Artifact Armor Revamp

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This is part of my X-alt series of posts, representing ideas about how the game might be changed.

Artifact Armor Revamp

As written, in 1st and 2nd edition Exalted, the basic core book Artifact armors run from rating 1 to rating 5. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, if taken solely within the context of the core books. However, the game then introduces armor which is more useful, and more powerful, but is troublesome to put into the same five point scale.

If a 3rd edition of the game is created, someday, I could imagine that perhaps the Artifact armors might be refactored so that all of the 1st/2nd edition core book versions were compressed into the 1 to 3 range. One dot Artifact armor might include all of the basic choices for Light armor, two dot Artifact armor might include all of the basic Medium armors, and three dot Artifact armor could cover articulated and superheavy plate. This adjustment seems pretty easy to put into place. The only challenge is to balance the various armors within those 3 categories. If the tradeoff for articulated plate and superheavy plate are designed to balance less Essence committal, mobility penalty and fatigue penalty against a higher soak and Hardness, and the other categories similarly manage to balance these factors then the core system holds up well.

By compressing the core book Artifact armors into 3 tight categories, those items which have been introduced that threaten to defy the appropriate power levels defined by the core book have room where they can be incorporated. A suit of articulated plate that lets you breathe underwater, which has been introduced as an Artifact of its own, no longer has to challenge the basic rating. It can now enjoy a rightful place as a suit of Artifact armor which would otherwise be rated at 3 dots and now gains an extra dot of rating for its power to prevent drowning. Celestial battle armor might rightfully occupy a 5 dot rating, without making an equally 5 dot rated superheavy plate seem out of whack. Assuming the Background scales are exponential or nearly so, then lowering the superheavy bar to 3 leaves suitable room for increased power at a higher level.

By comparison, the two most common 3 dot Artifact weapons are the grand goremaul and the grand daiklave. Provided that the attack values of these two Artifacts are balanced with the soak and Hardness of similarly rated Artifact armors then the system retains internal balance. Arguably, the 2nd edition grand goremaul is similar in power to superheavy plate despite being 2 dots lesser in rating.


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