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"Beards as Armor?" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian10 Sep 2021 6:33 a.m. PST

Should your figure get a +1 for his mighty beard?

The Guardian: link

RittervonBek10 Sep 2021 7:04 a.m. PST

Well it certainly failed as a concept during your "late unpleasantness" of 1861-65 judging by the prevalence of beards and fatalities.

rustymusket Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 7:04 a.m. PST

As I understand evolution, a feature appears on a creature/plant and if that creature/plant reproduces better than others without that feature, those with that feature tend to dominate the population. How that would relate to beards as protection against physical violence is beyond my ability to reason through. I would have thought it came about in regards to protection from the elements but then why did women not evolve to beards also? Hmmmmmm. OK. Who's next?

mjkerner10 Sep 2021 7:06 a.m. PST

"…but then why did women not evolve to beards also?"

Because they would be ugly?

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 7:09 a.m. PST

For an opponent like an ale-crazed Viking with a battle axe, it would have to be a mighty beard indeed!

RittervonBek10 Sep 2021 7:38 a.m. PST

Bearded females are surely the norm in dwarvish circles….

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 8:13 a.m. PST

"Bearded females are surely the norm in dwarvish circles…."

I suppose they are not big into soups?

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP10 Sep 2021 8:14 a.m. PST

Bill, this is not about the baseball run up for the playoffs is it?

by the time the world series rolls around they look like civil war re-enactors with good dentistry.

Lascaris10 Sep 2021 11:59 a.m. PST

While a beard might "soften a punch" I think it would have minimum benefit from getting a pike shoved into your face! ;)

Stryderg10 Sep 2021 12:12 p.m. PST

Beards are worn by manly-men (and dwarfish-dwarves, I guess). Thus the +1 comes not from the facial fuzz itself, but from the self confidence of knowing that one is, in fact, a manly-man (or dwarfish-dwarf as the case may be).

Garand10 Sep 2021 8:02 p.m. PST

Beards as an evolutionary advantage probably had less to do with enhancing survivability, & more to do with suitability with mating. A man with a large, full beard communicates to women that this man is manly & capable of creating healthy babies. Like the feathers of a peacock. Ironically, the prevalanxe is that, a man capable of growing a full beard is more likely to go bald. Take that as you will…


A Lot of Gaul11 Sep 2021 8:08 a.m. PST

Only if in your games a figure also receives +1 for having a full head of hair.

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP11 Sep 2021 10:59 a.m. PST

I keep thinking about the old squad leader game and rolling a twelve and losing a squad or two to a berserk charge? What about having to roll a double six and the beard catches fire in a blackpowder scenario?

If you count the beard as armour or an advantage,,,should you have to roll for wind direction and gusts? "Oh no a double, Beard flies into face and temporarily blinds him. No action this turn."

CeruLucifus12 Sep 2021 1:48 a.m. PST

The usual biological explanation for hair is it provides warmth.

I'm missing the need to provide a different explanation for hair on one specific part of the body.

The social connotations are easy to extrapolate once one accepts all individuals have the hair. Hair is thicker and more colored in young males but gets paler and more brittle as they age, so sure, it is a sign of virility, and we might focus on the facial hair especially if say, the scalp hair depletes first.

Why don't women have facial hair? Well, actually, some do have it. But women have less than men, so it is a feminine trait, or anti-mascualine, to not have it. Thus reinforcing beards as a masculine social trope.

Clearly some cultures shave intentionally, for comfort or to reveal the lower facial features, and this becomes fashionable over time, so it's not a given that going beardless always carries social stigma.

Protection? That may work for some individuals in some circumstances, but would be a secondary attribute.

Heedless Horseman15 Sep 2021 12:07 a.m. PST

Not having any experience, of such.. but… just possibly a serious consideration for stone / bone/ bronze weaponry… maybe not in 'Combat' but for 'taking down' a 'sentry' by cutting throat. Bone / stone / metal, braided in long beards as 'ornamentation' might be worth a 'saving throw'? All part of the Fun! lol.

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