Armor; Higher defense at higher cost

I’m making an equipment list for a fantasy game and I wanted to offer a bit more of progression to armor. Would it be very unbalanced to make higher defense armor for higher WL?

I understand that the WL and all that is kinda balanced at the moment so that you could start out as a knight in plate mail from the beginning but I’m okay, and I think it fits the setting I’m making, for it to be more of a thing you work up into and the payoff being higher levels of defense when you are able to afford it.

I figure that you can still stack on armor mastery, defense mastery, shield, etc in either case, so at the end of the day it’s just going to be an extra 1-3 points for quite a bit of WL and prerequisite fortitude. And it’ll be a status symbol as well, since it will be quite expensive.

I know it sounds like I am already convinced but I am asking because I want to know if I’ve overlooked something or there is a flaw in my reasoning. Thank you!

Armor in OL used to have a much greater progression, but it got cut back heavily when Might was added to Guard. Even with that, it’s entirely possible now to play a starting character with 24 Guard (not counting feats).

You’re entirely welcome to increase the progression in your own game though, just keep an eye out for players who seem like they might be trying to game the system to get absurdly high Guard. Even if you only have one member of the party who goes all in on that tactic, it can become very hard to challenge them in combat without creating enemies that would flatten the other PCs in your game (you can target different defenses, but that can lead to the first player feeling overly punished for their build, and it can be very obvious what you’re doing).

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I’ll try to offer some insight and ideas to this, because I was already playing around with similar thoughts surrounding a campaign that is supposed to look more like the early middle ages, instead of the usual medieval fantasy.

I’d probably move the Plate Mail up by one Wealth Level, up to WL3 so that way the players can’t start with a knightly armour, unless they take the wealthy feat, and if you then want to really hammer home the Dark Ages tone, than you could raise the whole item-tables by one Wealth Level or you could slow down the overall Wealth Level progression. I would advise against adding armours that offer more guard after that honestly, because there is still an upgrade after the Plate Mail: The “Elven Plate Mail”, or you could flavour it as nobleman’s Plate Mail, if you don’t have elves in your setting. After that upgrade, I would straight up look into extraordinary armours, because at some point getting 1 additional guard is a) very unexciting and b) not all that impactful. Why not give the PCs after the “Elven Plate” a heavily fortified armour, that grants the resistance boon against attacks made with Might or a sweet burning armour, that creates a persistent damage aura around the wearer.