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D&D 5E Cursed Armor and sleeping

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
A member of my party just got Demon Plate (DMG pg 165), which is cursed and once you don it (even without attunement), you can't doff it until you get a Remove Curse or similar magic. (The rest of the curse makes you more vulnerable to demons.)

But if you can't doff it, then it seems to force you to sleep in armor. Xanathar's (pg 77-78) details that if you sleep in medium or heavy armor you only get back 1/4 of your HD and you don't regain any exhaustion.

I'm thinking that the intention of "can't doff" means you're forced to use it until you can figure out how to lift the curse or get the spell. But it becomes a hefty penalty, perhaps more than the original, when combined with the rules from Xanathar's.

I know I can house rule this however I like. I wonder what other's thoughts are. Let it stand as written? Allow "partial removal" which doesn't break the curse, allows real rest, and doesn't grant AC if attacked while sleeping? Something else?
 

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The simplest solution is to not use the Sleeping in Armor rules from Xanathars in the first place, they're not really any more realistic than the base resting rules. Adventurers should be used to sleeping rough, there's no reason to highlight armor among all the other things that can make for uncomfortable resting.
 

any time you have a cursed item it's worth considering who made it and why. It isn't important the name so much as who they were in their society.
While wearing this armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC,
and you can understand and speak Abyssal. In addition,
the armor's clawed gauntlets turn unarmed strikes
with your hands into magic weapons that deal slashing
damage, with a +l bonus to attack rolls and damage
rolls and a damage die of ld8.
Curse. Once you don this cursed armor, you can't
doff it unless you are targeted by the remove curse spell
or similar magic. While wearing the armor, you have
disadvantage on attack rolls against demons and on
saving throws against their spells and special abilities.

On the surface it's a pretty nice item & the disadvantage against demons is likely more of a safety feature than the main point since the ac bonus is more a thing you want to give to someone you expect to be loyal. In this case I would think that the creator intended it to be useful to their minions. the armor itself would probably have been made to loophole around the sleeping in armor rules printed later IME. Of course you could decide that the curse should be worse & rule otherwise :D
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
If you think it would be interesting to have the character keep wearing the armor, I wouldn't impose resting penalties. The armor is kind of a mixed bag, some good, some bad.

With the resting penalties it is firmly, IMO, in the bad category. That's basically a drop everything while the party locates a remove curse situation if the character has even one level of exhaustion or might gain exhaustion. The first level of exhaustion isn't too bad, but it becomes crippling very quickly.

If you need a justification for why it doesn't, you could look at it like a demonic version of the Venom symbiote from Spiderman.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Similar to others, I don't use the penalty for sleeping in armor for a couple of reasons. One, any protective gear that gives you benefit is going to be somewhat uncomfortable. Two, I sleep fine even when I'm uncomfortable if I'm tired. It's not like people had memory foam mattresses throughout history, it was considered luxury to have any more than a bit of straw (if that) to sleep on for most of humanity's existence.

The rules in XGTE is just an optional rule so I ignore it. If you don't want to do that you could ignore it for magic armor. In this case it takes an armor that's a mixed bag (and could have interesting story implications) and makes it just plain awful in many cases.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
any time you have a cursed item it's worth considering who made it and why. It isn't important the name so much as who they were in their society.
While wearing this armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC,
and you can understand and speak Abyssal. In addition,
the armor's clawed gauntlets turn unarmed strikes
with your hands into magic weapons that deal slashing
damage, with a +l bonus to attack rolls and damage
rolls and a damage die of ld8.
Curse. Once you don this cursed armor, you can't
doff it unless you are targeted by the remove curse spell
or similar magic. While wearing the armor, you have
disadvantage on attack rolls against demons and on
saving throws against their spells and special abilities.

On the surface it's a pretty nice item & the disadvantage against demons is likely more of a safety feature than the main point since the ac bonus is more a thing you want to give to someone you expect to be loyal. In this case I would think that the creator intended it to be useful to their minions. the armor itself would probably have been made to loophole around the sleeping in armor rules printed later IME. Of course you could decide that the curse should be worse & rule otherwise :D
This is a good thought, though in this particular case the history of the item has already been set and differs, it weaves into one of the PC's history. It was worn - as enchanted armor but not Demon Armor yet - by a famous princely traitor who was seduced by demonic forces and was instrumental in opening up permanent portals before being slain. He had been given demonic blandishments and gifts as he was being corrupted, and when he was slain his blood seeped into the armor and infused it, bringing it all the way to Demon Armor.
 

Similar to others, I don't use the penalty for sleeping in armor for a couple of reasons. One, any protective gear that gives you benefit is going to be somewhat uncomfortable. Two, I sleep fine even when I'm uncomfortable if I'm tired. It's not like people had memory foam mattresses throughout history, it was considered luxury to have any more than a bit of straw (if that) to sleep on for most of humanity's existence.

The rules in XGTE is just an optional rule so I ignore it. If you don't want to do that you could ignore it for magic armor. In this case it takes an armor that's a mixed bag (and could have interesting story implications) and makes it just plain awful in many cases.
Yeah basically this. I can see the fun in the penalty, but when you make a curse situation sufficiently bad that a PC basically can't regain exhaustion (so potentially a death sentence, if you're running a campaign where exhaustion actually happens), all that does is make it so the PCs are obsessed with getting hold of Remove Curse, to the point where they'll literally ignore adventures and so on to do so. Remove Curse isn't a hard spell to get hold of either - it's 3rd level, and all Level 5 Clerics have access to it. If the party has an L5 or above Cleric (or a Wizard or Warlock or higher-level Paladin who knows the spell), the whole thing is just a joke. If they don't, well, then they just have to get hold of a scroll or NPC Cleric or whatever.

On top of all that, there are a lot of figures in fantasy (including Chaos Warriors in Warhammer) have "demonic" plate armour which they can't take off, and none of them are permanently exhausted or the like. So maybe part of the magic is that you can sleep in it?
 



ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Plus I'd imagine wiping out the exhaustion is the drug the demon-lord uses to control the armor wearer.
 


ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
That seems a little backwards to me. The wearer can't necessarily accomplish what the demon lord wants if they've got stacked exhaustion penalties.
No, but if the wearer starts ignoring their work or otherwise begins to displease the demon, they withhold the remedy. The exhaustion is both punishment and motivation.

If the wearer screws up and that exhaustion eventually leads to their death, well, some other fool will put the armor on and the demon still has a fresh soul to have fun with.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
No, but if the wearer starts ignoring their work or otherwise begins to displease the demon, they withhold the remedy. The exhaustion is both punishment and motivation.

If the wearer screws up and that exhaustion eventually leads to their death, well, some other fool will put the armor on and the demon still has a fresh soul to have fun with.
What's to stop the wearer from saying, "Sure Demogorgon, I'll kill that paladin for you", getting the exhaustion removed, and then finding a remove curse instead. It makes Demogorgon look like a chump.

And if Demogorgon instead chooses to be the cartoon mustache twirling type of villain and forces the wearer to hunt down the paladin without removing the exhaustion, then the paladin wins, takes the armor, and destroys it or seals it away.

It doesn't seem like something a being as intelligent as a demon lord would do, IMO.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
What's to stop the wearer from saying, "Sure Demogorgon, I'll kill that paladin for you", getting the exhaustion removed, and then finding a remove curse instead. It makes Demogorgon look like a chump.

And if Demogorgon instead chooses to be the cartoon mustache twirling type of villain and forces the wearer to hunt down the paladin without removing the exhaustion, then the paladin wins, takes the armor, and destroys it or seals it away.

It doesn't seem like something a being as intelligent as a demon lord would do, IMO.
Well, for one - a creature as powerful as demogorgon would probably have more powerful tools than demon-deal armor, and if not, some rather sever repercussions for reneging on the deal.

For another - there's nothing in the rules that prevents a type of malaise that isn't a curse. Dark Maledict Armor, for example, that simply has negative effect [x] until and unless [conditions] are met.

The power of plot compels you.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
Well, for one - a creature as powerful as demogorgon would probably have more powerful tools than demon-deal armor, and if not, some rather sever repercussions for reneging on the deal.

For another - there's nothing in the rules that prevents a type of malaise that isn't a curse. Dark Maledict Armor, for example, that simply has negative effect [x] until and unless [conditions] are met.

The power of plot compels you.
You said demon lord so I picked the first one that came to mind. If you prefer a different one, that's no difference as far as I'm concerned.

Sure, you can have alternate consequences. The DM's only real limition is their imagination and what their group will tolerate. If those consequences make the exhaustion consequence effectively redundant, however, then I would ask why have it in the first place?

Obviously do what you want. You can use both if you really want to; I'm certainly not stopping you. But I stand by my initial observation: it doesn't seem like a good way for a competent demon to motivate the armor wearer to do what the demon wants. It primarily motivates the wearer to find a way to remove the armor.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
it doesn't seem like a good way for a competent demon to motivate the armor wearer to do what the demon wants.
Of course it is.

Take this armor - it will help you, but know that if you do so, you owe me a service. Fail to work toward or complete that service with a quickness that pleases me, and experience exhaustion. Attempt to remove the armor, and my crack squad of pit lords come to visit you, your favorite village, and most especially your favorite tavern. After laying waste to you and yours, you'll spend 1001 years and a day in the nth circle of hell as a footstool.

The armor isn't a toy with easily defeatable DRM; it is an embodiment of the contract.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
I love the delve into potential creation intention for the Demon Armor on if it would avoid the sleeping-in-armor penalty. But if you do, please use the history for this particular instance of it that I detailed in one of the comments:

This is a good thought, though in this particular case the history of the item has already been set and differs, it weaves into one of the PC's history. It was worn - as enchanted armor but not Demon Armor yet - by a famous princely traitor who was seduced by demonic forces and was instrumental in opening up permanent portals before being slain. He had been given demonic blandishments and gifts as he was being corrupted, and when he was slain his blood seeped into the armor and infused it, bringing it all the way to Demon Armor.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
But if you can't doff it, then it seems to force you to sleep in armor. Xanathar's (pg 77-78) details that if you sleep in medium or heavy armor you only get back 1/4 of your HD and you don't regain any exhaustion.
Do you even use that rule? Seems like you might, but it wasn't clear to me.
 

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