Wednesday, March 26, 2014

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.