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Lloyd Dupont

Rich loot and poor character

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I am playing Revolution D100 now and there isn't much (that I have seen) rule to break equipment.

Even in BRP weapon, with an easy weapon break rule (on special and crit attack) (which is one rule that is attracting me back to BRP), armour doesn't break..

Now the problem is that my players accumulate ever better gear.

Now I got nothing against looting and getting better gear... and while I slightly (I admit) annoyed that they wear full armour full time (slightly understandable in the context though) I have a feeling I am missing something that contribute to full plate mail cost and rarity.

You only need to defeat 1 knight, boom you get an armour... and then a second knight (much more easily), boom 2 armour...

At that stage the simplest option for me was to make (at least full chain mail) quite common... But I think adding some sort of expensive armor maintenance rule would be more appropriate...

Any thoughts on that topic?

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Adventurers gain equipment in the same way that people did in our history.

If you defeat someone else with better equipment then you take it and sell what you don't need.

Knights did this a lot and also kept the ransom.

Personally, I don't mind this at all.

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Well.. I just want to break the gear... 
(in fact it's only vaguely related with the character being poor as in, it's hard to keep up good gear, while not having the money to buy / maintain it in the first place)

In BRP at least we got weapon breaking rule. I wonder if anyone has armour breaking rule too?!

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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A relatable metaphor: stealing a Ferrari.

Poor player, in lawless world steal a Ferrari. Congratulation the player now own a Ferrari.
The player now takes the Ferrari in a wild pursuit through the wilderness on what is barely a dirt road. Chance are good the body takes quite some damage and the engine and tires might need some work and replacement. I will bet it's going to be more expensive that regular auto maintenance, and certainly more than a motorbike.

Well.. I'd like to do the same thing with full plate armor.

Edited by Lloyd Dupont
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34 minutes ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

Well.. I just want to break the gear... 
(in fact it's only vaguely related with the character being poor as in, it's hard to keep up good gear, while not having the money to buy / maintain it in the first place)

In BRP at least we got weapon breaking rule. I wonder if anyone has armor breaking rule too?!

Allow each suit of armor a "Coverage Rating" that is represented by a PERCENTAGE that you roll under for the protection to apply.  An "off the rack" suit of armor would provide 90% coverage and a custom-fitted suit would protect on a roll of 95% or less.  Coverage Ratings can vary by armor type at the GM's discretion.  For example, you could have things like gauntlets and gloves provide from 25% to up to 50% coverage of a location. 

        Each time the armor is PENETRATED (ie damage exceeds AP) you subtract 1% from the armor's Coverage Rating.  Slashes/Impales/Crushes reduce the Coverage Rating by 5%.  The DEFENDER rolls the Coverage Dice during an attack.  The Coverage Dice can be rolled in conjunction with an Parry Dice (for a Parry skill check) to save time.  Once the Coverage Rating reaches 0%, the armor is destroyed.  I have the SUNDER ARMOR special effect reduce coverage by 10% on a hit with that SE.

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Hi Lloyd,

I ask again why you do not post this in the RD100 section, since you are not playing generic BRP. This would at least avoid people posting suggestions of houserules that are actually coincident with the core rules :)

And it would spare people my tirades, too. I will try to address both this post and the issues you raised in the "armed to the teeth" thread.

9 hours ago, olskool said:

Allow each suit of armor a "Coverage Rating" that is represented by a PERCENTAGE that you roll under for the protection to apply.  An "off the rack" suit of armor would provide 90% coverage and a custom-fitted suit would protect on a roll of 95% or less.  Coverage Ratings can vary by armor type at the GM's discretion.  For example, you could have things like gauntlets and gloves provide from 25% to up to 50% coverage of a location. 

        Each time the armor is PENETRATED (ie damage exceeds AP) you subtract 1% from the armor's Coverage Rating.  Slashes/Impales/Crushes reduce the Coverage Rating by 5%.  The DEFENDER rolls the Coverage Dice during an attack.  The Coverage Dice can be rolled in conjunction with an Parry Dice (for a Parry skill check) to save time.  Once the Coverage Rating reaches 0%, the armor is destroyed.  I have the SUNDER ARMOR special effect reduce coverage by 10% on a hit with that SE.

Errrrrrm... in the BRP variant that he is playing, armour coverage is a standard attribute of all armours in the RAW. And you do not need to roll a separate die, you use the unit die of the attack roll to determine if you hit armour or not.

And you also win a quote in a sidebar in the next edition. Should I quote you as "olskool" ? I had not introduced the SUNDER special effect from Mythras because I do not find it particularly fun, but this sounds like a good solution. On a Sundering blow, add +1 to the coverage value of one location or layer of armour of the target. This may or may not be mendable after combat with a Repair Conflict.

10 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

I am playing Revolution D100 now and there isn't much (that I have seen) rule to break equipment.

Even in BRP weapon, with an easy weapon break rule (on special and crit attack) (which is one rule that is attracting me back to BRP), armour doesn't break..

Weapons break more frequently in RD100 than in BRP, it is just a matter of you having the opponents use the "Damage weapon" effect on a successful parry with a higher roll. I remember a fight during the playtest of the rules in which I managed to cast Bladesharp on everything I was carrying and the demon we were fighting kept breaking every single enchanted weapon I threw at it by simply parrying with its demonic blade.

9 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

You only need to defeat 1 knight, boom you get an armour... and then a second knight (much more easily), boom 2 armour...

First of all, gothic plate is crafted to fit the specific body shape of a single person. Unless you are very similar in size to the guy wearing the armour, you cannot simply take it and don it. It must be adapted to your specific figure even if it is somehow of  the same size. Which implies the intervention of an armour maker able to craft plate, who in turn is damn expensive.

This will not stop enterprising playes, but at least it will force them to learn Armour making to simply make the loot usable. Once they see the bill of the armour crafter for "tailoring the gothic suit", they will certainly learn it. Or perhaps even consider to pursue the crafter career. No risk, and most of the big bucks the adventurers get in dungeons end up in your purse.

9 hours ago, Lloyd Dupont said:

At that stage the simplest option for me was to make (at least full chain mail) quite common...

Er.. chain mail was standard armour for everyone and his dog for most of he Middle Ages. You are doing nothing wrong if any professional fighter your players meet has mail. In fact it is city militia wearing leather that is implausible. 

Being a band of mercenaries and sellwords, your players are more than likely to have superior armour. Gothic plate is plausible, but it has its drawbacks. As you note, the guy they looted it from had a bigger purse, so most of the issues did not apply to him. Player characters are a different story.

There are several other points.

1. Getting better equipment by loot

So what? It is one of the goals of the game, so why should they not have good armour once they start making a name as fighters?

Honestly, this issue appeared soon after we started playing RuneQuest 30+ years ago. Dario used to solve it by forcing the players to pay maintenance for their equipment, which meant that you had to effectively "rebuy" it every x years or so, and pro rate the cost each time the adventure stopped for more than one month. I prefer a 10% cost per year. This implies a little bit of number crunching but it is a quick solution to penniless adventurers walking around in the medieval equivalent of a stolen Ferrari.

However, the players will eventually find a way to circumvent this and keep high quality items in their possession. At this point the GM, if he becomes uncomfortable with unplausibility, may be faced with the temptation of "taking away" the very powerful gear or rendering it less effective to even things out. I have seen this happen time and again over time. 

But, depending on the group, this might be a dangerous solution. The players may react with a sense of frustration and perceive this as depriving them of the fun. Once they have better armour, they expect to meet more dangerous opponents, not an outraging bill for repairing their gear. It is certainly plausible, but telling them that the fantastic blade they found has spoiled because they could not afford the weapon oil (or did not know that a blade needs oiling) can only detract from the fun of the game, and never add.

If you want to enforce a minimum level of coherence between character and gear, it is better to speak to your players and explain what level of plausibility you want to enforce in the game. At this point, the best option is to tell them that they must improve their characters' Status/Wealth or maintenance skills in order to use that fancy stuff on a prolonged basis (in Hero Wars you would spend a Hero Point to "cement the benefit"). Using the threat of equipment degradation to "keep players in line" is a solution that emphasizes conflict between GM and players. My experience tells me that agreement on a common sense of plausibility is a better idea. 

2. Always carrying the equipment with the best stats

This, again, is an issue I have been facing since 1987 (fu..., I am getting old). If the weapon entry says "throw more dice for damage", the players will want to always use that weapon. It is normal. Even worse for armour, where the statistics are even less varied and the players will simply look at the highest AP score they can have.

If this breaks the GM’s suspension of disbelief (and I confess that for me, it does), what are the possible solutions?

First of all, talk to the player and agree on plausibility. Explain to them that an implausible choice of weaponry, rules mechanics or not, is an act of bad roleplaying if your character is a fighter. Remind them that you are playing a game of impersonation, not a wargame. A real fighter does know that there is no “one size fits all” and would never, ever rely on using always the same weaponry, no matter the difference in sheer stopping power. I stress it again: never, ever the same gear for all situations. Stress it to your players, too.

The point is simple: some weapons are for the battlefield, others are for personal defense and everyday use in areas where civilians may carry. An intermediate category (spears, rifles) is battlefield-oriented but it is still plausible to find it in the hands of a guard on active duty. You do not carry M60s in town, and heavy crossbows or pikes are the equivalent of an M60. Only a soldier who is marching to battle or defending a fortification is supposed to have such a weapon ready. Same for armour. Some elaborate suits of armour are for the battlefield only. They were not worn 24/24, except when the fighter was marching into battle. It is not so difficult.

But what happens when the player says “I do not care about plausibility, I expect trouble and my character wishes to stay alive”? Well, in this case, too, nerfing or damaging the players’ hard earned “toys” to prevent unrealistic use may generate frustration in the players, and give rise to a conflictual attitude between players and GM.

Revolution D100 tries to address this issue (when it is an issue, because, as explained in the sidebar, not all groups find it problematic) by establishing a simple, fair, well-known and plausible penalty to social, agility and endurance feats when wearing battlefield equipment outside the battlefield. It is in the table on page 73, and the important point is that the players have access to this information and so should expect that the Narrator applies it when they choose to go around in heavy armour and weaponry. No excuses; Be fair and strict and simply apply the rules: you are in full plate all day round? -30% to one social roll and two agility or endurance rolls. You are also carrying a halberd (and no, there is no such a thing as a scabbarded halberd)? -30% to a further social roll and two further agility rolls. You are protected against harm, sure, but Billy the Robber (Agility 80%, Stealth 70%) will have an easy time cutting your purse undisturbed, and forget about catching him when he flees, or persuading the bystanders to tell you where he lives.

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Hey Paolo,

To answer your very first question at the top.... 

- when I look at the RD100 forum flooded with my question I feel self consciously bad about it!
- I both like and BRP and RD100 and kind of undecided between them...  but while I am firmly with RD100 for my Dark Elf campaign now, I plan to use BRP for the upcoming Scifi one and many of my question have my scifi campaign in mind now... this one too, though the armor part was quite relevant to the Dark Elf campaign as well....


Anyway thanks for pitching in... I have to say I had only one full read of the RD100 rule (the first time, when I was confused...) I have trouble reading it again or finding section of interest.. 😮 
Like the rule on page 73! ^_^
And the (new) sunder effect! we were looking for something like that!

And I misread the damage weapon rules, I though you had to have a better quality weapon! But equal will work as well hey? Cool!

Edited by Lloyd Dupont

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On 1/18/2020 at 10:04 AM, Lloyd Dupont said:

I am playing Revolution D100 now and there isn't much (that I have seen) rule to break equipment.

Even in BRP weapon, with an easy weapon break rule (on special and crit attack) (which is one rule that is attracting me back to BRP), armour doesn't break..

Now the problem is that my players accumulate ever better gear.

Now I got nothing against looting and getting better gear... and while I slightly (I admit) annoyed that they wear full armour full time (slightly understandable in the context though) I have a feeling I am missing something that contribute to full plate mail cost and rarity.

You only need to defeat 1 knight, boom you get an armour... and then a second knight (much more easily), boom 2 armour...

At that stage the simplest option for me was to make (at least full chain mail) quite common... But I think adding some sort of expensive armor maintenance rule would be more appropriate...

Any thoughts on that topic?

Any captured armor still generally needs to be fitted to the character wearing it.  Smaller characters can fit into larger suits at less cost than larger characters fitting into smaller ones, but even characters of the same SIZE will still need to be fitted for everything except (generally) helmets.  Chainmail is a lot cheaper to fit than plate, as is lamellar and scale.  It may play out that you need 2 suits of armor, and you will have to trade one in to cover the expense of fitting the other one.  Getting armor re-fitted will take a master smith a good deal of time, and his time is expensive.

If you want to get rules happy and sticky, you might say that a special success will reduce armor in a location by 1 point, and a critical will reduce it by 3, until it is repaired.  Just a thought.

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