Shouldn’t heavy armor also give disadvantage to perception rolls to the wearer?

One thought on “Shouldn’t heavy armor also give disadvantage to perception rolls to the wearer?

  1. D. Walker says:

    What, to simulate limited vision while wearing a helmet?

    In reality, most helmets didn’t impede vision or hearing notably – only the heaviest varieties did. Often, such helmets were designed that way for specialized usage in jousting or in tourneys, where vision wasn’t a priority, but protecting the competitors from real injury or death was.

    When a helmet that impeded vision was meant for use on a battlefield, it almost always had some feature that allowed the user to adjust the coverage of their face. Some helmets, lik armets and close helms, had hinged visors. Other helmets, like the burgonet, had face guards called ‘falling buffes’, which could be unfixed and lowered as needed, then fixed back in place when necessary. In both cases, a warrior traded visibility for extra protection and vice versa.

    If you wanted to model this somewhat realistically in game, you’d need to give any helmet which imposes disadvantage on Perception a notable increase in Armor Class. You’d probably also want to allow the wearer to use an action to switch it around – give up the bonus AC to have unimpeded Perception.

    That said, it just becomes one more annoying little detail to try to keep track of for both the player and the GM. It slows down combat, it doesn’t really add much interesting decision making to a situation, and it only applies in niche edge cases that realistically wouldn’t happen anyway. Basically it’s not a worthwhile feature.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.