Author Topic: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?  (Read 99180 times)

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Endarire

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What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« on: January 07, 2011, 02:30:12 AM »
They're typically expensive, heavy, slowing, and impose a great armor check penalty.

I can get a chain shirt (4AC, 100G, 25lb), dastana (1AC, 25G, 5lb, Arms and Equipment Guide 15), and a chahar-aina (1AC, 75G, 10lb, Oriental Adventures 76) for far less than a suit of full plate (8AC, 1500G, 50lb).  There's only a 2 AC difference, but with the light armor set I'm ahead by 4ACP and 15lb.

I can also Tumble in light armor as any race.

I'm not seeing the point of other armors for most characters.
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The_Mad_Linguist

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2011, 02:43:56 AM »
Typically it sucks.

If you're a dwarf and don't have arcane spells or a significant dex bonus, picking up Thaalud stone armor is actually pretty OK (+12 AC).  There's a psi feat that turns that into a deflection bonus when psionically focused
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2011, 02:51:27 AM »
Hmm. Not bad, even if it is vaguely situational and requires a mediocre prerequisite.

skydragonknight

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2011, 02:55:03 AM »
Heavy Armor is for Paladins, who are so MAD by nature that it allows them to safely dump Dex without getting squished to death.

Medium armor only exists so that Barbarians can wear Mithril Full Plate.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 03:04:47 AM by skydragonknight »
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X-Codes

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2011, 04:39:52 AM »
Heavy Armor is for Paladins, who are so MAD by nature that it allows them to safely dump Dex without getting squished to death.

Medium armor only exists so that Barbarians can wear Mithril Full Plate.
...or can get cheap, decent armor (read: scale) and still benefit from Fast Movement for the first few levels until Mithril Full Plate becomes affordable.

skydragonknight

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2011, 04:43:30 AM »
Yeah. May bad on the "only". Should have said "mostly". ;)
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Iskajir

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2011, 04:49:30 AM »
Githcrafted Mithral  +1 Breastplate of Twilight and Nimbleness and CL 20 Greater Magic Vestment? (admitted not really medium).... There must be similar tricks, though perhaps not worthwhile, to get the last -1 acp and 10% acf off of Githcrafted Mithral  +1 Full plate of Twilight and Nimbleness.

weenog

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2011, 05:28:11 AM »
Meh, it's an extra layer of defense when you don't have much in the way of splatbook access or significant spellcasting.  Not everyone can manage two or three ability scores to AC and at least a 30 in each, and even those that theoretically could run the risk of pissing off their DM.

+1 full plate doesn't look too bad on a feral mineral warrior type with 13,000 gp to spend and a DM that becomes irritable when he's required to look through a different book for every thing the character has or can do.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2011, 05:30:29 AM by weenog »
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JaronK

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 05:34:19 AM »
The Chahar-aina and Dastanas mostly make full plate obsolete, since you can get a Chain Shirt plus both those for +6 AC.   If all three are mithral and the shirt is twilight, there's no armor check penalty or spell failure (and if you're not an arcane caster, you can get away with even cheaper).  Considering how much better your max dex bonus is, this makes heavy armor basically obsolete unless you either dumped dex or are at very low levels.  Heavy armor definitely needs some boosts to make it viable... I've used the house rule that medium armor gives DR/Adamantine equal to half its total AC bonus (including enchantments), while heavy armor gives that DR equal to the total AC bonus.  In both cases, making the armor out of adamantine makes the DR/- and increases it (by 2 or 3, respectively).  That seems to work, though I also make it so that DR never reduces damage below 1.  It also means mithral is no longer an automatic armor choice.

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Shadowhunter

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 06:22:42 AM »
Otherwise we couldn't make an Iron Man artificer unless we go with a Warforged.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2011, 06:58:40 AM »

Mixster

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2011, 07:47:12 AM »
It's also useful if your group doesn't play with Arms and Equipment and Oriental adventures.

Also, I see no problem for a cleric running around in full plate, when your dex is bad, and you don't have tumble, why would you choose anything less than +8 ac?
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Runestar

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2011, 07:50:18 AM »
The thing is that dastanas didn't exist when the PHB was first printed. The premise was simple - more AC at a cost. Heavy armour gave good protection without you having to invest heavily in dex (then a godsend for fighters and clerics).

But even then, you can tell armour wasn't well thought out. There wasn't any point to using any other type of armour other than chain-shirt, breastplate or fullplate. The rest were pretty much a waste of ink.  :p
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Mixster

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #13 on: January 07, 2011, 07:53:03 AM »
But even then, you can tell armour wasn't well thought out. There wasn't any point to using any other type of armour other than chain-shirt, breastplate or fullplate. The rest were pretty much a waste of ink.  :p

Unless you are poor. Or a druid.

But yeah, the PHB somehow assumes you wont afford a full plate for a lot of levels.
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snakeman830

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #14 on: January 07, 2011, 11:22:14 AM »
I use Leather armor a lot myself, and not because I play a lot of druids.  It's just cheap, doesn't hinder movement at all (at earlier levels), and gives +2 AC.  I usually upgrade, but at level 1-3, it's not a bad option.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #15 on: January 07, 2011, 12:06:19 PM »
As said before, the movement penalty is probably what makes those armors looks less appealing. Before movement begins to be more of an issue (after low levels) they can be useful, but later on there's also better ways to get AC (namely, spells), and AC clearly is not the best thing to invest money in.
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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #16 on: January 07, 2011, 12:30:49 PM »
The thing is that dastanas didn't exist when the PHB was first printed. The premise was simple - more AC at a cost. Heavy armour gave good protection without you having to invest heavily in dex (then a godsend for fighters and clerics).

But even then, you can tell armour wasn't well thought out. There wasn't any point to using any other type of armour other than chain-shirt, breastplate or fullplate. The rest were pretty much a waste of ink.  :p
Exactly.  I think it's that, and that they felt it was realistic (enough), and therefore, good.

In core only, there are surprisingly few viable armors.  Mithril makes breastplate obsolete, except for maybe Rangers who need to stay in light armor and want that +1 AC (even then, this has to be at a high enough level to warrant the extra 3,000 gp cost).  Once cost isn't such a factor, your three armors are mithril shirt, mithril breastplate, and mithril fullplate.
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Sunic_Flames

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #17 on: January 07, 2011, 01:27:49 PM »
They're typically expensive, heavy, slowing, and impose a great armor check penalty.

I can get a chain shirt (4AC, 100G, 25lb), dastana (1AC, 25G, 5lb, Arms and Equipment Guide 15), and a chahar-aina (1AC, 75G, 10lb, Oriental Adventures 76) for far less than a suit of full plate (8AC, 1500G, 50lb).  There's only a 2 AC difference, but with the light armor set I'm ahead by 4ACP and 15lb.

I can also Tumble in light armor as any race.

I'm not seeing the point of other armors for most characters.

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Seriously. You're slowed, you can't Tumble, you get auto hit anyways and just to make it clear how badly you really fail at life, the light armor or no armor guy probably has more AC anyways. The base cost isn't a big deal, but those other factors are.

And sure you can do things like add an augment crystal so you can swim in full plate and grab a 2k or 3k item so heavy armor doesn't slow you and so forth, but then you're just paying to ungimp yourself.
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BruceLeeroy

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #18 on: January 07, 2011, 01:32:06 PM »
I happen to be a fan of mithril mechanus gear, combined with Savnok's Tooth, and Energize armor. It's not scary effective, but for two feats you add +11 deflection, on a psywar/gish/lockdown build it ain't bad. Not a lot of mobility loss, either. Can't say I've used much heavy armor otherwise, except on the odd low-level cleric here and there.

Mixster

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Re: What is the point of medium and heavy armor?
« Reply #19 on: January 07, 2011, 01:54:08 PM »
There's a 4000 gc slotless item that removes the movement penalty, so now your only problem with heavier armour is that you cannot tumble. If you don't have tumble on your class skill list and don't cast arcane spells and don't have a huge dex, I don't see the probelm with paying around 5k gold for +4AC.
Monks are pretty much the best designed class ever.

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