So im thinking of doing some house rules that modify armor.

So im thinking of doing some house rules that modify armor.

So im thinking of doing some house rules that modify armor. I understand many of you will not like the idea, but id like to keep personal feelings out and stay tuned particularly to the ease and difficulties this could lead to.

Armor is currently a Damage Reduction (Net Damage = Damage – Armor)

D&D style games use armor as a way to make Hitting more difficult. Negating damage entirely.

My proposal is to apply armor as an additional health pool. Depleating armor before health (unless piercing is involved).

I would require that armor be repaired when needed.

I understand this includes more bookkeeping in some aspects, but can take away allot of math during play aswell.


30 thoughts on “So im thinking of doing some house rules that modify armor.”

  1. When it hits zero, the armor cant provide t the wearer with proper protection and any damage is deducted straight from the wearers health.

    The armor is in need of major repair

  2. Hmm. Interesting. As far as hacks to damage/HP/armor go, it’s pretty lightweight. The ripples wouldn’t be too bad.

    What’s the design goal? What are you trying to add to the game, or take away from the game, by introducing this?

    How exactly would you treat piercing? X piercing = X damage bypasses armor on each attack? Or would piercing do extra damage to armor (but not to the target’s HP)?

    How would you handle shields? Just like normal armor? (They feel different to me somehow. But then again, that’s true of how they work in bog-standard DW armor. And I love the idea of shields shattering when they run out of “points”.)

    What would be the trigger/requirement for repairing armor?

    What are you thinking about for the conversion between “1 Armor” and “Armor Points”?

  3. I think if you do that, armor should still have a damage reduction effect while your breaking through. Part of the reason most armors are so effective is because they are designed to negate damage on top of being able to withstand an otherwise deadly blow.

  4. I know you mentioned armor like HP… but you could also go with armor like ablative uses. Each “use” reduces all damage to zero, Items can be repaired as long as they still have any uses remaining… if they hit zero they’ve fallen apart completely, you will just straight up need to replace them.

    Not the same thing, but a different take on a similar concept. Piercing might be exactly the same, just deal the piercing damage even if you spend the use… or it could do additional uses…

  5. Look at the way armor is done in The Black Hack. Repairing is a way of life for Fighters, etc. Personally I like doing stuff like you use your HD for the amount of damage you can repair, and you can’t do anything else, etc. But this is pretty non-DW, really.

  6. My goal is two prong.

    First, i want to give more “Life” to the equipment. Starting with armor and possibly expanding to weapons (although it’s not necessary at this point).

    Its been suggested by many of my players to introduce equipment “durability”. This sounds cool, but adds another layer of book keeping. By including the items durability into its function, i can combine two numbers into one.

    Secondly, and more importantly for me, it allows those characters, and monsters, with low damage rolls and no piercing to do damage rather than it be completely nullified, similar to what happens in D&D.

    As for piercing, it would deal its damage directly to the characters Health and not to the armor.

    (5 damage, 2 piercing) yields 3 damage to the armor and 2 to its wearers Health.

    In addition, tags can be introduced like Destructive or +5 Armor Damage. I realise these tags can use some work.

    And about the conversion from +armor to Durability. I dont have one yet. Lets think and text….

    If we allow for four strikes to a character, on average, before that character falls, without any interruption. How many strikes, on average, should a piece of armor add to that?

    Light adds one?

    Medium adds two?

    Heavy adds two and a half?

    So whats the average damage… 1d8+1? = 5

    So each armor would equate to ~5 durability. That sound good?

    Shields, they could have their own durability that you could use as a move perhaps.

    When you activity use your shield to defend yourself roll +CON.


    > Your shield absorbs the attack and the damage.

    10+ you also can

    > Place enough force behind the shield to manover the attacker into an advantageous position.

  7. To answer your question Jeremy regarding when to repair equipment.

    I would require a Blacksmith in a town or village. Perhaps a Compendium Class or an equipment based Class entirely

    A “Cleric” of armor lol

  8. Using Yoshi Creelman​​​​ suggestion and blending it with RAW. This adds another book keeping number….but may be a suitable blend.

    Light Armor(2 Armor, 2 Durability)

    Durability is reduced by 1 when damage is recieved. The equipment becomes useless when durability reaches zero.

    Note Durability is another resource that the DM can use up.


    I would rather not go this route if i can help it.

  9. Maybe I wasn’t clear. My suggestion was not in ADDITION to yours, but rather to convert armor from reducing damage to straight ablative. Yes, it is something you would track, but more like ammo. So you have

    Light Armor (2 weight, 2 Armor Uses)

    Each use completely negates damage. You get hit you use it, you take no damage now it looks like:

    Light Armor (2 weight, 1/2 Armor Uses).

    This would make armor something more disposable, and something you could fix. It would make finding a new piece of armor on an enemy mid-dungeon potentially really useful.

    I have no idea what the balance would be, but my gut instinct would be for it to still be low. You probably shouldn’t be using the ablative aspects all the time, so it’s a decision if you want to spend that resource or not. If you have 10 uses, but only really only take damage 5 or 6 times in a session… that doesn’t really work. You would want them to look at the damage and go, “nah I can take the hit, I’ll save this for a big hit”. Also you need to keep them from just going, “I’ve got stupid crazy amounts of armor I can do some dumb shit and get away with it cause I’ll never take damage.”

    I’m not exactly advocating for replacing armor, but IF I were to replace armor with something else, I’d do it this way… seems more inline with the other DW things (like ammo).

  10. Why not make it like the Sentry skill from the Protector hireling? It would be like each time the armor is damaged it reduces by 1 until it reaches 0, thus broken and in need of mending. So, plate would reduce damage taken by 3, then be reduced to 2; next hit is reduces damage by 2, then drops to 1, etc. A shield would be the first thing to go I guess.

    A system where the armor depletes in some fashion seems like a great opportunity to hand the Fighter a new move, perhaps as a starting move, for repairing damage.

    Something like:

    “When you spend some time tending to a battered piece of armor, if it is only an hour or so it regains 1 armor. If it is a few hours it regains all missing armor. Either way, mark a use of adventuring gear, unless you have similar armor on hand to cannibalize, or an armorer’s kit.”

    The idea is they would do it while Making Camp. The armorer’s kit would be a new item, weight 1 maybe.

  11. I think I would prefer something of a middle ground. Keep armor as damage reduction but make a 12+ on Hack and Slash reduce adversary armor by (1+nPiercing). To affect the players, make a 2- for Defense or Defy Danger result in the same loss of armor to the character. Could even be the trade-off for success on a 7-9.

  12. I bet someone said this already. Wouldn’t using armor as health be too costy? I mean how much armor can a pc wear? 5-15hp? One hit from a dragon may deplete it entirely in one hit and changing it mid fight can be pretty nasty.

  13. Subway Steward Protectron I think he already said he wasn’t sure what conversion factor he’d use, but if he doesn’t use the suggestion I had to make armor only damageable on 12+ (2- for enemies the PC defends or defies) then I think it would be reasonable to multiply Armor by Weight to get HP… It’d need to be worked out in game methinks.

  14. Subway Steward Protectron​​​

    Yes a dragon would deplete the armor in one swoop, but how much does armor protect you and Reduce if you allow for an average of 4 hits before a character is dead? 1 armor over four hits is only a reduction of 4. So whether its all in one hit or over those four attacks, the mechanical number is the same.

    Im not saying this is the right conversion, but its a solid base line in think

  15. Yoshi Creelman I came here interested in the original concept and saw your comment for uses, with sort of a durability = to the armor value to negate incoming damage. Mark use. This idea is GREAT. I love it. I will be implementing this after my illuminati campaign, since they are half way through.

    It amaze’s me even now how you can be such a good player, GM, and come up with things like these. if your not running a game already, you need to. It’d be a blessing to the community.

  16. Just noticed a big flaw in Yoshi Creelman’s idea, which is that it essentially makes Armor Mastery an option for everyone and gimps fighters who would otherwise choose that build.

  17. Been toying with the idea of keeping armour as damage reduction, but having it “damage me” by using a usage die mechanic.

    I.e. each time your armour reduces the damage you take, roll its Usage die. If you roll a 1 or 2 (or 3?) your armour’s usage die is reduced to the next lowest die size. Rolling a 1 or 2 (or 3?) on a d4 usage die means your armour is now broken and useless.

    This means you can have different types of armour e.g. perhaps leather armour is “Armour1, Usage d8” but chain mail is “Armour1, Usage d12” meaning it’s more durable.

    Spending time to fix armour re-increases its usage die size.

    Shields are used in parallel and they have their own usage dice. I.e. if both your armour and your shield reduce the damage taken from a hit, roll Usage for both.

    Bucklers are “Armour0” shields, but allow you to roll Usage for the buckler instead of your armour.

    BTW this would work for DW or D&D. Fairly difficult to explain but pretty easy to remember once you understand it I hope. However I don’t know how easy to use in practice – players need to keep track of current die size and remember to roll every time they take damage.

  18. Josh C I do not agree, I think since we already change how the armor works, we would slightly alter the class ability. Maybe add X number of uses to the armor based what kind of armor the fighter is wearing. This would essentially be similar to Bloody Aegis, just not as excessive.

  19. Well, I was talking about rules as written anyway. But if you did I think the fighter build would be worthless if the fighter didn’t get to skip reducing armor every other time at minimum.

  20. RidersOfRohan aww thanks [blushes]. I’ve played and run mostly face to face games of DW. I have done some online in the past. I just played in an impromptu online game this morning.

    Maybe I’ll do another online DW thing sometime soon… just got to find the time, so many games so little time.

    Josh C, while I agree I have not fully thought out the whole replacing armor idea and what it would take and what it would change. Looking at the Armor Mastery move for the fighter, that move would need to change . Really any move that relates to armor would need to change. Any static +1 armor doesn’t make sense, like the Barbarian’s “Unencumbered, Unharmed” move doesn’t make sense as written. Does that static +1 armor just mean they get a 1 user per session? Maybe? I’m not sure. My comment was more, “If you accept you want to change armor, and you have these design goals, this is how I would do start. More would still need to be worked out and changed, but this is what still ‘feels’ like DW, but meets your new goals”.

  21. Yoshi Creelman Fair enough. It’s something I only noticed while searching for some sort of cleave type move anyway because of another thread. I’m still (probably somewhat egotistically) stuck on “let armor be reduced, but only under the circumstances of a really good (or really bad) roll or as a consequence for a compromise, such as 7-9”.

  22. Ok, so here is my take. Doing ablative armor and the like slows the game. You could add it in an effect where they specifically get a 6 or less and take damage as an easy fix. Give them a choice: Take damage to the Armor, reducing effecive level (which can be repaired) OR ignore the armor and take the HP (They missed the armor and didn’t damage it).

    Over all it’s going to slow the game and add more to book keeping and add more frustration to the players. That is a given. What matters here is making it worth it, story-wise. Balancing that loss of time and additional book keeping.

    Now here is a system that may work:

    Armor Points- Each time a blow would do more than the Armor can absorb, reduce that armor by one. At 0 Armor Points the Armor can’t even be work, effectively.

    1. Magic Armor could be self repairing.

    2. Maintenance of Armor while on the road could repair some of it.

    3. You can get into the grainyness of different armors being immune to some types of blows, encouraging variety in Armor.

    4. Shield doesn’t directly hit up an addition to the Armor Points. It is used to Absorb a blow like listed above, it’s a style. AND you can use it to prevent the ablation effect of the armor (instead you roll for ablation of it) BUT affects a Defend better in an automatic nature, like say “Redirct Damage to yourself” and using a Shield automatically reduces the blow to you.

    5. Piercing would be more effective as you say but only to certian types of armor (like chain), Plate would be suspetible to Blunt+Powerful blows. Armor Piercing would simply go through the armor, no ablating no prevention.

    This adds mechanics to what you could simply rule as a part of Moves and the Fiction of the game but it codifies it more. This opens up more descriptions and styles and types of armor. Along with materials of armor. Encourage them to give YOU specifics on materials.

    I think it could work BUT you would need to add a section next to damage for Armor Points on the sheet and do a little inventing.

    This could add more culturally appropriate stuff to the world but it WILL slow it down and unless there are positives it is something that WILL frustrate your players.

  23. I’m personally a fan of armor as is, with it being an option for the GM to damage or strip away in the right circumstances. I feel like making it ablative would kill Armor Mastery in its usefulness to the fighter unless you made the major overhaul to armor as many have suggested, but if that is what you are wanting then go for it. You could make the Barbarian’s +1 while not wearing armor only happen when he is at full health and have it be unusable until after you next make camp. But this would make the full plate and packing steel option seem better in the long run. You could just give the Barbarian +1 to Defy Danger while not wearing armor, but they already get On the Move as an advanced move choice. It seems like a lot of work to me, but if you can figure it out I’m sure you can make it awesome!

  24. I’m coming round to that point of view. What would be a trigger for GM move to strip/damage armour?

    I guess I’m looking to set some kind of expectation with the players. Eg perhaps when they are about to take X points of damage then I can offer the hard choice to totally negate that at the cost of reducing their armour effectiveness by a point?

  25. To be fair, there already is a hard move, “take something from them”. This could be just take their armor. Don’t deal damage, just take it away, break it or have them loose it in fiction. You could also do the softer, “tell them the consequences and ask” cut the straps (or keep them frozen, sinking in water, etc) so they can either stay in it and be immobile or at a disadvantage or leave the armor behind.

Comments are closed.