The RPG Blog Carnival comes together each month, with a random topic, hosted by one of the member sites. This month it’s time for Summerland at Tales of a GM.
Summer evokes grand emotions in most of us that were so fortunate as to take several weeks of summer vacation as kids. Some of us were dropped off at a summer camp, lived near clean waters to swim in, had a forest to explore and conquer, or went on long trips to visit distant relatives. Most of the great memories come from the freedom of movement available to us when we’re not bundled up to keep us warm, or searching for shelter at night to survive. The dangers of summer aren’t terribly apparent, but that’s all tempered by our rose-colored glasses, twinged by joyous and painfully childish memories.
“Grim, you’re a rather dark soul, what’s got your scrot in a knot?” – For starters I’m recovering from some minor flooding in my apartment, so that has me a little pessimistic and annoyed. It smells like hell, fans are blasting all around me, and I’m missing out on work. At least I have some time to blog, right? Maybe not the best instance, I digress.
Our fond recollections of summertime as children make it seem like a fantasy paradise. The armor clad adventurer has no such illusions, instead dealing with major pains to suffer. Armor is heavy and hot in mild temperate conditions, it’s not designed to be worn all day long to begin with. Surely something adventurers take for granted as they delve into secrets and explore lost lands. Therefore, during the peak of summer conditions (I’ve talked about weather before, whatever it is outside, it is in-game) when the temperature creeps up over 80F, adventurers begin to suffer from irritation, exhaustion, sweating, and all sorts of issues related to cooking yourself under layers of protective gear.
This varies by the class of armor you’re wearing of course. Sitting inside a tin can while the fiery hellstar broils you from on high is at some point going to outweigh the benefit of being untouchable. The heaviest of armors (Plate and similar) come at a -4 penalty to pretty much all of your rolls. Every stat is going to be affected by the extreme heat in one way or another if you think about it for a couple minutes. This doesn’t go into affect immediately of course, the first hour will be relatively comfortable, but the penalties increase each hour after that unless the armor is removed and the character can recover for at least 30 minutes. Splint\Banded\Breastplate cap out at a -3 penalty to all rolls, Chain\Ring armor variants at a -2 to all rolls, and the remaining Leather variants at merely a -1 to all rolls.
Natural materials such as Hardleaf, Amber, Bone, and Scale extend the initial threshold by an hour (two hours before being penalized) and reduce their penalty by 1. Masterwork also reduces the penalty by 1, although the threshold is the same. Crafting natural materials into equivalent level gear is considered Masterwork to begin with, no double-dipping. Regardless of how it’s made, or what it’s made of, the penalty cannot be reduced to 0 or lower. I can think of all sorts of “armor” examples that wouldn’t suffer from a heat penalty, but chainmail bikinis are notoriously ineffective, and leather outfits made for sex work don’t actually count as leather armor.