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High Armor, Low damage Predicament


KPhan2121

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Hello guys, I gm a game for my friends. For simplicity's sake, we use static armor values and don't use hit locations. This presents a problem when you have a guy who uses daggers against a man in full plate armor. Theres no way to damage the man. Is there a way to get around this problem without bringing in hit locations or variable armor values?

 

I thought about armor peircing attacks, like instead of rolling for damage you simply do minimum damage and it ignores the armor value.

 

What do you guys think or have to say about this problem?

You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

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The guy with daggers can't damage the guy in plate armor even after strength/size bonus? (I don't have my books in front of me).

 

You could rule the minimum damage on a successful hit is 1. That would be pretty simple, and it would mean armor can never completely ignore damage, but it can come close.

I still wouldnt want to be the guy with daggers though. ;)

 

You could armor up two guys in plate mail and give them both daggers, then have them fight eachother, for a whole new take on padded sumo. :P

 

Or you could be cool with the fact that a child just can't hurt the fully plate armored dude with a sling bullet. That would also be pretty understandable.

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A critical hit would represent finding a Sweet spot with the dagger. A space between plate armor joints, sneaking in below the helm, or even slicing a strap on the breastplate causing it to fall loose.

Plate armor was invented and utilized for avoiding small piercing attacks like arrows and daggers. It was made to be an upgrade from chainmail that arrows could penetrate more easily.

If you take this protection away you are robbing the character of the benefit.

Likewise, if you don't use fatigue, figuring in encumbrance for heavy armor, you are robbing the nimble dagger wielders of a tactical advantage of wearing the tank out.

Full plate is valuable and expensive for a reason. But if you don't allow it's benefits....why would anyone bother with that bulky mess?

I'd recommend AT LEAST changing from static armor values to the roll, if this isn't sufficient.

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A critical hit would represent finding a Sweet spot with the dagger. A space between plate armor joints, sneaking in below the helm, or even slicing a strap on the breastplate causing it to fall loose.

Plate armor was invented and utilized for avoiding small piercing attacks like arrows and daggers. It was made to be an upgrade from chainmail that arrows could penetrate more easily.

If you take this protection away you are robbing the character of the benefit.

Likewise, if you don't use fatigue, figuring in encumbrance for heavy armor, you are robbing the nimble dagger wielders of a tactical advantage of wearing the tank out.

Full plate is valuable and expensive for a reason. But if you don't allow it's benefits....why would anyone bother with that bulky mess?

I'd recommend AT LEAST changing from static armor values to the roll, if this isn't sufficient.

If he's using fixed Armor, I would guess he means from MRQ/MRQII/Legend/RuneQuest, in which case, Plate armor is just better AP6, Chainmail is AP5 (Arms of Legend).

 

In short, the RQ model of fixed armor isn't really set up to work with the SB model of fixed hitpoints/critical wounds, so combining them takes some doing. The "To a minimum of 1 damage" should be alright though, particularly if you use the "heroic" hitpoint pools.

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The guy with daggers can't damage the guy in plate armor even after strength/size bonus? (I don't have my books in front of me).

 

You could rule the minimum damage on a successful hit is 1. That would be pretty simple, and it would mean armor can never completely ignore damage, but it can come close.

I still wouldnt want to be the guy with daggers though. ;)

 

You could armor up two guys in plate mail and give them both daggers, then have them fight eachother, for a whole new take on padded sumo. :P

 

Or you could be cool with the fact that a child just can't hurt the fully plate armored dude with a sling bullet. That would also be pretty understandable.

 

No, he doesn't have a damage bonus cause hes an elf with average str and size and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like having to hit a knight 100 times for him to not go down.

 

 

 

I prefer for a way let them attack at the gaps on the armor intentionally instead of relying on getting a crit. Maybe its a difficult attack at 1/2% to hit an area that doesn't have armor like the slit of the visor, or maybe its a normal attack but the damage dealt is minimized so a dagger wielder with a damage bonus would do 2 points of damage per sucessful hit. I think it's a bit fairer while keeping the lower damaging weapons usable since daggers and many thin swords realistically don't do that much damage, but were created to penetrate plate better.

 

 

 

Yeah, in runequest II, the armor values are lowered and you can choose to attack a location without having a crit, you simply have to attain one degree of success higher than your opponent and you can choose a list of appropriate manuevers to use, one was to choose a location to attack and you'd attack an area that was vulnerable

You like Fading Suns? Well, I made a thing that's kinda like it!

 

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Hello guys, I gm a game for my friends. For simplicity's sake, we use static armor values and don't use hit locations. This presents a problem when you have a guy who uses daggers against a man in full plate armor. Theres no way to damage the man. Is there a way to get around this problem without bringing in hit locations or variable armor values?

What critical / special hit rules are you using?

 

My standard advice is to use EITHER Fixed AV and hit locations OR variable AV and solely total hit points.

In general, a dagger SHOULD BE pretty useless against full plate, apart from in very specific edge cases... which is what criticals and specials represent.

Cheers,

Nick

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No, he doesn't have a damage bonus cause hes an elf with average str and size and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't like having to hit a knight 100 times for him to not go down.

Ah. Well you could do all weapons do at least minimum die roll, or all weapons do at least 1, or something of the sort.

 

If you want to have called shots without hit locations, I haven't seen anyone do up rules for those; I think I would rule that a crit is you getting an opportunity for a good hit and pulling it off. Beyond that, I think you would have to write something custom yourself.

 

Sure. But if a guy is wearing plate armor, (and you're not using piecemeal armor rules) then he's wearing plate armor everywhere.

 

If he's not wearing plate armor everywhere, then you shouldn't be giving him the points of having plate armor everywhere. If he's only wearing a chestplate and a helmet, why are you giving him AP6?

 

If he's only wearing 2/7 of a set of armor, give him 2/7 of its armor value (or be less specific and give him 1/3 of the armor value), or perhaps disproportionately weight the locations you can die from (I can also see that making sense), or have him roll a d100, and 2/7(29%) the time he gets his plate, and the other 5/7(71%) he has no armor against the attack.

 

If the situation in question is that he IS wearing plate everywhere, and you're talking about weak spots in the armor, that's covered by a crit. And in RQ, choosing a location wouldn't get you past his armor if all locations are armored.

 

But you're taking two disconnected halves of two alternate subsystems, and making an attempt to mash them together to make it work. They aren't designed to work together, so if you're determined to not use either of the two supported options, you're going to have to make some houserules to connect the parts together and have them work in a way you find satisfactory.

 

Personally, if I were trying to houserule this thing so I could have fixed armor and a pool of HP, I think I would go with either minimum damage of 1 or 2 on a successful hit (probably 1, hit points dont go that high), or look into stealing the hit location rules and single HP pool from one of the warhammer games, or make custom rolled armor rules that did what I wanted better.

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I will add to the chorus of using hit locations with fixed AP or random AP with major wounds.

BRP allows for called shots, like to an unarmoured location, at hard difficulty.

 

The Legend/RQ-line's action point economy and sfx's solve part of your problem - even if an attack don't cause damage, it will eat up an opponent's actions and possibly cause all manners of complications.

At the cost of adding a not insignificant amount of complexity to the game.

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The crtical and special hit rules should keep daggers somewhat dangerous. 2D4+4 (a special) should be able to get past plate at least some of the time. A 10 point critical should definitely get something past the armor- even if you don;t use the critical hit bypassing armor option. 

Chaos stalks my world, but she's a big girl and can take of herself.

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It would be unusual if a dagger attack takes down a fully armoured opponent in heavy plate armour, and doing so would have to be the result of a very good skill roll, typically a special or critical success.

 

I have been using BRP as my predominant rpg system for many years now, and for melee orientated games I still think static armour + hit locations is the best way to go. Others would prefer the Elric/MagicWorld options of variable armour + major wound table.

 

The variable armour + major wound chart is usually a little quicker about half of the time, but the static armour + hit locations isn't all that cumbersome. I typically use the limb HP as thresholds rather than tracking separate HP tallies, so it takes the paperwork out of it and makes the characters slightly more resilient.

 

The tactile feel of hit locations adds a great feel for combat, and is one of the things that I have found players love about this system.

But its apples and oranges, really. Just a matter of taste.

 

But those are usually the options that work for BRP

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" Sure it's fun, but it is also well known that a D20 roll and an AC is no match against a hefty swing of a D100% and a D20 Hit Location Table!"

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A dagger does 1D4+2 damage, one that impales does 1D4+8, so can do 12 points of damage. A critical hit ignores armour.

 

This means that the elf with a dagger fighting someone in full plate (assuming 8 points for the plate) can hot on an impale or critical.

 

In my opinion, this is reasonable, as I would not expect a fairly weedy elf with a dagger to be able to take out an opponent wearing plate armour. Just seen Mankcam's reply and agree totally.

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Hello guys, I gm a game for my friends. For simplicity's sake, we use static armor values and don't use hit locations. This presents a problem when you have a guy who uses daggers against a man in full plate armor. Theres no way to damage the man. Is there a way to get around this problem without bringing in hit locations or variable armor values?

 

I thought about armor peircing attacks, like instead of rolling for damage you simply do minimum damage and it ignores the armor value.

 

What do you guys think or have to say about this problem?

 

I don't see the problem. A dagger should not be able to pierce plate armor unless the attacker scores a critical or special hit.

 

The dagger is too small, and the attacker can't build up enough leverage to get through the plate armor.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I suggest telling the wee dagger fighter to pick up a bigger weapon, and/or telling them to learn how to grapple as well as having successful grappling negate the armor and thereby letting the dagger fulfill one of its historical uses, shanking pinned knights.

My roleplaying blog: Axes and Orcs. Scramblings of anime, D&D, and RQ-derived games.

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