mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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Oubliette: Armor & Willpower.

I've spent a lot of time thinking about armor & weapons in Oubliette, on more than one occasion. Right now, on the subject of armor, I'm increasingly leaning toward one end of the spectrum: Willpower. I think "you can't recover Willpower from a night's sleep when you are in armor" is a simple call, & one that basically everyone can get behind, right? I guess spring boarding from there is my notion of a Willpower Penalty. That is; when you wear armor for any useful amount of time, it costs points of Willpower. You know, you are wearing the extra weight of the chain, sweating under the leather & bronze, claustrophobic in that tin can of steel-- it takes a toll, both physical & mental. Having armor add to Defense is the simplest & most elegant solution, so why mess with it? I want there to be a trade off, though, & I think Willpower is a good one, both in terms of game balance & in terms of evoking a story. Oh sure, an "armor check penalty" mechanic is good-- it is harder to sneak around, or climb, or swim when you are encumbered by some kind of armor, but an penalty like that only goes so far. Players have a tendency to "conveniently forget it"-- which I don't mean as a condemnation of cheating, but rather that there is no incentive to keeping track of your character being screwed over. This goes back to why I like World of Darkness' Vices & Flaws, & to my thoughts on a Trait system, but lets table that discussion for now. Penalizing Willpower is noticeable & easy, while being interesting enough & making Players want to take off their armor, sometimes. Or to not have it on in the first place, for that matter. Things like penalties to skill rolls can still be a factor, & heavy armor could still decrease your natural Defense, but as a core mechanic, I think having to spend Willpower to be functional in armor is a solid idea.
Tags: equipment, house rules, oubliette, rpgs, wod

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