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    The Very Reason

    Written by Ghost Archer. No comments Posted in: Campaign Stuff, Gamers, Philosophy

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    I was talking about AD&D in my last post and tonight Cody came to me with a question … concerning a D&D 5 character of his. He wanted to know what kind of defense using a person’s body as a meat shield would afford him. Its D&D, son, how the hell do I know? So we talked it out and he grabbed his Player’s Handbook and looked up a few things. No rules, not even a hint … and that’s the very reason I tossed AD&D into the ‘never play this crap again’ pile.

    I hadn’t had that AD&D DM Guide for more than a few weeks when I ran across my new favorite stupidity. Opening a door. Gee, I have STR of X so to bash a door down I have to roll X or less on a six-sided dice. What if the door is a flimsy modern indoor house door? Is it easier … nope. Or if it is an iron bound solid oak door, is it harder? No … I didn’t see anywhere that things like that were taken into account. So now we have my mighty son wishing to use a body as a meat shield.

    I suggested an increase in Thexes’ armor class based on the armor the body is wearing. Of course ‘armor class’ is a pretty screwed up system in the first place since as a Hero player I can see all kinds of possibilities. D&D … no rule. Does it increase AC? Does it have any penalties for trying to maneuver a limp corpse … nah. How about any idea how much strength it takes to maneuver said corpse? Nope. And what if they hit the corpse with say … a nice long sharp spear? Does it go through and nail the shielded person? I could answer all that with Hero … He still hasn’t seen the Light …

    I told him with a 100 kg corpse, he’d need 10 STR to pick it up but since he wanted to keep it upright and between his attacker and himself, he’d probably need a 12 STR. Would it lower his Defensive Combat Value (DCV), heck yeah. Ask any fireman who has ever pulled someone out of a build and they’ll tell you it slows you down, a lot. I would hit him with a -2 DCV at least. Then there’s defense. Treat it as a wall with PD/ED equal to the PD/ED of the body plus and armor, rPD/rED, natch. Then there is the ‘BODY’ of the body. Pretty obvious, that of the corpse when alive. So, any STUN or BODY that exceeds the meat shield’s, the character takes against his own defenses.

    Is that unnecessarily complex? Personally, I don’t think so. Why? Logic. Hero is pretty logical, D&D … not so much. That first time I lifted a foot to kick in a door as Ghost Archer, I knew exactly what was to be expected. I knew how much damage I could do and how much the door could take. From there, easy … of course unless you are JJ. Playing Champions, a SUPER hero game for crap sake, we watched JJ valiantly attempt to kick down a fire door over and over. I think he gave up after three tries, unlimbered his plasma rifle and blasted the top of the building off (it was the access door on a roof). The primary reason War Eagle now has a 50 STR instead of his original 10 is because of that door. JJ was never going to be thwarted by a metal sheathed hunk of wood ever again.

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