An excerpt from the chronicle. ‘Tortugan Western Expansion, a study of military techniques and strategies employed on the frontier’ by Count Phillipe Anterelmo.
By the third generation of settlers in the County of Rosaroca the military needs of the region had mostly been ceded from Kingdom soldiers to local levies and mercenary companies employed by the Count. Many of the methods and equipment used were governed by a still questionable source of supply from the eastern Counties of the Kingdom and an expensive trade with the Dwarven craftsmen in Cold Rock Hold.
Given that the need to fight large set piece battles against horde forces like Orcs and Goblins had disappeared the goal had become one of mobility and quick response. The primary foes to fight were raids from the Lagarto in the Arena Rosada, and occasional wandering creatures coming out of the Bosque Sangriento. In both cases the Count employed roving patrols navigating the edge of the settled lands, and a form of rapid defense force from some central small forts.
The patrols were dominated by light cavalry, armed with bows and spears, lightly armored, who relied on speed and shock. These soldiers came primarily from a mercenary company from the far east, the Kashogi Light horse, and a scattering of local volunteers. The forces in the watch forts were pole arm infantry with medium armor. As the emphasis was on mobility and then defense this was the primary infantry mode of the Kingdom at the time. These troops were primarily local levies serving a time in the forts on a rotating basis.
The Count also employed the Rayo Verde, a company of Dragonborn infantry, as his primary backstop, and castle guards. And the famed Guardabosque force, an organized troop of volunteer rangers patrolling the Bosque Sangriento, could be called upon if necessary.
None of these groups were the heavy armored and armed knights favored in the Eastern counties. The varying weather of the area made regular wearing of heavy armor prohibitive. In addition there was a noted lack of iron ore and other items needed to forge such items in the County.
In addition, aside from the small Dwarven contingents the natives of the region favored light to no armor. The Rosada Elves were not known to wear anything heavier than leather armor, as metal was scarce in the desert, and a potential hazard in the heat and dryness of the region. The most common foes, the Lagarto, and Rata, rarely wore anything beyond light armor if any was worn at all.
Given the regions newness and it still being a farming and ranching area the most common weapons were those that could do double duty for the settlers. Bows, spears, axes were the most common weapons found in the hands of the citizens. With those of the right inclination receiving training in the use of pole arms for their duty in the local levy.
Even the Adventuring companies in the region soon found that wearing heavy armor was difficult in the changeable climate. As well as a lack of trained armorers with the ability to make, or provide upkeep on such armor.
This is the foundation for my restricting the equipment the boys will have access to or be used to. It is an area that just does not have the infrastructure or culture of the traditional knights in shining armor. I think I can pull this off easier with D&D 5E, as the monsters are rarely running around with some the crazy numbers you can find in Pathfinder. Pathfinder can often feel like an arms race, whereas D&D 5E is more geared to encouraging different solutions.
I imagine the push back will be a little hard at first, but since none of the boys picked a class that emphasizes the heavily armored approach it should be a little easier. Eventually they might reach a point where they want that heavier stuff, but it should be a while. And it is imperative for me to match up their opponents so that does not become an issue.