5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented - Page 9
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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sword of Spirit View Post
    I think there are still people who aren't quite getting Point 1. For some of us, we don't really care what mechanical bonuses the druid can get. If they couldn't wear any armor at all, that wouldn't be the main problem. This quote most succinctly exemplifies the other position, so I'm going to directly provide an example situation to address it.



    Here's a situation to consider--and it's what many of us are most concerned about. Someone creates a druid character. They have no intention of wearing metal armor. They are totally on board with the lore, etc. They most definitely are a druid.

    In the course of playing the game, during their adventures, they end up in a situation where if they don't put on metal armor, someone dear to them is almost certainly going to die. Maybe the whole party needs to put on some plate guard uniforms to properly disguise themselves in a situation where the druid's magic and shapeshifting can't provide another option. They party (and players) put their heads together and try to come up with other solutions, and they are drawing a blank. Even the DM (who didn't expect them to end up in this predicament, but they took an unexpected path) can't see an easy way out of it. The player of the druid has a choice: their character puts on this armor, or everything is jeopardized, and the NPC(s) they are trying to rescue will likely die (the party is tough enough to fight their way out without a TPK--but no one has access to magic to raise the dead).

    What we have here is an interesting moral (for the druid) dilemma. Do I break my vows and put on this metal armor to save those I care about, or do I maintain those ritual requirements and let them die?

    What happens, in your (general "you"), game, if this druid player thinks it over, weighs the decisions, role-plays his druid PC agonizing over it, and then says: "I tentatively reach out and touch the armor with displeasure. I glance around with a somewhat ashamed look on my face, which then changes to determination. I put on the armor."

    Do you, as DM, say: "No, your character won't do that"?

    That's the main point a lot of us care about.
    And the edge case scenario trope that always gets brought up on this topic that has never actually happened as far as I know goes to .... Sword of Spirit!!!! I'm surprised it only took us to post #77 to bring up this argument.

    Listen, if this actually did happen, your DM is being an ****. There is no such thing as a scenario like this being forced on the player and DM. The DM controls the world, there is no reason to do this.
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  2. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    And the edge case scenario trope that always gets brought up on this topic that has never actually happened as far as I know goes to .... Sword of Spirit!!!! I'm surprised it only took us to post #77 to bring up this argument.

    Listen, if this actually did happen, your DM is being an ****. There is no such thing as a scenario like this being forced on the player and DM. The DM controls the world, there is no reason to do this.
    What? You've never had a situation where a party has had to infiltrate by disguising themselves as the enemy? Never had a situation where a type of armor was provided to grant the players the ability to fight a specific otherwise overpowering enemy? Never had someone take reference from Legend of Zelda and have something like magnetic boots and metal walls, or metal boots and magnetic walls, for some interesting puzzle solving? In 3.5, I've seen Druids opt to wear metal in areas of anti-magic because they had a mission and knew the debilitating effects didn't matter anyway.

    Heck, I've primarily been DM among my group rather than playing, and I myself have put players into a situation where they had to don the armor of past guardians in order to revitalize ancient trees that the guardians of the past once protected. Sadly, if this restriction were enforced as a rule, any Druid of the party would be left out, staring at the armor and being 100% unwilling to wear it, no matter how much the Druid knew it was necessary to save the natural world.

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    What? You've never had a situation where a party has had to infiltrate by disguising themselves as the enemy? Never had a situation where a type of armor was provided to grant the players the ability to fight a specific otherwise overpowering enemy? Never had someone take reference from Legend of Zelda and have something like magnetic boots and metal walls, or metal boots and magnetic walls, for some interesting puzzle solving? In 3.5, I've seen Druids opt to wear metal in areas of anti-magic because they had a mission and knew the debilitating effects didn't matter anyway.

    Heck, I've primarily been DM among my group rather than playing, and I myself have put players into a situation where they had to don the armor of past guardians in order to revitalize ancient trees that the guardians of the past once protected. Sadly, if this restriction were enforced as a rule, any Druid of the party would be left out, staring at the armor and being 100% unwilling to wear it, no matter how much the Druid knew it was necessary to save the natural world.
    If this situation ever came up (I've been DMing for decades, it never has) I'll deal with it. There will be an alternative or the group will figure out another way around. Maybe - gasp - the druid will simply transform into a small animal. If only they had the ability to change shape. Or we'll just execute the druid, they believe in reincarnation anyway, right?

    I would no more have a scenario where the druid was forced to wear metal armor than I would require a LG Oath of Devotion Paladin to choose between a demon and a devil.
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  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by lowkey13 View Post
    So, I know some of us (me, at least) are having some fun. But, to be serious for a second-

    A lot of this will depend on communication and presentation. There are very few DMs that I know that enjoy or look forward to a player presenting a "list of grievances" or lengthy explanations as to why core mechanics do not apply their special character.

    In many campaigns (such as mine), that player would not be invited to return. Because life is too short.

    On the other hand, as a generalization, most DMs are VERY happy when a player is engaged, enthusiastic, and has a player concept that the love and are excited by. Most DMs would bend over backwards to help that player realize their character concepts through communication and an iterative process of determining how to make the player's vision work.

    These two things- presenting a list of grievances v. talking to the DM about how to accomplish your player concept - might seem similar, and maybe that's what you had in mind, but they aren't the same thing.

    In other words, speaking personally, I can tell you that if a new player came to me with a list of everything about the rules and my campaign I needed to change on Day 1 because the player said so, there would be no Day 2.

    But if the player said, "Hey, I have this idea for a Mountain Dwarf Druid that works with metal," you can bet that I'd be right there working to make it happen.

    In closing- there are only two things I can't stand in D&D. People who are intolerant of the playing choices of others, and Paladins.
    Well the purpose of having a list of grievances is being prepared to address why something is problematic. I don't just walk in with a list and say "read this". In the case of something poorly written in the PHB, it's best to be able to present why it's poorly written as opposed to just saying it is. If the DM says no, being able to bring up every possibly grievance addresses potential story or character problems that can come up later. This is particularly important for point 1 of my rant. If an important choice comes up, but my DM is going to tell me that I can't make the big choice because "your character won't do that", then I don't want to play a Druid with that DM, because I don't want to have my actions decided for me based on some undefined lore.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    What? You've never had a situation where a party has had to infiltrate by disguising themselves as the enemy? Never had a situation where a type of armor was provided to grant the players the ability to fight a specific otherwise overpowering enemy? Never had someone take reference from Legend of Zelda and have something like magnetic boots and metal walls, or metal boots and magnetic walls, for some interesting puzzle solving? In 3.5, I've seen Druids opt to wear metal in areas of anti-magic because they had a mission and knew the debilitating effects didn't matter anyway.

    Heck, I've primarily been DM among my group rather than playing, and I myself have put players into a situation where they had to don the armor of past guardians in order to revitalize ancient trees that the guardians of the past once protected. Sadly, if this restriction were enforced as a rule, any Druid of the party would be left out, staring at the armor and being 100% unwilling to wear it, no matter how much the Druid knew it was necessary to save the natural world.
    This is a table issue, which is what Sage Advise points out, not a rules issue.

  6. #86
    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    1) Personally, my major gripe with the limitation is that it's the only rule I've seen in any edition of D&D that most DMs interpret as literally forcing a decision on a player's character.
    There are lots of rules that force choices on players, even if they won't use the phrase "will not".

    You chose a fighter? You will not be casting spells (depending on archetype).
    You chose a rogue? You will not be using Beast Shape.
    You chose a cleric? You will not be using Extra Attack.
    You chose a human? You will not be seeing in the dark.
    You chose a druid? You will not be using metal armour.

    In my mind, if a player says, "I want my druid to wear metal armour." it is exactly the same as a player saying, "I want my human to have darkvision."

    Forcing a player to have their druid character not wear metal is not reducing their agency any more than forcing them to have their human character not see in the dark is. They knew druid's don't wear metal armour when they chose the class.

    Now, if the player comes with a question, "How can my druid get better armour?" then GM and player can have a conversation. The same as when a player says, "My human character is sick of blundering around in the dark, what can we do?"
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  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    If this situation ever came up (I've been DMing for decades, it never has) I'll deal with it. There will be an alternative or the group will figure out another way around. Maybe - gasp - the druid will simply transform into a small animal. If only they had the ability to change shape. Or we'll just execute the druid, they believe in reincarnation anyway, right?
    I've also been DMing for a long time, but it's never come up for me solely because there's been no decision making limitations on characters until 5E. If a character had issues with a plan of action they could choose to contest the decision, and give their reasons for doing so, and the party could try to work something out. They also have the option of accepting any penalties associated with a decision if they felt it the best option for the greater good. The point is it's a decision of the players to decide how their characters are going to attempt to challenge the obstacles presented by the DM.

    Quote Originally Posted by Oofta View Post
    I would no more have a scenario where the druid was forced to wear metal armor than I would require a LG Oath of Devotion Paladin to choose between a demon and a devil.
    The book practically challenges the DM to do stuff like that. The tenants serve as a role playing guideline to the player, but they don't control their choices. The PHB specifies that sometimes the right path may prove too demanding, a situation may call for the lesser of two evils, and sometimes the heat of emotion causes them to transgress on their oath. There is nothing that says they can't go against their oath. If the oath controlled their actions, there wouldn't be a need for a player behind the character, and you may as well just hand it over to the DM.

  8. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ohmyn View Post
    I've also been DMing for a long time, but it's never come up for me solely because there's been no decision making limitations on characters until 5E. If a character had issues with a plan of action they could choose to contest the decision, and give their reasons for doing so, and the party could try to work something out. They also have the option of accepting any penalties associated with a decision if they felt it the best option for the greater good. The point is it's a decision of the players to decide how their characters are going to attempt to challenge the obstacles presented by the DM.



    The book practically challenges the DM to do stuff like that. The tenants serve as a role playing guideline to the player, but they don't control their choices. The PHB specifies that sometimes the right path may prove too demanding, a situation may call for the lesser of two evils, and sometimes the heat of emotion causes them to transgress on their oath. There is nothing that says they can't go against their oath. If the oath controlled their actions, there wouldn't be a need for a player behind the character, and you may as well just hand it over to the DM.
    I don't put my players into no-win situations. Feel free to run your games differently, just don't expect me to stick around if you force the issue without an alternative.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by Parmandur View Post
    This is a table issue, which is what Sage Advise points out, not a rules issue.
    Quote Originally Posted by Greenstone.Walker View Post
    There are lots of rules that force choices on players, even if they won't use the phrase "will not".
    ...
    You chose a druid? You will not be using metal armour.
    It's funny how half the people defending the "no armor" bit are saying "It's the rules, druids aren't allowed metal armor, stop trying to break the rules," and the other half are saying, "It's just a story restriction, it's not part of the rules, so why are you complaining?"

  10. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greenstone.Walker View Post
    There are lots of rules that force choices on players, even if they won't use the phrase "will not".

    You chose a fighter? You will not be casting spells (depending on archetype).
    You chose a rogue? You will not be using Beast Shape.
    You chose a cleric? You will not be using Extra Attack.
    You chose a human? You will not be seeing in the dark.
    You chose a druid? You will not be using metal armour.

    In my mind, if a player says, "I want my druid to wear metal armour." it is exactly the same as a player saying, "I want my human to have darkvision."
    There's a big difference between a player picking a mechanical option, and forcing a decision on a character. The problem is that your examples are not "will not", they are "cannot". A human cannot see in the dark because they lack the physical ability. A Cleric does not use Extra Attack because they are physically incapable of doing so due to lack of martial training. Heck, they can still make the choice to do so, they'll simply fail in their effort because they lack the ability. A human can look around in the dark, they just won't see anything but darkness. A Cleric can go all in, but a single attack is the result of their maximum effort to strike as efficiently as possible, so they fail to achieve another blow.

    Alternatively, my level 1 Fighter can stand in place all day trying to replicate the motions and chants to cast a Wizard's spell, it just won't happen because they lack the training to succeed. Druids, on the other hand, have no restriction preventing them from wearing metal armor. There's literally nothing stopping them if they choose to do so, and there's no penalty associated with doing so.

    There's a world of difference between not flying because you don't have wings, and having wings but not flying because you don't want to. Maybe it's part of your story and you used to be a soldier that rained down death from the sky, and now you've sworn off flying. Even if you swore never to fly again, the moment you fall from the sky you still have full capacity to start flapping those wings if you want to live.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greenstone.Walker View Post
    Forcing a player to have their druid character not wear metal is not reducing their agency any more than forcing them to have their human character not see in the dark is. They knew druid's don't wear metal armour when they chose the class.
    Again, the difference is that humans can't see in the dark. The option is still there to move around in the dark. They can try to see, but they'll fail. Druids can wear metal. Nothing says they can't. One of a Paladin of Devotion's tenets is to not lie or cheat, but they can still do it, because nothing says they can't lie or cheat. Likewise, Druids say they won't wear metal armor, but they can still do it, because nothing says they can't wear metal armor.

    The choice in any given situation is up to the player, and if you remove their ability to make a decision because "no, you won't do that", that's what it means to remove player agency.
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