Standard Infantry Armor

Copyright Johs Sondrup © 2008

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion


Only the bravest or most foolish of people enter combat without wearing a lot of defensive equipment. Armor has been in constant development over the ages and is a result of balancing protectiveness with ease of movement. Another problem is manufacturing armor in sufficient quantities to equip an entire army. In most cases, balancing these requirements results in the common soldier wearing some form of chainmail.

The simplest form of chainmail was a chain shirt (AT 13). But, as the years passed and more battles were fought, additional coverage was added until the armor consisted of a long shirt with sleeves over chain leggings (AT 15). This became the basis of most armor worn by the army and armorers became very skilled at making these.

Finally, chain armor was augmented with steel plates covering vulnerable areas. What follows are a description of these items and their effects on protection and maneuverability.


Metal plates were first added to protect the shoulders from strikes deflected down by the helmet. These later evolved into spalders for better movement of the arms.

(+3 DB for a pair)

Knee guards

The next addition was the knee guard, which not only protected the knee but also helped reduce the drag of the chain leggings. Like the rest of the armor, these were made of steel and soon became standard equipment in the infantry.

(+3 DB for a pair; --5 min maneuver penalty; +5 max. maneuver penalty)

Elbow guard

Another frequently wounded body part was the elbow, so that was the next to be protected. This generally proved to be a good decision, even if it made it a little bit harder to use a missile weapon. Archers were not expected to use these.

(+3 DB for a pair; --5 Missile Penalty)


The first attempt to protect the neck was a chainmail hood called a camail. While it protected the neck as planned, it was cumbersome and heavy.

(+2 DB; +10 max maneuver penalty)


The camail was later discarded when armorers developed plate neck protection, called a gorget. This item protected at least as well a camail, was lighter, and less cumbersome, especially since it could be used to fasten spalders to the armor.

(+3 DB)


Hand and finger protection were originally provided by leather gauntlets, but as armor was transitioned to metal, so did the gauntlets. The design favored by the army was demi-gauntlets, which did not cover the tip of the fingers or the palm of the hand (parts vital for spell-casting).

(+3 DB)