Armor mage Armor and enchantments help


Rules Questions


So I was building a character for a gestalt game with a friend and decided to go Wizard/Swashbuckler. Looking over Archetypes for both, I was going to go vanilla of both classes, but stumbled onto the Bonded Wizard Archetype. Now Swashbuckler gives armor pro, allowing me to use a Haramaki and not have to worry about Arcane spell failure for my wizard and bumping up the AC a touch. Level 5 I get Bonded Force, which can be mage armor, also being able to apply Light Fort on the Mage armor. Now I know AC from Armor doesnt stack, but does the enchantment from the armors still apply.

Meaning if i have an Enchantment on my haramaki, and then activate Bonded Force with Light Fortification, does the enchant from the haramaki remain active?


no, only one armor source (the higher one) can be active at a time.


I assume you dont mean just the Armor increase, and you also mean the enchantment from only one armor can be active at a time


Basically if you get two sources that grant an armor bonus one of them turns completely off.

Scarab Sages

Can y’all cite a source for your statements? I know that is a specific rule regarding Bracers of Armor but am unaware of any general rule that states that. To my knowledge you can receive the higher armor bonus from Mage Armor etc while still using an armor enhancement from a worn armor.


So no one can source where the enchantments abilities don't stack from multiple sources?

Again I realize ARMOR bonuses don't stack, this is specifically about the enchantments ability, not the enchantment bonus either.


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The citation is that you only have one magical armor slot. You cannot have more than one in each slot, so you use the highest. It is under the Magic Items chapter of the PRD. You'll need to scroll down to Magic Items on the body which states "A humanoid-shaped body can be decked out in magic gear consisting of one item from each of the following groups, keyed to which slot on the body the item is worn."


Enhancement bonuses are increasing the actual armor bonus the armor is giving. So a +1 chainshirt doesn't give 4 armor and 1 enchantment to armor to AC it gives 5 armor to AC. And that means that defiant is tied to that AC bonus too, and if the armor isn't working then the entire armor isn't working.


But it's not that the magical armor is "off", it's that its armor bonus is being superceded by an existing, higher value one.

If your mage armor was suddenly dispelled, if you had +1 leather you would now have +3 armor bonus.

It's obvious that you cant wear 2 sets of armor so cant stack armor enchantments that way, but armor enchantments on 2 perfectly legal items that can be worn at the same time should work by my estimation.


Curghann wrote:

But it's not that the magical armor is "off", it's that its armor bonus is being superceded by an existing, higher value one.

If your mage armor was suddenly dispelled, if you had +1 leather you would now have +3 armor bonus.

It's obvious that you cant wear 2 sets of armor so cant stack armor enchantments that way, but armor enchantments on 2 perfectly legal items that can be worn at the same time should work by my estimation.

Give an example of these 2 items in an actual game. I ask for examples because it's easier to give a concrete answer than working with general rules which may not always apply.


wraithstrike wrote:
Curghann wrote:

But it's not that the magical armor is "off", it's that its armor bonus is being superceded by an existing, higher value one.

If your mage armor was suddenly dispelled, if you had +1 leather you would now have +3 armor bonus.

It's obvious that you cant wear 2 sets of armor so cant stack armor enchantments that way, but armor enchantments on 2 perfectly legal items that can be worn at the same time should work by my estimation.

Give an example of these 2 items in an actual game. I ask for examples because it's easier to give a concrete answer than working with general rules which may not always apply.

From his OP it would seem that he's talking about Mage armor and lets say a +1 defiant fortification leather. I believe he's wanting the +4 from mage armor with the defiant and fortification from the armor since it has the lower armor bonus.


Or simply Bracers of Armor +4, Balanced and Leather Armor +1, Deathless.


There's a weird corner case I know of where you can wear an armored coat on top of a suit of full plate, and enjoy a magic buff that only applies to medium armor. Something tells me it'd be pretty hot in there, though.


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The fortification comes from the mage armor as an ability of the bonded wizard archetype. Slots have nothing to do with this particular example.

As I understand it, the result should be the highest armor bonus along with any special properties granted by both the worn armor and the archetype. So casting mage armor would apply a +3 enhancement bonus and light fortification, and wearing (e.g.) a +1 deathless haramaki would result in the same total effect that wearing a +3 deathless light fortification haramaki against normal attacks. Against incorporeal attacks, it'd just be +3 light fortification as the haramaki wouldn't matter.


Curghann wrote:
Or simply Bracers of Armor +4, Balanced and Leather Armor +1, Deathless.

Bracers of armor have language that specifically prohibits this.

Quote:
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.

One item completely shutting off is because of how the bracers work.

The same does not apply to any other interaction, however. Only trying to combine an item with bracers of armor causes one to shut down. There is no language anywhere else in the rules that says special abilities shut down if the items enhancement bonus is lower than another items.


Fair enough on the bracers. The OP's case doesnt utilize them anyway so dont want to muddy that discussion further.


So just to be clear, as Im building this character for a game on Saturday, and want my ducks in a row.

Using the examples above, and my request, which I admit is vague after reading it again...

Assuming my character is level 9, gestalted Bonded Wizard / Swashbuckler (just for this example). Wearing +1 Haramaki Stanching*, then uses the class feature Bonded Force to gain Mage armor. At this point the Mage Armor could apply Light Fortification. At level 9 the Bonded Force Mage Armor would be AC 5, dropping it back to 4 to gain Light Fortification.

So after the Bonded Force is used, would the Stanching* from the actual armor worn still be in effect? Actual AC applied here would be 4, if Im correct.

Also if it makes any difference does the fact Mage armor isn't actually worn effect this in any way?

* = Feel free to assume this any enchantment as this is only an example.


Rylden wrote:
So after the Bonded Force is used, would the Stanching* from the actual armor worn still be in effect? Actual AC applied here would be 4, if Im correct.

Yes. You'd get stanching, light fortification, and a +4 bonus to your armor class that works even against incorporeal creatures.

Quote:
Also if it makes any difference does the fact Mage armor isn't actually worn effect this in any way?

No. Slots only matter when you have two things that would take up the same slot. mage armor doesn't take a slot. It isn't even an item; it just grants an armor bonus, and your archetype's class feature adds the equivalent of an armor property on top of that.


That's a valid point, Blaphers, but nowhere in the rules is that supported (for either of our points). Nothing calls them out to overlap or not to overlap. I'd argue that the intent is not to allow one to do that, and point to how Bracers of Armor and the like function to that. But you are right, my slot thing doesn't quite fit because of the fact that Mage Armor doesn't occupy a slot (though, as we similarly see with this question, it would raise questions of whether a +1 Heavy Fortification Haramaki is shut off completely or only the armor bonus is superseded with even a basic mage armor. So I guess this could use an FAQ).

However, the best answer you are going to get Rylden, unless this gets FAQ'd, is talk to your GM. You'll find the forums are divided on the issue, as is my understanding from previous discussions similar to this. If you plan to use this in play, the only opinion that matters is your GMs and if you plan to do this in PFS... Expect table variation.

Scarab Sages

I have a PFS Oracle who wears a +1 Spell Storing Haramaki and uses the Revelation Cloak of Shadows for +6 Armor Bonus. I checked with several Venture Agents before making the purchase to make sure it worked and I’ve yet to have anyone question it. I get the +6 Armor from the revelation but am still able to utilize my Spell Storing Haramaki when hit.


With the specific example being given it seems to work by the rules, but just in case Paizo decides to come up with an FAQ that says "no", I would talk to the GM. He may feel like the spirit of the rules disallows it. At least he might grandfather it if he already said yes to it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

RAW I don't see anything that stop that.

RAI? I think that the Baracers of Armor text show that the RAI is that only one source of armor bonus and special abilities work. Probably the writers have never thought to put a text prohibiting it in the different abilities description.

It is true too that several of the original writers of the CRB aren't anymore Paizo employees, so maybe the current devs would decide that they overlap without problems. Different people different sensibilities.

So the best reply is "ask your GM".

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