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Brigandine was a type of composite light armor, a cross between studded leather and splint mail armors.[5][4]


A brigandine had undercoat, often made out of soft leather, thick cloth, or rough canvas, and reinforced with leather plates with steel strips inside them.[4][5][6] The leather plates were riveted to the the undercoat and another layer of cloth was affixed to the armor's exterior - its overcoat. This construction made brigandine a high lighter alternative to scale armor.[5] More prominent versions of brigandines were made using dragon hide.[7]

The cloth overcoat served three purposes: it reinforced the composition of brigandine and hid the armor's nature from the distance, appearing as regular tunics, and it muffled the sound making brigandines quieter than chain and slit armor, but not as quiet as leathers or studded leathers. Comparatively to other armor types, brigandine was heavier but more flexible than hide armor while being stiffer but lighter than scale mail.[5]

Some makeshift brigandines were crafted by pirates and brigands out of ship sails, canvas sacks, coins, and brass splitters. Even these makeshift brigandines offered good protection against slashing weapons.[5]


  • Armorers capable of making brigandine or modifying garments into it could be found in nearly all cities and towns in the Realms, as well as in many places along trade routes. Armorers capable of making it were also common in dwarf, gnome, and orc communities.[8]
  • Tethyrian brigands, namely a "collective of demi-humans of diminutive stature", a group of halfling bandits collecting toll from travelers, wore oversized brigandine corsets.[9]
  • Sembian nobles were known to wear brigandines underneath their robes.[10]
  • In the Blade Kingdoms, brigandines were worn by the crossbowmen guards of Colletro.[11]
  • Brigandines dated back to the time of the great empire of Netheril and were in common use.[12]

Notable Brigandines

  • Deepknight's brigandine: a heavy armor version of a brigandine, created to be a boon for explorers of the Underdark.[13]

Notable Users


Brigandines were popular among rogues and brigands for their light weight, protection, and inconspicuous appearance. Rangers often owned a set of brigandine as a battle-ready replacement for their leather outfits. Warriors often picked up brigandines when sturdier armors were no available. Smuggles often used brigandines, concealing their illicit goods within the armors' layers.[5]




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Referenced only
Lost Cause
Video Games
Neverwinter: The Cloaked Ascendancy
Card Games
AD&D Trading Cards

External Links


  1. Gary Gygax (1978). Players Handbook 1st edition. (TSR, Inc.), p. 35. ISBN 0-9356-9601-6.
  2. David "Zeb" Cook (August 1989). Player's Handbook (2nd edition). (TSR, Inc.), p. 69. ISBN 0-88038-716-5.
  3. Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook, Skip Williams (July 2003). Player's Handbook v.3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 123, 125. ISBN 0-7869-2886-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Eric Cagle, Jesse Decker, Jeff Quick, and James Wyatt (March 2003). Arms and Equipment Guide 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 14–15. ISBN 978-0-7869-2649-7.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Grant Boucher, Troy Christensen, Jon Pickens, John Terra and Scott Davis (1991). Arms and Equipment Guide. (TSR, Inc.), p. 14. ISBN 1-56076-109-1.
  6. David "Zeb" Cook (April 1995). Player's Handbook 2nd edition (revised). (TSR, Inc.), pp. 99–100. ISBN 0-7869-0329-5.
  7. Richard Lee Byers (May 2006). The Ruin. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 7. ISBN 0-7869-4003-4.
  8. Ed Greenwood, The Hooded One (2009-01-11). Questions for Ed Greenwood (2009). Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2020-12-06.
  9. Victor Milán (October 1995). War in Tethyr. (TSR, Inc), chap. 1. ISBN 0-7869-0184-5.
  10. Richard Lee Byers (June 2001). The Shattered Mask. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 13. ISBN 978-0-7869-4266-4.
  11. Paul Kidd (November 1996). The Council of Blades. (TSR, Inc.), chap. 1, p. 2. ISBN 978-0786905317.
  12. slade, James Butler (November 1996). Netheril: Empire of Magic (The Winds of Netheril). (TSR, Inc.), p. 31. ISBN 0-7869-0437-2.
  13. Cryptic Studios (February 2017). Neverwinter: The Cloaked Ascendancy. Perfect World Entertainment.
  14. Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 24. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
  15. Richard Lee Byers (April 2007). Unclean. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 3. ISBN 978-0-7869-4258-9.
  16. Richard Lee Byers (April 2004). The Rage. (Wizards of the Coast), chap. 1. ISBN 0-7869-3187-6.
  17. Walter M. Baas and Kira Glass (1991). Nightwatch in the Living City. (TSR, Inc), p. 17. ISBN 1-56076-068-0.
  18. Thomas M. Reid (1993). AD&D Trading Cards 1993 series, #194, "Terasaka Tadafusa". TSR, Inc..
  19. Ed Greenwood (December 1993). “The Whistling Skeleton”. In Kim Mohan ed. Dragon #200 (TSR, Inc.), p. 46.