This picture will sit alongside the Future Armour table in the Armour section, and will also feature in Under the Hood to illustrate the section on designing armour.
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For this post, I'm going to go over the basics of armour in PowerFrame.
When you get hit by an attack, the attacker rolls and adds their Damage rating – typically a combination of their Strength (or another Ability) and a Damage Bonus from the weapon. Some weapons such as firearms just have a set Damage rating. To resist you roll and add your Toughness, plus any protection granted by Armour. If the Damage roll exceeds the Toughness roll, you lose the excess off your Health.
The very first draft of PowerFrame was built around a techno-fantasy setting, and there were only four types of armour. The basic three fantasy varieties – Leather, Chain (Maille) and Plate – granted a +1, +2, and +3 bonus respectively. Futuristic power armour granted a +5 bonus.
Diversifying the Armour List
For a long time, weapons and magical attacks had Damage Types – Cutting, Piercing, Bludgeoning, and Energy. However, since armour provided uniform protection against all types of damage, it was really just for flavour. Eventually during a system discussion with +Andrew Grosse and +Melysa Hamilton, we realised that giving different Protection ratings against the four Damage Types allowed us to expand the armour list dramatically! It was a pretty obvious step, but I'd been focussing on the system's simplicity in the past and hadn't really thought about it until then.
Using Ancient armour as the baseline, Modern armour gives better protection for the same Encumbrance, but also has higher Cost and Threat. Future armour takes that one step further.
Characters are divided into six Hit Locations - Head, Chest, Stomach, Hips, Arms, and Legs. Each area is armoured separately, meaning you can choose to wear only a piece or two, a whole suit of the same type, or a piecemeal outfit. You can put together your armour based on what you can afford, how much you can wear without slowing down, your personal sense of style, or simply what's available at the time.
Normally you can only wear one piece of armour on each Location (although the Futuristic Bodysuit allows one extra layer to be stacked on top). If you wear two overlapping pieces, you get an Encumbrance penalty and only apply the highest Protection against a particular Damage Type.
I'm planning to tackle the Modern Armour illustration next, so the next article will expand on the armour variations and the rules for creating your own armour types.