So I'm starting a Druid soon as I got to thinking, what sort of magic items have you seen that you (as a DM) would allow to be used, while shapeshifted, under AL rules. I'm thinking things like Cloaks of (insert name here) would be acceptable, but what else?
This response is strictly a personal response as this is a situation the rules don't cover (and subject to DM interpretation). Expect Table Variation (TM)
I have a druid with an insignia of claws (I wear it on a loose cord around my neck). Cloaks are also a possibility, as are rings. Goggles may also be on the table depending on the size of creature you become.
IMHO, things that are definitely (or usually) off the table are armor, weapons, boots, bracers, brooches, and other similar items. Items that are in a grey area include hats, headbands, belts, rings, and the like. Expect table variation, but under most situations, most DMs will allow it if it even remotely seems like something the animal could use.
This was a personal response (sorry I was tired when I was posting originally, and didn't realize it might sound official when it was just an opinion. I have since edited the original response)..
Firstly, the League will only make rules (and rulings) on issues that are league-specific. The league has no intention of making official rules for general rules questions.
Not only is this a general rules question, but it is also a situation The rules do not cover.
The official league stance on "situations the rules don't cover is: DMs have full authority to make rulings at their table on any situation the rules do not cover, and rules in which there are grey areas in interpretation. When a rule is covered (either in the PHB, Player's Guide, or another rules source - the DM does not however, have authority to change those rules.
IOWs: Expect Table Variation as this situation falls squarely within the DMs authority to make a ruling at their table.
As to why I said bracers would likely be off the table (depending on form) is because they don't resize, and a human wrist is much smaller than a bears or apes forelimbs. Not only that but a lot of the higher level forms of a moon druid are also huge sized.
Rings OTOH, could easily fit on a claw instead of a finger. The size difference between these things are negligible and easily hand waived.
I was thinking, doesn't the rules allow magic items to resize (so a Gnome and Half-orc can use the same found magic thingamagog)? If so, why wouldn't magic bracers accommodate a growing user?
I completely understand if you choose to not further this discussion here in the AL forum.
I was genuinely interested in hearing the reasoning behind that ruling, since to me, it would obviously be falling under "DM decides" rather than something you can read from the rules.
Bracers being tubes on your forearms (or legs) I mean, and not something that seems actually anatomically impossible, such as gloves or boots.
My question does not account for the possibility a DM will want to disallow bracers for beasts for other reasons. Perhaps they give AC and are considered too good for a creature with high natural AC. That's entirely possible.
I, on the other hand, was only asking about the resizing issue, which I consider a slightly strange one to have such a definite answer for.
It seems like an area the Devs have (purposely?) ignored. If you find some magical armor..... does it fit? Is there elven armor and human armor and gnome armor and dragonborn armor? Heck, is it for a large or small human? Tall? Short? Fat? etc....
A ring that fits a gnome, will not fit a goliath (let alone a bear).
We assume magic items (and pretty much any gear) will automatically fit any PC, from gnome to elf to half orc to goliath, regardless of weight and height. So its definitely a judgement call if it fits a bear etc.
AFAIK, while armor and weapons may resize in 5E (I am away from my books atm, and cannot confirm), there is no indication that the basic body shape of the armor will change. If it did, a suit of magical plate made for a humanoid could work as magical barding for an animal. Barding and armor are specifically separated in the PHB, with even the odd piece of magical barding in existence throughout the editions.
Bracers (also called a lower canon or vambrace) are traditionally a piece of armor however. Leather bracers are typically made of stiffened and boiled leather tied with leather cords or buckles, while metal bracers are made of shaped steel that are either riveted, attached to a chainmail backing, or affixed with leather buckles.
Changing size suddenly would likely cause the leather cords to snap as your arm suddenly becomes twice as wide as it was originally (or cause intense pain in respect to a metal vambrace). With that being said, it is possible to make the bracer fit a larger creature, but doing so would require the player taking active steps to adjust the straps before wildshaping (or removing the bracers, and having someone don them after changing form).
Metal Bracers (like most plate armor) is designed to be fitted, and is far less flexible or adjustable than a leather brace.
Again, I will reiterate:
This is a situation the rules do not cover so expect table variation With that being said however, I expect few DMs to give very little though to this, and assume that most DMs will simply allow any item to function that you can even remotely justify. Some DMs may even go so far as to allow your armor to reshape itself into equivalent barding (but that might be asking too much of other DMs).
I will say, as a DM, if I think a particular item is abusive when used in Wild Shape, I'm going to rule that it gets absorbed into the beast form and is unusable, regardless of whether or not the item could be worn by a particular beast form.