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Book Wyrm
2009-12-08, 10:44 PM
So as a history major focused on Medieval and Classical European military history the D&D armor table bugs me a little bit. For example, there is no such thing as Studded Leather or Banded Mail, a Chain shirt is the same thing as chain mail in most cases, and I think what the creators thought was Studded Leather is actually called a Brigandine. Also, the way the armors currently work there is no reason to wear anything other than a "chain shirt", breastplate, or full plate. So heres my attempt to fix some of these issues.

{table=head]
Armor|
AC Bonus|
Max Dex Bonus|
Check Penalty|DR/magic|
Cost|
Weight

Light|||||||

Gambeson|+1|8|0|0|5|5

Leather|+2|6|0|0|10|10

Leather Scale|+3|5|-1|1|20|15

Brigandine|+4|4|-2|2|50|20

Medium|||||||

Hide|+3|5|-3|2|15|20

Scale|+4|4|-3|2|50|25

Lamellar|+5|3|-4|3|100|25

Chain Mail|+5|3|-4|3|150|30

Heavy|||||||

Breastplate|+6|2|-5|4|200|30

Plated Mail|+6|2|-5|4|250|40

Splint Plate|+8|0|-6|5|300|50

Full Plate|+8|1|-6|5|600|45

Shields|||||||

Buckler|+1|-|0|-|10|5

Shield, Light Wooden|+2|-|-1|-|3|5

Shield, Light Metal|+2|-|-1|-|9|6

Shield, Heavy Wooden|+3|-|-2|-|7|10

Shield, Heavy Metal|+3|-|-2|-|15|15

Shield, Tower|+4|2|-10|-|30|30

Extras |||||||

Helmet|+1|-|-1|-|10|5

Dueling Cloak|-|-|-|-|15|1

Armor Spikes|-|-|-|-|20|+5

Shield Spikes|-|-|-|-|10|+2

Gauntlet, Locked|-|-|-|-|8|2[/table]

There are no proficiencies for Helmets and Dueling Cloaks. The Dueling Cloak must be held in one hand and provides a +2 bonus to Feint Bluff Checks. Light and Heavy Shields provide a +2 bonus to Bull Rush checks. Everything else works the same as the listed in the SRD.

Magical Armor provides the DR/- with the same numerical damage reduction as a normal suit of armor of that type. (ie: +1 Full Plate provides DR 5/-)

EDIT: Fixed the table
EDIT #2: Fixed the table again

jmbrown
2009-12-08, 11:30 PM
Studded leather most definitely evolved from brigandine and you should probably add in cuirbouilli which is a stiff, boiled leather perhaps to act in studded leather's place and brigandine will replace chain shirt which will merge with chainmail.

There actually is a difference between D&D's chain shirt and chainmail. The "mail" part implies additional metal armor like greaves, pauldrons, and gauntlets. A chain shirt is simply chainmail minus the armor part. Also there is such a thing as banded mail; while the name itself is historically debated, any armor that's made of metal reinforced by bands made from a sturdy material like wood, bone, or leather is banded mail.

Now, what 3E should have carried over from AD&D is bonuses based on the weapon an enemy is using. Slashing weapons are well rounded but weak against armors that distribute weight evenly like leather, scale, and splint. Piercing weapons are strong against armor with gaps and chinks like plate and most mails. Blunt weapons have no strength or weakness since most of the damage is caused by pure force; a blow from a hammer might not physically harm someone in platemail but it'll likely knock the wind out of them.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-08, 11:41 PM
Gambeson
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/28/Morgan_Bible_10r_detail.jpg

Leather Scale
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ac/SCH1577ac.jpg/792px-SCH1577ac.jpg

Brigandine
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/7/7b/Brigfront.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/e/e6/Jack_of_plate%2C_English_or_Scottish%2C_c1590%2C_R oyal_Armoury%2C_Leeds.JPG/450px-Jack_of_plate%2C_English_or_Scottish%2C_c1590%2C_R oyal_Armoury%2C_Leeds.JPG
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/77/Brigandine%2C_Italian%2C_c1470%2C_Royal_Armoury%2C _Leeds_%28internal_view%29.JPG/800px-Brigandine%2C_Italian%2C_c1470%2C_Royal_Armoury%2C _Leeds_%28internal_view%29.JPG


Lamllelar
http://www.metmuseum.org/special/Warriors_of_the_Himalayas/images/6-lamellar-armor.L.jpg

Plated Mail
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/84/Zbroja_lamelkowa1.jpg/607px-Zbroja_lamelkowa1.jpg

Splint Plate
http://www.globaleffects.com/C_pages/Rental/Wardrobe/Armor/Period/CompleteSuit/European/Splintedh.JPG

Helmet
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/43/Boar_tusk_helmet_from_Athens.jpg
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/peter.fairweather/docs/Visby3(2).jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/1/14/Sallets_by_Emmanuel_Viollet-le-Duc_.jpg/800px-Sallets_by_Emmanuel_Viollet-le-Duc_.jpg

Milskidasith
2009-12-08, 11:46 PM
Helmets are stated to be included with armor in the SRD, so having it as a piece of equipment is odd. The Dueling Cloak is entirely worthless. Your listed Full Plate (and all the other armors) are dirt cheap and weigh hundreds of pounds. There is no listing for the DR of armor anywhere.

Siosilvar
2009-12-08, 11:47 PM
Your weights and costs are both seriously out of whack; really, 600 lbs for full plate? Is it made out of lead or something?

EDIT: I think I found the problem. You should have a DR column (or somesuch) between check penalty and cost.


{table=head]
Armor|
AC Bonus|
Max Dex Bonus|
Check Penalty|
DR|
Cost|
Weight

Light|||||||

Gambeson|+1|8|0|0|5|5

Leather|+2|6|0|0|10|10

Leather Scale|+3|5|-1|1|20|15

Brigandine|+4|4|-2|2|50|20

Medium|||||||

Hide|+3|5|-3|2|15|20

Scale|+4|4|-3|2|50|25

Lamellar|+5|3|-4|3|100|25

Chain Mail|+5|3|-4|3|150|30

Heavy|||||||

Breastplate|+6|2|-5|4|200|30

Plated Mail|+6|2|-5|4|250|40

Splint Plate|+8|0|-6|5|300|50

Full Plate|+8|1|-6|5|600|45

Shields|||||||

Buckler|+1|-|0|-|10|5

Shield, Light Wooden|+2|-|-1|-|3|5

Shield, Light Metal|+2|-|-1|-|9|6

Shield, Heavy Wooden|+3|-|-2|-|7|10

Shield, Heavy Metal|+3|-|-2|-|15|15

Shield, Tower|+4|2|-10|-|30|30

Extras |||||||

Helmet|+1|-|-1|-|10|5

Dueling Cloak|-|-|-|-|15|1

Armor Spikes|-|-|-|-|20|+5

Shield Spikes|-|-|-|-|10|+2

Gauntlet, Locked|-|-|-|-|8|2[/table]

Milskidasith
2009-12-08, 11:51 PM
Now it makes sense!

Book Wyrm
2009-12-08, 11:56 PM
I have never seen or heard of actual studded leather outside of a role playing context.

"Cuirbouilli" is leather armor according to the PHB. Its not in the SRD, but the actual PHB describes leather armor as "stiffened by boiling in oil."

And since D&D doesn't care how much of your body is covered by armor, I fail to see a difference between the a "chainshirt" and "chainmail." I actually contemplated renaming Chain Mail "Hauberk" but I thought that would be too confusing.

And what your calling Banded Mail is arguably lamellar armor or plated mail, so I went with those two more specific terms instead of the debatable and inconsistent "banded mail."

I agree with your last idea, but thought it would get too complicated and the fact that it would render most slashing weapons useless against anything above Leather Scale. (Since axes and swords are both slashing, in game they would have to act the same even though IRL they work completely differently)

EDIT: Fixed the table (again). The current system is very inconsistent with helmets (the chain shirt had one, but chainmail didn't). I changed it so the helmet is another extra item you can add to any armor (which is IMHO realistic) that increases AC at the small deterrent of a -1 check penalty. So the fighter will have one, but the rogue might not. Then again, a masterwork helmet would apparently have no check penalty.

How could I make the dueling cloak better? Did you see the part where it gives +2 to Feints?

Ouranos
2009-12-09, 12:05 AM
Studded leather would be regular leather armor with steel studs or rivets in it. http://www.theinnerbailey.com/armorgothicbrn01.jpg Something to that affect (found it on google in less then 30 seconds). Chain shirt vs chain mail. When they say chain SHIRT, they mean it. It's the size of a t-shirt. So naturally a full chain MAIL, as in covers the entire body, long sleeves, down to the knees or lower, plus the accompanying bits such as shin plates, shoulder pads, helmet, and gauntlets, would most certainly provide better protection at greater weight. Banded mail is actually more akin to the japanese armor, where it was leather with steel bands (hence, banded) and small steel plates, held togethor by more leather. Brigandine was much the same, but it was usually leather with steel strips inside of it, similar to modern kevlar vests, but metallic.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 12:15 AM
If you look at the webpage where that pic of the studded leather is from its listed under "Gothic / Fantasy Studded Leather Armor"

http://theinnerbailey.com/armor.htm

So, again, I've never seen any historical evidence for studded leather armor. Its my theory that the creators of D&D saw only the outside of a brigandine and had no idea what it actually was.

Japanese armor is lamellar armor. Its made of lacquered metal plates held together by silk.

Not that I normally endorse Wikipedia as an accurate source, but just go there and search banded mail and then search lamellar armor.

Animefunkmaster
2009-12-09, 12:15 AM
Shouldn't the DR be over a specific type of damage, like breastplate over piercing, chain-mail over bludgeoning and leather over slashing... maybe. Actually, I am not exactly sure what slashing would be good at overcoming, but I feel it makes more sense than piercing or bludgeoning.

Ouranos
2009-12-09, 12:20 AM
Gotta admit though, theoretically speaking studded leather would work. Would certainly be better then standard leather (the studs/rivets providing steel for a weapon hot strike sometimes) and it would be heavier because of it. I actually like the system as is, without re-writing it just to fit NAMES better. Does a breastplate, by any other name, not provide +4 ac by SRD?

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 12:26 AM
I agree that the ultimate realistic armor would have DR for various types of damage, but when I actually tried to implement it things don't work out.

For example: Both axes and swords are slashing weapons in D&D terms. In real life a sword slash is nigh useless against mail or plate armor. An axe on the other hand can can crush bones through mail and even some plate (big enough ax/ hard enough swing)

So how do you render that in game mechanics? Either you get really specific and give each armor bonuses or weakness versus specific weapons, or you go more general and end up with inconsistencies like the above mentioned example.

So I split the difference and just tried to make armor feel better by offering more protection against non-magical attacks. (or magic if wearing magical armor, don't ask me how that works, its just there for balance; remember kids: "magic and physics kills catgirls")

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 12:37 AM
Sorry for the double post, but:

So those tiny little metal studs or rivets are going to protect you from an axe blow?

In reality if a blow ever actually hit one of those studs it would just deflect the blow onto the leather armor, providing no benefit.

And, if the rose isn't a rose, calling it a rose doesn't make it smell any better.

Oh, and according to the SRD a breastplate provides a +5 bonus.

Solaris
2009-12-09, 12:49 AM
I like this, and agree with removing studded leather for armors that actually existed. The only point at which the studs become worthwhile is where you're pretty much walking around with a suit of metal studs and only nominal amounts of leather. Adding on DR only makes it better.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 01:06 AM
I just found two previously published examples of "dueling cloaks"

Theres the Gnome Battle Cloak which provides +1 AC is treated as a shield and grants +4 to disarm attempts

Then theres the Dueling Cloak published in a Dragon magazine article which also gives +1 to AC, requires light armor proficiency, and gives a +2 to disarm but counts as a light weapon (which nets to a -2).

So how about I change it to +1 AC, +2 to Feint, +4 to Disarm as a light weapon, requires light armor proficiency, and requires the full use of your off hand.

Makes the buckler feel pretty useless...

I might also change the helmet to require light armor proficiency.

Demented
2009-12-09, 01:19 AM
Hide the same as Leather Scale (but with a worse armor check)
Scale is the same as Brigandine (but with a worse armor check)
Chain Mail is the same as Lamellar (but with a higher price/weight)
Plated Mail is the same as Breastplate (but with a higher price/weight)

Splint Plate is worse than full plate in just about every way but price, which makes sense if you're outfitting NPCs...

So why would someone choose the inferior armors?

jmbrown
2009-12-09, 01:33 AM
And since D&D doesn't care how much of your body is covered by armor, I fail to see a difference between the a "chainshirt" and "chainmail." I actually contemplated renaming Chain Mail "Hauberk" but I thought that would be too confusing.

The difference is that chain shirt is light armor and chainmail is medium armor. A chain shirt is chain mail... minus the mail.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 01:39 AM
I actually made Hide better since it provides a higher max dex bonus and it has a slightly larger damage reduction than leather scale.

And know that I look at it Scale is pretty crappy and Splint Plate should probably have a max dex of 1. The breastplate might also get changed, maybe +5 with a max dex of +3. Like the original, but now heavy armor with better DR than mail or lamellar.

Other than that, beyond level 2 price and weight start becoming less and less of issues. (price particularly and weight somewhat less so until you get yourself a cheap cheap handy haversack).

So in that respect the choice is more aesthetic. I wanted to keep the armors relatively close mechanically while still maintaining some sort of realism. Mail is heavier and the Brigandine was a very common, very widely used piece of armor all the way into the Elizabethan era. They have dug up the remains of brigandines in Jamestown.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-12-09, 01:43 AM
Ahh. The wargaming obsession with varieties of arms-and-armor.

How we missed thee.

A casual Wikipedia search for "splint mail" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Splint_mail) confirmed my suspicions that it is much more primitive than the metalwork that goes into whatever goes into the "full plate" that we typically associate with knights. Essentially, it's little plates of metal linked together. Some of the poorer examples look to be little more than bits of metal sown into chainmail.

Somehow that doesn't strike me as effective as the larger of pieces of metal that were forged to be a coherent piece from the get-go. Contrast with: "plate armor" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_armour)

Hence, I also suspect that making it nearly identical to full plate to be a bit much. (Also . . . wheee. +1 to AC from dexterity. What a world-shattering difference.)

EDIT: As it turns out, "full plate" is actually "plate armor." Whereas brigandine and lamellar armor are all categories of "splint mail." Which Wikipedia appears to prefer to call "plated mail."

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 01:59 AM
My other argument against the chain shirt has to do with the creators having no working knowledge of real life armor and trying to poorly replicate fictional armor.

I think the chain shirt is a reference to Bilbo/Frodo's mithral chain shirt in the Hobbit/Lord of the Rings. Its described as "...small shirt of mail. It was close-woven of many rings, as supple almost as linen, cold as ice, and harder than steel"

So the geniuses at WotC decided to make a light chain mail armor, while construing Tolkien's intention that the shirt was "small shirt" because it was hobbit sized and light because it was made of mithril.

In real life, the smallest mail shirts are often called hauberks or haubergeons. The hauberk is correctly termed a "shirt", but extended to protect the thighs and had long sleeves. the Haubergeon differed only in its shorter sleeves. So while it could be argued that it is not full length mail or doesn't include chausses to cover the legs, there really is very little difference.

Its still mail armor, and I think its best to categorized armor by types and effectiveness, not how much it covers since you can't target someones legs in D&D.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-12-09, 02:03 AM
Well sure.

The long sword of D&D should probably be more accurately termed a "war sword" or an "arming sword."

The actual long sword is actually identical to the "bastard" sword. Also known as the hand-and-half sword.

It's not the first time D&D messes up the naming.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 02:07 AM
@ LurkerInPlayground: refer to my pictures (3rd post) to clarify my nomenclature. What I named Splint Plate is best described as transitional armor between mail and "full" plate, but transitional armor just doesn't sound good.

Also, while I'm not one of those so called wargamers or simulationist, I do believe in having some veracity in a game that is described as "medieval fantasy."

And heres my guilty confession, I was going to tackle the weapons table next.

LurkerInPlayground
2009-12-09, 02:16 AM
@ LurkerInPlayground: refer to my pictures (3rd post) to clarify my nomenclature. What I named Splint Plate is best described as transitional armor between mail and "full" plate, but transitional armor just doesn't sound good.

Also, while I'm not one of those so called wargamers or simulationist, I do believe in having some veracity in a game that is described as "medieval fantasy."

And heres my guilty confession, I was going to tackle the weapons table next.
Even by your given picture, it still seems to fit into my "little more than bits of metal woven into chainmail" idea. As far as "transitional armor" goes, I don't see much distinction between what you've defined as splint and plated armor. Unless there's a full-on breastplate beneath that teal bit of felt, I fail to see how it's "transitory" in any but the loosest sense. It only looks intimidating because it includes more protection on the limbs and head (but this is a sensible decision anyway).

Particularly telling is that Wikpedia actually disambiguates "split mail" into "plated mail" and includes lamellar and brigandine armor as categories of "plated mail." So "plated mail" is a sufficiently diverse category of armors.

In any case, war gaming is at the heart of D&D's origins. So it's really a central part of D&D's genealogy if you ask me. Although that isn't to say that D&D hasn't become divorced from those war gaming assumptions.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 02:29 AM
I guess Transitional armor needs a better description then. Because it is most definitely not plated mail or splint mail.

Transitional armor is largely standard mail that includes a brigandine worn over the mail and starts to incorporate either splints of metal or full on metal plates to protect the extremities. So yeah, that teal thing is sort of a breastplate. Its the evolution of armor away from just mail towards almost all plate.

You've also sort of hit on two other points. One, Wikipedia is not the most reliable source. I like Wikipedia and referenced it (the pics mostly), but its not always absolutely correct.

And two, medieval arms and armor nomenclature is controversial at best and straight up confusing at worst. Polearms are one particularly shady area, as well as armor. Swords are the best documented and categorized thanks largely to the likes of Ewart Oakeshott.

Daracaex
2009-12-09, 02:39 AM
First of all, I'd like to point out that this is a fantasy game. Reality means nothing when you're slinging fireballs. Stop fretting so much about armor not matching the real world's examples and just have fun with it.



I agree that the ultimate realistic armor would have DR for various types of damage, but when I actually tried to implement it things don't work out.

For example: Both axes and swords are slashing weapons in D&D terms. In real life a sword slash is nigh useless against mail or plate armor. An axe on the other hand can can crush bones through mail and even some plate (big enough ax/ hard enough swing)

So how do you render that in game mechanics? Either you get really specific and give each armor bonuses or weakness versus specific weapons, or you go more general and end up with inconsistencies like the above mentioned example.

So I split the difference and just tried to make armor feel better by offering more protection against non-magical attacks. (or magic if wearing magical armor, don't ask me how that works, its just there for balance; remember kids: "magic and physics kills catgirls")

A possible idea would be giving all armor a damage reduction value and then giving weapons a penetration value, which makes the weapon ignore a certain amount on DR on armor. For example, an axe may have a penetration 3 going against a Plate's DR 5/- while the longsword may only have penetration 1. Against an axe, the armor's effective DR is 2/-. Against the longsword, it's effective DR is 4/-.

Of course, if you were to do that, the entire weapon and armor tables would have to be re-looked at and re-balanced. I wouldn't mind giving weapons another criteria to differentiate them anyway, though. There are way too many "strictly better" options with 3.5 weapons.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 02:58 AM
I really like the idea of weapons with penetration. The pick would be a much deadlier weapon if it penetrated armor DR.

I think the reason I dislike the current armor and weapon systems is because it makes me feel like the guys over at WotC really don't know what their doing. When they can't spend enough time to look up what these things really are, did, and weighed I lose faith in their abilities as game designers.

Then again, these are the same people who made the Wizard, CoDzilla, Incantatrix, and Planar Shepard, so...

Milskidasith
2009-12-09, 03:13 AM
The armor system is probably because no mundane item in the game is nearly as cool as magic items. It's the same reason they don't stat out what a flint and steel does as explicitly as they stat out a rod of wonder; the magic item is a lot cooler and most people already have a vague idea of what the mundane item does.

lesser_minion
2009-12-09, 05:02 AM
I'm not really too keen on having every single type of armour that was used in something like a 1200 year period statted up and usable in game.

Games like OSRIC at least noted that certain armours could potentially be seen as anachronistic.

Studded leather is really intended to represent metal-reinforced leather armours in general - like 'banded mail', it's a descriptive name rather than actually being intended to reflect what the armour was called. I ended up with something resembling this when I tried it:

- Soft leather, quilted or fur armours. AC +1 or +2

- Hardened leather or wood armours. AC +2, +3 (extended), or +4 (full)

- Metal-reinforced leather or leather scale armours. AC +3, +4 (extended), or +6 (full)

- Chain armours. AC +5, +6 (extended), or +8 (full)

- Plate. AC +6, +8 (extended), or +10 (full)

That should reflect most historical and fantasy armour types (armoured lingerie excluded), and a medieval arms expert could have fun deciding what different armours from around the world would look like in those terms.

Also, were helmets really that restrictive? I'm not sure I really see a helmet justifying an ACP of -1 on its own.

Also, for future reference, The Hobbit actually noted repeatedly that the mithril shirt was sized for an elvish prince. I'm pretty sure it was modified somewhere between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Latronis
2009-12-09, 05:08 AM
I'm not really too keen on having every single type of armour that was used in something like a 1200 year period statted up and usable in game.

Games like OSRIC at least noted that certain armours could potentially be seen as anachronistic.

Studded leather is really intended to represent metal-reinforced leather armours in general - like 'banded mail', it's a descriptive name rather than actually being intended to reflect what the armour was called.

I agree, I think they work well enough as a class armour.

Although the idea of damage type damage reduction is kind of appealing, especially since ive been thinking of trying out a kind of Magic Enhancement heirachy where higher magic enhancement bonuses overcome more forms of damage reduction

hamishspence
2009-12-09, 05:14 AM
Also, for future reference, The Hobbit actually noted repeatedly that the mithril shirt was sized for an elvish prince. I'm pretty sure it was modified somewhere between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Lord of the Rings has the same thing "Here's a pretty hobbit skin to wrap an elven princeling in"

It was sized for a child- at least, someone smaller than adult size- and fits the hobbit because of that.

Ponce
2009-12-09, 05:30 AM
Brigandine versus Scale Mail
Lamellar versus Chain Mail
Breast Plate versus Plated Mail

In these three examples, the first armour is at least as good or better in every regard, including proficiency requirements, cost, and weight. There is no reason for anyone to ever use Scale Mail, Chain Mail, or Plated Mail under you system.

That said, it is an alright system, though personally I think the damage reduction should be with regard to damage type (bludgeoning, piercing, slashing) and it should be specified that the damage reduction from armour stacks with similar DR granted from class abilities and other sources. Being really tough and wearing thick armour should both be beneficial together.

Edit: Do tower shields still work the same way? Attack penalty and everything?

Swordguy
2009-12-09, 06:56 AM
In these three examples, the first armour is at least as good or better in every regard, including proficiency requirements, cost, and weight. There is no reason for anyone to ever use Scale Mail, Chain Mail, or Plated Mail under you system.

If you're going to make that point, I feel compelled to point out that some types of armor really are just better than others, full-stop. And since the OP is basing his homebrew on real life armor capabilities, it stands to reason that, since real life isn't balanced, neither should be the armor.

...

OP, if you want to go the "some armors are better against some types of weapons" route, you may want to do some more research into the matter. There's some information on this thread that isn't precisely accurate - the claim that leather is good at all, among others. For example, you might be interested to know that a padded jack (cloth armor) is actually FAR more resilient against most blows than leather (but we hear tell of cuirboulli knee and elbow cops because cloth tends to bunch at the joints and inhibit movement). Most of this data is fairly recent (2001 and later), and a product of the Western Martial Arts movement. I would double-check any history books from before then, and quintuple-check any source that can be traced back to Victorian-era museum curators.

Good places to start your research would be the ARMA website (Association of Renaissance Martial Artists - I recommend this page (http://www.thearma.org/photos/Gathering03/testcutting.htm) and this page (http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/TestCutting/TestCuttingEvent2.htm)...note in the second link how effectively leather armor does NOT protect against a sword blow, like in this photo (http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/TestCutting/Untitled-27.JPG)). Other good places are the MyArmory Forums (http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/), and the Arador Armor Library (http://www.livinghistorylibrary.org/forum/index.php).

At the very least, if you're going to go whole-hog on this and do it right, don't listen to anybody on a gaming forum who is unwilling or unable to cite sources or research to back stuff up.

Ponce
2009-12-09, 07:13 AM
If you're going to make that point, I feel compelled to point out that some types of armor really are just better than others, full-stop. And since the OP is basing his homebrew on real life armor capabilities, it stands to reason that, since real life isn't balanced, neither should be the armor.

Fair enough, but in his original post the OP pointed out how the Chain Shirt, Breastplate, and Fullplate are the only armours used in the current system. I assumed he wanted to rectify this, but his system suffers the same problem. While it might be historically accurate, there's no real point in statting out various types of armour that adventurers aren't going to use.

If you want to have some kind of technological variance among kingdoms or regions, you should at least establish some kind of Technology Level for the various armour types, so as to justify their existence in a campaign, and even having them written up in the game at all.

paddyfool
2009-12-09, 07:41 AM
I'd like to recommend Fantasy Craft as offering a better armour spread of choice than D&D. A tad more complicated, but not so much as to cause anyone brain ache - have a look sometime.

onera
2009-12-09, 07:52 AM
hey thank for the new table, i realy like the idee and the names.
i understand that the game armor table is not correct.

i don't realy care about the money or the weight.
in the world i play at the moment 10 gold is a fortune. and all things are realy expensive. it depends on your dm what stuff is worth.

and i realy like the new names.

i would like to ask the question. why not leave the medium armor out of the table?
it has no in game use. i have never seen a class that uses medium armor.
light armor goes to +4 an medium to +5, as a ranger you lose all of your bonusses when using medium armor, and in return you get a +1 armor bonus. and a warior always uses heavy armor that can provide a + 8 bonus

this is what bugged me , and i like your table.
so is there any way to solve this in your new and improved table?

paddyfool
2009-12-09, 11:10 AM
i would like to ask the question. why not leave the medium armor out of the table?
it has no in game use. i have never seen a class that uses medium armor.
light armor goes to +4 an medium to +5, as a ranger you lose all of your bonusses when using medium armor, and in return you get a +1 armor bonus. and a warior always uses heavy armor that can provide a + 8 bonus


1) Barbarian
2) Someone who can't afford heavy armour
3) Someone who just can't reconcile heavy armour with their character concept.

Swordguy
2009-12-09, 12:31 PM
What the hey, I've been meaning to do this for a LONG time...Naturally, this assumes you aren't using Armor as DR. It OUGHT to provide both AC (how well armor deflects blows away from you) and DR (how well it absorbs the blow it doesn't deflect)...but people think that's too powerful for some reason. I shrug and point at Time Stop, but what can ya do?

(There is an argument that Medium Armor, as a category, shouldn't exist. Not one that's founded in game mechanics, mind you. The Medium Armor category seems to be delimited only by a narrow band of AC values and, most importantly, by the speed decrease the category brings. Heck, their total AC potential (AC bonus + Max Dex) is lower, on average, than any other group.)


Frankly, I'd simply delete the medium armor category entirely. The table would end up looking a whole lot like this:

Light Armor

Soft Leather+1 AC, Max Dex +8, ACP 0, Speed 30/20

Padded Jack +3 AC, Max Dex +7, ACP -1, Speed 30/20

Hide +3 AC, Max Dex +6, ACP -3, Speed 30/20

Hardened Leather +2 AC, Max Dex +7, ACP 0, Speed 30/20

Mail Shirt +5 AC, Max Dex +5, ACP -1, Speed 30/20

Scale and leather +4 AC, Max Dex +6, ACP -1, Speed 30/20

Brigandine +5 AC, Max Dex +4, ACP -1, Speed 30/20

Breastplate +6 AC, Max Dex +5, ACP -2, Speed 30/20


Heavy Armor

Lamellar +5 AC, Max Dex +5, ACP -3, Speed 20/15

Mail Hauberk w/leggings +6 AC, Max Dex +3, ACP -5, Speed 20/15

Plate & Mail +8 AC, Max Dex +2, ACP -4, Speed 20/15

Splint Plate +7 AC, Max Dex +3, ACP -3, Speed 20/15

Full Plate +10 AC, Max Dex +3, ACP -3, Speed 20/15


*Leather Armor: Unhardened saddle leather used as armor. Very rare as its own defense, soft leather was mainly used as a supplement to other, effective armors.http://www.ljplus.ru/img/b/o/bob_basset/Chest-armor-1.jpg

*Padded Jack: Also called gambeson, aketon. 15-30 layers of quilted linen worn as its own defense, has a tendency to clump up at the joints. Has the advantage of being quite cheap and easy to make. Take an additional -2 ACP if wetted (such as being swum in, dropping in a lake, or more than 10 minutes of heavy rain). If not dried out within 12 hours, irrepairable rot will set in, losing 1 point of AC per week until useless. http://i45.photobucket.com/albums/f74/HRG2006/Pikemen.jpg

*Hide: Layers of heavy animal hide, much thicker and/or more resilient than common saddle leather normally used for armor. http://www.europewithasmile.com/gallery_2001/london_5_31/images/Crocodile-Armor.jpg

*Hardened Leather: Wax or water-hardened leather. Very rare to find full suits; these mainly serve as supplementary joint protection combined with other armor types. http://www.armorvenue.com/armorvenueimage.php?f=greek-leather-muscle-armor&s=275

*Mail Shirt: Riveted (NOT butted together) flattened metal rings by the thousands. The most common armor for well over a thousand years. http://www.angelfire.com/mb2/battle_hastings_1066/share/meinmail.jpg

*Scale and Leather: Small fish scale-like pieces of metal sewn to a heavy linen or leather backing. Common for Byzantines, not so for any other Western civilizations. Arms and legs were generally protected by soft or hard leather, depending on the wealth of the wearer. http://therionarms.com/armor/armor5.jpg

*Brigandine: A compromise between mail and more advanced large plate armors, brigandine consists of moderately-sized thin metal plates sandwiched between layers of thin soft leather, often faced with rich material. In practice, blows tend to slip off the plates and bury themselves in the gaps, and the plate hinders movement just enough that both large-plate armors and mail are superior. Limbs are covered with whatever is available, usually leather, and practically never mail, as there is no good way to attach the mail to the brigandine. http://www.eskimo.com/~cwn/photos/brig_craig1_1.jpg

*Breastplate: The central component in Full Plate armor worn independently, usually over a padded jack and with little leg protection at all. This armor has the benefit of protecting the vitals well while scarcely hindering movement or weighing down the wearer at all. Was very rarely worn until the very late Middle Ages, and this fashion was truly popularized by the Spanish. http://redfizz.com/rf/usrimg12345%5C8330.jpg

*Lamellar: Dozens of small plates laced directly together with no backing, this armor has the advantage of being easy to make and repair, but tends to be heavy for its coverage and makes it impossible to bend forward at the waist, limiting movement and reaction speed. Relatively rare in Western Europe, this is more of a Russian/Central Asian/East Asian-themed armor. This included most forms of Japanese armor. Most lamellar wearers were horsemen, and for good reason. http://meltingpot.fortunecity.com/lithuania/414/arm/carmor_1.jpg

*Mail Hauberk w/Leggings: A full-body armor including long-sleeve mail arms (and often mittens) and full mail "pants" with foot covers. Very heavy and hot, largely due to the padded garment necessary to wear beneath the armor. In addition, the mail tends to bunch up at the joints, badly limiting movement. http://z.about.com/d/atheism/1/0/q/I/GermanCrusader-l.jpg

*Plate & Mail: A mail hauberk with plate reinforcements attached over top of the mail. Lighter and more protective than a Mail Hauberk w/Leggings, this was a transition to the clearly superior Full Plate. This can come in one of two styles, Eastern (with several smaller plates attached to the mail via rings) or Western (larger plates strapped over the mail hauberk). Some late-period Japanese armor falls under this category as well, though they used a 6-in-1 mail weave rather than the commonly known 4-in-1.
Easternhttp://webprojects.prm.ox.ac.uk/arms-and-armour/600/1940.8.2.jpg
Western http://www.silvermane.com/acatalog/CI-AB0072.jpg

*Splint Plate: Another type of transitional armor, this seems to have been exceedingly rare (rare enough that "splint plate" isn't the proper term, since there isn't a proper term at all). Essentially, it takes the plate bits from Western Plate & Mail and trades the mail for brigandine arm and leg protection. Easier and lighter to move in than Plate & Mail, it is slightly less protective, mainly due to the gaps left on the insides of joints that would otherwise be mail-covered. http://static.fastcommerce.com/content/ff80808117344aab011752895ad45036/IMG_7423.JPG

*Full Plate: The culmination of the armorer's art, full plate is made almost entirely of linked plates of metal laced to a tight-fitting arming doublet underneath. Very little mail is used at all - only under the armpits and in a small skirt around the groin. This armor is surprisingly light, and, as long as it is fitted to the wearer, quite easy to move in (if not fitted to the wearer, add an additional -2 ACP). It mainly came in two styles, the minimalistic Milanese style, and the decorative Gothic style. Both offer effectively identical protection.
Milanese http://www.glasgowmuseums.com/assets/slideShows/E.1939.65.e_01.jpg
Gothic http://www.talismancoins.com/catalog/Suit_of_Gothic_Plate_Armor.jpg

Solaris
2009-12-09, 12:43 PM
I'd go one step farther with the removal of Medium Armor and say that a character doesn't need Armor Proficiency to wear Light Armor. It's what I do in my games (where the automatic proficiencies are removed and replaced with their choice of feats - generally proficiencies), and it doesn't seem to hurt anybody.

paddyfool
2009-12-09, 12:48 PM
@Swordguy,

Fine work, sir.

Dienekes
2009-12-09, 12:52 PM
What the hey, I've been meaning to do this for a LONG time...Naturally, this assumes you aren't using Armor as DR. It OUGHT to provide both AC (how well armor deflects blows away from you) and DR (how well it absorbs the blow it doesn't deflect)...but people think that's too powerful for some reason. I shrug and point at Time Stop, but what can ya do?


Hey would you post how it ought to be, I think that would be interesting. If it's not asking too much work of course.

Also, I remember reading a primary source document on the Crusades that claimed that it was common to see some of the lower class soldiers with leather armor looking like pincushions since they stopped the penetration of arrows. After reading this I assumed that leather was actually stronger than most people assume. However you seem to know a great deal more than me on the subject as well as claim that leather was next to useless in this regard. What would you make of this document?

lesser_minion
2009-12-09, 01:02 PM
My understanding is that leather armours came in a variety of forms - soft leather never has and never will be noted as providing much protection in-game.

Hardened leather and leather scale were also used, and I'm pretty sure that both were a lot better than quilted fabric or heavy clothing (I was also under the impression that a gambeson was frequently worn over other kinds of armour)

Ashtagon
2009-12-09, 01:08 PM
Personally, I like the L/M/H armour distinction. However, the problem is that the upper limit on what is allowed inside the light category is a bit too generous, making the medium category meaningless under RAW.

"Light armour" should include only those armours that do not involve metal as the major armour component (metal for buttons, pins, and other attachment points doesn't count - just metal that is there to provide armour). As such, the chain shirt gets moved to medium. Strictly speaking, hide could be moved down to light under this criterion, but the fluff makes it clear it is a bulky and awkward garment. Studded leather remains light because the metal studs aren't the major component of the armour.

"Heavy armour" should include only the actual plate armours - half plate and full plate. Splint and banded get knocked down to medium.

(and of course, Races of Stone introduced dwarven super-heavy armours)

I'd also add that any class that isn't defiantly sedentary (just the wizard from the core classes; archivist, cloistered cleric, and most wizard variants would also count as defiantly sedentary) should have light armour proficiency as a freebie at 1st level.

This change makes the best light armour +3, the best medium +6, and the best heavy +8, which makes for a real opportunity cost decision between the three groups.

Swordguy
2009-12-09, 01:29 PM
Hey would you post how it ought to be, I think that would be interesting. If it's not asking too much work of course.

Also, I remember reading a primary source document on the Crusades that claimed that it was common to see some of the lower class soldiers with leather armor looking like pincushions since they stopped the penetration of arrows. After reading this I assumed that leather was actually stronger than most people assume. However you seem to know a great deal more than me on the subject as well as claim that leather was next to useless in this regard. What would you make of this document?

I know the quote you're talking about, and I swear it's in relation to the knights and their mail looking like pincushions from the Saracen arrows being unable to penetrate (unsurprising, considering historical mail is far tightly-woven than the Ren Faire Specials most people see today, and they had thick, padded garments underneath). I remember the word "pincushion" specifically.

As for the DR - I'd rather not. See, every armor would have a different DR, and then every weapon should modify that DR (so full plate, being fully capable of stopping a 1-handed sword blow cold, might have DR 10, while a D&D longsword
might have Penetration 3. Meanwhile a bec de corbin or the military pick would end up with Penetration 7-9ish). I did exactly this some time ago, but I've lost the files and it'd be a PITA to do it again. :smallredface:

@Lesser-minion: Leather scale is not appreciatively more protective than single-piece leather. The only thing about it that really matters with whether or not the leather is hardened. For example, here (http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/TestCutting/Untitled-27.JPG) and here (http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/TestCutting/Untitled-26.JPG), you can see the effect that a piece of fairly hefty soft leather had on a not-very-hard sword blow against a mostly-defenseless hunk of bony beef. Comparatively, we see in this (http://www.thearma.org/photos/Gathering03/testcutting.htm) ARMA Test-cutting Gathering...


Examples of sharp blades, straight and curved, single and double handed were tested, cutting effortlessly through straw mats of all sizes. A cloth gambeson was cut at, proving virtually impervious to cuts. One especially sharp, short Angelsword Messer cut through three straw mats on one horizontal cut. Several curved Angel blades sheared through mats diagonally without effort. Some Del Tin blades also pereformed well. However, most intriguing was how a blunt and entirely unsharpened Raven bastard sword performed, cleaving smoothly through one entire mat,

I don't think they would use the work "impervious" lightly, do you? Do remember, the padded armor we're talking about here isn't like the quilt on your bed, nor is it stuffed with batting. It's essentially the depth of a full bolt of fabric, all tightly packed together and stitched down. Linen is a tough fabric to start with - 30+ layers of it wold be incredibly hard to cut through, and would absorb quite a bit of impact.

Dienekes
2009-12-09, 01:39 PM
I know the quote you're talking about, and I swear it's in relation to the knights and their mail looking like pincushions from the Saracen arrows being unable to penetrate (unsurprising, considering historical mail is far tightly-woven than the Ren Faire Specials most people see today, and they had thick, padded garments underneath). I remember the word "pincushion" specifically.

As for the DR - I'd rather not. See, every armor would have a different DR, and then every weapon should modify that DR (so full plate, being fully capable of stopping a 1-handed sword blow cold, might have DR 10, while a D&D longsword
might have Penetration 3. Meanwhile a bec de corbin or the military pick would end up with Penetration 7-9ish). I did exactly this some time ago, but I've lost the files and it'd be a PITA to do it again. :smallredface:

Of course, no need for you to do so much work. I was simply curious.

As for the arrows and armor thing. You're probably right. I'm working off my memory on the topic and my memory is terrible, completely and utterly.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-09, 02:09 PM
I think in my attempt to redo the armor table I tried to accommodate to many variables. I wanted to make things marginally more historically accurate, while also increasing the versatility of some forms of armor. I know think these two things are almost completely independent since there are some real world armors that are simply better in all ways.

And while we're still on the subject, there is an example of an early bullet proof vest worn by Korean soldiers in the 1860's that was basically 13 folds of cotton. It could stop bullets, but was apparently very flammable. Heres the wiki: link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myeonje_baegab).

Also, if I'm not mistaken that picture for the Hide armor Swordguy posted is from the British Museum. If I remember correctly its Roman era crocodile skin parade armor. Very cool looking

Daracaex
2009-12-09, 03:59 PM
I think the reason I dislike the current armor and weapon systems is because it makes me feel like the guys over at WotC really don't know what their doing. When they can't spend enough time to look up what these things really are, did, and weighed I lose faith in their abilities as game designers.

They do know what they're doing. They're making a game. You don't need to be a historian to make a fantasy tabletop role-playing game. Especially because it's fantasy. Again, people are chucking fireballs about the battlefield. Historically accurate armor from our world is hardly a factor.

Swordguy
2009-12-09, 05:00 PM
They do know what they're doing. They're making a game. You don't need to be a historian to make a fantasy tabletop role-playing game. Especially because it's fantasy. Again, people are chucking fireballs about the battlefield. Historically accurate armor from our world is hardly a factor.

This isn't aimed at you personally, but I'm really tired of that excuse. "We don't have to try - it's magic". You know what? The concepts of what these item are are fundamentally rooted in our world. EVERYTHING in D&D that isn't explicitly changed is assumed to be just like our world - that's even in the DMG. The basic, core assumption in D&D is that everything works just like it does in real life except where the rules or the DM decide to change it. So it (understandably, I think) frustrates me when, in an era when research is literally faster and more accurate than it has ever been before in human history, people don't take the modicum of time to actually look stuff up and get it friggin' right. TSR at least had the excuse that they were doing it in the 80's - a relative dark age of research ability. What's WoTCs excuse? They demonstrably don't know what they're doing, because on one hand they say "D&D is based in the real world with heaping helpings of awesome on top", and on the other they have proven incapable time after time to show a glimmer of ability to add ranks in their collective Knowledge (what the hell they're talking about) skill.

Moreover, this is the homebrew section. The OP has explicitly stated that he'd like to see more historic accuracy in the armors. That's the entire purpose of the thread. So tell me - what purpose does coming into the thread and saying "it doesn't matter, 'cause it's all MAGIC anyway" serve? Aside, of course, from taking a giant metaphorical dump on both the OP and everybody who has made a useful contribution here?

Not you personally man - I'm just so incredibly tired of that excuse...

Daracaex
2009-12-09, 06:33 PM
This isn't aimed at you personally, but I'm really tired of that excuse. "We don't have to try - it's magic". You know what? The concepts of what these item are are fundamentally rooted in our world. EVERYTHING in D&D that isn't explicitly changed is assumed to be just like our world - that's even in the DMG. The basic, core assumption in D&D is that everything works just like it does in real life except where the rules or the DM decide to change it. So it (understandably, I think) frustrates me when, in an era when research is literally faster and more accurate than it has ever been before in human history, people don't take the modicum of time to actually look stuff up and get it friggin' right. TSR at least had the excuse that they were doing it in the 80's - a relative dark age of research ability. What's WoTCs excuse? They demonstrably don't know what they're doing, because on one hand they say "D&D is based in the real world with heaping helpings of awesome on top", and on the other they have proven incapable time after time to show a glimmer of ability to add ranks in their collective Knowledge (what the hell they're talking about) skill.

Moreover, this is the homebrew section. The OP has explicitly stated that he'd like to see more historic accuracy in the armors. That's the entire purpose of the thread. So tell me - what purpose does coming into the thread and saying "it doesn't matter, 'cause it's all MAGIC anyway" serve? Aside, of course, from taking a giant metaphorical dump on both the OP and everybody who has made a useful contribution here?

Not you personally man - I'm just so incredibly tired of that excuse...

I don't mean to insult. I just feel that the game is a game and that is what it should be viewed as instead of trying to make it an historically accurate portrayal of medieval Europe + Magic. The game is more important than any historical relevance. There's a lot of home-brewer talent that I feel is wasted trying to make the game more "realistic" instead of making the game better. Now I wouldn't mind a revamped equipment system, but the great ideas like the DR on armor, more options in each category of armor, and, to toot my own horn a bit, DR penetration on weapons, are all being buried in pages of debate on whether banded armor should be called banded armor and what the difference between a chain shirt and chain mail is.

TL;DR: The good stuff is being ignored to debate on the not-so-important. I'm just trying to move the focus over.

Narmy
2009-12-09, 07:19 PM
I'll try and find some materials related to armor penetration.

Solaris
2009-12-09, 08:59 PM
I don't mean to insult. I just feel that the game is a game and that is what it should be viewed as instead of trying to make it an historically accurate portrayal of medieval Europe + Magic. The game is more important than any historical relevance. There's a lot of home-brewer talent that I feel is wasted trying to make the game more "realistic" instead of making the game better. Now I wouldn't mind a revamped equipment system, but the great ideas like the DR on armor, more options in each category of armor, and, to toot my own horn a bit, DR penetration on weapons, are all being buried in pages of debate on whether banded armor should be called banded armor and what the difference between a chain shirt and chain mail is.

TL;DR: The good stuff is being ignored to debate on the not-so-important. I'm just trying to move the focus over.

Well, don't forget that for some "realistic" does come out to making it better. I'm another guy who gets cranked when I see people saying "Why bother? Magic does it better!", because in my D&D game magic doesn't.
('S what happens when spellcasters have to pay for spells out of their VP.)
Not to try jumping the bandwagon or anything on hatin' you personally, you're just the most convenient target for the school of thought.

I think, for a general guideline, piercing weapons ought to have about DP (damage penetration) of 5, swords 2-3, maces/flails about 4, clubs about 2.

Latronis
2009-12-09, 09:22 PM
I don't know, it seems reasonable to think of a heavy mace crushing bones under armour like as not.

Narmy
2009-12-09, 10:19 PM
This is the closest and fastest thing that I can find on penetration.

Perhaps we could take this and edit it, fix it up, balance it, and then we'd be good.

Unless of course it's balanced already. I'm not certain, I'm a rather new DM, and although I hope to be able to do such things.

I'm not confident in my ability just yet.

http://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/Armor_Penetration_%28DnD_Variant_Rule%29

Dienekes
2009-12-09, 10:44 PM
I'm not sure that's all that accurate. I know that maces were popular because they could crush bone beneath the armor

LurkerInPlayground
2009-12-09, 11:19 PM
I generally could give a rat's ass for realism in RPG's. It's just that WOTC probably did make the claim about "realism" or somesuch. And worse, people say D&D ought to be realistic.

But historical accuracy and game versimilitude aren't really the same thing. It's a matter of seasoning the game with the flavor you find appropriate.

Personally, I like the idea of rather swarthy middle-aged men in armor, instead of chiseled demi-gods. Mostly because I feel D&D probably ought to have that more down-to-earth gritty feeling.

Attention to historical detail actually helps with that mood if that's your aim. And besides, being able to tell the difference between lamellar armor and transitional plate-and-mail gives a culture a distinct feel.

I generally don't like the WoW-like habit of modern RPG's divorcing armor from any comprehensible reality I know of. It just makes the game feel a little less human somehow. Because in those settings armor is never inconveniencing because they have mithril or somesuch. There is no weird technological workaround that a culture cooked up to try and protect their soldiers. It lacks flavor.

So from a certain perspective, I don't mind knowing what the armors are and I would like them to roughly rank correctly armor values, but they needn't be accurate ballistic representations of everything under the sun.

Solaris
2009-12-09, 11:25 PM
I don't know, it seems reasonable to think of a heavy mace crushing bones under armour like as not.

Hence why I gave 'em a penetration second only to the arrows/picks. It's just a quick-and-dirty.

EDIT: Narmy, your system seems a good beginning but it's a bit too cumbersome to give weapons DP, armors DPR, and then DR. The upper end of the scale should be lowered - or plate should get something like DR 15/magic.

Latronis
2009-12-10, 12:57 AM
You're suggested damage penetration would be effectively ignoring Damage Reduction of the armour?

If an axe as DP +1 then it ignores 1 point of damage reduction slashing?

Narmy
2009-12-10, 03:00 AM
Well, that's not my system. I just found it, I was posting to help, also, someone already gave information or posted something for penetration before me???

Reinboom
2009-12-10, 03:15 AM
I think, for a general guideline, piercing weapons ought to have about DP (damage penetration) of 5, swords 2-3, maces/flails about 4, clubs about 2.

Simplify that, by reduction:
Picks: Piercing [3]
Maces: Piercing [2]
Everything else listed has no 'Piercing'. This is assumed simply by the damage they do.

Then keep the damage of swords higher.

Ponce
2009-12-10, 03:18 AM
The whole "piercing" thing seems a bit silly to me. Why not use DR/{slashing,bludngeoning,piercing} ?

@Swordguy: Very nice! Would you at least be willing to list what you think the DRs should be for those of use who don't think it is too powerful?

Ashtagon
2009-12-10, 04:22 AM
Personally, I'd divide armours as follows:

"plate armours" (incl stone)
"mail armours"
"cloth/leather armours" (incl wood)

Those three cover 99% of historical and fantasy armours, and it isn't too hard to arbitrarily assign other fantasy armours to the categories.

Then we make use of the damage types (piercing/slashing/bludgeoning)...

plate: good vs all
mail: weak vs piercing, good vs others
leather: weak vs bludgeoning, good vs others

Then use the armour weight to form a matrix...

Light: DR 2 or 0
Medium: DR 3 or 1
Heavy: DR 4 or 2

Disclaimer: All numbers and specific weaknesses are pulled out of a hat.

Brother Oni
2009-12-10, 12:46 PM
Also, were helmets really that restrictive? I'm not sure I really see a helmet justifying an ACP of -1 on its own.

A minor thread derail - it depends very much on the helmet.

An open faced helm, like the classic Norman one, shouldn't have any restrictions, although if worn properly with a gambeson underneath, might give a Listen penalty.

If you got any sort of visor, then I'd apply other penalties as well as your peripheral vision is gone.

If you've got a full face helm with something covering the mouth I find that breathing becomes especially difficult after 10-15 minutes hard fighting, although something like the Japanese menpo wasn't that restrictive.

Swordguy
2009-12-10, 01:18 PM
Helms aren't that bad, actually...though there's several specific ones that are.

In general:

European helms are worn with an arming cap (a quilted cap) underneath for padding. Therefore, there is about 6 layers of linen and a layer of metal between your ears and the world. Ordinary conversation can be difficult to make out (lifting the visor on some closed helms, or opening the chin pieces on armets helps somewhat). Listen check penalties are absolutely appropriate for any sort of closed helms (armets, hondskulls, etc) and most open-face helms (barbutes). Suspended helms (such as the Japanese Kabuto) don't generally have anywhere near these problems - some muffling exists, but it's minor (the question would be whether it's a -1 or a 0 penalty). Finally, the half-helms that were worn pre-Crusades (think the Rohirrim helms from the LotR movies) such as Spagenhelms have no problem with listening whatsoever.

Vision restriction is actually something most people overestimate when it comes to helms. Yeah, there's tiny oculars...but they're close to your eyes. Geometry means that you actually get most of your vision in this case - the closer to your eyes the oculars are, the more vision you actually have. The very worst helms for this are hondskulls (also called "pig-faced bascinets), closely followed by Crusader-era Great Helms (barrel helms) - the oculars are very small and VERY far from your eyes. Many close helms such as an armet (http://i4.photobucket.com/albums/y110/Nephtys/Medieval%20European%20Armour/Armet_03.jpg) actually have quite good vision - you lose about 10% of your total field of view, mostly from the sides. But, frankly, people tend towards tunnel vision in life-or-death combat anyway, to it's not the huge deal people think. By far the larger problem is breathing in the damn things. I remain convinced that breathing is why people pull up their visors on close helms rather than because of vision issues.

The frog-faced jousting helm deserves a specific mention here, as you're essentially completely blind while using it in the manner intended. However, it's NOT a combat helm, but something found only in tournaments and intended specifically for safety (lance splinters in the eye - Kings died that way, you know). So to use it as an example of poor helm vision is a bad argument.

Honestly, the best helm that combines good protection with the ability to see and hear around you is the Corinthian Helm:
http://armillum.com/tienda/images/DEEPEEKA/corintiotardio.jpg
You can hear exceptionally well in it, breathe easily through the thin mouth opening, and the oculars allow for perhaps 95% total visibility. It also protects the face effectively and has a rounded top for deflection. While I don't joust anymore, I do play boffer LARPs on occasion, and while I'm wearing full plate during them, I always end up using one of these as the helm, as it allows me to both hear and call damage verbals, and I cannot ever think of a time somebody surprised me because they came up out of a spot "blocked" by the helm. The only downside is that it protects the neck somewhat poorly, but affixing a mail aventail to the nape and wearing a gorget effectively solves that problem. I only wish it wasn't so "specific" to one era - alwhite plate looks very strange with this as a topper.

Book Wyrm
2009-12-10, 01:34 PM
Just wanted to clarify this point, Armor Check Penalty applies only to Balance, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, Move Silently, Sleight of Hand, and Tumble checks, not Spot or Listen checks.

So, its kinda of a stretch to say a piece of metal on your head really effects your balance or ability to tumble (it might fall off, but that shouldn't actually effect your "tumble"). Maybe Hide or Move Silently, but thats really pushing it.

So instead of a -1 ACP, your helmet matches the type of armor your wearing; so a Light or Medium Helmet have no penalties and a Heavy Helmet has a -1 to Search, Spot, and Listen checks.

I wonder though if you start to classify helmets by type, they shouldn't provide different armor bonuses? Maybe two types Open Helm providing +1 with no penalties, and Closed Helm giving +2 but -1 to search, spot, and listen. Though +2 for a helmet seems a little high. Thoughts?

The Rose Dragon
2009-12-10, 01:40 PM
I would also suggest taking a look at the Riddle of Steel roleplaying game if you haven't already. That is probably bound to irritate you much less with historical inconsistencies (since it is actually approved by that ARMA organization Swordguy keeps talking about). Not to mention that it has one of the best combat systems ever.

((Some will say it is the best, but that's true only considering systems with detail. If you consider systems that deliberately make a lot of abstractions, then there are better systems for the purposes of an RPG.))

EDIT: TRD - Trying to get you to play games other than D&D since 2002.

Dienekes
2009-12-10, 01:44 PM
Bah, where can I find this Riddle of Steel? I've heard quite a lot of good things about it but all I seem to be able to find is a very dead site.

And I think the problem with going into helmets with varying AC bonus' is that it seems to indirectly imply a system with hit locations.

Really you say that a +2 for a helmet is too much, but otherwise there's no point to take it instead of the open faced helmet. This would be corrected by a hit location system where helmets protect the head and neck and so forth, but that would change the entire dnd system and have all the problems that lie in that regard

The Rose Dragon
2009-12-10, 01:49 PM
Well, good luck with that. I would personally try eBay (http://cgi.ebay.com/The-Riddle-of-Steel-RPG-and-Supplement-MINT-Ultra-Rare_W0QQitemZ300374794946QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_De faultDomain_0?hash=item45efbba2c2), since the company that published the game seems to be dead, dead, dead. And there aren't any legally available .pdf's as far as I can tell.

((This is the internet, so there are bound to be illegal copies, but the word illegal should probably deter you from that course of action. If not, I will lose all respect for you & steal your dinosaurs.))

EDIT: Actually, forget eBay. I'm gonna bid like 200 dollars on that baby now.

Narmy
2009-12-10, 06:54 PM
So just a question, are you going to be fixing the armors so that there is more use for some of them, or are they good to use right now.

And how many people would say that these are balanced? I'd really like to use them, but I'm not certain if they'd be balanced ><. I'm not a good judge of that stuff, not yet at least, though I'd like to learn to be one.

Dienekes
2009-12-10, 07:19 PM
So just a question, are you going to be fixing the armors so that there is more use for some of them, or are they good to use right now.

And how many people would say that these are balanced? I'd really like to use them, but I'm not certain if they'd be balanced ><. I'm not a good judge of that stuff, not yet at least, though I'd like to learn to be one.

If we go by Swordguy's list they are pretty much not at all balanced. You could try and balance them through cost. Since the better armors are simply better than others.

Though to be fully accurate the use of the better armors would be limited since they would cost a ridiculous amount when compared to to the other armors. In general mind you.

imp_fireball
2009-12-11, 01:21 AM
For example: Both axes and swords are slashing weapons in D&D terms. In real life a sword slash is nigh useless against mail or plate armor. An axe on the other hand can can crush bones through mail and even some plate (big enough ax/ hard enough swing)


I think it's simpler to just make all axes do slashing/bludgeoning damage, but allow swords the ability to deal additional damage to unarmored opponents... or something. Otherwise, swords suck and the whole reason swords are popular in fantasy is because every nobleman happened to want a sword way back when in real life (sword being the symbol of war or some other BS).

Also the sword is more phallic than the axe. Men and their women probably had subtle fetishes to do with them (proving, if love doesn't triumph over war, sex surely does).

Not to mention people used to shun maces because they broke armor.

Of course the true warrior anti-hero would go with every advantage he could get his hands on, so expect him to be wielding maces duck taped on a spiked chain (with the 'whole bunch of weapons duck taped together' home brew rule :smallbiggrin:).



Really you say that a +2 for a helmet is too much, but otherwise there's no point to take it instead of the open faced helmet. This would be corrected by a hit location system where helmets protect the head and neck and so forth, but that would change the entire dnd system and have all the problems that lie in that regard.

Helmet without visor - AC bonus versus called shots to the head. Stray shots that deal damage and happen to hit you in the head are gonna wound you in the head, simply because it's usually assumed you 'weren't prepared for them'.

Helmet with visor - Bonus to saves versus blindness, assuming you ready an action to brace yourself. If non-proficient, take a minor penalty to perception checks to do with sight (spot, ranged attacks, etc.).

Also: Called shots don't change the entire D&D system. Hitting someone in a specific body part doesn't change anything for the game. Except that, while dealing 12 damage to a level 1 warrior on a non-called shot (which essentially hits them anywhere at random for fluff purposes; for simplicity the torso) might drop them, dealing 12 damage to their right arm would render that arm useless (but they wouldn't be dropped). Also, dealing damage to the head would do double damage if its a vital area (but a slashing or piercing weapon would prefer the neck instead). A lot depending on GM discretion.

There's no rewiring the entire system involved, really. I think you're only perceiving D&D to be inflexible. People keep adding rules all the time (expanded books, etc.).

Latronis
2009-12-11, 01:38 AM
I think it's simpler to just make all axes do slashing/bludgeoning damage, but allow swords the ability to deal additional damage to unarmored opponents... or something. Otherwise, swords suck and the whole reason swords are popular in fantasy is because every nobleman happened to want a sword way back when in real life (sword being the symbol of war or some other BS).

Also the sword is more phallic than the axe. Men and their women probably had subtle fetishes to do with them (proving, if love doesn't triumph over war, sex surely does).

Not to mention people used to shun maces because they broke armor.

Of course the true warrior anti-hero would go with every advantage he could get his hands on, so expect him to be wielding maces duck taped on a spiked chain (with the 'whole bunch of weapons duck taped together' home brew rule :smallbiggrin:).

Swords were also very expensive so they are a symbol of wealth and by extension authority. Even upto not too long ago.

They are also stylish! so it has appeal beyond typical brutal\barbaric imagery often associated with axes.

Daracaex
2009-12-11, 03:38 AM
I think it's simpler to just make all axes do slashing/bludgeoning damage, but allow swords the ability to deal additional damage to unarmored opponents... or something.

You have to remember, there's more to the bludgeoning damage type than people think. You think a sword can't do bludgeoning damage? It's a big metal stick, isn't it? To me, bludgeoning damage only indicates that the weapon doesn't do slashing or piercing. Bludgeoning weapons that do more damage indicate a particularly heavy weight behind the weapon.

Why things like Skeletons have DR/Bludgeoning has always confused me. Hitting it with a quarterstaff is not going to do anything that hitting it with a longsword won't.

Latronis
2009-12-11, 03:58 AM
You have to remember, there's more to the bludgeoning damage type than people think. You think a sword can't do bludgeoning damage? It's a big metal stick, isn't it? To me, bludgeoning damage only indicates that the weapon doesn't do slashing or piercing. Bludgeoning weapons that do more damage indicate a particularly heavy weight behind the weapon.

Why things like Skeletons have DR/Bludgeoning has always confused me. Hitting it with a quarterstaff is not going to do anything that hitting it with a longsword won't.

A sword is design to carry the weight of the weapon through the cut(or you can thrust), A staff has far more momentum and less effected by resistance through the swing than the flat of a blade.

Unless you are actually swinging it by the blade(which is feasible) the sword is far less lethal than a honking big stick.

Daracaex
2009-12-11, 04:25 AM
Who said anything about the flat? I've got two katanas, one wood, one metal. It doesn't matter which I swing with, it'll still hurt the same given padding that stops the blade from cutting. And the metal sword will knock the bones of a skeleton around just as well as the wooden one.

paddyfool
2009-12-11, 08:34 AM
Because part of the damage of the slashing weapon represents its ability to cut through stuff? Against most targets, your steel katana should do more damage than the wood, but against some, it'll only do the same amount. Rather than have two statlines for a given weapon, DR works reasonably well.

So to take the skeletons as an example, they don't have the fleshy bits that are particularly vulnerable to being cut. All they have are bones, which are only vulnerable to being broken by big, heavy things. Maybe this isn't the best way to represent it, since some edged weapons have more heft than others (a greatsword or greataxe should be vastly more effective in this instance than a rapier or kukri, for instance), but neither is it a million miles away.

Latronis
2009-12-11, 09:15 AM
Granted 'longswords' can certainly deal some damage to a pile of bones using your edge on said pile of bones ain't gunna be particularly good for the blade either

Swordguy
2009-12-11, 09:50 AM
Even a dull sword has quite a bit of cutting power. You know those tatami mats Kenjutsu-types use for cutting practice?

Here's a dull longsword (not a D&D longsword) cutting through one without any real effort: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5gVRckLF3A.

Bones are NOT going to withstand a blow like that. For reference of what a sharp sword can do, here's a longsword cutting a deer, bones and all, cleanly in half. If you're squeamish, don't click - and you shouldn't be part of a discussion on what weapons can do anyway (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v4j3mvrDyQ). Yeah, the intestines are gone, but it's not like they provide a lot of resistance, y'know?

Swords do a tremendous amount of damage to unarmored flesh. That's what people like them - since most people on a battlefield weren't significantly armored, you've got a sword that's quite capable of dealing with 90% of the targets you'll run into during a fight. Carry a mace on your belt for the other 10%, or learn to use a sword against an armored fighter.

EDIT: fixed bad video link

Narmy
2009-12-12, 04:53 AM
Found these in the Oriental Adventures.



Light Armor
Leather scale A 35 gp +3 +6 -2 15% 20 ft . 30 ft. 40 ft . 20 Ib.

Medium Armor
Brigandine A 30 gp +4 +2 -5 30% 15 ft . 20 ft . 30 ft . 40 Ib
Lamellar A 150 gp +5 +3 -4 30% 15 ft . 20 ft . 30 ft . 35 Ib .

Figured they would be relevant to the subject at hand.

Shademan
2009-12-15, 04:13 PM
meh, they treat the brigandine like dirt. Seriously, it is better than that.

Reinboom
2009-12-23, 05:50 AM
This thread has provided wonderful study material for me, and as such, I do not wish it to fade away. :smalltongue:

That said, what are some opinions and ideas for how these various types of armor would develop (or, even if they would develop) in most standard D&D style fantasies? That is, where fighting brutish orcs and the occasional dragon occurs much more often than warring humanoids. At least, for those concerned about having armor developed for them.

Narmy
2009-12-23, 05:00 PM
I forget if we haven't already covered this. But could someone update the table, and include spell fail chances as well.

Is this a good table to replace the current Core one?

Would Swordguys be best, and would it be good to replace the current core?

lesser_minion
2009-12-23, 05:17 PM
Regarding the RAW brigandine, lamellar, and leather scale, I have to point out that the brigandine is by no means accurate as far as I'm aware.

It doesn't offer as much protection as lamellar, but I'm pretty sure it should be light armour and with a better ACP and Max Dex bonus than that. 6-point armour does not remain in use for two centuries, whatever I had to say on a different thread about ineffective tactics generally lasting longer than you might expect.

GenPol
2010-01-01, 07:47 PM
This is great. I've always been annoyed by the unrealistic-ness of equipment in rpgs in general, and this seems like a great fix. Mind if I steal it for a campaign I'm in the process of creating?

henrebotha
2010-01-04, 08:46 AM
I'm really enjoying this thread too - I literally Googled something like "realistic armour D&D", and this is exactly what I was looking for. Swordguy's table, in particular, looks promising.

I would really like to see Swordguy's stats developed into something functional (and to find weapons which go along with the more realistic armour).

Otodetu
2010-01-10, 07:13 AM
Armour
I think the reduced costs are nice, but medium armour should top out at +6 armour bonus.

The increased check penalties are un-needed, heavy armour is bad enough already.
Historically plate armour was not very restrictive.

Shields
Your shield bonus fix is the same as mine, like the bull-rush bonus, might steal that

Skills
Maybe change it so that anyone can tumble in heavy and medium armour, not just dwarves.

lsfreak
2010-01-10, 03:29 PM
@ sword and axe both doing 'slashing' with DR:
Do as some video games and the like, and divide 'slashing' into two categories: slashing/slicing versus chopping/hacking. Axes and bladed polearms are, in general, going to do chopping instead of slashing. If this seems like too much of a rewrite, then categorize such weapons as simultaneously slashing and bludgeoning.

@ movement speed in heavy armor:
Does one really move slower in plate mail and the like, or is it simply more stressful to do so? I've thrown around the idea of simulating fatigue, whereby extended combat fatigues a character. Heavy armor would not restrict tactical movement speed, but impose penalties to checks to avoid fatigue when in prolonged combat.
Such armor would also force fatigue checks for long-distance traveling in such armor when moving at full (tactical) speed rather than the D&D-normal reduced speed; one could walk at 20ft/round in full plate with no penalty or at 30ft/rnd with fatigue checks.

steelcaress
2010-01-30, 01:20 AM
I know I'm coming in a bit late on this, but can you enlighten me as to what Damage Penetration is? Maybe at least point to it in the SRD?

I've never used it in any d20 game I've been a part of...

henrebotha
2010-01-30, 04:41 AM
I know I'm coming in a bit late on this, but can you enlighten me as to what Damage Penetration is? Maybe at least point to it in the SRD?

I've never used it in any d20 game I've been a part of...

If you'd read this thread at all, you'd have seen that damage penetration is an invention that goes along with the idea of armour as DR. It's not in D&D.

steelcaress
2010-01-31, 10:28 AM
I feel like an idiot now.

I found my answer in post 25, after going back and combing each post with a fine toothed comb. I knew this had to do with house-rules, but for some reason I couldn't find what penetration value was.

Kinda feel like a [email protected]$$ now, despite graduate degrees. :smallfrown:

But anyway, thanks for setting me straight, and there are a lot of good ideas in this thread! My biggest problem is laying it all out and seeing what I agree with and what I don't!

I can tell you that I'm all for simplification with inclusion. I want a simple system where I can slot in any type of armor or weapon without having to stat the thing out to the ends of the earth.

judas
2018-08-29, 06:58 AM
I feel like an idiot now.

I found my answer in post 25, after going back and combing each post with a fine toothed comb. I knew this had to do with house-rules, but for some reason I couldn't find what penetration value was.

Kinda feel like a [email protected]$$ now, despite graduate degrees. :smallfrown:

But anyway, thanks for setting me straight, and there are a lot of good ideas in this thread! My biggest problem is laying it all out and seeing what I agree with and what I don't!

I can tell you that I'm all for simplification with inclusion. I want a simple system where I can slot in any type of armor or weapon without having to stat the thing out to the ends of the earth.

Hey all, im here in 2018 and I found this thread amazing and rich in ideas.

Why not to swap and change all armors at all... this is something im making for my own setting now.

There are:

Light armours, and medium armours only (need proficiency for each).

Partial armor; harnesses, pauldrons, leggins, splints, armbracers, haramaki and such (you dont need proficiency with this)

Combined Armours; maille (chain, plate, scale), plate armour, anima armour and such (need light and medium proficiency to use this).

Then mix both weight, ac and penalties and divide /2.

Please let me know what do you think

ngilop
2018-08-31, 11:11 PM
First off, I need to say that I debated with myself over even replying to this thread at the sheer amount of frustration, annoyance, and rage it gave me But in the end I felt that out of the dozens of complaints I had there w s one that was much, much more important than the rest.



If you are trying to be 'historically accurate you need to adjust the max dex nonsense.