Mail Example

A typical mail tunic on a human male.

Mail Armour is one of the most complex of all armours and is the go-to type of metal armor for all combatants, but notably those who are poorer or are without the means to make plate armour. This page serves as a community-editable guide regarding the proper use and treatment of such armor.

The Basic Concept

Mail is essentially a tunic of metal rings that makes it a very flexible piece of armour, and generally provides a great defense against chopping and "slash" based attacks, though is usually very weak against lunges, also known as "stabbing" and "thrusting" attacks. Mail is generally worn with something under it, usually a cloth tunic, but it can be a full leather gambeson.

Strengths and Advantages

  • Compared to heavier melee defenses (such as solid plate armour), the lighter mail is usually thought to be less burdensome. As a result, it can be comparatively easier to move around in and, in theory, will fatigue the wearer much slower.
  • Due to the dynamic structure of chainmail links, they can move with blows from weapons and are very good at absorbing the force of a blow, compared to the hard static of platemail or the weak protection of light defenses.

Weaknesses and Disadvantages

  • Mail armour is known to have poor protection against stab attacks. Because mail is not a solid force, it tends to absorb attacks, rather than deflect them like plate armour does.
  • Mail, just like other metal armour, is vulnerable to magical attacks.

Known Types

Normal Mail

Mail armour with coif

An example of a typical mail and coif situation.

Mail armour, incorrectly known as "chain-mail", is a series of interlocked rings that are formed to resemble a tunic-like cloak that would go over some sort of clothing. The result is a great armour against most chop/slash attacks, but one with a weakness to lunges and projectiles. Mail is fairly light and flexible, and can be used as a secondary to plate armour, or alone as one piece. Though is very hard to make, and can be costly, it could be bought be a well-off farmer or peasent.

Riveted Mail

Riveted Mail

A prime example of "wedge-style" riveted mail armour.

Riveted mail armour, also known as "riveted mail", is a series of interlocked rivets that are formed to resemble a tunic-like cloak that is significantly tighter "woven" than normal mail. The rings themselves are flattened, and usually wedged, for added protection. This design provides for better protection against chops/slashes and lunges/stabs. Sadly, riveted mail is a very slow, painful armour to make, and has a very appropriate price to match the amount of work that goes into it. Therefore, not everyone might be able to afford it.

Plated Mail

Plated Mail

A coat of plates, or plated mail.

Scale mail 05 by acidbluefire-d4s7em7

An image of refurbished scale mail including a set of pauldrons and a gorget.

Plated mail is either normal or riveted mail, or even a combination of both, interlocked with a series of plates in specific places to make a lighter and more flexible plate armour. Generally, they are strips of metal "plates" that resemble xylophone bars that the mail is ran through tightly to make a coat of plates. It provides very good protection against all sorts of weaponry, provided that no one tries to stab up through the plates. This is even more difficult to make, for both the arts of making plate armour and mail armour are needed in making this armour. Expect this to be used by any sort of nobility, and rarely city guard.

Scale Mail

Scale mail is a heavier derivation of plated mail, which has many metal, scaled plates which represent an amphibians skin. These may relatively be either heavier, or lighter than weaved chainmail rings because they are thin overlapped plates of metal, usually including connected pauldrons to the Hauberk. This type of mail is more less than most others due to the less work and time invested during overlapping many scales. These are different from normal mails in numerous ways:

  • Scale mail is harder to pierce than other chained armors, because they are overlapped plate sheets, and also significantly stronger than plated mail, because it not tied together with leather knots, but over together with steel rings.
  • It is cheaper than most mails, because it took less time to produce. Most mails usually had to be woven together in a special pattern, and then squeezed shut with pliars, one by one.
  • In real life studies, this armor was used world wide in the pre-historic - renaissance times due to it's convenient method.
  • Scale mail is easily one of the oldest forms of chained armor.

Common Mistakes

This section addresses traits that unexperienced roleplayers often make when equipping their characters with medium armours but that aren't actually accurate or proper use of these armor forms on Runescape.

  • Wearing light mail over leather would not protect against both melee and magic attacks. Rather, the respective magical weaknesses and strengths of metal and leather would effectively cancel out. However, the leather would provide a nice padding against physical attack.
  • Mail is not necessarily light. Because it hangs, it is not evenly distributed by the body. Infact, much of the weight is absorbed by the shoulders and arms. Plate armour is seemingly lighter because it distributes evenly across the body, as each piece has to be custom made for the wearer.
  • Mail is not necessarily the cheapest armor: the time and effort required to make a suit of mail armor drives the price up. In some cases, the price of mail armor may reach up to the price of plate armor.
  • Wearing mail does not actually make the user more agile than if he were wearing plate armor. In fact, the tediously-made jointed plates allow a user of plate armor to have more freedom of movement than a user of mail armor.


  • Mail armour is actually harder to make than plate armour due to the sheer amount of labor that goes into making the chains. However, mail armour is cheaper and the process far shorter than with plate armour.
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