So heres a problem I’ve been trying to solve for a while.

So heres a problem I’ve been trying to solve for a while.

So heres a problem I’ve been trying to solve for a while. I really don’t like the move “Armored” which allows players to ignore the clumsy tag on armor. I feel that it almost removes the encumbering problems of armor entirely in a very bin fictionalized manner. Now I know there are ways to make use of armor difficult but I want it to be natural and work with the game and not feel like Im working against the player or system. All thoughts, help and advice are welcome thanks.

9 thoughts on “So heres a problem I’ve been trying to solve for a while.”

  1. Don’t forget about Load, it can take care of allot.

    If you think what armored is doing, its just giving you a +1 really. It doesn’t break the game, but adds fiction and depth to what would have been a pretty boring move.

  2. I think this is one of the many issues that can be resolved by turning to the GM Principles:

    Be A Fan Of The Characters and Embrace The Fantastic.

    Armour is heavy and clunky, but when The Fighter wears it its like a second skin, how badass is that! This is something which makes The Fighter special, show that off: have soldiers in heavy plate struggle to move as The Fighter dances between them like a furious gust of wind.

    Also, just because the Fighter is trained in the use of heavy plate, doesn’t mean that he is no longer wearing plates of heavy metal. He might still be too big to fit through a crevasse or too heavy to tread on a delicate floor. It just means that when The Fighter has to move, his armour isn’t in the way.

    Also, not all armour is the same. If you’re in jousting gear you might not move, but even plate is damn manoeuvrable:

    Hope I helped 🙂

  3. Elliott Ambrosetti – excellent response!

    When players choose their Playbook, give them the full benefit of the moves associated with it. If The Fighter and The Paladin have Armored and are wearing clumsy Armor, then ask the players how it works out. What does their training look like? Why is it easy for them to move about while others would trip and fall?

    Then use those answers to make the story even better.

    If i’m The Fighter, and i am going for a bit of “realism” i might respond that i’ve practiced so much in heavy armor that i just naturally know what movements are possible, and which aren’t. If i want to turn to face an opponent, instead of trying to twist and turn, i simply step back with my leg to turn my whole body at once.

    Basically, i don’t suffer the clumsy tag because i limit my motions to those that are easily accomplished even in clumsy armor, whereas untrained people will try to do things that the armor doesn’t allow.

    A GM can then take this and use it against me. I’ll find myself fighting an unarmored person who grabs me and wants to start grappling, because we’ve already established that i can’t twist and turn. While the grappler is climbing around me, looking to stick that dagger through my joints, i’m going to need to find a way to crush them against things or roll through hot coals or something similar.

    For other players, it may be that they simply know how to modify and wear their armor so that it allows lots of mobility while still offering great protection. This is less “realistic” in a lot of ways; but it’s a fantasy game. If that is how a player wants to interpret it, i as GM will understand that they don’t choose to be challenged on limitations related to their armor. And that’s perfectly fine. I’ll challenge them in other ways!

  4. In the Miles Cameron book, The Red Knight (or maybe the second one), there’s this great scene where a knight leads a charge against the forces of The Wild.  He moves like the armor isn’t even a factor – running across the tops of stones in a river, scaling the bank in record time, dodging blows from trolls, etc.  The other knights (men who spend almost all their time in armor) are awestruck by this warrior’s unparalleled skill and strength.  And are equally horrified when he gets struck down after performing several remarkable feats in the course of a brief and bloody conflict.

    The Fighter PC isn’t just any fighter.  He’s THE Fighter.  We aren’t talking about a run-of-the-mill warrior, we are talking about that one spectacularly gifted being who was born to fight, instinctively moves in armor like it’s his skin, and inspires that kind of awe in his fellow warriors. 

  5. Gerard Snow I see where you’re coming from, but for Dungeon World, I’d stick to what everyone above has said (especially Elliott Ambrosetti).

    If you’re thinking about a more thorough, deeper-level hack, you might try something like this:

    Two big observations about modelling encumbrance in a game:

    1) Armor, even heavy armor, isn’t intrinsically encumbering. No more so (and often less so) than backpacks, satchels, belt pouches, and other crap we often imagine our PCs to be carrying around. If you’re thinking about “realism,” you’ve got to take all the other gear into account, too.

    2) You should design around the default state of play. If your game assumes that PCs are adventurers, away from civilization and exploring dungeons or wilderness, then you’ve got to assume that they’re carrying some gear around with them. The default rules should reflect that, and assume it, and not penalize them for it. If you want, give a bonus for going unencumbered. But make your moves with the assumption that everyone’s got a pack, some gear, a couple weapons, and probably some armor.

    If your assumption is that PCs are usually in civilized areas, or at sea, or otherwise not far from “home” or sources of food/water/shelter, and that they only don armor for battles or when they’re expecting trouble, then you should make encumbrance rules than penalize folks for carrying around much more than a sword and a foppish hat.

    But ask yourself which type of game you’re expecting, and what’s “normal,” and make rules (bonuses or penalties) for the exceptional circumstances.

  6. Having worn chainmail in the SCA I’m completely happy with a move like that for experienced users. As you move around in armour your center of balance is not where you expect it to be and when you stop moving chainmail especially keeps moving leading to sudden changes in your balance. An experienced user would compensate for these issues. Also likely they would have made adjustments to their armour so everything fitted properly and it didn’t behave in unexpected ways.

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