Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Tuxedo Is As Good As A Cuirass

Armor in D&D is a pain.  There are a lot of assumptions about what should be available and the armor levels are a bit 'hard-wired' into our brains.  If you start mucking around with what 'AC3' means there's some potential for misunderstanding.  But maybe we can get away with making a three-piece suit equivalent to leather armor.

In preparation for running Wampus Country via G+, I'm trying to get a bunch of half-formed house-rules out of my head on onto the page where they can be seen.  I'm going to push through several subjects in quick blogposts, then try to assemble that info on a 'page' or in a pdf or something.

So let's talk about armor and clothing.  Here's the armor from Labyrinth Lord, updated to include Wampus-specific house rules.  It might be easier to do this two ways, as an AC chart and as an equipment list.

AC  ...  applicable armors/clothing to achieve that AC
9     Unarmored
8     Leather, Padded, Buckskins, Three-Piece
7     Studded Leather, assorted reinforced hide, Ironwool clothing
6     Scale mail
5     Chain mail, breastplate over leathers
4     Banded mail, Splint mail
3     Plate mail

Banded mail ($90) - unusual; a number of well-maintained sets of banded mail are still floating around from Grandpa's War in good repair.

Buckskins ($5-15)  - classic frontier outfit for year-round wear, protective and fashionable yet allowing superior mobility.  Usually fringed for quicker drying.  Elaborate beadwork will increase the price.

Chain mail ($70)  - chain hauberks are not uncommon amongst the bandits and monster-hunters.

Ironwool - the fibers of the tufts of an ironwool tree are woven into a reinforced cloth with unusual kinetic properties.  To commission a bespoke item from ironwool quintuples the cost - and that's presuming it's even available.  If you want a dashing suit made out of the stuff, best to harvest the fiber yourself first.

Leather ($6-10) - various combinations of soft and boiled leather, or layers of cloth and leather.

Padded ($4-7) - layers of quilting, etc.  May not be 'armor' per se; put on enough clothing and a winter fur coat and you're certainly padded.

Plate mail ($500+) - no one in their right mind wears a full suit of plate mail in Wampus Country; not only is it impractical, but also a blatant reminder of the 'old country'.  A man in plate is picking a fight just by walking around.

Scale mail ($60+) - most scale mail armor seen in Wampus Country is lovingly handcrafted out of actual animal-scales, rather than pieces of metal or ceramic.  Some young bucks take pride in wearing a suit of armor (leather & scale) composed entirely of a snollygoster they killed themselves.

Shields ($10 and up) - shields are available, especially the wooden sort.

Splinted armor ($80+) - again, likely handcrafted and passed down; a good deal of the splinted suits one sees in Wampus Country are family heirlooms.  Maybe not that guy's family, but the family of the guy he brained to steal the armor in the first place.

Three-Piece ($8-20)  - there is nothing so liberating and magical as a well-tailored suit.  A properly-tailored three-piece suit is the hallmark of the frontier gentleman when he is in town; some even wear 'field suits' when out on the hunt.  (Note: equivalent fashionable clothing for ladies is of course available)

"It is with some regret that I must now ruin the wonderful suit you are  wearing in order to stab you to death, sir.  I shall not miss you when you are dead, but I will shed a tear for that gorgeous herringbone."


  1. Wielding anything other than a sword-cane or ornate dueling pistol while wearing a three-piece would be insufferably gauche.

  2. Pray that the holsters for your sixguns are properly upholstered to match your waistcoat, sir.

  3. I am willing to pay extra to make sure that I cut a dashing figure even in the wildlands of the Wampus. If one must bring civilization to this new land, one must do it with refinement.

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