Multiple layers of armour

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HedgeWizard
Knight
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Joined: Wed Dec 06, 2017 3:20 pm

Multiple layers of armour

Post by HedgeWizard » Tue Apr 28, 2020 1:48 pm

I’ve been pondering about armour and wondered how you deal with players having multiple layers of armour. It was normal for knights etc to be wearing more than one type of armour (e.g. padded jacket with Mail over the top and then a breastplate, either solid or made of small plates, on top).

I suggest that the player rolls for all the types of armour and then takes the highest.

However walking around with all that armour would be really tiering so perhaps a small change to the armour rules. Players only put on their armour when there is a real risk of combat and it takes a little while to get it on and fastened up. Players can only walk around with something like a leather cuirass (which might be a jacket of stiffened linen or an arming jacket in reality). This means that if they are taken by surprise then they will not be wearing all their armour.

A lot of armour needs someone to help you get into it (mail, arming jackets, early beast plates etc. fasten are the back). So you can’t do it on your own.

Any thoughts?

victorysChild
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Joined: Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:22 pm

Re: Multiple layers of armour

Post by victorysChild » Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:51 am

Early on when I first started with Aff2e I made some house rules for layered armour and tweaked how the armour skill worked. The basic idea was that there were three types of armour, Under (which covered arming vests and gambesons), Medium (for things like brigandine) and Over (mostly the cuirasses). Any armour type could be worn on its own, but any single Under and any single Over could be worn together to stack their protection at the cost of movement penalties.

With the layered system I simplified the armour penalties applied to movement skills. Under armours had no penalty, Medium and Over armours both inflicted a -2, as did Shields. In addition, stacking armour also inflicted a -2 to movement skills, so a character wearing a gambeson and breastplate while carrying a shield would have a total penalty of - 6 (Over-2, stacking-2, shield-2). Under this system, instead of the Armour special skill gating which armour you can wear, each rank instead reduced the penalty to movement skills by 1. So for example, if the character described earlier had an Armour special skill of 2, he would only suffer a total penalty of - 4.

As for equipping/removing, only stacked armour took relevant time to equip and Over armour could be removed as a single action on those occasions when you really need to move quickly (cutting your breastplate free so you don't drown, for example).

Chompy
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2019 7:30 am

Re: Multiple layers of armour

Post by Chompy » Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:22 pm

Under, Medium and Over makes for a nice 'slot' system to formalise how I've generally been considering it, though it's not really come up in any games yet.
Layering one thing over another makes sense... if they've been designed for it. Being able to express that in more simple terms is great - three seems about right.
I don't really consider shields as part of armour... I have a few suggestions as to how to handle shields, and it was honestly hard to pick one to go with (basically they all involve Shields skill though). But I don't want to derail the thread!

A single roll compared to all layers keeps things simple.
Though personally I'd go with adding the damage reduction from all your layers, rather than just taking the highest, so you get the full benefit of the trouble you went through waddling around in your cocoon.
And as for that trouble, maybe add together the skill requirements for wearing all your layers as well?


Helmets are a bit of an outlier, and perhaps things like armoured boots, kneepads, pauldrons... so how far to take it? I'd lean toward more of a 'special bonus' for extras like that, maybe?
I've seen helmets used as nothing more than a means to make you immune to critical hits. Which would keep things simple, but might be too strong in the AFF setting. And not make too much sense. Stabbed in the gut but my helmet saved me...

If you're using Viscera! this could be enough of an advantage though, each item like that protects a specific vulnerability. When you roll for the specific wound a helmet makes you immune to head injuries, kneepads to knee injuries, armoured gauntlets to hand injuries, etc. So if you happen to roll a wound to a protected area you avoid taking an injury from the critical hit but perhaps you still take STAMINA damage under the standard rules for critical hits.
As Director you'd probably want to apply armour penalties to relevant activities - picking a lock while wearing armoured gauntlets, sneaking wearing armoured boots, shooting a bow wearing elbow pads, etc. Even if you're otherwise just in your underwear those should still suffer the armour penalties. Plus there's concerns over total weight, inventory space...

HedgeWizard
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Re: Multiple layers of armour

Post by HedgeWizard » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:15 pm

Interesting thoughts!

With a skill impact you need to take into account the training of the person. SkinnyOrc has had some suggestions on Armour and skill ratings. I wouldn’t simply add them together, if you are trained to wear several layers and in good shape they won’t cause an issue in a fight. But you are going to get tired and hot quickly and not going to want to spend more time in them than you really have to.

Even today trained soldiers can do impressive things while carrying a remarkable amount of equipment but will drop excess weight as fast as they can.

For the helmet I rule that it only saves from critical hits affecting the head. Which is already quite big especially if you are using Viscera which I do.

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