Flex Armor

In all the Traveller incarnations that I can think of, flex armor stops at TL-8 or 9. From there combat and battle armor are introduced and get all the attention. But in most versions of the game, civilians aren't allowed to have combat armor; it's restricted to military personnel. I'm not sure if mercenaries get a pass or not. And in a couple versions of Traveller, even wearing flex armor is prohibited for civilians past a modest law level.

While it can be argued that no sane game designer or GM expects players to sit idly by and not demand combat armor, so no one bothered to delve any further into this line of armor. But giving in too soon can lead the game down to munchkinism. And shouldn't the GM be able to equip non-military personnel (law enforcement, spies, private security firms, etc.) with better armor?

And aside from that, as scientists create new and improved materials shouldn't these improvements continue to show up in flex armor?

I expanded some tables in a spreadsheet (Chris Griffen's old "Personal Armor Design Sheet") to incorporate new materials with improved armor value. In a nutshell, here's what I came up with (TNE stats):

TLAVMaterialPrice (cr/kg)
81Ballistic Weave100
91.25Modified Ballistic Weave125
101.5Improved Synthetics150
111.75Advanced Synthetics175
121.5Light Synthetics (Half the weight)250
142Coherent Synthetics—Lite (Half the weight) 300
142.5Coherent Synthetics—Heavy (Regular weight) 350

Price is the manufacturing cost. Wholesale and retail markup is up to the GM's discretion. I recommend 1.25-3x for wholesale and 5-10x for retail.

Note that the AV for the high tech materials rivals that of combat armor when the latter is introduced.

I used the TL-7 Ballistic Cloth weight as the standard. While I wanted the armor to improve in protection, I didn't want it to come at a miracle loss in weight. If weight is sacrificed, so does protection. So someone could take the Nanoweave material and shave most of the weight off for the same protection as lower tech stuff. However, I think encumbrance rules mean you're still encumbered. Though I suppose you could ditch the leg and arm sleeves.

I'm also trying to avoid potential copyright infringement. So by telling you that something is the standard without giving those actual numbers, it means that you'll have to already own the source material to know what I'm talking about.

Thanks to Claude Murdoch, Christopher Griffen, and Edward Fok for their direct or indirect (as the case may be) assistance in the compilation of this list.

Back to Equipment List