Wednesday, April 10, 2013

ARMOR and Defensive Class


            Armor is any covering or equipment that is worn for protection. Archaic armor does not protect well against modern weapons. Armor is seldom worn upon Barsoom and its usage reflects lack of confidence (p.19). Armor descriptions provided here are primarily for comparison or ‘what if’ scenarios.

Armor Bonus is measure of protection afforded. You cannot wear more than one type of armor nor can you hold more than one shield; however, a helmet can be combined with other types of armor. A helmet has to be removed to concentrate (RP6).

AP or armor penalty is added to movement speed, reflex saves, all skill throws, and the INTV score.          
Armor is categorized into 4 basic types; either flexible, polymer, rigid or soft.

Flexible armor consists of over-lapping steel scales or interwoven metal links designed to protect the torso and arms and sometimes the head.    This is the default armor type for reptiles and sea monsters.    

            Polymer armor is molded from light-weight plastics, ceramics or resins.  This is the default armor type of robots, and 21st century AFVs.   

            Rigid armor consists of custom fitted bronze, chitin or iron plates, attached with leather straps designed to protect the body, a sturdy helm is usually added to this armor.  Rigid armor is the default type for most insects, crustaceans and dragons.

            Soft armor is fashioned from animal skins or plant fiber. This armor is comfortable and light weight. This is the default armor type for most birds, plants and mammals.  


            Shields are usually reserved for ceremonial duties or palace guards upon the Red Planet; however, like worn armor they add their bonus to defense for both ranged and hand-to-hand attacks.  Sum the APs of shield, worn armor and encumbrance to determine a character’s total armor penalty.
The hook sword and cup shield combination of the yellow warrior is the only situation in which a dismounted character can both parry and use a shield.

“The yellow men were armed with two swords, and a short javelin was slung across the back of each, while from their left arms hung cuplike shields no larger than a dinner plate, the concave sides of which turn outward an antagonist.  They seemed puny and futile implements of safety against an even ordinary swordsman, but I was later to see the purpose of them and with what wondrous dexterity the yellow men manipulate them. 

“One of the swords which each of the warriors carried caught my immediate attention.  I call it a sword, but really it was a sharp-edged blade with a complete hook at the far end.  The other sword was of about the same length as the hooked instrument, and somewhere between that of my long-sword and short-sword in length. It was straight and two edged.”            (WM, VIII)



Defense Class

            When making a ‘to hit’ roll, you add die roll, ATTK bonus, appropriate ability modifier and situational modifiers and compare this total to your opponent’s DC or Defense Class. If the result is equal or greater then target’s DC, then a hit is scored; you appropriate damage as indicated on Table 4.1.

            Defense class is a measure of how difficult it is to strike an opponent in combat in a manner that inflicts injury.  DC is not just a description of how much protection or armor that is possessed by a character or beast, but also describes adroitness, awareness and size.

Both a terrestrial elephant and squirrel would be considered DC 18. An elephant is a massive and slow moving animal that is easily struck; however, it’s extremely thick skin makes it difficult ‘to hit’ an elephant in a manner that actually causes damage. Almost any blow from a weapon that lands on a squirrel would be fatal, but this wily animal is not an easy target.
To calculate DC for a character use this formula -->


    15 – Size                                                  (Table 1.3)

            + Dexterity modifier               (Table 3.2)

            + Armor bonus                          (Table 4.2)**

            + Shield or Parry bonus             (RP4)

            + Situational modifiers              ( RP4)

 *Only polymer armor protects against firearms and advanced ranged weapons.

this is an old Heritage Model
from Waco, TX

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