30 Annoying Or Dangerous Flaws in Suits of Armour
Not all armour works as it should do, and these thirty suits of armour all have something wrong with them. (Until I can get it fixed somehow, only the main page link to this submission is working.)
This armour has been worn in the rain and then not been dired for a long while, and has become covered with rust. As well as not looking very impressive, rusty armour is more likely to suffer from jammed joints, and if the rust lasts long enough, the armour will be weakened and might split or even fall apart under hard blows from swords, war-hammers and other weapons. A good way to fix it if one has the time is to roll it around for a while in a barrel of sand to peel off the rust and then oil it properly, and put a surcoat on to protect at least the breastplate from the elements.
This armour is too small for the wearer and is horribly uncomfortable as a result. Perhaps the arms and legs even pinch the wearer's skin painfully despite the clothes worn under the armour. The helmet can barely be put on and taken off, or perhaps can only fit on the wearer's head without the proper padded skullcap being put on first. Clearly this needs to be taken to the armorer or at least the blacksmith and made larger. In the short term all one can do is leave certain places unarmored for easy movement and hope they don't get cut or pierced with an arrow. If in battle, you can be sure that those unarmored places will be the bits that get deliberately targeted by your foes.
The joints squeak loudly with every movement in a comical way. This can ruin ambushes and any other time where the wearer needs to remain silent. The joints need a proper oiling to silence them, and if that does not work, then it may be the result of a curse placed on the armour and a priest, priestess or magic-user needs to be called in to cancel the curse.
4-It's a knockoff
This armour is badly made from inferior pig iron instead of the proper iron or steel, and a few strong blows from a sword, axe or mace will cause it first to dent and then to start falling apart. Whoever sold it to you was clearly corrupt. Not much can be done about the armour, but if the seller can be found, he or she can be either litigated against in the courts or just forced to return the money at sword point. The armour itself is a write-off and only worth the value of the metal that it is made of.
5-Give that back! It rightfully belongs to the King, you thief!
The armour itself is truly superb with no known flaws, except whoever sold it to you brought it from thieves first, and the thieves stole it from outside the royal tent of the King himself. And the King, a King not known for granting mercy, is furious and has sent his knights to recover it by fair means or foul. At the very least, if they find whoever is wearing this they will take it away without compensation. At worst, the wearer might find himself or herself facing a treason charge, and the very real threat of execution.
6-Dark Knightly Armour
It belongs to an order of knights with a very nasty reputation, such as The Order of the Knights of Rightous Victory or the even more dreaded Knights of the Shroud. People in the area will be terrified of the wearer and may refuse to help the wearer, or even flee and/or barricade themselves in their homes. Perhaps the order itself has such a dreadful reputation that it has been outlawed and the knights on the side of what passes for law and order attack the wearers of such armour on sight. Also, the knightly order which it belongs to will not be happy that someone is wearing their armour without permission, and at the very least will demand that the owner hand it over-or else they will get very violent indeed to recover it.
This kind of armour is only worn by the members of a penal brigade composed of those who stole, deserted or otherwise broke military law, and were spared the horrors of military prison or worse if they enlisted in the brigade. The brigade is always sent in front in every battle in a death or glory charge, and many of it's members do not survive that long. The wearer is in danger of being mistaken for a deserter by the military police and forcibly returned to the penal brigade and the next battle, or worse still might end up on trial for his or her life or even lynched as a deserter from the nearest tree. In many armies, if you desert from a penal unit, you are unlikely to be granted a second chance.
This armour is only normally worn by enslaved gladiators in the arena. Apart from the very real danger of being mistaken for an escaped gladiator and being chained, branded and locked up in a cell beneath the local arena, the armour deliberately leaves certain key places unprotected to make fights in the arena more interesting for the spectators.
9-It has WHAT on the feet?
Whoever made this armour placed wheels on the feet, meaning to use it properly the wearer must know how to skate around. Perhaps it was made for a special military unit of skating knights, or the royal jester wore this armour to make the King and the nobles laugh. Anybody who dons this armour without possessing skating skills will slip and slide all over the place and fall over with a loud clatter or worse, go comically careening at top speed down a flight of stairs.
This armour was placed along with much Funeral Gold and Grave Silver in the tomb of a great noble. Unfortunately for whoever owns it now since it was stolen from said tomb, it is made of pure Orthacarium meaning the next time sunlight hits it, it will explode. Should someone be wearing it as it does so, the explosion will almost certainly be fatal. At nighttime and in places like cave systems where sunlight does not reach, it is an effective suit of armour. Just keep it out of sunlight unless you want to blow it up.
11-It has no hands!
This armour, instead of gauntlets that can pick things up, just has solid fists with spikes on them. Not only is it not very effective against those who are also properly armored, but the wearer cannot pick anything up whilst wearing it. Perhaps it is meant for dealing with lightly armed and unarmored rebel peasants, or perhaps it is meant for those who guard the chests of royal treasure to prevent any of the more corrupt guards from secretly helping themselves to any of the royal treasure. Putting it on is quite easy, but taking it off again requires help from others.
This armour was made to be one huge magnet, the idea being that iron weapons in the hands of foes would end up sticking to it. If the wearer is not careful and gets too close to other armored knights, the wearer and the nearest knight will be pulled comically together and will stick to each other. If the wearer is careless with his or weapon, his or her weapon will stick to the armour and be rendered useless in combat. Should the wearer walk past stacked cannon balls, they will fly at him or her with considerable force.
One answer to things like pistol and musket balls is to make the armour thicker, but thicker armour is heavier armour. With armour that is too heavy the wearer must be helped or even winched onto his or her horse, and the horse will not be able to gallop very long. On foot, the knight wearing this is reduced to plodding along slowly and might be knocked down in a fight and be as helpless as a turned over tortoise. Worse, the wearer can get stuck in mud and sink in seconds if he or she falls into water. On the plus side, this armour resists penetration well even from the strongest swords or maces. This might not outweigh the many problems, however.
14-A rash choice
The wearer for some reason is allergic to the armour, and on any places like the helmet and gauntlets where skin and armour meet could develop anything from an unscratchable itch(unless the armour is removed) to nasty pain depending on the reaction. This could be anything from merely an annoying distraction all the way up to life threatening depending on the GM.
15-This was never meant for humans to wear!
Armour that was meant for Lizard Men, Ogres, Giants or The Volgotoi was never meant for humans to wear and will need a lot of work at the blacksmith's or the armorer's forge to make it fit properly. If there is not enough time for that and this is the only armour available, it can be tied or strapped on, but a good swordsman or swordswoman just needs to cut the ropes and straps to make the armour fall right off the wearer.
Historically, certain real-life orders such as the Knights Templar would not pay ransoms for their captive members, meaning that such members were much more likely to be killed in battle then other knights were. The suit of armour belongs to a knightly order that won't pay ransoms, so the wearer if defeated in a battle is much more likely to be killed outright. If the armour was stolen, it is likely that the knights of said order are looking for it to repossess it with force if need be.
II-Magical Flaws. Whilst magical armour can be very useful, it can also have flaws of its own.
17-Small Things constantly go wrong with it.
This armour was stolen from a little church where they worship The God of Small Things and it was cursed in the name of the god. As a result, the visor sticks open or shut, the sword sticks fast in the sheath, joints freeze up, and all at the worst possible time for such things to be happening. Unless the wearer returns it soon, he or she could soon end up injured or dead.
18-Where is it?
The armour has an invisibility spell cast upon it to make the wearer appear unarmored. However, this makes it hard to put on or take off in a hurry, and it is possible to put this down and trip over it later or even to forget where you left it.
19-Oh, shut up!
Fed up with a knight who would often argue with him over battle tactics, a baron had his court mage cast from a Scroll of mute on the knight's helm, making the annoying knight into a silent knight. To speak whilst wearing this armour, the wearer must take the helmet completely off, not a wise thing to do in or just before a battle.
20-The Coward's armour
This suit of armour was hit by a battle-mage's powerful Fear Spell, and even now the effects remain. Until another magic user purifies the armour to remove the Fear taint, the wearer will have a near overwhelming urge to flee from any battle or fight he or she gets into, regardless of the actual threat posed by his or her foes. This could lead to the wearer being wrongly thought of as a coward, with all the problems that this brings.
This suit of armour was enchanted so that the wearer would go berserk in battle and would not surrender under any circumstances. Not only does this make the wearer a lot more likely to get killed, but there is a danger after the battle is won that the wearer might turn against his or her friends. If a Fear Spell strikes this armour, it will merely cancel out the Berserker spell and the armour will no longer be enchanted in any way.
The suit of armour unfortunately belongs to one of The Undead Knights of Konii and putting it on would be an incredibly dangerous thing to do. The wearer would be promptly possessed by the spirit within the armour, and to free him he would have to be overpowered without being killed and the armour forcibly removed from him, whilst the armour fought to the death to avoid being removed. It might be found in a tomb or barrow as a trap for grave robbers.
The maker of this armour was a mage and a traitor who secretly cast a spell on the armour so that when the wearer heard music, he or she would begin to dance uncontrollably until the music stopped. He then had a musician play music the next time the wearer entered a tavern, and a few hired assassins found it quite easy to kill the dancing knight.
The ghost of the armour's last wearer was cursed to be stuck in the armour for eternity after death, and only the currant wearer of the armour can hear him speak. He has grown very grumpy over the years and grumbles constantly in a whining, annoying voice.
25-From the grave they come
The owner of this suit of armour was a hunter and a destroyer of the Undead, after a vampire slew his family. He cast a spell on the armour to bring the Undead from miles around to him so he could overpower them with his magic, a silver sword and a wooden stake. He got his revenge in this way but continued on his vendetta against the Undead. Eventually he summoned one Undead too many and fell in combat. Undead from miles around will be attracted to the armour when worn, at all levels from lesser zombie all the way up to Full Lich. For someone not expecting it, this is a very unwelcoming surprise.
26-No Illegal Duels Permitted
The king was a very strict one, and fed up with duels and other acts of armed law-breaking amongst his knights and men at arms, he had their weapons bound magically in their scabbards with Blade Hands to restrain their bad behavior. The wearer of this suit of armour who draws a weapon for any reason whatsoever, good or bad,will attract the attention of any law enforcement in the area very quickly indeed.
A spell was cast on this armour to lighten it, but it was lightened too much and now any sudden moves whilst wearing the armour result in leaps ten feet into the air. Useful for scouting with, but not very useful for fighting in.
The mage-knight who owned this armour had a spell to make music play when he was wearing it, and knew the magic words to turn the music off and on and up and down. Sadly nobody else knew said words, so when he was killed in battle and his armour stripped from his dead body, it constantly played a few songs loudly on a loop. It ended up being buried in a royal barrow as part of the grave goods just so that no one would have to hear it any more, and it it said that if you go to the barrow and press your ear up against it you can still only just hear the armour singing songs of war.
29-It's A Trap
Found amongst a dead king's grave goods, it is a deadly trap for grave robbers as once put on it rapidly starts to shrink, with a good chance of crushing and killing whoever is wearing it.
It belongs to one of The Knights of The Lady and when a distressed damsel calls for the help of the wearer, should the wearer of the armour not want to help her, in stats terms the wearer has to make a skill check with a -1 to it. A failure means he or she will be unable to resist going on a quest to rescue or otherwise help the damsel.
31 - Fancy Armor
This your standard jewel-encrusted, golden full plate. Sure its expensive, but it won't offer you much protection in a fight. Besides, gold is heavy, and people might recognize the iconic piece.
32 - Autonomous Armor
It stands up and fights you.
33 - Cleated
The boots of this piece of garb have little metal spikes, like on European football or track shoes. These are great for grip in muddy terrain or for holding your ground, but get in the way in other situations.
34 - Scrying Vessel
This piece of armor contains the arcane mark of a magical caster, who can track it wherever it should go. This allows the caster to scry from the armor's point of view as well, allowing the caster to eavesdrop on the party and obtain all sorts of information.
35 - Its Missing Something
Well darn. The lower half of this dead knight was crushed under a rock, so you only get a breastplate and a helm.
36 - Lagging Adaptive Camo
Armor with adaptive camouflage will change its appearance to help the wearer blend with their environment. The spell / technology running this thing is a bit old or messed up, giving its camo effect a few seconds of delay.
37 - Bright
Someone cast light on the thing, and it won't go out. Ever. Now they call me the lighthouse.
38 - Amorous Indicator
This brass suit of fullplate glows reddish pink when the wearer is enamored or aroused.
39 - Rings Like a Bell
The helm is too big. When you get struck, especially with a bludgeoning weapon, it tends to ring out like a bell. This (1) alerts things around you, (2) causes you bad headaches, and (3) means the helmet is unwieldy and hard to fight in.
40 - Comes with Leftovers
This piece of armor is covered in blood and little pieces of flesh. You wipe it out as best you can, but it still reeks. Not only can it make you queasy, it attracts all sorts of predators.
The suit of armour has either a lot of padding or a Warmth spell cast on it, meaning that it keeps you warm in the most frozen of winters. Unfortunately you acquired the armour in the height of summer and it is almost unbearable to wear at the moment.
This armour has five feet long protrusions on each side of the breastplate, to make it harder for attackers to get past the wearer. It also means that friendly knights find it hard to get past the wearer and the wearer has to walk sideways to get through doors and is in danger of banging into people in crowds.
The armour has a spell of darkness cast on it that swallows torchlight and indeed any light apart from sunlight into itself. As a result, once the sun goes down the wearer and anyone near the armour can't see their own hands when held up inches from their face.
44-Helmet of Babble
This bronze armour was found in a barrow after a thousand years and when wearing the helmet, a spell translates the wearer's speech into the speech of a thousand years-rendering it unintelligible to nearly everybody on the planet, except those who have studied the long dead language. The spell lasts for a whole hour after the helmet is removed.
In the country in which the armour was found, only the King and his Royal Regiments are allowed to wear or possess armour of any sort, let alone a suit of fine plate armour.
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? Responses (5)
Good collection, and again you have a nice set of references to other Strolen material. This list has a lot of things I would have thought of right away, but it is still good to have everything in one place.
Grumble, grumble is my favorite, and I am pretty sure a specific player of mine would love to roleplay with that.
Good idea for a scroll here. Quite a few are quirky and clever flaws/drawbacks!
5/5 For me this is a perfect sub just enough color, just enough crunch, just entirly too useful HOH too