Interesting armor idea I saw over on CoTI...

Discuss the Traveller RPG and its many settings
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:11 am
Location: Austin, Texas

Interesting armor idea I saw over on CoTI...

Postby hdan » Fri Dec 16, 2011 10:53 pm

So though most of us have either come to terms with or changed the stock damage v. armor formulas in MgT, I saw something on CoTI that made me reconsider how I do things. (Keep in mind that I prefer a slightly more action-oriented game, though wearing heavy armor around the town is generally not a possibility in my settings.)

Apparently, in some other versions of Traveller, armor is neither a simple damage reducer (as it is in MgT) or a difficulty modifier (as it is in CT), but something else.

[Note: AV means Armor Value, and it's equivalent to "Protection" in MgT.]

The idea seems to be this. When you roll damage, you have to "buy off" AV points of your target, once whole dice at a time. If you get down to the last damage dice, you subtract the remaining AV from the value shown. For example, say we have an AV-4 flak jacket that gets hit by a 3D damage roll of (3,4,6). We have to discard dice until the total equals or exceeds the AV. So in this case, the 3 and 4 go, leaving the 6. This is different from the standard MgT, which would make us take 10 pts (3+4+6-3). Most players can shrug off a single 6pt hit. Few can shrug off a 10pt hit.

Now, it seems to me that if the weapon has something like 3D-3 damage, that the AV should increase by the '3', giving even unarmored opponents AV-3. Likewise, shot's Effect should reduce the AV directly, rather than adding to damage. A good shot against someone with Flak armor might completely bypass the armor, but an average shot with a pistol, and you may very well not be able to do better than 6 pts if your lowest dice comes up less than 3.

This is certainly a bit more fiddly than standard combat, but it makes higher AVs much more survivable. The worst you'll EVER take from a 3D weapon is 18 points, while most likely to land you in the infirmary, won't kill an average character outright. And on average, unarmored players against pistols will probably take 6 points per hit (remember 3D-3 starts off at AV-3) if the hits don't get any effect.

So go ahead and let your players (and villains) have super-high skills, laser targeting and computer assist. They'll always land their shots, and probably bypass most if not all of the armor, but it's very unlikely that they'll be able to completely kill a player in one shot without some seriously military grade hardware. It will also allow your players the luxury of wearing little or no armor when they're not expecting to face down rifles. Even simple Jack armor could make the difference in this system, and modern Cloth armor will almost always prevent the wearer from going unconscious from the first pistol shot.

In Summary:

AV = Armor Protection - Effect(gun cbt) - Weapon Offset
where Weapon Offset is any number added to the Weapon's damage.
For example, 3D-3, the WO is -3 and for 4D+1 the WO is +1
Armor Piercing rounds increase the WO

Once damage is rolled, starting with the lowest dice value, remove dice until the total of removed pips is the current AV or greater. The remaining dice are the damage. If you get to the last dice and still have AV to buy off, subtract the remaining AV from the dice's pips.

What do you think?
Posts: 53
Joined: Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Sweden

Re: Interesting armor idea I saw over on CoTI...

Postby Thile » Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:45 pm

To be honest, I do not really know. I do not think I like your system, i just cant explain why, but there is something about it that makes my mind say no. But that is just me, I want weapons to be deadly, makes players (and my npcs) so much more careful in why they enter a combat.
Also it makes the whole mugging with a snub pistol so much more dangerous.

But it seems to work and thank you for publish it :)
Posts: 150
Joined: Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:19 pm

Re: Interesting armor idea I saw over on CoTI...

Postby Vargrz » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:04 am

Interesting as a variation, but it seems to complicate the simplicity of armor in Traveller as it stands now.
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 738
Joined: Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:55 am
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Interesting armor idea I saw over on CoTI...

Postby apoc527 » Sat Dec 17, 2011 5:04 am

That's actually how T20 did things. And it might be T4's system as well.

Regardless, MGT's armor values aren't calibrated to that type of damage system. It'll make the lower armor values far more effective than they should be and make the higher armor values all but impenetrable. Combat armor with Protection 12 would reduce a gauss rifle to 1d6-9! If you let the natural AP effect work first, it would be Protection 8 (or 4 with DSAP rounds), so 1d6-5 or 1d6-1.

All that's going to do is drastically slow down combat as a much greater percentage of attacks are going to "ping" (as in ping off the armor) and you'll start to get D&D style combats that become a gradual whittling of health with relatively weak and ineffective weapon damages.

For me, that's a backwards step. MGT is clearly weighted towards weapon damage, which speeds up combat and keeps the players scared. That's a good thing, IMO, and I wouldn't want to change it.
Duck-Billed Mongoose
Posts: 2170
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:09 am

Re: Interesting armor idea I saw over on CoTI...

Postby GypsyComet » Sat Dec 17, 2011 7:42 pm

A similar take was in TNE. Each point of armor would reduce a damage die to a "1" except for the last die, which was reduced a pip at a time. The reduced amount could go to zero lethal, but one pip per die would always be applied as "non-lethal" even if the armor absorbed all of the lethal. This made it possible to be knocked cold but not dead.
It's all Traveller, so it's all Good.
Lesser Spotted Mongoose
Posts: 772
Joined: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:11 am
Location: Austin, Texas

Re: Interesting armor idea I saw over on CoTI...

Postby hdan » Sun Dec 18, 2011 2:24 am

Though after a few solo rounds it seems pretty simple to play, I don't relish trying to explain the system or worry about tweaking out the edge cases. :)

In the end, I think I also prefer the simplicity of the normal system.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 9 guests