Thursday, November 13, 2014

Felltower Armor Enchantment Roundout

I use a mix of rules and house rules for the armor enchantments, specifically Deflect, Fortify, and Lighten. All of these are house rules unless marked as RAW.

First, I apply the percentage discount for casting spells on armor pieces after calculating price, as described here: GCA Coding my enchantment house rule

Deflect: Only usable on shields.

Back in the day, we allowed this on armor, and it only applied to the top layer. But to avoid a per-location DB, and because defenses are so damn high in DF, we ditched it for this game.

- Unaffected by Mana levels except for No Mana Zones.

Fortify: DR from different Fortify spells stack.

- Fortify is limited to the DR of the item, or +1, whichever is higher. Fine armor doubles this limit!

- Ordinary clothing with Fortify +1 is allowed, but it counts as a layer of armor for DX penalty purposes.

- Layering rules are strictly enforced.

- Regardless of the Magery of the enchanter, DR is limited to +5.

- Unaffected by Mana levels except for No Mana Zones.

For example, Scale with Fortify +2 over cloth armor with Fortify +1 would provide (4+2) + (1+1) = 8 DR. A greathelm with Fortify +5 over a pot helm with Fortify +5 over a giant spider silk cloth cap with Fortify +2 provides a whopping (7+5) + (4+4) + (2+2) = DR 24 to the skull. You'll pay a pile of gold for that, though, and you'll face monsters that make DR 24 just about enough.

Lighten: Affects only the armor enchanted. (RAW) However, two house rules apply:

- the reduced weight affects the armor at all times, even if not worn.

- the reduced weight is unaffected by No Mana Zones or Low Mana Zones. The Lighten spell is effectively a one-time removal, permanently, of some of the weight of the material by removing some of its essential makeup without reducing its protective qualities.*

These rules ensure as little work as possible during play, but serve to both reward players who careful plan their armor layering (since it stacks) and restrict how much that matters overall (because layering reduces DX). It also gives everyone a load of head armor, which is good, because it keeps instant PC deaths down to a manageable level.

And like I detailed in this post, if I could do it again, I'd make all armor enchantments require a prefix. It would be nice if Fine was more common than enchanted.

But that's how I do my armor enchantments in my current GURPS game.

* This is inspired by the enchantment of physical equipment in the Morlock the Maker series of books. It's also to prevent NMZs from making people track two levels of encumbrance - or having to force people to buy Power-20 armor to prevent loss of efficacy in LMZs.

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