How to make heavy armor worth it


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Remove TAC. That's it. If you were to remove TAC as a mechanic, I think heavy armor would have enough of a trade-off associated with it to be a viable option. But to explain why, I need to start with a brief history lesson on why TAC is a thing.

Way back in war gaming days, your battleship might be described as having 1st class armor, 2nd class armor, 3rd class armor, etc. This is the origin of the term "armor class" and why it was decreasing in AD&D. When porting this concept over to a pseudo-Medieval fantasy setting, Gygax and co. made a list of armor types and ranked them. For example, wearing full plate and carrying a shield was 1st class, wearing full plate without a shield or wearing half plate with one was 2nd class, and wearing half plate without one was 3rd class. Dexterity did affect your AC, but at least in AD&D 1e, it did nothing from 7-14, and changed your AC by 1 point for every point of Dex up or down. (E.g. 15 Dex was -1 AC and 16 Dex was -2) Thus, and this is slightly speculative, going into 3e, the assumption was that the bulk of your AC would come from armor. This will be important in a second.

See, while all this was happening, they were shifting how attack rolls worked. First it was Class x Level x AC tables. Then it was THAC0, which let you generate the entire row for Class x Level with a single value. And eventually, in 3e, they had the idea to simplify attack rolls into the 3.PF BAB+Str/Dex mechanic. But that led to a bit of a problem. Wizards had low BAB so they wouldn't be good with weapons, but that also meant they had a hard time landing spells. Thus, the solution was to create a new type of AC- touch AC- for wizards to target. And- and this is the speculative part- since armor was the main source of AC, wizards could just ignore it.

This, of course, led to a feedback loop. Because armor no longer applied to all of your defenses, it was more useful to invest in Dex and wear lighter armor. But because people weren't wearing armor, wizards had trouble hitting targets again, as long as they didn't rely on natural armor.

This is where UTEML comes in. It and 5e's Proficiency Bonus are both variations on giving you the equivalent of full BAB with weapons you should be good with. Thus, it becomes entirely reasonable to expect casters to be able to hit regular AC, as long as they put a few points in Str/Dex, eliminating the original need for TAC. And at that point, heavy armor would have a purpose again. Given high enough Dex scores, light armor would be superior for not having as many penalties. But heavy armor would have the benefit of immediate gratification, as opposed to needing to wait until relatively high levels for Dex+light to be able to compete.


Not a good solution, in my opinion. Going against full AC instead of the slighly lower TAC is pretty hard for casters. They usually have a lower attack bonus not just because of BAB/Proficiency but also because they lack the ability to max out Str/Dex.

Their proficiency for touch attacks increases more slowly than most martial character's weapon proficiency. Casters also usually prefer ranged touch attacks, which often means the enemy has screening and can't be flanked for an easy -2 AC. This effectively puts a caster at -3 attack compared to a martial melee character. This -3 is a huge penalty not only to hit but also to your crit chance in PF2.

Ranged martials have similar problems, of course, but they attack multiple times per round and don't spend a valuable limited per-day resource that's lost on a miss.

If they remove TAC completely, they need to make up for it somehow. Allowing casters to use their casting stat for spell attack rolls or something like that.


I'm not entirely opposed to switching to the casting stat to determine chance to hit. Yeah, Paizo really wants most stats to have a use, but given that the vast majority of offensive spells are going to be ranged that means that it's just even more reason for casters to use DEX. Even without DEX to-hit for casting spells, DEX is often going to be the second or third highest stat anyways because most casters don't have access to heavy armor. If some casters end up not taking DEX at all... that's OK.

Using that to remove TAC is more for the sake of removing unnecessary complexity, though. You can remove an entire section on the character sheet with that change, that's one less thing to track and one less way for the players or GM to mess up during play. You can cut out so many keywords through the elimination of that mechanic. The buff to heavy armor at that point is almost secondary.

For heavy armor itself, I really do want it to be better so that I have an excuse to wear full plate, but because of how stats now increase in PF2 (at level 5 and every 5 levels after, you increase 4 different stats) there's only two stats that won't increase. DEX is almost never going to be one of those two stats that don't get increased, it just does so much and the ability to get lighter armor to shore up on TAC while literally moving faster is generally going to be more useful than increasing CHA or INT for many characters. Seriously, +5 movement speed is an entire general feat, it's something you'd pick an Elf for despite the malus to CON, it's something that is important for anyone that has to be able to reach a target first before they can deal damage, the movement speed debuff is just nutty.

The result is that most characters at level 10 are going to have at least 14 DEX. There's no ancestry that lets you take a malus to DEX and DEX isn't the worst or second worst stat to improve for most classes. Most characters that are mildly optimized are going to be looking at having a 14 in DEX by level 5, because again it's very hard to not give DEX one of those four free boosts. By level 10 or 15, it simply stops making sense to wear *any* heavy armor, you'll just naturally bump into having 16 DEX at some point without even really trying.

The only exception to this right now is that some classes get additional expertise only with heavy armor, which is a pretty ugly solution.

I think the core of the issue is that generally when a player makes a character concept, they already envision what their outfit looks like. If I want to make a full plate dude, I want to be a full plate dude from 1-20. I don't want to gradually wear less and less armor, I just want my plate armor to get more and more flashy. The current system, however, forces all characters to change out the type of their armor every time they get free boosts because of how DEX caps work and how TAC and ACP just make heavier armor strictly inferior to lighter armor.

In PF1, this wasn't as obvious an issue because you only ever could get a +1 to one stat as you leveled up. Nothing practically forced you to increase your DEX if you weren't a DEX-based character. If you could get your DEX to an acceptable level for the armor you wanted to wear at level 1 and you weren't a DEX-based character, it could be assumed that you weren't going to put your scarce +1's into DEX and that you'd be wearing the same type of armor forever. This made heavier armor useful as a way to "partially dump" DEX and only suffer some of the consequences.

That's no longer true, so the entire armor system needs to be seriously rethought. 5e's system isn't ideal for what PF is trying to do because it encourages you to dump either STR or DEX, with little benefit for leveling both. A possibility for PF is to give each class of armor different benefits based on whether you have DEX or STR, or to just make heavier armor always better except at stealth and to jealously gate armor profiency, remove armor proficiency altogether and rebalance armor around the assumption that any class can wear whatever armor they want.

Anything that would make armor easier to understand and better enable a player to pick what they like aesthetically while still enabling the armor to do what it should be doing thematically would be good. Think of how weapons currently work - because 2d6 no longer exists, you can actually choose a wide variety of weapons and be generally equal-ish in your performance if you're not doing anything special with the weapon. In practice, the difference between a greataxe and a great sword is almost nonexistent. It's only when more focused and specialized builds that take advantage of the quirks of weapons do their differences shine through. I'd love for a similar system to exist in spirit for armor.


I actually like it.

You would need to rework casters' proficiency scaling for performing attacks with magic...not sure how we would call it but that's minor.

Forcing casters to invest in dex so they can touch the enemy, I'm cool with. Most already invest in dex for AC anyways.


Blave wrote:

Not a good solution, in my opinion. Going against full AC instead of the slighly lower TAC is pretty hard for casters. They usually have a lower attack bonus not just because of BAB/Proficiency but also because they lack the ability to max out Str/Dex.

If they remove TAC completely, they need to make up for it somehow. Allowing casters to use their casting stat for spell attack rolls or something like that.

I'm not going to try to make any claims about Str/Dex vs casting stat for said attack rolls. My main point is that by putting everyone on the same +level track with TEML modifiers, Paizo's already removed what was basically the only reason to have a separate, lower version of AC for spells to target. And by removing TAC, you give heavy armor a reason to exist. The difference would be "Instant high AC, but has penalties" vs "You need to invest in your Dex to max out your AC, but you don't have those penalties". But because those penalties don't include "Does not work against some attacks", they become more bearable.


RazarTuk wrote:
My main point is that by putting everyone on the same +level track with TEML modifiers, Paizo's already removed what was basically the only reason to have a separate, lower version of AC for spells to target. And by removing TAC, you give heavy armor a reason to exist. The difference would be "Instant high AC, but has penalties" vs "You need to invest in your Dex to max out your AC, but you don't have those penalties". But because those penalties don't include "Does not work against some attacks", they become more bearable.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I totally agree with you that heavy armor is in a pretty bad shape right now. I'm just not sure that getting rid of TAC altogether is the best solution. It SHOULD be harder to hit an agile monk with a touch than a heavily armored fighter. Unless we suddenly retcon magic being unable to pierce mundane steel, so that full-plate will protect against touch attacks. Then again, paizo already went halfway there with heavy armor having any TAC bonus at all.

I don't really care whether there's TAC in the game or not. But simply getting rid of it without taking a very careful look at what it affects would be a bad choice. I'm pretty sure casters would stop using touch spells because their chance to hit wouldn't be good enough to warrant the use of a spellslot. And even Cantrips become useless again if your chance to hit is at 25% or something like that.

I haven't seen too many Wizards being played besides my own one, but from what I can tell players prefer Ray of Frost to Telekinetic Projectile since the slighly higher damage is not worth going up against additional AC.

If they remove TAC, they need to do something about caster touch accuracy. Badly. This makes your solution much more complicated than "Remove TAC. That's it.". Not impossible, mind you. Just more complicated.


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5e got rid of TAC and its casters hit just fine. It's pretty simple, just use your casting stat to hit instead of DEX. DEX is gonna get pumped anyways so it's not really making casters any less SAD, just limiting the possibilities of STR-based casters. Eliminates a lot of complexity.

I think heavy armor has a lot more going against it than just TAC, though. The movement speed penalties, ACP, certain spells and monsters that explicitly f@+$ over those relying on metal armor, the fact that virtually every reasonably optimized character is going to get 16 DEX at some point if they continue playing. I don't see much other than a complete overhaul on the scale of 5e's rework to fix that mess.


The AC numbers are pretty tight so there might just not be much room to distinguish armor types there. They could always have armor provide physical damage resistance instead. That's half of what shields do already.


I feel like the way to make heavy armor attractive is to give heavy armor traits which are positive (like most weapon traits are). Lighter armors can have fewer traits (positive and negative) while the heaviest armors can have lots.


Part of the problem is the penalties for wearing heavy armor is too high. For starters I would change ACP to 0 for light armor, -1 for medium and -2 for heavy armor. Then I would change speed to 0 for light and medium armor and -5 for heavy armor.


I confess maybe I should keep my mouth shut since I haven't been in the playtest at all, but.. Heavy Armor is bad now? I remember that in normal PF (and heck, with the playlist's comparisons to 5th ed, even in 5th edition) that Full Plate was generally then #1 way to go... what happened while I wasn't looking?


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They have mentioned that part or most of the penalties associated with heavy armor will be negated through class features and a high strength.. so we'll see how it impacts things.


Warriorking9001 wrote:
I confess maybe I should keep my mouth shut since I haven't been in the playtest at all, but.. Heavy Armor is bad now? I remember that in normal PF (and heck, with the playlist's comparisons to 5th ed, even in 5th edition) that Full Plate was generally then #1 way to go... what happened while I wasn't looking?

Very little has actually changed hoenstly, but some folks thought PF1 armor sucked too I guess and are frustrated it wasn't fixed, or think more has changed than actually has and think heavy armor has become worse than it was before.

The former camp is a much more valid argument, albeit one that you or I would not agree with. Regardless it is being buffed in the final version.


Warriorking9001 wrote:
I confess maybe I should keep my mouth shut since I haven't been in the playtest at all, but.. Heavy Armor is bad now? I remember that in normal PF (and heck, with the playlist's comparisons to 5th ed, even in 5th edition) that Full Plate was generally then #1 way to go... what happened while I wasn't looking?

Stat gen. Getting a 16+ in dex when your class has no use for dex is way easier now. You get four +2s every 5 levels instead of one +1.


RazarTuk wrote:

Remove TAC. That's it. If you were to remove TAC as a mechanic, I think heavy armor would have enough of a trade-off associated with it to be a viable option. But to explain why, I need to start with a brief history lesson on why TAC is a thing.

Way back in war gaming days, your battleship might be described as having 1st class armor, 2nd class armor, 3rd class armor, etc. This is the origin of the term "armor class" and why it was decreasing in AD&D. When porting this concept over to a pseudo-Medieval fantasy setting, Gygax and co. made a list of armor types and ranked them. For example, wearing full plate and carrying a shield was 1st class, wearing full plate without a shield or wearing half plate with one was 2nd class, and wearing half plate without one was 3rd class. Dexterity did affect your AC, but at least in AD&D 1e, it did nothing from 7-14, and changed your AC by 1 point for every point of Dex up or down. (E.g. 15 Dex was -1 AC and 16 Dex was -2) Thus, and this is slightly speculative, going into 3e, the assumption was that the bulk of your AC would come from armor. This will be important in a second.

See, while all this was happening, they were shifting how attack rolls worked. First it was Class x Level x AC tables. Then it was THAC0, which let you generate the entire row for Class x Level with a single value. And eventually, in 3e, they had the idea to simplify attack rolls into the 3.PF BAB+Str/Dex mechanic. But that led to a bit of a problem. Wizards had low BAB so they wouldn't be good with weapons, but that also meant they had a hard time landing spells. Thus, the solution was to create a new type of AC- touch AC- for wizards to target. And- and this is the speculative part- since armor was the main source of AC, wizards could just ignore it.

This, of course, led to a feedback loop. Because armor no longer applied to all of your defenses, it was more useful to invest in Dex and wear lighter armor. But because people weren't wearing armor, wizards had trouble...

I just think that Heavy Armor should actually grant more of a raw armor bonus (even just 2 higher is a solid start), but have that TAC weakness, which both better fits how it functioned in PF1, but also gives Heavy Armor a better niche identity of "This is the hardest stuff to hit normally, so use alternative tactics to beat this guy" and since monster rules are basically "Make whatever numbers you want your monsters to have," it doesn't affect enemies in any meaningful way that it already hasn't before.

There is already a "rule" mentioned in one of their previous streams that determines how much heavier armor hampers you if you have a certain amount of Strength; that is, the stronger you are, the less the armor reduces your movement. Which is awesome, and gives Strength a better niche identity. I have no clue as to how that scales, and if it persists in the final version we'll have those numbers so I have a better understanding as to how it works, but the concept seems solid to me.

And while Light Armor being less likely (if not impossible) to be Legendary proficiency in serves as somewhat of a problem, I do think it should be less available compared to the Heavier proficiences. I'm not saying it shouldn't exist, but that characters like Fighters and Paladins with their own armor proficiency scaling with whatever tier of armor they prefer would be nice, compared to other classes like Rogues and Barbarians and Rangers who shouldn't based on their current proficiency scalings. Archetypes (assuming they function as changing the base packages of classes instead of being another form of Dedication feats) can fix the concept of "X class can never be Y tier of Z proficiency."


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It turns out the solution Paizo's gone with is indeed to remove TAC and move what were previously touch attacks to instead be reflex saves. Which makes enough sense honestly, touch attacks and reflex saves are essentially describing the same thing (an attack that can't be blocked and must be avoided) and the only difference is who gets to roll the d20.


Personally I'm not a fan of converting the "attack roll" into a defender's save in this case. It also doesn't do anything to actually make heavy armor more viable since you'll want more dex to increase your reflex save, and if you have more dex there's no reason to wear heavy armor.

This isn't a solution to the problem that heavy armor sucks.


Claxon wrote:
This isn't a solution to the problem that heavy armor sucks.

You aren't wrong, but I think it opens the door to raising the base AC of heavy armor--and along with the strength mitigation--results in something usable.


Maybe.

The core problem is that the maximum bonus to AC from your dex + armor bonus in PF2 is 7. Some armor + dex combos are less actually, but most are 7.

Combine that with the ease of increasing dex due to being able to increase 4 of your ability scores at each time, and the large quantity of things that being better at dex gives you (skills, ranged attacks, init, reflex saves (unless I'm remembering something incorrectly)) there is little reason to not invest one of your increases into dex.

Most people can pretty safely sacrifice charisma and choose one other ability score that isn't as useful as dex.

Heck, if increasing proficiency in heavy armor actually decreased armor check penalty, increased max dex, and at certain levels reduced the speed decrease that could make heavy armor worth it.


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One of the big problems here is that you're counting out proficiency entirely from the equation. Heavy Armor had the highest possible proficiency which left it at 1-2 higher AC than other options and made you a little less dependent on Dexterity.

The highest AC characters in the game were both the Paladin and the Fighter wearing Heavy Armor.

The biggest flaw that Heavy Armor had was the penalty it gave to Movement Speed and Skills. And honestly, it sounds like having a high enough strength will counter or possibly even negate those penalties.

That's enough to put Heavy Armor as a clear front runner over anything lighter with the possible exception of needing to make reflex saves.

If your goal is for Platemail to provide a higher AC for an extremely high Dexterity character than Light Armor then I'm sorry but I'll disagree with you on that.


I'm not discounting proficiency, since Legendary proficiency in heavy armor was class restricted, it's not a fair comparison. That's really more like a special class ability than a real proficiency level.

If only paladins can be legendary, then legendary proficiency might as well not exist for anyone except paladins.

As you state, the biggest problem isn't that heavy armor doesn't provide a higher AC bonus from armor + dex, it's that it at best provides equal but comes with penalties in the form of ACP and movement speed reductions. You either need to give higher total AC bonus compared to medium or light armor or need a mechanism to remove the penalties.

Ideally heavy armor should provide higher total AC (armor + dex) than medium or light armor, and certain classes should to be able to remove the penalties with class abilities. That was how it worked in PF1 and I liked that paradigm.


Additionally, no one can be legendary until 15th. At all, ever, hands down, end all be all, you must be at least this tall.


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Completely excluding Proficiency from the numbers and maxing out the potential purely on attributes Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor should be on par with each other. Full stop.

Leather has an AC Bonus of 1 with a Maximum Dexterity Mod of 6, coming out to a 7 Modified AC. It requires investing into Dexterity up until it reaches a 22. Which is every attribute point, and not including a Magic Item to increase it so you can use it on another attribute. Alternatively you could raise it to 20 and use a Magic Item to boost it to 22.

Breastplate has an AC Bonus of 4 with a Maximum Dexterity Mod of 3, coming out to a 7 Modified AC. It requires investing into Dexterity to bring it up to at least a 16. This is very do-able by most characters. I'd imagine that having a reasonable strength will go a long way to negating the penalties of Medium Armor. This puts it on par with Leather.

Full Plate has an AC Bonus of 6 with a Maximum Dexterity Mod of 1, coming out to a 7 Modified AC. It requires almost no investment into Dexterity that anyone can easily achieve. My assumption is that a very high strength in the 20-22 range will allow you to ignore most of the penalties of the armor.

This offers Armor options for Quick, Balanced, and Slow/Strong characters. Full Plate and other Heavy Armor options should not be superior just to be superior.

For the iconic "High Defense" characters you're looking at both Fighter and Champion and both of them have Proficiency to add additional AC Bonuses on top of the existing bonuses offering a very clear reason to go with the iconic armor for them.


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And to directly address your comment Claxon, they did already mention that a high strength will counter the penalties from wearing medium and heavy armor. Pretty sure it's not a class specific feature.


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All the armors have the same AC, but they do not have the same defenses. Light armored characters have superior defenses because they have better reflex saves. The heavier armors should have better standard AC to compensate for that.


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Arachnofiend wrote:
All the armors have the same AC, but they do not have the same defenses. Light armored characters have superior defenses because they have better reflex saves. The heavier armors should have better standard AC to compensate for that.

Exactly! Even if high strength counters the speed and armor check penalties from heavy armor, the higher touch AC means lighter armor is still better. Which is a problem due to the ease of increasing dex.

Heavy armor absolutely should provide better defense than light armor, at least for regular AC. Otherwise, as your dex modifier increases you step down in armor category because it provides a better combination of less penalties for armor check and speed, equal regular AC, and better touch AC.


Gloom wrote:
Completely excluding Proficiency from the numbers and maxing out the potential purely on attributes Light Armor, Medium Armor, and Heavy Armor should be on par with each other. Full stop.

I want to -1 this post. No, they shouldn't. Claxon and Arachnofiend both cover why pretty well. But your post directly contradicts the entire premise of the thread. It is fine to have a differing opinion, but you're going to need to support that opinion and convince us that that opinion has better value. Stating that the current math matches your opinion does not do that because we don't agree with that math.


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I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if a high enough strength score also removed the clumsy penalty for Full Plate, but if you're really concerned about having a lower Reflex Save, you could always look at using Half Plate instead.

Half Plate is 5 AC and 2 Max Dex. That comes out to an AC of 7 and doesn't hamper your reflex saves at all.

Every set of armor has its place in the game as it is and I'm really excited to see where the final version of the game takes us.


Problem being, once you get to a +3 dex modifier, which is pretty easy to do, you're better served by switching to chain mail. And that's the problem.

The ease of increasing dex means that there is no currently no real benefit to staying in heavier armor. Heavier armor should have some benefits over lighter armors. It takes "special training" to use heavier armor and it's supposed to be a benefit.

Maybe high enough strength will remove all those penalties associated with heavy armor use, and then it simply wont matter what your armor is. It will only be about if you have enough dex to hit the max cap for your armor or not. Oh, and to avoid the clumsy trait.


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Claxon wrote:

Problem being, once you get to a +3 dex modifier, which is pretty easy to do, you're better served by switching to chain mail. And that's the problem.

The ease of increasing dex means that there is no currently no real benefit to staying in heavier armor. Heavier armor should have some benefits over lighter armors. It takes "special training" to use heavier armor and it's supposed to be a benefit.

Maybe high enough strength will remove all those penalties associated with heavy armor use, and then it simply wont matter what your armor is. It will only be about if you have enough dex to hit the max cap for your armor or not. Oh, and to avoid the clumsy trait.

And when you get to a +4 Strength Modifier you're better served by switching to a two-handed weapon. Just because Heavy Armor isn't more efficient for high dexterity characters doesn't mean that something is wrong with the balance in the game.

Heavy Armor isn't typically for agile characters. Exceptions would be something like a Paladin with a High Dexterity in Half Plate. They would still get full bonuses to their Reflex Saves and their AC would be higher than it would in Chain Mail due to their Proficiency.

Heavy Armor should not always be the superior choice.


It shouldn't become invalidated due to the game design of easily gaining dex, which is the position it's currently in.

As it sits, if you don't have special class features for heavy armor it's better to switch to medium armor as you level up and increase your dex, which is the current design position.

In my opinion it's bad design and makes heavy armor something that only low level characters do to make up for starting with low dex.

In my opinion heavy armor should be a superior choice, because in reality that's how armor works. Full plate is the best armor for defending against regular physical attacks. It's capabilities should reflect that. Instead, as you level up it becomes a liability that makes you worse at things instead of better.


If you want all armors to be equal in terms of the total amount of AC they provide, then you need to make there be only one type of armor proficiency, instead of proficiency in light, medium and heavy armors.

The different types of armor with different proficiency creates an expectation that I should receive some benefit from it. In truth, you receive no benefit. The decision is only derived from your max dex bonus, maybe armor traits, and maybe special class abilities you might have.

But for most characters they're going to be looking at which armor can they get that matches their dex bonus. At that point, there's no sense in heavy different types of proficiency. The system is a linear selection chart with no real choices.

I guess my issues boils down to, being given extra types of armor proficiency seems like it should come with some real benefits. The idea being that you're getting these features as part of your class, in exchange for not getting some other things. But if they're not really a benefit, then the design of the class shouldn't treat it as such, and classes should receive something to compensate for it. I'm not suggesting how much that compensation should be, but asking for a recognition of the fact that heavy armor isn't really a benefit to a class.


Gloom wrote:
That comes out to an AC of 7 and doesn't hamper your reflex saves at all.

This is true of all armor.

Tell me why this should be true for all armor.


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There are various different armors that have the Clumsy trait. That is not true for those armors. The Maximum Dexterity Bonus applies to Reflex Saves for those armors as well.

It makes sense for some of them, either because they are poorly balanced or because the joints in the armor make it more difficult to move.

I'm hoping that a high enough strength will counter that but I'm not sure.


The clumsy trait is only a deficiency if you have a dex modifier higher than what the max dex of your armor is, making you worse at reflex saves than you could be.

The solution of course is to move to light armor. In pretty much any case if your dex modifier is higher than the cap of your armor, you should simply buy different (lighter) armor because there is no incentive to do otherwise.


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There doesn't need to be an incentive to stick with Heavy Armor, but there already is in the form of class features and proficiency.


I think we just have two fundamentally different ways of looking at the game that connect be rectified with one another.

If there is no reason to keep using heavy armor, aside from a limited selection of class abilities then why bother with it.


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That's the point, there is no reason to bother with it and there doesn't need to be. You can choose to stick with heavy armor if it's your style or you can use something lighter if you would prefer.

Heavy Armor is not meant to be a superior option to all of the other options at all times nor should it be.


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Reasons to use Heavy Armor.

  • You have a better proficiency with Heavy Armor than armors.
  • You have a really nice suit of Heavy Armor.
  • You have a low or middling Dexterity attribute.
  • You want to use Heavy Armor.

    There doesn't need to be a mechanical reason beyond those to wear Heavy Armor.


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    Gloom wrote:

    Reasons to use Heavy Armor.

  • You have a better proficiency with Heavy Armor than armors.
  • You have a really nice suit of Heavy Armor.
  • You have a low or middling Dexterity attribute.
  • You want to use Heavy Armor.

    There doesn't need to be a mechanical reason beyond those to wear Heavy Armor.

  • Literally the only valid reason of those four is the first one

    There needs to be a mechanical reason for Heavy Armor to be better because right now [i]there are numerous mechanical reasons light armor is better.[/o] If full plate is your character concept then you are actively making your character worse by weakening your reflex save and reducing your threat range by half. As someone who really likes characters that wear heavy armor, that feels bad! It sucks to feel like my character concept is a truly incorrect choice rather than simply a trade-off between one good thing and a different good thing.

    Heavy armor gets better AC, light armor gets better reflex saves. This is the only choice that makes sense.


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    Half Plate does not reduce your Reflex Save at all, and you'll have just as much AC as you would with Full Plate provided you have a 14 or higher Dexterity.


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    A character in Half Plate has less room to boost their dexterity than a character in any type of light armor because of the dex cap on AC

    Ergo, all other things the same if you take a character who has maxed out their dex and put them in leather and a character that only put as much in as they need to fill out Half Plate then the leather wearer will have a higher reflex save

    If the half plate wearer were to keep boosting their dex past the dex cap then they're just reducing their movement speed for literally zero benefit


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    OK, so I'm curious. Who are these hypothetical characters that want to use heavy armor but wind up punished for it? Can you name me some classes and builds? Because it seems like a very short list to me. But maybe I'm overlooking something, and I can talk about these characters if we get into specifics.


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    Here's where I'm going with this. I don't think any class from the CRB had any less reason to wear heavy armor in the playtest. Heavy armor may have offered higher AC than the alternatives in PF1, but everyone lost class features if they used it, with the exception of the fighter, paladin, and cleric. Which happen to be the same classes that got the most mileage out of heavy armor in the playtest. The fighter and paladin through proficiency, obviously, but the cleric is MAD enough to leave dex behind. A melee cleric should probably focus on STR/CON/WIS/CHA instead and just snag heavy armor proficiency. Said cleric would also be very well positioned to multiclass into Paladin and could gain expert armor proficiency that way.

    Heavy armor can't be as good as it was before and be as accessible as it was in the playtest. Not unless you want every wizard and rogue wearing heavy armor because it would be the optimal choice. That's almost certainly why Barbarians (the only class to get less access to heavy armor than before) wound up with the wonky "can't rage in heavy armor" restriction. With their focus on both strength and constitution heavy armor would be an auto pick for barbarians until higher levels, and even later on they'd have good reason to favor it over dex investment. Barbarians have all sorts of ways to make the mobility loss matter less, and wisdom and charisma make for solid tertiary scores for a barbarian who wants to be scary and not get dominated.

    And any casting class who wants to melee with big weapons and heavy armor has stiff competition for all 4 of their boosted stats. Strength to hit and damage, CON to live through battles and get patched up quicker afterwards, Wisdom to boost will saves and perception/initiative, and their casting stat. That makes heavy armor a perfectly rational choice for melee bards, wizards, clerics, and sorcerers. Even the alchemist really falls into this pattern. Druids were unlikely to go heavy armor anyway for obvious reasons, but a wild druid would love some heavy armor they could wear since their need for STR/CON/WIS means they may very well not get Dex to 16 before level 10 even if they fully optimize.

    So the only classes I couldn't justify putting in heavy armor are the rogue, ranger, and monk. And those are simply classes that never wore heavy armor to begin with in my experience.


    Gloom wrote:
    That's the point, there is no reason to bother with it and there doesn't need to be.

    Then remove it from the game.


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    Now you're just ignoring everything else I wrote just to make a ridiculous argument. Captain Morgan summed up my thoughts pretty well in his last post. There is a point to Heavy Armor. It's a great option for a lot of characters and can fit as a thematic option for many others.


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    Does medium armor need to exist? It seems like there could just be two categories: "armor where the weight and bulk is an appreciable issue" and "all other armor". So we could just do light and heavy.

    Like as far as I can tell there's never been any reason to use medium armor besides "it is mechanically the superior choice"; there's no fantasy associated with "my armor is medium!" like there is about being lightly armored and quick on your feet or being a walking tank covered in heavy armor.


    I mean, there's definitely a fantasy of the character that is largely unarmored but wears a breastplate. It is a very JRPG thing in particular.


    Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

    At this point I can't tell if people are being serious here or if they're just trolling.


    Gloom wrote:
    At this point I can't tell if people are being serious here or if they're just trolling.

    Oh at this point I'm trolling because I asked twice for an argument convincing me that I should agree with you and both times you stated the rules as they exist or similar nonsense.

    That is not a reason. It is a meaningless tautological statement.

    "Why is the sky blue?"
    "The sky is blue because 'blue' is the name we ascribed to the color of the sky."

    So yeah, I'm not taking you seriously because you're not being serious.

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