2013-06-29 Chain

I recently switched to the Moldvay Basic D&D price list. You can find a copy at the end of this blog post. The most obvious change is the price reduction for plate mail (also mentioned by Telecanter): leather is 20gp, chain is 40gp, plate is 60gp. The effect on my game? I think the main result is that player characters don’t wear chain unless they cannot afford it for the first session. I think that later, when people will equip armies, chain may make a come back. That’s why I think that chain remains the armor of choice for guards because there are so many of them.

What do you think?

Comment here or on Google+.



I think it depends on whether you want AC to be more of a class feature or more of an upgrade that players need to work for (which is what the AD&D and later games moved to). Full plate in 2E is 10k GP! There is the movement rate penalty in Basic too, but most people seem to forget about that.

Personally, I still think the cleric should be limited to chain, and thus be the “medium armor” class. See here:


Also, don’t forget about elven chain.

Brendan 2013-06-29 16:27 UTC

Yeah, the move difference would be the main reason to use chain...also a generous DM might say Chain is a mail shirt you could remove before drowning but plate, you’d be pretty screwed, that scene from Excalibur notwithstanding.

I just like knowing I don’t need to outrun the owlbear, I only need to outrun the guys in plate...

Mike Monaco 2013-06-29 19:14 UTC

Yeah, I try to enforce movement rates but in the simple Basic rules, all metal armor is equal when it comes to movement. I guess thinking of AC as a class feature instead of an upgrade works for me.

As for elven chain mail: in my game it doesn’t grant AC bonus but it only encumbers like leather, ie. no trouble swimming and faster than dudes in metal armor.

AlexSchroeder 2013-06-29 21:03 UTC

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