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View Full Version : The snow and wind has frozen hearts of man, but we ride.



Mr. Friendly
2007-11-27, 08:21 AM
So, I am working on a new campign which will be all frosty and cold, mostly using rules from Frostburn.

Something I don't recall seeing in Frostburn though is information about armor. It may be in there and I just missed it, however my point is that metal armor conducts a lot of cold, making it very unsuited for use in this ice cold campaign.

What, if anything, would be appropriate to replace the metal armors with?

TK-Squared
2007-11-27, 08:32 AM
Dragonscale armour?

Nerd-o-rama
2007-11-27, 08:36 AM
You don't conduct c---oh, never mind, I know what you mean.

Anyway, the basic answer to "metal armor is cold" is: wear padded clothing under it. Which everyone already did anyway, because man that would chafe if you didn't. Basically, the way armor is worn, you get enough insulation between it and your skin that cold isn't going to do you serious harm. Think about wear full metal harness first came into popularity: northern Europe during the coldest couple of centuries since the last Ice Age.

However, for really bad, sub-zero temperatures, you could impose a penalty on their fortitude saves against the environmental cold subdual damage they'll be taking. And of course, with plate, I imagine there a chance for joints to freeze up if they're out in the snow for prolonged periods.

Ganurath
2007-11-27, 08:48 AM
Yeah, the armor you see is only the top layer. The full plate, half-plate, and similiar heavy armors have chainmail beneath them, and all the metal armors have leather beneath them including the chain of the plate armors. At least, that's how I remember learning about it.

Of course, if it's really a concern, you could make druids more prominent to increase access to ironwood armor. Wood doesn't conduct energy very well, I know that.

Mr. Friendly
2007-11-27, 08:55 AM
When I say it will be cold, I mean like unholy cold. Somewhere in the negative 100s (F), pretty much all the time. I know there is layering involved with armor, it just seems like metal armor would be too dangerous to use, since if you accidentally touched it your skin would stick to it.

Ganurath
2007-11-27, 09:07 AM
When I say it will be cold, I mean like unholy cold. Somewhere in the negative 100s (F), pretty much all the time. I know there is layering involved with armor, it just seems like metal armor would be too dangerous to use, since if you accidentally touched it your skin would stick to it.Ironwood. Set on fire. With cold weather clothing. Also on fire.

Seriously, negative 100 Fahrenheit?! There's no way it's feasable.

Sleet
2007-11-27, 09:10 AM
I could be wrong about this, but it seems to me that the biggest method of heat transfer from the body is convection, not conduction. Air, even cold air, is actually a fairly decent insulator as far as conduction goes (that's why fluffy down feathers keep you so warm). As long as you have a good layer or two of warm insulation - goose down, dry wool, stuff like that - and a windproof layer over it to keep that fluffy stuff out of the wind, having metal on atop that won't hurt you much.

OF course, if you get wet, all bets are off - the water conducts the heat right through the insulation, where you not only get convection but evaporative cooling and mass transfer. You're in serious trouble then.


When I say it will be cold, I mean like unholy cold. Somewhere in the negative 100s (F), pretty much all the time.

I haven't read Frostburn, but this gives me an idea. If this is the case, tactics might be built around simply ripping the other guy's coat open so he freezes to death in a matter of seconds. Perhaps armor is designed to protect the clothing as much as the flesh, as having your down coat torn and letting the deadly air in is as dangerous as bleeding out.

It also gives some new, creative uses for the create water spell.

Nerd-o-rama
2007-11-27, 09:14 AM
When I say it will be cold, I mean like unholy cold. Somewhere in the negative 100s (F), pretty much all the time. I know there is layering involved with armor, it just seems like metal armor would be too dangerous to use, since if you accidentally touched it your skin would stick to it.
Yeah, at that point, you're gonna die no matter what you're wearing, really.

For reference, -89 degrees F is an average annual low in Vostok, Antarctica, home to the lowest recorded temperatures on planet Earth (the world record, by the way, recorded there, is -128.2 degrees F)

Source (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/YongLiLiang.shtml)

Sstoopidtallkid
2007-11-27, 09:25 AM
Where's a blaster with elemental substitution-fire when you need him?

Also, do mittens have an arcane failure rate?

Fhaolan
2007-11-27, 09:58 AM
Interesting note from someone who has worn a full plate harness in cold conditions:

First off, the gear I wore was as historically accurate as I could afford. Meaning a full gambleson and other padding, but the armor (15th century Itallian white harness) itself is rolled steel rather than hand-forged tempered steel.

Secondly it wasn't actually that cold. But it was foggy. Very foggy.

I had made a promise to myself to wear the gear all day at this particular renfaire. The stagefighting troupe I work with had been hired to do live-steel swordfighting in the green, and at previous events I had worn the armor, but had taken it off between 'acts' as our contract usually specifies exactly when and where we are to be IC, and when and where we are to be OOC. This time the contract was a lot more vague as it was the renfaire's second year of existance and it was still very small and disorganized.

Near the end of the day, our MedTech (we always have someone with EMT training at our events. We have the best safety record in the USA for a troupe of our type, because we take precautions like that.) shook hands with me as part of the act. I had taken my gauntlet off so he was touching my bare flesh. He got this weird look in his eye, opened my visor and reached around to touch the back of my neck. At that point he dragged me off side behind the tents, where he and my best friend started to strip me out of the armor in panic.

Apparently my body temperature had fallen to the point that I was about to go into shock, and because it was such a slow drop, throughout the day, I hadn't noticed other than feeling 'a bit chilly'. I was fine, but if I had stayed in armor until gate close I would have collapsed, supposedly.

So, even with historical-level padding and whatnot, full plate will draw the heat from you and radiate it outwards. So for a Frostburn level campaign, more extreme levels of padding and insulation will be necessary for realism. (See, I had a point, it just to awhile to get there. :smallsmile: )

Sleet
2007-11-27, 10:04 AM
So, even with historical-level padding and whatnot, full plate will draw the heat from you and radiate it outwards.

If it was foggy and humid, that makes sense. Dampness pulls heat out of you faster than anything, and metal armor on top of that might amplify the effect, maybe by masking how damp you really were. I'm speculating - I did heat and mass transfer work in grad school, so my brain likes chewing on problems like this.

Mike_Lemmer
2007-11-27, 10:22 AM
Yeah, at that point, you're gonna die no matter what you're wearing, really.

For reference, -89 degrees F is an average annual low in Vostok, Antarctica, home to the lowest recorded temperatures on planet Earth (the world record, by the way, recorded there, is -128.2 degrees F)

Source (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2000/YongLiLiang.shtml)

Gotta agree with Nerd-o-rama there. An average temp below -100 degrees F. is more harsh than some layers of the Abyss; your players would need permanent cold resistance to survive that, which would negate any damage from wearing cold armor as well.

Mr. Friendly
2007-11-27, 10:32 AM
Ok, well maybe constant neg 100+ is a bit extreme. Still, really fraggin cold. I have to look over the chart in Frostburn again to compare the charts for how cold stuff gets, basically, I want it to be lethal without at least level 2 cold protection.


I haven't read Frostburn, but this gives me an idea. If this is the case, tactics might be built around simply ripping the other guy's coat open so he freezes to death in a matter of seconds. Perhaps armor is designed to protect the clothing as much as the flesh, as having your down coat torn and letting the deadly air in is as dangerous as bleeding out.

This is the kind of stuff I want to go for too. I am going for a kind of a Dark Sun in reverse; bitter cold and low(er) magic.

Hakola
2007-11-27, 11:03 AM
I am not familliar with Frostburn but I once GM:ed a campaign in a similar setting called SnŲsaga (Snowsaga), in the swedish equivelant of DnD.
There people would wear the fur of a mammoth-like creature called mastomant when going into battle (or just outside as a matter of fact). The hides were both warm, resiliant to damage and not as cumbersome in deep snow as a full plate would be.
The drawback was that as mastomants got more scarce due to increased hunting, the prize of the hides went skywards.

This worked for our group and the feeling of traveling a cold windy mountainpass were greatly enhanced when the pc:s only protection against the weather was to snuggle up in their furcloaks and bury themselves in the snow.

So... I can recommend some kind of monsterhide as a substitute for armour made of metal.

Baxbart
2007-11-27, 11:11 AM
I could be wrong about this, but it seems to me that the biggest method of heat transfer from the body is convection, not conduction. Air, even cold air, is actually a fairly decent insulator as far as conduction goes (that's why fluffy down feathers keep you so warm). As long as you have a good layer or two of warm insulation - goose down, dry wool, stuff like that - and a windproof layer over it to keep that fluffy stuff out of the wind, having metal on atop that won't hurt you much.

OF course, if you get wet, all bets are off - the water conducts the heat right through the insulation, where you not only get convection but evaporative cooling and mass transfer. You're in serious trouble then.


Yep, you're right. Depending on what the wind conditions are like... a cold breeze will whip the heat out of you faster than the armour possibly could. Yes, padding will reduce this, but the plates of metal will still lose heat via convection while its in contact with the air. Eventually the temperature of the outer layer is enough to drag down the temperature gradient through your layers of padding.

As it was so well put above... your body temperature will drop steadily. If we're talking Frostburn kinda temperatures... or something adequately cold that you cannot ever go outside without serious insulation for any length of time - then I'd recommend perhaps some other source of heat to keep body temperature up, besides just padding.

Perhaps just have some minor magical effect enchanted into the padding of armour (minor cold resistance seems a little too much really, but something to that effect) that would effectively lessen the chance of a slow and painful death as long as you don't get caught out for too long (or misplace your helmet...) :smallbiggrin:

Arang
2007-11-27, 11:11 AM
Ok, well maybe constant neg 100+ is a bit extreme. Still, really fraggin cold. I have to look over the chart in Frostburn again to compare the charts for how cold stuff gets, basically, I want it to be lethal without at least level 2 cold protection.


What is level 2 cold protection? And what, by comparison, is unprotected? At 50 degrees F, you're going to die without protection.

Drider
2007-11-27, 11:28 AM
If it's that cold, child birth would need to be done in extremely well warmed houses...and who would continue to live in a place like that unless the whole world is like that? If the Whole world is icy cold, there would probably people who "chase" the sun to keep it's warmth...which makes it harder to have maps or anything(with everyone going after the heat). Unless they're advanced enough to have magic "heat areas" which get changed by druids/wizards to be warm to the point of being safe.

Bierhoff
2007-11-27, 11:31 AM
In RL caribou skin clothing (such as the inuit wear) is still pretty much the best protection you can get against the cold, beating the US army's best attempts with synthetics for years. They should be good protection though "uncomfortable" down to -100 c for short periods, if made correctly (-100 f is rather extreme). The fur and down lines should make a traditional parka roughly equivalent to padded armour. I don't see why one couldn't have attached leather plates to a parka if combat was expected. However, traditional artic parkas are quite bulky (air being a good insulator) and I can't see throwing metal on top of them being a good idea in terms of flexibility or insulation.

SpikeFightwicky
2007-11-27, 11:45 AM
Important things to remember about swordfighting in the cold:

"Sometimes the cold makes the blade stick..."

Bierhoff
2007-11-27, 11:51 AM
Another point you may want to consider is dehydration. In areas of extreme cold pretty much all moisture has been squeezed from the air, which means one will loose surprising amounts of moisture through acts like breathing and it is hard to replenish ones fluid levels (one could try eating the snow, but do you really want to put something massively sub zero in your body? ya, I didn't think so).
On the plus side the dry environment probably means your armour pieces won't freeze together... until you get blood on them, that is.

ps.
Interesting story: appearantly it's popular in Russia to leave a bottle of vodka out in the snow when one goes to work (during the winter). Because of the alcohol content it doesn't freeze, but turns into a jelly. They then consume this when they get back after a hard day of doing what ever they do. Unfortunately, sometimes the vodka gets so cold that it freezes their internal organs. I've heard that something like 40 people a year die in the Moscow region from freezing their innerds with vodka. I don't know if this is true, though.

Ralfarius
2007-11-27, 11:52 AM
Important things to remember about swordfighting in the cold:

"Sometimes the cold makes the blade stick..."
Why was my first reaction to use this Gladiator quote?

Failing that, I'd like to commend the use of Dethalbum lyrics in the thread's title.

Narco
2007-11-27, 12:15 PM
-100 degrees Celsius is colder than -100 degrees Fahrenheit.:smalltongue:

Epic_Wizard
2007-11-27, 12:23 PM
Actually when you get into negative temperatures the difference becomes much less and Fahrenheit and Celsius are equal at -40 degrees. To the best of my knowledge it doesn't get to -100 degrees Fahrenheit at the SOUTH POLE IN WINTER!!!

That said there is an option in Frostburn to add extra padding to the armor which reduces the effects of cold. That said at -100 degrees Fahrenheit their armor would shatter with one blow so this whole things is moot.

Before you choose a temperature look at the rules in Frostburn and decide what type of effect you want the cold to have on the characters and their encounters. You may also want to make magic VERY common to the point where basically all towns and other permanent shelters are warded against the cold.

hamlet
2007-11-27, 12:31 PM
When I say it will be cold, I mean like unholy cold. Somewhere in the negative 100s (F), pretty much all the time. I know there is layering involved with armor, it just seems like metal armor would be too dangerous to use, since if you accidentally touched it your skin would stick to it.

Human flesh cannot survive at that level of cold. People would die almost instantly in such weather.

Some of the coldest weather on this planet is about -40 which is cold enough to kill an unprotected person within about 15 minutes. Is that not cold enough?

Aleksendr
2007-11-27, 12:59 PM
Even more important thing to remember when fighting in a really cold place : Donít. At minus 100, metal breaks before bending.

That mean no sword (breaks too easily), no bow (haft no longer flexible due to the temperature), no crossbow or rapier. Axes could still be used (but forget about keeping it sharp). That leave us with blunt weapon, sling, javelins and short piercing weapons.

Heavy, winter padded clothing covered by armor plates will send your dex bonus the way of the dodo so that leave us with two guys dressed as the Michelin mascot fighting each other with maces.

Except they dont.

Why ? At minus 100, each breath of air is like dying. Ever heard of asthma? Airways closing due to cold temperature? Make that ten times worse. The more you fight, the more you need air. You have to warm your air before breathing it or death will come in a few minutes. Best tactic would be to rip the breathing mask or tubes of your opponent and watch him die. He wonít even be able to counterattack because every form of exertion will only accelerate his death. Thatís not a fight, thatís a murder. There is nothing glorious, noble or romantic about it. Iím not even sure the chemical mechanism allowing the extraction of oxygen from the air still work at this temperature. The Inuit (Natives from the artic circle) faced -30 to -50 and they never had a war with anyone or anything. Surviving took all they had.

Funny thing to consider is that if the temperature is -100 by day, by night it could reach -160, meaning you could have pool of liquid chlorine lying around.

For additional ideas you can read the ę La Compagnie des glaces Ľ series of novel. I donít know if it was translated in english but it describe modern society facing a new ice age. The most interesting aspect is that energy is everything, and that the only way to survive decently is to be connected to an energy source, mainly by electric rail in the novel.

Citizen Joe
2007-11-27, 01:10 PM
Actually when you get into negative temperatures the difference becomes much less and Fahrenheit and Celsius are equal at -40 degrees.
-100 C = -148 F

EDIT: Just to add something to this...
I can't see anyone living in that climate voluntarily. I can BARELY imagine anything living there at all. The only way I could envision this would be if it was a sudden Ice Age sort of thing where people didn't have enough time to migrate out.

From a campaign perspective this is only viable for a few sessions until the party either gets out of the environment or learns to live in it. At that point, why even have cold? Man vs. Environment only really works in novels and some movies, it just doesn't work well as an ongoing adventure theme.

Narco
2007-11-27, 01:20 PM
Yes, at -40 they are equivalent but as you continue down the disparity increases once again.

Brawls
2007-11-27, 06:09 PM
-100 C = -148 F

EDIT: Just to add something to this...
I can't see anyone living in that climate voluntarily. I can BARELY imagine anything living there at all. The only way I could envision this would be if it was a sudden Ice Age sort of thing where people didn't have enough time to migrate out.

From a campaign perspective this is only viable for a few sessions until the party either gets out of the environment or learns to live in it. At that point, why even have cold? Man vs. Environment only really works in novels and some movies, it just doesn't work well as an ongoing adventure theme.
Also, there are few animal species that can survive these kinds of temperatures (if any). So you would have to wonder about any civilization thriving or even subsisting with no possibility of agriculture and no game to hunt. Maybe you could have underground caverns with geothermal vents (think Iceland), but that only provides shelter, not food.

Having experienced -40 F personnaly, you can't really imagine such temperatures as conducive to any civilization long term (and that is with the benefit of some of the best technology). I think you should look at temperature ranges in Greenland, Iceland, or northern Scandanavia as a guide to crafting your world setting. Even there and during an iceage, you have a very short, but productive summer to grow crops and harvest enough food for the winter. It sounds like a cool campaign setting (no pun intended), but it can't be the heart of winter all the time, unless you are going for a Game of Thrones-esque sort of seasonality.

Brawls

Fhaolan
2007-11-28, 01:19 AM
If it was foggy and humid, that makes sense. Dampness pulls heat out of you faster than anything, and metal armor on top of that might amplify the effect, maybe by masking how damp you really were. I'm speculating - I did heat and mass transfer work in grad school, so my brain likes chewing on problems like this.

It's been a millenia or more since I did heat and mass transfer (Former chemical engineer, now I basically do simple programing, advanced accounting, and basic marketing. No taste, that's me.), but you are very likely right. No matter how cold you are, it appears you still sweat with exertion. It seems weird to me, but biology was never my strong suit beyond oil-eating bacterium. :smallsmile:

Mr. Friendly
2007-11-28, 07:55 AM
Right well obviously the negative 100s I said at the beginning were just a shot in the dark based on the coldest temps of the Earth. It really just needs to be cold enough that without some magic and good winter clothes, you die. And die quickly.

The basic premise as I have alluded to is something a bit like Dark Sun, only cold. I might even keep the name Dark Sun. :smalltongue:

The basic premise is that a magicocalypse happened a few centuries ago, leaving the sky blackened and sinking the world into a perpetual winter. There will be just a few places of life, one of which is the main city, where a lot of the action will happen, missions will happen, etc. This city will be a little more compact in surface area than Waterdeep, but will extend deep underground as well as up into the sky.

The city I am envisioning was essentially "bought" by a Merchant Cabal just after the end of the war/beginning of the ice age. Using their resources of food and money, they took over the city and began a project that took (a long time) to complete: a floating "sky city" above the city, supported by massive columns and some magic. The upper part is high enough in the air to be above the cloud-line, where sunlight gets through. There they have massive farms and live in luxury.

The merchants, now the aristocracy, use the threat of cutting off food and supplies to the people below as chains to keep the population enslaved.

From a societal point of view, magic is all but outlawed (as is psionics) and most people showing signs of magic use are put to death. The old gods answer no prayers and are believed dead and the new aristocracy disallows worship of the old gods anyway.

Most people work as miners, farmers/ranchers or fisherman; many also work as the military arm of the new order, but the common folk shun the military. Once someone is conscripted into the military, they are forever changed.... The leaders also control some method of keeping the city warm, well maybe not warm, but slightly less than fatal. I envision it to still be cold in the city, to the point that one still needs thick layers of warm clothing in the city, just not quite as extreme as the outer areas.

The "most favored" servants work in the upper city as housekeepers, farmers in the massive sky gardens, "companions" for lonely nobles, and all the other sorts of tasks that one would associate with a slave.

There is a thin middle class layer comprised mostly of a convoluted bureaucracy which sells and resells as middlemen for the upper class. These people are in effect owned by the upper class, however through shady dealings, betrayals and service to their masters, they can rise in station to become yet another petty tyrant in an already crowded aristocracy.

Money, being the all determining factor of a persons value, determines who really runs things; so it is in effect a Plutocracy. As further insurance against the commoners, the upper class have devalued money; the lower classes are paid in scrip that is virtually worthless. The in game effect of this will be that "common items" (rations, Inn stays and the like) will be at their book value, but in scrip, not GP. More exotic items, like Magic Items and artifacts from before the war, are valued in GP.

It is through a combination of these factors that keeps the aristocracy firmly entrenched, and the peasants unable to do anything about it.

I'm going for roughly Neutral Evil. It seems Lawful Evil on the surface, but truthfully the scheming and plotting behind the scenes, combined with massive bribes to make crimes "go away" make it all fairly Chaotic.

/end rant

Epic_Wizard
2007-11-28, 08:25 AM
Okay this sounds REALLY cool awesome (that joke is dead). I would like to suggest that you add the obligatory rebel group that still has things like clerics, psions (if you want that in your campaign), and Arcane casters.

Maybe this group wasn't in existence until about fifty years ago at which point they found the ruins of a civilization that predates the one that they had before the ice age. Among these things were an ancient library that contained a custodian who does not attack unless itself or the library is threatened. This guardian is intelligent and taught the people how to read the books helps them find things. They also built small shrines to the old gods and discovered that those they could contact are not dead but are weakened.

This would allow for things like researching spells and crafting items without the obligatory library and/or laboratory coming to the attention of the masses. This also gives the characters a base of operations that is out of reach of the general populace. Assuming you go with this idea I wouldn't introduce something like this in the first session but you might hint to it. Maybe the characters see a magical effect which shouldn't exist since there is not magic to speak of. Maybe at the end of the second session you could introduce them to the group and have them decide what they want to do as far as this group is concerned.

I would also make sure that you emphasize the fact that magic is outlawed to the characters. This means that they have to be careful with obvious magic in public since this would no doubt get them in a great deal of trouble.

As for magic items. Buying them would definitely cost real GP instead of script. I love this idea because it helps to convey the sense of poverty and desperation. For crafting magic items though I might suggest an alternative system that allows them to offset the material costs maybe through going and getting the materials themselves. There would still be some cost in magic regents that they might have to buy but getting the materials to create a flaming great sword would definitely draw attention.

Mr. Friendly
2007-11-28, 08:30 AM
Okay this sounds REALLY cool awesome (that joke is dead). I would like to suggest that you add the obligatory rebel group that still has things like clerics, psions (if you want that in your campaign), and Arcane casters.

Maybe this group wasn't in existence until about fifty years ago at which point they found the ruins of a civilization that predates the one that they had before the ice age. Among these things were an ancient library that contained a custodian who does not attack unless itself or the library is threatened. This guardian is intelligent and taught the people how to read the books helps them find things. They also built small shrines to the old gods and discovered that those they could contact are not dead but are weakened.

This would allow for things like researching spells and crafting items without the obligatory library and/or laboratory coming to the attention of the masses. This also gives the characters a base of operations that is out of reach of the general populace. Assuming you go with this idea I wouldn't introduce something like this in the first session but you might hint to it. Maybe the characters see a magical effect which shouldn't exist since there is not magic to speak of. Maybe at the end of the second session you could introduce them to the group and have them decide what they want to do as far as this group is concerned.

I would also make sure that you emphasize the fact that magic is outlawed to the characters. This means that they have to be careful with obvious magic in public since this would no doubt get them in a great deal of trouble.

As for magic items. Buying them would definitely cost real GP instead of script. I love this idea because it helps to convey the sense of poverty and desperation. For crafting magic items though I might suggest an alternative system that allows them to offset the material costs maybe through going and getting the materials themselves. There would still be some cost in magic regents that they might have to buy but getting the materials to create a flaming great sword would definitely draw attention.

Get out of my head!

daggaz
2007-11-28, 09:22 AM
I'm from Oregon, and Ive lived the last ten years in Denmark, spending a great deal of time in Norway and Iceland. I like the cold. I also like the outdoors.

OP: You are going to want a temperature of about -30 to -40 degrees. This is really, really cold. But its not so cold that it kills you basically instantly, or requires magic protection spells which would pretty much negate the whole setting anyhow. But its cold enough to kill. At -50, it is time to stay inside unless your life (or the pursuit of science) requires you to go out.

-30 to -40 (fahrenheit) will kill a fully exposed human in an hour or so, just sitting there doing nothing. It takes some time tho, and wearing protective layering means you can live somewhat normally.

Somewhat. The rules of survival in cold conditions state:

0. Dont eat the snow or suck on ice.

1. DO NOT GET WET.
-nothing will kill you faster than liquid water. Nothing. A direct result of this rule is the following:
A) Do NOT overexert your self. In cold conditions (your body measures it directly in the lungs), your metabolism automatically kicks up a few notches, meaning you burn more food to produce more heat. Every action you take will produce more heat than normal. If you are wearing protective clothing, this means that the rest of your body will get very warm. Unfortunately, your sweat glands and the heat sensors in your skin and subcutaneous tissues are not wired to the same part of your brain as your lungs are. So you will sweat a lot. Sweating will kill you in this environment, so dont. Take it easy. Rest a lot. Keep cool.
B) Don't breathe too hard, or do anything that requires panting. Your lungs are full of liquid water. Not only will this siphon heat out of your internal organs (bad), it will freeze as well (very, very bad). Lots of people die from running in the cold before they ever freeze to death because of this.

2. Keep Insulated.
a)Cover as much skin as humanly possible. Especially your face.
b)Insulate your extremities. You will lose circulation here first, so this means extra good care of your hands and feet- gloves are out, mittens are in. NEVER expose your bare hands to the cold.
c)Wear Layers. Mom was right, layers wont just keep you warm, they will save your life. Each layer will trap air between itself and the next, keeping you warm by blocking conduction, which is a killer. Your layers should be as follows:
1)An outer, waterproof layer. Goretex and properly prepared sealskin is best, as they share the unique property of being nonpermeable to liquid water, but permeable to water vapour. This means your sweat can get out, but the environment cannot get in. This is good (see rule 1).
2)Multiple middle layers of a fluffy, insulating material. Goose down, animal fur, whatever you got. Traps air, stops conduction. The modernday equivalent is micro-fiber.
3)An innermost layer of wool. Itchy, 100% wool. Wool should be sandwiched in the other layers as well, its just great stuff. But it is absolutely vital against your skin. Why? It wicks water. When you sweat, wool will carry that fluid away from your skin, keeping you dry. This is good. Preferably, this layer will be able to wick out directly into the open air, but in some environments, thats just not possible. So dont sweat too much.
4)Never wear cotton. Ever. Anywhere. Cotton kills more people than you would believe. It is a poor insulator, and worse yet, it absorbs water, keeping it close to your skin. In short time, you will find that you are soaking wet. Soon after, you will die.

3. Keep hydrated.
Cold air is dry. If it's not, you are probably going to die, and fast, unless you are wearing an inuit sealskin suit, or a state-of-the-art cold weather ocean survival suit. The sealskin suit is far superior, but harder to get.
Because the air is so dry, you will lose a lot of vapour thru breathing, more than you will on a normal day with normal humidity. Yeah, that frosty breath? That is precious liquid leaving your body. Dehydration leads to all sorts of bad things that will kill you, the primary one being that your body has trouble regulating your internal temperature without enough water. No temperature regulation = freeze to death, starting with your toes and fingers. There are other problems as well, but thats the big one. So drink a lot of hot liquid water. Frostbite sucks.

4. Keep well fed.
Food = energy = heat. You will need to eat at least 3 to 4 times more than normal. High calorie (sugars, fats) items like chocolate and nuts are gold. 'Nuff said.

5. The rest of the rules have more to do with do's and dont's of how to act in such an environment. Never going out alone, not panicking, recognizing the warning signs, etc, etc,.. Ill skip it for now. Its a long list.

As for metal armor in such conditions? Yeah... touching it is gonna suck, bad. Putting it on in the morning (or worse, taking it off at night after its frozen) is gonna be pretty much impossible unless you can get it warmed up. Chainmail which is exposed to snow as well as body heat will freeze solid.

Thing is, at those temperatures, pretty much anything is going to be radiating heat out and away, even your wool underwear. The heat gradient is just too high. And anything exposed to those temperatures for any amount of time will eventually get that cold.

Still... you are better off with natural materials that are not natural conductors. Bone would be ok, tho it will still freeze and stick to your skin, but your skin sticks to anything that cold, which is why you keep your freaking mittens on. Wood as well. Really, the best armor in those conditions is going to be whatever is the lightest, and can still keep your enemy from rending large holes in your insulative gear.

You are going to be blowing so much energy keeping warm, and you dont want to exhert yourself too hard.. so lugging around 50 lbs of iron on your back? Really bad idea. Leather armors would be the best and only effective armors in such an environment. Anybody in FullPlate is going to be dead before they ever get to the battle. Chainmail will freeze up, hindering movement, you will get owned. Moving is so hard anyways. Light armor or no armor is the only way to go.

Epic_Wizard
2007-11-28, 10:14 AM
Get out of my head!

But it's fun in here!!! :smallbiggrin: