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5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented


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JonnyP71

Explorer
All I will say to that is that if I were at a table where I were playing a Druid, but then the party had a great plan to save the day that required me to weigh my taboo against metal versus the mission, and the DM chose for me because "it's impossible for your character to make that decision because your taboo is infallible", I'd not come back to that table.

Thankfully, the groups I play with, and DM for, would never ever consider such a plan.

One of the main draws to older editions for me is the expectation that certain classes were treated in certain ways. When I started playing i the early 80s I never saw the attitude that is commonplace nowadays, that characters have to always be different, be unique, 'be special'. Classes had specific niches, roles, expectations - and there was NOTHING wrong with that. It was accepted, it was normal.

One of the best sessions I've ran in recent years, one guy chose to play a Dwarf Fighter... a gruff, ale-swilling, burping, farting, goblin hating Dwarf, whose 2 great loves in life (after ale) were gold and moaning about Elves.

And he played him beautifully, with feeling, and humour. Everyone said after the session that it had been a total breath of fresh air to see a Dwarf played 'how they were meant to be'.

Sometimes it just *feels* right to toe the line expected by the lore, and this is the case for the Druid. To me, if a player chooses to play a Druid they agree to adhere to the expectations laid down by the phrase 'will not wear metal' - to do anything different just *feels* wrong, it feels cheeky, it feels disrespectful.

And I'm glad we finally got some people in this thread who appear to feel the same way. Because y'know, I was starting to believe my way of thinking was being threatened with extinction!!
 


Ohmyn

First Post
Really? It would appear that you don’t understand the argument made by anyone else. I mean- how many posts, and you still don’t seem to grok that people don’t agree with you.

That said, if you’re correct then it is completely legal in all AL games.

Is it? Should be simple enough to find out. Instead of continually asserting something others disagree with.

I get that many don't agree, but that doesn't mean their understanding is accurate. Most people are still so caught up in the old fluff that they only want one interpretation to exist period. Such bias is why it would be foolish to trust AL standards as infallible. They also seem to almost universally rule that the DM chooses what animals appear with Conjure Animals, even if RAW tells the player to choose "One beast of challenge rating 2 or lower". Personally, if I'm told to pick a beast, I'd think I get to pick a beast. Can you guess where the interpretation that the DM chooses comes from? Sage Advice. Know where the interpretation that nothing in the game system stops a Druid from putting on metal armor comes from? Yup, the same Sage Advice.

Also, it's not completely legal in all AL games to wear metal, but it is legal in some, because again, as per the rules as written, nothing in the game system stops a player from making that decision. Doing so does not go against RAW, so it's not ruled out of AL as a house rule. That's just how the game mechanics are written, and that's all I'm trying to explain.

Also also, the Adventurers League says that the Sage Advice is only a good barometer for "rules as intended", but that's from documentation that has not been updated since March of 2017. As of the 2019 Sage Advice Compendium, it now contains a passage that's titled "[NEW] Official Rulings" (the [NEW] means it was added in the latest update), which explains that the Sage Advice is now the official rulings on how to interpret game rules. This is why I also would rule in favor of the DM choosing which animals are picked with Conjure Animals, regardless of how the PHB is worded (even though they do specify that's only the design "intent" in this case).

I will always take Wizards' word for it as to what's official over what the DM says, since they do publish the game and all. I will still always accept the DM's ruling regardless, as they are not forced to adhere to the rules anyway, but I will not blindly accept that the DM is following the rules as written.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
There are 3 specific places in the 1E PHB (1 on page 19, 2 on page 21) that state a Druid cannot wear metal armour, 1 place uses the word 'unable', another uses the word 'inability', another specific states that only leather is 'permitted'.

Please find me one reference which categorically states that they CAN...

Perhaps you don't understand how they were using can't. Here are some examples. You know those back water jet things that can shoot you way up in to the air to fly around? I can't use one. I wouldn't know the first thing about it and would likely drown myself. However, I can wear one around. Also, I'm never going into space, so I can't use a space suit. However, I can sure as hell put one on and pretend to be an astronaut.

If druids literally cannot put metal armor over their bodies, then it would be impossible for them to know that metal armor stops their spells. So logic tells us that they must be able to put metal armor on. Gygax and WotC would not have bothered to mention that it saps druids of their abilities unless they expected some druids to don it at some point, such as trying to sneak into a castle.

Can't in 1e and 3e does not mean, "It's impossible for druids to don metal armor." Rather, it means, "I can wear it if I want to, but I can't use my abilities and may suffer some in game consequences for that decision." It's really easy to understand if you bother to try.

To date, there has never been a rule that says that it's impossible for druids to don metal armor.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Page 19 of the 1E PHB specifically states this is not the case.

I quote:

**** A thief may use a short sword, broad sword or long sword but not a bastard sword or a two handed sword

That is quite clear, nothing about non-proficiency penalty.

Maybe you should have read further to proficiencies.

"At the start, your character will be able to employ but a limited number of weapons. The number is determined by class. When the character moves up in levels of experience to the next higher combat melee table, he or she is assumed to have acquired proficiency in an additional weapon. The new weapon is of his or her choice. Note that proficiency with a normal weapon is subsumed in using a magical weapon of the same type. If proficiency with any given weapon is not held by the character it is used at a penalty as shown on the table which follows."

The bolded portion says that he can use it with a penalty if he is not proficient.

In 1e can't did not mean "impossible" no matter how much you wish it did.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
"Druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal." 5e PHB.

There is no reference to the circumstances of the thing - is it to sneak into a castle, win cosplay, mock the paladin etc. But then they dont list or try to list all the various reasons one may use things.

So, for 5e, if you chose druid, knowing this rule and did not work out the details with your GM, then to me it's not railroading for the GM to hold this rule as applicable.

Do you see an exception in that rule that says "except to sneak"?

Um, so that's not even a rule. It's just one line of fluff on choices druids make. If you're going to claim that a rule was made that makes it impossible for a druid to so much as don metal armor, at least use the ones from 1st to 3rd edition. Those are at least rules.

So, you know, if you the player wsnt to play a druid who "will" do this thing listed under druid clas feastures, instead of waiting yolo mid-gsme with your "rsiltoading" blow horn ready to blare its victimization wail, you should have spoke to your GM about it in chargen - just in case they fo something silly like expect you to play by the rule.

"Will not" seems clear enough.


Sure. This is clear, too. If my dad had said to me when I was a kid, "You will not go outside." and I was feeling rebellious, I would go outside anyway. It's just a choice and I can CHOOSE to go against it. See how that works?
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Read the definition of rule I provided. Clearly you don’t have an understanding of it.

You're the one failing to understand. Here's your definition again.

I don’t know why this is still going on. Look at the definition of a rule.
1.
one of a set of explicit or understood regulations or principles governing conduct within a particular activity or sphere.


"Won't wear metal armor" is not a regulation or a principle governing conduct. Nobody is coercing them through such a regulation or principle. It's nothing but a personal choice made by druids, and that means that 1) it's not a rule, and 2) PCs can opt to wear the armor.

I have no idea where this position that it’s not a rule unless it’s physically impossible to do so comes from, but that’s not what rules mean. It quite clearly talks about principals that govern behavior. I mean, it’s literally in the definition.

If it's not physically impossible, then my druid can break the "rule" and wear metal armor. The DM has no right to stop me if it's not a physical impossibility.

Clerics who didn’t follow their god’s wishes and rules lost their ability to cast spells. So...swing and a miss.

Ding! Ding! Ding! Yes! There was a penalty for breaking the rule, but the cleric did have the choice to break it. The same goes for druids and metal armor and thieves and two-handed swords. So long as they accepted the penalties(not being able to use magical abilities and non-proficient penalties), they could engage in aberrant behavior. This is backed up by the experience section which explicitly says via the penalties that classes can engage in aberrant class behaviors.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Your 1st statement is incorrect - the non proficiency penalty is for weapons the character has not chosen to be proficient with, nowhere does it state it corresponds to weapons not allowed by their class - as the assumption is that the character simply *cannot* use them. For example - a cleric chooses to be proficient with mace and staff, he gets the non-prof penalty when using other cleric weapons such as hammer, club or flail.

DM: You arrive alone, naked except for the loin cloth you were given when you escaped from your cell. In this room is a door, and on the wall is a rack containing a single two-handed sword.

Player: I check the door.

DM: It's locked.

Player: I picked up the two-handed sword.

DM: Okay. Now what?

Player: I swing it at the door to break it.

DM: You can't. You're a thief and can't use two-handed swords, so something literally prevents you from swinging the sword at the door.

Player: What is preventing me?

DM: Misunderstood rules!
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
You're the one failing to understand. Here's your definition again.




"Won't wear metal armor" is not a regulation or a principle governing conduct. Nobody is coercing them through such a regulation or principle. It's nothing but a personal choice made by druids, and that means that 1) it's not a rule, and 2) PCs can opt to wear the armor.



If it's not physically impossible, then my druid can break the "rule" and wear metal armor. The DM has no right to stop me if it's not a physical impossibility.



Ding! Ding! Ding! Yes! There was a penalty for breaking the rule, but the cleric did have the choice to break it. The same goes for druids and metal armor and thieves and two-handed swords. So long as they accepted the penalties(not being able to use magical abilities and non-proficient penalties), they could engage in aberrant behavior. This is backed up by the experience section which explicitly says via the penalties that classes can engage in aberrant class behaviors.



Druids won’t wear armor, and it was explained why. Because of their ethos. That’s literally the same thing as a principal. Good lord...

And yes, a DM can tell you that you can’t, because it’s the DMs world and game. There’s no explicit rule saying I can’t physically move a battleship 4 zones in Axis and Allies, but that doesn’t mean I can. Just because there is no explicit penalty didn’t mean the rule doesn’t exist. We have the definition of what a rule is. There is not only one, but several passages quoted for you already that clearly fit that definition. End stop.

Look man, you’re not following the rules. Which is not that big of a deal; the game allows you to do so if your table agrees. But to try arguing you’re NOT breaking the rules is just silly.
 

lingual

Explorer
Cant believe some ppl here would actually quit a game if there druid weren't allowed to prance about the woods in full plate armor. Rules lawyering players are so annoying. Good riddance then!
 

cbwjm

Hero
Cant believe some ppl here would actually quit a game if there druid weren't allowed to prance about the woods in full plate armor. Rules lawyering players are so annoying. Good riddance then!
I also think a lot of people can't believe that there are DMs that would kick out a player who wants their druid to use metal armour.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Um, so that's not even a rule. It's just one line of fluff on choices druids make. If you're going to claim that a rule was made that makes it impossible for a druid to so much as don metal armor, at least use the ones from 1st to 3rd edition. Those are at least rules.



Sure. This is clear, too. If my dad had said to me when I was a kid, "You will not go outside." and I was feeling rebellious, I would go outside anyway. It's just a choice and I can CHOOSE to go against it. See how that works?[/FONT][/COLOR]
First it us a rule. Not sure how it can be seen otherwise.

As for you disobeying your Dad, absolutely, I get that.

It's just like how in DnD a GM can choose for their game to not use the druid armor rule, or the cleric armor rules or the multi-class restrictions.

But, at most tables, that's a far different kind of choice than a player at that table deciding to not play by the rules that are agreed to order by the GM by declaring it in play, as opposed to discussing it in a context of rules change.

A player can declare that his halfling flies across the chasm, even tho they have no actual way to do so at that moment. The GM can then describe the results.

See how that works?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Druids won’t wear armor, and it was explained why. Because of their ethos. That’s literally the same thing as a principal. Good lord...

Never seen someone go against their beliefs before? I have. It's really common.

And yes, a DM can tell you that you can’t, because it’s the DMs world and game.

Tyrants don't keep players long.

There’s no explicit rule saying I can’t physically move a battleship 4 zones in Axis and Allies, but that doesn’t mean I can.

This False Equivalence again? Those ships cannot move that far. It's not possible. Druids are capable of putting on metal armor. It is possible.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
I also think a lot of people can't believe that there are DMs that would kick out a player who wants their druid to use metal armour.
While obviously there can be most any type of behavior, I dont know of any GM eho would kick a player out for *wanting* their druid to wear metal armor.

I can see it as more likely to occur to players who *insist* and get argumentative or insulting about it if told no.

Me? I am a "say yes unless there is a compelling reason to say no" guy do in my games I added special "banded armor" (lacquered and treated wood originally elven), shell and chitin based armors and so on. If a player specifically wanted metal, my response would be that it was OK if and only if they gave me background and story driven basis for their charscter that was, in fact, compelling, integral to their charscter and defining. (Basically it adds more to the game and adds to the world in consistent story spawning ways.)

But a position paper on "smithing vs tanning - which is more natural?" would not make the cut.
 
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Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
First it us a rule. Not sure how it can be seen otherwise.

Because it's not an instruction. It's a choice. If it was a rule, they would say "can't." They don't, because it's not a rule.

It's just like how in DnD a GM can choose for their game to not use the druid armor rule, or the cleric armor rules or the multi-class restrictions.

And just like my druid can decide to put on a set of metal armor to sneak into a castle. It's my PC's choice, not the DM's.

A player can declare that his halfling flies across the chasm, even tho they have no actual way to do so at that moment. The GM can then describe the results.

See how that works?

Yep! It works completely unlike druids putting on metal armor. You see, halflings are physically incapable of flying across the chasm on their own, but druids are 100% capable of just putting on metal armor. False Equivalences are false.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Cant believe some ppl here would actually quit a game if there druid weren't allowed to prance about the woods in full plate armor. Rules lawyering players are so annoying. Good riddance then!

Why would you play under a tyrant? And you reeaaaally need to look up Rules Lawyering. The only people here engaging in that are the ones claiming that it's physically impossible for druids to put on metal armor.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
I also think a lot of people can't believe that there are DMs that would kick out a player who wants their druid to use metal armour.

Heh! Not even that much. I'm proposing just donning it long enough to sneak into a castle. That's apparently enough to give these guys fits.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Because it's not an instruction. It's a choice. If it was a rule, they would say "can't." They don't, because it's not a rule.



And just like my druid can decide to put on a set of metal armor to sneak into a castle. It's my PC's choice, not the DM's.



Yep! It works completely unlike druids putting on metal armor. You see, halflings are physically incapable of flying across the chasm on their own, but druids are 100% capable of just putting on metal armor. False Equivalences are false.
Why is that halfling incapable of flying across the chasm? Is it perhaps that there is a rule to that effect the players all play by?

Why epnt that druid put on armor? Is it that there is a rule the players agreed to to that effect?

See how that works?

As for you personally deciding that including the word "wont" (or "will not") disqualifies something as being a rule, you certainly can choose that for your table play. But for the 5e PHB there does not seem to be such a definition made.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Why is that halfling incapable of flying across the chasm? Is it perhaps that there is a rule to that effect the players all play by?

Why epnt that druid put on armor? Is it that there is a rule the players agreed to to that effect?

See how that works?

Yep. The halfling rule still works completely differently from the druid "rule." One says halflings only have a walking speed and shows them built like small humans, physically incapable of flight. The other fails to say anything about druids physically being unable to put on metal armor. There is no explanation in 1e, 2e, 3e or 5e that says why druids don't wear metal armor, except for how it affects their magical abilities(1e and 3e). If you can point me to something that says that druids are physically incapable of putting on metal armor, your equivalence will cease to be false. Can you show that to me?

As for you personally deciding that including the word "wont" (or "will not") disqualifies something as being a rule, you certainly can choose that for your table play. But for the 5e PHB there does not seem to be such a definition made.

You do understand that "won't wear" means it's a choice they make, right?
 

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