Armour Characteristics

July 5th, 2009

This is an overview of armour characteristics, and explains what it is, the design concepts behind each type of armour and the logic model used to construct the rules. Armour characteristics are used to describe the parameters of the armour, and what they can defeat. Armours are defined by two core characteristics derived from the material properties and there construction. These characteristics are Padding and Conversion.

  • Padding: Padding is usually a layer worn under other type of ‘conversion’ armour. The padding value is how much impact energy the it can absorb. Padding has a type of impact it can absorb, and most fibre based padding with only resist 3P (blunt force). Often the thicker the padding the greater the absorption, but also the greater the restriction in mobility. It also covers later developments like plate armour which disperses the energy over a larger area to make it easier for the body to resist.
  • Conversion: This is the armour’s ability to convert 1P (piecing) and 2P (edged) into 3P (blunt). This is very important as 3P is the easiest for the human body to absorb, and also the type of impact that padding is most effective against. This is given using the ‘=’ sign, so 1P=3P mean 1p is converted into 3P, or in plain English, a piecing strike is converted into a blunt force strike. Conversion is important as it allows paddings that can not protect against piecing and hewing strike to back up a conversion based armour.
  • Max value of Conversion: Given as ‘MC’, is the maximum amount impact energy the armour can take before it fails completely and as a result fails to convert. This often the result of the armour being pieced, and to a lesser degree being cut. For Example, an armour with a MC:5 would be overcome by a trust of a dagger wielded by a man with Stature:6.

The above characteristics define the parameters of an armour. Some armours may have additional parameters and introduce new values but these come later in Augments (such as bullet proof vests in the Fire Power Augment)


This is derived from the thickness of the padding and fibre used. Generally the padding worn under mail (and other flexible armours) is thicker than that worn under plate armour (overall plate armour has similar if not better padding effect, as it spreads out the impact over the surface of the armour which augments the padding value).

Note: May add ‘dispersion’ for plate armours, as a separate value, which acts like padding but only so long as the armour does not fail. More likely to show up in the Technical Sphere rather than the Tactical Sphere.

[place holder] Formula: Each full inch of [gauge] padding increases the wearers resistance to blunt force trauma by on level +1 Stature [Tactical] +10 Stature [Technical]


Edged and Piecing strikes are very dangerous to the human body and can not be stopped by padding (unless super thick, but then it may be hard to move at the thickness needed to stop a forceful attack). Instead ‘armour’ as we understand it was invented to defeat the edge and piecing impacts. It does this by putting a strong material between the weapon and the person, a material that can not be cut as easily as human flesh. This has the effect of converting an edged and/or piecing, attack into blunt force trauma. The blunt force is still transferred to the body, but padding is highly effective at resisting blunt force, and the human body is also for more resistant.

A conversion armour changes the type of impact. It first converts the edged and/or piecing impact in a blunt impact, and then the under-layers absorb that blunted impact.

Conversion > Absorption > Injury

Max Conversion

Conversion armours can be cut and penetrated is enough concentrated force is applied. The thickness of the armour determines how resistant it is, and when it fails.

Place holder of ‘Armour Details’ –

Padding (Doublet, Arming Doublet, Gambeson, )


Plate (notes on full plate harness pieces for RPG)

Category: Prototype Rules Page

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