Armor encompasses all items a character may wear, that provide the wearer defensive bonuses during combat, particularly increasing its Damage Reduction (DR). There are several types of armor and shields available, each armor type has three quality levels: normal, fine, and exquisite. Armor is worn in the body slot, while shields used as part of Weapons sets.
There are no restrictions on what armor or shield characters can use, but the mechanics of classes may lend themselves better to certain weights.
Characters have Armor Ratings that represent their ability to resist Penetration from different damage types. Attacks that cause damage have a Penetration value that is used to determine how easily they can overcome the target's Armor Rating.
Armor Rating value is usually derived from armor, but many creatures have natural AR or can raise it through the use of magic, Abilities, Talents, or other equipment.
Armor Rating is compared against the Penetration of oncoming attacks to determine the attack's overall effectiveness.
Full Penetration (130% Damage) occurs when Penetration is twice the target's Armor Rating or more.
Partial Penetration (100% Damage) occurs when Penetration meets or exceeds the target's Armor Rating.
Under Penetration (-25% Damage per point under the target's Armor, Max -75%) occurs when Penetration is less than the target's Armor Rating.
Note that many suits of armor and many creatures will grant different Armor Rating values against the different Damage Types. Lower ARs protect less against that type of damage, making the target more vulnerable to attacks of that type.
Armor rating on creatures
Most creatures that do not wear armor have a built-in armor rating, which is represented as an unobtainable item equipped to them. Unlike regular armor, this armor usually scales based on the creature's level.
Hide armor is commonly worn by woodsmen, Glanfathan explorers, and those who favor speed over protection. Hide armor is made of layers of soft leather. Though its construction often requires multiple layers to provide dependable protection, it does little to slow its wearer in combat.
Stiffer and more durable than ordinary hide armor, leather armor is shaped and boiled in oil to achieve its distinctive finish and toughness. Leather armor is often chosen by adventurers who want a balance of protection and speed.
Breastplates are popular for offering a modest amount of protection without the restrictive movement of heavier mail and full suits of plate armor.
Due to their widespread use by warriors from the Vailian Republics, the fashion of clothing and padding worn under breastplates typically reflects Vailian styles.
Mail armor is quite popular for its protective qualities, especially against slashing attacks. Mail is comprised of thousands of small rings of steel that form a flexible mesh. Normally worn over a padded jacket, mail protects well but restricts its wearer in combat.
Despite its unassuming appearance, brigandine provides impressive protection to its wearer at a cost of speed in combat. It is made of dozens of steel plates sandwiched between canvas or leather. The plates are held in place by distinctive rivets across the surface of the brigandine.
The heaviest armor in regular use by adventurers and soldiers, plate armor protects its wearers from all but the most severe blows. It is comprised of three layers: the base padding, a suit of mail, and the top layer of steel plates.