Stab Vest
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Basic Information

A stab vest is a piece of body armour developed during the late 20th century for personal protection against piercing and slashing weapons. Typically the rigid nature of the vest will also provide some impact protection. The vest is generally woven of artificial fabrics such as Kevlar or Aramid and protects the torso, abdomen and frequently the groin as well. This sort of protection is typically worn by law enforcement or security personel in roles where firearms are not a significant threat (in which case a ballistic vest would be preferred), but there remains a significant threat of being stabbed or cut with hand weapons. Some ballistic vests provide stab protection as well, but the differing types of fabric weave generally mean that the two roles are in competition with one another. Stab protection is normally incorporated into riot armour.

Some stab vests are designed to be covert (concealable under normal clothing), but overt designs are also common.


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Game and Story Use

  • This should be relatively easy to obtain and extremely common - besides police, this sort of thing will often be worn by nightclub bouncers, private security guards and even public transport operators in some places.
  • The covert kind could provide a nasty surprise for anyone conducting a sneak attack - strikes targetting the lungs or other vitals from the back are likely to be stopped cold, as are spine attacks anywhere south of the neck (unless the vest has a collar…).
  • Note that these should also provide some protection against unarmed attacks.
  • Wearing a vest, however, should probably inflict some kind of penalty on the wearer's combat skills given that they are not especially flexible.
  • In the pre-modern period, waistcoats made of multiple layers of (often silk) cloth and/or chainmail could fulfill the same role.
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