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Plate for Fighters

There seemed to be some interest in my notion of restricting plate mail to Fighters.

First thing: I know. I know. Plate mail is not plate armor. But danged if I don’t still picture the full suit of hinged knightwear whenever I read about plate mail, and also-danged if illustrators haven’t populated rule books with image after image of adventurers running around in plate armor.

I'm not a nitty-gritty combat simulationist. I like nice, broad, simple categories of armor:
  1. Light/Flexible: Leather; Hide; Studded; or, I dunno, how thick is that wool peacoat?
  2. Medium/Semi-Rigid: Pretty much everything else.
  3. Heavy/Rigid: Plate Armor; anything that would make the Kelly Gang sit up and take notice.
The Story of the Kelly Gang, 1906 (motion picture)

Heavy/Rigid armor: 
  1. Requires help getting into or out of.
  2. Prevents you from doing pretty much anything except walking, sitting on a horse once you've been placed on it, and swinging weapons.
  3. Will make you fall down if you haven't practiced moving in it a lot.
  4. Sounds like someone has dropped the cutlery bin every time you take a step.

Therefore, I tend to think it should be restricted to Fighters (who have been trained in the stuff), and that all the above inconveniences should be played out in game.  

Of course, I'm no expert. Maybe knights could do a pommel-horse routine in armor that they zipped up like pajamas.


  1. Most of our concepts on medieval armor are based on our real world medieval history, and then layering our own modern day concepts upon what we imagine life was like back then. Needless to say, we're just a little bit off.

    1. Knight were trained at an early age, taught to start wearing armor from youth, so that their bodies and muscles treated armor like a second skin. Most real knights, didn't need the assistance often portrayed, of getting into a saddle, or of standing back up...but...noble knights, or decorated knights, without the training, would.

    2. Food was incredibly scarce back then. Peasants survived on a meager amount, while all the real protein, meats and vegetables were reserved for the upper class. As a result, it was the knights, with their training and diet alone that could actually wear the armor.

    Picture if you would, a magic user in our real world of the middle ages. He would probably not have worn armor from an early age, let alone learned the physical conditioning, or have the dietary development to wear and use it properly.

    He probably would have been like poor Mr. Ned Kelly there ( GREAT MOVIE! ), if he actually was able to put on some armor.

    So I think your right in some of your thoughts, however, I actually wouldn't force all of the inconveniences on 'trained' fighters, since they would be much more like the knights of old in our real world, and able to do wondrous things in their armor, that we would think virtually magical today.

    1. Excellent points. I just saw this video:
      A guy in plate in a swimming pool. He's not exactly swimming laps, but it's pretty impressive.


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