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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 260 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Armor encumberance & shields  (Read 1531 times)

Posts: 327

« on: May 27, 2002, 08:35:30 AM »

A couple of things seem a bit "off" to me about armor and shields.  Note that I have limited experience here; I have worn a chain shirt, and I have played with a shield against foam covered swords and such, but it's not really an area of expertise for me.  So, this is based on a small amount of real world play with some of that crappy "intuition" stuff along with some suspect "book lernin". :-)


 The armor encumberance values seem high to me.  A person wearing chain, a pot helm, and carrying a round shield will lose around 4 dice from their combat pool.  If we take a typical soldier w/10 CP (reflex 5, prof 5), that's a loss of 40% combat value.  Now I grant that armor really helps to protect that person, but it does so at such a severe loss of initiative that I wonder.

 In my limited experience, and in my general reading, armor should not be that debilitating.  Sure, if you put a suit of armor on you're going to be less adept than without it, but we're also talking about people who presumably trained in their armor until it becomes a second skin.  I have a few incomplete thoughts to "resolve" this issue:

1) The penalty should not be to the CP; instead, the penalty should be to the activation cost of certain manuevers.  For example, evasion, grappling, feints, and so on.  The basic bash/cut/thrust/block/parry should work fine.  In other words, armor cuts down somewhat on flexibility & mobility.

2) The penalties should be based in some part on attributes.  For example, you lose an extra die for every level of str below 5 if you wear plate armor, while an end of 5+ reduces the encumberance.  A strong, durable person shouldn't have as much trouble wearing armor.

3) Perhaps the penalties should be more piece-by-piece.  For example, greaves are a movement & evasion penalty, a full helm is a perception and CP penalty, gauntlets give a penalty to feints, and so on.


Two seperate thoughts:

1) I think shields are a more extreme version of what I wrote above.  I have a hard time accepting the idea that a simple round shield reduces my combat effectiveness by a substantial percentage.  I understand if it limits certain manuevers, but overall CP? I don't buy it.

2) When I hold a shield in combat, I angle my body so the shield faces the opponent, and my weapon arm is back.  If my weapon arm is my right, then it should be harder, in general, for a person to hit the right side of my body.  In fact, thinking about it, there are similar stance issues with fencing, and I'm sure other martial arts as well.  Anyway, I find it odd that it's easy (relatively) to pick on certain areas of the body regardless of the defender's stance.

Any thoughts?

Jake Norwood

Posts: 2261

« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2002, 08:48:47 AM »

Actually, I'm going to back you up on some of this (funny, huh). I'm actually planning on dropping the CP mods for most of the shields--fact is that I had meant to do that earlier and...uh...forgot. The CP mods for most of the armor pieces I'm pretty happy with, although I agree that they do add up to a bit much, and that's a problem that I'm working with. Your idea of different kinds of mods for different parts of army is realistic, but also cumbersome. Manipulating the CP is easy, though, and we did aim for speed as well as realism. I have a few ideas, though.

You will notice that most of the things that cause CP loss somehow encumber the arms, legs, or head. The body, being the center of gravity, really doesn't incur any CP loss when armored (a breastplate will hinder flexability a bit, though). Anyway, I'm looking over those numbers today and as soon as I come to a decision you'll know.

Finally, to address the issues of stances with a shield and "exposed areas..." that a real messy thing to deal with in game terms. Our current "justification" is that combat is not static, and as two parties maneuvers, swing, and so forth, that those "rear parts" come into play--combat isn't static, after all.


"Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing." -R.E. Howard The Tower of the Elephant
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