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leather pants armor?

posted Feb 25, 2013 23:54:25 by chryckan
I admit at being a bit tired when writing this but the armor rules has made me confused about one thing.

That is what the heck does a pair of leather biker pants count as? (I mean the all leather type. Not the modern types with build in knee-pads and friction plates.)

Furs and hides feels weird even though the rules says that's the default leather armor since a pair of leather biker pants is considerable tougher and offer better protection that a fur or an unprocessed hide.
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14 replies
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bluefenix42 said Feb 26, 2013 01:40:25
The Natural/Cured line in the armor table is not for unprocessed hide. It is for leather that has been tanned and cured to be relatively hard OR thick animal furs. If you really want "leather biker pants" to be better than that, give it some stats like AP 2, Enc 2 and determine a cost somewhere inbetween the Natural/Cured line and the Padded/Quilted line.
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chryckan said Feb 26, 2013 09:36:41
Ah, I somehow missed that Natural/cured line. Just read the furs/hides example line and thought but that's not leather.
Should teach me to read rules at two in the morning.

Thanks.
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chryckan said Feb 26, 2013 10:57:35
Two follow up questions or rather one question and one observation?

First, the x2 modifier for leather from the material table isn't applied to Natural/Cured armor since leather is the default material, right?

Second, from a power-gaming perspective why would anyone (aka a player) ever chose Natural/Cured leather armor?
It has the worst AP rating yet its Enc is larger than Padded armor so you can't even argue that wearing leather armor would make a character a quick and nimble fighter like a classic rogue.


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lawrence.whitaker said Feb 26, 2013 11:18:22
Why would wearing armour of ANY kind make someone more quick and nimble than a lightly clothed, unarmoured character?

All armour restricts to a degree...

From a Power Gaming POV, no, you wouldn't choose natural or cured leather. But then, we've tried to structure RQ to give GMs the tools to discourage our, at least, manage, mini-maxing.
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RangerDan said Feb 26, 2013 14:47:26
Well, for the price of your one spearman in Padded armour, I can equip three spearmen with Leather armour.
Quantitiy has its own quality ;)

- X -

(Side-question for the history buffs): I never noticed before but shields are quite expensive! Were they historically difficult to craft? Compared to - say - swords?
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jjwdrake said Feb 26, 2013 16:11:09

(Side-question for the history buffs): I never noticed before but shields are quite expensive! Were they historically difficult to craft? Compared to - say - swords?


Most shields have a lot of different manufacturing skills and processes being applied. Even the 'board' may be made of a laminate of glued and dried strips of wood and carefully shaped/warped to the desired effect, as in the surviving scutum found in Egypt. Then there's the facing, which itself is often highly decorated and might be metal, cloth, leather, what have you - and many have metal parts - rims, bosses etc. So there is a lot of process in a shield. A standard hoplite shield (Aspis, or in Latin a Clipeus) would cost you more than the spear that goes with it, and probably more than a (simple) helmet too, but admittedly is one of the more elaborate types.

In ancient Greece a basic hoplite panoply - shield, spear and lid - would cost about an average citizen's month's pay - which makes it nicely equivalent to the modern benchmark price of an engagement ring. Bear in mind of course most of this stuff was passed on or handed down.

Even a zulu isiHlangu requires a whole cow to make two of them (the full-size battle shield used from the time of Shaka to around the time of Anglo-Zulu wars), so simple as it is - piece of hide, hide leather strips and a stick - it's a premium item and hence a royal gift to the king's warriors.


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chryckan said Feb 26, 2013 17:07:38
(Side-question for the history buffs): I never noticed before but shields are quite expensive! Were they historically difficult to craft? Compared to - say - swords?


As jjwdrake said shields were an expensive piece of a equipment. On the other hand swords were an insanely expensive piece of equipment that only rich nobles could afford because swords are a hundred times more difficult to make.
Given the materials and a set of instructions most people that have some experience working with their hands can make a shield. You need to be an professional and experienced blacksmith to even stand a chance of making a crappy sword.
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DanTrue said Feb 26, 2013 17:18:48
As jjwdrake said shields were an expensive piece of a equipment. On the other hand swords were an insanely expensive piece of equipment that only rich nobles could afford because swords are a hundred times more difficult to make.


Depends on the historical period. In Roman Times shortswords were cheap enough that it was the default armament for almost everyone. In the Dark Ages/Viking period it is insanely expensive and only lords and kings can afford them.

But around the time of the bayeux tapestry new smithing techniques and better-quality iron ore have made swords cheap enough to manufacture to make them the default weapon for professional soldiers again. True, a peasant can't buy it on a whim, but it's not outside the means of most of the middle class.

The prices given in RQ6 are very ancient-focussed. I expect swords to be much more expensive in the Mythic Briton supplement, as it was in MRQ2 Vikings by Pete.

And yes, proper shields are a bitch to make.

- Dan
[Last edited Feb 26, 2013 17:21:17]
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DanTrue said Feb 26, 2013 17:24:38
Second, from a power-gaming perspective why would anyone (aka a player) ever chose Natural/Cured leather armor?
It has the worst AP rating yet its Enc is larger than Padded armor so you can't even argue that wearing leather armor would make a character a quick and nimble fighter like a classic rogue.


Because Barbarians wear cured hides. Civilised troops wear linen.

If you have a power gamer who dresses his barbarian in linen armour, give him -20% on influence rolls when talking to other barbarians.

of course this is putting it on edge. My point is that these things are not handled by some inherent balance between items or other aspects of the game. Items, combat styles, magic schools and magic systems. They are not supposed to be balanced - they wouldn't be in real life, and people still use sub-optimal stuff in real life. It comes down to how you perceive it, culture and tradition.

- Dan
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chryckan said Feb 26, 2013 17:36:37
From a Power Gaming POV, no, you wouldn't choose natural or cured leather. But then, we've tried to structure RQ to give GMs the tools to discourage our, at least, manage, mini-maxing.


Yeah but that's my problem really. Except for vetoing it or using the setting to restrict it I don't see why my players would ever pick anything else except padded armor when playing a lightly armored character type. At the moment there are no drawback to choosing the better protected padded armor over leather armor, unlike the rest of the armors where better protection always comes with a greater penalty.

(And the reason it bugs me is because while padded armor is lighter than leather it's also bulkier, making it a poor choice thematically for a rogue or assassin. A gambeson might be lighter and offer better protection than Catwoman's leather body suit but I'd like to see someone free climb or do back flips in a full suit of padded armor. You'd end up with ninjas looking like Frosty the Snowman. ;) )

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DanTrue said Feb 26, 2013 21:39:42
(And the reason it bugs me is because while padded armor is lighter than leather it's also bulkier, making it a poor choice thematically for a rogue or assassin. A gambeson might be lighter and offer better protection than Catwoman's leather body suit but I'd like to see someone free climb or do back flips in a full suit of padded armor. You'd end up with ninjas looking like Frosty the Snowman. ;) )


For some padding yes. I can do that in my padding - assuming I could do that before I put it on ofc. I own a set of padding for my medieval reenacment and a heavier set for HEMA sparring. I am very mobile in both of them.

Padding needs to not restrict you too much. After all, it is often used underneath very restricting plate or mail. If the padding in itself was very restricting, it would simply be too much when combined with plate.

It is simply a better item. Padding utilises layered protection similar to what modern bullet-proof wests do, just in a smaller scale. It provides better protecting than simply cured leather at a fraction of the weight. And it can be done so that it is not very restricting to movement (the arm joints are the hardest parts, they are either open at the back or sewn with "bulges" to give room to move the arm).

Except for vetoing it or using the setting to restrict it I don't see why my


But if you want to restrict it, it should be through the setting. Level of technology, tradition and culture, belief that something is better than it actually is or simply artistic preference. These are reasons in real life why people choose something over measurable efficiency. Secondly, in real life some items are simply better than others. Linen was a technological advance over leather, so it's better.

If you want something for an assassin to wear, point him to an excellent suit of leather armour (if you want it for theatrical reason). Give it the Resilient and Effective (with a good roll) enhancements - voila, 2 AP protection with no ENC*. This would basically be catwomans suit.

Alternatively, give him a padding with the same enhancements and you have 3 AP, no ENC. You describe it as exquisitely woven suit of linen with woolen fillings crisscrossing it at strategically relevant places to turn a blow.

*Earlier it seemed to be agreeable to use 25% price increase for each enhancement (author-inspired house rule) Applying this would mean that this no-enc leather would have a price of 30 SP per location.

Another alternative: House Rule it to whatever you like. RuneQuest is built with the belief that every GM should houserule the system to whatever fits your needs. Your RuneQuest Will Vary.

- Dan
[Last edited Feb 26, 2013 21:49:55]
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chryckan said Feb 26, 2013 23:26:27
But there is a difference between mobile and agile. There are no question that padded armour provides better protection than cured leather or that it is lighter. But weight isn't really a factor while wearing armour, it's bulk. As you said you can make padded armour that don't restrict you too much but there will still be some restriction of your agility. But you can still make a leather outfit that allows you the same range of movement as clothes (without having to cut hole to allow for the movement of the arms) while still providing you with slight but noticeably better protection than clothes does.

Because Barbarians wear cured hides. Civilised troops wear linen.

If you have a power gamer who dresses his barbarian in linen armour, give him -20% on influence rolls when talking to other barbarians.


For most players that would only be a one shot penalty as the next time the player meets other barbs he'd make sure to point out that he had taken his armor of before hand and then demand a 20% influence bonus while talking to civilized people while wearing his armour on the grounds that they should think of him as more civilized too.


Depends on the historical period. In Roman Times shortswords were cheap enough that it was the default armament for almost everyone. In the Dark Ages/Viking period it is insanely expensive and only lords and kings can afford them.

But around the time of the bayeux tapestry new smithing techniques and better-quality iron ore have made swords cheap enough to manufacture to make them the default weapon for professional soldiers again. True, a peasant can't buy it on a whim, but it's not outside the means of most of the middle class.


First off, what middle class? Until the 18th hundreds there existed no middle class. You were either rich or poor. A well off commoner like a yeoman farmer was someone who had good clothes, a roof over their head and did not have to worry about starving. That was about it.

Secondly, swords have always been incredibly expensive. The reason why short swords were common during the roman age was because you had an incredibly wealth centralized government who paid for the swords, not that they were cheap. If the Roman government had not funded the equipment of a legions the fable legionnaires would have been armed only with a simple spear and hopefully a crappy shield. That common civilians had access to the swords was because ex-legionnaires brought them home after they finished their tour of duty. Not because they could afford to buy one themselves.

That swords became expensive during the dark ages/viking era was because there no longer existed any rich centralized governments (in western Europe) that could pay for swords. Instead every single chieftain and petty lord had to pay for them out of their own pockets which was not deep enough to have large numbers made.
There is a reason why the prevalence of swords increases steadily after the 10th century and it isn't because new techniques made them cheaper. It's simply that the feudal kingdoms started to turn into rich centralized governments instead that could afford to pay for the equipment of a standing military force.
But it wasn't until the 15th/16 century that swords became common enough that it became the default weapon for most professional soldiers. For example during the Hundred Years' War professionally soldiers who was not men at arms to a rich noble, like English bowmen or crossbowmen from Genoa seldom had any swords of their own and had to make due with axes, falchions and mallets instead.

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RangerDan said Feb 27, 2013 09:21:43
If you have a power gamer who dresses his barbarian in linen armour, give him -20% on influence rolls when talking to other barbarians.

For most players that would only be a one shot penalty as the next time the player meets other barbs he'd make sure to point out that he had taken his armor of before hand and then demand a 20% influence bonus while talking to civilized people while wearing his armour on the grounds that they should think of him as more civilized too.

I think Dan was making a bit of a joke with the -20% thing.

The point I believe he was trying to make (in the other half of his post) is that RQ tries to make a more faithful representation of 'realism' (insofar as griffins and magic can be real) when compared to for example a pure 'game' like d&d

And just like in real life, there is far less 'balance' to be found built in. Some choices are objectively inferior to others. The interesting part is how characters react to this in-game.

* So your barbarian raider, when he first gets his hands on a 'civilized' gambeson, might be impressed with its strength and flexibility and keep it and use it as spoils of war.
* Or he might mistrust foreign equipment, and stick to the tried-and-true leathers.
* Or he might be fully aware of the superiority of civilized equipment, but choose not to use it because he does not want to be associated with a barbarian tribe of 'turncoats' who fight alongside the civilized nation and are paid in gambesons and other modern weapons.
* Or he might wistfully stare at the rich warriors in the tribe, who can afford to buy foreign gambesons, while he - poor herder's son - can only afford leather. Such an embarrassment!

If your players are making most of their decisions 'out-of-game' by comparing the stats on the tables, that's completely OK. In that context it's a no-brainer, padded is objectively superior to leather. Barbarian #1 above thinks in exactly that way. But to say that there exists no reason at all to choose leather over padded is to gloss over all the interesting choices characters (not players) could be making.
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DanTrue said Feb 27, 2013 09:24:59
I think Dan was making a bit of a joke with the -20% thing.


Quite right. I'm not very funny.

And just like in real life, there is far less 'balance' to be found built in. Some choices are objectively inferior to others. The interesting part is how characters react to this in-game.

* So your barbarian raider, when he first gets his hands on a 'civilized' gambeson, might be impressed with its strength and flexibility and keep it and use it as spoils of war.
* Or he might mistrust foreign equipment, and stick to the tried-and-true leathers.
* Or he might be fully aware of the superiority of civilized equipment, but choose not to use it because he does not want to be associated with a barbarian tribe of 'turncoats' who fight alongside the civilized nation and are paid in gambesons and other modern weapons.
* Or he might wistfully stare at the rich warriors in the tribe, who can afford to buy foreign gambesons, while he - poor herder's son - can only afford leather. Such an embarrassment!

If your players are making most of their decisions 'out-of-game' by comparing the stats on the tables, that's completely OK. In that context it's a no-brainer, padded is objectively superior to leather. Barbarian #1 above thinks in exactly that way. But to say that there exists no reason at all to choose leather over padded is to gloss over all the interesting choices characters (not players) could be making


This!

- Dan
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