And today on Guess the Armour Class

Tiefling? Check. Paladin? Check. Quite frankly ludicrous (and some may say, sexist) armour that serves no sensible purpose whatsoever? Check.

My work is done.

The question (if a question was there to be asked) is whether images such as the one above have a place in our modern fantasy imagery. I would say no, not because it’s sexist, but because that armour is so darned ridiculous in the first place. I’m all for images of scantily-clad fantasy women, but can’t we at least have the decency to get their armour right? Give me a half-naked barbarian babe clad in skimpy leathers from a hot climate  because that makes more sense, and is on a par with the equally semi-naked barbarian dude by her side. It’s trope equality at work.

Armour such as the one above serves no fit purpose, either on the battlefield or in a role-playing game that should be promoting the idea that the gender on your character sheet matters only in your character concept, not in your dress sense (or lack thereof).

(They sure are great fun to render though – but these aren’t the kind of images would I expect to see in the pages of a fantasy role-playing game)

Random soapbox mode: off.




6 Comments on “And today on Guess the Armour Class”

  1. My group likes to call these armors JMOG-Ware, because of how often we see them on Eastern MMO games (Japanese-focused at first, the “J” stuck as a result). We never found such armor descriptions appropriate for our games…most of the time.

    One session, just to annoy them, I had an NPC portrayed just like this. Only one of my players thought it dangerous, everyone else just went at me for making her exist in the game. Turns out not only could she dodge most physical attacks, but her skin was “strong as steel” (natural armor property). She wore actual armor (light yet metal as it was) just for the reactions and dropped guard. That singular player saved the cleric from a backstab by immobilizing her; she fled after shaking the status off.

    I still stand by “anything goes, as long as you can explain it and the group enjoys it.” It’s so rare for armors like this to be explainable and for the group to entertain the idea, though, that luckily I don’t hear of too many actual stories of it occurring, just parodies.

  2. I’d say either AC 8 (leather), or roll 1d6 and on 1 the attack hit armor and the AC is 3 (plate) and on 5-6 the attack hit flesh and it’s AC 10 (unarmored). That all assumes it’s nonmagical and just iron painted blue.

    Actually that sounds like a good partial-armor mechanic: wear just a chainmail shirt and you get a 3 in 6 chance of AC 5 otherwise it’s AC 10. Wear a coif and you’re up to 4 in 6 of AC 5. Wear plate with no helm, it’s 5 in 6 AC 3 otherwise AC 10.

    That gives a good reason for cheap troops (peasant levies, lame mercenaries, town guards) to wear just a padded jacket and leather cap or something. Find a helmet in the dungeon, it’s not useless, strap that on the Fighter and at least he has a 1 in 6 AC 3. It’s also a great way to model partial gladiator armor.

    Just split armor up into Body, Limbs, and Helm. Body is 3 in 6, Helm 1 in 6, each pair of limbs worth 2 in 6. Apportion cost and weight appropriately. If you can’t do X in armor Y, then you can’t do it if you wear any piece of Armor Y.

    And of course players will avoid wearing partial armor if they can avoid it – because it’s a vulnerability and no real savings in weight or cost, and because the extra die roll slows things down a little!

  3. “Oh no! She’s wearing armour”

    “That’s OK, just aim for the weak spots”

    “Where are they?”

    “Anywhere except the shoulders and Upper thighs. Apart from the bit of the upper thigh that has all the major arteries of course”

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