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Armor check penalties

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I'm sorry if this has been asked before, but my google-fu is failing me. 

 

There are occasional hints that heavy armors increase the difficulty of some checks, especially stealth. In particular, attachments that improve stealth often have comments in the fluff that say they don't work as well on laminated or heavy battle armors (or is 'nearly useless'). However, I can't find anything in the armor descriptions or skill descriptions that say this. 

 

So... I'm seeing three possibilities. First, and probably most likely, is that I've simply missed a few lines that explain how armor affects various physical checks. Second, it's just up to the GM, and he can add setback die as appropriate when I try to sneak around in my powered armor. Third, the lines in the attachment descriptions are just fluff, and should generally be ignored. 

 

How has everyone else handled this? 

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As far as I know there's nothing written down anywhere in the books that assigns setback dice based on what you're wearing. Personally I tend to throw in a setback die in certain circumstances when players use skills like Coordination, Athletics and Stealth when wearing the heavier types of armour, but that's just my take on it and not supported by any RAW.

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As far as I know there's nothing written down anywhere in the books that assigns setback dice based on what you're wearing. Personally I tend to throw in a setback die in certain circumstances when players use skills like Coordination, Athletics and Stealth when wearing the heavier types of armour, but that's just my take on it and not supported by any RAW.

 So I haven't missed anything. That actually makes me feel better. 

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The only hard rules mention I've seen is the 'Custom Fit' armour attachment which removes Setback dice from Stealth and Athletics checks. I've always gone with "up to the GM".

Odd that custom-fitted armor can remove penalties better than simply not wearing armor can.

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"Attempts to hide from all of an opponent's senses are dependent upon Stealth, though difficulties may be modified by ambient conditions and any applicable gear."

 

That's straight from Stealth, so it clearly says to me the amount of gear carried, type of armor worn, etc, level or nature of Stealth check, can and should all be used as factors routinely in determining base Difficulty along with potential Setbacks.  The description swings both ways imo, special goggles and sensors and such for spotting, and trying to sneak quietly in the vents wearing laminate armor and hauling a bunch of gear for making it harder.

Edited by 2P51

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The only hard rules mention I've seen is the 'Custom Fit' armour attachment which removes Setback dice from Stealth and Athletics checks. I've always gone with "up to the GM".

Odd that custom-fitted armor can remove penalties better than simply not wearing armor can.

 

Only if one assumes that the GM isn't assigning setback dice like he's supposed to.

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Yeah, I think this is one of those things where the Devs assumed all GMs were doing something they are not explicitly called upon to do.

 

I mean, I have no problem doing it now that I have a base for comparison, but it would have made more sense if things like laminate and battle armor actually called out applying setbacks to checks like that in the long description.

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I've simply assigned "Bulky 1" to Heavy Battle Armor and that large hazardous environment suit that I can't think the name of: Gives 1 Setback to Agility actions.

Agility actions? So any ranged attacks, piloting, etc.?

 

Maybe some agility actions, but some brawn actions too. I can't see it making a huge difference when firing a weapon, but sneaking, jumping, running, yeah. Even flying a ship seems iffy, especially if it's a personal ship designed to be piloted by an armored type. 

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I've simply assigned "Bulky 1" to Heavy Battle Armor and that large hazardous environment suit that I can't think the name of: Gives 1 Setback to Agility actions.

Agility actions? So any ranged attacks, piloting, etc.?

 

Maybe some agility actions, but some brawn actions too. I can't see it making a huge difference when firing a weapon, but sneaking, jumping, running, yeah. Even flying a ship seems iffy, especially if it's a personal ship designed to be piloted by an armored type. 

 

 

To be honest it hasn't come up since no PCs have obtained any of the armor. I think the original discussion spoke about Athletics and Agility actions. I think the only way to properly do it would be to use GM discretion of when it applies. My Bulky quality wasn't about the weight of the armor but difficulties performing fine tasks due to bulk, armored gloves, etc. Encumbrance handles the weight issues already. Adding a Bulky quality would be something additional to armors that should have some hindrance to physical activities even if the wearer was a hulking monster that didn't notice the added weight.

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