Apologies for references without links, but I’m behind a work firewall and for some reason they don’t want me surfing the SJG Forums from work. Unreasonable folks, corporate IT. It’s like they want me working or something.
In any case, there’s a weekly thread that got started up over on the GURPS forums called “Tweak of the Week.” It’s a neat brainstorming idea, and the first one on strength can be mined for good stuff.
I was pleased to find that the second one is about Armor as Dice, a concept I embrace (and while I may have published the first Pyramid Article on the topic, it seems to be a case of parallel evolution, since I remember way back when more than one person positing this as a solution to some perceived issues.
On that same thread, +Mark Langsdorf brings up a few cognitive challenges for Armor as Dice, which I can’t help with, and one issue of figuring blow-through, which I can.
So, since you roll damage and stuff after primary armor penetration, would you then have to convert left-over damage back to dice, etc., to figure out how to kill five giants, all in a row?
Dice, Dice Baby
I think the notional solution to this problem is to invoke the dice concept one more time.
Blow-through thresholds should be expressed in dice, based on the HP of the target. Ideally, a 10HP average guy would have about a 2d+1 blowthrough threshold, allowing a .45ACP to not typically overpenetrate, but a 9mm at 2d+2 will. But frankly, that’s more trouble than it’s worth. I’ll get to it later, though, for those that care.
Ultimately, just convert mass-based HP (or just use racial average HP) to dice, and for people, that would look like the chart to the right. For a 5-ton mecha, it’d be about 6dx2.
So just look at the armor. If you’ve got (say) 6dx3 DR (DR 60-65 or so) on top of a 6dx2 mech by mass, and you hit it with a 6dx6(2) projectile (say, an APFSDSDU shell), you can look at a total interference of 6dx5 (DR plus HP), halved for the (2) AD to 6dx2.5. The downrange threat is thus 6dx6 – 6dx2.5, or 6dx3.5(2). That will penetrate the armor and the HP of the guy behind it, leaving a 6dx0.5(2), or 3d(2) threat, which won’t penetrate the third guy’s armor, but might be a threat to human personnel.
It’s all about the dice, ’bout the dice.
Kidding aside, Armor as Dice is supposed to make things simpler, not more complex. You deal with dice as long as possible, and only convert to injury at the end.
The assumption inherent is that the injury is variable (and thus rolled), but the penetration is consistent enough – even through flesh and whatnot – to just treat as dice.
It should be simple, playable, and fast – though the issues such as keeping the mystery of what the foe’s stats are still remain, it’s designed to keep the math a bit more simple where it can be kept simple.