OK - In Legend Quest, armor blocks damage, not attacks. In order to do damage, you have to hit the target and then do enough damage to get past their armor (called the Damage Absorption Rating - DAR). So how does it work? I have had the argument with many folks that armor isn’t strong enough. This is because it takes skill levels to wear armor, otherwise it slows you down, making you easier to hit. But let’s work through the math:
Standard soldier is walking around in chain mail. The DAR is 3, 2 vs. piercing weapons. Well, let’s put him up against a standard bow - a regular weapon for bandits and other enemies a standard soldier might face. A bow does 1-10 damage, so average 5.5. So chain mail blocks 2 out of an average 5.5 or 36%. That’s not so bad. Assuming our soldier had 36 Life’s Blood (higher than average but normal for a soldier), then with chain mail he could survive 10 average arrow hits, while his unarmored friend could only survive 6, dying on the seventh. I think that’s pretty important.
Just for grins, let’s consider the chain mail soldier against a claymore swinging barbarian. OK - claymore (two-handed sword) does 2-20 damage. The chain mail blocks 3. So average of 11 damage or 8 to the soldier. Here the armored soldier dies on the 5th attack, where the unarmored guy sees heaven on the 4th. One more attack. Is that a big deal? Maybe, but my point really is that modest armor (and chain mail is modest compared to the heavier stuff) is great for moderate combatants, but high level adventurers either need to invest in some heavy armor or rely on something other than their chain mail to protect them. Still - Our average soldier may not be able to stand up to a high level adventurer with a magical sword, but was he supposed to?
OK - admission time: The original intent was that even though the chain mail blocks 2 points of damage, that for example, if a bow did 3 points of damage to a target wearing chain mail, it is unlikely that the arrow actually made it through the mail. Instead of piercing the mail and drawing blood, it most likely left a small bruise under the mail, but never actually touched the skin. Now when using poisons, we typically say you must “breech” the armor in order to cause poison damage, so that third point will carry poison through, but this is more of an ease of gaming issue. I plan to add an optional rule (if I ever actually publish them) by which for poison to carry through, you would need to do double the DAR in order to have the poison be effective for exactly this reason. As an optional rule, it will slow down the game while the player and GM determine what damage was done to the armor and the person and if the damage was in fact double the DAR, etc. Optional rules = more math!