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5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented

Ristamar

Explorer
Where I have a problem is a restriction which is presented as if it were a rule, but is not written clearly enough for an actual rule (which armors count as metal? what replacement options exist, if any? what happens if you do wear metal armor?), and when asked for clarification, the designers say "This is just a story thing, you can wear metal armor and it won't affect game balance if your DM is okay with it." Say what? Of course it affects game balance, metal armor is a lot better than non-metal armor! If druids were meant to be medium armor wearers, that ought to be spelled out in the rules and the non-metal restriction clearly presented as a non-binding story element. If not, that should also be spelled out, including details of precisely which armors are forbidden, and consequences imposed for wearing them.
The designers deliberately chose not to lay out strict restrictions and guidelines for the adjudication of Stealth, and you're expecting a treatise on what constitutes metal armor and its ill effects for one class?

Relax and consider the silver lining from the DM perspective. If a player's Druid is ignoring the lore and frequently leaning on the protection provided from metal armor, it means they're not Wildshaped and you have plenty of opportunities to do some real, meaningful damage.
 

Aebir-Toril

Explorer
This (pseudo) rule really only exists for one reason; so that Druids don't become even more monstrously powerful. Lore justifications are rubbish, and everyone knows that they are. I'm sure that leather armor is more 'natural' than metal armor.
 

Paul Farquhar

Adventurer
This (pseudo) rule really only exists for one reason; so that Druids don't become even more monstrously powerful. Lore justifications are rubbish, and everyone knows that they are. I'm sure that leather armor is more 'natural' than metal armor.

Tortle druids have the equivalent of built in plate armour, and, although not a bad choice for a melee druid who isn't a Moon druid, are a long way short of "monstrously powerful", even if they manage to pick up Booming Blade and/or GFB.
 

Psyzhran2357

Villager
Good grief. This argument, again? In my campaign there's a simple answer. If your PC wears metal armor, they aren't a druid. Don't like the rule? Change it if you're the DM.

I don't really care about why or what the consequences are, without a house rule to change things if you wear metal armor you can't take the druid class. End of story. Sometimes the answer is simply "no". I'm not going to justify it, argue about it, discuss pros and cons, debate whether it's really a "rule" or just a suggestion. Druids won't wear metal armor. Period.

I hope you aren't this small and closed of mind in other aspects of your life. Because I find the very principle of your refusal to even think about the possibilities of a matter absolutely morally abhorrent.
 
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lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
I hope you aren't this small and closed of mind in other aspects of your life. Because I find the very principle of your refusal to even think about the possibilities of a matter absolutely morally abhorrent.
...."morally abhorrent."

BWAH!

I need to have this thread mainlained straight into my veins.


"So, I don't let druids wear metal armor."

"WHAT ARE YOU, A BABY KILLER???!!!!!???"


It's good to know that we all remember it's a game. :)
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
I hope you aren't this small and closed of mind in other aspects of your life. Because I find the very principle of your refusal to even think about the possibilities of a matter absolutely morally abhorrent.

Following the rules printed in the book is "absolutely morally abhorrent"?

Don't like the rule? Change it when you're running a game.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I hope you aren't this small and closed of mind in other aspects of your life. Because I find the very principle of your refusal to even think about the possibilities of a matter absolutely morally abhorrent.

Dude. We have only a few rules around here - one of them being that you can't go around blatantly insulting people or questioning their personal character over a difference of opinion about game rules.

Or maybe you are trying to be funny? If so... folks can't tell.

Either way - you should stick to being respectful.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
I am not sure that you are using the terms "rule" and "edition" and "D&D" in the same way that most people do.

Allow me to introduce you to the first 25 years of the game.
I'm using them definitively. A character only "won't" do something until they do it. There's been mechanical penalties for certain actions, but never a removal of player agency to perform said actions. Wizards in every edition of the game have been able to don any armor they wish, there'd just be penalties if they didn't otherwise have the training to do so. Even if they wanted to be an immobile chunk of metal for a bit, that was their choice. Monks have always been allowed to wear armor, they'd simply suffer mechanical penalties. Paladins have always been able to break their oaths, and there have been plenty of classes representing fallen Paladins. Heck, even the Sacred Vows of 3.5's Book of Exalted Deeds could be disavowed, it just had a heavy penalty for doing so.

Druids and metal armor in 5E? Nothing's defined, neither mechanically nor in narrative. It only says they won't, not that they can't, which simply becomes incorrect as soon as one does.

Good grief. This argument, again? In my campaign there's a simple answer. If your PC wears metal armor, they aren't a druid. Don't like the rule? Change it if you're the DM.

I don't really care about why or what the consequences are, without a house rule to change things if you wear metal armor you can't take the druid class. End of story.
But now you're the one making a house rule. There's no such mechanical limitation placed in the book, nor in the Sage Advice. I repeat, a character only "won't" do something until they do it. There's no rule that says the X levels of Druid on the character sheet magically go away because they disagree with one of the flimsy, undefined story elements of the class.

The PHB adds for the Monk: "As a rule, monks care little for material wealth and are driven by a desire to accomplish a greater mission than merely slaying monsters and plundering their treasure."

Is every murder hobo Monk PC not a Monk? Would you rule if they ever become greedy, or act as a standard murder hobo alongside their Fighter PCs, that they're "no longer a Monk"? What would be the mechanical basis for that, if not a house rule? Do you take their Monk levels and powers away? Because they're obviously not a Monk, as per the class's story.
 
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Aebir-Toril

Explorer
Tortle druids have the equivalent of built in plate armour, and, although not a bad choice for a melee druid who isn't a Moon druid, are a long way short of "monstrously powerful", even if they manage to pick up Booming Blade and/or GFB.
This is not a valid argument. Tortles are a poorly-balanced joke of a race that was released in conjunction with Tomb of Annihilation. Furthermore, I would argue that they are, in fact, very powerful. However, I could be wrong. I would appreciate a mathematical proof for your answer, if you could provide one.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
I'm using them definitively. A character only "won't" do something until they do it. There's been mechanical penalties for certain actions, but never a removal of player agency to perform said actions. Wizards in every edition of the game have been able to don any armor they wish, there'd just be penalties if they didn't otherwise have the training to do so. Even if they wanted to be an immobile chunk of metal for a bit, that was their choice. Monks have always been allowed to wear armor, they'd simply suffer mechanical penalties. Paladins have always been able to break their oaths, and there have been plenty of classes representing fallen Paladins. Heck, even the Sacred Vows of 3.5's Book of Exalted Deeds could be disavowed, it just had a heavy penalty for doing so.

Druids and metal armor in 5E? Nothing's defined, neither mechanically nor in narrative. It only says they won't, not that they can't, which simply becomes incorrect as soon as one does.
I think you're missing the joke?

The first 25 years was OD&D, AD&D, B/X, BECMI, and 2e.

I think your opinion of those editions ... is probably a little different than those of just about everyone else. If you are stating that there was never any removal of player agency (MAN, THAT TERM IS THE GOOD STUFF!), then I have some a Gygaxian Ethereal Mummy to sell you, cheap.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Nah, the scientific term is Evangetarian.
Woah, now!

If someone is going to harangue me over my choices, I at least want them to have the courage of their convictions.*

I don't want someone moaning about my yummy al pastor taco if they are drinking a milkshake.


They need to be sickly and dairy-free.


*Much like the traditional LG Stupid-din. Say what you will about the tenets of the traditional 1e Paladin, dude, at least it's an ethos.
 

Parmandur

Legend
I think you're missing the joke?

The first 25 years was OD&D, AD&D, B/X, BECMI, and 2e.

I think your opinion of those editions ... is probably a little different than those of just about everyone else. If you are stating that there was never any removal of player agency (MAN, THAT TERM IS THE GOOD STUFF!), then I have some a Gygaxian Ethereal Mummy to sell you, cheap.
I'm using them definitively. A character only "won't" do something until they do it. There's been mechanical penalties for certain actions, but never a removal of player agency to perform said actions. Wizards in every edition of the game have been able to don any armor they wish, there'd just be penalties if they didn't otherwise have the training to do so. Even if they wanted to be an immobile chunk of metal for a bit, that was their choice. Monks have always been allowed to wear armor, they'd simply suffer mechanical penalties. Paladins have always been able to break their oaths, and there have been plenty of classes representing fallen Paladins. Heck, even the Sacred Vows of 3.5's Book of Exalted Deeds could be disavowed, it just had a heavy penalty for doing so.

Druids and metal armor in 5E? Nothing's defined, neither mechanically nor in narrative. It only says they won't, not that they can't, which simply becomes incorrect as soon as one does.



But now you're the one making a house rule. There's no such mechanical limitation placed in the book, nor in the Sage Advice. I repeat, a character only "won't" do something until they do it. There's no rule that says the X levels of Druid on the character sheet magically go away because they disagree with one of the flimsy, undefined story elements of the class.

The PHB adds for the Monk: "As a rule, monks care little for material wealth and are driven by a desire to accomplish a greater mission than merely slaying monsters and plundering their treasure."

Is every murder hobo Monk PC not a Monk? Would you rule if they ever become greedy, or act as a standard murder hobo alongside their Fighter PCs, that they're "no longer a Monk"? What would be the mechanical basis for that, if not a house rule? Do you take their Monk levels and powers away? Because they're obviously not a Monk, as per the class's story.
There is no mechanical effect, because mechanically there is no problem with a Druid wearing Scale Mail or any other Medium armor. The "Vegetarian won't eat meat" example from Sage Advise is perfect to illustrate what is going on here.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
I think the sage advice rules are plenty sound enough. If someone disagrees (and it seems at least a few do), then change it at your table.

Easy solution

Oh, and as an aside, tanning leather isn’t as detailed as the OP describes. That’s a modern process. The process is basically stretch and scrape the fat off the leather, then use a solution created by cooking the brains of the animal with water to a mild temp and soak it. That’s it. Smelting and working iron is much more complex and very much is associated with civilization, where leather isn’t, which is the point of that Druidic ethos. Not how many steps are involved, but how we think of each item as it is associated with a modern society of the time.
 

lowkey13

Exterminate all rational thought
Oh, and as an aside, tanning leather isn’t as detailed as the OP describes.
With a real druid, you're lucky if they even wear clothes.

"Radagast! Put the sack back on. We don't need to see your shillelagh and goodberries."
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
But now you're the one making a house rule. There's no such mechanical limitation placed in the book, nor in the Sage Advice. I repeat, a character only "won't" do something until they do it. There's no rule that says the X levels of Druid on the character sheet magically go away because they disagree with one of the flimsy, undefined story elements of the class.
It's clearly spelled out under proficiencies.
Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields (druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)

There does not need to be a mechanical penalty, they will not do it. Ipso facto, if your character is wearing metal armor they are not a druid.

Don't like it, change the rules. Playing at my table and don't like it? Discuss how to get alternative non-metal armor (i.e. dragonscale armor), don't wear metal armor or find a different table.
 

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