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Armour and Shields: Reworked

Armour and Shields: Reworked

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Maybe you're like me, even in a world of fantasy, you like a little accuracy to your fiction.

I've tried to address two things that bug me about 5e. Armour and shields are inaccurately represented. Padded or cloth armour, for example, is low ranked when in history is one of the most effective and widely used armour types... it was even fashionable to wear it!

I also thought it was weird that you couldn't wear padded armour under your chainmail (maille). Well, I've created a layering system. 

There is also a new set of advantages and disadvantages to go along with special features. Armour related feats have been altered to keep balance and flavour.

Shields now have varying types and more than just the +2 thats irritated many. 

NOTE: Using these systems will vastly increase difficulty in dispatching you or armoured NPCs, making armour more important and the stratagies in counteracting it (flanking, weapon damage type) essential.

NOTE THE SECOND: There is room to make adjustments to these systems should it be deemed overpowered. Obviously that's up to your own group and ultimately your DM/GM. Comments and suggestions are welcome, keeping in mind my intention is to make armour more effective and I've done a fair amount of research to that aim.

THRICE NOTED: I put a lot of work into this and some support would be nice but I understand times can be tough and D&D can mean a lot to people. If what I've created is worth it, consider helping out. Thanks!

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Reviews (2)
Discussions (3)
Customer avatar
John M March 20, 2019 8:41 am UTC
This house ruleset is the best out there! I had tried back in the past with something similar to old to-hit vs AC or resistance to specific damage types but both failed to be an add-on and there where more of an overhaul.

But this is great. Damage reductions overall aren't so huge, which is good and easy to remember. You just follow the + practically and pay attention not to make combinations that did not exist (but if anyone is familiar with history you won't)!

The Heavy Armor Master feat now becomes truly a good choice for any juggernaut fighter. And the system keeps more or less the vanilla AC of the core rule-set added with the flavor of damage reduction. So monsters AC etc wearing armor don't change a lot. Practically breaking down their armor, gives the same AC.

Overall I find your work as a MUST for any low-fantasy house 5e setting! Watiing for your weapons edition!
Customer avatar
Jonathan W February 06, 2018 5:01 pm UTC
I do find it interesting that you are really focused on separating out the layers, but not so much the areas of coverage, eg. the Breastplate.

I think you could do a bit more to bring it in line with 5e, light/medium/heavy even if you fudge it so that's just how the proficiency work out. As you point out the Gambeson should really be under the light tier for proficiency issues or even it's own tier. The organization for effectiveness is a good idea, but doesn't really lead to making things easier in game.
Customer avatar
February 19, 2018 5:09 am UTC
Yeah, I didn't make this to be easier. I made it more complex to suit my flavour needs while (hopefully) designing it to be "dialed back" by DMs while keeping the spirit of the system in place for others who feel the armour system needed... something, to make it feel more complete along with the rest of the content of 5e.

Thanks for your input, I plan to take all of this into consideration for the next thing I work on... whatever it is. :p
Customer avatar
March 04, 2018 12:12 am UTC
Also, in regards to layers: The assumption I made is that if one "layer" is worn, it is as a suit and filled in with appropriate supplementary pieces. Just as adding multiple layers are seen as "main pieces" with the rest of armour assumed to be part of a set.
Customer avatar
Gage R February 02, 2018 1:21 am UTC
A few suggestions:

1. Breastplate is missing from the chart.

2. Could use some clarification as to whether some of the old rules still apply (Dex penalties not applying while wearing heavy armor)

3. Which of the listed armors would scale fall under?
Customer avatar
Gage R February 02, 2018 1:40 am UTC
One last thing: There seems to be no reason to label armor using tiers, wouldn't it be better to just go back to using the light/medium/heavy descriptors

For example: Some homebrew classes and archetypes grant bonuses when wearing light or no armor. So is Gambeson a heavy, medium, or light armor?
Customer avatar
February 04, 2018 4:28 am UTC
Thanks for the questions! Let's see if I can address most of your concerns:

1.breastplates aren't really their own thing here, lamellar and brigadine are armour sets often filled out with scale/splint pieces with the bulk of the protection provided from the chest piece (essentially a breastplate).
2. Old rules apply if not addressed by my system. (full plate still grants +1 AC from dex, max)
3. lamellar is basically scale armour, often made of laced tiles, overlapping scales and other similar construction methods using metal, thick hardened hide/rawhide (samurai armour) and things like that

The tiers are meant to denote overall effectiveness of the armour based on historical use.
EDIT: the tiers still match light, medium, heavy with "high" and "highest" sharing the heavy proficiency.

The gambeson has been shown (based on quality of fabric, number of layers, etc) to be able to stop a long bow arrow... long bow! lol ... so while it is...See more
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File Last Updated:
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This title was added to our catalog on February 01, 2018.