Continued from last week..


Magic armor has a few problems. The first is that it’s simply not as exciting as weapons, as offensive special effects are generally more interesting than defensive bonuses. The second is that it’s probably not in your size: Savage Worlds recommends doubling the effective weight of captured armor. The latest editions of D&D got past this latter problem by instituting the “don’t think about it too hard” global power of magic armor to automatically shapeshift to fit its new owner. Even if minor shifts in fit don’t bother you, try visualizing what has to happen when a male PC captures plate from a typical villainess that has a… lovingly rendered… illustration in the module. Finally, Savage Worlds breaks armor up into head, torso, arms, and legs: it’s odd to convert D&D whole-body magic armor to something that can be worn piecemeal.

One solution to these issues may be to embrace the video game concept of the set bonus: Savage Worlds armor can theoretically be broken into six pieces (head, torso, two arms, two legs), so may not be able to support its best magic effects unless all worn by the same individual. Famous suits of armor tend to become split up over the years as adventurers discover that, for example, the owner was a little long in the torso and had a big head, necessitating the breastplate and helmet to go to allies while the arms and legs are serviceable. Pursuit of a matched set isn’t just out of greed for the powers invested in it, but out of the dawning realization that the original owner was more or less the same size and shape as the hero.

Armor Materials

  • Steel/Leather: Most armor is made of common ingredients, though mystical ones might be made of very high quality versions of these materials. Unless otherwise noted, armor is assumed to be made of steel, leather, or something else appropriate.
  • Adamant: Adamantine is the preferred armoring metal of dwarven smiths, for it is tougher than steel in all ways, and resists puncture. Armor made of this metal naturally has +1 armor rating and ignores half (round down) the AP value of an attacking weapon. However, these armors tend to be 40% heavier than their steel counterparts.
  • Mithral: Another favorite of smiths with the resources and skill to craft it, mithral can be made enormously light while maintaining the same qualities as steel. It weighs 40% of the normal amount.
  • Dragonhide: Counterparts to leather, chain, and plate can be made from the hide and scales of dragons, depending on which pieces are used. This gear weighs 20% less than the normal amount. The armor itself is resistant to the energy inherent in that dragon type’s breath, but imparts none of this naturally to the wearer beyond what would logically come from having a non-conductive barrier between skin and threat. At the GM’s option, the armor might be cheaper and easier to enchant with the requisite elemental resistance magic.
  • Cold Iron/Silvered: While less useful than with weapons, metal armor can be made from metals that serve as banes to certain creatures. Double the armor value against creatures vulnerable to the metal that are attacking with claws, fangs, or other natural weapons. Cold Iron armor is 40% heavier than steel, and silver armor has 1 less point of Armor.

Armor Traits

The following are common enchantments found on magical armor.

  • Magic: All enchanted armors have the “magic” trait, and, for some, this is the only trait possessed. Magic armor is more able to resist breaking and magical effects that would destroy or ignore mundane armor (treat Toughness as +5).
  • Elemental Resistant: Armor can be enchanted to resist fire, frost, or electricity. The armor doubles its rating against targeted attacks that use its protected energy source. Additionally, if the bearer has a full suit aligned to the same element, this protection extends to environmental hazards and area of effect attacks (e.g., a full suit of plate with fire resistance provides 6 points of armor against the damage caused by being trapped in a fire or from the Blast power).
  • Fortified: Suits of armor are frequently enchanted to be suffused with protective mystical force, particularly over joints and other weak points. This has the net effect of reducing Raises on attack against the character by +1 per Raise (i.e., without a Keen weapon, the attacker Raises every 5 levels of success, rather than every 4).
  • Magic Resistant: Some magical armor can make spell and other magical effects simply roll off the wearer. Whenever targeted by a power or caught in some other kind of magical effect, roll a die; on a 6 or better, the character ignores the effect for this turn. The size of the die depends on the thoroughness of the armor set: 1d4 for one piece (the die has to Ace), 1d6 for two-three, 1d8 for four-five, and 1d10 for all six.
  • Ghost: Like with weapons, undead hunters frequently enjoy armor that is proof against spectres, wraiths, and other intangible creatures. Armor so enchanted applies its full benefit against creatures that would otherwise ignore inanimate objects when attacking. With a full set of such armor, the wearer is completely immune to possession by spirits, and adds +2 to resist Fear-based attacks.
  • Sealed: When wearing a full suit of such armor, mystical bonds extend between all the pieces and hedge out threats. The character is immune to toxic gas and airborne illness while wearing the armor.