DEX Bonus Maxima for Armor?

I’ve seen stuff like this before, with men in full harness climbing stairs and doing some basic gymnastics.

It does make me think that the DEX penalties for wearing certain types of armor, especially very, very expensive and tailored plate harness, are overstated.

I wonder if, instead of a maximum DEX bonus for Medium armor and no DEX bonus for Heavy armor, if instead you just took a DEX penalty for wearing it, perhaps equal to the equivalent bonus you’d get from having the minimum STR needed to wear the armor (round up if you must).

So full plate, with its STR 15 requirement, would simply be -3 to DEX, or if you want, negate up to +3 in DEX boost). So your DEX 18 or DEX 20 warrior might still get a boost for being jumpy like a ferret on meth.*

This would, of course, muck about somewhat with Bounded Accuracy. A STR 15, DEX 20 guy with plate and shield would then have AC 22 instead of 20, and with magical armor and/or shields, that could potentially get pretty high.

Not sure I’d mod the game, but I saw the first video and thought (as I often do) that the notion of how limiting properly fitted armor is really could use with more dispelling.

Not that some armors aren’t limiting. But good ones that you pay a fortune for? Probably not.

*Gaming Ballistic does not endorse or condone feeding meth to ferrets.

7 thoughts on “DEX Bonus Maxima for Armor?

  1. i've worrn scale, demi-plate, and mail. None of them make you clumsier or slower all by themselves. the fatigue caused by the weight you are lugging about is the big hassle and that would be a huge pain to model in an RPG.

  2. i've worrn scale, demi-plate, and mail. None of them make you clumsier or slower all by themselves. the fatigue caused by the weight you are lugging about is the big hassle and that would be a huge pain to model in an RPG.

  3. I'm not really that in favor of armor penalties to DEX in the D&D systems – I think it's an attempt to add "realism" where the system doesn't warrant it due to the "armor makes you harder to hit" and "DEX makes you harder to hit" effects.

    I'd recommend instead having the game system model armor effects by deciding there are certain things that you simply can't do properly in armor and applying brute force Disadvantage to them. Perhaps moving silently, engaging in certain social skills, swimming, and so on.. i.e., just have a list of proficiency/skill tasks that suffer Disadvantage in heavy or medium armor.

    (Logically, a high DEX should actually give you more Hit Points anyway, since defensive advantage due to avoiding rather than resisting attacks is otherwise handled that way.).

  4. While live-action roleplaying combat is not particularly realistic in that we use foam weapons, we do use real armor for the most part. I wore a coat of plates and plate pieces (arms, legs) for two of my characters.

    Even did a back flip in the ensemble although I have to admit it wasn't intentional and would not try it again. I was surprised, started to fall backwards and for whatever reason wound up doing a full flip landing on my feet. We all stood there stunned. Looking at each other for a beat and than I ran. (I was ambushed when I was alone).

    What critical is doing anything athletic in full panoply is that it is properly fitted. And for the most of the armor you where that means the straps are all the right lengths and you are belted up properly (this is important for chain).

    Of Chain versus Plate, it is far easier to do athletics in plate as chain is a shifting mass of metal on your head and body supported by a few points (your shoulders, the crown of your head, etc. Belting properly distributes the weight better.

    Plate in contrast is strapped to your body at several point of contact. Properly fitted plate feel like wearing football or hockey gear. Obviously medieval warriors are carrying more weight than sports players today. But like modern athletics they have conditioned their endurance to deal with a full day of wearing armor.

    My own gear weighed 40 to 50 pounds by itself and when I was attending events every month I could wear it the entire weekend and fight when I needed to without being winded. At times I could even outrun lightly clad fighters but the point where I got out of breath came a lot sooner for me.

    You learned to accommodate that because the last you wanted to have happen is be so out of breath that you start flailing with your weapon. I sat down whenever I could, I worked at my armor setup so when I moved it "breathed" to keep me cool in the summer. I cut my kit down to the absolute bare minimum and kept everything else secured in my cabin.

    1. Also sleeping in armor penalties are bullshit as well. You might gain a temporary odorous disadvantage and don't want to do it for too many days a row because have to maintain your year. however you can sleep in armor fine. In some cases is better than a sleeping bag as you are lying in what amounts to being a padded metal shell and you don't feel the stones, twigs, and debris scattered about the ground.

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