Quality Arms & Armor
There are four ranks of Armament Quality: Shoddy, Standard, Superior, and Excellent+:
• Shoddy: Shoddy items break easily and are destroyed after a single failed stress test.
• Standard: The basic default for all weapons.
• Superior: Superior armor grants +1 to Protection, a Superior Shield grants +1 Defense, and a Superior Weapon grants +1 Attack. The Cost is increased one step on the scale.
• Excellent+: Excellent Quality armaments offer a bonus of +1 to +3. For Weapons the bonus is applied to both Attack and Damage.
Considering City and Guild, Superior Quality Armaments have a difficulty of 12, and Excellent Armaments have a difficulty of 12 for +1, plus three for each additional +1 to the bonus. Inexpensive Armaments may have a bonus as high as +1, Standard as high as +3, and Expensive as high as scores allow.
During Character Creation, you may purchase Quality Armaments with Vis (if you are a magus, with 1 pawn worth 4q.p.), or with XP (spent in lieu of q.p. for companions and grogs). Superior items cost 3q.p. Excellent items cost 3q.p. per point of bonus, twice that for weapons. Items of Quality, using said Verditius Mystery, are only available to those with the appropriate Hermetic contacts. Their cost is 4q.p. per point of the bonus granted. As a reminder, Item of Quality bonuses are added to *rolls*, and are not figured into scores or totals.
A basic example of an Excellent Quality Weapon, the Toledo Steel Long Sword is the result of master craftsmanship and the inclusion of a rare metal known as Vanadium. The Craftsmanship grants a +1 bonus to Attack, and is not uncommon for blades of quality in the region. Vanadium is expensive and is usually reserved for long swords, though occasionally for short swords, but only the wealthy can afford to make their daggers this way. The metal makes the weapon stronger and better able to hold an edge, granting a +1 bonus to Damage. Thus, the famous Toledo Longsword has a natural bonus of +1 to Attack and Damage. Enchanting such a weapon requires additional vis, adding the bonus to the base 5 for normal steel. Such fine weapons often have other precious materials included in their ornamentation.
The shape of your shield is a stylistic choice, be it round or square or kite or whatever. What matters is the size and mass; Small (Buckler), Medium (Round), Large (Heater), and Huge (Infantry). So for example, you can have a Large Round Shield and just use Heater Shield statistics.
Type and Cost of Special Equipment
According to the rules above, equipment is thus classified as:
- Shoddy: Shoddy items break easily and are destroyed after a single failed stress test.
- Standard: The basic default for all weapons.
- Superior: Superior armor grants +1 to Protection, a Superior Shield grants +1 Defense, and a Superior Weapon grants +1 Attack. It costs 3qps
- Supreme: Supreme Weapons add +1 to Attack and Damage, and cost 6QPs. In the context of this saga, this is intended to represent swords of Toledo Steel (a combination of superior craftsmanship and superior raw materials; more on that below).
- Excellent: Excellent Quality armaments offer a bonus up to +3 or higher. For Weapons the bonus is applied to both Attack and Damage. For further description (and to avoid labeling weapons by their modifier), use the following terms.
- Excellent: +2 (or +2/+2); 9qps per bonus; uncommon
- Exceptional: +3 (or +3/+3); 18qps per bonus; rare
- Extraordinary: +4 (or +4/+4); 30qps per bonus; very rare
- Exquisite: +5 (or +5/+5); 45qps per bonus; extremely rare
There are two ways to calculate Armor, the simple system from RAW, and the advanced piecemeal system from Lords of Men. The two are compatible, if the piecemeal of the main armor & all accoutrements are factored together.
Based on core RAW, Standard Armor has a Load equal to Protection. Expensive Armor has a Load equal to two-thirds Protection (or Protection one-&-a-half times Load). Inexpensive Armor Has a Load one and a half times greater than Protection (or Protection equals two-thirds Load). This represents the standard outfits listed on page 176 of ArM5.
Referencing both the Expanded Armor Rules from Lords of Men page 139-142, outfits are divided into four categories of Body Armor, to which are added accoutrements such as Surcoats and Greaves plus Helmet.
Body Armor is categorized as Curias/Jerkin (half of Partial), Haubergon (equal to Partial), Hauberk (three-quarters full), and Full (which already includes greaves/jambes, but not the surcoat or helmet).
I shall not reprint the whole table, so go buy the book if you want customization via piecemeal. However, for reference, the composition of commonly encountered outfits are as follow:
- Light Leather: Protection 1, Load 1 (Leather Clothes, Greaves, Iron Cap)
- Partial Metal Reinforced Leather: Protection 2, Load 2 (Reinforced Jerkin, Iron Cap)
- Studded Leather Hauberk: Protection 3, Load 3 (Reinforced Hauberk, Iron Cap)
- Partial Leather Scale: Protection 3, Load 3 (Rigid Scale Cuirass, Greaves, Iron Cap)
- Full Metal Scale: Protection 7, Load 7, Perception -1 (Metal Scale Full, Open Helmet)
- Partial Chain Mail: Protection 6, Load 4, Perception -1 (Mail Haubergon, Greaves, Open Helmet)
- Chain Mail Hauberk: Protection 6, Load 4 (Mail Hauberk, Gambeson, Iron Cap)
- Full Chain Mail: Protection 9, Load 6, Perception -1 (Mail Full, Gambeson, Helmet)
- Arma Draco: Protection 10, Load 7, Perception -1, +7 to Soak Rolls (+2 Superior Quality Metal Scale, Full, IoQ, OfE (P8/L6), Excellent Quality Helm (P2/L1/Pr-1))
- Arma Vocis: Protection 8, Load 4, +7 to Soak Rolls (+2 Excellent Quality Mail Hauberk, IoQ, OfE (P7/L2.5), Gambeson (P1/L1.5)
- Warrior's Aegis: Protection 12, Load 6, Perception -1, +7 to Soak Rolls (+2 Excellent Quality Mail Full, IoQ, OfC (P9/L3.5), Gambeson (P1/L1.5), Unique Quality Helmet (P2/L1/Pr-1))
- Steel Skin of the Bear: Protection 9.5, Load 3.5, +7 to Soak Rolls, Lesser Enchantment to change to fit his changing size and shape (+2 Excellent Quality Mail Full, IoQ, LE (P9/L3.5), Coif (P0.5/L0)
In consideration of Enchantment, the pieces are all treated separately: Body, Sucoat, Greaves/Jambes, and Helmet. The same goes for enhancing pieces as Items of Quality.
For Superior and Excellent Quality Armor, the bonus is attributed to the main Body Armor. The contributions of accoutrements are usually to small to be substantially affected.
For example, Plate Jambes can be considered equivalent to Superior Quality Greaves. There is no difference in Protection & Load, both have a score of 1 in each. Yet Plate Jambes are Expensive and a few decades out of date for widespread use, and Boiled-Leather Greaves are Inexpensive and standard. A smith capable of Superior Quality can also plate Surcoats; A plate Cuirass (P3/L3), a Coat of Plates (P2/L2), Plate Jambes (P1/L1), or a Light Breast Plate (P1/L1). A smith capable of Excellent Quality of +2 or more can craft Plate-and-Mail Jambes1 or a Bascinet style helmet, even though these are advanced technology out of period.