Saturday, April 21, 2007

The Helmet Rule

OD&D has 5 pieces of armor on the equipment list -- plate, chain, leather, shield, and helmet. An oversight is that the last item has no specified effect on your defensive status. AD&D tried to correct for this by adding an extremely cumbersome rule about the chance-to-hit-someones-head (involving an additional d6 roll for every attack, blech; 1E DMG p. 28), but we'll try to avoid that here.

The Helmet Rule
If no suit of armor is worn, a helmet gives a 1 point bonus to AC (up to AC 7). If a suit of armor is worn, then a helmet is also required or else a 1 point penalty to AC is applied.

12 comments:

  1. ?? Why is this a good rule? Sounds horrible, given the Supplement I Greyhawk breakdown of weapon bonuses to hit particular ACs.

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  2. To elaborate, I think the AC chart assumes helmets or protective headgear of some sort.

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  3. Bret, I completely agree, the AC chart has to assume wearing a helmet. So what happens when you remove your helmet? The main point here is that it penalizes your AC 1 point.

    But alternatively, if you're completely naked and put on a helmet (like a Spartan?) you do get 1 point better AC.

    (Keep in mind that I'm not using any of the alternate damge, weapon type, or hit dice modifications from Greyhawk.)

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  4. So you're using it like a shield, basically? You know, you lose your shield bonus for attacks from the right flank / rear ... but in this case, a helmet >> shield because you'd ostensibly never lose the bonus!

    Just a thought. I think that it's so problematic that you shouldn't worry with it. "Headshots" are realistic but not much fun, honestly, for players. To receive, I mean. I'm sure they love to give 'em.

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  5. So Bret, what would you say if your players dropped their helmets, or just stopped buying them entirely?

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  6. It doesn't come up - we just said helmets come with armor, and that's that. Of course they have found a couple "special" helmets, so that's a little bit different, but they do stuff, and don't adjust armor.

    If you're not using greyhawk at all, it's probably fine to do it the way you're doing it. Basically you could do it like a breastplate, shield, or helmet, or basically 1 piece of armor gives you AC 8.

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  7. Although, I don't think I found it in your previous posts - how come you aren't using Greyhawk?

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  8. Ah, I see, so you don't charge the 10gp for the helmet, either. Makes sense (and how it's done in 3E nowadays).

    Yeah, in getting the white-box set I was inspired to try and run D&D purely "out of the box" as written on Day 1. Partly I love the fact that all the hit dice and damage are d6's, it makes it a lot easier to grab a fistful of those since it's the most common die on the table. When I saw that a lightbulb went off and I thought "oh, of course that's the way it should have been all along". I also like the limited spells and spell levels, the flavor seems exactly right for what I want.

    THanks for the comments, Bret.

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  9. No problem. I have a board where we talk about rules and stuff, as well as our own games, at www.beermotor.org/odnd. There's also the Delver's Dungeon, and Grognard's Tavern, for talking about OD&D/AD&D.

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  10. Ah, sweet! I think I've actually been to your boards before.

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  11. Found this link via Jame's page. For 3.5, I think Delta's suggestion is great, functional and simple.

    Won't come into play 95% of the time, but once it does, this is homerule I'll be using.

    //H

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  12. Heya Delta, good stuff here. Long time no post. Hope to see you back here soon!

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