Armour an easy guide for Roleplayers

Helpful info and tips for RPers new and old!

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Armour an easy guide for Roleplayers

#1 Post by Nomine » Sun Oct 26, 2014 1:26 pm

This is intended not as a definitive guide, but some simple guidelines for an RPer. I have simplified certain parts and attempted to highlight the differences between different kinds of armour.
I originally wrote this one for World of Warcraft.

Armour is protective clothing used to defends it wearer from harm. Historically it has been used for mostly for combat, but also for dressing up inn social functions.
A armour setts expectations on what sort of character you are. Walking around in heavy plate (despite heat, scent, comfort issues) at the inn. It sends a message. So keep that in mind when you choose your outfit.

An armour is a specialist item to produce, even today there is examples of historical armours we can´t reproduce, simply because the skill have been lost to time. Creating an armour, especially a metal armour is a very time consuming process, also requiring several fittings to make it perfect.

Over the years armour has been made out of cloth, bone, leather, metal and in modern times ceramics and composites.
TESO has cloth, bone, leather and various metal armours so we will focus on those.
I will not spend much time on magical enchantments. That is a much larger subject. But a key tip. Stick to making it simple, having enchantments to boost both your agility and resistance to harm. Will often make people view you as "OverPowered". So try to limit yourself to one (if any) and remember: As a role-player we play WITH people, not against them. This means they got to impact your character also.

Will also focus on armour for players/NPC, as opposed to that of animals.

All armour kinds are assumed to have the same weak spots unless otherwise noted.
Those are: Armpits, Neck, eyes-mouth, groin, underside of knees, palm of hands, side area over the lower ribs.
These weak spots are needed if you plan to be able to put on the armour yourself and be able to walk around.

Taking care of armour is`t something you do on a monthly basis. It’s an on going job.

Emotes and notes of a characters appearance based on how he takes care of the armour. That along with weapons maintances is often overlooked as grounds for role-play. After every fight a good soldier would go through his weapons, clean the scabbards for blood/dirt, clean often taking part the sword to remove all such parts of blood, he would go through his armour fixing minor wear and tear. Possibly hire a craftsman to fix or replace parts of the armour. As well as give the full armour a full work over, oiling, rust removal, etc.


Cloth Armour.

Cloth armour is fairly lightweight, works most efficiently against blunt force weapons like staffs, light maces etc.
Like most armours variants it is often lined with a silk like fabric to make it easier to pull out arrows.

It comes basically in two variations. Layered to offer most impact protection or lose with free flowing parts. So the opponent will be distracted and have a harder time hitting. Latter often seen in Asian action movies. The asian style is also very hard, if not impossible to find visual similarities to in game.

Layered armour is often quilted with some stuffing of horsehair or scrap cloth. Quilted shirts (gambeson from Old French, wambais from High old german, Aketon/alcottonem from Arabic, vapntreyiu from Norse or pannzar/pannzarum from german) are nearly always used under mail or plate shirts to protect the wearer and add some comfort.
As the armor is so lightweight it usually won`t have the usuall weakspots except eyes-mouth.
Putting on the armour: In principle about as complicated as putting on a full set of winter clothing.

Maintaining your armour:
Rot is the main enemy here, so drying it after combat, rain is essential. Easy repairs require no more than needle and thread, possibly some horse hair/scrap cloth.

Becoming wounded in Cloth armour:
This is the armour that offers easiest access to the wound area, and allows quick treatment. On the other hand weapons with a penetrating effect, (arrows, guns, morning stars etc) can cut lose pieces of armour and embed those in the wounds. Very important to make sure you have removed all such pieces or infection is guaranteed.


Leather and Bone armour.

Leather armours is light to medium weight (approx up to 10 kg) Often favoured with mounted warriors (Mongols for instance), scout/ranger troupes as well as stealth-based fighters.
Usually such armour will be layered, having sections that have hardened leather/pieces of metal/bone and softer sections for mobility.

It offers some protection against all kinds of attacks. But its strength is in being easy maintained and gives enough protection for a quick fight. Often allowing its wearer to escape from more heavily armoured opponents if the tide of battle turns.

Protects against:
Basicly you can count on leather to protect to a high degree against small weapons like Daggers and thrownweapons. And a small degree against clubs, and one handed swords.

Areas like shoulders, shins, arms and upper chest is usually the heaviest armoured parts. Some fighting styles also add a heavy metal plate to one underarm, used as a light parry shield.

Putting on the armour:
The heavier your armour is the more time it takes. Every pieces of armour needs to be fastened with straps and a smart wearer will add a couple of exercises to test his movement range.
Some parts like tunic and glove/shoes is easy to pull on in an emergency.

Taking care of your armour.
Rot is again the main enemy, but you can also risk that the armour dries and becomes stiff. So animal fat is usually used to keep the leather in good condition and protect somewhat against the rot.

Like cloth armour needle and thread can fix the most battle damage to the armour.

Becoming wounded in leather armour.
As it is often heavy leather and layered one usually needs to remove full parts of the armour to access the wound area. Something that can cause extra bleeding/tear damage when there is broken bones or embedded arrows.
It is rare that parts of the armour becomes embedded in the wound.

Mail armour.

Medium weight armour (approx 10-20 kg)
Most known is the version made by interlocking iron or steel rings; they may be riveted or wielded shut. But version of banded mail rings, with leather thongs woven in through metal rings. Or a leather chest piece with non-interlocking metal rings/plates fixed on it.

Most variants will have either cloth or leather under the mail. Both to add comfort as well as add protection against blunt force weapons. Few will wear this kind of armour without something under the mail, as it will both put you at risk during combat and hurt like hell. But mail is preferable to no mail. But without the under layers it will offer next to no protection against blunt force weapons.

Protects against:
Mail reduces slash dmg, as well as most point-thrust dmg.
So most swords, daggers, spears and similiar will be reduced. Two handed weapons have enough weight to also give blunt force dmg and will still cause damage.
Against clubs and maces, or other heavy impact dmg. weapons there is a risk of rings breaking and embedding with your skin/flesh leading to tearing dmg.

Also this kind of armour can get entwined with hair, both yours and the damsel you just kissed hair. Making for an embracing moment.

Heavier mail armour can have fitted steel plates to protect risk areas like kneecaps.

Usually favoured by scouts/rangers, mounted warriors and troops that need high mobility on a battlefield.

Putting on the armour:
As this is layered armour, putting it on is a time consuming process. Imagine at least 15-20 minutes to put on a full set. And even then wearing it will be uncomfortable due to having little time to get all straps and fastenings perfect.
Only pieces you can easily just slip on and fight inn would be the tunic. But even that is a two/three-stage process. As you first need to get into the clothing/leather layer underneath.

You always will wear clothing underneath, if a character can afford it. A silk shirt is recommended (making it easier to pull out arrows or other pieces that penetrates the armour.)

Due to weight and layers walking in this armour is hot and not very comfortable.

Caring for your mail armour.
See cloth/leather for tips on the underneath layers. As for the mail itself, rust is the main enemy. To go over a full mail shirt, flicking away rust, oiling it etc will take hours. Making for some nice emotes, as well as ideas for appearance.

Wounded in mail armour.
Due to the nature of chain mail you can get some unique wounds. A mace can break open some of the metal rings, driving them into the skin, were they will rip apart more and more flesh with every movement.
If the under layer is cloth you also risk parts of becoming embedded in wounds.

To treat a mail armour wound you will need to remove both the mail and the layer underneath to access the wound. Risking more damage in the process and guaranteed more bleeding. You can’t access the wound enough to even stop bleeding effectively without removing the armour in that area.

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