Armor signifies a warrior’s status, wealth, and prowess, but even though armor serves to reinforce or diminish a warrior’s reputation, armor is fundamentally protection. All armors have four staistics as shown on Table 9-2: Armor. (Page 151 of the Song of Ice & Fire Roleplaying book)
Armor offers some amount of protection, represented by its Armor Rating. When you take damage in combat, you reduce the damage taken by your Armor Rating. Damage can be reduced to 0 but not below 0.
Armor Penalty (Revised)
Armor can turn aside killing blows, but it does so at a cost. Heavier forms of armor can interfere with your Movement, making you slower to react to opponents and maintain your balance. All forms of armor impose a penalty that you apply to the results of all Agility tests.
What’s Changed : Armor Penalty is no longer applied directly to combat defense. For more details, pleasee see Combat Armor Penalty below.
Combat Armor Penalty (New)
Reason for New Rule
Originally, the game system applied armor penalty directly to combat defense. Though this is a very reasonable thought, it did not take into account the massive damage multiplier for degrees of success.
Taking degrees of success into consideration, a skilled opponent is more likely to land devastating attacks on you for wearing the stronger armors than if you were to wear no armor at all.
This is flawed in my opinion. Plate mail became the armor of choice in battles for a reason. It had its flaws. One of which was speed. Another was the maneuverability in combat.
Formula to Determine Combat Armor Penalty
To determine the Combat Armor Penalty, divide the Armor Penalty by two, rounding up.
It’s as simple as that.
Example: Full Plate has a Armor Penalty of -6. The Combat Armor Penalty for Full Plate is -3. Half Plate has a Armor Penalty of -5. The Combat Armor Penalty for Half Plate is -3.
How is Combat Armor Penalty Applied
Combat Armor Penalty is used in place of Armor Penalty when determining your character’s Combat Defense score.
Heavier armors impose Bulk. As mentioned, every two points of Bulk reduce your move by 1 yard, and every point of Bulk reduces your sprint speed by 1 yard. Barding, armor for horses, supplies the same benefits.