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 Post subject: Better armour?
PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 9:20 pm 
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Grettir in Weapons That Made Britain topic wrote:
I found the [Weapons That Made Britain] program highly informative. And I’d especially like to direct attention to the demonstrated strength and importance of armour. I remember that I once wrote on the old, defunct TRoS forum that I found the strength of armour to be still underrepresented in TRoS, and the program shows this to be true. You might penetrate rigid metal armour with a pick or a narrow-bladed axe, but there’s no way to it with a sword. I once began to think about a mechanic where all cutting damage of not especially armour-breaking weapons against rigid metal armour was only ever transformed into greatly reduced bludgeoning damage, but I soon lost interest in number-crunching and gave it up.
I have to admit I've lately been thinking the same thing, or at least something very similar. I mean, as I get it chain mail (let's call it maille for clarity henceforth) was made obsolete by lances, while it worked marvelously for protection for anything else before it.

I'll link a bunch of youtube videos now:
spear vs leather and mail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A4M4t3TteYI
spear vs mail alone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqagYSP3PGs
spear vs mail over soft leather: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VGu4bpb4eTI

arrow vs heavy leather alone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NtaM0qgKvhs
arrows vs leather and mail: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p7fYO7yVJqU
arrow vs mail alone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fMUx7FvMG0
arrow vs mail over soft leather: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LdGUMulJUI

Now, the guy in the videos only has a small piece of maille and those videos aren't the basis of the whole idea, but they give neat comparisons under the same conditions.

Maybe we could have the rules that reflect it, but in some hard and fast way? Like... no piercing wounds above level 2 unless lance or spike of the warhammer is used? Cutting damage becoming bashing, and the final wound level is cut in half if we weren't dealing with a mass weapon?

What do you guys think of that kind of approach? I don't think it's very (or too) crunchy and handling it like this would allow us to keep it optional.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 1:11 am 
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Grettir wrote:
...I remember that I once wrote on the old, defunct TRoS forum that I found the strength of armour to be still underrepresented in TRoS...


higgins wrote:
I have to admit I've lately been thinking the same thing, or at least something very similar...

... No piercing wounds above level 2 unless lance or spike of the warhammer is used? Cutting damage becoming bashing, and the final wound level is cut in half if we weren't dealing with a mass weapon?


If all the players understand that swinging a sword against a plate-armoured opponent is quite futile -- even if their CP is 30 and their opponent's is 10 -- then they will adjust their in-combat tactics appropriately. Which I think is a good thing.

So I quite like the idea of setting upper limits on damage based on the weapon, the armour, and the proficiency/manoeuvre. So if I cut with my sword against a plate-armoured opponent my maximum wound level is two, but if I half-sword against a prone plate-armoured opponent my maximum wound level is five. My character sheet lists my manoeuvres by proficiency and each manoeuvre lists upper limits by armour type.

I don't see each manoeuvre having numbers for all armour types -- what I want to see are the exceptions. So plate armour was produced to make swords less effective -- show that. Double Maille was developed to make arrows less effective -- show that. Or whatever.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 6:27 am 
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higgins wrote:
Maybe we could have the rules that reflect it, but in some hard and fast way? Like... no piercing wounds above level 2 unless lance or spike of the warhammer is used? Cutting damage becoming bashing, and the final wound level is cut in half if we weren't dealing with a mass weapon?
Ian.Plumb wrote:
So I quite like the idea of setting upper limits on damage based on the weapon, the armour, and the proficiency/manoeuvre. So if I cut with my sword against a plate-armoured opponent my maximum wound level is two, but if I half-sword against a prone plate-armoured opponent my maximum wound level is five. My character sheet lists my manoeuvres by proficiency and each manoeuvre lists upper limits by armour type.


That’s an elegant soution, and I like it a lot, apart from the fact that it requires a lot of looking up of maximum wound levels.

My instinct – and I just mention it for the sake of the discussion, not to especially advocate this – was once to add a damge divisor to armour in addition to the armour values. You would first deduct the AV from the damage and then divide the remaining damage by the damage divisor (DD).

For instance, maille alone, without padding, might have DD 1 against both puncture and cutting, but DD 2 against cutting. And maille with padding underneath DD 1 against puncture, but DD 2 against both cutting and crushing.

And I also thought about DDs against cutting (and cutting alone) higher than just 1 to maybe transform the resulting damage into crushing.

But any such approach would of course require a lot of number crunching to arrive at the final wound level. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 9:07 am 
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But what if we dropped AV altogether and would define the armour through the maximum wound levels?

Maille converts cutting to blunt. Padding lets you ignore one or two blunts (damn, the AV is a hard concept to get rid of. we could rule that padding adds 2 points to TO, though). Maille has max piercing wound level of 2. Double maille has it 1. Unless of course, the weapon is specifically designed to beat that, like a lance or a pick or a crossbow bolt in which case full 5 wound levels are possible vs maille. Maybe this is too complicated though...

I'd have each armour have three different types of caps: cutting, piercing and blunt, and the maneuvers/weapons would have the exceptions in them. Like half-swording giving +1 possible piercing wound level vs armour.

Maybe that warrants all three types of DRs to the weapons though. Swords would need to suck in dealing blunt trauma.

Another facet I like about it, is that with armour defined by wound level caps, high TO couldn't compensate for armour anymore. There's some similarity, but not in 1:1 ratio. That wound level cap would be something that couldn't be achieved through a high TO.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 6:20 am 
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higgins wrote:
But what if we dropped AV altogether and would define the armour through the maximum wound levels?


So the calculation becomes:

Offensive Manoeuvre Successes + ST Bonus - Defensive Manoeuvre Successes - TO

with the result being capped at a particular level if the weapon is ill-suited for penetrating the armour worn by the defender.

One question: if the armour doesn't cap a particular weapon at below 5, what is the difference between wearing the armour and not wearing the armour?

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 10:04 am 
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Hi all,

Higgins, therefore it could be possible to have armour with a max wound threshold of zero.

As I stated in the Weapons that made Britain topic, there was a battle in approx 1228, where Heavy Italian Cavalry were bouncing longbows at point blank range. 20 to 30 meters.

Simon Burling


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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 11:01 am 
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simon burling wrote:
Higgins, therefore it could be possible to have armour with a max wound threshold of zero.

As I stated in the Weapons that made Britain topic, there was a battle in approx 1228, where Heavy Italian Cavalry were bouncing longbows at point blank range. 20 to 30 meters.
Yes, why not. If anything, it would emphasise the importance of going for the gaps.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
So the calculation becomes:

Offensive Manoeuvre Successes + ST Bonus - Defensive Manoeuvre Successes - TO

with the result being capped at a particular level if the weapon is ill-suited for penetrating the armour worn by the defender.
Basically yes, but I do think that weapon itself should retain some kind of damage bonus. In my homebrew nWoD, weapons add only to reach (and an occasional special effect) and the damage depends purely on MoS and ST. While neat for nWoD, I don't think it's too TROSy.

Ian.Plumb wrote:
One question: if the armour doesn't cap a particular weapon at below 5, what is the difference between wearing the armour and not wearing the armour?
CP penalty? :lol:

To go for the extreme example... In a lightsaber duel, armour is only going slow you down. However, one possible bonus I see is that both level 4 & 5 wounds generally mean that the fight is over. Perhaps we could rule that armour caps all wounds at level 4, leaving the level 5 into the unarmoured combatant's field. Since most level 5 wounds deal with weapons being stuck in the flesh, complete penetration and cutting off limbs, I think that would make sense. At first glance on the wound tables, this seems IMO a very simple and also a reasonable solution.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 12:22 pm 
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Ian.Plumb wrote:
So if I cut with my sword against a plate-armoured opponent my maximum wound level is two, but if I half-sword against a prone plate-armoured opponent my maximum wound level is five.

I would rather not see a ruling where the combatant’s posture influences how effective his armour is. His posture does already influence how effectively he can defend, and thus in turn how easy it is for his enemy to go for that one unarmoured spot.

At Agincourt in 1415, the mounted charge of the heavily-armoured French knights got slowed down by the boggy ground and then broken up by the English longbowmen. The Burgundian chronicler Jean Le Frevre de Saint Rèmy, who fought among the French, reports how the English longbowmen swarmed the field littered with the wounded French knights. The kinghts, used to chivalrous warfare against chivalrous opponents, tried to surrender for ransom, but the longbowmen, knowing fully well that they would not be in a position to keep prisoners until the ransom was sent, just set about dispatching the knights. Tha archers were equipped with swords, falchions and large daggers – and found themselves unable to hurt the prone and wounded knights in their armour. So they forced open the visors and stabbed them in the faces, or thrust the weapons through the visors' eyeslits right away. The French knights “were cut in pieces, heads and faces”, as de Saint Rèmy reports.

That should go to show that even a relatively helpless opponent in plate armour – so helpless in fact that he cannot prevent his visor from being pried open – is completely save from swordblows and –thrusts directed against his armour.

higgins wrote:
But what if we dropped AV altogether and would define the armour through the maximum wound levels?

I don’t actually see the benefit of doing away with AVs outright, as Ian rightly objects:
Ian.Plumb wrote:
One question: if the armour doesn't cap a particular weapon at below 5, what is the difference between wearing the armour and not wearing the armour?


higgins wrote:
Perhaps we could rule that armour caps all wounds at level 4, leaving the level 5 into the unarmoured combatant's field.

That would be a workable qick-fix, but I think that some more differentiation is necessary. I son’t see a quilted gambeson or leather jerkin preventing a level 5 puncture, for insance. And even against maille, level 5 punctures should be possible.

The proposed rule seems fine for cutting wounds, but I think that bludgeoning and punctures need finer distinctions.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 12:40 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
Ian.Plumb wrote:
So if I cut with my sword against a plate-armoured opponent my maximum wound level is two, but if I half-sword against a prone plate-armoured opponent my maximum wound level is five.
I would rather not see a ruling where the combatant’s posture influences how effective his armour is. His posture does already influence how effectively he can defend, and thus in turn how easy it is for his enemy to go for that one unarmoured spot.
Good point. I didn't quite spot what Ian implied, but indeed I wouldn't tread that ground either.

Grettir wrote:
higgins wrote:
But what if we dropped AV altogether and would define the armour through the maximum wound levels?
I don’t actually see the benefit of doing away with AVs outright, as Ian rightly objects:
Ian.Plumb wrote:
One question: if the armour doesn't cap a particular weapon at below 5, what is the difference between wearing the armour and not wearing the armour?
To be honest, I didn't think it quite feasible myself, but I brought the idea up for brainstorming anyway. Better to have an idea be torn down than not to handing it out at all and possibly miss an opportunity to reduce the rules-bulk.

Grettir wrote:
higgins wrote:
Perhaps we could rule that armour caps all wounds at level 4, leaving the level 5 into the unarmoured combatant's field.
That would be a workable qick-fix, but I think that some more differentiation is necessary. I son’t see a quilted gambeson or leather jerkin preventing a level 5 puncture, for insance. And even against maille, level 5 punctures should be possible.

The proposed rule seems fine for cutting wounds, but I think that bludgeoning and punctures need finer distinctions.
Again, valid points. I need to think this over.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 6:53 pm 
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higgins wrote:
Better to have an idea be torn down than not to handing it out at all and possibly miss an opportunity to reduce the rules-bulk.

Totally so. That’s why we are discussing ideas, after all. :)

That said, the more I think it over, the more I believe that three different AVs for cut, crush and stab combined with thre different damage caps, again for cut, crush and stab, for every type of armour are the way to go; much better than my old idea of the damage divisor.

Armour-piercing weapons can simply be simulated by raisng the usual damage cap of the armour against which they are used by 1 or even 2, without the need for an actual damage bonus. Broadhead arrows and the like could on the other hand easily be simulated by increasing damage by 1, but lowering the damage cap of armour opposing them by 1.

The impact of a powerful blow that would have caused damage over and above the cap can be simulated simply by using the Knockdown result from the uncapped wound level. Let’s say you acieve wound level 4, but are capped to 2: You inflict wound level 2, but the knockdown roll is taken from wound level 4. Simple yet realistic.

Superhumanly strong monsters and their capacity to inflict damage need not be simulated by giving them such huge basic DR that virtually every hit at all is a kill; instead, their damage can be treated as increasing the damage cap of opposing armour by 1 or even 2, as with armour-piercing weapons.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Sun May 30, 2010 10:45 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
That said, the more I think it over, the more I believe that three different AVs for cut, crush and stab combined with thre different damage caps, again for cut, crush and stab, for every type of armour are the way to go; much better than my old idea of the damage divisor.
I agree that having a divisor would be a pain. I have some experience of armour having separate cut/pierce/blunt ratings, which was easy enough once you got used to it. It was for a d20 game though, and so, the same set of numbers essentially applied to the whole body which made it tremendously simpler (and less detailed).

Grettir wrote:
Armour-piercing weapons can simply be simulated by raisng the usual damage cap of the armour against which they are used by 1 or even 2, without the need for an actual damage bonus. Broadhead arrows and the like could on the other hand easily be simulated by increasing damage by 1, but lowering the damage cap of armour opposing them by 1.
Yes, this makes a lot of sense, but I'd still like to tune down the number of necessary cogs and wheels. While not number crunchy like a divisor would be, I just feels heavy of different modifiers to look up. Six parameters for a piece of armour seems quite overkill, especially if you take into account what piecemail armour one can put together. I haven't had much experience with armour in TROS as I've mostly dealt with sword&musket with an occasional cuirass, but I've had the impression that the info can be very bulky on the sheer as it is, not to mention dividing it six ways.

In essence, I'm simply concerned with the overall bulkiness. I envisaged EoS to be slighty more rules light than TROS, but going six times as detailed with armour? Possibly eight times as detailed when we count in the firearms...

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 1:02 am 
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I love it. I wouldn't mind the extra value lookup at all. To me, it doesn't matter how many possible values there are if I have to look up the value anyway. You record it once on your sheet, then look it up when you need to. The added realism is totally worth it to me, especially in combat where it can make a life or death difference.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 7:46 am 
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higgins wrote:
I have some experience of armour having separate cut/pierce/blunt ratings, which was easy enough once you got used to it.

I also have experience (from Harnmaster, where the armour values don’t apply to the entire body) with different AVs, and I have long implicated my own version of the optional rules about AVs against different damage types in TFoB; with the many weapon DR modifiers against metal or hard armours introduced in TFoB, I was under the impression that this differentiation was as good as canonical and that most people used it.

That said, I don’t find it bulky in use. It’s like Daeruin said:
Daeruin wrote:
To me, it doesn't matter how many possible values there are if I have to look up the value anyway. You record it once on your sheet, then look it up when you need to.


higgins wrote:
Six parameters for a piece of armour seems quite overkill, especially if you take into account what piecemail armour one can put together.

I think we should not let the players themselves work out how armours “stack” but provide a comprehensive table readily presenting all conceivable combinations. This would also allow for more realism in adding up the AVs and wound caps of different combinations – by not using a formula right across the board but rather treating each case individually. All without any added bulk whatsoever in the handling in play or during chargen.

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Mon May 31, 2010 12:27 pm 
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Grettir wrote:
I also have experience (from Harnmaster, where the armour values don’t apply to the entire body) with different AVs, and I have long implicated my own version of the optional rules about AVs against different damage types in TFoB; with the many weapon DR modifiers against metal or hard armours introduced in TFoB, I was under the impression that this differentiation was as good as canonical and that most people used it.
In that regard I must agree. Having separate AVs on the sheet sounds much more straightforward than remembering adding a special modifier for a distinct purpose.

I also like the idea of armour piercing weapons simply upping the wound level cap. My nWoD mod uses the reduction of AV in case of armour piercing weapons... and when faced with crossbows/etc, the armour feels (and by all practical means, is) completely useless. Upping the cap would make the weapons more dangerous while not removing the armour from the equation.

In any case, I made a rough table to visualise the application on the sheet, comparing it with the weapons:

Image

P.S.
I thought I'd rather not use the Wound Cap acronym in the table. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Better armour?
PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 4:44 am 
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Alright, so what are the actual values to be used? Ready, go! :P

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