Swimming in armor


That’s the only armor you’re allowed to take into water

I’ve been obsessed with the “swimming in armor” rules for a while. Every system has a say on it, with varying degrees of complexity, but none of them really strike home with me. They run the gamut from the not-very-realistic to the not-realistic-at-all. With Dungeon Crawl Classics they just didn’t want to tackle this issue, I guess because of the inherent difficulty. Finally, inspired by the extraordinary Fire and Brimstone! A comprehensive guide to lava, magma and superheated rock (Link!) I think I’ve managed to design an elegant yet simple rule that  can be used not only with DCC, but also with any Dungeons & Dragons clone or iteration:

If you fall into water, you’re completely covered by it, and you’re wearing armor, you’ll sink to the bottom and you’ll drown. Yes, that’s right, even if you’ve got Strength 24. If you get out of the armor before drowning maybe you’ll be lucky enough to survive, but don’t count on it.

What’s nice about this rule is that it can also be applied to characters wearing heavy backpacks, cement shoes, or handbags with a brick in them.

4 pensamientos en “Swimming in armor

  1. I disagree with your statement that Dungeon Crawl Classics “just didn’t want to tackle this issue”. They did tackle the issue, just not in great detail. Page 70 of the rule book describes the armor check penalty. “The check penalty applies to checks to climb, jump, balance, swim, move silently, and other such physical activities.” Having a -1 to -8 penalty isn’t very complicated, and may not be realistic. But Goodman did include this rule and apparently thinks it’s good enough. I happen to agree.

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    • My fault, I certainly missed that rule. But my point is that anybody wearing armour in the water should drown no matter their STR. You cannot bend the laws of physics with strenght (almost allways). Or unless you are in good terms with Straasha.

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  2. I will give my two cents on this.

    I see the DCC game rules meant to model the “Appendix N” fantasy novels, true. Novels about adventure, most of the times. And as far as I remember, DCC portraits a hardcore, lethal but “rules-light” adventure style. That´s why you start with four characters, you´re not starting the game with your super cimmerian teenager attacking Venarium. You don´t start with you drug-addict decadent albine wizard-emperor with legendary demon-swords… There are even classic clerics in the game, something very hard to find in the Appendix N.

    So DCC is about Appendix N, and something else… To me it´s about 1970s for example. I fill the game with 70´s paraphernalia as afro Wizards, psychedelic rock tunes, bellbottom trousers and stuff.

    A -8 penalty to swimming checks it´s brutal, it´s ok and it will work. But this “You Swim in Armor and You Die” rule it´s also fair to the lethal game DCC IS and the BLESSED Appendix N (as clerics, said before, are) You will not see Conan wearing full chainmail plundering the black coast as a pirate, because he knows it´s suicide.


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