Quote Originally Posted by Max_Killjoy View Post
Do you think it would be workable and fun as part of an RPG setting?

One thing I would not do is fall back on the standard RPG trick of making cloth armor or heavy hide-based armor into something only the destitute and desperate wear -- having seen several tests on these types of armor, they appear to be quite protective, and I assume that if they didn't provide much protection, no one would have bothered spending time and money on them, marching around with them, wearing them in the blazing heat, etc.
Ah! That is the thing.

I expect it will depend a lot on the system, and whether the difference between the armor types is the critical factor in survival, or at least whether the players perceive it to be the critical factor and get angsty when they cannot find any bronze breastplates and iron greatswords.

As for the quality of the armor, I agree completely.
Perhaps if you looked at some Late Renaissance material for inspiration on making cloth armor more appealing than metal armor? After all, what sort of swashbuckling musketeer wanders around in a heavy breastplate when a buffcoat is not merely better suited to acrobatics, but also much more stylish!
At the least, any sort of metal armor should make people suspect the PCs are nobles, which invites jealous plots, and if they are revealed to just be lucky commoners the thieves should come hunting to make the PCs "share".