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Tequila Sunrise
2010-06-21, 08:34 AM
Some time ago, a munchkin* on the WotC forums wanted to know if it’s technically legal for a druid’s animal companion to wear metal armor. He wanted to dress his dinosaur in mountain plate; I quote “I want a freakin robot dinosar!!!”

We all told him that yes, it’s technically legal, but his DM would have every right to disallow it unless the DM was running an intentionally silly campaign. He told us that no, his DM wasn’t running a silly campaign, but that he wanted to ruin the mood with his RAW antics.

So what do you think? Would you let a druid’s companion wear metal armor, despite the obvious double standard?

*Before anyone gets righteously indignant, that was his word, not mine.

Optimystik
2010-06-21, 08:39 AM
Is this in a particular setting? In Faerun, Mielikki is fine with druids in metal armor and thus you would have no problems with the animal doing the same.

Gerrtt
2010-06-21, 08:42 AM
Yes, the druid takes an oath to not utilize metal armor which interferes with the energy that fuels their powers.

Their animal companion, who has no powers other than those granted to them by the druid and their powers, suffers no such consequences from using metal armor.

I can understand why a druid would want to disallow their companion from using such armor, but I can also understand wanting to keep their companion safe by giving the best protection money can buy. It is after all, a companion and for many druids (fluff statement coming up) the companion is played as being a friend of the druid as well.

Chen
2010-06-21, 08:44 AM
Eh the standard itself is already pretty inconsistent. Can't use metal armor...but there's no issue in using a metal scimitar. Or really anything else thats worked metal. I see no real problem letting the animal companion use metal armor. I mean do druids stop their other party members from wearing metal armor?

Escheton
2010-06-21, 08:56 AM
When playing druids or rangers I usually teach the compaignion the "wear armor" trick and don him/her with a chain shirt. If it's a zealous druid perhaps studded leather. Mountain plate is right out though.

Vizzerdrix
2010-06-21, 09:02 AM
Why so? I could see something like an ox or bear in Mt. Plate. Heck, I could see part of the oath to forgot metal being so you could put it on your companion instead. To protect that part of nature that has chosen to accompany you on your journeys better than yourself.


Now here's a strange one. One of the Dragon Mags has a plant companion variant. What about putting THAT in armor! :smallbiggrin:

Tengu_temp
2010-06-21, 09:06 AM
He told us that no, his DM wasn’t running a silly campaign, but that he wanted to ruin the mood with his RAW antics.


I hope other people on the forum chewed him out for this part. And by RAW, you can give armor to any animal, but:
1. The armor must be custom-made and will cost more.
2. The animal is most likely not proficient in it and will receive a hefty penalty.

kamikasei
2010-06-21, 09:10 AM
Druidic philosophy is pretty incoherent based only on what's in the books, so I'd have to judge it on a case-by-case basis. I'd see the question as between giving the companion items (especially armor) at all, metal or otherwise, or having them rely on buff spells for their natural abilities. The image of a dire wolf in leather barding isn't much less weird to my mind than having him in plate. And panserbjorne have the Rule of Cool working in their favour.

Killer Angel
2010-06-21, 09:31 AM
Some time ago, a munchkin* on the WotC forums wanted to know if it’s technically legal for a druid’s animal companion to wear metal armor. He wanted to dress his dinosaur in mountain plate; I quote “I want a freakin robot dinosar!!!”

We all told him that yes, it’s technically legal, but his DM would have every right to disallow it unless the DM was running an intentionally silly campaign. He told us that no, his DM wasn’t running a silly campaign, but that he wanted to ruin the mood with his RAW antics.



Beside the fact that I totally disagree with the premises of said player (messing with the DM), I'd say that the "silliness" is very subjective.
I, personally, find silly a dinosaur companion, armor or no armor (where "silly" is a thing totally different from "dangerous" :smallamused:).
While an armoured bear is always totally cool and badass.

Seatbelt
2010-06-21, 09:37 AM
Ditto. I've never fought or encountered a dinosaur unless it was summoned. In my settings they do not exist as living animals on the prime except for random land of the lost type places

Telonius
2010-06-21, 10:31 AM
Druids are proficient with light and medium armor but are prohibited from wearing metal armor; thus, they may wear only padded, leather, or hide armor. (A druid may also wear wooden armor that has been altered by the ironwood spell so that it functions as though it were steel. See the ironwood spell description) Druids are proficient with shields (except tower shields) but must use only wooden ones.

A druid who wears prohibited armor or carries a prohibited shield is unable to cast druid spells or use any of her supernatural or spell-like class abilities while doing so and for 24 hours thereafter.

Animal companions (generally) don't cast spells, so there's no issue with metal armor. There's no restriction on animal companions for wearing metal barding.

Easy way to solve it, though - throw a dragon at them, and have a master smith in the next town offer to make dragonscale barding free for a trade of the current barding. "Are you kidding? I'll be known as the smith who put dragonscale barding on a dinosaur! I'll be set for life!"

Another_Poet
2010-06-21, 11:16 AM
I'd allow it and not think twice about it. As others said, the animal is under no special restrictions.

For a fun parallel imagine a Buddhist monk with a pet dog. The Buddhist is sworn to be a vegetarian but their dog took no such vow. They feed it meat-based dog chow because otherwise it will die.

A druid (should) give their animal companion the best armour they can buy, otherwise it will be killed in battle. If you can't afford magical or dragonhide armour then full plate may be the cheapest way to get a respectable AC.

RAW allows either. If we're going to bring personal opinion into it then I hereby suggest that a druid who denies their animal companion metal armour is cruelly negligent, and should have their animal companion license revoked by the Council of Druids for mistreating the poor creature, whose loyal heart only wanted to serve its druid friend.

:)

ap

Emmerask
2010-06-21, 11:46 AM
Legal by RAW yes, would I allow it as a dm or use it as a druid player, nope!

Akal Saris
2010-06-21, 12:22 PM
Legal by RAW yes, would I allow it? Yes. Would I equip my animal companion in metal armor as a PC? Only if I trained it to wear armor, otherwise it would miss a lot...

Frosty
2010-06-21, 01:30 PM
Mithril Chain Shirt barding yo! No ACP = 0 non-proficiency penalties.

Coidzor
2010-06-21, 01:58 PM
Is training the animal to be proficient with the armor a single trick?

Also, does it only apply to that specific type of armor (say, full-plate or chainmail) or proficiency in an armor category (light, medium, heavy)?

Mark Hall
2010-06-21, 02:10 PM
Given that it's mountain plate, I'd probably say no, simply because that armor is designed to be encumbering.

Tetsubo 57
2010-06-21, 05:04 PM
I always require Druids to be 'vegetarians' when it comes to weapons & armour: No Metal. I would extend that to their companions as well.

Tequila Sunrise
2010-06-21, 05:23 PM
Is this in a particular setting? In Faerun, Mielikki is fine with druids in metal armor and thus you would have no problems with the animal doing the same.
It could have been, but he never mentioned a particular setting.



And panserbjorne have the Rule of Cool working in their favour.
QFT. If only said munchkin had been playing a sentient bear capable of making its own decisions.



Eh the standard itself is already pretty inconsistent. Can't use metal armor...but there's no issue in using a metal scimitar. Or really anything else thats worked metal. I see no real problem letting the animal companion use metal armor. I mean do druids stop their other party members from wearing metal armor?
No doubt the restriction is laughably inconsistent.

But assuming that a DM does bother to enforce it on druids, neglecting to enforce it on a druid’s companion seems…logically obtuse. The companion isn’t an independently thinking and ethically responsible being, like other PCs are. A druid may call his companion ‘friend,’ but it is like a child in many ways. Buying metal armor, training his companion to wear it and then dressing his animal pet in metal armor is ethically suspect, to say the least.



Animal companions (generally) don't cast spells, so there's no issue with metal armor. There's no restriction on animal companions for wearing metal barding.
The RAW also says that drowning a dying character will raise his HP to 0, but how many DMs would actually let that fly? Sometimes a smidge of common sense is needed to smooth over the mistakes that the designers never got around to fixing. Yeah, yeah, common sense isn’t necessarily common...:smallsigh:...but still.



For a fun parallel imagine a Buddhist monk with a pet dog. The Buddhist is sworn to be a vegetarian but their dog took no such vow. They feed it meat-based dog chow because otherwise it will die.
The parallel might be fun, but it’s not very parallel. Buddha can hardly blame his followers for giving their pets what they need to live. Druid companions don’t need armor, let alone metal armor, to live. So whatever higher power grants a druid his spells very likely will blame a druid for ignoring an ethical restriction in order to make his companion do something unnatural that it wouldn’t normally do. If a druid wants to protect his companion really well, he can spring for dragonscale. Or just train his pet to keep out of combat, which is even cheaper than buying armor.

Greenish
2010-06-21, 05:25 PM
But assuming that a DM does bother to enforce it on druids, neglecting to enforce it on a druid’s companion seems…logically obtuse. The companion isn’t an independently thinking and ethically responsible being, like other PCs are. A druid may call his companion ‘friend,’ but it is like a child in many ways. Buying metal armor, training his companion to wear it and then dressing his animal pet in metal armor is ethically suspect, to say the least.Druids don't view using metal armour as ethically wrong, they just don't use it for some obscure reason.

Lin Bayaseda
2010-06-21, 05:31 PM
Is training the animal to be proficient with the armor a single trick?

Also, does it only apply to that specific type of armor (say, full-plate or chainmail) or proficiency in an armor category (light, medium, heavy)?

It's not a trick, it's a feat (animals get a bonus feat for every 3 HD)

Coidzor
2010-06-21, 05:38 PM
It's not a trick, it's a feat (animals get a bonus feat for every 3 HD)

hmm. So you could get 'em up to Mithril Breastplate with Light Armor Proficiency Feat.

kamikasei
2010-06-21, 05:55 PM
Druids don't view using metal armour as ethically wrong, they just don't use it for some obscure reason.

Just so. The restriction is so arbitrary and weirdly specific (seriously, why armor but not weapons or anything else?) with no reasoning given for it that it's not at all clear how far it should extend or whether or how a druid is prohibited from using metal that isn't his own armor.

Does this restriction derive from earlier editions? What was the justification for it then? (And how much of that justification still makes sense given the other changes to the class?)

Jorda75
2010-06-21, 05:58 PM
I personally wouldn't allow it in my game, simply because I feel it is against the general theme of the druid. I do however allow a lot of optional rules and if someone wanted a dinosaur with mountain plate it wouldn't be hard to bend the rules a little and allow it. Straight out of the blue though in a standard game I'd have to say no, just doesn't feel right.

ScionoftheVoid
2010-06-21, 06:00 PM
Druids don't view using metal armour as ethically wrong, they just don't use it for some obscure reason.

They don't necessarily view it as wrong.[/nitpick]

I'd allow this as a DM and use it as a player.

If my Animal Companion wears armour and the DM rules that it has, for some inexplicable and utterly stupid reason, also taken a Druidic vow to not wear metal armour that's fine. I can handle my now-armoured Companion losing its Druidic spellcasting and Supernatural Abilities (hint: It doesn't have any).

If the DM decides that the penalties apply to me for some even more obscure and less understandable reason then I'll roll a new character. With a Merciful weapon, increased ability to take down animals and plenty of spare sets of metal armour. Beat up Druid/Ranger's (a Ranger's Companion functions just like a Druid's, making the thought of applying any penalties at all even less sensible. Rangers don't even take the same vow) Animal Companion, which should be easier than taking down the character themselves, put armour on to the companion and wait till the character's existing buffs run out (apart from Wildshape, that winks out as soon as you lose it, I should think, though I could be wrong). Have them enjoy their d8 hit die, lack of any magical capabilities whatsoever and the fact that you screwed them over for twenty-four hours even if you fell to them before their buffs expired. Also torturous interrogation if you happen to need information from them.

If the DM complains about metagaming you can say that this is about as sensible in the gameworld as having any other ability to shut down the spellcasting of a class for a whole day with only the effort required being enough to take down an Animal Companion (say hello to Ray of Stupidity!). Basically anyone who has even heard about it as a rumor is going to at least test it one day, basing your combat strategy against those particular foes around it is just as most other choices. And leagues more sensible than having divine power being cut off from someone because an unusually loyal animal has broken a vow that it didn't take and can't even comprehend.

Why not take away a Druid's casting because their lover is wearing metal armour? Their lover is (usually) much closer than their Animal Companion, which is literally a particularly loyal but otherwise normal animal. A Wizard's familiar is a part of him in some way, a Druid or Ranger's Animal Companion has no special bonds to the one it follows at all, apart from increased training together. There is a section dedicated to this information in the DMG. Why people seem to assume an Animal Companion is anything more than a loyal, but still mostly wild, animal is beyond me.

Devils_Advocate
2010-06-21, 06:02 PM
But assuming that a DM does bother to enforce it on druids, neglecting to enforce it on a druid’s companion seems…logically obtuse.
How so?


Buying metal armor, training his companion to wear it and then dressing his animal pet in metal armor is ethically suspect, to say the least.
How so?


obvious double standard
In the technical sense that only jailing criminals is a double standard, sure. But I don't see an actual known reason why druids are prohibited from wearing metal armor that would also apply to their animal companions. It's a pretty odd specific, presented without any real explanation. Which is often what D&D's rulebooks deliver when it comes to codes of conduct and alignment, come to think.

Here's a fun exercise: Try to come up for a reasonable-sounding justification for why druids aren't allowed to wear metal armor, but are allowed to use metal weapons and are even proficient with some metal weapons.

Druids are prohibited from wearing metal armor and are penalized for a day for doing that. They also become ex-druids if they cease "revering nature" (whatever that means), change to a corner alignment, or teach Druidic to a nondruid. I don't see how this is supposed to add up to a coherent philosophy.

Tangentially: It seems like it would be extremely useful to have lockable metal armor designed to have 100% arcane spell failure rather than to protect the wearer from harm, as a means of dealing with troublesome wizards and druids. Why is this (so far as I know) not an official item? It seems like it would be easier to make and more broadly useful than dimensional shackles.


I'd see the question as between giving the companion items (especially armor) at all, metal or otherwise, or having them rely on buff spells for their natural abilities.
I can see the argument against interfering with an animal's wild nature. Of course, that means no domestication, and since animals companions basically function as pets, it seems to work out to be an argument against having animal companions at all.

(Arguably a good one. If druids aren't supposed to support the wilderness, what are they supposed to support? "Nature" as opposed to what, exactly? If not the artificial and not the supernatural, what is it that they don't like? Because "nature" is broad enough to include everything that exists. Hmmm, maybe the tenets of their faith are so vague because they're really a secret organization dedicated to protecting the world(s) from destruction? And that's why they have a secret language? Of course! It all fits! :smalltongue:)


For a fun parallel imagine a Buddhist monk with a pet dog. The Buddhist is sworn to be a vegetarian but their dog took no such vow. They feed it meat-based dog chow because otherwise it will die.
I gather that it's possible for a dog to survive in good health on a vegan diet, actually, but try to do that with a cat and it ain't pretty.


If we're going to bring personal opinion into it then I hereby suggest that a druid who denies their animal companion metal armour is cruelly negligent, and should have their animal companion license revoked by the Council of Druids for mistreating the poor creature, whose loyal heart only wanted to serve its druid friend.
Well, I hate to break it to you, but animal companions are disposable. Unlike paladins and wizards, druids can send their sentient class features to their deaths at no penalty to themselves and replace them the very next day. And, really, making animals fight and die for you hardly seems like an abuse of the power to... well, make animals fight and die for you (also available in the form of spontaneous casting of summon nature's ally spells). Just a use.

Now I'm imagining a Neutral Evil druid with a wolf named "Kenny #37".


When playing druids or rangers I usually teach the compaignion the "wear armor" trick

Is training the animal to be proficient with the armor a single trick?
No, it's not a trick (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/handleAnimal.htm). Since they don't get class levels, animals' proficiency with barding comes from up to three of the feats (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/feats.htm#armorProficiencyHeavy) that they get with their hit dice. (And since a "1st-level druid’s companion is completely typical for its kind except as noted", you can't just swap out the feats from the animal's statblock; you have to use the ones that come with its bonus hit dice.) Medium and heavy barding aren't really worth it, since they not only require more feats to be proficient with but slow the animal down.


I always require Druids to be 'vegetarians' when it comes to weapons & armour: No Metal.
Your phrasing is so totally racist against pedants, dude. :smallwink:

Jorda75
2010-06-21, 06:13 PM
I just look at it this way: Metal armor (and weapons should be included but aren't, probably for balance reasons but whatever) requires one to take ore in it's pure, natural form and to work and bend it to your will with heat and more metal. The druid finds this "perversion" of nature abhorent as he would much rather use the bark of a magical tree or the hide of a slain beast (with proper rites, ect) to something that has been so greatly altered from it's natural form.

This would then lead me to believe that a druid would not want to clad the animal with which he has gained a mystical bond and trust in the same armor he himself refuses to use. The rules are not specific but that's how I've always interpreted them.

Greenish
2010-06-21, 06:16 PM
(Arguably a good one. If druids aren't supposed to support the wilderness, what are they supposed to support? "Nature" as opposed to what, exactly? If not the artificial and not the supernatural, what is it that they don't like? Because "nature" is broad enough to include everything that exists. Hmmm, maybe the tenets of their faith are so vague because they're really a secret organization dedicated to protecting the world(s) from destruction? And that's why they have a secret language? Of course! It all fits! :smalltongue:)Wouldn't druids be opposed to pseudonatural stuff, like aberrations?

[Edit]:
I just look at it this way: Metal armor (and weapons should be included but aren't, probably for balance reasons but whatever) requires one to take ore in it's pure, natural form and to work and bend it to your will with heat and more metal. The druid finds this "perversion" of nature abhorent as he would much rather use the bark of a magical tree or the hide of a slain beast (with proper rites, ect) to something that has been so greatly altered from it's natural form.You know you don't just wear unworked hides of animals?

Not to even mention shaping and hardening wood into a passable armour.

Jorda75
2010-06-21, 06:34 PM
Wouldn't druids be opposed to pseudonatural stuff, like aberrations?

[Edit]:You know you don't just wear unworked hides of animals?

Not to even mention shaping and hardening wood into a passable armour.

I'm not saying they don't use unworked materials alone, it's the process of utterly changing an elemental substance that they would be apprehensive about.

If you look as well I mentioned proper rites when using animal hides and using the bark from magical trees, like darkwood. It may require work and alterations but it's not the same as metal crafting, it may even be the fact that metal working is a more "advanced" and "modern" form of armor crafting that druids dislike since they would prefer things to be done the old and natural way.

Devils_Advocate
2010-06-21, 06:37 PM
Ah, so they're more OK with primitive technology than they are with advanced technology, as the latter is far more removed from wild nature. Makes sense, I s'pose.


Wouldn't druids be opposed to pseudonatural stuff, like aberrations?
(Undead could be lumped in there, too, probably.) But what does it mean for something to be "contrary to the natural order"? What distinction is being drawn? Presumably such creatures are bad to have around in some sense, but in what sense? How and why are they "toxic"?


Why not take away a Druid's casting because their lover is wearing metal armour? Their lover is (usually) much closer than their Animal Companion, which is literally a particularly loyal but otherwise normal animal. A Wizard's familiar is a part of him in some way, a Druid or Ranger's Animal Companion has no special bonds to the one it follows at all, apart from increased training together. There is a section dedicated to this information in the DMG. Why people seem to assume an Animal Companion is anything more than a loyal, but still mostly wild, animal is beyond me.
"A druid’s animal companion is different from a normal animal of its kind in many ways. A druid’s animal companion is superior to a normal animal of its kind and has special powers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/druid.htm#theDruidsAnimalCompanion)" -- for example, the "Link" and "Share Spells" bits. It's only "completely typical for its kind except as noted" (emphasis mine).

Now, granted, an animal companion doesn't have the same fluff as a familiar, which is, in some senses, the same being as its master. It's not quite that extreme. But you're really overstating your case here. An animal companion is exceptional in ways besides being particularly loyal and does in fact have a special bond to the one it follows.

Jorda75
2010-06-21, 06:43 PM
I think aberrations are, just as the name suggests, something that is contraditctory to a certain order or pre-determined set of criteria. In the case with monsters in D&D aberrations are off-shoots, mutations or distortions of existing creatures or creatures that used to exist.

I believe druids (just as they do in Eberron) find the idea of an outside force, be it arcane magic or a god or even just the chaotic nature of another plane of existence, against their moral code or preserving nature and keeping it "unspoiled". If a wizard started walking around the woods turning deers into 20 foot tall meat eaters it miiiight upset the balance of nature just a tad :smallbiggrin:

Knaight
2010-06-21, 06:46 PM
Which is certainly a good enough justification for a house rule, but it isn't supported beyond one point and can't really be taken as an assumption for how things already are.

Jorda75
2010-06-21, 06:49 PM
Which is certainly a good enough justification for a house rule, but it isn't supported beyond one point and can't really be taken as an assumption for how things already are.

I think it was stated earlier that it is technically allowed, I'm just saying why I would not allow it.

Tiki Snakes
2010-06-21, 07:00 PM
Druids don't do metal armour because it goes contrary to nature. Which is to say, it's too simple to mine and refine ore into armour without causing the death or suffering of natural creatures.

It's just wrong. If you want to protect yourself, you should do it by killing trees, or butchering animals. Preferably big, healthy tough ones that are important to the pride/herd's social structure.

They are allowed metal weapons because Druidic acolytes have to fell those trees / kill those bears somehow. :smallcool:

Druid armour; It's the pain and misery of the bear's death that makes this Hide so fluffy and warm.

ScionoftheVoid
2010-06-21, 07:22 PM
"A druid’s animal companion is different from a normal animal of its kind in many ways. A druid’s animal companion is superior to a normal animal of its kind and has special powers (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/druid.htm#theDruidsAnimalCompanion)" -- for example, the "Link" and "Share Spells" bits. It's only "completely typical for its kind except as noted" (emphasis mine).

Now, granted, an animal companion doesn't have the same fluff as a familiar, which is, in some senses, the same being as its master. It's not quite that extreme. But you're really overstating your case here. An animal companion is exceptional in ways besides being particularly loyal and does in fact have a special bond to the one it follows.

It is better than a bog standard animal, but so are any animals that have gained hitdice. It doesn't share any particular bond with its "owner", the animal is comletely disposable at no cost (or little cost, I can't remember. Certainly not anything like XP loss that would suggest a bond greater than with the a party of adventurers the Druid travels with). The few abilities it gains are easily represented through training, so if a Druid does have deep ties to her AC that's not necessarily the norm.

I consider it better to overstate my case than let people spread rubbish about a Druid having a deeper bond with their Animal Companion than with the party Fighter (under normal circumstances. A particularly distasteful Fighter or close Companion skews the result, but so does the flip side of each). I'm also tired, which may have something to do with it.

Rokurai
2010-06-21, 07:31 PM
Druids don't do metal armour because it goes contrary to nature. Which is to say, it's too simple to mine and refine ore into armour without causing the death or suffering of natural creatures.

It's just wrong. If you want to protect yourself, you should do it by killing trees, or butchering animals. Preferably big, healthy tough ones that are important to the pride/herd's social structure.

They are allowed metal weapons because Druidic acolytes have to fell those trees / kill those bears somehow. :smallcool:

Druid armour; It's the pain and misery of the bear's death that makes this Hide so fluffy and warm.

Well, when you say it like that, it makes it sound almost bad. Sort of. It does raise questions about whether druids make no sense and should be scrapped completely and made over with some small measure of common sense and a lack of massive contradictory principles. Then again, if you think about it, doesn't it make sense that a full caster with a free cohort and a class feature that makes him a melee juggernaut by level 5, should also have a code of principles as mismatched and counter-intuitive as said abilities?

PS:The fluffiest hide is the one that came from the animal that suffered the most.

Devils_Advocate
2010-06-21, 07:53 PM
It is better than a bog standard animal, but so are any animals that have gained hitdice.
Animal companions get a bunch of extra stuff with their bonus hit dice that normal animals don't get.


It doesn't share any particular bond with its "owner"
Yes it does. It shares a special link with the druid that allows the druid to handle it more easily. THIS IS EVEN CALLED "LINK" IN THE RULES. BLARGABOAJGLAJBFLFJKGJGDXZJDFD!


The few abilities it gains are easily represented through training

Additionally, the druid may cast a spell with a target of "You" on her animal companion (as a touch range spell) instead of on herself. A druid and her animal companion can share spells even if the spells normally do not affect creatures of the companion’s type (animal).
I can't see how this can be waved off as "training" any more easily than any ability that the animal companion could theoretically be given. ("My dog can breathe fire. Yeah, took a long time to teach him that.") And it's a special sort of relationship to the druid, too.


I consider it better to overstate my case than let people spread rubbish about a Druid having a deeper bond with their Animal Companion than with the party Fighter
A druid has a special relationship to her animal companion, as defined by the rules. She does not relate to other creatures in this way. That's not rubbish, that's the RAW. A druid might form an equally deep relationship with a party member, sure, but she can't e.g. cast normally-self-only spells on them. Animal companions are specially bonded creatures obtained as a result of a special connection to nature. That's, like, the whole fluff explanation for the class feature.

Look, why don't you go and read the rules for how animal companions work (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/classes/druid.htm#theDruidsAnimalCompanion)? Maybe then you'll see why so many players refer to them in the way you describe.

Coidzor
2010-06-21, 08:09 PM
Unless the druid is the kind who won't work with wizards and clerics and fighters and rogues and paladins for being the products of a decadent society off evulz.... I don't see it.

In which case, the druid is likely not the type that would be a PC, even in an evil campaign.

unosarta
2010-06-21, 08:49 PM
After reading this thread, all I can think of is the Beastmaster from Complete Adventurer. Druid 10/Beast Master 10 has five animal companions, and shapeshifting. Can you say, five armored bears, and one, not so armored one? That would be amazing. Possible five bears in Fullplate, and one in Studded leather, with either Beastskin Armor from CAdv, or I believe there was a brooch from a splat-book that allowed a shapshifted druid to have their armor carry over to the shapeshifted form. Army of Bears! OMNOMNOMNOM!

Edit: Oh yes, it is Wilding Clasps. Duh!

Tequila Sunrise
2010-06-21, 10:12 PM
Druids don't view using metal armour as ethically wrong, they just don't use it for some obscure reason.
Well I guess “some obscure reason” is good enough for some people, but for anyone who thinks about things, there’s a simple explanation: D&D is a game about archetypes and themes. Druids fill the hippy archetype, and therefore consider excessive metal to be ethically wrong. Ya know, all that wood being burned to melt and forge all that metal, all that smoke going into the air just sticks in their craw. (Yeah, I know deforestation and smog didn’t really become an issue until the Industrial Revolution, but remember D&D goes by modern ethics.)

I remember the 2e PHB going into a bit more detail about the issue; sickles and scimitars are okay because they don’t use much wood or produce much smoke, but metal armor [apparently] crosses some significant threshold. The third paragraph of the ‘characteristics’ entry on page 33 seems to be a nod toward this: “Druids avoid carrying much worked metal with them because it interferes with the pure and primal nature that they attempt to embody.”

Even ignoring the edition history though, a druid’s pet wearing metal that a druid can’t is just thematically silly. Unless you want to invent some druid-spell-inhibiting radiation theory about metal, it’s pretty clear that the metal armor restriction is faith-based. Therefore it follows that a druid would be similarly restricted from dressing a pet in metal armor. A druid who ignored the restriction for his pet would be reasonably punished by his deity (or mother nature or whatever) for trying to find a cheap loophole in his oath.

Eldariel
2010-06-21, 10:20 PM
Even ignoring the edition history though, a druid’s pet wearing metal that a druid can’t is just thematically silly. Unless you want to invent some druid-spell-inhibiting radiation theory about metal, it’s pretty clear that the metal armor restriction is faith-based.

Far as I understand, that's what the PHB suggests. Apparently Metal Armor disrupts the flow of natural energies within your body or something.


Therefore it follows that a druid would be similarly restricted from dressing a pet in metal armor. A druid who ignored the restriction for his pet would be reasonably punished by his deity (or mother nature or whatever) for trying to find a cheap loophole in his oath.

I disagree. A Druid should not impose restrictions he imposes upon himself upon anyone else unless he's the sort of "True Neutral For Everyone"-type who doesn't work as a PC. His first concern should be the safety of his animal companion and metal armor gives that in spades compared to leather.

I'd rather make Druid fall for blatant disregard for his animal companion's safety in using subpar protection out of principle. Note, I wouldn't exactly do that, of course, but I find it less absurd than the idea of Druid falling for protecting his AC.

OracleofWuffing
2010-06-21, 10:40 PM
You know, why don't we make this go a step farther? There could be a whole cult of druids that uses Wildshape/Aspect of the Earth Hunter to dig up metals, Flaming Sphere to melt things, and Chill Metal to cool down the armor they create. They just... Don't wear the armor. It'd be like a robot that wants to make cuisine.

And if the Animal Companion wants to wear metal armor, wouldn't it be going against nature to do deny it that right? :smalltongue:

Jorda75
2010-06-21, 10:43 PM
Ya know come to think of it does a druid's animal companion even need armor? I recall my epid druids dire bear when all buffed out with spells in 2 rounds being an unstoppable killing machine. Even if he somehow got wounded one little spell and bam, instant full HP.

The druid and his animal companion are bad-azz enough without needing armor, but if your player really wants it than why not let the baby have his bottle? He's playing the druid and if his druid is okay with his T-Rex wearing armor than that works for me.

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-21, 10:46 PM
My opinion remains completely the same from the LAST TIME YOU POSTED THIS EXACT SAME QUESTION. Seriously, why the copy-paste?

Metal armor interferes with a druid's casting. There is no ethical or moral side to it. If the metal was conjured by a wizard, and killed nothing and hurt nothing, he still could not wear armor because it interferes with his casting. A father who is non-proficient in heavy armor wouldn't stop his son from wearing it.

Jorda75
2010-06-21, 10:54 PM
My opinion remains completely the same from the LAST TIME YOU POSTED THIS EXACT SAME QUESTION. Seriously, why the copy-paste?

Metal armor interferes with a druid's casting. There is no ethical or moral side to it. If the metal was conjured by a wizard, and killed nothing and hurt nothing, he still could not wear armor because it interferes with his casting. A father who is non-proficient in heavy armor wouldn't stop his son from wearing it.

What about studded leather? Do the tiny bits of metal in the leather affect his casting ability? If so wouldn't standing next to a warrior in a few tons of full plate cause an even greater problem for him?

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-21, 10:58 PM
What about studded leather? Do the tiny bits of metal in the leather affect his casting ability? If so wouldn't standing next to a warrior in a few tons of full plate cause an even greater problem for him?

We really don't know because WotC is so vague and has published very little about this subject. Maybe it has to come into contact with their skin, maybe it has to be mostly composed of metal, maybe some things are just arbitrarily more attuned to nature, we just don't know.

Hadrian_Emrys
2010-06-21, 10:59 PM
There is no problem by RAW as far as I can see. However, I find the idea of a high level druid's Fleshraker companion wearing a Spiked Mithral Breastplate to be rather intimidating.

Jorda75
2010-06-21, 11:03 PM
We really don't know because WotC is so vague and has published very little about this subject. Maybe it has to come into contact with their skin, maybe it has to be mostly composed of metal, maybe some things are just arbitrarily more attuned to nature, we just don't know.

Well then your point is kinda moot isn't it? I mean, you can't just say that it's not ethically wrong because that's what you think, you're stating it like it's RAW fact. Maybe it is and maybe it's not, it's up the individual DM to decide since WOTC has been too vauge, just like you said.

ericgrau
2010-06-21, 11:09 PM
This again? Specifically, besides the vow, it interferes with his connection with nature. While their companion is allowed to use it, they shouldn't like it. If he rides the companion and the DM is paying attention it might even cause problems. Solution: dragonscale when you can afford it, which is early enough that this issue is almost entirely moot. Before that point okay, you can reluctantly give him metal. After that, who cares if it's legal or not, just pay the 250+ gold you cheapskate.

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-21, 11:32 PM
Well then your point is kinda moot isn't it? I mean, you can't just say that it's not ethically wrong because that's what you think, you're stating it like it's RAW fact. Maybe it is and maybe it's not, it's up the individual DM to decide since WOTC has been too vauge, just like you said.

No, I said the reason why it interferes with casting is vague. RAW is quite clear on the fact that there is no mention of druids shunning metal for religious or ethical reasons, and that wearing or using metal interferes with their casting.


This again? Specifically, besides the vow, it interferes with his connection with nature. While their companion is allowed to use it, they shouldn't like it. If he rides the companion and the DM is paying attention it might even cause problems. Solution: dragonscale when you can afford it, which is early enough that this issue is almost entirely moot. Before that point okay, you can reluctantly give him metal. After that, who cares if it's legal or not, just pay the 250+ gold you cheapskate.

I completely agree if the companion is not war-trained/proficient, and the armor would impose a hefty penalty, but there is no reason why an animal wouldn't like the protection of an incredibly lightweight and non-restricting mithril chain shirt. It's just like a thicker skin. But yeah, the cheapness of dragonscale does make this entire thing pretty much pointless

Ormagoden
2010-06-21, 11:40 PM
Short answer: Yes

Long answer:
Yes!
http://www.zeldauniverse.net/images/games/tp/characters/bulbin.png

Tequila Sunrise
2010-06-22, 08:38 PM
Far as I understand, that's what the PHB suggests. Apparently Metal Armor disrupts the flow of natural energies within your body or something.
Yes, and the obvious explanation is “Because mother nature doesn’t approve of large concentrations of worked metal.”


His first concern should be the safety of his animal companion…
If his pet’s safety were really a druid’s first concern, he’d train it to stay out of combat in the first place, so that its AC doesn’t even matter.


My opinion remains completely the same from the LAST TIME YOU POSTED THIS EXACT SAME QUESTION. Seriously, why the copy-paste?
Because I just had to see your pretty panda face again.


Metal armor interferes with a druid's casting. There is no ethical or moral side to it. If the metal was conjured by a wizard, and killed nothing and hurt nothing, he still could not wear armor because it interferes with his casting. A father who is non-proficient in heavy armor wouldn't stop his son from wearing it.
Non-proficiency and Joe Shmoe Daddy don’t have anything to do with this. Druids swear an oath to not wear armor, so unless you want to believe that the Oath is the result of some highly specific learning disability which prevents druids from learning how to wear metal properly, the obvious explanation is that the oath’s restriction is ethically-based. The obvious explanation is that druids see metal armor as wrong, or at least environmentally irresponsible. Why would a druid go out of his way to make an exception for an innocent creature of nature who has no desire to wear it? That’s the very definition of a double standard.

Like I said earlier, the “I can’t be bothered to think about why the rules exist, so I’ll just follow them to the letter” attitude might be good enough for some people, but it’s not good enough for me. I wouldn’t have a problem tweaking, or even dropping the druid’s oath, but if I’m going to apply it as-written, I’m going to apply it consistently.

Eldariel
2010-06-22, 09:45 PM
If his pet’s safety were really a druid’s first concern, he’d train it to stay out of combat in the first place, so that its AC doesn’t even matter.

Alright, I'll rephrase: "It's safety in combat..." As it's a companion given to Druid who...well, does fighting for nature, and the companion is bestown upon the Druid to aid in this pursuit, avoiding combat does not come to question but neglecting to provide it with proper protection when you know it will be fighting is another matter entirely.

OracleofWuffing
2010-06-22, 09:47 PM
Yes, and the obvious explanation is “Because mother nature doesn’t approve of large concentrations of worked metal.”

The paladin of mother nature says, "What up, Mo' nachure? Got sum'thin' against my heavy metal armor and lack of being a Crusader? Fuhgetaboutit, hook me up some spells, yo!"

In other words, I just see it as a double standard to punish a druid for letting his/her animal companion wear armor. That animal companion took no vow to be a druid and has no class levels. If a Druid takes Leadership, the cohorts/followers should be able to wear metal armor without harming the Druid, as they're entirely different objects from the Druid.

Outside of bonus tricks, an Animal Companion's no smarter than a regular animal. So, what, if I toss some bait into an empty suit of armor, I can make the Druid spell-less? What happens if I have a hermit crab AC that decides he's outgrown his shell and moves into a tin can? Why is it that I can associate and assist other people who wear metal armor, but my best buddy can't wear it?

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-22, 10:25 PM
If his pet’s safety were really a druid’s first concern, he’d train it to stay out of combat in the first place, so that its AC doesn’t even matter.


That's not exactly feasible. Presumably the druid is on some kind of really important quest, and he needs his animal companion to help him. If he was that concerned about it's health, he wouldn't have one period. But unfortunately, the companion will be in combat, so why not give it armor?


Because I just had to see your pretty panda face again.
Skull Panda likes kitties. Are you a kitty?


Non-proficiency and Joe Shmoe Daddy don’t have anything to do with this. Druids swear an oath to not wear armor, so unless you want to believe that the Oath is the result of some highly specific learning disability which prevents druids from learning how to wear metal properly, the obvious explanation is that the oath’s restriction is ethically-based. The obvious explanation is that druids see metal armor as wrong, or at least environmentally irresponsible. Why would a druid go out of his way to make an exception for an innocent creature of nature who has no desire to wear it? That’s the very definition of a double standard.

Ok yeah, I also think the very fact that it's an oath does give it a moral value, but you can't give any ground in a debate! :smallwink:
However, the druid is not making an exception. The druid is just not enforcing his values on another being. Some druids may, but certainly not all. Does a father force his son to be vegan because he is? Some may, but not all. And this "innocent creature of nature" is a war-trained killing machine. Riding dogs (prime example of armor wearers) are bred for war, and would likely rather fight in armor. If the creature is not trained for war, then it is wearing armor that doesn't impede it, like a mithril chain shirt, which is almost like a second skin. And this entire debate is pretty moot because of dragonscale anyway.

Devils_Advocate
2010-06-23, 07:53 AM
RAW is quite clear on the fact that there is no mention of druids shunning metal for religious or ethical reasons
"The armor of a druid is prohibited by traditional oaths to the items noted in Weapon and Armor Proficiency (below)."
- 3.5 PHB p. 33 (emphasis mine, natch.)

I dunno, sounds like it's part of their religion to me.


Well I guess “some obscure reason” is good enough for some people, but for anyone who thinks about things, there’s a simple explanation: D&D is a game about archetypes and themes. Druids fill the hippy archetype, and therefore consider excessive metal to be ethically wrong.
In excess of what? What quotas are they going by, and what's the basis for said quotas?


Ya know, all that wood being burned to melt and forge all that metal, all that smoke going into the air just sticks in their craw.
Are they opposed to big natural forest fires, too?


(Yeah, I know deforestation and smog didn’t really become an issue until the Industrial Revolution, but remember D&D goes by modern ethics.)
So, wait. You're insisting upon your interpretation even as you parenthetically concede that what you're saying doesn't make sense for the setting?

Are you coming at this from a Narrativist perspective, where it just plain doesn't occur to the wizard with 20 Int that the party could just teleport in and gank the BBEG (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/PlotInducedStupidity), because That's Not How Things Are Done? Because I think that a lot of us are looking at this from a more Simulationist perspective, where one tries to figure out what sort of world could plausibly support the details given.


Even ignoring the edition history though, a druid’s pet wearing metal that a druid can’t is just thematically silly. Unless you want to invent some druid-spell-inhibiting radiation theory about metal, it’s pretty clear that the metal armor restriction is faith-based. Therefore it follows that a druid would be similarly restricted from dressing a pet in metal armor.
No, it doesn't follow from druids being prohibited from personally wearing metal armor that they're not allowed to put it on another creature.


Yes, and the obvious explanation is “Because mother nature doesn’t approve of large concentrations of worked metal.”
The laws of nature are not such that they can be broken. So far as we know, there has not been a single violation of the conservation of momentum since the beginning of time.

With a fantasy setting, you can spin magic as suspending the laws of nature, even though that makes no sense, but in this case that would mean that druids should be opposed to spellcasting, not armorsmithing. So it really doesn't work as an explanation for the opposite being the case.


Like I said earlier, the “I can’t be bothered to think about why the rules exist, so I’ll just follow them to the letter” attitude might be good enough for some people, but it’s not good enough for me.
The rule exists because a whole bunch of stuff got ported over from earlier editions for the sake of tradition. Druids do not really seem to be given an actual ideology to follow in 3E. And that may actually be a step up for them, because I gather that they were rather Stupid Neutral previously.

WhiteHarness
2010-06-23, 08:33 AM
Druids, as they are in D&D, are just silly.

Making metal armour involves no more disruption of the natural world than making leather armour or making the metal weapons that druids are allowed to use. In fact, I might argue that mining the quantity of ore needed to make one suit of metal armour has less effect on an ecosystem than killing one creature for its hide...

Eldariel
2010-06-23, 12:34 PM
Druids, as they are in D&D, are just silly.

Making metal armour involves no more disruption of the natural world than making leather armour or making the metal weapons that druids are allowed to use. In fact, I might argue that mining the quantity of ore needed to make one suit of metal armour has less effect on an ecosystem than killing one creature for its hide...

I understand the idea is that metal obstructs the flow of natural energies and as such, wearing metal armor effectively cuts Druid's access to his magic source; metal is not organic and natural energies apparently flow through all organic things so leather is fine, but metal...not so much.

Sliver
2010-06-23, 12:41 PM
Metal is like nature's form of undead. It's unnatural and ruins everything and it's an abomination that all druids need to take an vow to destroy. It's an exalted feat that is called Vow of Pancake, because it's random, like metal. Which should be consumed and vanish from existence. Because it's made in a lab. And stuff.

kamikasei
2010-06-23, 01:24 PM
You're taking something very arbitrary and incoherent and acting as if your spin on it is self-evidently the one correct interpretation, not to mention rather rudely dismissing dissenting opinions.

The druid in 3.5 just doesn't make a heck of a lot of sense. It is not obvious that they don't wear metal armor because they think too much metal is a moral evil and that therefore they shouldn't give their pets any either. No philosophy so coherent is described for them. It's quite possible that their issues with metal armor are purely a personal matter (say, they swear not to wear anything not taken from an animal or plant, so that they'll be more connected to the Circle of Life. That has no implications for companions or party mates). The fact that it's said to have to do with "traditional oaths" does mean it's not simply a practical issue like arcane spell failure, but we don't know the content of those oaths.

The idea that druids find excessive metal to be objectionable is a sound one, but it can't be supported on the basis of the rules alone. If you want to come up with something like a coherent philosophy of druidism for use in your games (and I'd encourage it, at least on a per-character if not universal level), it's a viable component for one. But it'd carry much wider implications than simply shunning metal armor specifically, implications mentioned nowhere else in the rules.

And again: the thematic argument falls flat when you consider how equally weird a wolf in leather barding would look as a bear in steel plate.

Quite simply, Wizards didn't bother to think through what they were designing when they wrote up the druid; I don't see any reason to hobble my game to maintain the purity of their slapdash non-vision.

Another_Poet
2010-06-23, 02:35 PM
The parallel might be fun, but it’s not very parallel. Buddha can hardly blame his followers for giving their pets what they need to live. Druid companions don’t need armor, let alone metal armor, to live. So whatever higher power grants a druid his spells very likely will blame a druid for ignoring an ethical restriction in order to make his companion do something unnatural that it wouldn’t normally do.

Okay, so let me give a parallel that couldn't get any more parallel.

A wizard gets a familiar. The wizard's ability to have a familiar is unrelated to ethical choices the wizard makes. The wizard does not lose his familiar (or his spells) even if he is a bad wizard. A wizard suffers a penalty if he wears armour (arcane spell failure chance), thus restricting the possible combinations of armour and wizard class features. But a wizard can put armour on his familiar without suffering any penalties of his own (the familiar will suffer penalites if not proficient, or if overburdened by weight).

A druid gets an animal companion. The druid's ability to have an animal companion is unrelated to ethical choices the druid makes. The druid does not lose his animal companion (or his spells) even if he is a bad druid. A druid suffers a penalty if he wears metal armour (loss of spellcasting, loss of Supernatural class abilities, loss of Spell-like class abilities; no loss of animal companion which is an Extraordinary class ability), thus restricting the possible combinations of armour and druid class features. But a druid can put metal armour on his animal companion without suffering any penalties of his own (the animal companion will suffer penalites if not proficient, or if overburdened by weight).

In other words, in the case of the wizard giving his familiar something that he himself cannot wear, we do not bend the rules to give him Arcane Spell Failure. Yet in the case of the druid, people want to bend the rules to give him loss of spells for putting his animal companion in something that he himself cannot wear.

There is no ethical component to a druid's armour prohibition, and in the rules there is no god who is judging the druids and getting angry if they use metal. If metal were anathema to druids the way evil is to paladins, I would understand the argument that they cannot abide letting their animal friends wear it. But it is not. They can use metal coins, wear metal jewellery, wield metal weapons and dress their animal companions in metal.

The only prohibition in the class description is that they cannot use certain class abilities while dressed in metal armour. The armour inhibits their casting and powers in some way. The penalty for wearing it is losing their connexion to the power that grants spells and supernatural abilities.

Any additional restrictions or penalties are a houserule.


ap

kamikasei
2010-06-23, 02:40 PM
A druid gets an animal companion. The druid's ability to have an animal companion is unrelated to ethical choices the druid makes. The druid does not lose his animal companion (or his spells) even if he is a bad druid.

Actually, yes he does:

A druid who ceases to revere nature, changes to a prohibited alignment, or teaches the Druidic language to a nondruid loses all spells and druid abilities (including her animal companion, but not including weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).

What that actually means is very ill-defined, of course. There's nothing to link it to metal armor, either.


There is no ethical component to a druid's armour prohibition

It has something to do with oaths, so it's not purely a cause-and-effect thing as with wizards and ASF. That said, we don't know the content of those oaths so we have no strong basis on which to generalize.

Sliver
2010-06-23, 02:43 PM
You could, as a druid, construct yourself a box made of metal with enough holes so air, food & water and line of sight/effect are provided. Put the box on a cart and let your animal companion drag you around in your metal box. It's not armor, so you can still cast your spells.

Snake-Aes
2010-06-23, 02:48 PM
And again: the thematic argument falls flat when you consider how equally weird a wolf in leather barding would look as a bear in steel plate.

Call him weird. I dare you :p
http://images1.fanpop.com/images/photos/2600000/Iorek-Byrnison-the-golden-compass-2611671-1280-1024.jpg

SparkMandriller
2010-06-23, 02:56 PM
Can we all just pretend to agree with Tequila so maybe he won't have to copy/paste this thread again in a few months?

I mean, let's face it, he's not going to stop until someone agrees with him.

Sliver
2010-06-23, 03:02 PM
That said, we don't know the content of those oaths

It contains oathmeal! :smallbiggrin:

Maybe I should stop now...

SparkMandriller
2010-06-23, 03:07 PM
You could, as a druid, construct yourself a box made of metal with enough holes so air, food & water and line of sight/effect are provided. Put the box on a cart and let your animal companion drag you around in your metal box. It's not armor, so you can still cast your spells.

Danger: may anger chaos lords (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO3MttgvHUY).

OracleofWuffing
2010-06-23, 03:35 PM
metal is not organic and natural energies apparently flow through all organic things

So, like... If I burn a baby into the metal I'm melting, I can wear that armor without losing spellcasting, right? :smallbiggrin:

Tequila Sunrise
2010-06-23, 07:42 PM
That's not exactly feasible. Presumably the druid is on some kind of really important quest, and he needs his animal companion to help him. If he was that concerned about it's health, he wouldn't have one period. But unfortunately, the companion will be in combat, so why not give it armor?
I agree. A druid doesn’t have to have a pet; if he were really concerned about protecting it from the BBEG, he’d leave it at home and fight through his big important quest with the help of the other PCs. But most druids travel with their pets, for obvious reasons. When they do, non-metal armor pretects well enough. If it’s enough for the druid, why should his meat shie…I mean, his pet get preferential treatment?

And if protection from harm was enough of a reason to wear metal armor, why would the druid swear an oath not to wear it if his quest is so important?

As an aside, pets are useful outside of combat as well as in it. We seem to be assuming that pets will be kicking butt and taking names, but that’s not always the case.


Does a father force his son to be vegan because he is?
If he has an ethical motivation for being a vegan, he’ll definitely raise his son to be a vegan. Once the son becomes an adult though, he’s free to think independently—a trait which druid pets don’t share. Druid pets also have zero motivation to wear armor, unlike the vegan son who may want to eat meat even before becoming an adult. Hence, a druid dressing his pet in metal armor is very much like an ethically vegan father willfully feeding his boy meat. It’s the definition of a double standard.


In excess of what? What quotas are they going by, and what's the basis for said quotas?
Apparently the quota is somewhere between 4 pounds (scimitar) and 25 pounds (chain shirt).


Are they opposed to big natural forest fires, too?
A druid’s stance on forest fires is no doubt similar to a hippy biologist's: natural fires cleanse the land and promote growth, but fires that happen too often (possibly because of negligent people) don’t give wildlife enough time to regrow and so must be contained.


So, wait. You're insisting upon your interpretation even as you parenthetically concede that what you're saying doesn't make sense for the setting?
I’m saying that if one is going to enforce a historically inaccurate ethical restriction, the least one can do is enforce it consistently to avoid double standards.

I’m coming at this from an “Oaths exist for a reason, and deities/higher powers usually aren’t pleased when a follower finds a loop hole in the lettering of their oath which allows them to break the spirit of the oath” PoV.


The rule exists because a whole bunch of stuff got ported over from earlier editions for the sake of tradition. Druids do not really seem to be given an actual ideology to follow in 3E.

No philosophy so coherent is described for them. It's quite possible that their issues with metal armor are purely a personal matter (say, they swear not to wear anything not taken from an animal or plant, so that they'll be more connected to the Circle of Life. That has no implications for companions or party mates). The fact that it's said to have to do with "traditional oaths" does mean it's not simply a practical issue like arcane spell failure, but we don't know the content of those oaths.
True enough. What little ideology they do have suggests that they find metal armor ethically objectionable, so my question to you is: Does it really sound plausible that any druid’s ideology might be “I find metal armor objectionable, but for some inexplicable reason neither I nor my [higher power] object to dressing a natural animal in it”?


Okay, so let me give a parallel that couldn't get any more parallel.
Like kamikasei said, wizards don’t wear armor due to ASF. Druids don’t wear metal armor due to an oath which, unless you want to believe is fashion-related, is most likely ethics-based. Not very parallel.


You could, as a druid, construct yourself a box made of metal with enough holes so air, food & water and line of sight/effect are provided. Put the box on a cart and let your animal companion drag you around in your metal box. It's not armor, so you can still cast your spells.
I can also, by the rules, save a dying comrade by drowning them for a short period.

John Campbell
2010-06-23, 09:11 PM
So here's the thing. There's nothing in the fluff that says that the druid has a blanket objection to worked metal, and the mechanics carry some evidence to the contrary - druids are given proficiency in weapons that are normally made out of worked metal, and take no penalties from using those weapons or for carrying as much of the stuff as they feel like... even wearing it, so long as it doesn't provide an armor bonus.

On top of that, despite the vague talk about oaths, druids don't fall if they do wear metal armor. They temporarily lose the use of some of their powers, the explicitly supernatural ones (spellcasting, wild shape, and A Thousand Faces... everything else, a rather longer list, is Ex, and they can still use them). 24 hours after taking the armor off, the three lost abilities come back automatically, with no atonement or anything. That really doesn't say "violation of a deeply held moral principle" to me. The way it actually works suggests something more along the lines of losing access to their power source while they're wearing the armor.

I kind of suspect that this "traditional oath" goes something like: "I, Your Name Here, do solemnly swear or affirm that I will pretend, to the limits of my Bluff check, that being forbidden from wearing metal armor makes me actually balanced, despite the fact that armor sucks in this edition and I'm going to be spending all day as a giant spell-casting bear anyway."

OracleofWuffing
2010-06-23, 09:49 PM
For the sake of answering a question...


Does it really sound plausible that any druid’s ideology might be “I find metal armor objectionable, but for some inexplicable reason neither I nor my [higher power] object to dressing a natural animal in it”?

Yes.

I've played Phantasy Star III. There, you've got two races whose gods prohibit them from warring, so they decided to breed mutant animals and build robots so they could throw a war, anyways, just as long as no humans get hurt in the process. The gods are okay with that. I know that's a gross summary and a bit incorrect usage of the terms gods and humans, but the less spoken of that game, the better.

In The Final Fantasy Legend,
The creator god pretty much admits he's just torturing everybody to see how strong you can get so he can give you the world and torture other people until they kill you so he can give them the world and repeat the process.

And for something relevant to D&D 3.5? Garl Glittergold. Portfolio: Wit? Worshippers: Practical Jokers? Symbol is a nugget of gold? Sounds up his alley, just needs a Gnome Druid who wants to follow through on it.

Why is it that the Ranger can deck out his animal companion with metal armor, but if the Druid does, the Druid gets punished? Isn't a Druid's AC supposed to be superior to a Ranger's in every way?

Hague
2010-06-23, 10:23 PM
If you rear your animal companion from birth you can control which feats it has. My favorite? Teaching psionic feats to a Phrenic cat. He's even more adorable with his +2 LA that grants a few psi-like abilities, and +2 wisdom and +4 charisma. It's quite amusing when it's advanced hitdice give it the ability to manifest Intellect Fortress.

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-23, 11:24 PM
I agree. A druid doesn’t have to have a pet; if he were really concerned about protecting it from the BBEG, he’d leave it at home and fight through his big important quest with the help of the other PCs. But most druids travel with their pets, for obvious reasons. When they do, non-metal armor pretects well enough. If it’s enough for the druid, why should his meat shie…I mean, his pet get preferential treatment?

Umm, what? Preferential treatment? Is your wizard objecting to the fighter wearing armor because he can't? I see no preferential treatment here, just equipment according to one's needs.


And if protection from harm was enough of a reason to wear metal armor, why would the druid swear an oath not to wear it if his quest is so important?
I don't really know, maybe it has something to do with the fact that they can't actually use it in wildshape, and they like using spells. Also, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THESE OATHS ARE ABOUT! STOP ASKING US!

If he has an ethical motivation for being a vegan, he’ll definitely raise his son to be a vegan. Once the son becomes an adult though, he’s free to think independently—a trait which druid pets don’t share. Druid pets also have zero motivation to wear armor, unlike the vegan son who may want to eat meat even before becoming an adult. Hence, a druid dressing his pet in metal armor is very much like an ethically vegan father willfully feeding his boy meat. It’s the definition of a double standard.
Not all (or even most in games I play in) druids raise their companions from birth. Most (again in my campaigns) druids acquire their companions after they are already adults, or buy them if in an urban setting. Also, again, why wouldn't war-trained pets wear armor? Even if the druid didn't give the pet metal armor, there's no reason not to give it leather or dragonhide. And clearly some would, seeing as many druids (posters on this forum) have no ethical concerns about it. :smallwink:

This is all completely pointless, because we are trying to estimate what a large group of imaginary hippies think, who have oaths that make no sense, live in a magic world, and know close to nothing about. This is ultimately just:
"I see no problem with it"
"I do!"
"Well can't my druid have a different view than yours? It's not like there are mechanical penalties."
"No! All druids are the same!"
The rules are vague and strange, and if you want to argue RAI, (Since RAW there is nothing wrong with it) you have far too little, and extremely vague material.

Sliver
2010-06-24, 02:00 AM
I can also, by the rules, save a dying comrade by drowning them for a short period.

Except one is painfully obvious to not be RAI, and one has no RAI.

How do you know that the oath isn't I swear not to wear metal armor because it will scramble my magical powers for an entire day and thus limit my contribution to my allies?

kamikasei
2010-06-24, 03:19 AM
True enough. What little ideology they do have suggests that they find metal armor ethically objectionable, so my question to you is: Does it really sound plausible that any druid’s ideology might be “I find metal armor objectionable, but for some inexplicable reason neither I nor my [higher power] object to dressing a natural animal in it”?

It sounds entirely plausible to me that a druid might have an ideology that "I have some objection to wearing metal armor myself, but not to anyone else, including my companion, doing so".

As I said already. In case you missed it rather than simply ignoring it, one possibility is that druids take oaths to wear only plant or animal matter in order to foster a connection to nature, which animals don't need to do.

You have constructed a rationale for the weird rules for druids which makes sense on its own as far as it goes, but you're trying to present it as the one natural and obvious explanation that should apply universally, which it is not.

It's very strange to me that when you present one possible explanation, and then others present more, alternative ones, it's somehow the others who are "content not to think about it".

Also, what John Campbell and Tinydwarfman said.

panaikhan
2010-06-24, 07:45 AM
Possibly completely off-topic, but my current Druid has a medium viper companion. Can I get it a mithril 'sock' 'stocking'?

kamikasei
2010-06-24, 07:56 AM
Possibly completely off-topic, but my current Druid has a medium viper companion. Can I get it a mithril 'sock' 'stocking'?

In principle yes (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/armor.htm#armo) (it'd simply be a nonhumannoid medium-sized creature, so double the normal base cost). Your DM may give you funny looks though - barding for quadrupeds is at least a real thing that has existed.

John Campbell
2010-06-24, 09:48 AM
Why is it that the Ranger can deck out his animal companion with metal armor, but if the Druid does, the Druid gets punished? Isn't a Druid's AC supposed to be superior to a Ranger's in every way?

The Druid's companion is actually identical to the Ranger's in every way except the progression speed, to the point that the Ranger companion rules just redirect to the Druid rules. Druid and Ranger levels even stack for animal companion purposes. That only strengthens your point.

(Anyone tries to tell my half-orc ranger/barbarian that his war-dire wolf can't wear metal armor because some druid took an oath is going to be eating a Spirited Charge.)

Another_Poet
2010-06-24, 09:53 AM
A druid who ceases to revere nature, changes to a prohibited alignment, or teaches the Druidic language to a nondruid loses all spells and druid abilities (including her animal companion, but not including weapon, armor, and shield proficiencies).

A druid can be NE or NG and keep the abilities. None of the things you have quoted imply or state that a druid's abilities depend on his ethics, nor that his metal prohibition is related to his ethics.



Like kamikasei said, wizards don’t wear armor due to ASF. Druids don’t wear metal armor due to an oath which, unless you want to believe is fashion-related, is most likely ethics-based. Not very parallel.

There is nothing about oaths in the SRD. Where are you getting this oath stuff from? Is it in the PHB?

Let's say for sake of argument you are right and it is an oath. The prohibition/oath still specifies that the Druid may not wear metal. It says nothing about his companion and there is no penalty listed for his companion doing so.

If he could not abide others wearing metal armour then he couldn't join a typical adventuring party without losing his class abilities. He couldn't accept most classes as cohorts or followers with the Leadership feat. Or he'd have to pay to outfit them all in darkwood and dragon scale. He'd be harder to work with than a paladin on a team of rogues.

Even if there is an oath involved, you guys are making up prohibitions that are not in the text.

ap

edit: also, what Oracle and Campbell said :)

kamikasei
2010-06-24, 10:01 AM
A druid can be NE or NG and keep the abilities. None of the things you have quoted imply or state that a druid's abilities depend on his ethics, nor that his metal prohibition is related to his ethics.

I worried ambiguity might come in here.

You said a druid doesn't lose his AC even if he's a bad druid. I took that to mean "bad at being a druid", e.g. a druid who doesn't "revere nature", rather than "a druid who's a bad person". Ethics aren't simply good/evil or law/chaos. If druids have certain ways that they are and are not to behave, then you can be a bad druid by failing to adhere to those standards, regardless of your alignment.

I don't claim that the prohibition is related to ethics - that's TS's claim. But a druid's abilities do depend on his ethics - he has to act as a druid should (however that might be).

unre9istered
2010-06-24, 10:47 AM
{Scrubbed}

Another_Poet
2010-06-24, 11:22 AM
I don't claim that the prohibition is related to ethics - that's TS's claim. But a druid's abilities do depend on his ethics - he has to act as a druid should (however that might be).

I see your usage, but luckily for us, the specific methods of breaking his professional ethics as a druid are spelled out in the rules. He can't wear metal armour, and he has to revere nature, and he has to be neutral-aligned in some regard. His pet is not a druid and has no such professional ethics. His pet can wear metal armour.


{Scrubbed}

Exactly. This was my point earlier with the vegeterian buddhist monk with a carnivorous pet dog.

Most religious vows involve modifying one's own behaviour. Taking a vow that you won't let other people or creatures do something is a weird vow. It's nearly impossible to keep, it requires you to be forceful and overbearing, and there are very few (and contrived) real-world precedents for it to be modeled on. Hypothethisizing that this is the nature of druid vows seems far-flung in the extreme, especially considering that Neutral beings rarely impose their ethics on others in a D&D setting.

You guys are making some interesting arguments why a druid might follow more restrictions than those put forth by the rules, and any DM who houseruled that druids make their companions follow their own vows could probably justify it and make an interesting homebew campaign setting.

However, such restrictions still don't appear in the rules, and considering them to be the default for RAW druids is inaccurate. Such restrictions are house rules.

ap

kamikasei
2010-06-24, 11:26 AM
I see your usage, but luckily for us, the specific methods of breaking his professional ethics as a druid are spelled out in the rules. He can't wear metal armour, and he has to revere nature, and he has to be neutral-aligned in some regard. His pet is not a druid and has no such professional ethics. His pet can wear metal armour.

And as I've said, I didn't claim otherwise. You made a claim that was false: that a druid's behaviour can't cause him to lose his animal companion. I pointed out that this wasn't so because while I agree with you on the question of metal armour, I think the case should be made on valid grounds, not built on error.

John Campbell
2010-06-24, 11:56 AM
I see your usage, but luckily for us, the specific methods of breaking his professional ethics as a druid are spelled out in the rules. He can't wear metal armour, and he has to revere nature, and he has to be neutral-aligned in some regard.
And wearing metal armor is not a violation of the druid's professional ethics in the same sense that ceasing to revere nature, changing to a corner alignment, or even teaching a non-druid the Druidic language is. The latter three cause the druid to fall... he loses all Druid spells and abilities, including the companion, everything but the proficiencies, and can no longer advance as a Druid until he gets an atonement.

Wearing metal armor? He can't use spells, wild shape, or A Thousand Faces for a day. He keeps all the other Druid abilities, including the animal companion, is not prohibited from advancing as a Druid, and the lost abilities come back automatically without an atonement once the armor is off.


His pet is not a druid and has no such professional ethics. His pet can wear metal armour.
And even if we are applying the Druid's standards to his animal companion... okay, his companion can't cast Druid spells or use supernatural or spell-like Druid class abilities for 24 hours. Whoop-de-doo, it hasn't got any anyway. (The companion link is explicitly Ex.)

Another_Poet
2010-06-24, 11:58 AM
And as I've said, I didn't claim otherwise. You made a claim that was false: that a druid's behaviour can't cause him to lose his animal companion. I pointed out that this wasn't so because while I agree with you on the question of metal armour, I think the case should be made on valid grounds, not built on error.

My correct and accurate claim was that the metal armour prohibition is not based on ethics, and that ethics do not affect the metal armour prohibition.

I didn't initially address the other, unrelated restrictions which do involve alignment; I apologize if that caused any confusion.


And even if we are applying the Druid's standards to his animal companion... okay, his companion can't cast Druid spells or use supernatural or spell-like Druid class abilities for 24 hours. Whoop-de-doo, it hasn't got any anyway. (The companion link is explicitly Ex.)

Exactly. Once again, John Campbell speaks the truth.

Tequila Sunrise
2010-06-24, 12:46 PM
I've played Phantasy Star III. There, you've got two races whose gods prohibit them from warring, so they decided to breed mutant animals and build robots so they could throw a war, anyways, just as long as no humans get hurt in the process. The gods are okay with that. I know that's a gross summary and a bit incorrect usage of the terms gods and humans, but the less spoken of that game, the better.

In The Final Fantasy Legend,
The creator god pretty much admits he's just torturing everybody to see how strong you can get so he can give you the world and torture other people until they kill you so he can give them the world and repeat the process.
Well I can’t argue with that. If you’re used to gods intentionally promoting double standards with obtuse prohibitions, I guess you’d expect that from a tabletop rpg too. *shrug* Personally, I expect a higher standard in non-video game gods. Except from gods like Vecna and Asmodeus, perhaps, whose whole shtick is “Follow the letter of the rules, because the rules have no purpose other than to cruelly manipulate you.”



Why is it that the Ranger can deck out his animal companion with metal armor, but if the Druid does, the Druid gets punished? Isn't a Druid's AC supposed to be superior to a Ranger's in every way?
The ranger’s pet can wear armor because the ranger swore no oath. Apparently, rangers aren’t diehard hippies like druids are. I’m guessing you meant ‘pet’ rather than ‘AC’ in your second question, to which I answer: “Ya know, you’d think so, but stranger things happen in D&D.” Like clerics being better fighters than fighters.



Umm, what? Preferential treatment? Is your wizard objecting to the fighter wearing armor because he can't? I see no preferential treatment here, just equipment according to one's needs.
Again, this isn’t about needs. The druid swears an oath, presumably because he has an ethical objection to metal armor, so dressing his pet in metal creates a double standard for the sake of expediency. Not need.



I don't really know, maybe it has something to do with the fact that they can't actually use it in wildshape, and they like using spells. Also, WE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THESE OATHS ARE ABOUT! STOP ASKING US!
I’m giving you the opportunity to come up with a better explanation for the druid’s oath than I have. So far all I’ve heard is “metal has super special radiation that fizzles druid magic” and “I can’t be bothered to think about it. RAW rulz!” If you’ve got something better, by all means share it.



Not all (or even most in games I play in) druids raise their companions from birth. Most (again in my campaigns) druids acquire their companions after they are already adults, or buy them if in an urban setting.
I never said druid pets are necessarily raised from birth. I was comparing a druid’s pet to a child, neither of which are ethically responsible beings.



Also, again, why wouldn't war-trained pets wear armor? Even if the druid didn't give the pet metal armor, there's no reason not to give it leather or dragonhide. And clearly some would, seeing as many druids (posters on this forum) have no ethical concerns about it.
I also never said anything against druid pets wearing non-metal armor. The oath only prohibits metal armor.



This is all completely pointless…
No doubt, but then again, you’re still here arguing against what is at the very least a sensible house rule.



How do you know that the oath isn't I swear not to wear metal armor because it will scramble my magical powers for an entire day and thus limit my contribution to my allies?
Because there wouldn’t be a need for an oath in that case; it would be common druid sense. Just like not wearing any armor is common wizard sense.



As I said already. In case you missed it rather than simply ignoring it, one possibility is that druids take oaths to wear only plant or animal matter in order to foster a connection to nature, which animals don't need to do.
So a druid has to foster his connection with nature, but it’s somehow not a double standard for him to intentionally weaken his pet’s connection with nature? Sounds fishy.



You have constructed a rationale for the weird rules for druids which makes sense on its own as far as it goes, but you're trying to present it as the one natural and obvious explanation that should apply universally, which it is not.
Like I told Tindy, I’m open to other suggestions. So far though, I haven’t heard anything consistent with a nature-y non-manipulative higher power.



There is nothing about oaths in the SRD. Where are you getting this oath stuff from? Is it in the PHB?
PHB page 33, second paragraph of the ‘characteristics’ section:


The armor of a druid is restricted by traditional oaths to the items noted in Weapon and Armor Proficiency. All other armor is prohibited. Though a druid could learn to wear full plate, putting it on would violate her oath and suppress her druidic powers.



If he could not abide others wearing metal armour then he couldn't join a typical adventuring party without losing his class abilities.
Again, a dumb animal is very different from an ethically independent person. A druid would have to be very controlling to keep the fighter from wearing plate; a druid would also have to be controlling to train and dress his pet in metal—because again, the pet has no desire to wear metal.

Tequila Sunrise
2010-06-24, 12:58 PM
{Scrubbed}
Except that there's a big difference between celibacy and not wearing metal: celibacy in not the default behavior of anyone or anything past puberty, while not wearing metal is the default behavior especially for animals. A celibate priest's vow isn't his to enforce upon others because 1) God doesn't want everyone to be celibate and because 2) trying to make them so would be a futile effort. A druid's oath is his to 'enforce' on his pet because 1) he's not actually enforcing it; he's just letting his pet live as it would normally and because 2) dressing his pet in metal would break the spirit of his oath. AKA double standard.

kamikasei
2010-06-24, 01:42 PM
My correct and accurate claim was that the metal armour prohibition is not based on ethics, and that ethics do not affect the metal armour prohibition.

I didn't initially address the other, unrelated restrictions which do involve alignment; I apologize if that caused any confusion.

Actually, you did.


A druid gets an animal companion. The druid's ability to have an animal companion is unrelated to ethical choices the druid makes. The druid does not lose his animal companion (or his spells) even if he is a bad druid.
---

The druid swears an oath, presumably because he has an ethical objection to metal armor...

A presumption I consider unwarranted.


No doubt, but then again, you’re still here arguing against what is at the very least a sensible house rule.

No one's arguing that this would be a badwrong house rule. You do seem to be arguing that not playing it this way is badwrong, though.


So a druid has to foster his connection with nature, but it’s somehow not a double standard for him to intentionally weaken his pet’s connection with nature? Sounds fishy.

A druid is a human (or whatever) and has to make a special effort to become close to nature in order to channel nature's power. An animal is already close to nature and isn't trying to channel nature's power in any case. Makes perfect sense to me.


I’m giving you the opportunity to come up with a better explanation for the druid’s oath than I have. So far all I’ve heard is “metal has super special radiation that fizzles druid magic” and “I can’t be bothered to think about it. RAW rulz!” If you’ve got something better, by all means share it.
...
Like I told Tindy, I’m open to other suggestions. So far though, I haven’t heard anything consistent with a nature-y non-manipulative higher power.

Er, how is it you can say this in the same post where you reply to my suggestion on that very topic?

OracleofWuffing
2010-06-24, 02:59 PM
Well I can’t argue with that. If you’re used to gods intentionally promoting double standards with obtuse prohibitions, I guess you’d expect that from a tabletop rpg too. *shrug* Personally, I expect a higher standard in non-video game gods. Except from gods like Vecna and Asmodeus, perhaps, whose whole shtick is “Follow the letter of the rules, because the rules have no purpose other than to cruelly manipulate you.”
So, what you're telling me is, you expect D&D gods to have higher standards, except when they don't? Aren't you committing the exact same type of double-standard you're complaining against now?

...And, also, um... Glittergold isn't exactly a video game god. I mean, he's probably been put into a video game, yes, but he's kinda also a D&D god. And everything I mentioned about him was basically from the books.

Heck, it's not just Asmodeous who practices following the letters of the rules: Everyone else involved in the Pact Primeval wants to get that thing changed, but they respect that contract anyways.


The ranger’s pet can wear armor because the ranger swore no oath. Apparently, rangers aren’t diehard hippies like druids are. I’m guessing you meant ‘pet’ rather than ‘AC’ in your second question,
I meant "Animal Companion" because the ranger's pet is an Animal Companion, as per text and per table and per fluff. I think John Campbell's post needs reiterating on the matter, as it was a bit more succinct than mine:

The Druid's companion is actually identical to the Ranger's in every way except the progression speed, to the point that the Ranger companion rules just redirect to the Druid rules. Druid and Ranger levels even stack for animal companion purposes. That only strengthens your point.


to which I answer: “Ya know, you’d think so, but stranger things happen in D&D.”
...So when you ask, "Will a druid lose spellcasting if I put metal armor on it's animal companion?" and I say, "Ya know, you'd think so, but stranger things happen in D&D," that answer doesn't live up to your "higher standards?"

I'm afraid that, for the sake of discussion, you will have to clarify what standards your higher standards are using. Typically, a measurement of 34 megaprovels is considered acceptable on the internet. Are you, by chance, using the Calvin-Jeremy model of Kilonods? I'm familiar with that system, as well, if you'd rather use that.

BLiZme.2
2010-06-25, 04:27 PM
Everyone here seems to be missing the obvious(to me) solution allow me to explain by example
If food is good (or at least not bad) for you spiritually and indulging in good and enjoyable food good (or at least not bad) spiritually, at least in moderation. Then how can fasting as in only minimal simple food (or no food at all) be a good thing? The answer is this denying yourself something positive with the intention of strengthening yourself spiritually is a good thing because you fortify yourself on hardship thus the oaths could reasonably be based on this principal.

hamishspence
2010-06-25, 04:32 PM
That's the BoED rationale for Vows of Celibacy, and so on.

Which might be valid for the druid as well- except its an oath LN, CN, N, NG, LE druids all take. Still- it's not absolutely essential that Vows be a Good Aligned Only thing.

Tinydwarfman
2010-06-25, 10:37 PM
No doubt, but then again, you’re still here arguing against what is at the very least a sensible house rule.


Actually, that was my signal that I wish to take my leave, but I will elaborate.

It is not a sensible houserule because it presumes that all druids have exactly the same views on whether their companions should wear metal. Some vegetarians try to convince others that they should stop eating meat. Some don't. Not every druid is exactly the same. Maybe Faelen the Elven Druid gives her companion armor made of bark to preserve nature in it's entirety. Maybe Galden the Dwarven Druid gives his bear full plate. Just tell your players to be mature and realistic about what their characters would give their pets, because even if you disallowed metal, munchkins would still use Dragonhide.

So is there really any reason for this houserule? If your players aren't roleplaying well, this won't solve anything. If they are, you are making them go against what they would normally do for no good reason, so this is entirely pointless.

Hague
2010-06-26, 02:19 AM
Animal companions can wear armor. Now, as for vows, actually getting that armor might be tricky. Can a druid honestly do business if they know that the smelters that turn the ore into ingots are dumping run-off into the river? Probably not. But there's absolutely nothing saying that an animal companion can't wear metal armor. I mean, look at the Aurumvorax, it's always wearing metal :smallwink: I think a metal wu jen would argue that metal is perfectly natural (it is, in fact, look at native gold, native aluminum, or any other native metal ore) The druid simply can't use it because they have an obscure form of Divine spell failure associated with wearing it. It's the same principle as wondering why your lead-lens goggles are blocking your detect spells. Metal blocks druid casting, but it doesn't block the druid's bond with their companion so the companion should have no problem using any metal armor.