Armor

To wear armor effectively, a character must be proficient with it. Some classes receive proficiencies with armor automatically. Other characters must select the appropriate Armor Proficiency feat for the armor they want to use (light, medium, or heavy).

Here is the format for armor entries (given as column headings on Table: Armor).

Purchase DC: This is the purchase DC for a Wealth check to acquire the armor.

AC Bonus: The bonus to Armor Class granted by the armor.

ACP: Armor hurts a character's ability to use skills that involve movement or mobility; it also reduces the character’s ability to dodge blows. The armor's armor check penalty (ACP) applies to your Defense score, and to many skill checks (usually any Strength- or Dexterity-based skill). (See skill descriptions for details.) A character's encumbrance (due to carrying a lot of weight) may also incur an armor check penalty.

Nonproficient with Armor Worn: A character who wears armor with which he is not proficient takes the armor's armor check penalty on attack rolls.

Sleeping in Armor: A character who sleeps in medium or heavy armor is automatically fatigued the next day. He takes a −2 penalty on Strength and Dexterity and can't run or charge. Sleeping in light armor does not cause faituge.

Weight: This column gives the weight of the armor sized for a Medium wearer (e.g. a human).

Armor Descriptions

Any special benefits or accessories to the types of armor found on Table: Armor are described below.

Breastplate: This single piece of sculpted steel covers your chest and back. Often ornately engraved and decorated, custom-made steel breastplates are favored by officers and nobility of various stripe.

Brigandine: This is a long jacket made of thin metal plates sewn between layers of leather. Sometimes erroneously called studded leather. Also known as a jack or a coat-of-plates. Brigandine is the most common armor of city watch guards in many lands, and is also often used by light infantry troops.

Chain shirt: A hauberk of mail or plated mail. It can be worn beneath an outer layer of clothing. Sometimes includes a coif.

Full plate: This metal suit includes gauntlets, heavy leather boots, a visored helmet, and a thick layer of padding that is worn underneath the armor. It provides superior protection against all forms of weaponry. Each suit of full plate must be individually fitted to its owner by a master armorsmith, although a captured suit can be resized to fit a new owner, at significant cost (purchase DC 26).

Half-plate: Banded armor, splint mail, plated mail, yushman, kalantar, karuta, and similar armors all fall into this category. They combine a mail base with segments of steel for reinforcement against penetration by arrows, pikes, and similar weapons. Half-plate armors come with a helmet, mail gloves or gauntlets, and greaves. Half-plate is commonly used by heavy infantry troops.

Hide: This armor is prepared from multiple layers of leather and animal hides. It is stiff and hard to move in.

Lamellar: Overlapping plates of steel are laced together or sewn to a leather backing. Lamellar armor is comparable in effectiveness to half-plate, but lighter, less restrictive of movement, and more expensive to manufacture. It comes with a helmet, mail gloves or gauntlets, and greaves. Elite heavy infantry troops often use lamellar armor.

Leather: A leather breastplate and shoulder protectors, which have been stiffened by boiling in oil. Also known as a cuirass. Commonly worn by robbers, bandits, and highwaymen, leather armor is a favorite of rangers, rogues, and anyone else with a penchant for stealth.

Table: Donning Armor Armor Type Don Don Hastily Remove Leather, hide, 1 minute 5 rounds 1 minute*

	brigandine, chain shirt

Breastplate, 4 minutes* 1 minute 1 minute*

	lamellar, half-plate

Full plate 4 minutes† 4 minutes* 2 minutes*

†The wearer must have help to don this armor. Without help, it can be donned only hastily.

GETTING INTO AND OUT OF ARMOR The time requires to don armor depends on its type; see table <WHATEVER-SOMETHING>. Don: This column tells how long it takes a character to put the armor on. (One minute is 10 rounds.) Don Hastily: This column tells how long it takes to put the armor on in a hurry. The armor check penalty and the armor value for hastily donned armor are each 1 point worse than normal. Remove: This column tells how long it takes to get the armor off.

DAMAGE TO ARMOR After any combat in which a character's vitality points are reduced to 0 (and potentially in other circumstances, at the DM's discretion), any armor she is wearing becomes damaged. Each time armor is damaged, it loses 1 point of damage reduction and its armor check penalty worsens by 1. A damaged suit of armor may be repaired, with a purchase DC equal to 9 less than the purchase DC of the armor, plus 1 for every point of damage reduction that needs to be repaired. (For instance, a non-masterwork chain shirt (purchase DC 20) that lost 3 points of armor value by being damaged in combat could be repaired for a purchase DC of 14.) Armor may also be repaired by making a <SOME SUITABLE SKILL> check (see <SOME SKILL> description for details. (Note: Craft: something? Repair, like in d2M?) When a suit of armor is so damaged as to reduce its damage reduction value to 0, it is destroyed. It cannot be repaired, though the remaining material may be of use in repairing another suit of armor or crafting a new suit of armor, at the DM's discretion.

Shields

To use a shield effectively, a character must be proficient with it. Some classes receive proficiencies with shields automatically. Other characters must select the appropriate Shield Proficiency feat for the shield they want to use (regular or tower).

Here is the format for shield entries (given as column headings on Table: Shields).

Purchase DC: This is the purchase DC for a Wealth check to acquire the shield. Defense Bonus: Each type of shield grants a shield bonus to Defense. The shield bonus from a shield doesn't stack with other effects that grant a shield bonus. ACP: Using a shield hurts a character's ability to use skills that involve movement or mobility. The shield's armor check penalty (ACP) applies to many skill checks (usually any Strength- or Dexterity-based skill). (See skill descriptions for details.) Nonproficient with Shield Equipped: A character who uses a shield with which he is not proficient takes the shield's armor check penalty on attack rolls, and applies only one-half its shield bonus to his Defense score. Weight: This column gives the weight of the shield, sized for a Medium wearer (e.g. a human).

SHIELD DESCRIPTIONS Buckler: This small metal shield is worn strapped to your forearm. You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it. You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an off-hand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a −1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand (including a bow or crossbow), you lose the buckler's Defense bonus until your next turn. You can't make a shield bash with a buckler. Shield, Heavy; Wooden or Steel: You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A heavy shield is so heavy that you can't use your shield hand for anything else. When employing a heavy shield in combat, you take a −2 penalty on attack rolls because of the shield's encumbrance. Wooden or Steel: Wooden and steel shields offer the same basic protection. Wooden shields, however, are easier to sunder or otherwise destroy, because wood has a lower hardness than steel. (See Table <WHATEVER-WHATEVER>.) Shield Bash Attacks: You can bash an opponent with a heavy shield, using it as an off-hand weapon. See "shield, heavy" on table WHATEVER-WHATEVER for the damage dealt by a shield bash. Used this way, a heavy shield is a bludgeoning weapon. For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon. If you use your shield as a weapon, you lose its Defense bonus until your next turn. Shield, Light; Wooden or Steel: You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A light shield's weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it. Wooden or Steel: Wooden and steel shields offer the same basic protection. Wooden shields, however, are easier to sunder or otherwise destroy, because they have a lower hardness than steel shields. See Table <WHATEVER-WHATEVER>. Shield Bash Attacks: You can bash an opponent with a light shield, using it as an off-hand weapon. See "shield, light" on table WHATEVER-WHATEVER for the damage dealt by a shield bash. Used this way, a light shield is a bludgeoning weapon. For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a light shield as a light weapon. If you use your shield as a weapon, you lose its Defense bonus until your next turn. Shield, Tower: This massive wooden shield is nearly as tall as you are. In most situations, it provides the indicated shield bonus to your Defense. As a standard action, however, you can use a tower shield to grant you total cover until the beginning of your next turn. When using a tower shield in this way, you must choose one edge of your space. That edge is treated as a solid wall for attacks targeting you only. You gain total cover for attacks that pass through this edge and no cover for attacks that do not pass through this edge (see <SECTION ON COVER>). You cannot bash with a tower shield, nor can you use your shield hand for anything else. When employing a tower shield in combat, you take a −4 penalty on attack rolls because of the shield's encumbrance. You cannot run while carrying a tower shield. Shield Spikes: These spikes turn a shield into a piercing weapon and increase the damage dealt by a shield bash (see "spiked shield, light" and "spiked shield, heavy" on table <WHATEVER-WHATEVER>: Weapons). A character who is proficient with shields is automatically also proficient with shield spikes. You can't put spikes on a buckler or a tower shield. Otherwise, attacking with a spiked shield is like making a shield bash attack.

Masterwork Shields

Just as with weapons, you can purchase or craft masterwork versions of shields. Such a well-made item functions like the normal version, except that its armor check penalty is reduced by 1.

A masterwork shield has a purchase DC 2 higher than the normal version.

The masterwork quality of a shield never provides a bonus on attack or damage rolls, even if the shield is used as a weapon. Shield spikes cannot be made masterwork.

You can't add the masterwork quality to a shield after it is created; it must be crafted as a masterwork item.

Equipping Shields

Readying (strapping on) a shield is a move action. Removing a shield from the arm and dropping it is likewise a move action.

Damage to Shields

If you use your shield to block a magical or unusual attack — such a boulder hurled by a giant, a blast of fire from an evil sorcerer's staff, and so forth — your shield itself takes the brunt of the attack. If the attack misses your Defense by an amount less than or equal to your shield bonus to Defense (that is, if the attack would have hit you if not for your shield), apply the effects of the attack to the shield. If the attack does damage, then your shield takes the damage (accounting for its hardness; see Table <WHATEVER-WHATEVER>). If the attack has some other effect, apply the effect to the shield (assuming the effect is something that can affect objects). Note that some kinds of attacks have no effect on a shield, such as a blast of negative energy that drains a creature's life-force.

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Armor