I have been interested in working on a d6 based game (much like what was done with Spellcraft & Swordplay and The Big Brown Book games), and lately the armor classes have been on my mind. I want something that can be used for any period (especially the ancient) so I don’t want to tie my armor classes to the typical D&D Feudal setting of the late Middle Ages.
Part of my inspiration has been the Osprey Publishing table top game “Fields of Glory”. They have 4 categories of armor: Unprotected, Protected, Armored, and Heavily Armored. Working with this terminology, it was easy to devise the base armor classes for my game:
AC 9 : Unprotected
AC 7 : Protected
AC 5 : Armored
AC 3 : Heavily Armored
This allows you to place your game in any time of history (well prior to the modern era I suppose) with ease. Now to further breakdown the above classes, I defined them as:
Unprotected = No armor or shield used
Protected = Shield OR Light Armor Only
Armored = Shield + Light Armor OR Heavy Armor Only
Heavily Armored = Shield + Heavy Armor
Again I stayed with generic terms so we can place the game in any setting still. Now it is up to the individual Game Master to determine what constitutes Light & Heavy armor. If I was going to use a setting like the early Roman Republic, I would go with:
Light Armor = Linen, quilted/padded, or Soft Leather
Heavy = Mail, Rigid (Boiled) Leather, Scale.
In my system, attacks are 2d6, and to hit a target you roll less than (or equal to) their AC number.