Wednesday, September 20, 2023

An expanded armor table for Swords & Wizardy

On a recent read through the latest edition of Swords & Wizardry, an adaptation of the original D&D from the mid-'70s, it struck me that the equipment list notably includes ring mail armor in addition to the leather, chain, and plate varieties found in the source text. This got me thinking more generally about the various armor types beyond that "basic three" that were added to the game over time, particularly in AD&D. Some of them, like the aforementioned ring armor or studded leather, have little to no precedent in historical or archaelogical records. With that in mind, here's my take on an expanded armor list that's broadly compatible with the ones found in later editions. I kept the more dubious items in for tradition's sake, but flagged them as such, making them easy to ignore if you're a stickler about such things. Enjoy!


Armor Type Effect on AC from a base of 9[10] Weight** (pounds) Cost
Shield -1[+1] 10 15 gp
Padded gambeson -1[+1] 15 3 gp
Leather -2[+2] 25 5 gp
Ring*, scale, studded leather* -3[+3] 40 30 gp
Chain -4[+4] 50 75 gp
Banded*, brigandine, lamellar, laminar, splint -5[+5] 60 85 gp
Plate -6[+6] 70 100 gp
*Possibly ahistorical armor type.
**Magical armor weighs half normal.

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