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Looks like SWADE Feedback forum has been locked down again. Armor questions.

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  • Looks like SWADE Feedback forum has been locked down again. Armor questions.

    It seems that bronze armor is now way superior to chain mail in terms of cost and weight. It's hard to understand why bronze armor was ever abandoned in favor of chain with the rules as is. Should it be more expensive? Perhaps just more expensive in a medieval type setting vs ancient type setting? Should it be disallowed from benifitting from armor stacking?

    Is there a limit limit to how many layers of armor stacking can occur? Should a very strong Brawny Saurian Soldier be able to stack Plate, Chain and Heavy Leather with his Natural Armor for a +7 total armor bonus? Seems possible, and I believe historical (except for the Saurian part) but would like to be sure.

  • #2
    He'd have a Min Str d12+1 to use his armor, and when the GM makes Encumbrance come up he's hauling 113 pounds of armor (or 109 with a pot helm) leaving only 7 or 11 pounds for weapons and other gear.
    With a natural d10 Strength and both Brawny and Soldier that would be viable without Encumbrance. With a natural d12, you'd have enough capacity to risk it even with a GM that likes to make Encumbrance be a regular thing.

    As for a limit, like everything else there's what the GM allows. There doesn't seem to be a limiter in the rules, beyond Min Str and "half value, round down".
    I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by wmarshal View Post
      It seems that bronze armor is now way superior to chain mail in terms of cost and weight. It's hard to understand why bronze armor was ever abandoned in favor of chain with the rules as is.
      My guess is economics. Bronze is made from copper (which is fairly widely available) and tin (which is not). As armies grew larger over time, the increased demand for tin relative to its availability would have pushed up prices, creating incentive to discover a cheaper, more widely available substitute.

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      • #4
        Many settings wouldn't have both bronze and chain available.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
          He'd have a Min Str d12+1 to use his armor, and when the GM makes Encumbrance come up he's hauling 113 pounds of armor (or 109 with a pot helm) leaving only 7 or 11 pounds for weapons and other gear.
          With a natural d10 Strength and both Brawny and Soldier that would be viable without Encumbrance. With a natural d12, you'd have enough capacity to risk it even with a GM that likes to make Encumbrance be a regular thing.

          As for a limit, like everything else there's what the GM allows. There doesn't seem to be a limiter in the rules, beyond Min Str and "half value, round down".
          It would be a very focused character build to make this happen, but it does seem to be an option.

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          • #6
            I don't have Swade (yet... soon!) so I can only speculate as to the design reasons, but it seems fairly odd and disjointed to classify armors by both material as well as style without allowing for those materials to incorporate the listed styles. What I mean is, early forms of maille were made of bronze, so it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to compare "bronze" to some ambiguous "chainmail". It's proverbial apples and oranges unless we know what material the maille is made of.

            I'm going to assume the game is using a "period-specific" type of maille, using well-worked iron or perhaps a light carbon steel. This should be fairly equivent in strength to good bronze, assuming the bronze has a high tin content and suitable thickness (which would incidentally make it slightly heavier than the iron maille).

            For maille of high-carbon steel (something like a modern sharksuit), it would be much stronger than bronze, but roughly the same weight due to the smelting process increasing density. However, bronze can be worked into a very durable material, approaching the strength of moderate carbon-steels, but it would be very dense and quite heavy.
            ________

            Pricing is a whole different topic and is entirely dependant on time period (real world) or setting. Historically, bronze was more expensive than iron in nearly all cases except for the very early discover and working of iron. But the shere abundance of iron, compared to copper and especially tin, caused it to flood the market quickly. The advent of steel, however, pretty much whiped bronze armor off the map (save for some backwater regions).
            ________

            The rundown, I suppose, would be to make bronze either slightly less durable than iron for the same weight/cost, or make it just as durable for more weight/cost. Bronze was a great material that was used far into the Iron Age, but it simply lost out due to economics; it become to expensive to use.
            Last edited by Deskepticon; 01-12-2019, 03:42 PM.

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            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              The listed bronze armors are clearly of the "plate" style.
              The chain armors are noted as including "Chain, splint, metal scale, ring mail, samurai armor".

            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              ValhallaGH I figured that was the case. It's just that I'm quirky and irksome when it comes to such things.

              Again, I'm flying blind here, without a view of the "whole picture." I'm sure it probably all makes complete sense when taken together... I'm just attempting to address the OP's question of specifically Bronze v Maille, which is likely futile unless we know what material we're actually comparing. I mean, many "samurai" armors incorporated layers of bamboo bound with twine; if we're talking raw protection, bronze is clearly superior in this case. But I suspect the entry means "iron" samurai armor (or bronze ::shrug:: ).


            • ValhallaGH
              ValhallaGH commented
              Editing a comment
              With the context, they're indicating lamellar armors and similar designs. Consistent with steel scale or ring armors.

              And I know you don't have SWAE yet. That's why I'm willing to add these kinds of details.

              Incidentally, "leather armor" comes as light leather +1 and thick leather +2. Bronze plate and steel chain are +3. Steel plate is +4. Kevlar is +2, or +4 with inserts, but reduces damage from bullets by 4. Which is too good by my math, I'd go with 2.

          • #7
            I'm pretty sure you can only stack 2 layers.

            Even if you went Leather > Chain > Bronze. Leather would boost chain by 1, and half the chain rounded down would boost bronze.

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            • #8
              Originally posted by Mara View Post
              I'm pretty sure you can only stack 2 layers.

              Even if you went Leather > Chain > Bronze. Leather would boost chain by 1, and half the chain rounded down would boost bronze.
              If the limit is two layers it doesn't seem to have been made explicit. I know that Harn allows more than two layers of armor to stack. Of course Harn is a completely different system, but it has a reputation for being fairly true to medieval reality on mundane matters.

              In regards to stacking chain with bronze armor I don't think that's allowed since chain and bronze both provide the same armor bonus.

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              • #9
                Hardened leather is already a cheap alternative to plate. I wouldn't allow stacking two kinds of rigid armor, so it's chain with either hard leather or plate; not both.

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                • #10
                  So mechanically, you could make this sort of situation work, based on the responses above. The rules don't disallow it. But would you seriously want to do this? I'm not sure if the question was just a thought experiment or a serious consideration. I certainly wouldn't let anyone do that. Sure it might be POSSIBLE, but it sure isn't FUNCTIONAL. Think about dressing in multiple layers of outerwear in the coldest of winter: sweater, light jacket, maybe another light or medium jacket, and finally a heavy coat. Sure, you'll be protected from the cold, but now you can barely move your upper body. Certainly can't fight off an orc.

                  In fact, the armor stacking concept is the example Shane uses in the "Philosophy" paragraph of the updates threads.

                  But if the question is just for fun and I'm taking it too seriously, then it's cool to see that it could actually be done with the right build. Let's add, to my winter example: ear muffs under a knit hat, wrapped in a scarf. And fingerless gloves inside of regular gloves inside of mittens! Now I'm ready to fight off the cold of January. Seriously though, this is a good conversation because we all HAVE those players...and sometimes we ARE those players. I always used to ask, "Why CAN'T I hold a sword in my shield hand (y'know, strapped to my hand and the shield handle...) so that I can make an extra stab attempt??"

                  I'm starting to tease my group with the new changes so we can switch over. I really like the new edition.

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