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Posts posted by Vastlyapparent

  1. I've always felt armor should be kept in 4 some-what abstract categories/tiers

    Please correct me if I'm misrepresenting your suggestion, but that seems pretty status quo when it comes to how DND-based RPG's do things.


    Yes, that piece stems from a classic, DnD approach, but if you look at the concept, even the light, medium, heavy are really more of a baseline quality then anything. The point is people need a frame of reference and immediate context so that they can make quick informed decisions about whether the armor they found is better then what they have. Having 4 tiers of armor represent simple ideas allows this to happen; Since it's fairly intuitive that Light Armor offers less protection but better mobility, and heavy would offer more protection for less mobility, the tiers work, they make sense. Seperating out the designs, qualities and materials into their own tags (qualifiers) is where I diveraged from the traditional DnD mechanics.


    Most 'original' ideas get their inspiration from someone or something else, ideas, concepts evolve so to speak, It's not a perfect system, and I've already thought of issues that one might run into due to the design, so it needs refining but I still like my evolution of the DnD model for armor stats. Not that I am biased or anything :)


    Whatever Obsidian decides to do as far as the armor mechanics go, I feel that the following ideas are important to remember:

    • Complexity presented simply - Video games take care of a lot of math in the background, therefore you can create much more complex and intricate systems without nessecarily overwhelming the player. A well thought out UI is a powerful weapon here, as a general rule I prefer to be overwhelmed then underwhelmed by choices.
    • Information at a glance - You should be able to glance at an item and get a solid idea of its worth. Not detailed information, such as specific stat modifiers (that's still available of course), but a quick reference that says "Hey, this armor is good for your agile warrior and it's better then what you're wearing now because it has the "Couragous" quality."
    • Meaningful > Quantity - Having meaningful choices generally trumps having many choices.
    • Why would I wear X - Since Obsidian wants it to be possible for mages to wear full plate, and warriors to hack away wearing loin cloths barbarian style, they need to ask why. Why would a mage wear Full plate over a robe, and does something inbetween hold enough value to be considered? In DnD, it's pretty much mechanically a non-choice, you wore the heaviest armor you could, with the least penalties, that didn't restrict your powerful class abilities.
    • Form and function - An items appearence will always be connected to the stats it delivers, otherwise things can get silly. But the more flexible you can make this relationship, the greater the visual customization can be. Especially in single-player rpgs, being able to achieve the proper look for the character you've build in your mind is important.

    This is neither a definitive list, nor is it really anything new, Obsidian likely has similar things scrawled on white boards as reminders (at least I hope so). These are just things I feel are important to remember and reiterate.

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  2. I've always felt armor should be kept in 4 some-what abstract categories/tiers, and then have the material an/or quality dictate individual armor pieces exact stats, with armor types/designs relating to appearence. The tiers really just determines how the specific piece of armor relates to, protection, mobility/speed and endurance. Protection could be, deflecting attacks, reducing damage, or even increasing an opponents miss chance (a sheet of clothing may not stop a sword, but it makes you difficult to see!). Mobility could be your ability to outright dodge, use skills, how quickly you traverse the battlefield, or how quickly you attack. And Endurance would dictate how readily your skills and abilities are available to you, this might increase the cost of a skill, the time it takes between uses or weaken the an abilities effectiveness.


    The 4 tiers are the established standards:


    No armor / Adorments (Tier 0)

    • Protection - None (_)
    • Mobility - 100% (+++)
    • Endurance - 100% (+++)

    Light (Tier 1)

    • Protection - Minor (+)
    • Mobility - 100% (+++)
    • Endurance - 110% (++)

    Medium (Tier 2)

    • Protection - Moderate (++)
    • Mobility - 90% (++)
    • Endurance - 110% (++)

    Heavy (Tier 3)

    • Protection - High (+++)
    • Mobility - 90% (++)
    • Endurance - 120% (+)

    Once a piece of armor falls into a category, it's material and quality would further adjust the above basic stats or add new qualities to the item.



    • Iron - Increases Protection (+), Decreases Mobility (-), Decreases Endurance (-), Vulnerable to Rust
    • Mithril - Increases Protection (+), Reduced Weight, Penalty to Stealth


    • Masterwork - Increase Mobility and/or Endurance (+)
    • Full Suit - Increase Protection (+), Reduced chance to be critically hit

    So some examples of armors would be as follows:

    • Breastplate (Heavy, Iron)
    • Full Plate Armor (Heavy, Iron, Full Suit)
    • Leather Cuirass (Light, Leather)
    • Leather Armor (Light, Leather, Full Suit)


    You could make armor designs, such as plate, scale, chain and make them armor qualities, but I'd personally rather make them dictate appearence. So mechanically scale armor (heavy, iron) and plate armor (heavy, iron) would be the same, but would have distinct appearences. Basically you're decoupling the armor design (plate, scale, chain, etc.) from the stats of the armor, and instead providing the stats through the various tags (heavy, iron, masterwork, etc).


    It's a complex system I know, but I've always preferred to start with high complexity and then trim down and streamline a concept. I just hope it makes sense hehe!

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