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Old 01-02-2017, 01:50 PM   #1
TheOneTrueClockWorK
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Default Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

So, I've been working on a high/dark fantasy, TL3 world for some time now. I'm grappling with a decision regarding armor style and would like some advice.

My game uses the Low-Tech armor rules. I really like the look of plate armor and brigandine, which are both TL4. I can easily work these into the game by saying that the region has TL4 armor. However, I also really like transitional armor, which is also more TL3, and I'd like both styles of armor to exist in the world, in the same region, in a way that makes sense.

My first thought was to say that only a few armorers in the region have the skills to create TL4 armor, so it would need to be created by one of them, or imported from a TL4 area. But, my issue with this is the question of "why hasn't that knowledge spread to the rest of the area's armorers?" It would be easy enough to say that TL4 armors are still really new, but that wouldn't explain why old ruins have magically animated suits of armor guarding them.

The other idea is that, because the story is based around civilization recovering from a great interplaner war, perhaps these armors are simply revivals of old armoring techniques, from a once-TL4 world gone back to TL3.

What are the thoughts of the wise forums?
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:57 PM   #2
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

You can go with the rules in Basic Set for higher TL equipment: +1 TL is double cost. So, only the wealthy types have the TL4 armor.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:02 PM   #3
TheOneTrueClockWorK
 
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

Quote:
You can go with the rules in Basic Set for higher TL equipment: +1 TL is double cost. So, only the wealthy types have the TL4 armor.
That's a good plan for the cost of it, but my main issue is where the armor comes from, in a sense of how the world works.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:14 PM   #4
Nereidalbel
 
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

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Originally Posted by TheOneTrueClockWorK View Post
That's a good plan for the cost of it, but my main issue is where the armor comes from, in a sense of how the world works.
TL4 steel is also higher quality than TL3. So, it's from more advanced forges, more so than just smiths knowing how to shape it.
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Old 01-02-2017, 03:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

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Originally Posted by Nereidalbel View Post
TL4 steel is also higher quality than TL3. So, it's from more advanced forges, more so than just smiths knowing how to shape it.
Well the Romans (TL2) could have made plate armor but it didn't fit within their culture's way of fighting so they didn't. Of course it would have still been made of TL2 metals using TL2 methods.

One matter you have to determine is how common is magic and what magic is available as this will form the framework regarding TL4 armor. One way to keep TL4 rare is that it is really TL(3+1) armor which uses Shape Metal.

Shape Metal is a Tech spell meaning it is at -5 for a TL3 person to make TL(3+1) armor and requires Magery 1 to even learn.

Last edited by maximara; 01-02-2017 at 04:20 PM.
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Old 01-03-2017, 04:30 PM   #6
Blood Legend
 
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

I seem to vaguely remember Rome having a sudden TL jump by studying old ruins. One of those ninja turtle artists had a hard time convincing workers that his florentine domes would stay up until he went up there and started building it himself.

I think its entirely plausible there's an armor renaissance going on. Some armorers are set in their ways, others dont have the equipment, information or both, but a great many simply don't believe the new techniques are real. Any examples shown must be parlor tricks. "Sure its stronger but it must have taken months to make a piece that can beat my brigandeen! Youre just trying to steal my customers!"

Further still, the new armors attract emboldened brigands who've heard ill rumors, thinking they'll pierce through like paper. So customers shy from its lethal attention grabbing characteristics. This rumor isnt self correcting because those same brigands usually die pretty hard.
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Last edited by Blood Legend; 01-03-2017 at 04:33 PM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:14 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

Trade secret.
Only some armorers know how to make the TL 4 armor and they jeoulsly gaurd that knowledge so they can keep the price up and be in the minority people have to go to if they want that armor made.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:32 PM   #8
phayman53
 
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

Two other solutions:

1) Historically older styles of armor like mail continued to be used alongside plate by less wealthy soldiers. Also, textile armors never went out of use during the age of plate because of its usefulness and much lower cost.

2) It is perfectly reasonable in the period to have the best armors made in only a few places. Historically northern Italy and southern Germany were known for producing the best armors. You could simply stretch this a bit to saying that your plate armor producing regions are even further ahead in metallurgy relative to other places in your world.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

The techniques are state secrets. I'm reminded of the optics among the (forgive me I think it was the dutch but I can't remember for sure). The techniques to purify glass to make clear lenses were impossible to develop for a while in surrounding countries.

Just make the purifying process or the ability to smelt at that heat a state secret. It wouldn't hold forever but it would get you through several generations of experimentation and it would mean in a multi-generational game world it might matter but wouldn't until then.
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Old 01-02-2017, 02:49 PM   #10
Skarg
 
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Default Re: Trouble with Armor and Worldbuilding

You said it's a fantasy world, so perhaps the tech level is 3, except that some people have access to some magic that results in the better armors, one way or another. e.g. higher forge temperatures, metallurgical advantages, spells or spirits that accomplish things smiths haven't figured out how to do, enchanted tools, ability to shape metal with magic, TL4 armor being bought from faerie smiths...

As has been said, there is historical precedent for different places having different skills and styles of armor. With not so much literacy nor communication technology, and reasons not to share, I can see some places keeping ahead of others, at least for a while.

Though the ancient armors is another matter, but yes you could have had some technological decline.
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