A Treatsie upon the benefits and drawbacks of Armor based upon my experiences in the field.
The benefits of armor cannot be understated. While using such one seeks to protect themselves from the blows which land upon them. Hits that might otherwise deal significant damage can be reduced to a mere tickle. This allows one to remain in a more offensive posture to strike out at their opponent instead of having to focus their energies on defense. However, attacks which one might otherwise dodge still land and are damaging, even though that damage is much reduced. While remaining in a more offensive posture makes one able to deal significantly more damage to their foes, such a posture also makes one much easier to be bashed down upon the ground.
For those who are skilled with a blade this can be quite important. Those who seek to master their emotions can strike much more effectively and further increase their ability to damage their opponent. Those who fight more creatively though can react quicker if they are knocked down, springing up to continue their movements. Because of this it initially seems that armor would be more useful to one who fights creatively as opposed to emotionlessly. The emotionless fighter would seem to be more suited to dodging the attacks of their opponent and using critical strikes to win. The creative fighter however would be better suited to maintain a more aggressive posture, using his ability to spring up from being bashed in combination with armor to absorb damage.
An aware warrior can overcome the difficulty of being knocked down most of the time however, standing up before his opponent strikes with his next attack. This also keeps ones bladeforms going as long as he stands before he completes his form. Because of this I personally believe that armor is still of great use to a warrior who uses an emotionless philosophy. As he increases in his knowledge of the blade so do his chances of landing those critical attacks. This means that although he must be more aware of the attacks of his opponent, not only can he remain in a more aggressive posture, he can also take advantage of his ability to deal greater damage.
Just as the benefits of armor are quite important, it is also just as important to acknowledge the drawbacks. A heavily armored man cannot dodge easily, making him easier prey for multiple opponents. Although each hit upon him may seem only a tickle many enemies can surround, overwhelm, and bring him down. Another, more common, drawback of armor is unsteadiness. Those who are unaccustomed to wearing armor find that they have a hard time keeping their balance and tend to fall. This can be overcome by either wearing lighter armor, or by further training themselves in the usage of it. A master of the usage of armor is completely steady on his feet.
In summary armor can be extremely useful for a warrior. He can withstand attacks which would otherwise be devastating. He can maintain a more offensive posture, shrugging off the attacks of his opponents while he himself attacks more quickly and harder than a defensive fighter would. He must be aware of his limitations though. An armored man can be overwhelmed by multiple opponents due to his inability to dodge. Also those who have not yet mastered the usage of armor are unsteady and fall often. For those who study the ways of the blade armor at first appears more useful to those of the creative philosophy because of their ability to quickly recover from being knocked down. One who practices the emotionless philosophy however can also make good use of armor provided he pays close attention to his opponent and makes sure to stand if he is knocked to the ground.
Written this day, the 5th of Nesan, 1073 NE, in the light.
Joim Kearns, Bannerman in the Cairhienin Elitesmen and Attendant to House Mantear.
For in character logs and discussion.
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