Laced Mail
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Basic Information

Laced mail is (relatively rare) form of flexible armour in which protection is provided by metal rings strung together on laces of cloth or leather. Conceptually somewhere between scale armour and chainmail this design seems to lack the benefits of either - which may explain why it failed to become widespread. Lamellar armour moves beyond rings and was rather more common.

Likely to have been a lot cheaper than chainmail, but at the same time a lot less effective.


1. Fiction: Farmer Giles of Ham by J.R.R. Tolkien — The titular hero, a braggart farmer, has such a cheap mail-coat made for him when he goes out to slay a dragon.

Game and Story Use

  • A poor character, or perhaps a comic one like Farmer Giles, might have such makeshift mail.
  • In terms of game mechanics, laced mail would give slightly better protection than plain leather armor, but not as good as scale or linked chain.
  • A good match for systems that define wear-and-tear on armor or other equipment. Laced mail might be as protective as normal chainmail, but either require more maintenance, or be more vulnerable to special attacks intended to sunder equipment. Maybe it's armor with a saving throw penalty.
  • A good option for cost-saving option for starting low-level characters who intend to upgrade anyway after a few adventures have fattened their purses.
  • Also a decent option to put on mooks, especially if you don't want the PCs trying to sell second-hand blood-splattered armor. You can't sell or reuse this, because the fighting pretty-much ruined it.
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