Armor Complaints

I am having the problem of not seeing the point of heavy armor. I say this because with no +modifyer or +half modifyer, the armor is obsolete. A rouge wearing medium or even light armor could get the same bonuses as a fighter wearing plate. It just makes it feel to me at least that heavy isn't really necessary right now, which I don't like. Right now I'm pulling a house rule which is +half con mod to AC if you wear heavy armor and that does the job ok.

But this is just me. Anyone else have a simmilar problem?
I think everyone is. I am under the impression it will be fixed. Because 15,000 gold for adamantine to do th same thing as a rogue in a Mithral shirt for 1/10th the cost and not getting a move penalty is overlooking something.
Yeah, I think I'm going to try going the full +con mod and see if that works any better. Also the advantage-disadvantage seems like a good idea, but either my players are crazy lucky or the system makes it far easier to hit, even with a disadvantage. Having players hit every time (especially against kobolds or something simmilar) makes the game move fast but also makes it feel strangely easy. Maybe a bit too easy.
A Rogue with a 16 Dexterity can have the same AC as a Fighter in plate, yes. This is not a bad thing. For one, the Rogue can duck and dodge much better. For another thing, the Fighter doesn't have to spend any points in Dexterity to be effective. Your Rogue has a 16 Dexterity for a 17 AC? Good for you, my Fighter also has a 17 AC, but has an 16 Strength as well. Sure, your Rogue could use Strength as a secondary stat and get a 14 or so... but I can put my secondary in Constitution. So I'm stronger and tougher, while still being just as hard to hit as you are. Keep your Dexterity, I'll take my platemail, thankyouverymuch.

Edit: And yes, I know a high Dexterity character can be slightly harder to hit if they invest fully... they can have an AC of two points higher if they put a 20 in Dexterity. But this, again, isn't a bad thing. If you're the fastest, nimblest guy around, you should be a little harder to hit. Not only is it a classic staple of fantasy, it makes sense. However, keep in mind that you'll be even more focused, and I'll be that much more tough and strong than you are, because I didn't put all my points in the same place. If I split Strength and Constitution evenly, for 16/16, then I can still hit things easily, and I have a lot more survivability. With flat math, you're going to get hit, no matter what your AC. I'll get hit 10% more often than you... but my Hit Die is half again as big as yours, and my Constitution means I'll always have a decent number of HP.
Your Rogue has a 16 Dexterity for a 17 AC? Good for you, my Fighter also has a 17 AC, but has an 16 Strength as well. Sure, your Rogue could use Strength as a secondary stat and get a 14 or so... but I can put my secondary in Constitution. So I'm stronger and tougher, while still being just as hard to hit as you are. Keep your Dexterity, I'll take my platemail, thankyouverymuch.


Finesse Weapons, however, can use Dex for both attack and damage, and thus can create a case where despite having a lower damage die on average, can still pose a rather high damage potential for a Rogue who primaries in Dex and Secondaries in Con or elsewhere...or better yet, a Fighter who invests heavily in Dex then Con.

Honestly, I think the concerns regarding Heavy Armor would be mitigated if they conferred something like Damage Reduction in exchange for the otherwise lack of advantage they'd grant.
A high Strength will still always be required for the best damage weapons, be they basic weapons or heavy weapons.
There's nothing wrong with armor as-is.
Rogue or Dex based fighter in light armor = ac, = melee attacks, slightly less melee damage from smaller weapon die, at least = con (probably more unless the str fighter completely dumps dex), MUCH greater ranged attack, MUCH greater initiative (init is still based on dex yes), more movement, no skill penalties, MUCH cheaper cost

Str fighter slightly larger melee damage due to using a d8 weapon instead of a d6, uhmmmm gets to be freinds with rustmonsters I dunno

Unless I'm missing something the high dex combatant wins hands down


 
A high Strength will still always be required for the best damage weapons, be they basic weapons or heavy weapons.
There's nothing wrong with armor as-is.


Best damage weapons in terms of hit die?  If I have a high enough static modifier to my damage rolls, then I'd say that it would still compete with higher damage die.

As is, mechanically, Heavy Armor seems to offer very few clear benefits aside from people with negative dex modifiers. 
I actually like the idea behind how they implemented armor class. I still think it needs some improvement.
The idea is a good one, as JRutterbush said: it's true that a high Dex rougue with a light armor has the same AC as a Fighter in plate, but it makes sense if you think that the first is so agile that you can hardly hit him, and the second has the advantage that he doesn't need to keep his Dex high to get a decent AC.
Still, a Dex-focused character risks to be excessively advantaged. If D&D Next is supposed to keep this Armor mechanics, Weapon Finess must NOT appear anywhere in the rules, or it will negate one of the few advantages that a melee focused fighter has above a rogue (high Str = better to-hit bonus). Also, Stats increases must be fewer than current editions of D&D, both as level-based increases and magical items that increase stats, otherwise we'll see rogues and dex-based characters grow their AC to levels that not even the best fighter can hit without magical bonuses...

I also assume that Fighters will have some sort of... feat, talent or class feature that will allow them to add half their Dex bonus to their AC when wearing HEavy Armor after level... 10 or so. It would make sense, and would balance an eventual advantage that Dex based characters would get with stat increases. 
A high Strength will still always be required for the best damage weapons, be they basic weapons or heavy weapons.
There's nothing wrong with armor as-is.


There is clearly a problem with armor if heavy armor is obsolete. A rouge can have greater armor class as a fighter. The fighter may have more hit points but if he gets hit more than the rouge than the hit points are null and void. Heavy character should have high AC thats the way its always worked and the way it should work.

Funny, i see a bigger problem with MEDIUM armor.

Low end:
Studded Leather vs Ringmail
Both provide a 13 ac. 
Studded costs 10 gold less, weighs 5 pounds less and provides full dex.
Ringmail is strictly worse on every single line on the chart. 

Similarly,  chain shirt is better than scale in all aspects except cost (75 vs 50 resp), so i can see a situation where a few 1st level characters have to actually make the choice. But after 2-3 adventures, Chain shirt is the clear winner.

And even from a lvl 1 about to take his very first adventure point of view, i can't imagine a single situation where i would choose Chainmail over a chain shirt. The shirt is 25g cheaper, gives full dex bonus (if you have any), and gives full movement. Yes, it is 1 point of AC worse (asumming no dex bonus) but again, at first level it's the clear choice.

Things are slightly better at the high end, where plate is strictly worse than Dragon Scale, except for the fact that it's less than a third of the cost. LOL until you look at adamantine... granted we haven't seen anything higher level yet, but is the 13.5k price difference between Plate and Adamantine ever going to worth +1Ac? 
For a 1/3 of the cost and just a 14 dex you'll have the same AC in Dragon Scale...

>.<
 
Rogue or Dex based fighter in light armor = ac, = melee attacks, slightly less melee damage from smaller weapon die, at least = con (probably more unless the str fighter completely dumps dex), MUCH greater ranged attack, MUCH greater initiative (init is still based on dex yes), more movement, no skill penalties, MUCH cheaper cost

Str fighter slightly larger melee damage due to using a d8 weapon instead of a d6, uhmmmm gets to be freinds with rustmonsters I dunno

Unless I'm missing something the high dex combatant wins hands down


 

You're missing Strength checks to push, grapple, trip and disarm. You're missing climb checks, jumping distance, carrying capacity, Strength saving throws. You're missing breaking down or forcing open doors. There are plenty of things that Strength is important for. And there's the fact that if you're talking Fighter vs. Rogue, the Fighter can use shields. Or, if he's not using a shield, he's got 1d12 damage, not 1d8.

Now, to be honest, I wouldn't be against re-tooling armor. But not because there's anything wrong with this system: I just prefer more generic equipment lists. I already showed my alternate weapons list in the Weapons thread. As for armor, I could easily see the following (which also addresses your concerns, even though I disagree with them):


Choose whether your armor is Light or Heavy.
Light Armor (can be leather or chain)
AC is 10+Dexterity

Heavy Armor (can be chain or plate)
AC is 12+Strength
Suffer Disadvantage on all movement and stealth checks
Cost is x2

Choose whether your armor is leather, chain or plate.
Leather Armor
Gain +1 AC
Cost is 25g

Chain Armor
(Also covers scale, since they are somewhat similar in design)
Gain +2 AC
Reduce speed by 5ft.
Cost is 50g

Plate Armor
Gain +3 AC
Reduce speed by 10ft.
Cost is 100g

I agree 100%.  As it stands, heavy armor is worthless.  Chainmail is literally the worst armor on the chart.  The -5 to speed and NO dex modifier of any kind makes heavy armor objectively worse, even with a +1 or +0 dex bonus.  Why would I ever buy banded mail when splint mail is the same price, 1AC less, but gives me no movement penalty and a dex bonus to AC?  Hell, even with no dex bonus I'd take the 1 AC hit to not have the movement penalty. 

With a dex bonus of +2 or more, light armor is objectively the best in the game, with the chain shirt being the best of all armors.  I would like to see them go to a system that puts DR on heavy armors.
Funny, i see a bigger problem with MEDIUM armor.

Low end:
Studded Leather vs Ringmail
Both provide a 13 ac. 
Studded costs 10 gold less, weighs 5 pounds less and provides full dex.
Ringmail is strictly worse on every single line on the chart. 

Similarly,  chain shirt is better than scale in all aspects except cost (75 vs 50 resp), so i can see a situation where a few 1st level characters have to actually make the choice. But after 2-3 adventures, Chain shirt is the clear winner.

And even from a lvl 1 about to take his very first adventure point of view, i can't imagine a single situation where i would choose Chainmail over a chain shirt. The shirt is 25g cheaper, gives full dex bonus (if you have any), and gives full movement. Yes, it is 1 point of AC worse (asumming no dex bonus) but again, at first level it's the clear choice.

Things are slightly better at the high end, where plate is strictly worse than Dragon Scale, except for the fact that it's less than a third of the cost. LOL until you look at adamantine... granted we haven't seen anything higher level yet, but is the 13.5k price difference between Plate and Adamantine ever going to worth +1Ac? 
For a 1/3 of the cost and just a 14 dex you'll have the same AC in Dragon Scale...

>.<
 



It's not about whose problem is bigger but that their are problems. The point you bring up a valid one and I feel that I brought up was valid as well. The system should be retooled, with some con mod bonus to heavy and changes in bonus for medium. In addition I feel there should be less overlap between the armors (like ringmail granting 13), it would make more sense to shift all medium and heavy armors up 1 (so ringmail is 14, scale 15, splint 16, chainmail 16... you get the drift). Then I feel the table should be streemlined so as to weedle out uneccessary armor (such as ringmail). Just my two cents.
Fully agree that the system is in need of overhaul.

It is reminscent of 3.x where a high dex+chain shirt provides better/similar AC than plate.
At least in 3.x you had a max dex value to sort of even it out... but even there a mithril chain shirt was on par costwise to standard full plate but provided way more ac to someone with appropriate dex.


While i agree that the high dex characters should be hard to hit, i don't think the system should so blatently point out that even a modicum of dex is always superior to heavy armor... 

If game math assumes that similar AC's are expected to be obtained either way, then put me in the "Heavy should give DR or Fortification or some other obvious benefit" camp.
FWIW [4e designer] baseline assumption was that roughly 70% of your feats would be put towards combat effectiveness, parties would coordinate, and strikers would do 20/40/60 at-will damage+novas. If your party isn't doing that... well, you are below baseline, so yes, you need to optimize slightly to meet baseline. -Alcestis
You're missing Strength checks to push, grapple, trip and disarm. You're missing climb checks, jumping distance, carrying capacity, Strength saving throws. You're missing breaking down or forcing open doors. There are plenty of things that Strength is important for. And there's the fact that if you're talking Fighter vs. Rogue, the Fighter can use shields. Or, if he's not using a shield, he's got 1d12 damage, not 1d8.

Sure, and those are valid points.

 Personally, I value static modifiers to damage over Die size, and purely from a combative standpoint, if you have 18 Dex vs. 18 Str as a fighter, you're going to get some nice static modifiers for damage that will guarantee decent damage outputs (even if the maximium possible damage isn't as high).  I would say that Dex mod focus also give the advantage of ranged weapons, but they seem to have that addressed with the 'Complex' Missle weapons that an use STR modifier for attack and damage, so that can be at least a little wash.

 Even in that case, having initiative tied only to Dex still gives it a little bit of a nod, and I doubt many would want to have a negative mod in Dexterity, even the fighter or cleric...which means that for some of them, heavy armor would still be a less than favorable option.  I'm not sure.

My stance is that it's fine for equally strong characters (in their own areas) to have comparible ACs when it comes to Dex focused vs. Str focused, but as the person above me noted, I think if that's the case, each of the armors types they use would have some advantage tied to them - one being more useful for mobility, and one being more able to absorb hits or something.  That's all.

You're missing Strength checks to push, grapple, trip and disarm. You're missing climb checks, jumping distance, carrying capacity, Strength saving throws. You're missing breaking down or forcing open doors. There are plenty of things that Strength is important for. And there's the fact that if you're talking Fighter vs. Rogue, the Fighter can use shields. Or, if he's not using a shield, he's got 1d12 damage, not 1d8.

Sure, and those are valid points.

 Personally, I value static modifiers to damage over Die size, and purely from a combative standpoint, if you have 18 Dex vs. 18 Str as a fighter, you're going to get some nice static modifiers for damage that will guarantee decent damage outputs (even if the maximium possible damage isn't as high).  I would say that Dex mod focus also give the advantage of ranged weapons, but they seem to have that addressed with the 'Complex' Missle weapons that an use STR modifier for attack and damage, so that can be at least a little wash.

 Even in that case, having initiative tied only to Dex still gives it a little bit of a nod, and I doubt many would want to have a negative mod in Dexterity, even the fighter or cleric...which means that for some of them, heavy armor would still be a less than favorable option.  I'm not sure.

My stance is that it's fine for equally strong characters (in their own areas) to have comparible ACs when it comes to Dex focused vs. Str focused, but as the person above me noted, I think if that's the case, each of the armors types they use would have some advantage tied to them - one being more useful for mobility, and one being more able to absorb hits or something.  That's all.




But that preference comes down to weather a player prefers higher min damage or higher max damage.

But that preference comes down to weather a player prefers higher min damage or higher max damage.


Sure, hence that's why I say I personally value one over the other.  I'd rather have a 1d8+6 over 1d12+5 (Assuming Fighter 18 Dex vs 16 STR with at least a positive modifier for Dex), while also having a nice dex modifier for a wider range of ranged weapons and initiative, but that's more my style, hence the preference.

Part of these questions for me will be addressed more when character building/creation rules are pushed out. 
I personally would like to see them get away from the term AC.  It's somewhat of a misnomer.  I would instead like to see a defensive stat just called Def, where all kinds of things buff it.  So maybe armor can increase it, but so could some stat like dex.  Different classes could use different ways to get their defense up.  

To me its a misnomer because it's not entirely a measure of your armor.  Instead it's your ability to avoid attacks, whether phsyical, mental, or magic. 


Then as you level, you make decisions as to if you are going to better your defense, or attack, or utility skills.  If a rogue wants to have a higher def so be it, but it will be at a cost of offensive ability.  Or maybe a fighter wants to do more damage, but it would be at the cost of defense.  
Maybe they could give heavy armour damage reduction ability.  This would be more realistic anyway, since armour doesn't make you harder to hit, just harder to injure.
Maybe they could give heavy armour damage reduction ability.  This would be more realistic anyway, since armour doesn't make you harder to hit, just harder to injure.



That sounds good on paper but would be difficult to balance. Because characters who wear heavy armor, such as fighters, also have higher hit points. Now while heavy armor characters need some help in my opinion it would seem rather unfair to give them damage reduction of 5 or higher because they can actually take three or four hits while a rouge can only take one or two. The rouge feels left out.

Perhaps they should try a "confirm" mechanic where heavy armor has a special trait, lets say they call it "Weak spots" where if a creature hits a character with heavy armor they are then forced to "confirm" that  the creature hit a point on the armor. If the creature does confirm they roll damage as usual. If the creature does not confirm the figher has damage reduction simmilar to how you suggested.
Since it has 3 major penalties 1) reduced move 2) higher cost 3) feat/character purchase requirements. Heavy armor should have something going for it, and the same ac as a light armor character who if also a fighter can do the same damage. Use the same shield,have the same hp isn't an advantage, it's 3 disadvantages for nothing in exchange. That's the problem.
There was an other thread about the topic here: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

and I made a suggestion about a fix here: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

 Basically the advantage of heavy armor is, that you don't need Dex, so it is ok to make it heavier and you get slower. The problem with the price tag is an other issue: I have seen few D&D campaigns where money was really handed out like it was intended in the rules. Therefore using money a method of balancing combat stats is IMO a bad idea.

Ceterum censeo capsum rubeum esse delendam

I kind of like the DR idea. 

So light armor could be dex mod to AC

Med could be 1/2 dex AC  and 1/2 con DR


Heavy could be con DR


Now sure plate wearers generally have high HP, but I could also say light armor wearers generally don't get into direct combat.  So maybe it balances.


Also maybe take away the speed penalty for heavy if the player meets a certian strength requirement?  I mean they are strong and trained to wear it.  Like banded weighs 35 and splint weighs 45 but the banded has a -5 to speed?  Strange.    
There was an other thread about the topic here: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

and I made a suggestion about a fix here: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

 Basically the advantage of heavy armor is, that you don't need Dex, so it is ok to make it heavier and you get slower. The problem with the price tag is an other issue: I have seen few D&D campaigns where money was really handed out like it was intended in the rules. Therefore using money a method of balancing combat stats is IMO a bad idea.


The advantage of dex is you don't need strength.
I kind of like the DR idea.


I have never ever seen a game where DR worked... except for GURPS, and it works in GURPS because GURPS has no levels and doesn't concern itself with balance in combat (you can create a 25 pt character that wipes the floor with a 100pt char)


Star Wars d20 tried it and failed miserably. The DR in 3.5 and 4 made encounter design a hedache. It worked a little better in 3.5 since spells could give everybody roughly the same DR vs anything. In 4th (at epic tier) DR was so over the top that some characters couldn't be hurt while others dropped dead in one turn with a few good die rolls.

DR just adds an other layer of complexity to balance the game.  

Ceterum censeo capsum rubeum esse delendam

I am curious if Wizards is attempting to design this from a realism standpoint.  Heavy armor is just that, heavy and bulky.  Regardless if you are a lowly page, or you have the strength of He-man, being able to gracefully move in full chain, branded, plate or "adamantine" armor is cumbersome.  Armor is designed to be more resistant to certain weapon types, but does not make you harder to hit.  If anything, it makes you easier to hit since you cannot move out of the way as fast.  In all actuality, wearing full plate and getting knocked on your @$$ is going to be near impossible to get back up unassisted.  I understand a Fighter is suppose to be the tank and should be able to take more damage, but I never saw Conan wearing armor and he kicked major butt.  But what do I know, I like playing Ranger characters and seldom move away from Studded Leather.
DR is easy.



If all armor was DR, it would work just fine.



Forexample,

padded 1dr

leather 2dr

chain   3dr

Plate   4dr


Magic armor would still add to ac, but could be dr also.

DR is easy.



Ok, where is your statistical analysis and your playtest results?


The problem with RPG rules is, that too often people thought making them is nothing more than making up a few numbers that sound well and calling them a rules system.


Unfortunately, statistics hates you, and even if your DR is off by only one point this can cause immense frustration or boredom at the table. You are rolling lots of dice during a game, and the more dice you roll, the more statistics kicks in. Random chance is a mean thing. I am not pretty good at statistics, I only know a few basics, but I know enough to know that I know nothing ;)

And besides the problem of balance, it also adds a completely unnecessary additional number that you have to handle to your game. The amount of damage you receive per turn can also be changed by increasing AC. And this scales much better, since it is a reduction which is related to the damage dealt in total. DR has the problem that it has an immense effect vs low damage dealing monsters and is completely useless against high damage dealing monsters.


Effect: Your heavy armored character is much more effective vs rats than vs dragons. 


I have heared many stories about knights in shining armor fighting dragons. I have heard none about knights fighting rats.


Doesn't seem to be the desired effect for me.         


    

Ceterum censeo capsum rubeum esse delendam

DR is easy.



Ok, where is your statistical analysis and your playtest results?


(Don't really need one.)   


The problem with RPG rules is, that too often people thought making them is nothing more than making up a few numbers that sound well and calling them a rules system.


(I happen to be a rpg game designer, so I understand what you mean here. i feel I have plenty of experience however, in regards to estimating the effects of dr.) 

Unfortunately, statistics hates you, and even if your DR is off by only one point this can cause immense frustration or boredom at the table. You are rolling lots of dice during a game, and the more dice you roll, the more statistics kicks in. Random chance is a mean thing. I am not pretty good at statistics, I only know a few basics, but I know enough to know that I know nothing ;)


(You are overstating the impact of being off by a point or two.)  

And besides the problem of balance, it also adds a completely unnecessary additional number that you have to handle to your game. The amount of damage you receive per turn can also be changed by increasing AC. And this scales much better, since it is a reduction which is related to the damage dealt in total. DR has the problem that it has an immense effect vs low damage dealing monsters and is completely useless against high damage dealing monsters.


(I agree adding unnessecary number s and rolls is bad, in general. however, dr is easy.) 

Effect: Your heavy armored character is much more effective vs rats than vs dragons. 

(Armor is very effective against rats, and nearly useless against a dragon, in my opinion. So how is that bad?)

I have heared many stories about knights in shining armor fighting dragons. I have heard none about knights fighting rats.

(I don't see the point. Not trying to be difficult, but how does that relate to what we are talking about?)

 
Doesn't seem to be the desired effect for me.         

(It works great for me. I have changed ac to dr in various amounts many times in dnd over the years, and it always works better than the typical ac system in actual play)
    




Yeah, DR is the popular solution all over.

DR is easy.


Ok, where is your statistical analysis and your playtest results?


You can get statistical analysis here anydice.com/ but you don't need that for DR, it takes one point off the damage 100% of the time. If you can't keep track of that in your head, quite frankly playtesting probably isn't for you.
As for playtest data, with the current damage taken, fighters die distressingly often, far more so than any other class. I haven't run enough sessions to have definitive numbers on how much that is, but I can tell you for sure that we're looking at a P>.5 situation here. Better armor would stop that. I don't have a sufficient sample size to make definitive statements, but I know that for my group when we gave the fighter three 3/DR he was able to survive while still taking a reasonable amount of damage.

Unfortunately, statistics hates you, and even if your DR is off by only one point this can cause immense frustration or boredom at the table. You are rolling lots of dice during a game, and the more dice you roll, the more statistics kicks in. Random chance is a mean thing. I am not pretty good at statistics, I only know a few basics, but I know enough to know that I know nothing ;)

Unfortunately, how little you know about statistics is clouding your perception here. A flat DR is always the same. Even a variable DR, like the one you get for being drunk (1d6) has an average (3.5).

And besides the problem of balance, it also adds a completely unnecessary additional number that you have to handle to your game.

This is true, but one extra number is a small price to pay to make defensive characters viable, especially since those players have very little to think about anyway compared to casters, under the current system.
The amount of damage you receive per turn can also be changed by increasing AC. And this scales much better, since it is a reduction which is related to the damage dealt in total.

Except, and this is a case where statistics actually does come into play, AC scales quite poorly once you get outside of about z={-1.5,1.5} on your randomization mechanic (in our case 1d20). Without getting into the math too much, since you've already admitted to having a poor understanding of it, consider that if you have 20 armor and the attacker has +0 attack bonus. That means that only on a natural 20 will an attack hit. Now realize that this is also true if you have 100 AC, because a natural 20 always succeeds. This means that you'll almost never take damage, and when you do it's critical. This principle holds with less insane ACs as well, if there are only three possible die results (at 5% chance each) to hit something, that thing will hardly ever be hit and combat becomes an unfun farce of repeated misses. DR neatly dodges this issue.
DR has the problem that it has an immense effect vs low damage dealing monsters and is completely useless against high damage dealing monsters.
Effect: Your heavy armored character is much more effective vs rats than vs dragons.
I have heared many stories about knights in shining armor fighting dragons. I have heard none about knights fighting rats.
Doesn't seem to be the desired effect for me.

Don't think in terms of rats. If the fighter's up against rats in the first place, that's an issue with the DM, or with the players. Think instead in terms of militiamen, the actual low-level creature that a rich and powerful fighter with strong armor would fight. Against a dragon, the soldier is in danger, dragonfire is powerful enough to burn him even inside his armor. But against the soldiers, he's a juggernaut. Their cheap spears and polearms glance off his thick metal armor as he swings his sword about, decapitating an enemy with each blow.
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I agree that heavy armor is useless as written. There is a simple fix without resorting to damage reduction. Make their AC value significantly better than the rest of the armors. It it simple and works into the system already in place. 

UNLESS: there is going to be some kind of weapons vs. armor type modifiers, which I am not sure is appropriate for the most basic version of the rules.

Also, I don't think the AC value of armors in different categories should overlap.  
I feel that straight up DR gives too much of an advantage to the bigger classes and that it might be best to try and make DR an effect that happens sometimes but not all times. Look for my previous comment for the "confirmation" idea, heres annother.

We could set AC at 17 (plate) then have some sort of "critical AC" at 13 (one half the bonus of the armor rounded down). If an opponent hits above the "critical AC" then there is no armor reduction. If they hit below there could be a -3 DR. Just an idea
With relatively flat attack rols, increasing the AC is probably not a good idea.  Low DR seems better, possibly improving with magic but always kept relatively low (possibly affording greater protection against crits).  They brought in DR for the new armours in 4e so conceptually there is no major aversion.  No fix will be perfect but this seems like a quick and easy fix to test at the very least, especialy if the melee characters are currently feeling too fragile.
Even though I agree Heavier armor should be using some sort of Damage Reduction (or maybe all armor should since that is what armor does), for a quick fix for the basic system, I'd say decrease the AC for Light by 1 and then increase the Medium and Heavy by 1 (except for Dragon Scale). This way, they all are equal when adding in the maximum possible DEX bonus off of a 3d6 roll (+4). Of course, I think one of the benefits of the Heavy Armor is for a character who has no DEX bonus or even a penalty, which wearing Heavy Armor ignores even the penalty. And we must not forget, forgoing a high score in Dexterity means the character is good is some other score, which should be even more useful in this system since all Ability scores act as Skills and Saving Throws. Of course, in combat, if you are not a Spellcaster, INT, WIS, and CHA may not seem as useful, though I'm sure you all/Wizards could come up with something, such as Int/Wis for tactical bonuses and Cha for inspiration bonuses. Or maybe that would take on a different theme.
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I think I may be in the minority here, but I don't see an issue with the armor as it currently stands.  Heavy armor just means you don' t need a high dexterity to have any chance of surviving and thats OK.  Also, by not including dexterity bonus, heavy armor is also good if you have a negative modifier.  The fighter with an 8 dexterity would be in a lot of trouble without heavy armor as it currently stands so it has its place.  If you already have a good dexterity? Well, then you can afford to look elsewhere.
I agree with you. I don't see a problem. If a fighter's got a high Dex, then use light armour. But then, you've made a choice to put the high stat in Dex rather than say Con.
I agree with you. I don't see a problem. If a fighter's got a high Dex, then use light armour. But then, you've made a choice to put the high stat in Dex rather than say Con.


Or you're just making STR a lower stat, and going with a Dex/Con focus, which isn't unfeasable, and still very workable.
All of my players were young, except one. The fighter didn't like that his AC was lower than the defender cleric. The defender cleric of course loved it. The rogue kept getting hit.

I think the numbers need to be adjusted. What were they going for a 50% chance of getting hit except the cleric with a 30%-45% chance to get hit? It was nice, but even using the defender tactics the cleric couldn't really keep the enemies from attacking the other players.

I'd like to see themes take advantage of armors and grant some extra AC. It could just be a +1 every 10 levels or so, call it armor specialization.
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1-4E play style
The 4E play style is a high action cinematic style of play where characters worry less about being killed in one hit and more about strategy and what their next move is and the one after it. The players talk back and forth about planning a battle and who can do what to influence the outcome. 4E play is filled with cinematic over the top action. An Eladrin teleports out of the grip of the Ogre. The Fighter slams the dragons foot with his hammer causing it to rear up and stagger back in pain. The Cleric creates a holy zone where their allies weapons are guided to their targets and whenever an enemy dies the Clerics allies are healed. 4E is about knowing when to lauch your nova attack, whether its a huge arcane spell that causes enemies to whirl around in a chaotic storm, or if its a trained adrenaline surge that causes you to attack many many times with two weapons on a single target, or a surge of adrenaline that keeps you going though you should already be dead. Its about tactics and the inability to carry around a bag of potions or a few wands and never have to worry about healing. Its about the guy that can barely role play having the same chance to convince the king to aid the group as the guy that takes improv acting classes and regularly stars as an extra on movies.
Stormwind Fallacy
The Stormwind Fallacy, aka the Roleplayer vs Rollplayer Fallacy Just because one optimizes his characters mechanically does not mean that they cannot also roleplay, and vice versa. Corollary: Doing one in a game does not preclude, nor infringe upon, the ability to do the other in the same game. Generalization 1: One is not automatically a worse role player if he optimizes, and vice versa. Generalization 2: A non-optimized character is not automatically role played better than an optimized one, and vice versa. ...[aside]... Proof: These two elements rely on different aspects of a player's game play. Optimization factors in to how well one understands the rules and handles synergies to produce a very effective end result. Role playing deals with how well a player can act in character and behave as if he was someone else. A person can act while understanding the rules, and can build something powerful while still handling an effective character. There is nothing in the game -- mechanical or otherwise -- restricting one if you participate in the other. Claiming that an optimizer cannot role play (or is participating in a play style that isn't supportive of role playing) because he is an optimizer, or vice versa, is committing the Stormwind Fallacy.
The spells we should getLook here to Check out my adventures and ideas. I've started a blog, about video games, table top role playing games, programming, and many other things its called Kel and Lok Games. My 4E Fantasy Grounds game is currently full.
I'd like to see themes take advantage of armors and grant some extra AC. It could just be a +1 every 10 levels or so, call it armor specialization.



I was just talking about this today. I suspect this is exactly what they'll do.
I agree with you. I don't see a problem. If a fighter's got a high Dex, then use light armour. But then, you've made a choice to put the high stat in Dex rather than say Con.


Or you're just making STR a lower stat, and going with a Dex/Con focus, which isn't unfeasable, and still very workable.



I fail to see how that is feasible. The fighter is essentially required to have a high strength due to the fact that he is almost always in close combat and will want to get rid of as many enemies hitting him as possible. A lower strength stat can spell lower chance of survival for any tank class. It isn't a fair choice to have to make in my opinion.