OSH Armor Reconfigured

I’ve been wrestling with how I want to handle Armor Class. I don’t like the all or nothing hit, because the point of armor is not to dodge but to deflect injury. I also don’t like the idea that even a little armor can protect you from most attacks. Still, armor is worthwhile, so I didn’t want to nerf it unduly.

How do I get to a place where armor doesn’t make you invulnerable, but does help? I think I finally cracked it as I lay in bed awake one night last week! This one is easier to display on a chart than explain.

So, in effect, the better you roll to hit the more of your target’s armor you ignore. If you just barely get a high enough roll to hit, then you’re trying to hurt them through their armor. If you get a great shot in, you avoid most or all of the armor. The damage reduction scales with the skill of the hit, but it’s a small chart that will easily fit on a reference card or a 2 page rules reference.

I think this can work for swords and sandals, medieval fantasy, survival horror, modern games, and science fiction. (Here is my clunkier previous effort.)

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2 Responses to OSH Armor Reconfigured

  1. Tim D. says:

    Interesting, but I’m not sure I want to give up the ease of the current system. Adds an additional step to each roll, whereas right now its one roll and done.

    My armor issue is the shield. I keep forgetting the impact of the shield, and I really don’t like the “takes a hit and breaks” aspect. I’m leaning towards a shield gives you an additional armor point (sound familiar) but you can’t use 2 handed weapons or use 2 weapons. I’m very familiar with that, and its pretty easy…

  2. fictivite says:

    Yeah, for people who have no problem with the all-or-nothing abstraction of armor class, it isn’t broken and doesn’t need fixing.

    Being unable to use 2 weapons in OSH is not an issue–no rule for it anyway. And unless you have a very heavy weapon, 2 handed is not much of an issue anyway except for flavor. You could have a 1 handed flail that counted as a reach weapon, or a heavy weapon as a bastard sword–again one handed.

    You may or may not be interested in how I changed the way shields work in my Fictive version, and parrying weapons.


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