I remember a large thread discussion about layered equipment. Yes, Kavir was definitely involved. A link posted to that thread would be awesome as I would like to revisit it myself. A lot of good discussion. :biggrin:
1. Items with movable coverage can be tricky. If your helmet has a visor that can be raised or lowered, what happens if you raise it and then wear a mask which covers the same layer as the visor?
2. In theory you should be able to wear a dozen shirts on top of each other, but in practice this is going to look pretty silly. I prefer to give each item its own layer number.
3. In UK English, 'vest' and 'pants' are underwear. When I first started mudding, I thought Diku muds started you out in a set of subissue underwear, but the theme itself didn't seem too serious anyway so I just assumed it was supposed to be humourous. If your equipment is layered, it might look a bit more confusing though, unless you're running a superhero mud where the players expect to be able to wear their underwear on the outside.
4. When you hit someone in combat, and the blow fails to pass through their armour, you need to decide which piece of armour to mention in the combat message. If they're wearing a mithril chainmail vest under their cotten shirt, you probably don't want to mention the vest (it's hidden) - but equally it's going to look a bit strange to see a sword blow deflected by a cotton shirt.
5. Something I didn't really think about originally, but which in retrospect might have been nice, is damage conversion - allowing some layers to convert excess damage from one type to another. So if someone cuts you for 100 damage with their sword, your chainmail shirt might soak 50 points and convert the remaining 50 from cut into crush damage, which would then be better absorbed by the padded armour worn underneath.
6. Some items, such as rings, necklaces and belts, don't really fit very well into the layer system as they don't typically "cover" a location. You can always add more locations, but doing so will increase the complexity and micromanagement, so I prefer to keep the number of locations fairly small.
7. Some equipment may only provide partial coverage - for example bracers would cover the forearms but not the upper arms, but what if you only have an overall "arms" location? You'll need to decide exactly which parts can be covered, and how to deal with equipment that only covers part of a location. I chose to treat it as coverage for protection purposes, but not for visibility purposes (so you can still see the sleeves of a shirt worn under the bracers, for example, but the weapon always has to pass through the bracers first). It's the same issue with hands as well - a weapon might have a basket that protects one hand, but you may not want to treat each hand as a separate equipment location.
8. Some body parts tend to have more layers than others, making them better protected. This can cause balance problems with the combat system if you're not careful.
9. In my original system, you had to remove the outer layers before you could wear/remove things underneath. This idea was realistic, but also really annoying, so I discarded it.
10. Players will typically end up with a lot more equipment than they would have in a non-layered system, and if all of it can get magical bonuses then this will need to be factored in to the rest of the design.
11. If you have non-humanoid shapes, it'll probably have a big impact on which items people can wear. For example a centaur may only be able to wear barding below the waist, which will probably mean they get less benefit from layered armour than a human. This again will need to be factored in to the overall game design.
12. You should decide whether tattoos, scars, etc, will also be tied in with the layer system, or if they'll be handled separately.