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The first two things to know about armor is that it is the second most important form of protection. The first, as can be seen by looking at the Damage Formula, is Stamina. From this can be derived the importance of the fact that it is a type of protection that can be purchased for mere money, and requires no XP points to be spent on it. Stamina protects well in two ways; it can protect against all types of damage about as well as armor, and it protects equally well against all types of damage, including types that armor almost always does not protect against at all: Cold, Electrical, Faith, Sun and Fire. These "insulated" pieces, and the Unholy Armor, are carried with Christoph to modern times, if in Christof's inventory at the time of that transition.

Having said this, armor is additional protection, can become a higher value source of protection against Bashing and Lethal types of damage than Stamina, and either drops for free or makes good use of a resource, Gold, that might otherwise go to waste and can be obtained and increased in multiple ways. Note that this does not mean one should spend all their money on Weapons instead; Strength and Dexterity are likewise more important than weapons.

Armor does not have the same availability through the whole of the game; quite apart from the obvious split between medieval and modern, the game is coded to offer lower quality armor at the beginning of the medieval half and the beginning of the modern half. While the standard procedure to reset the merchants, on older slower computers, used to be leaving the shop and returning, it is probably faster to save and reload.

Medieval armor has a more equal spread of protection; leather armor even has bonuses against the uncommon damage types such as electrical. Modern armor has large bonuses to the Bashing damage type of modern guns, and may be lacking in protection from Aggravated or even Lethal damage. Medieval Helms in particular are unequivocally superior to modern helmets, and there are no modern equivalents of the hand and arm protection afforded by Gauntlets, unless one counts Leather Gloves.

The best basic armor (assuming strength requirement is not a factor) in Medieval times is Platemail. Tailored Armor is the best armor in normal times. Both cost the same (and the same as the Amulets of Discipline, Blood, and Serenity). The choice between Platemail and Tailored armor in multiplayer is equivocal. Platemail offers greater Aggravated damage protection by five points, while Tailored Armor has a higher total protection by 10 points, no strength requirement, a better balance between Lethal and Bashing damage, and a bonus of 80 to the Bashing damage type of modern guns.

Blessed/Holy is wearable only by humans, so is pretty much only an applicable choice in multiplayer. Unholy armor, or Unholy shields, are carried into the modern age, but with their requirement of low Humanity, only usable if the player is pursuing, or stuck with, the Evil Ending.

The best basic shield in Medieval times is Great Shield; it has the same illustration as Norman Shield. Riot shield is the only shield available in modern times, and is unequivocally the best shield in the game (if elemental etc damage types are not considered) with no strength requirement, the same Lethal and Aggravated protection, and +60 protection instead of +30 to the Bashing damage type of modern guns.

Riot Shield is a very rare ware for Otto in his London East Side van (it is possible, but not confirmed, that it is not on Otto's ware list at all) and an uncommon one for the New York weapons merchant in his dockside warehouse, and the modern Generic Weapons Merchant in multiplayer. Saving, and then reloading multiple times, can access such items easily in single player; multiplayer players must wait for the chronicle to advance or add the item with the Storyteller or console commands.

Only Unholy armor and shields protect against the Faith damage of Holy Water and human 'spells' and Holy weapons.

All magically enhanced items, unless they are bought from a shop, can only be created by the ST as unidentified. The ST can create and use Spirit's Touch scrolls on them as needed, or get the discipline for itself with the 'addalldisciplines' command. Insulated Gloves are the rare exception that are created already identified

Armor

Strength attribute is required to equip the Chainmail and Scale (35 required for both), Half Plate (45 req.) and Platemail (55) armor pieces, and their Blessed and Unholy variants.

The protection values for Cold, Electrical, Fire, Sun, and Faith damage are zero, with the exception of Leather and Studded Leather armor, the Nomex suit, and the "Insulated" hand and helm pieces.

Both Leather Armor and Studded Leather armor give +10 to Fire protection. and Electrical, Leather Armor gives +10 to Electrical, and Studded, +3.

All "Insulated" hand pieces can be carried over to modern times. They give a bonus to protection levels against either Cold, Electrical, Fire or Sun damage, in addition to the same protection as normal pieces. Insulated Gloves provide a +3 bonus to their respective protection levels; Insulated Gauntlets, +5. Insulated Gloves are very rare in that they have an unusual bonus but have no blue text and do not need to be identified with Spirit's Touch. It seems likely, but is not confirmed, that they are impossible to buy from vendors

All "Insulated" helm pieces can be carried over. They give a bonus to protection levels against either Cold, Electrical, Fire or Sun damage, in addition to the same protection as normal pieces. Light Helms provide a +10 bonus to their respective protection levels; Full Helms, +20.

Unholy armor is carried over to modern times. It is the only armor to protect against Faith damage (Blessed gives additional protection against Aggravated); see Holy and Blessed armor below.

The Nomex suit has +40 protection from Fire. nomex_suit is the console name; the visible name ingame is Fire-resistant suit.

Alphabetical order. Holy and Blessed pieces, below, are arranged by protection level.

Lethal Bash Aggravated
Armor T-shirt 10 30 10
Chainmail 45 15 20
Chest Plate 15 10 10
Nomex suit 10 10 10
Full Helm 30 30 20
Flak Jacket 10 45 10
Gauntlets 10 10 10
Half Plate 60 30 25
Heart Shield* 0 0 0
Heavy Gauntlets 15 15 15
Helmet** 10 10 0
Leather Armor 15 10 10
Leather Gloves 10 0 10
Leather Jacket 10 15 10
Leather Vest 10 0 0
Light Ballistic Vest 15 30 15
Light Helm 15 15 15
Medium Ballistic Vest 30 45 20
Motorcycle Helmet 10 10 0
Neck Guard*** 0 0 0
Padded Clothing 10 10 10
Platemail 80 30 30
Rags 5 5 0
Reinforced Clothing 10 10 10
Scale Mail 45 30 20
Skull Cap 10 10 10
Studded Leather armor 30 15 15
SWAT helmet 10 15 0
Tactical Jacket 45 60 25
Tailored Armor 45 80 25

* Heart Shield equips on the torso, and utterly prevents staking but offers no other protection.
** A camouflaged helmet that is reminiscent of modern military wear is the illustration for Helmet.
*** Neck Guard is the sole piece of Neck armor (as distinguished from Amulets and Necklaces, which are Jewellery), and prevents vampires draining blood.


Holy and Blessed armor

Holy and Blessed types of armor are available for Medieval torso and head pieces only, and not for very low level pieces. All Unholy armor, although it protects against rare Faith damage, all requires the low low Humanity of 20 or below (making the user much more susceptible to Frenzying).

Blessed armor requires 50 Faith (vampires have a Frenzy bar in the place of humans' Faith bar).

Blessed armor is known as 'x_holy', where x is the name of the normal type of armor, in the Storyteller lists of items, eg "chainmail_holy".

Blessed and Unholy body armor, like weapons, have markedly different illustrations, with Unholy armor featuring a ruddy black color with a bright red unholy emblem, and Blessed having a bluish tinge with a white surcoat and holy emblem.

Torso

These are arranged by protection level, rather than alphabetically.

  • Leather armor.
    • Unholy gives 20 protection against Faith
    • Blessed gives 5 more protection against Aggravated damage
  • Studded Leather armor.
    • Unholy gives 20 protection against Faith
    • Blessed gives 5 more protection against Aggravated damage
  • Studded Leather armor.
    • Unholy gives 20 protection against Faith
    • Blessed gives 5 more protection against Aggravated damage

Head

Like other items in the game, noticeably Bracelets, Holy and Unholy Helms share the same illustration with their normal counterparts, and are distinguished by the blue 'magic' name text and their additional stats.

  • Light Helm
    • Unholy gives 10 protection against Faith
    • Blessed gives 5 more protection against Aggravated damage
  • Full Helm
    • Unholy gives 20 protection against Faith
    • Blessed gives 5 more protection against Aggravated damage


Special armor

See Armor, above, for the "Insulated" hand and helm armor with elemental and other bonuses.

Special armor includes items worn on the hands or wrists except for Gauntlets and Heavy Gauntlets, all of which do not provide protection, but instead provide Attribute bonuses in a similar way to Jewellery.

  • Gauntlets
    • Accuracy : Attack +5, Power : Damage +5, Fortitude : Soak +5 (soak is like the Fortitude discipline, it does not show up on resistances, but they do work), Dodging : Defense +5.
    • Dexterity, Stamina, or Strength: +5 to those attributes . Strength bonuses are not applied to ranged attacks.
  • Rings
    • +5 to Appearance, Charisma, or Manipulation Attributes. Diamond Rings are superior to their magical counterparts, with +20 Appearance
    • Ring of Control - reduces the chance of Frenzy and its severity on failure, by reducing the amount accrued
    • Blood Ring - adds to blood pool. Can be exploited by wearing when the character is about to raise its generation
    • Discipline - reduces blood costs. Stacks with other such items and Blood Magic's Blood of Potency skill
  • Amulets
    • Magical +5 to Intelligence, Perception, or Wits. Diamond Necklace gives +20 Appearance
    • Amulet of Control - reduces the chance of Frenzy and its severity on failure, by reducing the amount accrued
    • Blood Amulet - adds to blood pool.
    • Discipline Amulet - reduces blood costs (stacks)
  • Bracelets
    • Bracelet of Control-reduces Frenzy (see above). Blood Bracelet-adds to blood pool. Can be exploited by wearing when the character is about to raise its generation. Discipline Bracelet - reduces blood costs (stacks). Diamond Bracelets give +20 Appearance

Shields

The protection values for Cold, Electrical, Fire, Sun, and Faith damage are zero, with the exception of Leather and Studded Leather armor, and the Insulated hand pieces.

These are arranged by protection level, rather than alphabetically

Lethal Bash Aggravated
Buckler 10 10 10
Shield 15 15 10
Footman Shield 15 15 15
Cavalry Shield 15 30 15
Norman Shield* 30 30 15
Great Shield 30 30 20
Riot Shield 30 60 20

* Norman Shield is listed as 'largeshield' in the ST / Console list


See also


Citations

[1]

  1. All info Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption by Interplay and White Wolf Studios, and the accompanying Handbook

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