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


Thread necro but hey it's an evergreen topic.

I usually let druids find/make some wyvern or hydra scale armor that's equivalent to half plate by level 5-7. Bonus if they can find a suitable creature and save on materials.

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Check out Princes of the Apocalypse for a few different Armour material types, however when your full plate starts bonding to your skin don’t come crying to me 😂

I’d just treat special material armours as a form of treasure. Check out anything a Dark Sun related as well for some really cool non-metal armour types.

I think the key thing to remember is that Druids are already startlingly good. There’s no need to go crazy with them!

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
One thing I always wonder with this issue is whether the restrictions on druid armor actually create *fun* at the table.

I see people inventing all sorts of creative ways of getting around the constraints, and that's woderful, but I can't help but feel the vague rules get in the way of enjoying druids.

If the proficiencies simply said they were proficient in Light Armor, Hide, and Shields, I think everyone would be fine. There would be no false expectations. As it is, though, they are teased with half plate (3 AC higher), as long as you can convince your DM to allow pangolin scales and bamboo shields or whatever. Is that constraint fun?

Is the wording that Druids "will not wear" metal armor fun? For me, if a character has a proficiency from somewhere else (being a dwarf, multi-classing, feat) it should be fine, but a straightforward reading means it is not. Is that constraint fun?

For me, it's not. There are ways to get a better AC, but having one class with an arbitrary restriction on proficiencies just seems ungainly.

Kobold Stew

Last Guy in the Airlock
Is that your actual experience? I understand the theory, but isn't that just letting the player use proficiencies he or she should have been able to use from the start?


Our group finds the druid and no metal armor very thematic and have no problems with it.

Maybe its like iron and faeries etc.

You can reflavor/change it up by having Druids have access to Trees of Iron wood in their Groves: a unique phenomenon where certain Trees produce wood that is strong as Iron. Regular Ironwood can produce variants of druidic armor. The Oldest/Legendary trees of the world are capable of producing Ironwood that can reach a high AC/ or +3 modifier for weapons.

But such a thing, especially regular Ironwood,is a carefully guarded secret amongst various Druid orders. And such Oldest/Legendary Trees are considered very sacred, so agreeing upon crafting something from them IS NOT a unanimous decision in Archdruid meetings.


Heh... re-reading this thread since it popped back up... I find it amusing that at one point the idea of something being considered a "house rule" or not actually mattered to me. The thread also shows me the exact point where my switch got flipped and I stopped caring about whether something was "Ruled As Written" versus a "house rule". It was pretty early in the game's release that I came to that conclusion that it was a waste of time to care one way or the other about it. LOL.


There is also the 2nd level spell barkskin but the spell description is so odd I'm not entirely sure how it works. Does it stack with a shield for example?

In 3e Druids could make use of the Ironwood spell to make armour out of wood, but 5e doesnt have that. It remains to be seen what options and magic items are in the DMG.

It is very odd that Druids are barred from metal armour but "nature" clerics get heavy armour proficiency.

It is a bit odd for severa clerics t oget heavy armor proficiency. For war domain that is obvious, but for all others it seems sometimes very random, without much reasoning. Only thing is nature is also ore and metal so maybe thats the thing. Or maybe to differ them a bit from druids when both are allowed in a campaign.
In my campaigns its either druids or nature clerics mostly (not always)
Druids fit more in an early savage style world whereas nature clerics would rather have a place in worlds withm ore advanced tech level.

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