The CyberWolfe's Den
The House Rules
Material weights limit the amount of protection that may be built into them. You cannot armor a T-shirt to 15SP because the armor is to thick and heavy- it would be more like putting the shirt on over a bullet-proof vest. The shirt would have to be heavier material, such as broadcloth or denim.
Heavy Armor will most likely be free-standing (such as riot gear) or carried by heavy fabrics such as leather or canvas, due to the likely inclusion of metal or ceramic plates.
Very Light Armor uses a web-like material to prevent the bullet from penetrating the victim, but you will still suffer from bruise damage. This material works best when stretched tight (as in armor stockings), but can also be effective when long pieces of it are used (as in a scarf). Mass and edged weapons such as clubs and knives will ignore this material entirely. When layering armors, a single layer of Very Light armor is ignored, but two layers will count as one layer of Light Armor.
Not to mention how bloody hot it gets in there.
Ballistic cloths do not breathe very well, they collect moisture, and are just generally uncomfortable. They are more comfortable than a bullet hole, but it doesn't do you much good when all the streetscum have to do is follow you around like vultures until you pass out from heat exhaustion so they can jack your wallet. In the summer in Portland, the body lotto scores go through the roof not because people shoot more, they just can't wear enough armor to stop the bullets due to the heat and humidity.
In game terms (if you really want to get realistic) reduce the charcter's BODY stat by one for every hour they spend wearing 2EV or more worth of armor outside in temperatures over 80 degrees. The rate should increase to every five minutes in combat conditions or periods of heavy activity, such as ditching pursuit. When -3 is reached, they should make a stun save vs. exhaustion, with an additional save at every loss of BODY.
My solution: take your normal result and multiply it by 1D6, so the formula is now (To-Hit roll - Needed to hit) * 1D6 = # of rounds that hit. This, I think, reflects a more acurate number. Another option would be to add your BODY type's Add-to-Damage modifier as a WA bonus. This shows how the larger, stronger person will be able to keep that bucking bronco on-target better than the 98# Netrunner.
If Mr. Big Bad Solo is giving you fits, use the following modifier: armor ablates under autofire. A single bullet makes a small hole in armor, but alot of bullets in the same area will chew it up pretty badly. If Joe Corpsec has 20 SP in the torso, and I nail him with a group of five bullets in the torso, I chew off five points of his armor permanently, regardless of whether or not I did enough damage to penetrate. Next round, Joe is probably going to be toast. Suddenly you can see a use for the .22 calibre Mini-Gat. It does shit for damage, but spits out a ton of ammo.
If you really want to be a dick, add all the damage for a group together, and apply it to the SP en masse. You may think this would overbalance the game, but let's face it: in the real world, people don't walk through machine-gun fire--it walks through them. This will actually bring the game back into balance-your players will be less likely to opt for the full-auto firefight, and will revert back to ambushes with handguns or simply run away from that security patrol, saving you the effort of rolling a zillion dice for SMG fire.
A gent named Dan on one of the cyberpunk newsgroups once asked how to deal with Skinweave and other armors in Hand-To-Hand combat, since it was not covered well in the rules. This was my response, as quoted.
Very simple: HTH damage bypasses Skinweave. It was designed to hold up against piercing and slashing attacks; it does dick versus clubs and other mass weapons. Now, there are a couple of very specific MArts moves that will be defeated by skinweave, but those moves aren't covered in the rules anyway, so don't sweat it.
One thing that people forget is armor may stop a bullet from punching a hole in you, but you will most likely suffer bruising damage from the round. Mass weapons affect larger areas than bullets, thus defeating the armor's ability to transfer kinetic energy to the surrounding areas. Even in the case of plate armors like Metal Gear, that baseball-bat sized impact zone suddenly becomes the size of the piece of armor it hit. (Trust me from experince in the SCA inside a suit of plate armor)
Fists and feet may have their damage reduced a little by external armor (padding factor), but a Skinweave just can't disperse the kinetic energy. Subdermal plating's a bitch though, I count it as full against mass weapons due to it's internal anchoring. Apply one or two points of bruising damage to the victim, since the skin is not protected.
Blows to a plated head can still be effective, since it does rock your skull around and your neck will feel the strain. Personally, to determine the exact location of a head shot in HTH, I treat 1 and 2 out of D6 as neck wounds, which have no armor. Any blow to the throat is a stun save, and more than 4 points of damage will crush your windpipe beyond repair; the character now has three minutes to live unless supplemented by internal Ox supplies or gill slits and a tub of water to dunk in. (This is why medics carry a pen and a sharp knife for emergency tracheotomies.)
As a final reminder, armor is nil vs. falling damage.
If you think I stole your ideas for this site, you're going to have to chalk it up to great minds think alike.