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Cloth Armor- TL6 !?!?!?


Ok, so maybe I have the TL system all confused, but how can Cloth Armor be TL6? I mean, it's highly effective bullet resistant armor, and AFAIK, nothing like that really exists yet. (The way it's described, it makes it sound like a full suit of comfortable, HIGHLY bullet resistant traffic).

This just struck me as odd. Please enlighten me!
I count a kevlar jacket as Cloth - Or it would be if you wore a full suit of it.

The american police issue jacket can stop pistol rounds at point blank range (according to the PR, assuming ammo isn't AP).

That sounds like cloth to me.
Hmmm...I've worn "bullet proof vests" and I can tell you that a full suit of it would NOT be very much fun to wear.

I'm thinking that Cloth is more like TL12 if it's really all that comfortable?
so first introduced at TL6 - gradually improving until it is about as "good" to wear as a leather jacket/pants at TL12?

Does that sound about right?
That's probably about right. If you assume "cloth" to be Kevlar at TL6-8 and something like GURPS's "monocrys" at higher TL's, the armor is about right.

LOL. I can just picture someone in TL6 trying to wear a suit of flak jackets.

"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!"

The Soldier lies there on his back looking up at his team mates as the waddle past.

The occassional round cracks overhead as he kicks his legs trying to roll over.

Each time he gets half way over the heavy pack drags hiom back round.

Never fear - It's turtle squad
Assuming that 'kevlar' can be considered cloth armor, here's my opinion.

A full suit of cloth armor would be roughly equivalent to what is commonly described today as a 'bomb suit', used by military/civilian specialists today.

The older versions (10-15 years ago) weighed in about 85+ lbs and were extremely stiff. It would be very difficult to fire a weapon while wearing it, but possible. Currently, the best suits weigh in about 65 lbs or so and are somewhat more comfortable. While still limiting manuverability some, they do allow for better movement.

Also, tactical teams (EST,SWAT,HRT, etc.) utilize 'tactical' armors that include protection in the chest, throat, upper arm, head, face, and leg areas. These do not protect quite as well as the full suits, but mobility is significantly greater.

My opinion is that while cloth armor could be considered TL 6, it would not be feasible for more than certain specialized tasks until the TL increased.
Originally posted by The Mink:
so first introduced at TL6 - gradually improving until it is about as "good" to wear as a leather jacket/pants at TL12?

Does that sound about right?
The irony then, is that CES in T20 protects only as well despite being TL 9 or 10, yet it has a lower maximum dex bonus and has a skill penalty. Only benefit I can see to CES is that it's sealed, and thus doubles as protection for gas (to some degree) and biohazards...but at high TL's, ignoring cost it's better IMHO to slap on a Tailored Vacc Suit and then a flak jacket or a suit of Cloth then a CES. IMHO makes CES the almost useless armor for T20...why take it and have a fairly low max dex and a skill penalty...just take Cloth, of a Flak Jacket if speed is more important then overall protection.
I'll probably make a new list of armors based more off TL. I like how they added multiple TL versions of Combat Armor, but didn't do the same thing for more PC accessible stuff like Cloth. Cloth DEFINITELY will change significantly over time.

I'll post it here if I do it in the near future.
For some reason, T20 decides to take the CT principle that once something gets invented, it isn't improved further at high tech levels (with the exception of Plasma weapons, anyway).

Rather than having different cloth armor at every TL (or eventually reaching the best cloth armor you get), it just has one.

TL6 should be crude flak jackets - they might stop a bullet, might not, but are fairly bulky. And they should get better as more and more newer materials are developed. But nope.

Or look at most weapons in T20. I mean, are SMGs today like that from TL5? No, of course not, they're generally much better in a variety of ways, even those that still use the same sort of ammo.
Try looking at the Tech tree a bit differently.
The TL of a piece of equipment is the tech that the item can be manufactured at, not the tech at which it might reasonably be expected to be developed.

So, there is an optimal form of Cloth Armor, and an optimal form of the SMG. The best form of Cloth might have been desgined and developed only by a TL-12 society (say during the Rule of Man). But the basic research and testing are now ancient history and the patents long,long since expired.

Nowadays in the third imperium that optimal Cloth armor can be MANUFACTURED by any TL-6 planet which an industrial base by accessing the imperial data archives, despite the fact that the TL 6 planet would not have been able DESIGN all the features from scratch. Thousands of years of experience have produced the "optimal cloth" but it only requires a TL-6 factury to churn out copies.

Likewise, perhaps gunsmiths on a TL-9 world created the optimal SMG. Nevertheless, any gunsmith with the plans on a TL-5 world is able to churn out copies.

We are used to rapid tech-growth and the condition where only the highest tech base can pump out the best stuff. The Imperium is a bit different when dealing with tech like Cloth and Firearms with thousands of years of design and developement behind them
Hello to all the usual suspects,

There is a sceince fiction trilogy, so far anyway,series currently out written by David Weber & John Ringo; "March Upcountry," "March to the Sea," and "March to the Stars,(recently purchased and not read yet)" which has some similarity. A prince and his Marine body guards get stranded on a low tech, hot, oceanic, island dotted world. The world's tech level varies, at least in the first two books, from spears, javelins, swords, to wheel lock guns. However, there pump technology is very advanced in comparison. The Prince's party has been using and improving the exisiting technology in various levels to preserve there high tech equipment. Oh, yeah they have a limited supply of food supplements, munitions, and power packs for the high tech gear. One more thing they are finding out that this same equipment has problems and malfunctions not known before being stranded. AS put in the book "Oh, joy."
That's probably a better way of looking at DrSkull. In fact, I like that view so much, I think I'll just stick with it. However, that doesn't mean that I couldn't make a bunch of Cloth variants at different TL's that get better as TL's increase. It might be best to assume, however, that the Cloth listed in the THB is the "best design" just so one doesn't go making stuff that is simply superior to everything in the THB.

I think it might not work as well when constructing vehicles and stuff, but I might be able to cope.
Just to talk a little about cloth armor...

The US Army Biotechnology center has developed in conjuction with a civilian science firm (I forget the name) a cloth armor based from Spider silk. The armor is as light as a cotton t-shirt but has a tensile strength of five times that of normal steel, The stuff is called Biosteel, and get this, its made from genetically enhanced goat milk!

Just a little fact that I thought would help out.

Yep, I've been following that development for a few years now. They inserted a specific spider gene into the goat's genome so it can make a specific protein in its milk. I've heard plans that call for genetically engineering in the same gene into cows that will allow them to mass produce the stuff. It's also got considerable potential in aviation and medicine. BioSteel is Cool Stuff.
Here is an example of a lower tech level culture churning out examples of higher tech equipment.

During the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the 1980's, Pakastani gunsmiths were making functional copies of AK-47's by hand. They even copied the serial numbers.

This goes to show that DrSkull's example would seem to be correct.

For lower tech versions of Cloth armor I'd increase the weight and penalties of the equipment.

By the way, I've read "March Upcountry", and "March To The Sea". Loved them, gotta get "March To The Stars".

CT cloth was basicaly torso armor: better coverage than a flak jacket, but not a full suit because it was too stiff for the elbows and knees. For that you had to wait for the CES which was light and flexible enough to protect the joints and had better cammoflage. Apparently that definition has changed.

As for Spider silk, don't hold your breath waiting for a revolution. The original kevlar was already as strong as steel and the current fibers are easily twice as strong. 5x steel is incremental, not revolutionary, but it will reduce the weight of armor by as much as 1/2.

It still won't stop rifle bullets because a high-velocity pointed bullet will spread the threads in a woven or layered fabric, no matter how strong the threads are.