What’s in your Travel Sack? Armor and Shields and Accoutrements, Oh My!
Last time we learned about your character’s Defense Ratings (DRs), particularly Combat Defense (CD), which represents how hard it is for someone to hit you with a melee or ranged weapon. We also looked at Soak, which represents how tough your character is and how hard it is to deal them significant damage.
But what if your character doesn’t have a high CD or Soak? What can a simple PC like you do to protect yourself? For starters, you should be ready in case someone tries to introduce you to the sharp end of their blade. This means being armed and armored. As I mentioned in a previous blog on weapons, being unarmed and being unarmored EACH confer a +5 bonus to attacks against you. You’re not likely to last very long in the dangerous world if you are not prepared. Get yourself some armor – it doesn’t have to be fancy. Simple padded or leather armor is enough to protect your vitals, but more expensive armor will grant you a larger Soak bonus. This may restrict your movement a bit*, but it can be worth it. Find a balance that works for you.
While you are shopping around, you may want to consider getting a shield. Remember that you have to hold it, so it will be occupying one of your hands. That can be a factor if you’re planning to be holding something else, like a large axe that requires two hands.
The way a shield work in Beyonder is pretty cool, and allows you to retroactively apply its bonus. This is how it works:
When you get attacked, the Moderator rolls to see if you’ve been hit. If you have, before the Moderator tells you how bad it is, you can say, “I would like to use the Deflect action to use my shield.” This does three things:
- Your present action is delayed by 1-m (a small price to pay).
- You get a bonus to your CD from the shield, which could mean that the attack does not actually hit you.
- If the attack does still hit you, the shield absorbs some of it, giving you a bonus to your Soak (not a bad deal at all!).
Finally, your accoutrements. These are the various “extras,” such as helmets and knee-guards, that often come along with a standard set of armor. They provide a little extra protection, again at the cost of some mobility (although with some practice you can avoid that too). They make it more difficult for enemies to perform stunts related to the parts of your body they protect – for example, when you are wearing gauntlets it’s harder to disarm you*.
That’s all for now, folks! See you next time, when we look at other random junk that you might want to carry in your travel sack: climbing gear, vigor potions, Energetic poison, horses… on second thought, you probably shouldn’t put those in the sack.
*See page 146 of our rulebook, Beyonder: The Science of the Six for details.