I must create a system, or be enslaved by another man's. I will not reason and compare: my business is to create.

- William Blake

Saturday, April 10, 2021

Piecemeal armor

This is going into my next PDF (Manual of Arms: Armor and Shields). It is still unfished, but I think I can publish the PDF in the next few days.

I like the idea of piecemeal armor, but since I'm abstracting the whole thing (as you've seen here), I don't need to deal with specific bits and pieces. The notion of creating your own armor from bits and pieces is interesting. Adding strange materials and the hides of supernatural creatures is even better.

Here is what I've got so far.

Art by dleoblack - source.

Piecemeal armor (and crafting)

Piecemeal armor is built from diverse bits and pieces. Each part might have a different quality, weight, and material. Some are improvised and asymmetrical. This is suboptimal and only common in post-apocalyptic worlds where you cannot find a blacksmith to make coherent armor.

The rules in chapter II are abstract enough to cover these kinds of armor. The only exception is that you do not usually buy this type of armor, but build it over a long time, as you find useful pieces.

As an optional rule, every time you find armor with equal or higher cost than yours (that you cannot simply steal for some reason) or other useful parts, you can make a check with the relevant tools (leatherworker’s, smith’s, etc.) to see if you can upgrade your armor by one step (changing AC, weight and price accordingly). The difficulty is equal to the armor’s current AC.

This can take a while. A quick rule of thumb is adding the result of your check (in gp) each day to the value of armor until it reaches the value of the desired armor type. If you want to upgrade a weapon from a 30 gp value to 50 gp, for example, you need to roll 20 or more. Three failures usually mean you ruined the material. Armor made this way has little resale value.


EDIT: The book is now available! Check it out here.

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