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Old 09-18-2019, 09:02 AM   #1
Rasna
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Pisa, Tuscany, Italy
Default [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

According to rules, layering armour over Padded Cloth (DR 1*) would give -1 to DX. However, the combination of metallic armour over thick padding (not so thick to work properly as standalone armour, but in any case thicker of the DR 0* padding which is included in armour stats) was so common in certain periods and regions (ex. XIII to XVI century Europe) that makes me think that the -1 DX penalty for layering armour seems to be excessive. Wearing mail armour over padded cloth isn't the same that wearing mail armour under a heavy gambeson (DR 3) or under a coat of plates. In the first case, the total weight is inferior, the distribution of weight is better and movement are less likely to be significantly hampered.

So I propose that:

1) Wearing a layer of flexible armour over a single layer of Padded Cloth shouldn't give any DX penalty. Wearing any kind of armour over a single layer of Padded Cloth which is Expertly Tailored or Masterfully Tailored shouldn't give any DX penalty. Expertly Tailored Padded Cloth and Masterfully Tailored Padded Cloth would count as Arming Doublet for the purpuose of calculating the -1 DX and -1 DR penalty for wearing a Plate armour suit without a proper underpadding.

Or, alternatively:

2) Wearing a layer of any kind of armour that isn't of Cheap Quality over a single layer of Padded Cloth shouldn't give any DX penalty. Expertly Tailored Padded Cloth and Masterfully Tailored Padded Cloth would count as Arming Doublet for the purpuose of calculating the -1 DX and -1 DR penalty for wearing a Plate armour suit without a proper underpadding.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:51 AM   #2
CarrionPeacock
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

Layering penalty is often about game balance rather than realism (donning a clamshell over reflex bodysuit causes DX penalty), so if those rules doesn't disrupt the balance of your games, then go ahead.
Regarding official stance, Dungeon Fantasy Knights has a power-up that allows them to wear armor up to DR2 without causing DX penalty.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:12 AM   #3
Anthony
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

In general the layered armor penalty is for two armor layers both designed to work independently as armor, not for two armor layers that are designed to work together -- it's just that two armor layers that are designed to work together tends to be statted up as a single suit of armor with multiple components, not as two suits of armor.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:19 AM   #4
Varyon
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

Outer armor can probably be tailored to assume an inner layer of a given thickness (this is basically the same as armor tailored for a larger individual), and wearing this without the expected inner layer would result in a DX penalty, while wearing it with would mean no penalty. There’s a limit to how thick armor can be before it physically gets in the way of movements, however - I generally assume up to 0.2” for rigid and up to 0.5” for flexible is ok (for hybrid cases, no more than 0.2” for the rigid layer and no more than 0.5” overall). Some areas (Chest, Skull) can be thicker, some areas (joints, mostly) must be thinner, of course, but that level of detail isn’t strictly necessary. That’s for a human with an average build; larger characters can wear thicker armor, smaller characters must wear thinner armor.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:54 PM   #5
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasna View Post
According to rules, layering armour over Padded Cloth (DR 1*) would give -1 to DX. However, the combination of metallic armour over thick padding (not so thick to work properly as standalone armour, but in any case thicker of the DR 0* padding which is included in armour stats) was so common in certain periods and regions (ex. XIII to XVI century Europe)
Arming doublets, purpoints, and aketons were no thicker or heavier than regular clothing. They were designed to stop chafing and improve the fit of the armour, not to provide extra protection. Low-Tech armour stats assume that normal clothing underneath has been replaced with an appropriate arming garment, or that the armour has its own integrated padded liner (which was a lot more common than many assume).

Quote:
Wearing a layer of any kind of armour that isn't of Cheap Quality over a single layer of Padded Cloth shouldn't give any DX penalty.
Any armour worn over what Low-Tech defines as "Padded Cloth" definitely requires a DX penalty.
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Last edited by DanHoward; 09-18-2019 at 04:21 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:12 PM   #6
Rasna
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony View Post
In general the layered armor penalty is for two armor layers both designed to work independently as armor, not for two armor layers that are designed to work together -- it's just that two armor layers that are designed to work together tends to be statted up as a single suit of armor with multiple components, not as two suits of armor.
Usually yes, this is the case, but is possible to use Padded Cloth alone and in combination with something heavier, because it's at the same time a form of padding and a form of armour. GURPS rules penalise the conjuct use of proper armour with DR 1+ padding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Varyon View Post
Outer armor can probably be tailored to assume an inner layer of a given thickness (this is basically the same as armor tailored for a larger individual), and wearing this without the expected inner layer would result in a DX penalty, while wearing it with would mean no penalty. There’s a limit to how thick armor can be before it physically gets in the way of movements, however - I generally assume up to 0.2” for rigid and up to 0.5” for flexible is ok (for hybrid cases, no more than 0.2” for the rigid layer and no more than 0.5” overall). Some areas (Chest, Skull) can be thicker, some areas (joints, mostly) must be thinner, of course, but that level of detail isn’t strictly necessary. That’s for a human with an average build; larger characters can wear thicker armor, smaller characters must wear thinner armor.
Padded Cloth is flexible and is 0.25" thick. That's why I think that the DX penalty is excessive, if the armour "layered" with Padded Cloth isn't of Cheap Quality. So I'm for decreasing the penalty from a milder form (ex. -1 only to some DX-based skills, like Fast-Draw) to no penalties at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
Any armour worn over what Low-Tech defines as "Padded Cloth" definitely requires a DX penalty.
I don't agree with you, Dan, at least not in game terms. Of course the point of the discussion is to take something that is real and "translate" it in GURPS stats. We can translate most historical pourpoints as being DR 0, but not the thickest of them (DR 1* to DR 2*) that were still used with some other form of armour.

GURPS DR 1* "Padded Cloth" is described as being only 1/4" (ca 0,625 cm) thick, so can be translated in something that could be 6-8 layers thick. Which was rarely worn by itself, but it can provides some protection against punches, batons, sword cuts and knife stabs, while the normal underpadding (DR 0) when alone has no protective value at all, at least in GURPS terms. So we are talking about a thick vest or a thicker-than-usual form of padding, depending on cases.

Textile standalone armour would be anything from Light Layered Cloth (DR 2*) to Proofed Paper (DR 6). The combination of a thicker-than-usual padded garment worn with mail and/or lamellar or plate armour translated in GURPS game dynamics is present in your own work, Dan: Qin Cavalry Loadout, Byzantine Skoutatos Loadout, Third Crusade European Loadout, Mamluk Heavy Cavalry Loadout and Northern Mughal Cavalry Loadout, all of them wear metallic armour over GURPS Padded Cloth.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:05 PM   #7
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rasna View Post
Padded Cloth is flexible and is 0.25" thick.
If it's 1/4" thick, it's very tightly stitched together, as by weight it's something like 130 ounces per square yard.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

I think the issue is your use of the term "Padded Cloth", which has a very specific definition in Low-Tech. The Padded Cloth armour in Low-Tech, is 1/4" thick AFTER it has been compressed with quilting. It is considerably thicker than that beforehand. This armour provides a general DR 1 vs all attacks and is too bulky to be worn under armour without application of a DX penalty. There were a lot of reasons that came up during writing and playtesting for it to be such.

The text is a little confusing because there were legacy issues with earlier issues of GURPS but the Padded Cloth armour in Low-Tech was not intended to represent aketons and other forms of arming garments that were historically worn under armour. The Loadouts book treated arming garments the same as Light Leather or Winter Clothing, which gave DR 1 vs. cutting attacks only. They won't suffer a DX penalty if specifically tailored to be worn under armour.
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Last edited by DanHoward; 09-18-2019 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 08:10 AM   #9
Tomsdad
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

If nothing else if it's been significantly compressed down to 1/4" by lots of stitching, it's likely fairly rigid*

That rigidity will be an issue for layering



I think the reality is there were instances of layered armour and people taking in GURPS terms -1DX pens

(Dan Howard's Loadouts shows several examples of this)




I might be tempted to make some very specific exceptions for some combinations or armour and good tailoring

Don't forget that we're functionally talking about a -1 to relevant skill's, so you can overcome this issue by getting +1 more in the relevant skills.

If someone really wanted to have some kind of +1 to skill that only counts for negating that armour layer penalty for a specific armour set I might call that a 50%* limitation / reduction in skill cost. And a not too unrealistic way to model experienced armour wearing fighters working out how to compensate for the issues of layered armour.


Yeah OK this gets pretty damn close to a "wearing armour skill", familiarity bonus or perk, but ehh I'm OK with that


Another way to go would be to allow a +1 armour bond bonus that offsets layering penalty for individual armour sets, Same kind of justification and the individual user having just got so comfortable with the their specific armour beyond even the initial tailoring and familiarisation process. (I'd have familiarity rules for armours as well as poor tailoring issues).





*in terms of worn material even if not in terms of meeting the threshold of flexible or not in GURPS terms.


**make it -75% and it's a perk
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Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-20-2019 at 01:36 AM.
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Old 09-19-2019, 11:06 AM   #10
Rasna
 
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Default Re: [Low-Tech] Padded Cloth and Layered Armour penalty

Maybe the Expertly Tailored version or the Masterfully Tailored version of the Padded Cloth could qualify themselves for erasing completely the DX penalty, because they're specifically made to fit at the best the wearer, so they can act as "Winter Clothing" or "Light Leather" specifically tailored to be worn under armour. I'm still inclined to not give penalties for the combination of flexible mail armour (Light, Fine or Heavy Mail) over Padded Cloth, though maintaining the penalty for the combination of mail and DR 2* Light Layered Cloth. It depends also from which area of the body is covered. For example, donning a sleeveless Light Layered Cloth aketon over a sleeved Padded Cloth jacket is different to don a sleeved Light Layered Cloth gambeson over another sleeved Padded Cloth jacket. In the second case, arm movements are likely to be hampered enough to justify the -1 DX penalty.

Anyway, "Padded Cloth" used as standalone armour still remains a poor choice. DR 1 armour, alone, sounds more like a thing to protect the wearer from bad weather and work hazards than a useful protection in a Low-Tech battlefield, and I don't think that it was something that was worn purposely as "armour", at least not in the majority of cases. Though, the armour is still considered "flexible" (DR 1*), so is thick but not semi-rigid (like Light Scale) or rigid. There is also a lighter version of the Padded Cloth that still gives DR 1* against all attacks: the Heavy Coat, which covers torso, arms, thighs and knees (200%) and weights 10 lbs. - so, a sleeveless short version that covers only the torso (100%) should weight only 5 lbs. against 6 lbs. of Padded Cloth. It costs only two times the Padded Cloth at parity of body coverage and gives +4 to Holdout to conceal other forms of armour beneath it, so... what's the point of using Padded Cloth at all?
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