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Armour system (and a slight hangup).

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So, I have a nearly fully fleshed-out armour system, but I'm getting seriously stuck on one part of it. I'll explain how the system works for context, in the spoiler tags below.

 

[spoiler]

Locational armour:

The most important part of this system is that damage and armour are locational. The game does register the difference between an attack to the torso and an attack to the leg, or an attack to the head. It also tracks what parts of you are armoured and what parts of you are not, so you can have the best breastplate in the game and it'll do absolutely nothing if you get hit in the head. This is used to create weak points in characters, areas where it can be difficult or even impossible to provide a large amount of armour, most notably the face, neck, hands and feet, and players can intentionally target these tiny hitboxes (which is even harder than it sounds) to stand the best chance against the opponent's armour. If at all possible, this should extend to the physiological resistances as well, whatever system they end up using.

 

Armour layers:

This is the main reason why I'm so hesitant to use percentage resistances, even more than I would be in other games. You can layer armour in this game, with some forms of armour typed as underlays (appears under overlays), overlays (appears on top of underlays) or inlays (not visible on your sprite unless worn alone). These three layers have their strengths and weaknesses and stack as to provide the best protection when all three layers are worn together. This is part of how weak points are made, not all layers are available on all areas. The neck can't have an overlay, the hands, feet and face only get one armour layer that has the protection of an inlay layer (the weakest layer) with extra weight and penalties, and as a result these areas have a much lower limit on the DR they can provide.

 

Armour materials:

Not all armour has the same traits. A fiber helmet and a copper helmet may be the same shape, weight and integrity, but the copper one is MUCH stronger against slashing and piercing attacks and the fiber one is MUCH stronger against bludgeoning and puncturing ones, amongst other differences. The five types are, more or less, hide clothing, textile clothing, fiber armour, metal armour and stone armour. Hide is a really cheap and common early-game clothing material not meant to provide serious protection in combat, textile is somewhat more expensive, becomes available a bit later and is much more fragile but is extraordinarily light for the protection it gives. Fiber armour is a variant on textile using mixtures of tough fibers in a dense, heavy weave to provide the maximum protection against blunt and puncturing weapons, cold temperatures and disease. Metal armour is armour made of metal, metal is late-game and scarce, generally being unique and difficult to replace if broken, but metal is strong against slash, pierce, heat, electricity, curse and poison, and is available in lead, copper, silver and gold, which have their own advantages and disadvantages, though silver is arguably the best. Stone armour, which for the record WAS a thing, works entirely differently in regards to kinetic and elemental damage and provides mediocre resistances against physiological effects. This system is also used to create weak points, as not all pieces are available in all materials.

 

Damage reduction:

Finally, how the armour actually protects you. Damage reduction is how armour protects against kinetic attacks, which is upwards of 90% of the actual attacks you'll be dealing with in combat (elemental damage is mostly dealt by hazards, though some enemies may use fire and vitriol from time to time). It's as simple as it sounds, X points come off each incoming hit, enemy attacks often have a penetration score that allows them to ignore X damage reduction. However, damage has special effects that require it to deal a given portion of its damage to function, such as needing to inflict 1/2 damage or more to cause bleeding, so DR is even more effective than it looks, and even one point of damage coming off is significant in a way. This means chip damage from kinetic sources is largely useless against armour. Stone armour provides damage reduction, but very little of it and is largely dependent on plate points.

 

Energy absorption:

Exactly what it sounds like, this is an amount of energy damage absorbed before damage gets to you. This is distinct from damage reduction in that it is a total amount, not an amount per hit. If your fiber cuirass says HA 8 and you have a natural HA 1, that means you'll be unaffected by the first 9 points of heat damage, whether that's from one attack or nine is irrelevant. Energy absorption also prevents an equal amount from dealing body damage after it is defeated, so even if that fiber cuirass has already absorbed 9 heat damage, the next 9 will only deal health damage. Energy absorption regenerates by its full value each minute, taking a maximum of two minutes to recover if both layers are depleted. This means chip damage from elemental hazards is perfectly valid against armour. Stone armour provides energy absorption, but very little of it and is largely dependent on plate points.

 

Plate points:

Plate points are the main defensive property of stone armour, which is the only armour type to provide it. Plate points are much like energy absorption, only one layer and without the regeneration. Stone armour will completely absorb damage that gets through DR and EA, at the expense of its plate points. Plate points cannot be replenished through any means, and when plate points are depleted the armour is destroyed. Clearly, plate points do not apply to physiological effects.

 

Integrity:

Health for non-stone armour. Stone doesn't need integrity because its plate points serve the same purpose and more. Armour receives damage whenever you do, and while it does benefit from its own damage reduction it does not benefit from other sources of damage reduction, so it takes more damage than you do. Physiological effects do not damage your armour's integrity. Moving on.

 

[/spoiler]

 

So, here's my problem: None of the above systems work for physiological effects, those being curse, disease, infection and poison. So I'm left with divisive and percentage resistances, the former doesn't work for curse at all and I really don't want to resort to the latter. I do have the percentage rules written up, I just don't like straight percentages because they are nigh impossible to balance. Anybody got an alternative? Preferably a simple alternative?

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Why would armor in general protect against curse, disease, etc?

 

Those would likely be effected by magical items, consumables, and player internal resistances relistically speaking.

 

Even then, you don't have to go that route, and make them quite strong effects for a player to consider to take down tougher foes.

 

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Why would armor in general protect against curse, disease, etc?


You didn't think much about this, huh?
 

Those would likely be effected by magical items, consumables, and player internal resistances relistically speaking.


Having an impermeable layer between you and something harmful would reduce the amount that reaches you, realistically speaking.

Curses especially, it makes sense that having material between you and them would reduce them, especially denser materials considering that "curse" is just a term this world's primitives are using for radiation.
 

Even then, you don't have to go that route, and make them quite strong effects for a player to consider to take down tougher foes.


I believe there is some degree of miscommunication here that might need to be amended, but I'll wait and see. Edited by JustinS

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I agree with @Wavinator... on a couple of counts.

First and foremost I agree that responding "You didn't think much about this, huh?" is a pretty rough way to answer someone trying to help out. Especially when considering some things, such as  Curses=Radiation wasn't even mentioned in the Original Post.

 

Fundamentally armor protects against physical attacks.... the classic bludgeoning/piercing/slashing.

Elemental damage Fire/Lightning/etc... are generally not affected by armor. In some instances the material of the armor may alter the way the element effects the target... metal may increase damage from electrical attacks. Wood may catch fire and cause damage over time, water elements may cause someone wearing heavy cloth armor to be slowed... 

The remaining sources as questioned in the Original post (Poison/Curses/Radiation/Disease) are Status effects... either the player is affected by the status effect or not. The damage is dealt to internal systems from an internal attack... armor won't protect you from damage within your body. 

 

I read the part where you mentioned that armor may protect from the status effects delivery method... but it isn't like that is really going to matter much. A dagger isn't coated with exactly one lethal dose of poison... when selecting poisons to coat weapons with it is chosen for it's potency. The reason for coating a weapon with poison is because it is expected that it will be difficult to land an effect blow. Anything that provides enough radiation to cause real-time damage (rather than just future hairlose/impotency/etc) is going to need to be delivering such a quantity of radiation that armor is unlikely to have any effect especially since it would require lead armor to prevent radiation damage anyway. Curses and spells are magical and don't follow the rules of physical attacks. Any disease that requires physically introducing it to the system would be considered a poison in my opinion... the remaining diseases would be delivered through the air, which means that armor (barring hazmat suits or somesuch) would provide no protection.

 

So... saying all that, I think you might benefit from breaking these status effects into two categories. The first would include poison and such and would work much like you explain the bleed effect. In order for the status to be applied the attacker must get at least a single point of damage past the armor. The second group would be the status for which armor provides no protection... and in this case the attacker has to merely land a blow. They would work a lot like touch-based attacks in D&D.

 

In either case, once the status effect is applied armor won't be able to help.

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I may make a more serious response later, but for now I must note that the idea of energy bypassing armour is readily disproven with a simple home experiment. Heat your oven to the maximum possible temperature, and place a cookie sheet inside it. Leave it for one hour. Now, grab it with oven mitts and place it on top of the oven. Wait a minute, and put it back. Leave it for another hour to ensure the same temperature. Grab it with your bare hands and see the difference.

That may have been overly harsh, but it demonstrates my point very precisely, and I know you aren't actually so stupid as to try it. Physical matter stops elemental damage even better than it does kinetic damage. You can hold that cookie sheet for many times longer before it burns you than you could with your bare hands, and it would do even better with a layer of metal over the top to spread out and radiate away all of that heat. Edited by JustinS

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The oven & mitts experiment is a near-ideal case of what you appropriately call "energy bypassing armour". The purpose of armour is, in abstract terms, to have less than the full energy from the attack hurt the protected person, or to spread out damage over time and space to reduce the maximum energy or power density to harmless levels.

But infections and poisons are not energy attacks, resisting them is an intrinsical, physiological property of people. Armour is obviously irrelevant.

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The oven & mitts experiment is a near-ideal case of what you appropriately call "energy bypassing armour". The purpose of armour is, in abstract terms, to have less than the full energy from the attack hurt the protected person, or to spread out damage over time and space to reduce the maximum energy or power density to harmless levels.
But infections and poisons are not energy attacks, resisting them is an intrinsical, physiological property of people. Armour is obviously irrelevant.

 
Oh really? Better tell this guy:
plague-doctor.jpg?w=470
 
And these guys:

feature1_0.jpg

 

Also this guy:
5722284-3x2-940x627.jpg
 
And all of them:
Hazmat_DEA.jpg
 
Probably also this guy:
250px-thumbnail.jpg
 
This guy too:
beekeeper-frame-940x626.jpg
 
And while you're at it:
220px-TMI_cleanup-2.jpg
 
Seeing as how a physical medium is somehow not effective at preventing toxins, pathogens and particulates from reaching your body, surely all these people are wasting their time wearing suits specifically to prevent such things, right? That's exactly what you said. And you'd better hurry up, because people spend a lot of money on these "irrelevant" garments, and it sure looks like these fellows never got the memo.
 
Or, perhaps, you're dead wrong and you should bloody well know better.

That plague doctor wears a suit of waxed fabric, an impermeable layer of material that prevents bodily fluids from soaking through, which is washed after each treatment. The pathogens in the bodily fluids cannot leave said fluids and soon die off, preventing the doctor from catching the black death themselves. Their mask covers their most important orifices and contains sweet-smelling flowers and herbs that both prevent the stench from reaching them (which is its purpose) and kills pathogens on their way in (which is a happy accident). That modern doctor's scrubs serve the same purpose, but they don't waste their time with sweet-smelling flowers and herbs since our modern masks work better, and the suit is overall much lighter, cheaper and most importantly it is sterile and disposable. That foreign aid worker is there to treat the Ebola epidemic in Africa.  Like with the doctor and the plague doctor, their suit is there to prevent the bodily fluids that spread the disease from reaching their skin, where it could find wounds, open sores and orifices to infect them from. 

 

Those DEA workers wear hazmat suits, which prevent toxic chemicals not just from being inhaled, but from touching their skin. While any material would serve the latter purpose to some extent, hazmat suits are once again cheap (the fabric, at least), completely impermeable, non-reactive and disposable (again, at least the fabric is). That firefighter's suit doesn't just protect against heat, it is also there to prevent the firefighter from breathing in or making skin contact with the smoke and toxic fumes commonly found in burning buildings. Without it, they would be exposed to topical poisons and corrosives every time they did their job, especially in modern day with all the plastics we use. The beekeeper wears their suit to prevent the bees' stingers from reaching their body. It, unlike most of the more specialized suits, is just a thick layer of cotton, no different than regular clothing except in its coverage and thickness. 

 

Those at the end are nuclear workers at Three Mile Island. Those suits, which notably were NOT lead-lined, serve the purpose of keeping radioactive particulates from touching their body or reaching any orifices, because the greatest threat was the particulates being incorporated into their body and continuing to irradiate them in the long term. Some of these workers still got radiation poisoning, but the suits reduced the severity greatly, and were especially effective at reducing the long-term consequences of exposure.

 

The reality is that what you're wearing is EXTREMELY important in preventing you from being poisoned, catching a disease or being irradiated. These people all know that, and that's why their employers spent so much money outfitting them with garments to protect them. These outfits do their jobs and do them well, they are not "irrelevant".

Edited by JustinS

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Curse/Radiation should work similarly to how you presented Energy Absorption.

 

Diseases, infections, and poisons could be status effect that are inflicted.  Take a dagger with poison applied to it.  The poison wouldn't affect the wearer of the armour unless the damage from the dagger penetrated through the armour.

A dagger slash against metal armour wouldn't pass the poison on to the wearer, but a pierce between joints would.

 

Also you should be a bit less rude to people, especially when your question wasn't thoroughly explained.  Curse usually denotes magic, not radiation, and the examples you present wouldn't be considered as amrour by most people.

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Curse/Radiation should work similarly to how you presented Energy Absorption.

 

Diseases, infections, and poisons could be status effect that are inflicted.  Take a dagger with poison applied to it.  The poison wouldn't affect the wearer of the armour unless the damage from the dagger penetrated through the armour.

A dagger slash against metal armour wouldn't pass the poison on to the wearer, but a pierce between joints would.

 

Also you should be a bit less rude to people, especially when your question wasn't thoroughly explained.  Curse usually denotes magic, not radiation, and the examples you present wouldn't be considered as amrour by most people.

 

Tbh, surprised that people still try to help beside saying "If you know so well, figure yourself out"

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