Since the development of electronic games, armor slots have become a staple in electronic rpgs. It is fun to be able to select and combine different armor types in order to create a specific set that you like. However, such option is not readily possible in D&D rules, which focus on armor suits instead of armor slots and specific parts. And, although special rules exist in some books (like the complete fighter's handbook), overall this option is absent in D&D. So, today I will bring the option for very simple armor customization, allowing players to buy different armor parts and combine them freely.
The Anatomy of an Armor suit: An armor suit is determined by its pieces and its materials. Regarding pieces, an armor has one base piece (the chest) and 3 main extra pieces (arms, legs and head). And regarding materials, an armor has 4 possibilities: Padding, Leather, Mail and Plate. To create your armor suit, you must combine different layers of matterials and the extra body pieces.
- . Combining materials: Every layer add +1 AC bonus, and they are cumulative. So, if you are using plate with leather, you will have +2 AC bonus. Take notice that every material has a different price, that you may look at chart III.
- .Combining pieces: After selecting the layers of your chest piece, you may combine it with the extra parts in Chart II.
- . Determining cost: Whe you are done creating your armor suit, you may see its final cost in Chart III.
Chart I, Base chest piece's layers
*Clothing: All armors assume that the character is using some clothe behind them in order to be well placed over in the user's body.
Chart II, extra body parts
Extra parts (arms, legs and head)
Head (Full Helm)
*Helmet: A helmet is a simple protection that covers some part of its user's head. When using a helmet, the user is only affected by critical hits on a natural 20. Without a helmet, it is on a 19 or 20.
**Full Helm: A more protective form of the Helmet, the Full Helm completely seals its user's head in metal plating. It works as a helmet (crits only on a nat 20), and also gives +1 AC. However, it hinders the user's perception, giving -2 [-10%] in all attribute rolls and skills, including thieving skills and similar rolls.
Chart III, prices
Simplified values (in gp)
→ Full Helm
*Extra plating: After choosing your armor suit, you may ask for a smith to add extra plating to it, adding new defences to it and making it sturdier. However, this proccess is very hard and tiring, and it costs x4 the total value of your armor suit. Extra plating (also named full plating) gives +1 AC bonus.
- . Why are arms parts more costly than legs parts? Because they are easier to make, and more well sought after.
- . Why can't I choose materials for my extra armor parts: Because those parts (arms, legs and head) are very mobile, so the materials are almost always a conjunction of leather, padding and mail. That is why they have a fixed bonus. If you want to add some sturdiness to them, you may extra plate your entire armor suit, which would reflect in you adding some plates of metal to your arms and legs.
- . What if I don't use critical hits in my game? The idea with helms is that critical hits occur on a 19-20 in a d20. If you don't use critical hits rules, only Full Helms will have any effect in your character, providing +1 AC.
- . How does the armor building proccess works exactly? Must it be bought completely? Not really. You may buy different parts as you adventure. You might buy some Padding and Leather at the beginning., gaining +2 AC. Then, you may plunder from a raiding orc its arms's armor body part, gaining +1 AC.
- . How exactly does Extra Plating work? If I extra plate a leather armor and then buy a plate layer, will I still have my extra plating from before? No. When you add to your armor, if it was already extra plated, you will lose the +1 AC bonus. To have the bonus working again, you must pay the difference. So, if you had, for example, a Padding + Arms + Leather + Full Healm (+4 AC, total cost of 75) and extra plated it (costing 300 gold). Later, you earn enough money to buy a mail layer. However, in doing so, your extra plate bonus is lost. But, since you already payed 300 gold in extra plating, you may now just pay the extra (a mail layer costs 30, so extra plating it costs 120). If you pay that extra 120, your armor suit will once again have the +1 AC extra bonus.
Well, it was a long post, but a nice one, I believe. I hope you folks enjoyed.
Until next time,