Technically a store for armour but usually broadened out to mean a place where weapons and armour are stored and maintained. Will often contain a store of ammunition as well if it is used to store ranged weapons.
True armouries only tend to be found in places with some sense of the military - warrior traditions and those places without an organised military tend to disperse their weapons into the care of the individual fighting man.
An obvious subtype is the public armoury - usually found in places with an active militia, a public armoury stores publically owned armour and weapons for militia use1, and will also allow space for the militia to gather and practice their military skills - normally various forms of drill, although a firing range may also be provided for ranged weapons practice.
In many American small towns, from the late 19th to mid-20th Century, the town Armory doubled as a public hall, where dances, basketball games, public meetings, etc. might be held; and this frequently became the building's primary use.
A large enough armoury may instead be termed an arsenal.
Game and Story Use
- A strategically important location in most military bases - breaking into it gives access to (relatively) plentiful supplies of war gear and gives attackers the chance to prevent the majority of the garrison from taking up arms.
- In a realistic game the contents of the armoury are treasure, either as loot, prizes or merely for the prestige of having siezed the enemy's means of making war.
- Military PCs are likely to make a beeline for this place in the hope of getting the armourer to perform assorted upgrades for their weapons or give them access to more prestigious items of equipment.
- The armourer is frequently a veteran warrior of some kind and a useful mentor to PCs.
- Wierd items of captured kit are often dumped in an armoury - an old enough armoury, particularly one that isn't cleared out aggressively, can accumulate some impressively peculiar things.
- The PCs taking command of a force and finding an armoury mainly stocked with rust and spiders is almost worth a trope in itself. Conversely, for a rag-tag bunch of rebels, siezing a well stocked government armoury may well be a significant step on the road to becoming a proper army.
- The armourer's workshop may well be the best source of precision engineering for miles.
- In a mid-20th Century campaign — even up to more recent times — a community event in a small Midwestern town might be held in the Town Armory. Mention of the Armory could add a touch of local color to such a setting.
- …as long as you're not in San Francisco. There is such a thing as too much colour … that or the wrong kind.
- This is also a good location for a "wall of weapons" scene when the PCs are waved into an armoury and told to help themselves. Especially atmospheric when the room they're waved into is the one where the wierd items of battlefield salvage are kept.