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Old 09-24-2019, 02:50 AM   #21
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

If you use the design rules in Pyramid rules they will give you a "thickness" when you create armour. You could link some kind sliding scale DX penalty to that.

I.e. so a layer of padded cloth that was DR2 would be rather a lot thicker than a layer of DR3 mail.

Granularity will be a question though, -1DX per layer is already the finest grain the system can do.

There's also the question that some other physical aspects might apply, rigidity for instance even if it's not enough to qualify at non-flexible in the system. It is almost impossible to make cloth or leather armour not become more and more rigid as thickness increases. Another great thing about mail* is that in terms of increasing equivalent DR it maintains it's flexibility for far longer than padded or leather.

So with that in mind it maybe worth applying a different sliding scale for different armours. But as I say due to the granularity issue this kind of distinction might just be below the ability of the system to discern unless you have whopping great penalties at the upper end of the range to fit smaller ones under.



*what I might do is allow mail below a certain thickness benefit from more relaxed layering rules. Say (for example) if it's fine or light you can cover the torso and the upper thighs for no layering penalty, but any more location coverage than that and you get the usual -1DX pen.
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-24-2019 at 04:29 AM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 02:54 AM   #22
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The other issue with layering armor is that realistically (though this is not represented in GURPS and varies by armor type) a single double-weight armor layer is likely to have superior protective value to two layers of single-weight armor, so you really only layer armor if there's an interaction between the layers that increases performance (in which case you are likely to never use at least one of layers solo -- for example, vest inserts) or there's a technical issue that forces you to (flexible armor to fill gaps between plates), and both cases are really better represented as a single suit of armor with multiple elements, not layered armor.
Yep, and it raises the question what's a layer and what's an integral part of a greater whole. Especially if you take time and resources to specifically tailor separate "layers" to work together, even if it's just at the design phase.

I think this line blurs more and more as you go up in TL levels as new materials become available!
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Old 09-24-2019, 05:56 AM   #23
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

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Originally Posted by Tomsdad View Post
*what I might do is allow mail below a certain thickness benefit from more relaxed layering rules. Say (for example) if it's fine or light you can cover the torso and the upper thighs for no layering penalty, but any more location coverage than that and you get the usual -1DX pen.
Certainly as well if it's a mail hauberk under a breastplate. There is barely any interaction at the layers to worry about.


My question was always... what if it's flexible over rigid? I usually see this as hauberk over upper arm guard, thigh plates, etc. So far I've just ignored it, as I know well made guards won't catch... but...
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:12 AM   #24
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

The Pyramid armor design articles treat any flexible material as rigid (for purposes other than setting MaxDR, which I don’t think is actually formally linked to thickness - my suggested 0.2” for rigid and 0.5” for flexible is more a trend than a hard rule) if it’s 0.25” or thicker. The material doesn’t suddenly become rigid, but the effects of flexible - increased blunt trauma, 100% coverage with no armor chinks/gaps - no longer apply (it’s thick enough to readily absorb blunt trauma, but too thick for joints and the like so it needs to be designed more like armor plates than clothing).

For going beyond maximum thickness, I think once something is thick enough to interfere with movement it’s going to become rather restrictive rather quickly. -1 DX per +10% thickness should work (double thickness is “impossible” to function, at -10); I’d even be tempted to make it -1 DX per +5% (1.5x thickness - roughly maximum thickness for a creature 1 SM larger than the wearer - is at the “impossible” -10 level). If multilayered, this assumes the armor was designed to be worn together; if not, the layering penalty would also be in play.

For flexible-over-rigid, I think I’ve read this typically cuts the protective ability of the flexible armor in half, so 50% DR may be appropriate. Of course, that’s flexible armor on, say, a tree stump, rather than other a layer of plate with a squishy person underneath, so this may overstate the effect - perhaps 80% DR would be more appropriate (or just ignore the effect and use full DR). I suspect in cases where flexible armor was worn over rigid for a functional reason (rather than for aesthetics), it was largely to capture projectiles and their fragments so they don’t end up striking the wearer or one of his allies in an unarmored location after glancing/splintering off the armor. See the video from this thread, wherein roughly period arrows were shot from a period bow at period breastplate (roughly because the arrows required some educated guessing, the bow is based on specimens from roughly 100 years after Agincourt, and the breastplate was based more on a German design than a French one).
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Old 09-24-2019, 07:51 AM   #25
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

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Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
The other issue with layering armor is that realistically (though this is not represented in GURPS and varies by armor type) a single double-weight armor layer is likely to have superior protective value to two layers of single-weight armor, so you really only layer armor if there's an interaction between the layers that increases performance (in which case you are likely to never use at least one of layers solo -- for example, vest inserts) or there's a technical issue that forces you to (flexible armor to fill gaps between plates), and both cases are really better represented as a single suit of armor with multiple elements, not layered armor.
I'm looking into some history, but am still quite the novice idiot. So everyone correct me when, not if, I'm wrong.
But it seems like as plate started to get more prevalent, people began to add it piecemeal over suits of mail around the 1300s. But by the 1400s, they quickly began to just stop wearing the mail underneath except for the gaps.
It seems like that would make most sense if they realized that it was more weight/protection efficient to only wear one layer of armor.
Is this a valid assessment?

(I know that over time, plate became less expensive than mail, but that happens a bit later than when much of this cross over seemed to have occurred.)
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:04 AM   #26
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

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Originally Posted by Polydamas View Post
Exactly. The sopbrosberga and soprensegna in documents from duocento Italy and the red brocade Charles VI garment would probably count as Light Layered Cloth in GURPS, with their weight rounded up because they have to have an even DR 2 and because players don't carry all the weight they want their characters to carry, its fair for things to be slightly heavier than average. They would be in addition to the weight of clothing and of iron/hardened leather/bronze armour, all of which are worn underneath these overgarments.
The Charles VI garment is closer to Padded Cloth because it's 10 to 12 lbs. and it covers torso and arms (150% of torso armour in GURPS terms). GURPS Padded Cloth that cover both the torso and the arms would be 9 lbs. while GURPS Light Layered Leather would be 18 lbs.

Armour assimilable to GURPS Padded Cloth worn under mail would be the thicker aketons worn by European knights from mid XII to early XV century, as well the Eastern Roman kabadion. Armour assimilable to GURPS Padded Cloth worn between an inner layer of mail and rigid metallic armour (lamellar, plate) would be the Middle Eastern qarqal and some of the heavier pourpoints like this:
https://i.pinimg.com/564x/a8/b7/6d/a...c6f95ee6af.jpg

If the DX penalty is for Winter Clothing/Light Leather/Heavy Coat/Padded Cloth which isn't made to be worn under other forms of armour, then it's fine. But in my campaigns I'd remove the penalty for Winter Clothing/Light Leather/Heavy Coat/Padded Cloth that is appositely designed to be worn under or over other forms of armour. Expert Tailoring (+5 CF, -15% weight, +1 Holdout) would qualify for these if worn as undergarments, as it represents an armour made with better materials (a bit less thick) and that fits better to the wearer. For overgarments, I'd apply a +1 CF to erase the layering penalty for one layer only, with no changes in weight or Holdout - maybe with -1 Holdout for being looser in order to hamper less the movements of the wearer. About mail armour and sleeveless flexible armour, I'd give no penalty for a single layer of armour worn with Winter Clothing/Light Leather/Heavy Coat/Padded Cloth, under or over.

Last edited by Rasna; 09-24-2019 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:08 AM   #27
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I'm looking into some history, but am still quite the novice idiot. So everyone correct me when, not if, I'm wrong.
But it seems like as plate started to get more prevalent, people began to add it piecemeal over suits of mail around the 1300s. But by the 1400s, they quickly began to just stop wearing the mail underneath except for the gaps.
It seems like that would make most sense if they realized that it was more weight/protection efficient to only wear one layer of armor.
Is this a valid assessment?

(I know that over time, plate became less expensive than mail, but that happens a bit later than when much of this cross over seemed to have occurred.)
The thing is in terms of like for like protection (i.e DR in GURPS terms) plate is lighter and a lot of the time cheaper than mail, so in abstract if you can do plate, you do plate.

Mail had other advantages though, being flexible it's great at covering hard to armour locations. But again as plate developed Plate was also able to do this (not 100% as well which is why as you say you kept mail voiders etc).

Side note mail isn't great against maces etc, so that was another factor that favoured plate over mail. It also not great against bullets! (plate can be depending on what bullet and what thickness of plate)

On top of that plate also got generally speaking better in terms of protection for weight, as better steels and better processes become more available (or more able to be reliably made in greater amounts and thus more available/affordable). This allows better plate to be made that offered better protection without proportionally increasing the weight as a much.


Not all of these are absolutes, some early plate was very good, some later plate was less good, some mail types can get pretty rigid, some very expensive plate armours made by the best craftsmen had plate voiders, not all types of armour were available to all people all the time for specific reasons other than what's the most cost and weight deficient way to get DR etc, etc.


The head is a slight special case here due to the issues of vision, mobility and high value target.


Look at the various loadouts in Dan Howard's loadout books, the French Chevalier is wearing one of the heaviest sets with layers of plate and mail (and some quite impressive layered DR at points). The German Ritter a century later is wearing a set with way less mail, less layers and less weight but IIRC better plate coverage and pretty comparable protection. The Italian a hundred years after has a few extra developments over the Ritter in terms of head, throat & joint protection. Otherwise its pretty similar to the Ritter, apart from the fact that his suit is heavier because overall thickness has increased. But in terms of protection by weight the increase in protection outstrips the weight increase. It still lighter than the Chevalier's though!

The London Lobster (ECW) gets heavier but still lighter than the Chevalier, and has a DR12 proofed Breastplate!


But the point that's perhaps more relevant here for looking at armour effectiveness in GURPS is that historically once you have a suite of plate that has got around the coverage issue and is of reasonably good steel that gave you pretty damn good protection* against pretty much all hand held weapons until guns got better (and even then certain bits of plate got thicker to compete with guns for a while).
So they didn't need to layer because they didn't need the 2nd layer for coverage, and they didn't need to layer for the extra protection that layer would give.


But as we all know from umpteen threads on the subject, that effectiveness in terms of protection isn't always matched in the GURPS system. And while I'm not looking to reignite that debate, it is I think fair to say that because of that fact we often look at armour's performance in GURPS and things like layering with that in mind. And so the "Historical record" and the "GURPS record" at our tables, don't always exactly line up! But of course GURPS has a far wider remit than to only provide exact historical armour performance, and has to accommodate a much wider range of results within the same overall system so yeah we get overlap in those results**!



*generally speaking forcing people to go around it and more complete coverage makes that harder

**and example of this is 'Blade of the Iron Throne' (a system that largely came out of 'The Riddle of Steel'). This system is a kind of sword and sorcery game pretty much aimed at "realistic" one on one fights between largely human combatants (it can do more but IMO breaks when it tries). It basically says a lot of blade's can't cut through amour of a certain type. Now that doesn't those blades are of no possible use, but they have to either go around the armour of they functionally turn into sub optimal bludgeoning weapons. And well OK that blanket ruling works when your only talking about vaguely realistic humans hitting other vaguely realistic humans in armour. But GURPS doesn't have that luxury, because while yeah OK It's extremely unlikely that a human can cut through a 2mm steel breastplate with a sword for any effect, what about a 12ft tall ST25 ogre with 8ft, 15lb sword he might be able to rather more easily
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-24-2019 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:23 AM   #28
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
I'm looking into some history, but am still quite the novice idiot. So everyone correct me when, not if, I'm wrong.
But it seems like as plate started to get more prevalent, people began to add it piecemeal over suits of mail around the 1300s. But by the 1400s, they quickly began to just stop wearing the mail underneath except for the gaps.
It seems like that would make most sense if they realized that it was more weight/protection efficient to only wear one layer of armor.
Is this a valid assessment?

(I know that over time, plate became less expensive than mail, but that happens a bit later than when much of this cross over seemed to have occurred.)
There is one other point about mail, beyond the ones Tomsdad pointed out, and that is weight distribution. For a chainmail hauberk or a byrnie, almost all of the weight is borne by the shoulders. For mail chausses (trousers), the weight would normally be at the waist but IIRC braces (suspenders) were used which transferred the weight to the shoulders. The weight of a mail coif would be borne by the crown of the head. There isn't much you can do about any of that, even with tailoring or layering, so that's another reason to jettison mail anywhere it isn't essential.
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Old 09-24-2019, 09:50 AM   #29
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

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Originally Posted by Curmudgeon View Post
There is one other point about mail, beyond the ones Tomsdad pointed out, and that is weight distribution. For a chainmail hauberk or a byrnie, almost all of the weight is borne by the shoulders. For mail chausses (trousers), the weight would normally be at the waist but IIRC braces (suspenders) were used which transferred the weight to the shoulders. The weight of a mail coif would be borne by the crown of the head. There isn't much you can do about any of that, even with tailoring or layering, so that's another reason to jettison mail anywhere it isn't essential.
I agree that plate could be more evenly distributed, but I've worn pretty heavy hauberks for a couple of days at a time in terms of feeling the weight it's not that bad*! FWIW my experience of the issues of weight and wearing armour is that it's not an issue that you feel all the time. Sometimes it's not a thing and sometimes it is. The best way I think I can describe this is that given practice you get used to doing stuff in armour, and that generally speaking it more heavily impedes your more extreme activities.

which isn't a very clear description. So maybe an example:

Jogging, I can (and have) jogged in armour of various types don't get me wrong I don't jog as well as when i'm not wearing armour but I can jog in it.

Sprinting though? No not anywhere as well.

One point for comfort though, leg armour? leg armour sucks! Again don't get me wrong there's a range in how much different leg armours can suck, but in general it sucks more than other bits**! (NB I have less experience of leg armour than other armour so maybe I'm missing something or just haven't got as acclimatised to it)

Enclosed helmets and padding, are of course uncomfortable, disorienting and hot. Getting the backwash of your hot exhaled air while trying to watch that chap's sword isn't fun!


*you really notice it when you take it off you get all "floaty light"

**IIRC Loadouts makes this point?
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-24-2019 at 10:36 AM.
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Old 09-24-2019, 10:58 AM   #30
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
My question was always... what if it's flexible over rigid?
Flexible over rigid is generally not there for purposes that translate as DR -- the way flexible armor stops attacks is dependent on it flexing, so if it's unable to do so, it's significantly less effective. The main purposes are holding the plate in place, concealment, and catching fragments or deflection.
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