Is Studded Leather a metal armor?


Rules Discussion


Hi everyone,

I have a question for a Druid character: Is studded leather a metal armor?
I don't think there's an answer in the rules, so how would you rule it as a DM?


Generally speaking I would allow it. While the armor incorporates some metal, it is definitely not entirely metal, nor is there any metal likely touching the druid himself.

I figure we are fine with Wooden shields that probably have nails in them. Why not studs in leather?


I would allow it, the issue druids are meant to have with metal isn't about it being metal (they still use metal tools) but rather the idea that you are protected by industry/society.

This said, that should probably rule out cured leathers and such... Butttttt this is the world we live in and it was a Gygaxism so -shrugs- THAC0 for life ;) (jesting aside I really like counting down in AC and rolling under systems, but that is another story)


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Studded leather armor is a Dungeons & Dragons invention based on the appearance of some styles of brigandine armor. In real brigandine armor, the studs hold metal plates in place beneath the leather, and the protection is mostly from the metal plates.

However, studded leather armor in Pathfinder emphasizes the leather:

PF2 Core Rulebook, Equipment chapter, page 276 wrote:
Studded Leather: This leather armor is reinforced with metal studs and sometimes small metal plates, providing most of the flexibility of leather armor with more robust protection. [italics added by me]

Therefore, it counts as leather armor and not metal armor.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Card Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I’d say that the Studded Leather found in the CRB is a no-go for druids, but that it’s possible to make a Druid-friendly version. (Maybe it would be Uncommon?). I don’t believe you’d need to resort to special materials to do so, just replace the metal with wood or something.
Edit: seems I am in the minority on this one, but that’s fine. As a Druid player in PFS I guess I am playing it safe by avoiding it, since I don’t have a consistent GM for that character.

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