Sunday, February 26, 2012

Amaya Post: Rate the Armor Class

photo by: dencio isungga

Armor Class questions pop up from some promotional pics for the series ender of Amaya showcasing the attire of the lead character Amaya (played by Marian Rivera) and a visiting Magellan (played by Marian's real life beau, Dingdong Dantes).

Spaniard attire

No shoes, no skirt, no service.
(photo by: dencio isungga)
This is supposed to be Magellan, in armor, holding a sword strangely, and looking off into the distance pensively.

He's got some armor on the upper half of his body, primarily covering the torso area.

The rest of it seems to be just unreasonably warm and fashion-oriented for our tropical country, and may not offer much protection.

I know that the attire of the show is meant to be historically accurate (within budget constraints), and I wish that the promotional material would cover that aspect. Alas, most watchers of the show don't really care and follow it for the fantasy and dramatic elements -- and the popularity of the celebrities of course -- making such efforts a wasted marketing exercise, really.

I think this thing's out in DVD, and may try to see if a copy is available... somewhere. I hope to actually watch the entire thing to mine it of period elements.

The lovely Amaya

(photo by: dencio isungga)
The armor is not your typical female fantasy armor outfit. Covers up far too much skin.

Again, only the torso seems to provide any protection -- but I love the just-below the knee leg coverings, especially the native woven patterns (the Philippines had a strong weaving and complex weaving craft at the time). It really speaks to the 'fighting on a treacherous beach' vibe of the outfit.

I also like the scabbard and the way the grips on the dagger and the sword are done, though I wish there pic of them drawn.

I wonder what the torso armor is supposed to be -- some kind of leather mail? Perhaps some folks out there in D&D land can hazard an educated guess.


  1. In AD&D world, I'd give her no better than AC 8 and him perhaps AC 7.

    But more importantly, is her name really DingDong Dantes? :)

    1. Hi, her name is Marian Rivera. And yes, his name is really Dingdong Dantes. :)

  2. My mistake, I'm glad it's his name and not hers. She is certainly a lovely looking woman. :)

  3. One of the reasons that I like B/X and LL is that questions about armor like this need not really occupy much time. She is wearing a leather-type armor (therefore AC 7) and he is wearing a plate-type armor (therefore AC 3). GIven that D&D combat is abstract, the fact that they both have unprotected legs doesn't ever really have to be an issue.

    From an historical POV, however, it must be noted that the lack of armor outside the vital areas in the torso reflects the existence of gun powder weapons — something that D&D has never been very good at emulating.

    1. Good point on the simpler rules for B/X and LL!

  4. @FrDave: it's true that gunpowder was an issue. For the Philippines, I believe it was also due to availability of materials, preferred fighting styles, and possibly the tropical climate.

  5. @Alex - you should visit the Villa Escudero museum for some good examples of Filipino armor. I saw several kinds when I went there, as far as I can recall:

    - a hauberk of brass mail reinforced with plates (AC 5 in B/X - drop one category for being made of brass, not iron, then up one again for being reinforced with plates)

    - a vest of carabao hide, tanned (AC 7 in B/X)

    - a shirt of lacquered carabao hide scales (AC 6-7 in B/X - it's stronger than a leather shirt, so I'd give a high quality one AC 6, a lower quality one the same as leather)

    - a shirt of shell scales on carabao hide (AC 6 but with weight penalties?)

    - a shirt of woven rattan, (I'd give it AC 7)

    Me, I'd agree with Fr Dave on Amaya's armor and give it AC 7, it looks like the scales are soft leather, not lacquered.

  6. @Fr Dave - While firearms were starting to appear in the Philippines even before the Spanish arrived, they probably weren't around in sufficient quantity to change the armor styles yet. The Spanish chroniclers never mentioned firearms in quantity.

    I believe the coverage of armor reflects more the local fighting style and environmental considerations -- if you're jumping out of a ship onto soft river mud or beach sand to fight, you don't want too much armor on you, just enough to protect the vitals. The warriors then usually used tall, rather narrow shields, so it probably made more sense to defend the legs by blocking downward than to wear tassets and greaves.

    And then there's the heat to consider -- during the voyaging season, when wars would occur, the daytime temperature hovers around 30 degrees C.

  7. @Dariel: wow, thanks for all the different types of armor! Very useful!

  8. Yeah, there are DVD's out there. I saw Volume I (Episodes 1-12) in that video store on the ground floor of VMall for PhP225, and it comes with English subs to the delight of at least one American friend. :D

    Still, with 5 episodes per week from early June all the way to mid-January, that's a lot of volumes you'd need to purchase (estimate: 12-13). I guess it's not so bad - 3K for a whole series is all-in-all a good deal. :-)

  9. Amaya's armor isn't chain mail but carapace or turtle shell. There's actually a Visayan armor of this kind that's found in a foreign museum (Please check Filhistory Facebook Page for details).

  10. these are MY pictures!!!

    i was not informed for the use of them!
    i was not given credit or atleast my watermarks were not cropped!!!

    1. Apologies -- I grabbed them off a promotional site during the time of the show. I've added your link, but if you want me to remove them, I will.


That's my side of things. Let me know what you think, my friend.

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