Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Scavenging Armor in the Mutant Future

I mentioned my "Let it Ride" house rule a little while back, which has served to both speed up combats and make them much more exciting for everyone involved.  At this point, combat in the Mutant Future is finally humming along at the pace and lethal tone I like without having to rely on grenades and laser blasters.  Nothing wrong with those, mind you, I just want the guys with the lead pipes and hockey sticks to be able to mess someone up as well.

I am also introducing a simple damage reduction mechanic, which I think will resolve a long standing frustration of mine with the way D&D AC works.  This was inspired by the Shields Will Splinter houserule, that my friend Carter is using in his Labyrinth Lord campaign (and which I know he got from another blogger in this small blogoworld).  Shields Will Splinter allows you to sacrifice your shield to prevent the damage from an attack, and I have used it several times to save my dwarf's neck in Carter's campaign.  I basically took this concept and ran with it, applying it to any type of armor.  My hope is to see characters running around with half destroyed armor, looking for stop signs and car doors to patch themselves back up with.

Armor Will Crumble 
(Mutagenic Houserule)

When a character takes damage, her player has the option of soaking up some of that damage into her armor.  Damage can be soaked in 10 HP increments, with each 10 HP soaked reducing the base bonus of the armor by one.  For example, a character wearing chainmail takes 15 HP of damage from a laser blast.  Soaking all of that damage into her armor would reduce its base bonus by 2, resulting in her chainmail having a base AC of 7 instead of 5.

Unarmored: AC 9    
Current AC: 9 - current armor bonus - Dexterity modifier

Armor Type: Base Bonus: Current Bonus:

Shield +1
Cloth +1 
Leather +2
Studded Leather +3
Chainmail +4
Scale Mail +5
Plate Mail +6
Full Plate Mail +7

Magical Armor:  If a player chooses to soak damage into magical armor, the player rolls a Save vs. Energy Blast for the armor as if it were a character of a level equal to twice its magical bonus (+5 armor saves as a 10th level character).  If the save is successful, the damage is negated and the armor is unscathed.  If the save fails, the attack does double damage and the armor is completely destroyed.

This will require a minuscule amount of record keeping for the players, but only if they choose to use the houserule... and that will probably only be in a situation where it saves the character's bacon, so I don't envision any complaints...

All a player has to do is say how much of the damage they just received they are soaking, reduce the amount of incoming damage accordingly, and then adjust AC and current bonus of armor.

 For every two points of AC bonus lost to damage soaking, one point could be restored by scavenging material and taking the time to repair the armor.  This also means that you can only repair leather or better armor, and that repaired armor will be only half as effective as new armor... but hey, its much better than nothing!

I think this houserule will encourage a kind of hording mentality that I think actually would exist in the Mutant Future - I imagine if you found an extra suit of armor in the wasteland, you would lug it around with you if you could...


  1. Anything that encourages cobbling together new gear out of old is a bonus in after the ruin scenario games.
    --I wish you and your group well.

  2. Yeah, this sounds like it will encourage scavenging and hoarding. Nice.

  3. I like that concept, I think I'll play around with some of those ideas. Thanks for sharing.



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