[Runequest] Flexible and hard armor together.

Peter Maranci pmaranci at gmail.com
Mon Apr 8 22:37:28 EST 2013

By an odd coincidence I was just at the truly amazing Higgins Armory in
Worcester, Massachusetts this weekend. It's a museum of medieval armor and
weapons (which tragically is going to close forever at the end of 2013).
And this very question came up at a demonstration.

Chainmail under plate was not practical due to weight considerations and
bulk. Patches of chain were used at certain strategic locations in many
suits of armor, where plate wasn't used for reasons such as mobility.

I learned a lot there. For example, I didn't know that a full suit of
combat plate could weigh as little as 30 pounds, and that a fully-armored
knight once did a triple somersault in midair! The suits that took forever
to put on and weighed a ridiculous amount were specifically for jousting -
which was, of course, a very limited activity with strict rules.

If you can possibly get to the Armory before they close, it's well worth
seeing. My son and his friend LOVED the place; they're both eleven. My wife
and I found it fascinating, too! Here's a link to a photosphere I took of
the third and fourth floors:


On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 8:16 AM, Styopa <styopa1 at gmail.com> wrote:

> I spent a lot of time kludging house rules as to what could be layered,
> and what couldn't, and finally ultimately agreed with how it's written (I'm
> pretty sure) in the RQ6 rules: you simply can't.
> Armor is actually a fairly complex system, that has to be flexible in some
> places and inflexible in others for it to work.  I'm going to go with the
> idea that armorers knew their business, and designed the armor for the best
> level of protection possible while not inordinately hindering the wearer at
> a given level of protection.
> If someone INSISTS on wearing a 'heavy leather poncho' over their plate
> armor or something, or trying to stuff a layer of chain/whatever under
> plate armor, sure, give them another 1-2 points of protection but I'd
> probably penalize physical activities - ie combat - a level of difficulty
> per extra point of protection.  Sure, you can mummify yourself in bubble
> wrap if you want, and you'll be safer...of course, you won't be able to
> move, but you will on the simplest level resist blows better.
> On Mon, Apr 8, 2013 at 3:15 AM, Steve Perrin <steve.perrin at gmail.com>wrote:
>>  You keep layering armor and you are going to look like the Michelin
>> Man. I don't think I would give a plate and chain combination more than 1
>> extra point of armor. I would also be watching fatigue penalties very
>> closely.
>> Actually, since I hate keeping track of that kind of stuff, I just would
>> not allow it.
>> Steve Perrin
>> On 4/7/2013 10:01 PM, Asher Royce Yaffee wrote:
>> Hi, All,
>>    Cheapskate that I am (and given pay cuts and how much more my kids eat
>> every passing year....), I still haven't bought RQ6 yet -- though I want
>> to.  In the meantime, my beat up old RQ3 books still soldier on.  Hopefully
>> the books'll survive one more summer of gaming with my kids.  :-)
>>    Wait!  There's a point to this email.
>>    The RQ3 rule that allows flexible armor under rigid armor.  It makes
>> obvious sense for cases of cloth or leather under plate.  But was it
>> intended to include chain mail under plate mail?
>>    If so, then that's a lot of armor points.  So, I wanted to ask if the
>> game designers originally intended rich characters to have 15 armor points
>> (in addition to any magical protection).
>>    Also, I am very interested in the opinions of people who have fought
>> in armor.  What do you think makes the most sense?
>>    Wisdom and experience and guidance are warmly welcome.
>>     Sincerely,
>> Asher
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Peter Maranci - pmaranci at gmail.com
Pete's RuneQuest & Roleplaying! http://www.runequest.org/rq.htm
The Diary of A Simple Man: http://bobquasit.livejournal.com/
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