Splint vs Plate Armor


General Discussion


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I only have two really glaring concerns with 2e. Proficiencies is one, and armor is another.

Weapons seem to have received a fair amount of thought, which is great.

But can anyone tell me why my 14 dex fighter would choose plate mail over splint mail?

Splint is lighter, the extra dex evens the AC, is less bulky and has a reduced armor check modifier....and is less than half price.

Doesn't the math just eliminate plate mail as a desirable option?

Why not consider damage reduction against non-piercing weapons?


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I think it's fine to have plate mail and splint mail be comparable. If you don't want to boost DEX (instead choosing to boost WIS for will saves and CHA for resonance) then that's a perfectly acceptable choice and full plate is a good choice for you. Otherwise take the splint mail.

Dark Archive

4 people marked this as a favorite.

I think it would be great if full plate was only sometimes the best answer for characters. If there's only ever one good choice, then there's really no reason to print other types of heavy armor.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Mergy wrote:
I think it would be great if full plate was only sometimes the best answer for characters. If there's only ever one good choice, then there's really no reason to print other types of heavy armor.

That's fine up to a point Mergy, but I think my point is that the current ruleset makes Plate mail desirable only on an aesthetic level.

A fighter with STR18 and DEX10...

- Only 1 point AC difference between the two.
- Splint mail armor check penalty -3 vs -5 for plate, and 1 bulk difference in splint's favor.

If you are chosing armor for one fight, plate's the way to go. If you are adventuring and exploring...splint is the way to go.

I think too much effort has been made trying to even out AC's in favor of rogue-type characters, and not enough in favor of the tanks of the battlefield.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marvin the Marvellous wrote:


Why not consider damage reduction against non-piercing weapons?

I like this!

It shouldn’t be too much DR, so that full plate doesn’t become the undisputed best (‘cause we’re trying to balance the armors. Honestly, full plate is the best armor, but that’s not good for a game where you’re s’posed to be able to play any character concept.) and we’ll have to take a good hard look at how it works in the low levels (the biggest problem with armor as DR that I’ve found, using that alternate rules set, is that CR 1/2 creatures can’t damage the PCs under any circumstances. That, and a high CR ogre fighter with splint mail literally couldn’t take damage from level 2 PCs.).

But we don’t want the DR to be useless at high levels, or else we’re right back to everyone using splint mail. Perhaps full plate should provide scaling DR/piercing, starting at DR 1 and eventually scaling to DR 6? (I’m not a game designer, I picked these numbers pretty much at random. But I was thinking the full plate could get another point of DR for every +1 it gets.)

However the details are managed, I’d be really happy to see this in a game. Makes versatile P a more useful weapon quality, and encourages half-swording against heavily armored foes, which makes me happy.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Full plate at least isn't completely useless, since it does at least have some niche as the highest AC bonus for Dex-dumping characters. The half plate, however, has literally no purpose. Currently the half plate is completely outclassed by chain mail for characters with 16 or more dexterity, and for characters with less dexterity it's completely outclassed by splint mail. It has no reason for existing currently.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I'm not sure if the current situation should stick with the exact same bonuses. But I like that there are armors than are useful to people, beyond the last armor of every group (like in PF1, where the only armors that matter are chain shirt, breastplate and full plate). It's cool that there are reasons for some people to pick other armors, and I hope half-plate, and others, become apealing to some subset of characters.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Plate is a level higher than splint. Thus, it should have the highest AC of the armors when the maximum dex for the armor is taken into account.

I'd recommend raising Plate to AC +8 with +1 Dex Maximum -5 ACP and -10 ft movement.

Note:
I don't mean it is the highest armor in the category, Full Plate is an actual *character level* higher meaning it costs more to enchant and everything.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I disagree. While it's a level higher, that level happens to be TWO.

Plate should not be the indisputable best armor for everyone who can wear it for 19 levels. There's nothing wrong with someone wanting to have the aesthetics of The Witcher instead of the aesthetics of Sir Lancelot. It's good that Splint and Half Plate have their niches.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Half-Plate is arguably better than Splint for much of the game if you care about your reflex saves. Legendary Splint Mail and Mithril Master Splint Mail doesn't grow on trees (well Darkwood does, but it is still expensive). So Clumsy (-2 or -1) is still a meaningful opportunity cost compared to (-1 ACP).
Legendary Mithril Half-Plate is superior to it's Splint equivalent as well.

Otherwise though the heavier armors do seem to get a raw deal... looking just at maximum potential for a moment:

Spoiler:
Leather can provide up to +12 AC and +11 TAC with a 22 Dex and a 12 Str (to carry the bulk).
A Chain Shirt can provide the same protection with a 20 Dex and 14 Str, but is Noisy.

Scale Mail can provide up to +12 AC and +10 TAC with an 18 Dex and 14 Str, but loses 5 ft. of speed (discounting dwarves).
A Breastplate can provide the same protection with 16 Dex and 14 Str, but the armor slows you as above, is Clumsy, and will suffer at least a -1 ACP (unless made from mithril).

Splint Mail can provide up to +12 AC and +9 TAC with a 14 Dex and a 16 Dex, but costs you 10 ft. of speed.
Full Plate (and Grey Maiden Armor) can provide up to +12 AC and +8 TAC with a 12 Dex (or 10) and an 18 Str, but slows you as above, is Clumsy, and will suffer at least a -2 ACP (-1 if made from mithril).

It seems like your maximum AC is completely unaffected by the type of armor you wear, so long as you can meet its ability score prerequisites. However, heavier armors slow you down, provide less TAC, and can reduce reflexes. They are also negligably harder to acquire proficiency with... In exchange they just have significantly lower ability prerequistes. As well as the temporary and artifical value that comes from nobody being able to become legendary in light or medium armor during the playtest.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marvin the Marvellous wrote:
Mergy wrote:
I think it would be great if full plate was only sometimes the best answer for characters. If there's only ever one good choice, then there's really no reason to print other types of heavy armor.

That's fine up to a point Mergy, but I think my point is that the current ruleset makes Plate mail desirable only on an aesthetic level.

A fighter with STR18 and DEX10...

- Only 1 point AC difference between the two.
- Splint mail armor check penalty -3 vs -5 for plate, and 1 bulk difference in splint's favor.

If you are chosing armor for one fight, plate's the way to go. If you are adventuring and exploring...splint is the way to go.

I think too much effort has been made trying to even out AC's in favor of rogue-type characters, and not enough in favor of the tanks of the battlefield.

I can absolutely agree that full plate doesn't feel great at this point. I don't think I know a way currently of improving it without throwing the combat calculations out of whack, although the suggestions of small amounts of DR is an interesting idea. I think it would also be fine if AC penalties were reduced; I think we've all seen the videos of people climbing and tumbling around in full plate armour at this point.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Marvin the Marvellous wrote:

I only have two really glaring concerns with 2e. Proficiencies is one, and armor is another.

Weapons seem to have received a fair amount of thought, which is great.

But can anyone tell me why my 14 dex fighter would choose plate mail over splint mail?

Splint is lighter, the extra dex evens the AC, is less bulky and has a reduced armor check modifier....and is less than half price.

Doesn't the math just eliminate plate mail as a desirable option?

Why not consider damage reduction against non-piercing weapons?

With 2 ability boots for Ancestry, 2 ability boosts for Background, and 4 more ability boosts at first and every 5 levels, not putting enough increases into Dex to go over the 1 Dex Modifier Cap for plate mail seems like a ridiculous thing to do. Now, the main reason for a Cavalier or Paladin not to increase their Dex over 12 is to not feel like an idiot wearing for Plate Mail. Front line melee characters will only want heavy armor if they want to dump a large number of boosts into mental stats to create cerebral warriors. If Pathfinder v2 keeps all of the ability boosts from the playtest, the heavier armors are going to be pointless to use if they don't give some advantages in the future that they don't currently have.

Dark Archive

I've been looking at pictures of splint armor, and it looks pretty awesome actually. Is there a way we could make more armours good choices? I'd rather have my hero look how he or she wants to look without having to worry I'm performing suboptimally.


Since raising AC values is unlikely... What if Chain Armors provided small amounts of Slashing Resistance, Scale amd Plate armors provided small amounts of slashimg and/or piercing resistance, and Padded armor provided bludgeoning resistance?
That would provide an additional set of statistics with which to balance and differenciate between various suits of armor.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Splint vs Plate Armor All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.
Recent threads in Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion