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Armor is heavy, difficult to wear and is damned uncomfortable. Some classes are better trained to ignore these drawbacks, but anyone can strap on a suit of armor and enjoy the benefits it grants.

The Armor Mechanic

Armor subtracts from HP loss when a character is successfully attacked. In most circumstances, each point of armor a character possess (through wearing it, having naturally tough hide or scales, or having temporary/circumstantial armor like a spell) will negate one point of damage. Some weapons have the ignore armor or piercing tags, however.

  • ignore armor: Don’t subtract armor from the damage taken
  • n piercing: When you deal damage with n piercing, you subtract n from the enemy’s armor for that attack.

Spells or Monster moves might likewise ignore armor or be considered piercing.

Armor Tags

Armor, like weapons, has tags. Some are purely descriptive but the ones below have some mechanical effect on the player wearing them

  • n Armor: It protects you from harm and absorbs damage. When you take damage, subtract your armor from the total. If you have more than one item with n Armor, only the highest value counts.
  • +n Armor: It protects you and stacks with other armor. Add its value to your total armor.
  • Clumsy: It’s tough to move around with. -1 ongoing while using it. This penalty is cumulative.
  • Worn: To use it, you have to be wearing it.

Classic DW Armor List

  • Leather, Chainmail; 1 armor, worn, 10 coins, 1 weight
  • Scale Mail; 2 armor, worn, clumsy, 50 coins, 3 weight
  • Plate; 3 armor, worn, clumsy, 350 coins, 4 weight
  • Shield; +1 armor, 15 coins, 2 weight

Masterwork Armor (Custom)

A piece of masterwork weapon is a finely crafted version of normal armor. They are rare and most likely to be purchasable in prosperous cities with a revered guildmaster or two devoted to making them. The GM should decide for themselves if a masterwork weapon is one of the following:

  • +1 armor
  • -1 weight
  • free of the clumsy tag
  • +1 resistance to piercing; +1 piercing is reduced to 0 piercing; +2 piercing is reduced to +1 piercing, etc.

Magical Weapons

Magic-enhanced armor might be acquired by the adventurers as loot from a monster's hoard or a reward from a grateful employer or ally.  They cannot be purchased under normal circumstances.  They don't necessarily have better +armor than mundane armor but generally have 1-3 tags that give a brief detail of what arcane or planar powers they bestow when worn or held.  Some sample magical armor are listed below.

Magical Metals & Woods (Custom)

GMs may wish to adopt magical metals and woods into the crafting of magical weapons and armor.  The following is a list of tags that could be applied to magical weapons. What specific qualities they possess, where they come from, and how they are forged should be elements of the fiction itself.  But they should be rare, impossible to purchase and a not bestowed upon the adventurer's lightly. 

  • Adamantine
  • Alchemical Silver
  • Aururum
  • Bronzewood
  • Cold Iron
  • Darkwood
  • Dragonshide
  • Ebonite
  • Ironbark
  • Mithril
  • Orichalcum
  • Riverine
  • Starmetal
  • Stygian

Suggested Armor Rule (LAS)

Don't Let Armor Make Characters Invulnerable To Damage

Characters with armor of 4-5 can shrug off most mundane weapon attacks; Dragons and other daunting monsters might have an armor of 4-5 but ideally no higher (they might be immune to mundane weapons or have other special qualities which provide protection as well).  GMs may wish to give adventurers access to magical armor or masterwork armor as treasure during a campaign.  Consider ways to make such armor valuable to the recipient beyond simply increasing their total Armor Rating beyond 4-5: reduction in weight, losing the clumsy penalty, providing invulnerability from one form of damage, increasing the coin value, etc.,   Magical items that provide +Armor should be highly prized- and easy to lose to theft or calamity if players aren't both prudent and lucky.