Chain mail

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[   chain mail   Chain mail.png
Appearance chain mail
Slot body armor
AC 5
Special
Base price 75 zm
Weight 300
Material iron

Chain mail is a type of body armor in NetHack. It provides MC1 and a base AC bonus of 5.

This is a fair bit of protection considering its weight, so this is probably a good choice of armor until one can obtain mithril-coats or DSMs.

Origin

Chain mail is one of the more historically faithful types of armor represented in Dungeons & Dragons and media based on it. It is made of small metal rings interlocked to form a mesh, not sewn to a cloth or leather base as in (hypothetical) ring mail. Not only armor for the torso, but also hoods, sleeves, leggings, and gloves were made in this way.

In medieval sources this type of armor was described simply as "mail", a term that was not used for any other type of armor. Some historians consider it incorrect to use the term "mail" to describe other types of armor, e.g. "plate mail" (the preferred term is "plate armor"). The generalizing of "mail" to describe other types of armor (and the invention of the term "chain mail" to distinguish it from other types) began in the 19th century with authors of historical fiction like Sir Walter Scott.

Mail was widely used in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, from pre-Roman times until as late as the 19th century. Mail-style construction is still used to make general protective gear and even some stab-resistant body armor.

Mail torso armor is often described in literature as a mail coat (as in "mithril-coats") or mail shirt. It is called a "hauberk" if it reaches to the knee, or a "haubergeon" if it reaches to the mid-thigh.