I have been thinking of an armour system for Fudge for quite some time, as I have some firmly held beliefs about the way armour should work. I think armour should work this way:
- It should reduce damage taken, not reduce chance to hit.
- It should react differently to different types of damage.
- The system should be simple and easy to use.
A lot of systems, such as D&D and Classic Traveller, reduce the chance of an apponent actually hitting, which I feel is a serious mistake, as this is not how armour really works. The only system I know that takes point 2 into account is Rolemaster, but this system is entirely too complex with all of its tables. So, to my way of thinking, my armour system below is the perfect system, but this is my own somewhat biased opinion :)
To start off with, there are five damage types. This list is of course extensible/changeable to suit your campaign, but the basic premise relies on the fact that there are different classes of weapon damage. The classes I came up with, with example weapons, are:
- Percussive (clubs, hammers)
- Edged (swords, scythes)
- Piercing (rapiers, spears, daggers)
- Ballistic (arrows, bullet)
- Energy (lasers, masers)
Each armour style protects against one or more specific damage classes. It can provide different levels of protection for each different damage class. For example:
- Kevlar: Ballistic DDF 4, Edged DDF 2
- Plate: Impact, Edged, Piercing DDF 3
- Chain: Edged, Piercing DDF 2
Armour hit with damage of a class which it does not protect against has no effect on the damage. For example, if somebody wearing a Kevlar vest is stabbed with a dagger with an ODF of 3, they take a level 3 wound, as Kevlar does not protect against Piercing.
Option: Armour Types
An additional option that I haven't as yet playtested is to have armour types as well. These would be Conversion and Absorbtion.
- Conversion - chain, leather
- Absorbtion - plate, Kevlar
Conversion armour converts it's rating worth of damage into stun damage, with the rest going through. For example, if ODF 5 of damage is done to someone wearing DDF 3 conversion armour would take a level 3 stun and a level 2 wound. Absorbtion armour simply reduces any wound done by its DDF.
Option: Multiple Damage Classes
To make your combat even more realistic, your weapons should have the possibility of doing multiple damage classes. Some weapons would do two types at once with every hit, such as axes doing both Percussive and Edged (which is what makes them so effective agains chain mail in reality). Other weapons such as rapiers would do Edged or Piercing depending on the attack that the player makes. This would make weapons like armour and have multiple ODF values for different damage classes. For example:
- Axe: Percussive ODF 2 and Edged ODF 3
- Rapier: Piercing ODF 3 or Edged ODF 2