Topic: Early Modern Armour

I'm not at my books at the moment, so sorry if some of this stuff is really unspecific. That said:

Are you supposed to use the firearms index armour and the regular armour all mixed together? The pricing suggestion (x1.5?) seems to suggest that you are. If so, do the fiddly bits like helmets and tassets and buff coats mix with old-fashioned armour as well as Pikeman's Plate? Can you combine leather armour with a buff coat or slap tassets on chain mail?

If you can do all that, I see no reason why anyone would ever use the Full Armour/ Plate Mail provided. You can hit that 18 ac with chain mail, helmet and tassets and suffer a fraction of the cost and encumbrance.

I'm going back and forth on whether to just:
1) Use only early modern armour. Would lower average AC somewhat maybe?
2) Use all the armours but limit the +1 items to early modern setups
3) Throw it all together and watch the players figure it out

Re: Early Modern Armour

Even after "early modern" armor came into fashion, there were areas that used more traditional armor. So they shouldn't be used "together" in the same area (a region that's moved to buffcoats and breastplates isn't going to be doing much chain armor trade), but it's not entirely one or the other either.

Re: Early Modern Armour

Which is fine for NPCs, but the players are travelling to various locations and collecting armor as they go. I was wondering the other day whether the +1 from a buff coat could stack with leather or chain armor.

And players will be more than willing to pay the x1.5 cost if it means more protection.

I think the best ruling would be what seems common sense to the Referee. Is adding a layer of leather over chain armor going to provide significantly more protection? Does a the AC 16 for chain armor logically include greaves of some sort, and perhaps a matching helmet?

Re: Early Modern Armour

I would think encumbrance would really become a problem if you are stacking armor like that. How much armor can you have before you are a) really slow and b) not able to move your arms very well.

This is where a nice description of "leather" or "chain" or "plate" would come in handy (what does the armor actually include as far as body parts covered), but interestingly, I just checked OD&D, Moldvay, LotFP, Labyrinth Lord, and AD&D (1st ed)... and none of them actually describe the armor in the equipment section. LL book actually describes "ink" but not armor.

Re: Early Modern Armour

Wikipedia probably has useful information...


... reading about harquebusier equipment is especially helpful. After browsing some of this quickly, I would allow buff coats to be worn with other types of armor, especially pikeman's armor (breastplate, essentially a cuirass).

Re: Early Modern Armour

I would probably allow the mixing of the armors, but I would use a much steeper price penalty than 1.5x. In a region that has advanced to early modern armor, traditional armors would cost anywhere from 10x and up, since they MUST be made-to-fit to function properly. And that's AFTER the players manage to find someone that even knows how to make it. I would probably prefer to have a player in this kind of region that desires old school armor find a suit in an adventure location and have them take it to an armorer that can fix it up and alter it to fit.

In a region that has NOT advanced to early modern armors, I would probably rule that they are just plain not available. Even if some find their way into the region from an external source, someone with WAY MORE MONEY than the players (or perhaps someone with a royal warrant) is going to get it first. A player in such a region wanting some of the new fangled armor would find it much easier and much faster to simply take it from someone that has it (say, an invading force from a more advanced region?)