D&D 5E A Campaign "Houserule" Idea - Armor Proficiency is based on the armor "donner" not wearer.


This is just an idea I was spitballing in my head for a specific campaign idea (more around noble houses and such). This wouldn't be a general change just a campaign one.

Right now armor proficiency is for the wearer, and implies being able to move in the armor "properly" and use it in combat.

The houserule idea is that proficiency is more around how to don an armor properly, put it on correctly, getting the size properly fitted, straps adjusted, everything in position, etc. But once the armor is properly on, there is no proficiency needed to use it. So if your house has an armorer with heavy armor proficiency that dons you in your armor, you would be able to use that armor without penalty.

The most immediate impact I can think of is that players might have access to heavier armor than normal should they have access to such an armorer, which would likely be a circumstantial thing (hey you've agreed to fight for House Flormel in this battle, allow our master armorer to gird you in our finest armor). Probably spellcasters would be the most favored now being able to wear heavy armor without feats.

What other impacts would this kind of rule have that I'm not thinking about?

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Handing someone a sword doesn't make them any more proficient in it's use than dressing someone up in armor. It's not an idea I'm for, though having someone aid another getting armor on I could see reducing the time it takes to don/doff armor or possibly providing a short-term bonus to AC (ala Guidance) or reducing armor penalties for Stealth and the like by helping adjust the fittings or such.


Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I like the idea. It does seem like it relies on NPCs being the ones putting the armor on the PCs; a PC learning to do it for the rest of the party would eliminate the whole “armor proficiencies are a perk of working with certain noble houses” thing.

You’d probably want to consider having the ability to cast spells in armor be a separate thing from armor proficiency. Otherwise it’s just a huge boost to casters pretty much for free. You might also want to consider having proficiencies be by individual armors instead of whole weight categories.


I would expect the party to hire/kidnap/acquire a master armorer once they could afford plate (assuming that the fighter's heavy armor proficiency doesn't allow him to don armor for others).

Assuming the DM permits this (and doesn't soft-ban it by having the armorer charge 100k gp a day), I think it would incentivize building characters differently. Classes with heavy armor anti-synergy (barbarian, monk) would be disincentivized, while classes without heavy armor proficiency (and who don't use Dex for attack) would likely invest into Con over Dex, under the assumption that they could wear plate for free (or for a fairly negligible sum of gold). It would make mages significantly tankier, since with the Shield spell and plate they'd have a better AC than most fighters (for a few rounds a day at least) and by being able to invest into Con, their HP wouldn't be that far behind their fighter counterparts either.

It seems like a big buff to mages IMO, unless access is heavily restricted, in which case it's merely nice to have when you have it. Other classes without heavy armor proficiency might gain a modest benefit. Heavy armor wears and those with heavy armor anti-synergy see zero benefit.


Not a big fan of this idea. At the very least, I think you’d need to keep the Strength requirement for the heavier armors. That might nip weakling mages from wearing full plate. (Alternately you could go with the variant encumbrance rule.)

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