Monday, 4 July 2011

Gary's source book on armor!

For many of you my discovery will be yawn, that's so last century.

But for an hour I felt like Indiana Jones, minus the physique, charm and rugged good looks. Okay, I felt like me, only excited.

While researching for another blog topic on armor and encumbrance I stumbled upon this paragraph in the DMG under Magic Armor.

I'll quote in full (DMG page 165)

"Note: If you are unfamiliar with medieval armor types, you might find Charles ffoulkes' ARMOUR AND WEAPONS (Oxford 1909) a short and useful text. The armor types I have selected are fitted into a game system. Here is what they subsume: LEATHER ARMOR is cuir bouli, consisting of coat, leggings, boots, and gauntlets. STUDDED LEATHER adds protective plates set in the leather and an extra layer of protection at shoulder area. RING MAIL is leather armor sewn with closely set iron rings. SCALE MAIL is a suit of leather armor set with small overlapping iron plates. CHAIN MAIL needs no explanation. BANDED MAIL is horizontal strips of articulated armor plates worn over a suit of chain mail. SPLINT MAIL is a coat of
vertical plates of armor sandwiched within the layers of the garment and worn over chain. PLATE MAIL is a set of pieces of plate (shoulder, breast, back, elbow, groin/hips legs) worn over chain mail. Plate armor is a late development and is not considered, i.e. the full suit of solid plate used c.1500 is not an armor type used, but the reader should be aware that this form of protection was lighter and more mobile than plate mail! It is also two or three times more costly . . ."

Did you notice armour spelt correctly, the only time in D&D history.

Sorry, distracted, that's not the discovery. The discovery was when I googled  Charles ffoulkes' ARMOUR AND WEAPONS (Oxford 1909) and found you can download a free pdf version thanks to microsoft.

That's the first time I've ever said that.

Anyway click here!

What a treasure trove. Have you ever thought that Gary's armor types don't match the other armor texts you have read, well here is his source and it's like holding an ancient D&D tome in your own hand.

Just start reading at the age of mail.

And you'll discover padded armor, leather, banded, scale, ringed, all there.

This picture shows many of the types.

Read this sentence, beginning page 16.

Figure 3 & 4 above:
"If it is intended to represent leather the trellice lines would
probably be  formed of thongs applied  on to the groundwork with metal studs riveted in the intervening spaces (Plate I)"

Is this the inspiration behind studded leather?

If that's not enough check out this image in the weapons section.

Recognise the style anyone?

I've added this post to Links to Wisdom if you lose it. A true Link to Wisdom, me thinks, from EGG himself.


  1. Excellent find! Downloading it to look at now :)

  2. That is unbelievably cool -- thanks for sharing the link!

  3. Great stuff, thanks JP.

  4. That's a great resource. I'm charmed by the morning star being called a "Holy Water Sprinkler".

  5. Wow! This is great. Thanks for pointing it out.

    - Ark

  6. Well done sir! Thanks so much! Onto the iPad it goes!

  7. Late to the party, but thanks for sharing this! :)