[Runequest] ***SPAM*** Armour weight/enc

Chris Gilmore strobus at sympatico.ca
Mon Nov 2 02:36:27 EST 2009

Hi all,

We recently had a bit of a coup in my gaming group on the subject of armour weight/encumbrance. In terms of background, we use the fatigue rules from RQ3. Over the course of our campaign, the players have gradually gotten their hands on better armour and now find themselves well loaded up with bronze lamellar armour. We recently entered a jungle environment, though, and I imposed heavier fatigue penalties for the heat and humidity (-2 fatigue per round instead of -1). They only put their armour on when they sense danger, now, but when they do they find that they can only last from 10-15 rounds before collapsing from exhaustion. 

I personally don't have much experience with wearing armour, so I'm not really in a position to defend the rules as written. One of my players, though, is a live steel re-enactor who has fought in plate armour, and he feels that the amount of time the characters should last ought to be longer.

What we've decided to do for now is to reduce the encumbrance of armour to the next lowest size level - so that Large size armour will now have the ENC of medium armour from the table. This will net them an extra 2 rounds in the hot climates, and 4 in the colder one, for the lamellar users, which doesn't seem at all unreasonable to me. Skills such as Jump and Sneak will go up by 4 points.

Does anybody else have any comments on the encumbrance values of armour? How realistic are they? What house rules have you used?

Also, on a slighly related note: I've been reading recently about Bronze Age weapons and armour in Europe. There are a few examples of bronze helmets and breatplates found in archaology, but the authors of the book I'm reading feel that these would only have been worn for ceremonial or decorative purposes, not being strong enough to be adequate defence. They speculate that leather or quilted armour would have been the norm in combat, even amongst those who could afford Bronze. This, of course, is at odds with the romatic view of bronze armour. Does anybody have any further insight into this?

Many thanks,

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