Swords and shields can help enormously in protecting you} from personal harm in a sticky situation, but you can only parry so many cuts, and your shield can only block so many attacks. Ultimately, the serious warrior also wore body armor. In the Codex Martialis system: armor is not just there to defend against a ‘glancing blow’, good armor will protect you from almost any attack. Of course, not everyone can afford good armor. And not everyone wants to wear armor over their entire body, as the more you wear the more it gets in your way. So precisely what armor you wear becomes another element of your fighting strategy. Choose carefully, because your life may depend on it.
Normally covers the torso only. Small (S) or smaller opponents gain a +2 to bypass rolls against partial armor worn by (M) or larger targets, because it has no leg protection. Partial Armor also includes components which can be added to Partial, Half or Medium armor, such as helmets, greaves, or gauntlets. Partial Armor usually has a bypass of 2. With additions like a helmet, coif, greaves, gauntlets and so on it can go up to 4 (that is, Half Armor).
Covers the torso (chest, shoulders, and back) and head only. No arm, leg or foot protection. Small (S) or smaller opponents gain a +2 to bypass rolls against half armor worn by (M) or larger targets, because it has no leg protection. Boots, helmet and / or arming jack can be worn in combination with other types of Half armor to enhance protection. If worn with other Partial Armor DR, Armor Check Penalty and weight are cumulative. Half armor takes one turn per Armor Check penalty to don. Half Armor has a bypass of 4.
Covers the torso, upper arms, upper thighs, and head. It includes an open or partially open helmet, a padded undergarment such as an arming doublet or a gambeson, and in some cases puttees or heavy leather boots worn as lower leg protection. No other armor can be worn with Medium armor. Small (S) or smaller opponents gain a +1 to bypass attempts against medium armor worn by (M) or larger opponents. Medium armor takes one round per armor check penalty to don. It can be donned in two stages, however. In one round the wearer can be considered in gambeson and helm. Medium Armor has a bypass of 6.
Covers the whole body leaving no area exposed. In addition to full armor covering torso, arms and legs, it includes a full helmet, mail coif, gauntlets, and a padded gambeson worn underneath the primary armor. Full armor takes three rounds per Armor Check penalty to don. It can be donned in three stages. In 2 rounds, the wearer is in gambeson. At the end of the 2 rounds per armor check penalty the wearer is in ‘Medium’ Armor (i.e. Bypass 6). Full Armor has a bypass of 8-10.