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dulcamara

Armor penalties to Physical Skills...

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What skills do you apply this to aside from the typical Jump, Stealth, Ride, etc, Physical section listed on the stock BRP character sheets? Obviously in the case of Swim rather than a simple -20% or whatever I'd prohibit it in chainmail or greater, maybe give them a Difficult check to stay afloat.

Otherwise specifically in regards to combat skills. The Dodge penalty makes sense. How about Parry? Or the various weapons skills themselves - melee and ranged? Brawl/grapple? Just trying to figure out the main tradeoffs players will be dealing with Re: armor protection.

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I apply the penalty to Dodge. I also think it would be applicable to missile weapons like bows or slings. I don't like the idea of it reducing melee combat skills or brawl/grapple. Slowing you down a bit (as is argued in the Strike Ranks thread) sounds ok though.

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I would certainly apply it to Dodge. I'm not sure about all missile weapons though, or to be more precise, all armor causing that issue with missile weapons.

I would say that rigid armor would impose a penalty on slings and javelins, but not bows or crossbows. Not sure that I would get down to this level though unless PCs were trying to do ridiculous things with armor, such as several layers.

SDLeary

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I sure don't claim to be an archer, but I found it a lot easier to shoot a bow after I took my heavy jacket off when I was messing around last fall. Maybe I should only apply a penalty for wearing padded armor? :) I guess I was thinking about things like the string catching on your forearm or trying to shoot across a pigeon-breast cuirass. Agree with the crossbow comment.

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That's how I play it, penalising combat skills is counter-intuitive to its function. As I said in the Strike Ranks thread, if armour slows you down or impairs your ability to hit it's just going to get you killed. I'd only apply skill penalties to fine motor actions (like lockpicking or repair) and things like swimming (where the weight will impair you) or athletics (where you need complete freedom of movement).

Although even the athletics may be going too far. I've heard of accounts of, I think an Italian Count, who could perform full backflips on his horse while wearing plate.

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Although even the athletics may be going too far. I've heard of accounts of, I think an Italian Count, who could perform full backflips on his horse while wearing plate.

There are quite a few vids on youtube of people doing athletic feats on plate armor! ;)

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I sure don't claim to be an archer, but I found it a lot easier to shoot a bow after I took my heavy jacket off when I was messing around last fall. Maybe I should only apply a penalty for wearing padded armor? :) I guess I was thinking about things like the string catching on your forearm or trying to shoot across a pigeon-breast cuirass. Agree with the crossbow comment.

I've been shooting recurves and longbows on and off since I was a kid. Interference from clothing can be overcome with wearing appropriate clothing and armguards. For armor, I'd think it would be the same way. It needs to be reasonably close-fitting at least on the bow arm and any archer would wear a bracer, typically with an integrated glove since longbows didn't have shelves.

Any closed helms would definitely interfere, as would nasal helms. I'd rule you can't even shoot a bow with a great helm on.

Filbanto, The Medieval Archer by Jim Bradbury is a great book. You are welcome to borrow my copy if you like.

Edited by Narl

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I've been shooting recurves and longbows on and off since I was a kid. Interference from clothing can be overcome with wearing appropriate clothing and armguards.For armor, I'd think it would be the same way. It needs to be reasonably close-fitting at least on the bow arm and any archer would wear a bracer, typically with an integrated glove since longbows didn't have shelves.

Bolded for emphasis. This gets at the crux of what I ineptly was trying to describe above. Take the Hundred Years War for example. Archers typically were armored in fairly tight-fitting jacks with open helms. Kit the same archer out in a full harness and close helm. Would he hit what he was aiming at as often?

What about our backflipping count? The guy can do backflips in and out of his armor. The question is does he find it more difficult to do them in the armor? I guess you could argue either way... If he only does backflips while wearing a full harness his balance might be thrown off when he was out of armor. I prefer an abstraction - give a small penalty to characters in heavy armor. Your mileage may vary - we all interpret the world a little differently:)

I agree you cannot penalize armor wearers in the game too much. MRQ1 made armor practically useless with the high penalties imposed.

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I don't use armor penalties, too much granularity for my taste!

But if i did, it would probably be a static penality (like -1 to the "dex*x" & "con*x", and -xx% to dodge)

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Also people should keep in mind that a fitted suit, such as full suits of Gothic or Italian plate, or the hoplite suit that the King just had his smith make for him, are going to be a lot less encumbering than for the average adventurer who essentially picks up what he finds, or buys what he can afford at a market. Proper fit makes a big difference.

Other types of armor too, but not necessarily to the same degree. A Brigandine can be synched up tighter, a generic Hauberk or Brynie can be belted, etc. Penalties should probably be higher for rigid than non-rigid, etc.

SDLeary

Edited by SDLeary

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