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View Full Version : Casting in Full Plate! (3.5 feats, PEACH)



Noctis Vigil
2011-12-19, 01:53 AM
These were actually made for a friend of mine in one of our games. He was playing a gestalt Paladin/Sorcerer with a fear of magic and abandonment issues (I love playing with this dude). He was wondering why there are no feats to allow casting in armor. I said "dunno, lemme fix that!" The result is as follows.

Feat: Armored Caster
Prerequisites: Str 15, proficiency with light armor, able to cast 1st level arcane magic
Benefit: You may ignore any chance of arcane spell failure while wearing light armor.

Feat: Protected Caster
Prerequisites: Str 19, light armor proficiency, Armored Caster OR the ability to cast spells in light armor with no chance of failure, medium armor proficiency, able to cast 5th level arcane spells
Benefit: You may ignore any chance of arcane spell failure while wearing medium armor.

Feat: Untouchable Caster
Prerequisites: Str 23, light armor proficiency, Armored Caster OR the ability to cast spells in light armor with no chance of failure, medium armor proficiency, Protected Caster OR the ability to cast spells in medium armor with no chance of failure, heavy armor proficiency, able to cast 9th level arcane spells, character level 21
Benefit: You may ignore any chance of arcane spell failure while wearing heavy armor.

bobthe6th
2011-12-19, 02:01 AM
point of order one... why would someone with 23 dex(ie +6 dex ac) wear full plate. really, a chain shirt beats it hands down(+9 v.s +10) and costs one feat if you are really stingy with gold.

second point, this has already been done. in CA or CM, but it has been done. the feats required a base of being able to cast in light arrmor but were otherwise simmiler.

also, this kinda invalidates a few prestige classes, and a few base classes.

and really, just get your DM to let you enchant clothes like armor. makes life simpiler.

Random_person
2011-12-19, 02:13 AM
Yeah, I'd make the prereqs Strength-based. That helps gishes, who are the ones who'll be using these anyway.

Noctis Vigil
2011-12-19, 02:19 AM
For the record: I am the DM in that game. I might allow some enhancing of clothes, but I wouldn't let them become armor.

As for the feats you mentioned: literally the only application of them I could find was to let Warlocks and one other class (Warmage, I think?) wear medium armor. There are absolutely no other casters I could find that get the ability to cast in light armor in the class, and nothing anywhere that lets anyone cast in heavy armor. This would let any caster cast in any armor, which was the desired goal. Without multiclass shenanigans, this requires you to burn 5-6 feats (a hefty investment) for the ability. With multiclass shenanigans, it still costs 3 feats and requires Epic progression. Frankly, if you want to be flinging fireballs in full plate when you have roughly the same power as a small country, you should be able to.

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-19, 02:24 AM
As for the feats you mentioned: literally the only application of them I could find was to let Warlocks and one other class (Warmage, I think?) wear medium armor. There are absolutely no other casters I could find that get the ability to cast in light armor in the class

:eek:

:frown:

:sigh:

I gotta be the guy to state the obvious huh?

Ahem. BARDS!

Also, duskblades (PHB II), hexblades (CW), dread necromancers (Heroes of Horror), beguilers (PHB II). All of them cast in light armor.

But seriously, Noctis. Bards. They're in the PHB, man.

Kenneth
2011-12-19, 02:27 AM
ohh I can state some obvious too


noboy ever wears heavy armor.

mithral fulplate is meduim! and then theres 2 or 3 armor enchnat that ignore X% casting failure. so.. its actually attainable by 7th level to get no sepll failure when wearing fullplate. (this is 3.5 and using the whole recommend no more than 1/2 of your gold in one item)

so by 9/10th levels its is completely doable.

Noctis Vigil
2011-12-19, 02:47 AM
Ah, right, the ever popular Bard class. How could I forget that one? :smallredface: I forgot they could cast in armor...Huh. Maybe they aren't totally useless outside of being plot points after all.

Regardless, that's what, 7 classes you listed that get light armor casting? That means 7 classes that get medium armor casting with the CA feat. 7 out of however many arcane casters there are. My goal was to let anyone cast in armor via feats. Sure, you can burn wealth to make armor to cast in, but that wasn't the goal here. My goal was to make a set of well-balanced feats to let someone cast in armor. I believe I met that goal.

Still, since there are more than I thought, I suppose I should edit the feats to read "Armored Caster OR ability to cast spell in light armor with no chance of failure", shouldn't I?

NeoSeraphi
2011-12-19, 03:13 AM
Ah, right, the ever popular Bard class. How could I forget that one? :smallredface: I forgot they could cast in armor...Huh. Maybe they aren't totally useless outside of being plot points after all.

Regardless, that's what, 7 classes you listed that get light armor casting? That means 7 classes that get medium armor casting with the CA feat. 7 out of however many arcane casters there are. My goal was to let anyone cast in armor via feats. Sure, you can burn wealth to make armor to cast in, but that wasn't the goal here. My goal was to make a set of well-balanced feats to let someone cast in armor. I believe I met that goal.

Still, since there are more than I thought, I suppose I should edit the feats to read "Armored Caster OR ability to cast spell in light armor with no chance of failure", shouldn't I?

Here are the arcane casters that cannot cast in armor:
Wu jen (Complete Arcane), wizard, sorcerer, magewrights (NPC caster)

Here are the arcane casters that can cast in light armor:
Bard, warmage, dread necromancer, beguiler, duskblade, hexblade, warlock (sort of), spellthief (Complete Adventurer), battle sorcerer (UA variant)

So actually, the vast majority of arcane casters get light armor proficiency and can cast in light armor. The reason for this is, obviously, none of them are as good as a wizard, so they need some boons.

Veklim
2011-12-19, 06:36 AM
...My goal was to make a set of well-balanced feats to let someone cast in armor...

erm...that's basically an oxymoron. You CAN'T present a balanced way of letting top tier mages cast in heavy armour, because that in and of itself is an unbalanced approach (it's bad enough that you can do it with kit). Half the point of making it hard to cast without failure in armour is TO ACHEIVE the balance you say you're aiming at.

Feels like a fundamentally flawed idea dude, sorry.

peacenlove
2011-12-19, 07:59 AM
erm...that's basically an oxymoron. You CAN'T present a balanced way of letting top tier mages cast in heavy armour, because that in and of itself is an unbalanced approach (it's bad enough that you can do it with kit). Half the point of making it hard to cast without failure in armour is TO ACHEIVE the balance you say you're aiming at.

Feels like a fundamentally flawed idea dude, sorry.

Full plate is way worse than improved mage armor, a 3rd level wizard spell, unless you invest lots of money on it. And 3 feats are a steep cost. His idea is workable, even underpowered IMO.

Greenish
2011-12-19, 08:12 AM
Here are the arcane casters that cannot cast in armor:
Wu jen (Complete Arcane), wizard, sorcerer, adept (NPC caster)Adepts are divine. Magewrights (ECS) are arcane NPC casters.

Cieyrin
2011-12-19, 11:19 AM
ohh I can state some obvious too

noboy ever wears heavy armor.

mithral fulplate is meduim! and then theres 2 or 3 armor enchnat that ignore X% casting failure. so.. its actually attainable by 7th level to get no sepll failure when wearing fullplate. (this is 3.5 and using the whole recommend no more than 1/2 of your gold in one item)

so by 9/10th levels its is completely doable.

Don't play any Dwarves, do you? Dwarves don't need your stinking Mithral, b/c they ain't slowed by armor like humans and gnomes. Incidentally, there's a Dwarven PrC that is all about casting in heavy armor, the Runesmith. They replace the somatic components of spells with material ones (runes), which don't cost anything but are specifically not obviated by Eschew Materials. They aren't broken by any stretch, either.


erm...that's basically an oxymoron. You CAN'T present a balanced way of letting top tier mages cast in heavy armour, because that in and of itself is an unbalanced approach (it's bad enough that you can do it with kit). Half the point of making it hard to cast without failure in armour is TO ACHEIVE the balance you say you're aiming at.

Feels like a fundamentally flawed idea dude, sorry.

So, what does that make clerics, then? d8 HD, 2 good saves, full armor, full casting. What about battle sorcerers? With Battle Caster, they can cast in Mithral Full Plate without any ASF. And a feat is too much to balance against full casting? PLEASE.

Yitzi
2011-12-19, 12:15 PM
Don't play any Dwarves, do you? Dwarves don't need your stinking Mithral, b/c they ain't slowed by armor like humans and gnomes.

Well, unless they want to use no-heavy-armor abilities (such as Speed of Thought and barbarian fast movement) to boost their somewhat low speed, or apply 3 points of DEX bonus (quite gettable at higher levels) to AC while in full plate.

Cieyrin
2011-12-19, 12:28 PM
Well, unless they want to use no-heavy-armor abilities (such as Speed of Thought and barbarian fast movement) to boost their somewhat low speed, or apply 3 points of DEX bonus (quite gettable at higher levels) to AC while in full plate.

Sure but that's throwing money at it that I could be throwing at something else. If I'm playing a dwarf anyways, I'm probably going Deepwarden to apply my Con to AC instead of Dex, which by RAW ignores the Max Dex of armor, so I'm not at all concerned about that. There are also movement enhancers that don't care about how heavily armored I am (Armor Crystal of Alacrity requires heavy armor, Expeditious Retreat and Fly don't care what you wear, either).

Yitzi
2011-12-19, 02:33 PM
Sure but that's throwing money at it that I could be throwing at something else.

It's a total of at most 41k (9 for mithral, 32 to upgrade the +1 gloves of DEX to +3) for +2 AC, which is pretty decent at higher levels. If you already have +1, then it's only 25k, which is pretty decent even for mid-levels and a bargain at higher levels.


If I'm playing a dwarf anyways, I'm probably going Deepwarden

Ok, so that's one specific race/class combo that would want it.


There are also movement enhancers that don't care about how heavily armored I am (Armor Crystal of Alacrity requires heavy armor, Expeditious Retreat and Fly don't care what you wear, either).

Most of the movement enhancers are either low-duration or only a +5 boost.

Cieyrin
2011-12-19, 03:32 PM
It's a total of at most 41k (9 for mithral, 32 to upgrade the +1 gloves of DEX to +3) for +2 AC, which is pretty decent at higher levels. If you already have +1, then it's only 25k, which is pretty decent even for mid-levels and a bargain at higher levels.



Ok, so that's one specific race/class combo that would want it.



Most of the movement enhancers are either low-duration or only a +5 boost.

All I'm saying is that you can do heavy armor and do it effectively. Your points are entirely valid and you can build characters that are aimed at light (mithral) armor, high dex. I'm just saying that heavy armor wearers aren't entirely invalidated by such, as there are ways and methods of making it useful, plus the fact that not every character is going to be high dex or dexterous at all, for whom heavier armor is a boon. Not all games necessarily have access to all things equally, either. You may want mithral plate but that doesn't mean you're going to get it. Dwarves are a common way of getting around the movement penalty and are generally considered one of the strongest core races after humans.

bobthe6th
2011-12-19, 04:44 PM
but... the feats require silly amounts of dex. 15/19/21. with this much DEX, armor just slows you down.

Noctis Vigil
2011-12-19, 09:27 PM
It was proposed I switch that to Str instead, and upon thinking about it, that makes sense to me. What is the general consensus on changing Dex requirement to Str requirement?

bobthe6th
2011-12-19, 09:39 PM
well... it would be less silly, and make these gishy feats as they should be. I guess it would make more sense... and a little mad never hurt a caster. still seems a bit OP but thats just me.

Yitzi
2011-12-19, 09:59 PM
Definitely makes more sense as a STR requirement.

Zale
2011-12-19, 10:17 PM
Yep, Str makes more sense. :D

Also, Battle Sorcerer (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/classes/variantCharacterClasses.htm#sorcererVariantBattleS orcerer) can cast in light armor.

Coidzor
2011-12-19, 10:36 PM
Without multiclass shenanigans, this requires you to burn 5-6 feats (a hefty investment) for the ability.

Not worth it for the benefits one gets. Mage Armor is hours per level, can be buffed up to be nigh undispelable, applies against incorporeal creatures, and has no max dex. Any wizard or sorcerer interested in his AC is going to pick that as a matter of course.

Bards already get light armor, which covers Mithril Breastplates and Mithril Chain Shirts, two of the best armors in the game, and they have a dexterity focus, although being able to get heavier armor would help drop their MAD, 5-6 feats is crippling to that, especially when the feats demand a high Dex(which at least the bard can circumvent by grabbing the 2nd feat in the chain with a cleric or fighter dip) and very high level. However, having to survive to high level means that their MAD is intact.

That and the highest level one is off limits to them without becoming sublime chords, and even then only becomes an option in epic, which, by that point, they'd already have all of their gold invested in armor properties on armor they already had and the increase in AC from mithril breastplate to non-mithril fullplate is minimal due to the kinds of challenges one faces at epic levels.

Duskblades already get medium and heavy armor casting over their normal progression, IIRC, and they never get 9th level spells so they couldn't even grab heavy armor casting slightly sooner for a feat.

So, yes, you should heavily consider changing it from Dexterity to Strength and lowering the level cap you've put on it.

Noctis Vigil
2011-12-19, 10:47 PM
OK, changed prereq to Str.

Also, while you debate, please keep in mind: these are gestalt feats, designed for characters who have full caster progression and full combat progression. That was their original intent. Yes, I did try and make them usable by a single class character, but that was never their original purpose.

Coidzor, you're the first one to mention to level cap to me. I put the 21st level requirement on the last one to make them more balanced, but you say this actually unbalances it? I will consider taking the 21st level prereq off it, though I would like to hear what others think of this idea first?

Yitzi
2011-12-19, 10:48 PM
they'd already have all of their gold invested in armor properties on armor they already had

Between non-epic and epic is a natural place to switch, as you're only losing roughly 5% of the value of the new one.


and the increase in AC from mithril breastplate to non-mithril fullplate is minimal

4 AC is still the difference between a 40% chance to get hit and a 60% chance; so long as the AC is keeping pace with the attacks, then the actual numbers shouldn't affect it. (Well, except for non-AC attacks, but even at epic levels I'm pretty sure they're the minority.) And if they're not keeping pace you've got more issues anyway.

The real reason to lower the DEX requirement is that it simply makes no sense to make a feat only available to the individuals to whom it is least useful.

Roderick_BR
2011-12-20, 12:13 PM
(...)
So, what does that make clerics, then? d8 HD, 2 good saves, full armor, full casting.(...)
Broken. Look up CoDZilla.

(...)What about battle sorcerers? With Battle Caster, they can cast in Mithral Full Plate without any ASF. And a feat is too much to balance against full casting?(...)
Battle Sorcerer is a cool option, but hurts you for reducing even more your already small spells known list. If you are alright to have only one 3rd level spell for about 4-5 levels, then go ahead.

The OP wants something for a gish, though, so armor for a half-caster is not so bad. Maybe he could look into Duskblade instead of Sorcerer, for other options. I don't remember if it's casting is based on charisma, though.

ericgrau
2011-12-21, 01:17 AM
By the time you can meet the spell level requirement for heavy armor you can afford mithral and no longer need it. Also not so great for gishes. Perhaps go easier on this requirement or remove it altogether; maybe it could say 1st level spells for all 3 feats.

Maybe you could make them selectable as fighter bonus feats too. That would make it easier to get 3 feats sooner. Especially since eldritch knight also grants a fighter bonus feat.

I like the strength amounts, seems about right for melee at the appropriate levels while hedging out others who don't pay the price of MAD.

Random_person
2011-12-21, 07:34 AM
An amusing aspect of your wording: as it stands, a Fighter (say) 1/Archivist 1/Wizard X can qualify for Untouchable Caster as soon as he gets ninths and breaks epic, since he can cast Archivist spells in medium armor with no chance of failure. Bug or feature? More reasonably, Warblade 1/Archivist 1/Wizard 9 can already potentially qualify for Protected Caster. Bug or feature? It seems to me that this encourages a quick dip for a divine class before carrying on with your build, and I'm not so sure that's a good thing.