- Gun damages are based on real studies of kinetic effect
- Our wonderful previously-mentioned author has done the same thing with bows, which dramatically changes their damage
- Melee sw weapons are not thus rectified, which means they get way too much damage way too quickly
- Rectifying melee weapon damage with real-world quantifiables is difficult or impossible due to lots and lots of factors
- As a side point, it's far too easy to penetrate DR with a melee weapon.
(If you're talking about a ST 20 barbarian with a maul, he laughs at your puny heavy plate layered with a double-mail hauberk. But maybe that's how it should be, at least for Dungeon Fantasy.)
Basic plate armor is fairly egregious if this sort of thing tickles your paideuometer. It's DR 7, which ST 14 will penetrate roughly half the time, depending on the weapon. Looking on B558, this lines up with 1/8" of mild steel. I'm no armorer by a long shot, but I don't think mild steel is used in plate mail. (If I'm wrong, I'm sure someone will be along to correct me shortly.) Plus, I have the most convincing of all possible arguments: sketchy anecdotal evidence from the biomed play-tester to Low-Tech who says that when the playtesters brought up that plate mail should actually have a much higher DR, they were told that it didn't for playability and legacy reasons.
The thread was inconclusive about a fix, and for good reason. The real fix would be to fiddle with ST-sw and weapon mods values until they lined up with real-world quantities on penetration and wounding with regard to various weapons. Unfortunately, that data doesn't exist and probably can't exist, and even if it did that's a huge amount of work, much more so than for firearms given the relatively orderly nature of firearm wounding compared to being hit with a baseball bat.
However, one of the easy quick-fixes put forward in the thread is doubling DR values and giving firearms a (2) DR divisor. This strikes me as simple enough to play and remember to maybe be worthwhile. It was pointed out that this just shifts the point where the system breaks upward, but I think I'm okay with that for Dungeon Fantasy; characters and monsters with high-ST should be pulling off scary, fantastic wounding shots. You should be afraid of that ogre even if you have plate mail.
What would the effects of this be, I wonder? The easiest way to visualize it for me is to separate the advantages from the disadvantages.
- My sense of plausibility will be less tickled, as will that of several other players at my table.
- Knights and barbarians get even more awesome - the first because they can become tin cans that much more easily, and the second because they're the only ones who can still crush those tin cans with brute force.
- It forces the use of tactical options, like striking at limbs or other places that are less armored, chinks in armor, and picking weapons based on armor penetration vs. damage (e.g. bodkin arrows).
- Specifically, the All-Out Attack (Strong) option might get used once in a while.
- It helps with the survivability of the PCs. I'm not actually sure this is a plus, but I'll list it here anyway. It also helps with the survivability of the monsters.
It makes the invasion force from the Barrier Peaks that are coming down to take over all of Oerth even scarier
- It marginalizes people in combat who aren't primarily combat oriented, or some of their options. That puny bard or thief just can't do much to the lucky goblin who has a mail hauberk.
- Most of them have other options in combat, like the Wizard or Cleric can use magic
- Specifically, it might be worth giving Missile Spells the (2) armor divisor, 'cause they're magical and fast.
- It could lead to long combats without either side being able to accomplish much by strength-of-arms. This is a big potential failure, though I imagine it's more likely in a low-powered non-heroic game than Dungeon Fantasy.
- It makes thrusting weapons even less attractive. Who wants to use a spear when an axe won't even get through? Where's the point?
- Maybe targeting Chinks in Armor should be easier with thr/imp weapons? Maybe it should give a (4) armor divisor instead of (2), bringing it back down to the level already given in the Basic Set (and making it very attractive).
- It lowers the utility of Fortify enchantments. Oooh, +1 DR! Great! I already have 8!
- I'm hesitant to also double the DR granted by Fortification, but maybe I shouldn't be. Or maybe it should grant other benefits somehow - being cheaper or more effective on lower-DR armor, or not taking the (2) divisor from various attacks that normally have it, like Missile Spells and that monster on level 3.
- It raises the bar for fodder monsters. A bunch of puny goblins just aren't scary unless they're truly a bunch of puny goblins, because they just can't get through your armor. Unless you're the Wizard. Oops.
I'm sorry to everyone who reads this blog for my new update schedule of "seldom, and on no particular schedule." Work is seriously kicking my behind at the moment. I'm pulling 60-hour weeks to get a few projects landed.
Hopefully in a few more weeks I'll be back to normal. Until then, my policy is, if I don't have anything interesting to say, I don't post, so I don't waste your time.