Suit Armor

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Suit Armor

Postby oleck » Thu Sep 21, 2017 6:48 pm

What I have seen is that there are more disadvantages than advantages for this kind of armor. You move slower, you got penalties in attack roles, to much noise and problems standing up if push or thrown to the floor.

My question is does it also have initiative penalties :?: It's fair to treat this armor like the two-handed weapons that always lose initiative :?:

What do you think :?:
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Gravesguardian » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:21 pm

I've always ruled that suit armor should only be used when jousting as the disadvantages make it rather useless in adventuring.
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Havard » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:30 pm

Gravesguardian wrote:I've always ruled that suit armor should only be used when jousting as the disadvantages make it rather useless in adventuring.


Any particular reason? I never found this type of armor to be especially overpowered. Since Suit Armors need to be custom made, magical ones will normally be extremely rare and most fighters will opt for a magical Plate Mail before they can afford the Suit Armor. At least in my experience :)

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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Gravesguardian » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:44 pm

On pg. 68 of the RC it says: "most fighters perfer to use their suit armor only when fighting from horseback." In addition it takes 2 full turns to put it on & 1 full turn to take it off. It gives a -5 penalty to using any missile device other than a crossbow. If alone the wearer suffers a -1 penalty to surprise. The noise of it can be heard up to 120 feet away & negates chances for surprise. Plus it reduces movement to 30'(10'). When trying to mount a steed or getting up from a prone position you have a 1 in 6 chance of success per round, if unaided. Finally among its various names are: plate armor, full plate, gothic armor or jousting armor. All total I feel its just better used only for jousting.
It's only got 3 advantages: AC 0 on its own, -1 point of damage per die to area effects & +2 bonus to saves against such attacks.
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Havard » Thu Sep 21, 2017 7:49 pm

Gravesguardian wrote:On pg. 68 of the RC it says: "most fighters perfer to use their suit armor only when fighting from horseback." In addition it takes 2 full turns to put it on & 1 full turn to take it off. It gives a -5 penalty to using any missile device other than a crossbow. If alone the wearer suffers a -1 penalty to surprise. The noise of it can be heard up to 120 feet away & negates chances for surprise. Plus it reduces movement to 30'(10'). When trying to mount a steed or getting up from a prone position you have a 1 in 6 chance of success per round, if unaided. Finally among its various names are: plate armor, full plate, gothic armor or jousting armor. All total I feel its just better used only for jousting.
It's only got 3 advantages: AC 0 on its own, -1 point of damage per die to area effects & +2 bonus to saves against such attacks.


Yeah, that is fair. I thought you made the ruling from game balance issues. But I agree that this is what the armor is designed for. :)

Edit: And warfare.

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Re: Suit Armor

Postby ghendar » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:00 am

oleck wrote:What I have seen is that there are more disadvantages than advantages for this kind of armor. You move slower, you got penalties in attack roles, to much noise and problems standing up if push or thrown to the floor.

My question is does it also have initiative penalties :?: It's fair to treat this armor like the two-handed weapons that always lose initiative :?:

What do you think :?:


Might make sense if you are trying to inject some reality into your D&D but too much of that can bog the game down and let's face it, it's D&D not historical simulation
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Sturm » Sun Sep 24, 2017 11:40 am

On horseback suit armor makes you a sort of tank and, with a long weapon like a lance, should automatically win initiative. On foot, I think you should automatically lose it if fighting with the same size weapon, while if you have a lance and the opponent plate or less and a sword, it should be rolled. Because you in suit are slower, but you still have the longer weapon. All house rule obviously...
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Irondrake » Sun Sep 24, 2017 8:50 pm

I don't think that wearing suit armor should incur an initiative penalty or automatic loss of initiative. I feel it has enough disadvantages as it is, so is well balanced for the protection it provides.
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Lord Sheriff Takari » Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:21 am

from a Historical Standpoint
a full Suit of Plate Armor properly made for it's wearer incurs no appreciable penalty in maneuver or Initiative as it's intended wearer has had the time needed to train in it's use
the inability of getting up from the Ground after being knocked prone or Mounting one's Horse has been definitively proven wrong time and again

<I fault the Game Designers lack of reading even a little into Scientific research about the wear and use of Armor in the Medieval Period for this constant discrepancy>
the Suits Worn for use in Battle are well designed and balanced to allow the fullest range of motion possible for the protection provided

the confusion arises because a good many of the preserved Suits in Museums are NOT Battle Ready sets = they are Show Pieces made for the Pomp and Pageantry of Parade before the King or are Jousting Suits made for Sport and designed with Frontal Protection foremost
these suits are unusually heavy either due to the extensive inlay of precious materials or overly thick plating to resist a Lance Charge during the Joust where one is intending to get hit

the Historical elements still apply even in a Fantasy Setting
Battlefield Protection is essential as is the Combatant's maneuverability on this field

a Fighter that Cannot Move is a Dead Man, PERIOD!
the object of surviving on the Battlefield is mobility = IE you are no longer there when the attack arrives yet in position to deliver your counterstrike to disable or kill your opponent so you can move on to the Next Guy!

also take into consideration WHO it was who wore Full Plate Armor
Peasant Joe on the Street Corner will wear whatever he is handed him when he got Conscripted or had Crafted at the local Leather Goods Shop when he had Ole' Bessie Slaughtered <Most likely Chainmaille or a Partial Plate consisting of Plated Chest & Back pieces with Gorget around the neck and Chainmaille on the Limbs>
the common folk of the period <even in a Fantasy Setting> cannot dream of affording a Suit of Plate Armor

only the Nobility could support the cost of having such custom suits made and also had the extensive training done to ensure they knew how best to employ it
and thus why most Medieval Armies largely consisted of Conscripted peasants armed with Hammers, Axes, Maces, Clubs and Archery units
outfitting a Knight with Armor, Horse, Weapons and Training is a HUGE Investment in Cost and time so there aren't a whole lot of them
<A Unit of Heavy Knights <Heavy Cavalry> numbers 20 Knights>

this does not mean there are no Penalties incurred at all in play for the use of Plate Armor
the Historical pattern still applies here too even though the make up of an Adventuring Party is decidedly different from the King's Army

one will don their Armor prior to the start of a Set Piece Battle so they have the time needed to ensure it is properly set in place
just before one Breaks Camp and remove their Armor once the Day's Action is done
<Anyone foolish enough to think they can just sleep in their Armor will have a Painful Reminder otherwise by the incurred penalties caused by poor rest and soreness of body not to mention the growing odor from lack of basic hygiene>
Donning one's Armor Hastily WILL Incur penalties as the Armor is not properly set in place and buckled down
thus it is not positioned for maximum protection <Loose> and WILL limit mobility <penalty to Initiative AC & Damage dealt>
IE - the Party is Ambushed in Camp After Sundown by a Band of Orcs who normally operate at night

this also applies to any Suit found or recovered from Battle Casualties on the Field
<stripping the field of equipment and material was commonplace then and done by the force who retained control of the Field once Battle ended.
weapons, Armor, Horses, supplies & Ammunition = everything of value was removed and added to the victor's arsenal along with prisoners taken>
such Armor's require time with the Armor smith to determine IF it can be Modified to fit a new owner
<this is only rarely Possible and the main reason captured Suits were usually put on Display in the Victor's Keep as Prizes of War or Scrapped to forge new equipment from


take Note that by wearing Plate Armor into Battle = you have declared yourself a Target of Choice by the enemy
since only the Nobility can afford to buy and wear this stuff it stands to reason from a Medieval Mindset that you are a Noble
you can afford Plate Armor = therefore your Family can afford your Ransom to get you back alive
as per the Custom of the time to Capture those of Station for Ransom
most Nobles knew that except under the most dire of reasons, they would expect to be treated fairly well when taken so they would not necessarily fight to the bitter end for a battle that is already lost
it is better to surrender to their foe as per the Code of Chivalry and pay the Ransom than to die for nothing
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby BlackBat242 » Mon Sep 25, 2017 1:10 am

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAzI1UvlQqw

Obstacle Run in Armour - a short film by Daniel Jaquet
"A firefighter and a soldier in full gear bear the same load as a medieval armoured fighter. Which one will perform best on the run?"
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Tom Bulls Eye » Mon Sep 25, 2017 2:14 pm

BlackBat242 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAzI1UvlQqw

Obstacle Run in Armour - a short film by Daniel Jaquet
"A firefighter and a soldier in full gear bear the same load as a medieval armoured fighter. Which one will perform best on the run?"


Extremely illustrating. It certainly puts an end to the misconception that a fighter going to the ground in full plate armor cannot get up again by his own strength.

A fighter with high strength could probably do the cause even faster in D&D terms.

Thanks for linking.
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby oleck » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:36 am

Well speechless.
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby BlackBat242 » Tue Sep 26, 2017 4:56 am

Tom Bulls Eye wrote:
BlackBat242 wrote:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAzI1UvlQqw

Obstacle Run in Armour - a short film by Daniel Jaquet
"A firefighter and a soldier in full gear bear the same load as a medieval armoured fighter. Which one will perform best on the run?"


Extremely illustrating. It certainly puts an end to the misconception that a fighter going to the ground in full plate armor cannot get up again by his own strength.



Actually, that armor would likely better fit "field plate" as described in the 1E Unearthed Arcana, as it seems to lack the "chain mail backing" described in the 1E UA "full plate" description.

Still, it shows just how well a properly-fitted suit of plate armor worked - when worn by someone who has trained in that armor.
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Illuminatus » Tue Oct 10, 2017 3:26 am

This plate armor thing has been a topic of discussion for as long as I can remember in D&D circles, but nobody bats an eye about people conducting combat with 70 lbs. of gear and loot in a backpack.

Think about THAT the next time you're wandering around with 70 extra lbs. of raw inertia above your center of gravity.
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Re: Suit Armor

Postby Havard » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:01 am

Illuminatus wrote:This plate armor thing has been a topic of discussion for as long as I can remember in D&D circles, but nobody bats an eye about people conducting combat with 70 lbs. of gear and loot in a backpack.

Think about THAT the next time you're wandering around with 70 extra lbs. of raw inertia above your center of gravity.


Hmm, excellent points. I think that is why I prefer approaching this from the stand point of game balance. From that perspective, I doubt being lenient with the penalties given to suit armors in the rules would be particularly problematic in most BECMI games given the prevalence of magical shields, rings of protection and other items that add much more to a total AC than suit armors. Allowing magical suit armors except if created specifically for the PC is something I would watch out for though.

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