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In the few games that my group is playing in. We're finding that any armor pretty much amounts to squat in the current rules, especially vehicle armor. The problem we have is with the net hits adding to DV before the damage calculation.

For example: It seems odd that a Predator IV can cause damage to a patrol-1 (armor 10) with 5 net hits, but not with 4. The net hits adding to DV before comparing to armor also basically eliminates the need for the called shot options because by the time you'd need to use the bypass armor option or the +4DV option, you'd be subtracting too many dice for the former and the latter wouldn't make enough difference.

Considering the general level of dice pools in SR4, its not impossible or even uncommon to be able to roll 12-20 dice with standard 400 bp characters. This means that a light pistol with standard rounds could take out a steel lynx or a car in just a few shots.

So, with the problem laid out. We've come up with the following house rule: (We're still trying to decide if it should apply universally on only to vehicles, but I think it should work well either way)

Hits add to damage after the armor comparison along with the +DV from bursts. The called shot DV modifiers and ammo modifiers however still take place before the armor comparison.

With this rule, here are the advantages:
  • This will have the effect of making armor quite a bit more effective, and in general less deadly. This also lets called shots take an increased role in combat, as it would be one of the few options to really cause damage to vehicles.
  • Under the house rule, a Predator IV could only damage a patrol-1 using the bypass armor called shot (-10 dice to roll), EX or APDS ammo with a +1 DV called shot. Then, after bypassing armor, the additional hits would add to damage.
  • This has the effect in personal armor of making most pistols do stun damage against armored targets. Which is generally the case now against pistols and kevlar armor. However, with a called shot, it's still possible to do physical damage.

With this rule, here are the disadvantages:
  • It's nearly impossible to damage high armor items, like ares citymasters (armor 20), effectively turning them into light tanks. Only ATGMs have a chance to damage them, unless you take -20 dice to your roll and do the long shot rules, rolling only edge for hits.
  • Most damage will be stun damage, so people are much more likely to just be knocked out than killed.
  • If you are planning to kill, you pretty much are required to have EX or APDS to be able to do so.

Well that's the basics of our new rule, feedback and suggestions are very welcomed.
I use the very same house rule, So I think it's a good one.

As to your disadvantages:

1: Well, yes, you need anti-vehicle weapons to go against vehicle. Imagine that.

2: This is a good thing. It means less dead players, more recurring villains, more getting captured and interrogated, less fights to the death, etc. More Plot, less death.

3: Well, Yeah. Or take those called shots. You've pretty much hit the nail there. But really, we took those anyway, so it's not much of a change.
I agree that the Hardened Armor rules are messed up, but I disagree that the problem is that a 400 BP weapon specialist can fight effectively against a drone that costs 1 BP worth of nuyen.gif .

Hardened Armor is all or nothing, a weapon that doesn't penetrate does nothing while a weapon that does penetrate is reduced by only 1/3 of the Armor. And it shouldn't work like that. That makes all fights against heavily armored targets into winner take all lotteries. Any weapon capable of damaging an APC or giant spirit is virtually incapable of not destroying them in one shot. That's the problem, and your proposal makes that problem worse.

By moving the DV bonus from the attack roll to after the comparison to the armor, you've ensured that vehicles ignore more attacks. But you've also ensured that any weapon they don't ignore is that much larger than what they could possibly soak when the damage resistance test comes around. You've made the body of vehicles that much more irrelevent. And that's bad.


My personal house rule, and it has served me pretty well, is that Hardened Armor simply reduces DV. That way weapons can cause small amounts of damage to vehicles by scarecely beating their armor. That's made vehicles a lot less explody, which is good.

vehicles that don't explode? you'll never make it in Hollywood!
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