Armor and Traps

Sorry if I missed something about this on the forums already.

From what I gather there’s a longstanding tradition of amor providing a mechanical benefit against traps that crush, poke, stab, slice, etc.

I think the best way to handle this in Torchbearer is to leave it up to the player to lobby for a +1D by using their armor as supplies, thus breaking the armor or losing it in some way. Though some might argue that armor is more like using beneficial gear (not sacrificed automatically when used).

And to complicate things a little bit, different types of armor break down into different categories. For instance, leather doesn’t work against spears, helmets always break when used, shields (technically a weapon) don’t provide a benefit against flails, and maces negate chainmail. So when designing a trap, I believe it’s in the GM’s rights to say something like, “Leather can’t help against this arrow trap,” or “This boulder negates chainmail.”

How have you been handling armor and traps?

I would simply use the rules for failed tests and twists, though this may not quite be what you had in mind. If a player fails the test to avoid a trap, the GM can use a twist to destroy or damage a piece of armour. (There’s really a thousand mean things a creative GM can do with twists.) If the alternative is success with a condition like injured, the armour has done its job …

One thing to add – remember that, when an injured character tackles an obstacle involving physical danger, the GM must inform him when death is on the line. Players must know when they cannot count on armour (or any other twist or condition) to save their guy.