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Old 06-18-2019, 12:56 PM   #1
AlexanderHowl
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Default Realistic Armor

In many ways, GURPS fall flat on its face when it comes to realistic portrayals of modern body armor. In general, most modern body armor should probably be semi-ablative against piercing damage while modern ceramic inserts should be ablative against piercing damage (there are metallic inserts that are neither, but they are more recent developments). The result is that modern body armors are good for a few hits from bullets, but they should be replaced after someone is hit by a bullet.

If such realistic changes are implemented though, I would suggest that modern body armor should have its DR doubled without changing cost and weight to account for the fact that you can generally take a few hits without severe injury beyond blunt trauma. With such a change, you will still have players invest in modern body armors even with their potential to suffer declining effectiveness. In addition, a realistic treatment of flexible body armor will halve its DR if stored improperly for prolonged periods, as the fibers will be damaged.
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Old 06-18-2019, 01:59 PM   #2
Varyon
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Default Re: Realistic Armor

I'd be tempted to give ceramic inserts essentially 4 DR values. Let's call these MinDR, MaxDR, DR, and bDR. Damage below MinDR just bounces/splashes off with no (or minimal, use the rules for semi-ablative) effect on the armor itself. Damage at or above MinDR shatters the plate, but as long as MaxDR isn't exceeded, the plate does its job and the attack fails to injure the wearer (beyond possible blunt trauma). If MaxDR is exceeded, subtract the DR from the attack's damage to determine penetrating damage. Once a plate has been shattered, it continues to give semi-ablative DR equal to bDR.

A more simplistic, but perhaps less realistic, way to handle it is more-or-less the way I see Shardplate (from The Stormlight Archives) working, where armor has an HP-like stat (that exceeds the armor's weight-based HP, so should probably have a different name, but we'll use HP). Damage up to DR bounces/splashes off. Beyond DR, further damage reduces the armor's HP, but the armor continues to protect. If HP reaches 0, the armor shatters, either outright eliminating it or greatly reducing the DR. Optionally, allow the armor to actually absorb enough damage from a single attack to reduce it to -HP, or maybe even a multiple thereof. Note this is roughly the way most ablative enemy armor seems to work in games like Far Cry 5/New Dawn (non-ablative armor in games usually grants IT:DR rather than DR), and would actually be a useful paradigm for a lot of armor in a cinematic campaign.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:52 PM   #3
Rupert
 
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Default Re: Realistic Armor

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
In many ways, GURPS fall flat on its face when it comes to realistic portrayals of modern body armor. In general, most modern body armor should probably be semi-ablative against piercing damage while modern ceramic inserts should be ablative against piercing damage (there are metallic inserts that are neither, but they are more recent developments). The result is that modern body armors are good for a few hits from bullets, but they should be replaced after someone is hit by a bullet.
Actually, steel inserts and plate have been around for a long time, and have always been non-ablative except vs hits right on top of each other.

Quote:
If such realistic changes are implemented though, I would suggest that modern body armor should have its DR doubled without changing cost and weight to account for the fact that you can generally take a few hits without severe injury beyond blunt trauma.
That makes no sense. Modern armours that are rated against, say 5.56x45mm ball (DR17) do not stop 7.62x51mm ball (DR24) for a hit (which they would if given DR34). They just let it through with somewhat reduced energy and break in the process.

EDIT: Now, if you don't like the way armour in GURPS tends to 'leak' because it's only rated against the average damage roll, I suggest you look at Douglas Cole's 'armour as dice' rules, which were in one Pyramid or another, and have been explied in these forums many times.
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Old 06-18-2019, 04:38 PM   #4
fula farbrorn
 
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Default Re: Realistic Armor

A normal Steel insert out of AR500 steel will be able to take hundreds of rounds, thats why they use them for targets, and modern Non steel plates will still take dozens of rounds, there are a few videos out there showing it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oG15mCbj74w

Douglas coles way to handle it is pretty nice, i have been doing something similar, just converting the damage to a raw number, leaving atleast one die for some randomization, then i roll Damage as normal if the round penetrates
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Old 06-18-2019, 07:17 PM   #5
Plane
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Default Re: Realistic Armor

Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexanderHowl View Post
most modern body armor should probably be semi-ablative against piercing damage while modern ceramic inserts should be ablative against piercing damage (there are metallic inserts that are neither, but they are more recent developments).
You mean like a modification of Low-Tech Companion 2 (Weapons and Warriors) expanding the "Damage to Armor" guidelines for a wider variety?

Rigid = Homogenous and Flexible = Diffuse means they suffer HP (albeit reduced) from piercing but actually less than other forms, crushing actually does better somehow.
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