Creating armor to match the character, a simple sy

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Original poster
One world building part that doesn't seem to get much attention in world building threads (to my knowledge) is the topic of armor. And let me tell you, I love armor, in all its forms.

What this thread is about, is me making a system for building a characters suit of armor in a fairly quick fashion and get stats from the process that tells you three important metrics: How Protective it is, How heavy it is and how expensive it is (as an abstract unit).

This system is made with humans and human-like humanoids in mind, it may require a bit of tinkering to work with more exotic beings.

Protection Rating: Armors protectiveness in simple units, armor protectiveness 1 is roughly equivalent to 1/7th of an inch of RHA (Rolled homogeneous armour - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia). In non technical terms its about right for a historically accurate heavy plate armor suit.

Weight: Weight is expressed in kilograms for the five weight classes of armor, this assumes head to toe coverage, less coverage should be assessed as a multiplier less then 1 for both cost and expense. a simple way would be to assess coverage in units of 1/6. Below would be some examples of how much coverage is in each.

1/6 Coverage: Torso armor (front only)
2/6 Coverage: Full Torso armor
3/6 Coverage: Full Torso armor + Gloves and Helmet
4/6 Coverage: Full body armor minus legs and feet
5/6 Coverage: Head to toe armor, minus gloves and helmet
6/6 coverage: Head to toe armor, covers everything

Weight Classes of armor are

Fine: Armor that is basically clothing made form sturdier material. Divide protection, weight and expense by 4.
Light: Divide protection, weight and expense by 2.
Medium: 20 kg for full body armor, the "default" weight class.
Heavy: Some of the heaviest armor ever used in battle, though more often its used for protective suits like jousting armor or bomb suits. Double protection, weight and expense.
Massive: Quadruple protection, weight and expense. Highly impractical unless power armor.

Expense: How expensive the suit of armor is relative to the most basic and commonly assumed suit of armor for the settings tech level. This is not really relevant for all RPs so the GM may well just ignore this if his players are not on a budget.

Materials and Tech Level: What the armor is made out of is one of the most vital things about it, each valid material has a protectiveness multiplier and a cost multiplier. The cost multiplier is for buying the armor at its native Tech Level, you can buy armor of a lower or higher tech level with GMs permission. Divide cost multiplier by 8 per Tech Level below the games native Tech Level, but multiply the cost by 8 per Tech level above native games Tech Level.

Four tech levels are

1. Low Tech: Classic fantasy Tech level that covers anything from roman times to 16th century Europe, armor of this Tech Level provides roughly historically accurate protection. You can simulate heroes having access to special magic or super metal armor by letting players have access to higher tech armor.

2. High Tech: Roughly 1730-modern times, feel free to restrict armor other then high tech steel if game happens before 20th century.

3. Conservative Ultra tech: Near to mid future, mostly hard science and reasonable extrapolations of modern armor design in this TL.

4. Radical Ultra Tech: Absurdly strong materials and force screens, not limited to reasonable extrapolations of modern technology.

Low Tech Materials (First protectiveness then cost)


Low-end iron armor: 0.25, 0,25
Mid-end iron armor: 0.5, 1
High-end iron armor: 0.75, 2
Steel armor: 1, 4


Straw, Cloth: 0.25, 0.25
Gambesson or Hide Armor: 0.5, 1

High Tech Materials


Advanced Steel armor: 1.5, 1
Advanced Alloy armor: 2, 2
Composite Armor: 3, 4


Kevlar: 0.6/1.8*, 1

Conservative Ultra Tech Materials


Advanced Composite Armor: 5, 1
Nano-Composite Armor: 7, 2
Maximum Composite Armor: 10, 4


Low-End Anti-Laser Fabric: 1/3**, 0,25
Mid-End Anti-Laser Fabric: 1.5/4.5**, 0,5
High-End Anti-Laser Fabric: 2/6** , 1

Reflex Fabric: 1/3*, 0,25
Nano-weave Fabric: 1.5/4.5*, 0,5
Maximum Ballistic Fabric: 2/6* , 1

Radical Ultra Tech Materials (all of these could just as easily represent force screen generators instead of regular armor, depends on desired fluff.)


Exotically Reinforced Nano-composite: 15, 1
Exotic Plating: 20, 2
High end Exotic Plating: 30, 4


Exotically Reinforced Fabric: 7, 0,25
Exotic Fabric: 10, 0,5
High End Exotic Fabric: 15, 1

* Use higher protectiveness against bullets and cutting attacks, lower against other attacks
** Use higher protectiveness against beam attacks, lower against other attacks

What can my armor stop? Examples

Protectiveness Greatest Attack Stopped
0,5 Average person mace bash, Strong person punch
1 Strong person mace bash, average handgun shot
1,5 Strong person sledge hammer bash, Grenade fragments, Average Musket shot, Heavy handgun shot
2 Average rifle shot, Average handgun shot (AP ammo), Heavy Musket shot
3 Sniper rifle shot, Heavy handgun shot (AP ammo), Tiny black powder cannon shot
5 Anti-Material rifle shot, Average rifle shot (AP ammo), Point blank grenade, Small Black Powder Cannon Shot
7 Sniper rifle shot (AP ammo), 20mm auto cannon, Medium Black Powder Cannon Shot
10 30mm auto cannon, Anti Material Rifle Shot (AP Ammo), Large Black Powder Cannon Shot
15 20mm auto cannon (AP ammo), 40mm auto cannon, Huge Black Powder Cannon Shot
Protectiveness Greatest Attack Stopped
20 30mm Auto cannon shot (AP ammo), 60mm Cannon shot
30 40mm Auto cannon shot (AP ammo), 75mm Cannon shot
50 60mm cannon shot (AP ammo), 100mm cannon shot, WW2 Bazooka
70 75mm cannon shot (AP ammo), 120mm cannon shot, RPG-7
100 100mm cannon shot (AP Ammo), Modern medium ATGM, 155 mm cannon shot
150 120mm Cannon shot (AP Ammo), Modern heavy ATGM, 8-inch WW2 ship guns
This may seem somewhat daunting to use at first, but I hope this helps you assess how heavy and how effective your armor is and what it could feasibly stop.

Thank you for your time.



Original poster
Part 2, Premade Armors

Here I make a bunch of armors using this system, for further user convenience!

Low-Tech Armor

Munitions Armor: This armor is made from iron plating that covers the torso, head and hands. It can offer reasonable protection against the average musket while costing less then the Lords Plate.

Heavy High-end iron armor, 3/6 Coverage

Cost: 2
Protection: 1,5
Weight: 20 kg

Knightly Mail: This represents mail armor like that used by knights of the high middle ages before plate armor and brigandine became the new mail. Leaves face, feet and part of the hands exposed

Medium Mid-end iron armor, 5/6 coverage

Cost: 5/6
Protection: 0,5
Weight: 16,67 kg

Peasants armor: This is armor of the kind used by peasants that couldn't afford any better. Leaves face, feet and part of the hands exposed.

Medium Cloth armor, 5/6 coverage

Cost: 5/24
Protection: 0,25
Weight: 16,67 kg

Lords Plate: This is plate armor fit for a lord, features thicker armor on the torso then otherwise. Is made from some of the finest metal of 15th-16th century Europe. Sadly this kind of armor is very expensive and quite heavy, such is the price for armor that can stand up to guns and be used to joust in.

Heavy Steel armor, 2/6 Coverage + Medium Steel armor, 4/6 coverage

Cost: 5,33
Protection: 2/1 (higher against torso hits)
Weight: 26,75 kg

High Tech Armor

Bomb suit: A massive head to toe armor designed to protect Bomb squad members from getting blown up if they fail to disarm a bomb. Features overlapping ballistic fabric and ceramic plate stoppers.

Medium Composite armor 6/6 coverage + Medium Kevlar armor 6/6 coverage

Cost: 5
Protection: 3,6/4,8 (Split due to Kevlar)
Weight: 40 kg

Officers Breast plate: a steel breastplate designed to protect important officers of the 18th and early 19th century from stray bullets.

Medium Advanced Steel Armor, 2/6 Coverage

Cost: 2/6
Protection: 1,5
Weight: 6,67 kg

Infantry Body Armor: This armor sports trauma plates on the front of the torso but is otherwise light Kevlar armor that doesn't cover the face, feet and parts of the hands. Kevlar and trauma plate overlap on the front of the torso to grant amazing chest protection. Higher DR for front of torso, lower for other covered places, split protection in each case is due to Kevlars enhanced protection against bullets and blades.

Medium Composite armor 1/6 coverage + Light Kevlar armor 5/6 coverage

Cost: 4/6 + 5/12 = 13/12
Protection: (3,3/3,9) / (0,3/0,9)
Weight: 11,67 kg

Conservative Ultra Tech Armor

Bulletproofed Formal Wear: Formal wear made out of ultra tech fabrics to help foil assassination while looking snazzy at the same time. Leaves head and hands exposed.

Fine Maximum Ballistic Fabric, 5/6 coverage

Cost: 5/24
Protection: 0,5/1,5
Weight: 4,17 kg

Combat Hard suit: Combat Hard suits are full body composite body armors that incorporate significant electronics as well as basic life support for contaminated battlefields. What is shown here is simply the armor portion, not the gadget portion.

Medium Nano-composite Armor, 6/6 Coverage

Cost: 2
Protection: 7
Weight: 20 kg

Heavy Battle Armor: This extremely beefy suit is a form of powered armor 8ft tall, of course this just covers the armor portion and not the gadget portion.

Massive Maximum Composite Armor, 6/6 Coverage

Cost: 16
Protection: 40
Weight: 80 kg

Radical Ultra Tech Armor

Cyber-suit: a civilian form of power armor that resembles colourful clothing or race car driver suits more then armor but still provides good protection against a great variety of hazards. Of course it has gadgets, but only the armor portion is covered here.

Light Exotic Fabric Armor, 6/6 Coverage

Cost: 0,25
Protection: 5
Weight: 10 kg

Fortress Class: The superior, newer version of the Heavy Battle Armor. This juggernaut is the size of a small car but has enough durability and firepower to make modern tank squads nervous.

Massive High End Exotic Plating, 6/6 Coverage

Cost: 16
Protection: 120
Weight: 80 kg

Ultimate Medium Armor: Compact and yet capable of shrugging off all modern weapons not designed for anti tank duty.

Medium High End Exotic Plating, 6/6 Coverage

Cost: 4
Protection: 30
Weight: 20 kg

Hope this helped!


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I loved this! Great job!
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