Spidersilk Clothing Vs Chainmail

Last week I stumbled upon this page:

It seems like someone decided to actualy weave a spidersilk cloth.
The result seems to be very very light, as smoth as cashmere and as strong as Kevlar.
For a magus making such a tapestry wouldn't be very difficult:
CrAn 20 Ritual to create the spider silk
ReAn to weave the spider silk, and another ReAn one to make the cloth, vest or wathever should take care of the rest.

Given that the chainmail's soak is 9, what soak should we give to clothing made of a material as strong as kevlar?
Most game system give kevlar a slightly higher protection than chainmail (around 20%).

And the other question would be what to do if someone decided to wear chainmail with a spidersilk surcoat on top,
because right now I think that if you wear chainmail with a "doublet of impenetrable silk" surcoat on top they stack.

Edit: kevlar a slightly higher protection than chainmail

Kevlar is stronger than kevlar? <_<

Either way, kevlar's better than chain in some ways, but against blades, it's considered worse.

Yup, they stack. Give the spidersilk vest the usual +3 from the spell. That would be all, onluy that it is not magical anymore but a regular mundane item. :slight_smile:


1 Like

Sorry about the confusion, I meant to say "kevlar a slightly higher protection than chainmail" XD


I'm not sure how the results of modern science or engineering have any bearing on Mythic Europe.




I'm not sure how your comment contributes anything useful or constructive to the thread, Ken. The engineering knowledge above provided a relevant benchmark to a medieval form of armor to use for the statting-out of spidersilk, a theme-appropriate material. A basic principal of experimental archaeology is the creation of modern experiments and re-creations to inform about the past (or in this case, potential fantasy alternate pasts).

I would suggest that spidersilk gambesons, shirts, or other clothes might make goodd faerie gifts, and that you should just treat them like superior versions of normal woven items, perhaps with larger enchantment multipliers (and therefore more potential as magical items), as they are a rarer material.

1 Like


Post-medieval engineering knowledge ought not provide a relevant benchmark in an environment where real physics don't work. A relevant benchmark would be more along the lines of "how strong did medieval people think spiderwebs are?" Maybe a quote from the Bible or some philosopher. Or something. I'd also want to be sure that medieval folks knew that some spiderweb isn't sticky.

On the other hand, the webs of a giant spider are probably very strong. After all, they can bear the spider's weight.

(Note that a real giant spider wouldn't be able to live.)




At this point, I'd just lke to remind people that all members of House Tremere wear spider silk cloaks. (HoH:TL) and yes, IMO, they stack.

In Sanctuary of Ice there's a guy who uses silk to make magical clothes, and yes, it has a breaking strain higher than steel. Note that this is not saying it is as hard as steel, just that it is stronger than steel wire when binding people. You can cut it easier than steel, because that's a different kind of strength.

1 Like

Only because Australia doesn't exist in paradigm... 8)


Ah, the dreaded Paradigm Police. Haven't seen it in a while.

I have no doubt attributing strength to spider silk is anachronistic. I think it's cool, though, and don't mind anachronisms.

Isn't there a Muto spell that turns cloth into strong cloth? I'd treat spider-silk as a variant of it. I'd also say that normal spider web isn't that strong or durable, only Spiders of Virtue create strong spider webs - in order to prevent industrial magi from harvesting and weaving spider silk. Creating such materials with magic would probably require extra raw vis.

I don't see how Aristotelian Physics has an effect on common-sense comparisons of tensile strength. I have no relevant marker for how strong spider silk is, I have no medieval source I am working with, but it seems like something appropriate to the game, so I appreciate knowing that someone is testing it. The idea that common sense is paradigm-breaking is ludicrous; don't you get tired of making detracting comments that add nothing constructive to the conversation and only reflect your personal version of paradigm? (I have never seen a play-test instruction that says "disregard any non-medieval sources of information, even if they might be reasonably relevant," but perhaps I have been doing it wrong all this time.)

First of all thanks for all the constructive comments, I think that a soak of 3 seems quite reasonable and not too much gamebreaking

If the people from Atlas had provided us with stats for spidersilk I wouldn't have looked elsewhere but since they didn't I did look elsewhere and found that some people had actually woven the stuff. For me that's a pretty useful benchmark wether you like it or not, and if you don't like it you just ought not to use it.

PS: The comment about giant spider justs doesn't make any sense, the bigger the spider the thicker the web, it nets you the same weight to thickness ratio wether its a giant or a small one.

I think orwawa meant that much real-life comparison could lead one to err along the lines of this:
"bullets penetrate armor like butter, so higher damage than bows. Say Dam +12. And spidersilk would be able to stop it. So, say, soak +14".
While you need instead to consider things like "What does seem right for it in a game centered on mythic europe?"

As it is, I think your soak +3 is fine :smiley:

1 Like

I guess spider clothing is next-level looking because I wear spider hoodies daily and the feeling is very cozy and comfortable.

1 Like

Mythical monsters exist, which include Giant Spiders who have ridiculously tough webs.

A tough spider silk would fit paradigm easily.
Mythic Europe is not purely based on certain Greek philosophy, it's philosophy plus whatever magical elements in the world, fairies, monsters, etc, that would subtly change the view of the world.

It's reasonably known in parts of Eurasia that ordinary silk is very strong. I recall reading that Mongols would use silk cloth under light armor. Silk rope is not just a fantasy.

Spider silk is not much of a stretch.

1 Like

Lots of arthropods generate some form of silk, usually with differing properties. But only silkworms produced enough silk with consistent and workable properties that ancient peoples were able to make a product from it.

In the 18th Century the first spidersilk clothing was created as oddities, because the process was not commercially viable (spiders don't produce enough silk)
Even for the peoples with access to Golden Orb Weavers.

Even in the 21st Century, producing spidersilk through transgenic goats, I haven't heard that it is commercially feasible to make clothes of spidersilk (something about length of threads from transgenic goats).

So while spidersilk clothing is a nice idea, even with magic it seems impractical (why not synthesise known silk from the East?).

As always YMMV.
Just be aware that the phrase "it is not that much of a stretch for (x) to be feasible." often grates on my sensibilities,

Did you see my post about Giant Spiders?

We are not only talking about normal creatures in Mythic Europe.

Creatures of fantasy give magicians more ideas. From Super strong silk, strong acids centuries before their time. One could probably make a thread about what discoveries mythic creatures could inspire.

Like I said, it is YMMV territory.
I was always under the impression that most giant spiders were in Myrkviðr, which I suspect is more in the Order of Odin's sphere of influence.
I kind of think that many Roman aligned wizards would think of Arachne, and overstepping Athena's territory.

Then again, I just realised I have overlooked the Transylvanian Tribunal book.


The Mongols didn't use silk cloth for protection, they (reputedly) used it because it made it easier to extract barbed arrows.