Armour house rules

Plane Sailing said:
Bailywolf said:
Also, consider how damned heavy such a suit is. Trip the bastard, and while he's trying to get up, stick your steleto through the visor of his helm.

Interestingly it is a fallacy that it is hard to get up in a suit of plate armour. watching demonstration fights at the Royal Armouries in Leeds UK (where the guys were wearing real plate armour) they could get back to their feet just as quickly as I could.

It was surprising to see, and very noisy(!) but it demonstrated that the articulation and design of their plate armour wasn't a hindrance to their mobility.

Wow, facinating.

I'll violate a basic rule of internet discourse and admit I am full of poo.

How about the possibility that a thief with a long knife would have a chance against a man so armored?

Having fought tournaments in plate-and-chain armor, I can attest that it's not all that hindering as long as it's properly fitted. A man with a knife can still kill you, but his only real chance is to grapple and wedge the knife through your visor slit or some other opening, such as ramming it through the relatively (maille instead of plate) unarmored gaps such as the armpits, wrists, or inside the elbows/knees. The groin is also a good target. Still, if the armored fighter has a normal-sized melee weapon like a sword or battleaxe, he's going to get the first swing. Being as it's incredibly hard to parry a good-sized weapon with a dagger or knife, the thief had better dodge well, or he's splattered.
I've been thinking over the house rules and doing a bit of maths today, and I think I'll change House Rule 1. As it stands, it's just too easy to penetrate heavy armout (nearly 10% chance for a threat 19-20 weapon, even against plate). What I'm thinking of doing instead is allowing a finesse fighter to choose to use the threat roll as the armour bypass value on a natural 20.

e.g. an attacker (+0 Attack) rolls a 20 to hit an opponent (DV 15). This beats the DV by 5 and if the opponent is wearing DR (or Cv if using House Rule 2) of 5 or less armour, it is already bypassed and there is no need to worry. If, however, the enemy is wearing armour of DR>5, the armour cannot possibly be bypassed as the rules stand. The new house rule would allow the attacker to bypass the armour if the actual threat roll (unmodified) beats or equals the armour DR (or Cv).

This should allow any armour to be bypassed on an excellent attack, but at the same time still make it easier to bypass a lower DR armour than a high one.
For those who are interested (there was at least one I think), here is the full armour table for House Rule 2:

Armour DR/Cv
Leather Armour 4/4
Mail Shirt (MS) 5/4
Quilted Jerkin 3/4

Brigandine Coat (BC) 7/5
Scale Corslet (SC) 5/5
Mail Hauberk (MH) 5/7
Breastplate (BP) 8/4

MH & BP 10/8
MH & BC 9/9
MH & SC 7/9
MH & SH 7/10
MS & BP 10/6
MS & BC 9/7
MS & SC 7/6
MS & SH 7/9
Plate Armour 10/10
Scale Hauberk (SH) 5/7

Soldier's Cap -/+1*
Steel Cap -/+1
Great Helm -/+2
Visored Helm -/+(1-2)

The Soldier's Cap is a new item. I envisage it as a helmet made of hardened leather/bone/wood/etc, perhaps reinforced with metal and costing only 5sp. It would add +1 Cv, but only to light armours. (At the moment, none of my players are wearing helmets 'cos they cost so much).

All other armour stats remain the same.

What I have tried to do is average out the DR's and Cv's to match those in the official rules (e.g. mail hauberks have DR 6 in the official rules and DR5/Cv7 in the house rules) in order to try and retain game balance. It does mean that some armours are now much better against one form of attack than the other (e.g. breastplate are much better against standard attacks (DR8) than finesse attacks (Cv4)), but I like how this feels and I also think it adds another layer of tactics to the game.

I'm going to be play testing these modifications later this week, and will post the results if anyone is interested.
The maneuverability and encumbrance of armor depend heavily upon what the armor is made out of. Iron is really heavy, so I expect a suit made out of iron would be very difficult to move around in, whether it's fitted well or not. As metallurgy progressed, that's when you started seeing those marvelous suits of plate that allowed people to do cartwheels and such.
S'mon said:
Per the d20 grappling rules, I'm describing a foe who is Pinned - "immobilised but not helpless", so they have DEX 0 but cannot be coup-de-graced. You're wrong about walls, they do not have DV/AC 10, DV/AC 10 is for a human who is mobile but has no DEX bonus or penalty. In Conan this covers most flat-footed targets, if they have DEX 10+. If they have DEX 9 or less their AC/DV will be less than 10.

Eg: a human who is mobile but who has DEX 0-1 is AC 5, 10 -5 for the DEX penalty. Per 3.5 PHB a totally immobile man-sized target counts as DEX 0 and with an additional +4 to-be-hit.

I would suggest you reread the Grapple rules.
rook111 said:
I would suggest you reread the Grapple rules.

It says that if you're Pinned, "you are held immobile (but not helpless)" and you take a -4 AC penalty vs opponents other than the one pinning you, pg 157 3.5 PHB.

The Glossary/Guidelines don't describe 'immobile' as a state, only paralysed (which gives DEX 0 & +4 to-be-hit). Are you saying that immobile creatures retain their Dexterity score (up to a max of 10), ie are not DEX 0? If so, that makes the pinned character in Conan DV 6 (less if DEX under 10), rather than DV 1.
In a case where you are immobilised or other wise have no mobility , this would include being unaware of an attack, you lose your dexterity modifier and any other bonuses which are dependent upon mobility. This does not reduce your dexterity it means that you are unable to use your dexterity thus you gain no modifier either positive or negative. The only way to reduce your dexterity below its normal score, thus incurring a negative modifier, is by either magical effects or attribute damage or special circumstanses such as being Helpless.

I don't have my D&D books at work only the Conan book but the grapple rules are the same, on page 180 under grappling consequenses it covers this, and if taken along with the section on the next page about "if You Are Pinned By An Opponent" , you will see that a character who is grappled and being attacked by some one not invloved in the grapple would have a DV of 6.

Now if the Character were Helpless you are correct. If a helpless character is subjected to a Regular Attack then his dexterity is considered 0 and his modifier is -5 and he gets an addtional -4 penalty to his AC. Of course he would also be elegible for a Coup De Grace which would automaticlly hit and do critical damage plus a save vs. Death. Both types of attack also allow sneak attack damage.

So in the end we were both right we just weren't explaining ourselves fully.

PS I hope I didn't come off as rude such was not my intent.
rook111 said:
PS I hope I didn't come off as rude such was not my intent.

That's ok, thanks for clarification. I find it a bit odd that an _immobilised_ character can still use their Dexterity (up to max DEX 10/+0) to affect their AC, but the Pin rules seems to support this.