Bracers of Armor: how do these work?


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Are Bracers of Armor normal +0 armor that are enhanced to provide a +n bonus (like robes , e.g. robe of the archmagi), or are they actually the equivalent of wearing mundane chainmail or a breastplate.

The reason this comes into question is that a friend of mine wants to enchant his Bracers of armor, but if this is already an enchantment bonus to armor then this is not possible.

The entry for Bracers of Armor reads:

Bracers of Armor wrote:
Bracers of armor cannot have a modified armor bonus (armor bonus plus armor special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +8. Bracers of armor must have at least a +1 armor bonus to grant an armor special ability.

Furthermore, when looking at the cost of bracers of armor they follow the same formula as armor enhancement (enhancement squared *1000).

ergo, +2 bracers of armor cost the same as giving a piece of armor a +2 enhancement bonus, +5 bracers of armor cost the same as giving a piece of armor a +5 enhancement bonus, etc.

And if this is indeed an enhancement bonus on a +0 armor item, it has the further reprocushion of limiting the actual armor bonus on Bracers of Armor to +5, the extra +3 having to go towards special qualities, as per normal armor enhancement rules.

So what is it? Are Bracers of Armor +0 armor items given an enhancement bonus (as per robes), or are they actually the equivalent of wearing mundane armor and subject to further enhancement?

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Bracers of armor provide an armor bonus, which does not stack with other mundane armor bonuses, such as the bonus provided by a breastplate. The bonus can go all the way up to +8. Use the prices in the wondrous item entry. It won't ever stack with any armor (enchanted or otherwise) that the character is wearing.

You can enchant the bracers with some armor properties, but not all, as described in the item entry.


From the PRD:

Quote:
These items appear to be wrist or arm guards. They surround the wearer with an invisible but tangible field of force, granting him an armor bonus of +1 to +8, just as though he were wearing armor.

In other words, they work like mage armor.


Yes, I get that they provide an armor bonus. Look at any moster in the bestiary with +x armor, though. +5 full plate, for instance, isn't listed in the creature stat block as "+9 armor bonus, +5 armor enhancement bonus", it's listed as "+14 armor bonus" and doen;t stack with other sources of armor.

What I need to know is can +5 bracers of armor be enchanted as though they were a normal suit of scale mail, or do they already count as enchanted armor such as +5 padded arms (Ultimate Combat, Piecemeal Armor Variant)?

And if you think about it, you need Mage Armor to enhance any piece of armor, so you could argue that the enhancement granted by that means is the same as the spell Mage Armor being modified to fill in any gaps in the armor, so that quote doesn't really help, seeing as you can't enchant the effect from a Mage Armor spell.


If I understand your question, bracers of armor can be enchanted with armor special abilities, like fortification, energy resistance or ghost touch, because the item description says you can. If you are asking whether if you are wearing them and have a spell which grants an enhancement bonus to armor, like Magic Vestment, the answer is also yes, because the bracers grant an armor bonus, and not an enhancement bonus to armor.

You absolutely can have bracers of armor which are a straight +8 armor bonus, and is not limited to +5 plus +3 worth of enchantments, because, once again, the bracers give you an armor bonus, and not an enhancement bonus to armor, thus are not limited to a value of +5, which is a limitation on enhancemnt bonus, not on armor bonus.

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Mabven the OP healer wrote:
You absolutely can have bracers of armor which are a straight +8 armor bonus, and is not limited to +5 plus +3 worth of enchantments, because, once again, the bracers give you an armor bonus, and not an enhancement bonus to armor, thus are not limited to a value of +5, which is a limitation on enhancemnt bonus, not on armor bonus.

However, the maximum for bracers of armor is +8 (bonus plus extra enhancements). It can be in any combination of bonus/enhancements. You could have bracers of armor +6 with +2 worth of enhancement, or +7/+1, but not +6/+3 or +7/+2 because that goes over the +8 maximum.


Master_Crafter wrote:
What I need to know is can +5 bracers of armor be enchanted as though they were a normal suit of scale mail, or do they already count as enchanted armor such as +5 padded arms (Ultimate Combat, Piecemeal Armor Variant)?

It is stated in the item. So long as it is at least a +1 armor bonus you could add on other magical feature such as slick. So long as the total price is no higher then a flat +8 bonus.

Master_Crafter wrote:
And if you think about it, you need Mage Armor to enhance any piece of armor, so you could argue that the enhancement granted by that means is the same as the spell Mage Armor being modified to fill in any gaps in the armor, so that quote doesn't really help, seeing as you can't enchant the effect from a Mage Armor spell.

Which ever has the highest total AC or enchantment is what is used, the lesser armor is suppressed. For example if you cast mage armor when waring leather you do not get a +6 armor bonus, only a +4. I am not sure but I think additional abilities are calculated in, so a +1 plate is superseded by a +1 bracer of armor with heavy Fortification.


Not quite. The question is more like this:

----

+5 Bracers of Armor (+5 armor bonus) are equal to which of the following?

A) Scale male (+5 armor bonus, 50gp, further enchantable)
B) +5 Padded arms (+5 armor bonus, 25,000gp, not further enchantable)

----

And note, the above is simplified in terms of armor. I am of the opinion that, if only due to vagueness, bracers of armor can provide either vitually all special armor qualities up to a +1 armor with +7 ability bonus equivalent or all armor up to a +8 armor bonus. That is not the question in debate.


Idward Evanhand wrote:
Master_Crafter wrote:
What I need to know is can +5 bracers of armor be enchanted as though they were a normal suit of scale mail, or do they already count as enchanted armor such as +5 padded arms (Ultimate Combat, Piecemeal Armor Variant)?

It is stated in the item. So long as it is at least a +1 armor bonus you could add on other magical feature such as slick. So long as the total price is no higher then a flat +8 bonus.

Master_Crafter wrote:
And if you think about it, you need Mage Armor to enhance any piece of armor, so you could argue that the enhancement granted by that means is the same as the spell Mage Armor being modified to fill in any gaps in the armor, so that quote doesn't really help, seeing as you can't enchant the effect from a Mage Armor spell.
Which ever has the highest total AC or enchantment is what is used, the lesser armor is suppressed. For example if you cast mage armor when waring leather you do not get a +6 armor bonus, only a +4. I am not sure but I think additional abilities are calculated in, so a +1 plate is superseded by a +1 bracer of armor with heavy Fortification.

You just raised a question in my mind: if you are wearing +1 plate and bracers of armor +1, minor fortification, obviously you only get the armor bonus from the plate, but, do you get the minor fortification from the bracer? Is only the armor rating based on highest overrides, or does having a higher armor bonus on the plate also suppress the special abilities on the bracer?

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Master_Crafter wrote:

Not quite. The question is more like this:

----

+5 Bracers of Armor (+5 armor bonus) are equal to which of the following?

A) Scale male (+5 armor bonus, 50gp, further enchantable)
B) +5 Padded arms (+5 armor bonus, 25,000gp, not further enchantable)

----

Bracers of armor +5 are not like either of those things. They are bracers of armor +5. They are not scale mail, nor are they +5 padded arms. You can further enchant them to have additional abilities, using the rules for "adding new abilities" to magic items at the end of the book. They don't follow the normal magic armor rules, except where they say they do in the item description.


On that note, take a look at ultimate combat piecemeal armor variant.

UC, Piecemeal Armor, p199 wrote:

If a character is wearing pieces of separately created or enchanted armor, the armor only takes the benefits provided by the masterwork quality and the magic of the most protective piece—typically the torso armor piece. If a character does not wear a torso armor piece, the most protective piece is the leg armor piece (the second most protective category of armor pieces), followed by the arm armor piece (the third most protective category).

For instance, if a character does not wear a torso or leg armor piece, but wears a +1 chain arm armor piece, she gains the benefit of wearing magic armor (the piece acts as masterwork and has a +1 enhancement bonus due to the enchantment). If that character then puts on a normal chain torso armor piece, she loses the +1 bonus due to magic and the reduction of armor check penalties for being masterwork, as the most protective armor piece no longer has either of these qualities.


Ok, here's my argument, normal bracers are not protective. They have a +0 armor bonus. Same as robes. That is why it is inconsequential whether or not armor contains bracers and why you can wear any bracers you want with any piece of armor.

When robes are enhanced to provide armor, they provide an armor bonus as calculated by (inherent bonus + enchantment bonus = armor bonus), the same as any suit of armor. They just do not count as armor when determining if they negate monk AC, etc.

Granted, the only core PF robe which grants armor is the Robe of the Archmagi. But the precedent is there, especially if you look at 3.5 robes and vests. These are still armor bonuses, but all of these include the cost of an armor enhancement, or at least it's equivalent.

That said, I understand that Bracers of Armor have their own set of rules they follow which restrict their total modified bonus and what special abilities they can be given, but the general principal and my question remain.

Master_Crafter wrote:

+5 Bracers of Armor (+5 armor bonus) are {more equivalent} to which of the following?

A) Scale male (+5 armor bonus, 50gp, further enchantable)
B) +5 Padded arms (+5 armor bonus, 25,000gp, not further enchantable)

I even changed the wording a little to help those of you realize this is a comparison, not an absolute equivalency. Hopefully that will assist you in making a decision. It's less about whether you agree with me as which of these views is more accurate.


They are more equivalent to the scale male, because the padded arms are getting their bonus as an enhancement bonus, whereas the bracers have no enhancement bonus, and thus your ac can be further raised by adding an enhancement bonus to armor.


Very well, Mabven, then why pay for Bracers of Armor +2 at a cost of 4k when you can get +1 Bracers of Armor +1 which would provide the same armor bonus at only 2k?

Do people see where I'm going here?


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You can't get a +1 bracers of armor +1. In order to add a +1 bonus to bracers of armor, you would have to make them bracers of armor +2.

This is so obvious it shouldn't even need to be stated.


The way I understand it is Bracers of Armor are enchanted clothing and provide a base of 0 AC + the enchantment modifier. So in essence, Bracers of Armor are an AC0 item with a +5 armor enhancement modifier. This is the exact same enchantment that would go on your Scalemail +5, except the the Scale mail has a base AC of 5 (effectively giving you a total of +10 armor bonus to your AC).

The way I read it is the Bracers work exactly like magic armor in that you can add further abilities (Ghost Touch, etc.) but are limited to a maximum of +8 enhancement modifier instead of the +10 you would get with armor.

They aren't as much value for your money as magical armor, but I'm guessing that is to provide game balance for the Monk.

Hope this helped?


I agree Paladin, but there are people such as Mabven who have explicitly said or implied the opposite.

That helps my case, Phi, surely. But can anyone logically support the alternative.

If not it leads me to believe that the alternate line of thought presented in this thread is one held to out of convenience with little actual thought in the matter.

Please, someone, at least try to prove me wrong using actual logic, not a "just because" response.


This was just handled in a recent thread, but the end result was that bracers always give an armor bonus, not an enhancement modifier. That is the RAW anyway.

This thread runs into when asking a different question.

If the bracers provided an enhancement bonus then they would work with litany of defense which is what the link is about.

Liberty's Edge

Master_Crafter wrote:

Ok, here's my argument, normal bracers are not protective. They have a +0 armor bonus. Same as robes. That is why it is inconsequential whether or not armor contains bracers and why you can wear any bracers you want with any piece of armor.

When robes are enhanced to provide armor, they provide an armor bonus as calculated by (inherent bonus + enchantment bonus = armor bonus), the same as any suit of armor. They just do not count as armor when determining if they negate monk AC, etc.

Granted, the only core PF robe which grants armor is the Robe of the Archmagi. But the precedent is there, especially if you look at 3.5 robes and vests. These are still armor bonuses, but all of these include the cost of an armor enhancement, or at least it's equivalent.

That said, I understand that Bracers of Armor have their own set of rules they follow which restrict their total modified bonus and what special abilities they can be given, but the general principal and my question remain.

Master_Crafter wrote:

+5 Bracers of Armor (+5 armor bonus) are {more equivalent} to which of the following?

A) Scale male (+5 armor bonus, 50gp, further enchantable)
B) +5 Padded arms (+5 armor bonus, 25,000gp, not further enchantable)

I even changed the wording a little to help those of you realize this is a comparison, not an absolute equivalency. Hopefully that will assist you in making a decision. It's less about whether you agree with me as which of these views is more accurate.

Neither.

Bracers of Armor are a Wondrous Item that provides a maximium total Armor bonus (or Armor bonus plus enhancement) of +8.

Wondrous Item, not piece of armor or armor equivalent.

Also note that, when worn, Bracers of Armor either wholly suppress the armor & all its enhancements, or arte wholly suppressed by the armor worn, so Bracers of Armor 1 with Light Fortification would be completely suppressed and provide no benefits if worn by someone with Mithral Shirt +3 on at the same time. Equally, it apperars that Bracers of Armor 1 might completely suppress the bnenefits of wearing non-magical Full Plate.


Quote:
Equally, it apperars that Bracers of Armor 1 might completely suppress the bnenefits of wearing non-magical Full Plate.

Nope.

Quote:
If a creature receives a larger armor bonus from another source, the bracers of armor cease functioning and do not grant their armor bonus or their armor special abilities. If the bracers of armor grant a larger armor bonus, the other source of armor ceases functioning.

It checks the total armor bonus. Mundane full plate gives a +9 armor bonus to AC. Bracers of Armor +1 only grant a +1 armor bonus. The mundane full plate will shut down the magical bracers of armor. (Mundane full plate would even shut down Bracers of Armor +8.)


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Master_Crafter wrote:
Please, someone, at least try to prove me wrong using actual logic, not a "just because" response.

Except that, as someone trying to determine something not included in the rules, YOU are responsible for the burden of proof. Bracers of Armor do exactly what Bracers of Armor are said to do, no more, no less. To ask for someone to prove you wrong is like asking someone to prove that you can't use a longsword to cast Magic Missile or use a Cube of Force to turn Spellcraft into a class skill. They don't need to say what you CAN'T do, because that's not what the rules are for.


Master_Crafter wrote:
And if you think about it, you need Mage Armor to enhance any piece of armor, so you could argue that the enhancement granted by that means is the same as the spell Mage Armor being modified to fill in any gaps in the armor, so that quote doesn't really help, seeing as you can't enchant the effect from a Mage Armor spell.

No you don't. There is nothing in the rules to suggest you need Mage Armour to enchant armour.

Trying to ask if it is more like scale armour or padded arms or any other form of physical armour is completely irrelevant. Bracers of Armour are not armour - they just provide an armour bonus. And as per the item description and the mage armour spell description, they "surround you with an invisible but tangible field of force". Again, they are not armour and comparing them to armour is pointless.

As the item description says you can enchant them as per magic armour but they are not armour. They just use the same price calculations as magic armour.

So your original question about your friend wanting to enchant his Bracers of Armour is inaccurate. As they are already Bracers of Armour they are already enchanted. If they weren't they would just be a pair of metal/bone/leather "wrist or arm guards".

If your friend wanted to further enchant his Bracers then he can - as per the rules for upgrading enhancements on armour.

And to answer the final question in your original post....

Master_Crafter wrote:
So what is it? Are Bracers of Armor +0 armor items given an enhancement bonus (as per robes), or are they actually the equivalent of wearing mundane armor and subject to further enhancement?

They are definitely not +0 Armour items. Their functional equivalency is that of mundane armour even though they are not armour - an item with an armour bonus provides the same game mechanic effects as mundane armour even if they achieve that mechanical effect in different ways.

So tell your friend he can enhance to his heart's content provided he stay within the +8 limitations for armour bonus and/or special abilities.

ps. If you are going to pose a question and expect people to use "actual logic" to refute you (even though the majority of people would think it a complete non issue) it helps if you get your facts correct.....

and for clarity, here is the full text of Bracers of Armour.

PRD wrote:

These items appear to be wrist or arm guards. They surround the wearer with an invisible but tangible field of force, granting him an armor bonus of +1 to +8, just as though he were wearing armor.

Both bracers must be worn for the magic to be effective.

Alternatively, bracers of armor can be enchanted with armor special abilities. See Table: Armor Special Qualities for a list of abilities.

Special abilities usually count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of an item, but do not improve AC. Bracers of armor cannot have a modified bonus (armor bonus plus armor special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +8.

Bracers of armor must have at least a +1 armor bonus to grant an armor special ability. Bracers of armor cannot have any armor special abilities that add a flat gp amount to their cost. Bracers of armor and ordinary armor do not stack.
If a creature receives a larger armor bonus from another source, the bracers of armor cease functioning and do not grant their armor bonus or their armor special abilities. If the bracers of armor grant a larger armor bonus, the other source of armor ceases functioning.


Gallo wrote:
There is nothing in the rules to suggest you need Mage Armour to enchant armour.

Ok, I took a second look at PF, and it seems this idea is a holdover of mine from earlier editions of DND, from which PF is derived. Still, have you ever heard of someone using a Magic Vestment spell on top of a Mage Armor spell? Now, if what you say is true, this should be possible.

And you say it yourself Gallo

Gallo wrote:
If your friend wanted to further enchant his Bracers then he can - as per the rules for upgrading enhancements on armour.
Gallo wrote:
They are definitely not +0 Armour items. Their functional equivalency is that of mundane armour even though they are not armour - an item with an armour bonus provides the same game mechanic effects as mundane armour even if they achieve that mechanical effect in different ways.

Ultimately no, but just saying that seems like saying that +2 padded armor is not +1 armor with a +2 enhancement bonus. We all agree that it is still +3 armor, we just understand that 2 points of that comes from the enhancement, not the mundane piece of armor.

Gallo wrote:
So tell your friend he can enhance to his heart's content provided he stay within the +8 limitations for armor bonus and/or special abilities.

But that's the thing, ultimately what he is trying to do is make +5 Bracers of Armor +8.

And I think I have proven myself in this. Just look at the cost factor. It follows the pricing scheme of armor enhancement on a piece of +0 AC equipment. Just think of the inherent equipment AC bonus as Nat AC for creatures, just because it isn't listed doesn't mean it doesn't have one, it just implies a Nat AC of +0 for that creature.


You can not have +5 bracers of armor +anything. You can not add an enhancement bonus to bracers of armor through crafting. You can have spells cast on you which add an enhancement bonus to armor, but the bracers themselves can only have a base armor bonus, and no enhancement bonus. And perhaps I am even wrong about adding an enhancement bonus through a spell. The spell magic vestment says that you can cast it on non-armor clothing, but perhaps granting your clothing an enhancement bonus to armor would not stack with the armor bonus from the bracers. In that case, you could neither enchant the bracers with an enhancement bonus with craft wondrous item, nor could you use a spell to grant an enhancement bonus to armor.


Master_Crafter wrote:
Please, someone, at least try to prove me wrong using actual logic, not a "just because" response.

That is pretty easy: bracers of armor are not magic armor, they are wondrous items. So they do not follow the rules for magic armor, but those for wondrous items and those specific to themselves, which allude to the rules for magic armor, but only in a very specific way, i.e. only in regard to special abilities.

Even if you go with the premise that bracers in general are a type of armor with a rating of +0 (which is not stated in the rules as far as I know, and thus would be total house rule territory), enchanting them to become magic armor does just that: they become +0 armor with an enhancement bonus to armor, let us say +1. If these bracers happen to be bracers of armor +2, you now have a magic item with two distinct effects: one magic armor granting an armor bonus of +1 and one wondrous item granting an armor bonus of +2. Only the higher of the two bonuses will affect the character, as per the rules for bracers of armor and bonus stacking in general, in this case the bracers of armor +2. As you added multiple effects to a single item, the lower item cost would have to be multiplied by 1.5 (even if the item does not make any sense since one of the effects will usually be suppressed).

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Mabven the OP healer wrote:


You absolutely can have bracers of armor which are a straight +8 armor bonus, and is not limited to +5 plus +3 worth of enchantments, because, once again, the bracers give you an armor bonus, and not an enhancement bonus to armor, thus are not limited to a value of +5, which is a limitation on enhancemnt bonus, not on armor bonus.

This is a common mistake. there is no such thing as an enhancement to armor bonus which is a separate bonus.

What you have is an armor bonus to armor class and things like armor and mage armor enhance that bonus. You can not get stacking with bracers or a spell like magic vestment or mage armor for that reason. This also includes special properties. If you wear bracers +1 with light fortification with mundane platemail the latter armor will suppress the bracers totally... including the fortification.

But to clarify, mage armor, plate armor, the magic vestment spell, all these are the same bonus, armor bonuses to armor class. None of these will stack with the others.

You can enchant bracers of armor and they follow the rules of enchanting armor, but the cap is lower, the total bonus including enhancement and qualities for non-epic bracers is limited to +8.


LazarX wrote:


But to clarify, mage armor, plate armor, the magic vestment spell, all these are the same bonus, armor bonuses to armor class. None of these will stack with the others.

If only this were true, Lazar. You've just written that plate armour and magic vestment don't stack.

Pathfinder is relaxed on changing item slots. Instead of bracers of armour +2 , I take a vest of armour+2 . On this, I cast magic vestment (+2) , which specifically states that it can be cast on clothing as well as armour.

I'm not saying I like this. I am saying that I've never seen a good reason why this doesn't work. This is the OP's point.

Mage armour - and so bracers - give an armour bonus. Magic vestment gives an armour enhancement bonus. If these things can't stack, then you can't cast magic vestment on plate. You can. So the question is still open - can you give mage armour items armour enhancement bonusses? If not, why not?


porpentine wrote:


Pathfinder is relaxed on changing item slots. Instead of bracers of armour +2 , I take a vest of armour+2 . On this, I cast magic vestment (+2) , which specifically states that it can be cast on clothing as well as armour.

No, it states:

Quote:
An outfit of regular clothing counts as armor that grants no AC bonus for the purpose of this spell.

Not a vest, not bracers, a whole outfit of regular clothing. I do not count magic items as regular clothing, and one item is not an outfit. You can cast magic vestment on your regular clothing, but this is its own effect and does not stack with bracers of armor.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
porpentine wrote:
LazarX wrote:


But to clarify, mage armor, plate armor, the magic vestment spell, all these are the same bonus, armor bonuses to armor class. None of these will stack with the others.

If only this were true, Lazar. You've just written that plate armour and magic vestment don't stack.

Pathfinder is relaxed on changing item slots. Instead of bracers of armour +2 , I take a vest of armour+2 . On this, I cast magic vestment (+2) , which specifically states that it can be cast on clothing as well as armour.

I'm not saying I like this. I am saying that I've never seen a good reason why this doesn't work. This is the OP's point.

Mage armour - and so bracers - give an armour bonus. Magic vestment gives an armour enhancement bonus. If these things can't stack, then you can't cast magic vestment on plate. You can. So the question is still open - can you give mage armour items armour enhancement bonusses? If not, why not?

I'm going to correct myself. I assumed you meant magic plate armor.

Magic vestment is a different sort of spell than Mage Armor. Mage armor essentially creates a force suit of armor. Magic Vestment essentially gives a temporary enchantment to armor. If it's applied to ordinary plate armor you now have +2 plate armor while the spell lasts.

If the Magic vestment is applied to magical armor it applies as an overlapping enchantment, not stacking. If your magic vestment as a +2 value and the armor has a +1, it overrides the bonus on the armor giving you effectively +2 plate. If you cast the same spell on armor that has +3 in enhancement, it has no effect.

If you then cast mage armor on the person wearing this plate armor it has no effect unless the person is attcked by something using incorporeal touch that bypasses normal armor but is stopped by force effects, in which case they get the +4 bonus for mage armor against the attack of a wraith for instance.


Blackest Sheep wrote:

No, it states:

Quote:
An outfit of regular clothing counts as armor that grants no AC bonus for the purpose of this spell.
Not a vest, not bracers, a whole outfit of regular clothing. I do not count magic items as regular clothing, and one item is not an outfit...

Don't get me wrong - I want this not to work. It absolutely shouldn't work. But your reasoning here isn't convincing. The description of 'an outfit of clothing' is an addendum to the target of the spell - which doesn't mention any items of clothing at all, only 'armour or shield'. Your quote clarifies that clothing can be a target for magic vestment - not that 'an entire outfit' is the only get-up that you can cast it on. And in fact an entire outfit probably isn't a viable target, since the core gear outfits include multiple items - boots, cloaks and so on.

So no. Wanting to be convinced, not convinced by this.


@ Lazar - yes, all true and well put.

But the simpler question still stands: if you can stack magic vestment on a suit of full plate, why can't you stack magic vestment on a vest of mage armour?

I've seen you mention elsewhere, as here, that armour bonusses and enhancement armour bonusses are the same and don't stack. But this doesn't work, or plate and magic vestment don't work. Is there any other decent logic to prevent a vest of armour+2 getting a magic vestment +2?


porpentine wrote:

So no. Wanting to be convinced, not convinced by this.

I will probably not be able to convince you, as you seem to disregard the actual wording of the spell: it can be cast on armor and shields, and then states that an outfit of regular clothing counts as armor for this purpose. Not a piece of clothing, not magical clothing but an outfit of regular clothing. What constitutes an outfit will vary from person to person, sure, but I fail to see how regular clothing can be interpreted to include magic items.

Whether or not you think that an outfit is not a viable target is of no concern to the discussion. But if you do not allow that as a viable target, the spell will not work on anything else than armor and shields at all for you, because the wording is clear.

It does not work with mage armor, obviously, as mage armor is not a viable target for the spell, it is neither armor nor shield but a spell. The same goes for bracers of armor, by the way. They are neither armor nor shield, and they are not regular clothing.

And it has nothing to do with permanently enchanting bracers of armor via Craft Magic Arms and Armor as this is another issue that I explained in my first post.


porpentine wrote:
if you can stack magic vestment on a suit of full plate, why can't you stack magic vestment on a vest of mage armour?

Because mage armor is not a valid target for magic vestment.

Magic Vestment: "Target armor or shield touched

You imbue a suit of armor or a shield with an enhancement bonus of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5 at 20th level)."

Mage Armor: "An invisible but tangible field of force surrounds the subject of a mage armor spell, providing a +4 armor bonus to AC."

A field of force that grants an armor bonus is not a suit of armor.

porpentine wrote:
Is there any other decent logic to prevent a vest of armour+2 getting a magic vestment +2?

Assuming a 'vest of armour+2' is a standard item of masterwork armor with a +2 enhancement bonus, then casting magic vestment on it grants it another enhancement bonus, which doesn't stack.

If the 'vest of armour+2' is a non-magical suit of armor that does not have an enhancement bonus, but just a standard armor bonus to AC, then casting magic vestment on it will work.


So, while I am still interested in seeing if Magic Vestment can be cast upon Mage Armor (which I doubt)...

I still need a plain answer from at least a few people in a row (or at least short succession)

Can you make +5 Bracers of Armor +8, effectively stacking an enhancement bonus on these items?


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
porpentine wrote:


Don't get me wrong - I want this not to work. It absolutely shouldn't work. But your reasoning here isn't convincing. The description of 'an outfit of clothing' is an addendum to the target of the spell - which doesn't mention any items of clothing at all, only 'armour or shield'. Your quote clarifies that clothing can be a target for magic vestment - not that 'an entire outfit' is the only get-up that you can cast it on. And in fact an entire outfit probably isn't a viable target, since the core gear outfits include multiple items - boots, cloaks and so on.

So no. Wanting to be convinced, not convinced by this.

I don't see why it's not reasonably persuasive. The spell can be cast on actual armor or a shield to give it an enhancement bonus. For the purposes of this spell, an outfit of clothes counts as armor with an armor bonus of +0. Nowhere does that include special items that imbue protective bonuses like individual vest of armor, bracers, or extra special Black Russian codpieces that might also happen to have armor bonuses.

I'd say magic vestment cast on a character wearing bracers of armor (or even a vest of armor), enchants his clothing to give it an armor bonus. If his bracers were +1 and the magic vestment cast at 12th level, the magic vestment takes over for its duration. If the bracers were +5, magic vestment will never be better and would be a useless casting.


Master_Crafter wrote:

So, while I am still interested in seeing if Magic Vestment can be cast upon Mage Armor (which I doubt)...

I still need a plain answer from at least a few people in a row (or at least short succession)

Can you make +5 Bracers of Armor +8, effectively stacking an enhancement bonus on these items?

No, simply because enhancement bonus is not an option of the type of special abilities that can be applied to bracers of armor. Bracers of armor can have armor bonus and armor special abilities, adding up to a total of +8, but not enhancemnt bonus to armor. +5 bracers of armor +8 can not exist according to the description of the item.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Master_Crafter wrote:

So, while I am still interested in seeing if Magic Vestment can be cast upon Mage Armor (which I doubt)...

I still need a plain answer from at least a few people in a row (or at least short succession)

Can you make +5 Bracers of Armor +8, effectively stacking an enhancement bonus on these items?

My plain answer is no. The entry on bracers gives you all the information you need. There is no reference to stacking an enhancement bonus on top of the armor bonus for the bracers. They aren't armor so the rules for crafting arms and armor don't apply. So no +5 bracers of armor +8 for a net +13 armor bonus.


Master_Crafter wrote:
Can you make +5 Bracers of Armor +8, effectively stacking an enhancement bonus on these items?

Can you make +5 Cloak of Resistance +1? Or a +5 Brooch of Shielding? Or a +5 Hat of Disguise? Or a +5 Necklace of fireballs type III?

Creating magic armor requires armor to enchant. Creating magic shields requires a shield to enchant. Creating magic weapons requires weapons to enchant.

Bracers of Armor is a wondrous item, as such it can't be enchanted as armor, or as a shield, or as a weapon.


porpentine wrote:
Is there any other decent logic to prevent a vest of armour+2 getting a magic vestment +2?

By the way, despite being on the other side of the argument, I actually would allow this to float via house rules, as I am partial to the lesser armored or even unarmored heroes. In fact, in two of the three Pf campaigns I am running right now, I used (different) house rules to incorporate unarmored PC for background reasons.

But I know that the rules do not support this and it is a house rule. Which makes the discussion somewhat funny, as you do not want it but argue for it, while I might use it and argue against it ... ;-)

And to Master_Crafter: it cannot be done. No +5 Bracers of Armor +8.


Thank you guys. That is what I expected. Now, by this logic, it seems to follow that since Magic Vestment grants and armor enhancement bonus, this spell also cannot stack with Bracers of Armor, but would overlap it as would any other piece of armor (take the bigest bonus only).

Is this correct?


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Whenever I have a question like "hmmm can I stack an enhancement bonus on top of my bracers magic armor bonus?" my immediate reaction is to check to see if it violates the basic balance concepts. If, for example, by doing so I can get a +4 AC boost for twice the cost of a +2 AC boost, my conclusion is not "cool! I found a way to cut he cost of AC by thousands of gold pieces, wooohooo!" No, my conclusion is, hmmm... something that out of whack is almost certainly a misunderstanding of the rules, a mistake by the developers, or an unintended exploit."

I am always sort of amazed not only by the gleeful announcements of how brilliant the technique is, but even more so by how stubbornly and vigorously people will defend a position that appears, to me, to be so obviously counter to RAI, and usually to RAW as well.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber
Master_Crafter wrote:

Thank you guys. That is what I expected. Now, by this logic, it seems to follow that since Magic Vestment grants and armor enhancement bonus, this spell also cannot stack with Bracers of Armor, but would overlap it as would any other piece of armor (take the bigest bonus only).

Is this correct?

That's how I read it. Magic vestment is intended to enhance certain specific things - actual armor, actual shield, or outfit of clothing (treated as armor for the purposes of the spell).


Master_Crafter wrote:

since Magic Vestment grants and armor enhancement bonus, this spell also cannot stack with Bracers of Armor, but would overlap it as would any other piece of armor (take the bigest bonus only).

Is this correct?

If you are wearing, say, Bracers of Armor +1 and someone casts Magic Vestment on your suit of clothing at CL 8 (granting a +2 bonus) then your bracers would cease functioning and provide no bonus until the Magic Vestment spell wears off.

This is important, because if you had Light Fortification Bracers of Armor +1, then a CL 8 Magic Vestment, the bracers would still shut down, and you would not get the fortification.


Thak you everyone. These are the kinds of productive responses I have been seeking.

Now, to take things one step further:

Bracers of Armor envelop the wearer with a field of force as though the werers were under the effects of Mage Armor.

Since, under this wording fron the CRB, adding an enhancement bonus to Bracers of Armor is effectively the same as adding an enhancement bonus to Mage Armor, and we have decided that the former cannot be done:

Is it reasonable to follow that Magic Vestment cannot therefore target the effect made by a Mage Armor Spell?


Yes, you cannot stack the bonuses from mage armor and magic vestment. Magic vestment needs to be cast on actual clothing or armor, and mage armor is neither of these.


Master_Crafter wrote:
Is it reasonable to follow that Magic Vestment cannot therefore target the effect made by a Mage Armor Spell?

As addressed upthread:

Mage armor is not a valid target for magic vestment.

Magic Vestment: "Target armor or shield touched

You imbue a suit of armor or a shield with an enhancement bonus of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5 at 20th level)."

Mage Armor: "An invisible but tangible field of force surrounds the subject of a mage armor spell, providing a +4 armor bonus to AC."

A field of force that grants an armor bonus is not a suit of armor.


Thank you, thank you, thank you. These are the clear-cut answers I was looking for.

Simply saying "Bracers of Armor are Bracers of Armor" tells me nothing, but this does.

Again, thank you.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
porpentine wrote:

@ Lazar - yes, all true and well put.

But the simpler question still stands: if you can stack magic vestment on a suit of full plate, why can't you stack magic vestment on a vest of mage armour?

I've seen you mention elsewhere, as here, that armour bonusses and enhancement armour bonusses are the same and don't stack. But this doesn't work, or plate and magic vestment don't work. Is there any other decent logic to prevent a vest of armour+2 getting a magic vestment +2?

Your problem is your insistence on using the term enhancement armor bonuses. There IS NO SUCH THING. You can't stack magic vestment on mage armour because mage armor is a spell effect, it's not a valid target for the magic vestment spell.

A vest of mage armor doesn't armour up the vest, it produces a mage armor effect which is totally separate from the vest itself. That effect is a distinct and separate armor bonus.

So what you would have would be the armor bonus form the mage armor. and the armor bonus from the plain vest enhanced with magic vestment. Whichever is greater trumps the other.


There certainly is such a thing as an enhancement bonus to armor. A +2 chain shirt gives a +4 armor bonus and a +2 enhancement to that armor bonus provided by the mundane protective quality of the chain shirt. Magic vestment does the same thing, thus magic vestment cast with a +2 bonus does not stack with the +2 enhancement bonus on the +2 chain shirt. But magic vestment does stack with the mundane armor bonus of +4 from a non-enchanted chain shirt, resulting in +6, identically to the +2 chain shirt.

That said, I do agree with the result of your argument, which is that mage armor, bracers of armor and similar effects do not stack with the enhancement bonus from magic vestment. But this is because the magic vestment spell is being applied to the target's clothes, and not to the magical armor effect of mage armor and bracers of armor, not because there is no such thing as an enhancement bonus to armor.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:

Whenever I have a question like "hmmm can I stack an enhancement bonus on top of my bracers magic armor bonus?" my immediate reaction is to check to see if it violates the basic balance concepts. If, for example, by doing so I can get a +4 AC boost for twice the cost of a +2 AC boost, my conclusion is not "cool! I found a way to cut he cost of AC by thousands of gold pieces, wooohooo!" No, my conclusion is, hmmm... something that out of whack is almost certainly a misunderstanding of the rules, a mistake by the developers, or an unintended exploit."

I am always sort of amazed not only by the gleeful announcements of how brilliant the technique is, but even more so by how stubbornly and vigorously people will defend a position that appears, to me, to be so obviously counter to RAI, and usually to RAW as well.

+1

Though a bit of clarification and more consistent use of certain terminology in the PRD would help at times.

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