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5E Why the Druid Metal Restriction is Poorly Implemented

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
THE ENTIRE POINT IS THAT ANY RULE WITHOUT A SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTATION OR ENFORCEMENT IS POORLY IMPLEMENTED, MAYBE TRY READING THE THREAD AND ACTUALLY CONSIDER OUR POINT OF VIEW BEFORE JOINGING THE REST OF THE THREADCRAPPING DUNKING DUNCES, CAPISCE?
Mockery of this post aside, this is not true. Especially for a game with the specific design goal of rulings over rules and where a huge portion of the game revolves around lore and fluff. AKA: role-playing. In fact, in a game like D&D where there are literally no limitations to a person's imagination or what scenarios may come up, it is better design to give guidelines and let the DM (and lesser extent table) decide who to implement them. Having a tantrum and insulting other people won't resolve anything except maybe to get you yet another mod warning.
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
THE ENTIRE POINT IS THAT ANY RULE WITHOUT A SPECIFIC IMPLEMENTATION OR ENFORCEMENT IS POORLY IMPLEMENTED, MAYBE TRY READING THE THREAD AND ACTUALLY CONSIDER OUR POINT OF VIEW BEFORE JOINGING THE REST OF THE THREADCRAPPING DUNKING DUNCES, CAPISCE?
That's not really how D&D works, though: all sorts of rules are designed for flexible implementation by the DM (stealth, for instance). That's the nature of the beast. The Class write up says that Druids won't wear metal armor: Sage Advice reveals that there is no combat balance concern, and a given DM gets to decide on what to do about it. This is just an inherent part of the 5E philosophy, and it has worked well for years. Also, it isn't threadcrapping to disagree with the thesis of the OP: that's a discussion.
 
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Ohmyn

Villager
Big difference between a Paladin slipping up and committing a sin and a Druid putting on plate mail.

It's silly to equate the two. Violating a "vow of chastity" or something similar or eating delicious non-kosher meat is a very natural thing to do and human nature. Putting on uncomfortable metal armor is entirely different.
Slipping up? A Paladin doesn't have to "slip up". A Paladin can denounce their beliefs at any point in time and go on a murderous rampage. Nothing stops them at all. Heck, a Cleric can denounce their deity and burn down every church or temple in their name that they come across from that point forward. Further heck, a Druid could be chaotic evil and go on a rampage burning down every forest they come across, as well as killing every living creature they see in the process. They'd still have their power over fey spirits/creatures with their conjure spells, and could order them to participate. The game system has no penalties for that either, nor does it have any rules to stop the behavior, because the lore is not a RAW limitation on the choice of players. If my character can choose to burn down a forest, it only makes sense it can choose to put on metal.

A vow to not eat meat is not any more binding than a vow not to wear metal. Paladins are brought up because they've had the most binding taboos in every edition of the game, but you can still break them. If every other class with taboo is allowed to break their taboo if the player wants their character to, why not the Druid?

Also, metal armor is not inherently uncomfortable. In fact, the better quality armors of civilization were upgraded to not only increase efficiency, but also comfort. The PHB literally defines the Hide armor as crude armor that is typically only worn by those who lack access to the tools and materials needed to create better armor. The only time weight would be a factor in comfort would be if they had a low strength and so it put them at or over their encumbrance. A Breastplate would by far be way more comfortable than wearing Hide.
 
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Ohmyn

Villager
Mockery of this post aside, this is not true. Especially for a game with the specific design goal of rulings over rules and where a huge portion of the game revolves around lore and fluff. AKA: role-playing. In fact, in a game like D&D where there are literally no limitations to a person's imagination or what scenarios may come up, it is better design to give guidelines and let the DM (and lesser extent table) decide who to implement them. Having a tantrum and insulting other people won't resolve anything except maybe to get you yet another mod warning.
Yes, it actually is true. When rules are put in without hard mechanics, they always include soft mechanics. Penalizing the Paladin for breaking their vows is a soft rule, because it doesn't state any hard mechanics, but it gives a general guideline for DMs to follow. They can maybe be told to seek penance, or if it's something terribly egregious they may get to switch to another class or become an Oathbreaker. It's assumed the player does not have to follow the tenets of the class, and if they don't want to, the extent of penalty is left up to the DM, as well as if the penalty will be enforced at all. In a RAW setting, the DM may not choose an option outside of these options, because that would be a house rule due to not existing in the books.

The Druid is given no such guidelines, and it is verified in the Sage Advice that there is no penalty to the Druid at all. That, plus what you stated about there being no limitations to a person's imagination or what scenarios may come up, is why it's a piss poor design to just say "your character won't do X", without rhyme or reason, and to think that the character would never do it when they suffer no consequence from it. I repeat, if my Druid has full capacity to go chaotic evil and burn down every forest of the world, then they have full capacity to say that silly taboo is dumb and put on some metal.
 

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Ah, so I see we're back to ignoring what the definition of a rule is, and making our own up again. And also completely ignoring all of the basis behind why that rule exists. No "rhyme or reason"? Dude, reread your own posts when you quoted that SA, because it tells you what the reason is right there. You seem to be under this huge impression that if you don't agree with something, then it never exists even when you're quoting it yourself. That takes some serious blinders, I'll give you that.
 

lingual

Villager
Would u consider a DM punsihing a druid that burns down a forest a tyrant? And this is not buring down a forest to dtop some blight from spreading. This would be pure arson.
 

Ohmyn

Villager
Ah, so I see we're back to ignoring what the definition of a rule is, and making our own up again. And also completely ignoring all of the basis behind why that rule exists. No "rhyme or reason"? Dude, reread your own posts when you quoted that SA, because it tells you what the reason is right there. You seem to be under this huge impression that if you don't agree with something, then it never exists even when you're quoting it yourself. That takes some serious blinders, I'll give you that.
Yes, the Sage Advice provided additional clarification, but the book itself provided no clarification, which is what I was pointing at. People had to literally ask the game system developer what the heck that meant. The game developer simply assumed people would get it based on books from 1976 and 1978, which even that he was wrong on, because neither book even clarified it to be a taboo, and the latter example (original AD&D PHB) made it a mechanical limitation that spoiled their magic as opposed to just a choice they made. This is ignoring the fact that it was not taboo in 3E or 4E, with 3E spoiling their magic, and 4E having no penalty at all minus not being proficient, which could be negated by becoming proficient. The only edition that was different from this was 2E, which stated they may only wear "natural" armor, but it didn't specify any reason as to why that was the case, nor did it make any mention of metal or explain what "natural" meant. The 3E PHB released in 2000, so Druids had mechanics related to wearing metal armor for 14 years of D&D before 5E ever released, which is why it threw people off to see such a poorly implemented line without any sort of hard or soft rules behind it.

Even now with the Sage Advice clarification, people seem to be willfully ignoring the parts of the Sage Advice where it's said that not wearing metal is simply a preference of Druids, that Druids can wear metal armor, that nothing in the game system prevents them from doing so, that there is no penalty, and that they are proficient in its use. That has all of the elements of being a choice, not a hard restriction that cannot be bypassed if the character has different beliefs, much like a Cleric and their deity, or a Paladin and their oath, or a Warlock and their pact, or a Monk and their monastic traditions.
 
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Ohmyn

Villager
Would u consider a DM punsihing a druid that burns down a forest a tyrant? And this is not buring down a forest to dtop some blight from spreading. This would be pure arson.
Yes, I would. Druids can be of any alignment now. The rules for performing out of alignment behavior is an alignment shift, not a class penalty. Druids are no longer alignment locked, so I could be a chaotic evil Druid, or a lawful good Druid. If I opted for lawful good, and I burned down random forests because I simply wanted to watch the world burn, then that would likely call for my alignment to shift to chaotic evil, as per the rules provided to the DM. That could also call for in-game consequences, such as upsetting my party if they're lawful good, or if my party contains another more good aligned Druid, or if I light the forest in front of people and they put a bounty out on me. However, there is no restriction that a Druid cannot be chaotic evil, there are no mechanical penalties for them performing ill-intent acts against nature, and there even exists plenty of evil fey creatures now. If the DM said I can't start a fire because they don't like my class doing that, it would be railroading my character. If they took away my class for doing so, that would be the DM going outside of the written rules to restrict my character's options. That's permitted for them to do since they can do whatever they wish (unless at a RAW table), but unless they did it to someone that was clearly making efforts to be disruptive, I wouldn't come back to that DM's table, even if it was done to someone not me.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
And also completely ignoring all of the basis behind why that rule exists. No "rhyme or reason"?
What basis? Taboo? That was only brought up in the Sage Advice. It's not in the 1e PHB, 2e PHB, 3e PHB or 5e PHB. There is no mention of why it exists other than the part in 1e and 3e that say that it messes up their magical abilities. 4e I don't know about.

If it's as the 1e and 3e PHB say it is and the only reason for not being able to wear metal armor is loss of magical abilities, nothing stop a PC from wearing it anyway. If it's as the 5e Sage Advice says and it's just a taboo like being kosher, then nothing stops a PC druid from wearing it anyway. It's no different than paladin and monk taboos, and there is no rules basis for a druid being more unable to wear metal armor if the PC is willing to put it on, than a paladin or monk.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Would u consider a DM punsihing a druid that burns down a forest a tyrant?
You need to be more specific. Punish how?

And this is not buring down a forest to dtop some blight from spreading. This would be pure arson.
Only if the forest is in a country that has laws against burning down forests. Arson is a legal term. In the wilds that no country claims, it would just be starting a fire.
 

ClaytonCross

Explorer
Personally, I don't know any DMs (though they likely exist) that would take away player agency and outright prohibit a druid character to wear metal armor. A fire is a bad place to put my hand, but a DM wouldn't stop me from having my character do it.
I had a GM that did. He also felt that applied to weapons even though it didn't say so when I multi-classed rogue so I had find wood from a D&D Quebracho tree (aka Axe Breaker Tree) to make daggers that wouldn't NORMALLY break in combat and use mending to fix them when they did. Add to that my old GM would take my agency away and prevent me from putting my hand in fire and burning myself if it meant that the his story telling went the way he wanted or I would some how benefit from doing so by saving that burning clue in time to solve a puzzle extra. If I would just get burned he would have allowed it and laughed at me for the "stupid attempt".

I only mention this to say I understand the OPs points and agree. Your statement that its not a big deal as you said is based on your experience. However, seeing it go bad even once you can see how the removal or official errata clarifying it mechanically would improve those debates. I did stop playing under my controlling GM but GMs trying to control players or doubling down on a rule that's getting in the way instead aiming for fun is not a new thing to roleplaying and it pops up even with better GMs.
 

lingual

Villager
Seems silly for any druid to be allowed to mercilessly upset the balance of nature without any repurcussions. Any player who does that and then comes back with "there's nothing in the rules..." seems like a classic "rules lawyer" to me. I'm glad such types would voluntarily leave. Props to the op for that. He or she would have the decency to go away in that case.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Seems silly for any druid to be allowed to mercilessly upset the balance of nature without any repurcussions. Any player who does that and then comes back with "there's nothing in the rules..." seems like a classic "rules lawyer" to me. I'm glad such types would voluntarily leave. Props to the op for that. He or she would have the decency to go away in that case.
You didn't answer my question. Punish how?

P.S. That's not being a rules lawyer, classic or otherwise.
 

DEFCON 1

Hero
Heh... I'm failing to see what the point of all of this is, especially now with all these hundreds of posts.

The book has already been written and printed. The "rule" is already in black and white. Arguing is not able to change the ink. So at this point what difference does it make whether it was a good rule or a bad rule, or a changeable rule or an ignorable rule?

The book says a thing. You can now either follow it or ignore it. What further argument is required at this point that warrants this many posts?
 

Ohmyn

Villager
Seems silly for any druid to be allowed to mercilessly upset the balance of nature without any repurcussions. Any player who does that and then comes back with "there's nothing in the rules..." seems like a classic "rules lawyer" to me. I'm glad such types would voluntarily leave. Props to the op for that. He or she would have the decency to go away in that case.
Then you don't know the nature of the game in its current condition. Druids do not have an alignment restriction like they have had in past editions, just as Paladins no longer have alignment restrictions. The Feywilds are not just full of neutral or good creatures, and there are plenty sufficient evil plant creatures. If you gain your power from the divine, it need not be radiant power. You very well could make a Chaotic Evil Druid, just as you could make a Chaotic Evil Paladin, or a Chaotic Evil Cleric.

Currently there are 5 deities in the Forgotten Realms setting of 5E that could offer Clerics the Nature Domain, and only one of them is neutral, two are good, and two are evil. All 5 of them grant Clerics proficiency in the heaviest of metal armors. Druids can gain their power from a deity just as a Cleric can. They could likewise gain power from the darker powers in nature. Whereas a good Druid may earn the favor of Dryads and Treants, the evil Druid may earn the favor of Hags and Blights. There's also the character that doesn't try to appease the spirits to gain their favor, but rather takes power for themselves. Hags, despite their evil nature, are fey creatures, just as Dryads are, but still also exert control over nature despite their proclivity for death. Just by living in an area they change the very state of nature around them, causing trees to attack living creatures, the air to become poisonous, etc.

The very point of the argument is not an argument of "there's nothing in the rules", but the fact that the game system in 5E is built very contrary to what you're stating. You're implying it's still heavily one-dimensional, where a deviation from the class must have consequences on the class, but that's outdated standards. The game has been changed from that idea for nearly 20 years now since 3E came out . Druids could become good or evil, and Paladins had Blackguard in the core DMG for them to continue having corrupted Paladin powers after falling from grace. In 4E such restrictions went away for good, and it has continued that way into 5E. If a DM can't figure out a way to handle situations without simply taking away player agency or threatening to take their class away, then they simply haven't adapted with the times.

EDIT: Just to note, I'm not saying any one player should be deviating from the play that everyone at their table agrees to ahead of time. What I'm pointing out is that the game system has equal player agency built in for players playing as any class, including Druid, as per the core rules of the game. That's what makes the metal armor taboo a busted "rule". If every player wants to play a certain way, I totally agree with removal of the player that wants to deviate from what the rest of the group wants in a way that's disruptive. However, I do not agree with the removal of player agency from a single player at the table simply because the DM believes their class must always make certain decisions, even going so far as to rule possible actions that any character could perform to be impossible.
 
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Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Heh... I'm failing to see what the point of all of this is, especially now with all these hundreds of posts.

The book has already been written and printed. The "rule" is already in black and white. Arguing is not able to change the ink. So at this point what difference does it make whether it was a good rule or a bad rule, or a changeable rule or an ignorable rule?

The book says a thing. You can now either follow it or ignore it. What further argument is required at this point that warrants this many posts?
Basically it boils down to some people want their druid to wear metal armor. It's "justified" because ... I dunno. I'm sure we'll get yet another wall of text soon. It's not a real rule because it only shows up as a proficiency restriction and there is no penalty if the rule is broken. Will not doesn't really mean they won't. The rules aren't the boss of the player. Take your pick.

Apparently I'm a "tyrant" DM because I personally follow the rules unless I have a significant reason not to do so, including this one. I'll work with a PC that wants better armor but I don't see a reason to lift it. It's easy enough to ignore of course if you're the DM. However, that's not good enough unless we all agree that druids should be able to wear plate mail.

I've given up arguing because there's no point, and one of those arguments I really don't understand. Accept the rule, don't accept the rule it doesn't really matter to me. If I'm the DM and you don't want to accept the rules of the game, find a different DM, I won't take offense.
 

Maxperson

Orcus on an on Day
Basically it boils down to some people want their druid to wear metal armor. It's "justified" because ... I dunno. I'm sure we'll get yet another wall of text soon. It's not a real rule because it only shows up as a proficiency restriction and there is no penalty if the rule is broken. Will not doesn't really mean they won't. The rules aren't the boss of the player. Take your pick.
Literally nobody has said that, though. We're just saying exceptions can be made if there are in game reasons for an exception to be made, not that we are trying to stick our druids into metal armor to use on a regular basis.
 

Oofta

Title? I don't need no stinkin' title.
Literally nobody has said that, though. We're just saying exceptions can be made if there are in game reasons for an exception to be made, not that we are trying to stick our druids into metal armor to use on a regular basis.
Seriously? There have been dozens of posts about how the DM can't dictate what the PC thinks, walls of text of how it's "just a taboo" and that people ignore taboos all the time.

In any case, in all my years of playing I've never seen a scenario where a druid would be forced to put on metal armor no matter how many hypothetical castles we're trying to infiltrate. If a DM puts your druid into a situation where they have to put on metal armor, the DM is being a ****. But I'm not going to argue about this any more, have a good one.
 

lingual

Villager
Literally nobody has said that, though. We're just saying exceptions can be made if there are in game reasons for an exception to be made, not that we are trying to stick our druids into metal armor to use on a regular basis.
No. What "you" (plural) are saying is that it's perfectly acceptable to have CE druid riding around on motorbikes with flame throwers burning Bambi and Thumper because there are no explicit rules against that. Any DM who punishes that type of activity is a tyrant on a railroad.
 

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