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5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
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'.
If you are going to make that claim, you will need to back it up. I already quoted the 1e PHB as telling us that they can wear armor. I'll quote it again since you have now both ignored it, and then cut it out of your quotes.

"...unable to use any armor or shields other than leather armor and wooden shields (metallic armor spoils their magical powers)."

Do you see the bolded and now underlined portion? I hope so. That portion means that druids can in fact, and it is a fact, put on metal armor. Otherwise druids would be completely unaware that it affects their casting AND Gygax would not have bothered to tell players that it did so. That warning means that druids can put on metal armor, but it keeps them from casting and using their abilities.

Further, there's not one roleplaying reason given for why druids would be unable to wear metal armor, other than the loss of their magical powers.

I have backed up my claim. Can you back yours up?
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
All the theory about what makes a druid aside, the rule is poorly implemented on a mechanical basis:

It is only a qualification in "proficiencies" which is the wrong place. It's not about proficiencies, but (apparently) about a druid's beliefs.

The stipulation was included for legacy reasons, without much thought. We know that because:
* the wording does not make clear which armors are included;
* druids are proficient in metal armors but choose not to wear them (rather than simply having proficiency in hide);
* there is no provision for wooden shields.

As a player, I find this rule rubs me the wrong way, and so I have taken Magic Initiate and get Mage Armor, or be a Lizardfolk and have natural armor (a level as Dragon sorcerer would also work). I think it's a terrible rule, but I like playing RAW, and so I have found workarounds.

As a DM, my houserule is that Druids are proficient with Padded, Leather, Studded Leather, and Hide, but if you have proficiency from some other source (being a mountain dwarf, a level of Fighter), then you can use metal armor no problem.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
All the theory about what makes a druid aside, the rule is poorly implemented on a mechanical basis:

It is only a qualification in "proficiencies" which is the wrong place. It's not about proficiencies, but (apparently) about a druid's beliefs.
To be a bit more accurate, it's not just "apparently" about their beliefs, but RAW it's 100% about their beliefs. That is clarified in the Sage Advice. It is inaccurate to interpret it any other way because the developer confirmed it so.

The stipulation was included for legacy reasons, without much thought. We know that because:
* the wording does not make clear which armors are included;
While true, I would like to add a note for all the naysayers that studded leather is 100% confirmed by the Sage Advice to qualify as not metal armor for the purpose of this belief. This does help support the idea that RAW, it's not armor containing metal, but armor made of metal. Even leather armor that is found would be likely to have metal buckles, as would wooden shields.

* druids are proficient in metal armors but choose not to wear them (rather than simply having proficiency in hide);
This is true. It has been explicitly stated in the Sage Advice that nothing in the game system stops a Druid from wearing metal armor so long as they do not bypass their proficiency.

* there is no provision for wooden shields.
Yes, this is silly. Apparently all shields weigh the same amount and provide the same protection no matter what they're made of. Druids are apparently the only mechanical reason wooden shields exist anymore.

As a player, I find this rule rubs me the wrong way, and so I have taken Magic Initiate and get Mage Armor, or be a Lizardfolk and have natural armor (a level as Dragon sorcerer would also work). I think it's a terrible rule, but I like playing RAW, and so I have found workarounds.
Well if you factor in the clarification of the game developer and we don't just guess the correct interpretation based on what the PHB says, as per RAW you could simply put on some metal armor. Nothing prohibits you from doing so, except of course if a DM decides otherwise, but that's true of everything.

As a DM, my houserule is that Druids are proficient with Padded, Leather, Studded Leather, and Hide, but if you have proficiency from some other source (being a mountain dwarf, a level of Fighter), then you can use metal armor no problem.
That's fair, but I would like to point out that it's a house rule to patch up what is already a house rule, since based on the developer's clarification there's nothing that requires fixing.
 

Kobold Stew

Adventurer
Here I thought I was supporting you.

To be a bit more accurate, it's not just "apparently" about their beliefs, but RAW it's 100% about their beliefs.
Which is what I said. I used brackets since, as you know, no other belief system is explained only in the proficiencies section of a class.

That is clarified in the Sage Advice.
This has nothing to do with my point about it being sloppily implemented. If it requires an after-the-fact, internet-only correction (not errata), then it's not a rule.
It is inaccurate to interpret it any other way because the developer confirmed it so.
Here we will disagree.

<snip>

Well if you factor in the clarification of the game developer and we don't just guess the correct interpretation based on what the PHB says, as per RAW you could simply put on some metal armor. Nothing prohibits you from doing so, except
my self-respect.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
Here I thought I was supporting you.
I wasn't trying to be hostile, and I apologize if it seemed that way. I was simply adding further points that I felt appropriate to add.

Which is what I said. I used brackets since, as you know, no other belief system is explained only in the proficiencies section of a class.
For example, I wasn't certain of what was being implied with the parenthesis. I thought maybe the bracket was because there is more than one way to interpret what the PHB says, so I felt like clarifying that the Sage Advice confirms which interpretation is official.

EDIT: Whoops, forgot to add a note. Let's not give them too much credit here. They didn't explain the belief system in the proficiencies section. They did us even worse. They didn't explain it at all, but rather added a small footnote in the proficiencies section.

This has nothing to do with my point about it being sloppily implemented. If it requires an after-the-fact, internet-only correction (not errata), then it's not a rule.
Actually, Sage Advice is not a correction. Errata are official corrections. Sage Advice is official clarification of the current rules as written. WotC states in the compendium that they are the official rules. They're every bit as binding in a fully RAW setting as errata. Or rather they should be, but it seems it's been only since 2018 that WotC has added the note about the Sage Advice being official, and AL hasn't updated their rules since March of 2017, so they still claim it as RAI.
 
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Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
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.
You are getting into the "doesn't feel like D&D territory" there. Clerics have always been heavily armoured since the class was first invented. Squishy healbots are the product of MMOs and do not belong in D&D - at least not with the name "cleric" attached to them.

I believe in giving player the choice of how they play their character, front line back line it's up to them. (they may not be very effective as front liners, I can tell you from experience (and theorycrafting*) that an AC of 17 is not enough to last long on the front lines, and druids' best combat spells require concentration, but players should be allowed to try).


*enemies have an attack bonus of at least +2. Such basic enemies will hit AC 17 around 25% of the time. They would hit AC 12 about 50% or the time, so AC 17 reduces incoming damage (from low level enemies) by about a half. Compare that to Full Plate And shield AC 20. The basic low level monster will hit about 10% of the time, so average damage is reduced by 80%. As the enemies get more powerful the difference becomes greater.
 
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Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
* the wording does not make clear which armors are included;
Actually, the rules allow armour (and weapons) to be made of various materials. They don't specify what is made out of what because there is no hard and fast answer.

You might find it helpful to look at 3rd edition's more detailed crafting rules if you need a hard and fast ruling about what can be made from what, rather than leaving it to the DM's judgment.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
If you are going to make that claim, you will need to back it up. I already quoted the 1e PHB as telling us that they can wear armor. I'll quote it again since you have now both ignored it, and then cut it out of your quotes.

"...unable to use any armor or shields other than leather armor and wooden shields (metallic armor spoils their magical powers)."

Do you see the bolded and now underlined portion? I hope so. That portion means that druids can in fact, and it is a fact, put on metal armor. Otherwise druids would be completely unaware that it affects their casting AND Gygax would not have bothered to tell players that it did so. That warning means that druids can put on metal armor, but it keeps them from casting and using their abilities.

Further, there's not one roleplaying reason given for why druids would be unable to wear metal armor, other than the loss of their magical powers.

I have backed up my claim. Can you back yours up?
Read the bit in the DMG about training times and costs for the added penalty of non-class-like behaviour.

The Druid part in the PHB twice says they cannot wear metal. On one occasion they say it is because it ruins their magic. Where does it say "They can put metal armour on, just not cast spells in it?". Nowhere.

In 2E AD&D it says metal armour is 'forbidden' - it never clarifies by whom, to me that doesn't matter. Forbidden simply means 'no', 'cannot', 'never'.

The RAI is very very clear to me, I'm not a rules lawyer who pores over every word trying to find a loophole. If something says 'no metal armour' twice the reason does not matter, the statement does not need to be clarified. One of my first rules at the table is 'no player is allowed to even look for a loophole, no RAW arguments, none whatsoever'. If something is unclear mention to me out of session, I make a decision, player does not argue. But this 'Druid - metal' issue is not unclear.

Muddy the water with Bards and Rangers, both can wear metal armour, both cast Druidic spells in 1E. If you are using implied meanings for your arguments, this fact hints that it is MORE than just 'metal armour ruining Druidic spells'.

We can argue forever on the implied meaning of sentences, but find me something that clearly and positively states, in 1e, 2e, or 5e that a Druid CAN CHOOSE to put on metal armour if they wish, but it will just adversely affect spellcasting, and I'll change my mind... every statement says 'cannot, forbidden, will not'
 
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Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
Acording to 1st edition druids cannot be any alignment other than Neutral. Rules change.

The thing to remember is D&D is a story telling game. Things have to make sense in terms of the story. I I things have to happen for a reason, not just "because it says so in the rules". If a player says "I fly across the chasm" the DM says "you can't, because you have no abilities that enable you to fly". If a player says "I put on the metal gauntlet" it's not enough to say "you can't, because the rules say so". You need to be able to narrate what happens when the player tries to put it on. Maybe a force field pushes it away, maybe god strikes them down with lightning, or whatever, but something has to happen when they try it, otherwise you are playing a board game not a role playing game, and suspension of disbelief is destroyed.

And you have to deal with edge cases. What happens when they wear a non-armour robe that is sewn with gold thread? What happens when they wear a metal ring? What happens when they wear a lot of metal rings linked together?
 
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Ohmyn

Villager
Read the bit in the DMG about training times and costs for the added penalty of non-class-like behaviour.
I'd say the fact that there is a section that explains penalties for non-class-like behavior further shows that characters can act outside the behavior designated for their class.

The Druid part in the PHB twice says they cannot wear metal. On one occasion they say it is because it ruins their magic. Where does it say "They can put metal armour on, just not cast spells in it?". Nowhere.
It says it right in common sense. What happens if they put on metal armor? What happens if someone else knocks them out and they wake up covered in metal armor? Do they explode? Does the universe fold into itself because the impossible has happened? Hopefully their universe has paradox protection.

Same thing applies with a Magic User picking up a shield. Does it fly to the other side of the universe in order to avoid the Magic User's grasp? Or does the Magic User simply pick it up and carry it away, and if attempting to utilize it, prove inefficient in its use due to their lack of martial training? The purpose of saying why they can't use it is to give the DM guidance as to what would happen if they tried. This is a role playing game, not a video game where you get a red X when hovering an incompatible item over a character.

In 2E AD&D it says metal armour is 'forbidden' - it never clarifies by whom, to me that doesn't matter. Forbidden simply means 'no', 'cannot', 'never'.
Sure, and nobody has ever attempted to do that which is forbidden in the history of ever.

We can argue forever on the implied meaning of sentences, but find me something that clearly and positively states, in 1e, 2e, or 5e that a Druid CAN CHOOSE to put on metal armour if they wish, but it will just adversely affect spellcasting, and I'll change my mind... every statement says 'cannot, forbidden, will not'
I can't find that for 5E, because the official clarification says there's no adverse effect on their spellcasting if they did it, but I can find where it is clearly verified that Druids don't lack the ability to wear metal armor, and that nothing in the game system prevents them from doing so as long as they adhere to their proficiencies. Sounds a lot like there's no reason they can't make the choice if they feel it appropriate, especially since it's just a taboo and doesn't carry mechanical penalties like in most previous editions.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
And you have to deal with edge cases. What happens when they wear a non-armour robe that is sewn with gold thread?
This reminded me of a point that's always bugged me about the explanation of Druids not liking metal because they prefer more "natural" options. Gold forms in nature without any human intervention. So does silver, copper, and platinum. You'll never find leather in nature. It has to be created artificially. Shouldn't they be fine with armor made from silver? Sounds like Druids are super dumb about what "natural" means.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
It all depends on whether you as DM place value in the lore and traditions of D&D. The 5E book is quite clear, they 'will not'. The Sage Advice is similarly clear - it's a 'taboo'.

It clearly looks like most of you here do not value the intended themes of certain classes, and if you're coming from that mindset it's clear we can never agree.

I do. I also insist my players accept those themes. To veer away from them feels sacrilegious, like adding Cthulhu mythos to Middle Earth... No, just, no.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
It all depends on whether you as DM place value in the lore and traditions of D&D. The 5E book is quite clear, they 'will not'. The Sage Advice is similarly clear - it's a 'taboo'.

It clearly looks like most of you here do not value the intended themes of certain classes, and if you're coming from that mindset it's clear we can never agree.

I do. I also insist my players accept those themes. To veer away from them feels sacrilegious, like adding Cthulhu mythos to Middle Earth... No, just, no.
The themes have drastically changed between editions. Clerics used to only use blunt weapons whereas Druid had a wider selection of weapons. Druids are now limited, Clerics now have all simple weapons, and through domains can get all martial weapons as well. Dwarves used to be completely incapable of magic, now their WIS variant is a trademark divine caster. Paladins used to be only lawful good, and could only be humans, but now they can be of any alignment or race. Paladins used to require penance from a high level Cleric if they so much as committed an unlawful act, but now they can swear by a variety of oaths, even swearing to be little more than a neutral aligned slayer of all those they deem to be wicked. Druids used to only be true neutral, and could only be worshipers of nature, but now they can be of any alignment and can gain their powers from worship of a deity, just as standard Clerics do. I could go on all day about the vast differences the races and classes all have versus their original themes. Nearly every class has had their inhibiting restrictions lifted, or dramatically loosened. I don't see why people are so hung up on the possibility that the Druid has also changed alongside every other class over the years.

In 1E Druids did not wear metal armor because it inhibited their magic. In 2E it was a taboo. In 3E it nullified their magic until removed, and then for 24 hours after. In 4E it had no penalties or taboo, they simply weren't proficient in it. By default this gave them a -2 to attack rolls and Reflex defense, just as anyone else suffered from lack of proficiency. If they somehow gained proficiency, there was no penalty. In 5E it's back to being a taboo, but is clarified to have no penalty for doing so. 4E released in 2008, and the PHB2 with the Druid released in Q1 2009. The Druid has not had any mechanical limitations from metal armor in literally over a decade now. I don't see why everything else is allowed to change, but the Druid must always stay the same.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
This reminded me of a point that's always bugged me about the explanation of Druids not liking metal because they prefer more "natural" options. Gold forms in nature without any human intervention. So does silver, copper, and platinum. You'll never find leather in nature. It has to be created artificially. Shouldn't they be fine with armor made from silver? Sounds like Druids are super dumb about what "natural" means.
And if you look at druids in history and myth, they are keen on jewellery, an golden jewellery in particular. Torcs (a twisted metal (copper, bronze or gold) neck ornament) are particularly associated with druids.

But religious rules don't have to make sense. The 1st edition cleric was required* to use blunt weapons on the basis that they where based on crusader priests who where forbidden to shed blood. Now, if you hit someone over the head with a mace the reality is there will be an awful lot of blood, but in 1st edition, and in history, it was the thought that counted, not the reality.

*1st edition did cover what happened if a cleric ignored the rule and picked up a sword anyway - they had a non-proficiency penalty on the to-hit role.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
It clearly looks like most of you here do not value the intended themes of certain classes,
A dragonmarked race gives you a very specific set of traits. However, you can also explain your class abilities as being a result of your exceptional connection to your dragonmark:
  • If you’re playing a bard with the Mark of Shadow, you could say that your illusion spells are drawn from your mark. If you’re a halfling bard with the Mark of Healing, you could describe your mark as the source of your healing magic.
  • As a life cleric with the Mark of Healing, you’re able to use your mark to channel positive energy and perform remarkable feats of healing. You could combine this with religious faith or you could say that the mark alone is the source of your divine magic.
  • If you’re a warlock with an aberrant dragonmark, you could say that the mark itself is your fiendish patron and the source of your arcane powers. You don’t fully understand the nature of your mark, but you know that it’s growing stronger and you’re afraid you might lose control of it.
  • -Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron
 

Fanaelialae

Adventurer
This reminded me of a point that's always bugged me about the explanation of Druids not liking metal because they prefer more "natural" options. Gold forms in nature without any human intervention. So does silver, copper, and platinum. You'll never find leather in nature. It has to be created artificially. Shouldn't they be fine with armor made from silver? Sounds like Druids are super dumb about what "natural" means.
To me it's the fact that extracting and refining significant enough quantities of metal to fashion armor isn't easy. It reeks of civilization.

Leather, by comparison, is fairly easy to fashion. While I'm not a hunter myself, I have it on good authority from a friend of mine who is that basically all you need to tan a deer hide is the deer's brain. (But please keep in mind that there can be prions in the brain that can lead to death if someone isn't careful when using this method, so he also told me that it's not something he'd recommend to anyone in the modern day.)

IMO, it's not so much about metal being bad, since druids can use metal tools, as what armor represents which is civilization. Uncivilized tribes are capable of fashioning leather, but armor made of metal would be largely beyond their means.


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.
I wanted to clarify, since my previous post was a bit rushed (we were in the middle of a game session but had paused to grab some dinner).

A druid IMC can worship and serve a god, however it's somewhat like a fighter who serves a god. Unlike a nature cleric, whose power flows from their god, a druids power flows from the primal forces that the god embodies.

It's like a rushing mountain stream that feeds into a calm lake. It's the same water essentially, but the druid is drinking from the stream whereas the cleric drinks from the lake. The druid is closer to the source.

I see what you mean about the PHB saying that druids can gain their magic from a nature deity. That's a bit strange to me, in that why is the druid distinct from the nature cleric when their power comes from the same source. I suppose if a druid player wanted to gain their power from a nature deity, I would have them worship the old aspect of the god, whereas the nature clerics would worship the newer, more humanized face of the deity. Sort of like how the Greek primordial deity Gaia became the goddess Terra in the Roman pantheon.

I wouldn't have dryads coming out of the woodwork to attack the party you've described (unless for some reason the dryads were hyper-aggressive and inclined to attack anyone they felt distrustful of). However, with most druids the dryads would be favorably inclined. Being fey, the dryads are closer to the primal source than most, and they can sense a kinship of sorts with the druid. Think of it as a reaction roll that defaults to a favorable result. In the case of a metal armored druid however, it's like seeing someone you recognize as a soldier for your side wearing the enemy's colors. Automatic unfavorable reaction. They won't necessarily attack, unless it's in their nature to do so, but they certainly aren't likely to help the druid either. As for the cleric and the paladin, that's pretty much just a normal reaction roll. Despite their relationship with nature, they aren't as close to the primal as either the dryad or the druid. They basically have a foot in each world, essentially a serving as intermediaries between the primal and civilized worlds. Basically, the dryad will default to assuming that a non-metal wearing druid is on her side, but she's going to be less sure about the other two. Maybe they'll choose her side or maybe they'll favor the townsfolk. Obviously, this all precludes pre-existing reputations and relationships.

But at the end of the day, I don't make it too hard to create armor made from alternate materials, and I don't recall ever having had a DM who did so either, which makes it largely a moot point. It usually involves a mini quest to track down a craftsman and/or a creature with a sufficiently tough hide. Plenty of times though, the PCs come across a proper creature simply as part of their adventures. If there is a craftsman in the party, they might not even need to locate an NPC. So the level of effort might vary a bit, but it's generally something that you can accomplish within the first few levels with a little help from the party.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Read the bit in the DMG about training times and costs for the added penalty of non-class-like behaviour.
Great! Thanks for backing me up! You do realize, don't you, that you can't actually have those penalties unless you can in fact engage in non-class like behavior, right? So the fact that the druid can be penalized for wearing the armor, means that they can wear the armor.

The Druid part in the PHB twice says they cannot wear metal. On one occasion they say it is because it ruins their magic. Where does it say "They can put metal armour on, just not cast spells in it?". Nowhere.
It's basic reasoning. It would be impossible for druids to know that it interferes with their magic if they could not put it on. It would also be fairly stupid of Gygax to include that warning if they couldn't put it on.

In 2E AD&D it says metal armour is 'forbidden' - it never clarifies by whom, to me that doesn't matter. Forbidden simply means 'no', 'cannot', 'never'.
So you seem to have a different understanding of forbidden than the rest of us do. I am forbidden to steal from Target, yet I could go to Target after I finish posting this and steal from Target if I want to. Being forbidden to do something doesn't mean you literally can't do it. It's just something that has a penalty if you engage in it. Like extra training costs and/or being unable to use your druid powers.

The RAI is very very clear to me, I'm not a rules lawyer who pores over every word trying to find a loophole. If something says 'no metal armour' twice the reason does not matter, the statement does not need to be clarified. One of my first rules at the table is 'no player is allowed to even look for a loophole, no RAW arguments, none whatsoever'. If something is unclear mention to me out of session, I make a decision, player does not argue. But this 'Druid - metal' issue is not unclear.
Yep! The RAI is that druids can put on metal armor if they want to accept the mechanical consequences. Consequences that are no longer present in 5e.

We can argue forever on the implied meaning of sentences, but find me something that clearly and positively states, in 1e, 2e, or 5e that a Druid CAN CHOOSE to put on metal armour if they wish, but it will just adversely affect spellcasting, and I'll change my mind... every statement says 'cannot, forbidden, will not'
All I can do is show you logic and reasoning. If you refuse to accept logic and reasoning, that's on you, not me.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Sounds a lot like there's no reason they can't make the choice if they feel it appropriate, especially since it's just a taboo and doesn't carry mechanical penalties like in most previous editions.
Except that it's not even taboo. 1e says they can't wear it, and that it interferes with their spellcasting. 2e just forbids it without saying anything. 3e says they can't wear it, and that it interferes with their spellcasting. 5e says opt not to wear it, and that it doesn't interfere with anything. There is never actually a taboo reason given for the restriction, and 5e removes it as a restriction. 4e is the only one that might say something about taboo, but I don't know and don't have access to look.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
It all depends on whether you as DM place value in the lore and traditions of D&D. The 5E book is quite clear, they 'will not'. The Sage Advice is similarly clear - it's a 'taboo'.
Just look at real life taboos and traditions. It was not uncommon for individuals to go against them and engage in those acts anyway. The vast majority obey, but not all.

It clearly looks like most of you here do not value the intended themes of certain classes, and if you're coming from that mindset it's clear we can never agree.
Because we understand the above. It never meant to be impossible for druids to put on metal armor. Just highly unusual.

I do. I also insist my players accept those themes. To veer away from them feels sacrilegious, like adding Cthulhu mythos to Middle Earth... No, just, no.
1. railroading players is one the most frowned on things in D&D.
2. Cthulhu and space ships made it into D&D, so adding in things that go against the typical fantasy grain of D&D already has precedent.

You can keep your mind close and force players to play your one true way if you want, but if you open your mind up to exceptions, the game will become far richer. You are missing out on a lot.
 

JonnyP71

Explorer
It is not railroading to insist that a player adheres to the accepted themes of a world. It is poor form for a player to try to ride roughshod over said themes however. A DM has the right to veto anything, a good DM will use the veto sparingly, and a good player would ensure the DM never needs to use this veto.

My comments about Cthulhu was pertaining to Middle Earth, not D&D, I am aware of the existence of both S3 and WG4. If a player tries to play a Cthulhu cultist in Middle Earth, then refer to my point above.

RAI is clear to me - a Druid will not even attempt to wear metal, it is against his or her ethos. If a player cannot accept that they they won't be playing a Druid. The player should not even try to push this.

A Druid 'will not wear metal armour' is clear to me. If you play a Druid, it's not an option to even try. So don't. There's nothing whatsoever wrong with expecting certain themes with certain classes, and it's sad that 5E does not have mechanics in place to deal with deviation from those themes.

Themes and restrictions, if consistent and well grounded in the world, add to the roleplay. They do not detract from it. 'Anything goes' quickly becomes tedious.
 

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