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

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Yaarel

Mind Mage
Not really. The earth is composed of many things, not just metal. In this case too much metal conflicts with the earth.
All minerals: metal, crystal, stone, rock, sand, glass, etcetera, are aspects of the earth element. The earth Druid attunes to metal.

If it were written like that, they would indeed not be proficient with metal armor, which is nonsensical as one kind of armor functions the same as the other.

All of the abilities that give partial proficiency are very explicit. Elves get proficiency with all longswords(regardless of material). Dwarves get proficiency with all battleaxes, light hammers and warhammers. Pact warlocks don't get proficiency, but use their pact weapon with proficiency.

Not one instance of partial proficiency fails to spell it out, which is why druids don't have partial proficiency. It does not spell it out.
In a narrative, where animals and plants protect the Druid:

The Druid can wear animal-plant armors proficiently, almost exactly the same way the Warlock can wield a pact weapon proficiently.
 

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The existence of nonmagical nonmetal medium armor officially exists.

In the Forgotten Realms setting, there is "spiked armor".

"
Spiked Armor
Spiked armor is a rare type of medium armor made by dwarves. It consists of a leather coat and leggings covered with spikes that are usually made of metal.

Cost: 75 gp
AC: 14 + Dexterity modifier (max 2)
Stealth: Disadvantage
Weight: 45 lb.

"

This armor appears to be a variant of scale armor, where the scales protrude outward into spikes. These scales are usually made of metal, but not always. It is rare, but is nonmagical.
Yes. And druids can wear that.
 

Vyshan

Villager
Why doesn't your druids have access to just a type of wood that if made into armor is just as good as its metal equivalent? Is this one of those situations where a druid wants something they can't have?
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
Yes. And druids can wear that.
Likewise, it is easy to have the nonmetal spike armor without needing spikes, and being normal scale.

A brigandine could rivet scales of various materials between the fabrics, to serve as scale armor.

Someone mentioned deer horn. As far as I know, that should be a suitable material for the scales of brigandine armor
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
All minerals: metal, crystal, stone, rock, sand, glass, etcetera, are aspects of the earth element. The earth Druid attunes to metal.
That's one reasonable position. Another reasonable position is the one I put forth. Too much of one aspect, especially metal that is worn, throws them out of whack,
The Druid can wear animal-plant armors proficiently, almost exactly the same way the Warlock can wield a pact weapon proficiently.
It's not even remotely the same. Druids make the choice and have proficiency with metal armor, Warlocks get it through specialized magic. It's apples and dinosaurs.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Why doesn't your druids have access to just a type of wood that if made into armor is just as good as its metal equivalent? Is this one of those situations where a druid wants something they can't have?
No. It's just an academic discussion. Nobody here has actually run into this issue. :p
 

ad_hoc

(he/they)
There's nothing really to understand though as someone completely new to Dungeons & Dragons picking up the Player's Handbook for the first time. It's as simple as "Druids will not wear metal armor." If you're just learning how to play D&D, it's an obvious restriction that I can't imagine very many respond to the way we do.
I have introduced quite a few people to d&d with 5e with some playing Druid and I have never even been questioned about it.

I just told them to look at the section with HP, proficiencies and such and showed them the equipment chapter and not a single one came back with metal armour on their sheets.
 

Yaarel

Mind Mage
It's not even remotely the same. Druids make the choice and have proficiency with metal armor, Warlocks get it through specialized magic. It's apples and dinosaurs.
"In a narrative, where animals and plants protect the Druid: the Druid can wear animal-plant armors proficiently, almost exactly the same way the Warlock can wield a pact weapon proficiently."

Warlocks get proficiency with their pact blade thru specialized magic.

Likewise, in this narrative, Druids get proficiency with animal-plant armor thru specialized animal-plant magic.
 

You're going to get the same answer no matter how many ways you ask it. I think the rule is clear, and no I don't have a problem with it. What happens if a druid does put on metal armor is up to the DM. As Sage Advice says "your DM has the final say on how far you can go and still be considered a member of the class."
Exactly. DMs are empowered to make a ton of judgment calls in the game. I tend to see that as a plus, because no designer knows my table as well as I do.

As to why no specific reason is given for why druids will not wear metal armor, I see this as a concession to the fact that the reason why druids don’t wear metal armor also may vary from setting to setting and from campaign to campaign.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
This not how this works!

So, you say it is a rule, but it doesn't work like you being able to tell me where the rule is? Or what it says.

Just like half plate says that it consists of shaped metal plates.

So what armor would you say someone is wearing if they have shaped metal plates that cover most of their body, heavy leather boots, a helmet, and gauntlets?

Because half-plate doesn't come with a helmet or boots, or gauntlets. So if my character is wearing those items, do I get to increase my AC to 18 instead of 15+dex? I mean, if the rule is that half-plate is only defined by what is in the description, then if I have more armor on, I must be wearing something else right?

It is in the same place than the rule that states that wall of fire cannot be made out of anything other than fire.

So, it is this? "A spell is a discrete magical effect, a single shaping of the magical energies that suffuse the multiverse into a specific, limited expression." Because, this is one of those things that say that a wall of fire creates a wall of fire. "Specific, limited expression"

We also have this "Each spell description in Chapter 11 begins with a block of information, including the spell's name, level, school of magic, casting time, range, components, and duration. The rest of a spell entry describes the spell's effect."

There is also this from Tasha's "Just as every performer lends their art a personal flair and every warrior asserts their fighting styles through the lens of their own training, so too can a spellcaster use magic to express their individuality. Regardless of what type of spellcaster you’re playing, you can customize the cosmetic effects of your character’s spells. Perhaps you wish the effects of your caster’s spells to appear in their favorite color, to suggest the training they received from a celestial mentor, or to exhibit their connection to a season of the year. The possibilities for how you might cosmetically customize your character’s spells are endless. However, such alterations can’t change the effects of a spell. They also can’t make one spell seem like another—you can’t, for example, make a magic missile look like a fireball."


So, it seems we have quite a few rules about why a wall of fire can't be a wall of water (which FYI is also a different spell) can you show me anything similar for half-plate being made out of different materials, or are we still in "it doesn't work like that" territory?
 
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Oofta

Legend
I have introduced quite a few people to d&d with 5e with some playing Druid and I have never even been questioned about it.

I just told them to look at the section with HP, proficiencies and such and showed them the equipment chapter and not a single one came back with metal armour on their sheets.
Yeah, this issue is a mountain made out of a molehill. Druids have never worn metal armor in the history of D&D and it has never once been questioned in any game I've ever participated in.
 

So, you say it is a rule, but it doesn't work like you being able to tell me where the rule is? Or what it says.
I am not going to quote you the description of half plate or the druid armour limitation. You can read them both yourself just fine.

So what armor would you say someone is wearing if they have shaped metal plates that cover most of their body, heavy leather boots, a helmet, and gauntlets?

Because half-plate doesn't come with a helmet or boots, or gauntlets. So if my character is wearing those items, do I get to increase my AC to 18 instead of 15+dex? I mean, if the rule is that half-plate is only defined by what is in the description, then if I have more armor on, I must be wearing something else right?
Nothing stops you wearing a hat with your armour, It just has no rule effect. If there was a rule function on whcih dependent on you wearing ahelmet or not it would matter, but there isn't . Now if you keep adding stuff, then certainly at some point it just becomes plate, not half-plate, but that's another matter. But you're once again confusing cosmetic things with things that rules actually interact with. Rules do not care about whether you wear a helmet or not, but they care about the material of your armour.


So, it is this? "A spell is a discrete magical effect, a single shaping of the magical energies that suffuse the multiverse into a specific, limited expression." Because, this is one of those things that say that a wall of fire creates a wall of fire. "Specific, limited expression"
We also have this "Each spell description in Chapter 11 begins with a block of information, including the spell's name, level, school of magic, casting time, range, components, and duration. The rest of a spell entry describes the spell's effect."

That simply tells you how to read the spell description.

There is also this from Tasha's "Just as every performer lends their art a personal flair and every warrior asserts their fighting styles through the lens of their own training, so too can a spellcaster use magic to express their individuality. Regardless of what type of spellcaster you’re playing, you can customize the cosmetic effects of your character’s spells. Perhaps you wish the effects of your caster’s spells to appear in their favorite color, to suggest the training they received from a celestial mentor, or to exhibit their connection to a season of the year. The possibilities for how you might cosmetically customize your character’s spells are endless. However, such alterations can’t change the effects of a spell. They also can’t make one spell seem like another—you can’t, for example, make a magic missile look like a fireball."
So do you think that before Tasha's you were able to change the effect of the spell? Because you seem to subscribe to 'it doesn't say I can't' school of reading of the rules.

So, it seems we have quite a few rules about why a wall of fire can't be a wall of water (which FYI is also a different spell) can you show me anything similar for half-plate being made out of different materials, or are we still in "it doesn't work like that" territory?
Look. If a rule describes a thing other rule interacts with, it then that thing is rule relevant element, and changing it is a houserule. That's all there is to it. The GM can homebrew new things and give them whatever rules they see fit, but a player cannot just unilaterally decide to change or ignore rules and thinking otherwise is utterly bizarre.
 

  1. Druids cannot wear metal armor
    1. What does that even mean? With #1, it's obvious - assuming you take it as a hard restriction they will never willingly put on metal armor. But cannot? Do they explode? Does the armor disintegrate? Do druids exude rust monster sweat? What happens if someone tries to put them in metal armor because they passed out after the spring equinox celebration? This raises more questions for me than answers.
I kind of like the thought that if a druid puts on metal armor, it spontaneously morphs into hide armor.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
"In a narrative, where animals and plants protect the Druid: the Druid can wear animal-plant armors proficiently, almost exactly the same way the Warlock can wield a pact weapon proficiently."
Sure, but you have to make that a house rule. If you make it so that druids only have light armor proficiency, but animals and plants magically gift the druid the ability to wear plant and animal based armors as if they were proficient, that would be like a warlock. You have to mechanically change the class, though.
 


Chaosmancer

Legend
Yeah, this issue is a mountain made out of a molehill. Druids have never worn metal armor in the history of D&D and it has never once been questioned in any game I've ever participated in.

Been questioned in plenty of games I've participated in. I've also played in games where druids wore metal armor. And I've also seen and participated in dozens of threads like this, seen multiple videos on the issue, ect ect.

So, if it is a molehill, it is a pretty darn huge mole. Heck, the druid in a recent game told us he knew of the restriction, and he was planning on breaking the taboo, but that it didn't make sense for his character to do that yet. No one else had even brought up the issue yet.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I am not going to quote you the description of half plate or the druid armour limitation. You can read them both yourself just fine.

Yes, I can. And the description of half-plate is not a rule. Just like I am violating no rules by having bone hooks in the fishing tackle. You claim it is a rule. And you have no evidence.

Nothing stops you wearing a hat with your armour, It just has no rule effect. If there was a rule function on which dependent on you wearing a helmet or not it would matter, but there isn't . Now if you keep adding stuff, then certainly at some point it just becomes plate, not half-plate, but that's another matter. But you're once again confusing cosmetic things with things that rules actually interact with. Rules do not care about whether you wear a helmet or not, but they care about the material of your armour.

Really? Because if these are supposed to be rules, not just descriptions, then the only armor that includes a helmet is full plate. No other armor comes with a helmet. That is a rule, so I'd be breaking it and wearing something else if I was not in full plate but had a helmet.

Plate and Scale mail are the only armors that come with gauntlets, if I describe my character as wearing gauntlets, but I am not wearing one of those armors, I'm breaking the rules, right? Because that is a rule.

what if I want to wear breastplate, but I also put on magic bracers? Breastplates "rules" say that they have to leave the legs and arms unprotected. And those bracers clearly have a mechanical impact beyond just being cosmetic. Am I allowed to wear them with Breastplate? What about with Full Plate, if I replace the gauntlets required by the "rules" with bracers and gloves of missile snaring, am I breaking the rules by taking away part of the armor for a mechanical benefit?

Or do the descriptions of the armors only count as rules in the singular instance that they can't be made out of different materials? What if I have leather armor that was boiled in water mixed with wood ash, am I breaking the rules? Because the "rule" is that leather armor is made out of leather boiled in oil.

Hide armor is made of furs and pelts, and a pelt is a hide with fur on it, so what if I said my hide armor was made out of a scaled creature? Does that break the rules, since it is made out of a different material? I mean, Hide isn't made out of skins, so I can't do that right?


Or, last question, are all these sort of ridiculous, because the description of the armor isn't a rule that has to be slavishly followed?

That simply tells you how to read the spell description.

"The rest of the spell entry describes the spells effect" That is a rule that tells you that was is described in the spell is what the spell does. Hence, wall of fire creates a wall of fire, not a wall of water. Why can't a spell do more than what it states? Because the rules say that spells are a "specific, limited expression."

I'm showing you the rules, exactly like I said I would.

So do you think that before Tasha's you were able to change the effect of the spell? Because you seem to subscribe to 'it doesn't say I can't' school of reading of the rules.

Do you think before Tasha's you weren't able to describe a spell differently? Because you seem to subscribe to a "only what is directly stated" reading of the rules.

You wanted examples of why a wall of fire can't be a wall of water. I personally think that the first lines from the PHB cover it. A spell does only what it says it does, and Wall of Fire states it creates a Wall of Fire, and spells are discrete, limited effects. However, Tasha's came out and allowed changes, so couldn't I change the spell? Well, they directly stated that you can't change the spell effect or make a spell look like another spell. Like say... Wall of Fire looking like Wall of Water. So, yet another reason that you can't cast Wall of Fire and create a Wall of Water.

IS there anything like that for armors? Anything that says you cannot make an armor out of anything not described in the armor description?

Look. If a rule describes a thing other rule interacts with, it then that thing is rule relevant element, and changing it is a houserule. That's all there is to it. The GM can homebrew new things and give them whatever rules they see fit, but a player cannot just unilaterally decide to change or ignore rules and thinking otherwise is utterly bizarre.

So, I would never be able to swap steel hooks for bone hooks in Fishing Tackle, because there is a rule that interacts with that description, so it would be homebrewing and the player cannot unilaterally decide to change the rules in that manner. Same with metal ball bearings, can't let those be glass beads, that changes a rules interaction. Same with a hunting trap, can't make a hunting trap that isn't a saw-toothed steel ring, that interacts with another rule, so those are the only types of hunting traps allowed. Mirrors can only be made out of steel, can't have any other type because that would change a rule interaction.

Or, maybe, just maybe, this is ridiculous. A bizarre standard that you are making up without really thinking through how utterly strange it would be.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Yes, I can. And the description of half-plate is not a rule. Just like I am violating no rules by having bone hooks in the fishing tackle. You claim it is a rule. And you have no evidence.
If you're evil, you cease to be a halfling. Being good hearted and kind is explicitly a rule.

"As a rule, they are good-hearted and kind, hate to see others in pain, and have no tolerance for oppression."

And it sucks to be a monk. No money for you.

"As a rule, monks care little for material wealth and are driven by a desire to accomplish a greater mission than merely slaying monsters and plundering their treasure."
 

Undrave

Hero
I think you misunderstand- it's really not that difficult to accomplish something different that you like!

You have an entirely different idea of what the rule's purpose should be. You would like land druids to be able to wear metal armor (the shapeshifting rule). Or maybe just have a tin-plated druid by making them multiclass or use a feat.

What you are missing is that this isn't what the rule is trying to accomplish.

Which, again, you don't like the design- I get it! That's cool! You would like to design a completely different rule. But the issue isn't, "Can you design a simple rule that does something else that Undrave wants?"

Your fixes sound cool for you. But they aren't the same rule. :)
Then extand the restriction to Druid Spellcasting then! I think it'd be dumb but it'll get the druid out of metal armor.

I think what the rule is trying to accomplish is have the Druid NOT wear metal armor, and you're right that I don't understand why this image MUST, absolutely, POSITIVELY, NEVER EVER be broken? Like... D&D is about choices? And somehow this SINGLE rule for a SINGLE class takes all those choices away?! So of course I'm proposing different ways to do it because to me the essential is the end result of a Druid in Hide armor MOST of the time and I don't get why it should be ALL the time to begin with.

Tthe rule, if it wants to act as a proper rule, SHOULD be about giving up things if you wear metal armor, probably important things that you wouldn't want to give up (like a Monk's Martial Arts features). You just make it the least attractive option possible through normal gameplay and nobody will bat an eye.
 

cbwjm

Legend
Yeah, this issue is a mountain made out of a molehill. Druids have never worn metal armor in the history of D&D and it has never once been questioned in any game I've ever participated in.
From what I can tell, 4e does allow for it but they don't start with anything over cloth, leather, or hide. If they pick it up with a feat though, there doesn't seem to be any penalty. Instead, they have a bonus if they don't wear heavy armour, something that they should have done with 5e. Limit druid powers, like wildshape, or provide a bonus for not wearing metal armour. If they'd led with something like that, there wouldn't be a single thread asking about druid armour.
 

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