Monday, June 24, 2013

A Table for a Tropical Clime: Armor in San Lazario

From The Tao of D&D comes a table that will restrict the use of the warmer armors in different temperature ranges. There may be slight adjustments for people native to this area, but even we eschew very heavy armor to avoid heat-related ailments.

Time to strip down to the essentials, unless it's time to fight! Right, Amaya?

Seriously, though, some of it is also a matter of available materials. Perhaps the iron ore is difficult to get at, or at least in quantities that would make chain mail or plate mail likely to be produced (and maintained) on a larger scale. Or perhaps the powers that be don't look kindly on anyone manufacturing large amounts of armor?

Speaking of maintenance, being near the sea (and all that salt water) might make fighting against rust a real pain. How quickly does uncared for metal armor rust? Like those pieces of armor found in dungeons that may or may not have had blood spilled on them?

Another concern is the craftsmanship -- perhaps the skill is there for creating swords and other weapons, but I'm sure that it must be a pain to 'start over' when you've made a mistake with your armor crafting for chain mail or plate mail...

4 comments:

  1. Very good point about available materials effecting armor choices. Also, the common weapons they have to stop effects it, as well. Mostly slashing weapons suggest different choices than mostly stabbing weapons.

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  2. The propensity of iron to rust quickly in a seaside environment is a good point. That may be one reason why the Moro peoples make their mail out of brass, not steel.

    Perhaps another reason is the difficulty of mining for iron. It seems that copper deposits were easier to get at than iron, at least in our islands, since copper's often found pretty pure and it's often found in the same places as the relatively plentiful gold. Scott mentions that a lot of the iron worked by ancient Visayans came from Chinese cast iron pots imported for that very purpose.

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  3. We imported cast iron pots from China so we could rework them into swords and armor?

    Interesting.

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  4. Yup! Tools and blades, mostly -- most of the armor that's been found is either of organic materials or brass, not iron/steel. Pigafetta and other Spanish observers also noted armor of cotton and rattan. I saw a pic of Bagobos with padded cotton armor so thick it made them look like fast-food chain mascots, pardon the comparison :-). Perhaps it's also significant that the Bagobos are a highland tribe, and could 'afford' to use such thick armor because it's much cooler where they live.

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

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