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FASA Games, Inc. • Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?
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Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 1:40 pm
by Zombi-Wan
Greetings, all.

Is the Initiative modifier on armor the only hinderance for wearing it? I've done quite a bit of digging through the material, but that is the only limitation I have found so far (besides the PER penalty if wearing a helm as well).


Re: Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 3:55 pm
by Anunnaki
Initiative and the actual weight of the armor (for Encumbrance purposes). And PER for the helmet, yes.

Re: Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 9:16 pm
by Zombi-Wan
Hmmmm. That's too bad. I suppose I will have to House Rule something then.

Perhaps heavier armors may actually lower the Physical Defense and movement of a character. All that extra protection may soften a blow, but it slows your reflexes as well. Certainly, armors like chain mail and plate could likely have an effect on some DEX-related Talents/skills (Climbing, Swimming, etc).

As the rule currently stands, a character has every reason to wear as heavy an armor as they can manage. For certain character types, this seems ludicrous. A human monk, for instance, could use Versatility to buy a few ranks in Air Dance and/or Tiger Spring to compensate for armor penalties and jump around the battlefield, doing spinning jump-kicks in plate mail.

Hmmmm. This is all just sort of thinking "aloud". I already see a problem with artificially lowering the Physical Defense. Doing so would make Armor Defeating hits easier to make, thus making heavier armors almost self-negating. UNLESS, each set of armor had a Deflection Bonus, like shields and such.

Well, this may take some work and I'm sure my group wouldn't mind playing with some ideas. If anyone here has any comments/suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

Re: Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 3:32 am
by Avantio
Just lower the required success level to hit a person in heavy armor but leave the armor-defeating success as is.
Or increase the required success level on any acrobatics / high dexterity tests...
If think it's the simplest way in terms of book keeping.

Re: Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 3:37 pm
by Rogan Rubyeye
Actually, the Physical Defence and DEX step of the wearer get reduced should the wearer be Encumbered by the weight of the armour (exceeding his Carrying Capacity). Well, at least in 1st ED it did, as the difference in Str required to what your characte has was then subtracted as an encumbrance penalty to Dex.

Admittedly, I've always had a bit of a problem with the Weight/Carrying Capacity/Encumbrance rules in regard to gear lugged about by the characters. It never really accounts for the mass and bulkiness of items. Especially suits of armour. However, the Initiative Penalty is a nice addition into recognising this effect. Sure you can wear armour, but you trade off monility at the advantage of being kept alive/healthy.

Yup armour slows you down, meaning you normally get hit first, but then the armour is suppossed to absorb that damage until you can retalliate. Otherwise, dodge or parry the opponent's attack. If the RAW isn't quite doing it for you, then here's a couple of options that I utilise in my games:

> Apply the armour's Initiative Penalty modifier to all DEX related skill & talent tests. (Note that I also apply the Strength Adjustment rules too for balance - IE: work out how much Encumbrance penalties you can ignore by consulting the Attribute Table with STR Adj value equal to result of character's STR attribute in the Mystic Armour column).

> Use roleplaying practicallity. Swimming in armour is pretty much a no-no. Putting it on/taking it off takes time, and is not something that can usualy be done in less than a minute. Maintainance costs and penalties for damaged armour suits not fitting right or falling open with frayed straps etc. Being aware of environmenal effects - quicksand, electrical attacks (hello Mr Lightning Lizard), heatstroke/burns (Death's Sea/Mist Swamps) or cold & wet climates (rusting, rotting, frozen to skin etc.). Also remember that sleeping in armour is unconfortable, so unless it's light & flexible enough (or natural like an Obsidiman's skin) you can apply the Armour Ratng as a penalty to Recovery Tests for resting overnight. Oh yeah, and don't forget things like fleas and ticks and ther parasites that just love things like quilted fabrics etc.

Re: Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 1:19 pm
by Dale
The groups I play in avoid any initiative penalty like the plague. Everyone runs around in padded leather at the top end pretty much. We do have a front line fighter in blood pebble now as the highest armor. Most of the group are dex based disciplines. Anything that isn't armor defeating is easy for them to avoid via avoid blow or other talents (6th-8th circle group now). For armor defeating hits the armor doesn't do anything for them anyhow.

Re: Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Fri Nov 02, 2012 5:49 am
by slayride
My group tends to similar Initiative penalty avoidance. Some of the better ones are the Espagra Scale Cloak + Padded Leather + Crystal Buckler combo (3/1 + 4 +1/1 = 8/2 for -1 Initiative and can take the cloak off to remove the Initiative Penalty) or applying the Heavy Armor template to an Initiative 2 item (like Body Shield Rank 4, 8/0, +1 Physical Defense, 0 Initiative Penalty or Crystal Raider 5/5, +1 Spell Defense, 0 Initiative Penalty).

My favorite is still Obsidiman Warrior though, 3/0 base + Blood Pebble 5/3 -1 Initiative + Body Shield 5/0 -2 Initiative + Espagra-Scale Cloak 3/1 -1 Initiative = 15/4 -4 Initiative. Not that it matters with Air Dance 6 + Tiger Spring 6 + 7 Dex = 19- 4= Step 15 Initiative anyway for my old Sixth Circle Warrior in ED1. The Warrior is the class that tends to be able to negate Initiative Penalties the best.

In my 10 year campaign, Ravenna, played by JP, had Full Plate Armor 9/0 -4 Initiative + 5/0 Body Shield -2 Initiative = 14/0 -6 Initiative. Air Dance 7 + Tiger Spring 7 + Dex 7 = 21-6 = Step 15 Initiative. Hard to get through that. But Globberogs added him to the collective lol.

He once put on an Espagra-Scale Cloak and had a 17/1 -7 Initiative. That equaled his base Dexterity, so he could only move once every two rounds (house rule of mine, you can't wear armor enough to make your base Initiative 0 and if you do you have trouble acting in combat), he didn't like that too much. lol.

Re: Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Sun Nov 04, 2012 9:03 pm
by Faelan
My players tend to avoid avoid too much of an initiative penalty for armor. They stick to the really light stuff until they start running into threaded items which offset the penalty, thats when they upgrade.

Re: Effects of NOT Wearing Armor?

Posted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 9:09 pm
by The_Gun_Nut
We use the "Bearing armor by strength" optional rule. The really strong guys will thus bulk up on the heavier armors, and be able to take more punishment as a result. The weaker characters (generally casters and social guys) thus tend to wear the lighter stuff.

Also, as an aside, if the Warrior in the group is so concerned with initiative, kindly point out the Air Dance, Cobra Strike, and Tiger Spring talents. After some quickie math on their part, they will note that even a -5 penalty for the heaviest armors is chuckle inducing (as in "ho ho ho, how cute!").