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A little time to kill on my hands so throwing this out for reflection: I disagree with chainmail being just one step away from plate in terms of protection (7 vs 8 pts protection on an 8 pt scale) in BRP, I think lamellar (6 pts) being kind of semi plate armour should be in between, so I switch mail and lamellar in terms of protection, weight and price. Thoughts?

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I see. I use hit locations so that part didn’t compute for me. 

If I was to fiddle a little more with the system, I’d would have gambeson correspond to ”heavy clothing”, and let it be the only kind of armour you could wear as an extra layer without penalty. But my philosophy is to alter as little as possible, it’s such a slippery slope...

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On a related note, for roleplaying purposes, at what point could one consider an edged or piercing weapon having penetrated armour (as opposed to causing a bruise/concussive impact)? I’m thinking if the damage exceeds the armour value by 50%, the blade/point is through. 

EDIT: I guess it would have technical relevance in cases of diseased or poisoned attacks. 

Edited by Barak Shathur
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Gambeson 5 and chain 6 is lightyears away from reality. Chain was ALWAYS worn on a gambeson/silk/linen, so having it increase protection by 20% only makes no sense, for the weight it adds. Gambeson/aketton is the equivalent of what we used to call "leather armour" (which probably did not exist in real history. it should be 

Chain should be around 4-5, and was standard issue for medieval professional militia or ancient soldiers, often worn only on the torso. Between this and the full protection of the gothic plate there should be 4 steps at least, with room for scale, lamellar and brigandine, all of which have different characteristics and protection values.

Edited by RosenMcStern
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45 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

Gambeson 5 and chain 6 is lightyears away from reality. Chain was ALWAYS worn on a gambeson/silk/linen, so having it increase protection by 20% only makes no sense, for the weight it adds. Gambeson/aketton is the equivalent of what we used to call "leather armour" (which probably did not exist in real history. it should be 

Chain should be around 4-5, and was standard issue for medieval professional militia or ancient soldiers, often worn only on the torso. Between this and the full protection of the gothic plate there should be 4 steps at least, with room for scale, lamellar and brigandine, all of which have different characteristics and protection values.

I agree 100%. However, like I said I'm trying to keep it as close as possible to the rulebook. One solution might be to say that 7pt mail includes the 2pt heavy quilt. In order to not make mail redundant vs ring mail (5 pts) you could say that mail is the only armour that allows heavy quilt without additional armour penalties. Which I think makes sense since it's the most flexible of armours. EDIT: I think this also seems historically accurate, the gambesons in the Maciejowski Bible under mail look pretty thick. I have the impression that padding under gothic plate tended to be thinner. 14th century pourpoints might be an exception though. Anyway.

The best representation of medieval armour I've come across is in Harnmaster.

Edited by Barak Shathur
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2 minutes ago, Barak Shathur said:

I agree 100%. However, like I said I'm trying to keep it as close as possible to the rulebook. One solution might be to say that 7pt mail includes the 2pt heavy quilt. In order to not make mail redundant vs ring mail (5 pts) you could say that mail is the only armour that allows heavy quilt without additional armour penalties. Which I think makes sense since it's the most flexible of armours. 

The best representation of medieval armour I've come across is in Harnmaster.

Ring mail did not exist, this is the point. It is ring that should be made redundant and replace with th eubiquitous chain skirt.

And the values for mail must always include the padding. You cannot wear chain without padding. It would do more damage than it blocks. Realistic value is 5 INCLUDING the quilt.

I really cannot undestand why Steve Perrin, who has some experience with armour, chose this unrealistic value for chain.

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4 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

Ring mail did not exist, this is the point. It is ring that should be made redundant and replace with th eubiquitous chain skirt.

And the values for mail must always include the padding. You cannot wear chain without padding. It would do more damage than it blocks. Realistic value is 5 INCLUDING the quilt.

I really cannot undestand why Steve Perrin, who has some experience with armour, chose this unrealistic value for chain.

But we're talking about a fantasy world where ring mail does exist, not some given (presumably European) medieval period in our world.

I 100% disagree that mail without padding would do more damage than it blocks, although most of its efficiency would be lost. It would still protect against cuts, and I have done a lot of fighting in mail in the SCA and found that having a kind of heavy curtain swinging about your body sometimes protects a bit against concussive impact (although again not much without a gambeson). If you're referring to rings being driven into the flesh, sure that's bad, but that kind of granularity is hard so simulate in a system that's supposed to have a kind of simplicity and elegance such as BRP. 

But I agree that on the 8 grade scale, 5 might be good for mail. Maybe BRP's 7 pt mail could be thought of as a kind of 'double mail', with 6 to 1-ring pattern instead of 4 to 1. Or reinforced in some other way. Like char aina maybe. 

Edited by Barak Shathur
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15 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

If I was to fiddle a little more with the system, I’d would have gambeson correspond to ”heavy clothing”, and let it be the only kind of armour you could wear as an extra layer without penalty. But my philosophy is to alter as little as possible, it’s such a slippery slope...

Gambesons are actually a lot more protective than heavy clothing. Probably at least as protective as Hard Leather.

SDLeary

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10 hours ago, RosenMcStern said:

Gambeson 5 and chain 6 is lightyears away from reality. Chain was ALWAYS worn on a gambeson/silk/linen, so having it increase protection by 20% only makes no sense, for the weight it adds. Gambeson/aketton is the equivalent of what we used to call "leather armour" (which probably did not exist in real history. it should be 

Chain should be around 4-5, and was standard issue for medieval professional militia or ancient soldiers, often worn only on the torso. Between this and the full protection of the gothic plate there should be 4 steps at least, with room for scale, lamellar and brigandine, all of which have different characteristics and protection values.

A Gambeson and an Arming Doublet/Aketon/Subarmalis is different. Same type of garment (quilted/layered fabric), but the Gambeson is much heavier weight, designed as protection as opposed to an Aketon which is padding for your armor. Or, perhaps a better way to look at it is there are different weights of Gambeson that serve different needs.

SDLeary

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5 hours ago, SDLeary said:

A Gambeson and an Arming Doublet/Aketon/Subarmalis is different. Same type of garment (quilted/layered fabric), but the Gambeson is much heavier weight, designed as protection as opposed to an Aketon which is padding for your armor. Or, perhaps a better way to look at it is there are different weights of Gambeson that serve different needs.

SDLeary

BRP covers for this with regular (1pt) and heavy (2pts) padded/quilted armour.

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11 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

But we're talking about a fantasy world where ring mail does exist, not some given (presumably European) medieval period in our world.

BRP covers historical play, too. Real armour should be present in all its forms. Fantasy armour should be an addition, not a replacement for real amouur. The limited weight/cost, 5-point protection niche in real world was taken by mail shirts that provided partial cover but good protection from slashes. Their stats are probably similar to that of the non-historical ringmail.
 

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If you're referring to rings being driven into the flesh, sure that's bad, but that kind of granularity is hard so simulate in a system that's supposed to have a kind of simplicity and elegance such as BRP. 

I was referring exactly to this. It's not that hard to simulate: you don't allow mail without padding, as it happens in 90% of RPGs with a minimum of historical verisimilitude. There is no need to punish players for choosing options that do not make sense: just remove the unrealistic options and you are fine.

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38 minutes ago, RosenMcStern said:

BRP covers historical play, too. Real armour should be present in all its forms. Fantasy armour should be an addition, not a replacement for real amouur. The limited weight/cost, 5-point protection niche in real world was taken by mail shirts that provided partial cover but good protection from slashes. Their stats are probably similar to that of the non-historical ringmail.
 

I was referring exactly to this. It's not that hard to simulate: you don't allow mail without padding, as it happens in 90% of RPGs with a minimum of historical verisimilitude. There is no need to punish players for choosing options that do not make sense: just remove the unrealistic options and you are fine.

My personal taste is for historical simulation, for sure. So let's say BRP's 5 pt "ring mail" corresponds to regular historical "maille" and it includes 2 pts of heavy padding, which can be worn with mail without penalties for layering. Take out the padding and you have 3 pt mail armour. I don't think the weight is right (if 1 ENC = 1 kg then 10 kg for a full suit minus coif is about half of what real mail weighs), but because of its extreme flexibilty and the way it hangs on the body it *could* be argued as being less encumbering than stiffer armour of similar weight.  This would also partially account for its historical popularity (in addition to the relative lack of skill needed to produce it). The same would apply to the 7 pt "chain" in BRP, which I will interpret as reinforced or 6 to 1-ring "thick" mail.

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14 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

BRP covers for this with regular (1pt) and heavy (2pts) padded/quilted armour.

A change I had not noticed. In RQ3, padding was 2 pt... so in my mind a Gambeson should be at least 3, and preferably 4 points.

SDLeary

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19 hours ago, Barak Shathur said:

 So let's say BRP's 5 pt "ring mail" corresponds to regular historical "maille" (...)

What is the difference between "maille" and chainmail ?

I've always seen chainmail translated into "cotte de maille" (coat of mail ?). So it's a bit confusing for me to see the word associated with another kind of armor.

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I find this discussion very helpful, as I am currently tweaking the armour table for 30 Years War and was wondering how to take into account that the buffcoat is always worn underneath any heavier armour, so it is basically part of any heavier armour variants. However, it is rather simple for the period from that point forward, because it is basically a question of which parts of the body you wear "plate" armour on (only chest&back or adding upper arms and thighs, or going full armour). I'm still working on defining the helmets, however:

Secrete (skullcap) +1 none (worn under a wide-brimmed felt hat)

Morion +1 −5% to perception skills, cannot use musket (impossible to bring to shoulder because of the helmet's brim)

Birnhelm +1 −5% to perception skills

Burgonet +2 −15% to perception skills

Edited by Susimetsa
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On 2/14/2021 at 1:16 PM, RosenMcStern said:

Gambeson 5 and chain 6 is lightyears away from reality. Chain was ALWAYS worn on a gambeson/silk/linen, so having it increase protection by 20% only makes no sense, for the weight it adds.

Actually it's not that far off. Keep in mind that damage in BRP isn't linear. That is 8 points isn't hitting twice as hard as 4 points. Otherwise there would be a much bigger difference between weapons. A pistol would do 2-5 times as much as an arrow, a rifle fives times as much as a pistol, and so on. 

Most armors overlap in places too. Full plate usually has a placard and a breastplate over the chest over an arming doublet (yet another name for an aketon, probably reinforced with mail gossets to protect the joints and other areas that cannot be covered with plate), but all that layering doesn't ever make someone safe against hand weapons. 

On 2/14/2021 at 1:16 PM, RosenMcStern said:

 

Gambeson/aketton is the equivalent of what we used to call "leather armour" (which probably did not exist in real history. it should be 

THe existience of leather is somewhat questionable in part because leather doesn't keep for hundred of years. Still, it probably did exist in some form -after all we didn't know about wooden castles until recently as none of them lasted either.

I suspect curibouilli (hard) leather probably did exist and it resists cutting better than a gambeson, but it was probably used with a gambeson.

 

 

On 2/14/2021 at 1:16 PM, RosenMcStern said:

Chain should be around 4-5, and was standard issue for medieval professional militia or ancient soldiers, often worn only on the torso. Between this and the full protection of the gothic plate there should be 4 steps at least, with room for scale, lamellar and brigandine, all of which have different characteristics and protection values.

Realistically it might be higher. For the most part armor stops weapons, and the severe injuries are caused by striking at the weak points and gaps between pieces of armor. The typical sword strike against a man in mail and aketon is probably going to bounce off harmlessly. At least until some of the mail links give way.

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15 hours ago, SDLeary said:

A change I had not noticed. In RQ3, padding was 2 pt... so in my mind a Gambeson should be at least 3, and preferably 4 points.

SDLeary

Yeah, although it is probably a reflection of the state of knowledge at the time. Tests and studies made since that time have revealed that a gambeson is much more effective that we used to think. Turns out you are usually better off in a gambeson than in mail! At least mail without a gambeson underneath. 

If I were to rebuild the armor table, I'd probably have a gambeson at 3 or 4 and treat mail as a bonus to the gambeson, rather than as a seperate entry. There aren't many places were you'd wear mail without some padding underneath.

 

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