New Armour

Damien

Mongoose
I agreed to run a game set in a gritty fantasy version of Medieval Europe, so of course I turned to the Conan rules (replacing culture names where appropriate), most especially for the combat and sorcery rules.

But I needed to add a few things, and subtract a few things, to really make it fit. One thing I really needed was more mail, since the game will be set around the height of mail, prior to the advent of plate armour.

So here's what I was thinking:


Chausses (mail leggings): 350 sp, DR 2, +6 Max Dex, Check Penalty -2, Sorcery Failure 10%, Speed 30 ft.

Mail Hauberk and Chausses: 1150 sp, DR 7, +3 Max Dex, Check Penalty -6, Sorcery Failure 85%, Speed 25 ft.

Coif (mail hood): 60 sp, DR 1, ACP -1, Sorcery Failure 10%

Coif with Steel Cap: 100 sp, DR 2, ACP -1, Sorcery Failure 20%
Coif with Great Helm: 410 sp, DR 3, ACP -3, Sorcery Failure 30%
Coif with Visored Helm: 510 sp, DR 2/3, ACP -1/-3, Sorcery Failure 30%


Good idea, bad idea?
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
What's the point in running the campaign in a pre-plate era if you're going to allow players to have that level of defense anyway? The changes you've suggested make a fully-mailed warrior nearly as invulnerable as one in the plate armor that you're removing from the game.

I think you're overvaluing the effectiveness of mail a bit. Granted, the stuff has been around for a very long time in one form or another, but that's more because of its efficiency than its raw protective value. Breastplates are even older than mail, but they fell out of favor in the Iron Age because they required too much inflexible mass to stop iron weapons; mail was not as protective, but it was pretty good and allowed better maneuverability.

I'd vote that you leave DR values as they are, and let your players be careful. If you're worried, reduce the AP value of certain weapons by 1 point and disallow others; or limit the strength inflation and feat/maneuver combo madness that Conan games can suffer, so as to prevent brawny guys getting one-hit kills on everything they meet.
 

Damien

Mongoose
What's the point in running the campaign in a pre-plate era if you're going to allow players to have that level of defense anyway?

A few reasons, actually.

Firstly, the setting is intended to be an analogue of about 12th century Europe.

Secondly, it would be an aesthetic consideration that plate armour be removed as an option. So it's not an isuse how of much defense is being offered - but what kind of defense.

Either way, the thing is that plate armour shouldn't be available in 12th century Europe. I'm not removing plate armour because it's too good for the time frame, I'm removing it because it doesn't fit.


Besides, with my idea, you get a max DR of 10 (7 from the new armour, 3 with a visored helm with coif). Plate armour has a base DR of ten - not including a helm at all.

So even with this new armour addition - characters wouldn't have quite as much DR as someone in plate armour.



The changes you've suggested make a fully-mailed warrior nearly as invulnerable as one in the plate armor that you're removing from the game.

Nearly, yes. But only if he's fully decked out for battle in the best helm, with a coif, with a hauberk and chausses.

That seems to fit, in my opinion. Most people won't be running around in that kind of battle dress all the time - only when real battle is about to be joined.

I don't run my games like D&D, where your typical Fighter sleeps, eats, and goes tinkle in his plate armour.

So I think it's fair that a full battle harness be quite powerful.



I think you're overvaluing the effectiveness of mail a bit. Granted, the stuff has been around for a very long time in one form or another, but that's more because of its efficiency than its raw protective value. Breastplates are even older than mail, but they fell out of favor in the Iron Age because they required too much inflexible mass to stop iron weapons; mail was not as protective, but it was pretty good and allowed better maneuverability.

On the contrary, I think mail is undervalued of late. Too many hear about how mail didn't protect well against X or Y - and that sort of tends to devalue mail to a lot of people. But it was excellent protection for hundreds upon hundreds of years. And it makes sense that in a setting where the best protection is mail - that mail actually be worth wearing over other armour types (to explain its dominance).


I'd vote that you leave DR values as they are, and let your players be careful. If you're worried, reduce the AP value of certain weapons by 1 point and disallow others; or limit the strength inflation and feat/maneuver combo madness that Conan games can suffer, so as to prevent brawny guys getting one-hit kills on everything they meet.

None of these were concerns of mine, actually. I wasn't trying to 'replace' plate armour, because in my experience players rarely use it anyway in Conan.

I was just adding a couple logical armour choices that -did- exist, and I thought should be included in the game for the sake of completion. Knights did wear mail coifs underneath their helms - I wanted the game mechanics to reflect a reason for that. Chausses -were- worn to protect the legs, I needed mechanics to reflect that.

Flavour is all well and good, but it tends to be rather bland explaining that characters can describe themselves as wearing full mail coverings for their legs - but that it won't have any in-game effect on how well protected they are.


If it's horribly unbalanced - by all means we can discuss that - and try to fix it. But if your issue is just that I've "replaced" plate armour with more mail add-ons, then that's not something to worry about.
 

InsomNY

Mongoose
I'm aware of the reason you stated for not having plate as an option. My disagreement is with the extent to which you want to beef up mail, as it really does still look like compensation to me. Of course, this where I must insert the obligatory "it's your game, do what you think will be fun" disclaimer. :)

I don't think I've undervalued mail too badly. I've worn both plate and chain armor (modern made, but reasonably faithful) and gotten whacked around in them -- not as much as a full-time SCA loony would, but I played with them for a season, and also took some bated-blade hits to give me an idea of what "the real thing" was like. There's simply no comparison in the amount of thump you can feel through mail and gambeson and that of a plate carapace.

There's also the consideration that the weapons presented in the game system assume the presence of plate armor. High-AP weapons weren't needed as much until the advent of plate, because the ability to crush armor wasn't as important as the ability to crush the guy in it. So instead of beefing up the armor, you could reduce the weapon AP and remove some to simulate this. The pollaxe should stay, since we know this is a faithful period weapon well-loved by the Danes.

In the end, I don't think what you're doing will break the game. I'd question it if I was one of your players, but I'm not; this is just me playing armchair GM during a lull at work. Go have fun and let us know how it all works out. :)
 

Damien

Mongoose
I can understand your concerns.

-My- major concern is that I want there to be a reason for wearing lots of mail other than "I think it looks cool." By the RAW -- there's no reason that a person would choose to wear chausses and a coif with his hauberk and helm. No reason whatsoever. It's a stylistic choice that offers no advantages at all.

I'm willing to hear any ideas that remedy that problem without adding DR.
 

Sutek

Mongoose
Include a called shot system. Blows to the neck would hit the armor provided by wearing a coif where greaves would protect the lower leg, etc.

One alternate system might be to go through the entire armor list, including helmets and shields, and provide a Material Value that replaces the DR. Mail made from stell is harder than bronze, for instance. Another example might be that adding brass rings to a leather jerkin adds a degree of material protection to that armor. Then, once players have the exact composition of the armor suit they want, determine a calculation that converts it back into DR. The same would need to be done for Max DEX and armor check penalties as well though, since you're wanting to be more realistic.

For that matter, certain armors are more resistant to certain types of attack and more vulnerable to others.

I think what I'm driving at is...just go play Harnmaster if you want gritty realism. The d20 system isn;t intended for it and would take far too many modifications. Armor is intended to respresent layered suits anyway. A breast plate isn't just a breat plate - it's also the underlying chain, leather, cloth, etc.

A simpler way might be to simply add all the DR worn by a charactrer and then average it. See if that gets'you something you want...of course that isn't realistic, but as long as you're consistent it doesn't matter really.
 

Damien

Mongoose
First of all, I want to go on record as saying I really, really dislike when someone says that someone else is playing the wrong game. It very rarely comes off as helpful or genuine, and usually just comes off as snide and rude.

Please, don't tell me what game system I -should- be using. I'm fully capable of looking for systems on my own, and if I needed help in that area, I'd ask for it. Simple as that. Okay?

I'm not trying to be crass here, but honestly now. Not only is that kind of post not helpful and often quite rude (whether intentional or not), but you're talking things way too far.

My original post was just that I wanted to add a few types of armour to the rules to sort of cover the 'head-to-toe in mail knight' of the 1100s. That's ALL.

Going on and on about making combat more realistic, hit locations, etc is far beyond the scope of what I'm talking about. I'm not trying to make Conan into a historical combat simulation. I'm JUST trying to add a few styles of armour to round out the game, and give a mechanical reason to wear them.

Simple as that.

Christ.


Some people are so damn touchy about what should and should not be 'allowed' in the system without it 'changing everything and might as well just go play another game.'
 
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