Monday, February 4, 2008

Impractical Armor for Women Warriors

I have been a roleplaying geek for at least 20 years now. Through it all there has been one constant element true to all genres of gaming. All chicks are hot and wear scant little armor.

As a player and storyteller, I too have fallen into this adolescent trap. "As you finally enter the last chamber your enemy stands before with her boobs practically falling out of her armor...what do you do..."

Answer one: I attack the darkness

Answer Two: I cast "sleep with nerd" spell on her

Answer Three: I telekinetically squeeze her boobs

Answer Four: I kill the bitch

As roleplaying nerd-dom has now crossed from tabletop play to more mainstream media, I cannot help but notice the plethora of impractical chick armor-styles that I see. And it's not just fantasy roleplaying, it's video games, SCA, LARP, comic books, and catalogs now.

Take this fine example:

First, let me commend this young lass on her finely crafted LARP armor. I am especially a fan of the claws holding her I suppose. Sexy? Yes. Practical? Only in Fetish Dungeons and Dragons (which some fellow we all call "The Dude" likely plays). First off, she has no weapon. Secondly, her hair is loose and thus likely to get into her eyes in combat. Thirdly, the bottom of her "breastplate" has pointy edges likely to dig into her But I digress. While undoubtedly sexy in some live action goth-sorceress way, a good poke with a sharp stick is likely to do serious harm to this lass.

Exhibit B:

Here we have a woman dressed even less practically than the one above. First off, I am absolutely sure that metal bikini bottom is a thong, thus dramatically increasing the chance of chafing. I am pretty sure there is no medieval talcum powder available at the local markets so I assume that the bottoms will become irritating later on, causing her shuck them off and thus making her even more vulnerable to attack (something like combat masturbation probably...right Quatto?). To wit, this would be like lodging a short length of chain between one's cheeks...something I am quite sure is less than pleasant after about 30 minutes. She is wearing a giant glove and booties of some sort, but again the protection factor must be limited. And the bra is yet again a set of claws holding her boobage in place...but without the benefit of a clasp. Indeed, the claw bra must be adhesed to her foobies in some way, making removal of them by peeling them away from glued flesh most annoying I am sure.

Exhibit C:

Scary Evil Witch Queen Elf here is at least armored more than her predecessors. However, the look mis once again impractical. To begin, her midriff is exposed, allowing her to be stabbed or bludgeoned there easily. Further, her boots and gloves have big pointy flanges that look like they would cut her abs to ribbons anyway. In fact, you can see a trace of blood on her stomach on her left side. Next, her loin cloth is too long and thus increases the likelihood she';d step on it during combat, someone else would step on it, or she'd get it caught in something. However, the skull that sits on her belt is definitely not an invitation for hanky, panky, or spanky. It might give someone pause before trying to subdue her with their +5 weiner of colossal tunneling.

Ah, but fantasy is not the only genre of games that hs impractical chick armor. Sci-Fi has it's share as well.

Here we have a sexy stormtrooper recruiting poster seeking men and women, though likely men, to join the Imperial Army. Not too surprising and she's much easier in the visual receptors than Uncle Sam. However, let's look at her armor. Gun, helmet, legs, and arms are all covered. But the first glaring issue are the shoes. How are you supposed to storm a rebel cruiser and kill the hell out of everybody on board wearing 4 inch heels? And most glaringly is the lack of armor around the midsection. If Star Wars has taught me one thing it's that stormtroopers cannot shoot straight and they die in droves even with armor on. So either this is a cost saving measure, figuring she's gonna die anyway so let's save some credits on armor, or femtroopers are the elite tactical squad and have to wear very little because they are deadly accurate. Personally, I'd probably just use some Force Grope on her and then use the old Jedi mind trick to make her think I was cooler than I really am.

Sci-fi exhibit B:

Even the Halo game series (for the Xbox btw) has their share of fem-soldiers. Here's Master Chief Tori'i "Big Guns" McClooney showing us the latest in Halo wear for the femtrooper in the field. Like the example from above, she lacks a great deal of protection in the abs region, though at least she has some coverage in the area of the breasticles. Her helmet seems a bit too big and I am not sure if she's wearing pants or spandex hosiery under all that. And is that a belly-button ring? Might that not get caught on a grenade pin or something?

Well, that's all the time we have for today kids. Remember this: It's more important to look good than to feel protected when it comes to chick armors. Though some can actually pull off both.


Andy Donaldson said...

So, to use the "sleep with nerd" spell, is that a 2d20?

David said...

Wow, I think I had that +5 weiner myself. Love this. It was hilarious!!!


Brian said...

I think it's a +5 Bonus on AC for the distraction method on most males of any species if the woman can pull it off, and a +3 from practical female warriors for outrage at the stupidity of some tavern harping wanna be warrior wench. As to the "evil elf queen," I'm going to geek out a bit by saying it's practical to drow matriarch who is comfortable in her status to wear less and less clothes, as she does not fear death as much as lesser matriarchs and underlings. Any thoughts?

WurdBendur said...

In sword combat, the midsection is the place that will get hit the least. Everyone aims for the arms and legs because they're easier.

I remember reading that perhaps more than 50% of the bodies of fallen medieval warriors (or maybe it was just Vikings) have been found with serious leg wounds that probably caused their death.

In fact, the only armor Vikings wore, helmets aside, were chain shirts (called a hauberk) and splinted greaves. These consisted of narrow strips of steel attached vertically to the inside of a piece of cloth wrapped around the shin.

Jarrod said...

My theory on at least the fantasy armor and women is that monsters and hot chicks made an agreement long ago - if the women would wear scantily clad armor, they would only attack portions of the body where the armor covers. Thus the monsters get some eye candy whether they win or lose.

Aspiring Fanatic said...
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Aspiring Fanatic said...

Funny stuff. :) I'd like to point out, however, that exhibit B in your fantasy section is not actually wearing armor. That is none other than the comic book character Sara Pezzini, also known as Witchblade, and the 'armor' that is so happlessly 'attached' to her is a living entity called The Witchblade. The material moves with her body and actually protects her of its own free will. If, by chance, something were to get by its protection (which is difficult because the Witchblade can shape and form into just about anything, including swords and all-over body armor and wings!), it has a healing ability that keeps Sara alive. Maybe this is more practical? ;)

LazyJones said...
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LazyJones said...

I agree with the above comment.

The Witchblade cannot be used as an argument, as it is not a dead slab of metal. It is not actual armor.

It allows for perfectly unhindered movement, can sit on the wrist in the shape of a bracelet, spring into full body armor when needed, and cover up the necessary parts afterwards (as it has a tendency to shred the wielders clothes in the process).

As an argument against female fantasy armor, it's an act of shooting yourself in the foot, as it's practically an argument FOR female fantasy armor. (Aside from the consequences of wielding this ... "cursed" weapon.)

Now - back to female armor in general, I have just 2 points:

1. It distracts.
2. I'm sure nobody really wants females in realistic fantasy armor, anyway.


-Kinda takes out a lot of the whole "fantasy" part...

Jenos Ridan said...

She pretty much nailed it square on the head with this one; the only reason that practical armor for the maidens-at-arms is rarer than hen's teeth is due to more people catering to male "tastes", if you will. I should know what men tend to like looking at, beings that I am one.

And Brian has it right when he says that leadership types tend to shed the armor; no sence sitting on our throne in a full suit of plate when you have thousands (heck, a few dozen guards is enough for a small area) of guards that patrol a big, well designed castle.

Chase said...

There is another theory ihave about female armor... Load them up in practical and functional armor and they'll just look like every other DUDE in armor. pfft what fun would that be?

Michael Karnerfors said...

Wha'? Havn't you ever heard about teh Protective Nudity feat? It inverses the armor rating. ;)

Anyway... Woman with armor, proving it is possible without leaving her looking like a tosser or a Las Vegas showgirl.

Enemy Down (wow) said...

Mens' waists are lower than womens' (see above armor requirement picture), and so their breastplates extend lower. A woman's breastplate should end at her bellybutton. If not, it will lead to an inability to bend properly or to extend their arms across their bodies properly.

babb said...

sleep with nerd may be a 2d20 for the nerd, but i've yet to see it fail for the girl (+30 gender bonus)
although unlessyou use the extreme covering of protection the you need a 2d20 or in 32 weeks you have to stop questing, then 8 weeks and 18 years after that you get a new quester!

Dewayne said...

1. It's funny that Conan ran around for years wearing nothing but a loin cloth. 2. Because we can predict when were going to need armor? 3. As your dungon master I'm going to ask you to pretend in dragons, elves, fairies, orcs, goblins but god forbid I ask you to believe that a woman wears sexy armor. As if that's some how less practicle?