Rule Clarification: Reduce Harm with Armor after Resist?

Rule Clarification: Reduce Harm with Armor after Resist?

Rule Clarification: Reduce Harm with Armor after Resist?

Never played BitD yet…prepping for first session and reading rules.

Confused by examples on pages 32 and 33 of the book.

On page 32, Silas resists Harm to reduce harm from Level 3 (“Gut Stabbed”) to Level 2 (“Cut to the Ribs”). Makes sense.

On page 33, “If you have a type of armor that applies to the situation, you can mark an armor box to reduce or avoid a consequence, instead of rolling to resist. Silas is taking level 2 harm, “Cut to the Ribs,” and the fight isn’t even over yet, so Ian decides to use Silas’s armor to reduce the harm. He marks the armor box and the harm becomes level 1, “Bruised.”

Makes perfect sense that I can use armor to reduce Harm…but that rule on Page 33 makes it sound like the opportunity to decide to use Armor was passed when the decision was made to resist. The example then further reduces the Harm that was already reduced as a result of a successful resist roll.

If this is correct, does that mean that I can choose to use my Armor if I fail to resist as well?

What am I missing?

12 thoughts on “Rule Clarification: Reduce Harm with Armor after Resist?”

  1. You can’t fail to resist Harm, you always succeed. The resistance roll only determines how much stress that will cost you.

    You can only resist a Harm once, either with a roll or with armour, but you can resist multiple Harms per conflict.

  2. I read the examples as two different scenes.

    I guess I’m reading the rules text–where it says instead of rolling–as stronger than any ambiguity in the examples.

    But that’s just my interpretation 🙂

  3. I have always ruled that a PC can roll to resist, use armor, and use heavy armor all on the same harm, but can’t roll to resist more than once on the same harm.

  4. Thanks all…looks like there isn’t a clear answer on this one.

    Given that Armor is a resource that you use up during a score, I don’t think its that big of a deal – the RAW indicates you can either resist or use armor instead of rolling to resist but the example (unless you completely consider it to be a different scene) definitely makes it appear that you can do both.

    Looks like its a group-by-group interpretation kind of thing. Grittier = either/or; a bit more Heroic = both

  5. You are confusing that there are two consequences mentioned; and while the example says the player resisted one of them (the Lost Opportunity), they did not resist the Harm (they took it, then armor was applied instead: see the mention of level 2 harm on p.32, and again on p.33, indicating it was not reduced). In other words, there is a clear answer because the example does follow the rule.

    I can see how this might be confusing at first, however each consequence can be resisted or armor applied – not both. you can resist multiple consequences from a single action, but each single consequence (Worse Position, Harm, Complication, etc) can only be resisted once. And while you only can resist each consequence just once, armor is different – that is, you can apply multiple armor to a single instance of harm to reduce it by two levels, for example. This is what p33 mentions is possible.

    Limiting resistance to once per consequence, and making the players choose between that and armor, ensures resistance is a tone-setting exercise – whereas armor application is not (its mechanical, and you can freely spend whatever applicable armor you have). Take it from someone who got it wrong for quite awhile (letting my players resist and apply armor), the rules as written are the best design precedent – and I’d argue they are essential (for the GM’s decision to be meaningful, regarding resistance reducing or avoiding a given consequence – and for the player’s decision to use armor over resisting to be meaningful), and can confirm changing that particular rule leads to a less satisfying experience for all.

  6. Mark Cleveland Massengale nope I disagree. Are you be reading a different example? p32 example has one consequence (Level 3 Harm), which the player resists, which reduces it to Level 2 Harm. It’s natural to read the example on p33 as follow on from the previous page, where the same consequence is reduced further using armour

    For what its worth, on his YouTube actual plays of Roll Play Blades and the Bloodletters, John Harper always allowed his players to resist a single consequence and then use armour to further reduce it.

    I allow both on the same consequence and it’s worked fine for me in all the games I’ve run and played.

  7. I dont believe I am. Those examples are more likely to be separate from one another – than internally inconsistent with what appears to be a clear enough statement of what is allowed. Besides: observe that there are three different rules being illustrated in three different examples there, separate by several lines of rules text.

    Also, the text in front of you counters that in the present moment – as what you speak of occurred months prior to the publishing of the text we are citing.

    We are talking about different things, as I am talking about the ways it dashed the tone that the players and I were aiming for. It wasn’t until I read that section particularly carefully that I realized the rule specification limiting the sources of consequence reduction. And only by that reading, considering the rules individually, at face value, that everything ends up being consistent all the way around – unlike what you are suggesting.

  8. Mark Cleveland Massengale I don’t read the rules as strictly as you do so I don’t see any inconsistency. And Roll Play Blades used the final rule set, so I don’t buy your claim that John was playing with a different ruleset.

    Either way, it works for me. So each to their own.

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