Author Topic: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?  (Read 99190 times)

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skydragonknight

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #60 on: January 09, 2011, 11:55:00 PM »
So it works for a single classed Crusader with low dex...Dragonborn probably, since you'd need the dragonblood subtype. Though it would only really be a niche armor.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #61 on: January 10, 2011, 12:16:30 AM »
You get bracers of armor +1, slap soulfire onto them, call it good.
You could also consider them to be the "enhancement" bonus to your Dragonscale Husk, since the pricing scales exactly the same way.

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2011, 12:43:38 AM »
But the problem is that at the higher levels, there is no real point to having a high AC and a high DR since most attacks will just cirumvent those things.
Nothing circumvents DR X/--, and DR ~10/-- combined with Elusive Target is a pretty damn good combination for any kind of "tanking" character.

As for how to change armors to make them useful, let me pull some homebrew out of my ass:

1) Cost of Armor Enhancements is doubled, so +1 armor costs 2k, +2 armor costs 8k, etc.  Look at the weapon table to see what I mean.  On the other hand, the enhancement bonus now applies to DR provided by the armor.  Shield costs are unchanged.

2) Special Armor Abilities with a cost based on an enhancement bonus have the cost of the bonus reduced by 1, to a minimum of 1, so Heavy Fort is a +4 instead of a +5.  As such, an old +1 Heavy Fort suit of armor costs 36k while a new +1 Heavy Fort suit of armor costs 32k.  Abilities put on Shields are, again, unchanged.

3) Light armors get the following overhauls:
Studded Leather- DR 1/--
Chain Shirt- DR 1/--
Even though they provide no DR themselves, something like a +1 Leather Armor will provide DR 1/-- as normal.

3) Medium armors get the following overhauls:
Hide- +5 AC, DR 2/--, Max Dex +4, ACP -3
Hide is the super-budget medium armor, and the only medium non-metallic armor.
Scale- +6 AC, DR 3/--, Max Dex +3, ACP -3
Budget medium armor for 1st-level characters.
Chain- +7 AC, DR 4/--, Max Dex +2, ACP -4, 200 GP cost
Low-dex medium armor for experienced characters.
Breastplate- +6 AC, DR 3/--, Max Dex +4, ACP -3, 250 GP cost
High-dex medium armor for experienced characters.

4) Heavy armors get the following overhauls:
Splint Mail- +8 AC, DR 4/--, Max Dex +0, ACP -6, 100gp cost
Budget heavy armor for 1st-level characters.  Let the Fighters and Clerics put that proficiency to use at first level.
Banded Mail- +10 AC, DR 4/--, Max Dex +2, ACP -5, 400gp cost
"High"-Dex heavy armor for experienced characters.
Half-Plate- +11 AC, DR 5/--, Max Dex +0, ACP -6, 500gp cost
Low-dex heavy armor for experienced characters.
Full-Plate- +10 AC, DR 5/--, Max Dex +1, ACP -5, 600gp cost
Middle ground between Banded and Half-Plate.

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2011, 12:44:55 AM »
Nothing circumvents DR X/--,
Energy damage and certain maneuvers.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2011, 12:48:06 AM »
Nothing circumvents DR X/--,
Energy damage and certain maneuvers.
That's what Resist Energy, Protection from Energy, and Energy Immunity spells are for.  Mass Resist Energy is a 4th-level spell, by the time you deal with anything that can do a sizable chunk of energy damage you should also be able to give the party a sizable resistance to it.

Besides, don't all BGs and their mothers mock blasty spells?

Widow

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #65 on: January 10, 2011, 02:17:50 AM »
I mostly agree that heavy armor is only useful in a few situations, but I would also extend that into all types of armor.  The best use of armor is to grant an additional magic item slot.  The more detriments the armor has, ie the heavier the type, the less attractive it is as a magic item slot.  Also modifiers to offset these detriments only go so far.  That being said, here are a few that I have used to make NPC villain armor that looks cool, but is totally unnecessary.

Sources

Full Plate       1,500gp     DMG
Mithral          9,000gp  DMG
Glassteel (-pure ore)               Races of Faerun (there is an update someplace)
Fey-Crafted Template           500gp  DMGII
Thistledown Suit                  500gp   Races of the Wild
Nimble Enhancement     +1      Magic Item Compendium
Twilight          +1      Magic Item Compendium
Caster Armor      1,000gp   Dragon #358
Lightweight        500gp   Dragon #358
Reinforced      1,200gp   Dragon #358
Segmented         300gp   Dragon #358
Half-weight          +3   Underdark
Pure Ore                    7,000gp   Dragon #347

Lets start with Full Plate, Mechanis and Stone Plate have too high of an arcane spell failure and armor check penalties.

Armor               8
Max Dex           1
Armor Check Penalty      -6
Spell Failure         35%
Weight            50lbs
Heavy Armor

Non-magical stuff first
Mithral -10% Spell Failure, Max Dex +2, Armor Check Penalty reduced by 3, Half-weight, Higher HP and hardness
Feycrafted -10% weight, -1 Hardness, -5% Spell Failure
Thistledown suit -5% spell failure, +1 armor check penalty
Caster Armor -5% Arcane Spell Failure
Lightweight -20% weight
Reinforced +10% Weight, +1 AC
Segmented +1 Max Dex
Pure Ore Double HP and hardness

Net
Armor            9
Max Dex         4
Armor Check Penalty      -4
Spell Failure         10%
Weight            20.0 lbs
Medium Armor
Price            21,500gp

Magic
Nimble +1 Max dex, 2 less armor check penalty
Twilight -10% Spell Failure
Half-weight  Half-weight, armor counts as light armor
Manditory +1 armor enchantment

Net
Armor            9+1
Max Dex         5
Armor Check Penalty      -2
Spell Failure         0%
Weight            10.0 lbs
Light Armor
Price            +36,000gp

You can add blueshine for good measure to keep the armor from being rusted.  Overall though, a lot of work to get armor that functions.  Also all of these tricks can be applied to light armor to get the same result without any magic at all, as below.

Mithril chain shirt
Armor            5
Max Dex         7
Armor Check Penalty      0
Spell Failure         0%
Weight            10 lbs   

The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #66 on: January 10, 2011, 03:00:27 AM »
I think you can stack cyrite onto all of that for +1 resistance to saves... depends upon whether or not the DM thinks the Mourning would prevent an item from counting as being made of pure ore or not.
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Runestar

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #67 on: January 10, 2011, 05:09:14 AM »
Biggest issues with Dragonscale Husk:

1. Depends on what classes you take, so either you're limiting your choices or you're limiting the effectiveness of the ACF. A couple exceptions like a straight Crusader lock build would be viable.

Maybe that's the idea - to "encourage" people to go fighter20 or something... :p
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skydragonknight

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #68 on: January 10, 2011, 07:19:44 AM »
Biggest issues with Dragonscale Husk:

1. Depends on what classes you take, so either you're limiting your choices or you're limiting the effectiveness of the ACF. A couple exceptions like a straight Crusader lock build would be viable.

Maybe that's the idea - to "encourage" people to go fighter20 or something... :p

I wonder if we could make a 'Hood' build that only requires base classes with heavy armor proficiency? It requires a lot of Fighter feats adn can get the Cleric dip...Crusader maneuvers are possible. Pounce will be tricky. Would probably have to be a Catfolk.
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Integral

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #69 on: January 10, 2011, 09:08:58 AM »
I wonder if we could make a 'Hood' build that only requires base classes with heavy armor proficiency? It requires a lot of Fighter feats adn can get the Cleric dip...Crusader maneuvers are possible. Pounce will be tricky. Would probably have to be a Catfolk.

Or Psychic Warrior and Psionic Lion's Charge maybe.

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #70 on: January 10, 2011, 10:45:35 AM »
If your BAB is equal to the base armor bonus of the armor / 2, you do not suffer a movement penalty in that armor, even if you normally would. For every point by which your BAB exceeds this number you lower the ACP of the armor by 1, to a minimum of 0. Once you reduce the ACP to 0, every point of BAB beyond that number increases the Max Dex by 1, to a maximum of double its initial value.

So...

Beatstick with MW full plate, and 4 BAB = full movement in heavy armor, which includes tumbling.

5-9 BAB lowers ACP from 5 down to 4-0.

10 BAB increases Max Dex to 2. And that's as good as it gets.

Give him mithril full plate instead and it's 4 BAB for full movement, 5-7 to reduce ACP to nothing, 8-10 to increase Max Dex from 3 to 4-6.
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Bloody Initiate

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #71 on: January 10, 2011, 11:45:11 AM »
If your BAB is equal to the base armor bonus of the armor / 2, you do not suffer a movement penalty in that armor, even if you normally would. For every point by which your BAB exceeds this number you lower the ACP of the armor by 1, to a minimum of 0. Once you reduce the ACP to 0, every point of BAB beyond that number increases the Max Dex by 1, to a maximum of double its initial value.

So...

Beatstick with MW full plate, and 4 BAB = full movement in heavy armor, which includes tumbling.

5-9 BAB lowers ACP from 5 down to 4-0.

10 BAB increases Max Dex to 2. And that's as good as it gets.

Give him mithril full plate instead and it's 4 BAB for full movement, 5-7 to reduce ACP to nothing, 8-10 to increase Max Dex from 3 to 4-6.

That'd be nice. Do you see any problem with allowing BAB OR Strength bonus as a way of alleviating the penalties? That way a particularly strong warrior with some training can move in full plate as easily as a well-trained warrior without exceptional strength?
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Integral

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #72 on: January 10, 2011, 12:58:26 PM »
If your BAB is equal to the base armor bonus of the armor / 2, you do not suffer a movement penalty in that armor, even if you normally would. For every point by which your BAB exceeds this number you lower the ACP of the armor by 1, to a minimum of 0. Once you reduce the ACP to 0, every point of BAB beyond that number increases the Max Dex by 1, to a maximum of double its initial value.

So...

Beatstick with MW full plate, and 4 BAB = full movement in heavy armor, which includes tumbling.

5-9 BAB lowers ACP from 5 down to 4-0.

10 BAB increases Max Dex to 2. And that's as good as it gets.

Give him mithril full plate instead and it's 4 BAB for full movement, 5-7 to reduce ACP to nothing, 8-10 to increase Max Dex from 3 to 4-6.

That'd be nice. Do you see any problem with allowing BAB OR Strength bonus as a way of alleviating the penalties? That way a particularly strong warrior with some training can move in full plate as easily as a well-trained warrior without exceptional strength?

Depends on the original motivation of the modifications. Making it keyed off Strength makes it much easier to achieve with magic (via Polymorph, Bite of the WereX etc) than keyed off BAB (though it's not like getting Divine Power is hard).

Bloody Initiate

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #73 on: January 10, 2011, 01:01:21 PM »
If your BAB is equal to the base armor bonus of the armor / 2, you do not suffer a movement penalty in that armor, even if you normally would. For every point by which your BAB exceeds this number you lower the ACP of the armor by 1, to a minimum of 0. Once you reduce the ACP to 0, every point of BAB beyond that number increases the Max Dex by 1, to a maximum of double its initial value.

So...

Beatstick with MW full plate, and 4 BAB = full movement in heavy armor, which includes tumbling.

5-9 BAB lowers ACP from 5 down to 4-0.

10 BAB increases Max Dex to 2. And that's as good as it gets.

Give him mithril full plate instead and it's 4 BAB for full movement, 5-7 to reduce ACP to nothing, 8-10 to increase Max Dex from 3 to 4-6.

That'd be nice. Do you see any problem with allowing BAB OR Strength bonus as a way of alleviating the penalties? That way a particularly strong warrior with some training can move in full plate as easily as a well-trained warrior without exceptional strength?

Depends on the original motivation of the modifications. Making it keyed off Strength makes it much easier to achieve with magic (via Polymorph, Bite of the WereX etc) than keyed off BAB (though it's not like getting Divine Power is hard).

I thought of that, and figured you could require at least 1 point of BAB or something to make sure that people had both, but it started looking complicated and I figured the simpler the better. Perhaps the same of train of thought would determine it's best left to just BAB.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #74 on: January 10, 2011, 02:49:34 PM »
But the problem is that at the higher levels, there is no real point to having a high AC and a high DR since most attacks will just cirumvent those things.
Nothing circumvents DR X/--, and DR ~10/-- combined with Elusive Target is a pretty damn good combination for any kind of "tanking" character.
Force effects, such as a bound crystal helm soulmeld?

For the dragonscale husk discussion. It really shines in gestalt, just stick a heavy armor class(s) on one side.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #75 on: January 10, 2011, 04:12:27 PM »
If your BAB is equal to the base armor bonus of the armor / 2, you do not suffer a movement penalty in that armor, even if you normally would. For every point by which your BAB exceeds this number you lower the ACP of the armor by 1, to a minimum of 0. Once you reduce the ACP to 0, every point of BAB beyond that number increases the Max Dex by 1, to a maximum of double its initial value.

So...

Beatstick with MW full plate, and 4 BAB = full movement in heavy armor, which includes tumbling.

5-9 BAB lowers ACP from 5 down to 4-0.

10 BAB increases Max Dex to 2. And that's as good as it gets.

Give him mithril full plate instead and it's 4 BAB for full movement, 5-7 to reduce ACP to nothing, 8-10 to increase Max Dex from 3 to 4-6.

That'd be nice. Do you see any problem with allowing BAB OR Strength bonus as a way of alleviating the penalties? That way a particularly strong warrior with some training can move in full plate as easily as a well-trained warrior without exceptional strength?

It either wouldn't make any difference, or would have unintended side effects. BAB is at least semi level based. Strength? A level 1 character can have 8 Str or 28. And it only diverges further from there.

Yes, Divine Power does count. It's still limited by your character level.

Keep in mind, other effects can increase the initial value. For example, add Nimbleness and you increase max Dex by 1 and lower ACP by 2. So it now looks like:

4 BAB: No movement penalty.
5 BAB: Lower ACP from 1 to 0.
6-9 BAB: Increase max Dex from 4 to 5-8.
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Mixster

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #76 on: January 10, 2011, 08:03:42 PM »
But the problem is that at the higher levels, there is no real point to having a high AC and a high DR since most attacks will just cirumvent those things.
Nothing circumvents DR X/--, and DR ~10/-- combined with Elusive Target is a pretty damn good combination for any kind of "tanking" character.

Those are nice house rules, they certainly make armour better, since I haven't tested them I can't tell you whether it's too much or too little.

What I can tell you they wont stop wizards from hitting things with shivering touch to reduce their dex, and it wont stop the gazillion other ways of killing things than trying to reduce their hit points. But since monsters play the hit point game, it is a pretty cool idea to buff survivability.

Do you also make give natural armour critters a damage reduction or do you recon most monsters have enough damage reduction?
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #77 on: January 10, 2011, 11:14:00 PM »
Natural Armor doesn't come with the drawbacks of physical armor, so I don't think it's a good idea.  Note that most of the light armors aren't getting much, if any, DR for that exact same reason.

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #78 on: January 11, 2011, 05:16:04 AM »
i'm enjoying some of the ideas this discussion is bringing to light. i wound up with a character that can't wear armor, and so enchanted a robe and bracers with +1 armor bonus each, and put armor crystals on them. while not explicitly stated, if bracers can get abilities, then in theory a robe should be able to too as it is allowed to have an armor bonus.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #79 on: January 11, 2011, 03:15:26 PM »
I dislike giving armor miss-chance, as it slows down gameplay so much.

And having armor available at level 1 that gives DR 4/-?  I would like to see tougher beatsticks but you make Kobolds cry.  I think a simple boost to armor, and the "BAB makes armor easier to use" rules, mixed with the AC is DR (from Unearthed Arcana) would fix the problem at least to an agreeable point.

So your average level 5 Beatstick with Heavy armor and Full BAB would have the ability to move properly, 5AC, DR 5/- and a +1 Max Dex (plus a slightly lower ACP).  He's going to take every hit, but the armor should absorb a nice portion of the damage.  And Kobolds really are no longer a threat at level 5.  Yeah!
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