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D&D 5E Can your Druids wear metal armor?

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ECMO3

Adventurer
I have found the metal armor restrictions to be rather disruptive, we have largely ignored this at my tables. To start with what defines "metal armor"? Is studded leather metal? Almost all middle age shields are primarily wooden IRL, maybe some bucklers were metal, but no other metal shields existed. In the far east IRL there was wooden armor that would most approximate half-plate, breast plate or splint mail.

Also in terms of story or theme, if a Paladin can go against his oath and become an oathbreaker or an asimar become fallen, why can't a druid wear metal?

Just a stupid rule IMO and it does not seem to add much flavor IMO since he can swing a metal scimitar and seems to have no problem adventuring with the guy wearing chainmail. Also as a tree-hugger I would find it somewhat silly to say - "sure you can cut down that tree and make me some armor, but no metal"

What do you think?
 

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cbwjm

Hero
They can in my games. So long as you'vet got the armour proficiency, there are no penalties.

I reckon they should have just said that wildshape can only be used as long as their is no metal in it, or even said that it can only be used with light armour only. That way druids could wear metal armour and people wouldn't complain about the rule in the PHB. Other classes have similar restrictions so I think this would have worked better for the druid.
 

jgsugden

Legend
Yes - but I usually give them a 'natural armor option' that allows them not to do so to preserve the feel. However, if a druid wants to wear metal armor, I do not stop them or punish them for doing so (although there may be NPCs that treat them differently for breaking rules ... however, that is limited to certain circles and groups).
 





TwoSix

Unserious gamer
Yes - but I usually give them a 'natural armor option' that allows them not to do so to preserve the feel. However, if a druid wants to wear metal armor, I do not stop them or punish them for doing so (although there may be NPCs that treat them differently for breaking rules ... however, that is limited to certain circles and groups).
Yep, that's what I do. I have no problem with a druid wearing metal armor, but I have no problem with providing "natural armor" that provides identical protection for a druid that wants it. The important thing is that they're supposed to have the AC that medium armor provides, and I'm not going to deny that over "flavor" reasons.
 



Them not being able to wear metal armour is an actual rule, and it effectively prevents them from wearing medium armour. So if this is intended to be balanced, just allowing them to ignore this restriction would be basically the same than giving any other class a free tier of amour proficiency. My current game has altered armour rules anyway, but I scaled the druids with the assumption that they're effectively meant to be light armour wearers.
 

J.Quondam

CR 1/8
Them not being able to wear metal armour is an actual rule, and it effectively prevents them from wearing medium armour. So if this is intended to be balanced, just allowing them to ignore this restriction would be basically the same than giving any other class a free tier of amour proficiency. My current game has altered armour rules anyway, but I scaled the druids with the assumption that they're effectively meant to be light armour wearers.
But they do have medium armor proficiency, don't they? That suggests to me that designers expect them to wear such armor.
The "no metal" requirement sounds to my ears more like fluff than mechanics.
 


Radaceus

Explorer
No reason for them to use metal armor.

At least they can wear more than just leather (light) armor now!

I've allowed my Druids to wear wooden, chitin and scale, suffering any armor restrictions that apply . Heavy armor only if they are proficient (via feats or MCing).

It's also great side quest material, getting the ingredients for non-metallic armors ( Dragon Scale, Umber Hulk chitin, Bullette Hide, etc).
 



tommybahama

Adventurer
Our DM's go to debuff is heat metal so the druid is better off without metal armor.

In addition to the chitin and bone armor someone mentioned, there is dragon scale armor. I think one adventure had a legendary giant goat you could kill for its skin.
 

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Supporter
For me as a DM, druids can wear any light armour or hide, no problem. If they have armour proficiency (e.g. from being a Dwarf) then they can use that armour -- it doesn't prevent casting or getting spells, for instance. If it came up (it hasn't) I would allow it with multiclassing too. Unless manufacvtured in-game (i.e. not bought in a market), I wouldn't allow/worry about chitin. bark, whatever alternatives.

As a player, I despise the limitation which feels artificial and under-rationalized, a legacy holdover. So I work around it, either with a human taking magic initiate so they can cast Mage Armor, or a Lizard Folk, or whatever.
 
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Panfilo

Existential Risk
Absolutely they can (assuming proficiency). I don't think that the original fluff reason for it is well thought out at all. Cured and boiled leather carved into fitted armor isn't any more "natural" than ore from a vein smelted and forged into armor. If anything, the one that requires killing or scavenging an animal is more likely to run up against some druids' social morays.

The more absolutist distinctions between classes were envisioned neither for philosophical coherence nor for balance (not that the latter reason would be expected to hold up after all this time either). They were a very specific pop cultural summation of half-understood mythology, and it's pretty easy to come up with better thematic delineations for our own worlds.
 
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