Does (a dragon’s) natural armour stack with barding-armour? [duplicate]

Logic suggests dragons may have interest in armour &/or barding, such as making draconic-scale armour from their cast-off scales. Smaug wore iron scales & hard gems after all. But how does this stack-up in 5e?

If i missed the StackExchange 5e answer, my apologies in advance / could not find it.

Two possibilities abound:

1. Of course they stack! Using Smaug from The Hobbit as cannon-canon, extra armour is always good. Example: add dragon’s value of 22 to barding-armour value of 8 or so for a total of… 30? Remove the dexterity bonuses (little dragon-joke here, all wyrms have horrid dexterity) – and throw away Barkskin, as that only works for trees.

2. Of course they don’t stack!! This is 5e and we work with sliding scale / curved averages / weighted probabilities or whatever. One (must?) find(s) the best of the two results. Just as a barbarian (constitution) or monk (wisdom) loses all AC bonuses by wearing a leather jacket on a cool day, so too must dragons struggle. We best not mention helmets. Or a gargantuan dragon with +2 to AC for a wooden buckler on one, um, finger. Ten wee bucklers for +20 AC?

But i digress. Let us ask The Question:

Would a dragon’s ‘extra’ armour-barding stack?

In Ghost Ops what happens when Armour Level equals Penetration Level exactly?

I have the original version of Ghost Ops (which uses Fudge dice), not the Savage Worlds version or the OSR version. This question is about that original version, but if you think the rules in one of the other versions can throw some light on this, please chip in. I’m hoping there is clarification for this question in one of the expansions, or in an updated version of the pdf (I only have a print copy). I’ve failed to find any errata on the internet.

On page 108 of the core rulebook, it says this about Armour:

If the Armour Level is less than the Penetration Level of the bullet then no armour is rolled as the bullet has ignored it. If the Penetration Level is less than the armour level then that amount of armour is ignored.


  • If a Penetration Level 3 bullet hits Armour 2, then no armour roll and the bullet does full damage.

  • If a Penetration Level 1 bullet hits Armour 2, then the armour becomes 2 -1 = 1. And then an armour roll is made to see how much the armour reduces the damage.

What happens when a Penetration Level 2 bullet hits Armour 2?

What can a dragon use to increase their armour class?

It is hard to survive as dragon – and yet they do. Despite being known for their nasty claws+bite, fear radiance and breath weapon – thus becoming a high priority target for nearly any ranged attack – they survive past eight centuries. How is this done?

Any long-lasting dragon would fathom bounded accuracy and 150’/600′ range of bows. For example, a single-accidental pass of a small yet well-hidden community of wood elves (‘longbow proficiency + high dexterity = +4 to hit’) requires an AC of 25+, lest this wyrm suddenly become a pincushion.

How does a dragon increase their armour class? Possibilities abound: barding (need it be mithril for flight)? A shield (would it stack with their regular AC)?, retro-fitting magic plate armour (can a dragon wear dragon-scale armour? would-could-should they have a chest plate fitted)? What magic items fit ‘gargantuan’? The list goes on / i have no idea where to begin… i just want a better armour class for a Great Wyrm.

I was hoping this would gain some kind of general answer rather than a slew of over-simplistic questions (‘Could a dragon wear boiled leather barding – or must it be supple due to flexibility required for dragon-flight???’ etc.)

DEX-focused heavy armour user – mithral full plate vs mithral breastplate

So I’m curious about a matter of best AC for my buck. I’m playing a Dexterity focused heavy armour character (Cavalier to be specific, but I imagine the same answer applies to fighters or any other heavy armour proficient characters), My starting Dex was 16, so without taking into account a Belt of Incredible Dexterity my DEX by level 20 will max at a +5 bonus.

I’m trying to decide whether I am better off using my heavy armour proficiency, getting Mithral Full Plate and accepting that I can onlyuse +3 of my DEX bonus for AC – though I believe I can still get my full DEX bonus to other things such as Weapon Finesse and Deft Strike (when I multiclass into Swordlord later on) and Reflex saves.

Or am I better off with something lighterweight like Mithral BReastplate, even thought he base AC is lower, get to apply more of my DEX to my AC and not take the movement speed penalty for wearing Medium armour which I would for having Full Plate.

I’m not especially confident in my math as to which can get the better overall AC – as I am a front-line tank and really my ideal situation is to maximise AC over any other concerns.

Can armour be disarmed?

Related to Can a shield be disarmed.

Can a piece of armour be disarmed?

For example, can an attacker knock their foe’s helm off? Remove their gauntlets? Disarm them of a cloak?

Why would an attacker want to do this? Maybe the item is magical and the attacker wants to deny its use. Maybe the item is just valuable and the attacker wants to steal it.

If so, what rules would cover this? If not, what rules would you suggest?

What in-universe reasons exist that explain why druid can use metal weapons but not wear metal armour?

In 5e, we are told that the druid shouldn’t wear metal armour:

Armor: Light armor, medium armor, shields (druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)

I believe this was true in older editions of D&D as well; "druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal". Certainly the below quote seems to imply this…

In the 2016 sage advice, we are told that druids choose not to wear metal armour:

What happens if a druid wears metal armor? The druid explodes.

Well, not actually. Druids have a taboo against wearing metal armor and wielding a metal shield. The taboo has been part of the class’s story since the class first appeared in Eldritch Wizardry (1976) and the original Player’s Handbook (1978). The idea is that druids prefer to be protected by animal skins, wood, and other natural materials that aren’t the worked metal that is associated with civilization. Druids don’t lack the ability to wear metal armor. They choose not to wear it. This choice is part of their identity as a mystical order. Think of it in these terms: a vegetarian can eat meat, but the vegetarian chooses not to.

This question is not about what happens if druids wear metal armour, or whether certain druids might choose to wear it despite not being a common choice among druids.

My question is: why is there not a similar taboo around druids making use of metal weapons? Is there anything in any published material (ideally from 5e but I suspect that previous editions probably have more to say about this than 5e) that explains why druids are generally happy to metal weapons, despite the fact that they typically choose not to wear metal armour (or use metal shields)?

Just a reminder that this is not a designer-reasons question as I’m interested in lore-based answers, in-universe explanations, not any designer’s reasons from any edition as to why it was decided from a gameplay-based or mechanical point of view. I’m interested in the lore reasons only.


  • What would be the side effects on a Druid of wearing metal armor?
  • If I multiclass from ranger into Druid, can I still wear metal armor?

How to convert armour class from Pathfinder 1 to D&D 5?

My sandbox game uses some material from Pathfinder (and D&D 3 and 3.5). I run games there using D&D 5 (among other rules systems). How do I convert the armour class of a creature (especially one with strong natural armour), given that…

  1. I am not interested in maintaining challenge rating or game balance. (It is a sandbox setting anyways; there is no reason for me to care about how difficult something is.) A formula that makes no use of challenge ratings, or other non-diegetic information, is preferable.
  2. I do want to maintain the nature of the creature; if one is well-armoured according to one rules system, it should remain so in the other. Likewise for weak armour or excellent armour.
  3. It is fine if a converted monster has different statistics than the monster as originally designed for D&D 5. However, if the monsters are conceptually similar, than their armour class should be similar, as per point two.
  4. Pathfinder allows significant stacking of different types of armour. D&D 5 does not. This already solves the problem for some creatures that combine natural armour with a manufactured one; using the better is often a workable solution.
  5. A solution should cover the common cases of creatures endowed with natural armour. There are always edge cases like angels with charisma as a deflection bonus, but they can be handled on a case-by-case basis after getting a handle of the general principles.

Here is what is easy to do:

  • If a creature is mostly protected by armour, use the typical D&D 5 rules for that armour.
  • If a creature does not have armour but relies on speed, use its dexterity to determine armour class.
  • If a creature’s level of protection corresponds with that of an existing creature in D&D 5, one can simple use the same armour class. This requires the correspondence and a good working knowledge of the published monsters in D&D 5, and furthermore assumes consistency from those monsters. A method that also works for more exotic creature and does not require encyclopediac knowledge of D&D 5 bestiaries would be preferable.

In Pathfinder many monsters have quite significant natural armour bonuses. Using these as is is not reasonable; natural armour bonuses of +10 are common in Pathfinder and so are even higher bonuses, whereas armour class of 20 is quite good in D&D 5 and higher numbers are quite rare.

The main issue seems to be some kind of conversion formula that relates high natural armour in Pathfinder to armour class in D&D 5.

Does ‘Wild’ armour work for Alternate Form?

Could a creature that doesn’t have Wild Shape, but -does- have Alternate Form (Such as a Dragon) use armour with the “wild” property to be able to use this armour in all their forms?

In the question Preventing gear loss while using Change Shape?, one of the answers seemed to suggest so. However, Wild Armour specifically mentions Wild Shape, not Alternate Form. Furthermore, while Wild Shape works “like Alternate Form except where mentioned”, the same is not necesarily true the other way around.

If this does not work, then what other way might there be for a creature with Alternate Form to wear their armour in every shape they can take?

In Adventurers League, can you change Full Plate armour into Half Plate?

Playing in AL my barbarian has acquired a set of adamantine full plate armour. As this prevents him from his rage benefits, I was wondering if I could simply use it as adamantine half plate, using the half plate stats?

From the Player’s Handbook:

Plate armour: Plate consists of shaped, interlocking metal plates to cover the entire body. A suit of plate includes gauntlets, heavy leather boots, a visored helmet, and thick layers of padding underneath the armor. Buckles and straps distribute the weight over the body.

Half plate: Half plate consists of shaped metal plates that cover most of the wearer’s body. It does not include leg Protection beyond simple greaves that are attached with leather straps.

Could you simply decide not to wear the whole set?