Shields are hardly ever used. But you can use a tessen to defend yourself for AC +1 if you don’t attack this round.
If you care about how heavily armoured an opponent is, use the following:
|light armour||AC +1 to +2|
|medium armour||AC +3 to +4|
|heavy armour||AC +5 and up|
Ashigaru are common soldiers and militia men. Their armour provides AC +3 and costs 25 gp.
Shinobi are assassins and spies. Their light armour allows them to move silently and hide in shadows. It provides AC +2 and costs 15 gp.
Warriors use various pieces of armour. Japanese armour consists of various pieces. Having a full set is rare. Armour is usually kept in a wooden box.
|Kote (sleeves and gauntlets)||+1||20|
|Suneate (shin guards)||+1||20|
|Kusazuri (thigh, requires dō) and haidate (upper legs)||+1||20|
|Sode (shoulder, requires dō)||+1||20|
|Nodowa (throat and neck, requires sode)||+1||20|
|Wakibiki (armpit, requires sode)||+1||20|
|Mempo (face mask, requires kabuto)||+1||20|
A full set grants AC +10 and costs 180 gp.
If you prefer low AC games, and you use a Death & Dismemberment table, I have a solution for you.
|Dō (chest)||AC +2|
|Kote (sleeves and gauntlets)||arms cannot be cut off|
|Suneate (shin guards)||legs cannot be cut off|
|Kusazuri (thigh, requires dō) and haidate (upper legs)||AC +1|
|Sode (shoulder, requires dō)||AC +1|
|Nodowa (throat and neck, requires sode)||head cannot be cut off|
|Wakibiki (armpit, requires sode)||AC +1|
|Kabuto (helmet)||no fainting|
|Mempo (face mask, requires kabuto)||no loss of eyes or teeth|
The best armour now provides just AC +5. Remember: no shields! But you’re still hard to kill because you are now immune to many injuries.
Best case, using the table from Halberds and Helmets:
|3||fatal wound 💀|
|4||severed limb /avoided/|
|6||⅔ of painful losses /avoided/ (nose, eye, ear, teeth)|
|7–8||knock out /avoided/, just stunned|
|9||stun avoided, just knocked down|
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