D&D 5E Companion thread to 5E Survivor - Armor

Milieu

Explorer
I direct everyone to another egregious bit of the PHB.




... So what's the difference? Leather is AC 11 + Dex modifier. You sew rings onto it, and it becomes either Studded Leather (Light Armor, AC 12 + Dex modifier, 45 gp, 13 lbs.) or Ring Mail (Heavy Armor, AC 14, 30 gp, 40 lb.)? I told my players it's the quantity of metal sewn on that determined whether it was Light or Heavy, but then I tried to imagine how unwieldy it would be to sew 30 pounds of metal rings onto a suit of leather armor and wear the result.
I don't think it's possible to make real sense of either. They probably never existed and are simply misinterpretations of drawings of armor.

However, looking at 1e, I think we can make at least a LITTLE more sense of it:
1e DMG, p. 27:
Studded leather is leather armor to which have been fastened metal studding as additional protection, usually including an outer coat of fairly close-set studs
1e DMG, p. 165:
STUDDED LEATHER adds protective plates set in the leather and an extra layer of protection at the shoulder area.
Plates set in the leather to me suggests something like a brigandine, which had metal plates riveted to cloth or leather, but it's hard to square that reading with the first description.
Along with this latter description, Gygax recommends as a source Charles Ffoulkes' Armor and Weapons (1909), conveniently in the public domain and available on Project Gutenberg. Therein, we can find this image

img01.jpg


Number 3 is a model of supposed 'trellice' armor, about which the author says
Another method of reinforcing the leather defence has been named the ‘Trellice’ coat. It is always difficult to discover exactly what the primitive draughtsman intended to represent in the way of fabrics, and it is quite open to question whether these diagonal lines may not merely suggest a quilting of linen or cloth. If it is intended to represent leather the trellice lines would probably be formed of thongs applied onto the groundwork with metal studs riveted in the intervening spaces(Plate I). This arrangement of lines is very common on the Bayeux Tapestry.
Sounds a little like studded leather. And Number 5 is supposed to be ring mail.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Clint_L

Hero
I think armour should just be designated by AC+weight (5 lbs +5 lbs/level, so AC 11 weighs 10 lbs and AC 20 weighs 55), along with the light, medium or heavy property. Then give a bunch of descriptors of potential materials for light, medium, and heavy armour, and let players decide what their armour is actually made of - leather, chain, plate or pieces of plate, chitin, wood, densely woven fabrics, hide, shell, whatever.

So if a player wants to decide that their AC 12 is made up of a mix of leather, woven fabrics, and a few pieces of turtle shell at vulnerable spots, more power to 'em. From the gameplay perspective, what matters is that it is AC 12, light, and weighs 15 lbs. It's a fantasy game, not a historical reenactment game.

This would also solve "problems" like druids wearing metal armour in 2024, if that matters to tables. In fact, I think I will post this to that thread.
 

I think armour should just be designated by AC+weight (5 lbs +5 lbs/level, so AC 11 weighs 10 lbs and AC 20 weighs 55), along with the light, medium or heavy property. Then give a bunch of descriptors of potential materials for light, medium, and heavy armour, and let players decide what their armour is actually made of - leather, chain, plate or pieces of plate, chitin, wood, densely woven fabrics, hide, shell, whatever.

So if a player wants to decide that their AC 12 is made up of a mix of leather, woven fabrics, and a few pieces of turtle shell at vulnerable spots, more power to 'em. From the gameplay perspective, what matters is that it is AC 12, light, and weighs 15 lbs. It's a fantasy game, not a historical reenactment game.

This would also solve "problems" like druids wearing metal armour in 2024, if that matters to tables. In fact, I think I will post this to that thread.
Honestly with that setup I wouldn’t even bother with armor categories; just have max dex go down as weight (max by str) goes up. So if you have +5 between Str and Dex, you can have an AC of 18.

Most melee types will be able to manage that easily (especially if they don’t feel the need to max out at level one) and squishy casters would need to invest a lot into secondary abilities to match them.

Add some class features for edge cases (ie clerics) and you’re good to go.
 

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
would people generally want a heavy armour that doesn't have stealth disadvantage? i'd probably make it either 16 maaaaybe 17 AC, so that full plate at 18 is still the best defensively but it would rival the upper medium armours, especially considering that someone in heavy armour probably isn't also going to have maxxed out or at least significantly invested in dexterity unlike someone who is wearing medium.
 
Last edited:

RealAlHazred

Frumious Flumph (Your Grace/Your Eminence)
The problem is, there isn't a strong tie of money to quality in 5E. In 4E, there was a strict equivalence of "+X costs Y gp," but they went away from that in 5E. So , plate armor is 1500 gp for AC 18, but you might have an item in a module priced at 500 gp that gives the same boost. They tried to appeal to the "balancers" and "non-balancers" alike, and that never works.
 


Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top