upping medieval armor

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Ian
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#21 Postby Ian » Wed Oct 01, 2008 8:12 am

Daosus - it can depend on the type of bow and arrow. Turks often used lightweight arrows which had limited penetration but great range while the Mongols had heavier arrows with greater penetration. Bows can have a fast release or a slow release which means that light arrows work better with fast release bows (Turkish types) whereas heavy arows work better with a slow release (English longbows).
Wendigo1870 - would all plate wearers be assumed to have the "brawny" edge? My group agreed with Afdia in that when they found plate armour, nobody wanted it because of the encumbrance. Ian

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#22 Postby Clint » Wed Oct 01, 2008 9:14 am

AFDia wrote:The problem with the plate it the weight. Would many players accept a -1 enc penalty for +1 more armor (in comparison the the "lightweight" +2 armor)? At least for the players in my fantasy setting, the answer is no. ;)


Eh, depends on coverage too. A plate corselet weighs the exact same as a chain hauberk, so they get +1 Armor for the same weight to most attacks, and anyone who wants to bypass the armor has to make a Called Shot at -2.

A skilled fighter with say a 7 Parry (d10 skill) with no change in encumbrance is getting +1 Armor versus the majority of attacks, and to avoid it, foes have to hit a TN of 9.

Heck, if he carries a shield, he can make that a 10 and at least one arm is harder to hit as it has more coverage from the shield itself.
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#23 Postby The Angle » Wed Oct 01, 2008 12:23 pm

A knight in full plate armor was actually quite nimble. A good suit weighed less than 50 pounds. The typical US soldier humping through Baghdad carries more gear than that, and the armor's weight was better distributed. There are numerous documented historical cases of armored knights vaulting into saddles, performing gymnastics, even chasing down bowmen on foot. These have been duplicated by modern re-enactors in authentic gear.

The only armor that was so heavy as to restrict movement was renaissance jousting armor, and it was made for one specific purpose -- to stop the penetration of an onrushing lance while seated on a horse. It wasn't meant to be used on foot or even mounted with any weapon other than a couched lance. The myth of the medieval knight needing to be winched onto his horse arose from A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, not from reality.

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#24 Postby quigs » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:13 pm

I agree with most of what the Angle says. There were some rather heavy suits made back then, such as the gothic style full plate armor, which were very heavy but well distributed. You could also rule that some of the encumberance penalties come from the helmet as well, as they were quite restrictive when it came to field of vision. Many great helms were also quite heavy, weighing around 20 pounds, not including the mail coif underneath. It wasn't unusual for a soldier to be carrying over 80 pounds of gear, including just his armor, weapon, helmet, and shield.

You had to be really fit in order to wear this type of armor and still be graceful on the battlefield. I watched a show where they had some regular people do an obstacle course in full plate armor, and they did ok, but you could see they were definately restricted in their movements and they were complaining about the weight after about 5 mins of wearing the suit.

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#25 Postby Artking3 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 1:18 pm

Full plate is historically almost never used with a shield, because of the protection of the armor and the weight. It is only used with jousting and tournament armor. The reasons are full plate is so protective that knights do not need to use shields, and plate is already heavy enough without a shield adding more. Shields were still used with mail and plate, but not with full plate.

This probably means that a strong character with the Brawny edge can wear full plate without the encumbrance penalty, but a shield's weight will push the encumbrance to penalty territory. It also means full plate armor should have a significantly higher armor bonus than than mail, to offset the protective qualities of a shield (+1 parry, +1 or +2 to armor vs ranged shots). I think +5 plate and +3 mail is a better representation of that than +3 plate and +2 mail.

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#26 Postby Snate56 » Wed Oct 01, 2008 2:31 pm

Maybe extra heavy "tilting" armour could be +5 yet weigh 60- 65 pounds?
That, with weapon, brings him in just below encumbered if Brawny; though you could be mean and make "brawny" armor weigh a little more! :twisted:

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#27 Postby Lord Lance » Thu Oct 02, 2008 6:37 am

Area attacks still ignore armor protection, from the standard rules, am I right?

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#28 Postby Clint » Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:06 am

Lord Lance wrote:Area attacks still ignore armor protection, from the standard rules, am I right?


Yep, unless it's fully sealed.
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#29 Postby Artking3 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:50 am

I was also tinkering with the idea of an Armor Penalty (from D20, Unisystem, WoD, etc). Using encumbrance for armor strikes me wrong in a few ways, such as penalties to Strength and Fighting, so I'm using this optional rule to replace encumbrance for armor. Armor reduces your flexibility but should not adversely affect your fighting skills, otherwise why wear armor. It shouldn't affect certain skills like riding, otherwise knights in plate armor make no sense. And it is going to be really hard to sneak past someone in plate armor, no matter how strong you are.

One of the problems with wearing armor is that it slows a character down and makes some things (like being quiet) difficult.
Armor inflicts a penalty to the wearer’s skills of Climbing, Stealth and Swimming. There is also a penalty to Pace. Exceptional and magical armor may reduce the penalties. You reduce the Armor Penalty by 1 for partial armor.
An optional rule allows characters with high Strength can reduce Armor penalties (except penalties on Stealth rolls). Every level of Strength beyond d8 reduces all penalties by 1. Thus, a character with a Strength of d12 would reduce penalties by 2.

Armor Armor Penalty Type
+1 0 Leather
+2 -1 Scale
+3 -1 Mail
+4 -2 Mail with plates
+5 -2 plate

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#30 Postby AFDia » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:10 pm

Hmm sorry, but this sounds way too complicated for me. (especially if you use the encumbrance rules for anything except armor AND this special armor rules for armor)

A FFF way to allow warriors to wear powerful armor without penalties could be an edge:

Armor Proficiency:
Req: Str d8, Fighting d8

If your character wears armor (and is not only carrying parts around in his backpack or something ;) ), the weight of the armor is halved for calculating the encumbrance.


Instead of more powerful armor you could also make an edge which represents know-how to use the armor in a more protecting way like:

Improved Armor Proficiency:
Req: Armor Proficiency

If your character wears armor, the armor bonus of it is increased by +1


It's just a quick thought and perhaps it's too weak in comparison to the very powerful Brawny edge, but nobody disallows to combine those edges for the tank-fighter type. ;)

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#31 Postby Artking3 » Fri Oct 17, 2008 8:36 pm

AFDia wrote:Hmm sorry, but this sounds way too complicated for me. (especially if you use the encumbrance rules for anything except armor AND this special armor rules for armor)


I pretty much ignore the encumbrance rules anyway, unless it looks like players are blatently abusing carrying stuff. I also came up with Strength Requirements for armor, like there are for weapons.

I came up with the armor rules so ridiculous stuff like the knight in full plate sneaking past guards don't happen, and swimming in full armor is discouraged (replacing armor & water rules from PotSM), although not impossible (knights and samurai are trained to swim in full armor).

These rules are optional, and I find them most useful in fantasy settings where armor is often worn and more important. I probably won't use them in modern settings.

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#32 Postby Ian » Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:17 am

A few years ago I was at the Royal Armories in Leeds (England) and was listening for the arrival of someone in full plate. What I noticed was the noise of the chain skirt and not the plate so my comment is that mail would be noisier than plate.


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