Armor and shield aesthetics

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Madius
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7 months 3 days ago
Armor and shield aesthetics

This may seem like a silly question, but I was considering armor for Lucrezia and it brought to mind that I wasn't sure what, if any, the restrictions on the appearance of that armor could be and what, if any, cost might be associated with off-model variants that don't specifically convey a bonus to numbers.

Put plainly: can a Heavy Shield simply be bracers with AV 10/OP 5? Could medium armor be a durable corset rather than chain mail?

The stats stay the same, the question is whether armor that doesn't look like classic armor is allowed, and if it costs extra (and how much) to get non-standard-looking armor.

The biggest exploit I saw was the option for a character to conceal that they're wearing armor at all, but without a numeric FIN or skill bonus on the armor, technically I guess anyone could do that already to the same degree. Still, this is my biggest worry as far as numbers balance goes.

Last question: if we're okay with unconventional armor appearances provided the stats stay the same, would something like a magic brooch or amulet that functions like mundane armor be okay under the same rules, or at that point does it need to use the enchantment and magical shielding rules instead as far as cost and OP go?

Thanks! No rush on this :)

Keshana
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2 months 2 days ago
Hrrrm.

Simplest answer I can think of as far as appearances go:

- System-wise, keep a basic set of items and prices. Meaning Light, Medium, Heavy, etc.
- Appearance-wise, when a C purchases an item, and it is on their sheet, perhaps we can add a text box so the player can individualize their appearance, within reason. This would be a new feature request.

Obviously, "upgrades" such as materials used in the description are going to need to be checked - a starting paladin with mythril or platinum armor as the description for their heavy armor might be a bit out of reach. Paint, on the other hand...

Exotic stuff also... hrm. Again, we would need some sort of tiered metric in place to determine cost, I suppose. Like, the less plausible, the more expensive to get a similar effect as "standard" counterpart pieces?

That's all I can think of it, for the moment.

Zxehenia
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Funny enough this is why I wanted to introduce wards as a shield type item (just magic in flavor instead of the usually thought of obvious one to add in more appearance ideas.) (as wards could be something like a pendant or bracers etc, but its not alwyas out just 'activated' when blocking). Though I haven't heard anything back on if people are ok with them criss crossing in what they can sump. But the math I have done so far works out pretty well for it.

The concern of concealment, in a way we have this in effect already as we have no hard rules on what armor has to look like. So someone can have a cloth robe that has the stats of heavy armor.

I think it would be harmful to start tying certain appearances are always guaranteed to be X thing. For one that robs a lot of players of some flexibility in their descriptions, and second it starts baking in a freebie for nothing which we should avoid.

So that actually brings up another point, which is technically we should be using rolls see if they can tell what their opponent's defenses. It has been a kind of baked in advantage to be able to assume based upon a brief description we know their basic defenses.
Basically do not assume based upon a description, if you want to know their actual defenses - roll to discover them/find them out, or take the chance and find out the hard way. If people want to conceal something to keep it from discovered then that should be rolled as well.

I think it would be a bad idea to reintroduce 'material' as a factor, we have already removed them in general and to bring that back is asking for more work and trouble and frustration which eventually lead us to removing the material factor. Again this also risks screwing over some players whom may not use 'traditional' materials that invokes that kind of imagery for some. Back to the cloth robe that soaks like heavy armor, or how about a bone based set of armor, or a leather harness, etc. This also forces even more itemization lists which then basically becomes splitting hairs and is even more work to manage.
Also if material becomes a factor there is the temptation to inflate costs for 'super rare' material that provides no other perk then being fancy.

Instead A/SHs should be trained in ways to include once the defenses have been discovered (by it being rolled for or after combat has initiated and they got a hit in) to give the player the idea of what that defense is. This can be done without relying on material make up, instead it encourages a spread of ideas such has 'oh they are wearing cloth robe from some region in Shi Inkahan that is known for a technique of weaving to have it take the hardest of hits and no rips' or 'the mighty warrior was covered head to toe in what looked like steel armor, however it seems thin and frail, likely a rush job or a cheap set.'
Of course if you don't want to get flowery about it you can just flat out say yeah they are wearing X type of armor soaking a chunk of the hit. or something like as soso hits they feel their blade bite in, and their fancy silk robe is like heavy armor soaking X of the hit leaving Y dealt.

For we can assume that characters would have some basic idea of equipment, they may not know all the extravagant details but considering player characters are the 1% they get to know a bit more cuz well this would be stuff most of them would be shopping for in the first place, and we could likely assume.

This game does not have item slots, so that is in general a non factor. Instead it is same things do not stack kind of rule.

Considering the changes that are being proposed to the system we should even probably move away from using 'mundane armor' and magical shielding - as it may be come misleading. Armor can just be armor, it is passive damage absorption, while magical shielding is activated shielding. The other thing is as well is more 'traditional' armor tends to be unappealing to casters which means players end up gimping themselves for the sake of an appearance. I would like to open up non traditionally thought of armors. After all in the case of Vaxia we do have the flavor of runes and sigils, which we can state are recognizable (again, PCs the 1%, go on adventures, would run into the odd ball shit more often then anyone else, may not now all the details, but the basics to know to prepare.)

So it isn't technically 'enchanted' but marked with something that basically makes it act like all other damage absorption type armor. It wouldn't be fair to charge more for having such an item, so it would still follow the same basic armor and shield rules - and such items won't be able to stack with other armor types - IE special magic bracers of protection provide a +5 AV and 2OP, and the character gets a suit of armor that protects for +4 AV/2OP - that character would only be able to use one of those (the highest of the two of course wins) - so we dont' have to worry about stacking getting out of hand. And people don't' have to pay crazy amount of money for a whenever I wanna use shield.

It would also in general level the field of defense between all types of character themes (as mention players gimp themselves all for the sake of appearance).

Then if a player wanted something that concealed what type of armor they had on their character, they could either roll, or pay extra for that feature.

Madius
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7 months 3 days ago
On the same page

@Kesh: This is kind of what I was thinking made sense, except I couldn't figure out exactly where "within reason" started and ended for different armor/shield types.

@Zxe: This makes sense - being able to guesstimate someone's AV from looking at them is technically the exploit and only works if appearance guarantees a certain minimal Armor Value. Letting any appearance match any AV means that determining how beefy an NPC or PC's defenses are requires a roll, like it always should have. That might actually balance things instead of the other way around.

If a character's armor is a magic tattoo, it's no more hidden from a numbers perspective than full plate - it would be the same diff to determine how much AV either actually granted the wearer. Then if someone (like, say, Arora) specifically wanted armor that didn't look like armor, she could pay for the added boost to FIN or a skill with a Conceal aspect. I like it - that seems to track with our other pairings.

In that case, I'll go ahead and put in the armor/shield request for Lucrezia as-is, and if it seems way off-base, we can always tinker with it in the future :)

Thank you both!

Zxehenia
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1 day 8 hours ago
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Yep you hit the nail on the head (so if people don't want to read my pre falling asleep ramble just read Maddy's summary in the post above XD)