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Old 08-30-2017, 12:01 AM   #1
VariousRen
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Default [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

I'm going to be running a Traveller: Interstellar Wars game soon and I've begun compiling a list of weapons and armour from Ultra Tech that exist in the world (Along with their legality class). Weapons have been fine, but I've hit a small snag with the armour.

In Low Tech, layering one suit of armour over another is generally a -1 to DX, which works fine. In Ultra Tech a lot of the armours are thin enough to pass as every day clothing like t-shirts and jeans. One of my players is interested in layering two or more of these layers of armour, specifically so they can have protection against both ballistic and laser based threats. It seems like Ultra Tech armour should be more friendly to layering than the normal rules would indicate.

I'm considering allowing up to two suits of flexible, concealable armour to be layered before DX penalties begin. Armour will look bulky and be obvious if you're wearing more than one layer. Does this seem reasonable, or are there other things I should consider about layering Ultra Tech armour?
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Old 08-30-2017, 01:46 AM   #2
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

I don't know if you use the ultratech armour design article from pyramid, but I'd probably allow such non penalty layering if the thickness of each layer was below a certain percentage of the max thickness (e.g. maybe a quarter).

Thing is at these tech level if you want to have the benefits of two type of armour I'm pretty sure they could just be integrated into a suit that combines two layers into one thing anyway. This is similar in concept to the TL9 combat uniforms in another pyramid article where you can combine number of layers that have different effects.

TBH I think the DX pen layers concept is really more a game abstraction than a hard and fast law in reality. That I think can be trumped by reality in variety of ways.

Hell even at lower TL's I'd allow reasonable, clever and expensive options circumvent it to an extent, especially as the weight of layers remains a limiting factor


Sorry If I'm a bit vague about Pyramid cites, I don't have access to my PDFs when posting this!

Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-01-2017 at 03:25 AM.
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:04 PM   #3
Anthony
 
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Location: Berkeley, CA
Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

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Originally Posted by VariousRen View Post
I'm considering allowing up to two suits of flexible, concealable armour to be layered before DX penalties begin. Armour will look bulky and be obvious if you're wearing more than one layer. Does this seem reasonable, or are there other things I should consider about layering Ultra Tech armour?
I'd keep the DX penalties. Realistically, armor layers have to be designed to work with one another, and will suffer both performance and fit problems if they aren't. Armor layers that are designed to work together are just a new hybrid armor type.

On the plus side, it's probably not that hard to get armor layers that are designed to work together, it just requires custom work rather than off the shelf components. This assumes the layers are compatible, and that their combined thickness is not too great; what was the idea to be combined?
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Old 08-30-2017, 12:26 PM   #4
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

I'd require custom-tailoring for Normal quality concealable armor to not give -1 DX, while Light quality can be bought off the shelf. Don't think I'd allow 3 layers, though.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:11 AM   #5
Culture20
 
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
I'd keep the DX penalties. Realistically, armor layers have to be designed to work with one another, and will suffer both performance and fit problems if they aren't. Armor layers that are designed to work together are just a new hybrid armor type.
And yet some armors in Ultra Tech are literally clothing that are "magically" armor. A layer of armor spandex, a layer of armor T-shirt & Jeans, plus a final layer of armor raincoat won't be restrictive at all. Compare even this layered armor to the DR of rigid armor or flexible + trauma plates from the same TL, and you're still way under prepared for a fight with TL weapons, but better than nothing.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:25 AM   #6
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

If you are going to remove the DX pens for layering but are concerned that everyone will just walk around in 10x t-shirts with 10x DR.

You could adapt the Douglas Cole's rules for stacking Kevlar type fabrics in armour as dice against attacks that would beat each individual layer.


(I'm not arguing that the situation that underpins those rules for TL8 armour fabrics will be true for all flexible armour in the future, just suggesting it as a game option to get around a possible issue at some tables)

Last edited by Tomsdad; 08-31-2017 at 06:14 AM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:04 AM   #7
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

The ballistic armor in UT can be tailored as clothing - I'd consider anything not bulky clothing as okay.
There's a Perk allows you to ignore the inconvenience of your personal quotidian armor choice.

a clothing comparison - I've spend the last two months working in lightweight trousers and short-sleeved lightweight t-shirt.
By January, I'll be wearing standard work trousers with a thermal baselayer. Tops: ls baselayer, ss thermal, ls thermal, ls polo, ls sweater, microfibre jacket, hi-vis vest, and wet days add shower coat and second hi-vis.

Thing is, I don't feel encumbered until I add the showerproof. Summer/Winter, doesn't feel much different but I reckon I hit the -1DX at that third T-shirt, just accustomed to it. Although, the heat is the big factor.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:27 AM   #8
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

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Originally Posted by jacobmuller View Post
The ballistic armor in UT can be tailored as clothing - I'd consider anything not bulky clothing as okay.
There's a Perk allows you to ignore the inconvenience of your personal quotidian armor choice.

a clothing comparison - I've spend the last two months working in lightweight trousers and short-sleeved lightweight t-shirt.
By January, I'll be wearing standard work trousers with a thermal baselayer. Tops: ls baselayer, ss thermal, ls thermal, ls polo, ls sweater, microfibre jacket, hi-vis vest, and wet days add shower coat and second hi-vis.

Thing is, I don't feel encumbered until I add the showerproof. Summer/Winter, doesn't feel much different but I reckon I hit the -1DX at that third T-shirt, just accustomed to it. Although, the heat is the big factor.

One of the things I've always considered is that part of operating successfully in armour is that you train and acclimatise to operating in armour (to an extent), and IIRC GURPS has no specific ways to show this.

Now some of this can be just done with bonuses to stats that have a knock on effects e.g giving those who train and operate in armour more lifting ST to avoid encumbrance penalises in general.

But in my usual liking for specific solutions to specifics situations I've often considered armour training perks that could for example negate a certain amount of encumbrance (but not absolute weight) it it comes from armour your experienced with.

Or maybe a perk that allows you buy off a layer penalty for specific sets of armour. (call it 'armour bond' if you like)

Depending on what system you use for FP loss I reckon you could have a similar perk for the issue of mitigating operating in heat and armour as well.

As get points out historically people operated in heavy armour and hot climates, but it's also was harder for those who hadn't experienced it or acclimatised to it.

basically there is of course always going to be limit to how much you can acclimatise, but acclimatisation to specific combination of things is most definitely a thing.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 08-31-2017 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:41 AM   #9
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
One of the things I've always considered is that part of operating successfully in armour is that you train and acclimatise to operating in armour (to an extent), and IIRC GURPS has no specific ways to show this.
En contraire! There's the Armour familiarity perk! It's not what you're thinking of, however, in that it really only benefits Judo, Karate, and fencing skills.
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Old 08-31-2017, 09:46 AM   #10
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: [Ultra Tech] Layering Armour

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En contraire! There's the Armour familiarity perk! It's not what you're thinking of, however, in that it really only benefits Judo, Karate, and fencing skills.
Good point (although as you say it doesn't tackle the things we're talking about here)
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