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-   -   Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing? (http://forums.sjgames.com/showthread.php?t=151943)

Flyndaran 09-23-2017 09:59 PM

Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I decided to create a little chart of DR, but segmented plate is so horrible. I can't see any reason why anyone would choose it over scale or mail. It's more expensive, heavier, and less protective on average than either.

DR 3 is more expensive and barely 0.5 lbs lighter than 5/3 mail, for example.
So what am I doing wrong here?
Even assuming it's TL2, so is mail. And there's no option for advanced TL3/4 Brigandines anyway.

sir_pudding 09-23-2017 10:25 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Faulds and tassets.

Flyndaran 09-23-2017 11:16 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Those are real words.
Mail would still be better for the abdomen and legs according to these rules.

Mathulhu 09-24-2017 01:23 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I have used Segmented plate for characters in the past because it can be made into extra heavy plate while the chain cannot.

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 02:17 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
That's not mentioned in this article or any official book I'm aware of.
I understand that that might work as a nice kludge to make it less abysmal and more reasonable for some players though.
But my point that Segmented Plate is worse in nearly every single way to mail... up to whenever you decide it is too heavy for mail to be an option.

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 02:32 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Also looking at mail compared to scale gives me pause.
Looking at just the crushing DR, scale is a bit lighter and much cheaper.
Looking at just the impaling/cutting DR, scale is a bit heavier and cheaper.
But taking them together makes scale the more sensible option if you will ever face blunt weapons.

So we have mail as much better than segmented plate, and scale better than either. That disagrees quite a bit with historical armor progressions.

How has everyone that's used this article dealt with that?

Tomsdad 09-24-2017 03:30 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Not all settings and locations necessarily have access to all potential options. So sometimes a sub optimal choice (by GURPS rules) in terms of the entire armour chart, may not be available in a particular setting. And yeah ultimately not all technologies even if they theoretically concurrent are as good as each other.

Also isn't Segmented plate lighter than Scale at DR4 & DR5?

And yeah OK mail is lighter at all DR's but you have the -2DR vs Cr.

Scale at the higher DR's is really heavy. DR5 is 40lbs for torso, so torso, upper arms, thighs and knees will weight 68lbs that's a lot, especially when you factor a helmet in, plus what ever else your running around with!

Obviously that last point depends on what your ST is.

DanHoward 09-24-2017 09:03 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Mail was the preferred type of armour by almost every metal using culture on the planet for the best part of two thousand years. Even when plate was available and cheaper than mail we still have many examples of people preferring to wear mail.

VariousRen 09-24-2017 09:13 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
My gaming groups tend to favour TL2 settings, with a little bit of TL3 sprinkled from high tech manufacturers and hub cities. The two armour designs we commonly see happen to be: Segmented Plate and Chainmail.

First, light mail vs light segmented plate on the torso:
Weight: 4lb/DR vs 5.3lb/DR
Cost: $167/DR vs $200/DR

So for the lightest versions of both, we've got light chainmail coming out ahead on both fronts. Chain is also faster to put on and harder to spot. A very important thing to consider is that mail takes a -2 against crushing damage. Against crushing, it's suddenly:
Weight: 12lb/DR vs 5.3lb/DR
Cost: $500/DR vs $200/DR

Crushing weapons tend to be the most effective weapons on the battlefield against heavily armoured opponents (high base damage lets them hurt through armour, even if the wounding modifier isn't great), so this alone might be enough to swing your choice in favour of segmented plate. Now if we go up to the heaviest armour offered in Low Tech Instant Armour, here's what we get:
Weight: 3.6lb/DR vs 6.4lb/DR
Cost: $240/DR vs $240/DR

So our price per DR is now the same, with segmented plate weighting an extra 2.8lb/DR. In exchange for the extra weight you get 2 more DR than chain against crushing damage. In our games we tended to see our front line, bulky fighters pick up segmented plate, while our backline wizards and archers wore chainmail of some sort.

There's one final thing to consider in favour of segmented plate: it can be made heavier. The "Heavy Plate" rules on Low Tech pg 109 apply to segmented plate as well. If you want heavier chainmail you're stuck layering suits and sucking up the -1 to DX.

Looking at all of that, the armours are fairly competitive with each other. Chainmail wins out on weight, and offers equal protection against cutting and impaling attacks, which makes it a strong choice for back line combatants who worry about ranged attacks more than melee. Segmented Plate wins out on protection at the expense of weight, making it more useful for high ST front line characters who are more likely to encounter crushing weapons.

Tomsdad 09-24-2017 10:42 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by VariousRen (Post 2124881)
My gaming groups tend to favour TL2 settings, with a little bit of TL3 sprinkled from high tech manufacturers and hub cities. The two armour designs we commonly see happen to be: Segmented Plate and Chainmail.

First, light mail vs light segmented plate on the torso:
Weight: 4lb/DR vs 5.3lb/DR
Cost: $167/DR vs $200/DR

So for the lightest versions of both, we've got light chainmail coming out ahead on both fronts. Chain is also faster to put on and harder to spot. A very important thing to consider is that mail takes a -2 against crushing damage. Against crushing, it's suddenly:
Weight: 12lb/DR vs 5.3lb/DR
Cost: $500/DR vs $200/DR

Crushing weapons tend to be the most effective weapons on the battlefield against heavily armoured opponents (high base damage lets them hurt through armour, even if the wounding modifier isn't great), so this alone might be enough to swing your choice in favour of segmented plate. Now if we go up to the heaviest armour offered in Low Tech Instant Armour, here's what we get:
Weight: 3.6lb/DR vs 6.4lb/DR
Cost: $240/DR vs $240/DR

So our price per DR is now the same, with segmented plate weighting an extra 2.8lb/DR. In exchange for the extra weight you get 2 more DR than chain against crushing damage. In our games we tended to see our front line, bulky fighters pick up segmented plate, while our backline wizards and archers wore chainmail of some sort.

There's one final thing to consider in favour of segmented plate: it can be made heavier. The "Heavy Plate" rules on Low Tech pg 109 apply to segmented plate as well. If you want heavier chainmail you're stuck layering suits and sucking up the -1 to DX.

Looking at all of that, the armours are fairly competitive with each other. Chainmail wins out on weight, and offers equal protection against cutting and impaling attacks, which makes it a strong choice for back line combatants who worry about ranged attacks more than melee. Segmented Plate wins out on protection at the expense of weight, making it more useful for high ST front line characters who are more likely to encounter crushing weapons.

For me Mail wins over Segmented because the weight is so much less*. At DR5 Mail is almost half the weight of segmented (and less than half that of scale)

I agree with your point about Cr, but taking advantage of that does limit your opponents options.

Pretty much all one handed axe/mace cr weapons are reach 1 and 0U (those that are parry 0 tend to do less damage), even two handed axe/mace cr weapons tend to be limited to reach 1 and 0U at TL2.

Given equal skill levels I'd rather a reach 1,2 spear in two hands that I can parry with and play reach games with. Especially if I'm wearing armour half the weight of my opponent.

Historically speaking I think I'm right in saying spears, arrows and swords were far more likely to be the standard main weapon of troops rather than Cr weapons.

On top of that mail is flexible



*however a lot of this is down to my campaign style, I run pretty non heroic ST levels and I use the last gasp rules. The low weight per DR of mail shines under those conditions!

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 01:43 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DanHoward (Post 2124878)
Mail was the preferred type of armour by almost every metal using culture on the planet for the best part of two thousand years. Even when plate was available and cheaper than mail we still have many examples of people preferring to wear mail.

Okay, so I should just remove segmented plate from every single game, because Coats of plate and brigandine would only be taken by roleplayers that intentionally spend extra money for less protection?

That doesn't seem right unless we seriously jack up the price of mail in comparison to that of segmented plate and hypothetical not in this article late TL 3 brigandine.
I think you've implied similar. Please correct me if I'm wrong about that.

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 01:45 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Please read the thread title, guys. I'm not talking about Low Tech the big book, just the article in Pyramid Low Tech II.

Tomsdad 09-24-2017 03:13 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2124913)
Please read the thread title, guys. I'm not talking about Low Tech the big book, just the article in Pyramid Low Tech II.

Did wonder about the II! (maybe put Pyramid in the title if you still can?)

Ironically I use those armour design rules but didn't cite them in earlier post because it seemed we were talking about LT!

Anyway my answer is still basically the same as my first post, sometimes not every option was available everywhere during a GURPS TL. TL2 is 1800 years that is a very long time after all.

Take mail, now we know mail was a great armour that was widely used by many and was also in use for a long time, way past the end of GURSP TL2! But even mail wasn't automatically suddenly in use everywhere from 1200BC onwards (even if its use rapidly spread).

Personally I think if you want to get an idea of where segmented plate fitted into all this. Look to see who used it, how it suited their use and system*, what else was being used at the time that they interacted with, and what their response was to that in terms of preference. Sometimes in life you have to make suboptimal choices even if you know there's a better one and it's theoretically available. A brief look at the history of military procurement will show you some suboptimal choices!

One of the factors especially will vary by time and place (especially a period of time 1200 BC to 600 AD), and that's cost

But yeah as is, in an abstract side by side comparison on a table it looks bit out of place


However Segmented and Scale have changed a bit in the pyramid article compared to LT, but you can adjust weight & cost pretty easily to get the balance you want.



tl;dr; the article is a list of armour options and a system for building armours out of them, I don't think it set out to balance armour options against each other, or maintain niche protection.

*which may not all fit into GURPS armour stats

sjard 09-24-2017 03:14 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
<Mod> Edited the thread title for clarity.

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 04:07 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Thanks. I didn't realize that I was titling things so vaguely.

sir_pudding 09-24-2017 04:12 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Low Tech Companion 2 is a thing...

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 04:15 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
So it seems like the simplest way to make these rules agree with reality a bit more would be jacking up mail's price, lowering segmented plate's price, and creating an advanced version for coats of plate / brigandine.
That way it would be competeable with mail in some way.
I suppose by the time they came about, small plates could be more cheaply and quickly made allowing them to compete in price if not mass/DR ratios to mail.

That would create the "problem" that only those with money get proper metal armor. But that is far more easily dealt with in game and setting if that's what one wants.
Makes it an awesome reward for service at least.

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 04:16 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sir_pudding (Post 2124933)
Low Tech Companion 2 is a thing...

Yeah, I really thought I put either the word article or Pyramid in my title. I accidentally a word there. ;)

DanHoward 09-24-2017 04:40 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I did not realise you were just talking about that article. I had nothing to do with it. Had I written it, it would have been based off completely different assumptions.

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 05:15 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
If you have read it, I would very much like your input on how to adjust it to match what you know of real history and armors.

sir_pudding 09-24-2017 06:03 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Having reread it, I am a little confused as to what it is for relative to Low-Tech.

DanHoward 09-24-2017 06:18 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2124947)
If you have read it, I would very much like your input on how to adjust it to match what you know of real history and armors.

I've skimmed through the article but have no use for it. The rules in Low-Tech work fine for me.

Flyndaran 09-24-2017 07:01 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
That's probably best for me too. It's not like I can't adjust to fit what I think of history and personal setting assumptions.
I just sometimes rediscover an article or supplement and dive into trying to make use of it.
Thanks everyone for trying to help even with my mangling of the title.

Tomsdad 09-25-2017 12:28 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2124935)
So it seems like the simplest way to make these rules agree with reality a bit more would be jacking up mail's price, lowering segmented plate's price, ....

Yep and in terms of matching LT probably upping Scale's CW as well.

Tomsdad 09-25-2017 12:35 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sir_pudding (Post 2124952)
Having reread it, I am a little confused as to what it is for relative to Low-Tech.

I don't think it is directly related to LT beyond suggesting you can use some of the options from LT. From the text box "Compatibility With Low-Tech":


These rules are designed to work with the Basic Set without
needing Low-Tech, but they can also be used with the
armor rules in Low-Tech.
To do this once the armor is designed, feel free to add any
customizing options from Low-Tech. The only options that
should not be included are those that relate to construction or
material qualities already covered implicitly in the design formula,
such as the use of materials like stone, bronze, or wood,
or the use of cheaper or more expensive quality materials.


I.e you can take some options from LT and apply it to stuff you create in the article e.g tailoring. But overall they are separate systems (and likely created under different rationales and assumptions)

sir_pudding 09-25-2017 02:18 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tomsdad (Post 2124994)
I don't think it is directly related to LT beyond suggesting you can use some of the options from LT. From the text box "Compatibility With Low-Tech":


These rules are designed to work with the Basic Set without
needing Low-Tech, but they can also be used with the
armor rules in Low-Tech.
To do this once the armor is designed, feel free to add any
customizing options from Low-Tech. The only options that
should not be included are those that relate to construction or
material qualities already covered implicitly in the design formula,
such as the use of materials like stone, bronze, or wood,
or the use of cheaper or more expensive quality materials.


I.e you can take some options from LT and apply it to stuff you create in the article e.g tailoring. But overall they are separate systems (and likely created under different rationales and assumptions)

Sure but what is it for? Why would I want to use it?

Tomsdad 09-25-2017 03:21 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sir_pudding (Post 2125001)
Sure but what is it for? Why would I want to use it?

Oh right gotcha

It's a pretty easy design system for armour, so if you want to design armour from scratch for a game it's great for that.

To be honest since it has all the variables in the process spilt out it's very simple to adjust them to tailor to individual preferences. e.g. you want to make scale armour heavier per DR than the article has it (and closer to the scale stats in LT) just increase the CW* stats for scale. You think mail should be more expensive per DR increase mail's CC*.

Where I do think it's really good is in giving basic DR ratings for different materials that give proportionally different results. LT tends to have them as absolute amount modifiers e.g Hardened steel is +1 DR in all circumstances (but then there may well be a reason for that)

Ultimately the LT system and article system go about things in different ways using different design methods.


Personally I like because it allows me to scale DR with users ST and body type, in a similar way that melee weapon damage is scaled with the users ST.

However that's not a criticism of LT, I gather the spec of various tech books is to give examples of certain things and add some modifiers, rather than give us fully fledged design systems which is beyond the remit of the book!




*sorry these are values that come into the calculation as multipliers, CW = Construction Weight, CC = Construction Cost

chandley 09-25-2017 10:01 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
That article is one of three armor design rule articles that unifies armor design from TL 0 to TL 12. It does not start with the same kinds of assumptions that Low-Tech does. I like the 3 systems because it avoids the Low-tech to High-tech Steel DR weirdness (try figuring out a good armor choice for AtE using Low-tech, High-Tech, and Ultra-Tech....). I use it for my DF campaign, but I don't let players build armor, I built sets that are available, and they choose from what the blacksmith they are at has available or can make to order.

That said, the Segmented Plate option doesn't have a home really. If you have Iron or Steel, scale or mail options are better choices from TL 1-3. If you have Bronze, Plate is the better option. It is meant to represent historical options for plate made from smaller plates, and about the only niche would be resisting crushing damage with cheaper Good Iron in the TL 1-3 range rather than very expensive Good Bronze. I skipped it, and I think OP, you should too, or redo the seg plate cost factor to represent its role in the market.

David is on the boards, you could try a PM to him, see what his intentions were.

Mailanka 09-25-2017 10:04 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DanHoward (Post 2124954)
I've skimmed through the article but have no use for it. The rules in Low-Tech work fine for me.

But for those of us who do have use for it, do you have any suggestions for better values?

DanHoward 09-25-2017 04:50 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Mailanka (Post 2125088)
But for those of us who do have use for it, do you have any suggestions for better values?

I don't see the point investing that sort of time in something I'm never going to use.

Tomsdad 09-26-2017 01:16 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chandley (Post 2125087)
That article is one of three armor design rule articles that unifies armor design from TL 0 to TL 12. It does not start with the same kinds of assumptions that Low-Tech does. I like the 3 systems because it avoids the Low-tech to High-tech Steel DR weirdness (try figuring out a good armor choice for AtE using Low-tech, High-Tech, and Ultra-Tech....). I use it for my DF campaign, but I don't let players build armor, I built sets that are available, and they choose from what the blacksmith they are at has available or can make to order.

That said, the Segmented Plate option doesn't have a home really. If you have Iron or Steel, scale or mail options are better choices from TL 1-3. [B}If you have Bronze, Plate is the better option[/B]. It is meant to represent historical options for plate made from smaller plates, and about the only niche would be resisting crushing damage with cheaper Good Iron in the TL 1-3 range rather than very expensive Good Bronze. I skipped it, and I think OP, you should too, or redo the seg plate cost factor to represent its role in the market.

David is on the boards, you could try a PM to him, see what his intentions were.


Just quickly on the bit in bold, I'd probably adjust the construction table ‡ note on pg19 of the article on plate to be TL3 not TL4.

But I would also use the rules for sliding rivets from LT, and take in account the notes on pg 108 LT regarding TL3 plate in general*. The thing is TL3 at 600 AD - 1450 AD covers a lot of history! I'd take an individual view on different plate designs on different locations. LT Armour loadouts certainly has some examples at TL3 e.g the Chevalier Corselet which at DR5 and 32lbs is heavy. But as per the point regarding broad TL's that is late TL3.

As a general point given the broadness of early TLs as historical ranges I tend not to get too precise with them as hard and fast categories and cut offs. Even more so when mapping them to non historical settings. And as ever TL's don't crossover in all areas of technology, everywhere at exactly the same time anyway!



*for example I might increase the CW figure for Iron/steel TL3 plate

Kax 09-26-2017 09:57 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I'll add a couple of points on different armours taht I dn't think are all covered in existing rules:

Chain is tiring to wear because all, or almost all, of the weight is on your shoulders, not distributed. This, IIRC, is covered in RAW. However, it doesn't require the metalworking resources (equipment and people) that plate of any kind does.

Scale, at least the type where only the top of the metal scales are attached, are really noisy, in the same volume range as full (but not tailored) plate. Ie., no stealth for you. It also weights on your shoulders the same way chain does. I'm not sure if this is covered anywhere.

Segmented plate is, at least partially, self-supporting and the weight is more distributed around the body. This, as far as I remember, is the major reason the Romans used it instead of chain.


To best of memory; happy to be corrected. But this is partly from armour-wearers, who far prefer the solid armour despite the creation difficulty and cost. :D

safisher 09-26-2017 10:19 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chandley (Post 2125087)
That article is one of three armor design rule articles that unifies armor design from TL 0 to TL 12. It does not start with the same kinds of assumptions that Low-Tech does. I like the 3 systems because it avoids the Low-tech to High-tech Steel DR weirdness (try figuring out a good armor choice for AtE using Low-tech, High-Tech, and Ultra-Tech....). I use it for my DF campaign, but I don't let players build armor, I built sets that are available, and they choose from what the blacksmith they are at has available or can make to order.

I actually like these three articles best of all the armor we've seen in GURPS, and I say that as the guy who wrote the armor section in High-Tech. David's dealt with trauma plates reasonably, and (especially!) the size of the wearer, which is a huge issue with the other systems. On top of all that, he's got the armor accessories at the higher-TLs, and the low-tech article discusses using some of the Low-Tech armor options. It's a very good collection for do-it-yourself gamers. It's not a pick-and-go setup, like in HT or UT, but its not a lot more complex than what's in LT. For all those reasons, I use it with the options from Low-Tech in lower TL games, and were I running something for High-Tech era where I wanted more armor options, I'd definitely use it. It's very well done.

Flyndaran 09-26-2017 10:53 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kax (Post 2125360)
I'll add a couple of points on different armours taht I dn't think are all covered in existing rules:

Chain is tiring to wear because all, or almost all, of the weight is on your shoulders, not distributed. This, IIRC, is covered in RAW. However, it doesn't require the metalworking resources (equipment and people) that plate of any kind does.
...

I think it's almost the opposite. A tight belt relieves much of the shoulder strain for a full mail hauberk. Ancient people had a lot not-obvious-to-us tricks.

And that getting uniform quality steel for drawing wire isn't as forgiving as low grade steel for plate. I wonder if making cheap mail unavailable compared to cheap segmented plate may help the price and desirability some for outfitting armies like said Romans.

Gnaskar 09-27-2017 01:45 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by sir_pudding (Post 2125001)
Sure but what is it for? Why would I want to use it?

I've used it, in combination with the High Tech and Ultra Tech equivalent, for an AtE campaign. The campaign premise involved a magical invasion getting nuked, and I needed rules for things like adamant inserts in kevlar armor and mutated spider-goat silk. I've also used it to build Low Tech style charts of modern reenactment armor for a Banestorm victim campaign centered on the SCA. I'd basically use it for anything too weird for Low Tech alone, or for schizo tech.

The biggest problem I ran into was that the Basic Set armors don't match up with Low Tech or the articles. Leg armor in particular tends to be lighter in the basic set than in the supplements. Mixing the two was a bad idea on my part.

On the original topic, I'd agree that looking just at the mechanics in that one article, Segmented Plate is generally worse than any other option. But so what? Bone armor is worse than Horn armor (being semi-ablative and otherwise identical) but I'm still going to make my tribal shaman's ceremonial armor be bone. Lead armor is completely crap, but that won't stop the barbarian chief from thinking (wrongly) that his lead helmet will protect him from sorcery. The Roman legion uses cheap/mass produced (40% cost) Segmented Plate, because they didn't have the tech to produce mail as cheaply or because they faced a lot of crushing weapons.

These rules are meant to allow players to make the most efficient possible armors; they're meant to provide reasonable stats for whatever armors the GM needs for the setting. If the GM needs titanian lorica segmenta, GURPS can deliver.

Tomsdad 09-27-2017 03:53 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gnaskar (Post 2125379)
...

On the original topic, I'd agree that looking just at the mechanics in that one article, Segmented Plate is generally worse than any other option. But so what? Bone armor is worse than Horn armor (being semi-ablative and otherwise identical) but I'm still going to make my tribal shaman's ceremonial armor be bone. Lead armor is completely crap, but that won't stop the barbarian chief from thinking (wrongly) that his lead helmet will protect him from sorcery. The Roman legion uses cheap/mass produced (40% cost) Segmented Plate, because they didn't have the tech to produce mail as cheaply or because they faced a lot of crushing weapons.

These rules are meant to allow players to make the most efficient possible armors; they're meant to provide reasonable stats for whatever armors the GM needs for the setting. If the GM needs titanian lorica segmenta, GURPS can deliver.

.....yep +1

Tomsdad 09-27-2017 04:00 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125365)
I think it's almost the opposite. A tight belt relieves much of the shoulder strain for a full mail hauberk.....

Yep, mail is actually pretty comfortable. I think in part due to its flexibility.

I may not have worn the most authentic mail in terms of link quality, but I have worn mail that was of historical weight (and heavier)

DanHoward 09-27-2017 04:32 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kax (Post 2125360)
Chain is tiring to wear because all, or almost all, of the weight is on your shoulders, not distributed.

A lot of mail armour was custom-fitted to the wearer. It wasn't a shapeless tube like commercially available products today. Properly fitted mail has the weight more evenly distributed and isn't overly heavy on the shoulders. Tailoring it properly can also drop the weight by 5-10%.

Quote:

This, IIRC, is covered in RAW. However, it doesn't require the metalworking resources (equipment and people) that plate of any kind does.
Mail requires iron of a higher quality than plate. Iron has to be very highly refined otherwise it can't be pulled through a drawplate to create the wire and the links can delaminate when cut from the mandrel or pierced with a drift.

Kromm 09-27-2017 07:54 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Bear in mind that (1) our view of the effectiveness of historical armor types is in hindsight, and (2) game stats for armor are based on this long-after-the-fact view. Even in times and places where both the materials and expertise to create armor varieties A and B were in abundance, the fact that we know now that A is better than B – and put that information in our games – is no guarantee that hundreds of thousands of warriors over centuries of warfare didn't believe that B was a good idea. Maybe B had attractive features that have nothing to do with what GURPS would sum up as DR, DR/$, or DR/lb.:
  • physical convenience at a level too small to rate in the game (a "-0.1 to DX" giving -1.2% to odds of success still means something when 10,000 soldiers experience it)
  • coolness in battle or on the march
  • warmth (or better compatibility with warm garments) in cold climates
  • stealthiness (or just not annoying the living hell out of people or animals with its racket)
  • less tendency to catch on and destroy clothing
  • less tendency to catch on and pinch flesh (causing sub-HP level injuries that get infected)
  • ease of maintenance in the field
  • ease of keeping clean (making for a shinier and more impressive show for the bigwigs and/or civilians)
  • pure intimidation factor when facing "barbarians" ("Holy hell, Karl, these guys are made of metal!")
. . . you name it.

There's this belief among gamers that somehow, after the first person or first few people or first entire army was lost because of crummy armor B, everybody would stop using B and start using A. But that assumes A was right there to compare to B; that the losses were clearly attributable to B rather than to bad tactics, unsuitable weapons, horrible weather, low morale, or just bad luck; and that word of all this made its way across the pre-electronic, pre-motorized world to every warrior, general, lord, and king with a stake in the matter.

In reality, of course, that didn't happen. Ask anybody who has served in a real war (me, I've spoken with veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, and a few smaller actions): Soldiers carry garbage into battle all the time. They are ordered to do so, and the same lousy gear sometimes hangs around for the next war and the one after that, getting people killed but being imposed on troops just the same because somebody far from the dying felt it was a good idea based on some tests or because the factory was located in their district or riding, or even because it was tacticool. This is in recent times, with scientific testing, OR, statistical analysis, and high-tech means of disseminating information.

So . . .

Think of armor that loses the DR/$ or DR/lb. contest as being needed for historical settings. Players can use their "meta" knowledge to choose A over B – just as they can see every counter on a battle map and make decisions in combat based on that, use their knowledge that "this is a game" to optimize stats, and exploit their awareness of the genre to know what threats they can safely discount. This is the "hidden edge" of adventurers in adventure games. Look at it as a positive thing: It helps explain why the heroes prevail without resorting to more ham-fisted methods such as dice-roll fudging, or to controversial game mechanics such as "fate points" and Luck.

This extends beyond historical games. In fantasy games, the savage orcs who attack in hordes with a "life is cheap" attitude can clank around in inefficient armor B because they just don't care or because they think it looks badass, while the civilized heroes can optimize their armor and be better protected while carrying less weight and spending less money. No problem.

(And arguably, a game needs this aspect, because the mini-game of finding the optimal gear, spotting loopholes, and avoiding pitfalls is the Hurting Wrong Fun of a huge number of players. An RPG that denies them the mini-game denies the publisher sales . . .)

chandley 09-27-2017 10:03 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by safisher (Post 2125361)
I actually like these three articles best of all the armor we've seen in GURPS, and I say that as the guy who wrote the armor section in High-Tech. David's dealt with trauma plates reasonably, and (especially!) the size of the wearer, which is a huge issue with the other systems. On top of all that, he's got the armor accessories at the higher-TLs, and the low-tech article discusses using some of the Low-Tech armor options. It's a very good collection for do-it-yourself gamers. It's not a pick-and-go setup, like in HT or UT, but its not a lot more complex than what's in LT. For all those reasons, I use it with the options from Low-Tech in lower TL games, and were I running something for High-Tech era where I wanted more armor options, I'd definitely use it. It's very well done.

Agreed. I certainly didnt want to give the impression I don't like this system. I've even tinkered with adding AtE specific materials (steel belted radials, road signs, rebar and concrete, things like that), which is much easier to do in this system. Even if, as is likely, I have these all wrong, they fit into the current materials nicely, which makes for a better game.

I'd personally drop the cost of segmented plate, and make most of my proposed "salvaged" materials only able to use that option and solid (can't do proper plate when cutting up stop signs or old tires!). In DF, players would just skip that type of armor, but that's fine, DF goes all the way into TL 4, and has a munchkin feel, so I don't sweat it.

Flyndaran 09-27-2017 12:05 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Of course, I know that minor differences in efficacy won't be noticed by everyone today let alone in the past. But this article's segmented plate is simply FAR too horrible compared to every other type for any reasonable person to miss. It was used too much by the Romans, and for later coats of plate and advanced brigandine for that to correlate to reality.
The article is not reality. I want to know how to adjust it to fit reality.
I'm grateful to everyone's input, but just reiterating that I'm wrong isn't really answering my questions.

safisher 09-27-2017 12:09 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 2125405)
[*]ease of maintenance in the field

One of the reasons mail was preferred was its ease of construction and ease of repair. Rings could even have been made as piece work by the relatively unskilled in the winter by the fire, in the same way nails were made by children. All you need to repair it is a bag of rings and some simple hand tools. Plate armor is much more difficult by comparison (you can forge weld a plate over a hole in plate armor, but it requires a workshop and a lot of fuel).

safisher 09-27-2017 12:15 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125448)
I want to know how to adjust it to fit reality.

Assume that this cannot be done. There are many educated opinions about ancient armor. No one has the last word and is the ultimate authority. Given that, you are free to adjust the numbers to work as you see fit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125448)
I'm grateful to everyone's input, but just reiterating that I'm wrong isn't really answering my questions.

Rather than assuming posters are telling you "you are wrong" people may instead be saying "it depends" or "maybe, but..."

safisher 09-27-2017 12:27 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by chandley (Post 2125424)
Agreed. I certainly didnt want to give the impression I don't like this system. I've even tinkered with adding AtE specific materials (steel belted radials, road signs, rebar and concrete, things like that), which is much easier to do in this system. Even if, as is likely, I have these all wrong, they fit into the current materials nicely, which makes for a better game.

David's system is best because it handles all the materials form TL0 and up. As you point out, that makes adding new materials very simple.

Quote:

(can't do proper plate when cutting up stop signs or old tires!)
Forming a sheet of metal into plate armor is actually quite easy (it's quicker than mail, and arguably requires less artistry than leathermaking). I've made several pieces of plate armor from sheet metal and all you need is a pattern to work from, something to cut the sheet, and either a stump with a depression in it or a bag of leather filled with sand, and a small round object to planish the armor on and smooth it out. As you might suspect, the real difficulty is making sheet metal. Make a pattern from a piece of cardboard, checking its fit on the wearer. In an AtE setting there will be metric tons of usable steel sheet for plate armor. Cut with a hammer and chisel, shape it, then add straps and buckles, etc. Adding fluting, for instance, simply requires a length of metal rod which you form into a shape you want and then place under the armor piece. You then hammer the plate to shape it to fit the rod beneath. You can harden and temper it if you want, but frankly even real medieval armor was seldom of such uniform quality.

Kromm 09-27-2017 12:36 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I'm certainly not calling anybody "wrong"! The idea that people would surely be aware that something is a bad idea is dubious, however: Did people who wore one sort of armor get to wear the other, get stabbed while wearing both, and then realize, "Hey, I'm less stabbed than I would have been with this other armor that's a pain to lug around!" or "Hey, I'm less stabbed than I would have been with this other, more expensive armor!"? No.

It's doubtful that every sort of armor or even most sorts of armor lumped into a single GURPS tech level ever coexisted in the same time and place, so the comparison was unlikely to have been made. Yet mail did replace segmented plate, so clearly its superiority was eventually recognized . . . it's just that the process took place over what GURPS calls an 1,800-year span but lumps into a single, neat TL. What's going on here, then, is that we're comparing "TL2.0" and "TL2.5" armor, and overlooking the fact that cultures, armies, and empires that adopted an armor pattern at "TL2.2" might still have been using it at "TL2.8" largely out of tradition and having a base of production for that armor, even in the face of "TL2.5" armor being better because it's 0.3 TLs more advanced.

safisher 09-27-2017 12:42 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 2125457)
It's doubtful that every sort of armor or even most sorts of armor lumped into a single GURPS tech level ever coexisted in the same time and place, so the comparison was unlikely to have been made. Yet mail did replace segmented plate, so clearly its superiority was eventually recognized . . . it's just that the process took place over what GURPS calls an 1,800-year span but lumps into a single, neat TL. What's going on here, then, is that we're comparing "TL2.0" and "TL2.5" armor, and overlooking the fact that cultures, armies, and empires that adopted an armor pattern at "TL2.2" might still have been using it at "TL2.8" largely out of tradition and having a base of production for that armor, even in the face of "TL2.5" armor being better because it's 0.3 TLs more advanced.

Heh. The modern mind is trained to think in terms of neat rows of data leading to clear concise analysis. This is actually not how most processes work today, even in the sciences. In fact, most people do not approach anything in their lives the way gamers insist "reality" works.

Kromm 09-27-2017 01:10 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by safisher (Post 2125459)

Heh. The modern mind is trained to think in terms of neat rows of data leading to clear concise analysis. This is actually not how most processes work today, even in the sciences. In fact, most people do not approach anything in their lives the way gamers insist "reality" works.

Agreed.

I was just thinking about a friend who did this with apartment rent back when I was in grad school. He was super-geeky and super-mathematical. He did an analysis – considering rent, heating of the units found in various areas, prices at local shops (shops here vary their prices considerably by neighborhood), cost to travel to/from, and so on – that yielded the neighborhood where he would pay the least rent per square metre. He got a decent-sized apartment for a modest monthly rate. Except that it happened to be in an area where he was culturally a terrible fit . . . there was nothing that catered to students nearby, no friends lived close by, and all his neighbors were older, less educated, and spoke a different language.

Meanwhile, another friend from the same period in my life just plonked himself down in a student-friendly area near his friends and favorite pubs. Everyone around him was of the same "culture": proximate in age, going to school, from out of town, mostly speaking English. He paid a lot more to live in less space. He did zero analysis but he was overall happier than the first friend.

The first guy definitely had the more efficient life. If he were a character in an RPG, he'd have more money to spend on gear, a bigger space in which to work on projects (like skill development and invention), and greater security (student ghettoes filled with pubs aren't known for that, while graying working-class areas are). However, I knew far, far, far more people like the second guy, because most people make their decisions based on peer pressure, what's easiest, and what amounts to the real-life version of the Rule of Cool.

I suspect this kind of thinking applies to just about anything that costs money, which is why games that use real-life costs, weights, and other stats might offer things that are clearly bad deals in the mathematical sense. In essence, these items are for people who put either roleplaying or realism ahead of efficiency – which is pretty much everybody in real life.

Ulzgoroth 09-27-2017 02:29 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 2125457)
It's doubtful that every sort of armor or even most sorts of armor lumped into a single GURPS tech level ever coexisted in the same time and place, so the comparison was unlikely to have been made. Yet mail did replace segmented plate, so clearly its superiority was eventually recognized . . . it's just that the process took place over what GURPS calls an 1,800-year span but lumps into a single, neat TL. What's going on here, then, is that we're comparing "TL2.0" and "TL2.5" armor, and overlooking the fact that cultures, armies, and empires that adopted an armor pattern at "TL2.2" might still have been using it at "TL2.8" largely out of tradition and having a base of production for that armor, even in the face of "TL2.5" armor being better because it's 0.3 TLs more advanced.

Didn't mail predate as well as postdate segmentata, though not necessarily all forms of segmented plate?


My impression, though it comes largely from threads here (and a little bit from knowing someone who makes decorative butted mail), is that realistic pricing for mail should be much higher than any of the GURPS presentations for it, due to the extremely labor-intensive production process - and that reducing that enough to give Cheap-grade prices isn't possible either. At which point segmented plate's niche is easier to understand.

chandley 09-27-2017 02:36 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by safisher (Post 2125455)
Forming a sheet of metal into plate armor is actually quite easy (it's quicker than mail, and arguably requires less artistry than leathermaking). I've made several pieces of plate armor from sheet metal and all you need is a pattern to work from, something to cut the sheet, and either a stump with a depression in it or a bag of leather filled with sand, and a small round object to planish the armor on and smooth it out. As you might suspect, the real difficulty is making sheet metal. Make a pattern from a piece of cardboard, checking its fit on the wearer. In an AtE setting there will be metric tons of usable steel sheet for plate armor. Cut with a hammer and chisel, shape it, then add straps and buckles, etc. Adding fluting, for instance, simply requires a length of metal rod which you form into a shape you want and then place under the armor piece. You then hammer the plate to shape it to fit the rod beneath. You can harden and temper it if you want, but frankly even real medieval armor was seldom of such uniform quality.

Aha, excellent to know. I'm certainly familiar with this concept when doing laminates or something like Worbla. Sheet metal plate is going to be pretty common stuff I would expect in AtE.

Man, really need to do a "home-brew armor" supplement or article for AtE, but I doubt I have the chops for it, as was just shown :)

Flyndaran: I'd drop CC to 1.1 or 1.0, in line with Scale. It is higher TL and costs more, and that is sufficient to justify the lack of split DR. You still pay for actual Plate for the best DR/lb where that is important.

DanHoward 09-27-2017 04:26 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Ulzgoroth (Post 2125474)
My impression, though it comes largely from threads here (and a little bit from knowing someone who makes decorative butted mail), is that realistic pricing for mail should be much higher than any of the GURPS presentations for it, due to the extremely labor-intensive production process - and that reducing that enough to give Cheap-grade prices isn't possible either. At which point segmented plate's niche is easier to understand.

Mail was the most expensive and labour intensive armour ever invented, yet it was preferred by virtually every metal-using culture on the planet for the best part of two thousand years (China is the main exception). We have texts telling us that mail was preferred by some people even when plate was available and cheaper to purchase. Here is one written by Giovanni Michiel, late Ambassador to Queen Mary and King Philip, in a report about England to the Venetian Senate, on the 13th May 1557.

... and for the body they either use some sort of breastplate (qualche petto di corsaletto) which guards the forepart, although indifferently, or else more willingly (especially those who have the means) some jack (giaco) or shirt of mail (camicia di maglia); but what they usually wear are padded canvas jupons (giubboni di canevaccio imbottiti), quilted with many layers, each of which is two fingers or more in thickness; and these jupons are considered the most secure defence against the shock of arrows. Upon their arms they place strips of mail (liste di maglia), put lengthways, and nothing else.

According to this, the English preferred any kind of armour other than plate and only used plate if they couldn't afford anything better.

DanHoward 09-27-2017 04:49 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Kromm (Post 2125457)
It's doubtful that every sort of armor or even most sorts of armor lumped into a single GURPS tech level ever coexisted in the same time and place, so the comparison was unlikely to have been made. Yet mail did replace segmented plate, so clearly its superiority was eventually recognized . . .

If we are talking about Roman segmented plate then the earliest fragment was found at Dangstetten and dates to 9 BC. Mail was developed in the 4th century BC and adopted by the Romans around a century later. So Roman use of mail predates segmentata by around two centuries. Mail and segmentata were both used for around three centuries and then segmentata was phased out. There are no depictions of segmentata being worn by anyone other than low ranking soldiers. IMO it was munitions armour designed for those who couldn't afford anything better. Those with the means preferred mail, or scale, or bronze musculata.

This might help.
http://myarmoury.com/feature_mail.html

DanHoward 09-27-2017 04:55 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
IMO all types of armour provided very similar protection. Soldiers never chose a type of armour based on which weapons it could stop because all options were similarly protective. Other criteria were deciding factors: coverage, comfort, cost, weight, ease of maintenance, etc. The only time this changes is when firearms come onto the scene and nothing other than very thick plate stood a chance of providing protection. The heaviest extant breastplates are 8-9 mm thick on the chest. This is when other types of armour stop being worn all together.

Flyndaran 09-27-2017 06:54 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I fully get why mail would be the preferred armor for that flexibility allowing complete coverage, ease of repair in field, and breathability which is something few gamers seem to take seriously.
But if segmented plate is supposed to be useless, then for gaming purposes reality must be taken out back and shot or at least some leeway must be given to make it something other than a point of contention for characters in setting let alone players.
I think my idea of making mail impossible to make cheap, but segmented plate can be allowing it to work for outfitting an army on the cheap. That assumes that such major demand for loads of iron doesn't cause an increase in prices negating some or even all of the point.

But that wouldn't deal with the fact that brigandine was more advanced but doesn't have an option in this article that I can see.

evileeyore 09-27-2017 07:17 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125506)
But if segmented plate is supposed to be useless, then for gaming purposes reality must be taken out back and shot...

It's purpose is when you need armor now and don't have time to wait on the smith to pull a few thousand rings and make mail.

Rupert 09-27-2017 07:44 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by safisher (Post 2125455)
In an AtE setting there will be metric tons of usable steel sheet for plate armor. Cut with a hammer and chisel, shape it, then add straps and buckles, etc. Adding fluting, for instance, simply requires a length of metal rod which you form into a shape you want and then place under the armor piece. You then hammer the plate to shape it to fit the rod beneath. You can harden and temper it if you want, but frankly even real medieval armor was seldom of such uniform quality.

Better still, this sheet steel (or Aluminium, for that matter) will be less prone to cracking and splitting at the edges of the piece than authentic pieces, and so it's not so important that you smooth and roll the edges. This makes it an easier and faster job than back in the day.

Flyndaran 09-27-2017 08:42 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by evileeyore (Post 2125508)
It's purpose is when you need armor now and don't have time to wait on the smith to pull a few thousand rings and make mail.

Which in Gurps/game terms means it can be made more cheaply. For GMs and players that aren't into super realistic details of outfitting large groups of soldiers, at least. That would be even more setting and time dependent.

safisher 09-27-2017 08:56 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Rupert (Post 2125514)
Better still, this sheet steel (or Aluminium, for that matter) will be less prone to cracking and splitting at the edges of the piece than authentic pieces, and so it's not so important that you smooth and roll the edges. This makes it an easier and faster job than back in the day.

Yes, that's a good point. And yet, rolling the edges is easier still than many suggest. It's nothing more than putting a bit of the edge in a vice and bending the sheet down, then hammering that edge over a mandrel (an iron rod). Too easy.

safisher 09-27-2017 09:02 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DanHoward (Post 2125494)
IMO all types of armour provided very similar protection.

Well that would have simplified Low-Tech armor, wouldn't it?

Armor: DR 4.

End of notes.

evileeyore 09-27-2017 09:30 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125522)
Which in Gurps/game terms means it can be made more cheaply.

Not necessarily.

There's a saying in contract work; "There are three things; fast, cheap, and good. You can pick two."

Mail seems to be Good and Cheap, where segmentata is only fast (it's the one 'that proves the rule').

So if you need to outfit 100 men in the next month, segmentata is likely the way to go, even if it's more expensive and crappier.

DocRailgun 09-27-2017 09:42 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I think you totally missed the point of what Kromm was saying - which seems to me to have been that sometimes games shooting for realism have poor choices. Not everything has to be optimal. Just because your players see that mail is better than segmented plate isn't relevant. The option is there for players who need it.
Clearly using spells as advantages would be better for a lot of characters, but that doesn't mean that the magic system needs to be 'taken out back and shot'.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125506)
I fully get why mail would be the preferred armor for that flexibility allowing complete coverage, ease of repair in field, and breathability which is something few gamers seem to take seriously.
But if segmented plate is supposed to be useless, then for gaming purposes reality must be taken out back and shot or at least some leeway must be given to make it something other than a point of contention for characters in setting let alone players.


Ulzgoroth 09-27-2017 10:33 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
The 'fast' model would work in theory but seems exactly the opposite of the needs of mass-issue armor.
Quote:

Originally Posted by DocRailgun (Post 2125531)
I think you totally missed the point of what Kromm was saying - which seems to me to have been that sometimes games shooting for realism have poor choices. Not everything has to be optimal. Just because your players see that mail is better than segmented plate isn't relevant. The option is there for players who need it.
Clearly using spells as advantages would be better for a lot of characters, but that doesn't mean that the magic system needs to be 'taken out back and shot'.

Reality doesn't need to be optimized from a gaming white-room perspective is one thing. Concluding that there's no problem with an analysis that implies large swathes of historical people's choices were just plain idiotic on the basis of information that was readily available to them is another...

Flyndaran 09-27-2017 11:17 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I'm afraid that everyone's misunderstanding what I'm saying. While very frustrating it seems that I just can't ask my question in a way to get an answer I'm looking for. I understand everyone's posts, but disagree with only some.

Tomsdad 09-27-2017 11:59 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by evileeyore (Post 2125528)
Not necessarily.

There's a saying in contract work; "There are three things; fast, cheap, and good. You can pick two."

Mail seems to be Good and Cheap, where segmentata is only fast (it's the one 'that proves the rule')....

I'm, not sure mail was cheap, because 'slow' in this case also involves skilled labour and skilled labour wasn't cheap.


Quote:

Originally Posted by DocRailgun (Post 2125531)
the point of what Kromm was saying - which seems to me to have been that sometimes games shooting for realism have poor choices. Not everything has to be optimal. ...

Yep +1

DanHoward 09-28-2017 12:22 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by safisher (Post 2125527)
Well that would have simplified Low-Tech armor, wouldn't it?

Armor: DR 4.

End of notes.

I was paid by the word. :)

DanHoward 09-28-2017 12:25 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tomsdad (Post 2125551)
I'm, not sure mail was cheap, because 'slow' in this case also involves skilled labour and skilled labour wasn't cheap.

Mail was never cheap. It can't be made cheap. Just the cost of one-two thousand feet of manually-drawn highly-refined iron wire would exceed the cost of most types of armour. It doesn't seem to have been made by semi-skilled labour either. It was a highly specialised craft, heavily regulated by guilds, and only practiced by licensed mailleurs. The skillset and tools required are closer to that of a jeweller than a smith.

Tomsdad 09-28-2017 12:28 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125506)
I fully get why mail would be the preferred armor for that flexibility allowing complete coverage, ease of repair in field, and breathability which is something few gamers seem to take seriously.
But if segmented plate is supposed to be useless, then for gaming purposes reality must be taken out back and shot or at least some leeway must be given to make it something other than a point of contention for characters in setting let alone players.
I think my idea of making mail impossible to make cheap, but segmented plate can be allowing it to work for outfitting an army on the cheap. That assumes that such major demand for loads of iron doesn't cause an increase in prices negating some or even all of the point.

But that wouldn't deal with the fact that brigandine was more advanced but doesn't have an option in this article that I can see.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125547)
I'm afraid that everyone's misunderstanding what I'm saying. While very frustrating it seems that I just can't ask my question in a way to get an answer I'm looking for. I understand everyone's posts, but disagree with only some.

I think the point is that "for gaming purposes" seems to be tied to a combination of game stats which give Segmented plate a niche of usefulness within the game

Only in reality

1). Not all aspects of armour in reality is covered by GURPS game stats (or any game's stats) a game system is an abstraction of all sorts of real world effects.

2). The reality is some choices that in theory are suboptimal given a free range of all possible options, are not in a real life situation where not all options may be available.

The qualifier for gaming purposes doesn't override this. Not unless for gaming purposes you are assuming that all possible options are available Or that variable that are not modelled by games stats don't apply.

And if you are assuming that for gaming purposes then yes some options will be suboptimal and no one will choose them


However one of the good things with the design article is you can easily tinker with various armours input stats in order to create a niche for them within the system even in situations where they are all freely available.

Only doing so won't necessarily match the reality of them and their historical use.

Tl;dr its basically two different questions with two different answers.

Phil Masters 09-28-2017 05:37 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
It occurs to me that GURPS probably over-simplifies by giving any item a single price over a given TL. If A uses mostly-cheaper materials but requires more work and time, while B uses more materials but less skill and time, then the relative cost of labour and materials will become rather important.

"Yes, mail is lighter, more comfortable, and cheaper where you come from. But right now, we're living next door to that mine and forge that produce plate-grade steel by the ton, and most of our competent mailleurs died of the bloody flux during last year's plague season. You're wearing plate and liking it, private."

Bruno 09-28-2017 06:37 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
"We don't have any bloody mail, nobody knows how to make bloody mail, do you need armor or not?" is a particularly likely thing to hear from a small town blacksmith.

Not all armor purchases for PCs is for upgrade purposes.

While characters tend to spring into existence with adventuring equipment, they simply may not have been able to afford significant armor at character generation, or through ill fortune they no longer have said armor. If you need it the way many adventurers really do need it, and you are in the typically bandit-and-monster-plagued region that adventurers tend to find adventures in, it may not be safe to travel to a larger trade center to get good armor.

Counting cost of living while waiting for your armor to be made, mail is even more expensive than its list price (something that gamers tend to forget, expecting everything to be immediately available "off the rack"). It may be a better investment of your time and money to get the smith to bang out some cheap munitions segmented plate and have something to wear on the way to a place that makes quality armor.

You may end up looking a bit like Ned Kelly, but at least it'll help. And if you're "upgrading" from no armor, it's already infinitely better protection, weight issues or no.

safisher 09-28-2017 09:38 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DanHoward (Post 2125553)
Mail was never cheap. It can't be made cheap. Just the cost of one-two thousand feet of manually-drawn highly-refined iron wire would exceed the cost of most types of armour. It doesn't seem to have been made by semi-skilled labour either. It was a highly specialised craft, heavily regulated by guilds, and only practiced by licensed mailleurs. The skillset and tools required are closer to that of a jeweller than a smith.

Historical prices are all over the map. If a mail haubergeon with aventail, etc. was 10 marks in 1324, that's worth about $6,000 today. In GURPS terms, that's over one-quarter of your starting wealth at TL8. That certainly seems expensive! But that's not a useful way to think about "price" in historical times.

Mail is not hard to make, but it is time consuming. Iron wire is not hard to draw, if in fact it was all drawn. The wire was not by any means consistent in its metallurgy. Much of it was pretty terrible iron, full of slag. Iron rings could be made with nothing more than a groove in a piece of iron, by hammering the iron rod out and drawing it and forming it into the groove. This could have been done piece work, just like nails were made -- sometimes by children by the fire during the winter. Nail making was a common colonial winter pastime, a way to make a little money and keep warm. Obviously nails and mail rings are similar in size, that is, quite small, and that lends to them being easily forged in a simple wood fire. I hardly need to add any oxygen to my coal fire in order to do nail making. A good, hot wood fire would be no different. A good, experienced nail maker is FAST, making anywhere from 1-5 nails a minute.

It's not at all difficult to imagine a village employed making such rings in their spare time (bad weather), the lord providing the iron. I'm not sure there is ever a mention that this is how it was done in the historical record, but it was certainly done that way with nails. The armorer then would really just be involved in slitting plate and assembling the rings into a coat, not in ring making. It's also feasible that his assistants made the solid rings and the drawn rings were parted out as piecework. If a couple of assistants were involved in welding rings together as part of their off-time, it's quite possible you could have a real efficiency in mail production. In fact, I'd be surprised if this is not how things worked to some extent. As I say, this is based purely on speculation drawn from nail making practices and other parting out systems. The advantage of the whole process is that it does not need all the heavy equipment which is needed for plate.

DanHoward 09-28-2017 04:09 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Amour making in general was controlled by the ruler. Nobody could make it without licenses from the lord and all of the relevant guilds. In the two principal mail making centers in Europe (southern Germany and northern Italy), mail making was extremely demarcated. No one workshop performed all the steps. The bloomsmiths sold their billets to wire makers and plateners. The wire makers sold their wire to link makers. The plateners sold their plate to link makers. The link makers made open rounded links from wire and punched closed links from plate and sold them to mailleurs. We don't know who made the rivets - whether they were made by mailleurs or link makers or a separate workshop. The mailleurs wove the links into sheets of mail and sold it to armourers. The armourers tailored it into pieces of armour. The workshops were also was also heavily regulated with no workshop permitted to employ more than 5-6 people. There were thousands of these family-run workshops. Some towns were dedicated to nothing other than making mail. Their blacksmiths never made mail; they would be heavily fined and run out of town if they tried.

Flyndaran 09-28-2017 06:29 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
I think we all know that politics, transport, basic availability, and numerous middle men jack up prices significantly. But that's the easiest thing to adjust for specific settings.

safisher 09-28-2017 09:42 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DanHoward (Post 2125624)
Amour making in general was controlled by the ruler. Nobody could make it without licenses from the lord and all of the relevant guilds...

I've read that before. But this is a sort of idealized framework drawn from a European high medieval or Renaissance era sources. It would not work for earlier periods, for non-Europeans locales, etc. In particular, it would not work in many fantasy settings. My comments were directed at how it could work, sans the historical accuracy. Also, I mean this as a way of questioning the prices we have, as I suspect they are not market prices as we know it, but rather priced for legal or licensing reasons, if you will. The local lord who controls armor production is going to get first dibs, and his armor needs will be met first. Perhaps this will be just materials costs. Selling armor to competitors would be a poor strategy, for instance. So, too, the armor values seen in wills or other legal records, they are possibly inflated, and/or include the pass-through costs for replacement that someone controlling labor would not pay. There is essentially a surcharge, as it were, for nobles who buy armor when it isn't produced by their peasants. Thus, finding a realistic price might not be possible. A workable price in a fantasy setting, well, that's different. And it could be that prices then would be much lower than the historical price lists show.

Tomsdad 09-29-2017 01:09 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Flyndaran (Post 2125643)
I think we all know that politics, transport, basic availability, and numerous middle men jack up prices significantly. But that's the easiest thing to adjust for specific settings.

Yep, although it can work in both directions. Some of that complicated scenario DanHoward outlined helped speed things up as well as make savings at some points even if some increased costs at other points. It kind of depends on how much you want to get into industrial process, or time and motion studies!

(a big point here is who was armour made for and in what numbers it was in demand for)


Quote:

Originally Posted by safisher (Post 2125674)
I've read that before. But this is a sort of idealized framework drawn from a European high medieval or Renaissance era sources. It would not work for earlier periods, for non-Europeans locales, etc. In particular, it would not work in many fantasy settings. My comments were directed at how it could work, sans the historical accuracy. Also, I mean this as a way of questioning the prices we have, as I suspect they are not market prices as we know it, but rather priced for legal or licensing reasons, if you will. The local lord who controls armor production is going to get first dibs, and his armor needs will be met first. Perhaps this will be just materials costs. Selling armor to competitors would be a poor strategy, for instance. So, too, the armor values seen in wills or other legal records, they are possibly inflated, and/or include the pass-through costs for replacement that someone controlling labor would not pay. There is essentially a surcharge, as it were, for nobles who buy armor when it isn't produced by their peasants. Thus, finding a realistic price might not be possible. A workable price in a fantasy setting, well, that's different. And it could be that prices then would be much lower than the historical price lists show.

I agree the economic model for high medieval / Renaissance armour manufacture (let alone other historical models) does make abstract pricing hard. And that such models could also involve factor that increase a theoretical per item cost. But I'd hesitate to assume that fantasy setting would be inherently cheaper per item, because the economic models of fantasy settings are also rather weird and wonderful at times as well so may also have factors that increase costs about the theoretical base cost.

Take the stereotype of the fantasy "armour shop", often tacked on to the town/village black smith who does all the work. Where adventurers swap freshly delved bags of gold coins for suits of armour. Only unless you have a regular passing trade of successful adventurers, spending a considerable amount of your time and resources making a single item that sits waiting for a passing adventurer is a big risk when you have a family to feed and costs to cover. Including the costs of that item. So it would not be unsurprising if that risk was mitigated by jacking the price up (especially when you have cash rich individual customers and your the only one around who can meet the need)

I.e yeah I agree some historical costs may well have been jacked up as repercussion of the manufacturing process and local economics and politics. But well I can envisage various fantasy scenarios were they could be jacked up as well! Also as I said above some of those historical models may have also included factors that drove down prices as well.

Cue the many jokes about fantasy settlements who's economic model is based around fleecing cash rich adventurers staggering out of dungeons laden with loot and long shopping lists

Of course not all fantasy settings are so stereotypical, but I can't help but feel that unless the setting is specifically designed to make armour cheap, the more "realistic" you make it it the closer you end up with historical models anyway.

safisher 09-29-2017 02:14 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tomsdad (Post 2125707)
I agree the economic model for high medieval / Renaissance armour manufacture (let alone other historical models) does make abstract pricing hard. And that such models could also involve factor that increase a theoretical per item cost. But I'd hesitate to assume that fantasy setting would be inherently cheaper per item..

If you wanted armor to be cheaper in your setting, it could be made more cheaply. This is especially true of mail. That's my point. It's not a refutable point, or one worth arguing about because it's a purely fictional premise. I'm well aware of the arguments against, which is why I framed it the way that I did.

Tomsdad 09-29-2017 02:35 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by safisher (Post 2125803)
If you wanted armor to be cheaper in your setting, it could be made more cheaply. This is especially true of mail. That's my point. It's not a refutable point, or one worth arguing about because it's a purely fictional premise. I'm well aware of the arguments against, which is why I framed it the way that I did.

Oh I pretty much agree I wasn't arguing against your point (sorry didn't mean to give the impression I was)

DanHoward 09-29-2017 05:25 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
None of the armour in Low-Tech is based on historical prices. As noted in this thread, it is pointless trying to do that. Low-Tech prices were based on utility with Basic Set used as a baseline. If one type provided more protection than a another then it cost more. If one type weighed more than another then it cost less. If one type was easier to conceal than another then it cost more. And so on.

Phil Masters 09-30-2017 03:37 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by DanHoward (Post 2125847)
None of the armour in Low-Tech is based on historical prices. As noted in this thread, it is pointless trying to do that. Low-Tech prices were based on utility with Basic Set used as a baseline. If one type provided more protection than a another then it cost more. If one type weighed more than another then it cost less. If one type was easier to conceal than another then it cost more. And so on.

So why was segmented plate priced as it is?

Ulzgoroth 09-30-2017 12:17 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Phil Masters (Post 2125903)
So why was segmented plate priced as it is?

Isn't there a standing unofficial errata for segmented plate in a thread someplace?

EDIT: Over here, specifically.

Varyon 09-30-2017 07:37 PM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
One big issue is that Low Tech and the Pyramid article use different assumptions. Namely, the Pyramid article has DR being perfectly linear with thickness (and thus weight), while LT sorta-kinda gives most metal armor a "free" +1 DR for deflection. That makes conversion between the two difficult. There's also some oddities in that LT had - according to the previously linked post by the author - some of the armor weights probably wrong (scale and segmented were a bit heavy), and the Pyramid article has some oddities regarding scale (it's far better in the article than in LT).

Roughly speaking (assuming Good Iron and normalizing to DR 4, the middle of the progression), and using Dan's new numbers, the numbers in the article should be as follows:
Scale should be CW 1.6 and CC 0.9. Segmented should be CW 1.2 and CC 2. Brigandine (included for completion) should be CW 1 and CC 3.6.
Plate would instead be normalized to DR 6, which would result in the numbers matching pretty much exactly.

DanHoward 10-01-2017 12:25 AM

Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?
 
Realistically, the amount of energy required for plate penetration is not linear with thickness. The energy required is roughly the square of the thickness. A linear progression is a reasonable approximation for the lower plate thicknesses in Low-Tech but at higher thicknesses it doesn't work.


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