I am having a discussion with one of my players, who wants Do-maru armor reinforced with Darkleaf cloth.
Now Do-maru's description is this: The lightest of all samurai armors, do-maru wraps around your body like a short armored coat. It consists primarily of lamellar and lacks a solid breastplate or sleeves. This permits you greater flexibility than do heavier armors.
Darkleaf Cloth: Darkleaf cloth is a special form of flexible material made by weaving together leaves and thin strips of bark from darkwood trees, then treating the resulting fabric with special alchemical processes. The resulting material is tough as cured hide but much lighter, making it an excellent material from which to create armor. Spell failure chances for armors made from darkleaf cloth decrease by 10% (to a minimum of 5%), maximum Dexterity bonuses increase by 2, and armor check penalties decrease by 3 (to a minimum of 0).
An item made from darkleaf cloth weighs half as much as the same item made from normal cured leather, furs, or hides. Items not primarily constructed of leather, fur, or hide are not meaningfully affected by being partially made of darkleaf cloth. As such padded, leather, studded leather, and hide armor can be made out of darkleaf cloth (although other types of armor made of leather or hide might be possible). Because darkleaf cloth remains flexible, it cannot be used to construct rigid items such as shields or metal armors. Armors fashioned from darkleaf cloth are always masterwork items as well; the masterwork cost is included in the prices given below.
Darkleaf cloth has 20 hit points per inch of thickness and hardness 10.
Type of Darkleaf Cloth Item Cost Modifier
Clothing +500 gp
Light armor +750 gp
Medium armor +1,500 gp
Other items +375 gp/lb.
Now where my player and I disagree is the description for the Do-maru has it being primarily made of Lamellar. Where the description is Lamellar is a type of armor in which small plates of various types of materials are strung together in parallel rows using fine cord. Lamellar plates can be constructed from lacquered leather, horn, or even stone, though steel and heavier iron are most common. Lamellar armor can be crafted into various shapes, including partial pieces such as breastplates, greaves, or even entire coats. The properties of specific suits and pieces of lamellar armor are determined by their material.
My players side of things is that its leather thus can be done with darkleaf cloth. My side of things is that it cannot because if the Do-maru is made of lamellar and lamellar is lacquered leather, horn, stone, steel and heavier iron I would consider it rigid, Darkcloth cannot used to construct rigid items such as shields or metal armors.
While I can agree that lacquered leather part of lamellar can be a leather armor (which is part of what darkcloth needs, my point being that is the rest of the materials such as horn, stone, steel and heavier iron are also what lamellar can be made of and they would lead to me think that lacquered leather would be as rigid as its other materials and not be treated with darkleaf.
Any help would be appreciated, I am the GM and could make a ruling but I like to consider myself fair.
I'd say if he makes it himself he could make it out of darkleaf, as leather is an option for it. If someone else is making it than you as a GM could decide whether it was available in darkleaf or if only iron/bone constructed armors are available from wherever he is buying it from. Or you might rule that the lacquering process for the leather/darkleaf would destroy the advantage darkleaf offers, so if he gets the darkleaf variant it's no better than normal besides being fancier.
He could make the light category of lamellar armor from darkleaf, the +4 AC version for sure.
There are 3 different listings for lamellar armor in UE, and leather is definitely allowed, horn is a maybe, and steel is right out for darkleaf conversion.
Now, for Do-Maru, since it specifically says it is like a coat, and lacks the plating, I would allow it. It is +1 AC vs Hide Armor, -1 ACP, and 5lbs heavier (to start). In the end he gets to spend 1500g to get +1 AC and still have -1 ACP after the treatment, where Darkleaf Hide would have none.
|Bob Bob Bob|
Leather Lamellar is totally a thing and well within the bounds of Darkleaf Cloth. The question is just what you assume Do-Maru is made of. It shares a category and most of the stats with Horn Lamellar but since it doesn't specify presumably you pick what it's made of. "Lamellar" isn't an armor made up of all the types it can be made of, all of the statted armors are just one type of material for the plates (leather, horn, and iron).
|Lost In Limbo|
From a quick look at the wikipedia page on Do-maru armor the first material it mentions is leather, so I think darkleaf is absolutely a valid choice.
Due to the weight of iron, armour makers limited its use to the most vital parts of the armor and used leather for the remainder.