Enhancing One's Kilt


Lost Omens Products

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2008 Top 16, 2010 Top 4

I am a fan of the armored kilt from the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting, but a question has come up in our game. Can an armored kilt be magically enhanced?

I would assume that any armor enhancement bonus on a kilt would not stack with the armor enhancement bonus of one's primary suit of armor, but is there anything preventing someone from putting special abilities (such as shadow or ghost touch) on an armored kilt?

A.


Alexander MacLeod wrote:

I am a fan of the armored kilt from the Pathfinder Chronicles Campaign Setting, but a question has come up in our game. Can an armored kilt be magically enhanced?

I would assume that any armor enhancement bonus on a kilt would not stack with the armor enhancement bonus of one's primary suit of armor, but is there anything preventing someone from putting special abilities (such as shadow or ghost touch) on an armored kilt?

A.

I don't think there is anything technically preventing it. Looking back into 3.0 for a precedent, there is the sidebar in Arms & Equipment Guide that states you can add armor abilities to Bracers of Armor. If that is allowable, then an armored kilt should qualify for taking such enhancements as well.

N.B. I suppose you can argue that any item granting an armor bonus to AC could potentially qualify for armor enhancement abilities, but that's going beyond the scope of your question... :)

The only concern would be for essentially "doubling up" on armor abilities by having two separate pieces of armor that could be enchanted (or three if they have a shield as well). Maybe it should be limited to having just one ability placed into it to keep things balanced (though the player would have to pay to get it, essentially buying two sets of armor to get the benefits - I'm not sure if that counts as balanced enough or not).

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dalesman
"Bringing Big D**n Justice to the Bad Guys Since 1369 DR"

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Scottish Jokes aside...

Armour buffs are the biggest concern. Initially it's an investment with little return, since you'd pay the 1000 GP for a +1 kilt (or Dasatana) who's enhancement bonus doesn't stack with the armour's, then you go to town with the special features.

The headache for the GM (besides the bonuses for reducing the cost of the magic) is how they interact. For example, lets give our high level character a +1 Ghost Touch chain shirt of spell resistance (19) and a +5 Kilt of heavy Fortification. total costs of enchantments 181K GP. If it was a single suit of armor it would be an epic item. +18 total enchantments. Quite a saving of gold there.

Now he gets attacked by a beefed up Shadow. Is his AC (We'll assume a 10 dex for simplicity) 15 (ghost touch chain shirt?) or 20 (Shirt + Kilt)? Does the Heavy forttification apply if the shadow scores a crit? And this is with two major augments. What if he has a bunch of little ones? Should the DM have a flowchart to check, or can we trust the player to not 'forget' which enchantment goes where?

For a home game, I'd not worry, since I would have a chart as a DM, and wouldn't intentionally forget about what goes where. Now imagine if we had item crafting in the Society... Abuse would be rife.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

I don't see why it couldn't be enhanced. As long as it's a masterwork kilt. I see this as useful mostly to casters who can't afford to wear "real" armor due to spell failure. In this case you never run into stacking issues with the bonus. But if worn along with other magic armor, I'd say that enhancement bonuses do not stack, but additional magical properties do.


Dare I suggest we learn something from 4e? For armor special abilities, you only get one use for the day in 4e. If you have multiple items, you must choose (while in combat) which power to use. I would suggest for PfRPG, we have characters choose each encounter which armor power from piecemeal armor to use (or maybe switch it with a swift action). After all, they did not pay the exponential cost to have them all active at once on a suit of armor.

This is still a reasonable advantage considering the lower cost. If you make your Bracers with Ghosttouch it will seldom affect combat. But when you really need it against an intangible creature, you can activate the power and get the Bracer and its magic bonus when the rest of your armor is worthless.

I suggest the armor bonus from piecemeal magical items should not stack. So if you have a magic Bracers, Kilt and Breastplate you take the highest magic bonus only. Otherwise, I will get +2 magic bracers, +2 magic greaves, +2 magic kilt and +2 magic breastplate and kick the Paladins arse. I guess Shields have to stack with Armor. The rational would be that this is an active defense and is therefore treated different. As well, reverse compatibility requires it.

Has anyone checked the cumulative effects of piecemeal armor? Is a Breastplate, Kilt, Bracers and Greave better than platemail if you look at armor penalties and maximum dexterity bonuses?

EDIT: Do we have greaves as piecemeal armor yet? I thought I saw it somewhere.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Duncan, obviously numeric bonuses won't stack, since they're the same kind of bonus. But waht do we do about the fact that I could get my main armor at +5, then get a +1 Kilt with special abilities on it, thus saving money on the special abilities. Do I get those?

Sovereign Court RPG Superstar 2009 Top 32, 2010 Top 8

Well since the 'plusses' from armor are enhancement bonuses to AC, it already doesn't stack.

I'm not a fan of per day powers, and I could see the use of some of the skill plusses being unique to different parts.

"Alfred, looks like I'm going Kraken hunting."

"Ah, yes sir, should I put the +1 fire resistance Dasatana away and prepare the +1 Dasatana of swimming and +1 armoured kilt of slippery moves for you and Master Tim?"

edit: Ross, that's the question. Some folks might think it's overpowered, others think that some of the higher level stuff is overcosted. It would be a boon for the gear intensive fighter and rogue, but would also help the cleric, who doesn't need it.


And here I thought this thread was about something entirely different. :(


Ross Byers wrote:
Duncan, obviously numeric bonuses won't stack, since they're the same kind of bonus.

I agree but it is a FAQ and some players will try to abuse it. It should be clarified. Otherwise people will say 'But shields stack!"

Ross Byers wrote:
But what do we do about the fact that I could get my main armor at +5, then get a +1 Kilt with special abilities on it, thus saving money on the special abilities. Do I get those?

I propose no. Otherwise people will enhance bracers, kilts, greaves and other stuff to get around the cost. Invest in a +5 Breastplate and a dastana of fire resistance and you save thousands versus putting them both on one item. Then how much more do you save by getting a Kilt of Invulnerability? (It protects vital areas) Pretty soon, it will be come a standard build to not buy platemail.

So I am recommending that if you enhance piecemeal armor you have to choose which powers are active. That way you have both advantages and disadvantages to using piecemeal armor. You have lots of powers, but you can only use one at a time. I don't remember if this is the current interpretation in the FAQ for Dastana. Keep in mind the rules must be written to support third party material. I would beat a gold piece some 3PP's already has a Greaves as armor. Next will be gorgets. (The throat armor, but I think I spelled it wrong.)


Matthew Morris wrote:
I'm not a fan of per day powers, and I could see the use of some of the skill plusses being unique to different parts.

Yea, my example was not perfect. I meant to reduce the Christmas tree effect by making you choice between your magic items powers (which in 4e happen to be Daily).

Scarab Sages

Let's learn something from 4e...it doesn't play well with 3e, and anything related to 3e/PRPG should not be taken from 4e...wouldn't want the WotC lawyers saying we stole soemthing...

I think it's purely arbitrary ruling on the part of the DM. You can site precedent with shields. Of course shield Enhancement bonuses stack with armor enahncement bonuses, so therefore they are actually differnet pieces.

Technically Plate Mail is a plate pieces, stacked on chainmail, over a padded suit with reinforced leather in vulnerable areas. Personally I don't think a Kilt should stack with heavy armors, as heavy armors already include protection in those areas.

It truly is a conundrum, perhaps the piecemeal armor piece would have to be of equal enchantment to lend it's powers to the overall suit...so if you had +5 plate with heavy fortification, you would have to have a +5 kilt with a total of (+8) enhancements to have it be effective. I also think the kilt should take the cloak slot.


Pathfinder X wrote:
Let's learn something from 4e...it doesn't play well with 3e, and anything related to 3e/PRPG should not be taken from 4e...wouldn't want the WotC lawyers saying we stole soemthing...

There is some truth to this but I want to give a perspective on 4e. The designers started making notes on improvements to 3.5. Somewhere in the process they went off the deep end. But what about the ideas before they went 'too far'? And some of these things (that would have been good fixes for 3.5) got into 4e along with alot of other stuff that is bad for 3.5. I wish the 4e designers could secretly send Jason their notes from two years ago. And if you say there were never any good ideas you are just being prejudice. ;p

Pathfinder X wrote:
It truly is a conundrum, perhaps the piecemeal armor piece would have to be of equal enchantment to lend it's powers to the overall suit...so if you had +5 plate with heavy fortification, you would have to have a +5 kilt with a total of (+8) enhancements to have it be effective.

I just want piecemeal armor addressed. People already try to abuse and question the rules about Dastana. Now we got Kilts. For that matter, why does the helmet which protects the most vulnerable part of your body not get a plus like bracers? 3PP's can add whatever they want. I think it should be 'fixed' in PfRPG. Just a few simple rules like how powers and bonuses stack. Bonuses are obviously either Armor or Shield. But I don't think powers are addressed.

Pathfinder X wrote:
I also think the kilt should take the cloak slot.

Oh, come on. Maybe belt, but cloak? Is this because Belts are reserved for Physical Buffs??

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Matthew Morris wrote:
Scottish Jokes aside...

D'oh! That's the only reason I looked into this thread in the first place!


Vic Wertz wrote:
Matthew Morris wrote:
Scottish Jokes aside...
D'oh! That's the only reason I looked into this thread in the first place!

A young Scottish lad and lass were sitting on a low stone wall, holding hands, gazing out over the loch. For several minutes they sat silently.

Then finally the girl looked at the boy and said, "A penny for your thoughts, Angus."
"Well, uh, I was thinkin'...perhaps it's aboot time for a wee kiss."
The girl blushed, then leaned over and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
Then he blushed. The two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.
Minutes passed and the girl spoke again. "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus." "Well, uh, I was thinkin' perhaps it's noo time aboot time for a wee cuddle."
The girl blushed, then leaned over and cuddled him for a few seconds.
Then he blushed. Then the two turned once again to gaze out over the loch.
After a while, she again said, "Another penny for your thoughts, Angus."
"Well, uh, I was thinkin' perhaps it's aboot time you let me put my hand
on your leg."
The girl blushed, then took his hand and put it on her knee. Then he blushed. The the two turned once again to gaze out over the lock before the girl spoke again.
"Another penny for your thoughts, Angus."
The young man glanced down with a furled brow. "Well,noo," he said, "my thoughts are a wee bit more serious this time."
"Really?" said the lass in a whisper, filled with anticipation.
"Aye," said the lad, nodding.
The girl looked away in shyness, began to blush, and bit her lip in anticipation of the ultimate request.
Then he said, "Dae ye nae think it's aboot time ye paid me the first
three pennies?"

Paizo Employee Chief Technical Officer

Och aye.

RPG Superstar 2008 Top 32

Pathfinder X wrote:
I think it's purely arbitrary ruling on the part of the DM. You can site precedent with shields. Of course shield Enhancement bonuses stack with armor enahncement bonuses, so therefore they are actually differnet pieces.

It's not arbitrary. A shield grants a shield bonus. Armor grants an armor bonus. A magic shield has an enhancement bonus to its shield bonus, and magic armor has an enchantment bonus to its armor bonus. It's a bit weird that it's a bonus to a bonus, but that's how it goes.


~screams~ I can't resist! Keeping my sense of humor in check is Kilting me! ~grins and runs~


This is an interesting question, as it addresses something a fellow DM brought up when I was talking about allowing helmets (from back in the houserule thread). Looking back at the Oriental Adventures book, there is a precedent to enchant both dastana and chahar-aina separately from standard armor. I'd say that the enhancement to the wearer's armor bonus wouldn't stack, but other enhancements would.

Looking at the magic items slots though, it says that a pair of dastana takes up an item slot as would a pair of bracers (page 121 OA). That said, I don't think it would be too much to suggest that a magical armored kilt perhaps take up an item slot as a belt.


Maybe we can look to other magic item 'synergy issues' to solve the enhancement stacking question?

In both 3.5 and the Pathfinder Beta, it states that a character can only wear two magical rings - a third ring, if put on, simply doesn't work.

Thinking in that vein...if the armored kilt is going to be considered armor (even if it is 'piecemeal' armor), then you could just rule that a (non-epic) character can have no more than 10 points' worth of active armor enhancement bonuses on their body - regardless of how many disparate pieces of armor the character wears. Anything added that has an ability exceeding this total produces one of two outcomes:
1) the specific ability on that piece of armor that exceeds the 10-point threshold does not function; or
2) all of the abilities of that piece of armor do not function.

Obviously, shields would still be counted separately, and would not count toward the bonus total.

In regards to fleshing out the concept of piecemeal armor, what if we look at the AC for the following core items:
1) Breastplate (comes with helmet and greaves) - AC Bonus 5
2) Half-Plate (comes with gauntlets) - AC Bonus 7
3) Full Plate (comes with gauntlets and a visored helmet, as well as padding and boots) - AC Bonus 8

Now, the boots and the padding on the full plate don't seem to factor into the AC bonus (whether or not they should is another topic). The only thing making half-plate different from full plate is the lack of a helmet - and that drops the AC bonus by 1 point. So a helmet appears to grant a 1 point AC bonus...

Dastanas grant an AC bonus of 1, as does the armored kilt from the PCS. If we include the helmet above, that's three items that could be considered 'piecemeal' armor, and they all grant the same bonus. We could use this precedent to determine that greaves (which come with the breastplate) grant the same 1 point bonus as well. That gives us separate pieces of armor for the head, arms,legs and waist/hips, which (in game terms) are the only other 'body slots' to place armor on besides the chest/torso.

Based on this information, if we take a suit of full plate armor and strip off the helmet, greaves, bracers/dastana (equivalent) and armored skirt/kilt (equivalent), that would lower the AC bonus by four. What we have left is essentially a breastplate (or a "plate shirt") that provides an AC bonus of 4. If we create stats for this "plate shirt", then we have all the pieces that we need for a plate-based piecemeal armor system. Here's a quick example:
Plate Shirt
Cost: 250 gp
Armor Bonus: +4
Max Dex Bonus: +3
Armor Check Penalty: -5
Arcane Spell Failure: 30%
Speed (30 ft.): 20 ft.
Speed (20 ft.): 15 ft.
Weight: 30 Lbs

As an aside - one thing that could throw this idea off is the discrepancy between the armor bonuses of the breastplate and half-plate. If we just assume that half-plate covers more of the torso than a breastplate, and provides some cover to the upper arms/legs, we can explain away the discrepancy without too much issue. Either that or change the breastplate bonus to 6 (but that could raise backward-compatibility concerns with some people, methinks). Having the plate shirt as a separate bit of armor designed for piecemeal defense would also resolve the issue.

All that would need to be done to finish this would be to stat up helmets and greaves as if they were pieces of armor. Thoughts.....?

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dalesman
"Bringing Big D**n Justice to the Bad Guys Since 1369 DR"


The Dalesman wrote:

Maybe we can look to other magic item 'synergy issues' to solve the enhancement stacking question?

In both 3.5 and the Pathfinder Beta, it states that a character can only wear two magical rings - a third ring, if put on, simply doesn't work.

Thinking in that vein...if the armored kilt is going to be considered armor (even if it is 'piecemeal' armor), then you could just rule that a (non-epic) character can have no more than 10 points' worth of active armor enhancement bonuses on their body - regardless of how many disparate pieces of armor the character wears. Anything added that has an ability exceeding this total produces one of two outcomes:
1) the specific ability on that piece of armor that exceeds the 10-point threshold does not function; or
2) all of the abilities of that piece of armor do not function.

I don't think the 'no more than ten points' is good rule. A character will still save thousands by putting magic powers on separate pieces of piecemeal armor. We should incentives suits of armor not the other way around. I still like the idea that if you break up the armor you have to choose which armor power is on. Otherwise, I will always buy a helmet, breastplate, bracers, kilt and greaves (net gain +9 AC equal to Full Plate from memory) each with a different power.

EDIT: It is big jump to say a helmat gets you a plus one AC bonus. Helmets have always been 'part of a bigger whole'.


The introduction of piecemeal armor without a major change to the enhancement rules is a very bad idea, rife with possible abuse. This came up in an old Iron Kingdoms game that I ran, when all the players got greatcoats (+1 armor) and produced to enhance them separately from their main armor. The actual armor bonus enhancements are not the problem, because armor bonus enhancements do not stack under current ruling, it is self-correcting.

The problem lies with special qualities. The enhancement rules call for scaling price increase for more numerous special qualities. By breaking down the individual parts of the armor, it allows the lower scale price for all enhancements.

Keeping the rule that an armored kilt can be added to other light or medium armor (but not heavy); there are several solutions to the enhancement issue.

1) Armored kilts cannot be enhanced. This isn’t such a good idea because its would suck if it were the character’s only armor. Also, since it is light armor, it should have all the benefits and effects of any other light armor, including the ability to be enhanced.

2) If added to another armor, armored kilts lose all enhancement and any special qualities. Only the +1 armor bonus to AC for the added armored kilt. The armored kilt would regain any lost enhancements when separated.

3) If added to another armor, armored kilts lose any special qualities, but retain enhancement armor bonus. This enhancement armor bonus would not stack with the other armor’s enhancement bonus. Only the base armor bonus of the armored kilt and the other armor and the higher of any enhancement would apply.

A few of more solutions:

4) Armored kilts cannot be added to other armors. It takes the armor slot and does not allow for any other kind of armor to be worn. All current enhancement rules apply.

5) Change the scaling price for enhancements to a flat fee. There are several enhancements in the Magic Item Compendium that cost a flat fee rather than a +1/+2/+3/+4 type of bonus, so there is precedent. It would be less expensive for multiple enhancements, but would be proof against multiple armor abuse.

6) Adding an armored kilt, enhanced or not, permanently fuses the armors together. If unenhanced, the cost is just that charged by the armorer for the labor. The same if only one is magical. If both are magical, a craftsman with the Craft Arms and Armor feat is needed. The cost is figured for the new kilted armor according to the existing scaling price guide, including all armor bonus enhancements to a maximum of +5 (any higher are lost, unless epic rules apply) and all special qualities on either armor; the value of the individual armors is subtracted from the new higher cost, and the difference is the cost to fuse the armors together.

#4 is the easiest.

#6 is my favorite. It covers all possible abuse and still allows adding the armors together. And it does so with only current existing rules.

-Jack


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

*Casts Raise Thread!

I have a query about the Armored Kilts.

The Kilt weighs in at 10lbs... how can it add 15lbs to the armor it is added to? Where does the extra 5lbs come from?


Pathfinder PF Special Edition Subscriber

No bites huh...

If 5 pounds is somehow being produced when you add the kilt to a set of armor... I'd guess that you are adding in extra material to permanently attach the kilt to that armor.

Does this sound feasible?


Lokie wrote:

No bites huh...

If 5 pounds is somehow being produced when you add the kilt to a set of armor... I'd guess that you are adding in extra material to permanently attach the kilt to that armor.

Does this sound feasible?

Haven't seen this thread for a while... :)

I think your're right - it's probably for the weight of the gear used to attach it, and the odd bits of reinforcement to keep it attached under combat situations.

Sounds good!

Your Friendly Neighborhood Dalesman
Bringing Big D**n Justice to the Bad Guys Since 1369 DR


Kilt... BAH! It's a dress. Stop deluding yourself.

The extra 5 lbs are from the stuff you need to use to pretty up your armour to fit your new dress.


As mentioned previously, this is handled by the magic item body slots. A character only has one slot for magic armor, so much like putting on a third magic ring, the magic kilt would fail to function if they were already wearing magic armor, just like magic piecemeal greaves would fail to function if already wearing a magic breastplate.

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