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

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Chaosmancer

Legend
The equipment has a tag and there is a restriction on a class based on that tag. What you're trying to do would be like playing a halfling, who have restriction on heavy weapons, and just deciding that you can get a greatsword without the heavy tag but otherwise identical. You seem to think that the writers just put in rules that do nothing. I don't. And my reading is backed by Crawford correctly identifying the armours druids are expected to wear under the rules; no half-plate included.

Tag? What tag?

Armor NameCostArmor Class (AC)StrengthStealthWeight
Hide10 gp12 + Dex modifier (max 2)--12 lb.
Chain shirt50 gp13 + Dex modifier (max 2)--20 lb.
Scale mail50 gp14 + Dex modifier (max 2)-Disadvantage45 lb.
Breastplate400 gp14 + Dex modifier (max 2)--20 lb.
Half plate750 gp15 + Dex modifier (max 2)-Disadvantage40 lb.


I don't see any tags here. See, if I pulled up Greatswords though

Weapon NameCostDamageWeightProperties
Battleaxe10 gp1d8 slashing4 lb.Versatile (1d10)
Flail10 gp1d8 bludgeoning2 lb.-
Glaive20 gp1d10 slashing6 lb.Heavy, reach, two-handed
Greataxe30 gp1d12 slashing7 lb.Heavy, two-handed
Greatsword50 gp2d6 slashing6 lb.Heavy, two-handed
Halberd20 gp1d10 slashing6 lb.Heavy, reach, two-handed
Lance10 gp1d12 piercing6 lb.Reach, special
Longsword15 gp1d8 slashing3 lb.Versatile (1d10)
Maul10 gp2d6 bludgeoning10 lb.Heavy, two-handed

I mean... look at those tags. Heavy property, right there. Easily seen and referenced.

So, if I make a greatsword out of volcanic glass and it has all the same stats... it has the two-handed and the heavy propery. And so a halfling wouldn't be able to use it without disadvantage. But, shocking I know, "Metal" isn't a tag in any of these sections.

I mean, look at that Maul. What is it made of? Wood? Metal? Stone? I am showing you every single bit of rules text and there isn't even a description of mauls in the book. If there is supposed to be some tag telling us what everything is made of... then we have a lot of missing rules. How have we gone so long without noticing that?

Unless... there is no tag. There is no requirement that materials be set and immutable. That, in fact, you are wrong and I have provided all of the rule text both for the maul and half-plate, and either could be made of any materials.
 

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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Honestly, I'm really jazzed with the idea of offering bonuses. The spirits of the plants and animals rallying to defend you and improving the leather and hides to make it something more? That is an amazing concept.

I also feel like providing a bonus is more effective than a penalty, but that is just some psychology talking,
It worked to keep 100% of the druids I saw out of metal armor, so.... But I agree that bonuses are better. :)
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Tag? What tag?

Armor NameCostArmor Class (AC)StrengthStealthWeight
Hide10 gp12 + Dex modifier (max 2)--12 lb.
Chain shirt50 gp13 + Dex modifier (max 2)--20 lb.
Scale mail50 gp14 + Dex modifier (max 2)-Disadvantage45 lb.
Breastplate400 gp14 + Dex modifier (max 2)--20 lb.
Half plate750 gp15 + Dex modifier (max 2)-Disadvantage40 lb.


I don't see any tags here. See, if I pulled up Greatswords though

Weapon NameCostDamageWeightProperties
Battleaxe10 gp1d8 slashing4 lb.Versatile (1d10)
Flail10 gp1d8 bludgeoning2 lb.-
Glaive20 gp1d10 slashing6 lb.Heavy, reach, two-handed
Greataxe30 gp1d12 slashing7 lb.Heavy, two-handed
Greatsword50 gp2d6 slashing6 lb.Heavy, two-handed
Halberd20 gp1d10 slashing6 lb.Heavy, reach, two-handed
Lance10 gp1d12 piercing6 lb.Reach, special
Longsword15 gp1d8 slashing3 lb.Versatile (1d10)
Maul10 gp2d6 bludgeoning10 lb.Heavy, two-handed

I mean... look at those tags. Heavy property, right there. Easily seen and referenced.

So, if I make a greatsword out of volcanic glass and it has all the same stats... it has the two-handed and the heavy propery. And so a halfling wouldn't be able to use it without disadvantage. But, shocking I know, "Metal" isn't a tag in any of these sections.

I mean, look at that Maul. What is it made of? Wood? Metal? Stone? I am showing you every single bit of rules text and there isn't even a description of mauls in the book. If there is supposed to be some tag telling us what everything is made of... then we have a lot of missing rules. How have we gone so long without noticing that?

Unless... there is no tag. There is no requirement that materials be set and immutable. That, in fact, you are wrong and I have provided all of the rule text both for the maul and half-plate, and either could be made of any materials.
Yep. The descriptions are not rules. Despite Ring Mail not mentioning metal, it's typically metal and heat metal would work on it.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
I've been playing D&D pretty much forever with many different people, it's never been an issue. You'd have to do some kind of polling to see if it was at all widespread.

However, there's a simple solution: if you don't like the rule ignore it. If you're not the DM and your DM enforces it, suck it up and accept that you don't always get what you want and that it's hardly the end of the world.

I'm sure you'll accuse me of being dismissive but there are almost always going to be minor things I don't like with any game. There is no such thing as the perfect RPG. So it's a mountain being made out of a molehill.

It is always refreshing when people say "just suck it up and accept it, there is no reason to change"

I mean, what's a few character concepts that are arbitrarily cut because people are insistent that the way they play the game is the way the game should be played. It isn't like this is something that has be discussed again and again and again and again.











Could keep going, but I got tired of it. I'm honestly not surprised you've never seen it though, considering what I know of your home games and such, but this is literally something that appears every few months. A minor issue? Sure. But I've seen more threads and discussions on Druids wearing metal armor than literally anything other than mood druids wildshape.
 




Chaosmancer

Legend
That the information is in the item description doesn't stop it being tag for rules purposes. It is a thing other rules interact with. And this is perfectly clear to most people; they're not confused about what armours druids are allowed to wear or on which armours heat metal works on. Because the rules clearly tell you that.

Here is the description of studded leather, does heat metal work on it? "Made from tough but flexible leather, studded leather is reinforced with close-set rivets or spikes."

How about ring mail? "This armor is leather armor with heavy rings sewn into it. The rings help reinforce the armor against blows from swords and axes. Ring mail is inferior to chain mail, and it's usually worn only by those who can't afford better armor."

What about a maul? A lance? Spear? Staff? Club? There are no descriptions for these items, so how am I supposed to know the rules for them?
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
It is always refreshing when people say "just suck it up and accept it, there is no reason to change"

I mean, what's a few character concepts that are arbitrarily cut because people are insistent that the way they play the game is the way the game should be played. It isn't like this is something that has be discussed again and again and again and again.











Could keep going, but I got tired of it. I'm honestly not surprised you've never seen it though, considering what I know of your home games and such, but this is literally something that appears every few months. A minor issue? Sure. But I've seen more threads and discussions on Druids wearing metal armor than literally anything other than mood druids wildshape.
If it wasn't for forums, there are several "major issues" I would never know were a thing. 🤷‍♂️
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Here is the description of studded leather, does heat metal work on it? "Made from tough but flexible leather, studded leather is reinforced with close-set rivets or spikes."

How about ring mail? "This armor is leather armor with heavy rings sewn into it. The rings help reinforce the armor against blows from swords and axes. Ring mail is inferior to chain mail, and it's usually worn only by those who can't afford better armor."

What about a maul? A lance? Spear? Staff? Club? There are no descriptions for these items, so how am I supposed to know the rules for them?
He's already told me that ring mail isn't metal, because it doesn't say so.
 




The class tells you that the class doesn't use items made out of material X. The item says it is made of material X. These are rules, and were put in the game for a purpose. When asked about it, the designer lists items not mentioned to be made of material X as ones the class uses. And no, this doesn't mean that rules are required to define material of everything, but when they do, it is done on a purpose. If the rule was not meant to do anything and armour material was just meant to be inconsequential fluff, the rule wouldn't exist. Seriously, this is not hard.
 
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Undrave

Hero
The class tells you that a class doesn't use items made out of material X. The item says it is made of material X. These are rules, and were put in the game for a purpose. When asked about it, the designer lists items not mentioned to be made of material X as ones the class uses. And no, this doesn't mean that rules are required to define material of everything, but when they do, it is done an a purpose. If the rule was not meant to do anything and armour material was just meant to be inconsequential fluff, the rule wouldn't exist. Seriously, this is not hard.
Armor material interacts, mechanically, with only two things in this game: The Heat Metal spell and the stupid Druid rule. Either they SHOULD have included alternate materials in the Armor section as a possibility, or those two elements shouldn't have been in the game in the first place.
 

Armor material interacts, mechanically, with only two things in this game: The Heat Metal spell and the stupid Druid rule. Either they SHOULD have included alternate materials in the Armor section as a possibility, or those two elements shouldn't have been in the game in the first place.
Perhaps. But 'should' is different that 'is'.
 

Chaosmancer

Legend
The class tells you that the class doesn't use items made out of material X. The item says it is made of material X. These are rules, and were put in the game for a purpose. When asked about it, the designer lists items not mentioned to be made of material X as ones the class uses. And no, this doesn't mean that rules are required to define material of everything, but when they do, it is done on a purpose. If the rule was not meant to do anything and armour material was just meant to be inconsequential fluff, the rule wouldn't exist. Seriously, this is not hard.

You are right. This isn't hard. The class says it won't wear armor made of material X (they will use items though). If the armor is material X then the Druid mindlessly will refuse to wear it.

No where, in any part of the game, does it say that you cannot make the armor out of a different material. There is nothing that prevents it. there is no reason to assume it changes any of the game stats, because we can point to hundreds of examples where such a change wouldn't even cause a blink of an eye. Even though those items would also change a rules interaction, because making a maul out of wood or stone makes it immune to heat metal. Wood might also be vulnverable to being caught on fire and destroyed. The rules would change, and yet no where is this considered wrong, or against the rules to do.

It is not a buff to allow druids to follow the rules of the game. And we've pretty well established that you have no rules supporting your position that half-plate can only ever be made out of metal and never out of anything else. This isn't hard, and I don't understand what you think you are preventing by saying that the completely possible is against the rules.
 

You are right. This isn't hard. The class says it won't wear armor made of material X (they will use items though). If the armor is material X then the Druid mindlessly will refuse to wear it.
Yes. And the designers put that rule there for a reason. They actually expected it to do something, whether you like it or not.

No where, in any part of the game, does it say that you cannot make the armor out of a different material. There is nothing that prevents it.
This is not how rules work! "It doesn't say I cannot change the rule so I totally can!" No, that is an absurd standard.

there is no reason to assume it changes any of the game stats, because we can point to hundreds of examples where such a change wouldn't even cause a blink of an eye.
There is very good reason think it would alter the stats, because different material are actually different! There is a reason why armour that is said to be made of leather provides a lower AC than one that is said to be made of metal plates.

And the game certainly recognises this elsewhere:

DMG said:
When time is a factor, you can assign an Armor Class and Hit Points to a destructible object. You can also give it immunities, resistances, and vulnerabilities to specific types of damage.

Armor Class: An object’s Armor Class is a measure of how difficult it is to deal damage to the object when striking it (because the object has no chance of dodging out of the way). Table: Object Armor Class provides suggested AC values for various substances.

Object Armor Class
SubstanceAC
Cloth, paper, rope11
Crystal, glass, ice13
Wood, bone15
Stone17
Iron, steel19
Mithral21
Adamantine23

Even though those items would also change a rules interaction, because making a maul out of wood or stone makes it immune to heat metal. Wood might also be vulnverable to being caught on fire and destroyed. The rules would change, and yet no where is this considered wrong, or against the rules to do.
The rules do not specify the material of those objects. Thus it for the GM to decide what material is appropriate. Armours however specify their material, almost like the designers thought it would matter.

It is not a buff to allow druids to follow the rules of the game. And we've pretty well established that you have no rules supporting your position that half-plate can only ever be made out of metal and never out of anything else. This isn't hard, and I don't understand what you think you are preventing by saying that the completely possible is against the rules.
Your "it doesn't say I can't" stance is untenable. Rules do not work like that. Designers do not put rules that they expect to do nothing in the game. Complete noobs have no difficulty in getting this. They look the druid rule, they look the equipment description and pick a non-metal armour. This is how it is intended to work and Crawford's list of druid armours confirms this. You're literally arguing against the stated intent of the designer of the game.
 


ECMO3

Hero
What you're trying to do would be like playing a halfling, who have restriction on heavy weapons, and just deciding that you can get a greatsword without the heavy tag but otherwise identical.
No there is a BIG difference because of three reasons.

1. Any halfling can pick up a regular Greatsword, heavy tag and all, and use it any time he or she wants. That makes all the difference in the world. No rules actually stop a halfling from using a greatsword. As an extreme example a first level halfling wizard with an 8 strength, can pick up the greatsword the fighter dropped and use it to attack the goblin if he chooses.

2. RAW you can build a halfling using the custom lineage and decide that he is medium size and then you can not only use it, but your halfling would not even have the disadvantage it normally causes most other halflings.

3. RAW you can "choose" to change your normal small halfling to medium b taking the Hexblood or Damphir lineage. Again, can not only use it, but eliminate the disadvantage too.

In the case you are talking about you are specifically not letting the Druid use normal half plate, regardless of what he does. Even when another specific tag should overide the general Druid restriction (example artificer multiclass, warforged race) ... you would still deny it. Big difference.
 
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