5th Edition Weapons and Armor

Partial Plate & Heater Shield

Light Cost AC Min Str Stealth
Hide / Cloth 5gp 11+Dex - -
Leather 40gp 12+Dex - -
Medium Cost AC Min Str Stealth
Padded (Gambeson, Aketon) 5gp 12+Dex (max 2) - -
Mail Shirt (Byrnie) 50gp 13+Dex (max 2) - -
Scale Armor 100gp 14+Dex (max 2) - Disadvantage
Brigandine 150gp 15+Dex (max 2) - Disadvantage
Heavy Cost AC Min Str Stealth
Heavy Mail 75gp 16 Str 13 Disadvantage
Coat of Plates 200gp 17 Str 15 Disadvantage
Partial Plate 1500gp 18 Str 15 Disadvantage
Shields Cost AC Min Str Stealth
Buckler 5gp +1 - -
Shield (Round, Heater) 10gp +2 - -
Large Shield (Kite, Pavise) 15gp +3 Str 13 Disadvantage


HideHide - Leathers, furs, and perhaps bone, wood, or other primitive materials which have been assembled to serve as rudimentary protection from the elements. More sophisticated or ‘cultured’ examples may exist, with finely-tailored fur linings adorning elaborate leather-work, but such armor is usually more ceremonial than functional and offers only limited protection from cold steel. Also represents protective cloth and linen garments which aren’t as thick as a proper gambeson.

LeatherLeather - Thick, hardened leather purpose-built as protective armor provides some amount of protection for a warrior concerned with being fashionable – or unencumbered by bulky mail. A cuirass, vambraces, greaves, and possibly pteryges offer stylish, if limited protection. A leather or metal helm is also common.

GambesonPadded - Also known as a gambeson, aketon, jack, and various other terms, such garments are the go-to source of protection for warriors on a shoe-string budget. Although best used as padding underneath proper mail, it is also surprisingly functional by itself and quite protective against swords and arrows alike. Often includes a simple but rugged metal helmet.

Mail ByrnieMail Shirt - A mail byrnie is a simple waist-length shirt of chainmail, and serves as a relatively affordable, effective, and highly versatile staple of personal armor. It is often worn over a gambeson, but may also be incorporated into less stuffy traveling garments. Leather vambraces and a metal helm or mail coif usually round out the ensemble.

Scale (with mail backing)Scale Armor - Although uncommon in the Empire, complete sets of scale armor are relatively popular among the dwarves and elves who inhabit the more secluded corners of the world. Overlapping metal or leather scales cover most of the body and are often arrayed over a backing layer of mail, and may even be worked into a matching helmet in some cases. Variations include lamellar armor, as well as old-style loricas from Imperia’s past.

Brigandine (with mail backing)Brigandine - For a warrior who wants high-quality protection but without sacrificing too much mobility, a jack of brigandine serves as a fashionable option. A padded or leather coat conceals a semi-flexible shell of riveted metal plates which offers excellent protection for the torso, but little else. Leather or mail additions and a proper helmet are needed to protect the rest of the body.

Heavy Mail (with surcoat)Heavy Mail - ‘Heavy mail’ serves as a catch-all category for complete, heavy-duty chainmail protection. Consisting of a thigh- or knee-length mail hauberk at the minimum, it is usually supplemented by mail chausses for the legs and feet, mail mittens or metal gauntlets for the hands, a mail coif and heavy metal helm, and sometimes additional protection from boiled leather or extra linen padding. Heraldic cloth surcoats and tabards are also popular and fashionable additions.

Coat of Plates (Imperian style)Coat of plates - Essentially a suit of heavy mail, further reinforced by a long coat of heavy brigandine to further protect the torso and upper legs. May also include gauntlets, metal greaves, and spaulders.

Partial plate - The ultimate in personal defense. A suit of heavy mail which has been fully reinforced with solid metal plates, including a breastplate (and in rare cases a matching backplate), spaulders, gauntlets, vambraces, faulds, and greaves. Rare and exotic sets (usually of dwarven make) may include full pauldrons, sabatons, and other pieces to more fully enclose the wearer.

Buckler - A lightweight metal shield for personal defense, suitable for easy storage and traveling. Small but effective.

Shield - A larger shield, usually made of wood and either painted or covered with cloth or leather. All-purpose and versatile, shields usually come in either round or ‘heater’ style, with either type having varying popularity in different regions of the Empire.

Large shield - A tall wooden kite shield or full pavise. Difficult to carry and use, but undeniably effective and capable of defending the whole body.

Item Quality

Legionary BrigandineStandard - Standard items are forged from iron or local steel and have normal statistics.

Steel Masterwork - ‘Masterwork’ items are finely-crafted by skilled smiths using high quality steel. Weapons treat damage rolls of ‘1’ as a roll of ‘2’ instead. Metal armor ignores 1 point of nonmagical slashing damage per attack.

Silvered - An iron or steel weapon carefully treated with silver plating to harm creatures vulnerable to silver. Silvered armor grants Advantage on saving throws against some spells and abilities used by silver-vulnerable creatures (GM discretion).

Silver Masterwork - Finely crafted from steel and silver to offer a warrior the best tools money can buy. Combines Steel Masterwork and Silvered, above.

Dwarven ScaleAdamantine - A rare and powerful metal when incorporated into steel alloys. Adamantine armor treats critical hits as normal hits instead, and ignores 1 point of nonmagical slashing damage. Adamantine weapons have +1 to damage. Adamantine items may have minor magical properties (DMG, 142-143).

Mithril - Supremely rare and requiring a master smith to work, mithril possesses quasi-magical properties when properly forged. Mithril armor treats critical hits as normal hits, ignores 1 point of slashing, bludgeoning, and piercing damage, does not have Disadvantage on Stealth, and has no Strength requirement to wear. Mithril weapons have +1 to damage and count as silver and/or magical for the purposes of attacking and dealing damage. Mithril items may have minor magical properties (DMG, 142-143).

5th Edition Weapons and Armor

Empire Chronicles BCGaius