Chapter 29: Armour Rating

Personal body armour is a perverse form of self-defense. It is designed to protect someone who cannot, or will not, avoid combat situations. It is as much an instrument of violence as any weapon. The best way to avoid taking damage from combat is to avoid combat, but many personas happily wade into any altercation they can find or create.The body armour described in this chapter is mundane, or non-artifact, armour. Artifact armour is described in Chapter 42: Armour, and includes things like force fields, laser reflection, and powered armour. Mundane armour is not as exciting as artifact armour, and it is usually cumbersome, uncomfortable and difficult to put on.

Persona Armour Rating (AR) = 500 plus six times DEX

The armour rating (AR) s a universal measurement of how difficult something is to hit. An anthro persona with a DEX attribute of 15 and not wearing any armour would have a natural armour rating (AR) of 590. Alien and robotic armour ratings are discussed in their respective chapters.  Other targets such as walls, doors, and broad sides of barns have armour ratings also. Just because something has no active defences, or no active interest in defending itself doesn’t mean that it has no armour rating. The armour particulars discussed here are for anthropomorph personas; however, the principles are the same whether they be applied to aliens or furniture.

Armour Rating

The protection of mundane armour is offered through simple mechanics: thicker hides absorb and distribute forces, while special surfaces deflect blows. The persona’s DEX attribute also plays an important role in a persona’s defence: dodging, twisting, etc. All of these factors are combined into one single value called armour rating (AR). The higher the AR the better. Stronger materials, better armour design, and superior quality of workmanship all contribute to a higher armour rating AR.

When the player is making a to hit roll she is trying to roll higher than the target’s armour rating. Like the target’ s armour rating the persona’s armour rating is used when someone is trying to hit her. If a referee persona should score a hit on a persona then that means that the referee rolled higher than the persona’s armour rating. The persona is hit, and takes damage the exact same way as any target would.

Armour types vary greatly in protection restrictiveness, and weight. Very light, and nonrestrictive armour (no armour, or leather) benefit the persona by allowing her to use her DEX to her advantage. The other extreme is cumbersome and heavy armour (plate mail, banded) which protects the persona by force absorption and deflection, and does not allow for dextrous dodging. The Armour Rating (AR) of various armour types can be found on Table 29.1:  Mundane Body Armour. A persona wearing chain mail would have an AR of 625. Anyone trying to hit the persona would have to roll 625, or higher, on her to hit roll to damage the persona. An unarmoured persona would be much easier to hit, because her Armour Rating AR would be only 500.

Layering of armour’ is to be discouraged. If two armour types are combined the persona will only gain protection from the higher AR, but the two restrictiveness of the two armour type are added together. 

Restrictiveness

The next most important factor of body armour is its restrictiveness. Restrictiveness is a rating of how badly the armour hampers a persona’s actions compared to an unarmoured state. The higher the restrictiveness, the more binding, cumbersome and generally claustrophobic the armour is. Heavy protective armour is usually very restrictive while light evasive armour is not. Usually the heavier the armour is, the more restrictive it is.

Armour restrictiveness is represented by a number. The lower the restrictiveness the less restrictive it is. An unarmoured persona has a restrictiveness of 0, while a persona wearing plate armour has a restrictiveness of 5. Just for interest, deactivated powered armour has a restrictiveness of 15. There is no reason why armour couldn’t have a negative restrictiveness, where it actually assists the persona’s movement when she is wearing it, but this armour type definitely wouldn’t be found in the mundane armour chapter. The restrictiveness of the armour can affect movement, Performance  Rolls and even armour rating.

Physical Strength (PSTR): Sheer power can be used to reduce the restrictiveness of armour. For every 5 points of PSTR that the persona has she can reduce the armour restrictiveness by 1. The armour still has its restrictiveness but the persona is strong enough to power through it. A person with an 11 PSTR wearing plate armour would reduce the restrictiveness from 5 to 3. A persona with an 8 PSTR could wear padded armour as if she were unarmoured. The are benefits to reducing the restrictiveness of armour.

Movement: The restrictiveness of armour affects the movement rate of a persona. The more binding and cumbersome armour type is the more the persona is slowed. Table 29.2: Movement Penalty shows the h/u penalty of armour restrictiveness. A persona wearing studded armour would have her movement rate reduce by 2 h/u because that armour’s restrictiveness is 3. Certain personas may find that they are not able to wear certain armour types. A persona can reduce an armour’s restrictiveness with her PSTR, and this may allow her to move faster than a weaker persona wearing the same armour type.

Table 29.1 Restrictiveness and Movement

Mundane armour that protects the body often restricts the body as well.
RestrictivenessMove Penalty (h/u)
RestrictivenessPenalty (h/u)
00
1-21
3-42
53
64
75
86
97
108

Personas with very high PSTRs create a potential conundrum for referees. The Movement Penalty Table is incomplete in some respects because a negative restrictiveness could easily occur. For instance a persona with a 16 PSTR, and leather armour (restrictiveness 1) would have an effective restrictiveness of -2. Does this mean that she gets a movement bonus? Most referees will immediately rule that there can be no movement bonus from extensions of the Movement Penalty Table, but it might be an excellent way to include the impact of PSTR on movement rates. 

Performance Rolls: Many classes must pay attention to the restrictiveness of armour types. Classes which require nimble actions, physical contact, or keen senses, are penalized when attempting class skills while wearing certain armour types. This does not stop personas from wearing any armour they wish, but any class skills they pursue will be penalized.

To avoid the performance table penalty does not necessarily require removal of the entire suit of armour, but rather gauntlets, helmet or other appropriate part. If the relevant piece is not removed, the DD of the task attempted in increased by an amount equal to the restrictiveness value of the entire suit of armour. If a veterinarian, wearing scale mail, is trying to do a quick fix on a wounded persona she must remove her helmet and gauntlets or suffer a DD 4 penalty. If there are further questions about DDs and performance table then refer to chapter 14, Performance Tables.

Armour Rating An armour type’s restrictiveness determines the AR DEx bonus awarded to personas when using the tactical combat system. The theatrical’ combat system is not obligated to AR DEx bonuses, but they can easily be included. The AR DEX bonus improves the persona’s armour rating, and it makes the persona harder to hit.

An unarmoured persona receives an AR DEx bonus of six times her DEx. Thus an unarmoured persona with a 15 DEx would increase her ARby 90. According to the Mundane Body Armour table an unarmoured persona (armour type none) would have a base AR of 500. Including the DEx bonus for a 15 DEx this persona’s AR would be 590. If the same persona were wearing splint armour (restrictiveness 3) her AR DEx bonus would be reduced to 45, and her total AR would be 695. Highly restrictive armour reduces the persona’s DEx bonus, but usually offers more protection. Except in rare cases, being armoured will offer more protection than being unarmoured. The following equation gives the AR DEX bonus dependant on restrictiveness.

Armour Rating DEX Bonus (6 – Restrictiveness) x DEX

If the persona’s armour has been reduced to a negative restrictiveness (due to PSTR) it is up to the referee to decide whether she can get more than 6 times her DEX in AR bonus. According to the equation armour with a restrictiveness of-2 should get 8 times DEX added to it. Most referees, being sane and rational people, will not allow Armour Rating DEX bonus to exceed 6 times the persona’s DEX.

Armour Wate

The wate of armour is excluded from the persona’s wate allowance if she is wearing it. Armour is designed for combat movement and its wate should be properly distributed over the entire body. Only if the armour is carried is its wate added to the persona’s wate allowance. Armour wate is listed on Table 29.1 as either general or designer. The general armour wate simply indicates the wate of the suit of armour in kg. According to the general heading, a suit of leather armour would have a wate of 3 kilograms. The general heading is the basic wate of all suits of armour for that type. It is independent of the size of the persona, and can be used when armour wate is desired quickly. The designer heading gives the % of body wate that the armour should weigh when suited to a particular persona. This means that armour will vary according to the individual wearing it. If a persona whose wate is 83 kg were to have a suit of banded armour (10% body weight) made for her, the armour would weigh 8.3 kgs.

Armour Rating is a combination of protection, agility and luck.
Armour Rating is a combination of protection, agility and luck.

Mundane Armour Types

A brief description of the composition, advantages and disadvantages of each armour type is listed below. This may aid referees and players in deciding if armour is flammable, buoyant (hah!), edible, repairable, etc. The list is arranged in order of lowest to highest armour rating.

The ref may alter the composition and weights of these armour types according to the scenario at hand. The detailed technical information is listed on the armour table in this section.

None: No armour, civilian dress or daily attire. This armour type has no movement or restrictiveness penalties and grants the maximum DEX bonus, but it also has the lowest armour rating.

Furs/skins: Classic neanderthal wear. Composed of layers of uncured and unpreserved animal hides. This armour type is very inexpensive, but loses its composition as it rots.

Leather: This is the preserved hide of some thick-skinned animal. Leather armour is light and non-restrictive.

Padded: Two layers of leather armour sandwiching some from of stuffing. All materials are sewn.

Studded: Padded armour with metal studs connecting the two pieces of leather.

Ring: Padded armour base, with large rings draped on the outside. This is NOT chain mail.

Scale: Padded armour with metal strips (or scales) hung loosely on the outer layer of leather.

Cured hide: A thick animal hide hardened by curing. This armour has low restrictiveness.

Plant Fibre: Material woven from preserved cellulose. This armour is light and not very restrictive.

Chain: A suit composed of many small interlocked rings. This is separate from ringmail, which is composed of loose metal rings.

Splint: Strips of concrete or hardwood affixed to a padded armour base. Can be restrictive.

Banded: Overlapping metal strips fastened to cured hide.

Plastix: Any synthetic (kevlar, fiberglass, plastix) composition arranged in sheet form. This armour type has a high armour rating, but is light and non-restrictive. The plastic listed here is higher tech, modern body armour. It is not the same as the artifact Plastix armour from Chapter: 42: Armour

Plate: A single, large metal breastplate covering a suit of padded armour. Very, very cumbersome.

Plate Armour: Covering the torso and limbs with pieces of interconnected metal. This armour type is extremely cumbersome and extremely restrictive.

Table 29.2 Mundane Body Armour Data

Everything you need to know about mundane body armour.
Armour TypeArmour Rating (AR)RestrictivenessWate (kgs)Designer Wate (%)
Armour TypeARkgs% Wate
None500000
Furs, Skins55032.73.2
Leather55013.04.3
Padded55022.02.9
Studded57533.85.4
Ring57545.07.1
Scale60048.011.4
Cured Hide60022.53.5
Plant Fibre60012.22.4
Chain62545.98.3
Splint65058.011.3
Banded65037.010.0
Plastix67511.11.6
Plate67549.012.6
Plate Armour700510.014.2

Helmets and Gauntlets

It is expected that helmets are composed of the same material as the suit of body armour. Padded armour would have a padded hat, etc. Helmets are designed to protect the head, but at the same time they hinder a persona’s hearing, field of vision and occasionally her sense of smell. Because of these sensory reductions, many classes won’t perform their class skills while wearing helmets.

The gauntlets (gloves) that are included with a suit of body armour are composed of similar materials. For example, chain mail would have an intricately woven ring material covering the hands. Players and referees must remember that gauntlets are very restrictive to the hands. Imagine, for example, trying to unlock your car door while wearing a hockey glove. The ref must consider whether or not artifacts are designed to be handled with a mailed fist. Considering this, there are also some class restrictions for wearing gauntlets.

Shielding

Shielding is any non-garment device used to reduce the chance of being hit. Shielding usually deflects blows or reduces exposed surface. In the tactical combat system, many weapon types can aid a persona’s AR if properly used. Before any device can be used as shielding, the persona must take proficiency in that shield type. This means that a persona with three proficiencies would only have two after choosing a shield for shielding. Contrary to some opinion, the ability to use a shield is not innate and trivial, but rather an acquired ability. The Armour Rating (AR) bonus awarded for the described shielding types are listed on Table 29.2: Shielding.

Table 29.3 Mundane Shielding

A tool to protect armour.
Shield Type AR AdjustmentWate (kgs)
Shield TypeAR Adjustkgs
Chain+254.0
Net, cloak+252.0
Shield, Small+353.0
Shield, Medium+455.0
Shield, Large+507.0

Shield: This consists of a piece of metal, wood, or some other material attached to one arm. The shield caw be used for deflection, cover and deception. A shield hand cannot be used for anything other than manipulating the shield. Shields are useful against all weapon types.

Net, cloak: Any strong sheet that can be easily manipulated by one hand. this device primarily entangles an incoming attack. This shielding type can be used against all weapon types. Type A weapons can also be disarmed with proper use of a cloak or net.

Chain, pipe, stick: Any pole or flexible tube about half a meter in length constitutes this shielding type. This shielding is designed to block type A weapon attacks, and is ineffective against weapon types B or C.

Paying For, Fitting Up, Putting On and Maintaining

Any armour bought by the persona will fit. Armour found while adventuring, or scavenging unlucky personas, will not necessarily fit. Before armour can fit it must meet two criteria. First, it must be designed for the same basic body shape of the persona (not for a four armed avarian tripod). Second, it must be made for a body wate within 15% of the new owner’s wate. Thus a persona with a wate of 70 kgs could wear armour designed for a previous owners with wates between 59.5 and 80.5. If a persona insists, on wearing armour that doesn’t fit, increase its restrictiveness.

Suiting up for battle is very time consuming. The more restrictive the armour type the longer it takes to put on the armour.’ A good rule of thumb is 1.5 minutes per point of restrictiveness. A suit of chainmail would take about 8 minutes to put on. This rule should only be applied whenever time is “running out”.

Well maintained armour should never wear out. To keep armour well maintained, it should be kept out of inhospitable environments (acid bath es, combat, fires, vacuums, etc.), and tended to after every battle. Unattended armour will take damage. Whatever damage that the persona takes, the armour will take also. Armour has one hit point per point of AR. When reduced to 0, the armour is ruined. A suit of unmaintained studded armour could withstand 575 hit points of damage before being wrecked. Some of the poorer personas will insist on mixing up armour types. The combinations could involve a plastix helmet with no armour, or a metal breast plate with padded arms and studded leggings. The only way that this armour type can be run is by employing the Hit Location table (See chapter 36). The ref determines where the attack is going to land, and then rolls to hit against the appropriate armour rating.

Inanimate Object Armour Ratings

The first thing that referees will realize is that personas like attacking things that aren’t really targets. These include door knobs, walls, windows, car wheels, and a host of other things that the referee can’t possibly have prepared armour ratings for. In light of the expected unexpected some guidelines for ad libbing are included here. The following tables do not reflect combat ARs, they are targeting ARs. Hitting with these to hit rolls will still damage the target, but none of these tables can be used to increase the chance to hit opponents in combat. The tables are for non-combat targets. Things in the environment that are not normally struck at or shot at. The tables below are guidelines for assigning an armour rating (AR)  to those items that typically do not have one.

Table 29.4 Inanimate Target Size

Want to hit an inanimate object? Here are some example armour ratings based on size.
Target SizeArmour Rating (AR)Example
Target SizeARExample
Minute800Marble, button
Tiny600Doorknob
Small400Fire Hydrant
Medium200Filing Cabinet, Mannequin
Large100House
Gigantic42Barn, High Rise
Humungous1Moon, Planet

Table 29.5 Inanimate Target Toughness

Because player personas often want to shoot inanimate objects here is a table to quickly determine how difficult it would be to damage.
Die Roll (1d6)ToughnessArmour Rating Adjustment
Die RollToughnessAR Adjustment
1Very Weak-100
2Weak-50
2-4Normal0
5Tough+100
6Very Tough+200

Table 29.6 Speed Difference and AR

The to hit roll deduction based on how fast a target is moving. This should be relative speed. All the deductions are the same and adjusted for ease of unit type.
To Hit Roll Deduction Unit Type
DeductionUnit Type
-10per h/u
-100per 10 h/u
-3 per km/h