant will get a -2 DR bonus instead of just -1.

2.  Difficulty breathing - This means that the combatant is likely to tire quickly (does not affect open-faced helmets or helmets with the visor raised).  If the combatant suffers any form of attack (even a minor success) or a critical miss, he must check his athletics passive skill or become fatigued as a result of the great effort required to recover.

3.  Lack of experience using the equipment - This means that you get distracted while wearing the helmet, and you suffer -1 to any skill while wearing it.  Helmets that don’t fit well or are badly damaged will also cause this effect, which does not stack with the experience factor; -1 is the maximum penalty.


Next post: alternative (simplified) armor rules for possible revision of the previous post.


Title: Re: A dark fantasy using the dice rank system
Post by: Ar Kayon on May 27, 2010, 07:51:28 AM
Alternative Armor Rules
Whenever I say "simplified" in reference to mechanics, I never mean "dumbed down to make it easier to calculate".  I mean that the mechanics are more elegant from an aesthetic and practical point of view.  So yes, it is easier to comprehend, but the rule itself has not been rendered abstract.

Furthermore, the alternative rules are completely consistent with the core logic of the system.  In comparison, the original post implemented special rules, which was why it was revised so quickly.

The new method is to add up points allocated by coverage and strength to determine your overall protective value.  From there, the dice rank of your armor check will be determined.  There are 12 total areas of coverage: 2 for the torso (point values are tripled for each area), 2 for the head/face (point values are doubled for each area), and 2 for each limb (upper and lower limb).  Armor type gives a point value for each coverage area: 1 for padded, 2 for leather, 3 for studded, 4 for brigandine/jack of plate, 5 for mail, 6 for plate armor, 7 for tournament armor / other (magical, etc.)

DR 0 (1d4-1): 100 (full plate armor)
DR 1 (1d4): 84 (reduced plate)
DR 2 (1d6): 60 (cuirass and helmet)
DR 3 (1d8): 36 (cuirass, or jack of plate and helmet)
DR 4 (1d10): 18
DR 5 (1d12): 12
DR 6 (2d8): 10

Areas unaccounted for: hands, feet, neck, groin, underarms.  Coverage of these areas does not improve overall protection value, but does protect the wearer from aimed attacks.