Honest to Goodness Reasons to Nerf Yourself

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You'd be surprised how many fighters relax for an evening in the pub in full armor with so many weapons they could lead a rebellion.

I think it gets to a point where it's just ridiculous, like when you're relaxing in a peaceful village and you're sitting on a wooden chair in your scale-mail after walking or riding all day, with a heavy shield on your back, and your spear nearby...

Now, when you're going to a seedy place or a dangerous place, it'd make sense to never take leave of your weapons or armor...but sometimes it just gets ridiculous...

Does anyone else take leave of their senses like this and do the same when they or the character would think it safe to do so?
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     When my brother tried his hand at DMing, he was going to run Scales of War and mentioned that the first encounter was a 'bar fight'.  Awesome, I thought.  I decided that I was going to Teach People Something about Real Roleplaying.  Instead of his full plate, tratnyr, and heavy shield, my Dragonborn Fighter sashayed into the tavern in ornamental leather armor with a mostly decorative longsword at his side, both intended more to go over well with the ladies than be useful in a fight.

     If you've played Scales of War you know that that 'bar fight' was actually a goblinoid invasion of the town which happens to take place while the party is at a bar.  I was savagely gimped, but I persevered and it would've been a good 'man, that was tough but fun!' kind of encounter if my brother hadn't misread the module and sent us straight into THE OGRE FIGHT without a short rest (and my character, veteran and pragmatist that he was, even bolted for his wagon to get his gear on, but wasn't given time to do so).  Anyone surprised that we TPKed?

     I'll still do stuff like that, favouring story over the most optimal path (obviously if the character would be on full guard/striving for optimal performance, it's another matter), but I learned that it can really bite you in the ass if the DM doesn't know how to handle elements that are outside the expected norm.

     Incidentally, this is yet another way in which the heavily-armored characters get screwed when compared to those who have the same defenses in cloth or leather.
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.

I always do stuff like that. You gotta play your character the way your character are... even though it gimps you.

And I applaud your sacrifice Mr Celsius. To bad your brother killed you off though. Usually my DM rewards good roleplay with extra experience or opportunities to join guilds and so forth. In your case, I would have imagined a magical armor or something. 

The thing is, you should never be punished by playing your character correctly. A whole group of metagamers wearing their armor to bars and always buffing before opening the door to their tavern quarters gets boring very soon. Colorful flawed characters will be talked about for years to come.

So gimp thy self in the spirit of good fun and great stories. 


Does anyone else take leave of their senses like this and do the same when they or the character would think it safe to do so?



This is the reason why my heavy-armored fighters always take something like summoned armor - It just makes sense in a dangerous world, to be able to store your armor somewhere with easy access, but without the actual penalties of carrying it. Later on, you can keep that piece of armor still, even IF you have an armor a lot better - just in case. It's just the prudent/pragmatic way to do. Add in a glove of storing or something similar for the weapon - hands a whole new meaning to the old boyscout motto: "Be Prepared!"
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Partially, this is a realism vs. fun & simplicity argument. No one wants to be ambushed in the night and have their Wizard and Avenger ready to go as soon as they're awake (Cloth Armor), their Artificer/Shaman ready to go in a round or two after putting on their leather/hide armor, and the Paladin ready several hours later, because Plate Armor is nearly impossible to put on alone!

The game, to a certain extent, presumes that you're wearing full plate all day, every day (which is, I agree, silly as heck). The heavier your armor, the bigger the penalty becomes for not wearing it. However, we also presume that the wizard sleeps in his gloves, boots, cape, hat, bracers, and belt.

I agree that, if your DM plans for it correctly, strolling about town or going to a ceremony in "street clothes" (whatever those are) makes for a better story, but for the most part, gamers have to suspend their disbelief.

(PS - this topic reminds me of this (www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1...))
Personally, I've never had an adventure start at my front porch, so my heavy armored guys stay in that armor when they aren't "at home". I'd consider most foreign towns or villages to be hostile, regardless if the peace and love walk was going on that day or not.

I dont consider this to be metagaming. Putting me in a position with no armor or weapons vs monsters that are created to combat a PC in armor and weapons seems more metagaming to me lol. If I did happen to be in my long johns when things went bad, I'd simply say I'm running off to get my gear. If that didn't work for the DM, my suggestion would be starting the mod off with "ok, you are trapped naked in a dark cellar/jail cell/ogre prison camp/whatever".

Kudos to you for playing it out that way and ouch for the wrong encounter leading to a tpk lol.
Personally, *words*



It happens.  It definitely happens.  Thankfully, most of the party doesn't wear armor that is that heavy.  I usually go for lighter types myself, but in 4E a fighter that can wear light armor is the exception and not the rule.

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"Plain clothes" encounters are interesting but need to be run with care and your individual party in mind though I like them very much. You need to find a way to disadvantage the whole party equally otherwise as people have mentioned the poor paladin won't feel too good at all, whilst the monk will be loving every moment. Here are some brief pointers for anyone thinking about running an encounter this way:

1. No Soldiers: Not quite true but most soldiers are just a little too hard to hit for the players to enjoy themselves

2. Terrain is key: In many ways these sorts of encounters could be viewed as puzzles for the players to solve rather than regular combat encounters for them to brute force their way through. Even if it's something as simple as a choke point to stall a horde behind there should be a strong emphasis on the players making use of their surroundings to gain leverage. Dangle chandeliers precariously from easily cut ropes, litter the room with easily turned over tables, stage fight on a bridge across the abyss, just be extra cinematic (fights in movies are often heavily shaped by the terrain).

3. Keep the fight objective based: Kind of links into my previous point but if you really want to pit the players against what should now seems like an impossible threat to overcome (and when the party is stripped of its items is the best time to do this as it robs the players of one of their security blankets) be sure that they don't have to kill everyone to win. For example if the party might be visiting a sacred oracle who will not allow tools of war in her domain when an undead horde strikes and the party must ensure her saftey until she can muster the strength to perform some sort of Greater Turn Undead.

4. Hit them in the NADs: Might seem obvious but it is worth mentioning that if you use more enemies that target non-armour defences then loosing armour matters a lot less.

5. Why just armour?: There are many reasons beside the purely practical why the players might not be able to use their armour and there are lots which would deny players other equipment as well. For example an ancient order of monks might need to be persuaded to let the players enter at all, let alone carrying all of their equipment. Having the players completely naked so to speak has the advantages of being a more equal handicap and forcing the players to think even more differently. Weapon users are at a greater disadvantage but the simple addition of a few ornamental weapons hanging off walls allows them to get back in the game. In this case I would recommend providing decent weapons of a type they were proficient with but not optimised for. For example a fighter who usually opts for the classic sword and board might in this case be forced to fight with a greatsword or even a glaive.

Putting all these things together you might get an encounter like this:
After rescuing the princess the party has been invited to her royal wedding at her father's castle where they will be given their reward. Her father, somewhat reluctant to have rough types such as yourselves show him up at a public occasion has insisted that you dress nicely, and by that he means put on something appropriate which he has picked out for you. Half way through the ceremony the captain 0f the guard reveals himself to be the lieutenant of the BBEG and immediately uses an amulet to unleash an elemental host (lots of NAD targetting attacks). The player's must now get the escort the princess (who has a movement of 2 due to big frilly dresses) and the groom (useless fop) to a portal somewhere else in the castle. Luckily the walls are covered with ancestral blades (+2 enchantment bonus but with strange abilities not usually used by players).
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I have to say Stout, that sounds like a fun encounter to run.  It's right out of a fantasy novel.  Have you run this scene before?  how did it go?
I agree, that does sound fantastic.

I am one of those guys that always keeps his characters''\ armor on, but that's because I'm playing a warforged fighter... so his plate armor is kinda attached. XD

I am curious, though, as to how long armor takes to put on. Is there a table in the book that I'm missing?

That information would be in the Old School books, 1e and 2e. Most likely 1e. 3e and 4e pretty much just say "Screw it. You put your armor on and go fight."

Every now and then, I am asked for extremes of realism. I think my group just likes testing me. So I had to start slapping penalties for:


A) Swinging from a balcony down to the street below naked


B) Spellcasting while running with one boot flopping

C) Fighting naked with soap in your eyes and your off-hand politely covering up your privates

D) Armor pieces sliding around because they were buckled on in a hurry and, thus, improperly fastened

E) Accessibility of scrolls, wands, etc hastily stuffed into one's underwear

etc...

Agh! How could I forget the Halfling player asking if fuzzy handcuffs and a ball-gag counted as armor, since he was otherwise fighting naked?

Nobody wanted to know the backstory on that...
C) Fighting naked with soap in your eyes and your off-hand politely covering up your privates




 Would that qualify as wielding two weapons for the TWF feats? Tongue out

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C) Fighting naked with soap in your eyes and your off-hand politely covering up your privates




 Would that qualify as wielding two weapons for the TWF feats?


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I agree, that does sound fantastic.

I am one of those guys that always keeps his characters''\ armor on, but that's because I'm playing a warforged fighter... so his plate armor is kinda attached. XD

I am curious, though, as to how long armor takes to put on. Is there a table in the book that I'm missing?



Five minutes to put on armor.

There's no reason to penalize armor-wearers by having them have to fight without it if you spring an encounter in the middle of an extended rest.
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Why does it have to be that the fighters not being prepared is a disadvantage for them.  Sounds like the potential for the others to practice their skill challenges. 

How do you hold off the invading horde long enough for the fighters to get their armor on? 

Non-fighting delay tactics.  I could see the leader types trying to bluff intelligent attakers, magic users use utilities to hold them off and Handle Animal checks to hold off the raving animals.  And this is just off the top of my head. 

Disadvantages are just obstacles to overcome, if you look at them in the right way.  Fight CAN work, but it doesn't have to be the only answer.
Lack of preparation is bad for pretty much anyone. Whether what you're facing is an invading horde (not known for wanting to talk things out), a wild animal, or what have you, if your players can come up with something that sounds like it may work, go for it. The assumption, however, seems to be that we have PCs caught with their pants down at the start of immediate and inevitable combat.
In the game I play in, there evolved a special fighting style called "bed sheet fighting".   I am insulted that it did not make the martial book.  Bed sheet fighting oddly has come up multiple times. 

What is the penalty for
C) Fighting naked with soap in your eyes and your off-hand politely covering up your privates

i need to know

Laughing
     Let me preface this post with a shocking admission: I am not a medieval blacksmith.  I'm sure you all had your suspicions, but now you know for certain.

     I was perusing armors and geeksquee about them and came across the at-one-time popular combination of hauberk (or the shorter haubergeon - what D&D calls a chain shirt) under a brigandine (plainclothes-looking vest or doublet with metal plates riveted into the lining) which, according to a webpage I saw (NOT A BLACKSMITH!) came about as close to wearing plate as anyone could come in those days without actually wearing plate.  Most importantly, though, it does all this while looking pretty damned respectable in a social setting, particularly if the hauberk is a short-sleeved, waist-length haubergeon.

     What I'm getting at is that I'd have no problem calling the brigandine/hauberk combo 'near as dammit' to plate, and let it confer the same armor benefit.  Either the player goes dungeon delving looking more stylish and less clanky or I'd give them a free backup armor in the stylish, unclanky form.  Maybe nonmagical, maybe just straight enhancement bonus, or maybe a straight-up copy of the plate suit, depending on how much the player wants to give up.

     I'm also tempted to invent a Crest of Summoning or other such wondrous item which allows any armor to be Summoned Armor in addition to its normal qualities.  I think it bites, making players choose between roleplay viability and combat viability.  Yeah, being able to insta-summon a suit of full plate might feel a little Power Rangers, but at least I don't end up with my Fighter player throttling my Avenger player.  Again.

     Okay, now all the history buffs in the audience can come forth and eviscerate my feeble understanding of medieval armor.  I'll be in my smithy.  I mean, my kitchen!  OH SHI-
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
If you get caught in bed with your pants down, haven't you already failed the "don't get caught with your pants down" skill challenge and isn't not being prepared and armored the price for failure?

You can run a challenge to realise you'll be ambushed at night (Streetwise for the rumors, Insight to notice someone being way to observant about what room you sleep in, Stealth to listen in on him talking to his companion about a knife in the dark) with success meaning you're pretty damn sure someone's coming for your room that night.

That way, they can keep the fighter in his Plate, or you can all be asleep and some characters suffer for it (which sounds like a fair penalty; you can do the same for another character in another challenge)

If you go and visit the king, I can imagine a high level character picking up a set of low-level summoned plate or a set of ceremonial armor or something (it's cheap for them) to wear to the occasion, the same way the Wizard would probably bring a ceremonial robe instead of his tattered and battleworn magic cloak with the Beholder blood that doesn't wash out. 
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In the game I play in, there evolved a special fighting style called "bed sheet fighting".   I am insulted that it did not make the martial book.  Bed sheet fighting oddly has come up multiple times. 

What is the penalty for
C) Fighting naked with soap in your eyes and your off-hand politely covering up your privates

i need to know




Let's see. We were playing 2e when it happened, so it counted as being AC10, -2 to attack rolls for not having the Blind-Fighting proficiency (because he could open his eyes briefly to get a look at things before the soap started stinging, otherwise it would be -4), and we cut his movement rate to 75% because his sense of modesty meant that one hand could not be used for the natural balance it provides in walking, running, fighting, etc. I don't recall if we put anything else into play, although for roleplaying's sake, the female baddie did insist on striking high so as not to damage anything she might have wanted to use should they capture the party.
This monday in a home campaign (I play a dwarf pala) I (for the first time) didn't loose my senses. I have been in taverns drinking (we just came in and dwarfs drink first, relax and take armor of later) so that can be explained but all too often I walk around in full plate everywhere.

Until monday when I was on a boat with a young princess who needed entertaining. So I had to play dressup. Our boat was rammed by VIKINGS and a fight ensued and I had to fight in a pink dress....

Luckily my DM ruled the dress as kind of sturdy so it counted as hide but still I was down 6 AC (and we needed the first round to get our weapons from secret places, we were on a diplomatic boat so no weapons were allowed in sight).

It was great fun!
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)

Things like not having my armor on challenge me as a player.
The best challenges are ones I have to use my wits to get out of.

This monday in a home campaign (I play a dwarf pala) I (for the first time) didn't loose my senses. I have been in tavers drinking (we just came in and dwarfs drink first, relax and take armor of later) so that can be explained but all too often I walk around in full plate everywhere.

Until monday when I was on a boat with a young princess who needed entertaining. So I had to play dressup. Our boat was rammed by pirates and a fight ensued and I had to fight in a pink dress....

Luckily my DM ruled the dress as kind of sturdy so it counted as hide but still I was down 6 AC (and we needed the first round to get our weapons from secret places, we were on a diplomatic boat so no weapons were allowed in sight).

It was great fun!


how often do i have to say this?
it don't were Pirates, it were vikings send by veking the viking king.



how often do i have to say this?
it don't were Pirates, it were vikings send by veking the viking king.



cduke is my DM (but you guessed that already). I edited the post.
Kamikazegerbil wrote: Coke Spill Level 1 Encounter Attack Power Trigger: You must be pouring yourself a drink Range: Close Blast 1D10 from Player Target: All creatures and objects within blast Attack: Any vs. Reflex Hit: 1d6 Fizzy damage and target is wet (save ends) Aftereffect: Target is sticky (save ends)
Well, I had a pretty interesting experience with my gaming group. I was playing my character of choice Shade. We had recently fought our way through a haunted forest to find what we thought was a safe house tended to by a kindly woman. During the trek through the forest our party ranger Lily died and was raised but my character was none the less shaken by seeing his beloved struck down by a illusion created by his fear of his dark side. He essentially watched a dark version of himself kill her in cold blood. In his shaken state she comforted him one thing led to another until she was cleaning his wounds in the lake that surrounded the house. Both were bathing in the lake when the rest of the party set off the trigger that made the woman show her true form a siren like ghost and then the spirits of the pool started to dredge up from the bottom of the lake. At which point both Shade the party warlock clothed only by my amulet and a towel and Lily the party Ranger only donning a towel and awkwardly firing her bow started kicking ass and taking names until the illusion ended revealing not even the towels were real...
Recently in our game we had an infiltration situation. Because of a "chance" physical resemblance (the physical resemblance was guaranteed to occur, but the DM actually rolled for which of us it would be) my character was impersonating the rich guy, so I had to go without armor and apparently weaponless.

I do have a pair of short swords that sheath into each other's hilt, taking on the appearance of a short walking stick. And I have a pair of daggers.

But armor - not so easy.
"The world does not work the way you have been taught it does. We are not real as such; we exist within The Story. Unfortunately for you, you have inherited a condition from your mother known as Primary Protagonist Syndrome, which means The Story is interested in you. It will find you, and if you are not ready for the narrative strands it will throw at you..." - from Footloose
I've had characters that will take off their gear, and I've had character that won't. It depends on the character. for instance, my half-elf bard, as a bit of a vagrant, generally sleeps in his chainmail, with his sword on one side and pack on the other. If he does take his chain off, putting it back on is part of his morning ritual. it helps that it's eladrin chain, so I imagine it being lighter than normal chain.
My human ranger, on the other hand, likes hanging around without his armor, although he almost always has his handaxe on him, as well as a hunting knife(shortsword). his spear generally is with his gear.

with most of my characters I figure, they're adventurers, mercenaries, military men, etc. Their gear is like my wallet, phone and keys. I grab those three things when I step outside in the middle of the night for a cigarette. Every time. Because you just never know.
When the thing that you just never know is specifically "when or if you'll have to fight for you life against rampaging monsters of some sort", I imagine the inclination is stronger. I would be suprised to see any adventurer without at least his or her weapon close at hand. even while sitting in the bath or making friendly with a pretty maid.
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One thing to do is talk to your DM about the socially accepted behavior in towns and bars. Some establishments might not allow fully armored and armed warriors to enter their establishment based on the obvious fact that if you try to sit in an elegantly carved chair at a beautifully decorated table in full plate mail with fifteen sharp steel weapons, you're going to get a bill for the table and chair along with your dinner.

My own roleplaying is very much of the "relaxed and enjoying myself" variety. If they are in a civilized town they don't wear their armor everywhere, and only carry a reasonable weapon. Ogre's aren't expected to leap into every bar on a moments notice.

This is a way to add some flavor to role playing. DMs that force their players to be on guard at all times are not allowing the characters to grow. There are a lot of interesting things that can happen in a bar without World War III breaking out.
i just love the arguement abotu realizism and not wearing armor in a bar.  you mean that a small squad ( there is 4-6 of you right?), in territory that might be considered hostile (sure as hell is not your home town) , wont be walking around in armor and armed?

Now I dont know about you , but most of the military that i talk to go to the grocery store in full combat kit (minus the backpack) while in iraq.

Now if you want to time things in the shower or sleeping where up to half of the party are out of kit but have weapons within a fairly quick reach that would be one thing ( when thinking about half .. only half of each armor type , aka no way is both the plate wearers out of armor at the same time).

Adventures are mercenaries. they are going to be in full kit loadout unless a "mission" specifically requires them to be in anything else. Relaxation (as close as any mercenary can be in a combat territory) is only a minimal item , you wont find them drunk and they will still be very wary of their surroundings.
daladinn, I said in "civilized areas" that my characters don't wear their armor everywhere. On occasion I've been in campaigns where my characters have attended parties hosted by villagers. Are you suggesting that they should show up for a dinner party in full plate armor?

Most of the campaigns I've been in are halfway realistic about when armor is necessary. And yes, once in a great while that means being caught without armor in dangerous situations. But so far I've not yet had a character killed, or even really badly hurt, because his armor is back in his hotel room.

Needing to wear armor everywhere you go seems sort of paranoid to me, actually. After all the "points of light" described in the DMG are supposed to be, you know, points of light.
     What's important is that the DM have a view of creating a good story in which the adventurers are challenged but triumphant.  Too many DMs (particularly in days past, but they still stalk our game shops and conventions) are of the 'if you could have survived by doing X, then your death is not only fair but a narrative imperative' mentality.  The hero being separated from zir power source and proving that it's not the suit/ring/etc that makes zie a hero is a classic trope, but one which does not survive uncooperative DMs.

     I recall an episode of Iron Man in which Tony Stark had to kick some ass without his suit.  Would it have been a better story if the author had said 'if he wanted to win, he should never have taken the suit off'?  I don't think so.  The DM should find a way to ensure that being sans armor or weapons isn't a lose-condition for the players.  The characters?  Sure!  Maybe the only safeguard the DM employs is making these foes take prisoners instead of killing the party when they're beaten.  This still opens up a fun escape arc, trying to recover their gear, etcetera, etcetera.  The characters may regret not having been armed to the teeth for that particular bruncheon, but as long as the players have fun it wasn't actually a negative result.
(I employ zie/zie/zir as a gender-neutral counterpart to he/him/his. Just a heads-up.) Essentials definitely isn't for me as a player, and I feel that its design and implementation bear serious flaws which fill me with concern for the future of D&D, but I've come to the conclusion that it isn't going to destroy the game that I want to play. Indeed, I think that I could probably run a game for players using Essentials characters without it being much of a problem at all. Time will tell, I suppose.
daladinn, I said in "civilized areas" that my characters don't wear their armor everywhere. On occasion I've been in campaigns where my characters have attended parties hosted by villagers. Are you suggesting that they should show up for a dinner party in full plate armor?

Most of the campaigns I've been in are halfway realistic about when armor is necessary. And yes, once in a great while that means being caught without armor in dangerous situations. But so far I've not yet had a character killed, or even really badly hurt, because his armor is back in his hotel room.

Needing to wear armor everywhere you go seems sort of paranoid to me, actually. After all the "points of light" described in the DMG are supposed to be, you know, points of light.



I will suggest that they show up for the dinner party in armor, myself.  I'd vastly prefer a few people look down their noses at me(if they dare) than get caught with my plate down when civilization proves to be as *un*civilized as it always does.  I'm a plate wearer.  My AC is quite low enough while I'm wearing it, let alone actually taking it off to observe social mores.





Showing up in armor to say, the king's palace, or some other wealthy type who often has defences in their own place shows a decided lack of confidence in their ability to protect themselves and their guests. That's a pretty big slight.

It's why you only gave weapons and armor in ancient japan under very specific circumstances, giving it to someone else to USE was an insult to their lord being unable to provide for them.
daladinn, I said in "civilized areas" that my characters don't wear their armor everywhere. On occasion I've been in campaigns where my characters have attended parties hosted by villagers. Are you suggesting that they should show up for a dinner party in full plate armor?

Most of the campaigns I've been in are halfway realistic about when armor is necessary. And yes, once in a great while that means being caught without armor in dangerous situations. But so far I've not yet had a character killed, or even really badly hurt, because his armor is back in his hotel room.

Needing to wear armor everywhere you go seems sort of paranoid to me, actually. After all the "points of light" described in the DMG are supposed to be, you know, points of light.



I will suggest that they show up for the dinner party in armor, myself.  I'd vastly prefer a few people look down their noses at me(if they dare) than get caught with my plate down when civilization proves to be as *un*civilized as it always does.  I'm a plate wearer.  My AC is quite low enough while I'm wearing it, let alone actually taking it off to observe social mores.



That's fine, it just seems that you and I have very different understandings about the "role playing" part of the "RPG" called D&D. That's all.

That's fine, it just seems that you and I have very different understandings about the "role playing" part of the "RPG" called D&D. That's all.


I'll freely admit that.  I am the sort of person who builds a viable character first and then fits a personality to him/her afterward.  In addition, the character I'm "roleplaying" is a rough, insensitive sort of character who feels that the only person who has a chance of protecting him, or anyone else for that matter, is himself.  By lowering his defenses he is allowing not only himself but everyone around him to become vulnerable to attack.  That does not sit well with him, as you can probably imagine.   Best of all, this creates endless "roleplay" opportunities when those he is protecting fail to appreciate the sacrifice he has made of his "civility" and request/demand that he alter his behavior.  So, yeah.  Difference of opinion.  That's really all it is.

That's fine, it just seems that you and I have very different understandings about the "role playing" part of the "RPG" called D&D. That's all.


I'll freely admit that.  I am the sort of person who builds a viable character first and then fits a personality to him/her afterward.  In addition, the character I'm "roleplaying" is a rough, insensitive sort of character who feels that the only person who has a chance of protecting him, or anyone else for that matter, is himself.  By lowering his defenses he is allowing not only himself but everyone around him to become vulnerable to attack.  That does not sit well with him, as you can probably imagine.   Best of all, this creates endless "roleplay" opportunities when those he is protecting fail to appreciate the sacrifice he has made of his "civility" and request/demand that he alter his behavior.  So, yeah.  Difference of opinion.  That's really all it is.


Difference of opinion indeed. I'm the sort of person who builds characters according to concepts and makes them viable. Or not, depending on the game, the DM and the other characters. I find it entertaining to play characters with a wide variation of personalities, some trusting and naive, some paranoid and self-absorbed and as many variations in between as I can manage. It has been my experience that my most fun characters have been my most complex ones, with a mixture of flaws and strengths that force me to use effective tactics that are unique to that character. I also enjoy games with more verisimilitude, meaning that the characters experience a wide range of environments and opportunities. Frequently that means adhering to local laws and customs, including not wearing armor to the King's Royal Ball, just as Tony Stark doesn't wear his Iron Man armor to the charity festival because he can't wear it all the time, and Bruce Wayne doesn't wear his utility belt to the fashion show. If that means my character is more exposed during those moments, that means that I expect to be able to use my wits and abilities to survive the situation, and my characters usually have a few tricks up their sleeve so they are never entirely defenseless. Plus I also trust my DM not to play silly games with his players like just waiting for someone to take their armor off to pounce on them. I've been lucky that most of my DMs are like me in that they more or less treat their campaign worlds realistically, meaning it's generally not necessary to go to the Inn's common room in full plate armor. In fact in most cases it would be considered quite rude to do so.

There's no "wrong" way to play the game, so I've got no problem with you wearing your armor all the time. I just don't see that it's necessary and in most of the campaigns I've been in, it would have created a major problem at some point. And somehow, in spite of my characters sometimes running around in nothing but street clothes, nobody has ever died because they left their armor at the Inn.

Here is a current example. I am currently playing a fifth level fighter in 3.5e. He has a set of +1 plate mail armor. He also has a breastplate from his days in the King's army. But for the past week or so in game time, he's been in a civilized city and has stored both his full plate and his breastplate at the Inn in their vault. It's a well-regarded inn in a secure city. Sure the DM could steal it, but it doesn't make sense for him to wear it around the city. He lives there. He has friends there. He's something of a gambler and spends a lot of time at the casinos. Casinos don't allow characters in with full plate armor and magic swords. So he hasn't worn any armor for several days now. And during that period he's been investigating some mysterious events in the city, roaming around at night disguised as a drunken beggar and living mostly by his wits, because for him to turn up in full plate armor in the middle of the slums would immediately tip off the bad guys that somethings going on. He's gotten into a few scrapes with local riff-raff, but he's a fifth level fighter, he has both the hit points and the skill to handle anything he might reasonably encounter while scouting around the slums. Is he taking a risk? Sure he is, but it's a realistic risk with a realistic reward opportunity. And so far it appears to have been successful, he's been approached by local cultists to come to their secret gathering.

Now, when he goes to the secret gathering, will he have his armor on under his rags? Maybe so, but doing that is a risk because the cultists aren't stupid, and if they notice someone coming to their gathering in full plate armor, they just might suspect something. So the party is having a debate right now about whether we should get all armored up for the visit to the cult gathering. We might even go buy an illusion spell to allow us to fool the cultists as long as possible.

But he would never have gotten the opportunity to do this clanking around in full plate armor.
This has been an interesting topic, and opened up some avenues for roleplaying for me. That being said, as a DM, I did have a "halflings attack while you're sleeping!" battle, with them allowed cloth to sleep in, and their weapons. Thought it'd be a bit tougher, but the wizard "ruined" that, actually Thunderwaving two of the assassins out the window! I was proud of them for that, especially since the interrogation of the halflings after the battle proved fun to roleplay.

As for the issue of formal occasion, I seem to recall an enchantment for armor that allowed it to transform into cloth, and back, as a minor or free action. That would be EXCELLENT for this sort of occasion, don't you think? I also like the idea of just spiffing up the armor a little, since you can wear cloth over it. Perhaps an ornate tunic would be apropos, or a luxurious cloak?
The Smithy Knew He'd Lost His Groove When Scalding Sparks Left His Chin Too Smooth Dwarvenshave
What can I say?  Clearly our respective DMs will make the campaign fun for us regardless of how well defended we are.  I can draw the ire of high society and revel in my defensible boorishness while you can blend in with the upper crust and enjoy your subtlety.  It looks like we both get what we want by playing how we want.

Regarding Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, both of them have identities to conceal which makes full armor impractical at best.  I'm getting quite a chuckle imagining them wearing their 'suits' to their regular functions.  Their public lives are, at best, not praticularly compatible with their private escapades and perhaps your character's is not either.  I'm certain your story is equally interesting for the resulting dichotomy.  The character I am currently playing(one of few I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to use) has no such private life.  He doesn't care if people want to give him a hard time for wearing armor when they feel there is nothing to worry about.  He gets to give them a hard time right back and when trouble eventually does show its ugly face, he is ready and they are dead. 
For example, House Kundarak wasn't too happy that I wanted to bring my tetsubo into their Sharn branch.  There was nearly an altercation with the bank security that was only avoided by the timely intervention of our party warlord and her bag of holding.  It wasn't too long, though, before sky pirates staged a daylight robbery and Kundarak's personal security just wasn't up to the job of holding them off.  Luckily, we were not nearly as defenseless as the rest of the giddy socialites blithely doing their business. By the time it was over, the tellers, such guards as survived the ordeal and all of the would-be hostages were kissing my greaves in gratitude.

Ah, good times.  We might not have been the heroes of they day had we entered the bank in our elegant finery with only those chained ballpoints to hold off the robbers.
What can I say?  Clearly our respective DMs will make the campaign fun for us regardless of how well defended we are.  I can draw the ire of high society and revel in my well-defended boorishness while you can blend in with the upper crust and enjoy your subtlety.  It looks like we both get what we want by playing how we want.

Regarding Tony Stark and Bruce Wayne, both of them have identities to conceal which makes full armor impractical at best.  I'm getting quite a chuckle imagining them wearing their 'suits' to their regular functions.  Their public lives are, at best, not praticularly compatible with their private escapades and perhaps your character's is not either.  I'm certain your story is equally interesting for the resulting dichotomy.  The character I am currently playing(one of few I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to use) has no such private life.  He doesn't care if people want to give him a hard time for wearing armor when they feel there is nothing to worry about.  He gets to give them a hard time right back and when trouble eventually does show its ugly face, he is ready and they are dead. 
For example, House Kundarak wasn't too happy that I wanted to bring my tetsubo into their Sharn branch.  There was nearly an altercation with the bank security that was only avoided by the timely intervention of our party warlord and her bag of holding.  It wasn't too long, though, before sky pirates staged a daylight robbery and Kundarak's personal security just wasn't up to the job of holding them off.  Luckily, we were not nearly as defenseless as the rest of the giddy socialites blithely doing their business. By the time it was over, the tellers, such guards as survived the ordeal and all of the would-be hostages were kissing my greaves in gratitude.

Ah, good times.  We might not have been the heroes of they day had we entered the bank in our elegant finery with only those chained ballpoints to hold off the robbers.


Damn, now you're making me want to try out a campaign where the players have secret identities! A miller who slays gnolls in the moonlight, a bartender crushing wargs with a mordenkrad, etc.
The Smithy Knew He'd Lost His Groove When Scalding Sparks Left His Chin Too Smooth Dwarvenshave

A realistic rebuttal would be to point out that US soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq rarely remove body armor or helmets outside of their own bases.  And pretty well never don't have their assigned weapon in the same room as them if not on their person. 

Body Armor isn't scale or plate, but it can get uncomfortable after long periods of time. 

From a historical perspective, traveling used to be a great deal more dangerous for unarmed people than it is today. 

I've usually roleplayed a character not being armed to the teeth when socializing, but it seems rather setting specific.  How gritty and realistic is the campaign world?

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