Thursday, December 8, 2016

Better Fantasy Armor / Easier Armor Design: Better Coverage Table

As part of some work for another project, I went back and looked at the armor coverage table from Better Fantasy Armor. And then I compared it to some other coverage tables, including the "Rule of 9s" that estimates skin surface area for medical patients: (9% in the head, 9% in each arm, 18% in each leg, and the remaining 36% in the torso). Here's what I got:

LocationRule of 9Low-TechBFA

There's a couple of noticeable points here. First, there's some room for fudging in all of these tables, depending on where exactly you drawn the line: do the feet or the legs cover the ankle bones? Are the shoulders part of the arm or the torso? Second, the Low-Tech table matches the Rule of 9 fairly well if you add the extremities to the limbs and assume the Rule of 9 includes the neck in the torso but Low-Tech includes it in the head. Third, it should be immediately obvious that the amount of material required to cover a person's hands is a lot less than the amount required to cover their feet. Finally, the BFA table has way too much coverage in the arms and hands and not quite enough in the head and neck. The legs and feet are a little off, but not too bad.

With all that in mind, I'm proposing the following table for the next revision of Better Fantasy Armor and Easier Armor Design:

LocationCost/WeightHit LocationNotesComments
Head12%3-5, 17-18

  Skull(6%)3-4Forehead and back of the head to the nape of the neck
Front of the face only. Sublocations are 0.5% each.

Arms16%8, 12
  Shoulders(4%)8, 12*Roll 1d; on a 1-2 this location is hit
  Upper Arms(4%)8, 12*Roll 1d; on a 3 this location is hit
  Elbows(4%)8, 12*Roll 1d; on a 4 this location is hit
  Forearms(4%)8, 12*Roll 1d; on a 5-6 this location is hit
Torso36%9-11Vitals are hit on a 1 on a d6
  Chest(12%)9Vitals are hit on a 1 on a d6Bottom of the neck to the end of the sternum
  Abdomen(12%)10Vitals are hit on a 1 on a d6Basically the stomach, from the bottom of the chest to the waistline
  Pelvis(12%)11Vitals are hit on a 1 on a d6Waistline down the top of the legs
Legs28%6-7. 13-14
  Thighs(12%)6-7. 13-14*Roll 1d; on a 1-3 this location is hit
  Knees(4%)6-7. 13-14*Roll 1d; on a 4 this location is hit
  Sins(4%)6-7. 13-14*Roll 1d; on a 5-6 this location is hit

It's a pretty minor tweak, but it brings the coverage amounts more in line with both the rule of 9 and Low-Tech.

There are a bunch of things I like about this new table:
  • Everything that has a front and back and a left side and right side is divisible by 4, so if you only want armor on your front right shin, its 1% and not some weird number like 1.125%.
  • The torso divides nicely into three sections of equal size, and the % coverage for each section is divisible by 2, so it's easy to calculate armor with "weak rear". And at least to me, the coverage for each section is pretty clear.
  • Hands are now reasonably small.
  • Feet are also small, but reasonably larger than the hands. 
I'd a little sad that arm coverage is a little wonky, since a d6 doesn't divide evenly into quarters. That could be resolved by rolling 3d instead and if it really bothers you, you could do that or roll a d4 instead.

Unfortunately, revising the GCA files is a pain up the tail, so it's going to be a while before this table goes into the GDF files. I should probably let people comment on it, anyway.