Full Item Description
A pimple coat is a style of heavy jacket, or great coat. It is usually made out of leather, wool, or similar heavy material. The garment gets it’s name from the metal plates inserted between it’s outer shell and liner. It is very common that these round, roughly hand sized plates have a raised center boss which gives the coat the appearance of having pimples, boils, or hives. The name Pimple Coat simply stuck the most frequently.
The footman is divided between the amount of armor, weaponry, and supplies he can carry. A city guardsman, be he a mercenary, a guilded law enforcer, or just a civic volunteer has a major advantage, local supply. Since he needs not carry water or food provisions, his arms and armor can be heavier than the soldier who has to carry a bedroll, a canteen of water, and food rations. Most city guards are protectors of the peace, so rarely need heavy weapons such as hammers, axes, greatswords and flails. This means that the armor the guardsman wears can be quite heavy.
The Pimple Coat is generally a popular form of armor in areas that are cold, or damp. Functionally it is not much different that brigandine armor, but the thickness of the material used in making the coat itself offers a slight degree of increased protection. This armor protection is only used by the city guard, and hardly ever by standing armies. The coat doesn’t stand up to conditions in the field. Once it starts to tear and fall apart, there is little that can save it.
In some settings, it can be a dicey thing telling the city guards from random groups of thugs. In other settings, everyone knows who the guards are, just because.
Keystone Cops - Looking smart in their black Pimple coats and black tonburry hats, the city guards look impressive. Unfortunately, the officials have gained their rankings by bribes and favors, and the men under their command are somewhat… incompetent. The city is rife with crime and violence, the only safe people are the rich with their own private guards, and the criminals, who own the city guard. City guardsmen are inept with their weapons, oblivious to obvious clues. The PCs come in with a Honest Cop on the force looking for outside aid, hunting out corruption, guild lackeys, and assassination attempts.
Knock knock, it’s the Gestapo - In contrast to the Keystone Cop, this guard in his imposing pimple coat and black jack boots is a figure of intimidation. The letter of lawful, this city guard enforces the law with an iron hand inside and iron glove. While outwardly respectful PCs can slip through, thieves, social undesireables (determine as needed, but non-humans, filthy mages, albinos, etc) are not so lucky. Stay in line, don’t make a fuss, make sure your papers are in order, and don’t ask questions when the officer asks you to hand your sword over for inspection.
Rockwell Bobby - The image of the British Bobby, mixed with Norman Rockwell’s idyllic artwork, the RB is the good samaritan guard. He isn’t there to hassle tainted potion dealers, rough up thieve’s guild thugs, or hunt for contraband in wagons. The bobby helps old ladies cross the road, directs strangers and tourists who are lost, and tips his tonburry hat when a lady is present. Some wonder why such a polite man wears an armor coat and carries a truncheon. Some people know why, they are very polite as well, at least when the Bobbies are around.