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The Dark Medieval encompasses a vast range of permutations of armor and protective equipment, which have been simplified into six categories for the purpose of Dark Ages: Vampire. Most common is light armor, worn by city guards and the like, while nobles and the elite soldiery utilize ever-more-sophisticated combinations.

  • Light Armor: Light armor comprises pieces of leather, sometimes hardened by boiling (called coir bouilli), at other times quilted. The padding worn under heavier armor counts as light armor when worn alone.
  • Composite Armor: This slightly heavier armor comprises leather reinforced with metal rings and/or studs, or perhaps light chain mail.
  • Heavy Armor: Heavy armor comprises metal, usually ring or chain mail, over a layer of quilted padding.
  • Knight's Armor: Like heavy armor, knight's armor comprises chain mail worn over leather padding, complemented by bulky gauntlets and leg-guards. It is usually worn with a heavy metal helmet but is not the traditional "plate mail" (which does not come along for several centuries and which was quickly rendered obsolete by the invention of gunpowder.)
  • Light Helm: A metal helmet protecting the wearer's head and neck from attack. May include a nose-guard but otherwise the face is open. Usually worn with heavy armor.
  • Heavy Helm: A full helm protecting the head, neck and face of the wearer. Vision is through a narrow slit or eyeholes. Usually worn with knight's armor.

Conceal: A rough estimate of how easily the piece of armor can be concealed in clothing. P = may be concealed in a pouch; C = in loose clothing (e.g. a tunic); L = in a long cloak; N = may not be concealed.
Min. Str.: The minimum Strength required to use the weapon or armor.
Soak: The number of dice added to the wearer's soak dice pool when attacked. Most armors have different ratings for soaked bashing and lethal attacks.
Penalties: For armor, the reduction in the character's effective Dexterity (Dex) or Perception (Per) Attribute caused by wearing the armor.
Parry Diff.: For shields and other parrying weapons, the difficulty of Dexterity + Melee rolls to attempt to parry incoming attacks with the item.
vs. Melee: For shields and other parrying weapons, the value added to the difficulty of Melee or Brawl attacks against the character when using passive defense with the item.
vs. Missile: For shields and other parrying weapons, the value added to the difficulty of Melee or Brawl attacks against the character when using passive defense with the item.

Armor and HelmsEdit

Armor Type Soak Penalty Min. Str. Conceal Notes
Light Armor +1B/+2L - 1 L helm required to protect head
Composite Armor +2B/+3L -1 Dex 1 L helm required to protect head
Heavy Armor +3B/+4L -1 Dex 3 N helm required to protect head
Knight's Armor +4B/+4L -2 Dex 3 N helm required to protect head
Light Helm +2B/+3L -1 Per 2 N protects head; soak bonuses not cumulative with armor
Full Helm +3B/+4L -2 Per 2 N protects head; soak bonuses not cumulative with armor

Shields and Parrying WeaponsEdit

Made from wood, leather and metal, shields provide added protection against the rigors of combat. Unlike armor, which warriors wear at most times, shields are generally used only in times of unrest. They cannot be concealed, though most have a leather strap that allows them to be slung on the wearer's back.

There are several types of shield, including:

  • Small Shield: Usually round and made of wood, either painted or covered with a leather skin, small shields cover only a small part of the body (thus provide no significant passive defense), but they are ideal for parrying.
  • Footman's Shield: The larger bulk of the footman's shield protects more of the wielder's body but at the cost of maneuverability and the ease of parrying.
  • Cavalry Shield: Long and thin, usually kite shaped, cavalry shields are designed for use on horseback, in which case it is roughly as effective as a footman's shield is on the ground.
Item Parry Diff. vs. Melee vs. Missile Notes
Small Shield 4 +0 +0
Footman's Shield 6 +1 +1 May not be used on horseback
Cavalry Shield 6 +1 +1 +2 difficulty when used by footmen
Dagger 5 +0 +0
Sword 6 +1 +0


WeaponsEdit

The recourse of knights and peasant levies, melee weapons are used in man-to-man cmobat. They range from the simplest club to the most expertly crafted sword. Most need no instruction, but some of the more esoteric include:

  • Bastard Sword: A long (roughly three-foot) blade, intended for one or two-handed use.
  • Great Sword: With a blade four to six long, these two-handed weapons are lethal but unwieldy. They cannot be used from horseback.
  • Morning Star: Similar to a mace but with the head connected by the haft to a chain, allowing extra damage but also increase danger to the wielder. (On a botch, the weapon either becomes entangled or strikes the wielder.)
  • Bow, Short: A small weapon, three or four feet long, intended for hunting. It may be used from hroseback (most frequently by Saracen cavalry).
  • Bow, Long: A powerful, six-foot-long weapon intended for war. It may not be used from horseback.
  • Lance: A long, heavy spear intended for use from horseback. The most common cavalry weapon, used to charge opposing infantry or calvary.
  • Lance, Compound: Another Saracen weapon, this is a light and usually hollow lance. It is easier to handle, but it inflicts less damage than its more solid cousins. It is also likely to break when someone else uses it.
  • Saber: A one-handed sword, roughly three feet long, intended for use from horseback.

Damage: A number of dice used to determine damage and its type. B = Bashing, L = Lethal, A = Aggravated.
Conceal: A rough estimate of how easily the weapon or piece of armor can be concealed in clothing. P = may be concealed in a pouch; C = in loose clothing (e.g. a tunic); L = in a long cloak; N = may not be concealed.
Min. Str: The minimum Strength required to use the weapon or armor.
Range: For ranged weapons, the distance (in yards) to which the weapon can be used without penalty. In most conditions, the weapon can be fired at a target at up to twice this distance at a +2 difficulty penalty.
2 Hand: The weapon must be used two-handed.
Fragile: The weapon is prone to breaking. After an attack with it (successful or not) the player rolls a die: on a result of 5 or higher, the weapon breaks and is useless.

Melee WeaponsEdit

Axes

Weapon Damage Conceal Min. Str. Notes
Hatchet (melee) Str + 3L C 2
Hand Ax Str + 5L L 3
Battle-Ax Str + 6L N 3 2 Hand

Blunt Weapons

Weapon Damage Conceal Min. Str. Notes
Club Str + 1B C 1
Cudgel Str + 1B C 1
Mace Str + 1B L 1
Morning Star Str + 3B L 1 Difficulty +1; may strike user on botch
Warhammer Str + 5B N 3 Difficulty +1; 2 hand

Blades

Weapon Damage Conceal Min. Str. Notes
Knife Str + 1L P 1
Dagger Str + 1L C 1 Difficulty -1
Saber Str + 2L L 3
Broadsword Str + 4L N 2
Bastard Sword Str + 5L N 3 (4 one-handed) May be used one or two-handed
Great Sword Str + 6L N 4 Difficulty +1; 2 hand

Long Weapons (no penalty against mounted targets)

Weapon Damage Conceal Min. Str. Notes
Javelin Str L N 2
Pitchfork Str + 1L N 1 2 Hand
Spear (one-handed) Str + 1L N 2 Difficulty +1
Spear (two-handed) Str + 3L N 1 2 Hand
Staff Str + 2B N 1
Poleax Str + 6L N 3 Difficulty +1; 2 Hand
Lance, light 6 or Str L N 2 Fragile
Lance 8 or Str L N 3 Fragile
Lance, compound 9 or Str L N 4 Fragile

Ranged weaponsEdit

Missile Weapons

Weapon Damage Conceal Min. Str. Notes
Bow, Long 4L N 4 1 turn to reload
Bow, Short 2L L 2 1 turn to reload
Crossbow, Light 2L L 2 2 turns to reload
Crossbow 3L N 2 3 turns to reload
Crossbow, Heavy 4L N 4 4 turns to reload
Sling 5B C 2 1 turn to reload

Thrown Weapons

Weapon Damage Range Conceal Min. Str. Notes
Knife Str L 15 yards C 2 +1 difficulty
Hatchet Str +1L 2 C 2 +1 difficulty
Javelin Str +2L 50 yards N 2
Spear Str +1L 40 yards N 2
Rock Str B 40 yards P 2

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