Exotic Shields require the Exotic Shield Proficiency feat for characters to be proficient with them, and many have additional limitations for nonproficient users (noted in their individual descriptions).
1 Weight figures are for armor sized to fit Medium characters. Armor fitted for Small characters weighs half as much, and armor fitted for Large characters weighs twice as much.
For most, armor is the simplest way to protect oneself in a world of rampant threats and dangers. Many characters can wear only the simplest of armors, and only some can use shields. To wear heavier armor effectively, a character can select the Armor Proficiency feats, but most classes are automatically proficient with the armors that work best for them.
Here is the format for armor entries (given as column headings on Table: Armor and Shields).
The cost in gold pieces of the armor for Small or Medium humanoid creatures. See Table: Armor for Unusual Creatures for armor prices for other creatures.
Each type of armor grants an armor bonus to Armor Class, while shields grant a shield bonus to Armor Class. The armor bonus from a suit of armor doesn’t stack with other effects or items that grant an armor bonus. Similarly, the shield bonus from a shield doesn’t stack with other effects that grant a shield bonus.
This number is the maximum Dexterity bonus to Armor Class that this type of armor allows. Dexterity bonuses in excess of this number are reduced to this number for the purposes of determining the wearer’s Armor Class. Heavier armors limit mobility, reducing the wearer’s ability to dodge blows. This restriction doesn’t affect any other Dexterity-related abilities.
Shields: Shields do not affect a character’s maximum Dex bonus, except for tower shields.
Any armor heavier than leather, as well as any shield, hurts a character’s ability to use Dex– and Str-based skills. An armor check penalty applies to all Dex– and Strength-based skill checks. A character’s encumbrance may also incur an armor check penalty.
Shields: If a character is wearing armor and using a shield, both armor check penalties apply.
Nonproficient with Armor Worn: A character who wears armor and/or uses a shield with which he is not proficient takes the armor’s (and/or shield’s) armor check penalty on attack rolls as well as on all Dex– and Str-based ability and skill checks. The penalty for non-proficiency with armor stacks with the penalty for shields.
Sleeping in Armor: A character who sleeps in medium or heavy armor is automatically fatigued the next day. He takes a –2 penalty on Str and Dex and can’t charge or run. Sleeping in light armor does not cause fatigue.
Armor interferes with the gestures that a spellcaster must make to cast an arcane spell that has a somatic component. Arcane spellcasters face the possibility of arcane spell failure if they’re wearing armor. Bards can wear light armor and use shields without incurring any arcane spell failure chance for their bard spells.
Casting an Arcane Spell in Armor: A character who casts an arcane spell while wearing armor must usually make an arcane spell failure check. The number in the Arcane Spell Failure Chance column on Table: Armor and Shields is the percentage chance that the spell fails and is ruined. If the spell lacks a somatic component, however, it can be cast with no chance of arcane spell failure.
Shields: If a character is wearing armor and using a shield, add the two numbers together to get a single arcane spell failure chance.
Medium or heavy armor slows the wearer down. The number on Table: Armor and Shields is the character’s speed while wearing the armor. Humans, elves, half-elves, and half-orcs have an unencumbered speed of 30 feet. They use the first column. Dwarves, gnomes, and halflings have an unencumbered speed of 20 feet. They use the second column. Remember, however, that a dwarf’s land speed remains 20 feet even in medium or heavy armor or when carrying a medium or heavy load.
Shields: Shields do not affect a character’s speed.
This column gives the weight of the armor sized for a Medium wearer. Armor fitted for Small characters weighs half as much, and armor for Large characters weighs twice as much.
Just as with weapons, you can purchase or craft masterwork versions of armor or shields. Such a well-made item functions like the normal version, except that its armor check penalty is lessened by 1.
A masterwork suit of armor or shield costs an extra 150 gp over and above the normal cost for that type of armor or shield.
The masterwork quality of a suit of armor or shield never provides a bonus on attack or damage rolls, even if the armor or shield is used as a weapon.
All magic armors and shields are automatically considered to be of masterwork quality.
You can’t add the masterwork quality to armor or a shield after it is created; it must be crafted as a masterwork item.
The time required to don armor depends on its type; see Table: Donning Armor.
Don: This column tells how long it takes a character to put the armor on. (One minute is 10 rounds.) Readying (strapping on) a shield is only a move action.
Don Hastily: This column tells how long it takes to put the armor on in a hurry. The armor check penalty and armor bonus for hastily donned armor are each 1 point worse than normal.
Remove: This column tells how long it takes to get the armor off. Removing a shield from the arm and dropping it is only a move action.
|Armor Type||Don||Don Hastily||Remove|
|Shield (any)||1 move action||n/a||1 move action|
|Padded, leather, hide, studded leather, or chain shirt||1 minute||5 rounds||1 minute1|
|Breastplate, scale mail, chainmail, banded mail, or splint mail||4 minutes1||1 minute||1 minute1|
|Half-plate or full plate||4 minutes2||4 minutes1||1d4+1 minutes1|
| 1 If the character has some help, cut this time in half. A single character doing nothing else can help one or two adjacent characters. Two characters can’t help each other don armor at the same time.
2 The wearer must have help to don this armor. Without help, it can be donned only hastily.
Skilled smiths can in some situations make modifications to armor and shields of a non-magical nature. Listed below are several non-magical armor modifications.
Source: Insert Linked Source Here
Descriptive text goes here
Cost: +X,XXX gp; Weight: +XX lbs.
Barding is a type of armor that covers the head, neck, chest, body, and possibly legs of a horse or other mount. Barding made of medium or heavy armor provides better protection than light barding, but at the expense of speed. Barding can be made of any of the armor types found on Table: Armor and Shields.
Armor for a horse (a Large non-humanoid creature) costs four times as much as human armor (a Medium humanoid creature) and also weighs twice as much (see Table: Armor for Unusual Creatures). If the barding is for a pony or other Medium mount, the cost is only double, and the weight is the same as for Medium armor worn by a humanoid. Medium or heavy barding slows a mount that wears it, as shown on the table below.
Flying mounts can’t fly in medium or heavy barding.
Removing and fitting barding takes five times as long as the figures given on Table: Donning Armor. A barded animal cannot be used to carry any load other than a rider and normal saddlebags.
|(40 ft)||(50 ft.)||(60 ft.)|
|Medium||30 ft.||35 ft.||40 ft.|
|Heavy||30 ft.*||35 ft.*||40 ft.*|
|* A mount wearing heavy armor moves at only triple its normal speed when running instead of quadruple.|
Armor and shields for unusually big creatures, unusually little creatures, and non-humanoid creatures (such as horses) have different costs and weights from those given on Table: Armor and Shields. Refer to the appropriate line on Table: Armor for Unusual Creatures and apply the multipliers to cost and weight for the armor type in question.
|Tiny or smaller*||×1/2||×1/10||×1||×1/10|
|* Divide armor bonus by 2.|