Armor and Shield (III.F)
Descriptions of Magic Items
As DM you must be fully conversant with the armor gradation
system. Because prior game forms worked from a high base number (9)
upwards, I have opted to follow the same progression herein for the sake
of continuity and familiarity. As a shield is the single common factor, i t
must be given a + 1 factor, i.e. be 1 class (5%) better than no armor, but
listed before the diverse armor types, in order to allow its inclusion as a
constant (without over-valuing it). For each + 1 of armor, regardless of the
type of armor, the wearer moves upwards (toward or beyond AC 2 to 1 , 0,
-1, -2, etc.). Thus, chain mail + 1 is chain mail (AC 5) 1 category better (AC
4), while a shield + 1 is equal to armor class 8 - or 2 places better than
the armor worn by its inclusion, rather than but 1 (+ 1 for bearing shield, + 1 for the magical bonus of the shield).
<Encumbrance:> For game purposes
all magical armor should be considered as being
virtually weightless - equal to normal clothing, let us assume. This gives
characters so clad a base movement speed equal to an unarmored man.
Magic shields, however, weigh the same as a normal shield of the same
Armor of +3 bonus is of special meteorite iron steel,
+4 is mithral alloyed steel, +5 is adamantite alloyed steel.
<Special items are described below:>
If you are unfamiliar with medieval armor types, you might find
Charles ffoulkes' ARMOUR AND WEAPONS (Oxford 1909) a short and
useful text. The armor types I have selected are fitted into a gorne system.
Here is what they subsume:
LEATHER ARMOR is cuir bouli, consisting of coat, leggings, boots, and gauntlets.
STUDDED LEATHER adds protective plates set in the leather and an extra layer of protection at shoulder area.
RING MAIL is leather armor sewn with closely set iron rings.
SCALE MAIL is a suit of leather armor set with small overlapping iron plates.
CHAIN MAIL needs no explanation.
BANDED MAIL is horizontal strips of articulated armor plates worn over a suit of chain mail.
SPLINT MAIL is a coat of vertical plates of armor sandwiched within the layers of the garment and worn over chain.
PLATE MAIL is a set of pieces of plate (shoulder, breast, bock, elbow, groin/hips legs) worn over chain mail.
<edit below, because of UA?>
Plate armor is a late development and is not considered, i.e. the full suit of solid plate used c. 1500 is not an arrnor type used, but the reader should be aware that this form of protection was lighter and more mobile than plate mail!
It is also two or three times more costly . . .