12
$\begingroup$

What Is The Problem?

In this question, a woman from the modern age is brought into the medieval era, which is problematic because what we consider fashionable today is incredibly immodest. In my story, I have a similar problem; teenagers (13-19-year-olds) being brought into a medieval world through a video game.

Or, to make things clearer, my problem is that my characters will be transformed into replicas of their characters, and the clothes they're wearing upon arrival, as well as the clothes they can buy, will inadvertently come to reflect that (ie. have inherent fanservice in their designs).

There are two ways to deal with this; 1, simply work from that point and deal with it in-story, or 2, work out logical reasons for adventurers wearing fanservice-y outfits. This question is to see if 2 is feasible, if immodest adventurers can be explained, because my previous attempt failed. (NOTE: This question is different from the previous; the previous concerned how magic would affect clothing design and this one concerns why adventurers and mages would wear immodest clothing.) Restated, my question is, Why Would Mages And Adventurers Wear Impractical Clothing? or in other words, what in-world reason would explain a character wearing impractical clothing?

Clarification: By 'impractical,' I mean something like the 'chainmail bikini' trope. Practical for attracting the opposite gender, but otherwise almost totally impractical. I am aware that fashion choices are determined by a mix of factors (need, taste, availability) and the best answer will account for those factors to determine why the groups specified above would wear impractical clothing anyway.

Please Note: I am aware there are some questions that deal with similar premises, though they concern witches and superheroes instead. Please feel free to use these for inspiration if needed.

Lastly, do not assume a one-sided scenario where women are the only ones suffering; please instead assume a scenario like in Genshin Impact, where fanservice is more or less equal between genders.

Reference: My Reasoning So Far

Here are some possible, semi-practical reasons for the aforementioned groups (mages and adventurers) wearing revealing clothing that I thought up. Feel free to elaborate or ignore these points when answering the question.

  • Less clothes, less heat
  • Skimpier clothing should (but may not) be less costly to repair and replace throughout one's career
  • Misconception (ie. the idea that even normal clothing can and does interfere with magic)
  • To attract the opposite sex (goes without saying, but applies even more to adventurers and mages)
  • Revealing clothing may not necessarily show more skin, and may actually be thick enough to offer some protection
  • Adventurers can become insanely durable (ie. strong enough to tank hits from a warhammer or ballista) as they 'Level Up,' potentially eliminating their need for armor and making protective clothing a non-issue

Thank you for your input, I truly appreciate it!

$\endgroup$
28
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Firestryke: yes, yes it does! However, its guy characters tend to be shirtless, and it could be argued they are _less_modest than the female characters! This is what I'm interested in, equal clothing problems for both genders, and that's why I chose it as an example. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 0:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If the mage is powerful enough, people wouldn't raise any concerns about immodesty! $\endgroup$
    – nzaman
    Aug 20 at 4:13
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Because they think they look cool. Check out any SF&F convention. Or indeed any costumed event. Viking horns. Goths. Bare chests. Waving cloaks. They like the way they look. $\endgroup$
    – RedSonja
    Aug 20 at 7:19
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "Fan Service" with 13 - 19 year old characters makes me give you dirty looks. $\endgroup$
    – Issel
    Aug 20 at 18:56
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ If you want to satirise the sexualisation of 13-year-olds, you should do it without creating sexualised depictions of 13-year-olds. For obvious reasons. If the purpose of your story is to satirise fan-service, it seems to me like instead of writing a story where fan-service outfits are justified for some in-world reason, you should write a story where those outfits are not justified in order to highlight the fact that those outfits are included in other media for out-of-story reasons (i.e. fan service). So by my reckoning you are asking exactly the opposite of what you should actually do. $\endgroup$
    – kaya3
    Aug 22 at 18:47

19 Answers 19

8
$\begingroup$

Magic is Expensive and Restrictive

The simplest reason to handwave why people would wear impractical or revealing clothing is because it is just too damn expensive otherwise. Most adventurers and mages are going to be poor, especially when they first start their career, and so they are going to be looking to cut costs as much as possible while maximizing the benefits. Working backwards, this means that there has to be something about magical items that make them too expensive to afford while also covering as much of the body as a normal set of clothes.

The two options I see for that is that only rare materials can be enchanted, or the actual enchanting process becomes harder based on the surface area of the thing being enchanted. For the first option you can either choose normal materials and make them rarer, such as iron or steel being less common in the fantasy world than ours, or go with more "naturally" magical materials like dragonhide and adamantine. Either way, the rarity of the material means that a full suit of plate armor would cost a small fortune but a chainmail bikini could be affordable by a mid-tier adventurer.

The second option is making magic harder based on the size/amount of material. You can get as in-depth with this as you feel like but the main idea is that the effort to enchant something increases as the size increases, and not in linear progression. Since we are talking clothes surface area is probably the issue. That way a pair of short-shorts or a mini-skirt might be possible for an average mage to enchant, but a full pair of pants is just too much surface area for most mages to handle.

Both of the above options don't necessarily preclude more modest attire being enchanted, it just means that anyone wearing them is incredibly rich and/or powerful. A set of full-plate armor made of enchanted dragonhide would be the kind of ancient heirloom that a kingdom would keep locked in a vault unless absolutely necessary. And any mage able to enchant a full neck-to-floor robe would be considered an absolute master of their craft.

Of course, you still need to explain why adventurers are willing to wear revealing clothes only, instead of something like a shirt and pants with a magical bikini on top. That depends a lot more on how the magic works in your setting, but my very first thought would be something like needing skin contact to work (hence everything being tight fitting), and maybe some issue with the items losing power if covered up for long periods of time (to prevent magic underwear under sensible pants).

$\endgroup$
4
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ There's some irony here, I think, in that a scantily-clad mage is one to take only somewhat seriously, but a modestly clad mage would immediately trigger a RLH! reaction 🙂. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    Aug 20 at 20:15
  • $\begingroup$ I love this idea! It makes it possible for PCs to wear game clothing without horrible repercussions, but also makes modesty possible (and preferable)! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:38
  • $\begingroup$ Related trope. Some things have to be forged in the heart of dying star. It's hard enough to make a spearhead out of it, much less a full set of armor. $\endgroup$
    – Muz
    Aug 25 at 10:46
  • $\begingroup$ Alright, I'll be using a mix of almost all answers here, as they were truly excellent and well-reasoned, but in the end yours was the most practical and easiest to implement. Great job! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 26 at 0:14
34
$\begingroup$

Magic

If an item is enchanted to protect you, it really doesn't matter what it's made of. Now if it's make up doesn't matter as far as protection goes, it might as well make you look good.

Eventually magic armour becomes like the bright colours on a poison arrow frog. The more skimpy and garish the armour, the better the enchantment on it must be thus your chain mail bikini clearly shows the wearer is extremely well protected and clearly a dangerous warrior

enter image description here

In the book Curse of the Azure Bonds, Alias hates the chain mail thinking it's stupid having a split down the middle as the perfect spot in insert a sword but she knows it's heavily enchanted and better armour than full platemail.

$\endgroup$
5
  • $\begingroup$ Interesting idea, though I'm not sure where to go with it.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 1:38
  • $\begingroup$ I thought that getup was more of a flamboyant ceremonial thing she got at the end of the book, not her usual wear. But it's been a long time since I've read the book. $\endgroup$
    – Redbud201
    Aug 20 at 7:33
  • $\begingroup$ @Redbud201 It was but she keeps it and wears in in the next two books as well. $\endgroup$
    – Thorne
    Aug 20 at 11:33
  • 7
    $\begingroup$ And a mage can wear flimsy footwear and robes which drag on the ground, since flimsiness does not interfere with magical foot protection, and robes can be made self-cleaning. As with armor (and high-status clothing in general, not just when magic is involved), impracticality is a way of flaunting status and power. $\endgroup$ Aug 20 at 12:47
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ There's actually an advantage to such armor--it denies the attacker the ability to discern it's weak points. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 at 1:49
28
$\begingroup$

Adventurers are mercenaries; mercenaries need to advertise.

In Renaissance Europe, mercenary armies were common. These troops were often garishly bedecked, such as the famous Landsknechts, who wore bright colors, gaudy patterns, and fashionable materials. The ostentation of these units served several purposes: it gave the troops a convenient way to carry their wealth, and advertised that wealth to potential employers. ("I fight enough and earn enough pay to wear this!") It also raised the morale of the troops by ensuring their allies stand out on the battlefield.

Adventurers would have much the same desire to see and be seen: by allies, by rivals, and by employers. Garish, fabulous, ostentatious, expensive, and above all memorable clothing is a major way to push your "brand" in a world that doesn't have periodicals or social media to advertise on.

$\endgroup$
7
  • $\begingroup$ Very practical, though I have to point out that even considering advertising, offending citizens and potential clients through one's clothing choices is a Very Big Deal. Do you think this would end up a non-issue, or end up getting mitigated? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 19 at 23:50
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Alendyias I think that depends a lot on the circumstances, but in general, they're not trying to get invited to the royal ball. As long as they don't look evil I suspect people will have more pressing things to worry about... and if they don't, they aren't going to be hiring adventurers in any case. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Aug 20 at 0:07
  • $\begingroup$ Much depends on how good ranged attacks are. $\endgroup$
    – Mary
    Aug 20 at 2:46
  • 24
    $\begingroup$ @Alendyias A: "You are without doubt the most scandalous degenerate adventurer I've ever heard of. " B: "But you have heard of me" $\endgroup$ Aug 20 at 7:39
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ you would also get a feedback loop, once enough adventurers dress like this if you don't dress like that people don't think you are an adventurer. $\endgroup$
    – John
    Aug 20 at 14:15
16
$\begingroup$

There is a reason why some witches cast spells while dancing naked under moonlight. Sometimes mana is like beta radiation, unable to penetrate deeply into one's body if they are wearing bulky clothing.

Even if you are not a mage, using those mad sword skills or doing anime like acrobatics will still cost you mana. You recharge by absorbing ambient mana, and the more clothing you wear, the slower you recharge.

Simce it is very easy to enchant a piece of cloth for magical shielding, a bikini mail becomes as effective as full plate at stopping arrows. Since it will grant extra mobility, it is preferrable.


Or the world is just freaking hot, you know. There is a reason people wear less clothing in tropical places than in cold ones.

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ Great answer, though it reminds me of the previous one in more ways than one...which isn't bad, just odd. However, I'm unsure I want to accept the potential problems in making magic shielding easy or prevalent, and my setting reflects medieval Europe and is therefore not "freaking hot"...... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 19 at 23:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I really like this concept of mana absorption. It would as well offer an explanation on why higher rank armor is "less" the higher the level of the armor becomes, because it would take more skill to imbue less material with the same amount of shielding properties. So it takes more skill to make more revealing armor which is just as protective as the unrevealing armor, but allows you to tank on more mana. $\endgroup$
    – trikPu
    Aug 20 at 14:00
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I was thinking along related lines--you can only absorb mana from the environment through bare skin. Hence outfits that favor maximum skin exposure. However, the R-rated bits are all areas which are quite sensitive and need protection against the environment (think of brushing against a tree or the like), not just attacks. Thus most outfits cover them and we get PG-13 attire for normal use and nudity for magical rituals. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 at 2:04
9
$\begingroup$

Those are the available clothes.

In the real world I can make clothes out of rubber dinosaurs or woven grass or used tires (which make fine shorts) and generally be the Style Master I was born to be. In a video game try as I might I can do none of those things. In-game clothes I can wear are made available to me as clothes, and even though I can kill people, I cannot strip the clothes off of the people I kill and put them on - not even the sweet hat which was why I killed him. Clothes available to me are those made available by the game and maybe not even that - in many games I cannot change my clothes or appearance at all. Sometimes I have no clothes, but appear as a little gun. In no games do I ever have to use the bathroom unless that is what the little gun is doing. Pew pew!

Yes. Your medieval world is still circumscribed by game rules of what is and is not possible. In this world your characters appear in the clothes they have. Possibly they cannot take them off. They don't need to take them off because they do not have to go to the bathroom and try as they might they do not get dirty and their hair stays fantastic. It is for the best that they do not take off their clothes or even reach inside because they would discover that they have no genitals.

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is by far the easiest solution to enact, and I appreciate how well-reasoned it is. However, Alendyias is not so fettered by game conventions as you think, mostly due to a wish for realism. For example, PCs are normal human beings in the image of their character, they still have to go to the bathroom. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 19 at 23:49
7
$\begingroup$

Screw pretenses, make God horny

Why are chain mail bikinis so good? Because God will magically deflect projectiles from you if you wear it. All the magical clothes designs that a skimpy have their power boosted, and all covering designs have their power reduced, or might just fall apart.

$\endgroup$
5
  • $\begingroup$ "covering designs [...] might just fall apart" — this. Seriously, it would be absolutely hilarious if one of the inexplicable features of the setting is that "modest" clothing has a remarkable tendency to be easily damaged... in ways that are, shall we say, "suspicious" 😁. $\endgroup$
    – Matthew
    Aug 20 at 13:53
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I can see an addition to the Problems of girl armour videos. If the girl adventurer puts on a cloak or tunic, the very first weapon strike on them will make the extra clothing fall off. $\endgroup$ Aug 20 at 15:34
  • $\begingroup$ I definitely can't go this angle, but I can see good potential to work with. Perhaps humanoid monsters decide to 'keep or kill' based on one's clothing choices? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:51
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @Alendyias nobody is fooled by your act. If you are going to be horny then be honest about it. Making up contrivances to excuse your horny fools no one, and ends up looking silly. $\endgroup$ Aug 21 at 6:06
  • $\begingroup$ I could see this for a sexuality-focused deity, but not for all gods. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 at 2:06
6
$\begingroup$

Practicality

I'm going to go the completely opposite direction and declare that the fan-servicy armor is the more practical attire. Adventurers spend a huge amount of time getting from point A to point B. Delving into caves, climbing ropes, no A/C in the taverns. Oh and the typical backpack of random equipment. At some point you want to remove everything non-essential to your profession. Especially hot metal after it's been in the sun for a few hours of marching.

In the past there were people who used bucklers rather than full tower shields. Why not go a step further and remove the un-necessary bits? Humans have a rib cage that's fairly servicable when it comes to preventing slashes/stabs from getting to those internal organs. Thus, all you really need is a codpiece, gloves, shoes and a helmet.

$\endgroup$
9
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ This is doubly interesting because historically knights (or legionnaires) were not wearing their armor for traveling: too heavy! Instead, during travel, the armors would be stashed in a pack carried by a donkey, and be equipped only for battle or representation. If the bulk of the adventurers spend their time traveling through places a donkey cannot follow -- like, climbing -- then they have to wear everything themselves, and will prefer extra rope and provisions to stiff leather or breastplate. This is a stark difference between adventurers and guards. $\endgroup$ Aug 21 at 10:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Ever look an Army soldier? The standard issue uniform is essentially sturdy cloth. Yes, the army has Kevlar vests and the EOD bomb suits. Those are not worn in peaceful areas as the soldier will tire immediately. Even in warzone the extra protection is often skipped. Your guards may also wear fan-servicy outfits too! $\endgroup$
    – DKATyler
    Aug 21 at 15:21
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @DKATyler The army generally does not wear armor because the weapon-vs-armor battle has been decisively won by the weapon at the infantry level. Armor is a detriment when someone is shooting at you. Armor exists only to reduce injuries when dealing with the bits thrown by explosions. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 at 2:11
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Bucklers are a duelling defence (and offhand striking weapon), optimized for duelling with fast, lightweight, single-hand weapons against a single opponent in a controlled environment with neither opponent armoured. The moment any of those assumptions stop being true - multiple people, ranged weapons, armour (and the heavier armour-defeating weapons required), spears - then larger shields are your friend. That only stops being true when ranged armour-piercing weapons take over and bayonets effectively convert them into spears. $\endgroup$
    – Graham
    Aug 22 at 8:57
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MerseyViking Which has nothing to do with the fact that armor sufficient to stop a bullet is more of an impediment to the soldier than using a more powerful bullet is to the guy shooting at him. Thus you only wear armor against shrapnel, not bullets. $\endgroup$ Aug 23 at 1:40
5
$\begingroup$

It works specifically because it is a video game

I have a similar problem; teenagers (13-19-year-olds) being brought into a medieval world through a video game.

You characters did not go into the actual medieval period, but a videogame loosely based off of the medieval period. This makes a huge difference. Videogames do not actually deal or prevent damage based on physics, but based on stat blocks; so, if your hero has a helmet of 99% psychic protection or the female version of the breastplate of Argon then what it looks like has nothing to do with how well it preforms.

Vanity armor is effective literally for no other reason than because the simulated reality your hero has delved into says it is.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ This is a great point; I was planning on adding video-game rules anyway, and this would be quite the sensible edition. Thanks for your answer! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:40
4
$\begingroup$

Fanservice pays

Assuming that your characters are trapped inside the game, i.e., that the world is still a video game of some sort, then you can add a mechanic whereby the characters benefit from fan appreciation.

This could be something overt, like the gifts bestowed by fans in the "Hunger Games", or a more general level-like effect.

Of course, this means that fans need to be watching or participating in some way for some reason -- maybe a big change to your story line, but maybe a good one.

$\endgroup$
1
  • $\begingroup$ Great idea on the fan appreciation, I can sense some great potential here.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:42
2
$\begingroup$

Fashion, pure and simple. (Which includes the idea of modesty.) You can look at pictures of outdoor clothing from almost any era, and see that it appears pretty impractical to modern eyes. For instance, here are some pictures of people hiking & camping in the 1920s. The men are wearing suits & ties, the women, if they don't wear skirts, wear very baggy pants: https://witness2fashion.wordpress.com/tag/hikers-1920s/

$\endgroup$
10
  • $\begingroup$ Okay, but why would this come about? If it wasn't clear in the OP, I'm asking for specific reasoning for this fashion phenomenon. Additionally, thanks to doing a Pioneer Trek in time-appropriate attire, I know for a fact that such impractical-looking clothing is, in fact, quite functional and practical regardless.... $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 19 at 23:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias: I have no idea why fashion exists, either today or in the past. I'd only suggest that in most past times & places, outdoor clothing was simply adaptations of what people ordinarily wore. It's seems that it's only in the present day (and in western-influenced societies) that people have sometimes used science to develop more practical & efficient clothing. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    Aug 20 at 16:24
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for your comment, it really does help. So, I should be thinking of adaptations of regular medieval clothing, because people always work with what they know. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ I think this is more about a lack of specialized outdoor wear--people were wearing pretty much what they would in civilization as anything else would be improper. By now you basically do not see fashion in the backcountry--get a few miles from civilization and almost everyone will be dressed for practicality, about the only deviation from that is you're unlikely to see attire that would get you arrested. $\endgroup$ Aug 22 at 2:18
  • $\begingroup$ Regarding women's outdoor clothing, there's nothing impractical about heavy skirts or baggy breeches. That's traditional men's clothes in Scotland, a country not exactly known for its pleasant weather conditions, and it's actually very practical. The loose outer layer also allows plenty of space for insulating leggings underneath. $\endgroup$
    – Graham
    Aug 22 at 9:01
2
$\begingroup$

To protect their fleshy bits

As your characters level up, their muscles develop to the point that the benefits of nakedness eclipse the need for armour.

Unfortunately, their nether regions are just as vulnerable as they've ever been.

Almost everyone knows a tale of some poor sod of an adventurer who rode into battle naked and lost a tit or a testicle. Even those folk who hate immodesty will give an adventurer a free pass.

$\endgroup$
2
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Mages, on the other hand, are notorious perverts. $\endgroup$ Aug 20 at 17:17
  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, this reminds me of a scene in the Stormlight Archive where a girl explains to her betrothed that while her powers can allow her to survive a sword to the chest, she still feels pain from menstrual cramps. I like this angle, especially how it encourages a minimum level of decency! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:47
2
$\begingroup$

There are many episodes in the life an adventurer will take in, but you will find mostly those three :

  • Exploration
  • Battles against big bad monsters
  • Getting bounties and trading the salvaged goods

I'll try to cover those three with the reasons below. I'm not using magic to explain anything, as it would have been quite easy otherwise :p.

Because a "true" armor is useless for its cost, and camo clothings aren't better either

Depending on the kind of rollercoaster of roaster of roosts you will be fighting against, an armor which is normally "efficient" might very well be working against its user if facing the wrong opponent.

There are two main cases here :

  • The opponent can chew on the armor like it's made of bread. It's even worse if they bypass it entirely. Acid, strong maws, flames, you name it.
  • The opponent moves too fast to attack effectively. Especially if you wear one of those helmet that prevents you from seeing anything on your side.

Combine these two situations and you might very well better wear nothing at all, to have better chances at dodging and better chances at hitting something. Regarding camo clothings, you'll see that most monsters relies on their smell and hearing; They catch you long before they see you, and at that point... Being slightly more hidden isn't really relevant anymore. On contrary, if monsters attack a village, in order to give more chances to protect all the villagers, you might as well wear the shiniest outfit to serve as a decoy!

The armor is a dog-tag and a black-box

Adventurers are one of the most likely people to die. To ensure they are paid respects, they wear the whole "armor" to show their identity and their guild, which is registered when they enter it. It also allow to give some consolation gift for any dead parties, and a place amongst the gods for the deceased.

Why do they do so, instead of simply painting a symbol on their chestpiece? As told above, monsters are not kind to metal nor pigment you can use. To ensure that people get that you have been chewed on and not another one, people put all their chances in and cover themselves with distinguishable, colorful patterns that will still be recognizable when torn off (a key point to any lasting dog tag). This includes broiderie and other details, as the maws of some of the larger creatures are too big to tear them, while the smaller ones will leave some big chunks intact.

Some also combine diverse materials (even if it's not really that useful) to have higher chances of having one of their distinctive elements being kept intact. Indeed, iron is strong, but is weak to acid and corrosion, so you might add in other elements in to ensure it does not get destroyed entirely. Also, if an adventurer with such equipment dies, you will know more easily how it did even after a long time : Burnt clothes? Flames, so maybe a dragon. Mostly intact body but no wooden earpiece or equipment? It must be those poisonous termites.

These clothes serve as a distinguishable uniform for relationships

If you put highly-coloured and distinguishable patterns, you're more easily recognizable, which can be especially useful to make coordinated moves during hunts (the monster know where you are, anyway).

Commercially speaking, it also clearly indicates you're the one to call if a bounty has been brought up, especially if your uniform is part of a famous guild. In negotiations, letting your client understand the quality of the services is highly important, and showing off your fame as evidently as possible will drastically help in that, as well as accessing restricted, dangerous areas where only the most competent adventurers are allowed in.

As a side-note, your adventurers might consider having 2 sets of armor, one clean for all the social stuff, and one more focused on combat which still allows for far recognition. After all, travelling in the mud is dirty to your clothes, yet you still can meet good opportunities on the road, who knows?

$\endgroup$
1
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your reasoning, this is a very nice answer! I especially appreciate the monster-related points, as I do have unusually powerful and speedy monsters that would make armor practically useless. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:37
2
$\begingroup$

For three reasons.

1: We do a lot for fashion. For example at some point this was fashionable: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EnD9cS1VcAAiruG.jpg

This shows that we did strange things for fashion and sex appeal, as long as we accepted it.

2: sexual attraction to save your life.

When you are defeated, your opponent is obviously of good enough genes to be your mate. So if (s)he defeats you, you want to be captured rather than killed, then be at their sexual mercy for a chance to procreate. To ensure this you try to boost that sex appeal, you have to stand out amongst the many they defeat for the honor of being at their mercy right? This kind of culture would be especially present if this was that kind of game. (An adult game, not the more creepy rapist game. I'm assuming willingness and acceptance here).

3: culture

You heard about that nation of full-armor wearing dudes? Those that had their entire nation fall a few decades ago? Ofcourse they fell! Their armor was sculpted to look like muscles, only to hide them being weaklings! Their armor had made them complacent so they became weak! They wore armor because they were cowards! So they fell! But not us ofcourse!! We make sure that any opponent can see our physical prowess expressed mostly as sexually attractive traits. We dont get complacent and weak because we wear little armor! We ain't no cowards! Who's with me!?

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ Great point on 1, though 2 is a bit of a stretch. Sure, adventurers want to live, but that seems a bit much, especially since this game is meant for teens. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Alendyias about as stretchy as groups of male soldiers forming gay relationships to strenghten their bonds in combat. $\endgroup$
    – Demigan
    Aug 21 at 9:24
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Good point, I should have taken into account humanity's capability for the weird, strange, and possibly unintelligent. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 21 at 20:17
2
$\begingroup$

Many, perhaps most, of the opponents faced by adventurers are male and human or humanoid, and therefore likely to be sexually attracted to pretty women. In fact, according to legend, even dragons and some other non-humanoid monsters are attracted to women.

Skimpy, sexy clothing can therefore distract an opponent during a fight. Imagine a bikini-clad adventuress aiming a high kick to the opponents head and flashing him in the process. The monster will have to resist a "saving throw vs wisdom" or be stunned for a moment!

$\endgroup$
3
  • $\begingroup$ Nice idea, I'm surprised no-one already thought of it. Welcome to worldbuilding, take our tour and read-up in the help center about how we work, enjoy the site. (From review) $\endgroup$ Aug 21 at 13:33
  • $\begingroup$ While this is a good point, wouldn't this also increase an adventurer's chances of sexual assault? $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 21 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ Mosters will attack them regardless, friendly NPC would not attack them anyway (maybe seduce, but in game for 12-13 pregnancy is not attribute of PC anyway ) and commonners would not attack them, as there is too big gap in power (otherwise village of 50 adults would not pay single hero to solve single problem - visibly the hero is way powerful than 50 adult commoners together - so one commonner would not sexually attack hero, as he would be destroyed on spot) $\endgroup$
    – gilhad
    Aug 22 at 1:24
1
$\begingroup$

I'm reminded of a villain who rebuilt his body entirely into a new shell. He put a faceless head on the new body. Others would attack the head trying to destroy him, but all the organs were in the other parts of the body. The hero only figures this out when realizing that the villain wasn't using his eyes to see and the head was poorly armored.

Exposed cleavage on magical armor could act as a similar decoy. Enemies would intuitively attack the cleavage, not knowing it was the most fortified part of the armor, while something on the back or the head might be the true weak point.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$
  1. Some monsters are too big. Any kind of monster that can deal damage (especially blunt damage, such as from a tail whip) at a large enough size (they don't even have to be Monster Hunter scale) would be better protected against by dodging and maximizing mobility rather than trying to tank the blow. Black Bullet justified its characters fighting in normal clothes for this very reason, and using full armor was the mark of a newbie. Every culture that has armor also has a club for the purposes of attacking through it.

  2. lots of armor is expensive. The reason full-plate armor took so long to come about was because it was difficult to make. A full set of your stereotypical fantasy paladin armor would be prohibitively expensive until the very highest tiers of the game, by which point you've already gotten used to fighting to maximize mobility and have high enough stats where the bonus from armor wouldn't matter. If your armor gets destroyed or damaged, say by claws, acids, fires, or slimes, its more expensive and time-consuming to repair a full set or armor than it is to replace a few links (or even the whole thing) in a chainmail bikini.

  3. armor, when damaged, may cause more problems than its worth. If your armor gets pierced by something, its going to leave the bloom on the other side, which digs into your skin (not to mention fragments, depending on how much force was used). If it gets heated, it will take more time to cool down and will, in the meantime, keep baking you. If it gets acid on it, its much easier to strip out of one or two pieces of clothing than remove a full set of armor (unless you have equip options in the menu).

  4. Rucking. Your adventurers are moving to a lot of places to take on quests. Armor is inherently bulky and heavy, space much better served by carrying potions and ropes, especially if you have a lot of actions you have to do (climbing, swimming, rucking, etc)

  5. Marketing. There is inherent value in being known as "the mage with the nice tits" or "the berserker with the 36-pack abs." This could also open the avenue of characters being known by what clothing they wear, vis-a-vis Black Clovers Magic Knight mantles.

  6. Status. More powerful beings don't need the protection that clothing offers them. They aren't bothered by temperature, they don't need more defense, etc. Sword of Truth turned it into a cultural thing, where young mages wore very bright and flashy clothing, while the seasoned wizards got to wear the plain robes. To its logical extreme, if flashy armor and robes started carrying such a stigma that nobody would even hire you if you owned them, we'd eventually see the same thing, where very minimal armor became more dominant over looking like a 40k Space Marine

  7. Distraction factor. If I'm up against the other party's cute thief girl, hell yeah I'm going to try the Pec Pop of Love to distract her.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

They have already been some really cool answers.

Totally inspired to be honest by dark elf living underground. The less you wear, the more Powerful you are.

(In addition to the answer that call about magic that tell that you can get powerful enchanted armor)

  • Why that ? Well, you are so strong and level up that you don't need any more clunky full plate armor. You can go in your mail bikini. Actually, you are saying to the others that they are so weak that they can't even harm you.
  • You may also add that the more you wear, the more your movement and strength are restricted. (I know that medieval plate armor are incredible in terms of resilience and movement.) But it is your world, I don't know how your characters fight and where they power come from. May be, from a certain point of, power armor is more an inconvenience than a real protection.

In terms of fan service, that may open some doors for you. As Most of super Villain and super strong people have a reason to go (at least fight) almost naked.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

Cloth does Not make superman/magical girl.

Because the clothing is not important to the defense of the individual, they can wear what ever they want. The magic that protects them from sword, arrow, fire, explosion, and magical attack doesn't enhance the "armor value" of the clothing, it enhances the "armor value" body of the individual. For example, the spell of "Protection infinity" doesn't mean that no attack can penetrate the potato sack you are wearing, it just means no attack can decrease your Health Point because your body's "armor value" is now infinity. The armor value of clothing is a separate measurement. You can wear anything from a potato sack to a space marine power armor into the battlefield. But when the Super evil slashes his sword with the damage of "infinity - 1" into you, your armor will get destroyed but your Health Point will not decrease because the attack value is less than your body's armor value.

$\endgroup$
6
  • $\begingroup$ I'm not entirely sure how this answers the question, can you please add some clarification? This seems like a good answer, but it's not clear what you're saying here. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 20 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ I tried clarified them. $\endgroup$
    – Faito Dayo
    Aug 21 at 15:59
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, I understand now! Basically, it's just a personal choice and clothes have nothing to do with one's protection is what you're suggesting. $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 21 at 20:20
  • $\begingroup$ exactly, that will also explain why in magical girl shows, their cloths will get torn, but for all the damage the villians magic attack created, these girls only got some dirt or bruise on their faces when they should be blown up into a bloody mess. $\endgroup$
    – Faito Dayo
    Aug 22 at 0:56
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, yes...I love it when an answer to this site gives a rational explanation to fictional phenomena! $\endgroup$
    – Alendyias
    Aug 22 at 1:14
1
$\begingroup$

A Combination of Practicality and Culture

As a fellow (aspiring) writer, my view on these things is that often the simplest explanations are best. So I think for this only 2 things are really needed. One of which is that the adventurers either can make themselves invulnerable naturally or with magic (either spells or enchanted items), making actual metal armor impractical. I believe Shadiversity on YouTube did a video about how in fact for characters invulnerable enough to not need armor skimpy and skintight clothes would be the most practical as they’re less likely to be damaged and need repair. You could also further reinforce the practicality of skimpy clothes by having sufficient damage to an item destroy the protective enchantment, making skimpy “armor” ironically more protective than more modest alternatives.

In addition to practicality you can have culture be a factor as well. Because of the practicality of wearing minimal (possibly enchanted) clothes and armor you can have this become a social standard for adventurers with covering up excessively being seen as both frivolous and even foolhardy and dangerous, done only by naive rookie adventurers worried about vain things like modesty. So many adventurers walk around basically half-naked in order to be taken seriously and reinforce their image as a practical and serious adventurer, while non-adventurers could continue to dress more modestly and be expected to do so.

Additionally, if you still want some characters to wear armor (or bits of armor) you can have metal be easier/cheaper to enchant with defensive magic, so characters that really need a lot of defense, the ones who’s job it is is to stand in front of the mages and take ogre clubs to the face, could have random bits of enchanted metal strapped to them.

What this means for your characters is that they would dress skimpily in order to blend in and work as adventurers. You could have a scene where they try exchanging the clothes they get for more modest ones and are met with a bunch of bewildered stares from people wondering what these obvious adventurers are doing covered up from head to toe, this would culminate in a potential client refusing to hire them because he perceives them as talentless rookies who don't know what they're doing. So for your characters it would basically be a choice between swallowing their pride and wearing "adventurer appropriate clothing" or figuring out a different way to make money in a medieval style world for which, as modern day teenagers, they have no actual useful or marketable skills. So they obviously decide their pride isn’t worth starving on the streets.

$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.