Heavy Magic Armor should not be "Higher Level"


Magic Items


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Pure opinion here:

Currently, light and medium armor +1 potency runes are "Level 3" and heavy armors +1 potency runes are "level 4." I disagree with this as heavy armors not needing as much dex is already counterbalanced by numerous armor penalties.

Edit: I am making a DMPC for part 2 and have zero idea how to spend my "level 3" item. I want him in heavy armor for visual reasons. So, not sure where to go from here.


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Expert quality heavy armor is a higher level too. I'm not really sure why, because heavy armor is pretty bad, it's not like it needs that for balance reasons. If you've got a dex of 16 or above (not hard to do, especially as you level), than you'll be better off with medium or even light armor. You'll get the same AC, better TAC, and won't have those crippling penalties to skills and movement. I don't know why they felt the need to limit heavy armor that way, even in PF1 it's rarely worth using, and in PF2 it's worse unless you get special class features to reduce the penalties.

The fact that AC bonus + dex modifier cap always equals 7 is a problem. Perhaps it should add up to 6 for light, 7 for medium and 8 for heavy. Or some other progression where heavier armor is actually better armor. Higher quality or special materials don't help except with Armor Check penalty.


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The armor itself might be higher level because there is a relation between level and GP value. But the potency rune should not be a higher level as it is mechanically the same and can be put on other armor.


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Ya, the rune is an etching; it makes no sense for it to cost more on heavy vs other armors. In fact, there is no such cost disparity for potency 2, 3, 4 or 5 runes.

I can only assume Paizo added this since its before the level 5 stat bump. So, they may be adding a value to heavy armor users not having to invest in dex as much early on. I feel Paizo may be not weighing the impact of armor penalties correctly. Also, even heavy armor users will still be investing a significant amount (likely up to at least 14) in dex.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I agree that their internal weighting seems to be off. For the life of me I can't figure out what's driving the huge penalties to heavy armor.

It's definitely not realism, and it doesn't look like game balance. If anything it seems like they passed heavy armor around the room for people to add penalties to and kept them all rather than narrowing it down.


WatersLethe wrote:

I agree that their internal weighting seems to be off. For the life of me I can't figure out what's driving the huge penalties to heavy armor.

It's definitely not realism, and it doesn't look like game balance. If anything it seems like they passed heavy armor around the room for people to add penalties to and kept them all rather than narrowing it down.

I have no major problems with heavy armor penalties; that is not what my post is about. The speed penalty on heavy feels like a bit much (I would rather it be the same as Medium) but I can live with it. The thing about Heavy Armor +1 being level 4 and Light/Medium Armor +1 being level 3 does not sit well with me however.


Making heavy armor and low-level magic heavy armor this weird exception that is calculated and bought differently throws their Treasure Tables way off for character creation.

While creating a 7th level paladin - a class that is railroaded into heavy armor - for Part 3 of the Playtest adventure, PCs are allowed x1 6th level item, x2 5th, x1 4th, and x2 3rd level items, plus 125gp (i.e. - standard treasure according to their tables).

+1 Heavy Armor and a +1 Magic Weapon are both 4th level items. I can only have one 4th level item. At first glance that feels like having to choose when everyone else in the party can easily pick up a magic weapon and magic armor. In fairness, I could just outright buy +1 Heavy Armor for 100gp. Which still felt pretty punishing, just in a different resource - I have to spend 80% of my money to keep up with everyone else, while still taking allllllllll of the drawbacks of heavy armor. That my class requires. Balanced or not - it felt sucky.

Admittedly:
... I got the 2+ magic armor that is given to one PC before starting Affair at Sombrefell Hall, so that solved my dilemma on this particular character for this particular adventure. But not every game is going to give out gifts like that, and not everyone is going to be lucky enough to get the special thing.


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Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Data Lore wrote:
I have no major problems with heavy armor penalties; that is not what my post is about. The speed penalty on heavy feels like a bit much (I would rather it be the same as Medium) but I can live with it. The thing about Heavy Armor +1 being level 4 and Light/Medium Armor +1 being level 3 does not sit well with me however.

I'm saying that adjusting the cost of armor enchantments was probably one of the many penalties they tacked onto heavy armor. Since the other penalties don't make sense to me, and neither does this one, it leaves me scratching my head.


WatersLethe:
We can agree to disagree on the other penalties. This thread is SPECIFICALLY about the +1 armor potency rune.


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So I get why heavy armor is more expensive to buy than light armor, since more materials and labor goes into a suit of plate mail than a chain shirt; that makes sense.

But since on the weapon side of things I can swap a potency rune out of a dagger and into a greataxe or a bow or a glaive or a gnomish flickmace, I'm not sure why potency runes in heavy armor are less easily acquirable than potency runes in medium armor. I guess since this goes away later, all this represents "it's easier to get expert quality hide than expert quality splint mail", which doesn't exactly seem necessary.


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Its a bit unbalanced and adds an element of needless complexity. All +1 armor potency runes could cost the same and be the same item level. There could be just one +1 armor potency rune. There would be no downside to this and it would eliminate needless rules bloat and strange gotcha moments for folks that would like to visualize their PC in heavy armor.


I do not think there is any argument from a game balance perspective.

It might be some sort of: it is bigger, therefore it requires more "etching". But I think it adds needless complexity and should be done away with.

There might be an argument to be made for making armour and weapon potency runes interchangeable. Got a +3 dagger, rather have +3 armour? Change it over.

Maybe even allow potency runes to add to hardness of shields.


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Malthraz wrote:

I do not think there is any argument from a game balance perspective.

It might be some sort of: it is bigger, therefore it requires more "etching". But I think it adds needless complexity and should be done away with.

There might be an argument to be made for making armour and weapon potency runes interchangeable. Got a +3 dagger, rather have +3 armour? Change it over.

Maybe even allow potency runes to add to hardness of shields.

I am not sure I agree with all that - I like those runes being separate since its easier to tweak when you get increases in defensive vs offensive power and that helps smooth out player increase in power.

Frankly, if they just collapsed the +1 armor potency rune into one, I would good with it - especially since the higher level armor potency runes are already combined. I think they have otherwise done a fine job on the rune system. It is clean and easy to use once you play with it a bit.

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