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Old 04-17-2018, 07:38 PM   #27
Gunnery Sergeant,
 Imperial Marines
 GURPS High-Tech
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Default Re: High tech armor vs Ultra-tech armor

I'm sorry this is ruining your game! Here's the scoop.

The Dragon Skin armor was getting a lot of attention when we turned in the manuscript in 2006. The battle was between the Army's testing program, which couldn't decide how to handle a scalar armor, versus the private company with a lot of retired Army brass and good media attention. The thing was all over the media, who treated it as a scandal that troops were not being given the best armor available. If we didn't address it, the thinking was the owners of this new HT book would complain it wasn't up to date...heh.

Given what we knew at the time (not much!), the armor was given similar DR/weight to the assault vest with plates, in the table right above the advanced armor (same DR, but 1 lb. heavier). It was more costly, of course, and the scales really reduced the bulk -- if you can find pictures of it you'll see what I mean. That still puts it at -7 or -8 to conceal, possible perhaps with a trenchcoat or the like. None of this seemed a bit controversial at the time to our playtesters, as I recall.

The fact is we did not in HT require the use of an extra roll to determine whether your armor protected (though the optional rules are in the book). LT came later, and ruled that those extra rolls were required. <shrug> It's not unreasonable to give bullet attacking this type of armor a 4/6 (large) or even 3/6 (small) chance of hitting the plates. As we noted in the section in HT on trauma plates, these might be considered semi-ablative, too.

If the press reports are to be believed, the major problem of the Dragonskin armor (besides just being difficult to assess versus the NIJ standards because it was a NEW type of armor) is that the scales de-laminated in the heat and with wear and tear. Apparently the adhesives just gave out and the scales would pop loose. If this was true, or something like it, give a HT 8 to HT 10 and roll weekly in hot weather. A failure reduces coverage by another 1/6.

Now, if you use all these rules, let your player keep the albatross and point out that the fully mature UT armor suffers none of these problems. Maybe he'll realize he's got a prototype and turn it in for a better version.

As a GM, if armor is a big deal in your games and you're not just picking off a list, by all means use the armor design systems from David Pulver. I collaborated with him somewhat on those systems, so he's got my blessing, FWIW.
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