log in or register to remove this ad

 

5E What armor can druids wear? Is there a way to get a decent AC?

Maestrino

Explorer
So... setting aside the barkskin argument, the easiest way for a druid to get decent AC is to get to a big city, find a shop, and say "hey, any chance you have a set of half-plate made out of umber hulk chitin?" To which the shopkeeper either says "Sure, that'll be 1,500 gold" or "Yeah, right! You wanna bring me a dead umber hulk and I'll have it made for you, tough guy."
 

log in or register to remove this ad

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
So... setting aside the barkskin argument, the easiest way for a druid to get decent AC is to get to a big city, find a shop, and say "hey, any chance you have a set of half-plate made out of umber hulk chitin?" To which the shopkeeper either says "Sure, that'll be 1,500 gold" or "Yeah, right! You wanna bring me a dead umber hulk and I'll have it made for you, tough guy."
Well, depends on what you are calling "easy," but yeah...that's certainly one way to do it.

The point I was making was less about NPCs and chitin, and more about engaging your DM. You should check with your DM and ask if there's a way for your druid to get some Medium or Heavy armor that isn't made out of metal. Maybe you can have it made for you. Maybe you hear a rumor of a legendary suit of dragon-scale armor. Or maybe the answer is a blunt "no," and that's fair. But you gotta start somewhere.
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
From nature, Druids can rely upon Bronzewood, Ironwood, Darkwood/Zalatan, Bluewood (if your on the Eastern part of the world,) and scale/vines/hide/Chitin/Treant.

This also goes off the idea if your making it that Druids, ala older editions, can't use metal weapons either. In which case, I'm doing that and allowing the respective magic woods handle that with the idea that the age and magical properties, of a tree, can have an influence on whether the weapon will have a +1/+2/+3 when crafted from it.


But then your druid can be a follower of Mielikki, who allows her Druids to wear metal. Which would let you handwave the whole issue in 5E.
 
Last edited:

Weiley31

Adventurer
But really, one can simply just reflavor a Medium suit of armor into an armor made outta durable magic wood. You would need the downtime to make it, a Druid Grove that has said magic wood available to give out for the request, and the time and money to have it crafted.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
Hello all,
My reading of the druid is that of the PHB armors, they can wear leather, padded and hide for certain. Studded leather is unclear (is "made of metal" the same as "has some metal"?)

This seems really painful for a druid--it's hard to build a casting (one who is generally not wild shapped), even with armor feats or multi-classing. The AC is just really low and even barkskin doesn't help much (concentration). Is there anything other than wild shapping that helps? Am I understanding the armor rules correctly?
At level 1 with no multiclassing or feats: Padded, Leather, Studded Leather, Hide, Chain Shirt, Sale Mail, Breastplate, Half plate, & Shields. Add the Heavy armor Proficiency feat, a level in the right cleric domains, or start as a fighter/pally who multiclasses out to druid from level 2-20 & you can add Ring mail, Chain Mail, splint & Plate just like any other class.

While phb65 pays lip service to FR's druid of Mielikki with that will not wear metal armor clause, there are far more interesting druidic sects not based on a tree hugging hippy who would care about other things & like paladin oaths there is no mechanical penalty for ignoring it. Here are a few from Rising, Darksun also has some druidic overlap to it with it's druids.
1581451557042.png


Granted you should talk to your GM because the limitation used to be for balance purposes due to how barkskin & few other things worked but sometimes people will act like you are bringing up the idea of raping another PC or something far beyond the pale.
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
At level 1 with no multiclassing or feats: Padded, Leather, Studded Leather, Hide, Chain Shirt, Sale Mail, Breastplate, Half plate, & Shields. Add the Heavy armor Proficiency feat, a level in the right cleric domains, or start as a fighter/pally who multiclasses out to druid from level 2-20 & you can add Ring mail, Chain Mail, splint & Plate just like any other class.

While phb65 pays lip service to FR's druid of Mielikki with that will not wear metal armor clause, there are far more interesting druidic sects not based on a tree hugging hippy who would care about other things & like paladin oaths there is no mechanical penalty for ignoring it. Here are a few from Rising, Darksun also has some druidic overlap to it with it's druids.
View attachment 118294

Granted you should talk to your GM because the limitation used to be for balance purposes due to how barkskin & few other things worked but sometimes people will act like you are bringing up the idea of raping another PC or something far beyond the pale.
I use some of the Rising Druid Orders+Humblewood's Tenders Druid Order as the different Orders for Druids in my games.

In the end, reflavoring is key if necessary. So I firmly believe Druids DONT have to rely on Barkskin all the time.
 
Last edited:

Gradine

Final Form
On the note of the weirdness/specificity of the spell's wording; is there an abundance (or even just a presence?) of abilities that would lower someone's AC, if not for barkskin?
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
On the note of the weirdness/specificity of the spell's wording; is there an abundance (or even just a presence?) of abilities that would lower someone's AC, if not for barkskin?
That was always the most amusing part for me about the whole argument regarding whether cover or shields stack with barkskin (and what the magic of the spell actually does to people when it is cast.) That through the specific order of doing things that adjust your AC... you can make the case that indeed, your AC should go down if cover/shields bonuses are applied the same way.

I talked about it over 5 years ago, but what the hell... I'm just waiting for my kids to go to bed so why not type it all out again cause I find the argument and explanation so amusing! Here we go!

- A naked druid with no DEX bonus has an AC of 10. Cast barkskin on them, their body hardens like bark and they gain essentially 6 points of "armor" making their AC 16. Simple!

- Same naked druid holding a shield has an AC of 12. Cast barkskin on them, they now gain only 4 points of "armor" and their AC is 16. We are now left to wonder why the druid's magic has gotten worse just because the person was holding a shield. LOL!

- Same naked druid behind an arrow slit (3/4ths cover) now has an AC of 15. Cast barkskin on them, the druid's magic only grants them 1 point of "armor" to make their AC 16. Wow... that druid's magic really sucks now! Same exact spell keeps getting worse! For some reason... the primal gods apparently just don't like druids to stand behind large objects when facing their enemies!

- Same naked druid gets barkskin cast on them to start with, granting them 6 points of "armor" and an AC of 16. Great! The magic is working at full power again! Yay! But then... someone hands the druid a shield. And the shield does nothing for the druid whatsoever! Their AC is still stuck at 16. Which begs the question... did the magic of the barkskin get worse at that exact moment automatically by 2 points through no effort or work on anyone's part (because the two points that kept the AC at 16 were now granted by the shield)... or did the shield itself stop working? The barkskin spell stayed exactly the same, but the laws of physics regarding large metal objects held in front of a druid no longer applied? Questions... questions...

- And now the kicker... same naked druid stands behind an arrow slit and gets the +5 bonus for AC for 3/4ths cover. The druid is then handed the shield for +2 more points of AC, giving them a grand total of AC 17. The druid then has barkskin cast upon them. What happens?

Does the magic from the spell just not work at all... and thus the druid's AC remains at 17 due to cover and shield... or do we go along with the second point in the previous example, where the magic stayed the same and it was the shield that stopped working?! If that's the explanation, then does the druid's AC drop from 17 back to 16 under the argument that if the shield stopped working when used with a barkskinned druid, then cover should stop working too! Barkskin gives 6 points of AC all the time... and the other things that adjust a druid's AC just don't work. Neither the +2 nor the +5 apply towards AC calculation, and the only thing that works is the flat AC 16 from the spell.

Druid Magic! Gotta love it! It either powers itself down for absolutely no reason whatsoever in certain situations... or it somehow renders large objects placed in front of druids completely incorporeal! Which one is it? Hmm? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?!? :)
 
Last edited:

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I do have to say... I absolutely love the visual idea that the barkskin spell on the druid fades on and off as they move out from and back into cover while dropping and picking up the shield.

The naked druid stands out in the open with their skin the color and texture of tree bark and has an AC of 16. Then they walk 20 feet to the left while picking up a shield and going behind a tower wall... and their skin immediately turns less barky as the spell shuts itself off because the AC points are now gained from the shield and cover instead (for now a total of AC 17).

Then the druid decides to walk back out from behind the tower wall and loses the 5 points of cover AC... while the barkskin comes back online immediately to regain 4 points of AC and get back up to AC 16. Then finally the druid drops the shield and loses 2 points while the barkskin repowers itself to full to give the druid the two points of AC back. So the entire time the druid's skin goes barky then soft then barky then soft, back and forth back and forth as they jump to and fro behind a wall while picking up and dropping the shield. D&D everybody! Heh heh!
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
You know, if you guys WANT Half-Plate for your Druid that badly, there IS an adventure league module, supposedly, that allows you to get Half-Plate armor made of Petrified Mushrooms.

So a Druid wearing Shrooms is one way to go.
 

tetrasodium

Adventurer
You know, if you guys WANT Half-Plate for your Druid that badly, there IS an adventure league module, supposedly, that gives you Half-Plate armor made of Petrified Mushroom.

So a Druid wearing Shrooms is one way to go.
Actually as a GM I find the FR specific druidic sects being tacked onto the medium armor class itself in such a poorly implemented way despite the class not being balanced around it as in the past to be extremely disruptive to the more interesting & more active druidic sects in my game. It's extremely disruptive having people say "druids can't do that" then having to explain that I'm not running fr & here are some examples of druidic sects that do exist in the world I run.

Even your suggestion is ill fitting because there are numerous druidic sects that would have no problem wearing any type of armor they were proficient with because I'd rather dive into some interesting bits of lore relevant to the sects that do exist rather than dancing around trying to backdoor some of FR's lore into my campaign.
 

Weiley31

Adventurer
Actually as a GM I find the FR specific druidic sects being tacked onto the medium armor class itself in such a poorly implemented way despite the class not being balanced around it as in the past to be extremely disruptive to the more interesting & more active druidic sects in my game. It's extremely disruptive having people say "druids can't do that" then having to explain that I'm not running fr & here are some examples of druidic sects that do exist in the world I run.

Even your suggestion is ill fitting because there are numerous druidic sects that would have no problem wearing any type of armor they were proficient with because I'd rather dive into some interesting bits of lore relevant to the sects that do exist rather than dancing around trying to backdoor some of FR's lore into my campaign.
Ya but I couldn't resist making a Shrooms joke involving the Druid.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
That was always the most amusing part for me about the whole argument regarding whether cover or shields stack with barkskin (and what the magic of the spell actually does to people when it is cast.) That through the specific order of doing things that adjust your AC... you can make the case that indeed, your AC should go down if cover/shields bonuses are applied the same way.

I talked about it over 5 years ago, but what the hell... I'm just waiting for my kids to go to bed so why not type it all out again cause I find the argument and explanation so amusing! Here we go!

- A naked druid with no DEX bonus has an AC of 10. Cast barkskin on them, their body hardens like bark and they gain essentially 6 points of "armor" making their AC 16. Simple!

- Same naked druid holding a shield has an AC of 12. Cast barkskin on them, they now gain only 4 points of "armor" and their AC is 16. We are now left to wonder why the druid's magic has gotten worse just because the person was holding a shield. LOL!

- Same naked druid behind an arrow slit (3/4ths cover) now has an AC of 15. Cast barkskin on them, the druid's magic only grants them 1 point of "armor" to make their AC 16. Wow... that druid's magic really sucks now! Same exact spell keeps getting worse! For some reason... the primal gods apparently just don't like druids to stand behind large objects when facing their enemies!

- Same naked druid gets barkskin cast on them to start with, granting them 6 points of "armor" and an AC of 16. Great! The magic is working at full power again! Yay! But then... someone hands the druid a shield. And the shield does nothing for the druid whatsoever! Their AC is still stuck at 16. Which begs the question... did the magic of the barkskin get worse at that exact moment automatically by 2 points through no effort or work on anyone's part (because the two points that kept the AC at 16 were now granted by the shield)... or did the shield itself stop working? The barkskin spell stayed exactly the same, but the laws of physics regarding large metal objects held in front of a druid no longer applied? Questions... questions...

- And now the kicker... same naked druid stands behind an arrow slit and gets the +5 bonus for AC for 3/4ths cover. The druid is then handed the shield for +2 more points of AC, giving them a grand total of AC 17. The druid then has barkskin cast upon them. What happens?

Does the magic from the spell just not work at all... and thus the druid's AC remains at 17 due to cover and shield... or do we go along with the second point in the previous example, where the magic stayed the same and it was the shield that stopped working?! If that's the explanation, then does the druid's AC drop from 17 back to 16 under the argument that if the shield stopped working when used with a barkskinned druid, then cover should stop working too! Barkskin gives 6 points of AC all the time... and the other things that adjust a druid's AC just don't work. Neither the +2 nor the +5 apply towards AC calculation, and the only thing that works is the flat AC 16 from the spell.

Druid Magic! Gotta love it! It either powers itself down for absolutely no reason whatsoever in certain situations... or it somehow renders large objects placed in front of druids completely incorporeal! Which one is it? Hmm? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm?!? :)
There is a way to explain this within the fiction, but not everyone cares for the explanation because it relies on the abstract nature of AC and gets a bit meta. I know I’m not going to convince you to run Barkskin RAW, and I’d really have no interest in trying to do so - you prefer for it to set base AC to 16, and more power to you! But since the verisimilitude argument has come up a few times now, I figure I’ll offer my interpretation for anyone who might be interested.

So, AC is abstract, and reflects the overall difficulty of landing a potentially harmful blow on the target. When attacking a creature, this means the creature’s ability to dodge and the coverage of the creature’s armor (and/or natural protection, such as thick hide or scales) are both factors that go into the creature’s AC. However, when attacking an object, it has no ability to dodge.An object’s AC reflects only the toughness of the object, as there is no meaningful chance of missing a stationary object.

What Barkskin does, in my evaluation, is it makes the target’s AC work like an object’s. They’ve grown the bark of a 16AC tree on their skin. The difficulty of hitting a vulnerable spot is not factored in, because the target has no vulnerable spots. The naked Druid in example has 16 AC because that reflects the difficulty of penetrating his barklike skin. Now, if you hand that Druid a shield, that doesn’t increase the difficulty of penetrating his skin. If he stands behind cover, if you give him a suit of armor, none of this affects the difficulty of penetrating his skin, so none of it changes the 16 that an attacker needs to roll to do so.

Now, if between the armor, the shield, and the cover, the Druid’s AC is greater than 16, then you can use that value, because the difficulty of slipping past those layers of defense is greater than the difficulty of penetrating his barklike skin. The spell hasn’t gotten weaker, it’s just that any blow that is potentially harmful after all that armor would also be potentially harmful to a tree with bark like his skin. In essence, what Barkskin does is gives you a second AC value, that works like a tree’s AC instead of a creature’s, and you use the higher of those two values. Those values don't stack because they’re representing two different things: the difficulty of landing a strike on a vulnerable part of his body, and the difficulty of landing a strong enough blow to damage an oak tree. The former is a matter of both accuracy and force, while the latter is only a matter of force.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Now, if between the armor, the shield, and the cover, the Druid’s AC is greater than 16, then you can use that value, because the difficulty of slipping past those layers of defense is greater than the difficulty of penetrating his barklike skin. The spell hasn’t gotten weaker, it’s just that any blow that is potentially harmful after all that armor would also be potentially harmful to a tree with bark like his skin. In essence, what Barkskin does is gives you a second AC value, that works like a tree’s AC instead of a creature’s, and you use the higher of those two values. Those values don't stack because they’re representing two different things: the difficulty of landing a strike on a vulnerable part of his body, and the difficulty of landing a strong enough blow to damage an oak tree. The former is a matter of both accuracy and force, while the latter is only a matter of force.
Obviously I'm not going to convince you either, but just to make it a point, your explanation doesn't hold water either.

If we want to say the druid's skin is hard like bark, I'm all in with that. That's great. And if we want to say that the AC gained from it is like an object's AC and thus blocking terrain like shields and cover have no effect on this number... like because the disparity between causing damage to a tree and just simply deflecting blows with a shield is so great that deflection is not worth anything in comparison... I'm fine with that explanation too. Shields and cover don't affect the druid because the barkskin is the only AC worth its salt. Everything else is too small to worry about. Sounds good.

However... if that's the case, then shields and cover can NEVER affect the druid's AC. The disparity between the object AC and the deflection is always in place. We've said now that the druid with object-like AC from the barkskin doesn't get any use from shields by themselves or cover by themselves normally, so they can't suddenly get it now when you combine the two together. The barkskinned druid holding a shield (+2) and behind 3/4ths cover (+5) would still have to have an AC of 16 from the barkskin alone because we've already made the claim that the disparity is too great. We just cannot say "shields by themselves" are too worthless to help the barkskinned druid nor "cover by itself" is too small to help the barkskinned druid... only to then say "Well, now that we have both of them together, they somehow now boost themselves up to grant a +1 bonus to the druid's AC!" (giving the druid an AC of 17-- 16 from the barkskin, +1 for the deflection coming from the shield and the cover.) Because that means we are now saying shields and cover CAN affect the barkskinned druid. The disparity ISN'T "so great" to be ineffective. And if shields and cover CAN affect the druid, then the rules for their use need to apply in their standard fashion. We can't suddenly just make up a rule that says various blocking terrain when used together can generate a +1 bonus to AC. There's no other situation in the game where AC bonuses don't grant their bonuses normally and instead you just make up some number that they do give.

Shields and cover either work for the druid to make them harder to hit, or they don't. And if they work, then they need to work the regular way like they do for every other possible character in the game (other than this special druid with barkskin for some inane reason.) That means they need to stack with what you are pretty much defining as the "Natural Armor Class" gained from barkskin of 16.
 
Last edited:

Dausuul

Legend
The barkskin mechanics really should have been attached to a cleric spell: You have to put your faith in your deity to protect you. If you try to protect yourself, you are undermining your own faith and weakening that defense. You stride calmly across the battlefield in your clerical robes, making no effort to take cover or guard yourself, serene in the confidence of your belief.

I suppose you could describe it the same way for druids, substituting "nature" for "deity," but it's kind of a stretch. That ethos of personal devotion isn't really a druid thing. Nature doesn't care if you die.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
Obviously I'm not going to convince you either, but just to make it a point, your explanation doesn't hold water either.

If we want to say the druid's skin is hard like bark, I'm all in with that. That's great. And if we want to say that the AC gained from it is like an object's AC and thus blocking terrain like shields and cover have no effect on this number... like because the disparity between causing damage to a tree and just simply deflecting blows with a shield is so great that deflection is not worth anything in comparison... I'm fine with that explanation too. Shields and cover don't affect the druid because the barkskin is the only AC worth its salt. Everything else is too small to worry about. Sounds good.

However... if that's the case, then shields and cover can NEVER affect the druid's AC. The disparity between the object AC and the deflection is always in place. We've said now that the druid with object-like AC from the barkskin doesn't get any use from shields by themselves or cover by themselves normally, so they can't suddenly get it now when you combine the two together. The barkskinned druid holding a shield (+2) and behind 3/4ths cover (+5) would still have to have an AC of 16 from the barkskin alone because we've already made the claim that the disparity is too great. We just cannot say "shields by themselves" are too worthless to help the barkskinned druid nor "cover by itself" is too small to help the barkskinned druid... only to then say "Well, now that we have both of them together, they somehow now boost themselves up to grant a +1 bonus to the druid's AC!" (giving the druid an AC of 17-- 16 from the barkskin, +1 for the deflection coming from the shield and the cover.) Because that means we are now saying shields and cover CAN affect the barkskinned druid. The disparity ISN'T "so great" to be ineffective.
I don’t follow. Combining multiple sources of deflective protection reduces and eventually overcomes the disparity. Why can’t that be the case?

And if shields and cover CAN affect the druid, then the rules for their use need to apply in their standard fashion. We can't suddenly just make up a rule that says various blocking terrain when used together can generate a +1 bonus to AC. There's no other situation in the game where AC bonuses don't grant their bonuses normally and instead you just make up some number that they do give.
Sure there are. Monks’ Unarmored Defense, for example, doesn’t stack with armor or shields. A tortle’s natural armor doesn’t stack with manufactured armor. There are several instances where you must choose the higher of two armor sources. Barkskin happens to be the only one that doesn’t stack with any other armor source, and is also the only one that represents a source of protection that doesn’t involve an element of the difficulty of hitting the creature.

Shields and cover either work for the druid to make them harder to hit, or they don't.
They do. The difficulty of hitting the Druid is represented by their normal AC value. The difficulty of penetrating the bark is represented by the 16 from barkskin. If the difficulty of hitting the Druid is less than the difficulty of penetrating the barkskin, then you use the 16, because any attack forceful enough to break through is also accurate enough to hit. If the difficulty of hitting the Druid is greater than the difficulty of penetrating the barkskin, then you ignore the barkskin, because any attack accurate enough to hit is also forceful enough to break through.

And if they work, then they need to work the regular way like they do for every other possible character in the game (other than this special druid with barkskin for some inane reason.) That means they need to stack with what you are pretty much defining as the "Natural Armor Class" gained from barkskin of 16.
I don’t see why they need to. They could, and that would be more consistent with other sources of AC in the system. But I don’t see why barkskin can’t be an exception.
 



tetrasodium

Adventurer
Shields and cover either work for the druid to make them harder to hit, or they don't. And if they work, then they need to work the regular way like they do for every other possible character in the game (other than this special druid with barkskin for some inane reason.) That means they need to stack with what you are pretty much defining as the "Natural Armor Class" gained from barkskin of 16.
Barkskin is one of those things where druids are still beng punished for 3.5's overshoot, wotc hamstrung the spell so badly compared to mage armor & shield because of it.
 


Most Liked Threads

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top