Armor Soak and Hardness Changes

The way the Current System works, as I understand it, is:

  • A Child = 1 Str – 1 effective for being Child (so 0 for dmg purposes)
  • With a Dull Knife +1L, minimum damage value of 1 (that is default, huge weapons like a Grimcleaver has min dmg of 4)
  • The Child attacks a Knight wearing Super Heavy Plate: 12L/12B Soak
  • The Knight actually is just a rich brat who bought his rank, thus has DV value of 1 [(2 Dex + 1 Dodge) /2 round down)]

Let say the Child rolled 2 Successes so he hit with 0 Threshold: 2 – 1 min success for successful attack and – 1 for the Knight’s DV.

From this point, even if the Knight is wearing a solid block of steel with soak 20L/20B level of protection, the child will at least do 1 dice worth of damage

Exalted Core Rules Page 252: “Armor lets minimum damage through. Players of attackers who hit you, no matter how heavy your armor, still roll their minimum damage – normally one die, two dice or their Essence in dice [In other section this is explained as capped at the weapon potential]”

So the child with Strength of 1 and a dull knife would essentially ignore 12 levels of soak to do his normal 1 dice of damage, because the knight wasn’t able to parry the attack. A defensive act that has nothing to do with what armor he is wearing.

The Knight would suffer the exact same damage if he were wearing ANY other (non-magical) armor, from a leather jacket to super-heavy plate – since the weakest armor has a soak of 3 and only magical armor have Hardness rating.

I find that highly unrealistic. There for I am changing it.

First thing that changes is Hardness

Hardness values are now this. Any attack where the Damage Potential (as defined by Strength + Weapon Damage) is lower than the Hardness is ignored. The amount of attack successes does not factor into the equation. So no matter how successfully you overcame an opponent’s parry/dodge, as long as his Armor’s Soak value is in effect, you cannot hurt him unless your Raw Damage Potential is capable of puncturing through the Hardness of the Armor.

So now Hardness’s function is no longer to stop minimum damage from occurring. It is now the ability to make the person wearing the armor invulnerable to low damage potential attacks. This effectively makes things like Warstriders, with their hardness of 8 to 15, nigh-invincible except against those with weapons designed for penetrating armor and/or superheavy and/or used by Strong Characters, which makes more sense.

Hardness is considered Armor Soak, so it is halved by Piercing Effects.

Note: appropriately spectacular Stuns can actually ignore Hardness value, like in “Ninja Scroll” where Jubei using his unexpected surprise to shoot the Stone Demon Guy in the Eye. In normal combat situations he wouldn’t have hit.

The Minimum Damage is now this

As long as the attack overcomes Soak, i.e. the Post-Soak Damage is higher than 0, you get the highest of the following as Minimum dice rolled

  • Essence Stat: which is still capped at the Damage Potential (Dmg + Str). Since Essence stat cannot give you damage that you are incapable of inflicting.
  • Minimum Damage of the Weapon: which is 1 unless weapon has the “Overwhelming” attribute and In the latter case use the appropriate value.
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