Friday, August 2, 2019

Ask the Editors: Armor

I’m sort of new to the game. I’ve been playing off and on for a couple years and just recently I started playing more. Up until now I’ve been borrowing armor from friends or using loaner armor from the armor bin. Are there cheap options for buying or making two-point armor that I can put together for my own use?

Cheap is a relative term, because it's sort of dependant on what you have for disposable income. The answer to this question is “yes there are”.

We see some armors pretty commonly, because they hit the right crux between cost and skill level to make. Neoprene chainmail for example, using the Japanese 4 in 1 style weave, if you make it on your own, can cost you in the ball park of $130.00. I say ball park because if you go in on a bulk order, I think you can probably get it for cheaper than that, and it also depends on the size shirt you're making. Tucker Noyes made an awesome tutorial on how to do this some years ago, that’s still posted in the Realms Facebook group’s documents section. Another common armor piece we see is the assassin’s helm. You can order those online for about 65.00, last I knew.

Now can you do better than that? Absolutely. It all depends on how creative you are, and how much you're willing to do in terms of crafting. If you have access to a sewing machine you can make yourself some brigadine armor for the cost of a bunch of washers. As a community, we can be pretty lenient with our armor rules so long as they look okay, or it seems like you're trying to meet them.

Also, don't hesitate to ask for help in armor making, we have a plethora of really skilled craftsmen in the game that can give you advice if you just let them know you're looking for it.

Keith “Saegan” Cronyn

Welcome back to the game! Are you a particularly crafty person or do you have very crafty friends/acquaintances? Learning to make your own armor can help cut down on costs but it can be pretty time consuming; and without knowing your specific situation I’m afraid I can’t give you exact advice in that regard. If you do want to try crafting, the neoprene chainmail is one option that tends to be widely accepted in the Realms. You won’t bake alive in it, and if you go in on a ring order you can cut down prices like Keith mentioned.

Leather armor is also an option. You can get entire cow sides for less than $100 when Tandy or Garlinn-Neumann have sales and probably make yourself a suit of leather squares attached by rings while still having leather left over for other projects. Leather looks amazing and gives you a lot of options for customization if you get into the tooling, but it is pretty warm and probably heavier. Just something to keep in mind. If crafting isn’t your thing, check out the wide variety of shops in the Realms. Some of them do take gold for armor or armor pieces and try to be accomodating. If that also fails you, has a lot of differently priced armor pieces and I’m sure it is not the only website where you can find similar stuff. Hope this helps!

Renee “Kindrianna” Booke

I probably shouldn’t start out by suggesting that Armored Cloaks are pretty cheap to make, huh? Kidding aside, I do remember when I was a newbie at UCONN a lot of my fellow Oaken Guard members had leather armor that was studded. From what I understand this was pretty cheaply done. Jason had taken everyone to a biker store where they all bought clearance leather vests for less than $20, and then he had bulk purchased a bunch of leather studs online. Attaching them is easy, you cut a couple of very small slits with a knife, stick the metal tabs through and fold them over with some pliers. It took several hours but it wasn’t very expensive at all.

Something else to keep in mind is to look around at auction sites or used item sites. I know at least a couple of people who got their armor off of eBay.

My best advice, however, is to make use of the Realms’ best resource. Community! There are lots and lots of extremely skilled crafters in our game and I’d bet just about every single one of them would happily give you a couple hours of their time to teach you how to weave chain mail or bang together rivets into leather. Materials are usually a lot cheaper than finished products (especially if you get them used as well). Don’t be shy about asking for help or even asking who to ask. This game is full of people who like to help and love to share their expertise.

Lani “Gwen” Jones

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