Spider Silk Armor

Spider silk armor is the most expensive of unenchanted armor. Silk from monstrous giant spiders is collected and spun into thread. The thread is then formed into a textile of great strength and beauty. The fabric can be quilted by skilled artisans into jackets of light, flexible and effective armor. If plates of steel are sewn or riveted into the jacket, the result is as effective as plate armor while weighing less than a hauberk of mail. Due to the nature of the fabric, spider silk armor readily accepts enchantments. The most wealthy patrons with wizards in their employ have had highly decorated and enchanted spider silk gambeson’s fabricated.

An enterprising adventurer who was captured and put into one of the many slave armies of the Shadow Lord learned the value of fabric armors when he witnessed a squad of the Shadow Lord’s war wizards survive a volley of arrow from barbarian horse archers. The wizards were adorned in heavy quilted silk coats since their magic would not function in mail or plate. Though a few of the wizards were pierced by the projectiles in unarmored parts of their bodies, the majority were unscathed and merely pulled the broadheads from their coats as the cavalry retreated from the spell caster’s fiery response.

Escaping, the adventurer brought an example of this armor back from his captivity and service in the Shadow Lord’s armies. He found elven weavers and armorers to help him develop the first spider silk armor. After several failed attempts and several nearly fatal encounters in capturing monstrous spiders, the craft was learned. The crafts of safely gathering the silk, processing it into fabric and then into finished goods are closely held secrets. Master artisans pass the skills down to their carefully chosen apprentices and will never teach the skill to anyone else. The prices they charge are perhaps artificially inflated due to the scarcity of skilled armorers working in the medium however, the utility and status afforded the wearer of the armor so high that wealthy patrons are happy to pay it.

Spider Silk Armor (Swords & Wizardry version)

Cost for spider silk is 10X the equivalent metal armor at minimum. Decoration and magical enchantments increase the multiplier accordingly. Craftsmen who are capable of manufacturing it are exceedingly rare and usually concentrated in a single area due to the rarity of materials and the secretive nature of the masters who know the craft. Almost all jackets are made custom and to order, taking several months to years to construct depending on the complexity of the request. Guild masters always require 50% or as much as 75% of the agreed price up front with the remainder paid on completion. They will sometimes have a jack that went unclaimed by its buyer. If found as part of a treasure haul, 25% of these jackets will be enchanted.

Light AC -3 [+3] Quilted spider silk doublet protecting just the torso, weight as leather armor for purposes of thief skills and movement, wearable by wizards, thieves and monks Base cost 300gp, requires 1 month to contruct

Medium: AC -5 [+5] long arming coat about knee length, weight as ring armor, wearable by wizards, base cost 750 gp, requires 2 months to construct

Heavy: AC -7 [+7] Brigadine armor (small plates sewn or riveted into fabric coat), weight as chain, base cost 1000gp (though often far more), requires 6 months to construct.

Versions of brigandine using extremely rare metals (adamantium for example) have been made. Such coats are unique, constructed by master armorers, enchanted and impressively decorated for the most wealthy of clients such as a king or emperor.

Relevant Links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dragon_silk

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigandine

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambeson

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