The Introduction goes to lengths to explain that this isn't just an update of the 2001 Arms & Armour book for the revised ruleset, but an overhaul of the entire contents with plenty of new material to feast upon. They've drawn on material published under the open gaming licence plus plenty of new original stuff to present a wealth of new weapon and armour types and options... even if they do liken it to a fashion-conscious individual searching through their wardrobe for just the right garment! They aim for the spirit of discovery that a new player has, when everything in the game is excitingly new and shiny.
We start with weapons, with three chapters devoted to them: firstly a list of just about any weapon that you can think of, then a chapter about weapon qualities which can be applied to the weapon of your choice, and finally a collection of Weapons of Valour, being a selection of ready-made magic weapons to use or at least be inspired by when designing your own. They also make good loot, if you're a DM looking for something interesting for the party to find. The weapons chapter discusses the categories weapons fall into: classification as simple, martial, and exotic; and then by size and type; making it quite easy to find the sort of weapon you're after - and which you are able to wield to effect. As well as tables providing statistics, each weapon is described and many are illustrated.
The spotlight then turns to armour, with the same format: a chapter listing all possible types of armour, a chapter on armour qualities, and then a selection of Armour of Gallantry with ready-made items to wear or at least be inspired by when designing your own. This armour section also covers getting into your armour in a hurry, and how some of it - especially shields - can also be used offensively. There is als a discussion of 'damage reduction' that may be implemented to give the party even more reason to wear it: basically, even if an attack hits (despite the AC your choice of protection confers) the armour you are wearing may absorb some of the damage the blow might otherwise do to you. Intriguing thought, although the bookkeeping is a bit intense.
The final part of the book looks at new materials you can use in the manufacture of weapons and armour, and the effects that they have, and presents an array of legendary if not divine weapons, and some new prestige classes to go with them, and there's also the 'dark side' of cursed items. Finally there are some ideas about constructs.
Well, the better part of two hundred pages covering the most important purchases a character might make, especially if they are front line fighters, present a wealth of options for what the well-dressed and appropriately accessorised warrior might be wearing!
Return to Arms & Armour v3.5 page.
Reviewed: 28 October 2019