Campaign of the Month: November 2011
Avatar: Conquest of the Imperial Order
The first question you might ask is what is Avatar D20? This system is a D20 System-based Role Playing Game similar to the popular Dungeons and Dragons Role Playing Game. Avatar D20 is a community-built system designed and tested by the Giant in the Playground RPG Homebrew Forum Community by many contributors. This system was created and published to be an Avatar The Last Airbender Role Playing Game.
Avatar D20 and Dungeons and Dragons 3.5
The Avatar D20 system seems to have a lot in common with the D&D 3.5 game. This is because Avatar D20 uses the D20 System that is the fundamental system of D&D. However, there are differences in the core rules between the two systems. Armor as Damage Reduction: The one major system difference between normal core D20 System and Avatar D20 is that all armor provides Damage Reduction in addition to Armor Class bonuses.
Armor as Damage Reduction: http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm
In the abstract d20 combat system, a character’s armor defends him by reducing the chance that an attack will deal damage. That system simplifies the realities of battle in order to streamline combat resolution. An attack that fails due to a character’s armor or natural armor doesn’t really fail to connect, but rather fails to connect with enough force to deal any damage. (That’s what touch attacks ignore a character’s armor and natural armor—the touch attack only needs to connect to deliver its effect, and need not actually breach the target’s armor.)
If you’re willing to add a layer of complexity to your combats, consider this variant. In this system, armor reduces the amount of damage dealt by an attack instead of merely turning would-be hits into misses. Armor still prevents some hits outright, but also reduces the deadliness of attacks that do connect. In essence, the system “gives up” some of armor’s ability to turn hits into misses in exchange for a small reduction in damage dealt by any given attack.
Metagame Analysis: Armor as DR
It’s pretty easy to see the effect of this variant system: attacks hit more often, but do less damage. What does that really mean?
Low-level combat tends to be less dangerous for armored characters. Although their ACs are lower (and thus their chance of being damaged is higher), this is more than offset by the reduced damage suffered by attacks. A typical goblin warrior, for instance, can barely hurt a character wearing splint mail, because the armor’s damage reduction entirely negates the damage dealt by an average hit. Even though the goblin will hit more often, it will likely end up dealing less total damage over the course of a typical battle.
A mid-level fighter in full plate armor must still be cautious when fighting an ogre, but his armor reduces the ogre’s average damage by 25% while only increasing its chance to hit by 20%—a net gain for the fighter.
At higher levels, however, the balance shifts back in favor of monsters that deal large amounts of damage per hit. When facing a Huge earth elemental, a fighter in full plate will be hit 20% more often (due to the 4-point reduction in AC), but his 4 points of damage reduction now only reduces his opponent’s average damage by less than 17%. Advantage: elemental. Thus, high-level characters must be more careful when battling monsters with extreme damage-dealing capability.
Combo: Defense Bonus And Damage Reduction
You can combine the defense bonus variant and the armor as damage reduction variant in a variety of ways to create a more complex system.
Using both systems , a character’s armor bonus overrides his defense bonus, even if the defense bonus is higher. This forces characters to make a tough choice between having a high AC and having damage reduction.