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Author Topic: Starting Designs for a Fantasy (aD&D-like) RPG - stuck already  (Read 10168 times)
Necromantis
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2010, 03:21:58 PM »

thanks for the input.

I am considering trying to balance some sort of skill point system with level based improvement.

I am going to attempt an off the cuff example here - please don't hold me to it.

Lets say Benny (a favorite name to throw out when a PC asks "whats his name" for a passerby-type NPC)
... lets say Benny is a level 4 warrior class who just leveled.

I'll just say you get 2 characteristic points to add to whatever you would like every level.
Maybe his  stats go (we will make your average joe a 7 out of a possible 20 for reference)

12 - might      +1 ---- the weight of his new splintmail has made Benny stronger
13 - prowess
 9 - precision
14 - agility
17 - forbearance
 6 - heartiness     +1 ---- and old injury to Benny's left leg has healed completely after months of favoring it.
13 - knowledge
 7 - reasoning
 8 - communication
12 - appeal


That along with - things like saving throws being locked into certain levels.
Getting a certain number of profiencies with new weapons
tying in the number of skills you can add points to character level.

for instance along with the 2 points to place on characteristics Benny might get
1 new weapon that he learned to use well enough to no longer have penalties while using.
He chooses Club
saving throws are made better according to a chart by level.
He gets to roll for more hit points.
he gets to add 2 new skills or add to current ones.
All this can happen as usual before beginning gameplay the session after benny gained enough XP to level.
its an exciting announcement for the Player who is playing benny.. which is something that is vital to my system.


since Benny is a warrior. Magic doesn't come into play
Magic might go something like this.

Benny's elven friend is a mage. We wll call her Sarah
So lets say Sarah is level 4 as well .. she also just leveled

Her Knowledge reasoning and heartiness will effect her - casting ability.
By Level.
I look at it as rank.
reaching a higher plane of understanding.
ex:
her Knowledge dictates her Plane of understanding  --- or how far down the rabbit hole she has gone. i.e. Level cap.. - she just unlocked 3rd level spells by reaching level 5 according to her knowledge score.
Her Reasoning dictates how quickly she can rattle off spells (using creative thinking to streamline spellcasting) - this isnt affected by her leveling unless she chooses to raise her reasoning score using 1 or both of her 2 characteristic scores gained by leveling.
Her Heartiness dictates the toll that the magic takes on her body (as perfroming magic is wearisome work and this only allows her to cast so many spells)
so according to the heartiness chart her spells castable for the day.

this is all really rough. I just came up with a lot of it off the top of my head. so be gentle with the flaws.
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Necromantis
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2010, 07:19:30 PM »

a basic breakdown for my armor vs weapon type
To be clear the numbers are NOT the armor rating/class
They are guides for later when designing a combat system
The values are to represent the effectiveness of the armor vs certain weapon types.


Armor Type    Vs. Slashing     Vs. Piercing    Vs. Bludgeoning
Gambeson            1              0               1
Horse Hair Jack     2              1               1
Leather             3              2               2
Boiled Leather      4              3               3
Studded Leather     5              3               4
Chain Mail          6              4               2
Jack of Plate       6              4               4
Scale Mail          8              7               5
Banded Mail         9              8               8
Plate Mail          9              9               9
Full Plate     Armor class<

Thoughts -- potential problems?
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Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #47 on: March 21, 2010, 08:19:17 PM »

Take a look at Palladium's "Compendium of Weapons, Armor, and Castles" they do a darn fine job of looking at real historical armor and how well it stood up against cutting, chopping, thrusting (piercing), and impact (bashing) weapons.

I fully understand that you're still feeling your way around your design in terms of advancement and skills so I again give you the advice of playing/reading up on many, many different types of games.

When it comes to skills, AD&D 2nd Edition is not a good model to go by. I know you're still fleshing this out, but I HIGHLY suggest you look at Palladium Books' products (Rifts, Palladium Fantasy, Ninjas & Superspies, Nightbane, Heroes Unlimited, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Robotech, After the Bomb, Advanced Recon, Chaos Earth, System Failure, etc.) because they offer a good parallel to AD&D 2nd Edition where Skills start to dominate (not in the best way, but this is a model) and they've redefined the main stats.

I think you also need to read up on Hackmaster which is an RPG directly derived from AD&D 1Ed/2Ed. They make quite a few changes to how the stats are increased (I think it's a good system for the AD&D player...everything gets the d% roll, not just strength) and provides a nice way to increase stats that are not based on stat points given at each level.

For a better skill-based system that has its initial roots in D&D, look at RuneQuest. This is the version published by Mongoose publishing. The copy I have is the old blue box by Avalon Hill in 1984 (I couldn't find an original 1970's copy *sigh*).

Of course there's D&D 3E/3.5E and 4E which, while you may not be fond of the changes, provide for a good read and a new way to look at AD&D. For instance, after I read D&D 3E's PHB and DMG, I went to my AD&D DM and suggested he change the AC and THAC0 systems to reflect the new version. My old DM was confused with THAC0 and after the switch was much happier.

Man, I've played so many different RPGs over the years I still don't know where to send you, I would suggest all of them but 70% are out of print at this time. The above 3 may very well help you with advancement and skills. Of them all I am still fond of RuneQuest's skill advancement. The skills were d% based, as were many other skill-based systems of the time, and in order to advance in the skill, your GM had to tell you whether the use of a skill granted it an experience check at the end of the adventure (talk about happiness from the player!). When the adventure is over, for every skill with a check next to it, the player gets to roll d%. If the roll is above the current score, the skill increases. Here is an example taken from Cormac's Saga, an example in my blue book rules:

Quote from: RuneQuest Standard Edition Rules &copy; Avalon Hill, 1984
Cormac's Saga
While chasing a magnificent stag several years later, Cormac the Pict must climb a sheer cliff. He succeeds, using his climb skill of 54%. The [GM] agrees that the climb was stressful, and that Cormac's player should put an experience check in the box next to Cormac's climb skill. The next time experience rolls are allowed, Cormac's player tries to roll more than 54 on D100. he rolls a 67. Cormac's Agility bonus of 0% doesn't affect the result, and the experience roll succeeds. If the roll was a 52 and Cormac also had a 3% Agility bonus he also would have been successful.

The player has two options, roll 1d6 for a 1%-6% increase of the skill, or simply choose a 3% increase (he has to choose to do the 3% in lieu of the roll). All skills were under seven broad categories which gave "ability bonus". These ability bonuses are what are added to to the roll above. They were Agility, communication, Knowledge, Magic, Manipulation, Perception, and Stealth. Each category's bonus is determined with a primary stat influence, secondary stat influence, and negative stat influence. For instance, Agility above is influenced by Dexterity (+1 point per point above 10, -1 point per point below 10) as the Primary, Strength (+1 per 2 points above 10, -1 point per 2 points below 10...max 10%) as the Secondary, and Size (converse of the Primary so swap the + and -) as the Negative. Cormac had a strength of 17 (+4...you round up), dexterity of 8, and size of 12. That's why his bonus is 0%.

Experience is not the only way to do skill gain, however, and the player may train as well, spending time and money to do so. If he does, then he gets to either choose 2% or roll 1d6-2 which means that his skill may go down by 1 (at the worst roll).

Stats can increase as well with various formulae applied to give you your target roll.

The more I read RuneQuest again, the more I think you really ought to grab a copy from Mongoose and play with it. Even more so than D&D3E/4E. But play more games, even if it's only 1 or 2 gaming sessions worth. Creating the characters can be an experience in and of itself so you can get a feel for what works and what doesn't. If it takes 5 hours to create a character, there's something flawed there in my book.
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-Curt
Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #48 on: March 21, 2010, 08:23:30 PM »

a basic breakdown for my armor vs weapon type
To be clear the numbers are NOT the armor rating/class
They are guides for later when designing a combat system
The values are to represent the effectiveness of the armor vs certain weapon types.


Armor Type    Vs. Slashing     Vs. Piercing    Vs. Bludgeoning
Gambeson            1              0               1
Horse Hair Jack     2              1               1
Leather             3              2               2
Boiled Leather      4              3               3
Studded Leather     5              3               4
Chain Mail          6              4               2
Jack of Plate       6              4               4
Scale Mail          8              7               5
Banded Mail         9              8               8
Plate Mail          9              9               9
Full Plate     Armor class<

Thoughts -- potential problems?


-  The only potential problem I can think of is that when modifiers applied from magic are they gonna to be used across the board?  The player now has to track 3 different armor classes.  Also what would a dragon bite's count as?  Piercing, Slashing, or Crushing?  Because technically it does all three.

-  Ive also noticed that if you take the median armor bonus value is only a few points off in any direction.  A suggestion would be to give an armor one value.  This is the max  then devise a penalty/ or bonus scheme to the armor based on type of attack.

Meaning:  Scale mail has an armor of 8 and is vulnerable to crushing attacks (-2).

- I assume you are using a d20 system.  So plate mail's crushing penalty is essentially a -5%.  I would be sure you system doesn't go through a lot of trouble to incorporate penalties and bonus that just amount to a few percentage points of difference.

- also your chain mail has a worse crushing value than leather.  I believe that technically (historically speaking) leather was worn under the chain mail.

by 2 cents!
Anything else?,
Jeff
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Jeff Mechlinski
Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #49 on: March 21, 2010, 09:00:46 PM »

Leather was not worn under the chain, actually, it makes it too stiff. Instead, chain mail is worn over a padded tunic. Leather is usually a part of the chain mail acting as support for things like the neck hole, ends of the sleeves, etc. to keep the chain links from coming apart.

I actually participated in creating a historically accurate (as accurate as we can given the times and instruction) chain shirt, and let me tell you that if you had leather under that thing it would have been a pain in the butt to move in it.

Though, ring and scale mail often were attached to leather and cloth.

In any case, the table does have some issues with things such as magic and attacks that do multiple damage types. I ran into this same issue when dealing with my current game. The problem was such that I decided to drop that aspect of the game because it made more sense to go a bit more abstract with the concept.

And on that note, I think Necromantis is thinking about damage types and not to hit. You see, AC in AD&D is abstracted and very unrealistic. This is what's going to trip you up. Palladium has a better way of dealing with it, but it's still screwy since armor doesn't make someone miss you at all.

Instead, you need to look at the idea of armor being a form of damage reduction. This was introduced in D&D 3E (it has been in other games) and I think it's an important concept for you to wrap your head around.

Basically, instead of AC determining whether someone hits you or not, it determines how much damage gets through. Your "dexterity" still determines your defense bonus (which replaces armor class for the THAC0 roll) but the AC of the armor, more or less, reduces incoming damage by a certain amount.

An example: Say you're wearing studded leather armor that has a DR (damage reduction) of 5 vs slashing, 3 vs piercing, and 4 vs bludgeoning (yes, the metal armors didn't really keep you from getting bones broken any better than the other armors, maybe a little less). This means that if the dragon bites you, you'd probably look at the best bonus (the average or median even) and reduce the damage to the character by that much. In this case it'd be 5 (or 4). But if someone were to try to slice you open with a knife you'd have a DR of 5. If they try to stab you instead it would be a damage reduction of 3.

So I'd have to say that the table that Necromantis puts forth is a good first step at damage reduction for different attack types, not for AC for which this system would be too cumbersome.
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-Curt
Necromantis
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #50 on: March 22, 2010, 09:43:03 PM »

So I'd have to say that the table that Necromantis puts forth is a good first step at damage reduction for different attack types, not for AC for which this system would be too cumbersome.

I can see how you would think I meant that as attack dampening but I did actually mean armor class. Though i might find a different Title for it if I find one that suits the purpose better. (ex: I think Appeal is much more appropriate than comeliness which I started with)

Quote
I think you also need to read up on Hackmaster

This was actually the 2nd system I ever played. Its fun. a little silly which is a great offnight switch for some of the really serious games I've ran.
It might be time to blow the dust off that book come to think of it. That thing has some crazy as charts eh?
haha

Quote
The player now has to track 3 different armor classes.

4 in truth. Don't forget - "Vs. Net"
In the games I have played there have been a more than a few keep up with
In my 2nd edition d&d games now. we use these ..
Melee      3
Ranged    4
Net          8
Rear        +2   (ac=lower is better --- thac0 system)
Mounted  -2

the last two are just modifiers.
I honestly don't think I would be difficult to keep up with (my new ac system).
When you buy/get new armor you check the chart and
write in the numbers on your char sheet.
I have a mini char sheet that I make up with everyones vital information that I fill out at the start of every game.
(great tool - plus I write the names in according to how everyone is sitting for the night - plus a have an area by everyones name that allows for roleplaying XP - when they especially well they get a check - each is worth 250xp)
In truth - I have my wife fill it in while I recap the last game (I give her the recap ahead of time)
So All the players need do is is roll the number I give them as I do all the calculations.

Example of how it might sound during combat at my table using my new AC system (for the players)

GM: Moira, It's your turn.
Moira: Moira is very angry that the Kobolds are scattering. With her 1st attack she drops her Long Sword to the ground and reaches for her Bow.
(Out Of Char) - I am going for the leader - Did we hurt Him at all?
GM: Yes When Vercengetorix called down lightning  - The leader was in the group that took half damage.
Moira: (OOC) Ok - I'm going to try and finish him off -- (IC) I snatch my long bow off my back - luckily its still strung from the beginning of the fight I pick an arrow from my Hip quiver and let fly. (ooc) whats my number?
behind the GM Screen - I would consult my charts. Take into account that his AC is __ against Piercing arrows - his chance to Dodge/parry is negated as he is running away. a bonus is added for attacking from behind (+2) - then negated for a moving target(-2) and a plus for being an elf (+1) and being specialized in the longbow (+2)
GM: You need a 15 (d20) after all your bonuses--- oh wait make that a 14 including Ike's Bless
[Laughter from all]
Ike: You remembered it for once. haha
[Moira Rolls a 19] Slight celebration [Rolls dmg - 12]
GM: As the Kobolds attempt to flee back into the cave they leaders ill-fitting Studded leather vest Does little to Stop the speeding arrow Now sticking out of his Back - With a unintelligible cry He Falls to the ground Burned and Pierced and Dead - You can barely hear his death rattle over the patter of bare kobold feet as the rest disappear back the mouth of the cave


Quote
Also what would a dragon bite's count as?  Piercing, Slashing, or Crushing?  Because technically it does all three.
Sounds like a bad situation to be in.
If that happened in my game. I would treat it the same as a giant or titan (something huge)
Grabbing the player. Which is a Vs. Net roll - You armor doesn't matter at all in this situation.
Your modifiers and dodge/parry abilities will be your best chance. Hopefully by the time the players are actually FIGHTING
a dragon in my game (and just just hiding/running/dieing) they would have enough evasion skills to stand a chance of avoiding that great toothy maul.

Quote
but I HIGHLY suggest you look at Palladium Books'
Downloaded some of these eariler today and have looked over them. Talking about thorough.
That system my by a little too details for my design purposes but you better believe that It will be my number one reference book. It looks like they did their homework.  Thanks a ton for the recommendation - to you and a believe a couple of others

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Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #51 on: March 24, 2010, 01:32:26 PM »

Based on your "play scenario" are you sure you don't want to just make a mod instead of a whole game?   It seems to me you are using almost all of the old rules and just adding a point of difference here or there. 

I believe in that scenario that the piercing mod against the arrow is only providing a 5% bonus to the situation.  Technically an arrow should pierce all armor from padded up to chain mail, therefore offering no protection.

Also in DnD hit points represent life as an abstract.  Only critical hits really damage the character.  So when a giant swings and does 30 damage, its not actually damage but an abstract for the character just being able to get out of the way.

So if you take actual circumstances, most armor (up through chain) will have no protection against arrows.  And if someone was stuck it would be an automatic critical hit as the arrow WOULD pierce into the body.  Both these things are more realistic than DnD.  SO how realistic do you want to get?  Is the kobolt leader really moving fast enough to get a +2 bonus to armor?  How fast does the arrow fly?  How far away is he?

Crushing weapons actually cause plate armor articulation to become bound and seize, thus causing an effect other than damage.  Longbow arrows had no problem penetrating full plate, thus rendering the protection useless.
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Jeff Mechlinski
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #52 on: March 24, 2010, 01:56:47 PM »

The problem you get when you start to try to break down armor types into crushing/slashing/piercing is where to stop. You start off trying to be more realistic than a single "class" of armor, but your attempted realism has so many holes it actually looks worse. Eastern-style bladed weapons were all about the edge with very little oomph behind them - slashing modifier all the way, but far moreso than your table shows. Meanwhile, a western style sword is a huge chunk of weight with an edge. It's more of a chop than a slash, and really needs to be represented differently because it will be affected differently by armor. An eastern sword would slice up leather armor well but just scratch a plate, while a bastard sword might actually not cut through really good leather (but you still get the crushing effect) but it would potentially stave in plate. See what I'm getting at?

Ditto for piercing - your table is semi-OK for slow piercing weapons such as a rapier or a spear but way off base for a bolt or an arrow. And in fact, when it comes to a spear I would rather have a good chain short on than a breastplate as the chain is more likely to stop the point while the breastplate may be sunered and the point go right through.

Realism versus playability yadda yadda of course, but if you're trying to be realistic, you probably need to consider:

cutting/slashing
chopping
slow piercing
fast piercing
bludgeoning
And then consider (as someone else suggested) special situations. What protection does my armor give when a fireball hits me? What about when a giant grabs me and starts to squeeze (or a snake, for that matter - it's not just bludgeoning, perehaps a "constricting" category is needed?)
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Excalibur
Member

Posts: 94


« Reply #53 on: March 24, 2010, 04:04:43 PM »

Again, this type of system has already been done in Palladium's Compendium of Weapons, Armor, and Castles. They're doing almost exactly what you propose and the book allows for you to use it with other game systems other than Palladium's. Why reinvent the wheel when it's already been done in almost exactly the same manner?
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-Curt
Necromantis
Member

Posts: 34


« Reply #54 on: March 24, 2010, 04:23:22 PM »

Quote
The problem you get when you start to try to break down armor types into crushing/slashing/piercing is where to stop.
I am starting to see that.
But from the beginning I have said I want a balance of realism and speed of combat.
I realize that that is not very specific.
Buts its harder to explain than it is to show by example.
The chart I made Is an example (not to mention a first draft)
Its not meant to be 100% accurate.
But something new (to me at least I am sure its not an original idea at all)
that makes armor choice matter some.

Example (all in purple is an example and skip-able)


let say the party knows that they are going to have to fight a bunch of guards
the guards in this place have a standardized uniform made up of
chainmail over Dark Red padded jacks (chainmail) and armed with halberds and short swords. (or at least thats what Harren the scout said)
Lets say that the 2 fighters in the group are swordsmen but know how to wield other weapons
Jack is alright with a club and Diane is not to bad with a spear - so they decide to hide their swords in the bush
and cut a club and spear from a nearby tree using Barlow the dwarves axe (who says "I don't give a damn if they can't even feel a tickle from me axe - I'll bludgeon 'em to death with the haft 'fore I hit em with a piece-a-tree") before they attempt to rescue Merrit from the city jail.


(I love these examples - its almost like GMing -- i get carried away.. probably need to stop doing that.. but isn't Barlow lovable?)

Quote
Based on your "play scenario" are you sure you don't want to just make a mod instead of a whole game?   It seems to me you are using almost all of the old rules and just adding a point of difference here or there.

I was only making the point that It was not be hard to "track 3 different armor classes"- no harder than it currently is in my current D&D game.
I pulled this "play scenario" from a game a week or so ago. It was a D&D Game. My point was just to show how the difficultly wouldn't change when calculating AC. 

Quote
Also in DnD hit points represent life as an abstract.  Only critical hits really damage the character.
Perhaps this is so, but I have Never looked at it that way. When I started playing PnP Rpgs, the in game narrations of a fight would always state
"your attack made it through his defenses and blood runs from the wound at the orcs unprotected Shoulder" or some such Gm improvised explanation.
This type of gameplay is exciting and I wouldn't dream of changing it. Examples of it will be stated in the handbook (haha handbook - thats far off)
So In my New system in the works here. HP is life. also - 0hp is unconsciousness and fading and -10 is death.
Also (though "how" is still in the works) the lower your HP the Worse you fight (depending on your forbearance)

Quote
Longbow arrows had no problem penetrating full plate,
This is just simply untrue.
Thats like stating that bullets have no problem penetrating a kevlar vest.
Only certain types of arrowheads could do this and they were certainly not your everyday arrowhead.
The Bodkin arrowpoint is one such arrow head. It is akin to an armor-piercing bullet. which is also not your everyday ammunition.
Also the Bodkin arrowpoint was mostly utilized in flight shooting (arched volleys) and using bows with 200+lb of pull.
a heavy pull for a standard bow is 50-80lbs Most are much less. Mine is only 45lbs and my wife's is 30lbs.
A lot depends on the arrowhead as far as penetrating power. I have no confidence that my bow using modern day carbon arrows (perfectly straight)
and a standard head would have much chance of penetrating boiled leather armor AND the human body is such a way that would be considered a critical strike.
But I digress, I think all these mechanics would just weight down the system and slow down gameplay.
I am more than willing to sacrifice these minor details for speed of play. I do not think that my adding 2 more types of armor class will slow down gameplay much at all - if any. If you see a way that it might. please present it.
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Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #55 on: March 24, 2010, 07:20:48 PM »

English longbows (about 70 pound pull i think)... French knights...no more knights...

There's too much force.

In essence offensive weapon technologies have always been more advanced than defensive.  Except for maybe full plate for a few hundred years against certain types of weapons.  Footmans picks were held by militia so that after knights were dismounted they could punch through the armor.  you see this in Braveheart, thought they don't mention it.  They would tackle a knight and use needles to puncture the eyes or picks to punch through.  It was so hard to kill a knight they had to change how they fought to do so.  Archers commonly only wore head protection.  I don't believe that lighter weight armors were worn often in western society and the existence of ring mail is actually historically debated.

Kevlar vests are not very effective.  Kevlar helmets are designed to only stop 9mm rounds.  I know about personal ceramic armor plating and you can break it with your hands its so fragile, but it will stop a 223 round from the muzzle.  The problem is it is only designed to do this over a 6" area.  It is NOT designed to stop 2 bullets within 6" of impact.  There are assault riles that fire two bullets in sequence so quickly they can be shot through the same hole.  At this point any personal defensive technology is useless.

If you really want things to be realistic I would use a damage reduction system with certain damages (maybe over a con score) causing a critical hit.  The crit hit should escalate based on damage overage.  Also I would use a trample system meaning the better the hit over the defenders active defense the more damage it causes.  This means that a person being attacked unaware would be auto crit'ed since his defense score would be zero.
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Jeff Mechlinski
Luminous
Member

Posts: 43

Master of mayhem...


« Reply #56 on: March 28, 2010, 11:58:20 PM »

There's the new dragon armor vest that really is bulletproof for the most part.  Even multiple hits in the same area.
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Locke
Member

Posts: 85


« Reply #57 on: March 29, 2010, 06:57:50 AM »

yeah, im not sure how it stands up to multiple hits within an area as its not one continuous plate it doesn't crack up the same way.  It works by overlapping disks ceramic disks with beveled edges.  The disks are held in by a heavy cloth material.  Since the disks are individual only the disks affected by the impact are shattered.  The shattered material breaks up and falls out like beads or course sand.  I would guess a second hit in that area would penetrate the armor.  There are problems with the armor.  1. its heavier than a single plate, 2. if the material fails the discs can fall out.

we work with people that do testing on these things, and sold equipment for them to verify testing.

Anyway the point is that w/o armor a weapon can easily penetrate skin and do massive damage.  A sword doesn't need and sharpened edge to take a leg off.  Full plate was extremely difficult to penetrate with swords, axes fared better.  Longbows could penetrate anything.  Short bows could easily penetrate anything up to chain.

If you want to make a realistic system then make a realistic system.  The mechanics can be done to support this, but just not one's that mirror DnD since it uses very abstract mechanics to indicate what is happening.
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Jeff Mechlinski
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Posts: 190


« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2010, 08:37:24 AM »

I agree with Locke about his points on D&D, and while it is a granular system that does many things well, there are also some obvious flaws in the realism.

After 2nd edition, hit points got out of control.  Yes I understand hit points are abstract values and represent more than just health, but even a direct critical hit with a two-handed sword doesn't kill a level 10 fighter.  This is absurd.  If I remember correctly, 2nd edition had a rule where if you do 50 damage in a single blow, you had to save vs. death.  This is a step in the right direction if you insist on using hit points.

However, I love how 3rd edition makes movement and sequence important.  Attacks of Opportunity are very realistic, and I've suffered a few as a boxer when I've been near the ropes and could only move laterally to get out of the way.  That said, rules for 5-foot-steps should stay as well (I have my own version in the Nevercast system, called "combat step"), as well as charging.

There are quite a few ridiculous feats in there, but there are some abilities which I believe an actual fighter of great skill would have, like Cleave, Power Attack, and the one where you trade attack rate for better AC.  Look into feats to determine how you can design your own robust abilities system.

3rd edition saving throws also make sense, in my opinion.  It's pretty awesome when you toss a fireball in a group of enemies while the thief who just backstabbed the mage completely dodges it.
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