This page summarizes base armor and related mechanics in Daggerfall. Armor, together with other factors, decreases the chance to be hit by physical attacks.
Each of the seven areas of the player's body (head, right arm, left arm, chest, hands, legs, and feet) can only be protected by one armor piece at a time. Each armor piece is assigned an "armor rating", which is factored into the chance for an opponent to hit the player with a physical attack; the higher the armor rating, the lower the chance to be hit. Upon each physical attack made against the player, the game selects one of the player's seven body areas (with the chest and hands most likely to be selected at a 4/20 chance for each, followed by the right arm, left arm, and legs at a 3/20 chance each, the head at a 2/20 chance, and the feet at a 1/20 chance). The game then computes the chance for the player to be successfully hit in consideration of the armor rating of any armor piece currently equipped over the selected body area. Armor pieces crafted of higher-grade material have higher armor ratings than the same pieces crafted of lower-grade material.
Notes regarding displayed armor ratings: Note that the armor ratings shown for each non-shield armor piece on the inventory screen player "paper doll" display (e.g. 21 for a Daedric armor piece) or the inventory screen "INFO" tooltips (e.g. 10 for a Daedric armor piece) are not the actual values used by the game in hit chance calculations; the displayed "paper doll" values are 1/5 (rounded down to the nearest full number) of the actual values used, while the displayed "INFO" values are 1/10 (rounded down to the nearest full number) of the actual values used. Nevertheless, this does not signify that wearing full Daedric armor will grant a 21 x 5 = 105% overall chance to avoid a physical attack, as many other factors (including the player's and opponent's agility, luck, skills, etc.) are also considered in these calculations.
- In Daggerfall Unity, the non-shield armor rating values shown on both the "paper doll" display and inventory screen "INFO" tooltips are consistent, reflecting the values shown only on the "paper doll" display in classic Daggerfall.
Notes regarding shields: Regardless of material type, displayed armor ratings for shields are always 1 for bucklers, 2 for round shields, 3 for kite shields, and 4 for tower shields. Similar to the discussion immediately above, the armor ratings shown for each shield on the inventory screen player "paper doll" display and the inventory screen "INFO" tooltips (e.g. 1 for a buckler) are not the actual values used by the game in hit chance calculations; the displayed "paper doll" and inventory screen "INFO" tooltip values are 1/5 (rounded down to the nearest full number) of the actual values used. Thus, unlike non-shield armor pieces, shields' displayed armor ratings are at least consistent between the "paper doll" display and inventory tooltips. When equipped, shields enhance the armor ratings for the player's body areas as shown on the "paper doll" display: bucklers affect the left arm (right side of the display) and hands; round shields and kite shields the left arm, hands, and legs; and tower shields the left arm, hands, legs, and head. Note that although material type does not affect shields' armor ratings, it does impact their enchantment capacity.
You may have one of each of the following seven armor pieces equipped at a time:
- Helm: head armor.
- Right Pauldron: shoulder and arm covering for the right arm.
- Left Pauldron: shoulder and arm covering for the left arm.
- Cuirass: chest armor. This may be crafted of padded leather, chain mail, or metal plate.
- Gauntlets: hand coverings. These function as a single set for both hands.
- Greaves: leg armor. These function as a single set for both legs.
- Boots: protective footwear. These function as a single set for both feet.
There are also four types of shields:
- Buckler: a small shield that straps to the arm.
- Round Shield: larger than a buckler.
- Kite Shield: a large shield that tapers to a point.
- Tower Shield: the largest and most protective type of shield.
The following table lists the materials used to create armor and shields, and their effects on the item's armor rating (except for shields) and weight. Note that helms and shields in Daggerfall aren't labeled in the game with their component materials; for details, see Daggerfall:Items#Shields_and_Helms.
|Material||Armor Rating*||Weight Modifier†|
*As noted above, armor ratings for shields are static, and independent of their material type. Also, due to a game bug referenced at the top of the page, non-shield armor ratings displayed via inventory screen "INFO" tooltips are less than the values displayed via the inventory screen player "paper doll", the latter of which are shown in the above table.
†Weight modifiers are rounded, and therefore will not always precisely reflect the multiplier.
- The Daggerfall User's Guide (Pg. 61 for Weapons, and 63 for Armor) claims that the Orcish should be somewhere between Dwarven and Mithril in quality, though this is not the case in-game.