Up to D&D

Vaguely historical armor for classic D&D

For quick & easy purchasing—no more complex than standard classic D&D armor—use the table of “common sets” below. Just ignore the list of what makes up the suit—in parentheses—unless and until it becomes important.

The prices are based on B/X, where they would be in gold pieces. In my Skylands campaign, the prices would be in silver. These sets are equal to or less expensive than buying the individual pieces.

A full plate harness must be custom fitted to the individual. It cannot be combined with other armor except a shield. It is not readily available in the Skylands campaign. Where it is available, the price may vary. (The price, 250, in the table is the price of “suit armor” from the RC.)

Common sets
Price AC Description
10 8 Helmet
20 7 Light armor
(Helmet & gambeson)
40 5 Medium armor
(Helmet, aketon, & hauberk)
50 4 Heavy armor
(Helmet, aketon, hauberk, & brigandine)
60 3 Heavier armor
(Helmet, aketon, hauberk, & cuirass)
(250) 1 Plate harness

The “individual pieces” table gives the price and AC adjustment for each individual piece of armor.

AC starts at 9 for an unarmored character. Most armor can be layered together except as noted. Modifiers are cumulative.

Individual pieces
Price AC modifier Description
10 -1 Shield
10 -1 Helmet
12 -1 Aketon
(cannot be worn with a gambeson)
15 -1 Gambeson
(cannot be worn with an aketon)
17 -1 Brigandine
(cannot be worn with cuirass)
20 -2 Hauberk
25 -2 Cuirass
(cannot be worn with brigandine)

An aketon and a gambeson are both quilted coats. I’m using aketon to mean a plain-looking version meant to be worn under other armor. I’m using gambeson to mean a nicer looking version for those who don’t have additional armor to layer over it. Brigandine is a fabric coat with metal plates riveted into it. A hauberk is a (chain) mail coat. A cuirass is a steel breastplate/backplate combination. You can look these all up on Wikipedia or other reference sources.

I’m ignoring greaves, vambraces, gauntlets, coifs, etc. for now. Assume appropriate such pieces come with these primary pieces.

To clarify: Mechanically, an aketon and a gambeson are identical. You can wear an aketon without any armor over it and be protected as well as if you were wearing a gambeson. You will, however, look a bit like you are walking around in your underwear. This may incur a penalty to reaction rolls in some circumstances. Likewise, you can wear other armor over a gambeson, though it might be slightly more uncomfortable.

Full plate harness would include an arming doublet. Similar to an aketon but with bits of mail arranged to cover the gaps in the plate. Should a character find themself in combat in merely an arming doublet without the plates, treat it like an aketon/gambeson.

What if you want to convert your standard D&D armor to this system?

“Leather Armor”Helmet & gambeson
“Scale Mail”Helmet, aketon, & brigandine
“Chain Mail”Helmet, aketon, & hauberk
“Banded Mail”Helmet, aketon, hauberk, & brigandine
“Plate Mail”Helmet, aketon, hauberk, & cuirass
“Suit Armor”Plate harness

For scale, you could just say it includes a scale armor coat instead of the brigandine. (Although I’d guess that actual scale wouldn’t be the equal of brigandine.)