Author Topic: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?  (Read 74567 times)

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Bauglir

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #220 on: January 19, 2011, 01:20:04 AM »
Actually, I just suspect we have different concepts of what the point of the game is. Sunic (if I understand correctly) believes that the point is to Win, and that this is the means by which fun is had; there is no fun if your characters are capable of Losing against anything but a cheating DM. And that if the DM has to cheat to keep you from Losing, that also obliterates fun, because you're being coddled. Thus, since it's a team game, any other player who isn't up to snuff makes the game worse for him because it increases the chances that his character can get fucked over by something beyond his control (when the encounter that was supposed to be for 4 people is suddenly for 1 or 2 because the others are dead). And thus it's everybody's responsibility to make sure their character doesn't ruin it for others. He recognizes it's a team game that revolves around working with others, and that's why it's their responsibility to put forth the effort to be competent.

I (and I suspect most people arguing against Sunic), recognize that it's a team game that revolves around working with others, and therefore it's our responsibility to put for the effort to make the others competent. And we probably have completely different bases for that conclusion; mine, at least, is that the point is to Advance the Story (whether that means following a railroad plot or exploring a sandbox world or anything in between, preferably something in between), and that this is the means by which fun is had. The rules are just there to prevent it from turning into a feud of "No, my character is more powerful!" or complete DM arbitration ("I don't think your character can swing from that chandelier, think of something else"). This leads to a lot of different conclusions, this among them.

That said, Sunic, you can't simultaneously claim that casters don't run out of spell slots and that it's therefore not an issue, but that 2 to 4 buff spells from the party caster(s) per day is a serious drain on a caster's resources. Either they're a valuable commodity or they're not, but you're just cherry-picking both in an attempt to assert a logically inconsistent worldview. Get over your mental dissonance, man.

EDIT: on the offchance I haven't killed the thread, then I should point out that I understand that one goal doesn't preclude the other (you can want to win and advance the story), but if one or the other is the primary means by which you have fun, then it still does result in different playstyles.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 05:33:39 PM by Bauglir »
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Sunic_Flames

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #221 on: January 19, 2011, 08:40:39 PM »
Well no, if you have a resource sink in the party you're going to run out a lot faster ensuring he doesn't die all the time. But, assuming you don't spells go very far.
and, of course, I suspect that by "resource sink" you actually mean "non-optimized non-tier 1 character"  :rollseyes
I think you fail to grasp some of the essential elements inherent in the "team effort" concepts; and also suspect that you failed "works and plays wells with others" in school.

By resource sink I mean non caster. Even high tier non casters still need you to cast Fly on them so they can get around the obstacle with the rest of the party, and still need you to cast Endure Elements on them so they don't freeze to death in the Frostfell (alternately, they use their too small WBL to do the same), and still need you to cast Resist Energy on them so they don't get pewpewpewed to death by the hostile environment...

I understand team effort just fine. Teamwork is not propping up the gimp. Teamwork is making the whole better than the sum of its parts. And that means you need actual abilities to help each other. Guess what those are?

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Sunic may be more abrasive than sandpaper coated in chainsaws (not that its a bad thing, he really does know what he's talking about), but just posting in this thread without warning and telling him he's an asshole which, if you knew his past experiences on WotC and Paizo is flat-out uncalled for. Never mind the insults (which are clearly 4Chan-level childish). You say people like Sunic are the bane of the internet? Try looking at your own post and telling me you are better than him.

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[/spoiler]

Sunic_Flames

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #222 on: January 19, 2011, 08:52:40 PM »
Actually, I just suspect we have different concepts of what the point of the game is. Sunic (if I understand correctly) believes that the point is to Win, and that this is the means by which fun is had; there is no fun if your characters are capable of Losing against anything but a cheating DM. And that if the DM has to cheat to keep you from Losing, that also obliterates fun, because you're being coddled. Thus, since it's a team game, any other player who isn't up to snuff makes the game worse for him because it increases the chances that his character can get fucked over by something beyond his control (when the encounter that was supposed to be for 4 people is suddenly for 1 or 2 because the others are dead). And thus it's everybody's responsibility to make sure their character doesn't ruin it for others. He recognizes it's a team game that revolves around working with others, and that's why it's their responsibility to put forth the effort to be competent.

The victory conditions for D&D are advancing character goals. They are also winning every single fight, as otherwise you die and therefore accomplish nothing. However the winning 100% of battles is the means by which you advance the real victory condition and not the victory condition itself. With that said that is mostly correct. Not only from the perspective of the party having two, or effectively having two capable members when it should have four, but also from an immersion standpoint. It is not a coincidence that professions such as police and firefighters have entrance exams. And more dangerous professions have higher standards. To establish a baseline of competence. People that aren't up for the job of adventuring, which by the way is considerably more dangerous than any profession on Earth either don't sign up for it or they don't last very long. Either because they learn the hard way they aren't cut out for it, or because they get dismissed from the party for their own good. Consequentially, adventurers are expected to be good at adventuring. I know, what a concept.

Quote
I (and I suspect most people arguing against Sunic), recognize that it's a team game that revolves around working with others, and therefore it's our responsibility to put for the effort to make the others competent. And we probably have completely different bases for that conclusion; mine, at least, is that the point is to Advance the Story (whether that means following a railroad plot or exploring a sandbox world or anything in between, preferably something in between), and that this is the means by which fun is had. The rules are just there to prevent it from turning into a feud of "No, my character is more powerful!" or complete DM arbitration ("I don't think your character can swing from that chandelier, think of something else"). This leads to a lot of different conclusions, this among them.

Who says I'm not about making others competent? Propping up a gimp is not making them competent. Getting them to play a real class is making them competent. However teamwork is just that. Working as a team. Not stroking some useless character's ego.

Quote
That said, Sunic, you can't simultaneously claim that casters don't run out of spell slots and that it's therefore not an issue, but that 2 to 4 buff spells from the party caster(s) per day is a serious drain on a caster's resources. Either they're a valuable commodity or they're not, but you're just cherry-picking both in an attempt to assert a logically inconsistent worldview. Get over your mental dissonance, man.

On the contrary, I can make exactly this claim for one simple reason. The conditions are different. Under typical circumstances, where you do not drag dead weight around spells go very far, as you throw one, maybe two a fight, and have around... 20. When you DO have to drag dead weight around, spells get burned up a lot faster, both because you have to deal with characters that cannot provide for themselves in providing those spells and because, since you cannot all cast spells you are forced to fight in far less efficient ways.

A party of all casters doesn't even necessarily need to scry and fry - they can stealth run the dungeon, kill the boss, and forget the rest. Bring a beatstick around and he'll want to go into melee, leading to a lot more fights, a lot more resources used in those fights, and a lot more risk. K said it better than I could, but I can't find his post about the subject.
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[spoiler]
Sunic may be more abrasive than sandpaper coated in chainsaws (not that its a bad thing, he really does know what he's talking about), but just posting in this thread without warning and telling him he's an asshole which, if you knew his past experiences on WotC and Paizo is flat-out uncalled for. Never mind the insults (which are clearly 4Chan-level childish). You say people like Sunic are the bane of the internet? Try looking at your own post and telling me you are better than him.

Here's a fun fact: You aren't. By a few leagues.
[/spoiler]

Bauglir

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #223 on: January 19, 2011, 09:09:35 PM »
Eh, I don't have tests to determine D&D rules competency before I let you play in my games, because I don't think you have to have a minimum level of competence to have fun. There are competency tests for being a firefighter, etc., because if you aren't competent you're likely to get yourself killed and not do anybody any good. That doesn't really apply to D&D. If your concept is "dude with a sword", and that's what's fun for you, I'm going to try and help make it actually work, even if I'm another player and it's going to cost me a few resources to do so.

When you throw around maybe 1 or 2 spells per fight, though, the difference between 20 and 16 spells per day is not significant unless your DM is a fan of endurance runs. If we're getting into subjective things like varying tactics, all I can say is that it's not my experience that the best spells are frequently made ineffective by melee combatants' presence, nor is the minor expenditure of resources to buff people that big a deal (since I don't usually buff others with my highest spell levels, unless I'm playing in a gestalt game where I actually have that kind of massive resource base and it's part of the character concept).

Think of it this way; if you've turned the Fighter into a war troll, then when he's full attacking it's like you're getting the benefit of your spell without spending an action, leaving you free to do whatever you want. When you're turned into a war troll, then you have to spend actions to get that full attack.
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dark_samuari

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #224 on: January 19, 2011, 09:17:29 PM »
Sunic, do you really consider all non-casters to be gimps?

That just seems to be such an awful conception and really would push an individual towards a manner of Dungeons and Dragons which was more akin to rocket tag.

I can understand how one with an adopted stance to the game might believe that the only thing that matters in the game at all is combat, but for a vast majority of players that isn't the case.

You are fine to have your idea of what constitutes a game of Dungeons and Dragons but don't be so pompous as to assume that is how every single player should play the game.  
« Last Edit: January 19, 2011, 09:38:24 PM by dark_samuari »

Mixster

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #225 on: January 19, 2011, 09:50:03 PM »
If you play in high optimized Tier 1 campaigns where the DM is out to kill you. Non-casters are gimps.

If you play with your friends, calling them gimps is a good way to get nachos thrown at you.
Monks are pretty much the best designed class ever.

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oslecamo

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #226 on: January 19, 2011, 11:35:24 PM »
If you play in high optimized Tier 1 campaigns where the DM is out to kill you. Non-casters are gimps.

Actually, if the DM really wants to kill you, you're dead even if you bring the best possible caster build. Even if he stays inside CR, the potential for monster optimization simply trumps player optimization. Like those who cast like casters of an higher level than themselves.

However pretty much all DMs I've seen have a degree of "fairness". They send stuff that can, but will not automatically kill you. And the best DMs will tailor said ecounters to the party. So if the party isn't bringing a god wizard and clericzillaz, then by all means the DM won't be throwing ethergaunt incantrixes back at them just to screw them over.

And even then, unable to win=/= game over. Running away is a well honed tactic in D&D. Certain oponents may believe you're worth more alive than dead. You may have be-friended the right NPCs to save/ressurect your ass should you not return in X days. That's one of the main points that makes D&D diferent from a computer RPG, that the fantasy world isn't just a bunch of scripted events and random sets of numbers for you to beat.


JaronK

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #227 on: January 19, 2011, 11:42:07 PM »
Tier 5 is how the game was originally meant to be played... casters were the screw up, not Fighters or Monks.  Note that this means Monks are pretty much the best designed class ever.

JaronK

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #228 on: January 19, 2011, 11:49:10 PM »
Eh, I don't have tests to determine D&D rules competency before I let you play in my games, because I don't think you have to have a minimum level of competence to have fun. There are competency tests for being a firefighter, etc., because if you aren't competent you're likely to get yourself killed and not do anybody any good. That doesn't really apply to D&D. If your concept is "dude with a sword", and that's what's fun for you, I'm going to try and help make it actually work, even if I'm another player and it's going to cost me a few resources to do so.

If you are not competent, your dude with sword dies. And then he dies again. And again. And it doesn't take very much of this to where you have to blatantly metagame to justify why you keep the guy around. Which is what I actually said, despite you shifting the goal posts from IC to OOC.

Quote
When you throw around maybe 1 or 2 spells per fight, though, the difference between 20 and 16 spells per day is not significant unless your DM is a fan of endurance runs. If we're getting into subjective things like varying tactics, all I can say is that it's not my experience that the best spells are frequently made ineffective by melee combatants' presence, nor is the minor expenditure of resources to buff people that big a deal (since I don't usually buff others with my highest spell levels, unless I'm playing in a gestalt game where I actually have that kind of massive resource base and it's part of the character concept).

Except that it's not the difference between 20 and 16. As I said, it is far more than that. Try 20 vs 10, and that's being generous. And given that endurance runs are the most common false argument leveled against all caster teams, or against casters in general...

A full caster team stealths the dungeon, kills the boss, and ignores the rest. The team with a beatstick has to stop constantly, because he wants to fight everything, which means substantially more resources used just because he is there. Again, K preemptively wins this argument.

Quote
Think of it this way; if you've turned the Fighter into a war troll, then when he's full attacking it's like you're getting the benefit of your spell without spending an action, leaving you free to do whatever you want. When you're turned into a war troll, then you have to spend actions to get that full attack.

Well no, you're not because it's a full attack.

Sunic, do you really consider all non-casters to be gimps?

That just seems to be such an awful conception and really would push an individual towards a manner of Dungeons and Dragons which was more akin to rocket tag.

I can understand how one with an adopted stance to the game might believe that the only thing that matters in the game at all is combat, but for a vast majority of players that isn't the case.

You are fine to have your idea of what constitutes a game of Dungeons and Dragons but don't be so pompous as to assume that is how every single player should play the game. 

Hi Welcome

The game is RLT no matter what. The only thing that changes is:

Do you have Rockets? If you are a caster, you do. If you are not, you do not without heavy optimization.
Do you have the ability to advance the plot? If caster = yes, ability to advance plot = yes. Else, no.

Also, running away does nothing but get you killed anyways, unless you have Dimension Door or better, and even then escape is not assured.
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[spoiler]
Sunic may be more abrasive than sandpaper coated in chainsaws (not that its a bad thing, he really does know what he's talking about), but just posting in this thread without warning and telling him he's an asshole which, if you knew his past experiences on WotC and Paizo is flat-out uncalled for. Never mind the insults (which are clearly 4Chan-level childish). You say people like Sunic are the bane of the internet? Try looking at your own post and telling me you are better than him.

Here's a fun fact: You aren't. By a few leagues.
[/spoiler]

Mixster

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #229 on: January 19, 2011, 11:53:31 PM »
Monks are pretty much the best designed class ever.

JaronK

I am so gonna keep this quote and use it out of context.

If you play in high optimized Tier 1 campaigns where the DM is out to kill you. Non-casters are gimps.

Actually, if the DM really wants to kill you, you're dead even if you bring the best possible caster build. Even if he stays inside CR, the potential for monster optimization simply trumps player optimization. Like those who cast like casters of an higher level than themselves.

However pretty much all DMs I've seen have a degree of "fairness". They send stuff that can, but will not automatically kill you. And the best DMs will tailor said ecounters to the party. So if the party isn't bringing a god wizard and clericzillaz, then by all means the DM won't be throwing ethergaunt incantrixes back at them just to screw them over.

And even then, unable to win=/= game over. Running away is a well honed tactic in D&D. Certain oponents may believe you're worth more alive than dead. You may have be-friended the right NPCs to save/ressurect your ass should you not return in X days. That's one of the main points that makes D&D diferent from a computer RPG, that the fantasy world isn't just a bunch of scripted events and random sets of numbers for you to beat.

Exactly, those are my viewpoints as well. But if everybody is tier 1, tier 3 and below are gimps. That doesn't mean the game is only fun to play if everyone is Tier 1.
Monks are pretty much the best designed class ever.

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dark_samuari

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #230 on: January 20, 2011, 12:03:44 AM »
Sunic, do you really consider all non-casters to be gimps?

That just seems to be such an awful conception and really would push an individual towards a manner of Dungeons and Dragons which was more akin to rocket tag.

I can understand how one with an adopted stance to the game might believe that the only thing that matters in the game at all is combat, but for a vast majority of players that isn't the case.

You are fine to have your idea of what constitutes a game of Dungeons and Dragons but don't be so pompous as to assume that is how every single player should play the game. 

Hi Welcome

The game is RLT no matter what. The only thing that changes is:

Do you have Rockets? If you are a caster, you do. If you are not, you do not without heavy optimization.
Do you have the ability to advance the plot? If caster = yes, ability to advance plot = yes. Else, no.

Prove that a non-caster can't advance a plot. Please, enlighten us to such a claim.

Once again you are making baseless assumptions that every Dungeons and Dragons game is like yours (which by the way sound horrible). Sunic did you know that some sessions don't even need combat?

You do know that plot isn't tied to game mechanics right? Please tell me you at least understand the basic elements of story telling? 

Bauglir

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #231 on: January 20, 2011, 12:46:37 AM »
I'm not really moving the goalposts. The OOC arguments basically just mean that if somebody brings a Fighter to the table, you really just have to go "Fuck it, fine" and work out how your character is going to justify, in-game, bringing the Fighter along while he's adventuring. Because while you could certainly say, "My wizard doesn't see the point in adventuring with dead weight", that's a lot likelier to end with you not being invited to the rest of the sessions than it is to convince somebody that playing a Fighter isn't a good idea. So yeah, the Fighter being there is metagame.

Which is where all of the other arguments about Fighters not being as much of a resource-sink as you make them out to be come in, because those are the IC ones that justify the conclusion OOC stuff already arrived at, and which is probably more important than whether or not your fictional Wizard is slightly less omnipotent than it could be. They're just designed to give in-game plausibility, in the same way that the fireball is an in-game explanation for why everything in a 30 foot radius just took a bunch of fire damage. It is not always true, in absolutely every situation, that the Fighter is going to be able to contribute, but in the games I play it typically works out that the number of situations a Fighter actively ruins is very, very, very small compared to the number of situations where the Fighter at least contributes a pile of hit point damage. Actually, I've not seen one we haven't been able to at least plan around (recently, I've been that non-stealthy character in a sudden stealth scenario, and I just decided to be a giant distraction and it worked out okay).

Again, none of this makes the Fighter a good class. None of it makes it powerful, a viable contributor to an optimized party, or any of that. But compared to telling a friend their character concept is unworthy of existing in the same party as mine, being less awesome personally in order to make the party overall still function has always been the superior option. And at this point, we're not talking about "Here's how you can make your character better", we're talking about entire concepts. If the party is not entirely made of full casters, we will not have encounters designed for a party full of full-casters, because I don't play with douches for DMs if I can help it.
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

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Havok4

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #232 on: January 20, 2011, 12:52:32 AM »
This thread has gotten off topic, to a rather astounding degree.


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[Spoiler]
Quote from: Runestar
the most effective optimization is the one you can actually get away with.  :smirk

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I often have to remind people not to underrate divination.  The ability to effectively metagame without actually metagaming beats the ability to set things on fire more times than not.
[/quote]
[/spoiler]

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Bauglir

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #234 on: January 20, 2011, 02:07:48 AM »
You make a convincing argument! I'll shut up about that now.

So the point of Medium and Heavy armor, I think, is supposed to be that if you don't want to expend huge resources on having a high AC, you can at least buy a decent one, and have a defense that won't leave you dying instantly. I don't think it was executed well, but I think that's the point (and that's the goal I'd have in mind redesigning it).
So you end up stuck in an endless loop, unable to act, forever.

In retrospect, much like Keanu Reeves.

wotmaniac

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #235 on: January 20, 2011, 02:48:39 AM »
You make a convincing argument! I'll shut up about that now.

So the point of Medium and Heavy armor, I think, is supposed to be that if you don't want to expend huge resources on having a high AC, you can at least buy a decent one, and have a defense that won't leave you dying instantly. I don't think it was executed well, but I think that's the point (and that's the goal I'd have in mind redesigning it).
:cake

now, if only that would have come out on the first page ... we could have avoided a 10-page argument with Sunic.  :facepalm

[spoiler]
If you stop ignoring 289 pages telling what the intent is to stretch "more power" in your own god complexion of your interpretation trumps all to cover ability adjustments from aging then I will ignore a quarter page of rules that exist within a sidebar.
I think in this case the grammar is less important than whether the Str and Dex bonus provided to your created undead scales.

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veekie

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #236 on: January 20, 2011, 04:58:35 AM »
^^
Naw, there'd be one anyway.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #237 on: January 20, 2011, 05:46:21 AM »
You make a convincing argument! I'll shut up about that now.

So the point of Medium and Heavy armor, I think, is supposed to be that if you don't want to expend huge resources on having a high AC, you can at least buy a decent one, and have a defense that won't leave you dying instantly. I don't think it was executed well, but I think that's the point (and that's the goal I'd have in mind redesigning it).
:cake

now, if only that would have come out on the first page ... we could have avoided a 10-page argument with Sunic.  :facepalm
In the logical sense of the term, it's not an argument.  Sunic made way too many inconsistent propositions during the course of the thread for it to be considered as such.  Truthfully, Sunic is elemental Nerd Rage and is compelled by his nature to flame every caster//melee thread into nonsense.

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #238 on: January 20, 2011, 06:46:36 AM »
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n the logical sense of the term, it's not an argument.  Sunic made way too many inconsistent propositions during the course of the thread for it to be considered as such.  Truthfully, Sunic is elemental Nerd Rage and is compelled by his nature to flame every caster//melee thread into nonsense.

...but isn't this thread about Medium and Heavy armor and not about caster vs melee?  It seems to me that AC curve for the different armor types has too small a slope to begin with.  To differentiate between Medium and Heavy armor even, I think adding some incentive to take heavier armors would be nice.  Let Medium armor give you something besides just raw AC versus Light armor, and the same for Heavy armor.  Whatever bonus or cool thing it is, don't let it be minor enough to be ignored.  Wearing heavier armor already has a lot of penalties associated with it, like the ACP and slower movement speed and lower dex bonus, so we should be getting something quite good in return that the lower armor levels can't give us.

wotmaniac

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #239 on: January 20, 2011, 07:38:34 AM »
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n the logical sense of the term, it's not an argument.  Sunic made way too many inconsistent propositions during the course of the thread for it to be considered as such.  Truthfully, Sunic is elemental Nerd Rage and is compelled by his nature to flame every caster//melee thread into nonsense.

...but isn't this thread about Medium and Heavy armor and not about caster vs melee?  It seems to me that AC curve for the different armor types has too small a slope to begin with.  To differentiate between Medium and Heavy armor even, I think adding some incentive to take heavier armors would be nice.  Let Medium armor give you something besides just raw AC versus Light armor, and the same for Heavy armor.  Whatever bonus or cool thing it is, don't let it be minor enough to be ignored.  Wearing heavier armor already has a lot of penalties associated with it, like the ACP and slower movement speed and lower dex bonus, so we should be getting something quite good in return that the lower armor levels can't give us.
which is why, in my games, I've houseruled that I've associated armor/shield type with how much fortification you can put on it. (i.e., light armor/bucklers can only have lt.fort. ; medium armor/light shields can have up to med.fort. ; only heavy armor/shields can have up to hvy.fort.)
it's not perfect - not by a long shot - but it does seem to make my group happy .... YMMV.

yeah, the small curve is probably one of the things that I think Bauglir was talking about when he said "poor execution".

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