[Runequest] Questions about armor

Bjørn Are Stølen stolenbjorn at hotmail.com
Mon Dec 6 07:01:13 EST 2010

> I'd go with RQ3-style rules for multiple layers, so chainmail could be worn over 
> soft padding (leather and cloth, 1-2 points).
There are accounts of textile armor (usually sleeveless tabard-style garnments) worn on top of a layer of textile tunika and chainmail

> 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 
> afford.
I agree that legs are seldom protected(see why in my previous post), but most 12th century armor covers down to knees. Cuirbouilli really isn't much in use, other than for chafrons for horses. This is IMO where RQ sins the most, totally ignoring textile armor and introducing soft leather and hard leather as armor for the pooor. The poor did either not wear armor (like the vikings/migration-period germanic tribes), or they wore textile armor. Leather armor is a MYTH (IMHO). Allso, I've not seen any ring-mail worn in this period. Most people agree that the ringmail is a myth originating from the late 1800's wrong interpretations of the norman knight's mails. It's not easy to weave interlocking chainmail on a tapistry, so it looks a bit like what RQ calls ringmail. I'm not saying that no human culture in the world has ever used ringmail, but I'm 99% sure they didn't in the area and time-period you're after.

Viking armor... nothing is found, exept for one (possibly two) helmet(s), and the odd chainmail.
Intact germanic graves from 400 - 700 ad shows sword, axe, several types of spears (i have some cool links, if you want to see), a roundshield, very nicely made clothes, usually thght fitted woolen tunika and trousers with clasps, and animal-patterns woven with tablet-weave.
No armor aside from that. Leather hauberks with scalemail is often shown by viking-reenactors; nothing found, only myth. Asian scalemail with metal scales is found in sweden though. 		 	   		  
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