23 Nov, 2010, Greggles wrote in the 1st comment:
Right now what we want is for armor class to actually provide armor. We've had a few ideas kicked around like using it as a way of reducing damage to a certain capacity, however we have no idea where to begin with that. I like the idea of keeping the standard "negative means better" AC, I grew up with it that way and I like it like that. My thought was to basically reduce extra damage created via damroll. So you would still feel the blow of the attack as it hit your armor but it wouldn't just gut you like your platemail was made out of napkins, however it could only reduce the extra damage to a point, if your attacker's damroll is 500 and your armor class is -300, they would effectively be attacking with a 200 damroll. But what do we do about hitroll? Traditionally hitroll is whats added to your attack to beat out armor class, should it still be used to determine how often you hit? Looking for feedback
23 Nov, 2010, plamzi wrote in the 2nd comment:
If you'd rather differentiate between missed hits and hits completely absorbed by the armor, then you could take AC out of the chance-to-land-a-hit formula, and even add a penalty for extra heavy armor. Then, after the fact of the hit, you can eval hitroll vs. AC to determine absorption rates. This makes logical sense (doesn't mean you want logical sense) because heavy armor makes one an easier target, but then it makes them less likely to take damage. On the other hand, high hitroll should mean greater accuracy, so once a hit has landed, there's a better chance it will slip through an armor crack.
23 Nov, 2010, Greggles wrote in the 3rd comment:
I do like that idea, and could maybe break down the different AC types for each damage type (pierce, slash, bash, magic) and I was planning on working with eq weight, the heavier you are the less likely you will be at being super agile.
23 Nov, 2010, Exodus wrote in the 4th comment:
Perhaps I'm playing devil's advocate here, but I've always found systems where hitroll/damroll directly affect armor class problematic. Namely, what happens when I have 200 damroll and my opponent has 201 armor class? Essentially I could never physically damage him. What if he had a higher AC than my hitroll? I could never even land a hit.

I think you're right in limiting the effect to a certain point, but how to limit it and how much. I think that even a low level character fighting a high level character could get lucky and hit them and even do some damage (however pathetic); so maybe luck could factor into it somehow. That aside, I don't think hitroll should be a determination of how often you hit (leave that to number of attacks if your mud uses them), but rather your ability to hit.

To make any kind of sense of this, a character would need opposing stats, say, hitroll/AC and damroll/defense as follows:

Hitroll: Ability to hit
Armor Class: Ability to dodge or block attacks
Damroll: Ability to deal damage and how much to deal
Defense: Ability to take damage and reduce it appropriately

With that in mind, you could probably consolidate those to some degree by having armor class represent both the ability to dodge attacks and how much damage you can absorb. You could even take it a step further and add in some functionality that allows for damage bonuses based on how much higher your hitroll was versus a particular armor class. Something like rolling X over the minimum AC means a harder, more precise hit and thus a bonus to damage. On the other side, rolling X under the minimum AC could mean that you hit, but they managed to block or deflect the attack; you might even miss entirely if you roll too low.

All in all, this is a complicated subject and my only real suggestion is to make whatever solution you come up with scalable and function with purpose rather than randomness.

Edit: I wrote up a little something on a previous discussion of the whole hitroll/damage thing. Check this out:

Hit a guy once
24 Nov, 2010, jurdendurden wrote in the 5th comment:
An alternative could also be to use AC as the OP suggested before, curving the amount of damage able to be absorbed via AC at some point, so that you never run into the problem with doing negative or no physical damage.

You could then use dexterity, size, skills (improved accuracy for example), and perhaps class to determine a player's "hitroll" vs. their opponent's ability to dodge based on similar stats.
24 Nov, 2010, quixadhal wrote in the 6th comment:
If you want to wander down the realism path, armor has nothing to do with hit avoidance. Armor does two things. It deflects glancing blows, and it absorbs direct blows. That's all.

Now, if you want to translate that into the typical D&D based game mechanics, there's plenty of ways to do it. Here's one. I swing a broadsword at you for 1d8 slashing damage. You're wearing chain mail. I make my to-hit roll (and optionally you fail your dodge roll), so the blade hits the chain mail.

Let's say, for the sake of numbers, that chain mail is rated for slashing damage at 30% deflection and 30% absorption. I roll damage and get a 6. 2 points go away, 2 points are absorbed by the chain mail, lowering its durability, and the player eats the other 2 points.

Had you been wearing plate mail, it might have been rated to deflect 50% slashing, and absorb 30%. So it would ignore a larger chunk of the damage (blades glance off solid metal more often), resulting in the player taking only 1 point of damage. Because plate is much heavier than chain, their dodge roll would have been at an even higher penalty.

I think the idea of a single "armor class" number is silly for a computer game. It was fudged that way in D&D because people didn't like having to roll a dozen dice for every attack. The computer doesn't mind rolling lots of dice.

So, to summarize:

To-Hit roll == chance a player has of landing a blow from their own skill + their weapon's quality - weight/bulk of their gear.
Damage roll == amount of damage the player does, based on the weapon + their melee stats + skills.
Defense roll == change a victim has to avoiding an attack, based on their skills + "magic" - weight/bulk of their gear.
Armor == adjustments to incoming damage, allowing it to be mitigated or transformed before hitting flesh.
24 Nov, 2010, Runter wrote in the 7th comment:
A false delimna was put on the table here. Its quite possible to interpolate the chance to hit (and miss) with the positive or negative percent differential. In fact, I've done this in the past and its an interesting mechanic.

I think the real two schools of thought here is that ac should mitigate and ac should avoid.
24 Nov, 2010, quixadhal wrote in the 8th comment:
I personally don't really like trying to sum up armor with a single "AC" number. To me, armor is protection you wear to take care of what you can't avoid. Nobody wearing plate mail is going to be avoiding dagger strikes by someone wearing cloth. Go to a museum and look at a suit of full plate mail. You are a tank without wheels or treads. Once you are moving in a direction, you are pretty well committed to following that move through.

So yeah, I'm pretty firmly in the mitigate camp. :)
24 Nov, 2010, jurdendurden wrote in the 9th comment:
I personally don't really like trying to sum up armor with a single "AC" number. To me, armor is protection you wear to take care of what you can't avoid. Nobody wearing plate mail is going to be avoiding dagger strikes by someone wearing cloth. Go to a museum and look at a suit of full plate mail. You are a tank without wheels or treads. Once you are moving in a direction, you are pretty well committed to following that move through.

So yeah, I'm pretty firmly in the mitigate camp. :)

While I agree that this holds true in real life to a tee, I don't think it's unreasonable to say that in a fantasy, high magic game that a hero with enormous strength might be able to float like a butterfly while in combat with a thief wearing leather.

Despite having said this, i'm using a system which leans heavily towards the mitigation camp. :)
24 Nov, 2010, KaVir wrote in the 10th comment:
Exodus said:
Perhaps I'm playing devil's advocate here, but I've always found systems where hitroll/damroll directly affect armor class problematic. Namely, what happens when I have 200 damroll and my opponent has 201 armor class? Essentially I could never physically damage him. What if he had a higher AC than my hitroll? I could never even land a hit.

You may well encounter something like that in a tabletop roleplaying game, where the calculations need to remain fairly simple - but in a mud you can just do it like this:

Percentage chance to hit: attack * 100 / (attack + defence)

So 200 attack vs 201 defence has a 49.9% chance of hitting. Then do the same again for damage vs resistance to see how hard you can hit them.

I didn't handle bypass vs armour quite the same way though, it's more of a linear comparison with percentiles for extreme differences (so one never completely negates the other, but even small differences can have a large impact).

I think the idea of a single "armor class" number is silly for a computer game. It was fudged that way in D&D because people didn't like having to roll a dozen dice for every attack.

It does seem to be very much a D&Dism though (they copied it from a set of Civil War Naval Rules). Most other roleplaying games I can think of treat armour as a reduction to damage, even those which have very simple rules - if Diku had modelled their mechanics on a different roleplaying system, perhaps the D&D-style approach to AC wouldn't be so prevalent in muds.

Interestingly, D&D3 seems to have shifted slightly towards damage mitigation well, with "damage reduction" (DR) that reduces damage. They also offer optional rules for converting AC to DR for worn armour, although it comes across as a bit of a hack job.

For the record, I'm at the far end of the mitigation camp; I believe armour should make you easier to hit. However I did rather like the Rolemaster approach (from a design perspective more than a playability perspective), where there were 20 armour types, and you had to cross-reference your attack roll with the armour type for your weapon table. Hitting someone in heavier armour made it more likely you'd inflict damage, but less likely you'd inflict a critical hit, so tanks tended to get worn down while the agile fighters would duck, jump, dodge and go "splat".
24 Nov, 2010, Lyanic wrote in the 11th comment:
KaVir said:
For the record, I'm at the far end of the mitigation camp; I believe armour should make you easier to hit.

I take a similar approach to KaVir. I treat armor as pure damage mitigation, but the more armor you wear, the more encumbered you are, thus making you more likely to get hit.
25 Nov, 2010, Ludwig wrote in the 12th comment:
I play a rogue-like game called ADOM (Ancient Domains of Mystery) that gives two ratings to armor in the form of [DV, PV]. The first rating is the DV (defensive value) that determined the likelihood of deflecting an attack, and the second rating is the PV (protection value) which is the traditional damage absorption value. All armor has also has a weight.

It's just one example of an armor system. You can read more about it here.
25 Nov, 2010, Ssolvarain wrote in the 13th comment:
Lyanic said:
KaVir said:
For the record, I'm at the far end of the mitigation camp; I believe armour should make you easier to hit.

I take a similar approach to KaVir. I treat armor as pure damage mitigation, but the more armor you wear, the more encumbered you are, thus making you more likely to get hit.

That really bothers me, though. I've typed and retyped this, and each angle of it bugs me! So I'm just going to say it in a list.

An armored person has a serious advantage over an unarmored person in most situations.
Different types of weapons were developed to overcome armor. Armor evolved with it, until the English longbow came about. (as a side note of interest, kevlar is completely useless against a piercing object)
I've never really seen a mud where dodge had precedence over armor. It makes much more sense to not get hit, if you're wearing medium or light armors, than to take a full-on blow. I'd see deflection being the ideal defense of a heavily-armored person. Armor was designed to deflect blows, as solid hits tended to break stuff.

Anyways, I'll get back to work :)
25 Nov, 2010, KaVir wrote in the 14th comment:
Ssolvarain said:
An armored person has a serious advantage over an unarmored person in most situations.

The problem with having a superior option in a mud is that everyone will use it (or else they'll be at a disadvantage) - I'd rather give armour pros and cons that make it an option rather than a requirement.

Besides, look what gunpowder did to armour - who knows what magic would do?
25 Nov, 2010, Runter wrote in the 15th comment:
I prefer giving individual pieces of armor pros and cons based not on type of armor necessarily. In the project I'm working on I have an evasion stat and a damage reduction reduction stat. I don't absolutely make it so that every protective piece has poor evasive bonuses but that's absolutely the trend. I prefer giving players ranges of stat setups to choose from.
25 Nov, 2010, quixadhal wrote in the 16th comment:
Hahahaha, I guess I'm the only one who played D&D where the DM actually tried to make it more realistic than number crunchy.

Even using their AC system, there were plenty of disadvantages to bulking up with heavy armor. Got heavy armor and need to swim across a river/lake/moat? The DM got this wonderful smile when you forgot to announce you were taking it off (or were running from something and didn't have time to do so). You can't really swim in plate mail.

Fighting magic users? Mmmmmm, lightning attacks love metal armor! And fire attacks, oh my! Nothing like boiling a fighter alive as his shiny plate mail gets heated up to 400F. Leather gets hot and also starts to melt and crack when heated. Cloth, of course, just ignites and burns away.
25 Nov, 2010, jurdendurden wrote in the 17th comment:
Even using their AC system, there were plenty of disadvantages to bulking up with heavy armor. Got heavy armor and need to swim across a river/lake/moat? The DM got this wonderful smile when you forgot to announce you were taking it off (or were running from something and didn't have time to do so). You can't really swim in plate mail.

I've added a buoyancy flag to items as well to simulate this. It's determined by the material of the armor, and can also be overridden in the OLC (A builder can make a steel breastplate that still floats). Swimming in plate mail in my game isn't smart hehe. Also I have pushable/pullable objects… so one could push a buoyant item into the sea, and it will float away into the ocean as the time passes.
25 Nov, 2010, lockewarrior wrote in the 18th comment:
I'm personally for armour class being purely damage reduction, and implementing an 'avoidance' or 'dodge' class as well. Then hitroll becomes 'how likely you are to hit your target' and damroll 'how much damage you are hitting your target for'.

Damroll checks against armour class, hitroll against avoidance.

This allows for a heavily-armoured knight to realistically tank. His avoidance would be minimal because of the heavy armour, but his armour count would significantly reduce the damage he takes.

..as opposed to an agile monk, who has next to no armour class, but very high avoidance. Then, in practice, the monk will dodge attacks much more often, (maybe almost never taking hits), but then when he does take a hit, because his AC is so low, the damroll check will land very high, meaning he takes (realistically) greater damage.
20 Feb, 2011, Rarva.Riendf wrote in the 19th comment:
' I'm personally for armour class being purely damage reduction, and implementing an 'avoidance' or 'dodge' class as well. Then hitroll becomes 'how likely you are to hit your target' and damroll 'how much damage you are hitting your target for'.
'

Made exactly the same: AC:reduces damage Hitroll:helps to hit (and parry etc) and damroll:pure damage

To balance it, it is on the builder level then: high ac bonus will mean les potential bonus in hit or dam.
So people can choose their fighting style:
high AC = tank
high hitroll = damage probabilty known as you hit often (but more likely lower damage)
high damage = you do not know when you hit, but when you hit, ouch
20 Feb, 2011, Ssolvarain wrote in the 20th comment:
Hahahaha, I guess I'm the only one who played D&D where the DM actually tried to make it more realistic than number crunchy.

Even using their AC system, there were plenty of disadvantages to bulking up with heavy armor. Got heavy armor and need to swim across a river/lake/moat? The DM got this wonderful smile when you forgot to announce you were taking it off (or were running from something and didn't have time to do so). You can't really swim in plate mail.

The DM is not required to tell you that jumping off that ship in half plate is a bad idea. He is, however, required to do the smile. Check the dmg. :devil:
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