Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay First Edition Wiki

Armour absorbs damage. When characters are hit, the number of W caused is reduced by any armour they are wearing on the body area struck. A record of any armour worn should be kept on the character sheet together with any associated reductions to movement.

Body Areas and Armour[]

The chart below lists the various common types of armour and indicates which body areas they will cover. Shields cover all areas, not because they are big, but because they are mobile.

Note down on your character record sheet after any armour that your character is wearing and add up the number of armour points for each body area. Note that characters may not wear more than one of any piece of armour - a character cannot wear two helmets, two mail coats, etc.

  • A character can wear leggings as well as having a mail coat - which gives two armour points on the legs. At the GMs option a character may suffer a -10 penalty to I when doing so.
  • A character can wear a metal breastplate on top of a mail shirt or coat - which gives two armour points to the body.
  • A character can wear a helmet on top of a coif - which gives two armour points on the head.
  • A character can wear plate arm bracers over a sleeved mail shirt or coat or over mail arm bracers - which gives two armour points on the arms. At the GMs option, a character may suffer a -10 penalty to I when doing so.

These are the only cases in which pieces of armour can be worn over one another.

Armour Type AP Area Covered
Shield 1 All
Mail Shirt 1 Body
Sleeved Mail Shirt 1 Body/Arms
Mail Coat 1 Body/Legs
Sleeved Mail Coat 1 Body/Arms/Legs
Mail Coif 1 Head
Breastplate 1 Body
Plate or Mail Arm Bracer 1 Arm
Plate or Mail Leggings 1 Leg
Helmet 1 Head

Leather Armour[]

Poorer characters may not be able to afford expensive metal armour, in which case they make do with quilted, padded, or leather armour. Armour of this kind is quite effective at stopping minor damage by deflecting cuts or absorbing the impact of light blows. However, it is less effective at stopping heavy blows or penetrating thrusts. To reflect this, leather armor is given variable armour points - written as 0/1. This means blows causing up to 3 points of damage are reduced by 1, but blows causing 4 or more damage points are not reduced at all. So, character wearing a leather jack and hit on the body by a blow causing two points of damage would reduce the damage to one because of the armour - but if the same character had been hit for five points, the armour would have given him no protection.

Armour Type Armour Points Area Covered
Leather Jerkin 0/1 Body
Leather Jack 0/1 Body/Arms
Leather Coif 0/1 Head

Leather armour worn underneath metal armour confers no additional protection; it merely affords a greater level of comfort protecting the wearer from the chafing of bare metal.

Magical Armour[]

Magical armour is very rare and valuable. Magical armour and shields confer extra armour points - either +1, +2, or +3 armour points according to the strength of the enchantment.

Mithril armour is not in itself magical, but the wonderous silver metal is so tough that it cannot be worked except by magical means. It is also very light and armour made from it weighs 20% of normal (20% encumbrance). Mithril armour gives one additional armour point.

Armour Damage[]

By Combat[]

Most wounding hits are assumed to cause negligible damage to armour - maybe a dent in plate, a few chain links severed, but nothing really serious. Once in a while, though, something more serious will happen: a devastating blow which shatters the armour along with the flesh beneath, the chance cutting of a vital strap or buckle, or some similar thing. To simulate this, a piece of armour will be damaged if the location it covers:

  • takes a critical hit;
  • takes a wounding hit which scores additional damage;
  • takes a wounding hit with an attack roll of 01;
  • is hit with a Strength of 7 or more, regardless of whether the hit causes actual wounds.

A damaged piece of armour encumbers a character normally, but provides no protection until it is repaired or replaced.

Layered Armour[]

If a character is wearing more than one piece of armour on a location - plate over chain, for example - then the inner piece of armour is unaffected unless the damage comes from a critical hit or a hit of Strength 7+. In these two cases, all non-magical armour on a location is damaged.

Magical Armour[]

Magical armour is much more resilient than the normal variety. A piece of magical armour is not damaged automatically: when one of the conditions above is fulfilled, roll a D6. On a roll of 1, the armour loses 1 armour point. When its AP value is reduced to zero, it counts as damaged.


Shields behave slightly differently to other pieces of armour, since they can protect any location.

If a shield is being used, it is damaged whenever armour damage is indicated. If the armour damage is due to a critical hit or Strength 7+, the armour on the indicated location is also damaged, otherwise, it is not.

A damaged shield continues to function normally, but the second time a shield is damaged, it is destroyed. Therefore, you must keep careful track of whether your character's shield is whole, damaged or destroyed.

When a shield is destroyed, we assume that the materials of the shield has been completely hacked away from around the iron boss. The shield no longer provides any protection, but the heavy iron boss is still intact, and may be used to parry at a penalty of -20. Characters with Specialist Weapon - Fist Weapon skill may use the shield-boss as a weapon (I +10, D -2, Parry -20).

Magical Shields
Magical Shields act in the same way as normal shields, except that when a magical shield is damaged, it loses 1 armour point. It is not destroyed until it has been reduced to zero AP. The boss of a destroyed magical shield has no magical properties, but it can be used as a weapon by a skilled character as described above.

By Non-Combat[]

A wide range of things - such as some spells, fire and falling - can damage armour (and the character wearing it), without involving combat - or more importantly, without affecting a specific body location in the way that combat does.

When an armoured character takes damage which doesn't involve a specific location, use the following procedure:

1. Calculate the base damage of the event. This is the result of the dice roll for damage, before adjustments for Toughness and other factors.

2. Adjust for the cause of damage. Adjustments are as follows:

Magical fire
Magical lightning
Other magic missile x1
Dragon breath etc
Non-magical fire
Jumping/Falling x1
Failed Risk test
Gunpowder misfire
Bomb x1
stomp / constrict x1
Magic missile dodged x½, cumulative
Attack Strength 7+ x2, cumulative

Fractions are rounded down. Note that poison and disease never affect a character's armour.

3. Check for armour damage. Roll a D6 for each piece of armour worn by the character, and count those that score less than the adjusted base damage.

4. Determine location of armour damage. Having determined how many pieces of armour are damaged, roll on the hit location chart to find the location of each damaged piece. Reroll results which give an unarmoured location, but do not reroll duplicates.

If a location has more than one piece of armour on it (eg plate over chain), start at the outside and work inward.

Magical Armour[]

When determining non-combat damage to magical armour, use the normal procedure but roll separately for each piece of magical armour, adding its armour points to the D6 roll.

Repairing Armour[]

Damaged armour may be repaired. The process requires a character with Smithing skill to make a successful Dex test. Each successful test restores 1 AP to one area of the piece of armour being worked on. A failed test means that the piece of armour being worked on cannot be repaired further. Of course, you should note that any piece of armour can only be repaired to its original AP value.

For example: a smith is repairing a sleeved mail shirt, whose left sleeve has been damaged to the point of uselessness. If the Dex test is successful, the damaged sleeve is repaired back to its original 1 AP. If the test is failed, the sleeve is beyond repair.

Leather Armour[]

Leather armour behaves in exactly the same way as metal armour, except that Tailor skill is required to repair it, rather than Smithing.


Damaged and destroyed shields cannot be repaired - they have to be made anew.

Magical Armour[]

Repairing magical armour requires the skills Magical Awareness and Manufacture Magic Items in addition to Smithing, and the test is made on the average of Int and Dex. A failed test means that the entire piece of armour loses all magical virtue, functioning thereafter as a nonmagical - and damaged - piece of the same type.

Mithril armour may only successfully be repaired by a Dwarven artisan with Smithing skill and Int and Dex both 30+.

Magical Protections[]

If a character has a magical protection against some source of damage - an Arrow Invulnerability spell or a Robe of Fire Resistance, for example - then the character's armour and other equipment enjoys the same protection.

If a character has a magical protection which reduces the damage caused by a creature or a weapon type, such as a Ring of Protection against swords, armour damage is determined normally.

If a character has a magical protection which reduces the damage caused by a non-weapon attack, such as a Ring of Protection against fire, the reduction is applied to the base damage calculation.

Anti-Armour Magic[]

Some magical weapons, spells and attack forms are stated to have a particular effect against armour. These attacks ignore this armour damage system, and proceed exactly as stated in their individual descriptions.