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Author Topic: A Question about Armor  (Read 15382 times)
Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #15 on: August 07, 2002, 07:35:00 AM »

Early suits of plate were full suits of mail with relatively small metal plates attached to certain places such as the elbows, knees, and shoulders.  European metallurgy during this early period could not produce large pieces such as breastplates and backplates.  You may argue whether a knight wore a mail haulberk with a back and breast plate over it, but the attaching of small plates over mail did occure from the early 1100's to the late 1200's at least.  Now the person of that age who could afford that kind of protection might have been so far up the chain of command that they didn't anticipate have to swing their sword and only wore it for protection from stray arrows and the like.  My sources are Dr. Alen Williams, the Metallurgical Archeologist of the Royal Armoury at Leeds and David Edge, who wrote Arms and Armor of the Medieval Knight (an excellant read!).
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Tony Hamilton

ShaneNINE
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« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2002, 08:08:09 AM »

Whoa! I'm not talking about wearing plate armor AND chain armor (complete sets) at once. I'm talking about wearing chain with metal plates strapped on top to the thigh or arms or chest. I'm no expert by far so I don't know what that would be called (I had thought it was "plate and maille"), but I've seen this in museums in Norway, Switzerland (awesome museum of medieval warfare in Zurich), and England (<- I think - I was 12 at the time).

I've also seen leather plates on top of chain.

My argument was on the assumption of adding these strapped on plates (or overlapping strips as in scale armor) over other armor such as leather or chain NOT wearing a complete set of chain under articulated plate. Sorry about the confusion - I should have been clearer.
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::: Shane
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #17 on: August 07, 2002, 09:09:35 AM »

Quote from: ShaneNINE
My argument was on the assumption of adding these strapped on plates (or overlapping strips as in scale armor) over other armor such as leather or chain NOT wearing a complete set of chain under articulated plate. Sorry about the confusion - I should have been clearer.


Well, Mr. ShaneNINE, Sir, I think that you equivocate.

The original poster said that he felt that overlapping armor should add to a total of 6+4 = 10. Jake said it does not compund thusly. You responded that this seemed wrong to you.

Do you stand by that statement, or did you misread the initial post? Should armor add, or should it not if it overlaps? As a corrollary, then, should armor composed of strapped on plates as you describe having existed (and which Durgil already pointed out existed) have a higher armor value than either of the component armors? If so, should it be the addition of the two values of the component parts? Or some other figure?

Please, elucidate,
Mike
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ShaneNINE
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« Reply #18 on: August 07, 2002, 11:53:45 AM »

Quote from: Mike Holmes
Do you stand by that statement, or did you misread the initial post? Should armor add, or should it not if it overlaps?


It was not my intent to confuse. Just a simple misunderstanding concerning just exactly we're talking about. When I read the initial post about adding plate and chain, I assumed we were talking about adding strap on metal plates to a chain shirt or leggings. It didn't occur to me that we were discussing wearing a full suit of chain and a full suit of plate.
And so I said that I thought the armor values should stack.

Regardless, though, yes I do stand by my statement. Armor values should overlap. And so should CP penalties and such. In the case of a full suit of chain worn under a full suit of plate, the penalties should be steep enough to keep anyone from doing it. But you should be able to mix and match armor types to get one set of mixed armor. Just because you want leather and chain doesn't mean you have to wear a full set of leather and a full set of chain. Something like leather plates to cover shoulders, forearms, knees, thighs, etc, seems totally reasonable to me.

Personally, I favor a system where you put your armor together piece by piece and add up the protective values. If I want my character to wear a leather vest over a gambeson, or a chain shirt over leather, or metal plates over leather, the system should be able to support that. For instance, I'd like to know how much of chain's armor value comes from the chain and how much comes from the quilt underneath. Just my preference.

Quote
As a corrollary, then, should armor composed of strapped on plates as you describe having existed (and which Durgil already pointed out existed) have a higher armor value than either of the component armors? If so, should it be the addition of the two values of the component parts? Or some other figure?


Yeah, Durgil pointed out that that type of armor existed but he posted that while I was writing my own post so I didn't see it until after I posted.

Armor composed of strapped on plates should have a higher value than either of the component parts. It should be the addition of the underlying armor and the strap on plates. However, I wonder if a metal plate strapped to your thigh gives the same protection as an equally thick metal plate casing from full articulated plate. I'm guessing not. Seems to me the rigidiy of the structure of the casing would absorb much of the energy of the blow whereas a metal plate strapped to your leg only dissapates the energy? Just guessing... that gets a little too detailed, I think.

I don't know about CP penalties, though. I don't know TROS well enough to hazard a guess how much of a CP penalty adding metal plates would warrant.

I hope that clears things up.
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::: Shane
Lyrax
Member

Posts: 268


« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2002, 12:31:11 PM »

Almost non of the armor value, shaneNINE, comes from the quilt.  It comes from the chain.  The quilt is there to keep the chain from giving you a TERRIBLE rash all over your body (not to mention abrasions that leave you bleeding everywhere).

In suits of plate, chain was used to cover the parts of a person that could not easily be covered by plate (plate and maille).  In the best of circumstances, this could be only the armpit and the inside of the knee and elbow.  Under less ideal circumstances, one would have more chain and less plate.

If you wish to use an improved chain shirt, that could have an armor value of 4 or even 5, depending on how much you pay for it.  It might have plates of leather or steel upon it, in order to get such an armor value, but it is still considered a shirt of chain.

If you wish to have less than spectacular plate armor, you may opt to spend less and have protection of only 4 or even 3 in the areas that are difficult to cover with plate (groin, elbow, knee, armpit, neck, etc.)

At least, this is how I see it and what I would tell you if you were in my session.  I would let you describe your armor however you wanted, but how much protection is offered depends on how much you are willing to pay and what you are trying to buy.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Brian Leybourne
Member

Posts: 1793


« Reply #20 on: August 07, 2002, 12:43:28 PM »

Quote from: Sneaky Git

Speaking about weapon damage.. the rules for half-swording (p62) claim that "the Attack Target Number (ATN) when half-swording is 5, and the Defending Target Number (DTN) is 6."

Are these values for every weapon with which you may use this maneuver (Bastard, Long, and Great Swords.. and the Doppelhander), regardless of the variances in initial values?


INJNDIPHOTV (standard disclaimer),

But yes, I believe so in the case of everything but the doppelhander. Bastard-, Long- and Greatswords are not that different when held in a spear-like grip, so yes, I would say all three end up with the same values as listed under "half swording".

The Doppelhander, however, uses instead the alternate stats listed under the weapon description. It mentions holding the grip higher up, and displays stats for very long and long, so the stats for long would be when held in that manner. Note that it says "half-sword like maneuvers", not just half swording. You'll also note that the thrust and defense ATN's get much better at that range.

Quote from: Sneaky Git
And what about Poleaxes?  Although "techniques similar to the 'half-sword' allow many close-combat possibilities" (p254), the poleaxe proficiency does not explicitly allow for such maneuvers.  Does this mean poleaxes do not get the improved ATN & DTN?  Nor the shortened engagement range?


No, in this case I'm pretty sure it just means that the fighter will be using more rapid thrust attacks and not doing bigger slashes etc. Again, techniques similar to half sword, not half-swording.

Having said that, I *would* allow a poleaxe wielder to shorten the length by holding the weapon further up the half, but I would require them to spend CP and roll for it like half-swording. I wouldn't change the stats though, being able to adjust the range on the fly is a massive benefit as it is.

Brian.
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Brian Leybourne
bleybourne@gmail.com

RPG Books: Of Beasts and Men, The Flower of Battle, The TROS Companion
Mike Holmes
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 10459


« Reply #21 on: August 07, 2002, 01:25:50 PM »

Quote
Regardless, though, yes I do stand by my statement. Armor values should overlap. And so should CP penalties and such. In the case of a full suit of chain worn under a full suit of plate, the penalties should be steep enough to keep anyone from doing it.

Just to continue to be clear, nobody has even proposed this as possible. One poster has said on the contrary that it's impossible, thought there is some question as to exaclty what he was refering to (I think his argument was to address overlapping, but we would have to ask him). In any case he was not arging for it, and as such but there's no need to make rules against something that we all agree makes no sense.

Quote
But you should be able to mix and match armor types to get one set of mixed armor. Just because you want leather and chain doesn't mean you have to wear a full set of leather and a full set of chain. Something like leather plates to cover shoulders, forearms, knees, thighs, etc, seems totally reasonable to me.
And, I think, to anyone else. Nobody has said that one could not do that either. Th3e onlyu question has been regarding overlap.

Quote
Personally, I favor a system where you put your armor together piece by piece and add up the protective values. If I want my character to wear a leather vest over a gambeson, or a chain shirt over leather, or metal plates over leather, the system should be able to support that.  

Despite the arguments from others here that it doesn't work that way not the least of which includes information from Harn (long recognized as the most historical of RPG sources), and the estimable Mr. Norwood, student of all things medieval, and creator of the game? You must be confident indeed.

Quote
Armor composed of strapped on plates should have a higher value than either of the component parts. It should be the addition of the underlying armor and the strap on plates.
And your evidence other than personal opinion is..?

Since this was not done historically, isn't it fairly safe to assume that this is inefficient. That the only reasonable configurations are those presented? Isn't that what the system is telling you? Do you really find it that unrealistic given the evidence and well stated arguments presented?

Quote
I don't know about CP penalties, though. I don't know TROS well enough to hazard a guess how much of a CP penalty adding metal plates would warrant.
Again, unless designed as part of the armor, I'd guess prohibitively high. The fact that composite armors are presented, means that the options that do work reasonably are available. Oh, I'd allow you to do what you're asking to do as a GM. Obviously you can strap on all sorts of stuff if you like. I'd just not give you much if any bonus to your armor value, while assigning awful CP penalties. Which at some point is inefficient.

Mike
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Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2002, 02:24:51 PM »

Quote from: Lyrax
Almost non of the armor value, shaneNINE, comes from the quilt.  It comes from the chain.  The quilt is there to keep the chain from giving you a TERRIBLE rash all over your body (not to mention abrasions that leave you bleeding everywhere).

That isn't exactly correct.  Mail gives very little protection against an impact force.  All that it was really good at was stopping the edge or point of a weapon.  The quilt or padding underneath helped to absorb some of the force of the blow along with the other things that you mentioned.

Quote from: Lyrax
In suits of plate, chain was used to cover the parts of a person that could not easily be covered by plate (plate and maille).  In the best of circumstances, this could be only the armpit and the inside of the knee and elbow.  Under less ideal circumstances, one would have more chain and less plate.

In later period suits of armour, this is true, but like I pointed out in my previous post, in earlier periods, mail was used as a foundation armour to strap on plates of metal over mostly small, important parts of the body such as elbows, shoulders, and knees.  And yes, leather straps were used at times but they could be easily broken.  Metal wire was more common with the higher quality armour.
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Tony Hamilton

ShaneNINE
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« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2002, 04:05:16 PM »

[quote="Mike Holmes]Despite the arguments from others here that it doesn't work that way not the least of which includes information from Harn (long recognized as the most historical of RPG sources)[/quote]

Hârn does support what I'm saying. That's how the armor system works in HârnMaster. You select your armor layer by layer, piece by piece, and (gasp!) the armor values are cumulative. Of course, it's just a game. But if it's good enough for Hârn (and all the medieval experts in the online Hârn cummunity, including some armorers) it's good enough for me.
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::: Shane
Lyrax
Member

Posts: 268


« Reply #24 on: August 07, 2002, 06:35:56 PM »

Armorers are not the experts we should be consulting.  They know a great deal, of course, about how to make armor.  The problem is that we are talking about the business end of armor.

The experts to consult, then, are those who have been attacked while wearing armor.  Since these are much more abundant in previous periods of time than this one, we must look to what has been done in history, and make the rules fit that.

Since nobody ever bothered with a full suit of chain and a full suit of plate, I don't think the rules should condone doing this.  Jake's half-cumulative rule is, in my mind, plenty good.

Oh, and why don't we do armor layer by layer?  Because they are a set.  Nobody ever even considered wearing plate armor without something on underneath.  Also, they are different kinds of armor.  The plate armor keeps you from getting killed, and the quilted stuff makes it not only bearable to wear, but also bearable to get hit.

Hope this clarifies.  If it doesn't, forget and ignore it.
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Lance Meibos
Insanity takes it's toll.  Please have exact change ready.

Get him quick!  He's still got 42 hit points left!
Lance D. Allen
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« Reply #25 on: August 07, 2002, 11:36:01 PM »

A gambeson, which is what that quilted undergarment is called, has no real armor effect of it's own against impact. "Armor-grade" leather doesn't have much by itself, either for that matter. Chainmail's primary purpose to avoid injury by cutting, though it worked decently with wider bladed thrusting strikes as well. Putting this under plates is going to have a rapidly diminishing return against the impact of an attack. Rigid plates, whether metal or boiled leather, are the only thing which can really resist impact.

I've taken hits on bare cloth which is equivalent to a gambeson, and I've taken hits on "armor-grade" (meaning about 1/4" thick, but not cuirboulli) leather over cloth as well, and it hurts about as much as a bare-skin hit would. The leather had some effect (as such, I *might* give equivalent stuff in TRoS an AV of 1, if I were feeling generous) but the cloth.. none.

The only real purpose of a gambeson is to avoid armor bites (where you get pinched by two bordering plates when struck right) and to avoid chafing and rubbing. It isn't to protect you against being hit, but to protect you against your own armor.

Let's put it another way.. If you're wearing plate, you're going to be nigh invincible in any place that it covers already (AV 6, plus an average toughness of 4 equals a Damage Reduction of 10; I've only seen a few hits with more than 10 damage, and never one with more than 13). The additional amount of protection of adding chain in that area wouldn't be worth the stiff CP penalties. I'd allow you to do it, and to even directly stack the AV... but what I would also do is double the CP penalties of the more unwieldy pieces of armor. Layering massively decreases your mobility. Sure, you might be invincible.. But if you can't move, I'll just knock you over and stab a dagger into the gaps of your gorget.
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~Lance Allen
Wolves Den Publishing
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Sir Eldaen
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« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2002, 04:32:23 AM »

Quote from: Lyrax

Almost non of the armor value, shaneNINE, comes from the quilt. It comes from the chain. The quilt is there to keep the chain from giving you a TERRIBLE rash all over your body (not to mention abrasions that leave you bleeding everywhere).


Wrong. Plain wrong. There'll be no rash. Chain feels cool and smooth on skin. The only problem is hair. If you wear a chain hood and your hair isn't trimmed at least as short as half an inch, you might experience severe problems with the hairs tangling in the rings of the mail. Body hair is different, however - there are none or almost none such problems.

Quilt gives no protection?! Allright, tonight we have reenactment training session - I'll go and tell the ones who wear only quilt. I suppose we'll all die laughing. Why on earth should someone then wear quilt under his chainmail and not... silk, for example?! 'Cause it looks so cool when shining through the mail? Crap, I say!

Quote from: Lyrax

In suits of plate, chain was used to cover the parts of a person that could not easily be covered by plate (plate and maille). In the best of circumstances, this could be only the armpit and the inside of the knee and elbow. Under less ideal circumstances, one would have more chain and less plate.


HA!!! Come on - give it a try! Try putting on a chain hauberk that is closed in the arm pits and then try to lift your arm... Shoulder height is the limit! ALL chain mails were open in the arm pits. And most quilt tunics were, too. But that's not mainly because of movements but rather because of temperature.

Oh, and may I humbly add that this goes for all the other parts mentioned? Try going down on your knees when wearing chainmail leggings that are not opened, or try bowing the arm when there's mail inside the elbow... Might as well wear plate.

Chainmail IS flexible to a degree, but even mail has its limits. Those limits are reached when the single contracting rings have no place to move anymore. At this point, chainmail (in terms of flexibility) becomes just like plate.

Quote from: Mike Holmes


Quote

Armor composed of strapped on plates should have a higher value than either of the component parts. It should be the addition of the underlying armor and the strap on plates.


And your evidence other than personal opinion is..?


Oh... personal experience?!?

Quote from: Lyrax
Oh, and why don't we do armor layer by layer?  Because they are a set.  Nobody ever even considered wearing plate armor without something on underneath.  Also, they are different kinds of armor.  The plate armor keeps you from getting killed, and the quilted stuff makes it not only bearable to wear, but also bearable to get hit.


But that limits your options as a player what to wear underneath... where's the details?


Quote from: Wolfen
A gambeson, which is what that quilted undergarment is called, has no real armor effect of it's own against impact.


Oddly, mine does...


Quote from: Wolfen
Rigid plates, whether metal or boiled leather, are the only thing which can really resist impact.


Which then is the obvious reason that they have only seldomly been worn in the early middle ages? And don't tell me they didn't know how to make plates... even the romans did. And helmets... Helmets are found in all periods. Now what were they made of...?

Quote from: Wolfen
I've taken hits on bare cloth which is equivalent to a gambeson, and I've taken hits on "armor-grade" (meaning about 1/4" thick, but not cuirboulli) leather over cloth as well, and it hurts about as much as a bare-skin hit would.


Try it with bare skin and then compare again... :-) Believe me, I did both and there are differences. Not too much for cloth and leather, I agree, but quilt? Most definately yes.

Quote from: Wolfen
The only real purpose of a gambeson is to avoid armor bites (where you get pinched by two bordering plates when struck right) and to avoid chafing and rubbing. It isn't to protect you against being hit, but to protect you against your own armor.


That's one of its effects, but surely not the only reason (see above).
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Mokkurkalfe
Member

Posts: 340


« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2002, 07:47:31 AM »

Question:
Would a quilt matter at all if I gave it a good schwung with a sword or a warhammer?

Quote
Why on earth should someone then wear quilt under his chainmail and not... silk, for example?! 'Cause it looks so cool when shining through the mail? Crap, I say!


I thought(learned from countless RPG's that said that soft armor protects from mass weapons) that the quilt protected the wearer from the impact, while the chainmail took care of the cutting(they were mostly intended to protect from swords after all).
Since reenactments are more about the impact and less about the cutting edge, my guess would be that the gambeson is even more important there.
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Joakim (with a k!) Israelsson
Durgil
Member

Posts: 306


« Reply #28 on: August 08, 2002, 08:28:36 AM »

So ideally, the system should account for how much force is landed by a weapon and nullify a portion of that force due to the various layers of protection at the location of the blow.  With the remaining force and the type of weapon used (i.e. edged, point, or blunt), determine how much blunt trauma is inflicted to the said area and in the case of edged or pointed weapons, whether that remaining force is sufficient enough to penetrate one or more of the layers of protection.

Try to imagine a powerful swing of a broadsword landing on the side of a knight wearing a mail hauberk over a quilt gambeson.  A certain amount of that force would be negated by the mail and quilt layers (slightly more by the quilt layer, IMO), but there is enough force left to break a few ribs and causing organ damage to the lungs and internal bleeding.  It also takes a certain amount of force to cut through the mail with the edge of the sword.  If the force left from the combined armour absorption is great enough, it will slice through the mail as well as easily cutting through the quilt.

A bit complicated I admit, but this game does such an excellent job of simulating the intricacies melee combat, then surely we should be able to formulate more realist rules on armour as well.

I do not mean to step on anyone’s toes here or start a flame war.  I’m just trying to gain a better understand of how things really work and to try add something to the game.
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Tony Hamilton

Anthony I
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« Reply #29 on: August 08, 2002, 12:09:28 PM »

Quote from: Mokkurkalfe
Question:
I thought(learned from countless RPG's that said that soft armor protects from mass weapons) that the quilt protected the wearer from the impact, while the chainmail took care of the cutting(they were mostly intended to protect from swords after all).
Since reenactments are more about the impact and less about the cutting edge, my guess would be that the gambeson is even more important there.


The ARMA did some test cutting on various materials, including mail and a padded cloth.  The padded cloth was suprisingly difficult to cut, in many cases tougher than the mail.  I can't find the link to the article about the gambeson but you can check out http://www.thearma.org/spotlight/TestCutting/TestCuttingEvent2.htm       for info on how well mail and leather fared against sword blows.
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Anthony I

Las Vegas RPG Club Memeber
found at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/lv_rpg_club/
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