House Rules on Armor and Armor Resistance

For this game of Rifts, we will be using armor that doesn’t give a bonus to Defense, but has at least one (and possibly more) resistance level. The armor’s resistance is the amount of damage the wearer ignores from an attack (much like hardness). Each type of resistance works only against one type of damage. So there is ballistic resistance, fire resistance, slashing resistance, etc. Many of the armors have more than one type of resistance, possibly at different levels, for example ballistic resistance 4 and piercing resistance 2.

Some attacks, like explosions or flamers, give the target a chance to take half damage if the attack does not beat the target’s Reflex Defense. In this case, armor resistance applies first and then the remaining damage is halved. For example, someone wearing a type of armor with concussion resistance 5 taking 15 points of damage from a concussion grenade would only lose (15-5):2=5 hit points with a successful Reflex Defense.

Armor resistance isn’t affected by the lack of armor proficiency. However, someone who dons armor without having the appropriate armor proficiency feat doubles the usual armor penalty. Even armors that don’t usually have an armor penalty give at least a -2 penalty to a non-proficient character.

The Importance of the Helmet

Armor generally aims at protecting vital areas, so all armors cover the torso and abdomen. Helmets are used to protect the head. However, some concealable armors don’t provide a helmet or someone may not wish to wear the armor’s helmet for some reason. In this case, the head remains unprotected to any attack. Furthermore, helmets are essential for the protection some armors offer against fire, concussion waves or acid, as the armor must fully cover the body to protect against such attacks.

If armor doesn’t provide a helmet or if the helmet simply isn’t warn, there is a 50% chance that the armor doesn’t provide any protection against a critical hit (it is assumed that such a hit strikes the head and not the chest vitals). Armor without a helmet always protects against normal hits. Conversely, if only the helmet is worn without the rest of the armor, there is a 50% chance that it protects against a critical hit but it doesn’t offer any protection against normal hits. Full body armor, along with a helmet, provides protection against the damage of a coup de grace attack (unless of course the attacker removes the helmet first), while armor without a helmet doesn’t provide any protection (because the attacker can always choose to hit the head.)

If the helmet of the armor isn’t worn, any acid, concussion, fire or sonic resistance the armor provides is negated.

House Rules on Armor and Armor Resistance

Rifts - World in Chaos Sharhun