Any reason to go light / medium armor with a Strength-based Fighter?


Advice


Hi everyone,

I was thinking about a Strength-based Fighter with a little bit of Dexterity. But when looking at the armor choice, it became quite obvious to me that the best one was the heaviest, despite having enough Dexterity to max AC on a lighter one.
Do you know of any reason to go with light/medium armor with a Strength-based Fighter?

Thanks for your help.


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Heavy armor still has a 5ft movement penalty even if you hit the str requirement. So it's +1 AC for -5ft of movement not a bad trade but not one that every character will want to make.

Also if your dex is 18 or higher then bulwark from full plate is a penalty since it replaces your dex mod with a static +3 on reflex saves.


Ho, I thought the movement penalty was also removed with the proper strength. It's quite a big difference, yes. For bullwark, it's only in full plate. Other heavy armors don't have it.

Going light armor could be also great then, to avoid the movement penalty. Movement is quite important in PF2.


SuperBidi wrote:

Ho, I thought the movement penalty was also removed with the proper strength. It's quite a big difference, yes. For bullwark, it's only in full plate. Other heavy armors don't have it.

Going light armor could be also great then, to avoid the movement penalty. Movement is quite important in PF2.

Having the strength for the armor reduces the move penalty by 5. So light and medium won't slow you down at all, given you have the strength. Heavy armor would be -10ft but is only -5ft if you have the strength.


I've found the rule (I'm using Archive of Nethys, it's not always easy to find the rule). I'll then consider medium armor, as it looks like the most polyvalent type of armor. Thanks for your help.


Don't forget that fighters are only one of two classes that can make use of armor specialization effects! Right now, the only armors that can get the chain or leather effects are medium armors!


True, but they are kind of all the same to me. I don't see any reason to choose one over another right now (unless one type of damage is more common than the others?).

The Exchange

So wait, if I have 18 STR and I'm wearing a chain mail or Breastplate I nulify the speed penalty? Since its -5 ft

Liberty's Edge

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Takamorisan wrote:
So wait, if I have 18 STR and I'm wearing a chain mail or Breastplate I nulify the speed penalty? Since its -5 ft

That's correct, yes.


SuperBidi wrote:
True, but they are kind of all the same to me. I don't see any reason to choose one over another right now (unless one type of damage is more common than the others?).

The one I think is actually neatest is the Chain specialization. No matter how high your AC is, sooner or later you're probably going to be critically hit, and having the ability to negate some of that extra damage seems like a good thing to have going for you.


Yeah, Str Fighters have little to no reason to use light armor (even a Dex Fighter is well-off with medium if they hage the Str for it), but medium and heavy have a reasonable trade-off. -5 foot speed is a big deal, except maybe if you've pumped your speed via Elf, Ancestry/General feats, magic items, etc.
So -1 AC and a slightly weaker armor specialization DR for going medium could be worthwhile.


There's also cost to consider.


Character concept and personal preferences?


5 feet for Fighters is 10 feet out of sudden charge too!


Besides base cost, which certainly is serious concern of low level characters, there is special material costs.

Mithril is eventually (~L10) an option to remove final 5' of speed penalty for Heavy Armor, but that also comes with trade-off of not having other special armor materials, while being significant cost over vanilla armor.

Not entirely specific to Medium, but special materials are priced by base item Bulk, so both the lighter Bulk Heavy Armors (with +1 DEX caps) and Medium Armors have cheaper prices in that regard, enabling earlier access / freeing up wealth budget for other things.

Since Heavy Plate Bulwark indeed is only advantages for people with < 16 DEX, and the lighter Heavy Armors only need a 12 DEX for AC parity, the lighter Heavy Armors do have several factors potentially in their favor especially if you have some DEX to keep them at/close to parity.

Personally I'm hoping for Heavy Mail to be released in APG, mitigation vs Crit damage spikes sounds great (not quite enough to wear Medium vs Heavy at AC penalty though), although it usually comes with Noisy trait which I expect should soon have Errata for mechanical penalty to Stealth/etc. I can definitely see Fighters/Champions lining up for even 1/day morphing Armor to change ArmorSpec Resistance type (and Warpriests too if the Errata Gods smile kindly upon them).

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