Armor design for physical representation follows a certain set of guidelines:
If you are making 'starter armor' (armor you get for free with a new character) you will want to make a very basic set of armor for your first piece. Often times characters have armor crafted in game to produce better valued armor item cards. Better valued armor requires more coverage, and with that, you will want to leave yourself the leeway to add and improve your armor physical representation to match your newly in-game crafted armor.
Starter armor is gauged on the following scale:
1-10 points of armor provided for total body coverage.
Points break down as full torso coverage providing 4 points, both arms providing 2 points, both legs providing 2 points, and head providing 2 points.
1-10 points of armor provided for materials used for armor.
Points break down as 1-3 points for leathers, 4-6 points for leathers with genre appropriate plastics reinforcing, 7-9 given for battered metal reinforced cloth and leather, 10 given to combinations of mostly metals.
1-10 points of armor provided for genre appropriate nature of armor.
Points break down as 1-2 points given if it looks like it was taken straight off the shelf or purchased at a ren fair, 3-4 points if it looks like it was hand made and/or incorporates cold war era components, 5-6 if the armor is armor appropriate materials re-purposed as workable armor ( items that would stop a bullet), 7-10 if the materials are hand made from re-purposed materials that look like they jumped off the pages of the Dystopia Rising Table Top Books.
If you have non-starter armor, or armor that has been crafted in game, your physical representation of that armor should be 10% body coverage for every 10 points of armor provided. If you are wearing armor that provides 30 points of armor, the majority of your torso should be covered with genre appropriate armor physical representation. If you are wearing 50 points of armor, your torso and arms or legs should be covered. If you are wearing 75 points of armor, your torso and all of your limbs should be armored. If you are wearing 100+ points of armor you should have your torso, your limbs, your head, your throat, and your hands covered at minimum.
As a loose standard, we use the medical burn chart to determine percentage of coverage. Final call always comes down to your local staff member checking it over once you bring it to game, but this is a reliable tool to use when constructing your armor phys rep.
Regardless if you are using starter armor or non-starter armor, you must wear the total armor physical representation to get the benefit of the armor. If you are not wearing your physical representation, you are not wearing your armor.
When crafting the physical representation for your armor there are some key points to keep in mind:
- Safety. Do not make armor that you can not run in. Also, do not make armor that has sharp edges, points, or portions that could cause injury if someone were to get caught/whipped by your armor. Be considerate of yourself and your fellow players. Be sure to make armor that you can wear, is sturdy enough to take a little bit of a beating, and is sturdy enough that it will not break if you were to break into a full run.
- Consideration. Any armor you wear is going to be struck by either latex weapons or come crafted contact safe weapons. Be sure that your armor will not cause damage to the weapons that strike you. This means no studs, jagged bits, or portions of your armor that could damage the contact safe props that have been designed to not harm you.
- Weather. The weather changes a lot and varies from location to location. Be sure to wear armor that will not cause you to overheat, or, you will be able to combine with layers so that you can bundle up when it is cold.
- Ease of access. You will have to take your armor off for someone to repair in-character eventually. If you can not get in and out of your armor, you may want to consider re-designing the prop.
- Genre-appropriate. This is a post-apocalypse game that takes place generations after the fall of mankind. Tools are primitive, there are no fantasy genre influences, and life is hard in this world. Your armor should reflect the hard life that your character lives. Be sure to carve scratches, apply dents, paint on fake rust (not real rust, we don't need tetanus), dull the shine, add some blood stains, and carve in some bullet holes. Your armor is the most outward representation of who you are in regards to the apocalypse, make sure your armor tells the story of your characters travels.