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This page details the nature and mechanics of armour on the Discworld MUD. For our armour database, click here.

A piece of armour is a worn item which protects its wearer from a certain degree of physical damage.

Damage protection


Various factors affect the degree of damage protection afforded by a piece of armour:

  • Its condition - the better the condition, the higher protection it confers.research
  • The quality of material it is made out of. Higher quality materials (for example, klatchian steel) provide more protection than lower quality materials (for example, wood), although they also tend to be heavier. Note that materials confer differing levels of protection against different attack types. For example, chainmail provides good protection against sharp, slashing attacks, but is rather poor against piercing or bludgeoning attacks.
  • The degree of enchantment of the armour - higher enchantment levels increase the protection provided. Heavier armour can benefit more from enchantment than light armour can.

The vurdere command can be used to indicate a crude approximation of the degree of damage protection afforded by a piece of armour.

Defensive ordering

Armour is one of the last defensive layers to be applied. Its effect on incoming damage is calculated after the following have been applied:

Armour's effect is applied before the following:

Coverage and layers

Armour does not automatically protect a player from all attacks when worn - only the armour that is worn upon the part of the body that is hit has any effect. Hence, gauntlets will only protect the hands, while a mail vest will protect the chest, but not the feet. Many pieces of armour affect multiple areas of the body - for example, a Grflx scale protects the back, chest and arms.

Multiple pieces of armour can be worn over a particular body area, but only as long as their 'clothing layer' does not clash with anything else worn over that area. For example, a chainmail coif and a steel helm can both be worn over the head simultaneously, whereas a close helm and a great helm cannot be worn together. The name of an item do not always match the layer slot that it actually fits in - for example, a chainmail miniskirt actually fits in the suspender-belt slot since it conflicts with those items, not the miniskirt slot. Also, some pieces of armour fit in multiple slots, such as the offler-headed mask, which counts as both a helm and a mask.

You can see which areas a piece of armour protects by using the vurdere command on it. Alternately, you can see which of all your armour is protecting which body areas by using the coverage command like so:

coverage armours except jewellery

It is necessary to exclude jewellery because for some reason they are considered to be armour by the parser even though they do not have the protecting capacity of real armour.

List of layers

See layers for more layers including the non-armour bits.

Layer Nb Body part(s)
backplate 1 back
boots 1 feet
bra 1 chest
bracers 1 arms
breastplate 2 abdomen chest
cloak 5 abdomen arms back chest legs
coif 3 hair head neck
collar 1 neck
cuirass 3 abdomen back chest
gloves 1 hands
goggles 1 eyes
greaves 1 legs
hat 2 hair head
hauberk 5 abdomen arms back chest legs
helm 2 hair head
jacket 3 arms back chest
leggings 2 abdomen legs
mask 2 eyes face
miniskirt 2 abdomen legs
shirt (2) 3 arms back chest
skirt 2 abdomen legs
socks 1 feet
stockings 2 feet legs
suspender-belt 1 abdomen
ug-top 2 back chest
undershirt 2 back chest
underskirt 2 abdomen legs
underwear 1 abdomen
waistcoat 2 back chest

Also a shield, in addition to allowing one to block, covers between 2 and 4 body parts depending on its size.

Layer Nb Body part(s)
small shield 2 arms hands
medium shield 3 arms hands chest
large shield 4 arms hands chest abdomen

You can hold as many shields as you have free limbs. For most humans that means up to two if you're not holding weapons or anything else.

List of layers by body parts

Body part Nb Layers
abdomen 10 underwear suspender-belt leggings miniskirt skirt breastplate cuirass hauberk cloak underskirt
arms 6 bracers shirt shirt jacket hauberk cloak
back 10 undershirt shirt shirt backplate jacket waistcoat cuirass hauberk cloak ug-top
chest 11 bra undershirt shirt shirt breastplate jacket waistcoat cuirass hauberk cloak ug-top
eyes 2 goggles mask
face 1 mask
feet 3 stockings boots socks
hair 3 coif hat helm
hands 1 gloves
head 3 coif hat helm
legs 8 stockings leggings miniskirt skirt greaves hauberk cloak underskirt
neck 2 coif collar

Armour kit to fill all layers

This requires 30 pieces of armour. An example with light pieces would be:

Coverage of these armours looks like:

Clothing substitution

However, since armour is very heavy, even with the lightest armour, which being made of leather gets to be extremely warming, it is possible to substitute some armour pieces for pieces of clothing for the purpose of testing layers.

Layer Equivalent clothing
boots shoes, boots
bra bra
cloak coat, cloak
gloves gloves
hat hat
leggings trousers
shirt shirt
skirt skirt
socks socks
suspender-belt suspender belt
underwear panties

Condition and durability

As armour absorbs damage, its condition degrades. This makes it less effective in reducing damage and, in extreme cases, can cause the item to be destroyed if its condition falls to a low enough level.

The degree of damage to the armour itself is affected by:

  • How much damage the armour absorbs from each attack - the more damage absorbed, the more the armour's condition degrades.
  • The material the armour is made out of, and its weight - higher quality and heavier armour degrades slower.
  • The degree of enchantment on the armour - more enchanted armour degrades slower.

Damage to armour can be fixed by repairing it in a smithy, leatherworking shop or woodworking shop as appropriate to the material it is made out of. The condition of armour is apparent by looking at it, or otherwise by using the command 'condition <armour(s)>'.

Mechanics - damage absorption

Mudlib-unconf.gif This section contains formulae or data from the distribution mudlib. This information may be several years out of date, so needs to be verified as correct. You can help by performing research to validate it.

The following stages are used to determine how much damage is absorbed by a piece of armour:

Base armour class

All armour has a base armour class versus the three damage types (blunt, sharp and pierce). This is, very roughly, the amount of damage that the unaltered armour will absorb from each hit, without taking any other considerations into account.

This base armour class can be determined from the vurdere command as follows:

Order Vurdere Base AC Average Base AC
1 Terrible 0 - 3 1.5
2 Amazingly poor 4 - 7 5.5
3 Pretty poor 8 - 11 9.5
4 Poor 12 - 15 13.5
5 OK 16 - 18 17
6 Average 19 - 22 20.5
7 Good 23 - 26 24.5
8 Very good 27 - 30 28.5
9 Extremely good 31 - 33 32
10 Excellent 34+ 37?[1]
  1. We don't know the maximum vurdere value for excellent or even if there is a maximum, which makes figuring out the average rather difficult. The average displayed is extrapolated based on a maximum of 40, which makes the last step twice as large as the others.

It is unclear if there is a way to get more accurate AC than vurdere value.


Enchantment increases the armour class as follows:

AC = Base-AC * (1 + enchantment/max-enchantment) + enchantment

Because the maximum enchantment is related to the weight of the item, this means that enchantment has a very significant effect for heavy armour, and a lesser effect for light armour.

To illustrate this, see the following table detailing the AC at various levels of enchantment for different weights, all for items that vurdere as 'Extremely good':

Weight (lb) Maximum enchantment Base AC AC (4 steady but dull enchant) AC (7 bright enchant) AC (10 maximum enchant - radiant)
5 16 32 50 (6 thaums) 65 (11 thaums) 80 (16 thaums)
10 27 32 53 (10 thaums) 71 (18 thaums) 91 (27 thaums)
15 38 32 59 (15 thaums) 79 (26 thaums) 102 (38 thaums)
20 50 32 63 (19 thaums) 87 (34 thaums) 114 (50 thaums)

Note that a fully enchanted item will always more than double the base AC of the armour.

Effect of strength of attack

The degree of damage absorbed by armour decreases with stronger attacks (as they are more able to penetrate the armour), down to a minimum level of half the AC.

The specific formula is:

Damage absorbed by armour (HP) = min(damage, max(AC / 2, AC - damage/10))

Where AC is the total AC of all pieces of armour in the location being hit.


  • While damage is less than AC / 1.1, all damage is absorbed.
  • While damage is less than AC * 5, AC - damage / 10 is absorbed.
  • Past that, AC / 2 is absorbed.

Our fully-enchanted 20lb armour from the table above (AC: 114) absorbs damage as follows:

Damage of attack Damage absorbed by armour Damage let through Absorption ratio
50 50 0 100%
100 100 0 100%
150 99 51 66%
200 94 106 47%
250 89 161 36%
300 84 216 28%
350 79 271 23%
400 74 326 19%
450 69 381 15%
500 64 436 13%
550 59 491 11%
600+ 57 543+ < 10%

In summary:

  • While the damage is 103 or less, all damage is absorbed by the armour.
  • While the damage is 570 or less, 114 - damage / 10 is absorbed.
  • Past 570, 57 is absorbed.

Mechanics - Chance for armour to protect

Mudlib-semiconf.gif This section contains formulae or data from the distribution mudlib. The data has been partially verified as up to date. You can help by filling in research on the topic.

Armour can of course only protect the wearer if it is hit. The chance that an enemy will strike the body part protected by a given piece of armour is dependent on their tactics-focus. If they are focusing on a given body part, then they will always hit armour covering that part when their attacks are successful.

For other focuses, the following table gives the chance that an attack will hit a given body area:

Area None-
Area Equivalent
armour areas
Head 6.7% 26.4% 5.0% 13.3% 0.0% Head
Face 3.3% 8.2% 2.5% 6.7% 0.0% Face
Neck 3.3% 7.1% 2.5% 6.7% 0.0% Neck
Chest 16.7% 25.6% 12.5% 33.3% 0.0% Chest body / breast / thorax / trunk
Back 3.3% 3.8% 2.5% 6.7% 0.0% Back tail
Left Arm 10.0% 9.4% 7.5% 20.0% 0.0% Left Arm left front leg / left petral fin / left wing / branches
Left Hand 3.3% 2.6% 2.5% 6.7% 0.0% Left Hand left middle leg / left front paw
Stomach 13.3% 8.2% 10.0% 6.7% 20.0% Stomach abdomen
Right Arm 10.0% 4.1% 7.5% 0.0% 20.0% Right Arm right front leg / right petral fin / right wing / branches
Right Hand 3.3% 1.1% 2.5% 0.0% 6.7% Right Hand right middle leg / right front paw
Left Leg 10.0% 2.3% 7.5% 0.0% 20.0% Left Leg left back leg / left rear leg / dorsal fin
Left Foot 3.3% 0.5% 2.5% 0.0% 6.7% Left Foot left rear paw / left rear foot / left claw
Right Leg 10.0% 0.7% 7.5% 0.0% 20.0% Right Leg right back leg / right rear leg / dorsal fin
Right Foot 3.3% 0.0% 27.5% 0.0% 6.7% Right Foot right rear paw / right rear foot / right claw
Area None-
Area Equivalent
armour areas

See also

Armour tables

Nearly all the standard armours that can currently be obtained are in the armour tables in the wiki.

Many of the best custom armours are also entered.

We have tables of standard armours, custom armours and all, each available in various stages of enchantment.

Other sites also present a list of armour pieces with various information.

The sites thought to be newer/more up to date are higher. Your mileage may vary.


  1. Used when the attacker is roughly the same size as you.
  2. Used when the attacker is significantly taller than you (eg. giants).
  3. Used when the attacker is significantly smaller than you (eg. dwarves).
  4. Used when the attacker is roughly the same size as you.
  5. Used when the attacker is significantly taller than you (eg. giants).
  6. Used when the attacker is significantly smaller than you (eg. dwarves).