As the title of the question say, I would like to know how a rubbery octopus-like skin reinforced with the subdermal osteoderm like those of a komodo dragon but metal-based(magnesium ? iron or else) would fare realistically against medieval and contemporary weaponry.

Thank you in advance for answers !

  • $\begingroup$ I though about two alternatives : honey badger skin or boar skin. Which one of these two would be best with subdermal osteoderm. $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2021 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ The subdermal osteoderm could be made from a organic or semi-organic compound instead of a metal-based one, but there's so many. Is there any suggestions that could guide me toward some ? $\endgroup$ Mar 3, 2021 at 13:16

2 Answers 2

  1. It could be cut, but it would be hard to cut deeply unless you were lucky and got between the metal plates.

  2. It could be punctured with a spear or arrow. It would be hard to puncture deeply unless you were lucky and got between the metal plates.

  3. Nunchucks and other less common weapons using blunt force would work about the same as on a human. Shockwaves would propagate thru the skin and plates as through any mostly water mass. Seriously forceful blows might be worse for the creature - a square hit on a metal plate could break it loose and send it deeper into the creature, causing more trauma.

  4. Falling off a motorcycle would go better for the creature because I assume improved abrasion resistance for rubbery skin.

  5. Low velocity bullets / pellets might be stopped by a metal plate and that could go better for the creature than for a human.

  6. High velocity bullets from a long gun could hit a plate and propel it deeper or fragment the plate into the creature (spalling) which would do a lot of damage. A high velocity bullet might continue out the other side in a human; bones do not shatter quite as dramatically as metal so a hit on a bone would not produce the same internal shrapnel effect.

  7. Flame throwers will be acutely worse for the creature because the metal plates will tend to conduct heat deeper.

  8. Tasers might be considerably worse for the creature because of the conductivity of metal plates.

  9. Three Stooges type attacks (nose pull, eye poke, groin grab) will affect this creature more than a human, because humans are used to pain and suffering and this thing not so much because it is a rubbery skinned thing with internal armor. If it has an armored groin that might be ok for it.

In summary I think an attack by Moe Howard using a flaming taser nunchuck to the groin would be the way to take on this creature and would be wonderful for a fiction. Cowboys and samurai are out. Ninjas maybe but they need to be respectful of Moe.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This is a very thorough and thoughtful answer, good job Willk! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Mar 2, 2021 at 21:06
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ puncture would be fairly easily, rubbery skin is a bad substrate foe osteoderms they only work if they the impact can't just push them aside. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Mar 2, 2021 at 21:12

A few additions:

Willk has a very solid answer. I maybe disagree on a couple minor points.

Rubbery skin ISN'T skin made of rubber. I've got to go with John on this one, rubbery skin will not be as good at keeping armored plates in place, or resisting the complex crushing/shear forces of blunt trauma (there are reasons land animals don't have rubber skin) or the armor-piercing slashes from pole arms like halberds. Octopus skin isn't really going to be a good solution for something on land being stabbed/slashed/shot. I'd go leathery.

Otherwise I'm figuring the armor is akin to medieval armor, but with more superficial injury to the outer dermis than actual armor would normally allow. I'm not sure how good it would be vs bullets (chain/plate didn't fare well). IT WILL BE HARD TO FIX BUILT-IN ARMOR. Once injured, the armor won't join together again (since it sounds like these are implants). If the armor ISN'T implants, but grown, it will be a lot more likely to be a version of bone (bone IS metal-based already); at that point it's indistinguishable from osteoderm. They'd have decreased agility in all situations due to obligate weight. Overall, I don't know that it would be BETTER than wearing a good suit of plate/mail armor, except it would be hard to take away, and the creature would be always ready.


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