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  • Women in Armor II

    A while back I started a thread in which we discussed and argued over what styles of female armor were and were not practical and appropriate. Now, I'm not going to necro a thread that ended 2 1/2 years ago, but if you want a refresher here's the link: http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...n-armor-styles

    Well, browsing a youtube channel I just recently discovered that talks a lot about armor and weapons it seems the host also talked about a lot of what we discussed. He even adressed would women wear boobplate: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lBtvS5yhTA8

    And then did another video on the whole arguement as to if that was dangerous (spoiler, it's not, which is the opposite what a lot of forumites here thought): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KHz0qWQA9I&t=334s

    Just wanted to share these since Exalted is a lot about aethetics, but it seems even armor built to look cool is still practical

    Oh he did mention bikini armor too, bit in another context, but still interesting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Iw_RD_h6bc


  • #2
    Ah, shad, he offers interesting insight. The bit about how a modern plate for men would resemble sensible fantasy armors more than actual antique plate (which appeals more closely to a female aesthetic) is particularly curious.
    Last edited by Synapse; 07-15-2019, 12:45 AM.

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    • #3
      Here's another great video on the subject of sculpted armor.

      https://youtu.be/1l1jpFjXv4I


      Exalted Behind a Screen of Jade, Savant of the Immaculate Texts, No Moon Scholar, Seeking Awakened, Cloaked Changeling, Disciple of the Antler Crown, Wraith, Good Sitting Dog, Best Lurking Cat with Bones, Pioneer Pooch, Scion with Shield of Knowledge, Director

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      • #4
        Yeah, I saw a similar video that I was going to link to in the old thread, but I quit the forums for a bit because it wasn't worth the aggravation. Some people are really wedded to what they find acceptable or unacceptable in their fantasy games. *shrug*

        My stance hasn't changed. Exalted is an expressly magical mythic setting that says a helmet offers no protection and is purely a stylistic choice like your choice of haircut. Your armor looks however you want it to look. If you're going to run a gritty, realistic game, then more power to you but you need to nix the million things more egregious than boob plate before you convince me that hardened magical steel fitted to your body is somehow impractical. My personal preference remains for armor to be fully practical, aiconic, with as much function over form as possible (marker's marks weaken the steel). But if the person next to me wants to wear a chainmail bikini, there's nothing wrong with that.

        The only thing that peeves me is people who won't wear a helmet but rage-out over boob-plate being impractical. You're allowed to not like boob-plate because you think it looks silly, or you think it's sexist, or you prefer other styles, or you are afraid of boobs. Your personal preferences are valid. Embrace them. Be honest about them. Just say "boob-plate makes me feel uncomfortable". Don't give me a three hour lecture about how impractical it is when your character won't even tie back their hair (under a bear-hat or otherwise).


        Hi, I'm JohnDoe244. My posts represent my opinions, not facts.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by JohnDoe244 View Post
          Yeah, I saw a similar video that I was going to link to in the old thread, but I quit the forums for a bit because it wasn't worth the aggravation. Some people are really wedded to what they find acceptable or unacceptable in their fantasy games. *shrug*

          My stance hasn't changed. Exalted is an expressly magical mythic setting that says a helmet offers no protection and is purely a stylistic choice like your choice of haircut. Your armor looks however you want it to look. If you're going to run a gritty, realistic game, then more power to you but you need to nix the million things more egregious than boob plate before you convince me that hardened magical steel fitted to your body is somehow impractical. My personal preference remains for armor to be fully practical, aiconic, with as much function over form as possible (marker's marks weaken the steel). But if the person next to me wants to wear a chainmail bikini, there's nothing wrong with that.

          The only thing that peeves me is people who won't wear a helmet but rage-out over boob-plate being impractical. You're allowed to not like boob-plate because you think it looks silly, or you think it's sexist, or you prefer other styles, or you are afraid of boobs. Your personal preferences are valid. Embrace them. Be honest about them. Just say "boob-plate makes me feel uncomfortable". Don't give me a three hour lecture about how impractical it is when your character won't even tie back their hair (under a bear-hat or otherwise).
          Except that when boobplate and company happens in fantasy fiction, it's not because a character chose it to be provocative, but because someone was aiming to create a sex fantasy as opposed to an action-based fantasy. Because this sort of progression has so saturated fantasy art, a lot of people are understandably very sore on the point of bikini witches and boobplate, especially when the dodge of "creativity" is used. Because is it actually creative if it's following in the well-beaten lockstep of hundreds of other stories posing all the women as pin-ups in lingerie?

          (Hint: The answer is no.)

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          • #6
            Something else of note are the chest protection plates that are used in fencing. https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/...products_id/74 and https://www.absolutefencinggear.com/...id/1553/cPath/

            Nothing sexualized, just there for protection.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist View Post

              Except that when boobplate and company happens in fantasy fiction, it's not because a character chose it to be provocative, but because someone was aiming to create a sex fantasy as opposed to an action-based fantasy. Because this sort of progression has so saturated fantasy art, a lot of people are understandably very sore on the point of bikini witches and boobplate, especially when the dodge of "creativity" is used. Because is it actually creative if it's following in the well-beaten lockstep of hundreds of other stories posing all the women as pin-ups in lingerie?

              (Hint: The answer is no.)
              They can absolutely be sore about it, I believe JohnDoe covered that on his post.
              "Your personal preferences are valid. Embrace them."

              And I happen to agree with him. Please, embrace them. They are yours, as are your reasons to have them.

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              • #8
                I feel it goes a bit beyond personal tastes though. I find this stuff an active detriment to pretty much anything that uses it. Be it a RPG book's art piece, a comic book, whatever: when I see these designs I'm just immediately torn out of a story. They're that stupid looking to me.

                It gets annoying: a friend was talking about a kinda interesting anime, really sounded like my jam, so I start ep 1... and our lead is standing on a rooftop, in broad daylight in a lousy TNA costume. I'd heard plot synopses of this show. I knew I'd be interested. But that design was enough to get me to not check the show out any further. That's not as simple as 'it's just not for me'. The look gets a sigh and I take a brake from it at best, at worse this stuff makes me just abandon the work.

                And I don't have this reaction to scantily clad ladies in other contexts or presentations. If I know I'm watching a romcom, or a silly echi sports parody, I can roll with it, have a good time. But when these outfits are thrown into an otherwise 'straight' setting they're very immediately distancing, in a way more subtle inconsistencies like the lack of a helmet or fancified armor aren't. Those are more the things you might pick up later, rewatching a scene, thinking about it. Boob Plate is more on the obvious side.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Croakamancer View Post
                  I feel it goes a bit beyond personal tastes though. I find this stuff an active detriment to pretty much anything that uses it. Be it a RPG book's art piece, a comic book, whatever: when I see these designs I'm just immediately torn out of a story. They're that stupid looking to me.

                  It gets annoying: a friend was talking about a kinda interesting anime, really sounded like my jam, so I start ep 1... and our lead is standing on a rooftop, in broad daylight in a lousy TNA costume. I'd heard plot synopses of this show. I knew I'd be interested. But that design was enough to get me to not check the show out any further. That's not as simple as 'it's just not for me'. The look gets a sigh and I take a brake from it at best, at worse this stuff makes me just abandon the work.

                  And I don't have this reaction to scantily clad ladies in other contexts or presentations. If I know I'm watching a romcom, or a silly echi sports parody, I can roll with it, have a good time. But when these outfits are thrown into an otherwise 'straight' setting they're very immediately distancing, in a way more subtle inconsistencies like the lack of a helmet or fancified armor aren't. Those are more the things you might pick up later, rewatching a scene, thinking about it. Boob Plate is more on the obvious side.
                  Still sounds like preference to me, just a difference in scale. Disliking something a little bit and disliking something to the point it brings you completely out of the story are both still disliking something. Disliking something in some contexts but not in others is still disliking something.
                  There's absolutely nothing wrong with disliking something. Nothing wrong with liking something either. That's what preference is all about.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Elowin View Post
                    Still sounds like preference to me, just a difference in scale. Disliking something a little bit and disliking something to the point it brings you completely out of the story are both still disliking something. Disliking something in some contexts but not in others is still disliking something.
                    There's absolutely nothing wrong with disliking something. Nothing wrong with liking something either. That's what preference is all about.
                    Preference is a factor that weighs my tastes. I can watch a work that isn't to my preference and still appreciate it just fine. I prefer female leads but that doesn't mean I'll literally never watch a show with a male lead. Oversexualized costumes go beyond that, in that they're disruptive enough to make me not want to continue watching things I'd otherwise enjoy. 'This ruins the show for me' goes beyond personal preference as a matter of intensity. If you like that sorta design, hey, I ain't gonna judge you for that but I'm gonna complain about it and root for them to be gone from everything purely because that lets me enjoy more things

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                    • #11
                      Yes, that's called preference. It's cool.

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                      • #12
                        I don't mind a small amount of sexualised fantasy art, but there's so much that it makes it awkward for me to find non-sexualised fantasy art of women (it's easy for men). It's difficult to find good art of women in practical-looking armour; yes, I know that a lot of pictures of men in armour lacks helmets, etc, but a)maybe the helmet is on the floor off-screen, or it's been knocked off his head, and b)there's enough that some of them that you can skip past the WoW shoulder pads and find good stuff.

                        Like I was looking for a picture to use for a cat-Lunar in our Egypt-expy game, and google images basically only showed me sexy catgirls, not the badass I wanted.

                        It's too restrictive.

                        (Incidentally, I did find that if you're searching for pictures of samurai, as I do for my Lunar Barbarians vs DB Samurai game, googling "L5R female samurai art" rather than "female samurai art" leads to much more practical looking stuff. I mean, yes of course there's no ugly samurai girls, but the overall standard is more practical. Putting "Paizo" at the beginning of your google image search also helps. Just a bit of advice there.
                        Oh, the worst is "female techpriest" though. "Female samurai" is way better than that.)

                        I think Saur Ops Specialist has the point, essentially.
                        Originally posted by Saur Ops Specialist
                        Because this sort of progression has so saturated fantasy art, a lot of people are understandably very sore on the point of bikini witches and boobplate, especially when the dodge of "creativity" is used. Because is it actually creative if it's following in the well-beaten lockstep of hundreds of other stories posing all the women as pin-ups in lingerie?
                        Saturated is the right word.


                        Incidentally, his video about chainmail bikinis is poor at addressing why people feel female barbarians are objectifying, but he makes some reasonable points about the practicalities of naked fighting (and shields) and what kind of armour is and isn't useful.
                        (I'd also mention that our image of the DnD Barbarian is talking about, well, Barbarians: ancient north and north-east Europeans, not Africans. That's very different. Vikings, Goths and Celts lived in a very cold climate! So I'm not sure pictures of Africans not wearing armour is very relevant.)

                        I would say though, that many people when addressing the level of armour different warriors wore in history often fail to address one main reason people didn't wear a lot of armour, not just mobility or heat; but also money and technology.

                        For the naked celtic warriors, they weren't choosing not to wear plate armour; it simply didn't exist. They didn't even have chainmail available. And most medieval soldiers wore chainmail because they couldn't afford plate armour (steel was 50x more expensive, relative to food, than it is today). When you imagine knights' plate armour, well there's a reason that was the armour of the very rich, not your average soldier, who was wearing boiled armour and chainmail, and if he had any solid steel it was his helmet.
                        (And again, in his video clips of Africans, those are herders in very hot climates. Why would they wear armour? Most of them are not professional soldiers in a centralised state that can afford to outfit its soldiers in heavy armour anyway. Plus, he's showing pictures of modern Africans; why wear a bunch of metal armour when an angry farmer might shoot you with a gun? None of my relatives who were in the army, Royal airforce, Royal Engineers or volunteered to fight angry martial artists wore much armour either. Just a helmet.
                        The professional armies of the Empires of Songhay and Mali however, did wear chainmail or thick leather, and they were fighting in the Sahel which is really, really hot.)

                        So, in Exalted, most Harborheadian raiders, warriors, and even the Brides of Ahlat, don't wear a lot of armour, just shields. And that's partly heat*, partly endurance, but probably mainly because it's way too expensive for your average cattle rustler.

                        *In the deserts of the Middle East, Mamluk, Arab, Crusader, Turkish and Persian warriors did in fact wear chainmail, but with big surcoats to keep it cool.
                        Last edited by The Wizard of Oz; 07-19-2019, 09:50 AM.


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                        • #13
                          I'm...not sure you are placing those criticisms well.

                          He's not comparing d&d barbarians to their cultural inspirations because that point is moot.
                          The question he tried to answer there is "what is the more credible scenario where your wilder combatants fight mostly naked".
                          He mentioned the african warriors because, well, they are a decent reference on how to fight unarmored. Same for the celts.
                          The whys are secondary, where his whole point was "you can make up cultural values like that", coupled with "there's going to be some pratical reason behind it on some level". Heat and material availability were implied in his examples, even.

                          So...as far as I can tell, your criticisms of his video...are in agreement to it. I suggest a reevaluation.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by The Wizard of Oz View Post
                            I don't mind a small amount of sexualised fantasy art, but there's so much that it makes it awkward for me to find non-sexualised fantasy art of women (it's easy for men). It's difficult to find good art of women in practical-looking armour; yes, I know that a lot of pictures of men in armour lacks helmets, etc, but a)maybe the helmet is on the floor off-screen, or it's been knocked off his head, and b)there's enough that some of them that you can skip past the WoW shoulder pads and find good stuff.

                            Like I was looking for a picture to use for a cat-Lunar in our Egypt-expy game, and google images basically only showed me sexy catgirls, not the badass I wanted.

                            It's too restrictive.

                            (Incidentally, I did find that if you're searching for pictures of samurai, as I do for my Lunar Barbarians vs DB Samurai game, googling "L5R female samurai art" rather than "female samurai art" leads to much more practical looking stuff. I mean, yes of course there's no ugly samurai girls, but the overall standard is more practical. Putting "Paizo" at the beginning of your google image search also helps. Just a bit of advice there.
                            Oh, the worst is "female techpriest" though. "Female samurai" is way better than that.)

                            I think Saur Ops Specialist has the point, essentially.

                            Saturated is the right word.


                            Incidentally, his video about chainmail bikinis is poor at addressing why people feel female barbarians are objectifying, but he makes some reasonable points about the practicalities of naked fighting (and shields) and what kind of armour is and isn't useful.
                            (I'd also mention that our image of the DnD Barbarian is talking about, well, Barbarians: ancient north and north-east Europeans, not Africans. That's very different. Vikings, Goths and Celts lived in a very cold climate! So I'm not sure pictures of Africans not wearing armour is very relevant.)

                            I would say though, that many people when addressing the level of armour different warriors wore in history often fail to address one main reason people didn't wear a lot of armour, not just mobility or heat; but also money and technology.

                            For the naked celtic warriors, they weren't choosing not to wear plate armour; it simply didn't exist. They didn't even have chainmail available. And most medieval soldiers wore chainmail because they couldn't afford plate armour (steel was 50x more expensive, relative to food, than it is today). When you imagine knights' plate armour, well there's a reason that was the armour of the very rich, not your average soldier, who was wearing boiled armour and chainmail, and if he had any solid steel it was his helmet.
                            (And again, in his video clips of Africans, those are herders in very hot climates. Why would they wear armour? Most of them are not professional soldiers in a centralised state that can afford to outfit its soldiers in heavy armour anyway. Plus, he's showing pictures of modern Africans; why wear a bunch of metal armour when an angry farmer might shoot you with a gun? None of my relatives who were in the army, Royal airforce, Royal Engineers or volunteered to fight angry martial artists wore much armour either. Just a helmet.
                            The professional armies of the Empires of Songhay and Mali however, did wear chainmail or thick leather, and they were fighting in the Sahel which is really, really hot.)

                            So, in Exalted, most Harborheadian raiders, warriors, and even the Brides of Ahlat, don't wear a lot of armour, just shields. And that's partly heat*, partly endurance, but probably mainly because it's way too expensive for your average cattle rustler.

                            *In the deserts of the Middle East, Mamluk, Arab, Crusader, Turkish and Persian warriors did in fact wear chainmail, but with big surcoats to keep it cool.
                            I can’t believe you are dissing cat girls oz, shame on you. Just because they are sexy doesn’t mean they aren’t badass. That’s sexist. Just look at Aisha Clan Clan from outlaw star.
                            Last edited by Beast of Bitter Oblivion; 07-19-2019, 12:39 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Celts did have chain mail. Celts invented chain mail

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