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Mithral Chain Shirt


Rules Questions


If you make a mithral chain shirt as per the rules for special materials, it weighs 1/2 of the normal item weight.
Original weight: 25lbs
Mithral weight: 12.5lbs

If you buy a mithral chain shirt from the Magic Item section of the CRB (it's there even though it's noted as non-magical) it weighs 10lbs.

Is this an error or are Mithral Chain Shirts specifically better than other other armor made of mithral in terms of weight?


Probably another mistake, but it's hard to know with these things.

Silver Crusade

It weighs 10lbs. It's a special armour.

Originally, a chain shirt came with a helmet (3rd ed). The mithral version didn't, so they estimated that the helmet weight an initial 5lbs and so a chain shirt sans helmet weighed 20lbs, and mithral halved that to 10lbs.

Of course, these values were chosen for playability over accuracy. : )

In PF a chain shirt is not described as including a helmet but the weight of it and the weight of a mithral shirt are unchanged.

A similar thing happened in the description of breastplate; in 3rd ed it came with helmet, skirt and greaves.


That's almost certainly just a copy/paste legacy from multiple editions of D&D - so yes, a minor error. I'd just go with the 10 lbs myself :)

Of course, no one buys mithril chain shirts any more now that there's mithril kikko armor (which is basically the same as a chain shirt, but at +1 AC!), so it's something of a moot point...

Andoran

1 person marked this as a favorite.

The one in the CRB is probably a shoddy Chelaxian mass-produced mithral shirt. Those dudes skimp on link thickness and size. That's how they keep their profit margins up.


Malachi Silverclaw wrote:

It weighs 10lbs. It's a special armour.

Originally, a chain shirt came with a helmet (3rd ed). The mithral version didn't, so they estimated that the helmet weight an initial 5lbs and so a chain shirt sans helmet weighed 20lbs, and mithral halved that to 10lbs.

Of course, these values were chosen for playability over accuracy. : )

In PF a chain shirt is not described as including a helmet but the weight of it and the weight of a mithral shirt are unchanged.

A similar thing happened in the description of breastplate; in 3rd ed it came with helmet, skirt and greaves.

Quite right. And now the breastplate inexplicably gives you +6 armor bonus without head protection. People just can't deal with a "breastplate" covering more than the breast. They think conquistadors...

Everyone should read the 1st Ed. DMG section: Armor, Armor Class, and Weapons beginning on page 27. The entry for helmets on pg. 28 is enlightening...and frightening. Old school indeed.


David Haller wrote:

That's almost certainly just a copy/paste legacy from multiple editions of D&D - so yes, a minor error. I'd just go with the 10 lbs myself :)

Of course, no one buys mithril chain shirts any more now that there's mithril kikko armor (which is basically the same as a chain shirt, but at +1 AC!), so it's something of a moot point...

But Kikko armour reduces movement - mithral doesn't change that, and it requires medium armour prof.


Lyarie wrote:
David Haller wrote:

That's almost certainly just a copy/paste legacy from multiple editions of D&D - so yes, a minor error. I'd just go with the 10 lbs myself :)

Of course, no one buys mithril chain shirts any more now that there's mithril kikko armor (which is basically the same as a chain shirt, but at +1 AC!), so it's something of a moot point...

But Kikko armour reduces movement - mithral doesn't change that, and it requires medium armour prof.

Mithril certainly does change that - it makes armors one category lighter for purposes of movement. Moreover, mithril kikko armor has its armor check penalties reduced to zero by mithril, so while it does indeed require medium armor proficiency, there is in fact no actual *penalty* of any kind for wearing the armor without proficiency. For all practical purposes, it's exactly the same as mithril chain, except for being +1 AC better.

There IS one downside to mithril kikko armor - it's more expensive: mithril adds 1000gp to light armors (chain shirt) and 4000gp to medium armor (kikko). Worth it in the long term, though.


Quote:
There IS one downside to mithril kikko armor - it's more expensive: mithril adds 1000gp to light armors (chain shirt) and 4000gp to medium armor (kikko). Worth it in the long term, though.

Mithral chain shirt: 1,100gp, +4 AC, +6 max dex, -0 ACP, 10% arcane spell failure

Mithral Kikko: 4,030gp, +5 AC, +6 Max Dex, -0 ACP, 10% arcane spell failure

+1 mithral Chain Shirt: 2,100gp, +5 AC, +6 max dex, -0 ACP, 10% ASF

And the upside of mithral kikko armor is? You can get the exact same stats from +1 mithral chain shirt, for 2000gp less.

For that amount of savings, you could also invest in a +1 mithral buckler (+2 AC, -0 ACP, 0% ASF, 2,005gp.) The mithral buckler + mithral chain shirt also weight 12.5 pounds together, same as a mithral kikko. So, unless magic items aren't being allowed for some reason, a mithral kikko is a terrible waste of money.


The upside comes when you have a more advanced armor.

Ex. A +4 mithril chain shirt (17000) versus +3 mithril kikko (13000): 4000gp savings on that same +8 armor bonus.


David Haller wrote:

The upside comes when you have a more advanced armor.

Ex. A +4 mithril chain shirt (17000) versus +3 mithril kikko (13000): 4000gp savings on that same +8 armor bonus.

+3 mithral chain shirt: +7 AC, 10,100gp.

+1 mithral buckler: +2 AC, 2,005gp.

Total: +9 AC, 12,105gp.
(Or, make both +2 for 10,125. Then, buy a ring of protection or amulet of natural armor. 12,125gp for +10 AC, and still cheaper then the kikko)

Again, better then the mithral kikko. +1 more AC, and 895gp cheaper. (OR, substiute a Ring of Protection +1 or Amulet of Natural Armor +1 for the buckler. 1 less AC, and 5gp cheaper.)


Or just ignore AC and focus on armor special abilities and killing it before it can get more attacks in. At higher levels anything that is attacking you in melee will hit you anyways regardless of how much you try (assuming it even uses an attack roll).

Grand Lodge

And my bard can wear the +x mithral chain/buckler without a chance for arcane spell failure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Not forgetting the chain shirt does not require the Endurance feat to sleep in without fatigue!

Grand Lodge

The Mithril Kikko is what I used for Aldori and such that need to keep their other hand free, otherwise mithril shirt is 3k cheaper

Osirion

deuxhero wrote:
Or just ignore AC and focus on armor special abilities and killing it before it can get more attacks in. At higher levels anything that is attacking you in melee will hit you anyways regardless of how much you try (assuming it even uses an attack roll).

If it requires an attack roll, I can build characters it will never* hit. One of my builds even wears light armor.

*assuming your not rolling more than one natural 20 per round.


The whole "AC does not matter" thing seems to be a hold over attitude from 3.5 where it was pretty close to true.

In pathfinder it is not nearly as hard to have a relevant AC.

Silver Crusade

Try fighting defensively. I'm sure you're not having trouble hitting anyway...

If anyone actually cares, there's some element of stealth advantage from being able to easily conceal chain shirt under normal clothing. Also it's CRB for what that's worth (some groups play with CRB only or other restricted book sets).

As for the mithral chain shirt weight question (gasp, the original topic!), I think the 10lb weight is correct as it is probably a case of a specific rule (a specific armor) overwriting the general rule (mithral weights half).


David Haller wrote:
Lyarie wrote:
But Kikko armour reduces movement - mithral doesn't change that, and it requires medium armour prof.
Mithril certainly does change that - it makes armors one category lighter for purposes of movement.

Sorry, I missread the part for movement. It does not change the prof requirement though so my bard still can't wear it.


Riuken wrote:
As for the mithral chain shirt weight question (gasp, the original topic!), I think the 10lb weight is correct as it is probably a case of a specific rule (a specific armor) overwriting the general rule (mithral weights half).

That's what I like to hear. When you're a dex-based character, every lb counts.

Osirion

Lyarie wrote:
Sorry, I missread the part for movement. It does not change the prof requirement though so my bard still can't wear it.

The penalty for non-proficiency is applying the ACP to attack rolls as well as certain skills. With an ACP of 0, there is no penalty.


Quote:
Sorry, I missread the part for movement. It does not change the prof requirement though so my bard still can't wear it.

You don't need to be proficient with armor to wear it. Every wizard can slap on a suit of full plate, and get +9 AC.

Armor check penalty applies to certain skills. If you are wearing armor you are not proficient in, the armor check penalty also applies to your attack rolls. Since mithral chain shirt and mithral buckler both have an armor check penalty of -0, there is no drawback to wearing them, even when not proficient. You attack rolls would take a -0 penalty.


3.5 they were aware of it, it was done intentionally. mithril chain shirt should be 10 lbs not 12.5.

v.3.5 Main D&D FAQ is here

v.3.5 Main D&D FAQ wrote:
In general, mithral items weigh half what their normal counterparts weigh. When you find a specific listing for a mithral shield or armor, however, use the weight listed for it, not what the formula gives you. A mithral chain shirt, for example, weighs only 10 pounds (see page 20 of the DMG), not 12 1/2 pounds (half the normal weight of 25 pounds).

Grand Lodge

Artanthos wrote:
Lyarie wrote:
Sorry, I missread the part for movement. It does not change the prof requirement though so my bard still can't wear it.

The penalty for non-proficiency is applying the ACP to attack rolls as well as certain skills. With an ACP of 0, there is no penalty.

But the arcane spell failure change applies if the armor is not light. Sure the bard can wear it the same as any wizard, but 10% of his spells will be wasted effort.

And as Turkina mentioned, sleeping in Kikko armor, mithral or not, causes fatigue.


prd on mithral wrote:
Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations. Heavy armors are treated as medium, and medium armors are treated as light, but light armors are still treated as light.
prd on non-proficiency armor wearing wrote:
A character who is wearing armor with which he is not proficient applies its armor check penalty to attack rolls and to all skill checks that involve moving.

how does a bard not get to treat medium mithril armor as light armor for spell failure, even if not proficient? the only penalty is the armor check penalty to attack rolls and some skills, nothing about changing arcane spell failure.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Jeraa wrote:
David Haller wrote:

The upside comes when you have a more advanced armor.

Ex. A +4 mithril chain shirt (17000) versus +3 mithril kikko (13000): 4000gp savings on that same +8 armor bonus.

+3 mithral chain shirt: +7 AC, 10,100gp.

+1 mithral buckler: +2 AC, 2,005gp.

Total: +9 AC, 12,105gp.
(Or, make both +2 for 10,125. Then, buy a ring of protection or amulet of natural armor. 12,125gp for +10 AC, and still cheaper then the kikko)

Again, better then the mithral kikko. +1 more AC, and 895gp cheaper. (OR, substiute a Ring of Protection +1 or Amulet of Natural Armor +1 for the buckler. 1 less AC, and 5gp cheaper.)

Yes, but eventually you hit +5 on armor, shield, amulet of natural armor, and ring of protection. At that point, the extra 3,070 gp for an additional +1 AC with mithral kikko over a mithral chain shirt is a pretty good bargain. Even before that, the price difference between an amulet of natural armor +1 and an amulet of natural armor +2 or a ring of protection +1 and a ring of protection +2 is 6,000 gp; increasing the +1 mithral buckler to a +2 mithral buckler is slightly more cost effective at +3,000 gp, but going from +2 to +3 raises the price by 5,000 gp.

Once you have +2 armor, +2 shield, amulet of natural armor +1, and a ring of protection +1, switching from a mithral chain shirt to mithral kikko is the most cost-effective way of increasing your AC, except for possibly a mithral breastplate (which has a slightly lower Max. Dex, an Armor Check Penalty of -1, and an Arcane Spell Failure of 15%). The mithral breastplate can work for some characters, but not for others.

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