DR values too high?

A

Anonymous

Guest
We've been playing for a while and seem to think DR is too high. With high DV values, we find this still true since finesse attacks become harder and harder.

Looking at RoK (which I just purchased), I find it hard to see how anyone (even younger Conan) can even scratch King Conan with his DR of 14 (let alone hit him with his high DV's).

Anyone else having problems? Are we missing something?

How about a good house rule you can share (like DR converting damage to non-lethal, hit location rules, armor giving penalties to DV values like an ACP does to skill checks). The only thing we've tried is allowing each point of a weapon's AP to deduct a point of DR. Like a broadsword with an AP of 3 would make plate armor and visored helm a DR of 9 instead of 12. It makes for less calculations (like halving DR with AP) but DR is still too high though in my group's opinion.

Any helpful ideas?
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Well, in my experinece, DR has never been a trouble for my players. They had less trouble when fighting low-level unarmored foes, though :lol: .

If you like changing the rules, that's fine, but I wouldn't. With feats like Power Attack, Monster Slayer and Explosive Power -not to mention Sneak Attacks- a well trained character will be able to face most foes.
You should also remember that a 1st level Cimmerian or Southern Islander barb may start the game with a Str of 20, which will add +7 to the damage of any two handed attack! Then you have the bardiche, tulwar and greatsword... Got the idea?

In my gaming group I have several approachs to the DR trouble. For example, I have a Cimmerian barb who favors power attack with a bardiche and a Zingaran user of the Intrincate Swordplay feat who will get Improved Critical and Weapon Specialisation for his broadsword when he's higher level. The Zamorian thief just loves to stab foes in the back with his sneak attack -and they ususally end very dead :twisted:

The only trouble I see to defeat DR may be a lack of feats, tipical of low level characters. But your players must understand they shouldn't be able to beat Conan or a Greater Son of Set at 1st level, I guess.

Hope this helps.

PS:As for DV, it's the same. The higher level you get, the more BAB and useful feats -like Greater Weapon Focus- you have, so don't worry about it .
 

Murte

Mongoose
Not sure if the DR 14 you are refering to is granted by armour, or natural ability. However, if the AP exceeds the DR, the DR is halved. By the time your players are in a position to fight someone like King Conan, that DR of 14 won't look so bad, nor will the DV.

So far in my experience this is what I have found:

Unarmoured mooks = very dead mook, very short time, even if mook is 3-5 levels higher than PC's in leather jerkins.

Lightly armoured mooks = dead mook, 5-7 rounds of combat. With PC's still in leather jerkins plus steel caps now.

Armoured mooks = pretty even fight, PC's can easily win if situational factors are taken advantage of, but straight up fight has PC's winning, but with at least one needing a short term heal check to get up and moving again.

Heavily armoured mooks = ?? Best I've seen so far was chain hauberk, and that is what armoured was based upon.

Make it hard for PC's to get ahold of armour, utilize the High Living rules to keep it just out of grasp for a while. Low level PC's in steel armour are a challenge to DM since you have to throw either a bunch of mooks at them or a group of mooks and lt's at them to make the fight a challenge.
 

argo

Mongoose
At first I thought the DR rules might be a bit wacky too. But I gave them a chance and now I am convinced that it is one of the most finely crafted and ballanced game systems I have ever seen.

Here is an example. I took a group of 8th level PC's and started throwing a whole mob of 3rd level mooks at them. Now most of my players had fairly low AP (an archer, a TWF borderer, a TWF pirate) all of them had AP 6 or lower except for one player, a high Str Soldier specialized in the Bill, he was a trip-power attack-cleave nightmare in heavy armor. The first wave of mooks had DR 6 (Mail Haubrek) and the PC's were swating them down like flies, no problem at all. Then I sent in the second wave who all had the exact same stats as the first except that each of them was wearing a steel cap as well, so now they have DR 7. All of a sudden the fight becomes a nock-down drag-out affair as none of the PC's are able to penetrate the armor except for the juggernaut who was still able to cleave through 4 mooks in one round (and that was after his Bill was sundered and he had to grab a broadsword off a fallen mook).

Afterwards we analyzed the combat and I explained to my players how they need to get used to some new pardagrims in combat. The lesson? PC's need to have some idea of what they might encounter and be perpared for it or else be able to improvise/run. The question "what will you do if faced with one guy in full plate" is as valid as "what will you do if faced by 40 naked screaming Picts". There are two very different answers to those questions but they both co-exist in Conan and players need to thnk about how they are going to deal with different types of challenges just like their characters have to. The nice thing about the system is that there are severall different answers to each dilemma and most of teh classes are designed so that, with a little forethought, a character can easily switch modes to adapt to several different threats.

So no, I dont' think DR is too high (matter of fact I think it is just perfect when massive damage is taken into account). Your players just need to start thinking about their weaknesses as well as their strengths and be perpared. That is what keeps combat in this game fun and exciting.


P.S.: From an adventure design standpoint don't be afraid if you have enemies with heavy armor to have them equiped with high-damage, high AP weapons like Bardiches, Pollaxes and Warhammers. Heavy armor means military-like troops and it only makes sense that they would carry military weapons, plus it gives your PC's some options if they only happen to be carrying arming swords. Conan was famous for driving his blade into some poor sap's gut then grabbing his weapon and using it to beat the crap out of that guy's comrades.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Thanks for the feedback. We've still got much playing and testing to do before we really figure out what we like best.

We've been using the 1 point of min. damage rule and it has helped. Basically, any time you are hit, you will receive 1 HP of damage no matter what. We took this rule from the game author's suggestion and clarification mentioned on these forums.

As for some House Rules we came up with after play, here is what my group has proposed to help speed up armored combat:
New Armor and Damage Reduction Rules:

Change: A barbarian’s Damage Reduction is fully effective against non-lethal attacks (such as being punched, kicked, or crushed in a grapple), but only half as effective (rounding down) against lethal damage (such as a sword cut, claw attack, etc.).

Change: Your armor’s Armor Check Penalty applies to your class Dodge Defense Value, as the weight of stiffness of the armor slows you down. Your Parry Defense Value remains unchanged.

Clarification: Wielding a weapon with two hands adds 1.5 times your Strength bonus and this applies to Armor Piercing as well as to weapon damage.

New Rule: Using a weapon type that counters the type of armor worn adds an additional 2 points of Armor Piercing to your weapon’s AP score. Weapons with an AP score of 0 still gain 2 AP points versus the type of armor they counter.


Plated armor: (plate armor, breastplate, brigandine) Plated armor is countered by piercing weapons.

Linked armor: (mail shirt, mail hauberk, scale corselet, scale hauberk) Linked armor is countered by bludgeoning weapons.

Padded armor: (leather jerkin, quilted jerkin) Padded armor is countered by slashing weapons.

If you use a weapon against layered armor (i.e. Mail Hauberk + Breastplate DR 9), then you still get to add two points to the AP value of your weapon if one of those types of armor is one your weapon counters. This AP bonus increases to 3 if your weapon counters both layers (i.e. a Bossonian Longbow AP5 vs. Mail Hauberk + Scale Hauberk DR9 -- The bow's AP increases to 8.)

Any armor that is successfully "pierced" by a weapon type that counters it causes damage to the armor. This damage causes the DR of that armor to be reduced by 1 point.

Helmet DR is not countered by any weapon type and adds DR as normal.

Example:
Broadsword, a slashing weapon, has an AP of 3 vs. most armor. The broadsword’s AP score will increase to 5 points versus any padding armor it strikes.

It all makes sense, but it may be too complicated. I'm still thinking these over. Any additional constructive feedback or advice is welcome.
 

sbarrie

Mongoose
Anonymous said:
Change: Your armor’s Armor Check Penalty applies to your class Dodge Defense Value, as the weight of stiffness of the armor slows you down. Your Parry Defense Value remains unchanged.
I think the Dex reduction is enough.

Plated armor: (plate armor, breastplate, brigandine) Plated armor is countered by piercing weapons.

Linked armor: (mail shirt, mail hauberk, scale corselet, scale hauberk) Linked armor is countered by bludgeoning weapons.
Are these two backwards?

Nice stuff, I think I'll borrow the weapon type vs armour type AP modifications.
 
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