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Facts of Quality

The Quality of an item determines it's effectiveness in blocking damage.  As the Quality degrades from Excellent to Good to Average and finally to Poor, the amount of damage the armor can block reduces by a few points each step.  Low-grade armor (like Pig Leather or Rusted Chainmail) can never achieve high quality even if it's been fully repaired, but can still lose the little effectiveness it has just like the better armor.  The best armor (like Studded Leather or Military Chainmail) can be repaired to the highest quality armor, but usually at an high expense.

Improving Quality and Repairs

Any armor which isn't the best Quality can be converted to the highest grade by applying Quality resins.  By using this method, you can purchase (or loot!) low-grade armor and improve it.  Applying Quality resins will not, however, increase the State of Repair.  There are 3 ways to repair armor:  1) let a merchant do it, 2) apply a Resin of Repair or 3) let a mage cast Craftsman's Touch during combat.  It's usually much cheaper to repair high-grade armor with resin rather than at a shop.   Armor which has been fully repaired will bring the best price when sold.
Weight and Encumbrance

Deciding which armor to equip depends, in part, on its weight.  A full suit of Plate Armor may weigh as much as 65 pounds...  almost 30% of William's maximum Encumbrance!  A set of high-grade chainmail only weighs around 40 pounds and still provides great protection.  Keshian Leathers and Chainmail are excellent for the weight-conscious fighter!

Loot Index

Lugging loot around Krondor and the countryside can get cumbersome if you aren't selective about what you pack away in inventory.  Beside's that, too much weight will adversely affect a character's Encumbrance and their ability to do damage, block damage and dodge attacks.  Armor which packs the best gold-to-weight value (Loot Index) are Keshian Leathers and Keshian Chainmail.  Some of the worst are Plate Armor and Shields.  Unless you plan on making a lot of trips to the merchant, steer away from lotting extremely heavy armor.

A Mage's Armor

Really?  Uhhh... yup!  But a mage's armor is only temporary, lasting no longer than the battle and then *poof*!  Potion of Ironskin will act as either Leather Armor (Weak Potion) or as Chainmail (Strong Potion).  The effect will remain the entire battle.  Another method to protect a mage against the pummeling is by casting Skin to Steel, but the spell will last only a limited number of rounds and cannot be cast on oneself.  Defensive rings (like Luck Rings!) are also effective means of protecting unarmored characters.

Evaluating Armor in Combat

By determining what type of armor (if any!) that an enemy is wearing, your party may be able to win a battle much easier.  For example, an adversary wearing mail or plate should probably be attacked with Fire Oil or spells rather than a hand weapon.  Use Evaluation to your advantage when planning an attack.

The Master's Recommendations for Equipping Armor


Choice James William Solon
Preferred Enchanted Komondorskin Mail of Invulnerability Mail of Invulnerability
Good Enchanted Enchanted Leather Elven Chainmail Elven Chainmail
Preferred Standard Studded Leather Military Chainmail Military Chainmail
 Good Standard Keshian Leather Keshian Chainmail Keshian Chainmail