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Restrictions of mithral armor

B4cchus

First Post
Since the SRD isn't 100% clear on all the restriction of mithral armor i've posted this thread to discuss it and come out with a ruling for LEW.

I propose mithral armor counts as one category lighter for ALL purposes. This includes the following:
Armor porficiency
Feats (such as armor specialisation)
Movement restrictions and encumbrance
Class abilites (such as a bard casting in light armor and a babaian's fast movement).

As a side note i'd like to add that a mithral heavy shield does not count as a light shield for things as having a hand free to cast spells and such.
 
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Robichaud

First Post
The thought of, say, wearing plate mail without a Heavy Armour Proficiency feat makes me want to spit bile. But, for the judges' reference, B4cchus' interpretation seems to be supported by the 3.5 FAQ, page 51:
3.5 FAQ said:
Is a character proficient with light armor, such as a rogue, considered to be proficient with mithral breastplate? What about a character proficient with medium armor, such as a barbarian—is he considered proficient with mithral full plate armor?

The description of mithral on page 284 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide is less precise than it could be in defining how it interacts with armor proficiency rules. The simplest answer — and the one that the Sage expects most players and DMs use — is that mithral armor is treated as one category lighter for all purposes, including proficiency. This isn’t exactly what the Dungeon Master’s Guide says, but it’s a reasonable interpretation of the intent of the rule (and it’s supported by a number of precedents, including the descriptions of various specific mithral armors described on page 220 of the Dungeon Master’s Guide and a variety of NPC stat blocks).

Thus, a ranger or rogue could wear a mithral breastplate without suffering a nonproficiency penalty (since it’s treated as light armor), and each could use any ability dependent on wearing light or no armor (such as evasion or the ranger’s combat style). A barbarian could wear mithral full plate armor without suffering a nonproficiency penalty (since it’s treated as medium armor), and he could use any ability dependent on wearing medium or lighter armor (such as fast movement).

The same would be true of any other special material that uses the same or similar language as mithral (such as darkleaf, on page 120 of the EBERRON Campaign Setting)
 
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B4cchus

First Post
I've read that part but it doesn't state a 100% clear rule:

3.5 FAQ said:
snip
This isn’t exactly what the Dungeon Master’s Guide says, but it’s a reasonable interpretation of the intent of the rule..
/snip

Which is why I wanted to resolve a clear ruling for LEW through this proposal.
 

Rystil Arden

First Post
By strict RAW, it would match everything mentioned in your first post except for Feats--feats are not restrictions for the character, quite the opposite, they are benefits. Specifically, Medium Armour Optimisation, which is already an overpowered feat that I rallied against every step of the way, but people seemed to want to pass it because the medium armours are generally underpowered. Most of them are, but Mithral Full Plate is one of the best armours in the game.

But yeah, armour proficiencies, movement, class abilities requiring a lower type of armour, and all that jazz would work just fine.
 

Patlin

Explorer
B4cchus said:
I propose mithral armor counts as one category lighter for ALL purposes.

I vote YES.

Well, except for armors that are allready light, but I don't think he meant to include those.
 

Rystil Arden

First Post
Rystil Arden said:
By strict RAW, it would match everything mentioned in your first post except for Feats--feats are not restrictions for the character, quite the opposite, they are benefits. Specifically, Medium Armour Optimisation, which is already an overpowered feat that I rallied against every step of the way, but people seemed to want to pass it because the medium armours are generally underpowered. Most of them are, but Mithral Full Plate is one of the best armours in the game.

But yeah, armour proficiencies, movement, class abilities requiring a lower type of armour, and all that jazz would work just fine.
Ah right, he's calling for us to house-rule this. Since IMO the only thing a houserule would accomplish (from the above list) would be to allow Medium Armour Optimisation with Mithral Full Plate (which I don't particularly want to do), I'll vote NO, with the understanding that my 'NO' vote still means that I think you get 90% of what you want already.
 

Robichaud

First Post
Rystil Arden said:
Ah right, he's calling for us to house-rule this. Since IMO the only thing a houserule would accomplish (from the above list) would be to allow Medium Armour Optimisation with Mithral Full Plate (which I don't particularly want to do), I'll vote NO, with the understanding that my 'NO' vote still means that I think you get 90% of what you want already.

It's a noble enough reason to vote against it, but.. I just checked, and it seems the current incarnation of the feat allows you to do this already:

Medium Armor Optimization [General]
Through focused training and practice, you are able to move more easily in medium armor.
Prerequisites: Armor Proficiency (Light), Armor Proficiency (Medium), BAB +1
Benefit: When wearing medium armor, reduce its Armor Check penalty by 1 and increase the Speed in the speed column by 5ft, to a limit of their unarmored base speed. For example, a human fighter with this feat and wearing chainmail would have an adjusted speed of 25ft, but a dwarf fighter with this feat would still have a speed of 20ft. A dwarven barbarian with fast movement would have a speed of 25ft.
Special: A fighter may select this feat as one of his bonus feats. Heavy armor made of mithril counts as medium armor for the purpose of interacting with this feat. Medium armor made of mithril counts as light armor for the purpose of interacting with this feat.
-Created by IcyCool

If that's in error, I guess the Rules and Mechanics thread is in need of an update.
 

Rystil Arden

First Post
Robichaud said:
It's a noble enough reason to vote against it, but.. I just checked, and it seems the current incarnation of the feat allows you to do this already:



If that's in error, I guess the Rules and Mechanics thread is in need of an update.
I hadn't looked at it in a while, but the specific mention in the feat text will beat the general rule that Mithral only applies to restrictions. Also, I seem to have misremembered MAO. It must be LAO that is the egregiously broken feat that gives you +2 AC for one feat (which should never happen for a single feat)--my bad! Now I remember why it was even worse--Light Armour is already very efficient and popular.

That means that whichever way I vote, I believe that the proposal will change nothing. My vote only serves to prevent future feats from working similarly without specific text (and I feel like designers of new feats that are based on armour heaviness should be forced to think about how Mithral interacts with them, so I'm good with that).
 

Robichaud

First Post
Rystil Arden said:
I hadn't looked at it in a while, but the specific mention in the feat text will beat the general rule that Mithral only applies to restrictions. Also, I seem to have misremembered MAO. It must be LAO that is the egregiously broken feat that gives you +2 AC for one feat (which should never happen for a single feat)--my bad! Now I remember why it was even worse--Light Armour is already very efficient and popular.
It's a bit of a side-track of the original proposal, for which I apologize, but yes - I agree. Right now, the LAO feat chain rewards you entirely too much for wearing a Mithril Chain Shirt, already a good choice in several ways. If I were to re-design a similar feat chain, I'd have LAO just give +1 Armour, -1 ACP (min 0), and ILAO +1 Max Dex, -1 ACP (min 0) flat; making them interesting feats for light armour wearers, with LAO being interesting for all, and progressive utility to higher-level characters capable of boosting their DEX for ILAO, without giving (in my opinion) undue rewards for MCS wearers, but also without sacrificing much of their utility and flavor.
 

Rystil Arden

First Post
Robichaud said:
It's a bit of a side-track of the original proposal, for which I apologize, but yes - I agree. Right now, the LAO feat chain rewards you entirely too much for wearing a Mithril Chain Shirt, already a good choice in several ways. If I were to re-design a similar feat chain, I'd have LAO just give +1 Armour, -1 ACP (min 0), and ILAO +1 Max Dex, -1 ACP (min 0) flat; making them interesting feats for light armour wearers, with LAO being interesting for all, and progressive utility to higher-level characters capable of boosting their DEX for ILAO, without giving (in my opinion) undue rewards for MCS wearers, but also without sacrificing much of their utility and flavor.
In lieu of taking up space here agreeing with you, I invite you to search our records for discussion of those feats where you can see me saying similar things for like 20 pages and then being outvoted ;)
 

Robichaud

First Post
Found it, and read as much of it as a mortal mind may withstand. Consider my last few posts un-posted; I had absolutely no intention of poking that particular beehive.
 

Bront

The man with the probe
B4cchus said:
Since the SRD isn't 100% clear on all the restriction of mithral armor i've posted this thread to discuss it and come out with a ruling for LEW.

I propose mithral armor counts as one category lighter for ALL purposes. This includes the following:
Armor porficiency
Feats (such as armor specialisation)
Movement restrictions and encumbrance
Class abilites (such as a bard casting in light armor and a babaian's fast movement).

As a side note i'd like to add that a mithral heavy shield does not count as a light shield for things as having a hand free to cast spells and such.
I was under the impression this was already RAW, and didn't need clarification.

and yes, LAO is nasty. I bought it up, gave up, and then took it with all characters that use light armor regularly.
 

B4cchus

First Post
I have seen some discussion on the interpretation of RAW regarding this is issue. Therefore I wanted to clear out any discussion beforehand. An accepted ruling on this should clear out any future discussions.
 

orsal

LEW Judge
B4cchus said:
Since the SRD isn't 100% clear on all the restriction of mithral armor i've posted this thread to discuss it and come out with a ruling for LEW.

I propose mithral armor counts as one category lighter for ALL purposes. This includes the following:
Armor porficiency
Feats (such as armor specialisation)
Movement restrictions and encumbrance
Class abilites (such as a bard casting in light armor and a babaian's fast movement).

This is how I had always interpreted the text:
http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialMaterials.htm#mithral
Most mithral armors are one category lighter than normal for purposes of movement and other limitations.
So, to clear up any potential misunderstandings, I vote Yes.
 

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