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So, I've been thinking about the ratings of Artifact Armors. More importantly, the ratings of Articulated Plate and Superheavy Plate. I've come to the conclusing that their rating is, simply put, far too high.
My dish is really with Superheavy Plate and its Artifact ooooo rating. Honestly, that's ridiculous. If you're a Solar, Lunar or Sidereal, that's the only artifact you're going to be starting with, it's going to suck up a bunch of committment and you can just forget about dodging. So, why make it so high? All it does is provide high soak, which is going to get ripped through in PC (which I detest) anyway.
I've decided with a solution as such--
Light Armors, which include Breastplates, Buff Jackets and Chain Shirts are all Artifact o. Committment and stuff still applies as is.
Medium Armors, which include Reinforced Buff Jackets and Lamellar are all Artifact oo.
Heavy Armors like Reinforced Breastplates, Articulated Plate and Superheavy are Artifact ooo.
Why? I determined all this based on the Grand Daiklave, which is only Artifact ooo. Same committment cost as SHPlate, and possibly more reliable protection. With a GDk, you sacrifice speed and defense for accuracy and damage. With Superheavy Plate, you sacrifice mobility and fatigue for soak. And Superheavy doesn't DO anything else other than be...well...super heavy... I also realize that moonsilver reduces mobility and jade reduces fatigue. But think about it. Jade also adds speed to a Grand Daiklave...
So, save Artifact ooooo for Reborn Glacial Rain, Crimson Bow, The Crown of Thunders and Soul Mirror. Not for an awful lot of Orichalcum.

As an addendum: A Storyteller may opt to add +o to the ratings of starmetal armor because of its ping-reduction property, and its rarity.

talk back to me

I've been considering doing something like this for a while, and I agree the 5-dot system doesn't work for armour as listed. I'm not sure I'd split it like that though, superheavy is quite different to reinforced breastplate... perhaps heavy should be different from superheavy, and superheavy should be 4?
-- Darloth

I was really shooting for some way to maintain the Sword / Armor combination with Artifact 5. I really don't think ordinary Superheavy plate should have a rating higher than 3 (see my Grand Daiklave example). Maybe a reinforced Breastplate can be moved down to 2. ~DualMegami
It is a nice idea, but it does seem a tad odd that the superheavy armour is set at level 3 that is, the same as heavy armour. Personally, I feel the same as Darloth that it should be artifact 4 if we're using this system. In that, each level or class of armour rises it up 1 artifact level.

There also shouldn't be any changes to the armour's level due to the various magical metal bonus (ie. Starmetal). ~ Haku aka Baka Mazoku (secondage LJ community)
FYI, there are only two armors listed under the Superheavy category. Superheavy Plate and Chain swathing. Has anyone statted out Artifact Chain Swathing? Would you give Artifact ooooo to be wrapped in layers upon layers of Orichalc? (Have you looked at the mobility and fatigue penalties?) Really? Would you want to spend 3 of your bkg points and then 2 more for a lotta orichalc chain or plate in the case of Superheavy Pl.? Be honest with me... this means no Daiklave for you, you're prolly weighed down, and if playing in PC aren't guaranteed the niceness of oh "just one ping die" I say keep it at ooo. Perhaps the artifact versions simply need to be rearranged. I'll work on that.
Oh, and I agree with the MM bonus not adding to an artifact's rating. I said that was Storyteller discretion</b> on the offchance someone thinks that'd be a good idea or whatever....~DualMegami
Well... I would... have you LOOKED at the soak afforted by the artifact armour at lvl 5? The superheavy plate gives 15L/15B, and if orichalcum, it's 17L/17B, and if you're willing to spend all those artifact points into armour, then that is YOUR choice as a player. As for me? I would -never- go for that much armour at char-gen. Doing so is just asking for trouble, the Sts I've played with -always- scale the enemies and what you to the level that we're geared for, and that means that if we're dressed and equipped for bear, it's bear we get.

Granted, if your character as a concept requires having superheavy armour and a massive daiklave. Talk to your ST, he or she MIGHT be merciful to you and allow you to get a daiklave with a split artifact rating. That is artifact 4 or 5 for armour, and a separate artifact 2 for the daiklave.

As for artifact weapons, that again is also your choice. I can tell you flat out now, my FIRST exalted character that I played with, did NOT have artifact armour OR weapon when he started play. He still doesn't have any artifact weapon or armour and is doing quite well. ~ Haku who prefers being stylish than loaded down for bear.
Yes, I'm well aware of the ooooo soak given, my point is that +17/+17 is not worth the Art. ooooo rating without something else. If the armor does not make your enemies have to pass a difficulty 2 Valor roll to stare at your glorious/cold and terrifying/bestial/auspicious/draconic visage while wearing the armor, doesn't take away from dodge dice and sends text messages to the Unconquered Sun, then it doesn't deserve any rating higher than ooo.

For reference, my ST agrees with my new artifact rating because 1)of the Grand Daiklave example and 2)because if you want to blow all that committment on armor and a daiklave, fine. Yeah, if you're geared up and ready for bear, then you'd better want to fight. I agree with your ST. I have two Essence 5 characters and they're too badass to be fighting DBs anymore. They just rip through them. Power has it's consequences--that's Exalted!

Two of my characters didn't start with Artifacts, either. I'm not saying Artifacts are necessary for good characters! That's not my point at all! My point is that Superheavy plate doesn't deserve a rating of 5. If I'm taking 5 artifact dots, I'm going for the Crown of Thunders or the Crimson Bow or Reborn Glacial Rain. Not an overly heavy suit of Magical Material. ~DualMegami--who needs to remember this isn't LJ
I do agree with you that it does seem a tad unreasonable, it's why the ST for the games I'm in allows artifacts to be split up... allowing, say a lvl 5 artifact weapon, and a lvl 3 artifact armour bought seperately. As for the artifact having massive powers at that level, I agree with you... it's just that I feel that it's unreasonable to group heavy and superheavy artifact armours together; so you should lower one or rise the other. As for artifact armour, I tend to look at Ashigaru, Gunsozha and Obsidiant Sheath as what you'd normally get in an artifact armour in its class, if you go with the artifact rating as set out in the corebook. ~ Haku
Four does seem high... but, meh, I don't know. However, I agree... starmetal has other disadvantages (it requires you to convince your storyteller, for example) and will be noticed by particular groups of people more (yes, even more than orichalcum. At least by the sidereals.)
-- Darloth

I like the idea that Starmetal requires an extra dot. Otherwise, I think there's no reason to really require more than Artifact 3. Keep in mind that the Artifact dots are a fairly small cost paid up front. The extra attunement is the real killer. - MeiRen

Book of Bone and Ebony has an incomplete stat out of artifact Chain Swathing. ~Andrew02