Today’s post will be a brief one, as some of what is stated below was covered in the combat examples previously posted. In this post we are going to talk a little about AR (Armor Rating), and how armor, Heroic Attributes, Dexterity and shields interact with one another to protect a Mortal Hero.
FORGED has a combat system that works on the principle of opposition; i.e. that every randomized outcome that occurs in the game can be opposed in one way or another. Just as Offensive Skill rolls are opposed by Defensive Skill rolls, all forms of combat damage are opposed, or reduced by AR. AR can come from a variety of sources: physical armor worn by the character, Combat Maneuvers that deflect or parry an incoming blow away, and high Dexterity scores and Heroic Attributes that that help the character to dodge and lessen the impact of weapons. Shields improve a character’s Defensive Skill rolls, and against missiles provide the advantage of Cover. Fighting Styles can augment one’s Defensive Skill rolls as well.
Let’s say your Mortal Hero is attacked by a swordsman of comparable skill. The two combatants pit their Offensive and Defensive Skill rolls with their melee weapons against one another in a contest to see who comes out on top. Through the use of Combat Maneuvers, your opponent is always seeking to defeat your Defensive Skill, while ideally maintaining enough of his own for comfort. Your Mortal Hero’s shield, instead of providing physical armor, is literally an instrument of defense in that its primary purpose is to keep a foe’s weapon away from the body. Your Mortal Hero’s shield adds to his Defensive Skill roll, and its benefits are increased by his Sword and Board Fighting Style. Generally, a balanced combination of Combat Maneuvers will be enough to protect yourself from an equal or lesser foe.
Sometimes, though, there is no accounting for a lucky or unlucky roll, and your foe’s Offensive Skill roll manages to get through your defenses. When this happens, your AR is all that stands between you and a nasty wound. The first thing to be calculated here is the AR you receive from Dexterity and your Heroic Attributes. This is removed from the incoming damage first because of the nature of these AR bonuses; they are literally a first-line defense against injury. Once these points are removed from the damage total, the remainder of the damage is what actually strikes your Mortal Hero’s body. Here, a Knockdown check against your Dexterity is rolled if the damage is equal to or greater than your character’s Size, with penalties for damage that exceeds Size. Heavier armor helps mitigate Knockdown a bit, and we’ll see more on this subject later.
Once the Knockdown check has been determined, you remove the AR you receive for physical armor from the damage total. Whatever portion of damage remains is what is actually taken by your Mortal Hero.
So there you have it; your protection against physical damage in FORGED is determined by:
1) your Combat Maneuvers that increase Defense, followed by
2) your Dexterity and Heroic Attributes, and finally by
3) your physical armor.
More to come on combat scenarios and how to maximize your Offensive and Defensive skill rolls.