A character in my ongoing Exalted 2e game has an artifact chain shirt. Artifact chain shirts are described as being able to be worn under ordinary clothing (it has no mobility penalty or fatigue value). He's also recently acquired a (non-artifact) reinforced breastplate. He'd like to wear them both. I don't see any rules describing whether this can be done, what net protective effect it would have, or what effect it would have on mobility and fatigue.

Can multiple types of armor be stacked? How would I adjudicate this?

The character in question is pretty fragile so I'm not entirely opposed to his getting some kind of benefit, but I worry about setting a precedent that will bite me later.


1 Answer 1


Sure, provided you can reasonably get on more armor on top of it

As far as I am aware, there is no rule against stacking armor provided you can physically put it on. Plus, The Scroll of Errata (p. 43) points out the following about tattoo armor:

Question: Can tattooed armor stack with any other worn armor?

Answer: Typically, yes.

There are a couple of things to remember when doing this though (Assuming an Orichalcum Chain Shirt):

Hardness does not stack with any other hardness

So you'd just take the higher value. (The 3L/3B from the artifact chain shirt since Regular breastplates have none).

Mobility Penalties are internal penalties, and penalties can stack

So the two armors would stack their mobility penalties, (Not that a chain shirt has one).

They also presumably would add their fatigue values together (1 from the Breastplate, 0 from the chain shirt), though you could make the argument for 2 fatigue rolls (I'd go with stacking them).

Soak Would Stack

So you're looking at +11L/7B (+4L/2B from the breastplate + 7L/5B from the Chain Shirt).

All in all, you're looking at something that is worse (In soak by a little, hardness by far) than an Orichalcum Reinforced Breastplate, For 1 dot in Artifact and 1 dot of Resources. That's not overpowered. Just don't let them get the idea that they can summon demons to act as armor and wear that underneath power armor...

  • \$\begingroup\$ Tattoo armor is an explicit exception to soak values stacking. It's been a while, but I don't even think armors could (under normal circumstances) stack in vanilla 2e rules, much less 2.5 errata. (I believe there are one or two other artifact armors that are also exceptions to the rule.) \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian S
    Nov 7, 2013 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BrianS - Except there's no explicit "Soak doesn't stack" rule. There is a "Hardness doesn't stack" rule, but that's not the same as soak. Armor is a bit iffy though, since you have to conceivably be able to get it under other armor. Some people over here (forums.white-wolf.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=2241) discuss just this. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Nov 8, 2013 at 4:49
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You're probably right about vanilla 2e. (And your answer was from before 2.5e's release.) However, the "Bonus Stacking" section of the 2.5e Scroll of Errata, p15 says: "Bonuses from equipment (including magical material bonuses) do not stack with one another; the character enjoys only the best among his various modifiers... Likewise, a character wearing lamellar armor and a magic girdle that provides armored soak enjoys only the higher of the two soak ratings—they do not stack together." The errata on Tattoo Artifact specifically calls out tattoo armor as stacking with other armor. \$\endgroup\$
    – Brian S
    Nov 13, 2013 at 2:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh Scroll of Errata, how you've changed everything. @BrianS, you should make another answer here with the Errata updates. \$\endgroup\$
    – Cthos
    Nov 13, 2013 at 21:18

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