A Quick Note on Defense over AC

I was asked over on Facebook (where I also posted a link to this blog) about the Defense bonus listed with the Fleet Engineer class I posted earlier today. The question was basically in regards to how a class-based defense bonus was static, unlike armor class bonuses which can improve as the character gets better armor.

Honestly, the answer is that the Defense bonus is static, there is really no other way around it that I can see without overcomplicating a wonderfully simple system (that being the OSR rules based on the 1974 edition of the World's first RPG).  This is one of the reasons for the damage soaking ability given to armors, forceshields and so forth. The idea is that the better the item, the better the damage soaking.

One thing I have been wondering and tinkering with, however, is starting the base defense 9[10] at a lower [higher] number to help with any ability a character may have to help not get hurt at all.

Any ideas, out there? If so post below and you'll have my eternal gratitude.


  1. I can appreciate the idea of class based AC. So if an engineer slipped on some heavy armor, the Defense bonus stacks with the AC? But it's a low-armor setting, so that won't happen much?

    That's a relatively small wrinkle. I don't think you're over-complicating stuff until you start adding lines to a character sheet or more rules than you can fit in a paragraph.

    Why not just call it AC bonus?

    1. Unfortunately if I were to go through with this classic OSR armies would have to be reworked to fit the idea of armor soaking some damage. I think the conversation would be a simple multiplier, say ac bonus * 50.

      As for the name change there is no reason not to call it an AC bonus. I think I was just being a little nit-picky with that one.

      Thanks for reading BTW!


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