The costume and armor you wear determines the maximum amount of Armor Points that you can use. This is known as your Armor Rating and is assigned by a marshal. To determine your Armor Rating, the marshal must look at the eight body locations stated below and assign each one a value of 0 to 4. The sum of all these values and any bonus points you are awarded becomes your Armor Rating, though your character may be limited on how much of this armor they can effectively use (see the “Classes” section for more details).
This Armor Rating can change during an event as you change costuming. The suit of Armor you are using may never exceed your Armor Rating; if it does (for example, you take off your metal breastplate for some time) you cannot use your Armor tag until you bring your Armor Rating up high enough again.
Each of the following Armor Locations receives a value of one Armor Point multiplied by the material value and coverage. No location can be assigned a value lower than zero.
- Hands/Forearms: This includes the area from the tip of the fingers to elbow. Covering only one hand/forearm lowers the number of points awarded by one, as described below.
- Upper Arms/Shoulders: This includes the area from the elbow to neck. Covering only one upper arm/shoulder lowers the number of points awarded by one, as described below.
- Feet/Lower Legs: This includes the area from the toes to the knee. Covering only one-foot/lower leg lowers the number of points awarded by one, as described below.
- Upper Legs/Groin: This includes the area from the knee to the waist. Covering only one upper leg lowers the number of points awarded by one, as described below.
Each of the following Armor Locations receives a value of two Armor Points multiplied by the material value and coverage. No location can be assigned a value lower than zero.
- Belly: This includes the area from the waist to the bottom of the sternum.
- Upper Chest: This includes the area from the bottom of the sternum to the neck.
- Back: This includes the entire back from the waist to the neck.
- Head: This includes the area from the back of the neck to the forehead.
The following defines what is assigned to each Armor Location. For all types, if at least half the designated location is not covered, the Marshal will deduct at least half the points for that location and may penalize the location down to counting as no coverage.
Differing types of armor may be layered to gain additional points, but in no case may any location go over the maximum of 4 points. Bonus points are only given for a location if all materials used meet the requirements for a bonus. For example, a character could layer thick leather armor (2 points) with an additional layer of quilted cloth (1 point) for a total of 3 points in a location, but any Bonus Points would not stack.
Armor values are based on appearance of armor type. For example, chainmail made of plastic rings which has the appearance of real metal chain will count for 3 points of value on a location, though it will not get the bonus for authentic materials. Please keep in mind that we expect all participants to put effort into maintaining the appearance of their armor; to be awarded value based on appearance of a specific armor type, the armor physrep should give a quality, consistent appearance of that type.
- 0 points: Costume. Costume is any sort of period costume made out of cloth or any other material that does not at all resemble armor.
- 1 point: Light Non-Metallic Armor. This level is awarded for simple materials which give a modicum of protection, such as leather, leather scale, padded cloth, naugahide, suede, doeskin, heavy canvas, and rope.
- 2 points: Heavy Non-Metallic Armor. This level is awarded for simpler materials which have been specifically thickened or upgraded to provide real protection, such as studded leather or the equivalent of 10 oz or heavier thick leather. It can also be given for harder materials such as wood and bone depending on how the armor is made. To meet this level of award, studded leather (or a similar material) must have a minimum of 1⁄4” wide metal studs 1" apart or less (or the equivalent level of upgraded protection).
- 3 points: Chain/Scale/Brigandine. The material must appear to be one of the following: chain mail tight enough to provide protection, metallic scale of at least 1/16" thick, or brigandine with plates of at least 1/16" woven within. At a marshal’s judgement, similar/alternative armor construction may meet this threshold, but please be aware that the armor must appear to be solidly built and upgraded to qualify for this level of protection and the default is to assign the lower 1 or 2 point values if the protective value is not obvious.
- 4 points: Plate Armor. This level is awarded only for solid plate protection on an area. The material must appear to be plate mail of sufficient thickness to absorb blows (excessively thin or light plate may be downgraded by a Marshal to 3 point per location or lower armor value). Please keep in mind that this armor level is intended to help balance the weight and restriction associated with plate armor.
The following bonuses are awarded if the costume or suit of armor meets the specified criteria. Some bonuses can confer more than one additional Armor Point.
- In Genre: No jeans, sneakers, watches, or other obvious anachronisms. Modern footwear (such as hiking boots) and glasses may be used for safety reasons without being penalized. in genre gives up to two bonus points
- Master Crafted: Finely crafted costumes, real armor, or armor that is visually impressive. master crafted gives up to four bonus points.
- Authentic Material: This bonus of 1 point per location may be given for use of authentic material. For example, steel plate (as opposed to alternative material such as plastic, latex, or the like) would garner this bonus, as would metal chain mail (instead of plastic or vinyl) and real leather (instead of latex or plastic). The material does not necessarily need to be historically accurate—for example, stainless steel is acceptable instead of a more historically accurate alloy—but it does need to be a material which is true to the armor type it is representing. Note that this bonus does not double for vital locations as bonus points are calculated after a suit has been otherwise evaluated, and this bonus will only apply to a location with layered armor if all layers comply.
Example: Terin wears a simple tunic, tights, and boots most days. Before the start of the game, he has a marshal evaluate his armor. The marshal rates his armor at 4 points because Terin’s costume is considered in-genre and his high leather boots grant 1 point for his lower legs with the “Authentic Material” bonus. Afterward, Darlissa comes to the marshal wearing a hardened thick leather vest with attached metal plates on both sides. She is also wearing a single leather gauntlet and a pair of sneakers. She is given an Armor Rating of 15 because the vest gives her 4 points (2 for material, x2 for location) in each of the following locations: belly, upper chest and back, with a bonus point in each location for using Authentic Materials. She is given no points for the gauntlet because she is only wearing one and no additional bonus points because she is wearing tennis shoes. Lastly, Ena comes to get her armor evaluated. She is wearing a suit of very nicely made imitation chain mail that covers from her neck down to her mid thigh and covers both arms down to her elbows. She also wears sneakers but has covered all but the bottoms with studded leather for a more appropriate appearance. On her head she wears a well-made latex helm that looks like thick studded leather. She gets 6 points (3 for material, x2 for location) in each of the following locations: belly, upper chest, and back, for a total of 18 there. She gets 4 points (2 for material, x2 for location) from her headgear, and she gets 3 points for her upper arms/shoulders. She also gets 2 points for covering slightly less than half of her upper leg/groin, and gets 6 total bonus points for In Genre and Master Crafted, though she gets no bonus points for Authentic Material. Finally, she gets giving her a total Armor Rating of 33. Ena could have gotten additional points if the studded leather covers she put over her shoes covered at least 1/2 of her feet/lower legs or used authentic materials for some of her armor. Most likely, she doesn’t wear more armor so that she has a chance of dodging spells.