How does everyone else handle helmets?

I have a player who wants to be like oldschool Conan so he runs around with a loincloth and a helmet. I allowed him to have the minimal DR that a helmet provides without having to wear other armor. How does everyone else handle this? I figured it's not a big deal either way but I was wondering if there were any sticklers out there that would say no.


Well we let the player have either the one or two points of DR. It's easy enough to finesse past or for AP to reduce to zero.


Thats is how your supposed to play Conan! Get a scary head piece, something to kill with, and become a primordial god of death. OK not everybody should be a naked helmeted god of death, A few should thru. Why not let him do this, its kinda unique. The rules let you and people shouldn't be wearing armor all the time thats not realistic. Exspecially when armor in Conan is more realistic then in other games like swiming in full plate in D&D. Thru I am biased since this is what I do with one of my charcters. Hell I do this when I play his D&D personna. I do wear armor when it is needed, like when I know theres going to be a battle during war time. I don't wear it walking down the street, but I do wear my helmet and loincloth!


Yep, use the DR of a helmst as the only DR.. Thats the way it would work for me. After all a breast plate is just single piece of armour and you can wear one of those with nothing else for DR 6.


I just thought considering the trend for the furry loincloth and the helmet look seems to be quite popular (my group has one), maybe a feat which adds to armour effectiveness may be useful.

Just for daftness.

I'm Fine I'm Wearing a Helmet
Prerequisites: None.
Effect: If a character wears only a helmet for protection (he may still carry a shield) the Damage Reduction of the helmet is doubled for purposes of protecting the wearer from harm. If the character wears any kind of armour this bonus is lost.

Senses Remain Sharp
Preequisites: I'm Fine I'm Wearing A Helmet
Effect: If a character is wearing any sort of helmet, he suffers no penalty to Listen or Spot checks.
That fur loincloth should clearly be considered hide armor for a Barbarian. With fur boots, at least a % of the body shold be covered enough to grant a DR of 1 or 2. I would suggest adding "Primitive Armor" to a Barbarian's proficiency list :D

Or quite simply describe Hide Armor for the conan game to be made of just a loin cloth and boots. Anything more is clearly just for cold protection in the northern lands.

*edit: spelling


Stygian Overlord said:
I have a player who wants to be like oldschool Conan so he runs around with a loincloth and a helmet. I allowed him to have the minimal DR that a helmet provides without having to wear other armor.

:oops: There is rule prohibiting this? Can you please point me toward it? Thanks!


I kind of see the issue here. There is a definate appeal to not wanting to wear any sort of armour, especially for a Barbarian in Conan's era. While Conan himself generally didn't engage in epic battles completely naked, he definately did engage in several conflicts wearing just a loincloth. I think the problem is that the rules reflect an almost need to wear armour, in order to just survive in combat, especially for the big brutish tank characters like soldiers and barbarians. However wearing the armor itself doesn't inflict too much of a penalty and so it's much easier to say "bugger it" and wear the heaviest armor available to you.

I think the Monks in D&D 3.5 have it right: they get a bonus to some of their abilities including defense when not wearing armor. While it doesn't reflect the realistic nature of the Conan RPG, it would be fun for something similar to be done to barbarians, I think.


I can think of a couple of ways to house rule this.

The nice way: Allow barbarians a small bonus to Dodge Defence and Parry Defence when wearing no body armour.

The nasty way: Apply the Max Dex Bonus from armour to Parry Defence as well as to Dodge Defence (effectively a Max Str Bonus to PD). This would still make shields viable when wearing armour, as they add to Parry Defence, but would also allow for the 'oiled barbarian in a loincloth' approach. You'd basically trade off the DR of the armour for the increased Parry Defence, and trust to your shield or weapon to protect you.


If you keep it as is, a barbarian of significant level still gets a decent enough DR wearing just a helmet.

Level 16 Barbie gets 3 Dr +2 DR for a great helm for a total DR of 5. Thats equivalent to a mail shirt or scale corselet.

Level 19 Barbie gets 4 Dr +2 Dr for a great helm for a total DR of 6. This is equivalent to a mail hauberk.

It seems quite useful as it is, but if you look at this with the I'm Fine I'm Wearing a Helmet feat I came up with this would be a DR of 7 for a level 16 Barbie, or DR 8 for a level 19 one. However for balance this feat would be available for everyone, not just a oiled furry hotpant wearing Barbarian.


A level 19 barbarian IS a rare thing, however. Plus with the way the game is made, most players will multiclass out of their original profession.
Neeklus said:
A level 19 barbarian IS a rare thing, however. Plus with the way the game is made, most players will multiclass out of their original profession.

I have seen a few people say that but I from what I (and my players) can tell the system greatly encourages them to stay with whatever class they choose. (The exception is 1-2 levels of Noble. Other than that changing classes would cost you bonus feats and prevent you from reaching the high level abilities of any class, someof which are pretty good.)

Mark Dunder

In CCR (Classic Conan RPG), you have an Aiming Point "head", and your helmet protects it, as it would in real life. Simple.


Allow me to desagree with the idea that Conan greatly encourages the characters to stay with whatever class they choose at 1st level.

I chose to be a Zingarian Noble at 1st level, and i´m going to be 12Noble/6Soldier/2Thief and this combination with the right feats can even make a level 20 barbarian start to cry.

I must admit that the pirate only gets pumped up at level 15, leaving only 5 levels to multiclass...

But single classed characters had to have some advantages... even if i think that a multiclassed character is always more efective in average situations than a single classed character.

About CCR it has some interesting ideas that sould be taken in consideration... for example that one of focussing in one part of the enemy and attack...
I really liked "Desabling Strike" feat from Road of Kings wich works in a similar way, but it was way to precise, just because you hit doesn´t mean that you hit were you wanted...

That system of focussing in hiting the head just isn´t going to work because it would have to take in consideration that its really harder to hit the head than to hit the cheast.
Hitting were there is no armour is the reason there is a finness ability.

The damage reduction is used as way to keep you alive longer, and using a helmet sould be considered as armour, the same way if you weare a breastplate and get hit in the head you get a damage reduction of -6.
Yes its unrealistic, but so is the ability of the barbarian getting -3.

CCR was a good game and can be incorporated in CONAN RPG, in some ways, but there are somethings that would make the game combat system fail, the focussing in hitting a part of the body, would take away the fact that its real fighting and you never now were you´re going to really hit the enemy isn´t waiting for you to hit, he is going to dodge or parry.

But yes I agree that in a hit a GM sould decide were you hit, and give special caracteristics atributes or penaltys, acoording to where you hit...

It sure would be great for Mongoose to make a book called "combat masters" and further develop this ideia...

Mark Dunder

I think developing a general system of combat that would work fairly well with all types of systems, would be a good endeavor for someone. If Mongoose did this, I think it would help to "universalize" all types of games.

The main reason CCR uses the Aiming Point, is that CCR does not use Armor Class. It deals damage directly and armor subtracts directly from the damage done. Also, using William Carlson's expanded rules gives each Aiming Point a Color Result you need to match, in order to hit that location. If you do not get the proper result, but still hit your opponent, then you can roll for a random location or role play out where it might be. It is difficult for those that have only played using D20, to understand the exciting options CCR offers as a RPG system. You could use a D20 with this system, and even add a "general" Armor Class. You can add Saving Rolls or just about anything from the D20 system, and CCR will just absorb it. You may think that this is not possible, but it can be done.

I would like to say that D20 is a fine system, but a set group of characteristics, abilities exclusive to classes (just make the abilities more difficult or expensive for other classes), and any number of limitations to the system, makes it far too hard to play sometimes. You end up tossing out a lot of things, just to save time. Before long, it becomes a wargamers RPG.

But the background material that Mongoose and other Conan games and modules provide is excellent, and CCR is limited in this. But that's not a problem. I can use any material for CCR.