5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented - Page 2
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  1. #11
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    Yeah, it's a badly designed rule. On top of the OP's complaints, which are entirely on point, it ignores the obvious question of "Can I get nonmetal versions of the armors I'm proficient with, and if so, how?" If I kill a dragon and have armor made out of its scales, is that hide armor or scale armor, and what does it cost to have made? If it counts as scale armor, are there other monsters whose epidermis can be made into scale armor and that are a little easier to kill than dragons? Is there any way to make half plate without metal? What about studded leather, do the studs contain enough metal to constitute metal armor, and if so, are non-metal studs feasible?

    Normally these are questions that come up rarely and aren't particularly important; the DM can handwave an answer and move on. But because druids are proficient with lots of armor that will cause them to explode if they wear it, every druid needs an answer to this, which means it ought to be answered in the rules.

    They should either have limited druids to proficiency with padded, leather, and hide, or scrapped this rule entirely.
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    "Can I get nonmetal versions of the armors I'm proficient with, and if so, how?"
    It also raises a conundrum if the DM says no, because it brings up the question of how the Druid is proficient with all of the medium armors if there exists no version of them they could have worn to train in. How does a Druid become proficient in half plate if it essentially does not exist for them?

    The question of studded leather also remains true, although since Sage Advice is stated to be official rulings, and it specifies studded leather as one of the common armors for Druids, it's at least clear they can choose to wear it. However, that still then raises the question of if they're allowed to wear it because it doesn't contain enough metal to be a concern, or if it's because the PHB does not specify that the spikes or rivets of studded leather have to be metal.

    All in all I forgot to add these points, so I'll try and add to the original post.

  3. #13
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    Hide armour is medium and non-metal and in the default equipment list.
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  4. #14
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    To me it seemed we tended to tie the metal armor etc to wild shape and toss in a dash of fey vs iron nature lore in our "why" mag-o-babble for druids armor woes.

    Did it match up to a rigorous hard sci-fi logic logic analysis? Nope. But then once you explain how the mass of a druid shifts back and forth from tabby to bear to elf using the ssme level of scrutiny, then and only then will i start fretting and wringing of hands about how much metal of wgat type is in their packs when they go tabby.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
    Hide armour is medium and non-metal and in the default equipment list.
    Yes, it is, but it seems to be in the medium armor section solely because it's poorly made and unwieldy, not because it's as effective as traditional medium armors. It's actually weaker than studded leather, as it provides the same base AC but has a more limited maximum dexterity, while also weighing less than studded leather. It weighs in at 12 lbs., whereas studded leather weighs in at 13 lbs., with the next medium armor up being a chain shirt at 20 lbs..

    This doesn't matter, however, as the ruling for Druids is that they're proficient in medium armors, and not that they're proficient in light armors and hide armor. It's like saying Fighters are proficient in all simple and martial weapons, but they won't use any martial weapons except a longsword. If they absolutely won't use any martial weapons besides a longsword, how are they proficient with whips, longbows and flails? There's a reason why instead of saying they're proficient with martial weapons their proficiency list would just say "Simple weapons, and longswords."

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 5ekyu View Post
    To me it seemed we tended to tie the metal armor etc to wild shape and toss in a dash of fey vs iron nature lore in our "why" mag-o-babble for druids armor woes.

    Did it match up to a rigorous hard sci-fi logic logic analysis? Nope. But then once you explain how the mass of a druid shifts back and forth from tabby to bear to elf using the ssme level of scrutiny, then and only then will i start fretting and wringing of hands about how much metal of wgat type is in their packs when they go tabby.
    Sure, it would be fine if they introduced some lore as to why they don't wear it, addressed some things that may happen as a result of ignoring that lore, or even addressed anything at all in terms of narrative or mechanics, but they don't. They don't even say they "can't" wear it, just that they "won't".

    My Druid decides to put on a steel half plate. What now? It doesn't take a very rigorous analysis to see that it requires more than a single line of text to cover this aspect of the class.

  7. #17
    My opinion is this matter is about background more than true gameplay. Druid are primal spellcaster, and they need to be attuned to primal forces. Metal has got a special "smell" and animals can sense it. Primal spirits want the taboo of the metal armour because this is a symbol of human civilization.

    The true trouble is when a player want to use "biopunk magic" to craft a no-metallic armour, for example by spidersilk (drows can create them, and it is canon, even in the real life bulletproof spidersilk armors are possible), or by shells, bone, scales or skins by magic monsters. A druid could kill a dragon or a wyrm to craft an armour with its skin. Or in a fantasy game alchemy would to allow the creation of paper armors, and I am not kidding, There was a mythbuster episode about that and it was possible in the ancient Chinese. Maybe these "organic" armour would be damage soon, but for a spellcaster with "repair damage" that could be fixed easily.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    Sure, it would be fine if they introduced some lore as to why they don't wear it, addressed some things that may happen as a result of ignoring that lore, or even addressed anything at all in terms of narrative or mechanics, but they don't. They don't even say they "can't" wear it, just that they "won't".

    My Druid decides to put on a steel half plate. What now? It doesn't take a very rigorous analysis to see that it requires more than a single line of text to cover this aspect of the class.
    "It doesn't take a very rigorous analysis to see that it requires more than a single line of text to cover this aspect of the class."

    Unless, the designer felt it did not need to be a cant, wanted to leave it flexible to cover the variety of lore (sometimes contradictory) across editions and setting and they knew it wasnt gonna break anything if a gm decided for their setting it was fine to go with any proficient - as sage replied.

    See, its almost like they chose a more GM ruling centered approach as opposed to a one-rule for all for this non-balance bresking element of mis-matching legacy.

    Odd, i mean, why not just crunch numbers and decide which option breaks fewer words in print from other editions or something more definitive.
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  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    Yes, it is, but it seems to be in the medium armor section solely because it's poorly made and unwieldy
    That is your interpretation. There is nothing in the rules to indicate that. It has the advantage of not being subject to the Heat Metal spell and certain other traps that key of metal.

    Dragonscale Armour is in the DMG. This is non-metallic and equivalent to scale mail.

    A character wasn't always a druid. They might have trained in medium armour before they became a druid.

    But if a player said to me as DM that they thought their druid character would be completely unfamiliar with any sort of medium armor I would let them swap the proficiency for an extra language or tool proficiency. RAW is for poor DMs.

    The purpose of this rule is because for many people finding non-metallic armour for a druid character is a fun sidequest. See Ankheg Plate in Baldur's Gate. However, if a player or DM does not find this rule fun or it does not suit a character (e.g. a duergar druid of the Underdark) they are free to ignore it - as the Sage Advice indicates, there are no penalties.

    In the games I play, we had one druid who worked very hard to get Black Dragon Scale armour, even arguing with the dwarven smith who made it over "silver filigree". We have another druid who is vegan and won't wear any armour at all.
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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    What I mean by it not being a universal limitation of druidic lore in 5E is that it's not a universal limit in the Forgotten Realms lore. The PHB says that some Druids venerate the forces of nature themselves, but that most are of the Old Faith, devoted to one or more of the nature deities worshiped in your setting. It is also stated that different druidic sects hold different philosophies about the proper relationship of the spirits to each other and to the forces of civilization.

    This is where Druids like the worshipers of Mielikki come in. Mielikki is known in Forgotten Realms as the Forest Queen, and is the neutral good goddess of autumn, Druids, dryads, forests, forest creatures and Rangers. As part of her lore, appearing way back in 1E AD&D, she permits her druids to wear all kinds of armor and to use all kinds of weapons that are permitted to Rangers, including those made of metal. As a tidbit for those of you that are looking for a reason to multiclass your Cleric (Life Cleric + Goodberry shenanigans ahoy), she's a goddess of Druids and Rangers, and as such her Clerics canonically almost always multiclass into one of those choices. Some of her more notable worshipers in lore were known to wear metal, such as prominent dwarven Druid Pikel Bouldershoulder, who was famous for wielding his "Sha-la-la" stick, and wearing his metal cooking pot as a helmet whenever he dived into battle.

    Druids wearing metal in Forgotten Realms is not only canon to the lore, but they never lost anything if they did so. This shows that it does not interfere with their power and that it's simply an oath they might make, but it's not one they have to keep, nor is it one every Druid even chooses to make to begin with. In lore Druids have different philosophies, and will even prey on one another, so it makes no sense that every Druid spanning from the Elves in the grasslands, to the Dwarves in the caves/mountains, and even the Drow deep in the Underdark, will all arbitrarily agree "metal bad", especially when the cave and ground dwellers are surrounded by iron in the earth all around them.
    I'm sorry, but you do not get to sit here in 5e & demand that {optional/essentially optional} rules from previous editions must be valid. Besides, I don't see you also demanding that your lv advancement be limited by the Druidicide spelled out in the 1e PHB.

    Go ahead, admit it. You don't really want/envision chain or plate wearing druids, you just want a higher AC. Wich every druid player ever has wanted. So just MC a single lv of barbarian for the unarmoured defense....
    Or bring it up in a reasonable manner to your DM & see how they feel about it. (though it sounds like you did & got told "No", thus your rant)



    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    3) Druids may use metal weapons, or even cover themselves in as much metal as their carrying capacity allows so long as it does not provide an armor bonus, and Nature Clerics, who worship the same deities that grant Druids of the Old Faith their powers, gain heavy armor proficiency for their devotion. This is all very inconsistent with the idea that Druids will not use metal. If a deity grants their Clerics divine inspiration that enables them to wear heavy armor, it makes no sense that part of the Druid's oath to that deity would forbid metal. Many people say that Druids will hold metal weapons because they do not have to cover themselves in metal to do so, but this holds true for shields. You don't "wear" a shield, which is why the rule specifies "wear armor or use shields". A Dwarven Druid can be proficient in Smith's Tools and thus perform their own blacksmithing, wield a 4 lb. Battleaxe in each hand, and haul as many 2 lb. throwing hammers as their weight limit allows, but they absolutely won't wield a single 6 lb. metal shield. That's dumb, and causes the limitation to completely break immersion for many characters that are not otherwise outside of their limitations.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    4) Druids, if not being allowed to equip metal armor is enforced, are forced to ask their DM ahead of time if non-metal variants of medium armors exist in their world, the answer of which brings forth several potential complications that no other class has to consider, both for the character's story and for the game world. If the DM says there are not non-metal variants that the Druid can acquire, it raises the question as to how the Druid gained their proficiency in any medium armor that's not hide. This would mean that the Druid is trained in using something that literally does not exist for them.
    DMs taking a moment to consider details of their world is not a bad thing.
    And this answer doesn't have to be immediately determined.... There's been a lot of questions over the years that I've punted with something like: (me shrugging) "Maybe. You ask your superiors & they don't know of any examples, but they do recommend you go ask _____ in _____ {someplace conveniently a decent ways away, thus giving me time to consider it as adventuring will ensue en-route.)

    As for how you have proficiency in an armor you've never trained in?
    Have you ever heard of this thing called m a g i c?
    Perhaps it's a divine boon granted by your god (played by I, your DM). "If you can figure out the riddle of how to get non-metallic 1/2plate, you'll discover that I've given you the prof. to use it. "

    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    If it's something that will be available, but the Druid will have to wait until later to acquire it, it seems odd that a Druid that has always only been able to wear hide and leather can suddenly wear a sufficient half plate of any material without complication. Also, if it's something that exists, why would a Druid that lived among other Druids have to wait so long to acquire it? Would the Druids, who are proficient in such armors, not have trained their proficiency by having the materials available to do so? Forcing a Druid that was raised in a druidic circle to have no access to materials or equipment relevant to the training of such a core class feature sounds like a silly limitation to have as a built in feature, and is something no other class is forced to accommodate in their rules.
    I think this bears repeating....
    As for how you have proficiency in an armor you've never trained in?
    Have you ever heard of this thing called m a g i c?
    Perhaps it's a divine boon granted by your god (played by I, your DM). "If you can figure out the riddle of how to get non-metallic 1/2plate, you'll discover that I've given you the prof. to use it. "
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