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Old 09-27-2017, 11:33 PM   #61
Ulzgoroth
 
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Default 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.
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Originally Posted by DocRailgun View Post
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...
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:17 AM   #62
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Default 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.
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Old 09-28-2017, 12:59 AM   #63
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Default Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?

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Originally Posted by evileeyore View Post
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.


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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
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:22 AM   #64
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Default Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?

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

Armor: DR 4.

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I was paid by the word. :)
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:25 AM   #65
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Default Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?

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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.
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Old 09-28-2017, 01:28 AM   #66
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Default Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?

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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
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.
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Originally Posted by Flyndaran View Post
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.

Last edited by Tomsdad; 09-28-2017 at 02:17 AM.
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Old 09-28-2017, 06:37 AM   #67
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Default 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."
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Old 09-28-2017, 07:37 AM   #68
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Default 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.
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Old 09-28-2017, 10:38 AM   #69
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Default Re: Segmented Plate - Pyramid Low Tech II what am I missing?

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Originally Posted by DanHoward View Post
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.
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Old 09-28-2017, 05:09 PM   #70
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Default 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.
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