In the days of THACO it actually made more sense ... but 3.0 and beyond, further made an "abstract combat system" even more ... diluted.
First thing that's "wrong" with DnD's Ac system it starts everyone an deverything at "base AC 10" > Why? it's a number added in automatically, to make the dice mechanic work is why.
Boost to this base AC is by Dex bonus alone. IF not "flat footed" by default. Otherwise, it's still 10.
Yes, monks gain a WIS bonus ... thats beside the point I'm making though.
It means, all creatures, all players are "created equal" ... offering very little "variety" in determining how hard it is to hit a character by default. Again, i ask ... "Why?" , how is this possible?
Have at low level, you ever attacked a "door" to bash it down in NWN? and you get a "miss" ? ... How can you Miss something so large and sitting absolutely still? You couldn't really, if you tried... but because it has an AC=10 by default, you ... can "miss" it if rolling low enough. O.o ... see what I mean, DnD's craptastic "system" has flaws in immersion and realistic expectation departments.
In DnD wearing armor makes it HARDER to hit your characters ... which is totally archaic and absolutely very UNREALSITIC over-all.
This was something we debated many times over in classic DnD and days of Thaco as well.
It simply did not make sense ...
Wearing Platemail + towershild would actually slow you down to the point, you'd be VERY easy to hit ... I know this for a FACT due to SCA participation and wearing an actual suit of armor before.
What Plate should do is PROTECT from damage , not make it easier to aviod blows.
In fact , almost anything worn, even clothing would offer better damage protection than bare skin. Not necessarily make you Harder to hit , but removing damage from weapons and such instead.
In real life ... there was a big huge reason why the Roman Empire outfitted it's troops in boiled hardened leather "armor" ... it wasn't because it made em less prone to getting hit ... it was light , mobility still akin to wearing normal clothing, wasn't too heavy ... and it PROTECTED vital areas from swords , daggers, even spear tips.
Again, I've jabbed at Leather armor in SCA meetings with an actual footman's spear , you do have to hit it just right, in order to "punch through it" , and it's way, way harder than you think it is.
An arrow or bolt, has an easier time of penetrating Leather , I don't know the physics behind it , but ballistic damage, and impact/cutting damage are two different things I do know.
Use of shields, ... again these add bulk, and wouldn't necessarily make you less prone to being hit. The FACT is in real life , your shield would be hit repeatedly and more often than not.
When going up against shield holding opponents in LARPS using boffer weapons, it takes a bit of ... practice, footwork, and maneuvering in battle to get a blow around a shield, but most "attacks" nail the shield , as the "defender" is purposely placing his body behind it, and moving it to in fact absorb what otherwise would be deadly blows.
Design of Armors also -could- be a huge factor in reallife ...
While the Authorian depiction of "Platemail" for nobility knights on horseback was an Western craze ... over in the far east, the Samuria had much lighter, woven Lamallar armor , in what we'd consider in DnD " full plate" as well. Though, there was very little if any "metal" in this armor , it was just as protective. The way it was constructed, offered also maximized mobility and movement to swing weapons ... where as the european counterpart, movement was clunky, slow, and relied on strength and endurance and restricted movements.
Anyways ... here in AR , we have some repairs, items and such "wear out" in use.
If you hadn't noticed ... you armor/shields have Hit Points as well ... ( we are supposed to be able to turn this off via BEtA here and the Rune stone, I don't think the option is working correctly ,atm. )
I don't mind this so much ... if we could fix the weapon shattering issue , lol ... , however ...
I don't like that my armors and shields are TAKING damage constantly, but aren't actually providing any "damage absorbtion" in return.
getting hit is one thing.
Proetction from hits is another entirely.
DnD , did something farther dumb, making all DR a "magical ability" ... as if magic is the only thing that offers "absorbtion" of physical damage.
DR also should stack much better ... if wearing DR armor, and using a DR shield ... the ratings should be doubled, not taking which ever is highest.
( if I understand it right.)
THIS is why when breaching level 15 , in NWN ... encounters start becoming unbalanced and OP'd ... at first , you don't "notice" much in your low levels because of the "system" ... but as you get up there, and devs and DMs have to compensate for party numbers, class stacking abilities, additional magical enhancing ju-ju ... it all starts to unravel into the absurd , because by default DnD's mechanics system starts off absurd to begin with.
Now all of this, is just food for thought.
I'm pointing out flaws in DnD design, for Oda and DM E to look at and say , Hrrrmmmm ...
ALL armors/shields in my opinion should protect against damage, especially if they can "take damage" in combat.
Need repairs ...
Loosing your AC , because you didn't maintain your armor , while it's not actually absorbing any damage , just getting damaged ... isn't right in my eyes.
Not just a "magical property" to do so , but any magical enhancement say like +1 , that +1 should be an EXTRA point of Dr both physical and meta-physical ( magically) , and + any magical DR extra included.
MAGICAL armors, should protect further from "magical damages" . The physical, and Meta Physical are two different things ... but DnD just uses a "catch all" of damage is damage ...
It is possible to script such changes into armors and shields. I've seen it done before ... but such would also need a re-work of the module encounters from the ground up ...
BECAUSE, what's good for the goose, is also good for the gander ... That which "protects" player characters, also protects NPC, bad guys, villians , monsters...ect.
But ALOT of the OP-SYNDROME could be taken out of current high-end encounters, because the Armor system is "fixed" in many ways ... It dynamically changes "combat". It ALSO dynamically changes STRATEGY of combats. ( Bigger food for thought there.)
From start to finish ..., not a " it's "ok" at low levels, then jumps to absurd at higher levels to over compensate".
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