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Thread: Lamellar Armor?

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    Default Lamellar Armor?

    It appears that there is not currently lamellar armor, leather or metal, in 5e D&D. What would be the best way to replicate it via existing armors, or should I attempt to homebrew it?
    Last edited by Archpaladin Zousha; 2019-05-15 at 12:08 PM.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Splint mail. The difference is mostly in whether the strips are vertical or horizontal.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Scale mail is a decent choice as well.
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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    D&D armor is divorced from real armor enough that I would just flavor any real armor type as the D&D armor who's stats you like and not lose any sleep over it.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    D&D armor is divorced from real armor enough that I would just flavor any real armor type as the D&D armor who's stats you like and not lose any sleep over it.
    Also a fine answer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Also a fine answer.
    Thanks. And to clarify, I don't mean that in a negative way - the D&D armor has solid stats from a game balance perspective, but isn't really based on more than a loose description , so it's best to just embrace it and get the look you want without losing sleep over any kind of exact mapping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    Thanks. And to clarify, I don't mean that in a negative way - the D&D armor has solid stats from a game balance perspective, but isn't really based on more than a loose description , so it's best to just embrace it and get the look you want without losing sleep over any kind of exact mapping.
    It's also focused on western European history/fantasy. Other cultures had similar results with different materials on hand driving different advances.
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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Lamellar, brigandine, coat of plate, jack of plate, etc. all capture a type of armor that has a huge amount of range across time and place, both in terms of technology and nomenclature. There are 'whatever generic term we which to use' equivalents to pretty much everything over padded and under full plate (in game terms, all the 3+ and 7- armors should have a lamellar- or lamellar-like- equivalents).

    It's fun to add that variety into the game. Also, even if there isn't a mechanical difference, being able to say, "no officer, the guy who nicked my coinpurse was wearing a jack of plate and red trousers, not a chain shirt and green ones, you nabbed the wrong guy!"
    Last edited by Willie the Duck; 2019-05-15 at 02:12 PM.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by OverLordOcelot View Post
    Thanks. And to clarify, I don't mean that in a negative way - the D&D armor has solid stats from a game balance perspective, but isn't really based on more than a loose description , so it's best to just embrace it and get the look you want without losing sleep over any kind of exact mapping.
    Yup. This is one of my favorite armor reflavors for a more dark ages themed setting:

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    It's also focused on western European history/fantasy. Other cultures had similar results with different materials on hand driving different advances.
    And it doesn't even do that halfway decently. Padded armor is way too bad, leather armor almost certainly didn't look like that, and studded leather and splint mail never existed at all. Neither does banded mail, scale mail, and plate mail, because mail means chain, not armor.
    Chain shirt, chainmail, breastplate, and full plate are the only armor types that reflect actual European armor. Scale armor also looks good, though it's not a medieval European armor.
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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    Scale mail is a decent choice as well.
    Some brief research shows that Lamellar and Scale Armor are so similar, it can be difficult to tell them apart. So Scale Armor is probably the closest bet
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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Please stop me before I agree with you more. The stealth disadvantages are egregious.

    I fought heavy for years in the SCA. So what? Chainmail sounds like rustling leaves when you run in it. Loose articulation over cloth is quiet. Shields don't block attacks from the opposite hand and rear. Lamelar armor is awesome until it gets wet. Chainmail stinks when it rusts. And it takes way more than six seconds to pull out anything wearing good gauntlets, let alone get to anything in your backpack.

    D&D isn't realistic for 1 v 1 melee combat. IMO it's at it's worst then.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    And it doesn't even do that halfway decently. Padded armor is way too bad, leather armor almost certainly didn't look like that, and studded leather and splint mail never existed at all. Neither does banded mail, scale mail, and plate mail, because mail means chain, not armor.
    Chain shirt, chainmail, breastplate, and full plate are the only armor types that reflect actual European armor. Scale armor also looks good, though it's not a medieval European armor.
    Actually, as near as ive been able to tell, mail referred to just about any form of metallic armor. Unlike modern day historians, folks back then were not particularly concerned with being precise in their terminology. Chain armor was simply the most common metal body armor available for much of medieval history.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltest View Post
    Actually, as near as ive been able to tell, mail referred to just about any form of metallic armor. Unlike modern day historians, folks back then were not particularly concerned with being precise in their terminology. Chain armor was simply the most common metal body armor available for much of medieval history.
    So many of our terms are modern creations.

    Every time I see the "bastard sword/longsword/arming sword" argument pop up in threads I want to bang my head against a wall.

    You know what they called those back then? Swords.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    And it doesn't even do that halfway decently. Padded armor is way too bad, leather armor almost certainly didn't look like that, and studded leather and splint mail never existed at all. Neither does banded mail, scale mail, and plate mail, because mail means chain, not armor.
    Chain shirt, chainmail, breastplate, and full plate are the only armor types that reflect actual European armor. Scale armor also looks good, though it's not a medieval European armor.
    In the older writings mail just meant armor. So chain mail simply means chain armor, plate mail simply means plate armor. It's a relatively modern interpretation to associate mail with just the chain armor.
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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sigreid View Post
    In the older writings mail just meant armor. So chain mail simply means chain armor, plate mail simply means plate armor. It's a relatively modern interpretation to associate mail with just the chain armor.
    How old writting are we talking about? Because it's modern interpretation (originating from Walter Scott) to add "chain" to mail. It used to be just mail or maille since Normans, and it didn't refer to plate.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    "Mail" refers to the rings of the chain. "Chain mail" is a pleonasm. It's "plate mail" that is the nonsense term (although plate armor uses mail too, it wasn't determining to the name).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    "Chain mail" is a pleonasm.
    And a useful one for everyday use. There is no misunderstanding added, and some taken away.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Kurageous View Post
    Lamelar armor is awesome until it gets wet.
    What happens?
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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    And a useful one for everyday use. There is no misunderstanding added, and some taken away.
    ...how?

    We can demonstratively see that it adds misunderstandings on both the semantic and morphological categories, as people have misidentified what it meant and then used the incorrect meaning for creating new terms (as shown in this very thread with the use of "plate mail").

    And there is no real removal of misunderstanding, either. The concept of "chain" is already contained in the concept of "mail".

    If one wanted a non-pleonasmic, misunderstading-removing term to distinguish mail-as-armor from other types of mail, then something like "steel mail" would be much more appropriate.

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    @ Unoriginal: Sorry, should've realized who I was talking to.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hymer View Post
    @ Unoriginal: Sorry, should've realized who I was talking to.
    What is that supposed to mean?

    I'm not a contrarian, I genuinely don't understand in which way saying "chain mail" is supposed to take away misunderstandings without adding any when (again, as can be seen in this thread) there is confusion created by the use of the term.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2019-05-16 at 08:52 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    What happens?
    I also want to know.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    What happens?
    If it's bronze or iron lamellar, it rusts? If it's leather lamellar, it gets soggy?

    I dunno, just spitballing here.
    Last edited by Constructman; 2019-05-16 at 09:09 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    What is that supposed to mean?

    I'm not a contrarian, I genuinely don't understand in which way saying "chain mail" is supposed to take away misunderstandings without adding any when (again, as can be seen in this thread) there is confusion created by the use of the term.
    I find myself agreeing with you a lot but you do come across as contrarian from time to time.

    FWIW, I'm not too familiar with pleonasms but they seem to be similar linguistically to tautologies and tautologies are often used as amplification or emphasis. Though you may find the wording redundant and illogical, language in and of itself is often illogical and thrives on redundancy, even if only as a stylistic choice. You mentioned that steel mail would be more appropriate to distinguish between the armor type of mail and the postal type of mail, which perhaps isn't wrong, but is also kind of a pointless observation since there are thousands of similar linguistic inconsistencies in every spoken language that could be "cleaned up"....but that's not how language changes so it won't happen in my lifetime.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yora View Post
    And it doesn't even do that halfway decently. Padded armor is way too bad, leather armor almost certainly didn't look like that, and studded leather and splint mail never existed at all. Neither does banded mail, scale mail, and plate mail, because mail means chain, not armor.
    Chain shirt, chainmail, breastplate, and full plate are the only armor types that reflect actual European armor. Scale armor also looks good, though it's not a medieval European armor.
    And if you've had full plate for 100 years, there's probably little or no metal armor in use that isn't plate. You'll have many kinds of plate: breastplate, half-plate, full-plate, maybe some plate armor with mail used for the joints. And you'll have various quality of armor and degrees of coverage which could give different costs and protective values.

    But plate is actually cheaper to make than chain once you know how to make it (drawing wire by hand is HARD). It's lighter once you take the required padding into account. It's actually easier to move in because it distributes the weight better.

    Oh, and in addition to being cheaper, lighter, and easier to move in, it's also better protection.

    Even if you don't have plate, it's likely that your culture's best method of working metal into armor is likely to work for both lighter and heavier armors. If chain is your best armor, then it's nearly sure to be your best light armor, medium armor, and heavy armor.

    Layered cloth may be cheaper and lighter by enough to compete with a culture's best metal armor, but that's about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by GlenSmash! View Post
    So many of our terms are modern creations.

    Every time I see the "bastard sword/longsword/arming sword" argument pop up in threads I want to bang my head against a wall.

    You know what they called those back then? Swords.
    Similarly, the shortbow is not a thing. It isn't in any dictionary I've ever checked, whereas longbow is always in the dictionary. Historically, the word longbow is to distinguish from crossbow, and the users of both were called archers.

    AFAICT 20th century wargamers who called crossbow wielders crossbowmen rather than archers (because they needed the distinction between unit types) couldn't understand why some bows were called "longbows" without assuming that there was some other kind of bow and MADE UP the shortbow from whole cloth.

    They then end up with longbowmen and shortbowmen as distinct troop types, as if anyone shooting at people in armor would use a lighter or shorter draw bow than he had to.

    It's longbow or crossbow, they simply didn't make any additional distinction in terminology.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Constructman View Post
    If it's bronze or iron lamellar, it rusts? If it's leather lamellar, it gets soggy?

    I dunno, just spitballing here.
    Wet, soggy, spitballing. LOL!

    Sorry, I misspoke.

    Water shouldn't matter beyond expanding the bindings so that the will fray against the holes in the plates.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    IIRC the main issue with mail compared to plate wasn't the weight itself, but how the weight was distributed on the body, as it concentrated all the weight on the shoulders unless you wore a belt made to help with that, making you pretty unbalanced and augmenting the strain. Meanwhile the plate armor's weight is distributed much better, which each part of the body supporting the armor piece on top of it.

    The second issue was that while properly made mail made you invulnerable to cuts, you were still wearing what was essentially a malleable cloth full of holes, meaning blunt damage (including the results of trying to cut you) and piercing weapons could still hurt you with little hinderance unless you wore the oft-forgotten-by-modern-people gambeson undernearth. And while plate included a gambeson and could be bypassed by blunt instruments or piercing ones (which resulted in the rise of hammers, maces, and techniques such as the Mordhau), it did a much better job diminishing the damage and have it absorbed by the gambeson after it was distributed through the plate's surface.

    On the topic of weapon classifications, people did give specific name to categories of the same weapon, though it's true it was much less systematically as current people think, to a far smaller degree of differentiation, and with quite a but of overlaps. A claymore wasn't a cultass, an arming sword one you could use with a shield, a longsword was long enough that two-handing it was favored, etc.

    One of the funniest example of such classifications is the German's messer. The law being that carrying swords was forbidden, the population naturaly complied. And by coincidence, they just happened to carry absolutely-not-sword-sized knives.
    Last edited by Unoriginal; 2019-05-16 at 11:44 AM.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Unoriginal View Post
    IIRC the main issue with mail compared to plate wasn't the weight itself, but how the weight was distributed on the body, as it concentrated all the weight on the shoulders unless you wore a belt made to help with that, making you pretty unbalanced and augmenting the strain. Meanwhile the plate armor's weight is distributed much better, which each part of the body supporting the armor piece on top of it.
    True. Can't emphasize the weigh and weight distribution issue enough.

    The next issues among metal armors is articulation (joints) and covering gaps that occur as the body moved. And as usual, tradeoffs in weight, coverage, utility, and mobility happened under the governance of existing technology.

    Chainmail didn't work everywhere because it neither stretched or compressed. Troubled spots include the antecubital (between forearm and bicep) back of the knee, neck, hands, and feet.

    Lamellar is a low tech solution that offers good protection versus the pierce/slash, thus appearing in many places and times.

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    Default Re: Lamellar Armor?

    Thank you all for the advice! To specify a bit further, I was inspired by the image of the gentleman on the right in this picture (the one labelled "Fists of the Bandit Queen")

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    What would be the best armor to invest in if I was playing a character based on that, most likely as a Ranger or something?
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