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Variant Armor Class (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Created By
Teh Storm (talk)
Date Created: 10/25/10
Status: Please edit constructively
Editing: Please feel free to edit constructively!


A Variant on Armor Class for the Detail Oriented Edit

This is a variant for those out there who are not satisfied with with the classic D&D "you miss". How? Why? I was using a cold battle axe, so did his armor freeze? And his shield was providing the cold resistance, not his armor, so do I deal full cold damage? Hopefully this variant will answer these questions and more!

How it Works Edit


This variant is at the same time simple and complex. Below is a list of common modifiers to armor from the first to last line of defense. To use, just compare the attack roll to armor class, and apply to modifiers using this list in order, and determine consequences from there.

Size- A miss that fails to meet or beat size missed by a mile, which will result in mocking laughter unless you were trying to shoot a fly. Projectiles are either lost or destroyed, as per normal rules.

Deflection- If a deflection mod was what got in the way, then the attack simply was stopped by whatever was protecting the target. The target didn't even need to flinch. Projectiles are stopped in midair in front of the target, landing at his feet. Thus, the spent ammunition is still perfectly usable and can be picked up.

Profane, Holy, Fire, etc.- If one of these applies then the responsible force halted the attack, much like the above deflection bonus. Luck bonuses also apply, but Morale does not at this level, see below. Projectiles are absolutely destroyed.

Dodge or Morale- The character actively avoided the attack entirely. In the case of Dodge, he dodged it, but the GM can have fun describing a morale based miss, as long as he puts passion into the description. Projectiles are lost or destroyed, as per normal rules.

Shield- If you have a shield and are trained in its use, your reaction to incoming attacks you can't dodge will be to move the shield in the way. As an optional rule, if an attack hits the shield, then damage can be rolled against the shield as per a sunder attempt. All hardness and other resistances apply. If the blow would destroy the shield, then any left over damage can carry over to the one using it. Projectiles either embed themselves in the shield or destroy themselves.

Dexterity- When active motions can't save you, your lizard brain can. Dex misses rely on muscle memory and reflexes to come into effect. However, because it is a reflex you almost never have say in what was done to protect yourself. Often, this means a weapon was used to parry in the case of skilled fighters, but maybe a backpack was slung as an improvised shield, or a friendly local rock, or the character made himself fall out of the way. The player and the GM planning to use this variant should discuss exactly how the character fights, and use that to determine what happens. Projectiles are either lost or destroyed, as per normal rules.

Armor- Armor is often the last line of defense and the life line between life and death for many heavy fighters. If armor was what stopped the attack, then damage should be rolled as per a sunder on the armor, keeping all the same points in mind from the Shield section above. Projectiles often destroy themselves or bounce off armor, thus they follow normal rules for lost or destruction.

Natural- The absolute last line of defense, you are relying on your very skin to stop what has punched through everything else. If natural armor was what stopped the blow, then thank your thick fur, shell, skull or what have you and get back in the fight. Projectiles destroy themselves.

Needed Variant-Weapon Shock Edit

In order for this variant to be balanced in regards to attacker v. defender, I highly recommend using a variant that also allows for in game weapon wear and tear. My version is weapon shock. Whenever a weapon fails to over come hardness or damage reduction based upon tough material defense (dragon scales count, shooting through a skeletons ribs does not, etc.) the damage rolled is done to the weapon used. In the case of manufactured weapons, only half of the weapons hardness applies and the weapon breaks if it's hit points reach 0. In the case of natural weapons, this damage is done directly to the attacker. Projectile weapons and spells are risk free, but their ammunition is not.


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