Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Lightly-Armored Fighter Collection

There's a thing, in the fantasy game world, that we can call the "Chain Mail Bikini Thing."

This is where, traditionally, male characters are drawn in some sort of full armor, such as might prevent a weapon from piercing, slashing or directly bludgeoning the flesh, and female characters are drawn in, well, some variation of a chain mail bikini.

A chain mail bikini cannot logically be supposed to provide the sort of physical protection from damage that armor with more coverage would offer, but it is explained, in practical terms, with the argument that men like to look at scantily clad women.

This may well be so. And you know, I'm willing to buy that magical chain mail bikinis may offer an armor bonus beyond what would be expected from something that leaves so many vital organs unprotected. I've decided that I can hardly object to chain mail bikini depictions, provided we can start getting some similarly magical armor for male characters.

It could be based on a wide variety of classical models, some of which may be seen in the following photos I took in the Louvre. I would be happy to see any of them in a future rule book or video game. (Of course I was thinking about games in the Louvre. What did you expect?)

I guess I should warn that some of these are not NSFW since there are some naked manly bits, but it's art, so I think we're cool. A greater problem is the rather poor image quality, for which I apologize.

 Basically just naked. A perfectly good look. Simple and to the point, if not allowing for a lot in the way of armor customization for the player.

Naked and striking a pose! Yes indeed.

 Naked save for a handsome drapery. In-game, this could be cut from a variety of fabrics and colors to personalize your character's look while still leaving plenty of enticing skin exposed.

Naked, but with the trace of some sort of buckler or something. The guy's not un-armored, he just travels light.

If David can slay Goliath in this smart hat and velvet loincloth, I don't really see why anyone needs anything more.

One of my favorites. This gentleman is definitely not naked: he's got a shield, sandals, some sort of shoulder sash, a nice bit of draping, and a helmet. At the same time, there's a lot of skin to admire. With proper enchantments on these items, I honestly don't see why any male fighter should wear more than this.

Again, with good spells on his sandals, shield and helmet, he shouldn't have to worry about a complete lack of protection on his back and torso.

I like to think this is sort of the Chain Mail Speedo.

This is honestly a bit more armor than I like to see on a man, but it's at least skin tight on the chest, so I'm going to let it slide. It would also be appropriate for a science fiction game, where skin tight is the name of the game.

I like the way this guy has a fairly substantial cloak over one shoulder, but still doesn't bother to put anything around his middle. This is called confidence.

This poor fellow seems to have just been stabbed through the chest, suggesting that the magic on his helmet and shoulder strap may have failed. It's important to get quality spells!

If you can kill a snake with a rock while in the nude, you're all right with me.

Identifying information suggested this gentleman was a captive, so he could potentially have been stripped of more armor prior to the sculpting of this likeness, but he was a fighter, so I included him.

The old 'helmet, drape and shoulder strap' look. It's a good one, and I would like to see more of it.

Bringing down a deer, clad only in a bit of fur. This is also a good look for a male warrior.

Obviously, men as well as women are perfectly capable of fighting battles in skimpy outfits. I call on game illustrators to extend the magic of the chain mail bikini to proud male warriors who would also enjoy not having to sweat inside heavy armor!



jtfburgess said...

The savage sword of Conan, indeed. People seem to have a hard time understanding that one can be sex-positive and still disapprove of chainmail bunnies. I like girly bits as much as the next fellow, but I'd rather the next generation of awesome, adorably dorky girls not grow up believing that in order to be desirable they had to show 90% of their body off at scifi conventions.

A'Llyn said...

A thousand times yes!