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No one buys medium or heavy armor


D&D 3.5/d20/OGL

51 to 74 of 74 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

It's a kind of fashion statement. In history full plate was often not made for combat, but for showing off. Remember that certain kind of weapons that could easily destroy a plate were restricted or socially banned, like the crossbow, warhammer and warpicks. Basically it rounds down to, the guys with the heavy armor shall live and the mob should die and damned if they use weapons that can hurt them.

My experience with gamers in LARP, which dressed up in full plate and were chased through a wood, showed me how valuable is movement over heavy armor. It was funny when some of them rested and couldn't stand up own there own. :-) There was a Lady Colonel and the only thing you recognized that she was a woman was the long braid of hair, all other features vanished under the armor. So in a fantasy game like D&D it is back to fantasy. How many cool pictures of women in armor, that does make sense, are out there? I mean, what sense makes a belly free breastplate (I've seen a lot in the last time)? Or those kind of steel latex armor, that fits skintight on our heroine?

One of my groups decided to be fashion slaves and had designer dungeon suits, with sponsored crystalball watchergroups and a special group pose. For this group was armor so passé. Ok, it was the only group that invested over 2000GP for clothing (per person) in one shopping session. Still, the AC was enormous, there are several prestigeclasses where the attributeboni add to AC. So anything they did was pushing the attributes.

My actual group uses the Vitality point system and armor protects only wound points. This works fine. Those with heavy armor live longer and better protected against critical strikes.


Thanis Kartaleon wrote:

Speaking of that paladin, he had an experience with a rust monster shortly after aquiring said suit of tank-mail.

Now, I usually pride myself on not using out-of-character knowledge and just reacting to things the way my character should. But... I had just spent all the money I had, and the rest of the party had chipped in as well, to buy this tasty rust-snack.

Even though my character likely didn't know what that strange creature bearing down on him was capable of, he uncharacteristically stepped to the back of the group and pulled out his longbow - which he hadn't used at all previous to this encounter (except once I think, when he was blinded - but that may have happened later).

I still feel slightly shameful of this deed, but given the opportunity again, I can't say I wouldn't react in the same manner - rust monsters are just a mean thing to throw at the party.

TK

You think rust monsters are mean to throw at a party, throw an annihilator at the party after they are used to dealing with rust monsters . . . (check out Underdark if you don't know what an annihilator is . . . )


Jonathan Drain wrote:
Consider that the same move away from heavy armour occurred in history when guns became more commonplace, so that being slowed down by your armour became a greater problem than the added protection the armour gave. You're seeing a similar move in your games for similar reasons. Perhaps this is movement is taking hold in your world and should be reflected as such, with armoursmiths going out of business, knights decreasing in power as the nation becomes more solidly held by a single king, crossbows becoming more commonplace and perhaps even guns coming into use.

I was thinking along the same lines. Heavy armour would be the cats pyjama's if all the opposition you where likely to face had almost no chance of getting past it. Its fantastic against low level commoners - even if your just a 1st level aristocrat. I mean those commoners are going to need great rolls to have a hope of hitting you. But adventurers are not usually crushing peasant revolts. In the Temple of Instantaneous and Arbitrary Doom two ton blocks fall from the ceiling and you get into sprinting matches with boulders. Powerful balls of fire are thrown by beasts whose claws slice through the hardest metal like it was tinfoil. Just not being at ground zero starts to become the best line of defence when all the metal you can strap to yourself won't save you from a bad position.


Xellan wrote:

One of our players ran into the Rust Monster issue. Poor guy /just/ blew a bunch of cash on some shiny new plate mail, and the very next adventure the DM threw a rust monster into the mix.

Obviously, the plate mail went poof.

The player/character was so peeved that he adamantly insisted that he kill the thing all by himself. So we all got a good laugh while he tried to bludgeon the thing to death with, eventually, his bare fists.

Poor thing. It was just looking for a meal. He probably invaded its home too - the brute.


Thanis Kartaleon wrote:
I should point out an interesting piece of imagery: Dwarves can use Tumble in full plate. No one else, just dwarves. (granted, I didn't know about that "no tumbling if your speed's reduced" rule until a couple of days ago, so I'm used to thinking about characters in heavy armor leaping around - I've got a 13th level Paladin who has a net +4 to tumble in adamantine full plate. Once the game he's in gets started back up again, I'm going to have to discuss things with my DM.)

Well at least your not a tumbling Dwarven Rogue in Full Plate...


Xaos_Bob wrote:


Actually, it was the fact that heavy armor didn't stop bullets (or cannonfire, for that matter) that phased it out of use, not mobility issues. Why wear protective gear that no longer protects?

I want to expand on this very true point. Even though armor was bulky in RL, there is an overblown belief it could not be moved in. There is a recent military history magazine that covers the fact that plate armor was more mobile and easier to move in thatn stereotypically believed.

When guns added penetration power, they discarded the unusable joint guards, and arms were less good too. Eventually breastplates could nto stop a good musket reliably, so the whole thing was scrapped. Now that kevlar and other armor is good again, we are coming full circle and more military is utilizing armor.

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you're looking for high AC without resorting to combat expertise, heavy armour is the way to go.

A dwarven fighter wearing mithral mountain plate, with an original dexterity of 10, can raise his armour class to 50 by level 20 without having to use combat expertise, defensive fighting, or dodge. If he takes 10 levels in Dwarven Defender, he can raise his AC to 53 before using his defensive stance.

An elven fighter wearing bracers of armour, with an original dexterity of 20, can raise his AC to 48 by level 20. However, not every fighter will be able or willing to put a score of 18 into dexterity.

Getting an AC this high for the dwarf requires feats from Races of Stone and the Player's Handbook II: Heavy Armour Optimisation, Greater Heavy Armour Optimisation, Dwarven Armour Proficiency, Heavy Armour Expertise, Shield Specialisation, & Weapon Supremacy. Needed items include +5 mithral mountain plate, +5 heavy shield, guantlets of dexterity +4, amulet of natural armour +5, ring of protection +5, and a dusty rose ioun stone. There are a few other ways of getting that AC even higher, but sacrifices such as a penalty to your attack roll are required. It's technically possible for a dwarven defender to raise his AC to 90 (or 94 against giants).

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Hagen wrote:
It's technically possible for a dwarven defender to raise his AC to 90 (or 94 against giants).

I forgot about defending weapons, make that a max AC of 95 instead of 90 (99 vs. giants).


Hagen wrote:

If you're looking for high AC without resorting to combat expertise, heavy armour is the way to go.

It's technically possible for a dwarven defender to raise his AC to 90 (or 94 against giants).

Thanks........for giving me another reason to make the PCs retire long before then ;)


In our group, it truly depends on the character, its ability scores, and its skill set.

My players tend to mostly go for Light armor, but that is only because most of the classes they play require you to wear Light or no armor. Bards, Rogues, Monks, Swashbucklers, and Rangers for example. When any of such classes are multiclassed, it becomes that much more common to see Light armor. I've seen someone wear light armor as a Fighter, simply because they grabbed a couple of levels of Rogue or Sorceror and wanted to keep their evasion or have a lower arcane spell failure percentage.

We do have a Cleric wearing Medium armor, as expected, and the Paladin wears full plate which was more necessary because his Dexterity was 6. Speed didn't mean much to him, he rides his special mount almost everywhere he can. We even have a Barbarian decked out in Medium armor.

I have seen my players also purchase or wear Medium or Heavy armor made of mithral. That's a very common metal in our games to be seen. You will see Rogues and Rangers in mithral Medium armor, and Barbarians in mithral heavy or even highly dextrous fighters in mithral full plate. I believe we have a Psychic Warrior player wearing mithral breastplate with the Nimbleness special ability added, mainly because he enjoys using his Tumble skill.

What we hardly see are shield wielders. Most of their characters wield either two-weapons or two-handed weapons. I am waiting for the day one of them realizes "Oh yeah, why not fight with a spiked shield and melee weapon or even armor spikes?" I have yet to see someone with a tower shield.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
Hagen wrote:
A dwarven fighter wearing mithral mountain plate,

What's Mountain Plate? What book is it in?

Incidentally, can I just say that I really dislike the fact that mithral armour is considered one category lighter in all cases? Between mithral full plate and an animated shield, any advantage in AC the Fighter has over the Barbarian is negated. Without these two factors, the classes are almost balanced. With them in place, the Barbarian wins every time.

(I'm not sure how I'd fix this one. I would probably add a "super-heavy" category to armour, which is exactly like heavy armour, except that the mithral version is still heavy. I'd probably drop Animated shields altogether.)

Taldor

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Delericho wrote:

What's Mountain Plate? What book is it in?

Mountain plate is a dwarven exotic armour found in Races of Stone. AC bonus: +10, max dexterity: +0, armour check penalty: -9, weight: 225 lbs.

Mithral mountain plate has the following stats: AC bonus: +10, max dex +2, armour check penalty: -6, weight 112.5 lbs.

The great thing about mountain plate is that if it's made of mithral, it's still considered heavy armour. This allows a dwarf with the dwarven armour proficiency feat to make use of feats that require heavy armour and get a +2 dexterity bonus to AC on top of that. Plus, lowering that insane weight from 225 to 112.5 lbs. really helps. The only downside with mithral mountain plate is that a dwarf's speed is reduced as if he was of another race.

Right now I'm playing a dwarven fighter in the Shackled City Adventure Path. He didn't have great stats so I decided to focus on armour class. By level 20 he should have an AC of 50 thanks in part to his mithral mountain plate (Base AC 10, +15 from armour, +7 from shield, +2 from dexterity, +5 from amulet of natural armour, +5 from ring of protection, +1 from ioun stone, and +5 from five different feats). Honestly, I don't think the AC is high enough, there are too many monsters at high level that have +40 or more to hit.


Hagen wrote:


Right now I'm playing a dwarven fighter in the Shackled City Adventure Path. He didn't have great stats so I decided to focus on armour class. By level 20 he should have an AC of 50 thanks in part to his mithral mountain plate (Base AC 10, +15 from armour, +7 from shield, +2 from dexterity, +5 from amulet of natural armour, +5 from ring of protection, +1 from ioun stone, and +5 from five different feats). Honestly, I don't think the AC is high enough, there are too many monsters at high level that have +40 or more to hit.

My point exactly, you need high AC for the higher level monsters in the game. Shoot, even some of the mid-level CR monsters have insane attack bonuses. A little more than half the monsters I throw at the PC's max out their Power Attack for a few rounds before lowering it, just to make sure my PCs don't get smacked every hit and die within 3 rounds.

Though the downside is if one of my rolls is lucky, they nearly or are dead in one hit. LOL Lose-lose situation for them.

Better invest in wands of enfeeblement


Medium Armour other than breastplates probably don't get used often for a very good reason. The breastplate is better than the rest, I mean come on the chain shirt is almost exactly the same but with a armour check penalty and max dexterity bonus, the scale mail is the same armour check penalty and max dexterity bonus but with a worse ac bonus and the hide armour can't be made mithral or adamantie.

That said there are some good reasons for wearing heavy and medium armour, mostly the two new feats Armour specialization (DR/-) and Flay (Bonus against unarmoured targets). I'll still stick to light and mithral medium armour due to my preferance for spring attack, slashing fury and skirmish but armour is definatly a viable option again; though the one person in my group who wears heavy has the glammered ability applied any time he get's new armour.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Regarding the AC 50 dwarf: Needed items include +5 mithral mountain plate (37,400 gp [25,150+ 9,000+ 3,250]), +5 heavy shield (25,170 gp), gauntlets of dexterity +4 (16,000 gp), amulet of natural armour +5 (32,000 gp), ring of protection +5 (50,000 gp), and a dusty rose ioun stone (5,000 gp). Combined, this equals 165,570 gp, which is 21.79% of a 20th-level PC’s wealth (220,000 gp), and 75.25% of a 20th-level NPC’s wealth (220,000 gp)- which proves the point that PCs get way too much equipment compared to NPCs. Sure, you could give an equivalent NPC two potions of +5 magic vestment (value 6,000 gp together), but that only saves 44,000 gp.
When you have PCs with ACs like that, ordinary NPCs (humans and the like, with no templates) of equivalent or lower level would only hit the PCs on a natural 20, while you can bet that the PCs would hit such NPCs a lot more often. Where’s the challenge there? (I’ve often thought that the CR for ordinary race NPCs should be calculated differently.) If a 20th-level NPC human fighter can’t hit a group of 20th-level PCs except on a natural 20, I’d award no XPs for that NPC.
Of course, there’s always Mordenkainen’s Disjunction (if you want to be lynched by the players). :-)

As it is, there are many disadvantages to wearing heavy armor. A great many class (and prestige class) abilities won’t work if wearing it, there’s the max Dex bonus, skill penalty, reduced speed, and arcane chance failure. There are no or few disadvantages to wearing no or light armor. The game seems designed against characters wearing heavy armor. Maybe the solution is to:
(1) Have armor provide DR x/-, where x is equal to the base armor bonus minus two, as well as the AC bonus. (Padded armor and leather shouldn’t give DR.) This way, something like adamantine full plate would give DR 11/-, which is fairly significant, but most medium-high level characters can deal significant damage. Shields shouldn’t give DR, as they are designed to deflect blows, not absorb and/or deflect blows. Something like Mage Armor or Bracers of Armor could probably provide this DR without unbalancing things (at DR = armor bonus minus two). I’m not sure about whether enhancement bonuses would add to this, or just improved AC. If anyone uses this option, also allow monsters with natural DR (if they have it) using such armor to use both DR values, if they have it, otherwise the monsters are being penalized! (It shouldn’t be DR x/magic, because that’s pointless, and wouldn’t stack with adamantine armor.) Of course, if you do this, you should give monsters with natural armor something like DR x/-, as well as the AC bonus, where x equals half (natural armor bonus minus two), for example DR 2/- for +6 natural armor, DR 5/- for +12 natural armor, and DR 17/- for +36 natural armor.
(2) Be more flexible with which class abilities can be used when wearing armor. Obviously, battle dancers’ and monks’ AC and speed bonuses should only work when wearing no armor, but allowing the use of evasion, barbarians to rage and use their speed bonus, and rangers to use their combat style feats while in heavier armor, for example, is probably OK.


Verminlord wrote:
It's a kind of fashion statement. In history full plate was often not made for combat, but for showing off. Remember that certain kind of weapons that could easily destroy a plate were restricted or socially banned, like the crossbow, warhammer and warpicks.

This isn't true. Plate armor WAS often used in combat. Before the advent of firearms, it had become quite standard to wear in combat. And picks and hammers were often used by other Knights; look at the lance, which has a heavy piercing focus.

During the 100 years war crossbows were used by both french conscripts and Genoese mercenaries. There is some truth in the fact that crossbows were disallowed, but it was as much over peasants having power as the armor thing; mercenaries were still very often equipped with them.

While a warpick or hammer could "easily" (not totally) destroy plate, it still had ot be done in the midst of battle. And picks and hammers were not realy restricted too much, because they were also tools when used by peasant conscripts. The esteem of the sword had more to do with less people in nobility using other weapons.

A mob of pike wielding peasants were likely to come after you too. In fact, most polearms exist becuase they were meant to attack armored horseman, by adding poking implements to penetrate and hooks to help dismount them. The pick was quite often used on horseback, too, because you could build up the leverage to pierce easier when raining down blows.

If plate armor was such a fashion statement, and rarely used in battle, these items wouldn't have even been created in the first place. It was used in battle. It was a fashionable item for a different reason: the expense. Obviously owning nice armor was expensive.

Speaking to people tired when runnign in armor, I will again reiterate the fact that not only was classical plate, built for actual fighting, easier to move in than previously thought, but the people in the LARP runnign with it had not been wearing it their whoel lives. Armored knights had often worn full armor since their pre-teen years and were used to it. Running in armor does slow someone, but most guys in armor would fight, or ride.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
ericthecleric wrote:
which proves the point that PCs get way too much equipment compared to NPCs. Sure, you could give an equivalent NPC two potions of +5 magic vestment (value 6,000 gp together), but that only saves 44,000 gp.

I like that: "only" 44,000 gp! Also, you forgot the potion of Barkskin (which I think goes up to +5).

Anyway, it proves something, but perhaps not what you said: I think it proves that characters are too dependent on their equipment. The NPCs in question can't hit the PCs because of all that equipment, but the DM can't give the NPC additional equipment to compensate because then it will fall into PC hands, which further inflates the imbalance problems, and so it goes.

If, however, we look at a model closer to Iron Heroes, where most of a character's effectiveness is down to the character's abilities rather than his equipment, this problem disappears.

I'm not saying that that's necessarily the way to go, but I did find myself rather dismayed by how toothless a lot of the high level NPCs in the Shackled City path were when they faced off against the PCs, something that was not true of the many "monsters" they faced at about the same time.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

In the groups I run the fighters & clerics wear full plate. I have limited mithral so it only causes chain shirt, chain mail & banded to drop a weight category therefore barbarians cant wear mithril full plate. Oh and I made chain shirts medium, otherwise the range of medium armout is to limited (light1-4, medium 5, heavy 6-8). In one group the 'fighters' all chose mobility and light armour. They got wiped out when they had to stand & fight, the only survivor from that encounter was the cleric. When he was recruiting new party members he declined to recruit any fighter not wearing solid armour and is still disdainful of anything that isnt plate.


PhysChic wrote:
Of course, there was the time where we got attacked at night and he didn't have his armor on (he almost died).

Which is why my cleric always casts the first level spell Contingent Armour (from the Ultimate Divine Spellbook) on his full plate +1 before getting some kip. Awakened in the middle of the night? A simple snap of the fingers and the plate settles into place ready to smite.

The cleric in full plate is kind of a cliché. I agree that half plate and banded mail should see more use.

Qadira

Delericho wrote:


Anyway, it proves something, but perhaps not what you said: I think it proves that characters are too dependent on their equipment. The NPCs in question can't hit the PCs because of all that equipment, but the DM can't give the NPC additional equipment to compensate because then it will fall into PC hands, which further inflates the imbalance problems, and so it goes.

If, however, we look at a model closer to Iron Heroes, where most of a character's effectiveness is down to the character's abilities rather than his equipment, this problem disappears.

I'm not saying that that's necessarily the way to go, but I did find myself rather dismayed by how toothless a lot of the high level NPCs in the Shackled City path were when they faced off against the PCs, something that was not true of the many "monsters" they faced at about the same time.

begin side topic

Delricho, I feel the same way you do re: Iron Heroes and have mused over the high-level NPC issue that you've seen in SCAP. Even AoW lacked many base race NPCs in its final chapters, and they tended to be sideline characters, never a main villain.

This is just a crazy suggestion, but in the Epic Level Handbook there is a variant rule where all epic NPCs are treated as two less CR than their actual level, given that the disparity in equipment only continues to escalate in the higher levels and a party theoretically has access to Epic Level spells and such.

Now, if one could state that this "two-step" CR reduction begins at 25th level, then perhaps you could deem all 15th-24th level NPCs to be 1 less CR than listed?

You would need to be careful about giving too much wealth, since an NPC would now provide an even bigger boost to the PCs, and IMO would require that 15 class levels of CR (i.e. 14 sorceror levels to a frost giant = 7 CR, and so not quite sufficient) be necessary before any CR reduction takes place. However, maybe it might just be an efficient method of balancing these encounters?


I think one thing that few people remember is that those nice DEX bonuses melt away when a character is caught flat-footed or is stricken from behind. The fact is, the armor makes you a tank, able to deflect even blows you can't see or otherwise react to. Obviously, there will be situations where a character will want lighter armor (natural cave-style dungeons where lots of wriggling and maneuvering come to mind first), but on a battlefield where you can expect open space and a reasonable chance to be surrounded or surprised, heavy armor is the way to go, especially for characters with poor reaction skills.

Most smart fighter-types will have an armor that fits the situation at hand, just as they all carry multiple weapons to deal with a variety of foes (or they end up with the frustrations of fighting skeletons with piercing weapons, etc.) It just makes sense...and lacking sense, most people who constantly get into fights want to put as much hard metal between themselves and a potentially-fatal blow as possible.


So then, the question goes back to one that has been posed many times before--do the PCs need all that magical crap just to make the game entertaining for the players?

If we're worried about the "arms race" to make sure that the epic level NPC still has a chance to hit the walking christmas tree PC I wonder where the fun in that is?

I like story, colorful NPCs, well designed adventures with cool maps. High level NPCs and PCs loaded up with all that magical crap just look like a couple of battlebots going at it--maybe that's fun for some people, but it ain't fun for me. I've looked at some of the ultra high NPCs that have been posted in Lilith's stat block bank and all I can think of is the bookkeeping nightmare they would be to run.

I've posted this before many times--my next campaign will be highly limited in magic treasure, armor and more. I like Iron Heroes for its focus on skills, but my players don't want to try it, so I'm going to work up a low-magic standard D&D campaign instead.


Rob Gustafson wrote:
I think one thing that few people remember is that those nice DEX bonuses melt away when a character is caught flat-footed or is stricken from behind.

On the other hand, nice armor bonuses melt away when dealing with touch attacks. And heavy armor can make one very vulnerable to spells like heat armor, getting bull rushed into water, being caught at rest without the armor, etc.


Keoki wrote:
On the other hand, nice armor bonuses melt away when dealing with touch attacks. And heavy armor can make one very vulnerable to spells like heat armor, getting bull rushed into water, being caught at rest without the armor, etc.

I solved this problem with the feats Parrying Shield (Lords of Madness) and Deflective Armor (Races of Stone). With these, your base AC and your touch AC become the same.


farewell2kings wrote:

So then, the question goes back to one that has been posed many times before--do the PCs need all that magical crap just to make the game entertaining for the players?

To an extent, yes. And it is not a bad thing. Think of a lot of great legends, and you will see that heroes are rarely separated from their famous weapons. Arthur, Siegfried, Thor, etc. I think the game is entertaining when you have cool stuff, but adding too much makes it harder to impress the PCs.

In my AoW campaign, the PCs have a few wands of minor spells, a few +1 armors and a +1 weapon or two at level 5. They appreciate when they get something good, because they don't have alot.

That may be the cure. Go a little more low magic on the game. If they can't get a magical chain shirt, then heavy armor starts to look a lot better. And even better items become even more helpful to them, and mroe of a prize.


Luke Fleeman wrote:
Think of a lot of great legends, and you will see that heroes are rarely separated from their famous weapons.

True, but you don't usually see them with a magic sword in each hand, magic armor, magic cloak, magic boots, magic belts, magic rings, and an amulet, an couple back up weapons for good measure. Now D&D is not a legend - its a game and the game mechanics assume the acquisition of a certain level of wealth. It is logical given the nature of the game for that wealth to take the form of magic items and in many cases for those items to be of relatively low value - or to be expendable. Still there is something cheesey about characters that multiple magic everythings that don't create a feel and style for their character and mostly no more than a collection of statistics for their gear.

Hercules had armor and a club
Perseus borrowed some stuff
Cuchulain had a spear
Elric had a sword, armor, and a ring
Arthur had a sword and scabbard

Thor had a hammer, mitt, belt, chariot, and goats but then he was a god.

Personally I like developing the character rather than having a laundry list of stuff. That said the game is more like real life than most legends or even fiction so there is a place for a broad range of magical equipment and as a result what constitutes cheesey will vary from game to game.

As to the question on armor as ornament well it often was, there was tournament armor specific to the event (down to the type of jousting - there were many variations), there was parade armor, and field armor. You can take a trip to the museum and see for yourself - I highly recommend it it adds a lot to the game, to see it - to see how far beyond masterwork soemthing can go and still not be magical - that might be an inspiration for how to handle treasure - richly ornamented items of great value, beauty history, and symbolic power, but not necessarily the best thing in a fight. Just some thoughts.

Sorry if this is off target.

Have a good night all.


I have to agree there, the dependence on magic items is something that always irks me a little. I want my character to be a fiercely skilled combatant able to duck and weave his way around blows rather than relying on my oh-so-vital bracers of armour/gloves of dexterity/etc. That's why I'm always trying to find ways to get my character's ac higher through feats and class features (Swashbucklers and Scouts rule).

The alternative system I prefer is BESM d20, which counts magic items as part of a character's abilities, which are in turn mostly brought with point's. This means that any magic items the characters have are important to them because they gave up some other ability for it.


I had to skip the lower part of this thread (again), but I wanted to post two things:

1. The damage reduction 3/- of adamantine full plate is very nice as is. Playing a dwarf, I dueled a githzeri using a rapier. He was a light, agile type that had an insanely high AC from bracers, dex, and some class abilities (don't know eactly what he had), and otherwise focused on numerous smaller attacks. He did virutally no damage to me in my full plate, which, considering his AC, was the only thing that kept me alive. I needed that DR to afford me the time for my DC to cycle through the numbers and get a natural 20 with my waraxe (which dropped him like a ton of bricks). The point is that, while I think it may be a good idea to give medium and heavy armor DR, this should be cut down (1/- for medium, and 2/- for heavy; or perhaps just 1/- or 2/- for heavy only) from what has been suggested, because any DR is significant. It may only cut down a small percentage of the damage from any attack, but given the number of attacks a fighter is subjected to, this can be the difference between life and death, and save a lot of spontaneous cure spells from the cleric, who can then use his prepared spells to actually help the party out in ways besides just recharging the Hp batteries.

2. Dragonhide armor sucks. It gives no special property, other than being slightly lighter and druids can wear it. Ever heard of Ironwood? Much easier than killing a dragon. Oh, but wait! It's immune to the energy type of its related dragon's breath weapon, so it won't be melted by that red dragon! Like most DMs actually take that into account with normal full plate. And it does nothing for the fighter inside of it.

The easiest way I can see to change this is to make the armor bestow energy resistance to characters. Say, 5 for light, 10 for medium, and 15 for heavy?


farewell2kings wrote:
Did anyone see that show on the history channel a few years ago about historical arms and armor and it showed the guy in full plate mail doing somersaults? He was wearing historical armor and obviously had a high dex...

Let's see him walk a balance beam and I'll buy into it :)


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Tales Subscriber
farewell2kings wrote:
So then, the question goes back to one that has been posed many times before--do the PCs need all that magical crap just to make the game entertaining for the players?

Unfortunately, in the current game trying to run a magic-item-poor game at high level is very difficult. The spellcasting classes are at a huge advantage in that environment, because warriors have nothing to match fly and improved invisibility without magic items (and those are fairly low-level spells). Plus, the entire CR system falls apart if you just remove the magic items from the game - even moderate CR creatures become deadly if they have DR that the party can no longer easily bypass.

One thing I did consider was reducing the number of items a given character could use, while at the same time allowing greater 'layering' of power onto items. So, instead of having Fulle Plate +5, a Shield +5, an Amulet of Natural Armour +5, a Ring of Protection +5 and the appropriate Ioun Stone, the character would have Full Plate +11 and a Shield +10. The AC is the same, the costs are the same, and the effects are largely the same, but there's less 'magical crap' floating around.

But then, I'm also leaning towards the view that perhaps magic items that give flat 'always on' bonuses should be removed from the game entirely (and the classes rebalanced accordingly). So, no more long swords +1, belts of giant strength, or cloaks of resistance.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
farewell2kings wrote:

So then, the question goes back to one that has been posed many times before--do the PCs need all that magical crap just to make the game entertaining for the players?

If we're worried about the "arms race" to make sure that the epic level NPC still has a chance to hit the walking christmas tree PC I wonder where the fun in that is?

I like story, colorful NPCs, well designed adventures with cool maps. High level NPCs and PCs loaded up with all that magical crap just look like a couple of battlebots going at it--maybe that's fun for some people, but it ain't fun for me. I've looked at some of the ultra high NPCs that have been posted in Lilith's stat block bank and all I can think of is the bookkeeping nightmare they would be to run.

I've posted this before many times--my next campaign will be highly limited in magic treasure, armor and more. I like Iron Heroes for its focus on skills, but my players don't want to try it, so I'm going to work up a low-magic standard D&D campaign instead.

Walking Xmas tree PC... lol

With all of those magical benefits it really does help to have DM Genie or a comparable program making instantaneous sense of it all. Problem with that is having a whirring laptop anywhere near the gaming table. It only helps add anacronistic destabalization to what was already a tenous suspension of disbelief.

"Did I hit it?!"
"Uh... y... hold on, I need to reboot."

I like Gustafson's point about being attacked from behind or flat footed.

Back in the eighties it occurred to me that if you had enough this and thats of protection heavy armor appeared to be more of a disempowering showboating of metal and money than the best option for defense. That broke my heart. I'm glad the subject was brought up and hashed out. Very educative, I've got new hope for the old cuirass.


Xellan wrote:
Keoki wrote:
On the other hand, nice armor bonuses melt away when dealing with touch attacks. And heavy armor can make one very vulnerable to spells like heat armor, getting bull rushed into water, being caught at rest without the armor, etc.
I solved this problem with the feats Parrying Shield (Lords of Madness) and Deflective Armor (Races of Stone). With these, your base AC and your touch AC become the same.

Excellent. A well spent two feats, I'd say.

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