[Runequest] Questions about armor
soltakss at yahoo.com
Mon Dec 6 03:59:26 EST 2010
> I was wondering if others might share their practical experiences in
> using armor. My campaign is set in 12th century England (around 1140),
> so the armor of that setting is my focus -- in other words, before
My RQ (and soon to be BRP) supplement Merrie England covers roughly that period
(or at least the next three kings).
> My understanding is that knights would wear a knee length chainmail
> hauberk, with a steel helmet. Were these usually the bucket-style
> helmets? Did the chainmail require straps to stay properly affixed, or
> did it wear well like clothes? Was padding the norm under chainmail?
> If so, then how practical was it to wear chainmail without a layer of
> padding? What other important details are there to consider?
My knights would wear a chainmail hauberk, with sleeves, that is worn as a
single piece of clothing. Is that accurate? I don't know, but it is definitely
easier. Everyone wears padding of some sort under chainmail, there are accounts
of people from this forum who haven't and can attest to how much it hurts that
way. Whether the padding has an armour value, that depends on the padding. A
woollen undervest wouldn't give any APs but would protect the skin against any
impact of chain on flesh. Mongols wore silk undergarments for much the same
reason and also to protect against infection.
I'd go with RQ3-style rules for multiple layers, so chainmail could be worn over
soft padding (leather and cloth, 1-2 points).
> Who had chainmail, and who didn't? For soldiers without chain, what
> armor did they have?
Knights and paid men-at-arms would have had chainmail. Other soldiers would have
had ringmail or cuirboilli with padding beneath. Very few people had good leg
armour - medieval archers often fired at legs as they would penetrate better. I
would say that stiff leather over padded leather (total 3 points) would be about
right. Knights could wear chainmail on their legs, if they can afford it, but
other soldiers wouldn't. PCs, of course, would get the best armour that they can
> P.S. Anything on Viking armor & shields would be interesting, as well.
> Their glory days were past by the 1130's, but I'm comfortable with
> anachronisms. :-)
Avalon Hill's Vikings and Mongoose's Vikings supplements have a lot of
information about Viking armour and weaponry.
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