A Question about Armor


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Post Sun Jul 08, 2007 3:25 am

So have we reached any kind of clarification yet? I'm interested in spending time on making "realistic" armor, but I don't have hundreds of dollars to spend, especially to find out after I finish it that it won't be considered realistic enough for a certain kind of armor (I'm not being specific, at this point, not sure how much cover I want to make).

Let me throw a wrench into the mix, now, while obviously I couldn't make armor out of REAL bone (Well, ok, I could, but it might be quite expensive and somewhat unethical :twisted: ) If I actually did this at some point, it would be a mix of materials, by necessity. It would probably include some leather straps at flexible points. We made an egg for a Winter Haven prop that looks pretty bone-like and are trying a few experiments on the actual functionality/durability of it. If it looked good enough, would it still be fake? Even taking into account the time and money spent working on it?

What is the important part? Authenticity? Weight? The above mentioned attempt at not looking like pop-cans glued together?

I know I have a hard time selling the game to LARP newbies who like to play the buff warrior types when I have to tell them "Well, you do have to have REAL armor, or it doesn't count for points. Yeah, I know it costs at least $300 for a set of armor that will count as heavy, but them's the breaks."

In my opinion, if metal makes up a large percentage of the armor (Chainmail with rings smaller than a certain size should count, while thin-plated leather that only covers a small area of the front and back might not, for example), it should be able to count as heavy. Metal is expensive and home-made metal armor takes considerable time to make. And chainmail is both heavy and can be quite uncomfortable, regardless of it's composition.

I understand we don't want people walking in with silly costumes, however, I do want to pick a bone with the people who are REALLY looking for realism in a fantasy LARP. We already have to accept that people can be raised from the dead, spells can be thrown around and you can make a sword in an hour. I don't necessarily think realism should be the number one concern, but I do understand that balance should be.

I actually like the idea of giving people who wear heavier armor more combat reflexes as an exchange for wearing something that hampers their movement. I guess I must not have played when soak was really high, but I think we only have a few builds/characters with uber-soak rather than the majority, and it's these builds that need to be looked at. When you have a majority of characters that can be knocked down in four hits or less (Usually much less, since most things swing more than one for some reason, I think that REALLY needs to be looked at too...last game EVERY single wandering monster I ran into swung for at least quick 2's, there were several that swung 2 and poison, but none that swung less than 2), there is something of a problem. (I think that's too deadly :mad: ).

Really, I don't have a problem with the GMs making a call-by-call play, but I realize that some people do.
Mike: For the majority of you, choosing to use a packet instead of a weapon is a hindrance because your aims suck.

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Post Sun Jul 08, 2007 7:16 am

What do you mean that you have to have real armor or it doesn't count for points? You still get points for the armor, whether it is real or not. You just don't get the added real armor bonus.

I haven't been on wandering monster detail, so I can not really say why they all swing at least 2. My guess is that the reason for this is that only one or two people are doing wandering monsters and so there is always that really outnumbered factor, which inflates the damage swung a little bit to make it more interesting for the players.
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Post Sun Jul 08, 2007 11:01 am

Just for note to all who keep saying this. Metal armor is NOT expensive. Only finished product are. I paid less than $100 for the whole brestplate and still have enough metal and leather to make a helm, shoulders and lower legs. The paint and supplies I used for the paint job cost more than my armor.

Chain is even cheaper. You can pick up spools of wire for very cheap and learning to create it isn't tough. Plus, it's not real mentally consuming so you can just throw next to the TV. When you sit down to watch a little, grab it and do a few more lines. Over a couple monthes you'll be surprised how much you can make.

As for bone armor, find some decent hardwood scrap (you can get it fairly cheaply) and a belt sander (not so cheap, but most people know someone who has one). Rough cut the wood and then shape it via the sander (a dremel helps too). The sound and look (once painted) should work well. If you aren't so worried about sound, pvc pipe sections with some knoby ends can look good with a little sanding.

The biggest thing people have to do is think outside the box.
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Post Mon Jul 09, 2007 3:28 am

Ok, I didn't know that about armor, I thought we were penalizing people instead of rewarding the folks who go the extra mile. That was my misconception.

Oh, and thanks for all the tips, dier_cire, I appreciate it. I'll make sure I pass that info along. Out of curiosity where did you find the inexpensive metal you used to make the breastplate, and what did you use to shape it?

I will warrant that chain isn't necessarily expensive to make, but it is still time-consuming, especially for someone who doesn't spend a lot of time in front of the TV.
Mike: For the majority of you, choosing to use a packet instead of a weapon is a hindrance because your aims suck.

Travis: Crap he is on to me.
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Post Mon Jul 09, 2007 5:12 am

You are correct in that it is literally a time vs money issue. But that's the way of everything isn't it? :)

For my metal, I found some heavy duty shelving that was being thrown out and offered to take it so it was free. It did require that I sand and paint it due to the paint. My current helm, I just bought some thin sheet metal from Lowes I think. Cutting wise I just used my jigsaw and a metal cutting blade (tin snips for the helm). For shaping, I only did simple curves, therefore I just used my hands and a pole in my basement. I later went back and used a body hammer and anvil I picked up for car and motorcycle work, but it looked fine without. I also used a belt sander and sacrificed a few belts to remove the sharp edges.

Of course I made the whole thing out of posterboard first so I knew how big to make each piece. This is a must if you don't want to run into issues.
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Post Mon Jul 09, 2007 7:40 am

Well so we are clear, if you are wearing "fake armor" you have to take it off ot get it repaired. That is the difference between real and fake armor.

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Post Fri Jul 20, 2007 8:26 pm

Question:

If i found a cloth that, design wise, looks like chainmail and sort of has a net like mail feel to it could that be considered fake heavy chainmail?

Because I really would love to use heavy armor next event its just that I am really poor and lacking any metal bending skills or the other things needed and I am really wondering if I could just use a chainmail looking cloth that may be padded or double layered to increase its thickness.

please help me because time is short.
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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 10:07 am

I think it's funny how the people who can craft and have the tools needed to do so tend to say, "It's easy, all you have to do is..." :P
That's like me saying, "playing bass is easy, all you have to do is..."

To someone that doesn't even know what a leather punch or a belt sander is thats not really an option. :wink:
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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 1:30 pm

I made my leather armor....and honestly honestly honestly it was one of the easiest things I've ever made (especially the arms) the leather punch and eyelets were ONLY time consuming....

Hardest part is finding a pattern and making sure it's going to fit.

All in all it cost under $80 for enough suade for my torso and arms, rubber hammer, punch, eyelets, and eyelet setter thingy...and it's REAL
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Post Mon Jul 23, 2007 7:30 pm

Atrum Draconus wrote:I think it's funny how the people who can craft and have the tools needed to do so tend to say, "It's easy, all you have to do is..." :P
That's like me saying, "playing bass is easy, all you have to do is..."


be brave... :)

Everyone who has ever made armor had to learn, same as the people who don't know how. If you never try to do it, you'll never learn. Not knowing how isn't a valid excuse if you've never tried.

It's like me saying playing the saxaphone is hard, but I've never tried so with no point of reference, how can I say anything about it with any accuracy?
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