[Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

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[Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby Havard » Wed Nov 02, 2016 9:01 pm

I've been playing the console game Far Cry Primal this fall and this has really inspired me to do a Stone Age technology level campaign at some point. One of the things one could borrow from the game is the range of weapons and equipment. Note: Not all these weapons are taken from the console game. I also added weapons from the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, Gaz12 and HWA2 that could be appropriate for a campaign like this.


Stone Age Technology
In my campaign Stone Age Weapons and Armor have the following features:
1) Inferior technology: Weapons function normally, but suffer a -2 to Hit penalty against opponents wearing metal armor or shields of Bronze Age or higher technology. Leather Armor is the only armor available at this level of technology.*
2) Breaks easily: Melee Weapons made with Stone Age technology have a number of "uses" similar to how Staffs and Wands work. A club or spear will typically have 10 "uses" before they are rendered useless. Stone Age characters typically carry multiple spears, clubs etc.
3) Easily replaced: Although they break easily, these weapons are also easy to make. A DM should allow the PCs to create new weapons from materials collected in the wild. This process should only take a few hours. If the General Skills rules are used, a DM may require a Craft check. If not a Dex check could be used.
4) Magic supersedes technology: If a Stone Age piece of equipment is enchanted, ignore all limitations mentioned above.

*=Partial armor could also be allowed (See HWA2)


Melee Weapons of the Stone Age
All these weapons suffer the limitations mentioned under Stone Age Technology above.
  • Club: as Club
  • Two-handed Club: Treat as Club. However, this weapon is designed so that it can be wielded in two hands. This grants +1 to DMG, but the wielder looses initiative.
  • Hand Axe: As Hand Axe
  • Spear: As spear. Some characters may set spears against charging enemies. Spears may be thrown. Optional Rule: May be wielded in 2 hands for +1 to dmg, but wielder looses initiative.
  • Great Spear: as Pike (Polearm).
  • Staff: As Staff. Looses initiative.

Missile Weapons of the Stone Age
All these weapons suffer the limitations mentioned under Stone Age Technology above.
  • Bow, Short: As Short Bow
  • Bow, Long: As Longbow
  • Bow, Composite: As Composite Bow (see Gaz 12)*
  • Bow, Double: This longbow allows the wielder to fire two arrows at once. In effect this provides a +1d6 to damage (total of 2d6 at basic weapon mastery).** DM's preferring greater realism may decide not to allow this weapon.
  • Sling: As sling. Special: Slings do not suffer the penalties of Stone Age Technology.
*= Optional Rule: Instead of the rules in Gaz12, the DM may allow the PCs to add their strength bonus to damage with composite bows. Range as longbow.
**=Optional Rule: In order to use this Bow, the character must select a special "Double Bow" skill (General Skill) similar to weapon skills from HWA2.

Thrown Weapons of the Stone Age
Unless noted, all these weapons suffer the limitations mentioned under Stone Age Technology above.
  • Rock, Thrown: As Thrown Rock in the RC. Does not suffer Stone Age technology limitations.
  • Javelin: As Javelin
  • Shards: These sharpened Stone shards may be thrown at enemies. Treat as dagger, thrown.
  • Berserk Shard: As Shards (see above), but this weapon is inlaid with special hallucinogenic plants. A victim must save +2 vs Poison or become enraged, attacking the closest ally for 1d6 rounds.*
  • Sting Bomb: This thrown weapon is constructed from a hive of angry bees. Bees attack victim and sting for 2 point of damage per round for 1d6 rounds. Range as Holy Water.*
  • Fire Bomb: Treat as burning oil. This weapon is made from a ceramic bowl filed with animal fat. *
  • Poison Bomb: Target must save vs. Poison +2 or suffer 1d6 points of damage. Made from herbs.*
*=DMs may choose not to allow these weapons.

Clothes and Armor
  • Warm Clothes: Characters attempting to survive in colder climates must craft clothes warm enough to protect against the environment. Stone Age characters may make such clothes if they have access to heavy furs. The DM may require a craft or dex check to make such clothes. May be worn over Hide Armor.
  • Hide Armor: As Leather Armor. Note: Weapons of higher technology do not get a bonus to attack characters wearing Hide Armor.
  • Armlet, Pair: Partial Armor. May not be combined with full armor, including Hide Armor. +1 to AC. Special Skill required. See HWA2 for partial armor rules.
  • Anklet Pair: Partial Armor. May not be combined with full armor, including Hide Armor. +1 to AC. Special Skill required. See HWA2 for partial armor rules.
  • Bracelet, Pair: Partial Armor. May not be combined with full armor, including Hide Armor. +1 to AC. Special Skill required. See HWA2 for partial armor rules.


-Havard
Last edited by Havard on Sat Dec 09, 2017 7:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby The Dark » Fri Nov 04, 2016 3:26 am

I've done something different in my games, which was to reduce the die size for weapons by one if they normally rely on metal, so a dagger or a spear would be reduced by a die size, but a club or a staff would keep the same damage. I was also using bronze/iron as my standard, so steel got a die size boost of one point. I never went through and refigured all the mastery levels, though. For bone or stone magic weapons, the first plus would add to hit and restore the die size to normal (i.e. it would strike at +1 and do normal weapon damage), with each additional plus acting normally (so a +2 stone weapon would essentially be +2 to hit/+1 to damage, etc).
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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby Robin » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:13 pm

Havard wrote:I've been playing the console game Far Cry Primal this fall and this has really inspired me to do a Stone Age technology level campaign at some point. One of the things one could borrow from the game is the range of weapons and equipment. Note: Not all these weapons are taken from the console game. I also added weapons from the D&D Rules Cyclopedia, Gaz12 and HWA2 that could be appropriate for a campaign like this.


1) Inferior technology: Weapons function normally, but suffer a -2 to Hit penalty against opponents wearing metal armor or shields of Bronze Age or higher technology. Leather Armor is the only armor available at this level of technology.*
2) Breaks easily: Melee Weapons made with Stone Age technology have a number of "uses" similar to how Staffs and Wands work. A club or spear will typically have 10 "uses" before they are rendered useless. Stone Age characters typically carry multiple spears, clubs etc.

In fact, real Stoneage weapons were not as weak as many think. I've been at a historic emulation area, where people emulate the life in those days, and not only where these weapons very effective and sturdy (they do NOT fall apart/break as many think), they were also multi functional, easy to make (any warrior in those days knew how to make them). The only reason a weapon had to be replaced was in fact after a year of continuous use (worn down), lost items, and like spears/arrows often stuck in the prey running away.
4) Magic supersedes technology: If a Stone Age piece of equipment is enchanted, ignore all limitations mentioned above.

I would in fact even include temporal magic, like rituals enhancing the user of the weapon.


*=Partial armor could also be allowed (See HWA2)

Melee Weapons of the Stone Age
All these weapons suffer the limitations mentioned under Stone Age Technology above.
  • Club: as Club
  • Two-handed Club: Treat as Club. However, this weapon is designed so that it can be wielded in two hands. This grants +1 to DMG, but the wielder looses initiative.
  • Hand Axe: As Hand Axe
  • Spear: As spear. Some characters may set spears against charging enemies. Spears may be thrown. Optional Rule: May be wielded in 2 hands for +1 to dmg, but wielder looses initiative.
  • Great Spear: as Pike (Polearm).
  • Staff: As Staff. Looses initiative.

The torch was a great weapon, and they did use an axe with a round end often (which is equal to a hammer). The set spear vs charge maneuver was probably invented with hunters vs a charging bull or lion or similar.

Missile Weapons of the Stone Age
these weapons suffer the limitations mentioned under Stone Age Technology above.
  • Bow, Short: As Short Bow
  • Bow, Long: As Longbow
  • Bow, Composite: As Composite Bow (see Gaz 12)*
  • Bow, Double: This longbow allows the wielder to fire two arrows at once. In effect this provides a +1d6 to damage (total of 2d6 at basic weapon mastery).** DM's preferring greater realism may decide not to allow this weapon.
  • Sling: As sling. Special: Slings do not suffer the penalties of Stone Age Technology.
*= Optional Rule: Instead of the rules in Gaz12, the DM may allow the PCs to add their strength bonus to damage with composite bows. Range as longbow.
**=Optional Rule: In order to use this Bow, the character must select a special "Double Bow" skill (General Skill) similar to weapon skills from HWA2.

The Bow (any version was invented only at the end of the stone age era, and probably introduced by the Cro-magnon . Neanderthals did use (like most primitive cultures without bows) Throwing sticks (including Boomerang) instead with great efficiency.
Blow pipe with dart (mostly poisonous) were (and still are) in use with these primitive cultures for minor prey hunting, or secret assults.
Torches were also used, but lit only at the last end, mostly to light tracts of forest to barr prey and forcing it into a dead end, trap, downfall, or similar

[size=150]Thrown Weapons of the Stone Age
Unless noted, all these weapons suffer the limitations mentioned under Stone Age Technology above.
  • Rock, Thrown: As Thrown Rock in the RC. Does not suffer Stone Age technology limitations.
  • Javelin: As Javelin
  • Shards: These sharpened Stone shards may be thrown at enemies. Treat as dagger, thrown.
  • Berserk Shard: As Shards (see above), but this weapon is inlaid with special hallucinogenic plants. A victim must save +2 vs Poison or become enraged, attacking the closest ally for 1d6 rounds.*
  • Sting Bomb: This thrown weapon is constructed from a hive of angry bees. Bees attack victim and sting for 2 point of damage per round for 1d6 rounds. Range as Holy Water.*
  • Fire Bomb: Treat as burning oil. This weapon is made from a ceramic bowl filed with animal fat. *
  • Poison Bomb: Target must save vs. Poison +2 or suffer 1d6 points of damage. Made from herbs.*
*=DMs may choose not to allow these weapons. [/size]

Neanderthals even used caltrops(made of sharp rocks) when battling other tribes, or soft soled prey

Clothes and Armor
  • Warm Clothes: Characters attempting to survive in colder climates must craft clothes warm enough to protect against the environment. Stone Age characters may make such clothes if they have access to heavy furs. The DM may require a craft or dex check to make such clothes. May be worn over Hide Armor.
  • Hide Armor: As Leather Armor. Note: Weapons of higher technology do not get a bonus to attack characters wearing Hide Armor.
  • Armlet, Pair: Partial Armor. May not be combined with full armor, including Hide Armor. +1 to AC. Special Skill required. See HWA2 for partial armor rules.
  • Anklet Pair: Partial Armor. May not be combined with full armor, including Hide Armor. +1 to AC. Special Skill required. See HWA2 for partial armor rules.
  • Bracelet, Pair: Partial Armor. May not be combined with full armor, including Hide Armor. +1 to AC. Special Skill required. See HWA2 for partial armor rules.
[/quote]
Contradictionary to what many people believe, the neanderthal did use furs, but only inside out (hairs inwards) to keep warmed air trapped, but were used only in the most extreme cold. The used mostly tarps vs rain, worn or as a tent-like temporary structure. However, they were much more resistant to wet and cold climates and needed these only in severe winters. Shoes were only leather vs sharp objects, when climbing, mostly they were barefood (even in winter).
Also important; All hunters and the tribe had fire baskets. a sturdy net/wooden fruit, with stones outside, and twigs and straw inside with a tiny sparkling ember inside. as it has near to no air, it keeps glowing but will not burn. this was the easy way of fire making..carrying it with you.

In a magical world tattoos, bodypainting would have been able to replace armor, or clothing, (thus needs of proretion), but could well be giving other benefits (Eye of Eagle, Strength of Bull, Stealth of Tigre, Speed of Deer, Move as ape, endure as bear, etc etc
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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby The Dark » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:19 pm

Robin wrote:
Havard wrote:Missile Weapons of the Stone Age
these weapons suffer the limitations mentioned under Stone Age Technology above.
  • Bow, Short: As Short Bow
  • Bow, Long: As Longbow
  • Bow, Composite: As Composite Bow (see Gaz 12)*
  • Bow, Double: This longbow allows the wielder to fire two arrows at once. In effect this provides a +1d6 to damage (total of 2d6 at basic weapon mastery).** DM's preferring greater realism may decide not to allow this weapon.
  • Sling: As sling. Special: Slings do not suffer the penalties of Stone Age Technology.
*= Optional Rule: Instead of the rules in Gaz12, the DM may allow the PCs to add their strength bonus to damage with composite bows. Range as longbow.
**=Optional Rule: In order to use this Bow, the character must select a special "Double Bow" skill (General Skill) similar to weapon skills from HWA2.

The Bow (any version was invented only at the end of the stone age era, and probably introduced by the Cro-magnon . Neanderthals did use (like most primitive cultures without bows) Throwing sticks (including Boomerang) instead with great efficiency.
Blow pipe with dart (mostly poisonous) were (and still are) in use with these primitive cultures for minor prey hunting, or secret assults.
Torches were also used, but lit only at the last end, mostly to light tracts of forest to barr prey and forcing it into a dead end, trap, downfall, or similar

[size=150]Thrown Weapons of the Stone Age
Unless noted, all these weapons suffer the limitations mentioned under Stone Age Technology above.
  • Rock, Thrown: As Thrown Rock in the RC. Does not suffer Stone Age technology limitations.
  • Javelin: As Javelin
  • Shards: These sharpened Stone shards may be thrown at enemies. Treat as dagger, thrown.
  • Berserk Shard: As Shards (see above), but this weapon is inlaid with special hallucinogenic plants. A victim must save +2 vs Poison or become enraged, attacking the closest ally for 1d6 rounds.*
  • Sting Bomb: This thrown weapon is constructed from a hive of angry bees. Bees attack victim and sting for 2 point of damage per round for 1d6 rounds. Range as Holy Water.*
  • Fire Bomb: Treat as burning oil. This weapon is made from a ceramic bowl filed with animal fat. *
  • Poison Bomb: Target must save vs. Poison +2 or suffer 1d6 points of damage. Made from herbs.*
*=DMs may choose not to allow these weapons. [/size]

Neanderthals even used caltrops(made of sharp rocks) when battling other tribes, or soft soled prey
I'm not sure whether to count it as a missile weapon or a thrown weapon, but the atlatl/woomera should be in there as well (it predates the bow in art by about 20,000 years). As a rough (unplaytested) piece of equipment, I'd say it'd be a two-handed weapon with heavy crossbow range, fire rate 1/2 unless Dex 18, where it's RoF 1 (similar to heavy crossbow, but relying on Dex instead of Str), and damage per javelin.

Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest also developed a whip sling. This was a 2 foot length of wood about half an inch in diameter, with an 18 inch cord fixed to one end and knotted at the other end. A 15 inch slate dart would be notched just behind its mid-point, and the knot in the cord would be slotted into the notch. In areas without much slate, darts could also be made of wood with bone points. It was thrown with the same motion as throwing a stone, and should probably be treated like a sling, but remembering that it's sharp, not blunt.

The Pacific Northwest people also had wood armor. It's described in The Tlingit Indians as follows: "The Tlingit warrior was well protected against the dagger, spear, or bow and arrow, by armor which covered his body completely, though it was cumbersome and greatly impeded the movements of the wearer. It consisted of a helmet and wooden collar that protected the head and neck, and sleeveless coats of heavy hide, some of which reached just to or just below the hips, and some extended to below the knee. These coats were sometimes reinforced by a wooden slat or rod cuirass that covered the body, while greaves of slats or heavy hide boots or leggings extended from knee to foot."
It goes on to say the hide was sea lion, elk, caribou, or moose (or, in one preserved case, walrus). The outer layer was a solid piece of hide, and it was fastened under the right arm, so that the left side (presented to enemies in combat) was an unbroken piece of armor. The wood armor consisted of a cuirass (wonda) of slats on front and back, with rods for flexibility around the sides, and a skirt (sinkate) of rods to protect the abdomen and upper legs. I would consider full hide-with-wood (i.e. long jacket, helmet and collar, wonda, sinkate, and greaves) to be Plate Mail but with an equivalent to the Stone Age penalty that it's AC 3 against same-tech-level enemies and AC 5 against enemies with metal weapons, with 500cn encumbrance. In theory, druids could wear this armor, since it's non-metallic.
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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby Havard » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:45 pm

The Dark wrote:I'm not sure whether to count it as a missile weapon or a thrown weapon, but the atlatl/woomera should be in there as well (it predates the bow in art by about 20,000 years). As a rough (unplaytested) piece of equipment, I'd say it'd be a two-handed weapon with heavy crossbow range, fire rate 1/2 unless Dex 18, where it's RoF 1 (similar to heavy crossbow, but relying on Dex instead of Str), and damage per javelin.


Cool. I think I have seen BECMI D&D stats for the Atlatl somewhere. Azcan HWR book perhaps?

Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest also developed a whip sling. This was a 2 foot length of wood about half an inch in diameter, with an 18 inch cord fixed to one end and knotted at the other end. A 15 inch slate dart would be notched just behind its mid-point, and the knot in the cord would be slotted into the notch. In areas without much slate, darts could also be made of wood with bone points. It was thrown with the same motion as throwing a stone, and should probably be treated like a sling, but remembering that it's sharp, not blunt.


Neat! Perhaps something that could be known to the Atruaghin?

The Pacific Northwest people also had wood armor. It's described in The Tlingit Indians as follows: "The Tlingit warrior was well protected against the dagger, spear, or bow and arrow, by armor which covered his body completely, though it was cumbersome and greatly impeded the movements of the wearer. It consisted of a helmet and wooden collar that protected the head and neck, and sleeveless coats of heavy hide, some of which reached just to or just below the hips, and some extended to below the knee. These coats were sometimes reinforced by a wooden slat or rod cuirass that covered the body, while greaves of slats or heavy hide boots or leggings extended from knee to foot."
It goes on to say the hide was sea lion, elk, caribou, or moose (or, in one preserved case, walrus). The outer layer was a solid piece of hide, and it was fastened under the right arm, so that the left side (presented to enemies in combat) was an unbroken piece of armor. The wood armor consisted of a cuirass (wonda) of slats on front and back, with rods for flexibility around the sides, and a skirt (sinkate) of rods to protect the abdomen and upper legs. I would consider full hide-with-wood (i.e. long jacket, helmet and collar, wonda, sinkate, and greaves) to be Plate Mail but with an equivalent to the Stone Age penalty that it's AC 3 against same-tech-level enemies and AC 5 against enemies with metal weapons, with 500cn encumbrance. In theory, druids could wear this armor, since it's non-metallic.


Another possibility is to have this sort of armor be modeled after the partial armor breast plates etc described in HWA2. Your take works too though :)

-Havard

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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:59 pm

Robin wrote:In a magical world tattoos, bodypainting would have been able to replace armor, or clothing, (thus needs of proretion), but could well be giving other benefits (Eye of Eagle, Strength of Bull, Stealth of Tigre, Speed of Deer, Move as ape, endure as bear, etc etc

I like this.
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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby Robin » Tue Nov 08, 2016 4:29 pm

Yaztromo wrote:
Robin wrote:In a magical world tattoos, bodypainting would have been able to replace armor, or clothing, (thus needs of proretion), but could well be giving other benefits (Eye of Eagle, Strength of Bull, Stealth of Tigre, Speed of Deer, Move as ape, endure as bear, etc etc

I like this.

Me too...and it has some Real Life merits in history.
I'll take a dive in it to investigate, and translate it to Mystara.
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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby Cthulhudrew » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:27 pm

I probably wouldn't make the atlatl a separate weapon, but rather just that it increases the range of javelins (and possibly damage as well). I think there was an atlatl introduced in one of the supplements for BECMI somewhere. I'll double check that, though.
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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby Havard » Sat Dec 09, 2017 5:26 pm

Getting back to this a bit. I want to take into account that these are hunter/gatherer societies.

I would like to create some simple rules for that focusing on activities such as:

Foraging (Food Resources)
Collecting edible berries, musrooms and plants as well as hunting animals for food is part of the daily routine of any Stone Age tech level character. I think these characters should be allowed to travel at their normal movement rate per day while searching for food. In terms of equipment, I would handle this as follows: Every character has a Food Bag. The contents of the Food Bag is measured in days of rations. If you want to add some realism to the game you might want to have a rule about when such rations are depleted, but I think you could just as easily simply rule that PCs have to roll at the end of each gaming session for how much fresh food they have been able to stock up on during the adventure. A failed roll means they will have to start the adventure without any food. This means they will have to spend the next session searching for food, which could result in encounters.
Linked Skills: Perception, Survival, Cooking

Gathering Equipment Resources
Just like food going bad, Stone Age weapons are more difficult to maintain than medieval weapons. Stone Age characters collect sharp rocks, different types of wood, animal furs etc. Players and DM's don't really have to keep track of each item the PCs collect. Instead, allow every character to have an Equipment Resource Bag. The contents of the bag is measured in GP value. Assume that when the PC wants to replace a piece of equipment, he will need to spend the value of the equipment from his bag. The DM may also require Craft Skill checks in order to see if the character is able to replace damaged items. A high success on the Crafting Skill could mean that fewer resources are spent or that the item is of a superior quality.
Linked Skills: Perception, Survival, Craft

Gathering Village Resources
In addition to resources useful to replace equipment, the DM might require the PCs to keep a separate Village Resource Bag where the PCs can collect resources useful for improving the village of the players. My idea is that the Village will replace the Stronghold rules from the Companion Set. When the character becomes 9th level he can gain special advantages from his village, but DM's could allow for the village to provide advantages for the PCs even at lower levels. If you want to simplify the system, you could combine the Equipment and Village Resources.
Linked Skills: Perception, Survival, Craft

Gathering Plant Resources (Herbalism)
Stone Age characters have a greater knowledge of plants with unusual properties than characters from more advanced cultures. While some herbs and plants should probably be tracked individually due to very rare properties, DMs might also allow all Stone Age characters to keep a Plant Resource Bag to keep track of plants that could be used to prepare concoctions for medicinal or other special uses. Note that creation of some potions and concoctions will be limited to spellcasters, but some herbal use might be accessible to any Stone Age character. I will have to return to more detailed rules later.
Linked Skills: Perception, Survival, Craft


Rules
DMs may give out rewards for all of these resource categories, just like he would hand out gold pieces, gems and jewelry to standard D&D parties. He may also allow characters to search specifically for resources, though he might want to limit rolls to once per day and only searching for one type of resources per day. If the game involves lots of travel, the DM might wish to limit dice rolling to once per journey, but should adjust difficulty and rewards accordingly if players spend alot of time gathering. Such activity could also trigger encounters so PCs need to determine if they really need to go out of their way to get that extra piece of flint rock.

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Re: [Neathar] Stone Age Equipment for BECMI

Postby Ashtagon » Sat Dec 09, 2017 6:07 pm

Commentary on selected items...

Missile Weapons: The oldest known longbow dates to around 3300 BC (the Otzi mummy). Longbows may be older than this, but there is no firm evidence for it. Shortbows and slings have both been confirmed as dating back to prehistoric times (at least 71 kya for shortbows, and (depending on source) 10-50 kya for slings). Considering their long history, neither slings nor shortbows should suffer any particular "stone age tech penalty".

Thrown Weapons: The shards are also fairly unrealistic. Making an effective thrown slashing weapon doesn't just require making it sharp, but also making it aerodynamic. If allowed, they should require great effort to make.

Armour: Leather comes in three basic forms. Raw leather, cured (soft) leather, and cuir bouilli (hard leather). Only the last one is really worthy of the name "armour", and it's actually a Bronze Age technology. However, a sufficiently heavy mass of raw animal hides and furs could provide protection as if leather armour. It'll stink though, and after a couple of weeks it'll start rotting away and begin lose its value as armour. (Note that any sufficiently heavy mass of hide will trap water internally, which is what allows for rotting; lighter "clothing-grade" furs can dry out thoroughly before they begin rotting).
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