... Any suggestions about how best to do this other than just make chain a cloth armor?
I have no better idea.
Other than to change it but don't make it retro-active.
Raider pioneers can drop the raiders chain though?
Also... Shadow Assassins, they drop swords.
Not really related. There was mention of "elite mobs". How about a small chance for roadside raiders to spawn as raiders and bandit scouts to spawn as raider pioneers.
Just a thought. This could be done with many similar creatures (king/queen scorpions, etc etc)