Legends of Belariath

Armor in Detail

A tutorial by Barador

Buying and using armor for your character can be a daunting task if you are new. The following tutorial should answer all your questions and make this process easy as 1-2-3. Just follow the directions and you should be on your way to getting the items you desire for your character with very little trouble. If you have any questions that are not covered here already, feel free to approach an Op in the OOC channel and request assistance.

What is Armor?

Armor is defined as "defensive covering for the body to reduce injuries in combat". Armor is usually pieces of defensive clothing, such as chain mail, mage robe, helmet, gauntlets, and so on. Clothing itself has no defensive value in the gameplay of Belariath. If you buy a shirt from the Naked Bird Clothing Store, it won't be counted as armor. Armor is specifically bought from the Weapons and Armor Shop, and only the items listed on the armor list count for legal defense.

What kinds of Armor exist in Belariath?

Not everything you can think of will count as legally recognized Armor equipment. Only items that appear on the armor list are recognized in gameplay as having a preset defensive value attached to them. To see the up-to-date armor list, check the price list under Might Makes Right in the heading Armor Shop. To benefit from the defensive powers of armor equipment, your character must buy these items from the Weapons and Armor Store, or from other characters. One exception to this is the default items that your character gets to choose upon creation. After that initial stage, further armor items must be bought.

Category Classification by Type:

Body & Torso: These items usually cover the chest and back and are considered the main armor for a character. They come in many varieties and materials, and are usually the first and most important ones to buy. Body Armor cannot stack with itself; however the exception is that a gambeson can be worn with either a robe or traditional Torso armor. Example: Body Plate, Chain Mail, Tunic, Leather Armor, Mage Robe, Robe of the Arch Magi, etc.

Hand: These items range from hand protection from palm to wrist defense. Some hand items hinder the ability to cast offensive spells unless otherwise stated and can help increase the effectiveness of a punch or hand block. Example: Gauntlets.

Arm: This category covers where Hand armor leaves off, from wrist to elbow. These are a bit more versatile and do not often hinder spell casting. Popular with archers as guards against the snap of the bowline from most bows. Example: Vambraces, Bracers.

Legs: This category includes armor worn on the legs for lower body protection. Some body armors extend lower than the waist, some don't. Leg protection can come from leggings that cover the full length of legs or guards worn on the shins. Example: Chain Leggings, Greaves.

Feet: Though not often employed in combat, Foot armor is considered almost a miscellaneous item but still none-the less a category in of itself. These items usually cover from ankle down to toe and offer a light to superfluous protection. Example: Boots

Head Gear: There are many armor items available to choose from for head and neck protection. Helms are helmets made of steel that protect the head and part of the face. Example: Helm, Winged Helm, Fanged Helm. A Coif is a flowing mail item that is worn on the head instead of a helmet, and not only protects the head but also covers the neck and part of the shoulders. Example: Coif, Mithril Coif. Additionally, there are some items that provide a stat boost for Intelligence, though not physical defense. Example: Circlet.

Misc. Items: Some misc. items are also available that provide specific, location-oriented protection in a small way. Examples: Cod Piece.

Shields: Shields are a little different from your usual armor items, since they are not worn on the body as defensive clothing, but rather carried in hand. Shields usually come in the wooden variety, and vary in sizes and defensive abilities. Some shields have spikes mounted on them, and can even cause harm when attacking with them! Shields may have a different defense value for close and ranged physical combat. Example: Buckler, Kite Shield.

Category Classification by Material: Body armor is made from a variety of materials. Leather items are usually the least expensive but also the weakest. Solid steel and woven chain mail made of steel is usually stronger, but more expensive. Mithril, a fantasy material somewhat similar to Titanium is usually the most expensive, but its advantages include much lighter weight (allowing more flexibility in combat), being easier to enchant magically, and requiring very little maintenance.

What does Armor do?

Armor essentially provides your character with defensive ability in combat. Without armor, your character may suffer lower defensive dice roll results, and therefore lower chances of winning a fight. Only the items listed on the armor list page are recognized in gameplay; you cannot assume your char is wearing any special armor that they have not actually purchased in character. Not everyone requires armor though. Warriors have more reasons to wear armor compared to Thieves, and Slaves have even less reasons. Your character does not necessarily need armor - buy it if you wish to engage in combat.

Combat in Belariath is based on stats and a dice system. Details are available at the combat explanation pages. To learn more about combat and to practice the rolls, refer to the relevant pages or request the Leaders of the channel to help you.

Armor Explained

Default DEF Rating of Armor:

Each piece of armor comes with a default DEF rating. This DEF rating establishes the basic defensive power of that item. For instance, Studded Leather Armor comes with a default DEF rating of 2, as shown on the armor list page. Plate and Chain on the other hand comes with a DEF rating of 7, so it's much more powerful in terms of its defensive abilities. However, as you increase power, the price and the strength requirements also rise, so not all items may be within your reach from Day 1.

Cumulative DEF benefit of Armor:

You can stack up a number of armor items to benefit from their collective DEF ratings. For instance, let's assume your character wore the following items:

Studded Leather Armor DEF 2 Vambraces DEF 1 Kite Shield DEF 3

By stacking these items, your character's total DEF rating would be 2+1+3 = 6!

Cumulative STR requirement of Armor:

Based on the above analysis, you may be thinking, why not just load up all kinds of items to maximize your character's DEF? Well, the number of items your character can carry depends on a few rules, which are all covered here. Each piece of Armor requires a certain strength, or the STR stat of your character. Lets elaborate on the above example for a moment:

Studded Leather Armor STR 8 Vambraces STR 4 Kite Shield STR 16

By stacking these items, your character's total STR stat must be at least 8+4+16 = 28! Since the STR stat of your character won't be that high when you start out, you can only carry the armor items that your character's STR allows. As your character promotes to higher levels, you can add more STR, and expand their armor inventory.

What do I need to know before buying Armor?

Some planning may be required before you start throwing away hard earned Mehrials. Reading this tutorial would be a logical start. Armor shop employees and the Leaders of the channel are also there to guide and advise you. The following points are intended to make this process easier:

Role-playing Aspects of using Armor Foremost of all, you must consider your character's personality and lifestyle. Remember, armor is by no means a necessity. Choose those items that fit your character naturally.

Race Aspects of buying Armor As you may have realized by now, not all races are created equally strong. Larger, stronger races like Trolls, Ogres and Minotaurs are much more suited to wearing heavy armor. Smaller, less physically powerful races like Cat People are less likely to wear lots of armor. Some races, like Nymphs and Fae are not even allowed to wear any armor! The larger races are given a natural STR bonus when it comes to armor. For instance, a Troll gets a x2 bonus of STR, so at STR 10, they can carry armor up to STR 20 requirement.

Class Aspects of buying Armor Like races, not all classes are created equally either. If your character is a farmer or an entertainer, they wouldn't be wearing armor or engaging in much combat. Warrior class characters on the other hand would commonly wear heavy armor. Rangers usually prefer lighter items, and usually go for camouflage. Thieves prefer armor that is noiseless so they may move more discreetly. Magical classes like Shaman, Mage and Druid face their own set of limitations. For details, refer to the class chart given on the armor list. This shows armor types listed as A, B, C or D, and each class may be limited what is allowed to it. Choose your character's armor carefully, and logically. For instance, the Warrior class may choose from A, B, C or D freely, or in other words, all the items. A Druid class may only choose A or B type armor. Each item shows whether it is A, B, C or D type in the chart.

Strength Requirements & The Rule of Cumulative Strength Requirement Each armor item has a specific STR requirement that must be met. As discussed earlier, a Studded Leather Armor requires STR 8, Vambraces require STR 4. Your character must meet the STR requirement of the item you wish to purchase, or the Weapons and Armor Shop employee will not sell it, and will suggest something lighter. Also, remember strength requirements are considered cumulative. If you were to choose three items, your character will need to have the total STR requirement of each item before they can buy these.

The Rule of Armor Redundancy Some armor items cannot be worn together; you can only wear one or the other. For instance, you can't wear two types of Helms at the same time (Unless your character has two heads, which I doubt! More so than Helms, this problem seems to be more common when it comes to Body/Torso type items. As a general rule, you can wear 1 item from each of the categories mentioned above for armor like Body/Torso, Arms/Hands, Head Gear, etc. So if your character had both a Leather Armor and a Mage Robe, only one would count in combat. You can own redundant items if you really want to drop the money. They just won't count together, only one will, whichever is stronger. There are some exceptions though, such as a Gambeson, which is a padding worn under body armor, to help the character avoid getting hurt by his own armor biting into his flesh. Another exception are vambraces and guantlets, as guantlets are considered full hand covering and vambraces the forearm. These types of items are usually found in a full body plaite as a good reference.

Price The cost of armor items is naturally a concern. Your character must have enough mehrials to buy the item, or will need to wait till they have enough. Armor items come in a wide range of prices, so there will be something you can afford in the beginning. With time, you can easily upgrade your items, buy newer ones and trade off the older ones, even sell them to other characters. These prices are listed in the chart; for example Vambraces cost 75 Mehrials, a Chain Shirt costs 250 Mehrials, and so on.

Equipment Slots Equipment slots are another consideration you may need to make as your inventory of weapons, armor, potions, slaves, and animals expands. Each armor item requires at least 1 equipment slot, and some require 2 or 3. At first your character has 10 equipment slots when you register. As you keep adding items, you may run out of these slots. More slots can be added when your character levels up, but they cost 4 points each, so use them carefully!
TIP: Its is better to carry one armor item worth DEF 4, then four items each worth DEF 1, a good way to save on equipment slots!

If your character lacks an equipment slot and tries to buy an item, an error message will be returned: "<charname> does not have enough equipment slots to purchase <itemname>"

Magic Use Some armor items hinder the use of spells. This information is also listed on the armor chart for you to consider. Gauntlets, for instance, are armored gloves that hinder spell casting. To learn more about casting magic in heavy armor, reading the section below titled "Casting Magic in Heavy Armor".

Beginner Items Armor items are generally bought from the Armor Store, but there are some exceptions. One exception to this rule is the equipment you get when you register/create a new character. New characters start out with some basic items, like a whip or dagger as a weapon, and a leather armor as body armor. These items can easily be traded-in for more powerful armor at a later stage. Knights get a Long Sword, a Shield and a horse at start.

My character is a Knight class. Can someone please give him his equipment? Knight class characters start off with a Long Sword, a Shield and a horse. This is an exceptional class compared to all others, that start with only the basic items given to them when you create a new character. If your character is a Knight class, approach a Leader or armor shop employee in the OOC channel, and request them to add these items to your character's inventory manually.

Where do I buy Armor? The first step is to make up your mind about what you want, and more importantly, what is allowed for your particular character's race/class and what you can afford. This is done with research and discussion with the armor shop employees. Once you are ready, you can first ask in the OOC channel (#Lonely_Inn_OOC) if an armor shop employee is available to sell the item. If someone is present, they will confirm it. Your character needs to head to the town channel (#TLI-Town) to visit the Weapons and Armor Shop in character to buy armor. Your character will also need the Mehrials on their person, so don't forget to make a withdrawal from the bank first.

Who do I buy Armor from? The Weapons and Armor Shop has its own set of official employees who are authorized to role play as staff and execute the bot commands to sell armor. This staff list is available on the website. You are encouraged to see this list of employee names and check with them in the OOC room for availability.

Can I modify my armor? What are the limitations of modifications? Armor can be modified in a number of ways to suit your character's unique needs. Modifications to armor are an excellent way to make your character's items more unique and personal, provided the modifications are done by the store employees. These modifications include finding the right size, dying it the right color, enameling, engraving, etc. Modifications are superficial in nature, and do not increase the defensive ability of the item. For details, refer to the Modifications page or speak with the Weapons or Armor Shop staff.

How do I trade-in my armor for upgrades at the Armor Shop? How do I trade my armor with other characters? What is Auctioning? So your character bought the best armor at the time but would like to upgrade to something stronger after a few levels. What happens to your old stuff? Well, for starters your character could keep the old armor or give them to someone else. Or your character could trade in the items at the Weapons Store when you decide to upgrade to more powerful items. Trading in is done at 50% of the original value, for both the original price of the item as well as any enchantments on it. The amount from trading in your old armors can either go to lowering the price of a new armor, or can be paid to your character in cash. Additionally, your character can pawn off weapons at the General Store if they are in dire need of money. With pawning items, at least you can buy them back when financial circumstances allow. You can sell your armors to other characters for as high a price as you wish, or rather, as much as they are willing to pay. Conversely, you can buy from others too. If your armor has DEF enchantments on it, then trading it in at the Weapons or Armor Shops may not be as lucrative as auctioning it off to others on the Message Board.

Before you exchange an item or trade it with another character, it is advised that you have a word with a Leader first, and make sure the conditions of armor trading are met. When buying from the Weapons and Armor Shop, this verification is done by the employees. When trading between characters, you are advised to check with a Leader to avoid a error.

What do I do to make my armor more effective? A word about DEF enchantments As discussed above, each Armor item comes with a default DEF rating built into it, as listed on the chart. You can increase this DEF value by getting the item magically enchanted at the Sorcerous Sanctuary. This is not free of course but you can enhance both physical and magical DEF. You cannot enchant a single armor item above +5. For example, each of your character's armor equipment has a default DEF rating, plus can be enchanted up to +5 additionally from the Sorcerous Sanctuary. In total, only +15 DEF from enchanted items counts. For more information on enchanting armor, refer to the Enchantments page.

Can Armor be enchanted for offensive powers too? Yes, armor items can also add to your character's offense. Each item can have up to +5 enchantments on it. Whether its all ATK, DEF, or a mix and match is up to you. For instance, you could enchant a pair of gauntlets (steel gloves) to have ATK +3 and DEF +2. The ATK would then work just like the ATK enchantments on your weapons! However, one drawback of enchanting armor with ATK enchantments is that it would only work for combat where contact is made.

Can armor be enchanted with magical spells? Yes, armor can be enchanted with magical spells as well. Most spells would work with armor, but some make more sense than others, like defense spells or appearance change spells. For instance, you can enchant a Studded Leather Armor with the Physical Armor spell to increase defense against physical combat. You need to keep a few things in mind when it comes to enchanting armor with magical spells. Firstly, armor can have an ATK or DEF enchantment as well as magical spells at the same time and there are no restrictions on whether the spell is normal, charged, focused, etc (stamina is deducted in accordance to the combat rules of TLI).

Secondly, the number of enchantments that an item may contain depends on the material it is made of. Enchanting armor with a spell which already has a DEF enchantment on it will erase the previous one; it helps to get all the enchantments at the same time. Enchanting armor with defensive spells would require a combat turn to activate the enchantment. Lastly, it's important to discuss your requirements with the Sorcerous Sanctuary staff since not all spells are appropriate for weapons.

What if my character is Dual-Class? Dual class characters, or characters with more than one class, are allowed weapons according to the stronger class of the two, and armor according to the weaker class of the two. For example, if your character is a Warrior/Shaman, their weapons will be determined by the Warrior class (which is A, B, C, and D types), and their armor will be determined by the Shaman class (which is A and B type armor items).

Casting magic in heavy armor. Heavier armors can sometimes inhibit spell casting, denoted in a column as Y or N in the armor list. As long as your character is wearing armor items that allow casting spells, all is fine (items with a Y). The moment they put on any armor that hinders magic, they run into a problem (items with an N). That doesn't mean your character cannot wear any armor that doesn't allow magic though. Here's a calculation to help you understand what to do when your character mix-and-matches armor items that allow/disallow magic use:

Add up all the strength requirements of the armor being worn that inhibits spell casting for your character (say Body Plate with a strength requirement of 32 and Fanged Helm with a strength requirement of 10, for a total of 42). If your character is wearing other armor that doesn't inhibit spell casting, simply ignore them for this calculation (say Vambraces, Gambeson and Greaves). The rule is, if your character's INT stat is higher than the strength requirement of magic-inhibiting armor, then its fine. So if your character's INT was 80, we would subtract 42 from it ( 80-42 = 38 ), a positive number denotes that the character can cast magic even while in such armor.

If the character's INT was 30 then we would subtract 30-42= -12. A negative number denotes that the character will experience a loss of 12 to their magical attack modifiers (both close and ranged).The rationale of why the calculation is in place is simple - the caster struggling against the weight and encumbrance of the armor to get the needed manual dexterity to perform the required gestures for the conjuration. If spell casting is your character's main offense, choose your armor wisely, keeping this rule in mind.

My character's inventory shows the armor items, but doesn't list its enchantments Your armor items will show clearly in inventory when you type /msg Desdaemona !equip <charname>, but it wont show the hard-earned enchantments. A simple workaround for this issue is to list your items in the character's description along with enchantment values. To edit your character's description, go to the Character Edit page.

Desdaemona Commands

The following are only a few of the bot commands available to you, which may come in handy for armor related issues. Your character nick must be logged in with the bot before any bot command will work. For a comprehensive list of bot commands, return to Roleplay Help.

!stats <charnick> Checks the stats of the named character. Useful in checking the STR stat of your character to see if you have enough to buy a certain piece of armor. Type this in a PM with the bot.

!deflist Checks the full list of your own character's armors and defensive items in their equipment list. It will give you a full tally of STR requirements and total Defense. Keep in mind though, some items may not count if they cannot be worn with other items.

!equip <charnick> Checks the current equipment inventory of the named character. Includes weapons, armor, potions, and relics. Useful in checking your inventory and seeing how many equipment slots you may be using. Type this in a PM with the bot.

!balance Checks your character's money balance, and returns the amount in a channel as a notice (Others cannot see it.) The total balance of a character equals what they have on their person and what they have in their bank account. Useful to check before visiting the Weapons and Armor Shop. Type this in PM with the bot.

!item destroy <itemname> Deletes an item from your character's inventory, such as after trading it in at the shop. WARNING: This command will permanently remove your item from inventory; do not attempt unless you are sure you wish to delete it. Type this in PM with the bot.

!item give <charname> <itemname> Transfers an item from your character's inventory to another character's inventory. Useful when selling an item to another person, giving it to them for free, auctioning it off or even when its stolen from your character! Type this in PM with the bot.

How do physical armor items react to offensive magical spells?

Physical protection (meaning physical armor equipment such as chain mail and gauntlets, DEF enchantments and physical armor type spells) wards and defends against Physical Attacks, namely the Desdaemona commands of !clophyatk and !ranphyatk.

Magical protection (such as DEF enchantments and magical armor type spells) wards and defends against Magical Attacks, namely the Desdaemona commands of !clomagatk and !ranmagatk. This means that only spells like Magical Armor and +DEF enchantments will be able to add to the actual rolls when defending against these modes of attack.

+DEF enchantments bought from the Sorcerous Sanctuary or awarded by Ops are considered to protect against both physical and magical attacks. The only exception to this is +DEF added to a weapon, which only offers protection from Close Physical Attacks.

How do the modifiers of defensive dice rolls work in physical combat? The combat pages describe the working of combat dice rolls and stats in detail. Since the defense combat rolls involve modifier values that are directly determined by armor, a simple explanation may be helpful in this comprehensive Armor tutorial.

In physical combat, there are two defensive rolls:!clophydef M (close range physical defense) and !ranphydef M (long range physical defense). In both cases, M stands for Modifier, a numeral value which denotes the sum of default DEF values of all physical armor equipment for your character, their DEF enchantments and any defensive physical armor type spells cast at the time.

To calculate the Modifier, lets assume your character is wearing the following armors: Studded Leather Armor DEF 2 (Enchanted with +5 DEF magically) Vambraces DEF 1Kite Shield DEF 3

Based on this armor inventory, the character's base default DEF is 2+1+3 = 6 from armor items, and additional DEF enchantments on armor are +5, which makes the total 6+5 = 11. If that's the case, 11 is the total DEF Modifier, and you will roll as following:!clophydef 11!ranphydef 11

In addition to the armor and its enchanted DEF abilities, if your character cast 4 slots of a Physical Armor spell (or a similar spell) for further protection, that would increase the Modifier. Base default DEF of this armor combination was 2+1+3 = 6; the enchanted DEF rating was +5, and there was 4 slots of Physical Armor spell, which would bring our total to 6+5+4 = 15: !clophydef 15 !ranphydef 15

How do the modifiers of defensive dice rolls work in magical combat? Magical combat determines the Modifier for defensive rolls differently, since physical armor equipment plays no roll in defending against magical spells. Magical defense rolls are of two types: !clomagdef M (close range magical defense) and !ranmagdef M (long range magical defense).In both these cases, M stands for Modifier, a numeral value which denotes only the DEF enchantments on physical armor and any defensive spells cast at the time (not the default base DEF values of the armor itself).

Extending the same example given above, lets assume the base default DEF rating of a character's armor equipment is 6, the total DEF enchantments on these armors are 5, and that 4 slots of Magical Armor are cast for further defense. Since the DEF of armor won't count, we can only add 5 from the enchantments and 4 from the spell:!clomagdef 9!ranmagdef 9

What are some of the alternatives to Armor?

For characters with physical classes such as Warrior, Ranger or Thief, physical armor equipment works well. For characters with magical classes such as Shaman, Druid, Elemental Mage, etc, an alternative exists through magic, since their classes restrict their use of physical armor. In addition to whatever armor items they are eligible for, they can also empower their DEF values with the help of a number of magical spells such as the Physical Armor spell or its variants. Advanced magical classes may have their own set of spells for defense, such as the Necromancer's Dark Armor and the Shaman's Spirit Armor. For details, refer to the spell list page to see what spells are appropriate for your character.

What are some armors in circulation that are not listed on the chart? Above and beyond the armor that is sold at the Weapons and Armor Shops, some characters may be carrying special armor. These items fall in the Special Items categories of Relics, Legendary Items and Items of Power. For more information, refer to the Relics section of the Weapons Shop for details.

How do I turn my armor into a Named Item? So you spent the last six months honing the perfect armor, got it loaded with enchantments and magical spells, wrote a great adventure story to show it in use and would like to have it up there with the "Hall of Fame" Named Items. To do so, talk to one of the Leaders in the OOC room or post your idea on the MB.

How do I make suggestions for new armor developments? Players are encouraged to suggest new ideas for items. If you have an idea for armor that you feel is not covered by the existing list, you can make a suggestion on the Message Board.