[Runequest] Armor does break...with abandon!

Andre Powell sunwolfek12 at sbcglobal.net
Sun Oct 6 23:39:08 EST 2013

"A more pertinent question is how does it get broken? Mechanically, I don't
think armour ever gets damaged..."

By the gods, wear and tear was a constant bother!

I am no expert by any means, but these “problems” quickly came to mind as I recalled what my harness suffered during a decade playing in a historical recreation society—full contact live steel and rebated weapons.

Dents and distortions—all the time, every encounter
Welds splits—breast plate cracked right down the keel
Articulation dented and distorted—interfere with movement and comfort. In joints this was particularly bothersome as they froze up
Rivets pulled through—leaving a large hole that needs a larger rivet, leads to plate loss and vulnerability
Rivets popped and broke— leads to plate loss vulnerability
Leather straps tore or wore through— leads to plate loss vulnerability, discomfort
Leather strap buckles broke—leads to plate loss vulnerability, discomfort
Leather undercoat or backing tore—leads to plate loss and rivet malfunction, vulnerable
Burs cut into armor plate and metal cut me—cut and stab, loss of comfort
Literally broken plates—it can and does happen
Small plates, scales, rings broken or lost—brigandine or lamellar plates, vulnerable
Leather ties and whip-cords broken or  lost—hanging armor, vulnerable
Hinges broken or distorted—loss of movement
Mail rings popped rivets or broke welds—vulnerability
Waxed thread wore through and unraveled—loss of anchored or encased plate
Shield splinters—shrapnel
Loose rivets in helmet—incessant ringing in the ears…very distracting 

I listed “discomfort” as a consequence many times. This is not to suggest that the wearing of armor is a comfortable experience akin to wearing clothes, but armor does have its own definition of comfort. If armor is not perspective-ly comfortable, neither is the wearer and this is not conducive to the advantages of a full range of movement.
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