From Krakiipedia, the unofficial free GemStone IV encyclopedia.
Armor is gear worn by characters to protect them from damage. It is divided into main armor and armor accessories. Kinds of main armor are distinguished by their armor group (AG) and armor sub-group (AsG). Characters may only wear one set of main armor and one of each kind of accessory at a time.
The first armor in an armor group is usually torso armor, covering only the chest, stomach, and back. The second type will cover the arms and hands of the wearer, then the third type will cover the legs as well. The last type of armor in a group covers the entire body. When a character wears an accessory such as greaves to increase the coverage of their armor, the AsG remains unchanged but the penalties (moving, casting, RT) change to correspond with the greatest degree of coverage; see table below for more details. For example, if a character was wearing light leather that covers just the torso, they might decide to add arm greaves at one point. The behavior of the character's armor would then change to that of full leather since the total coverage would then be torso and arms.
- Note that penalties are assessed based on the worst (most extensive) coverage. Wearing a helm on the head or aventail on the neck while wearing AsG5/light leather will give AsG8/double leather penalties, but will NOT give the protection (see next paragraph) of the heavier armor to the arms or legs, since those body locations are not covered in this case: only the chest, abdomen, back, and head (or neck) are covered in this example. For this reason it is usually advised to wear the heaviest armor the character is trained for, and not use accessories at all. Some characters prefer to wear accessories in any case, but this is usually either for cosmetic reasons (the helm perfectly matches the look sought) or entirely different mechanical benefits (such as an Enhancive item).
When a type of armor in a class doesn't cover a body part, the part counts as being covered by one class less when determining the critical rank of a strike. For example, when striking someone wearing torso plate, or metal breastplate, the weapon uses the damage factor of striking someone in plate, no matter where the strike lands. However, when striking an uncovered portion, the amount of raw damage required per critical rank is only 9 damage, instead of the 11 damage which is standard for plate armor (these numbers are called critical divisors). Therefore, a strike of 18 raw damage using a longsword (a +203 to +208 endroll) to an arm is a level 2 crit (+7 extra damage, for a total of 25 damage), but if the same strike were to hit the chest, it'd only be a level 1 crit (+1 extra damage, for a total of 19 damage).
Note: the endrolls noted may be much higher if the victim has significant amounts of DFRedux. For example, a character with 60% redux in the example given above would require a +358 endroll for the same result.
Action Penalties and Spell Hindrance
Wearing heavy armor can introduce difficulty to a character's actions and hinder their use of magic. Action penalties can be mitigated through training in the Armor Use skill. Spell hindrance cannot be avoided unless you have access to the spell Faith's Clarity (1603) (Paladin base) and/or are a Paladin with training in the Armor Specialization known as Armored fluidity. However, spell hindrance can be minimized by training in the Armor Use skill. Spell hindrance will never go above the maximum (listed in the far right column) but will also never go below the minimum hindrance listed under the corresponding spell circle.
|1. Cloth||1||Normal Clothing/No Armor||0||0||25||20||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|2. Soft Leather||5||Light leather||0||0||20||15||10||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|3. Hard Leather||9||Leather breastplate||3||-7||11||5||16||3||4||4||4||4||6||3||5||6||3||4||2||16|
|4. Chain||13||Chain mail||7||-13||1||-6||25||7||8||8||8||8||16||7||16||16||8||8||6||40|
|5. Plate||17||Metal breastplate||9||-20||-10||-18||23||16||25||25||16||21||35||21||29||35||21||25||10||90|
To see how much training is required to reduce penalties as far as possible, see the Armor Use article.
Encumbrance and Weight
Base armor (that is, armor which is worn "over the chest" and falls into one of the above ASGs) is treated uniquely with respect to the carrying capacity and encumbrance system. Armor may add to or subtract from encumbrance (effectively increasing native carrying capacity) when worn. The exact effect is dependent upon the base weight of that particular class of armor, the actual weight of the armor (which may be more or less than standard weight), and the racial weight modifier.
Armor accessories (such as helms, arm, and leg greaves) will always increase encumbrance. It is important to note that when armor and armor accessories are held (as opposed to worn) by a character, they are not affected by racial weight modifiers. When a character with a weight modifier which is less than 1 (such as elves or halflings) wears an armor accessory, they may observe an apparent decrease in encumbrance when worn. The weight of the item will still increase the character's overall encumbrance.
Further quantitative details on this topic can be found in the encumbrance article.
- Item weights 03 (saved post)
- Racial modifiers (saved post)
- Additional Armor Overtraining Benefits Implemented (saved post)