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Old 11-11-2019, 02:10 PM   #1
Plane
 
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Default enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

I was checking out the section on enchanting armor in GURPS Magic and noticed where the cost if for total suits and energy costs reduce for doing individual pieces of armor.

The cheapest being a 2.5% (1/40) cost for Neck armor, such as a Gorget...

This makes well enough sense for adding DR, since if you don't get DR for some armor, enemies could target that un-protected location...

But when it comes to the enchantment to add a defense bonus, usually a defense bonus from something like a shield will add to a dodge/parry/block no matter where you get targeted, I thought?

In that case, why go to the trouble of enchanting an entire suit with an expensive enchantment if you can get the +1 to your defenses by enchanting something cheap like a scarf or neckwarmer?

I was wondering if balance-wise, maybe that DB should only apply if that location is actually targeted?

That would also deal with a potential problem like "I have +1 on my left glove, my right glove, my right shoe, my left shoe and my scarf, for a total of +5 to dodge/parry!" at much more achievability than buying +5 DB on a single item.
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Old 11-11-2019, 02:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
But when it comes to the enchantment to add a defense bonus, usually a defense bonus from something like a shield will add to a dodge/parry/block no matter where you get targeted, I thought?
Defense bonus on armor only applies to the location struck. The very existence of this spell is a carryover from 3rd edition PD, and honestly, they should have deleted it, not converted it.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:45 PM   #3
Plane
 
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

If an active defense (block, parry or dodge) succeeds, you manage to avoid the attack or deflect it with a shield or weapon, so the armor wouldn't get struck.

Did you mean if it was targeted with a successful to-hit roll so that it WOULD be struck, if an active defense failed?

That's what I'm thinking of as a house rule but I don't actually see it saying anything like that in 4e Magic. Was this clarified somewhere in 3e magic and omitted?
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:54 PM   #4
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

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Did you mean if it was targeted with a successful to-hit roll so that it WOULD be struck, if an active defense failed?
Yes.
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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
That's what I'm thinking of as a house rule but I don't actually see it saying anything like that in 4e Magic. Was this clarified somewhere in 3e magic and omitted?
In 3e, deflect was a PD bonus, and PD only applied to attacks targeting the protected location.
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:55 PM   #5
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

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That's what I'm thinking of as a house rule but I don't actually see it saying anything like that in 4e Magic. Was this clarified somewhere in 3e magic and omitted?
In 3E we had Passive Defense, so the spell made more sense.
I would only apply it to those items that are actively used in the defense. So weapons for Parry and shield for Block.
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:20 PM   #6
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

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Originally Posted by Plane View Post
I was wondering if balance-wise, maybe that DB should only apply if that location is actually targeted?
This has always been my assumption of the intent of the rules. Clearly, they do not intend you to be able to enchant a gorget to give you +5 DB for your whole body. As you point out, that makes no sense, and it's not the way Fortify works. I would say if you have a +5 DB gorget, you get +5 to active defenses versus attacks targetting your neck. It's the Vorpal Defense Gorget.

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That's what I'm thinking of as a house rule but I don't actually see it saying anything like that in 4e Magic.
The wording is confusing, but there isn't a sensible reading that would allow a gauntlet to provide the same protection as a full suit of armor.

Further evidence of intent is provided in DFRPG Adventurers: "Cost is for a suit of armor. Piecewise armor can have Deflect or Fortify that adds Defense Bonus or Damage Resistance only vs. attacks on that location" (p. 118).
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Old 11-11-2019, 04:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
Further evidence of intent is provided in DFRPG Adventurers: "Cost is for a suit of armor. Piecewise armor can have Deflect or Fortify that adds Defense Bonus or Damage Resistance only vs. attacks on that location" (p. 118).
But what does that MEAN really? (Kidding.)

That being said, if you had a magic anti-vorpal gorget and paid the enchantment cost based on a full suit of armor then I could see it being basically a Dune shield belt: yes, the thing has a field that protects all of you, and you pay accordingly.

If you pay a reduced price for the item (paid in points, dollars, souls, whatever) then you get a reduced benefit.
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Old 11-11-2019, 05:37 PM   #8
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

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But what does that MEAN really? (Kidding.)
One of the things I love about DFRPG is the streamlined clarity of the rules. Kromm at his very best (which is saying something... I suspect Kromm in a drunken stupor could out-edit me).

Quote:
That being said, if you had a magic anti-vorpal gorget and paid the enchantment cost based on a full suit of armor then I could see it being basically a Dune shield belt: yes, the thing has a field that protects all of you, and you pay accordingly.
Exactly. I would even allow it on a non-armor item, as long as the costs were in line. So a ring of protection +5 would cost 20,000 energy (same as a full suit of armor). One could adjust energy or $$ on a case-by-case basis if there are other advantages or disadvantages to a particular type of item.

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If you pay a reduced price for the item (paid in points, dollars, souls, whatever) then you get a reduced benefit.
Yes. Exactly.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:32 PM   #9
Plane
 
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
Further evidence of intent is provided in DFRPG Adventurers: "Cost is for a suit of armor. Piecewise armor can have Deflect or Fortify that adds Defense Bonus or Damage Resistance only vs. attacks on that location" (p. 118).
That's WAY clearer, thanks :) Well, for Deflect's Defense Bonus anyway...

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But what does that MEAN really? (Kidding.
Well (not actually kidding) if Fortify's DR only applied when a location was targeted for an attack, then in theory it shouldn't protect against stuff like "Hurting Yourself" when you take damage as a result of punching something with 3+ DR, since there isn't actually an "attack" targeting your hand. Or similarly, if you were stepping into a pool of lava, is the lava attacking you? Or if you were grappling someone with Spikes?

DB "only vs attacks on that location" makes sense, but DR might be better described as "only vs damage on that location" since there are ways for a location to be damaged other than someone attacking it.

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Originally Posted by Dalin View Post
I would even allow it on a non-armor item, as long as the costs were in line. So a ring of protection +5 would cost 20,000 energy (same as a full suit of armor). One could adjust energy or $$ on a case-by-case basis if there are other advantages or disadvantages to a particular type of item.
The only benefit I can see is that in doing this is that it's harder to target the item: armor enchantments disappear once an armor is penetrated a certain number of times... and also you would presumably lose that DB if your item was stolen off your person.

So it would be harder to remove your defense bonus if that required targeting a smaller item, so that's a pretty huge advantage.

A counterpart drawback to this might be, whereas if a piece of a full suit was removed you would still presumably get your DB from all the remaining pieces if those pieces were targeted (but not if the removed piece's location was targeted) whereas if you got a whole-body DB from 1 piece, all your eggs are in 1 basket and you get no DB against ANY locations once your magic ring is destroyed/stolen.

Size of the location still probably should matter. There'd be a difference between
"I wear a chest plate (-0 to hit) that gives me DB+5 so I can dodge better no matter where people snipe my body"
and
"I have false eye (-9 to hit) which gives me DB+5 so I can dodge better no matter where people snipe me"

Maybe if there was some sort of precedent with enhancing spells? Normally full-body protection is basically -0 to hit (any random hit location would work) so something like +5% or +10% energy cost per -1 to hit?

The "I only need to protect one location" vs "all my protection depends on one location" might balance out.
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:15 PM   #10
Kromm
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Default Re: enchanting a Gorget with a Defense Bonus?

I'll say only that "I have to punch 30 holes in this one piece of plate armor, which might be enchanted to be harder to punch holes in, to make just that one bit less magical" seems like a more daunting challenge than "I have to steal this guy's ring to completely negate the magical protection it provides to his whole body." In the case where you're a crap thief, there's always simply chopping off the ring-finger . . . that's one penetration.

Yes, there's a downside to having to wear a suit of plate armor rather than a ring: It's much, much heavier. But the extra weight is also doing something, which is providing you with DR 6 regardless of enchantments, so I'm not sure that's a real drawback.
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