Any incoming combat call is reduced by the defense rating the character taking the hit or spell has. This can be made up of armour, dexterity, magical barriers or a combination of all 3. The final defense value of a character is determined by following the calculation below:
Firstly any physical armour is taken into account, the armour value of each layer that has been combined (with the skill to do so) is added to give a final value, some examples of this are below.
To find the active dexterity of a character the total ranks of dexterity possessed by the character are divided by the physical armour value for a basic armour of the type worn (ie excluding any bonuses from battle quality armour), modified by armour mastery if the skill is possessed, and any fractions rounded down. If the Armour Mastery skill is possessed the value derived from dividing the armour worn by the armour modifier (rounding up) is used instead of the armour value.
Finally any magical barriers are added to the running total of armour value and active dexterity. This final value is then used to reduce the damage of almost all attacks made. It is worth keeping a note of the value derived from only active dexterity and magical barriers as through damage will bybass physical armour, however dexterity and magical barriers are still effective against such attacks. A few examples of the final defense calculations are given below.
The active dexterity of the character added to the physical armour value gives the total defense value which is subtracted from any incoming values. This can further be modfied by magical barriers.
Active dexterity (plus any magical barriers) is subtracted from through damage - armour has no effect. Hence a defense value of 7/1 refers to a total defense value of 7 and a active dexterity of 1.
Knockback (both spell and physical) can be ignored by anyone with a total armour value of 9. Knockback (physical only) can be ignored by anyone who can negate the damage part of the call with active dexterity alone.
Strikedown (both spell and physical) can be treated as knockback with anyone with active dexterity of 6 or more. Physical strikedowns turned into knockbacks in this way can then be ignored by anyone who can negate the damage part of the call with active dexterity alone.
Armour can never completely prevent damage. If an attack can be completely mitigated from active dexterity or magical barriers, no damage is taken, however if armour is required to mitigate the damage at 1 point of it will still be inflicted, however special effects calls that require lethal damage to be inflicted will not be applied to the target. Damage from attacks that are mitigated by armour in this way can, unlike stun damage which is deliberately non-lethal and will only reduce an armoured target to 0 hits on a given location, reduce the target to negative hit points with the normal effects of bleeding and potentially severance of limbs