DCC Donnerstag: Armor-Less AC For DCC

Be kind to me, this system is completely untested, but related to some ideas I'm kicking around for upcoming Metal Gods material. You may have noticed by now that I use the ol' blog here as a sort of testing ground or lab for ideas before I turn it into something I ask people to pay money for. Well, peeps, this is one of those ideas.

Armor-Less AC For DCC

No armor? No problem!
This concept is one of those ideas that pops up from time to time and often people dress it up with words like "verisimilitude" and get all "well actually" when they start talking about it. Screw that. I'm proposing these rules because I like Conan stories, Kothar stories, Lone Wolf & Cub and all that stuff where the protagonist is a badass with a sword and doesn't get all weighed down with armor (that shit will slow you down, son!) and still kills tons of other guys and only gets a couple of scratches.

Here's the proposal: do not add an armor's AC bonus to any character's armor class. INSTEAD, add their Reflex Save bonus. SUBTRACT the armor's AC bonus from all damage done to the wearer.

Simple, right?

It must mean that I've got to complicate it somehow. Here goes.

Mighty Deeds of Arms

Instead of adding his Deed Die to his attack and damage for a given round, a warrior may add it to his AC. This always succeeds (does not need to score a "3" or higher die result).


Any character may burn Luck to increase his AC for an entire combat round (ie, against all incoming attacks). Thieves may add their Luck Die in a similar manner, and halflings get 2 points of AC per Luck burned in this fashion, and may burn Luck to improve the AC of their compatriots.


(This rule doesn't require "Armor-Less AC" to use, but I came up with it while I was working on this system, so it makes sense to include here.) Every so often, the Judge may call for a Fatigue Check. All characters must roll the Fumble Die appropriate for their type of armor and roll less than or equal to their Strength scores or become Fatigued. Carrying lots of stuff (above a normal amount for your Strength) will increase the Fumble Die one step on the chain. Fatigued characters suffer a -d1 penalty (lower all die by one type on the chain) on all dice rolls until they have rested.

Critical Hits

Critical hits bypass armor entirely, both for the initial damage done and any additional damage rolled on the appropriate Critical Hit table. This means that successful Backstab attempts by thieves are never mitigated by armor.


Shields add +1 to Reflex save bonus (and thus to Armor-Less AC), but do not prevent damage. Larger shields may add more to this bonus.

Defensive Fighting

If you choose to take no action on your turn, but instead opt to act entirely defensively, you may add +2 to your Reflex save until the next round.

[Optional] Stamina As Armor

If the group opts to use this optional rule, a character may use either his Stamina modifier or AC modifier from armor as his damage reduction, whichever is better. Negative Stamina modifiers do not add to damage done. [This optional sub-rule would probably make funnels a bit more survivable, so use carefully!]