D&D General The Appearance of Female Goblins

Historically armors have OFTEN accentuated chests. See Roman or Greek chest armor.
While it is true that a piece of armor is more effective when it directs blows away from the vital areas, a piece of metal is still a piece of metal, and will protect you regardless of how it is shaped. If you want boob-armor in your fantasy rpg, go for it. There is no historical basis for saying it is wrong or unrealistic.

This is my rule of thumb on breastplates. They're the opposite number to the muscle-curiass with sculpted abs and pecs; expensive, ornate, but still effective armour. Roman legionaries were wearing lorica segmentata and lorica hamata (the latter being effectively chain armour), both effectively unisex, but more expensive armour might have a lot more ornamentation, and solid metal is still solid metal. The example below (via wikipedia) even has nipples ffs. It's still putting a sheet of metal between the wearer's body and the enemy.

Museo_archeologico_regionale_paolo_orsi%2C_corazza_in_bronzo%2C_da_tomba_5_necropoli_della_fossa%2C_370-340_ac._01.JPG
 

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In one of my campaigns, the Drow female are extremely larger than the males who are the same size as halflings. Why not? Spiders often have extreme sexual dimorphism and I thought it'd be fun to add that to the drow. (They're spider-centric in my campaign but not evil.)

Interesting - you don't typically get that extreme of dimorphism in larger species (humans are towards the extremes of dimorphism for macrofauna), but hey whatever works (and bonus points in my book for making them non-evil!)

Historically armors have OFTEN accentuated chests. See Roman or Greek chest armor.
While it is true that a piece of armor is more effective when it directs blows away from the vital areas, a piece of metal is still a piece of metal, and will protect you regardless of how it is shaped. If you want boob-armor in your fantasy rpg, go for it. There is no historical basis for saying it is wrong or unrealistic.

I'm sympathetic to your viewpoint but I think you're slightly overstating the case. Chest plates of that kind (i.e. not angled ones as you see later) have always been subject to a lot of embellishment, because they're large, relatively flat areas which people will be seeing - on the same page you have a fabulous Japanese chest plate suggesting slightly overweight droopy old-man physique, which I imagine everyone, including the owner, thought was hilarious. If we're talking a tech level where people are using flat-plate-type chest armour, I think yes, if there are female warriors, there will be some boob-plate, some even perhaps of a very graphic nature, out there (I hesitate to link the currently-fashionable boob-plate that is around right now, but if one googles "Boob plate fashion" perhaps in incognito mode so as to prevent your targeted ads going wild, you'll see the sort of thing we might see).

However, if we're talking a civilization which is making more serious plate armour, like we see in the 1500s and onwards, which is often the case in D&D, where you have angled plates and so on, we will not see boob plate. This is where the problem comes. If you have the classic 1400s+ plate breastplate, it is angled to make blows/shots careen off it. The level of embellishment also tends to drop significantly. So if you have dudes in those, and women in boob plate, that's pretty silly and somewhat sexist. And it is wrong and unrealistic. People don't want to die, and when they realize they can make angled chest armour, it's not just going to be men wearing it.

Basically it's down to how you portray plate armour in your campaign - if it's 1400s+, esp. late 1400s or later, you won't have boob plate on either gender. Before that? You may well have it on both.
 

My rule of thumb is:

If the armor is intended for a common soldier, and meant to be relatively affortable, it would probably not have a sculpted chest. It would probably look unisex and simple. If it is however meant for someone important (such as a high ranking general, or someone of nobility), then looks are everything, and it is not unreasonable to have an armor with a sculpted chest that focuses on making the wearer look good.

But we're talking armor in a fantasy rpg here. Do whatever you like. Sculpted armor has a basis in history, so if you want to have a setting where everyone walks around in vanity armor, nothing should stop you from doing that. Its fine.
 

However, if we're talking a civilization which is making more serious plate armour, like we see in the 1500s and onwards, which is often the case in D&D, where you have angled plates and so on, we will not see boob plate. This is where the problem comes. If you have the classic 1400s+ plate breastplate, it is angled to make blows/shots careen off it. The level of embellishment also tends to drop significantly.

First D&D armour has always been a mess. From inventing an entirely new armour type (studded leather) and missing two major types (lamellar, and brigandine/coat of plates) it's nowhere near a history textbook.

Second the later plate armour types you're talking about (starting around 1420) that were curved with limited ornamentation were the result of extremely heavy automation and mechanisation in the manufactories of Milan (and other places). This lead to armour being ordered in lots that frequently exceeded 1000 full suits from a single factory. The level of embellisment dropped the way it did because plate armour stopped being a prestige piece for the ultra-wealthy and affordable only by the wealthy and started being something where the prestige was to outfit entire batallions. And also where they drove the makers of chain armour more or less out of business other than for armpits or gussets by undercutting them while providing far better protection, so chain armour was reduced to "cheap second hand" status.

Most D&D settings don't have the manufactories needed to produce this level of armour to the right tolerances to fit together in lots of at least dozens, making it very much a prestige piece that takes a master armourer or mage fitting it to the wearer and making every piece to the right tolerances. That said 14th century plate armour (which is what IME D&D plate resembles; early fluted Gothic plate looks awesome but I've never heard it used in a description let alone full Maximillian) didn't tend ot be heavy on the muscle curiasses.

So if you have dudes in those, and women in boob plate, that's pretty silly and somewhat sexist. And it is wrong and unrealistic. People don't want to die, and when they realize they can make angled chest armour, it's not just going to be men wearing it.

Basically it's down to how you portray plate armour in your campaign - if it's 1400s+, esp. late 1400s or later, you won't have boob plate on either gender. Before that? You may well have it on both.

Agreed. And I'm in two minds here. Socially D&D plate armour is late 1300s IME rather than mid 1400s+ - but it's also normally European styled and light on the muscle curiasses except in explicitly Greek or Roman themed sub-settings IME.
 

The level of embellisment dropped the way it did because plate armour stopped being a prestige piece for the ultra-wealthy and affordable only by the wealthy and started being something where the prestige was to outfit entire batallions.

It's not just that though, even the pieces owned by kings and the like (which I've seen in armouries including the Tower) from the 1400s and later drops significantly in terms of ornamentation, and it tends to be more scrollwork and the odd symbol rather than representational work.

Most D&D settings don't have the manufactories needed to produce this level of armour to the right tolerances to fit together in lots of at least dozens, making it very much a prestige piece that takes a master armourer or mage fitting it to the wearer and making every piece to the right tolerances.

Most D&D settings don't even have the farmland or transport infrastructure (esp. safe roads) necessary to support the populations or trade systems they say exist for half the places so that's probably slightly beside the point. :)

That said 14th century plate armour (which is what IME D&D plate resembles; early fluted Gothic plate looks awesome but I've never heard it used in a description let alone full Maximillian) didn't tend ot be heavy on the muscle curiasses.

Yeah and that's the thing - an awful lot of D&D art of "full plate" is pretty clearly derived from 1400s plate looks. Since 3E there's been an increasing amount of "pure fantasy" plate as well of course, which is often ludicrously embellished with incredibly heavy-looking, dangerous and easy-to-damage elements.

I think it's fine here so long as it's not "men were sensible armour, women wear boob plates". If both genders have ludicrously embellished armour with stuff like muscle plate (presumably created by fantasy techniques/materials/wizards/etc.), then it can actually contribute to an aesthetic. (Unfortunately dubious approach is precisely what happened with some MMORPGs particularly - same armour looks sensible and has no gaps on men, but like it was some kind of skimpy fetish gear on women - an artist had to go out of their way to draw an entirely different texture for multiple pieces to do that, too.)
 

Following the boob plate tangent:

Plate armor costs 1500 gp. That's about as much as a +1 suit of chain mail or even a +1 suit of splint mail - which would have the same AC. So assuming all plate mail is at least a little enchanted (just minor stuff off the tables in front of the DMG item list) isn't out of place.

Which means any impracticalities can be handwaved via magic
 

Coroc

Hero
So I've been thinking of the depiction of Goblins, as they're a more common PC race that exists outside the core PC races.

One thing that occurred to me is the differences between what they look like in things like World of Warcraft and how they're like in D&D. It could be argued that generally male Goblins in WoW and D&D look similiar enough, in that they're mostly bald. But when it comes to female Goblins, the ones inspired by WoW look more like short green Human women with large ears, I think D&D has rarely shown what a female Goblin looks like and could be assumed that they don't look much different from male Goblins.

A lot of more general fan art tends to lean in more the influence of WoW. I guess there's the third option where they could be depicted as recognizably female but generally comical and "ugly" in appearance.

I've come to the conclusion that there's some general trends in appear for Goblin females, there's the ugly direction, the comical/caricature direction and the attractive/cute direction.

(Joking)

But the elephant in the room is :"Do they have beards? And if not do they have smaller tusks than their male counterparts?"

:p
 



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