Starting Armor should only count if it's non-magic, "battleworn". Prob just a lot easier to spend some coin. Your call.
The "Fortification Item" as Fedora pointed out won't be usable til, like, 5th level. It is an "Administrative" item given to everyone in order to lengthen fights and give the players an edge. (WE can inflict criticals, monsters can't inflict so many)
As far as trapping skills go, playing ELITE was the reason all priority went to Spot, Search and Disarm. Trap DC's in ELITE are generally 6 or so points higher than NORMAL, with a FEW traps a few points higher, depending on the trap. You should adventure at HARD difficulty only. In the long run, I think you will find it more fun.
If a Rogue prioitizes Spot, Search, and Disarm (in that order), along with the Korthos Set, he should doo well in at least levels 1-3 on HARD.