Content of the article: "Wearing Armour and Bearing Weapons in Urban Campaigns"
How do you resolve the incongruity of someone walking around a city in scale mail with a visible longsword without being arrested by whatever guard authority exists?
As a huge Eberron fan I feel this is solved by the culture and technology of the setting where in my Eberron I imagine armour is something that has been incorporated into fashion. A person won't look strange walking around with scale mail because it doesn't look like medieval scale mail but rather a garment that incorporates both fashion and protection.
But the alternative is to accept the idea that this isn’t medieval armor. It is “plate” armor, yes. It’s literally heavy and it requires a certain level of Strength to use it effectively. In terms of its materials and appearance, it’s not medieval.
Consider that Khorvaire is just two years out from decades of war. All genders served in the armies of the Five Nations. Combined together, you’ll see a trend toward practical clothing that allows freedom of movement. The closer you were to the front lines, the more you wanted to be ready for anything. Nobles might embrace fashions that restrict movement to make a statement—my fancy gown shows that I’m NOT going to fight, or that if I do it will be with magic, not muscle—but that would stand as an exception. Tied to this, armor has become a part of everyday life. Especially in the case of light armor, leather and even studded leather can be designed to be stylish and comfortable. Many former soldiers wear a modified form of their service armor. Think of it a little bit like gunslingers in westerns; carrying a pistol suggests you can handle yourself, but it’s not going to immediately raise alarm. The same is true of armor; heavy armor is definitely making a statement, but people won’t blink at someone causally wearing light armor.
Essentially, there’s no reason that “breastplate” armor has to BE a breastplate—as long as someone looking at the wearer can recognize the qualities of their armor. This likewise applies to, say, “studded leather.” It doesn’t have to actually involve STUDS; it is leather armor reinforced with metal, but that could be strips, metal vambraces and shinguards, etc; what’s important is that someone can say “Oh, it’s reinforced leather armor, that’ll have the stats of studded.”
A person walking around with a longsword and plate mail in my Sharn won't draw too much attention because:
a) lots of people carry a weapon; the poor for personal protection and the rich as a status symbol, sign of wealth, or to show their military background (the world is 2 years out of war after all).
b) they aren't wearing plate mail they are wearing a fashionable business suit with both discrete, hidden plates as well as more visible, shiny portions that flaunt their wealth and style.
While some people do wear more medieval knight-style plate armour this is also an explicit choice but not the only option.
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