Splint Mail
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Basic Information

Possibly fictional and based on misinterpreted medieval depictions of pieces of fluted plate, this form of armour remains popular in fantasy RPGs and is said to consist of flexible armour consisting of vertical bars of metal jointed together with chainmail covering the joints and any other areas where vertical rods are impractical or, as an alternative, a form of brigandine like material with the rods sewn or rivetted onto a cloth or leather backing. The few examples known to have existed appear to be limb protection - notably in samurai armour - and something similar appears in contemporary (~C12) depictions of Crusade era knights (usually as leg protection). There is no evidence of a full suit of "splint armour" ever being made in metal.

Some cultures demonstrate a similar form of protection made with bamboo or wooden rods as a form of wooden armour, typically in the "brigandine" style, as a limited upgrade to whatever soft-armour technology the source culture possessed (for example, some Amerindian cultures exhibit hide shirts reinforced with rods of wood and/or bone in a pattern that could pass for splinting).

This term is also used to refer to plated mail and it might be possible to present it as a form of segmented plate armour, albeit an ahistorical one except in the cases noted above.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • If in doubt, you may wish to exclude this form of armour from your campaign. It rarely adds much by its existence.
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