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THAC0, Armor & D&D

Discussion in 'Dungeons & Dragons + Other RPGs' started by Nakia, Sep 1, 2015.

  1. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    I can't help but comment on the thaco on armour or DR as used in non-D&D games. One of the criticism of games by real life HEMA experts is that armour is not the main protection from damage but your sword, axe, whatever weapon you use. Yes armour would protect from ranged weapons and to some extent from blows and of course in fantasy game enhanced armour would protect from spells.

    It is fantasy so is up to the developer how he/she wants to handle it or include so this is just a comment from an arm chair HEMA student.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 1, 2015
  2. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    That is true, in real life, it's the weapon (usually in combination with a shield) that provides the greatest protection against another combatant. At best, armor actually makes it harder for you to avoid blows. What it does is protect you from blows that do manage to hit you. That said, armor class in D&D is an abstraction, just like hit points. Fighters in full plate aren't actually dodging blows left and right and sustaining wounds all day long, even though in game terms the end result of the opponent hitting or missing is usually the same, regardless of the circumstances.

    Attempts to make the system more realistic have been made over the years, including as official option rules, and I've designed and used several myself before we stopped playing D&D.
     
    Munderpool and Nakia like this.
  3. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    A man in full plate armour isn't going to doge much but that long sword isn't going to do him much damage. Wish I had time to find a video I saw on attacking a tank. :) But I have to leave. He scared me just watching him casually approach. Yes, I said man because there are very few women who could wear full plate armour for any length of time. Sorry gals but that is a fact not an opinion. Only in fantasy land are we truly equal when it comes to physical strength.
     
  4. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    To be fair, a complete set of plate armor isn't all that heavy. It's not light by any stretch of the imagination, but it is more or less evenly distributed over your body, specially fitted for the wearer and usually very well crafted to allow a full range of motion. It's not quite as easy as fantasy characters make it seem (and people tend to draw fantasy plate armor ridiculously thick), but anyone in reasonably good shape should be able to wear one and move around in it for quite some time, including women. We're talking athletic here, not good looking, of course. Those who don't work out regularly won't be swinging a sword around for very long, much less do so in heavy armor, but I digress. My point was that you can still dodge attacks in plate armor and although lighter swords and arrows will have a hard time doing any real damage, a well placed arrow (with an appropriate head) or a blow from a heavy weapon (or at least front-heavy, like a war pick) will still severely wound you, so you need to be moving.

    I think we've derailed the hello thread a bit. :shake:
     
  5. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Yes I believe we have gone just a wee bit off topic. I love to discuss HEMA and even other combat categories with someone who knows what they are talking about. Maybe we could start a thread in the appropriate forum?

    Nakia looks longingly at Kenneth and any other interested parties.
     
  6. Taluntain

    Taluntain Resident Alpha and Omega Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Resourceful Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Discussion moved to this new thread.
     
  7. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Thanks, boss.

    I have mixed feelings about that statement.
     
  8. Munderpool Gems: 1/31
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    I'd have to dig it out from the depths of my closet, but I believe it was the original Greyhawk, the first supplement book in 1st Edition, that addressed the effects of weapons on armor class in D&D. We came up with all sorts of house rules systems to add more 'realism' over the years, influenced by various fencing and gladiator games, but ultimately, it all rather achieves the same ends. I recall Chivalry & Sorcery being a bit more into the nitty gritty of beating the hell out of somebody, and the hit location system from the later Blackmoor supplement to D&D put fear back into higher level fighters. But again, I recall it dragged out combat the more intense the rules, so I guess it would depend on whether you enjoy a calculated duel, or moving things along, no less dramatic, but less complicated.
     
  9. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Thanks, Tal.

    @Keneth,, combat in real life and games nothing more and nothing less. Now to some comments.

    Role playing games are just games, they are not real life and the developers can do as they wish no matter how unrealistic and there is no harm in that. However I become interested in this subject due to complaints from game players who wanted all sorts of weird things in their games. My feeling is that if a game states that it is based on the European medieval or Renisance period there should be some at least token realism.

    Should for example Pillars of Eternity take the same view of things as Monster Hunters? Monster Hunters is pure fantasy any resemblance to reality is IMO non-existent and it doesn't as far as I know pretend to be any thing but fantasy.

    Computers have their limitations and isometric games have certain limitations. I am currently playing Mount & Blade because of its realism. I am finding it a lot of fun because I can actually use some of the tactics I have learned from my armchair studies. I have gotten fairly good at melee fights.

    Now for some comments regarding plate armour. Oh, to be clear I am focusing on HEMA combat, Historical European Martial Arts. As I understand it plate armour is actually thicker in the front, the chest area and thinner in the back. Warriors fought in pairs or groups and watched out to protect the back of a comrade hence the phrase "Watch my back".

    To jump to women and sword fighting I am posting this video which shows women doing quite well because skill and technic is important.


    Edit: Ran across this video by three Master fighter. Warning they fight to win.
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2015
  10. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Most of the time, soldiers fought in formation, regardless of their station. All out melees were rare because in real life no one actually wants to die, so armies don't just charge in and slaughter each other, nor do you have warriors who can (or want to) take on 10+ opponents by themselves. On the off chance that a combat actually happens, and this was seldom the case in the first place, you were extremely unlikely to end up alone, especially with your back exposed. If a fight is going that badly, the losing side is far more likely to surrender than to fight to the last man.

    Fantasy combat is romanticized with fancy ideas of honor and glory and heroics, so it's just really hard to compare it to anything remotely historically accurate, and when you throw monsters and magic into the mix, you might as well forget about such things and stick to meaningful abstractions.

    I do like those videos though, especially the importance placed on technique and landing a good blow. It kind of segues into what I was saying about plate armor. It might be the some of the best armor you could get, but a good blow or shot from a skilled combatant can still pierce or cleave it (not to mention its weak spots), so not being able to move would be rather bad for your health in the long run. Still, no matter how sharp the sword or good the technique, a sword isn't very likely to do any damage, even to the thinner parts of the armor, whether it's a broadsword, a two-handed longsword or a falchion. They will however cut through chain or scale armor (or an equivalent, like lamellar), which are all quite heavy as well (people are usually surprised at the weight of a chain hauberk), and estocs were specifically made to pierce the chain on the parts uncovered by plate, so I think it's safe to say any armor needs to allow its wearer to move as freely and quickly as possible. If the false anecdotes about plate armor were true (i.e. not being able to get up from the floor, needing a crane to get on a horse, it being too heavy to run, etc.), it wouldn't have been used.
     
  11. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    No argument from me, Keneth.

    One thing in RPGs that does bother me is helmets or head gear. I understand the artist who worked so hard on those figures wants their work to show but helmets or head covering of some type is important. A blow to the head even if it doesn't kill you and quickly put you out of the fight. From my studies I gather the first piece of protective equipment invested in was headgear. I believe part of the lack of focus on this in games comes from Hollywood where the Stars hd to be seen. Not just melee fighters but just about everyone invested in some sort of head protection.

    I saw one video on shoes and boots for medieval warriors. I never stopped to think what a problem this could be. Smooth soles were a liability on muddy, bloodied, leafy even grassy terrain so studded boots were introduced. That creates a problem if you move to a hard service stone or hard wood.

    When I first started my studies of HEMA weapons and armour I didn't realize how complicated it was. A weight lifter who can lift 500 pounds easily would not make a good word or even archery combatant simply because of strength. Certain muscles need to be trained and strengthened.

    Archery actually uses the back muscles, back shoulder muscles " not the arm muscles to draw the bow. The very way you stand, how you weight is distributed are all factors. I realize for game play purposes a lot of these details need to be skipped but for me it adds to my fun to be able to think of the character is if they were in real time doing.

    One thing were I have had several friendly but strong disagreements is the honor in battle trope. I state that the point of a fight is to win and survive and any tactics available can be used. In a one to one duel there may be rules and honor but in a war battle even small six party ones the goal is to win.

    edit: Just want to point out that these commentators and experts don't always agree but as one woman, a Master Archer, said "If it works it is the right way."
     
  12. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    This is in fact the case with just about any martial arts, not just HEMA. A weightlifter will likely have an advantage in mass, possibly stamina, but their strength doesn't really amount to much.

    And yeah, the point of fighting was in most cases to survive. The notions of honor are generally put aside until the battle is won unless it's specifically an honorable duel or something.
     
  13. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Back to D&D. Here is a video from a man who from what he says has played D&D quite a bit but from what he says it sounds to me as if he doesn't like it. He did criticize edition 4 but as far as I know everyone criticized edition 4. He is not one of my favorite commentator. Partly because he has an opinion on everything. He has more opinions than I do which is hard to do. He is fun and interesting though.
     
  14. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    In shifting new editions the makers of the game added complexity that wasn't necessary while still adding in the factors that made the complexity unnecessary. Basics of fighting in the game were that strength helped you hit and helped you hit harder but only to a point (exceptional strength was only allowed for fighter who worked exclusively on honing their muscles for combat); dexterity allowed for subtle movements to take advantage of armor and to parry (which is why it always stacked with armor); constitution made you tougher; and experience levels added hit points, not because the fighter could take more damage than a horse but because the fighter (any pc actually) had learned to anticipate the enemy and the blows did not hit as hard. Each round was a series of footwork, feints, parries, dodges, and attacks -- the end result of all of that was the possibility of damage. As a fighter gained experience, he or she caused damage more often -- inexperienced enemies died quickly, while experienced foes could go toe-to-toe for several minutes.

    New editions want to minimize the effects of strength and dexterity, allow for parrying, feints, backflips, dodging individual attacks, incorporate intelligence and wisdom into reactive fighting, and even allow for a flurry of action (all of which were accounted for in the hit point structure -- it just wasn't as glamorous). In addition, the new editions also increased the hit points. I guess it makes it more exciting for some, but I find character building now to be a chore and the games seem to be more about how you can differentiate your pc rather than plot.
     
  15. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    Everything post-3rd edition is a joke as far as I'm concerned.
     
  16. henkie

    henkie Hammertime Resourceful Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    This discussion reminds me of some books in Morrowind, where if you'd read it, one of your armour skills was increased, with a message along the lines that you learned better how to deflect blows in armour.

    Also, the videos about the masters show that the whole formalisation of combat systems in games is a bit silly. Hitpoints are not realistic, rolling a dice to hit something is unrealistic and a static number that shows how well protected you are is also unrealistic. It's much more about skill.

    I suppose T2B's explanation about how this was taken into account in the earlier editions explains some things. For table top I suppose it could work, in games the abstraction makes it very hard to imagine something dynamic happening when two characters are standing in front of each other and just swinging their weapons, possibly hitting something, and possibly also not.

    Also, women with swords:
     
  17. Keneth Gems: 29/31
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    I love the little victory dance at the end. Very samurai-like. :shake:
     
  18. Nakia

    Nakia The night is mine Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) BoM XenForo Migration Contributor [2015] (for helping support the migration to new forum software!)

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    Computers are limited and fantasy games are fantasy which is all fun. What I like about the Mount & Blade games is that my skill counts. If I can do the right moves I win if I do the wrong moves I lose, no dice roll, no calculation as to who is better. If the player really pays attention and learns the right moves the player wins if not, well, too bad. Back to the training ground.
     
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