Written by Dave McAlister
Body armour is a composite of various modern fibres which are capable of stopping the penetration of a bullet, and distributing the kinetic energy to prevent deadly injury. Each level of armour protects from more powerful rounds. As a rule of thumb the best protective vests will stop almost any hand gun, however to stop assault rifle rounds specialised ceramic plates are in order.
In game terms bullets are not completely prevented from doing harm, however the effects can be greatly reduced. In order to prevent over-use of the armour to every situation of the game, it was necessary to introduce penalties to the user with increasingly bulky armour. The following are the explanations of the game data provided with each piece of armour:
Damage Modifier (DM): This is the modifier to the dice size in terms of damage. Thus normal damage of 1d6 would be reduced to 1d4 by level IIA armour. Any wounds inflicted which are reduced to causing 1d4 or lower damage after being modified by a vest, are assumed to be bruise damage and not wound. Any damage of 1d6 or greater after travelling through the vest is assumed to be wound damage. Regardless of the DM, the minimum damage caused on a successful hit is always 1. Dice sizes are 1d2, 1d3, 1d4, 1d6, 1d8, 1d10, 1d12 or 2d6, 2d8, 1d20 or 2d10.
Concealment (Con): This is the modifier to the skill check with regard to successfully concealing armour beneath clothing.
Movement (Mv): Some armour is bulky enough to effect how fast or easily a character can perform MOV-based skills. This modifier reflects this difficulty.
Damage Absorption (Hits): Armour cannot absorb an unlimited amount of damage. The Hit value indicates how many points of damage can be absorbed by the armour before it is rendered useless. Note that this figure includes both blunt and wound damage.
Locations Protected (Loc): The numbers of all locations protected by this armour.
Level IIA – Covert Armour
The minimum recommended protection. Designed to defeat bullets discharged from short barrelled pistols and revolvers, typically 2-4 inches in length. Handguns with short barrels are known to be preferred by potential assailants in view of being readily concealed by clothing. This is the most comfortable vest type to be worn for sustained periods.
|-2||-20||0||16||1, 2, 3|
Level II – Standard Protection
Probably the most popular specification in the world. It is standard issue to police officers in the United States where gun crime overshadows that of Great Britain. This vest or jacket will defeat all but the most penetrative handgun rounds. A lightweight with heavyweight characteristics.
|-4||-5/ea||0||10||1, 2, 3|
A specification commissioned by Body Armour UK to meet United Kingdom Police Scientific Development Branch Standards. This specification exceeds the American National Institute of Justice Level II. Overlapping side protection conforms to multiple sizes without compromising coverage and there is full overlapping shoulder coverage with a two point entry system reinforced with adjustable buckling straps.
|-3||-20||-10||20||1, 2, 3|
Level IIIA – Stab Resistant
With prison system populations on the rise, the likelihood of inmates injuring correctional officers with sharp and pointed objects is becoming an increasing threat. Realising this threat several companies have designed a combination stab and ballistic vest. This Level IIIA vest protects from sharp objects with force up to 81.2 ft-lbs.
|-2||-10||0||12||1, 2, 3|
Level III – Tactical Armour
This armour was originally introduced to defeat the menacing power of the .44 Magnum Revolver. This weapon is generally too difficult to control without formal training, it is also a large gun that cannot be easily concealed. A .44 Magnum bullet will normally penetrate lower specification body armour, but this armour provides maximum protection against high velocity rounds from handguns and 9mm submachine gun.
|-4||-10/ea||0||12||1, 2, 3|
Level HG2 – Military Armour
A Body Armour UK commissioned garment to protect against the most penetrative common handgun rounds. Note that this and the above specifications will not stop military type rounds fired from rifles, i.e. 7.62mm & 5.56mm. Solid 1 oz rifled slugs from a smooth bored shotgun will also penetrate. Solid armour plates must be added to protect from these rounds.
|II & IIA||-10||0||3/ea|
|HG1, III & IIIA||-15||-5||4/ea|
Helmet – Level IIIA
The Level IIIA helmet is made out of spectra which is approximately 20% lighter than Kevlar. It features full inner padding with chin straps. An optional face shield is available, which is a single hit level II-A which weighs approximately 3 pounds.
Leg and Arm Armour
All of the vests above cover the chest and abdomen only, however the same materials can be used to fashion protective covers for both the arms and legs.
|-3||-40||0||18||1, 2, 3|
|-2||-20||0||14||1, 2, 3|
A ceramic armour system is a composite consisting of a ballistic nylon spall cover, ceramic tile, and a Kevlar or other reinforced plastic backing material. On impact, the ceramic fractures the projectile core. A major portion of the kinetic energy is absorbed by the ceramic, with residual energy being absorbed by the backing. Selection of the backing material is determined by structural, ballistic, and weight requirements. Various compositions of Kevlar, fibreglass, Spectra and aluminium have all been used.
A plate can cover the chest (1-2) or abdomen (3), or 2 plates can cover both (with cumulative penalties). Alternatively one plate can cover 1/2 the chest and 1/2 the abdomen (4-5). Note that this protection does not include gun fire from the rear, separate plates can be used to protect the back.
Level III Plates
This insert weighs approximately 5.4 lbs. and is NIJ certified as stand alone against 7.62 FMJ 158 gr. M-80 Ball round (308 Win.) with minimum velocity of 2750 fps. For a fast upgrade, an optional carrier can be thrown over your vest. Or, if tactical vest has 10″ x 12″ pockets, then these inserts should fit inside the existing pockets.
|-1||-10||0||10||1, 2, 3|
All values are cumulative with the armour underneath the ceramic plate. If using the plate alone it is appropriate to level III protection on the body part it covers. Note that if using the plate over other armour, any ballistic threat which connects with the plate which is reduced to die size 1d2 causes no damage from blunt trauma (and is ignored).
Level IV Plates
Level IV inserts are designed to protect from 30-06 armour piercing rounds and all lesser threats. Made of ceramic with a Kevlar spall backing. The plates are usually rectangular sized at : 10″ x 12″.
|II & IIA||-5||0||3/ea|
|HG1, III & IIIA||-10||0||4/ea||-5 on DEX-based skills and checks|
|HG2||N/A||0||5/ea||-10 on DEX-based skills and checks|
All values are cumulative with the armour underneath the ceramic plate.