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How long from time found, to reality??

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garhkal
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How long from time found, to reality??

Post#1 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:35 am

I askd this over on DF, but thought i'd ask here..

The tech level in your home brew game realm literally just started to produce plate mail armor. Banded/split is still generaly considered the 'crem-de'la'crem for armors for the masses, but certain folk who have access to those bestest armorers, have started getting plate mail made.

A group of adventurers go into a long lost tomb, and come back with a # of nice treasures, including one that is a book on how to properly forge, bend and create field plate and even full plate mail.

From the time those armorers in town/city get ahold of that book, how long realistically, would you say it would take to shift from Plate mail being the newst thing on the block, to field/full plate being common? Years? Decades??
What about just one fully functional suit (say for the main tank warrior in the party)?

Would making pc's wait for a reward like this, seem like a dick move? Should someone just toss out realism for "giving their new shiney toys now"?? Would it just be easier to actually put IN a suit of field plate already there, that magically resizes to it's new wearer?

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RPG Dinosaur
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#2 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:20 pm

garhkal wrote:From the time those armorers in town/city get ahold of that book, how long realistically, would you say it would take to shift from Plate mail being the newst thing on the block, to field/full plate being common? Years? Decades??

I'm a layman about blacksmithing/armor, but in my opinion it would be at least 15-17 years before field/full plate became common in a AD&D type world. I remember that the 1E DM's Guide actually has a list for how long it takes to produce various types of armor. I'm at work right now, but if I remember correctly the time to produce a set of plate mail is at least six months, probably longer. You have to figure that for that first suit, working out of the manual without any prior practice, the armorers are going to take on the longer side before completing it, like at least a year.
Even then you've only got one suit walking around, causing tongues to wag and all the locals then hear about the new armor in short order, but obviously there are no photos, phones, or even telegrams to help spread the word beyond that local area where the armor was made. It's going to take some time, six months to a year give or take, for this armor to begin to be heard about on large scale. In the meantime, the original armorers have gotten several orders from warriors of upper status, royalty and wealth and are now working studiously, their reputation spreading. However, these armorers are definitely not in a hurry to share the plans out of the book that are causing a surge in their money and profiles. They greedily guard the plans as much as possible.
Meanwhile, other armorers are starting to hear about this new type, but with only verbal descriptions, perhaps some basic drawings on parchments to go on, these other armorers have no hope to replicate plate mail. They need to at the very least see for themselves, or more likely at least examine a set of plate for a short time, before having any chance to successfully duplicate it themselves.
While this is going on, the warriors who actually own a set of plate are battling with neighboring fiefdoms, undertaking adventures into hostile humanoid lands/dungeons etc., and having good results in combat because of the increased protection that plate mail provides. The allies of these warriors and living enemy witnesses of the these combats continue to fuel the tales of this armor. This is about Year 3 1/2 or 4 after the first suit was made. Now Noble Warriors/Royal Warriors/King Warriors (including Humanoid) realize the competitive disadvantage they face. Instead of wanting a shiny new set of plate for status reasons, it dawns on them that they need this armor. They begin to scour the lands for any available suit of plate mail that will enable their personal armorers to manufacture it, offering the highest price and/or using 'other' means (thieves, kidnapping/coercing armorers who do know how to make it, etc.) Say it takes these High Class types a year or two to accomplish that, and then it takes their personal armorers a year to actually produce a set.
So by Year 7, with the original armorers still devoting all their time to making plate, there are no more than fifty suits of plate mail in existence, with maybe one or two for sale, but the plans are less hard to come by and are starting to slowly circulate. I say it then takes another eight to ten years, 15-17 years in total, before plate becomes common. Just my opinion.

Would making pc's wait for a reward like this, seem like a dick move?

Well, since you said the party is going to find several other items I don't feel like it's a dick move to have complications that make them wait for one of them.

There is a member of this board who I know has a lot of enthusiasm, and true knowledge, about armor that would be helpful for this topic. I hopes he jumps in on this.
_Matt_

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garhkal
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#3 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 9:03 pm

You;re not like some over on DF, who feels even waiting a half a year, would be a dickish move...

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#4 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:55 pm

Garhkal wrote:

From the time those armorers in town/city get ahold of that book, how long realistically, would you say it would take to shift from Plate mail being the newst thing on the block, to field/full plate being common? Years? Decades?? What about just one fully functional suit (say for the main tank warrior in the party)?


It's going to take decades. I had to check a few dates. Chain mail was used throughout the 13th century (1200s) even though plate armor started being used. It wasn't until 150 years later, in 1350, when plate armor became common. Here's a timeline:

History of Medieval Armor Timeline

Up to 5th century - Two varying armor types: Barbarian armor which was mostly leather and chainmail, and classical armor which was brass and iron

From 5th through the 14th Chainmail was standard and still lasted in part until the 17th

12th century: various materials were added to supplement the chainmail chest piece including the gambeson

13th/14th century: the strength and protection of the chainmail was enhanced by the addition of various plates. The coat of plates was regularly used.

14th century: The plate chest armor was expanded upon by applying plate to other parts of the body like greaves for the legs and vambraces for the arms.

15th century: The height of Plate mail armor sets with two different schools: the Italian and the German.

15th century: Plate armor came in three different types by function - Battle armor, ceremonial armor and tournament armor. Each was specifically designed for its purpose.

End of 15th century: The two schools of armor making merged into what some consider to be the pinnacle of armor set styles - the Maximillian.

So chainmail was the standard for about 900 years, then it took another roughly 300 years to develop into full armor as we think of when we think about knights in shining armor. Taking several decades to become common, I would consider that pretty damned rapid advancement compared to the real world.

As for DF, I have a joke...

Q: How many DF members does it take to challenge (debate) anyone posting an original or unpopular idea?

A: About 61...20 people to post responses that are completely unrelated to the original topic, 10 people to post answers clearly demonstrating that they have absolutely zero knowledge of or experience with the topic being discussed, 5 ass-clowns who inject "humorous" (to them) drivel, 5 do-gooders to report the "thought crime" to a moderator, 5 moderators to gang up on the "offending" poster for simply speaking his mind, 5 moderator-approved trolls to insult the person posting the original or unpopular idea, 5 more cowardly ass-clowns who jump against the original poster only after the resident trolls have attacked on their initiative and the cowards are assured of moderator protection, 5 beta-cucks to post a mewling, whiny plea for everyone to "just get along", and 1 Steve, to step in, lock the thread, insult every American on the board, and then ask for donations. :roll:

It'd be a lot funnier if it wasn't so true. :roll:

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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#5 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 12:49 am

I'd always assumed that the limiting factor was less about the techniques required to shape the armour, and more around the quality of metals which could be produced, and whether it could withstand being formed thin enough (to be light enough to be useable) and strong enough to actually do its job. I don't have any real basis for this though and it could just be one of those things I've assumed or heard somewhere but not had any reason to look into.

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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#6 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:55 am

garhkal wrote:You;re not like some over on DF, who feels even waiting a half a year, would be a dickish move...


That's because ALL the munchkins moved over there. Ahh my plan has come to fruition ;)

I personally use the 1E rules for build times as noted above. As for how long to become common place... I personally never let it become common place, a set of plate is rare in my worlds and costly and a set of FULL or FIELD is ultra rare, found only in special dragon hordes or on a knight as old as time or for some king that had endless money and the best armorist in the land to craft it.
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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#7 » Thu Jan 10, 2019 11:23 pm

Lyrwik wrote:

I'd always assumed that the limiting factor was less about the techniques required to shape the armour, and more around the quality of metals which could be produced, and whether it could withstand being formed thin enough (to be light enough to be useable) and strong enough to actually do its job. I don't have any real basis for this though and it could just be one of those things I've assumed or heard somewhere but not had any reason to look into.


That makes sense, though I've never looked into it in great detail either. Looking at what you wrote, we can say the armor would take several stages of "evolution":

1. Discover the technology to find, then mine, the iron
2. Discover the technology to smelt the iron
3. Discover the technology to create higher functioning furnaces (blast furnaces) which are necessary to purify the iron
4. Discover the technology to purify the iron to create high quality iron
5. Discover the technology to purify iron into steel (remove most impurities, adjust the proper level of carbon, etc)
6. Discover the technology to work this iron or steel into armor form, temper it properly, etc

That's a lot of steps. So yeah, I can see it taking a long time just to learn how to create quality steel.

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garhkal
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#8 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 12:59 pm

So that found book would have to be Thick as hell, to cover all that..

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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#9 » Fri Jan 11, 2019 5:15 pm

Only a few thousand pages. Written in a foreign language. :twisted:

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Stik
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#10 » Sun Jan 27, 2019 3:41 pm

I'm thinking that the quality of the steel would not the limiting factor, but rather the skill-set of the armorer.
It is no small feat to construct the pieces necessary to build the articulation joints required for a working set of plate armor.
And even if you are able to produce the pieces, you still need to assemble them with the proper amount of play between the pieces so that they move properly in relation to one another. Too much and they can slide too far and and slip out of place, creating a gap or causing them to bind against another piece. Not enough and they will stiffen the joint, restricting movement, or not hang properly, leaving gaps when it should be covering an opening.
And even it you know how to make the joints work, you still need to adjust the pattern for the individual wearer.
All of this requires a great deal of training and practice, which is why aspiring armorers in period would serve an apprenticeship under a more experienced master.

Providing a set of written instructions is a tremendous help, but you still need someone who is capable of understanding those instructions, and who is also capable of executing them, and who is also willing to go through the trouble of doing so.

I would expect it to take at least a few months to produce the first suit, then a few more months to refine that suit to make it functional and reliable and comfortable. Once that is done, I would expect it to take a few years before the new design is replicated and produced by others.
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Halaster-Blackcloak
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#11 » Mon Jan 28, 2019 12:06 am

Historically, it took up to a month or more to make a suit of simple chain mail, and several months (3-4) to create a suit of armor. And that's taking into account already having mastered the design. So on top of the 6 steps I mentioned earlier (which could take decades, not just years), there is then the issue of learning the flaws and kinks of the design, as you point out, Stik. It would probably take years to learn to develop a proper suit of full plate armor, considering the very first attempt alone would take months, and considering the learning curve at least a few sets would need to be made before mastering it. If even 6 sets are needed to go from 1st try to perfected armor, that's anywhere from 18 to 24 months of trial and error. And this only after learning how to forge the proper metal, which would take year if not decades.

So 5 to 10 years of development in game is lightning-fast and totally fair.

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garhkal
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#12 » Tue May 28, 2019 1:53 pm

Bringing this thread back up.. Three pcs, have had plate made for them, but it was done erroneously, as per notes i have both in the gaming realm main document, as well as the expanded city info, the notes for the "mining city" make it known currently banded is the highest level of armor allowed. Though rumors of one of the older dwarves does know how to make plate, still circulates. Thus found plate is highly valued .

This cropped up, due to in the 'tower' where they just cleared out, was six suits of pristine plate mail armor (all human size, 6ft exactly). Additionally, later on, when they get to the cathedral's catacombs,
one area has a library which as part of the collection, are two books wrote in ANCIENT common, detailing how to make plate, and the proper forging techniques for it. Thus we were discussing somewhat, the value of those suits.. both in game to the players, and to the armorers..

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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#13 » Wed May 29, 2019 8:41 pm

currently banded is the highest level of armor allowed. Though rumors of one of the older dwarves does know how to make plate, still circulates. Thus found plate is highly valued.

:knight:
two books wrote in ANCIENT common,


Those two comments made me think that the process might be sped up if you are looking at this as 'old technology' being rediscovered. There could be rumors about plate from the ancient times.

Other long lived races, like your dwarf, that live in extremely remote areas might even still be making plate mail. The party might have to travel extensively, but it sounds like that could be the key to shortening the time it takes for it to become main stream again.

:idea: Just something to consider.
:mage "Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?"

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garhkal
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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#14 » Wed May 29, 2019 10:06 pm

Even at 600 yrs old, most living dwarves would be 6-7 generations removed at least from something that was lost over 5000 yrs ago.

That said, yes i am thinking it 'being re-discovered', would make for a slightly swifter re-making process, especially with 6 newly found suits in pristine condition.. Say down from 5-10 years, to maybe 2-3..

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Re: How long from time found, to reality??

Post#15 » Thu May 30, 2019 7:27 pm

In your world, are there any races that live longer that dwarves, and would have cause for armor?
:mage "Some terrifying space monkeys maybe got loose?"

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