In Holmes, Dexterity = initiative. Therefore, it is not a huge leap to say that Dexterity also = AC, where AC is the target number for the attacker. If Dex = AC, this doesn't leave much for armor to do. I very much like E&P's handling of this, where characters can choose to use either Dex or their armor's AC (which ever is better); however, Dex also equalling initiative inspires me to take armor off in a different direction.
I am intrigued by the notion that armor, rather than preventing a hit, reduces damage. I am also intrigued by the idea that wearing heavy armor also has a disadvantage. Thus, the heavier the armor, the less Dex becomes available for purposes of AC and initiative but the more damage resistance is available. Here is my rough draft:
- Leather: DR = 1; max Dex = 15
- Chain: DR = 2; max Dex = 12
- Plate: DR = 3; max Dex = 9
- Small Shield: DR=1
- Large Shield: DR=2; Dex penalty -1
Thus, if you wear plate and carry a large shield, you are going to be slow and be hit a lot, but won't necessarily take a lot of damage. If you have an 18 Dex, you are going to go first in most combats and aren't going to be hit that often, but when you are, you will take full damage.
Also being a fan of Weapon vs. AC tables, there is also a fun little wrinkle that can be thrown at this system:
- Blunt Weapons vs. plate reduce the DR of plate by 1
- Piercing Weapons vs. chain reduce the DR of chain by 1
- Slashing Weapons vs. leather reduce the DR of leather by 1