5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented

I stand by my assertion that Druids should not be frontlines.
Firstly, why not?

Secondly, Circle of the Moon (and circle of spores) begs to differ.

Thirdly, it take more than an of AC 19 to make a character a front liner.

I would fix this by granting an AC bonus while the Halo of Spores is active.


I would fix it by putting an Ankheg breastplate in the character's path early on. Because if you can fix something with changing the rules it make the whole game-world more robust.
 
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ccs

39th lv DM
I admit I was incorrect, the Drow Ranger was legal, but the dual wielding scimitar was not. In 1e, you could only dual wield with a dagger or an ax in the off-hand. The ranger as a dual wielder did not come along until 2e, in '89.
The wording in the sub-section on Drow in the Elf descriptions on p.10 of UA, is likely the source of RAS giving Dzzt the questionable ability to duel wield scimitars.
~~~"but may fight with two weapons without penalty, providing each weapon may be easily wielded in one hand." Rest of the paragraph goes on to talk about being able to use bucklers, but not shields as one of those weapons.
Added to this was the reference in the FF that Drow could use either hand/arm equally well for attack or defense.
The debate was generally about what counted as being easily wielded in one hand. And since Drow apparently didn't have an off hand....
So depending upon the group, this may or may not have over-ridden the requirement from DMG p.70 of that 2nd weapon being limited to either a dagger or hand axe (+ obviously now bucklers - if you were a Drow).
I know that every single group I played with or met in those years had this discussion. In my main group it boiled down to "Well this is how it's going to work when I'mtheDM." So in our games it worked one way 1/3 of the time, the other way 1/3 of the time, & was a moot point in the other 1/3 as I didn't allow Drow PCs & monsters didn't necessarily follow PCs rules.
And then the Crystal Shard came out & one side got to go "HAH! I TOLD you so!". :) And you still couldn't make a Drow PC if I were DMing.
So I've never thought RAS was in error, just making a DM call as the author.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
The Druid argument is one example of current gaming attitudes that frustrates me somewhat, namely the unwillingness of players to abide by certain core themes of classes and races in their roleplaying.

When I DM I'm of the opinion that if you play a Druid, your character will NOT wear metal armour. This is not a player choice, this is just a simple rule that a player must abide by. If the player is unwilling to do so, then they will not be playing a Druid. It's really that simple. If a Druid player tries to get their character to don metal armour I will simply veto the action and say 'No'.

However I'm somewhat old school in my approach to other classes and races, I use the racial preference table from 1E for example - sorry, if you want to play a Half Orc then the Elf in the party is NOT going to be a lifelong best friend. In fact your characters are not going to get along, at least not initially, so please work together and decide which of you is going to play a different race that is more suitable, or be prepared to roleplay significant conflict between them.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
The Druid argument is one example of current gaming attitudes that frustrates me somewhat, namely the unwillingness of players to abide by certain core themes of classes and races in their roleplaying.

When I DM I'm of the opinion that if you play a Druid, your character will NOT wear metal armour. This is not a player choice, this is just a simple rule that a player must abide by. If the player is unwilling to do so, then they will not be playing a Druid. It's really that simple. If a Druid player tries to get their character to don metal armour I will simply veto the action and say 'No'.

However I'm somewhat old school in my approach to other classes and races, I use the racial preference table from 1E for example - sorry, if you want to play a Half Orc then the Elf in the party is NOT going to be a lifelong best friend. In fact your characters are not going to get along, at least not initially, so please work together and decide which of you is going to play a different race that is more suitable, or be prepared to roleplay significant conflict between them.
The issue I personally have with this kind of thinking is that player characters are typically exceptions, and not cookie-cutter paragons of their class/race. Most humans don't act like Marvel's Captain America, but that's what makes him stand out. The players are usually the heroes that transcend the typical mold, risking their lives in combat for the greater good. The hero that looks past the dated or immoral ideas of their own people is a super common trope in any lore, hence why it's such a common concept in all forms of media. Assuming all Elves and Half Orcs hate each other is like saying it was impossible for a white to befriend a black during the days of the Atlantic slave trades. We know historically that is not the case, and we'd know that even without historical evidence because if it were impossible then interactions between groups could never change, due to nobody ever being able to step outside the preset mold.
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
The Druid argument is one example of current gaming attitudes that frustrates me somewhat, namely the unwillingness of players to abide by certain core themes of classes and races in their roleplaying.

When I DM I'm of the opinion that if you play a Druid, your character will NOT wear metal armour. This is not a player choice, this is just a simple rule that a player must abide by. If the player is unwilling to do so, then they will not be playing a Druid. It's really that simple. If a Druid player tries to get their character to don metal armour I will simply veto the action and say 'No'.

However I'm somewhat old school in my approach to other classes and races, I use the racial preference table from 1E for example - sorry, if you want to play a Half Orc then the Elf in the party is NOT going to be a lifelong best friend. In fact your characters are not going to get along, at least not initially, so please work together and decide which of you is going to play a different race that is more suitable, or be prepared to roleplay significant conflict between them.
Keep in mind that while I am debating for druids being able to wear metal armor, that is purely based on my reading of the rules. It isn't something that I or any of my players have ever done, nor do I foresee happening.

It's simply an option that is there. Such a druid would be a heretic, and I suspect that any player who did so in my game just for a few points extra AC would have a powerful regret sooner than not. Especially since I don't make it back breakingly difficult to obtain armor made from non-traditional materials (like bulette half plate). IMC, if you want to be a metal armor wearing druid I'll allow it, but if your goal wasn't to have an extra large helping of hardship to role play against, you made the wrong choice, and I would make that clear to any player who proposed such a character to me.

However, if the player wants to be a druidic heretic and lean into all the troubles that will come of it, that sounds like it could be a potentially interesting concept so I'm not going to shut it down.

As to the elf and half-orc thing, I'm with Ohmyn on this one. If your world is old school, the two of them being pals might well attract a lot of negative attention from bigots, but my players would be free to do so. Maybe they grew up together in a slum and saved each other's lives more times than anyone can count. Maybe the elf tragically lost his child and while in the depths of grief and despair found an abandoned half orc baby and raised the child as his own. Sure, the rest of the world might look down on such a relationship, but it doesn't mean it couldn't happen. IMO, anyway.

Personally, I don't like to bring an excessive amount of ugliness from the real world into my game worlds. While such things do exist there, they don't tend to be pronounced, because I'd rather spend my game time on big damn heroes than on how much the world can suck. On the other hand, as long as you've made it clear to the players that such prejudices exist in your world, if they opt into it by playing such a duo that says to me that they want to explore such a relationship in such a world, which sounds to me like it could make for some incredible role playing moments.
 
The Druid argument is one example of current gaming attitudes that frustrates me somewhat, namely the unwillingness of players to abide by certain core themes of classes and races in their roleplaying.
In 5e, players are actively encouraged to re-fluff classes to suit their character concepts. I alluded to the Samurai subclass earlier. Chances are a player character is never going to be a Japanese noble, so players pretty much have to re-fluff this subclass to fit a different "core theme".

It may be that the player wants to play a shaman, or a deep gnome rock priest, or a shapeshifter, or some other concept. Druid might be the closest fit the concept, but they do not see their character as a member of a "druidic religion" (if such a religion exists at all in a game-world).

A gaming attitude that frustrates me somewhat is an unwillingness to let people play the game the way they want to play it.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
The Druid argument is one example of current gaming attitudes that frustrates me somewhat, namely the unwillingness of players to abide by certain core themes of classes and races in their roleplaying.

When I DM I'm of the opinion that if you play a Druid, your character will NOT wear metal armour. This is not a player choice, this is just a simple rule that a player must abide by. If the player is unwilling to do so, then they will not be playing a Druid. It's really that simple. If a Druid player tries to get their character to don metal armour I will simply veto the action and say 'No'.
So the problem with this is two fold. First, starting with 1e any druid could put on metal armor. It's why even though 1e through 3e used words like "can't" and "prohibited," they also informed the players and DM that metal armor kept the druid from casting his spells. You could in fact put it on from the get go, even with the restrictions. The second problem is that 5e has removed the penalties and the word "can't," so that now it's just a fluff preference of the class.

You can of course reinstate the penalties for wearing metal armor that were created by the old school, but if you actually tell the player "No, your PC doesn't put on that armor," not only are you committing one of the cardinal sins of DMing, that of controlling a players PC without in game means, but you are also doing something that was incorrect as far back as 1e. Druids have always been able to wear metal armor.

1e: The more powerful druidic spells, as well as their wider range of weaponry, make up for the fact that druids are unable to use any armor or shields other than leather armor and wooden shields (metallic armor spoils their magical powers).


2e: 2e does not have the same language as 1e and 3e. It can be assumed, though, to be like 1e where it was just a restriction due to prevention of spellcasting and abilities. All it says is that metal armor is forbidden, not why.


3e: A druid who wears prohibited armor or carries a prohibited shield is unable to cast druid spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

4e: I have no idea. I didn't really play it much and druids aren't in the PHB.

5e: Makes wearing metal armor a personal choice by deliberately and repeatedly stepping back from prior language like "can't, "forbidden" and "restricted," using "will not" instead. It also removes all mechanical penalty, further reinforcing that it's just a fluff choice not to wear armor, which any PC can of course change.

However I'm somewhat old school in my approach to other classes and races, I use the racial preference table from 1E for example - sorry, if you want to play a Half Orc then the Elf in the party is NOT going to be a lifelong best friend. In fact your characters are not going to get along, at least not initially, so please work together and decide which of you is going to play a different race that is more suitable, or be prepared to roleplay significant conflict between them.
As was noted by [MENTION=6999115]Ohmyn[/MENTION], PCs are exceptions to the general rules. They are free to pick and choose their personalities, including have compassion or understanding for races that had animosity for one another in the books. This is a common trope in fantasy writing, and is backed up by D&D itself. Official products have had good demons and other exceptions to the general behavior rules, because individuals are.......individuals. They can decide for themselves if as an elf, they hate orcs. Maybe this one elf over here wants to heal the divide and thinks orcs can be redeemed. If you as the DM are forbidding players from doing that sort of thing, not only are you stepping over the line with regard to playing their PCs, but you are missing out on tons of great roleplaying opportunities.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
However, I stand by my assertion that Druids should not be frontlines.
Touching on this, in original AD&D, the Druid was a subclass of Cleric, and just like the Cleric, was a front-line melee combatant, both second only to the Fighter in terms of melee prowess. The Cleric had access to metal armors, but the Druid had access to more weapons, and intentionally more powerful spells to make up for the reduced defense.

The issue we stand at now is that the Cleric has access to more weapons, different but equal spells (slightly less different if Nature Cleric), and still has their full staying power in combat. The Druid now has less access to weapons, less magic power relative to the Cleric since their magic has been mostly balanced out mechanically, but the metal limitation has been lifted, being changed into a choice as opposed to a mechanical defect in the class.

We now stand at the point where people gladly accept the changes the Cleric has received throughout the years, but still cling to the penalty of past edition Druids and enforce them today. People accept Sage Advice as canon when it nerfs Druids, such as saying Conjure Animals options are a DM pick, but then discard it as unofficial (even though WotC says otherwise) when it says there is no longer a penalty for wearing metal armor, or when Goodberry can benefit from mechanical buffs to healing spells.

DMs want to cling to the limiting mechanics of Druids of the past, but when their spellcasting outdoes that of their more physically powerful Cleric counterparts (which was an intentional mechanic of Druids of the past), they decide it's imbalanced and needs a nerf. People complain about Healing Spirit being OP even when its mechanics are not exploited via some ridiculous conga line, all on the basis that it outclasses the Cleric's spell healing, while ignoring the fact that Druids of the past intentionally had stronger spellcasting in exchange for the Druid losing access to their magic if they wore metal armor. It seems it's become acceptable that the Druid only get the worst of every angle, because it's somehow imbalanced for them to exceed their counter options in any way.

It's no wonder the Druid class is by far the least played class in 5E.
 
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Aebir-Toril

Scion of Ceres
Touching on this, in original AD&D, the Druid was a subclass of Cleric, and just like the Cleric, was a front-line melee combatant, both second only to the Fighter in terms of melee prowess. The Cleric had access to metal armors, but the Druid had access to more weapons, and intentionally more powerful spells to make up for the reduced defense.

The issue we stand at now is that the Cleric has access to more weapons, different but equal spells (slightly less different if Nature Cleric), and still has their full staying power in combat. The Druid now has less access to weapons, less magic power relative to the Cleric since their magic has been mostly balanced out mechanically, but the metal limitation has been lifted, being changed into a choice as opposed to a mechanical defect in the class.

We now stand at the point where people gladly accept the changes the Cleric has received throughout the years, but still cling to the penalty of past edition Druids and enforce them today. People accept Sage Advice as canon when it nerfs Druids, such as saying Conjure Animals options are a DM pick, but then discard it as unofficial (even though WotC says otherwise) when it says there is no longer a penalty for wearing metal armor, or when Goodberry can benefit from mechanical buffs to healing spells.

DMs want to cling to the limiting mechanics of Druids of the past, but when their spellcasting outdoes that of their more physically powerful Cleric counterparts (which was an intentional mechanic of Druids of the past), they decide it's imbalanced and needs a nerf. People complain about Healing Spirit being OP even when its mechanics are not exploited via some ridiculous conga line, all on the basis that it outclasses the Cleric's spell healing, but then ignore the fact that Nature Clerics can gain Druid spells and cantrips, all while they wear full plate. It's no wonder that the Druid is by far the least played class in 5e.
As a Druid player myself, I must admit that the Druid is pretty weak as it is. In an ideal D&D of my design (ideal for me anyway), Clerics and Druids would not be frontliners. My point was not that Druids should not be able to wear metal armor under flavor rules, but should remain non-frontline, while clerics should be nerfed.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
If you as the DM are forbidding players from doing that sort of thing, not only are you stepping over the line with regard to playing their PCs, but you are missing out on tons of great roleplaying opportunities.
I totally disagree with this - both as a DM and a player, I thoroughly dislike the 'anything goes, anyone can be anything' approach of default modern D&D, I much prefer the limitations baked into 1E/2E and prefer to play in the Greyhawk setting from that era.... and yes, if I run a 5E game, I bring those same feelings with me.

To me, a melting pot of a world is boring, and lacks any sense of character.

Thankfully, 5E still works just fine with old school limitations applied. It doesn't break if Paladins have to be LG, neither do any cracks show if you only allow Humans to be Monks, and it's still working just fine with no Dragonborn or Tieflings.

And balance? Naa, not bothered about that. I prefer to test player skill above character skill, allow 1st level PCs to adventure with level 10s, and if the party learn of the lair of an ancient Red Dragon at level 3, I'm not going to stop them going there and getting themselves killed - if they so choose.

I have no issue with the changed wording about Druid armour either... it's leather or nothing in every edition I've played, it doesn't matter one iota if the wording is 'cannot', 'forbidden' or 'will not'.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
It's simply an option that is there. Such a druid would be a heretic, and I suspect that any player who did so in my game just for a few points extra AC would have a powerful regret sooner than not. Especially since I don't make it back breakingly difficult to obtain armor made from non-traditional materials (like bulette half plate). IMC, if you want to be a metal armor wearing druid I'll allow it, but if your goal wasn't to have an extra large helping of hardship to role play against, you made the wrong choice, and I would make that clear to any player who proposed such a character to me.

However, if the player wants to be a druidic heretic and lean into all the troubles that will come of it, that sounds like it could be a potentially interesting concept so I'm not going to shut it down.
The issue I have here is what exactly could be the possible role play ramifications of that outside of pissing off other Druids? It's pretty darn rare that I see a campaign where players encounter other Druids at all, let alone regularly, and they're literally the only people that give a darn if your Druid wears metal. It's specified in the PHB that Druids hold different views, and opposing Druids may already prey on each other as a default. Playing a Druid that wears metal, or does not wear metal, is just as much at risk of consequences of not revering a natural deity as they bump into a sect that practices the Old Faith.

It's not even a factor that fey creatures would suddenly hate the Druid, because Elves, and other creatures with a natural proclivity for the Feywild, including some Fey themselves, use metal without restriction, and this never bothers them. The Nature deities themselves also don't care as they in most editions have avatars and notable worshippers that wear metal, and even grant Nature Clerics proficiency in heavy armors, all of which are metal by default.

I honestly don't see how a Druid in metal can possibly by default be at higher risk of real world consequences than a Cleric who chooses a specific deity that doesn't match the worship of any region they may enter. In fact, with such a vast variety of options of worship for Clerics, or oaths for Paladins, I'd imagine they run a higher risk of controversy among NPCs in the game world than the nature guy that decided to pick up a metal shield.
 
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SkidAce

Adventurer
It's not even a factor that fey creatures would suddenly hate the Druid, because Elves, and other creatures with a natural proclivity for the Feywild, including some Fey themselves, use metal without restriction, and this never bothers them. The Nature deities themselves also don't care as they in most editions have avatars and notable worshippers that wear metal, and even grant Nature Clerics proficiency in heavy armors, all of which are metal by default.
This part depends on the campaign setting. Elves are not "Fey" with a capital f.

"Fey" in many games I've played, would take a dislike to the druid, sorta like they were a traitor (you were supposed to understand....hisssss...).

But, anecdotal preferences are anecdotal.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I totally disagree with this - both as a DM and a player, I thoroughly dislike the 'anything goes, anyone can be anything' approach of default modern D&D, I much prefer the limitations baked into 1E/2E and prefer to play in the Greyhawk setting from that era.... and yes, if I run a 5E game, I bring those same feelings with me.

To me, a melting pot of a world is boring, and lacks any sense of character.

Thankfully, 5E still works just fine with old school limitations applied. It doesn't break if Paladins have to be LG, neither do any cracks show if you only allow Humans to be Monks, and it's still working just fine with no Dragonborn or Tieflings.

And balance? Naa, not bothered about that. I prefer to test player skill above character skill, allow 1st level PCs to adventure with level 10s, and if the party learn of the lair of an ancient Red Dragon at level 3, I'm not going to stop them going there and getting themselves killed - if they so choose.

I have no issue with the changed wording about Druid armour either... it's leather or nothing in every edition I've played, it doesn't matter one iota if the wording is 'cannot', 'forbidden' or 'will not'.
So you're just going to ignore that druids in 1e were free to wear metal armor if they wanted to. All it did was block their magical abilities, like wizards. Wizards who could also put on plate mail if they felt like it in 1e.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
This part depends on the campaign setting. Elves are not "Fey" with a capital f.

"Fey" in many games I've played, would take a dislike to the druid, sorta like they were a traitor (you were supposed to understand....hisssss...).

But, anecdotal preferences are anecdotal.
I was more going off of the typical core mechanics in 5E. Sure, I know Elves aren't actual Fey, but that's why I said they had a natural proclivity for the Feywild and not that they were Fey themselves. Elvish and Sylvan share an alphabet, and almost every non-evil Fey in the Monster Manual, from Sprites to Satyrs to Treants and Dryads, have Elvish as a default language on top of their normal Sylvan. Elves are pretty commonly known for elegant chain shirts and rapiers, and I've never once heard of Fey having a dislike for any Elf that decided to wear or wield metal of any kind.

Druids by default sure don't share a language with Fey, unless they're an Elf or they're a Shepherd Druid. I've also never heard of Fey having a distaste for a Nature Cleric donning metal. I feel like the DM has to be taking pretty great strides to make a Fey creature in 5E hate the Druid wielding a metal shield, but be perfectly buddy-buddy with the Elven Nature Cleric, or the Elven Oath of the Ancients Paladin, wielding their metal shield while wearing full plate.
 
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Ohmyn

Villager
I totally disagree with this - both as a DM and a player, I thoroughly dislike the 'anything goes, anyone can be anything' approach of default modern D&D, I much prefer the limitations baked into 1E/2E and prefer to play in the Greyhawk setting from that era.... and yes, if I run a 5E game, I bring those same feelings with me.

To me, a melting pot of a world is boring, and lacks any sense of character.
The point is that the player characters are the exception, not the rule. While the typical elf is remaining isolated in their little grove, the player character has ventured out into the world to seek adventure, to ward off the evils of the world, or perform whatever other task it is they set out to do. The world itself does not have to be a melting pot, but there's no reason the player character can't disagree with certain tenets of their people, or even dislike entirely the fact that the world is not a cooking pot and believes everyone should try to get along.

Just look at people of any culture and you will find there is nothing that 100% of them ever agree on. Even the Nazis surely had someone among their ranks that did not agree with the persecution of Jews, and there were white people that provided blacks safe harbor during the times of African slavery. I find it silly to say that player characters may not be unique individuals but must rather fit the DM's interpretation of what all members of that race absolutely must feel and think.


And balance? Naa, not bothered about that. I prefer to test player skill above character skill, allow 1st level PCs to adventure with level 10s, and if the party learn of the lair of an ancient Red Dragon at level 3, I'm not going to stop them going there and getting themselves killed - if they so choose.
Player skill doesn't make up for the fact that a hindered character is going to fail most of the time regardless of how good their idea is simply because they don't have the numbers to achieve a probable success rate. Balance has to be maintained in order to allow player skill to actually have room to take place.

I have no issue with the changed wording about Druid armour either... it's leather or nothing in every edition I've played, it doesn't matter one iota if the wording is 'cannot', 'forbidden' or 'will not'.
That's fine, but that's just DM authority and not a rule, which is fine. The point remains that Druids have been able to wear metal armor in nearly every edition of D&D, they've just typically had penalties associated with it. Those penalties have since been removed.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
So you're just going to ignore that druids in 1e were free to wear metal armor if they wanted to. All it did was block their magical abilities, like wizards. Wizards who could also put on plate mail if they felt like it in 1e.
Quoting the 1E PHB "... but they do suffer somewhat from their inability to wear protective armour of metal.." also "... druids are unable to use any armour or shields other than leather armour and wooden shields.."

Then bring in the training rules, which ramped up the cost of training for play not pertaining to the class. It did more than just 'block their magical abilities'.
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
The issue I have here is what exactly could be the possible role play ramifications of that outside of pissing off other Druids? It's pretty darn rare that I see a campaign where players encounter other Druids at all, let alone regularly, and they're literally the only people that give a darn if your Druid wears metal. It's specified in the PHB that Druids hold different views, and opposing Druids may already prey on each other as a default. Playing a Druid that wears metal, or does not wear metal, is just as much at risk of consequences of not revering a natural deity as they bump into a sect that practices the Old Faith.

It's not even a factor that fey creatures would suddenly hate the Druid, because Elves, and other creatures with a natural proclivity for the Feywild, including some Fey themselves, use metal without restriction, and this never bothers them. The Nature deities themselves also don't care as they in most editions have avatars and notable worshippers that wear metal, and even grant Nature Clerics proficiency in heavy armors, all of which are metal by default.

I honestly don't see how a Druid in metal can possibly by default be at higher risk of real world consequences than a Cleric who chooses a specific deity that doesn't match the worship of any region they may enter. In fact, with such a vast variety of options of worship for Clerics, or oaths for Paladins, I'd imagine they run a higher risk of controversy among NPCs in the game world than the nature guy that decided to pick up a metal shield.
IMC, druids worship the primal forces. A nature God is a humanized embodiment of one or more of those forces. It's an important distinction.

For starters, if I have a druid player I tend to throw in other druids and the like for them to interact with (and get a chance to utilize the druidic language). In addition, much like celestials may be favorably inclined towards a cleric or paladin of similar ethos, fey and other sylvan creatures will be favorably inclined towards a druid by default. However, a druid who wears metal armor won't benefit from that favor. In fact, such people and creatures will be distrustful of a heretical druid by default.

Sure, it won't impact a druid in the same arena as a cleric. It will impact a druid where they would normally shine brightest. The wild and untamed areas of the world.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
IMC, druids worship the primal forces. A nature God is a humanized embodiment of one or more of those forces. It's an important distinction.

For starters, if I have a druid player I tend to throw in other druids and the like for them to interact with (and get a chance to utilize the druidic language). In addition, much like celestials may be favorably inclined towards a cleric or paladin of similar ethos, fey and other sylvan creatures will be favorably inclined towards a druid by default. However, a druid who wears metal armor won't benefit from that favor. In fact, such people and creatures will be distrustful of a heretical druid by default.

Sure, it won't impact a druid in the same arena as a cleric. It will impact a druid where they would normally shine brightest. The wild and untamed areas of the world.
That's fair. I never assume campaign conditions, and in general discussion only go based on what the rules say as written unless given further context. On that note, I go by the options listed for players in the PHB, which for Druids says: "Druids revere nature above all, gaining their spells and other magical powers either from the force of nature itself or from a nature deity. Many druids pursue a mystic spirituality of transcendent union with nature rather than devotion to a divine entity, while others serve gods of wild nature, animals, or elemental forces." The latter option here makes it clear that some Druids are simply Clerics that essentially belong to circles as opposed to temples or churches. This rather fits with the idea that they were a subclass of Cleric originally, and if a DM already has allowed such options for the players, that's when it seems to get out of the ordinary that suddenly Fey would hate them for such an arbitrary reason. If I had a party with an Elven Druid, an Elven Nature Cleric, and an Elven Oath of the Ancients Paladin (very possible given that I've been in many campaigns where the party likes to work with a theme), all wrapped in plate and shields, but Dryads come from all over the land to attack the Druid, it would feel quite off-putting.

Now if a DM already rules preemptively that Druids in their campaign can only be the force of nature option and that no Druids gain their power from a nature deity, then I'd be okay with it, although I would still bring up in 5E that it's not against the rules to do so, which it seems you would be understanding of. If they didn't care about that, then fine, as it's ultimately their call. My particular problem though is that most DMs, at least in my experience, don't have the lore of Druids in their world thought out to any such degree, and only have some programmed hatred of Druids possibly wearing metal. For this reason they jump straight to thinking about how to screw over the player if they make the choice, if not outright treating it as an impossible course of action, regardless of what the rules are. Instead of having a world where the Druid has potential consequences, they fabricate a myriad of penalties to target that player simply because they don't like their choice. This is especially problematic to me because it stretches as far as official AL tables, who I feel are not interpreting the rule properly.

Druids seem to be the only ones still getting this treatment on such a large scale at tables playing the latest edition. 5E is made to enable players to add as much flair as they want, and DMs are typically very lenient about them bypassing fluff elements of the general story of their class, but they freak out at the idea of a Druid disregarding a single taboo that has no mechanical implications in the system. I don't see the same DMs upset at Clerics for wielding sharp weapons, but I do see them feeling the need to nerf or remove Druid spells on the basis that they're more powerful than the Cleric alternatives. More powerful spells was a proclaimed intent of their original designs, which was said to be balanced in exchange for their lack of metal armor, so it feels rather hypocritical. Overall people only care about Sage Advice when it hurts Druids, but discard it when it helps them. I don't see anyone upset that Clerics now have access to a wider weapon selection than Druids, which also goes against the original designs, but they flip out at the idea that a Druid may not suffer penalties anymore for wearing the same armor as a Cleric, who may literally get their power from the worship of the exact same deity the Druid worships.
 
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Ohmyn

Villager
Quoting the 1E PHB "... but they do suffer somewhat from their inability to wear protective armour of metal.." also "... druids are unable to use any armour or shields other than leather armour and wooden shields.."

Then bring in the training rules, which ramped up the cost of training for play not pertaining to the class. It did more than just 'block their magical abilities'.
"The more powerful druidic spells, as well as their wider range of weaponry, make up for the fact that druids are unable to use any armor or shields other than leather armor and wooden shields (metallic armor spoils their magical powers)."

You're omitting the important part where it specifies why they can't use it. They could still put it on, there was just preset conditions as to what would happen, which would cause it to play out like this at any reasonable table:

DM: "You found a breastplate."
Druid: "I put it on. What happens?"
DM: "You're a Druid, and it's metal, so you lose access to all of your magic. You also lack the ability to properly use it, so you gain no armor benefits."
Druid: "Okay...I take it off."

The same was true of Magic Users. Never did they just say they couldn't wear any type of armor or wield any type of weapon without saying why that was the case. Magic Users didn't have the martial training required to use armor, so even if they made the choice to put it on, any reasonable DM easily knew they lacked the training to get any bonus out of it, and that it simply added to their encumbrance with no benefit. There was not some magical ward that prevented the armor from being put on by a Magic User. A Magic User could carry a shield, they simply couldn't use a shield.
 

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