5E Amulet of Natural Armor

I'd prefer something of more general use to beast companions and druids in wildshape.
That's an interesting idea. For the druid, I'd probably have the amulet automatically cast barkskin on the druid whenever they shift into beast shape (once per long rest), and have the item require attunement. Animal companions would be a little more tricky and harder to balance, I probably wouldn't even try unless there are already rules in the campaign for animals wearing armor.

Again, sounds right but doesn't work well within the 5E framework.

Again (very roughly) only Wizards benefit from this, and the only benefit is they can skip Mage Armor.

Hardly what you'd expect.

Point remains: AC works in really specific ways in 5E. For more, I refer to my earlier post.
No, it's *exactly* what I would expect.

With my house-rule, any class that could already wear light armor could still use it, but it would hardly be worth it...it would be a highly-situational thing, like needing to appear unarmored when undercover or something. But if you can already wear armor, you definitely should! However, classes that can't wear armor would benefit the most from this item. They would sacrifice a valuable magic item attunement slot for the ability to wear a type of "light armor" that they wouldn't normally have access to.

This is exactly how I would want the item to work at my table. :) Some players really want to be able to stack numbers into their armor class, but I'm not one of them.
 
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Animal companions would be a little more tricky and harder to balance, I probably wouldn't even try unless there are already rules in the campaign for animals wearing armor.
A horse can be an animal companion, and there are rules for horses wearing armour.
 
Again, the point is that there are a lot less such classes than you think.
5E does not work like some "basic D&D". It uses highly specific rules for calculating AC.
I think you and I are going about this from different directions. You seem to be trying to make an amulet of natural armor that is compatible with the highly-specific rules for calculating armor class in 5E. I'm just rigging something together that will work for my table. The good news is, we are both right. :)

A horse can be an animal companion, and there are rules for horses wearing armour.
Cool. In that case, I would probably just make the amulet of natural armor function the way that armor does for horses and call it good.
 
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S'mon

Legend
Was reading my 5e DMG today re making up new items... it says start by making them equivalent to an existing item. So +1 AC & requires attunement FTW :D
 

Pauln6

Explorer
Was reading my 5e DMG today re making up new items... it says start by making them equivalent to an existing item. So +1 AC & requires attunement FTW :D
Magic armour typically does not require attunement (and would not stack with the amulet). Rings of protection also improve saves. So attunement is certainly possible but I would say if you are effectively just going for a +1 AC then don't require attunement. If you are going for a set AC e.g. AC13 then require attunement.
 
It all boils down top what you are trying to achieve with the item. Do you want a reskinned ring of protection? Then go for it. Do you want the equivalent of horse barding (MM p340) that your panther can wear? Go for that.

The thing to remember is the original purpose of the Amulet of Natural Armor no longer exists, since "natural armor" is no longer a thing in 5e. Ergo you are free to do whatever you want with it.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
It all boils down top what you are trying to achieve with the item. Do you want a reskinned ring of protection? Then go for it. Do you want the equivalent of horse barding (MM p340) that your panther can wear? Go for that.

The thing to remember is the original purpose of the Amulet of Natural Armor no longer exists, since "natural armor" is no longer a thing in 5e. Ergo you are free to do whatever you want with it.
Or, of course, "your Dexterity bonus counts as one higher for purposes of calculating Armor Class"
 

S'mon

Legend
You could make a really weak item like "Your base AC is 11 when unarmoured" which seems plausible for something that just makes your skin leathery. It still seems like something which should require attunement, and useful for barbarians, plus the few animals that don't have natural armour boosting their AC.

How about:
AC 11 - Common
AC 12 - Uncommon
AC 13 - Rare
AC 14 - Very Rare
AC 15 - Legendary
All needing Attunement.

(If doing this I especially recommend my house rule that AC caps at 30, equivalent to the -10 AC cap in AD&D).
 
Or, of course, "your Dexterity bonus counts as one higher for purposes of calculating Armor Class"
Is it really that necessary to make something that stacks with light armour but not heavy armour (and may or may not stack with medium) though? It seems a bit complicated.
 

Tormyr

Adventurer
Or, of course, "your Dexterity bonus counts as one higher for purposes of calculating Armor Class"
I think this does a lot for providing one way of adequately calculating the benefit and have it interact well with the various AC calculation methods.
* Heavy armor users receive no benefit.
* Medium armor users receive a benefit if their DEX < 2.
* Everyone else receive a benefit because all the other AC calculation methods use the full DEX bonus.

The downside is that it is non-intuitive (the DEX isn't actually getting better, its just how the calculation is made). It also is not a very 5e way of doing things, although there is some precedent for saying an ability bonus is modified for the purpose of calculating something (carrying capacity adjustments come to mind.

The amulet of natural armor also has several items that are very similar, notably the ring of protection and bracers of defense.

Several people in this thread (myself included) have been looking at how to limit stacking of of the AC bonus to places where it makes sense, but in 3.5 the bonus stacked. https://www.dandwiki.com/wiki/SRD:Armor_Class#Natural_Armor

The following reference specifically mentions the natural armor bonus provided by barkskin.
http://archive.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/glossary&term=Glossary_dnd_naturalarmorbonus&alpha=

barkskin is also the spell used to create the amulet in 3.5. Given that, barksin may be a good place to check how natural armor could interact in 5e. In 5e, barkskin says your AC cannot be less than 16. The amulet of natural armor could say something to the effect that "your AC cannot be less than ##". The question would then be "what is the bonus?"

I would suggest that a rare or very rare amulet would function the same as barkskin. An uncommon or rare version would set the AC to 10 + proficiency bonus. In both cases you probably could skip attunement since it is not really better than many other AC calculation methods and does not stack with them.
 

CapnZapp

Adventurer
I think this does a lot for providing one way of adequately calculating the benefit and have it interact well with the various AC calculation methods.
* Heavy armor users receive no benefit.
* Medium armor users receive a benefit if their DEX < 2.
* Everyone else receive a benefit because all the other AC calculation methods use the full DEX bonus.

The downside is that it is non-intuitive (the DEX isn't actually getting better, its just how the calculation is made). It also is not a very 5e way of doing things, although there is some precedent for saying an ability bonus is modified for the purpose of calculating something (carrying capacity adjustments come to mind.

The amulet of natural armor also has several items that are very similar, notably the ring of protection and bracers of defense.
Agreed it is not immediately obvious. Which was why I wanted to share.

The difficulty is threading the needle - making it sufficiently different from rings of protection, bracers of defense etc and still not be completely worthless for people with abilities as different as monk's unarmored defense, the sorcerer's draconic resilience, the wizard's spell mage armor, the lizardfolk's natural armor or the druid's wild shape.

For all of them, and the rogue (or warlock, say) in Light Armor as well, a +1 Amulet of Natural Armor is and remains valuable.

I'd say most of the "unintuitiveness" is on the theoretical level. When you tell your player you get +1 to AC except when in medium or heavy armor, I wager there is nothing unituitive about it :)
 

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