OK, I realize that body armor isn't a common item in the setting but it is mentioned - I just can't find any rules for it
Taking into consideration that RAW provides no weapons (According to John Wick, the player is a weapon regardless of what they wield), it would be pointless to add rules for armor.
Furthermore, with the first edition (I don't remember if the second edition explains this too), it was explained that armor was not that popular anymore, except for Eisen and their Dracheneisen, because when you start carrying muskets and pistols, armor is useless. If you also add that people started wielding weapons such as rapiers, sabers, daggers in order to fight faster and how duelists fought, armor would hinder them instead.
In my opinion, the easiest way to account for actual 'functional' armor is through the Signature Item advantage, particularly if it's Eisen armor or some other culture that had armor. This already provides a way for the armor to reduce damage, etc.
I don't recall styles with shields in second edition... In any case, they work the same way weapons and armor do, I mean, there may be shields but PCs don't get any mechanical edge, unless you get a shield as a signature weapon.
In Nations of Theah there is a vesten style that uses a shield.
As for armour - if an enemy is particularly well armored (which shouldn't be too common, unless on a battlefield), maybe one more raise needed to hit? For brute squads the same - not 1 more raise per brute, but 1 per squad (like goons in FFG's Star Wars).
Author of The Sarmatian Bestiary and Disadvantages.
I have a player whose signature item is a shield. Works perfect. Makes him happy.
Couldn't spending a Raise to counter a wound be described as deflecting it off a piece of armor? Or a shield?
No reason why not. And I'd be willing to give out flair for describing creative uses of armour or shields during an approach.
"I'm going to be relying on my body armour as a defense, allowing me to go full out in overwhelming the villain's parries."
It would require testing, but this thought comes to mind:
Light Armor - Prevent 1 Wound from all sources (not counting the Dramatic Wound from guns). You lose 1 Raise from any Round involving combat or movement.
Heavy Armor - Prevent 2 Wounds from all sources (not counting the Dramatic Wound from guns). You lose 2 Raises from any Round involving combat or movement.
The (obvious?) issue I see here is that since the Raise loss is equal to the Wounds prevented, there's really no difference between this and spending the Raises on countering the Wounds in the first place. The fact that it essentially forces the player to make this choice is a problem.
The benefit comes in if you're going to be taking damage from multiple sources in a single round is my guess. Then the armor wins out. Otherwise, it's a wash.
Aye. If all you ever fight are lone sea monsters and solitary brute squads, the armor I presented would not be a good choice. If you ever fight duelists (or multiple opponents) then the armor could be useful.