December 22, 2011

A second look at Table 6: Armor

Not the most exciting table, but I'm really happy with it how it turned out.  I started with the intention of putting the cost for using Any Armor at two-thirds the cost of Any Weapon, so I'm glad my recent revisions brought back that 2:3 ratio.  I'm not sure why I think it's a good ratio, but I'll just trust my gut and rationalize it later.  You know, the usual.

Table 6: Armor
None - +0%
Padded or Leather - +5%
Studded Leather - +5%
Scale or Hide - +5%
Chain - +10%
Banded or Splint - +10%
Plate - +15%
Shield (wood or metal) - +10%
Any - +60%
Stealthy armor only (padded, leather, studded) - +10%

The only cost I see on this table that might be questionable is the 10% for shields.  I set shields at 10% because they're versatile and can be used with any type of armor, also because magical shields stack with magic armor.  Magic shields tend to get more special effects than magical armors (at least at the tables where I play).  If your class can't use shields then you're probably giving up some cool protection effect at later levels, in addition to the +whatever on the shield.

A lot of people also use house rules so that shields do more than just improve AC by 1.  That's not why I set the cost at 10%, but I'm just saying.  If using Shields Shall be Splintered or an alternate AC/Armor table helps you feel better about the 10% cost, that's a pretty easy fix.  If you must change shields to 5%, then raising Splint/Banded to 15% would put all seven classes back at the same xp totals... and make me groan in disgust.  It's your game though, do as you will.  Moving on.

In my original post I almost put a few extra options below "Stealthy armor only".  I decided against it because I felt that the costs should vary based on how different DMs implement the options.  Say you decide to make a class who were all decidedly vegan, they refuse to use anything made from animals at all.  Since they can still use padded or scale armors, the only cost to subtract is the 5% for Studded Leather, so according to the chart they'd pay 55% total.  Maybe 50% is more appropriate if you assume that Leather and Hide armor are both worth 2.5% each.  Also, the DM could decide that replacing leather straps with different materials makes vegan plate armor less effective.  If some of their armors are getting AC penalties, then maybe 40 or 45% would be fair.  It's all open to interpretation.

One last example.  Say you decide to make a B/X Druid class.  I'm not sure why they think metal is unnatural, but they're against using it; fine.  Padded & Leather, Studded, Hide, and wooden Shields comes to 25%, but what if they get creative.  What's the cost for bone splint, or wooden plate, and what's the AC?  I'd give them 35% total and AC near chain, but that's just me.  It's all rather subjective, but I hope this table provides a good framework for DMs to build onto.

No comments:

Post a Comment