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Willow

Travelling in Armor?

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I had ruled in my game previously that one does not travel overland in full armor, that a knight might wear riding leathers on a journey, but would typically have to spend time to arm themselves, with the aid of their squire- thus if ambushed by bandits, Saxons, or unusually ferocious farm animals, would not have the benefit of their whole armor.  I thought this was explicit in the rules somewhere, but I am having trouble finding this ruling.  The closest I have to it is in the introductory adventure in KAP 5.2, where in the hunt section on page 224, that they wear ''appropriate clothing' worth 1 armor.

Did I imagine this rule?  Are knights able to wear their armor while traveling?

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I think you are probably thinking of this, on p. 186: "In most cases, a knight doesn’t ride around the countryside fully armed and armored, due to the discomfort caused by weight and heat, so a packhorse is needed as well."

However, it is a comfort issue, and very much depends on circumstances. If you are riding on patrol and expect to be called upon to fight on a moments notice, you sure as heck will wear your armor and just suffer the discomfort. If you are travelling in wilderness teaming with monsters and bandits, yep, you are wearing the armor. If you are travelling on King's Road from Sarum to Camelot in the middle of Romance Period, you might opt for comfort, since the risk is negligible. During Uther and Anarchy, I'd let the PKs wear armor pretty much whenever they travel outside the manors and castles of their allies and lieges.

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I think it also depends on how you want to represent things.  In Malory, every one goes around in armor all the time, except in court. So traveling and adventuring in full armor is really the norm.  I can remember a few instances from the literature where knights are hunting etc and not in full armor.  I think Erec and Enide starts like that, but I'm fuzzy.

In the real world, I agree you probably wouldn't go around in full armor all the time.  That said, Italian magnates in the rinascimento often wore cuirasses under their clothes for fear of assassination.

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There is also a matter of the horses. When armored, the character weighs more and this tires out his mount that much faster. You could apply (or given an energetic roll to avoid) a -5 fatigue modifier to skills if someone spends a lot of time in armor riding the same horse. A knight would really want to bring some spare mounts if he were expecting to ride in armor for several days, or at least ride slower with more rest stops. 

 

But it mostly depends on circumstances. If the Knights are expecting trouble, or have reason to, then they would probably wear the armor and suffer the penalties (if any). If they expect everything to be nice and peaceful and have no reason to expect anything but a safe journey, then they probably go unarmored. When in doubt they make a judgment call, or possibly just ride in Gambeson and helm. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

When armored, the character weighs more and this tires out his mount that much faster.

Given that the game doesn't make a difference between SIZ 12 and SIZ 18 knights when it comes to horse endurance, I wouldn't bother penalizing the horses even if the knight wears armor. YPWV, though.

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In the arthurian lore, knights can always travel with their armor in the countryside. It's not realistic, but it's part of the genre.

If you prefer a more gritty game, it's up to you.

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12 hours ago, Willow said:

Did I imagine this rule?  Are knights able to wear their armor while traveling?

 

1 hour ago, Tizun Thane said:

In the arthurian lore, knights can always travel with their armor in the countryside. It's not realistic, but it's part of the genre.

If you prefer a more gritty game, it's up to you.

There is a perception that this is the case, but the FACT is that in the medieval period it was NORMAL for knights to learn to live and sleep in their armor as part of their training regime, until it felt like a second skin.  Remember that this was a time before germ theory, where filthiness was next to godliness, and there was a whole mythology to do with a person's "crust", i.e. the layer of personal filth that attached them to their clothes.  As a sign of good faith, people would actually share their clothes and bond with each others' crust thereby.  On the other hand, there are records of knights during the Plantagenet era scaling walls in full armor without ladders.  People back then were monstrously strong and used to performing rigorous personal austerities that seem impossible by todays standards, but they also died pretty young from the frequent diseases of the era.

Without doubt it was more comfortable to travel in normal clothes that merely protected agains the weather, but the moment that you left a King's road, or before entering a forest or other area where ambush was more likely, every knight would kit up into their maille.  They would stay in maille pretty much indefinitely while on campaign, only periodically running it in a sand tray to polish it if it was getting rusty, and they could afford the luxury (less than successful campaigns were often hard on the purse, and camp followers were always out to gouge as much profit as they could).

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I think the 'crust' applies more towards 16th century onwards: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bathing#Medieval_and_early-modern_Europe

Medieval people did do regular bathing, albeit perhaps not quite as often as modern people: http://www.medievalists.net/2013/04/did-people-in-the-middle-ages-take-baths/

Also, people are people. The difference is in training. The medieval knights certainly trained in their armor and were used to the weight, and the rigorous weapon training would leave them stronger than the modern office workers. But they were not 'monstrously strong'. You put a modern man through the same training regime, and the chances are that the modern man would be bigger, healthier and stronger than the medieval knight.

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6 hours ago, Morien said:

Given that the game doesn't make a difference between SIZ 12 and SIZ 18 knights when it comes to horse endurance, I wouldn't bother penalizing the horses even if the knight wears armor. YPWV, though.

It's something that Greg brought up in the past though. He had horses and riders getting tired in Knights Adventurousness to prevent Knights from riding around in armor on their chargers all day. Otherwise you wind up with Knights wearing thier armor all the time, sleeping in it and so on. 

 

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2 hours ago, Atgxtg said:

Otherwise you wind up with Knights wearing thier armor all the time, sleeping in it and so on.  

I have not had problems with this. Thing is, I am willing to be reasonable about it. For example, the PKs noticed that they were being shadowed by bandits in Forest Sauvage. So when the time came to go to sleep, they opted to keep their armor on. Like you would, if you expected a night-time attack. Now, if they had to do that several nights in a row, I might actually make them roll LAZY to see if they can get a good night's sleep despite being uncomfortable (hooray, finally some benefit from being lazy!). And then start giving them fatigue penalties. But riding around while wearing your armor is uncomfortable rather than tiring as such, although I could see it becoming very uncomfortable during a hot summer's day, thanks to the gambeson. Fortunately, Britain is pretty temperate.

My point is, there is enough trust at the (virtual) table that I let the PKs show reasonable paranoia, and don't actively work to 'grief' them when they are out of armor. That being said, occasionally shit happens. For example, there is that night-time sortie by Gorlois. It makes sense that the PKs would be out of armor, since the guards should be raising an alarm in time, etc. It makes sense that they would be out of armor when they are attending Pentecost Feast, etc. But it also makes sense for them to wear armor when they are adventuring in a forest filled with bandits and monsters, or patrolling the border with hostileLevcomagus or Wessex during Anarchy.

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16 minutes ago, Morien said:

I have not had problems with this. Thing is, I am willing to be reasonable about it.

I am too, with some restrictions. In fact in my last adventure one of the PKs decided to sleep in his leathers because he had reason to suspect trouble. I gave him an Energetic roll to avoid a -5 fatigue penalty for the uncomfortable partial night's sleep, and with his Energetic of 20, he easily handled it.

I think you key point is "reasonable". I can certainly see the knights going around armored up if they have a reason to do so. Wartime, traveling though wild and dangerous terrain, guard duty, strange noises, etc. are all reasonable times for the PKs to armor up.

But there are also some unreasonable times as well. Like when knights are out on a typical hunt, riding to church to catch Sunday Mass, when traveling by ship,and so forth.  

16 minutes ago, Morien said:

For example, the PKs noticed that they were being shadowed by bandits in Forest Sauvage. So when the time came to go to sleep, they opted to keep their armor on. Like you would, if you expected a night-time attack. Now, if they had to do that several nights in a row, I might actually make them roll LAZY to see if they can get a good night's sleep despite being uncomfortable (hooray, finally some benefit from being lazy!). And then start giving them fatigue penalties. But riding around while wearing your armor is uncomfortable rather than tiring as such, although I could see it becoming very uncomfortable during a hot summer's day, thanks to the gambeson. Fortunately, Britain is pretty temperate.

Exactly. I've done similar things. The only time I really make a point of it is if they are travelling for a long time, or are trying to be speedy, and then it becomes more of a horse problem than a PK one.

16 minutes ago, Morien said:

My point is, there is enough trust at the (virtual) table that I let the PKs show reasonable paranoia, and don't actively work to 'grief' them when they are out of armor. That being said, occasionally shit happens. For example, there is that night-time sortie by Gorlois. It makes sense that the PKs would be out of armor, since the guards should be raising an alarm in time, etc. It makes sense that they would be out of armor when they are attending Pentecost Feast, etc. But it also makes sense for them to wear armor when they are adventuring in a forest filled with bandits and monsters, or patrolling the border with hostileLevcomagus or Wessex during Anarchy.

Yes, exactly. One of the reasons why knights often ride around unarmed is because they usually can do so without issue. Yes, some GMs do try to set PKs up for things by putting them in a situation where they won't be able to wear armor just so that he can exploit that. That's a throwback to the old style adversarial Dungeon Masters, and both inappropriate and unfair. Any Competent GM can trap or manipulate a player character into a a bad situation and exploit a weakness.  It shouldn't be done. 

That said, sometimes the PKs either fail to perceive a threat or a social situation turns sour suddenly and unexpectedly.  Likewise it's perfectly fair for an NPC to try to trap or manipulate a player character into a a bad situation and exploit a weakness. This difference is that with a NPC, the GM has to work within the constraints of the NPCs abilities, and that has to be played out and could fail or even backfire. 

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This kind of thing used to worry me.

Now, I just ask "What do you want to achieve?"

If you want a certain level of realism where wearing armour is difficult and has side effects, then impose penalties.

If you like the idea of knights sleeping in armour and jumping up when an enemy appears, then play it that way.

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8 hours ago, soltakss said:

This kind of thing used to worry me.

Now, I just ask "What do you want to achieve?"

If you want a certain level of realism where wearing armour is difficult and has side effects, then impose penalties.

If you like the idea of knights sleeping in armour and jumping up when an enemy appears, then play it that way.

Yes, that's basically what it comes down to. You weight the pros and cons of each and decide which you'd prefer - or come up with some middle ground between the two. 

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here's something to consider. That plate armor consists of several layers of a couple dozen pieces with lots of ties, buckles, pins, lacings, and.. bits... that could break with constant use. Armor would normally receive maintenance on a regular basis but if it's worn constantly, things are going to start coming loose, away from the closest armor repair shop

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On 6/7/2019 at 11:15 AM, soltakss said:

This kind of thing used to worry me.

Now, I just ask "What do you want to achieve?"

If you want a certain level of realism where wearing armour is difficult and has side effects, then impose penalties.

If you like the idea of knights sleeping in armour and jumping up when an enemy appears, then play it that way.

True. But I also think there is a difference between wearing the armor all day and wearing it during the night.

I am not sure if wearing an armor while travelling all day has any problem. Yes it is heavy and it may restrict movement. But I think training will off set this effect.

And unless you are sleeping in the wild you should be safe inside a manorhouse. Hence the tradition to visit local knights when you need a night's sleep.

Sleeping in armour may be uncomfortable but there is a difference between full plate and chain I think, due to the flexibility of the armor. So if you bring in realism, you should keep this in mind as well.

But I have no experience with either so if there is someone out there that has tried it I would be interesting to hear his or her experience.

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7 minutes ago, Cornelius said:

True. But I also think there is a difference between wearing the armor all day and wearing it during the night.

I am not sure if wearing an armor while travelling all day has any problem. Yes it is heavy and it may restrict movement. But I think training will off set this effect.

I thin kj that is mostly a problem for the horse. Realsitcially, that's why Knights didn't usually wear their armor and ride their warhorses unless expecting trouble. KAP3 Knights Aventerous did have a fatigue penalty for this, which I think was fair. 

7 minutes ago, Cornelius said:

And unless you are sleeping in the wild you should be safe inside a manorhouse. Hence the tradition to visit local knights when you need a night's sleep.

Sleeping in armour may be uncomfortable but there is a difference between full plate and chain I think, due to the flexibility of the armor. So if you bring in realism, you should keep this in mind as well.

But I have no experience with either so if there is someone out there that has tried it I would be interesting to hear his or her experience.

I've worn armor, but haven't slep in it. I think the bog problem isn't the with the metal as much as with the  padding and temperature. Knights wore a padded arming doublet/gambeson/aketon under their armor. This was made up of multiple layers of cloth and similar to a modern heavy blanket or comforter. After travelling all day it would probably get hot and sweaty and then the sweat would chill when the knight stopped to rest. This would probably mean sleep in wet, cold clothing all night. Add to that the effect that metal has (it gets hotter under sunlight, and acts as a heat sink that draw the knights body heat away when the weather is cold, and I would expect sleeping in armor to be very uncomfortable, with knights being cold, wet and miserable. It would be even worse during inclement weather. 

 

Overall I would suspect that there were probably a couple of months in Spring and Fall where it might be okay, but otherwise it would either be too hot or too cold to be able to get much sleep in.

 

 

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14 hours ago, BioKeith said:

In the case of hunting, is there a penalty for wearing full armor, as opposed to hunting leathers? Or is that also just a house rule. 

As far as I know that is a house rule. The penalty is probably only a social stigma. But to be honest hunting a huge bear or boar is a full armor preferable to a hunting leather.

In my gaming group is a legendary story of a young knight who went on a hunt as part of his wedding feast. He met a fallow deer and was slaughtered by it (lucky crits on the deer part). Since then the players are wary when we go on a hunt. Especially if it is a fallow deer.

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chuckle.

I would suggest that you have a discussion among your players and see where their thinking on this is.  Realistically, it was very uncommon to wear armor, especially at night, but other game systems have made this a nonissue. Those who are new to the game may not realize the realities of such.  YPMV.

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6 hours ago, Cornelius said:

 But to be honest hunting a huge bear or boar is a full armor preferable to a hunting leather.

To be honest, it isn't. In RPGs is often is because of the better protection, but realistically someone has little or not chance of sneaking up on a prey animal while wearing full metal armor. I could easily see applying thew armor DEX penalty to Hunting skill in such circumstances, especially when rolling 1d6+Hunting-Avoidance to see how close they can get for "the Kill!".

 

 

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On 6/22/2019 at 5:29 PM, Atgxtg said:

To be honest, it isn't. In RPGs is often is because of the better protection, but realistically someone has little or not chance of sneaking up on a prey animal while wearing full metal armor. I could easily see applying thew armor DEX penalty to Hunting skill in such circumstances, especially when rolling 1d6+Hunting-Avoidance to see how close they can get for "the Kill!".

 

 

This depends on the type of hunt you are conducting. The classic hunt involves more a chase of the quarry with beaters and hounds and not sneaking up on it. So stealth is not necessary in that case. 

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14 hours ago, Cornelius said:

This depends on the type of hunt you are conducting. The classic hunt involves more a chase of the quarry with beaters and hounds and not sneaking up on it. So stealth is not necessary in that case. 

You still have to be quite so the prey will run towards you and not off in a different direction.

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