Armor Construction, Races of War (3.5e Variant Rule)

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Armor Construction, Races of War Rules[edit]

This is an alternate armor creation system for the races of war inspired by the system recently tossed in for standard 3.5e DnD. This system offers a lot more flexability and intelligence when actually making armor instead of the preset one size fits all version that DnD uses. Also this will include how other races influence designs and how things differ instead of one approach to all your armor needs.

Armor Changes[edit]

The original system of light medium and heavy doesn't actually make a whole lot of sense and the abilities that they confer are not exactly done in an intelligent fashion. For this system it uses two separate base elements to create a base armor (and will even give optional rules for multiple layered armors) as well as adjusted prices to show exactly how they are useful and used. Also the base numbers are buffed to represent the much more dangerous world that Races of War entails.

Armor is classified into how much of the body it covers; partial, cuirass, hauberk, and suit. Partial armor proficiency is assumed if you already have light armor but counts as a separate proficiency. The other armor types correspond for the purposes of proficiency and restrictions:

Table: Proficiency Conversion
Standard Type Proficiency Encumbrance
Partial armor Light
Light Cuirass Light
Medium Hauberk Medium
Heavy Suit Heavy

For example, a barbarian begins proficient with cuirasses and hauberks instead of "light" and "medium" armor. A barbarian's fast movement feature is similarly changed to be restricted to cuirasses and hauberks; wearing a suit of any kind (even padded cloth) negates the benefit, regardless of its encumbrance.

All references to standard armor categories are changed as such, including feats. For example, Suit Proficiency would require both Hauberk and Cuirass Proficiency.

Some armor styles will modify the encumberance rate (i.e. chainmail is much lighter than plate even though both are metal.) Armor set weight does not change the type only the amount of encumberance that is present within a specified piece.

Armor Creation[edit]

When creating armor there are a few steps that need to be followed. These steps do not need to proceed in a particular order.

  • Armor type.
  • Armor material.
  • Armor style (optional.)

Armor Types[edit]

Armor comes in four basic types.

Coverage Base
Armor Check
Arcane Spell
Failure Chance
Encumbrance Cost Multiplier Movement speed
Partial +0 +0 5% Light .5 -
Cuirass +1 −1 10% Light .75 -
Hauberk/Jack/Coat +3 −3 20% Medium 1 -5
Suit/Full +5 −5 30% Heavy 1.5 -10
Reinforced +2 −1 +10% 1 +25% -5
  1. Increases total weight by one quarter.

Partial Armor: Partial armor is the strategic use of smaller armor pieces to gain maximum protection while minimizing movement and agility losses. Partial armor is its own proficiency. This armor is most commonly seen in gladiatorial games or specialized martial forms.

Cuirass: A cuirass is an armor piece designed to protect the chest while leaving the arms and the legs free. Examples include the breastplate and the dō-maru of Japan.

Hauberk: A hauberk, or "shirt," covers the torso, shoulders, upper arms, and upper legs, and includes a helmet. The hauberk is the most common style of armor.

Suit: An armor suit is unified armor set intended to protect all parts of the body. It includes protection for all parts of the body, including a helmet, gauntlets, leg guards, and neck guards. These suits are primarily used when combat is near or time in the field is limited. Many veterans use lighter suits of armor for travel. Examples include jousting armor of Europe and the O-Yoroi of Japan.

Reinforcement: Reinforcement adds to the total AC value of the armor at the expense of weight. Cuirasses gain a helmet, bracers, and leg guards. Hauberks gain gauntlets and skirt, arm, and leg guards. Suits gain fluting, specialized joint protection, and thicker layers of metal. Reinforcement increases the armor's total cost (see §Cost) by 25%, added after all other factors (including magic and other enhancements); it also increases the armor's total weight by +50%, rounded up to the nearest multiple of 5.


Armor can be made of a variety of materials.

Table: Armor Materials
Material Armor
Dex Bonus
Armor Check
Arcane Spell
Failure Chance
Weight Cost per pound (gold) Special
Partial Cuirass Hauberk Suit
Padded Cloth +0 +0 +1 −15% 5 lb. 10 lb. 20 lb. 30 lb. 1 One step lighter
Wicker +1 +0 0 −10% 5 lb. 10 lb. 20 lb. 30 lb. 2 One step lighter
Cord/Rope +2 -1 -1 −5% 10 lb. 20 lb. 30 lb. 40 lb. 3 One step lighter
Leather +3 -1 -2 10 lb. 20 lb. 30 lb. 40lb. 5 One step lighter
Wood +3 -2 -2 10 lb. 20 lb. 30 lb. 40 lb. 7
Bronze +4 -2 -3 15 lb. 25 lb. 35 lb. 45 lb. 9
Iron +5 -2 -3 15 lb. 25 lb. 35 lb. 45 lb. 10
Steel +6 -2 -3 15 lb. 25 lb. 35 lb. 45 lb. 11.5

Bronze: Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, much stronger than either material alone.

Cord/Rope: This material is composed of pliant and dense plant materials twisted, knotted, and woven into stiff and dense material.

Iron: Iron is untreated ore that provides heavy protection. This is the equivelance of cold iron for a suit of armor.

Leather: This is leather hardened by boiling in oil.

Padded Cloth: This material consists of two heavy layers of cloth with quilting and significant padding.

Steel: Steel is a treated ferrous metal that provides extreme protection but reduces overall agility.

Wicker: This material is made by twisting and weaving dried reeds or other plant materials together.

Wood: This is shaped hardwood.

Mithral and other special materials[edit]

To make mithral armor, use values for steel with the following changes: Dex +2, -10 arcane spell failure (minimum 10%), reduce armor check penalty by 3, reduce armor speed penalty by 5. Mithral armor weighs half of any normal steel armor. Reinforcements are figured in before the overall reduction if the mithral armor is reinforced.

To make adamantine armor, use values for steel and then apply the adamantine modifiers as usual.

Dragonhide can be used to create masterwork armor equivalent in strength to leather or steel, depending on the relative size of the dragon to the armor:

  • same size category: Leather type partial armor, +1 to AC.
  • +1 size categories: Leather type cuirass armor, steel type partial armor +1 to AC.
  • +2 size categories: Leather type hauberk armor, steel type cuirass armor, +1 to AC.
  • +3 size categories: Leather type suit armor, steel type hauberk armor, +1 to AC.
  • +4 size categories: Steel type suit armor, +1 to AC.

Add an additional size category if you want the armor type to be reinforced (e.g. +5 size categories permits reinforced dragonhide plate armor).

To make darkwood armor, use values for wood and then lessen the armor check penalty by 2 and increase the cost by 10 gp per pound of the armor, then halve the weight.

Armor Style[edit]

Table: Armor Style
Material Armor
Dex Bonus
Armor Check
Arcane Spell
Failure Chance
Price Adjustment Weight Adjustment
Mail +2 +6 - +5% 60% 75%
Studded +2 +6 -1 +10% 100% 110%
Weave +2 +5 -1 +5% 80% 90%
Scale +3 +5 -1 +10% 100% 110%
Lamellar +3 +4 -2 +15% 90% 120%
Splint/Brigandine +4 +4 -2 +15% 110% 125%
Laminar +5 +3 -3 +20% 125% 130%
Plate +6 +2 -3 +25% 140% 150%

Armor style requires the individual use certain materials in order to create the armor.

All armors:

Weave: This is any type of armor created through interlocking fibers or wires. Reinforced mail is plate mail.

Studded: This armor add on is in addition to non metal armors only. It imbeds metal studs to give it more protection at slightly worse flexability.

Metal Armors

Mail: This is any type of armor created through interlocking fibers or wires. Reinforced mail is plate mail.

Scale: This armor is comprised of many small plates attached to a softer backing.

Lamellar: This armor is comprised of many small plates strung together into overlapping rows, providing better protection than scale armor at a higher weight.

Splint/Brigandine: This armor is comprised of several long plates sandwiched between canvas or leather.

Laminar: This armor is made from large, long plates bent into arcs around the body.

Plate: This armor is made of large, broad, solid sections of material (including cloth and leather, for the purposes of armor creation).


Table: Sample Armor
Armor Cost Armor
Dex Bonus
Armor Check
Arcane Spell
Failure Chance
Encumbrance Weight
Partial Armor
Thieves padded armor 2.5 gp +2 - - 5% Light 5 lb.
Gladiator steel 90 gp +4 - - 5% Light 15 lb.
Reinforced Leather Studded Cuirass 105 gp +7 +5 −4 30% Light 27.5 lb.
Steel Laminar Cuirass 280 gp +10 +2 −6 25% Light 32.5 lb.
Steel Plate Cuirass 325 gp +13 +0 −7 35% Light 37.5 lb.
Reinforced Bronze Cuirass
210 gp +7 - −4 20% Light 31.25 lb.
Steel Splint Cuirass
270 gp +11 +2 −6 25% Light 31.25 lb.
Cloth Hauberk
(Arming Doublet)
20 gp +3 - −2 5% Light 20 lb.
Leather Studded Jack 165 gp +8 +5 −6 20% Light 33 lb.
Steel Scale Jack 445 gp +12 +3 −7 30% Medium 38.5 lb.
Steel Lamellar Jack 435 gp +12 +2 −8 35% Medium 42 lb.
Steel Chain Hauberk 180 gp +11 +4 −6 20% Light 26.25 lb.
Reinforced Steel Chain Hauberk
(Plate Mail Jack)
285 gp +13 +4 −6 25% Light 33 lb.
Steel Mail Suit
(Chainmail suit)
350 gp +13 +4 −8 35% Medium 33.75 lb.
Reinforced Steel Mail Suit
(Plate Mail)
440 gp +15 +4 −9 45% Medium 42 lb.
Steel Lamellar Suit 840 gp +14 +2 −10 45% Heavy 54 lb.
Steel Laminar Suit 1,260 gp +16 +1 −11 50% Heavy 58.5 lb.
Steel Plate Suit 1,630 gp +17 +0 −11 55% Heavy 67.5 lb.
Reinforced Steel Plate Suit
(Jousting Armor)
2,040 gp +19 +0 −12 65% Heavy 84.5 lb.
Mithral Reinforced Steel Plate Suit
(Jousting Armor)
11,040 gp +19 +2 −9 55% Medium 42.25 lb.

Reinforced Steel Plate Suit (Jousting Armor): This is professional level jousting armor. These suits are optimized for protection, not actual combat. Special hoists are necessary to mount the riders onto their heavy warhorses. Professional jousters have lighter sets of armor for travel and war.

Armor Enhancements[edit]

Armor enhancements come from a variety of sources; masterwork items, dwarvencraft, elvencraft and other races can imbue their own special enhancements. Further masterwork stacks with other craftsman types, allowing for individuals with enough coin to produce exceptionally strong protective equipment. For race specific crafting only one race can be applied to

Masterwork: Masterwork is a suit of armor that is made with exceptional care. The trade off is this is both timely and costly to produce making these items rare. Masterwork armor makes any piece of armor cost 1.5 times the listed price and imbues the following bonuses.

  • -2 to skill check penalties
  • +1 to AC

Elvencraft: Elvencraft items are made by elves with their own people in mind. This sort of armor is costly but normally enhances a wielders agility. Elvencraft items choose two of the following abilities. Elvencraft items cost twice as much as a normal item (this price increase happens after masterwork multiplication.)

  • -1 to armor check penalties
  • -4 to armor check penalties (counts as two selections)
  • +1 to max dex bonus
  • +3 to max dex bonus (counts as two selections)
  • 5 ft speed movement penalty reduction
  • 10 ft speed movement penalty reduction (counts as two selections)

Dwarvencraft: Dwarvencraft items are created through dwarf communities and their master smiths take extreme amounts of time to create. Dwarven items take on aspects that dwarves are known for; sturdy, hardy and immobile. Dwarvencraft items select two of the following abilities. Dwarvencraft items cost three times as much as a normal item (this price increase occurs after masterwork multiplication.)

  • +1 to AC
  • +3 to AC (counts as two selections)
  • DR increases by 1 (adamantite armor only)
  • DR increases by 3 (counts as two selections, adamantite only)
  • +4 to bull rush, overrun and grapple checks -2 to skill checks

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