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

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carkl3000

Explorer
Which temporary hit points? Do you interpret it to mean that if a Shepherd Druid uses their Unicorn Totem to give the Spores Druid THP, the Spores Druid loses Symbiotic Entity? Because either one or the other of the following is true;
  • THP is THP, and as long as you have THP continuously an effect based on THP lasts.
  • You lose Symbiotic Entity the moment a second source gives you THP.

That should work, sure.
Yeah... I don't know if it's correct, but the way I read it, you have to choose your source of THP, they're not additive. I think a Spores Druid who was within range of Unicorn Totem could choose to reject the THP and keep their symbiotic entity up, or they could let symbiotic entity go down and take THP from another source. I don't know though. That's just the way I read it.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The inclusion of the the word "these" in the phrase "until you lose all these temporary hit points" suggests to me that Symbiotic Entity only stays up if you still have the temp HP you got from activating it. So under that ruling if you choose to accept temp HP from another source, Symbiotic Entity drops.

Are there any other subclasses that are tied to gaining and keeping temp HP that we could use as a comparison?
I think that is a wild interpretation.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah... I don't know if it's correct, but the way I read it, you have to choose your source of THP, they're not additive. I think a Spores Druid who was within range of Unicorn Totem could choose to reject the THP and keep their symbiotic entity up, or they could let symbiotic entity go down and take THP from another source. I don't know though. That's just the way I read it.
THP definitely isn’t additive, but I don’t think that ruling fits RAW or RAI, personally.
 


DammitVictor

Druid of the Invisible Hand
And 'Class' is a discreet package of abilities used to build a character. They should not be a straightjacket to force the player to play a particular character. How much a player wants to engage with the flavor text tied to the class should be up to them.

Says you! Says a lot of people, actually, but that's a personal belief that isn't validated by any external authority, and it runs contrary to how large numbers of other people want to play the game-- hence all the conversation over which D&D setting should be the "default setting" next time. Do note, please, that all of them impose the same restrictions on druid armor.

The 5e Player's Handbook, on the other hand, says:
Class is the primary definition of what your character can do. It's more than a profession; it's your character's calling. Class shapes the way you think about the world and interact with it and your relationship with other people and powers in the multiverse.

How convenient, then, that anything you disagree with in the rulebooks doesn't count.


As for the argument about the 'rule' and divine characters: Godless clerics have been around forever. Druids don't even have a god in core. You never need to actually be in contact with a warlock's patron or even be aware of their existence.

Funny, I didn't say a thing about "gods"! I said all of these classes have ethical restrictions that derive from the same source as their powers. (Technically, Warlock doesn't; I was holding it up as an example of a class that should.)
 
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Undrave

Hero
Sure, a situation can happen where the player declares that they're not following the rules of the game, not that it has ever happened to me in real life.

So I would have just done a timeout with the player and tell them that: it's a taboo to wear armor for druids, when you pick this up you realize it's metal so you won't wear it unless you want to no longer be a druid. I've never hit this situation but there are (incredibly rare) times when I have to remind players what the rules are. On the few times it's come up there wasn't any real pushback other than to perhaps clarify.
If it's a taboo, it's a rule of the world, not a rule of the game. If it's a rule of the world, then a character is fully capable of BREAKING THAT RULE if they so choose.

If the game provides no mechanical lever to prevent a Druid from using their entire proficiency, then it should be a narrative lever.
 

DammitVictor

Druid of the Invisible Hand
If it's a taboo, it's a rule of the world, not a rule of the game. If it's a rule of the world, then a character is fully capable of BREAKING THAT RULE if they so choose.

If the game provides no mechanical lever to prevent a Druid from using their entire proficiency, then it should be a narrative lever.

The narrative lever is that it says a Druid will not wear metal armor. Wearing armor doesn't make them an ex-druid, but they have to stop being a druid before they can wear metal armor. It's crappy, and I'd sure as hell change it, but it's not unclear.
 


carkl3000

Explorer
For me? The mariner's armor may have actually been made of fish scales. But the real issue is how much you wan to be a stickler for rules. The rule, to me, is simple. It has nothing to do with proficiency, it's a taboo.

So I would have just done a timeout with the player and tell them that: it's a taboo to wear armor for druids, when you pick this up you realize it's metal so you won't wear it unless you want to no longer be a druid. I've never hit this situation but there are (incredibly rare) times when I have to remind players what the rules are. On the few times it's come up there wasn't any real pushback other than to perhaps clarify.

How easy you want alternative armor to be is up to the DM and group. Wooden shields I have no problem with (although they'd have a chance to break if not magical), I would say that exotic material armor would be similar to adamantine or mithral. Difficult, but not impossible to purchase in my campaign.
That's fine, but my real question was about a different situation. If you had a character that was proficient with medium armor and using (for instance) scale mail, and you just happened to level the party up and your soon-to-be druid wanted to maintain the AC they've had all game, would you 1) nerf the druid, 2) interrupt your story arc to get the druid the armor they want, 3) drop some armor after the next fight, 4) let them continue wearing scale mail until it's convenient to make a change or 4) other. I don't want to judge. I'm just curious what you think about it.
 

lingual

Adventurer
What happens if a Paladin of Redemption goes around cutting off the hands and feet of peasants and fashions a necklace out of them? There really are no explicit penalties or consequences. Just suggestions. Would a DM who objects to that behavior be a tyrant who is removing player agency with a straightjacket?
 


Vaalingrade

Legend
What happens if a Paladin of Redemption goes around cutting off the hands and feet of peasants and fashions a necklace out of them? There really are no explicit penalties or consequences. Just suggestions. Would a DM who objects to that behavior be a tyrant who is removing player agency with a straightjacket?
These situations are completely equal and this is an excellent comparison, not a hilariously over dramatic reaction to disagreeing with a piece of flavor text. Bravo, sir. Bravo.
 

carkl3000

Explorer
Says you! Says a lot of people, actually, but that's a personal belief that isn't validated by any external authority, and it runs contrary to how large numbers of other people want to play the game-- hence all the conversation over which D&D setting should be the "default setting" next time. Do note, please, that all of them impose the same restrictions on druid armor.

The 5e Player's Handbook, on the other hand, says:


How convenient, then, that anything you disagree with in the rulebooks doesn't count.




Funny, I didn't say a thing about "gods"! I said all of these classes have ethical restrictions that derive from the same source as their powers. (Technically, Warlock doesn't; I was holding it up as an example of a class that should.)
I understand all that, but what do you do at level up? You have a whole party (4, 5, 9? characters) that could all potentially be making a major life change all in the same evening. Certain things can be done around a camp fire between adventuring days, but do you make a multiclass character wait before they can get their next class level just because there's an incompatibility in armor proficiency? If everyone else in the party gets to start using the features they earned for the next level right away, that doesn't seem very nice...
 

DammitVictor

Druid of the Invisible Hand
I understand all that, but what do you do at level up? You have a whole party (4, 5, 9? characters) that could all potentially be making a major life change all in the same evening.

That's a major portion of my complaint that 3.X multiclassing was broken and incoherent, and likewise my disappointment that 5e reinstated it.
 

Undrave

Hero
The narrative lever is that it says a Druid will not wear metal armor. Wearing armor doesn't make them an ex-druid, but they have to stop being a druid before they can wear metal armor. It's crappy, and I'd sure as hell change it, but it's not unclear.
That's not a narrative lever, it's a narrative sledgehammer! It forces a decision on someone's character. It's the only such sledgehammer in the game and is totally out of place. No other rule in the game is formatted like this, no other narrative restriction is formatted the same way. It doesn't include any chance of a character having an interesting dilemna, nor does it leaves room for interest builds to circumvent this restriction somehow.

The Druid character doesn't get to go against peer pressure, instead, one of the author of the PHB just reaches through the fourth wall and slaps him in the face the moment he even wonders why he's not using better armor!

If it had an actual mechanical impact, you know, like a rule in a game, then we could see an interesting 'metal druid' subclass all about Elemental Earth magic and manipulating ore and playing with the planet's magnetic field and stuff... but that design space is apparently unavailable because Druids 'will not wear metal armor'.

Might as well just no give them proficiency in the first place and let the player CHOOSE to invest into some feats if they really want to.
 

carkl3000

Explorer
That's a major portion of my complaint that 3.X multiclassing was broken and incoherent, and likewise my disappointment that 5e reinstated it.
How would you do it? To me, multiclassing into druid in a "coherent" way would involve finding a druid circle, spending time with mentors, learning a new way of life, blah blah blah, and all the while you have a game you're trying to run with several other players. Even if they're not all changing classes at the same time, how would you run it to keep everyone involved?
 

DammitVictor

Druid of the Invisible Hand
If it had an actual mechanical impact, you know, like a rule in a game, then we could see an interesting 'metal druid' subclass all about Elemental Earth magic and manipulating ore and playing with the planet's magnetic field and stuff... but that design space is apparently unavailable because Druids 'will not wear metal armor'.

A subclass could override the general rule. And... my memory is failing me here, but I believe it's been done before.

Might as well just no give them proficiency in the first place and let the player CHOOSE to invest into some feats if they really want to.

There are a lot of things the 5e team could have done better if they'd thought about them for half a minute. The long public playtest aside, it just doesn't appear to have been "that kind" of edition.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
The rules don't prevent the player from wearing metal armor. The designers stated that fairly clearly in the Sage Advice.
Yes, the rules do. Verbatum. I don't understand the confusion here, it's literally in black and white.

Sage Advice isn't an official rule. It is exactly what it says in the title: advice. That said, there's nothing wrong with using Sage Advice at your table if you want, even if it's not "rules as written." House rules are a thing.
 
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Undrave

Hero
A subclass could override the general rule. And... my memory is failing me here, but I believe it's been done before.



There are a lot of things the 5e team could have done better if they'd thought about them for half a minute. The long public playtest aside, it just doesn't appear to have been "that kind" of edition.
Imagine if the rules had been ‘you can’t Wildshape while wearing metal armor’ (and even ‘everything metal you carry falls off when you wildshape’) it would have been way more interesting. Land Druid would have considered the benefit of AC vs no combat wild shape. And then you could have the Circle of the Ore Druid who, when wearing metal armor, gets a new elemental form when they wildshape!
 

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