Weapon and Armor Degradation

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Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby Neith » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:47 pm

I'm wanting to add armor and weapon durability for a couple of reasons. I want them to spend more coin, and add a bit more realism or resource management (give them more things to think about and do). I'd like them to either learn/use their crafting skills to mend their equipment, or spend the money to buy new or get stuff fixed. They can even have use of the armor drops from enemies.

Here's what I came up with so far (borrowing a bit from Tiger's Heart's "Esoterica from Thedas"):

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Each piece of armor and weapon has a certain Durability Rating which is affected by overuse or damage.

All basic armor has a Durability Rating of 2 times its Armor Rating plus 50. (Cloth has DR of 30.) Shields use their Shield Bonus in place of AR.

All basic weapons have a Durability Rating of their maximum possible damage plus 100.

Each time the armor-wearer takes damage, the attack roll’s Dragon Die value is subtracted from the armor’s Durability Rating. Armor with DR of 1 or less automatically has Armor Rating 0.

Each time a weapon is used, the attack roll’s Dragon Die value is subtracted from the weapon’s Durability Rating. A weapon with DR of 1 can’t be used (or may only be used as an Improvised Weapon).

Weapons and armor with DR of at least 1 may be mended, whereas items with DR of 0 are considered broken and beyond repair.
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Any ideas? Is it too much? Too little? Should this kind of stuff just be left out of an AGE game?
Last edited by Neith on Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby vonpenguin » Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:17 pm

I think adding materials with differing durability would be useful there. Just a thought.
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby Vaelorn » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:11 pm

Seems like a lot of bookkeeping. How about:

- if you miss an attack and roll doubles (or triples) the weapon breaks
- if you get hit by an attack that does more than triple the AR of the armour (e.g. more than 30 points for plate) then the armour is broken.

Or something along those lines...
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby Neith » Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:22 pm

No, we have systems in place for weapon breaking (specifically, rolling trip 5's...the other numbers do something on triples w/ failures, in addition to Failure Stunts).

I don't want a ton of bookkeeping, but it would seem that in order to keep durability tabs on each individual item, bookkeeping is needed.

I'm also becoming a big fan of using "props" to help with these bookkeeping methods. For example, I'm introducing the idea of using cards to represent items, loot, etc. (I have a whole pack of blank playing cards for them to write on). Stick all those in a card box, and you've got your "items in your backpack" to dig through. They can also use things like glass beads in a felt bag to keep track of ammo (just take one out each time) -- or for money. This kind of thing provides more hands-on feel to the game than erasing and writing on paper. They can physically feel how much coin or ammo they have...it's not just a number.

I suppose I could do the something similar for armor/weapon degradation...I don't know...remove pins or tabs from a prop.
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby Loswaith » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:33 pm

That could work, though keep in mind there is technically no dragon die for damage rolls and assuming you replace one die to the damage roll in some cases big weapons having a low dragon die though doing high dmaage still can seem a bit odd. Though with armour you could simply use any damage it actually absorbs as the durability reduction too.

With those numbers you may find the tracking of damage to weapons, armour, health and mana fairly cumbersome to do every round, as it makes for allot of additional tracking. Especially for enemies, though that can be abstracted a bit too. Unfortunatly I have yet to come up with a good idea to mitigate that aspect myself while playing around with some kind of durability, short of making damage per combat encounter, but then armour and weapons dont have the posibility of breaking in the middle of battle (unless other factors apply).

If you do plan to use the markers, I'd likely go the reverse with them, basically add the markers as damage is sustained to the items (players likely want their equipment fully health most of the time), rather than having the pool and reducing it, as the added markers can be a reminder that an item is actually damaged, while having less clutter as well.

As to the effects of the wear and tear I'd add penalities on top of that based on the durability it has left (assuming you want the added complexity), something like for weapons 100%-75% of durability no penality, 75%-50% say -1 to attack and damage, 50-25% -2 to attacks and damage, while 25% or less is half damage, while at 0 the weapon is broken and essentially becomes an improvised weapon (just an example of what I mean, the numbers/percentages would likely need better tweaking).

As for armour wear and tear, degrading its armour rating as it takes damage is likely a good way to go too.
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby Neith » Fri Oct 12, 2012 7:51 pm

Yeah, I meant it to be "attack roll's Dragon Die"....fixed :P
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby shonuff » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:23 pm

As said above, you should probably factor the different materials into what you're doing. A steel sword would have a different durability than an iron one. Also, you might want to consider a different durability for master-crafted or magic items.

Personally, I'd be wary about any type of degradation system. The last thing you want (well, maybe) is a party stopping and heading back to town mid-quest for a refit/repair because their rare magic weapons might break.

Also, IMO, you would want to give the gear enough HP to last (and to differentiate between material/quality); however too much HP would create a complication.
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby Bardwulf » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:48 pm

I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, this being DA. As such, I just said they need to repair every other adventure, otherwise it will degrade by one incremental number, be it damage or armour. If they do a "dungeon" then it's repair straight away afterwards.

repair costs are half the armour prevention number in silver. For weapons you do a normal unmodified damage roll and use that.

I like simple for this game.
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby Etarnon » Sat Oct 13, 2012 12:18 am

For a sword break,
I'd rather this be a dice mechanic such as double 1's on the non dragon dice, and something like 1 or 2 if not masterwork, 1 if masterwork.
This gives it about a 1 in 100 chance if it's non masterwork, and 1 in 200 chance if masterwork.

and that's not any sense of realism just a relatively easy mechanic.

For damage to armor, a hit by enemy with dragon die 6 that does damage exceeding the armor rating drops the rating by a point. I'll need to test these out.
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Re: Weapon and Armor Degradation

Postby Vaelorn » Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:43 am

Well if you're willing to do the bookkeeping then you can have any system you like!

Maybe have a status for each item, e.g.

broken: can't be used
severe damage: weapons are at -2 to hit and damage, armour rating reduced by 2
light damage: weapons are at -1 to hit and damage, armour rating reduced by 1

Players could just write an 'x' next to the item when its status changes. Then you just need a mechanic to work out how the status changes. This could be based on damage done to or by the item. Perhaps armour can only be damaged if the character takes penetrating damage, i.e. the attack has literally torn a hole in it?
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