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This Page Is Currently Under Construction And Will Be Available Shortly, Please Visit Reserve Copy Page

Now that Low Tech has become available, this section is under revision and will be changing rapidly through November 2010.

Armor and Shields

Note: Pre-Low Tech content of this section has been moved to Old Armor.

I will provide a table of Armor based on Low Tech - partly to cut down on shopping overload, and partly to remove options that are pointless or inappropriate for Borderlands. Armor not on the table may occur in game, and if you really want something not on the list, talk to me and we might be able to work something out, but in general you should be shopping off the list.

Note that I am slashing the price of armor at character creation significantly from the suggested prices in Low Tech - but not all pieces are cut the same rate. Consult the table.

I will provide a GDF with the created armor pieces, and campaign appropriate prices.

Expert Tailoring

Expertly Tailored armor from Low Tech p110 is a "lower grade" of Fine (and Very Fine below). Expertly Tailored cannot be combined with Fine or Very Fine. Wherever this wiki or DF rules refer to Fine armor being difficult to fit/wear/whatever, the notes also apply to Expertly Tailored.

The CF for Expert Tailoring is reduced to +2.


Fine gains the "increase penalty to hit chinks by -1" effect that Expertly Tailored armor has.

The CF for Fine is reduced to +3

Masterfully Tailored

Cost Factor is reduced to +9 CF but otherwise as listed.

New Modifier: Very Fine

Very Fine*: TL 4 only. Uses advanced construction techniques to provide the same protection with thinner materials - corrugations, deflecting angles, advanced material composition, etc. Offers full DR at 1/2 the usual weight, and increases penalties to hit chinks by -2. Only fits wearers whose height, weight, species, and gender match the original owner's! Any armor: +19 CF.


Replace Dragonhide from DF1 with the following modifier:

<!-- Dragonhide*: Any Hardened Leather armor can be dragonhide. This provides from +1 to +4 DR, depending on the dragon's age (elder dragonhide has up to +7 DR, but isn't for sale). It also gives -3 reactions from dragons! Weight and cost depend on DR bonus: +1 DR is 1.15 times weight and +37 CF; +2 DR is 1.3 times weight and +44 CF; +3 DR is 1.45 times weight and +52 CF; and +4 DR is 1.6 times weight and +59 CF. --> Dragonscale*: Light Scale armor can be made from Dragonscale. Even the smallest dragons make armor that is half the weight of traditionally manufactured scale armor. Larger dragons provide heavier armor and from +1 to +4 DR, depending on the dragon's age (elder dragonscale has up to +7 DR, but isn't for sale). It also gives -3 reactions from dragons!

Prices for DR +5 through +7 are listed for resale value only, should PCs decide to sell it.

Name Weight CF
Young Dragonscale × 1/2 +14 CF
Dragonscale +1 DR × 2/3 +24 CF
Dragonscale +2 DR × 5/6 +34 CF
Dragonscale +3 DR ×1 +44 CF
Dragonscale +4 DR ×1 1/6 +54 CF
Dragonscale +5 DR ×1 1/3 +64 CF
Dragonscale +6 DR ×1 1/2 +74 CF
Dragonscale +7 DR ×1 2/3 +84 CF

Other Armor Quality Modifiers from Low Tech or DF1

Fluting, Hardened Steel/Duplex Plate, Silk, and Leather of Quality are all available as listed in Low Tech (including with listed CFs).

Spider Silk (from Low Tech) is adjusted to +59 CF but otherwise as written. Unlike in real life, regular sized spiders can be controlled relatively easily with Animal college spells.

Giant Spider Silk (from DF) adds +1* DR to any cloth armor against all damage types.

Revised Weapons

The weapons chart from Low Tech will generally be used - note that many exotic weapons are on the table, and I ask the players to generally pick weapons that seem to match their characters style. This is DF, however, so there's some wiggle room.

Long Knives get a -1 to Parry like other knife type weapons, even when used with Shortsword skill - they are knives, and have a (non-parrying) knife's minimal crossguard. Use the rules from Lowtech Companion to add a parrying surface to make a long-knife main-gauche type of weapon.

Great Axes get a further +1 to damage on top of their Low Tech stats<br /> Note that some two-handed weapons get improved parrying ability in Martial Arts (-2 per parry instead of -4) and I will be extending this rule to Two-Handed Axe/Mace weapons, as well as with the Rules-As-Written polearms and two-handed swords.

I will provide a GCA data file to make these changes before the start of the campaign.

New Weapons

Two-Handed Axe Mace

TL    Name                 Dmg           Reach    Parry  Cost     Wt    ST      Notes
2^   Unnatural Axe      sw+2d cut        1, 2*     0U    $150     15    14‡     [1,2]

[1] Count weapon bonus damage dice with native Swing damage when figuring any per-die benefit, such as Weapon Master bonus damage, Mighty Blows, etc.

[2] Without the new perk "Axe Crazy", an Unnatural Axe is -2 to skill to use due to completely unwieldy construction, even if the wielder is sufficiently strong enough to one-hand it (ST 42!!).

The Unnatural Axe is the ramped up, fantasy version of the two-handed Great Axe. It's still unwieldy, swinging once every other turn and difficult to parry with. It's still heavy, requiring great strength but very tough in combat. But it cuts off limbs real good like.

The Unnatural Axe benefits normally from Pickaxe Penchant and similar talents. When scaling the Unnatural Axe up, perform the math on number of dice as if it were a flat modifier - ie a SM +1 Unnatural Axe does sw+3d cut. It gets worse when it gets bigger.

Under Consideration

Under Consideration at the moment is a suggestion to reduce the damage for every 2-handed weapon by 1, and then implement a general rule that any weapon wielded two-handed adds +1/die to damage.

Currently there's an unwritten assumption that wielding a weapon two-handed increases damage by +1. This is not explicitly mentioned in the Basic Set when the rules for wielding a two-handed weapon in one hand are discussed, but is in Martial Arts. This "rolls back" the bonus, making it clearer what happens when you one-hand something, and also grants a bigger bonus for wielding a weapon two handed that may partially compensate for "not having a shield".

If implemented, this bonus would, yes, apply to the Unnatural Axe and yes, it would get two extra damage for the two dice it gives.

Scaling Rules for other equipment

Note that DF scaling is weird, and is best used for DF games only.

  • Shields scale as weapons, as they have many weapon-like features. Shield DR does not scale, Shield HP is recalculated based on the new weight.
  • Until the official rules come out for general equipment, other equipment scales using the same values for Weapon cost and weight (obviously the other parts of the weapon statistics is largely irrelevant).
  • Containers scale their possible weight carried using the same proportion used for scaling their own weight. IE a SM +1 Small Backpack can hold 1.5&times; or 60 lbs and weighs 1.5&times; as much as a regular Small Backpack, or 4.5 lbs. It costs 1.5&times;$60 or $90. SM+1 characters may be tempted to buy a SM0 Frame backpack - basically just don't, or the GM may have to make up the rules for DX penalties for wearing something not fit properly to your body size and shape and then things just get more complicated than the GM wants to deal with.
  • Note that Rations and water needed scale up or down like other miscellaneous equipment - fae characters with Reduced Consumption get extra reductions on top of this for their advantage! Pixies eat bread crumbs, pollen, and drops of dew. Ogres and barbarians just plain eat. SM+2 Ogre Barbarians eat everything.

Armor and Weapons for Really Big Characters

The largest PCs should generally get (without enchantment, shape-shifting or other unusual circumstance) is SM +2.

SM +2 Weapons and Shields

SM +2 weapons and shields multiply final cost, weight, and MinST by 2. Also multiply the listed damage bonus by 2, with a minimum of a +2 increase in damage bonus. eg. sw-2 becomes sw, thr+1 becomes thr+3, thr+2 becomes thr+4

SM +2 Armor

SM +2 armors multiply final cost and weight by 4.

Even Bigger

SM +2 characters using outsized weapons, subjects of the Enlarge spell... the general rule of thumb is that cost, weight, minST, and damage of weapons and shields scale up with linear scale, while cost and weight of armor scales up with linear scale squared and then rounded to the nearest whole number.

See Also


GURPS DF Borderlands