Armor Remake

I have been tinkering with the armors a bit. I really disliked the armor list in the playtest for a number of reasons, these foremost being:

* Armors are simply on a scale from better to worse.
* Gold seem to be the balancing factor (which is odd for a game that does not assume that players have a certain wealth per level)
* There seems to be no incentative beyond roleplaying to pick a 'worse' type of armor.
* Every character seems to be assumed to be using the highest armor type in the list that can be obtained in the armor category they are able to wear.
* It can be assumed that as soon as players can afford it, 'lesser' armors become completely obsolete and players will be wearing the 3 top tier ones.
* The current armor list implies that there is some kind of level scaling on armors (by gold?) and thus goes against bounded acurracy.

So, I wanted to redesign the armor list in order to reduce these negative points and at the same time introduce some points that I feel to be important, namely:

* I want armor choice to be a choice. It should affect a players playstyle, character, class, ability scores and intended combat role.
* I would also want to open up the possibility to make the almost as boring weapon list more interesting by including some points of interaction between the armos and the weapons, such as making some weapons more effective against some armors.
* Different armors should be good for different types of encounters.

Ideally.. I would want to have an armor list constructed in such a way that if a Rogue, a Wizard, a Ranger, an agile Greatsword Slayer Fighter and a Defender Fighter would all be granted all armor proficiencies, they would STILL choose thematically correct gear, given the choice to pick anything.

With this in mind I started to think about how armors could be differentiated.

Roughly I went with this thesis:

Light armors are for non-combatants and those that focus on agility. They should permit full movement but overall be the worst kind of armor. Nothing should break in the game if every single class was allowed to use light armor, right from the bat or through a feat.

Heavy armors should really be distinctively heavy. They are for people who wants to be able to withstand massive punishment and walk away unhurt. They should not be the go to choice for anyone who wants to be mobile or evade anything. That warriors in fiction discard their helmets and breastplate when going up in a duel is because they value the extra mobility over the extra protection, that should be a valid and interesting choice.

Medium armors were the most used through history. This not only bacause they were cheaper than heavy armor, but also because they were often a good all-round choice. Medium armors find the top balance point between protection and mobility.

Based on this I gave heavy armors a Fortified attribute, granting extra HP for a high CON bonus, resetting with a short rest. The AC of heavy armors were set to medium, allowing medium armors to get the highest pure AC levels.

The intent was that  heavy armors and medium armors should represent the choice between sturdiness and being hard to hit. Also, I gave an attack penalty to heavy armors in an attempt to also create a choice situation between good offence and good defence.

This is really just a draft..  some ideas I had..   I am not at all sure about the Dex Penalty and the Fortified mechanic...

Any thoughts?

VIEW VERSION 2 PDF
Changes:
- low complexity variant
- adjstments to make all armors more relevant

verson 1 pdf
I agree with almost all of your points. The current armor table is ridiculous (for many reasons) and is my least favorite thing about the the 2nd playtest packet.

I too would like the game to stop nurturing the mentality that "more armor is always better" and start fostering a more dynamic method for armor that is more meaningful, yet simple and elegant.

I've been fiddling with my own revisions of the armor system as well, and I'm starting to think an abstraction of Light, Medium, and Heavy should be used instead as the base AC, with various properties assigned to individual armors, much like your table.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

I appreciate the intent, but I'm not sure the execution is appropriate.  These are my critiques, just going over the list:



  • Nobody likes reducing their chance to hit.  If any armor ever gives a penalty to attack rolls for proficient users, it needs to be much more powerful than the alternatives in order to justify that.

  • Any heavy armor whatsoever really is overpowered for levels 1-3; at a certain point, the static number of armor HP will become trivial and heavy armor will be abandoned entirely in favor of chain/scale (to taste).

  • The extra HP from medium armor seems like a lot of extra bookkeeping, since it's never enough to absorb even a single hit.

  • It's not clarified whether max Dex refers to only the Dex bonus for the purposes of AC, or whether no archer will ever wear anything other than leather.  There is only one true armor for anyone with Dex to ever wear.

  • I like the Hide gives cold resistance, but brigandine has absolutely nothing to offer compared to either chain or scale.

  • It looks like characters will fall into the Dex camp, ignoring everything other than leather (except for possibly Hide, against cold elementals); or the heavy armor camp, ignoring everything except exactly plate armor (but never heavy plate, which is worse in almost every way, with the supposed bonuses being completely trivial).

The metagame is not the game.
@Saelorn

The Fortified HP bonuses are per level, so yes, they will absorb more than one hit.

The scalemail effectively grants someone a two step larger hitdice, not even counting the free refresh at a short rest.

The Heavy Plate gives a lvl 5 character with a 16 CON an extra 30 HP every fight against non-armorpiercing damage. That should outweigh the -2 Attack Bonus and relatively low AC.

If anything I think I made the Fortified property too powerful... but I didn't want it to be totally irrelevant on lvl 1.

The Brigandine offers medium armor without penalties to either movement or stealth.. but I agree that it is weak.
Well, that does certainly change things.  Major criticisms are re-tracted, then.

I like how it becomes an interesting choice whether to go for (AC = evasion = high Dex and no real armor) rather than (Fortified = armor HP = heavy armor).
The metagame is not the game.
I'm going to ask a question that may seem like trolling but isn't. Leaving aside the concept of exotic materials...

Is your intent with the table to ignore the historical fact that some armours really ARE just better than others, and that the only reason some armours even exist at all is so that line troops and militia can be outfitted cheaply?
I'm going to ask a question that may seem like trolling but isn't. Leaving aside the concept of exotic materials...

Is your intent with the table to ignore the historical fact that some armours really ARE just better than others, and that the only reason some armours even exist at all is so that line troops and militia can be outfitted cheaply?



Historical accuracy is irrelevant in a game that does not take place in real-world history.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Is your intent with the table to ignore the historical fact that some armours really ARE just better than others, and that the only reason some armours even exist at all is so that line troops and militia can be outfitted cheaply?


I would encourage him to do so.  D&D never restricted armor based on historial usage.  My only concern with this system is that it seems complicated to run.  Also, you're giving away disadvnatage willy-nilly and I don't think it's a good idea to make disadvantage part of the default state.  (dis)advantage should be situational, not default.
I'm going to ask a question that may seem like trolling but isn't. Leaving aside the concept of exotic materials...

Is your intent with the table to ignore the historical fact that some armours really ARE just better than others, and that the only reason some armours even exist at all is so that line troops and militia can be outfitted cheaply?



The long answer is, even though you do have a point.. this is not entirely true... different armors are actually somewhat different in RL....bla bla..  *cut*

The short answer is.. Yes, I want armors to be interesting in the game, and not only the top tier ones.
Is your intent with the table to ignore the historical fact that some armours really ARE just better than others, and that the only reason some armours even exist at all is so that line troops and militia can be outfitted cheaply?


I would encourage him to do so.  D&D never restricted armor based on historial usage.  My only concern with this system is that it seems complicated to run.  Also, you're giving away disadvnatage willy-nilly and I don't think it's a good idea to make disadvantage part of the default state.  (dis)advantage should be situational, not default.



I really didnt want to grant disadvantage here if it could be avoided..  but it seems that the current 5E system seems to hate plus and minus modifiers so I saw no way out..

I would rather grant skill modifiers than advantage/disadvantage.

If it looks willy-nilly it is because it is, much of it is just taken out of thin air..   but it is version one =P
Also, while I like the idea of heavy armor reducing Dex (I've entertained this idea as well when revising my own table), it brings in the dilemma of reducing the Dex low enough to a negative modifier, which would in turn actually lower the AC. I suppose that's fine, but it seems like it might be confusing and/or counterproductive.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

Also, while I like the idea of heavy armor reducing Dex (I've entertained this idea as well when revising my own table), it brings in the dilemma of reducing the Dex low enough to a negative modifier, which would in turn actually lower the AC.

I was under the impression that heavy AC ignores a Dex penalty to AC.  Is this not the case?

The metagame is not the game.
Also, while I like the idea of heavy armor reducing Dex (I've entertained this idea as well when revising my own table), it brings in the dilemma of reducing the Dex low enough to a negative modifier, which would in turn actually lower the AC. I suppose that's possible, but it seems like it might be confusing and/or counterproductive.



Only one armor type (Lamellar) both grants Dex to AC and gives a Dex penalty.

Dex mods are very difficult..  the 3.5 max dex feels quite boring taken by itself. If some armors are really limiting to DEX they should be so from the start.
Only applying negative modifiers to differentiate armors basically screws all Dex users over, they cant use any armor.

Thats why I went with a combination between a limit and a penalty.

I also experimented with not letting penalties pass beyond zero (preventing negatives) but then the penalty became no penalty at all for some characters and it felt non-dynamic.

A penalty to Dex should not lead to a lower AC except possibly in the Lamellar case. It will reduce Reflex/Dex saves though (which is intended).
I really didnt want to grant disadvantage here if it could be avoided..  but it seems that the current 5E system seems to hate plus and minus modifiers so I saw no way out.


I don't think that's entirely accurate.  Armor, particularly grants numerical bonuses and penalties.   But that's really a quibble.  Overall, I really like it.

What does "AB" stand for, anyway?

Also, there is a problem with allowing "armor-piercing" weapons to ignore Fortified HP.  It means Fortified HP is a third HP we have to track (regular hp, temporary hp, and fortified HP).  I think you can just leave the idea of armor-piercing weapons out of the write-up altogether.  That's really more of a problem for weapon design than armor design.
I think it's well thought out, though I'm not a fan of the AB element nor the 10-ft. speed restriction (the former being more of a problem IMO than the latter, which I can deal with).

Also, with the Armor HP, that means that if I'm wearing Full Plate with a Con. modifier of +3, I'd have 6 extra HP every encounter (assuming I repair the armor after every battle)? How does that effect my character level?

A penalty to Dex should not lead to a lower AC except possibly in the Lamellar case. It will reduce Reflex/Dex saves though (which is intended).

I'm still a bit confused; Your table lists Heavy Plate as having a Dex penalty of 2. Does that means that the Dexterity score is lowered by 2 or the Dex mod is reduced by 2? So what happens if the mod is reduced to -1? Is it ignored?



D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

"The short answer is.. Yes, I want armors to be interesting in the game, and not only the top tier ones."

Fair enough. Thanks for answering.
@wrecan
AB = Attack Bonus

I think it's well thought out, though I'm not a fan of the AB element nor the 10-ft. speed restriction (the former being more of a problem IMO than the latter, which I can deal with).

Also, with the Armor HP, that means that if I'm wearing Full Plate with a Con. modifier of +3, I'd have 6 extra HP every encounter (assuming I repair the armor after every battle)? How does that effect my character level?



As written it is 6 Armor HP per character level, so at lvl 3 it becomes 18 HP.

Since HP is scaling in a linear fashion with level in this playtest, any HP modifiers need to do so as well to stay equally relevant as characters level up.

From what I have seen in the dev blogs the HP scaling is likely to change in future playtests. If so, the calculation of the Fortified bonus needs to change accordingly.

This table is really just a concept sketch.. I am not sure it is well balanced yet.
A penalty to Dex should not lead to a lower AC except possibly in the Lamellar case. It will reduce Reflex/Dex saves though (which is intended).

I'm still a bit confused; Your table lists Heavy Plate as having a Dex penalty of 2. Does that means that the Dexterity score is lowered by 2 or the Dex mod is reduced by 2? So what happens if the mod is reduced to -1? Is it ignored?



It is a penalty to the modifier, not the score. If the modifier becomes negative, then it is negative.

If negative modifiers are ignored the system becomes less dynamic...

For instance:

Three characters wear an armor with a -2 Dex penalty, they have DEX 10, 12 and 14 respectively.
With a -2 mod their effective modifiers become -2, -1 and 0.

If negative modifiers are ignored, then the 14 DEX guy is screwed of his higher dex compared to the others, and the DEX 10 guy can use the heaviest armor while ignoring a serious penalty.

All of them have the same AC (since the AC of heavy plate is not counting Dex), but they will have different Dex saves and ability to balance on a rope.
Now balancing on a rope is probably not what they wanted to do anyways while wearing the heaviest armor, but not capping the modifier on zero allows theirs stats to stay relevant.

@wrecan
AB = Attack Bonus

I think it's well thought out, though I'm not a fan of the AB element nor the 10-ft. speed restriction (the former being more of a problem IMO than the latter, which I can deal with).

Also, with the Armor HP, that means that if I'm wearing Full Plate with a Con. modifier of +3, I'd have 6 extra HP every encounter (assuming I repair the armor after every battle)? How does that effect my character level?



As written it is 6 Armor HP per character level, so at lvl 3 it becomes 18 HP.

Since HP is scaling in a linear fashion with level in this playtest, any HP modifiers need to do so as well to stay equally relevant as characters level up.

From what I have seen in the dev blogs the HP scaling is likely to change in future playtests. If so, the calculation of the Fortified bonus needs to change accordingly.

This table is really just a concept sketch.. I am not sure it is well balanced yet.



Ah, well then that makes sense. When I run our next D&D:Next game, I'll throw some in and see how they do!

All of them have the same AC (since the AC of heavy plate is not counting Dex), but they will have different Dex saves and ability to balance on a rope.

Ok that's what I was trying to figure out; the negative Dex mod doesn't affect AC.

So...this leads me to this question; wouldn't it just be less confusing to apply the penalty to the Dexterity score while the armor is worn? Seems like it would be weird to have a 14 Dexterity with no modifier — might be confusing upon a glance at the character sheet, whereas if the score was adjusted to 12 instead or whatever it would read easier and make more sense.

Or maybe not. Just a thought.
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
Set of Dice


Expert Set

A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

Expert PHB (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus 10 playable races, 10 character classes, expanded selection of spells and rules modules for players.)
Expert DMG (Hardcover, 250 pages. $35 Includes core rules plus expanded rules modules for DMs.)
Expert MM (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes an expanded list of monsters and creatures to challenge characters)


Expansions

These expansion rules modules can be used with both the Basic and Expert sets. Each expansion covers one specific aspect of the game, such as character creation, combat, spells, monsters, etc.) 

Hall of Heroes (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes a vast selection of playable character races and classes, new and old all in one book)
Combat and Tactics (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes dozens of new and old optional rules for combat all in one book)
Creature Compendium (Hardcover, 350 pages.$35 Includes hundreds of monsters, new and old all in one book)
The Grimoire (Hardcover, 225 pages. $35 Includes hundreds of new and old spells all in one book)





A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

Ah, well then that makes sense. When I run our next D&D:Next game, I'll throw some in and see how they do!



That would be awesome =D

Regarding the AB modifier.
The idea here was to make the choice between mobility and damage-dealing capacity versus hp and survivability interesting also for those that could wear any armor.

For instance I would want to create a incentative for a fighter going with a Slayer fighting style to pick medium armor rather than heavy armor (without it being a totally obvious choice).

The scene from the anime Berserk where Gutts (slayer fighter with a greatsword in medium armor) fights that fat platemail guy (Pazu? Big guy in heavy plate wielding an axe) was kind of an inspiration for that part =P

I admit I added the Heavy Plate in order to have an armor type that most players would opt to not use as the 'ultimate armor'.
The -2 dex mod, -2 AB is quite harsh, and they are intended to be borderline too much to accept (just to get out of the more armor = better armor thinking)
Ah, well then that makes sense. When I run our next D&D:Next game, I'll throw some in and see how they do!



That would be awesome =D

Regarding the AB modifier.
The idea here was to make the choice between mobility and damage-dealing capacity versus hp and survivability interesting also for those that could wear any armor.

For instance I would want to create a incentative for a fighter going with a Slayer fighting style to pick medium armor rather than heavy armor (without it being a totally obvious choice).

The scene from the anime Berserk where Gutts (slayer fighter with a greatsword in medium armor) fights that fat platemail guy (Pazu? Big guy in heavy plate wielding an axe) was kind of an inspiration for that part =P

I admit I added the Heavy Plate in order to have an armor type that most players would opt to not use as the 'ultimate armor'.
The -2 dex mod, -2 AB is quite harsh, and they are intended to be borderline too much to accept (just to get out of the more armor = better armor thinking)



I understand, and from a realistic POV it does seem to make sense. Your mobility, flexability, and strength get sapped pretty quickly wearing so much armor so I can see the penalty being accurate to a degree. But still, a -2 is pretty harsh on top of Sight disability, Dex penalty, mobility penalty. I might just make it a flat -1 AB across the board.
So...this leads me to this question; wouldn't it just be less confusing to apply the penalty to the Dexterity score while the armor is worn?



I considered it.. but that means that there will be round off wierdness..   a -1 to Dex score penalty affects characters with a 14 and 15 dex differently.

I guess as long as the penalty is 2*n that wont be a problem but, I dunno, is it really less confusing with a -2 Dex score penalty than a -1 Dex mod penalty?

I admit I added the Heavy Plate in order to have an armor type that most players would opt to not use as the 'ultimate armor'.
The -2 dex mod, -2 AB is quite harsh, and they are intended to be borderline too much to accept (just to get out of the more armor = better armor thinking)



I understand, and from a realistic POV it does seem to make sense. Your mobility, flexability, and strength get sapped pretty quickly wearing so much armor so I can see the penalty being accurate to a degree. But still, a -2 is pretty harsh on top of Sight disability, Dex penalty, mobility penalty. I might just make it a flat -1 AB across the board.



Yea, as long as one goes only up to the ordinary Plate that is exactly what you get.
I think for most characters the ordniary Plate is way superior to the Heavy Plate.

The Heavy Plate is just for those characters that are hellbent on having the heaviest possible armor regardless of the consequences.
The +1 Fortified bonus over Plate almost certainly does not outweigh an extra -1 AB and the rest of the penalties.

(Heavy plate can be fun on enemy NPCs though..  the spot penalty for instance. A ogre in heavy plate guarding a door. Basically unkillable but he cant see much or hit anything.).
I considered it.. but that means that there will be round off wierdness..   a -1 to Dex score penalty affects characters with a 14 and 15 dex differently.

It would provide a more subtle variance between heavy armors. For example, a -1 Dexterity score reduction would only affect characters on the "cusp" of their Dex ability modifier (i.e., 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, etc.), giving the mid-point ability scores (i.e., 11, 13, 15, 17, etc.) more significance in a system that largely fails to differentiate them.

Because when, if ever, does a score of 13 get to prove its worth over a 12? Very rarely. Cool
D&D Next - Basic and Expert Editions

I firmly believe that there should be two editions of the game; the core rules released as a "Basic" set and a more complicated expanded rules edition released as an "Expert" set. These two editions would provide separate entry points to the game; one for new players or players that want a more classic D&D game and another entry point for experienced gamers that want more options and all the other things they have come to expect from previous editions.

Also, they must release several rules modules covering the main elements of the game (i.e., classes, races, combat, magic, monsters, etc.) upon launch to further expand the game for those that still need more complexity in a particular element of the game.


Here's a mockup of the Basic Set I created.



(CLICK HERE TO VIEW LARGER IMAGE)
  

Basic Set

This boxed set contains a simple, "bare bones" edition of the game; the core rules. It's for those that want a rules-light edition of the game that is extremely modifiable or for new players that get intimidated easily by too many rules and/or options. The Basic Set contains everything needed to play with all the "classic" D&D races (i.e., Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Halfling) and classes (i.e., Cleric, Fighter, Rogue, Wizard) all the way up to maximum level (i.e., 20th Level).

The Basic boxed set contains:

Quick Start Rules
A "choose your own way" adventure intended as an intro to RPGs and basic D&D terms.

Player's Handbook
(Softcover, 125 pages)
Features rules for playing the classic D&D races and classes all the way up to 20th level.

Dungeon Master's Guide

(Softcover, 125 pages)
Includes the basic rules for dungeon masters.

Monster Manual
(Softcover, 100 pages)
Includes all the classic iconic monsters from D&D. 

Introductory Adventure
(Keep on the Borderlands)
An introductory adventure for beginning players and DMs.

Also includes: 

Character Sheets
Reference Sheets
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A set of hardbound rules that contains the core rules plus expanded races and classes, more spells and a large selection of optional rules modules — that is, pretty much everything that experienced players have come to expect. Each expert edition manual may be purchased separately, or in a boxed set. The Expert set includes:

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A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage

A Million Hit Points of Light: Shedding Light on Damage and Hit Points

In my personal campaigns, I use the following system for damage and dying. It's a slight modification of the long-standing principles etsablished by the D&D game, only with a new definition of what 0 or less hit points means. I've been using it for years because it works really well. However, I've made some adjustments to take advantage of the D&D Next rules. I've decided to present the first part in a Q&A format for better clarity. So let's begin...

What are hit points?
The premise is very simple, but often misunderstood; hit points are an abstraction that represent the character's ability to avoid serious damage, not necessarily their ability to take serious damage. This is a very important distinction. They represent a combination of skillful maneuvering, toughness, stamina and luck. Some targets have more hit points because they are physically tougher and are harder to injure...others have more because they are experienced combatants and have learned how to turn near fatal blows into mere scratches by skillful maneuvering...and then others are just plain lucky. Once a character runs out of hit points they become vulnerable to serious life-threatening injuries.

So what exactly does it mean to "hit" with a successful attack roll, then?
It means that through your own skill and ability you may have wounded your target if the target lacks the hit points to avoid the full brunt of the attack. That's an important thing to keep in mind; a successful "hit" does not necessarily mean you physically damaged your target. It just means that your attack was well placed and forced the target to exert themselves in such a way as to leave them vulnerable to further attacks. For example, instead of severing the target's arm, the attack merely grazes them leaving a minor cut.

But the attack did 25 points of damage! Why did it only "graze" the target?
Because the target has more than 25 hit points. Your attack forced them to exert a lot of energy to avoid the attack, but because of their combat skill, toughness, stamina and luck, they managed to avoid being seriously injured. However, because of this attack, they may not have the reserves to avoid your next attack. Perhaps you knocked them off balance or the attack left them so fatigued they lack the stamina to evade another attack. It's the DM's call on how they want to narrate the exact reason the blow didn't kill or wound the target.

Yeah, but what about "touch" attacks that rely on physical contact?
Making physical contact with a target is a lot different than striking them, so these types of attacks are the exception. If a touch attack succeeds, the attacker manages to make contact with their target.

If hit points and weapon damage don't always represent actual damage to the target, then what does it represent?
Think of the damage from an attack as more like a "threat level" rather than actual physical damage that transfers directly to the target's body. That is, the more damage an attack does, the harder it is to avoid serious injury. For example, an attack that causes 14 points of damage is more likely to wound the target than 3 points of damage (depending on how many hit points the target has left). The higher the damage, the greater the chance is that the target will become seriously injured. So, an attack that does 34 points of damage could be thought of as a "threat level of 34." If the target doesn't have the hit points to negate that threat, they become seriously injured.

Ok, but shouldn't armor reduce the amount of damage delivered from an attack?
It does reduce damage; by making it harder for an attack to cause serious injury. A successful hit against an armored target suggests that the attack may have circumvented the target's armor by striking in a vulnerable area.

What about poison and other types of non-combat damage?
Hit point loss from non-physical forms of damage represents the character spitting the poison out just in time before it takes full strength or perhaps the poison just wasn't strong enough to affect them drastically, but still weakens them. Again, it's the DMs call on how to narrate the reasons why the character avoids serious harm from the damage.

If hit points don't don't represent actual damage then how does that make sense with spells like Cure Serious Wounds and other forms of healing like healer kits with bandages?
Hit points do represent some physical damage, just not serious physical damage. Healing magic and other forms of healing still affect these minor wounds just as well as more serious wounds. For example, bandaging up minor cuts and abrasions helps the character rejuvenate and relieve the pain and/or fatigue of hit point loss. The key thing to remember is that it's an abstraction that allows the DM freedom to interpret and narrate it as they see fit.

What if my attack reduces the target to 0 or less hit points?
If a player is reduced to 0 or less hit points they are wounded. If a monster or NPC is reduce to 0 or less hit points they are killed.

Why are monsters killed immediately and not players?
Because unless the monsters are crucial to the story, it makes combat resolution much faster. It is assumed that players immediately execute a coup de grace on wounded monsters as a finishing move.

What if a character is wounded by poison or other types of non-physical damage?
If a character becomes wounded from non-combat damage they still receive the effects of being wounded, regardless if they show any physical signs of injury (i.e., internal injuries are still considered injuries).

Ok. I get it...but what happens once a character is wounded?
See below.
 

Damage and Dying

Once a character is reduced to 0 or less hit points, they start taking real damage. In other words, their reserves have run out and they can no longer avoid taking serious damage.

  1. Characters are fully operational as long as they have 1 hit point or more. They may have minor cuts, bruises, and superficial wounds, but they are are not impaired significantly. 
  2. Once they reach 0 or less hit points, they become Wounded (see below).That is, they have sustained a wound that impairs their ability to perform actions.
  3. If they reach a negative amount of hit points equal or greater than their Constitution score, they are Incapacitated. This means they are in critical condition and could possibly die.
  4. Characters will die if their hit points reach a negative amount greater than their Constitution score, plus their current level.

Unharmed: 1 hp or more
Wounded: 0 hp or less
Incapacitated: -(Constitution) to -(Constitution+Level)
Dead: Less than -(Constitution +Level)

Wounded
When the character reaches 0 or less hit points they become wounded. Wounded characters receive disadvantage on all attacks and saving throws until they heal back up to 1 hit point or more. This allows for a transitory stage between healthy and dying, without having to mess around with impairment rules while the character still has hit points left.

Incapacitated
Characters begin dying when they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution score. At which point, they must make a DC 10 Constitution saving throw on each of their following turns (the disadvantage from being wounded does not apply for these saving throws).

If successful, the character remains dying, but their condition does not worsen.

If the saving throw fails, another DC 10 Constitution saving throw must be made. If that one fails, the character succumbs to their wounds and dies. If successful, the character stabilizes and is no longer dying.

Finally, if a dying character receives first aid or healing at any point, they immediately stabilize.

Dead
Characters will die if they reach a negative amount of hit points equal to their Constitution, plus their current level. Thus, if an 8th level character with a Constitution score of 12 is down to 4 hit points then takes 24 points of damage (reducing their hit points to -20) the attack kills them outright.

I have been tinkering with the armors a bit. I really disliked the armor list in the playtest for a number of reasons, these foremost being:

* Armors are simply on a scale from better to worse.
* Gold seem to be the balancing factor (which is odd for a game that does not assume that players have a certain wealth per level)
* There seems to be no incentative beyond roleplaying to pick a 'worse' type of armor.
* Every character seems to be assumed to be using the highest armor type in the list that can be obtained in the armor category they are able to wear.
* It can be assumed that as soon as players can afford it, 'lesser' armors become completely obsolete and players will be wearing the 3 top tier ones.
* The current armor list implies that there is some kind of level scaling on armors (by gold?) and thus goes against bounded acurracy.

So, I wanted to redesign the armor list in order to reduce these negative points and at the same time introduce some points that I feel to be important, namely:

* I want armor choice to be a choice. It should affect a players playstyle, character, class, ability scores and intended combat role.
* I would also want to open up the possibility to make the almost as boring weapon list more interesting by including some points of interaction between the armos and the weapons, such as making some weapons more effective against some armors.
* Different armors should be good for different types of encounters.

Ideally.. I would want to have an armor list constructed in such a way that if a Rogue, a Wizard, a Ranger, an agile Greatsword Slayer Fighter and a Defender Fighter would all be granted all armor proficiencies, they would STILL choose thematically correct gear, given the choice to pick anything.

With this in mind I started to think about how armors could be differentiated.

Roughly I went with this thesis:

Light armors are for non-combatants and those that focus on agility. They should permit full movement but overall be the worst kind of armor. Nothing should break in the game if every single class was allowed to use light armor, right from the bat or through a feat.

Heavy armors should really be distinctively heavy. They are for people who wants to be able to withstand massive punishment and walk away unhurt. They should not be the go to choice for anyone who wants to be mobile or evade anything. That warriors in fiction discard their helmets and breastplate when going up in a duel is because they value the extra mobility over the extra protection, that should be a valid and interesting choice.

Medium armors were the most used through history. This not only bacause they were cheaper than heavy armor, but also because they were often a good all-round choice. Medium armors find the top balance point between protection and mobility.

Based on this I gave heavy armors a Fortified attribute, granting extra HP for a high CON bonus, resetting with a short rest. The AC of heavy armors were set to medium, allowing medium armors to get the highest pure AC levels.

The intent was that  heavy armors and medium armors should represent the choice between sturdiness and being hard to hit. Also, I gave an attack penalty to heavy armors in an attempt to also create a choice situation between good offence and good defence.

This is really just a draft..  some ideas I had..   I am not at all sure about the Dex Penalty and the Fortified mechanic...

Any thoughts?

VIEW SESDUN'S ARMOR LIST VERSION 1 PDF HERE

I have significant reservations about armors mixing defensive bonuses and damage reduction. The way Fortified works (essentially like a type of THP) sounds like a great way to make minor damage just not matter. OTOH the amount of defense probably won't scale with higher levels.
That is not dead which may eternal lie

I admit I added the Heavy Plate in order to have an armor type that most players would opt to not use as the 'ultimate armor'.
The -2 dex mod, -2 AB is quite harsh, and they are intended to be borderline too much to accept (just to get out of the more armor = better armor thinking)




Doesn't this go against your intent in making this revised armor chart in the first place.  You have essentially made an armor that no one would choose, based on opinion of heavy armors.  It might as well not be on the list.


I Assume you are aware that a trained night was quite modile and agile in full plate.  They could even leap onto their horses.  Not that you need to base your armor on reality, but I don't understand the major penalties.    

Is your intent with the table to ignore the historical fact that some armours really ARE just better than others, and that the only reason some armours even exist at all is so that line troops and militia can be outfitted cheaply?


I would encourage him to do so.  D&D never restricted armor based on historial usage.  My only concern with this system is that it seems complicated to run.  Also, you're giving away disadvnatage willy-nilly and I don't think it's a good idea to make disadvantage part of the default state.  (dis)advantage should be situational, not default.

Eh, yes, but if you think about the original '4 armor system' (none, leather, chain, plate) of OD&D it was both reasonably historical and at the same time each of the armors had some real uses. None kinda has to exist (and wizards used it, but that might not be a restriction in 5e if we're lucky). That BASICALLY gave us a light, medium, and heavy armor. The increased mobility of leather was worth the AC trade off for an archer/skirmisher type character, and chain was a useful intermediate with higher mobility than plate, much cheaper cost, and lighter weight. Admittedly people tended to go to plate if they could wear it eventually, but it often required a good long time and a suite of +1 chain beat out non-magical plate any old day.

Seems like to me the result was a fairly happy medium between some degree of authenticity and each type being useful. Nowadays I'd expect you'd add in some increased skill check penalties for plate and you're in pretty good shape, some people will probably stick to chain, especially if its an easier armor to enchant.

Of course in the interests of being able to reflavor things these could be renamed light, medium, and heavy armor. There's just very little IMHO that really justifies bothering to differentiate more than that. I seriously doubt that scale armor was substantially different than mail in actual utility for instance, or that the various types of leather armor were much different. Any such that had enough metal attached to it to make a real difference would again probably be insignificantly different from mail functionally.

There are 2 huge advantages to the '4 types' system. It narrows the AC difference between PCs, which allows for more of the range to be used for other purposes (magic, dex, feats, whatever). This is a small range to start with in a bounded accuracy system. The other advantage is we're simply removed of the burden of trying to dream up some mechanical distinction between chain and banded armor that exists purely for gamist reasons and will almost inevitably tip in favor of one or the other anyway, meaning we won't see both types in actual play, so all we ended up doing was narrowing the available flavor characters can use.

So, I say give leather AC 11, chain AC 13, and plate AC 15, and leave it at that. Chain can reduce movement by 5" and have a check penalty of -1. Plate can have a movement reduction of 10" and a check penalty of -2. That REALLY should about do it. Dirt simple and it will undoubtedly work.
That is not dead which may eternal lie

I admit I added the Heavy Plate in order to have an armor type that most players would opt to not use as the 'ultimate armor'.
The -2 dex mod, -2 AB is quite harsh, and they are intended to be borderline too much to accept (just to get out of the more armor = better armor thinking)




Doesn't this go against your intent in making this revised armor chart in the first place.  You have essentially made an armor that no one would choose, based on opinion of heavy armors.  It might as well not be on the list.


Not really, I intend to try to balance it so it lies just on the far end. It should be interesting only for a minority, just because it is on the far end.


I Assume you are aware that a trained night was quite modile and agile in full plate.  They could even leap onto their horses.  Not that you need to base your armor on reality, but I don't understand the major penalties.



Yea, although the knights trained very hard to achieve that (which probably meant very high dex, con and str scores).
The typical knightly armor is the Plate armor in this list however, not the Heavy Plate.
A character with a 16 Dex (not an unlikely stat for a well trained knight), would have a +2 dex mod in Plate, that is enough to do the things the medieval knights did (standing on their hands, rolling, jumping on horses etc)

The Heavy Plate armor is inteded to be similar to some of the ridiculously heavy late medieval armors or some massive fantasy-world armor.

That everyone seems to assume that the Heavy Plate is the equivalent of classical Plate armor just shows the problem (that most are looking at an armor list expecting to find the typical Plate at the bottom as the go-to choice for every highly armored fighter). That is why I added an even heavier armor as a far end.
Is your intent with the table to ignore the historical fact that some armours really ARE just better than others, and that the only reason some armours even exist at all is so that line troops and militia can be outfitted cheaply?


I would encourage him to do so.  D&D never restricted armor based on historial usage.  My only concern with this system is that it seems complicated to run.  Also, you're giving away disadvnatage willy-nilly and I don't think it's a good idea to make disadvantage part of the default state.  (dis)advantage should be situational, not default.



I really didnt want to grant disadvantage here if it could be avoided..  but it seems that the current 5E system seems to hate plus and minus modifiers so I saw no way out..

I would rather grant skill modifiers than advantage/disadvantage.

If it looks willy-nilly it is because it is, much of it is just taken out of thin air..   but it is version one =P

This is what I mean though, D&D has just multiplied armor types for no interesting reason. Half of them are not even historically meaningful at all, and  most of them are realistically not worth differentiating. Instead lets have a SIMPLER game where simplicity can be had easily.

Now, I can still see having a distinction in the equipment list, like 'light armor' can include a few variations like hides, bigandine, and chain shirt. Hide can keep you warm, brigandine can be a little cheaper, and a chain shirt maybe weighs slightly less (relative to leather, the basic light armor). Its not much, but it allows PCs to use what they want and not worry about it, and maybe once in a great while the difference matters in a small way. Then you can layer on magical, masterwork, and cultural differentiation where and when you want.
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Instead lets have a SIMPLER game where simplicity can be had easily.



As I said in the OP, I would want to see a number of interesting armor choices. This is an attempt to make multiple choices interesting, as well as giving some unique character to medium and heavy armor.
The intention is not to simplify.

While the system should not be complicated for no reason, I personally can accept to go a couple of steps towards a less simple system if it would lead to a more interesting system.

I have quie a lot of ideas for masterworks and magic.. Ill put some in the next version of the armor list.
Instead lets have a SIMPLER game where simplicity can be had easily.



As I said in the OP, I would want to see a number of interesting armor choices. This is an attempt to make multiple choices interesting, as well as giving some unique character to medium and heavy armor.
The intention is not to simplify.

While the system should not be complicated for no reason, I personally can accept to go a couple of steps towards a less simple system if it would lead to a more interesting system.

I have quie a lot of ideas for masterworks and magic.. Ill put some in the next version of the armor list.

I tend to think that 'less is more' more often than not. In any case this isn't the thread to debate that ;).

In terms of your system... It seems unlikely that Lamellar armor would ever be worth taking over say Chain, which overs a considerably better AC no penalties and only a very marginal dex penatly. I mean you MIGHT choose Lamellar over chain if your CON is high enough, but in that case wouldn't you go on up to banded or plate? There is a VERY narrow niche there, you'd have to have both a high dex AND a high con for it to be worth using.

Likewise Scalemail seems almost surely superior to any of the heavy armors, unless again you have a really substantial CON, and even then the plate penalties make me think I'd be VERY unlikely to choose plate over scale. The extra point of AC (and quite likely several points) seems well worth a point or two of Fortified. Especially considering damage isn't the only consequence of being hit in a lot of cases.

In the reverse direction Hide armor seems vastly superior to either of the leather armors, but hands down better than studded. Same AC, 2 points of fortification, and no penalty. I know which one I would pick if I had any choice at all.

Anyway, thx, you got me thinking about armor again, and not while looking at that brain draining DDN armor table, which just stuns me...
That is not dead which may eternal lie
Yea, I agree with most of your criticisms here, the list definitely needs some tweaking.

Perhaps medium armors should lose the Fortified attribute alltogether so that can be a distinctively heavy armor thing.
Still I kind of liked the thing with mediums as a blend of light and heavy properties.

Some cases like hide being slightly superior to the leathers are ok because it requires a higher tier of armor proficiency to use.

Heavy armors are intended to be differently valued depending on CON score, so that's all well..  but the treshold point should not be too high.

If a simpler system is desired without lots of choices in each category, I still think that it would be more interesting to give medium and heavy different flavours. The list could be simplified to:

No Armor: 10 + Dex mod AC
Light: 12 + Dex mod AC (no penalties)
Medium: 15 + Dex mod AC (max 3 dex mod, perhaps a stealth penalty)
Heavy: 15 AC, Fortified Con mod + 2 (-1 penalty to Dex mod, max 2 Dex mod, penalties to movement and stealth)

Although I would rather have multiple armor types in each category.
I like how light armor is about not being hit, how heavy armor is about not caring that you are hit, and how medium armor takes each to less of an extreme and should usually be better overall.

So, the different armors all fall at a different point along the spectrucm between all evasion and all absorption.  The  major new idea with this proposal is that absorption is covered as a form of temporary hit points, so let's stick with that, but simplify it a bit to smooth gameplay.  What if, instead of saying that armor forms a barrier between the weapon and flesh which has its own set of HP to track, what if we just say that armor is (mostly) unbreakable but serves as a damping mechanism by which reduces the impact of all attacks.

Now, here's the tricky party.  Instead of going the DR route, which introduces a bunch of math into the middle of combat, let's say that the reduced damage from each attack is represented by increasing the HP of the target.  Furthermore, instead of the traditional (Palladium) approach of having flat HP from the armor, let's use the idea here where the armor gives you the effect of X more HP per level.  (This does introduce a couple of specific issues related to healing and donning/removing armor, but let's not get into that right now.)

The best part is that this gives us a convenient point of comparison: Dex mod increases AC, just like armor does, so we can have Fortification increase HP in the exact same manner as Con.  We already know that 1 point of Dex mod = 1 point Con mod.

So, here's my revised list:


Leather:        Fortified +2, AC = 13 + Dex mod (no max)
Studded:       Fortified +1, AC = 14 + Dex mod (no max)

Hide:              Fortified +4, AC = 13 + Dex mod (max 4)
Brigandine:   Fortified +3, AC = 14 + Dex mod (max 4)
Chain:            Fortified +5, AC = 14 + Dex mod (max 2)
Scale:             Fortified +6, AC = 14 + Dex mod (max 1)

Lamellar:      Fortified +7, AC = 13
Banded:        Fortified +8, AC = 12
Plate:             Fortified +9, AC = 11
The metagame is not the game.
My 4E house rule on armor has changed armor into damage reduction. This house rule has made my armor a very interesting choice in game. So much so that I might never move over to 5E until I can find a replacement for this rule.

The rule ties into 4E defenses so it might never be able to move over.

Basically Light armor Provides low damage reduction and heavy armor applies high damage reduction and a penalty to your reflex defense of -2, medium armor -1. Without AC as a defense Reflex replaces it for all intents and purposes so Reflex is the go to defense to dodge all sword swings and arrows. My players like heavy armor if going into a big battle against lots of combatants. More attacks mean there armor absorbs more damage. but they have learned heavy armor is a poor choice against Giants who swing once and do alot of damage. That extra 10% chance to avoid the giants swing means alot more than the damage reduction. This system has really captured the feel of armor as a means of mobility versus protection, with a very simple rule. But of course this ties into how 4E works defenses something 5E will not have. Unless 5E actually would consider implementing some more 4E type combat stats.
In your system, do the dex penalties affect dex based attack rolls? Also, with lamellar, is the max dex before or after the dex penalty? After, right? So in lamellar, the max AC would be 16 with dex 18?
@Saelorn
I think it would partly defeat the purpose of the Fortified attribute to give it to all armors, since its main point is to give heavy armors a special niche. I also like that CON score ties into the armor choice, thus making the choice be about more than just optimizing AC and Dex.


@Scetchmonkey
The main drawbacks of DR is that includes an additional computational step into every combat round and that is is harder to scale with level with the current linear HP/level. Scaling DR would also bring into play something akin to the AC-hit window in non-bounded accuracy. If DR is to be equally relevant at lvl 5 (where HP pools are 5 times larger) as lvl 1, then the lvl 1 creature will have a very hard time to damage the lvl 5 at all.

With the Armor HP path heavy armors will be extremely good in short fights and low damage opponents but probably worse than medium armor in prolonged fights and high damage opponents. The worst case for a plate wearer would be to be swarmed by a multitude of skirmishers that slowly tire him out by chipping off the Armor HP and then leaving him defenseless.
So, both approaches creates armors that are more and less effective in different situations.

@Lokiron
Yes, dex penalties and limits affect everything where a Dex penalty applies. (I am also advocating that Wis or Dex can be used for ranged weapons, just like its Dex and Str for finesse weapons, but thats a bit off topic)

Yes, the maximum is after the modification, so yes, Lamellar reaches 16 AC with 18 Dex, which is it's special niche.
So with lamellar, 18 dex, and 12 con you are down 2 AC and 2 hit (if your attack is dex based; most likely at 18 dex) plus some skil disadvantage compared to scalemail. This means you need to have 18 dex and at least 14 con to get SOMETHING better (fort.) than scale and you're still down 2 AC, 2 hit, and disadvantage.
Yes, they are not particularily well balanced yet.. this is more like a rough sketch.

There are several armors that need some changes. Maybe Lamellar should drop the AB penalty.
Ugh.  No thanks.

This system you present is needlessly complex and deeply unsatisfying.

The armour list presented in Playtest packet #2 was fine--sensible and easy to use; the only thing I want to see changed are a few of the names--i.e. no more "displacer beast hide," etc.  I do not see the need to make every armour type a viable choice at every level. 

If you have to resort to making offensive comments instead of making logical arguments, you deserve to be ignored.