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Fixed or Variable Armour Points?


Fixed or Variable AP  

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  1. 1. Do you prefer fixed or Variable Armour Points?

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Just an innocent question, here - what do you prefer, the fixed armour points of BRP, or the variable armour points of Magic World? Obviously the matter of hit locations might rear its head in relation to this (roll 19-20 on 1D20 in melee, or 20 with missile attacks), so feel free to air your views on that as well.

Myself, now, I tend to lean towards fixed AP and hit locations, but that's just my upbringing talking.

Edited by Vile
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This is not a "rule" but how that rule is parameterised. Variable armour can work perfectly with all other parts of the BGB rules, it is just that Jason or whoever compiled the armour tables must have

Oooo... <wince>  That fence just crit'ed you right in the "Vitals"...

And the neck is one point where it is difficult to obtain total protection, so watch out!

I'm a variable guy.  I like the thiefy sneak being able to squeeze his little dagger into a weak spot in armor. Some will argue that's what criticals are for and I don't disagree but...on one hand I think it should be hard for a dagger wielder to fight an armor tank but still think he should have a shot...

Hit locations are fun but sure does slow down combat a bit and, IMO, produces a bit too much realism. I know many here disagree and that's great. Whatever makes it fun for you.

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I am variable... no thats not my choice! 

It depends on the game and the amount of detail. If I want to play a DnD-ish type game, variable is great, and easily to pick up, though it does add that additional pesky die roll. If I'm after something a bit grittier, then its locations with fixed AP. I have also been toying around with the idea of locations AND variable AP (think ballistic vests "converting" the damage from penetrating to blunt force).

SDLeary

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I tend to prefer Fixed AP values for worn armour, using Hit Location rolls, as per RQ.

However I also like the Shield rules from CoC 7E (Cthulhu Thru The Ages), where Shields have a variable dice roll for AP, it really keeps the Parry rules interesting.

So a mix of both works fine for me!

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These day, I tend to prefer the abstraction of variable armor points, a general HP pool, and major wounds. (Elric! or the Renaissance system are the baseline that I use). I certainly have run many campaigns, over the decades, using fixed AP, and hit locations (using RQ3, or MRQ2) but I don't feel I really have the time for that kind of combat detail any more.

I also mainly run [pre-7e] Call of Cthulhu so I don't have much need for detailed combat. Armor isn't a factor in the eras that I run CoC, and combats are usually over pretty quickly. 

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Fixed armor-values (different armor per hit-location, if that level of detail is desired) for me.

It seems counter-intuitive to me that a really fine piece of armor might "roll low" and offer minimal protection... particularly as often as a linear die-roll would have it happen!  There really is a "find a chink in the armor" phenomenon, where the armor offers less/little/no protection... I feel this is best handled with rare "Specials" results on the attack roll, rather than more-common low-roll on armor value.

But I prefer other mechanics continue to be available, to suit other players' tastes and to fit those situations where my own tastes say that variable-AP armor might fit better (Frank Herbert's Dune, I'm looking at YOU and your "Shield" force-fields...)

 

 

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Until last year, I always advocate for fixed armor value per hit location (with abilities to target the buckle to uncover a location)

Recently I play others game with fixed armor but having a variable value for HP of the armor, and I prefer this one which minimize the lucky one-shooting attack, give more struggle feeling for light-armored & heavy-weaponed player and it also give a greater heroic feeling.

It work fine perfectly in comic space-opera where you start in full exo-mobile armor and end the fight in Bikini...

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On 12/27/2016 at 11:10 AM, MJ Sadique said:

Until last year, I always advocate for fixed armor value per hit location (with abilities to target the buckle to uncover a location)

Recently I play others game with fixed armor but having a variable value for HP of the armor, and I prefer this one which minimize the lucky one-shooting attack, give more struggle feeling for light-armored & heavy-weaponed player and it also give a greater heroic feeling.

It work fine perfectly in comic space-opera where you start in full exo-mobile armor and end the fight in Bikini...

I think the thing you are talking about is where armor gets "used up" or "less effective" as it absorbs damage... the armor is presumed to be taking damage.  Winding up in the bikini (or the speedo briefs) IS a funny image! (here's another image:  Peter Jackson's "Gimli" in Olympic-regulation Speedo briefs:  now YOU all need brain-bleach like *I* do!)

The term I've seen for this (gaming in general, not RQ-specific) is "ablative" armor.  I tend to prefer ablative armor for "energy" sorts of things -- sci-fi "force fields" and magical "Spirit Shields" and the like -- rather than for physical chainmail / etc.  While armor DOES get damaged, I'd rather model it differently.

 

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Speaking of ablative armour, has anyone played with The Black Hack and its "usage dice"? Interesting concept. Armour doesn't get used up so much as it loses effectiveness during combat, whereafter you have to spend some time to sort it out before your next fight. Kind of reminiscent of the idea of weapons and shields losing hit points during a fight, but being able to fix them afterwards (I honestly don't remember whether that was an RQ2 rule or a house rule).

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I voted for the fixed armour values. Mainly because I don't want to slow down every combat by adding another roll. As it stands combat can take quite a while once characters are moderately skilled and have semi decent armour. 

If you are using Elric/BGB default style combat you're extending any combat round, which connects, by 25% (20% if you have to roll a major wound).

If you are using the hit location rules then the player can choose to target an unarmoured location by making a difficult attack roll. There are also rules for aiming on pages 212-213 of the BGB that I would let people use for melee attacks as well as ranged. 

 

 

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On 02/01/2017 at 0:32 AM, Greville said:

I voted for the fixed armour values. Mainly because I don't want to slow down every combat by adding another roll. As it stands combat can take quite a while once characters are moderately skilled and have semi decent armour. 

If you are using Elric/BGB default style combat you're extending any combat round, which connects, by 25% (20% if you have to roll a major wound).

If you are using the hit location rules then the player can choose to target an unarmoured location by making a difficult attack roll. There are also rules for aiming on pages 212-213 of the BGB that I would let people use for melee attacks as well as ranged.

A solution would be to add the armor roll to the damage done by the attacker. For instance, a plate armor would add 1d10-10 to the damage roll (instead of substracting 1d10-1), and a leather armor 1d4-4 (instead of substracting 1d4-1). By doing this, you only have to add dice together, unless you have a negative damage modifier.

Of course, that means the GM has to tell the armor value to players, which also takes time...

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5 hours ago, Vile said:

Another problem is revealing non-obvious armour values willy-nilly without first baffling the player for a bit. ;)

:blink::wacko:  Why would you do that?  Every time they roll an (unparried) hit, they roll damage; the GM makes a little note on the sheet of the NPC.  The PLAYERS don't know if it's notching-down the HP's, nor by how much (if at all).

I will usually narrate this with something like "It felt like a good, solid hit... but the guy didn't flinch or wince at all, and seems completely unimpaired."  My players usually take this to mean the foe had either amazingly-high HP's (such that it was only a trivial scratch to the HP-total), or amazingly-tough armor (such that little or no damage was done).  If it's not obvious which, they try to find out...

 

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I prefer fixed armor values when using hit locations. IMO, variable armor values work better with general hit points. 

But there are some problems with variable armor. For one thing, it might be a bit too variable. I think a bell curve probably would work better than a single die. Otherwise it kinda makes armor too weak in BRP. That is you wind up with plate armor having about a 50% chance of stopping a broadsword on a normal success, and pricatically no chance against a special success or better.

Another problem with variable AP is with cover and/or vehicles. If somebody is hiding behind a rock wall, the wall should stop an arrow or pistol round virtually all the time. 

 

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