Damage

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Do any of you guys use damage to weapons and armor?
No.
The only time I have ever experienced (as a player) damage to weapons and armor is in the campaign setting Dark Sun.  I did not like it.

 

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Are you really "entitled to your opinion"?
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The cool thing is, you don't even NEED a reason to say yes.  Just stop looking for a reason to say no.
Do any of you guys use damage to weapons and armor?

I do not, though I really like the optional rules for sacrificing one's weapon in order to reroll an attack.

(Martial characters are already massively disadvantaged by attempts at realism. It's easy to imagine that such characters spend their downtime maintaining their equipment. And magical equipment is easily considered to be more or less invulnerable for most purposes.)

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

Heavily situational.

If it could be apparent that destroying equipment will be vital, I always have the item's ac, hardness, hp, etc. on hand. But this is rare.

Though, a thought comes to mind if you're looking to incorporate a way of installing it into your game.

Made up off the top of my head:

Damage to armor and weapons is 1/15 of the HP damage received (for armor) or dealt (for weapons, in response to hitting armor. In the case of ranged weapons, wear and tear to a bow or cleaning a gun (becomes jammed permanently upon reaching zero)). So, at low levels, this is neglibile until a long period of time and many combats have passed. Because you would add up fractions until they become full points. At higher levels, this becomes noticeable when enemies start dealing 30+ points of damage. If you want it to be noticeable early on, increase the amount received to something like 1/4 or make all the early items poor quality with extremely low hp.
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I've got rules in place for a homebrewed survival/horror/post-apocalyptic game, but not in dnd.  I run what I think is a pretty gritty game, but I don't think it would add much to the fun quotient.

 
I've got rules in place for a homebrewed survival/horror/post-apocalyptic game, but not in dnd.  I run what I think is a pretty gritty game, but I don't think it would add much to the fun quotient.

 


All just off the top of my head:

If the armor can be easily replaced it might work for this type of post-apocalyptic environment.

An easy rule in such a world where there is no standard armor, most likely... each 10 pounds (assuming english measurements) of armor provides temporary hit points. You could either rule that all damage goes to the armor first or half goes to the armor until the armor is finally destroyed.

Stronger characters could carry more armor, but you could rule that everyone has a threshhold after which movement is slowed, attack accuracy goes down... or simply make it -1 per 10 pounds?

A rogue with a bowl of slop can be a controller. WIZARD PC: Can I substitute Celestial Roc Guano for my fireball spells? DM: Awesome. Yes. When in doubt, take action.... that's generally the best course. Even Sun Tsu knew that, and he didn't have internets.
Tool breakage is neat if you dissociate magic item powers from the items themselves. We use MIs more like character upgrades in my game, treating them as a form of magic that the PCs must feed through an item/weapon/armor/etc to utilize This makes weapon breakage viable for my players since they can pick up a longsword in the middle of the dungeon and still have their weapon powers work with the new weapon.

This said, I don't advise weapon breakage in a game where the physical existence of magic items as literal items is the standard. Save for artifacts, since those things should be so powerful that mundane wear and tear should be non existent.
Tool breakage is neat if you dissociate magic item powers from the items themselves. We use MIs more like character upgrades in my game, treating them as a form of magic that the PCs must feed through an item/weapon/armor/etc to utilize This makes weapon breakage viable for my players since they can pick up a longsword in the middle of the dungeon and still have their weapon powers work with the new weapon.

This said, I don't advise weapon breakage in a game where the physical existence of magic items as literal items is the standard. Save for artifacts, since those things should be so powerful that mundane wear and tear should be non existent.



Awesome, glad to hear you're doing this. I'm a big fan of this approach.

I'm hoping that someday D&D wakes up and starts basing damage dice on classes rather than trying to simulate the actual weapon with a die.

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Tool breakage is neat if you dissociate magic item powers from the items themselves. We use MIs more like character upgrades in my game, treating them as a form of magic that the PCs must feed through an item/weapon/armor/etc to utilize This makes weapon breakage viable for my players since they can pick up a longsword in the middle of the dungeon and still have their weapon powers work with the new weapon.

This said, I don't advise weapon breakage in a game where the physical existence of magic items as literal items is the standard. Save for artifacts, since those things should be so powerful that mundane wear and tear should be non existent.



Awesome, glad to hear you're doing this. I'm a big fan of this approach.

I'm hoping that someday D&D wakes up and starts basing damage dice on classes rather than trying to simulate the actual weapon with a die.



Blasphemy!!! We would have a smaller book and have to charge less!!!

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Yes I do.

That said, most normal wear & tear/usage won't be enough to damage/ruin most items.  Armour & weapons are intended to take a beating.  And magical versions are even hardier.
Of course if you treat your lantern or crystal ball the same as you treat your shield....

So in the event where the players use equipment strangely (like when one guy used his sword as a pry bar) or something significantly damaging happens (like breath weapons, extreme falls, PCs/enemies intentionally trying to break something, some spell effects, etc)?  Then we consult the  "Item Saving Throw" charts.

And of course I do make use of item destroyers like rust monsters occasionally.
I'm hoping that someday D&D wakes up and starts basing damage dice on classes rather than trying to simulate the actual weapon with a die.



From a rules light standpoint, it is an idea, but from a simulation stand point, it doesn't work so well. Weapons do work differently enough in real life to have different damage aspects for different weapons, so the current approach, while watered down in its execution, is fairly realistic.

Save for ranged weapons. I always thought the damage should be based on projectiles rather than the bows, or maybe a combination of the two. But what're you gonna do...
Only if the player specifies "Sunder" and sometimes, I have an enemy "Sunder" them.

I mean, if I were to track "damage dealt to armor from attacks", I would die from math overload in the first combat when a dragon uses acid breath; then a player will ask if their armor has damage reduction from acid because it was made out of materials that in real life resist some acids.

I track it myself, sometimes, and I have a "subsystem" for it, but the players almost never see it or think about it.


First, I have several materials that give +1, +2, +3, +4, etc. bonus to object hardness and object damage reduction. Then, I have each size category of object have a default number of hit points. The object hardness represents its armor class. the material type gives +10 hit points per material bonus. That said, some materials give no bonus, such as wood.

Thus, if a medium size object like a chest plate had 10 default hardness and 5 default hit points, was made of a +2 material (+20 hit points), then an Ebony Breastplate would have Hardness 12, Damage Reduction 2, and 25 hit points.  If it were masterwork, it would (in my game) add +1 Hardness, +5 Hit Points and Damage Reduction. Likewise, +2 Masterwork, +3 Masterwork, etc.

+2 Masterwork Ebony Breastplate: 14 Hardness, 35 Hit Points, 4 Damage Reduction.

The real question is, why would the player ever care? How often will a situation come up where they need to track their hit points, and every item they carry hit points? Works fine in MMO's where mass collective computations can be done in seconds but not for Tabletop Games.

I don't normally assign properties to things but I am quick on the fly. If a player asks what material the enemies weapon is made of, I tell them "It looks like..."

The "best use" is that I have some crafting features where players can Gather the material then Craft with it. This makes crafting interactive and fun.  Best application is when players arrive in town and will "rest for 3 days" you can tell them to make 3 checks a day and choose between profession, gather (survival), craft or something else while resting. Whenever the players camp or spend a long time walking, just give them materials now and then with a successful survival check.

I allow players to upgrade their items because most of them have a family heirloom of some kind they prefer to use instead of picking up a new sword in a dungeon.

I normally give each "region" one of each material: +1 through +5.  One region uses the same metal for everything, so they have a +1 through +5 version. A second region has 2 types of metal, 2 types of stone and 2 types of gems.

You just need to decide how many materials are actually special because having 10000000000 materials is bad game play. Try to generalize and stereotype materials into categories. Your players might want Ebony to be +5 instead of +2. Fine, done. One of the +5's is now +2 instead, aesthetics are less relevant than fun.

The biggest mistake is that its easy to over complicate. Keep it SIMPLE.

Within; Without.

I'm hoping that someday D&D wakes up and starts basing damage dice on classes rather than trying to simulate the actual weapon with a die.

From a rules light standpoint, it is an idea, but from a simulation stand point, it doesn't work so well. Weapons do work differently enough in real life to have different damage aspects for different weapons, so the current approach, while watered down in its execution, is fairly realistic.

Depends on how it's simulated. A fighter would be more deadly than a wizard regardless of the weapon each was using. The game currently simulates this with proficiency penalties to hit, but we all know how clunky that is, and I think we also all know that some cool weapons are simply never used because their damage and other traits just aren't balanced. Gamma World has already separated most weapons from the specific damage they do, and many classes already do damage based on their powers rather than the weapon used. If D&D Next can avoid becoming a complete backslide, I think we're well on our way to a system that's far easier and not much less realistic. Possibly more.

[N]o difference is less easily overcome than the difference of opinion about semi-abstract questions. - L. Tolstoy

I've got rules in place for a homebrewed survival/horror/post-apocalyptic game, but not in dnd.  I run what I think is a pretty gritty game, but I don't think it would add much to the fun quotient.

 


All just off the top of my head:

If the armor can be easily replaced it might work for this type of post-apocalyptic environment.

An easy rule in such a world where there is no standard armor, most likely... each 10 pounds (assuming english measurements) of armor provides temporary hit points. You could either rule that all damage goes to the armor first or half goes to the armor until the armor is finally destroyed.

Stronger characters could carry more armor, but you could rule that everyone has a threshhold after which movement is slowed, attack accuracy goes down... or simply make it -1 per 10 pounds?


Weapons either jam or break on a natural 1.  -- a saving throw determines which.  

I like that idea about armor.  Just may use it.

In this setting, firearms and other improvised weapons are a lot more common than ammunition is, so while it will hurt to lose that shotgun for up-close blasts, there's a pretty good chance a PC will have a pistol or hammer in her belt -- the butt or barrel of the gun should work pretty good too.
Depends on my story. If it serves my purpose, and I know I've written up a new item for someone to pick up later. For example, I wanted to give our ranger a bow upgrade, but her bow is part of her backstory. She wouldn't just give up the mundane bow, so instead I had her bowstring break, and gave her a new +1 "bowstring".
From a rules light standpoint, it is an idea, but from a simulation stand point, it doesn't work so well. Weapons do work differently enough in real life to have different damage aspects for different weapons, so the current approach, while watered down in its execution, is fairly realistic.

Save for ranged weapons. I always thought the damage should be based on projectiles rather than the bows, or maybe a combination of the two. But what're you gonna do...



I think that D&D suffers from too much focus on simulation of this type. It's a nod to realism that needn't actually be done. Other games like Dungeon World base damage die on class, which creates a lot more flexibility for the characters and increases the number of scenarios and situations the DM can put the characters into. (I can't be the only one that finds "breakout" scenarios awkward when all the PCs are weapon specialized and can't do anything effectively without their set gear. This is just a simple example.) If I fail a Hack & Slash roll and the DM decides my weapon breaks, no big, I look around and grab a table leg with no downside and look cool in the process.

No amount of tips, tricks, or gimmicks will ever be better than simply talking directly to your fellow players to resolve your issues.
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In general I don't track weapon or armor damage. I have done this only as a special ability, like a sword that has the possibility of damaging armor on impact. But that can be fixed during a rest, so it's rarely permanent. I have a sketched out idea that I haven't used yet about a corrosive environment in which every weapon and shield breaks after a random number of uses, so players would have to scavenge and improvise.
Depends on how it's simulated. A fighter would be more deadly than a wizard regardless of the weapon each was using. The game currently simulates this with proficiency penalties to hit, but we all know how clunky that is, and I think we also all know that some cool weapons are simply never used because their damage and other traits just aren't balanced.



I'm not fond of the proficiency system either, but the usage of a weapon is more an issue of training where usability is concerned, so I'd much prefer something like it if we're to keep simulation aspect. A trained warrior and a grunt warrior could do the same sort of damage if they were both using a spear and got a hit, but the trained warrior is not only going to hit more often, but wield the weapon generally better. Seems something outside the realm of weapon damage to me.

I do agree that weapons need to be designed more with usability across the board in mind though. Some of the Superior Weapon's aren't even worth paying the feat slot for...

I think that D&D suffers from too much focus on simulation of this type. It's a nod to realism that needn't actually be done. Other games like Dungeon World base damage die on class, which creates a lot more flexibility for the characters and increases the number of scenarios and situations the DM can put the characters into. (I can't be the only one that finds "breakout" scenarios awkward when all the PCs are weapon specialized and can't do anything effectively without their set gear. This is just a simple example.) If I fail a Hack & Slash roll and the DM decides my weapon breaks, no big, I look around and grab a table leg with no downside and look cool in the process.



The problem I have with this sort of an idea that keeps me from being completely sold on it is that I actually have HANDLED some of these weapons irl, so the difference between a short and long sword is not uncommon to me. I don't like that the difference is covered by a damage die size difference (it's more of a depth of wound issue, and possibly an overall sharpness issue depending on what materials were used to make the blade and how many times the blade was reforged on itself, not to mention the length of the blade and weight affecting usage and damage), but it's the best way that a game has done to describe it thus far in a manner that works with HP. A class would be more inclined to have a bonus to offer with weapon attacks than to determine the overall damage in my eyes. And even if all classes assume that damage is ran off of a base damage die according to the weapon type, it's still a weapon damage die plus/minus whatever, so the seperation seems moot. In the end, real life weapons don't discriminate their damage by what type of person swings it. A sword cuts a guy just as well for a trained user as it does for a grunt who got lucky.

I love rules light for ease of use, but all the weapons being treated the same in terms of what they can do damage wise is a bit of a problem in my eyes, because there's no reward for specialization past self gratification in the flavor department. I want the choice to use a greatsword instead of a longsword to mean something. Yes, they're both swords, but they are different in size and weight, making the longsword less damaging on a clean hit compared to the greatsword. The greatsword is slower to use than the longsword, but has better range. I suppose half of the issue is attributed to how light the distance rules are. A greatsword isn't going to out range a spear, but it most certainly will out range a long sword. The other half is the age old "how realistic should HP be" argument. The difference between a cut shoulder and a cut shoulder with a broken collar bone isn't expressed well as the potential for 2 extra points of damage between a long sword and a great sword after all, but wound systems are often way too clunky to use with any ease...

Personally, I'd have damage be a part of the weapon's class rather than the players, and have individual weapons deal extra damage and/or other things based on their own unique aspects.

Of course, all of this is just more realism vs fantasy jargon that no one would ever be able to agree on anyways... XD
Personally I've done it before where if you took a number of critical hits, your armor was damaged (ac penalty).
in 3.5 a character could try to damage an opponents equipment. other wise id just role play the damage, ie its torn, or dented.
 

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