Armor should grant resistance to damage types

All damage has a type in D&D Next (so far). 

In my opinion damage types have been a woefully underutilized aspect of the game world.  peircing/bludgeoning/slashing damage rarely matters (beyond the occasional mud golem or skeleton).

D&D Next, by keeping damage types, has an opportunity to tap into this potential.  I'd propose that armor at all levels provide resistance to damage types (not just magic armor at high levels).

basic idea for resistances:

leather armor: none
chain: 5/slashing
scale: 5/slashing; 5/peircing
plate 5(8?)/slashing; 5(8?)/piercing; 5/bludgeoning

Advantage: Armor Matters without unbalancing AC

There is a continuing issue with AC equalization.  There are game balance reasons to not have the AC of the roge in leather get too far from the fighter in plate, or even the mage in robes.  Otherwise it can be very difficult to balance encounters. 

However, this results in the bland feeling of armor not really doing anything. 

I also believe it leads to less descriptive gameplay.  a miss is a miss is a miss.  Technically a miss against an armored PC is probably a weapon scraping off the armor, but I think it gets difficult to describe or visualize in a cinematic and fun way. 

Resistances allow AC's to stay balanced while providing value to armor, both mechanically and flavor wise.

 - corollary: treasure matters early

Armor is really expensive, but doesn't feel nearly special enough to justify the price.  An additional 5% change to avoid an attack costs thousands of gold.  By regularly using resistance masterwork armors could be introduced which provide increased resistance. 

Advantage #2: weapon choice matters

To me, this might be the larger impact.  In 3e and 4e weapon specialization was THE way to go.  In 3e (in my games anyway) archers and melee fights basically had to specialize to keep up.  I don't have a problem with specialization, it's fun (who doesn't like the Ninja Turtles?) - but using resistances would prevent specialization from being the ONLY choice for these characters. 

Weapon choice in combat would actually have an impact.  Additionally, it would prevent all weapons in a group from being exactly the same, mechanically.  Right now the short sword/mace/rapier all work identically with respect to attack and damage mechanics.  Weapon choice at a certain level is merely flare, like picking your character's hair color. 

With resistances weapons could do different levels of damage, but still be balanced.  A hammer that does d.6 bludgeoning could be a better choice than a sword that does d.8 if you were facing off against a lot of medium armored foes. 

Disadvantage:

I won't pretend there aren't a lot of trade offs.  Those that come immediately to mind:

- more math: it's more math in the middle of combat, slowing things down
- balance: it could just create balance issues that we were trying to avoid by equalizing AC in the first place
- bounded accuracy, some of the stated results of bounded accuracy may be undone (an army being able to kill a dragon) - it won't help if you can hit high level monsters/characters if they have resistance such that you can't hurt them (you could counter this by making half damage be the most resistance could reduce an attack, but then you just add to the math problem . . . )

Module?

I would think this is the sort of game adjustment that WotC may envision as taking place as a module.  D&D Next can stay simple, and players who like this kind of addition can add it through a special module.

I like this in theory, but it seems that many things go to the core of the balance of encounters and character choice, it's hard to add as a module. 

Thoughts?
I have actually completely changed the way AC works in my 4e games. My system works very well (so far) and has the bonus of making the plate wearing pally feel like he is wearing plate (through damage reduction), and the swordmage feel like he is dancing around using his magical 'shield' to great effect (with a slightly higher defense score).

As to how this would change DnDN, i think it would work better as a module.  It would take time and playtesting to see if the added math really adds enough fun and excitement to an already established system (however much next can be considered established). 

Now i really like the idea of doing this to armor (a lot of monsters already have very specific damage reduction, Skeletons to name an easy one), but i think it needs to be handled with kid gloves.  Giving a particular armor damage resistance 5 at first level is going to make the wearer nearly impervious to damage from minor enemies like kobolds and goblins.  This problem could be further complicated with the new Bounded Accuracy. 

In all honesty i think this has a place in 4e and 3.x, but until we get more meaty playtest rules, i dont currently see it working.
Nice concept.
However, in my not-so-humble opinion, there should be some malus to AC for heavy armor.
See, heavy armor reduces damage at the expense of mobility. So while hits don't hurt you as much, you would get hit more often.
The lighter armors would allow mobility, easier to dodge blows, but won't protect from damage as well as heavy armor.

The RPG that I play does it this way and it makes perfect sense.

Don't know if that'll work in D&D though...
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."- John Stuart Mill “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”― William F. Buckley "The straw in your man is amazing."- Maxperson Original Hipster of the House of Trolls: I was hipster before hipster was cool Resident Hater Mini Hate Machine
Thats actually the system i am using now.  I wont go into the math, but the blackguard/cleric wears plate and has a defense of +3 (i have my players make defense rolls as opposed to me rolling to hit them) while the swordmage wears leather but has a defense of +12.

On the flip side the blackguard has DR 8 and the swordmage has a paltry DR 2.  The blackguard is hit with nearly every attack but take significantly less damage than the swordmage per hit. 

In the 12 or 13 sessions i have run this system so far it works to great effect and has even helped both players RP their characters in combat more.

Now keep in mind while the system is working so far, it is by no means finalized and continues to be a work in progress.  I think it takes nothing away from the core of DnD and simply adds just a little more flavor in combat.
Yes, something like that sounds great. 

I think attaching it to damage type would just take it to the next level.  The fighter in chain mail could wade through the sword wielding goblins, but would be threated by the goblins launching arrows/darts.  The fighter in plate could wade through both, but would be very displeased about a fire based attack. 

I think it would add a lot to the core game this way.  Weapons and armor type would actually *matter* in a different way.  But still, in the end, perhaps it is best as a module.  I was just excited when I saw in the D&D Next rules that every source of damage has a "type." 

It's sad to have this feature in the game and then barely use (basically use it only at higher levels and only in relation to elemental damage like fire and cold)

I always felt materials the armor is made from worked better for this sort of thing. It gives you a reason to go to the extra expense to get Adamantium Armor for the damage reduction, or getting the ... I can't remember but it is leaves that are as tough as leather, but give you bonuses to hiding in natural environments.

Maybe this can be mixed into the Magical Items realm as well. Fire resist, bludgeoning resist and the like.

I do believe that this should be a module though.
I don't HATE the idea but it adds another stat to monsters. For humanoids in armor it works the same as characters, but beholders, owlbears, and dragons would need an armor type. In same cases it may be obvious (or not - does a dragon get scale or plate?). It's the same problem I had with 'vs AC' in AD&D. I like the concept that different armour works better against different weapons, but I don't think it would work well as a module because of the monsters and I'm not crazy about it as a core concept.

It seems like something like this would work great in a low-magic/low-monster campaign setting (like Harn?).

Veteran of The Transfer... Add 700 to my post count... 

I don't HATE the idea but it adds another stat to monsters. For humanoids in armor it works the same as characters, but beholders, owlbears, and dragons would need an armor type. In same cases it may be obvious (or not - does a dragon get scale or plate?).


What? One more stat. You couldn't handle that?
The RPGs that I play did it, and it works wonderfully.
Not as hard as you think it is, I think.
"War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse."- John Stuart Mill “Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.”― William F. Buckley "The straw in your man is amazing."- Maxperson Original Hipster of the House of Trolls: I was hipster before hipster was cool Resident Hater Mini Hate Machine
Nice concept.
However, in my not-so-humble opinion, there should be some malus to AC for heavy armor.
See, heavy armor reduces damage at the expense of mobility. So while hits don't hurt you as much, you would get hit more often.
The lighter armors would allow mobility, easier to dodge blows, but won't protect from damage as well as heavy armor.



Agreed. I'd rather see a system like that, than the usual D&D AC system.

So far, light armours grant the wearer their full dex bonus to AC, while medium armours grant half and heavy armours grant none. If that was kept, and the base AC increased a bit, it could well have that result.

Of course, it's quite a big change from the armour system that D&D players have come to know well, so I'm not sure if they'll want to make the jump.
Everything expressed in this post is my opinion, and should be taken as such. I can not declare myself to be the supreme authority on all matters...even though I am right!
All damage has a type in D&D Next (so far). 

In my opinion damage types have been a woefully underutilized aspect of the game world.  peircing/bludgeoning/slashing damage rarely matters (beyond the occasional mud golem or skeleton).

D&D Next, by keeping damage types, has an opportunity to tap into this potential.  I'd propose that armor at all levels provide resistance to damage types (not just magic armor at high levels).

basic idea for resistances:

leather armor: none
chain: 5/slashing
scale: 5/slashing; 5/peircing
plate 5(8?)/slashing; 5(8?)/piercing; 5/bludgeoning

Advantage: Armor Matters without unbalancing AC

There is a continuing issue with AC equalization.  There are game balance reasons to not have the AC of the roge in leather get too far from the fighter in plate, or even the mage in robes.  Otherwise it can be very difficult to balance encounters. 

However, this results in the bland feeling of armor not really doing anything. 

I also believe it leads to less descriptive gameplay.  a miss is a miss is a miss.  Technically a miss against an armored PC is probably a weapon scraping off the armor, but I think it gets difficult to describe or visualize in a cinematic and fun way. 

Resistances allow AC's to stay balanced while providing value to armor, both mechanically and flavor wise.

 - corollary: treasure matters early

Armor is really expensive, but doesn't feel nearly special enough to justify the price.  An additional 5% change to avoid an attack costs thousands of gold.  By regularly using resistance masterwork armors could be introduced which provide increased resistance. 

Advantage #2: weapon choice matters

To me, this might be the larger impact.  In 3e and 4e weapon specialization was THE way to go.  In 3e (in my games anyway) archers and melee fights basically had to specialize to keep up.  I don't have a problem with specialization, it's fun (who doesn't like the Ninja Turtles?) - but using resistances would prevent specialization from being the ONLY choice for these characters. 

Weapon choice in combat would actually have an impact.  Additionally, it would prevent all weapons in a group from being exactly the same, mechanically.  Right now the short sword/mace/rapier all work identically with respect to attack and damage mechanics.  Weapon choice at a certain level is merely flare, like picking your character's hair color. 

With resistances weapons could do different levels of damage, but still be balanced.  A hammer that does d.6 bludgeoning could be a better choice than a sword that does d.8 if you were facing off against a lot of medium armored foes. 

Disadvantage:

I won't pretend there aren't a lot of trade offs.  Those that come immediately to mind:

- more math: it's more math in the middle of combat, slowing things down
- balance: it could just create balance issues that we were trying to avoid by equalizing AC in the first place
- bounded accuracy, some of the stated results of bounded accuracy may be undone (an army being able to kill a dragon) - it won't help if you can hit high level monsters/characters if they have resistance such that you can't hurt them (you could counter this by making half damage be the most resistance could reduce an attack, but then you just add to the math problem . . . )

Module?

I would think this is the sort of game adjustment that WotC may envision as taking place as a module.  D&D Next can stay simple, and players who like this kind of addition can add it through a special module.

I like this in theory, but it seems that many things go to the core of the balance of encounters and character choice, it's hard to add as a module. 

Thoughts?




its......so......simple...yet brilliant, why didnt I think of this before????


Ok you sir have permenately changed my games forever, whether they adopt your idea or not.

However, DR5 is too much especially in the lower HP style that 5e is using


Light: 1/Piercing (you can dodge right?)

Medium: 1/Slashing, 1/Piercing (mix of dodge and absorbtion)

Heavy: 1/ Slashing, 1/Piercing, 1/Bludgeoning (Pure Absorbtion)


However this would go up within the type example:


LIGHT ARMOR

Cloth:           1/piercing
Leather        2/Piercing
Studded       3/Piercing
Chain Shirt   4/Piercing

Masterwork provides a +1 to DR, magic has no effect as this purely a mundane armor system.
Always excuse the spelling, and personal opinions are just that personal and opinions. Getting Down with the playtesting of 5th http://community.wizards.com/dndnext/go/thread/view/75882/29139253/Complilation_of_Playtest_Feedback Compilation of Feedback post /bump please
Believe it or not, 2nd Edition did this. There was this big chart that had the AC bonus each armor had against bludgeoning slashing and piercing damage types. The idea was that chainmail should be better at deflecting piercing attacks, like from arrows, than plate. Im not sure if I remember this right but back then monster like zombies had bonus AC versus slashing instead of damage reduction. Giving armor ac bonuses versus damage types was a really good idea back then. Then 3rd edition came out and WOTC thought it made more sense for monsters to be more physically resistant to attacks based on damage type than to be able to avoid certain attack based on damage type better, so the AC bonuses were switched to damage reduction. I guess they felt that leaving the armor AC modifiers for damage types felt awkard because they changed monsters to DR so they just got rid of the damage type AC bonuses. I think bringing back AC modifiers for specific damage types is a really good idea.

Edited for clarity, apparently some people misunderstood the original post.
I think that one should look back at history to gain some perspective on armor's damage reduction. I think that it is a fine idea to incorporate some DR, but be careful about armor types and damage types. Chainmail armor, the most rudimentary armor, should be effective against slashing weapons. Same thing with scale mail. Plate should be effective against slashing and MAYBE bludgeoning damage. But considering that most medeival weapons were designed to beat a certain type of armor (daggers pierce chainmail, for example) then one should be careful assigning DR without a logical foundation.
I enjoy damage reduction but it causes certain issues. At low levels it blocks too much damage, and at high levels too little. Unless it's DR per dice, but for example that could completely screw a sneak attack mechanic...

My thought is this, after a rest you gain a certain amount of temp hp, light armor has higher ac but doesn't give temps, medium gives 1/4 your max and heavy gives 1/2, but has the lowest AC score... Thoughts? It has the same feeling as DR but isn't as fiddly, also shows that despite you having taken a beating, your armour could literally be your saving grace.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/21.jpg)

Believe it or not, 2nd Edition did this. There was this big chart that had the AC bonus each armor had against bludgeoning slashing and piercing damage types. The idea was that chainmail should be better at deflecting piercing attacks, like from arrows, than plate. Im not sure if I remember this right but back then monster like zombies had bonus AC versus slashing instead of damage reduction. It was a really good idea back then, but then 3rd edition came out and WOTC thought it made more sense for monsters to be more physically resistant to attacks based on damage type than to be able to avoid it better. So the AC bonuses were switched to damage reduction; I guess they felt that leaving the AC modifiers for damage types felt awkard because of the way they changed monsters so they just got rid of it. I think they should bring it back though even if its just for armor.



I think adjusting AC to certain attacks has all the disadvantages of DR (more complication), but leaves some of the advantages behind.  Namely, you'd still have the issue of whether or not an attack was a hit that scraped off the armor, or an outright miss. 

I agree that my example numbers were too high.  Armor at the lower levels should have low DR, allowing room for growth for masterwork and special material armor.

A thought occured to me: What of a feat chain? Armor Focus (increases armor's DR), Armor Specialization (Further increases DR, reduces check penalties), Armor Mastery (Highest DR, no check penalty, faster movement in chosen armor type).  This way, as a character learns to more efficiently wear his armor and grows more used to it, it serves him better.  Also, plate armor (before guns made it ridiculously thick) didn't make its wearer incapable of dodging.  Take a look at gothic plate sometime.  Note all those segments, as they were there specifically so the wearer COULD get out of the way of a blow, or otherwise maneuver.  Otherwise, the cuirass would've been one  solid mass wrapped around the torso.
Unless this DR scales with level, heavy armor simply becomes more useless as time goes on.

When the orc is dealing 1d8+1 damage, 5 DR is great, it blocks the average damage of the orc's attack, and a hit that would have hurt you for 25% of your HP does nothing. A max hit only does 4 damage instead of 9 (reducing the damage from half your hit points to 20% of your hit points).

Now let's scale that up to a level 20 encounter. You now have 140 hit points. This means damage is going to range between 10% of your HP and 50% of your hp per hit (25% average). That means a single hit should be doing 7-70 points of damage, with an average of 35. So looking at a damage value of probably something like 7d10. Or if they decide they don't want exact ratios probably something closer to 10d6+35.

Either way, if the DR doesn't scale, you're blocking only a miniscule percentage of incoming damage. If it does scale, it needs to scale a lot to remain relevant.

And of course, the higher that damage reduction gets, the more incentive there is to simply find a way around it. Everyone will carry around a weapon of each damage type just to bypass armor, because the damage bonus from doing so is greater than anything you are likely to gain from another source.



Not that I think it's a terrible idea, I just don't think having it easily bypassable is a good idea, and I also want to emphasize how important scaling of the DR is in a system where HP/Damage scaling is the primary way of improving.
I guess I wasnt quite clear. What I meant was that when wizards got rid of the ac vs damage type for monsters they got rid of it for armor too because DR for armor is kinda clunky (and yes I agree that it is, and having DR vs weapon type for monsters instead of AC bonuses makes more sense too). What I meant when I said I think they should bring it back is not give armor DR vs damage types I meant bring back the old system of AC bonuses versus damage type but just for armor keep DR vs damage type for monsters. 
And of course, the higher that damage reduction gets, the more incentive there is to simply find a way around it. Everyone will carry around a weapon of each damage type just to bypass armor, because the damage bonus from doing so is greater than anything you are likely to gain from another source.


I heard that strategy likened to carrying around a golf-bag full of weapons. "Oh, caddy, I see a rust monster coming. Please hand me my wood club. And could you freshen up my Arnold Palmer?"

While I don't necessarily mind the idea of an FPS-style arsenal at my disposal, I can't say I'd want to *need* it. 
Believe it or not, 2nd Edition did this. There was this big chart that had the AC bonus each armor had against bludgeoning slashing and piercing damage types. The idea was that chainmail should be better at deflecting piercing attacks, like from arrows, than plate. Im not sure if I remember this right but back then monster like zombies had bonus AC versus slashing instead of damage reduction. It was a really good idea back then, but then 3rd edition came out and WOTC thought it made more sense for monsters to be more physically resistant to attacks based on damage type than to be able to avoid it better. So the AC bonuses were switched to damage reduction; I guess they felt that leaving the AC modifiers for damage types felt awkard because of the way they changed monsters so they just got rid of it. I think they should bring it back though even if its just for armor.

When plate armor ruled the battlefield and killing someone in full gothic plate was a serious problem people carried a weapon specifically to kill people in the very best armor. D&D would class such a Merci Corde or Poignard as a dagger.

If you are doing armor by DR and can't reproduce this result, then there's a problem.

The ACTUAL advantage of bigger longer weapons is that they hit more often and more easily. Extra leverage makes the striking surface able to manuever FASTER, extra length gives reach which is overwhelmingly useful in getting hits in combat. But a dagger is quite capable of gutting someone and leaving them DEAD DEAD DEAD. Any weapon can kill, and given a good hit a dagger or other light weapon is at least as deadly as a heavier weapon. A typical greatsword hit should do LESS damage than a dagger, a greatsword swings while the dagger stabs. Stabs produce deeper more deadly wounds, and an actual greatsword weilder kept the weapon between the two fighters and used short strokes, not some massive swing to decapitate (which most battlefield greatswords couldn't have done anyway and which took far too long to deliver to be practical and left you totally uncovered while delivering the mighty swing).
 
If you want armor as DR then you need to reclassify bigger weapons with higher "to hit" bonuses and quite possibly with bonuses to defense (reach helps with that too) but with LOWER damage than daggers and short-swords.

D&D combat is highly abstract. Throwing in a "more realistic" armor as DR while leaving the rest of the abstract system intact will actually produce LESS realistic results than the current system as light weapons will be useless against armor, which is not the historical result at all. Romans used shorter weapons then celts in large part because Romans expected to be facing heavier armor.
Believe it or not, 2nd Edition did this. There was this big chart that had the AC bonus each armor had against bludgeoning slashing and piercing damage types. The idea was that chainmail should be better at deflecting piercing attacks, like from arrows, than plate. Im not sure if I remember this right but back then monster like zombies had bonus AC versus slashing instead of damage reduction. It was a really good idea back then, but then 3rd edition came out and WOTC thought it made more sense for monsters to be more physically resistant to attacks based on damage type than to be able to avoid it better. So the AC bonuses were switched to damage reduction; I guess they felt that leaving the AC modifiers for damage types felt awkard because of the way they changed monsters so they just got rid of it. I think they should bring it back though even if its just for armor.

When plate armor ruled the battlefield and killing someone in full gothic plate was a serious problem people carried a weapon specifically to kill people in the very best armor. D&D would class such a Merci Corde or Poignard as a dagger.

If you are doing armor by DR and can't reproduce this result, then there's a problem.

The ACTUAL advantage of bigger longer weapons is that they hit more often and more easily. Extra leverage makes the striking surface able to manuever FASTER, extra length gives reach which is overwhelmingly useful in getting hits in combat. But a dagger is quite capable of gutting someone and leaving them DEAD DEAD DEAD. Any weapon can kill, and given a good hit a dagger or other light weapon is at least as deadly as a heavier weapon. A typical greatsword hit should do LESS damage than a dagger, a greatsword swings while the dagger stabs. Stabs produce deeper more deadly wounds, and an actual greatsword weilder kept the weapon between the two fighters and used short strokes, not some massive swing to decapitate (which most battlefield greatswords couldn't have done anyway and which took far too long to deliver to be practical and left you totally uncovered while delivering the mighty swing).
 
If you want armor as DR then you need to reclassify bigger weapons with higher "to hit" bonuses and quite possibly with bonuses to defense (reach helps with that too) but with LOWER damage than daggers and short-swords.

D&D combat is highly abstract. Throwing in a "more realistic" armor as DR while leaving the rest of the abstract system intact will actually produce LESS realistic results than the current system as light weapons will be useless against armor, which is not the historical result at all. Romans used shorter weapons then celts in large part because Romans expected to be facing heavier armor.

I already clarified my post. but I'll repost it agian. I never meant to say they should give armor DR I was talking about bringing back AC bonuses for damage types.

I guess I wasnt quite clear. What I meant was that when wizards got rid of the ac vs damage type for monsters they got rid of it for armor too because DR for armor is kinda clunky (and yes I agree that it is, and having DR vs weapon type for monsters instead of AC bonuses makes more sense too). What I meant when I said I think they should bring it back is not give armor DR vs damage types I meant bring back the old system of AC bonuses versus damage type but just for armor keep DR vs damage type for monsters.  
AC bonuses from any source, including damage typesm invalidate bounded accuracy, by making it impossible for large numbers of enemies to hit you. I don't see any bonuses to AC or hit being added on unless they decide to drop that, or significantly boost chances to hit across the board for low level characters/enemies.
Unless this DR scales with level, heavy armor simply becomes more useless as time goes on.

When the orc is dealing 1d8+1 damage, 5 DR is great, it blocks the average damage of the orc's attack, and a hit that would have hurt you for 25% of your HP does nothing. A max hit only does 4 damage instead of 9 (reducing the damage from half your hit points to 20% of your hit points).

Now let's scale that up to a level 20 encounter. You now have 140 hit points. This means damage is going to range between 10% of your HP and 50% of your hp per hit (25% average). That means a single hit should be doing 7-70 points of damage, with an average of 35. So looking at a damage value of probably something like 7d10. Or if they decide they don't want exact ratios probably something closer to 10d6+35.

Either way, if the DR doesn't scale, you're blocking only a miniscule percentage of incoming damage. If it does scale, it needs to scale a lot to remain relevant.

And of course, the higher that damage reduction gets, the more incentive there is to simply find a way around it. Everyone will carry around a weapon of each damage type just to bypass armor, because the damage bonus from doing so is greater than anything you are likely to gain from another source.



Not that I think it's a terrible idea, I just don't think having it easily bypassable is a good idea, and I also want to emphasize how important scaling of the DR is in a system where HP/Damage scaling is the primary way of improving.


I don't think the damage numbers are going scale as much as you imply; at least I hope not.

That's not to say they won't scale, the Bounded Accuracy article stated that they would; I just think it will be more in line with the scaling in other areas that has been cut back.

Only time will tell though. 
I don't think the damage numbers are going scale as much as you imply; at least I hope not.

That's not to say they won't scale, the Bounded Accuracy article stated that they would; I just think it will be more in line with the scaling in other areas that has been cut back.

Only time will tell though.



The bounded accuracy article explicitly says that damage and HP will scale a lot to compensate for the fact that hit and AC are not. A high level character will dominate a low level character in a fight, not because he can't be hit or he hits on a 2, but because as soon as he lands a hit the low level character is dead.

That basically requires the scaling I described. If they don't scale damage to that degree, then what we'll end up with is some serious padded sumo. Like people think 4e fights are a slog fest? Imagine facing down an opponent with 600 HP while you're still dealing 20 average damage per round, and miss half your attacks. Or opponents that are level appropriate failing to deal proportionate damage to what you received at level 1, so as you get higher levels, enemies become less competent. If the enemies don't deal that level of damage, you can more reasonably expect to beat them at lower levels.

Basically the scaling needs to work exactly like I said, because that is what bounded accuracy says is going to happen.  
I don't think the damage numbers are going scale as much as you imply; at least I hope not.

That's not to say they won't scale, the Bounded Accuracy article stated that they would; I just think it will be more in line with the scaling in other areas that has been cut back.

Only time will tell though.



The bounded accuracy article explicitly says that damage and HP will scale a lot to compensate for the fact that hit and AC are not. A high level character will dominate a low level character in a fight, not because he can't be hit or he hits on a 2, but because as soon as he lands a hit the low level character is dead.

That basically requires the scaling I described. If they don't scale damage to that degree, then what we'll end up with is some serious padded sumo. Like people think 4e fights are a slog fest? Imagine facing down an opponent with 600 HP while you're still dealing 20 average damage per round, and miss half your attacks. Or opponents that are level appropriate failing to deal proportionate damage to what you received at level 1, so as you get higher levels, enemies become less competent. If the enemies don't deal that level of damage, you can more reasonably expect to beat them at lower levels.

Basically the scaling needs to work exactly like I said, because that is what bounded accuracy says is going to happen.  

Why would a creature have 600HP? HP will be rolled for now; giving even the fighters an average of, maybe, 10 per level. A 20th level fighter then has, on average, 200 HP; so the strongest 20th level monsters should have, on average, about the same.

I see your point; in rereading the article, they state that the higher level character will deal out more and more damage (so "their damage is sufficient to take a significant chunk out of the monster's hit points"). I'm not sure I agree with this and I'll give them that feedback.

I think it should take longer to take down stronger monsters, a dragon for example; this battle, especially if the fighter is taking it on solo, should be a drawn out, draining battle that brings both sides to the last of their reserves. 15-20 rounds in this type of epic battle is reasonable to me; they aren't typical battles to be shrugged off, so doing even just 10% of the enemy's HP every other round is okay. I don't think the fighter is going to hit only an average of 50% of the time though. I think it will be more like 70-75% of the time (this is the fighter's area of strength); so I wouldn't be against even 5%, or less, of an enemy's HP every 2-out-of-3 or 3-out-of-4 rounds. Resulting in slightly longer solo battles.

Most adventures star a party of adventurers though. So, if each does an average (wizards more, less often) of 10% per 3 rounds, a party of 5 will still take it down, on average, in six rounds. A party of 4 will do so in 8 rounds. All in all, I want a battle against one, mediocre dragon to be more epic than one against 30 orcs, at any level; even though 30 orcs should be a challenging battle for a low level party, due to being out numbered.

Oh well, that's just me rambling. 
Why would a creature have 600HP? HP will be rolled for now; giving even the fighters an average of, maybe, 10 per level. A 20th level fighter then has, on average, 200 HP; so the strongest 20th level monsters should have, on average, about the same.



The 600hp was for a monster. We've seen in the playtest packet that there are monsters designed in the same manner as 4e solos, where they get x4 bonus hp (Example: The Minotaur with his 132 HP is 6d10(average: 33) * 4 hit points). Honestly, when we're given a monster with 132 hp in the playtest pack designed for level 1-3 adventurers, why would you be surprised at a level 20 monster having 600 hit points?


 You are right that the Fighter's HP would be lower. He'd actually have 14+20*6= 134 (judging by the playtest packet where the Fighter gains 6 hp every level).

 
I see your point; in rereading the article, they state that the higher level character will deal out more and more damage (so "their damage is sufficient to take a significant chunk out of the monster's hit points"). I'm not sure I agree with this and I'll give them that feedback.



I'm curious, if you like bounded accuracy (and if you agree it's stupid and want it gone, go ahead and say so. I'm assuming you like it or are at least okay with it), and don't want HP/Damage to scale... what the hell do you expect out of a higher level character?

No, really. High level characters are already stuck with level 1 AC, to-hit, and skill rolls by the bounded accuracy system. If you also don't expect damage to increase significantly, what is the point of gaining levels?   
Honestly curious here. A lot of people on this forum seem to have this weird thing  about not liking the idea of characters getting better at anything. I want to make sure we're on the same page and get a better idea of what you think characters should be gaining as they become higher level.



Edit: I just realized a couple of things by looking more closely and thinking with math:
-First, you assume that a Fighter with his d12 hit dice while rolling hit points will average 10 per level? What on earth makes you assume that? I mean is this normal at your table? Do people cheat so obviously that their hp is nearly double what it should be consistently?
-You assume 200hp would be the high end of hit points, including for creatures, complaining 600 was too high. You then go on to say Fighters should deal only 5% of the target's hp in damage each round. This means that you expect average damage per round of a level 20 character to be 10. Just to throw out how flawed this is, the Fighter's average damage per hit at level 1 is 14!
-Even if we ignore that and go with the 600hp monster, that means the fighter's average damage is expected to be 30. That means over 20 levels, his damage has doubled, while monster HP has multiplied by 6. The character is worse at facing level equivalent challenges at high level than low because of this level of scaling.
Once again I want to mention Iron Heroes, a d20 mod which used armour as DR, but the DR was a die roll.  When plate stops 1d8 damage, you can rest confident that it may turn aside a sword blow... but it might let you get hurt by a sling bullet.

That helps with the problem where DR gets so high that certain weapons end up being useless. 
Once again I want to mention Iron Heroes, a d20 mod which used armour as DR, but the DR was a die roll.  When plate stops 1d8 damage, you can rest confident that it may turn aside a sword blow... but it might let you get hurt by a sling bullet.

That helps with the problem where DR gets so high that certain weapons end up being useless. 



I really like this in theory, but it once again adds to the complexity/time issue.  

I'm not sure that it's that crucial for DR to scale that dramatically.  The DR resistance means less at higher levels, but the AC difference means less, and at that point the heavy armor types have higher HP to help.  It would have to be tested.  

The DR scaling could be quick fixed by saying that DR can never reduce an attack below half damage.  
Once again I want to mention Iron Heroes, a d20 mod which used armour as DR, but the DR was a die roll.  When plate stops 1d8 damage, you can rest confident that it may turn aside a sword blow... but it might let you get hurt by a sling bullet.

That helps with the problem where DR gets so high that certain weapons end up being useless. 



I really like this in theory, but it once again adds to the complexity/time issue.  

I'm not sure that it's that crucial for DR to scale that dramatically.  The DR resistance means less at higher levels, but the AC difference means less, and at that point the heavy armor types have higher HP to help.  It would have to be tested.  

The DR scaling could be quick fixed by saying that DR can never reduce an attack below half damage.  



You'd think it would, but in my experience, it doesn't.  The defender is already doing the math of subtracting his hit points, so it doesn't change too much at all.  Usually the game can keep advancing while the defender fiddles with the results.

In fact, when we were playing Iron Heroes, usually the defender had his DR ready before the attacker had added up his damage.
I really like this idea, and I had a similar thought when I saw that they had specific damage types for weapons.

I think the easiest way to implement this would be to give the armor "Resistance" as it is defined in the How to Play pdf. If you are always halving the damage you don't have to worry about scaling the DR cause it automatically scales. This would also work within the bounded accuracy system since it is still dealing with increasing damage amounts and not changing AC at all.

Now, this is pretty powerful and gets even more powerful at later levels, since the damage is higher you are blocking more damage, so the increases in the amount of damage creatures can deal would have to take this into account in order for it to be balanced across all levels.

Maybe I'm wrong (I'm certainly not a game designer) but I think it is the simplest way to do it with the least amount of math.

For core, I want simple DR for higher armor. "Greater AC minus the whole Dex factor" feels really flat and boring. The fact that you lose speed + pay more for armor and are still around the same AC of flippy mc flips almost feels like a punishment for going that route.

For a module, I like the OP's idea. I've personally considered stealing Fire Emblem's idea of a weapon triangle. Piercing beats Slashing which beats Bludgeoning which beats Pricing loop and you get a +/-2 to attack rolls depending on what you and your foe are wielding.

Anything that makes you think more about the kind of weapon you're using is a plus in my book.

I don't agree DR should be the default for heavy armor. I'd go with immunity to critical hits as core.

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I think that classes should not be using armor as a balancing factor at all.   That design is a bit too gamist.  

Here is what I would do.

First, get rid of all the DEX limitations.  There is a misconception that armor, particularly plate-type armor, transforms graceful warriors into humbering oafs who can be pushed down and sat upon with comparative ease.  Nothing could be further from the truth.   Armor is designed to be as accommodating as possible to a fighter's movements.     Armor might slow down a character's run speed because it's heavy, or be restrictive to acrobatics stunts, but for the most part it shouldn't limit your dex at all.    

What I would do is add a modifier to the attack roll that represents the armor's ability to deflect a blow and a second attribute that represents the armor's ability to absorb damage. 

The table might look like this (note, the modifiers need a lot more thought)

                 Slash, Pierce, Bludgeon
Chain           0/5, +0/1, +0/0
Splint           0/2, -1/2, +2/3
Plate           -3/5, 3/0, -1,2
etc...


What this means is that vs Chain piercing and bludgeoning are your best types of weapons to use.  If you're wearing chain and you get attacked with a slashing weapon the attacker won't suffer a penalty to the attack roll, but your armor will absorb 4 points of damage.  This makes sense because chain does't have any deflection properties.   On the other hand if you had plate on and some attacked you with a slashing weapon they would incur a -3 deflection penalty to the attack roll and the armor would absorb 5 points of damage.      On the other hand, if they attacked you with a rapier and found a hole in your armor you wouldn't get any DR.  The armor might be good a delfecting the blow, but if it does get through that opening you're in trouble.

I might even have a 4th column for weapons like axes that "Hack".   If an axe doesn't cut through the armor it will do bludgeoning damage, far more than a scimitar would anyway. 

The other problem I have with Armor is that it shouldn't help at all agaisnt attacks from a net or a bolas.    That might mean that AC is simply 10 + dex and nothing more.     Any protection that armor grants you is just deflection and absorption.      

Lastly, if I used this system I would also have helms return to the game.  That way if your oponent is using full plate and not using a helm you might be able to avoid his armor by taking a head shot.   


Has anyone played the Conan RPG where characters have a Dodge Defense and also a Parry Defense, Weapons have an "Armor Piercing" quality / value to them, and Armor grants Damage Reduction - where helments improve that value and Shields improve Parry Defense?

I haven't played it, but in reading the rulebook it sounds like an interesting approach I only wonder how quickly combat rounds can be resolved with this sort of a system.
What's the matter, you dissentious rogues, That rubbing the poor itch of your opinion Make yourselves scabs?
All damage has a type in D&D Next (so far). 

In my opinion damage types have been a woefully underutilized aspect of the game world.  peircing/bludgeoning/slashing damage rarely matters (beyond the occasional mud golem or skeleton).

D&D Next, by keeping damage types, has an opportunity to tap into this potential.  I'd propose that armor at all levels provide resistance to damage types (not just magic armor at high levels).

basic idea for resistances:

leather armor: none
chain: 5/slashing
scale: 5/slashing; 5/peircing
plate 5(8?)/slashing; 5(8?)/piercing; 5/bludgeoning


Thoughts?



That's no bad at all, also if it potentially can slow too much the combat...
No more vancian. No "edition war" for me, thank'you.
These have been pretty much my feeling since playing AD&D 2nd and all further editions.
I always wanted a system where AC is a measure of nibleness while armour worn confers sturdiness.
I found a good implementation of this in Alternity eventually. 

The only pitfall I see with flat DR is the additional math, potentially slowing things down.
Also DR doesn't automatically scale with levels.
As a possible solution armour may downgrade the damage dice before they are rolled.
So for example a 3d8 slashing attack vs a heavy armor would become a 3d6 attack. 

I'd love to see a module covering options of this kind for armors. 


Thoughts?



Given the flat nature of AC and bonuses to hit in 5e, I don't see why armor shouldn't just be relegated to being damage reduction and have actual AC come from other things like dex and magic. Heavier armors = more damage reduction.  Creature hides and armor = damage reduction.

As a DM I used a simple rule for converting existing AC into DR. For D&D Next it would look like this:



-->AC: as per D&D Next


-->Dodge Defense (Dodge): Just 10 + whatever Dex (or whatever ability is used if changed from just Dex) bonus you get in that armor. So from the current playlets rules: 10 + Dex bonus if you use Light armor, 10 + half Dex bonus if you use Medium and 10 flat out if you use Heavy


-->Damage Reduction (DR): AC - Ref



You would have each PC and Mob record these 3 things where AC is currently recorded.


For example, say you have an 18 Dex fighter wearing Chain Shirt (AC 15+Dex) and using a Shield (+2 AC). His D&D Next AC is just 15+4+2=21. 


His Dodge = 10+4 or 14. 


Thus his DR = 21-14 or 7


So you record where AC us:


AC 21 (Dodge 14/DR 7)


Just add that extra bit in the parenthesis. Easy to add and easy to see. You just assume monsters with natural armor get their full Dex bonus to Dodge. Or D&D Next could have a module for this explaining how to do it or just have each monster already figured out with this extra bit.


How you use it in actual combat.


The only change is that each attack you make against AC requires you as the attacker to now decides to make this attack in 1 of 2 ways:


1) Default: you make a precision/power attack to try to hit a weak point in the armor or just hit so hard it gets through. This mean you attack AC as normal in D&D rules, and this changes nothing in the default rules.


2) You make an accurate attack. This means you just try to hit as the primary thing, and hope you cut through the armor. You then attack Dodge not AC. If you hit, you deduct the DR from your damage.



This approach is simple and it gives players the option to just use the old AC system if they like, by just using the original AC and ignoring the whole Dodge and DR in parenthesis. So it lets multiple players choose the method they like best. It lets one player play the normal D&D rules as they are, and another player choose the option 2 and play it that way. Each attacker would make a choice based on which method they prefer. It gives CharOp types fun in that they can try to figure out the best way to attack, while those who just want to roll and go use the default. 


Using option 2, there is a risk you may do no damage on a Dodge hit if you roll less damage than the DR, that is the risk you take for using it. I would suggest that on a critical hit (since that only happens on a flat d20 roll, not like in older editions where you hit by 5+) you allow both choices to ignore DR, this way those who use option 2 do not get gimped on a critical hit by suffering the DR whereas the other guy who used option 1 gets no DR applied. It just makes critical hits, well, more critical! So a critical hit has no difference in effect because of your attack choice (option 1 or 2) and thus remains equally exciting for both.


The only note to add is that if the attack has any other effect than damage (like prone or push), that attack, while it may have hit Dodge, must have hit AC to have these other effects happen. This keeps the game balanced as intended for these other effects, only damage is altered in this rule. Not really that much more math, and if you like it, you do it, if it is too much work, you just use the default.


So this rule does not actually change the core, it just expands it, like a module you can use on the fly if you want to, but only if you declare it before you roll, if you do not specify before you roll, it is assumed default.


You can see it flavorwise as this:


1) If I attack Dodge I am just attacking normally for any opening you give me and your armor/shield reduce my damage if I hit your Dodge.


2) If I attack the normal AC (no different than normal D&D) then what I am really doing is either "power attacking" where I suffer a -1 to hit for each +1 damage I cause as I try to slam hard to get past your armor (which means I likely miss more often as my focus on power reduces my accuracy) or "precision attacking" you where I aim at joints or weak points in your armor, suffering the same -1 to hit but gaining a +1 damage to represent hitting vulnerable areas in your defenses. You can use the power attack flavor for big Str type weapons and the precision flavor for Dex type weapons.


I use this in my 2E games and 3.5E also, I find it works great. 
 


The beauty of this system is how simple and easy to turn On/Off, even for each player, and even for each attack. All it takes is 2 extra stats next to AC to work, they are easy to calculate no matter how D&D Next decides to work armor and AC, you just use the concept as presented and you can add these 2 extra stats (Dodge and DR) easily. Then your player can either ignore them and just look at AC, or use them, and even do this on an attack by attack basis (deciding to try it out a few times and see how they like the feel, or using it only against BBEG types for flavor).


It almost does not need a module, it is so simple. The only benefit a module would give it is in the Monster Manual, where they record these 2 values for you so spare the DM that little bit of extra work (and I mean little) for each monster. It gives you the feel of armor as DR without any hassle or significant work/change of the existing rules.


As for the OPs specific request for typed DR (slash/pierce/blunt), this would work fine with the above approach. Instead of setting up a separate DR system for this, just incorporate it as a module that modifies the AC granted by each armor type, this way it can be used by any D&D player, those who use AC and those who like option 2 with Dodge and DR. 


For example, you could make a simple system where Heavy armor grants +2/+1/+0 vs. (slash/pierce/blunt) on AC. Medium grants a +1/+0/+0, and Light grants nothing special here. You could make it more intense if you wanted by upping the bonuses, so Heavy could give +4/+2/+1, Medium: +2/+1/+0 and Light +1/+0/+0 this way Unarmored becomes the no adjustment case.


Another approach is to just say Slashing weapons suffer Disadvantage vs. Heavy and Medium. Piercing suffers Disadvantage vs. Heavy. Blunt is normal against all. Then have a new weapon property for certain piercing weapons, Armor Piercing, this grants Advantage vs. Heavy (canceling out the Disad and making the attack normal) and Medium. Certain Blunt weapons could have a new property, Penetrating, this gives the attack Advantage as well vs. Heavy and Medium. Make 2-handed weapons, like the great sword or axe, like a double weapon, you can choose to use the Slashing stat, say d12, or the Blunt one, say d8 depending on how you use it, as just a heavy piece of metal (like a metal staff) or a blade. Gives some options for the heavy slashing types to work better against armor. Or make those weapons Penetrating. Perhaps the Bastard Sword would get Penetrating when used 2-handed, etc.


Using a system like this would need to see the weapon damage modified so blunt weapons deal less damage and slashing more in general to keep balance.


Whatever module they use for this, the above AC/Dodge/DR system would work with them all. 

I think this would be a good idea if balance properly. They just need to make sure the DR is neither too high or too low.
I have actually completely changed the way AC works in my 4e games. My system works very well (so far) and has the bonus of making the plate wearing pally feel like he is wearing plate (through damage reduction), and the swordmage feel like he is dancing around using his magical 'shield' to great effect (with a slightly higher defense score).

As to how this would change DnDN, i think it would work better as a module.  It would take time and playtesting to see if the added math really adds enough fun and excitement to an already established system (however much next can be considered established). 

Now i really like the idea of doing this to armor (a lot of monsters already have very specific damage reduction, Skeletons to name an easy one), but i think it needs to be handled with kid gloves.  Giving a particular armor damage resistance 5 at first level is going to make the wearer nearly impervious to damage from minor enemies like kobolds and goblins.  This problem could be further complicated with the new Bounded Accuracy. 

In all honesty i think this has a place in 4e and 3.x, but until we get more meaty playtest rules, i dont currently see it working.



Actually I have noticed in 5E Skeletons  do not have damage reduction any more. Not a single playtest monster does. They all have resistances. Making armor into Damage reduction could be an easy change. If it is the Only damage reduction in the system. just have the rule that Damage reduction applies first and then damage is halved by resistance so you avoid the whole issue of hitting for 0.

You could keep it simple -

Light armour = /5 Piercing, Medium armour = /5 Bludgeoning and Heavy armour = /5 Slashing


Regarding armour and elemental resistance -

how about Heavy armour = /5 acid (Advantage vs acid) but +5 (Disadvantage vs Electricity)

Light armour = 5/electricity (you are lighter on your feat) so Advantage vs Electricity and +5 or Disadvantage vs Acid.

Key things for D&D - Where is the character from and why do they do what they do? / Recurring NPCs - allies and enemies / Plot, World and Personal Events.