Home >Equipment >

Armor and Shields





Armor/Shield Bonus
Maximum Dexterity Bonus
Armor Check Penalty
Arcane Spell Failure Chance

Armor ModificationsNEW!

Armor & Shield Costs
Armor & Shield Speeds
Armor & Shield Weights
Eastern Armors & Shields
Damaged Armor & Shields
Masterwork Armor
Mundane Armor Modifications
Armor for Unusual Creatures
Getting Into and Out of Armor
Armor & Shields by other Publishers
Table: Armor and Shields
Light Armors
Armor Cost Armor/Shield Bonus Maximum Dex Bonus Armor Check Penalty Arcane Spell Failure Chance Speed Weight1 Source
30 ft. 20 ft.
Armored Kilt* 20 gp +1 +6 0 0% 30 ft. 20 ft. 10 lbs. PPC:AA
Chain shirt 100 gp +4 +4 –2 20% 30 ft. 20 ft. 25 lbs. PRG:CRB
Dancing scarves 150 gp See text 0 30 ft. 20 ft. 8 lbs. PPC:AA2
Hide shirt 20 gp +3 +4 -1 15% 30 ft. 20 ft. 18 lbs. VBoL
Leaf armor 500 gp +3 +5 0 15% 30 ft. 20 ft. 20 lbs. ISWG
Leather 10 gp +2 +6 0 10% 30 ft. 20 ft. 15 lbs. PRG:CRB
Padded 5 gp +1 +8 0 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 10 lbs. PRG:CRB
Parade armor 25 gp +3 +5 -1 15% 30 ft. 20 ft. 20 lbs. PPC:AA
Quilted Cloth 100 gp +1 +8 0 10% 30 ft. 20 ft. 15 lbs. PRG:APG
Reinforced tunic 1 gp +1 +5 0 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 5 lbs. PPC:AA2
Rosewood armor 50 gp +2 +6 0 10% 30 ft. 20 ft. 15 lbs. PPC:AA
Spider-silk bodysuit 850 gp +3 +6 –1 10% 30 ft. 20 ft. 4 lbs. PPC:AA2
Studded leather 25 gp +3 +5 –1 15% 30 ft. 20 ft. 20 lbs. PRG:CRB
Wooden 20 gp +3 +3 -1 15% 30 ft. 20 ft. 25 lbs. PRG:APG

Back to Top

Medium Armors
Armor Cost Armor/Shield Bonus Maximum Dex Bonus Armor Check Penalty Arcane Spell Failure Chance Speed Weight1 Source
30 ft. 20 ft.
Armored Coat 50 gp +4 +3 -2 20% 20 ft. 15 ft. 20 lbs. PRG:APG
Breastplate 200 gp +6 +3 –4 25% 20 ft. 15 ft. 30 lbs. PRG:CRB
Breastplate (agile) 400 gp +6 +3 -4 25% 20 ft. 15 ft. 25 lbs. PRG:APG
Chain coat 75 gp +4 +5 –2 30% 20 ft. 15 ft. 40 lbs. PPC:AA2
Chainmail 150 gp +6 +2 –5 30% 20 ft. 15 ft. 40 lbs. PRG:CRB
Hide 15 gp +4 +4 –3 20% 20 ft. 15 ft. 25 lbs. PRG:CRB
Ice coat 80 gp +4 +3 –2 20% 20 ft. 15 ft. 24 lbs. PPC:AA2
Scale mail 50 gp +5 +3 –4 25% 20 ft. 15 ft. 30 lbs. PRG:CRB

Back to Top

Heavy Armors
Armor Cost Armor/Shield Bonus Maximum Dex Bonus Armor Check Penalty Arcane Spell Failure Chance Speed Weight1 Source
30 ft. 20 ft.
Banded mail 250 gp +7 +1 –6 35% 20 ft.2 15 ft.2 35 lbs. PRG:CRB
Field Plate 1,200 gp +7 +1 -5 35% 20 ft.2 15 ft.2 50 lbs. ISWG
Fortress plate 2,100 gp +8 +0 –7 40% 20 ft. 15 ft. 75 lbs. PPC:AA2
Half-plate 600 gp +8 +0 –7 40% 20 ft.2 15 ft.2 50 lbs. PRG:CRB
Half-plate (agile) 850 gp +8 +0 -7 40% 20 ft.2 15 ft.2 55 lbs. PRG:APG
Full plate 1,500 gp +9 +1 –6 35% 20 ft.2 15 ft.2 50 lbs. PRG:CRB
Hellknight plate 2,000 gp +9 +1 -5 35% 20 ft.2 15 ft.2 50 lbs. ISWG
Splint mail 200 gp +7 +0 –7 40% 20 ft.2 15 ft.2 45 lbs. PRG:CRB
Stoneplate 1,800 gp +9 +1 -6 35% 15 ft. 10 ft. 75 lbs. ISWG

Back to Top

Shields
Shield Cost Armor/Shield Bonus Maximum Dex Bonus Armor Check Penalty Arcane Spell Failure Chance Speed Weight1 Source
30 ft. 20 ft.
Buckler 5 gp +1 –1 5% 5 lbs. PRG:CRB
Klar 12 gp +1 -1 5% 6 lbs. ISWG
Madu, leather 30 gp +1 -2 5% 5 lbs. PPC:AA
Madu, steel 40 gp +1 -2 5% 6 lbs. PPC:AA
Shield, light steel 9 gp +1 –1 5% 6 lbs. PRG:CRB
Shield, light steel (quickdraw) 59 gp +1 -2 5% 7 lbs. PRG:APG
Shield, light wooden 3 gp +1 –1 5% 5 lbs. PRG:CRB
Shield, light wooden (quickdraw) 53 gp +1 -2 5% 6 lbs. PRG:APG
Shield, heavy steel 20 gp +2 –2 15% 15 lbs. PRG:CRB
Shield, heavy wooden 7 gp +2 –2 15% 10 lbs. PRG:CRB
Shield, tower 30 gp +43 +2 –10 50% 45 lbs. PRG:CRB
Snarlshield, steel 50 gp +2 –3 15% 20 lbs. PPC:AA2
Snarlshield, wooden 37 gp +2 –3 15% 15 lbs. PPC:AA2
War-shield, dwarven 50 gp +1 –1 20% 8 lbs. PPC:AA2

Back to Top

Extras
Extra Cost Armor/Shield Bonus Maximum Dex Bonus Armor Check Penalty Arcane Spell Failure Chance Speed Weight1 Source
30 ft. 20 ft.
Armor spikes +50 gp +10 lbs. PRG:CRB
Gauntlet, locked 8 gp special n/a4 +5 lbs. PPC:AA
Shield boss, breakaway 120 gp 10 lbs. PPC:MTT
Shield boss, hooked 80 gp 10 lbs. PPC:MTT
Shield boss, illuminating 35 gp 10 lbs. PPC:MTT
Shield boss, masterwork +50 gp PPC:MTT
Shield boss, reinforcing 30 gp 10 lbs. PPC:MTT
Shield spikes +10 gp +5 lbs. PRG:CRB
Shield, throwing +50 gp UC

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.
2 When running in heavy armor, you move only triple your speed, not quadruple.
3 A tower shield can instead grant you cover. See the description.
4 Hand not free to cast spells.
* Can be worn alone or added to existing suits of armor.

Armor & Shields

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).

Cost

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.

Armor/Shield Bonus

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.

Maximum Dex 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.

Even if a character’s Dex bonus to Armor Class drops to 0 because of armor, this situation does not count as losing his Dex bonus to Armor Class.

A character’s encumbrance (the amount of gear carried, including armor) may also restrict the maximum Dex bonus that can be applied to his Armor Class.

Shields: Shields do not affect a character’s maximum Dex bonus, except for tower shields.

Armor Check Penalty

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.

Arcane Spell Failure Chance

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.

Speed

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.

Weight

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.

Damaging Armor

The following information is copied and slightly reworded from the broken condition. See the broken condition for the full, original text.

Armor or shields that have taken damage in excess of half their total hit points gain the broken condition, meaning they are less effective at their designated task. The broken condition has the following effects, depending upon the item.

The AC bonus armor or a shield grants is halved, rounded down, and its armor check penalty to skill checks is doubled.

Masterwork Armor

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.

The masterwork transformation spell transforms a non-masterwork weapon into a masterwork weapon. Without using magic, you can’t add the masterwork quality to armor or a shield after it is created; it must be crafted as a masterwork item (see the Craft skill).

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.

Even though some types of armor and shields can be used as weapons, you can’t create a masterwork version of such an item that confers an enhancement bonus on attack rolls. However, you can create masterwork armor spikes and shield spikes, which do confer their enhancement bonus on attack rolls to attacks made with the spikes.

Getting Into and Out of Armor

Putting on or taking off armor is a sometimes complicated procedure. 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.

Table: Donning Armor
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.

Armor Modifications

The dwarven master smiths of the Ninth Battalion constantly refine new techniques to further upgrade the heavy armor worn by their brethren on the front lines. In addition to increasing the armor’s base cost and weight as set out below, each individual upgrade reduces the wearer’s speed by 5 feet; the Slow and Steady dwarven racial ability enables dwarves to ignore the associated speed penalties. The listed costs are for including these modifications on nonmagical armor; increase the cost by 50% if adding them to a suit of magical armor.

Deflecting

Source: PCh:FG

The artistry of armor design lies not just in how well it protects its wearer, but in how widely or unexpectedly its angles can deflect an opponent’s blows. When an attacker’s failed strike causes his weapon to ricochet outside of his natural guard position, there is a momentary window of opportunity where the opponent is vulnerable to the wearer’s counterstrike.

Whenever an opponent strikes at the wearer with a bludgeoning or slashing melee weapon and misses by 5 or fewer, the wearer gains a +1 circumstance bonus on his next melee attack roll against that opponent. This attack must be made in the next round or the bonus is lost.

In addition to increasing the armor’s base cost and weight, this upgrade reduces the wearer’s speed by 5 feet; the Slow and Steady dwarven racial ability enables dwarves to ignore the associated speed penalties. The listed costs are for including this modification to nonmagical armor; increase the cost by 50% if adding to a suit of magical armor.

Cost: +1,000 gp; Weight: +10 lbs.

Jarring

Source: PCh:FG

Opponents who swing too hard at this armor soon learn to regret it. The jarring shock that runs up the attacker’s arm as their weapon connects makes it feel as though they have just struck a wall.

Whenever an opponent with a melee weapon strikes at the wearer using the Power Attack feat and misses by 5 or fewer, he must make a Fortitude save or be sickened until the end of his next turn. The save DC is 10 plus the bonus that Power Attack would have applied to the damage roll if the attack been successful.

In addition to increasing the armor’s base cost and weight, this upgrade reduces the wearer’s speed by 5 feet; the Slow and Steady dwarven racial ability enables dwarves to ignore the associated speed penalties. The listed costs are for including this modification to nonmagical armor; increase the cost by 50% if adding to a suit of magical armor.

Cost: +1,000 gp; Weight: +20 lbs.

Vital Guard

Source: PCh:FG

A truly well-designed armor reinforces its defense in the most vulnerable locations.

Whenever an opponent scores a critical threat against the wearer, treat the wearer’s armor bonus as +2 higher than normal for the confirmation roll.

In addition to increasing the armor’s base cost and weight, this upgrade reduces the wearer’s speed by 5 feet; the Slow and Steady dwarven racial ability enables dwarves to ignore the associated speed penalties. The listed costs are for including this modification to nonmagical armor; increase the cost by 50% if adding to a suit of magical armor.

Cost: +500 gp; Weight: +15 lbs.

Barding

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.

Table: Barding
Barding Modifier
(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 for Unusual Creatures

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.

Table: Armor for Unusual Creatures
Size Humanoid Nonhumanoid
Cost Weight Cost Weight
Tiny or smaller* ×1/2 ×1/10 ×1 ×1/10
Small ×1 ×1/2 ×2 ×1/2
Medium ×1 ×1 ×2 ×1
Large ×2 ×2 ×4 ×2
Huge ×4 ×5 ×8 ×5
Gargantuan ×8 ×8 ×16 ×8
Colossal ×16 ×12 ×32 ×12

* Divide armor bonus by 2.