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    Canonfire :: View topic - Armors of the Flanaess
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    Armors of the Flanaess
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    From: Modena, Italy

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    Sat May 04, 2013 11:45 am  
    Armors of the Flanaess

    Since buying the amazingly illustrated Artesia RPG, I was mumbling about the armors of the Flanaess. Not just styles (which could roughly be defined by the rw culture parallels) but how armor history has developed. I assume old flan empires like Vecna's had bronze armors (or did they know steel already?) and even older ones like Sulm maybe something still weirder.
    Since I was figuring out how armies of the past looked like I was intersted to hear theories on development of body armor. Early Knight protectors (the first knightly order of mankind?) maybe didn't even use plate. Kas wielded a 2hd sword (according to some canon IRRC it was a short, more believable), and then we have all those extremely ancient epires like Erypt and the Dragon Empire etc...
    GreySage

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    Sat May 04, 2013 12:07 pm  

    I'm not sure if this would be helpful to your discussion or not, but Arms and Equipment and Combat and Tactics have entire sections dedicated to descriptions of armor, their historical backgrounds, and the like.

    -Lanthorn
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    Sat May 04, 2013 1:03 pm  
    Re: Armors of the Flanaess

    MToscan wrote:
    Kas wielded a 2hd sword (according to some canon IRRC it was a short, more believable)


    In 1e the Sword of Kas was a +6 Defender Short Sword. In 3e the Sword of Kas was a +6 unholy keen vorpal Long Sword. Not much help on historical armor but it's all I have.

    Dartamian
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    Sat May 04, 2013 2:36 pm  

    A fellow Artesia fan! Smile

    I think about the same things. IMC bronze armor would have been the norm for advanced Flan cultures. When I see it in my head, probably something more along the lines of Assyrian; corselets and coats of square bronze plates; peaked bronze helmets. The ancient Flan did use a curved sword somewhat similar to a falcata, although I can't remember where I read about it. For this reason I have some Flan cultures who still use short swords similar to a kukri.

    I was speculating about the armor of the ancient Oeridians, when the Baklunish first encountered them, for an article. To my thinking, the Oeridians originally appeared on the western fringes of the Baklunish Empire, and fought their way across it during a weak point in Baklunish history, when the Empire was torn by civil strife, eventually settling in what became Ull. I had the Baklunish originally calling these nomads kabamut, which in Ancient Baklunish means “fish-skinned.” This referred to the heavy horsemen of the Oeridians wearing scale armor, similar to what the Scythians and Parthians wore. I brought this up with someone else at some point not too far back. If I were going to set a campaign in something like the 300's, chainmail would probably be the armor that most everyone wore, with no plate armor evident. Knights would look like Norman knights, not full-plate clad 14th century knights. But that's just the way I see it.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Sat May 04, 2013 5:11 pm  

    My take on the armors of the Flanaess has always been that the most advanced system currently available is plate mail (per Carl Sargeant's Ivid the Undying). I liked that limit, as it contributed to a 11th-12th century flavor I enjoy.

    The ancient Flan would have had bronze (plate and scale) as their most advanced armor, though leather and hide would have been prevalent as well.

    The Baklunish would have had armor similar to that found in 2nd edition's Arabian adventures... scale would have been prevalent during the days of the Caliphate, and lamellar and banded armors coming to the fore since then.

    For the Ancient Suel, they would have likely had similar armor to the Baklunish Empire, with scale being the most advanced armor available by the end of the Imperium.

    The Oeridians, are of course the wild cards in this. I read somewhere (possibly OJ), that they created the first suit of chainmail armor before the Twin Cataclysms, and that coupled with other factors would have given them a huge advantage. By the traditional time of campaigns, chain mail is still considered heavy armor, and worn by heavy cavalry and infantry forces, with splint mail and plate being seen as improvements on it. Brigandine would be common as well, as a reduced form of armor suitable for every day wear (chain is hard on the shoulders). Banded and Lamellar, while comparable if not superior to splint mail, would be rare for cultural reasons. Scale would likewise be rare, though not unheard of outside of the Sheldomar valley. Scale might still be worn in the Sheldomar (Suel heritage), but chain and heavier armors would have been replacing it.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Sat May 04, 2013 8:00 pm  

    The Baklunish are not specifically Arabian, but Eastern (Middle and Far). Properly speaking, the Baklushi are a blend of everything Eastern, at least so far as the real world in concerned. If you do want to be all inclusive in this respect, Baklunish armor would include anything up to, and including, plate mail, and if full plate armor exists elsewhere, the secret of its manufacture will no doubt trickle into the Baklunish lands as well. Visual styling will vary of course.
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    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Sun May 05, 2013 1:54 pm  

    Thank you very much guys, lot of crunch here.
    Now that I think about it, the Netheril boxed set for Forgotten Realms included a calendar that specified technological and magical discoveries to allow campaigns to be set in specific years with corresponding items/spells, it was a very good idea, even though no details on the actual development are described. I mean, assuming chainmail was invented in -400 CY and plate in 200 CY, it would be important to define where and how the technlology developed.

    For instance

    chainmail (-400 CY, Oeridian tribes from the lands beyond the Crystalmist roughly Plains of the Paynims, later adopted by Aerdy empire and Suel/Oeridian lands like Keoland by -100 CY or so),

    plate mail (200 CY Aerdy Empire, Oeridian/dwur collaboration, first introduced in the tourneament of Rel Astra in 220 CY... etc etc.
    Adept Greytalker

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    Mon May 06, 2013 5:20 pm  

    Plate would have had a more gradual or phased introduction than chainmail. Splint mail, for instance, could be considered a proto-plate mail, as it is chain with segments of plate armor. Likewise, the addition of cuirasses, greaves, etc. would probably have occurred over time until a suit of plate was obviously different from its chainmail predecessor and contemporary (though it would still have significant chainmail components).
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Mon May 06, 2013 11:51 pm  

    tarelton wrote:
    Plate would have had a more gradual or phased introduction than chainmail. Splint mail, for instance, could be considered a proto-plate mail, as it is chain with segments of plate armor. Likewise, the addition of cuirasses, greaves, etc. would probably have occurred over time until a suit of plate was obviously different from its chainmail predecessor and contemporary (though it would still have significant chainmail components).

    That's interesting. I assume the very first suits of interlocked full plates are from Ironmaster, being the forge of the whole Great Kingdom, I would say the very first to own them were the Knight Protectors members of the Celestial Houses.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue May 07, 2013 11:16 am  

    Just a question.

    In the real world, full plate armors showed up in the fifteenth to sixteenth century AD, depending on what you mean by "full plate." Or about five thousand years after the beginning of the Bronze age and the very earliest Egyptian and Sumerian political entities (3,300 BC).

    What reasons might there be for any sizable human group to be incapable of fabricating the whole range of D&D armors? Not that a group might prefer one armor type over others, but is there a suggestion that they would be incapable of making say, full plate?

    Other than an outbreak of rust monsters.
    GreySage

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    Tue May 07, 2013 11:30 am  

    A-Baneful-Backfire wrote:
    What reasons might there be for any sizable human group to be incapable of fabricating the whole range of D&D armors? Not that a group might prefer one armor type over others, but is there a suggestion that they would be incapable of making say, full plate?

    Other than an outbreak of rust monsters.


    Some possibilities:

    Lack of natural resources.
    Any elven nation, but a Wild Elf nation in particular, may be very hard-pressed to acquire the iron and other minerals necessary to make steel, if that nation is isolated enough that they don't trade for it. I can't imagine elven minors in caves below their forest nation. Centaurs are another example of a race that I find unlikely to be minors. They are also, typically, even more isolationist than elves.

    As for a human nation or group, one based upon a swamp lifestyle (think of people living in Louisiana's bayous). They wouldn't be able to acquire such armor outside of trade and wouldn't want it if they could get it.

    Cultural lack of necessity.
    What would a civilization based upon wandering the plains need, or want, with heavy metal armor? What good would heavy metal armor do a nation in an extremely hot environment, like the Olman of the Amedio?

    Deific forbiddance.
    Perhaps a theocracy has developed a belief system that forbids the development and use of heavy metal armor.

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    Adept Greytalker

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    Tue May 07, 2013 6:16 pm  

    Quote:
    What reasons might there be for any sizable human group to be incapable of fabricating the whole range of D&D armors? Not that a group might prefer one armor type over others, but is there a suggestion that they would be incapable of making say, full plate?


    So the key word is incapable. I assume by this you mean lacking either the materials or the knowledge to manufacture all armors. So how could this happen? Well:

    1. Metalworking skills are just not that advanced. Chain armor predates the birth of Christ, but plate armors do not appear for almost two thousand more years. It was a slow process of development and experimentation that finally arrived at plate armor.

    2. Skills are forgotten. Armoring skills could even have been known once, and then forgotten in the wake of a societal collapse... Roman and Greek armor had plate elements, but as the Empire collapsed, the skills were forgotten for a millennia. Likewise, an advanced society manufacturing advanced armors (plate, brigandine, quality leather cuirasses) would have little reason to make hide armor.

    3. No demand. Armorers are not in it for a hobby. If no one wants Bronze Plate Mail because banded armor and plate armor are available, then it is doubtful if anyone would know how to make it after a couple of generations. Plus, bronze is very different from ferrous metals and much harder to work with.

    So if a bunch of characters walked into Greyhawk looking for hide armor, in my view they would be out of luck, just as if they looked for bronze armor.
    Black Hand of Oblivion

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    Wed May 08, 2013 12:04 am  

    It also depends on the type of of metal. The Ancient Greeks were shaping bronze; mainly using wooden forms and hide mallets, which is not very tricky at all. Shaping steel, which I have done cold (which is harder than using heat even), is a totally different animal. It is also harder to properly temper an odd-shaped piece of steel than it is uniform one such as a sword blade or spear tip.

    Then there is climate. Good gawd, but plate armor with a quilted arming coat underneath does hold in the heat, turning you into a walking sauna. it is also fatiguing. Rest, air conditioning and drinking lots of water helps. A bit. You don't want to be wearing such armor in 100+ temperatures for very long.
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