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  • Unarmored defense edge?

    I've tried googling for something like this, but have not found any official or homebrew edges for characters to gain some benefit when not wearing any armor.

    By the arithmetic of making races and looking over the existing edges, +2 armor when unarnored would be worth about half an edge. I thought a bonus to soak rolls would be appropriate to pair with it, but that's obviously already taken another edge.

    What might be a good bonus to go with +2 armor while not wearing any armor? And what might be good prerequisites? I'm thinking Agility d6+, Vigor d6+, Fighting d6+.

  • #2
    Have you considered using the Unarmored Hero setting rule?

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    • seadaily
      seadaily commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm still new to this game, but that setting rule doesn't quite cover what I'm trying to do with this edge. Specifically I'm thinking this edge would fit for characters like monks and loincloth barbarians and the like. In a setting where the norm is to wear armor, those with this edge have learned to or been blessed to do without.

      With that in mind, do you have any thoughts on the edge just based on its merits alone?

  • #3
    Unarmored Defense is pretty different in Savage Worlds than in other games.
    Because character combat skill, not equipment, is the primary source of defense (Parry), the unarmored pugilist or knife-fighter or raging barbarian works just fine.

    Armor increases Toughness, which is important, but not being hit is significantly better.

    Note that the racial Armor ability stacks fully with worn armor. Unlike wearing two sets of armor, natural armor grants full benefits while wearing armor.
    There are a couple of existent 'unarmored hero' rules.
    In the core rules there is the Unarmored Hero setting rule. +2 to Soak when not wearing armor, which stacks with the Iron Jaw Edge for a staggering +4 to Soak. Yeah, it is super-effective.
    In Gramel's Beasts & Barbarians there is an Edge: Loincloth Hero / Bikini Heroine. When wearing no armor and hit for one or more Wounds, the character gets a free Soak roll. This stacks incredibly well with both Iron Jaw and the Elan edge (if you spend a benny on Soak then it is to reroll, which means Elan kicks in).

    Both of those rules emphasize mitigating damage by other means - they don't step on the ability of Armor to prevent Wounds from happening but they allow unarmored characters to reduce damage that has been inflicted before it is applied.

    That's a good direction for unarmored defense rules to follow. Unless you're doing a Tekken-style "kung fu makes you bulletproof" game, using the non-armor defense dials is the best way make an unarmored character durable and feel like they are not wearing armor.
    Last edited by ValhallaGH; 03-11-2021, 02:50 PM.
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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    • seadaily
      seadaily commented
      Editing a comment
      That is an interesting point about not just using an armor value but instead finding some other way of showing they aren't wearing armor.

      I like the sound of that edge for a free soak but it seems overtuned to me. A free soak every time you take damage feels like too much. Would it be better as once per combat or at least some limited number of times?

  • #4
    So I think I've been won over to the idea it would be better to give a more "lateral" bonus than just straight up armor.

    Has anyone tried out the loincloth hero edge? Is it really a free soak every time you take one would or more? Would it be possible to get the details of the edge as I don't see myself being able to get the book anytime soon nor do I think the genre appeals enough for me to want to get the book except for the one edge.

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    • ValhallaGH
      ValhallaGH commented
      Editing a comment
      Cannot wear armor, need Agility d8+ and Vigor d6+ to take the Edge.
      Gives a free Soak roll every time your character gets hit by a "wounding attack".
      I've only played with it once but it was pretty well balanced. It did not trigger when Shaken, only when Wounded. We were not using the Unarmored Hero rule and the player did not have Iron Jaw, which might have altered the impression. But armor prevented Wounds about as many times as Loincloth Hero - it worked well.

    • seadaily
      seadaily commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for the details!

  • #5
    For the record, in the Golden Edition of Beasts & Barbarians, the Loincloth Hero Edge does not stack with Iron Jaw. This limitation doesn't appear in the Steel Edition. Personally, I'd allow them to stack. Either that or trap Iron Jaw as being a naked brute if +4 to Soak proves to be broken.

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    • #6
      As it will have Barbarians and Monks, might want to see how Savage Pathfinder handles it. Looks like backers are getting a look at the rules next week.

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