DCC Donnerstag: Refining Armor-Less AC

Last week, I posted about Armor-Less AC in DCC and it generated a good bit of feedback. Here are some more thoughts I had about the structure for this optional rule system.

Perfect for the Thunderlands

+Wayne Snyder has this great idea for a World of Ore sub-setting that he calls the Thunderlands. It's kind of a classic Barsoom meets Pellucidar at the North Pole of Ore as depicted in the pages of Heavy Metal. Yeah, that cool. Sweaty humans running around in their loin cloths swinging sharpened chunks of metal at serpent men, mammoths, dinosaurs and exceptionally naughty elves. This idea keeps sounding better all the time. Pretty much everything that's awesome, all in one place. Also great for: Hyborian Age, CAS-style Hyperborea or Zothique, swashbuckling adventure and more or less all of the good things that I want to do in adventures.

Changing Names

Let's just call our "roll this number or more and you hit me" number our "Defense score" to simplify things. Reflex save adds to Defense score. Things that used to add to "armor class" now add to "damage reduction." Just to keep shit straight.

The Reduction Cap

Armor isn't helping these guys
Apparently there are DCC Judges out there whose players have somehow gotten their hands on suits of full plate. How they earned the 1,200 gp to afford those suits, I don't know. Seems pretty suspect to me. Or if those adventurers managed to find the suits in dungeons... I mean... seriously? This is DCC, people, not The Original Fantasy RPG (tm), so while my gut tells me you've made your own fucking bed, it's time to sleep in it, I do think that there is some point to be made in favor of capping the contribution that armor can make toward damage reduction.

I propose a cap on damage reduction from armor of 4. Halve any bonus in excess of this and add it to the saving throw of the Judge's choice for that specific suit of armor only. So, this particular suit of plate mail might be +2 Reflex save, while that suit might be +1 Will/+1 Fortitude. Not sure if you can round up. Maybe this helps.


One of the neat things about these rules is that they make sense out of firearms. "Yes, I can now hit a dude in plate mail with my arquebus!" which only makes sense, since it was the arquebus and its descendants that made plate mail pointless in the first place. So, here goes: firearms ignore an amount of damage reduction equal to half their maximum damage. Figure the rest out yourself.

Laser guns may ignore damage like this, or they may not. Death rays are in the same boat. Plasma cannons. Blasters. Pulse pistols. Whatever you've got. Maybe there are traits on advanced suits of armor that allow the damage reduction to apply to this advanced kind of stuff, but I'm not designing those rules right now. Maybe next time.