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    Canonfire :: View topic - 1st edtion helment rules
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 1st Edition
    1st edtion helment rules
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    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Sep 14, 2009
    Posts: 170
    From: Laporte IN.

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    Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:18 am  
    1st edtion helment rules

    Was flipping around the 1st edtion DMG some time ago and came across this: in the Dungeon Masters Guide on page 28 it reads " It is assumed that an appropriate type of head armoring will be added to the suit of armor to allow uniform protection of the wearer. Wearing of a "great helm" adds the appropriate weight and restricts vision to the front 60', but it gives the head AC 1. If a helmet is not worn, 1 blow in 6 will strike at the AC 10 head, unless the opponent is intelligent, in which case 1 blow in 2 will be aimed at the AC 10 head ( d6 1-3= head blow)"

    This is a little used rule. Every thief I have played or GM'd, the thief wore leather armor but not a helment. Now, lets say the thief was wearing a +1 suit of Leather Armor, would this give his or her expossed head a AC 9? What if a thief was wearing a +1 suit of Leather Armor and had a dex. modafier of +2. The theif would have a AC of 5 but a head AC of 7? When I was GM'ing, if I would have looked at this overlooked rule, all of my guards would have been aiming for the head.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1243
    From: Clarksville, TN

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    Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:36 am  
    Re: 1st edtion helment rules

    baronzemo wrote:
    Was flipping around the 1st edtion DMG some time ago and came across this: in the Dungeon Masters Guide on page 28 it reads " It is assumed that an appropriate type of head armoring will be added to the suit of armor to allow uniform protection of the wearer. Wearing of a "great helm" adds the appropriate weight and restricts vision to the front 60', but it gives the head AC 1. If a helmet is not worn, 1 blow in 6 will strike at the AC 10 head, unless the opponent is intelligent, in which case 1 blow in 2 will be aimed at the AC 10 head ( d6 1-3= head blow)"

    This is a little used rule. Every thief I have played or GM'd, the thief wore leather armor but not a helment. Now, lets say the thief was wearing a +1 suit of Leather Armor, would this give his or her expossed head a AC 9? What if a thief was wearing a +1 suit of Leather Armor and had a dex. modafier of +2. The theif would have a AC of 5 but a head AC of 7? When I was GM'ing, if I would have looked at this overlooked rule, all of my guards would have been aiming for the head.


    -That's why I like AD&D2 Combat and Tactics. Wink

    I did use those rules at the time. If you were aiming for the head, then you got that 1 in 3 chance of doing so. There was also the called shot option.

    One more reason to wear your helmet. Wink

    I
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
    Posts: 2531
    From: LG Dyvers

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    Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:09 am  

    When I originally read that 'head shot' rule way back in... well, whenever it was, Happy I thought it was cool. Unfortunately, it works very poorly in game. Instead, more modern rules (3.x and Pathfinder) declare that certain types of armor are assumed to include an appropriate helmet. If a PC declares that they are not wearing the helmet that comes with their breastplate or full plate armor, the DM is free to impose some sort of penalty to their AC, etc.

    The other problem with that old 'head shot' rule is that it ruins the fun of the 'Called Shot', which jamesdglick mentioned. Simply put, the Called Shot imposes a -8 penalty to the attack roll, but if it hits it causes the target to suffer extra penalties (blindness if a head shot, loss of the use of the limb if an arm shot, half movement if a leg shot, etc.). I think these are 2nd Ed. rules, though I'm not certain.

    I want to warn you that if 50% of your bad guys are striking at your PC's unarmored heads, they are going to lose fights very quickly. I think it is better to allow a helmet to improve the overall armor class by 1, Great Helms by 2, or some other method that simply incorporates the head into the rest of the body with respect to AC, unless the attacker is making a Called Shot.

    SirXaris
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 09, 2003
    Posts: 1243
    From: Clarksville, TN

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    Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:16 am  

    SirXaris wrote:
    ...I want to warn you that if 50% of your bad guys are striking at your PC's unarmored heads, they are going to lose fights very quickly. I think it is better to allow a helmet to improve the overall armor class by 1, Great Helms by 2, or some other method that simply incorporates the head into the rest of the body with respect to AC, unless the attacker is making a Called Shot...


    -Two other considerations for the AD&D1 purist:

    PCs have the same option;

    Wear you're bloody helmet. Wink

    Now, IIRC, the Called Shot rule is an official part of AD&D1, so you could use that as a substitute, as Sir X points out.

    Again, If you're not a purist, you can use C&T. It's a lot harder to make a head (or any other kind of shot) with that.
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Aug 12, 2001
    Posts: 187
    From: Hanover Park

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    Thu Jul 19, 2012 12:44 pm  
    Helments?

    I always ignored the helmet rule and never knew anyone who used it, even when we were all running AD&D back in the day. It just seemed to run contrary to the rest of the combat rules.

    My favorite house rule for helmets remains: a PC is dead at 0 hp, or -1 hp if wearing a helmet.

    ~Scott "-enkainen" Casper
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
    Posts: 1234
    From: New Jersey

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    Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:14 pm  

    I played with the helmet rule since 1e. If your character did not wear a helm a critical hit would more likely mean death. So it was more a way to make a called shot to the head even harder to cause more damage. Depending on the helm a head shot could be -8 to -11. So it did not effect overall ac in my game, though it made a difference if someone went for the head.
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