• RPG Science: Physical performance with armor and other loads

    Just how tiring is heavy medieval armor? How much does a load slow down climbing? If you’re the type who appreciates a bit of realism in your RPG action, here’s what recent research and an anecdotal report have to say about those questions.  Heavy metal: Walking in plate armor Quite a few months back, a study published by The Royal Society B looked at the effects of medieval armor on physical performance (BBC summary here). No one should be surprised by its finding of “hey, heavy armor is tiring!”. But the researchers’ detailed approach of measuring actual energy consumption under controlled treadmill conditions yields some quantitative crunchiness for the consideration of…

  • Momentum or Kinetic Energy: Which One Pierces a T Rex’s Chain Mail on a Glancing Blow?

    Here’s a collection of online bric-a-brac with connections to this site’s gaming material: Dinosaurs and their tails Having written about both dinosaur design and tail design, I can’t help but comment on the Smithsonian blog’s report that dinosaurs may have had thicker, beefier tails than often depicted. Sounds fine to me, at least until we get that cloning process working to verify things. What does that mean for critter design? Well, nothing, really. About all I can note is that, using the above tail rules, your dinos really should go for the heavy tail option instead of the slim version – although that always sounded right for dinos anyway. Hmm,…

  • Edge Protection: Armor Enhancement for GURPS 4e

    Edge Protection is a simple suggestion for a new GURPS armor stat which, together with DR, realistically simulates any level of armor rigidity vs flexibility and associated effects. It nicely handles some situations that current armor rules don’t, yet is no more complex than the existing flexible armor rules it replaces. History v1.0: Part of old article Gird Your Loins!. v2.0: 2007.03.27   Taking the edge off GURPS handles flexible armors like mail as follows: the wearer suffers one point of “blunt trauma” damage per full 10 points of damage (5 points if crushing) that doesn’t penetrate DR. In addition, some of these armors have a split DR score that…