Do animals need to be proficient in armor types for barding?

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I have a mage with an improved familiar glacier snake, I would like to get it barding, but I'm not sure if I can.

I also can't seem to find any actual info on this.  
I have a mage with an improved familiar glacier snake, I would like to get it barding, but I'm not sure if I can.

I also can't seem to find any actual info on this.  


Technically no animal is proficient in barding. However, it's not like you can't wear nonproficient armor. Just look for a low check penalty; you can get them as low as 0 without much trouble at all. Masterwork studded leather or mithral breastplate armors are examples of those that have no drawback at all for wearing them nonproficiently. 

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I should look this up but I believe than an ANIMAL (which your familiar is not because it is a magical beast) that is trained for war can be considered proficient with armor/barding.  I think this is somewhere in the animal training rules and or other rules regarding mounts and such.

Even without proficiency a creature can still wear any type of armor.  The problem is just that the ACP applies to a lot more things.
 
It may be hard to convince a dm that you made a chainshirt barding for a snake to work so looking outside of the box might be you're best bet to get a familures ac up. A simple and somewhat funny salution to this is seeing if you're dm will allow your familure to ware a single braicer of armor due to it's body shape, or perhaps a tail ring of deflection. Otherwise I think there are a few spells out there that buff a familure's ac nicely, I think most of them are in spell compendium.
Masterwork studded leather or mithral breastplate armors are examples of those that have no drawback at all for wearing them nonproficiently. 

A mithral breastplate has a -1 armour check penalty.
It may be hard to convince a dm that you made a chainshirt barding for a snake to work so looking outside of the box might be you're best bet to get a familures ac up.

I'd say it's actually more credible to fit a flexible chain armour like a chain shirt or chainmail for a snake than one of the stiffer armour types; it might need some special fasteners to keep it on, but it's basically just a sleeve of chainmail.  Heck, if you go for chainmail instead of a chain shirt, it's just a longer tube.

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Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Masterwork studded leather or mithral breastplate armors are examples of those that have no drawback at all for wearing them nonproficiently. 

A mithral breastplate has a -1 armour check penalty.
It may be hard to convince a dm that you made a chainshirt barding for a snake to work so looking outside of the box might be you're best bet to get a familures ac up.

I'd say it's actually more credible to fit a flexible chain armour like a chain shirt or chainmail for a snake than one of the stiffer armour types; it might need some special fasteners to keep it on, but it's basically just a sleeve of chainmail.  Heck, if you go for chainmail instead of a chain shirt, it's just a longer tube.




I wouldn’t necessarily argue that you couldn’t get such an armor to fit or even stay fastened as much as I would point out that it disrupts the motility of the particular animal in question. Snakes use the muscles on their stomachs in combination with the way their underbellies are textured in order to move; at least if I’m remembering correctly, so the downside would be you effectively have a snake that can’t move on its own. Not necessarily bad since it can just stay draped over your shoulders all day, but it could allow for some house rulings dependant on the dm. I just mentioned bracers and rings because it's a little more plausible, at least in my mind, but in that same token I can see a bracer being shut down either for the same reason, or at least giving the snake a speed penalty. The ring however would seem the easiest to do, but then again trying to figure what sets of magic items works on a snake is all kind of up to the whims of a dm in the first place I guess, so all I can say is try and talk out what they think is appropriate.


As a side note though, a snake in spiked fullplate would be an awsome mental picture ^_^
I wouldn’t necessarily argue that you couldn’t get such an armor to fit or even stay fastened as much as I would point out that it disrupts the motility of the particular animal in question. Snakes use the muscles on their stomachs in combination with the way their underbellies are textured in order to move; at least if I’m remembering correctly, so the downside would be you effectively have a snake that can’t move on its own.

I think that would depend on the way the armour is designed and fitted.  You could either make a partial sleeve that left the belly bare (which is okay from a protective standpoint as it's usually the least exposed), or design the armour so that its underside provides grip in the same way as the snake's own belly (in the same way that boots provide the traction normally achieve by bare feet).
As a side note though, a snake in spiked fullplate would be an awsome mental picture ^_^

I supposed banded mail is pretty plausible as well as...

...scale mail.

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
Yeah I was digging around and found this on the d20 srd...


Magical Beast Type


Magical beasts are similar to animals but can have Intelligence scores higher than 2. Magical beasts usually have supernatural or extraordinary abilities, but sometimes are merely bizarre in appearance or habits.


Features

A magical beast has the following features.



  • 10-sided Hit Dice.

  • Base attack bonus equal to total Hit Dice (as fighter).

  • Good Fortitude and Reflex saves.

  • Skill points equal to (2 + Int modifier, minimum 1) per Hit Die, with quadruple skill points for the first Hit Die.


Traits

A magical beast possesses the following traits (unless otherwise noted in a creature’s entry).




 but like you guys said its not like you can't use some armor and still get no ac penalty every little bit helps!
"I supposed banded mail is pretty plausible as well as...

...scale mail. "

I see what you did there...(had me laughing for a good moment too).
I have a mage with an improved familiar glacier snake, I would like to get it barding, but I'm not sure if I can.

I also can't seem to find any actual info on this.  



I would point out that barding for animals is generally designed specifically to the beast in question, and therefore doesn't really hinder it's movements at all (ie barding for a horse is really just an armored saddle blanket) The reference to animals not having armor proficiency refers more to animals wearing human armor types, such as an ape wearing full plate, monkey with a shield, etc.

For most animals that are large, the weight of armor will be correspondingly light in comparison with their bulk ie a human in full plate that weighs half or more as much as them in comparison with a 10 tonne elephant wearing 500lbs of armor is like a human wearing a silk shirt. I think some descretion is in order to determine if an animal would realistically need a proficiency.


For example, a horse or riding animal (unicorn, peguses etc)would not need a proficiency to wear barding, and if sized accordingly the horse would have no penelties. This might also apply if the armor is not restrictive, or is just an extension of their natural armor (ie it wouldn't restrict their movements) a large animal with barding on their back, doesn't in anyway restrict their movement


However exotic armors would require a armor proficiency to be worn, such as an ape in full plate, a monkey with a shield. For the most part animals in armor would wear less then a human, since they lack the mobility and finess of hands and standing upright, their armor generally only covers the back, ie a shield or chain shirt or beastplate at best, that doesn't give protection to the belly or limbs (barding for a rhino might only be a shield and chain blanket strapped to it's back) so I think again the wieght comparison of a rhino in chain, or even scale/ banded plates  would be like a human wearing cloth clothing, if i am ok with 5 to 10 lbs of clothing, a rhino wouldn't blink over several hundred pounds.
I would point out that barding for animals is generally designed specifically to the beast in question, and therefore doesn't really hinder it's movements at all (ie barding for a horse is really just an armored saddle blanket) The reference to animals not having armor proficiency refers more to animals wearing human armor types, such as an ape wearing full plate, monkey with a shield, etc.

I don't think that logic holds up to scrutiny, since armour types like full plate are already specifically designed for individuals, and don't grant any such benefit to their wearers.  The thing is, a lot of the armour for mounts is actually just a lighter type of armour than what its rider wears; for example, have you ever seen a picture of horse armour that actually provided solid protection for the animal's legs in the manner of full plate?
For most animals that are large, the weight of armor will be correspondingly light in comparison with their bulk ie a human in full plate that weighs half or more as much as them in comparison with a 10 tonne elephant wearing 500lbs of armor is like a human wearing a silk shirt. I think some descretion is in order to determine if an animal would realistically need a proficiency.

Mechanically, the ratio between the weight of the armour and the weight of the wearer has no effect on the armour's category, and if you're talking about real-world results, the armour would weigh a lot more.  For example, if a 200 lb. human wears a 50 lb. suit of full plate, an equivalent being twice as tall would weigh 1,600 lb. and their armour would be 400 lb. in weight (both eight times the weight).

The kraken stirs. And ten billion sushi dinners cry out for vengeance. - Good Omens

Co-Author of the Dreamfane, Euralden Eye, Fulminating Crab, Gajuisan Crawler, Gruesome LurkerIronglass Rose, Sheengrass Swarm, Spryjack, Usunag, and Warp Drifter, and author of the Magmal Horror from Force of Nature.

My most popular campaign item; for all your adventuring convenience.
Zauber's Mutable Rod: This rod has a number of useful functions that make it easier to live in the wilderness. It is made of polished wood, with five studlike buttons on one end. Each button produces a different effect when pressed. Unless otherwise noted, the rod’s functions have no limit on the number of times they can be employed. When button 1 is pressed, one end of the rod produces a small flame, equivalent to a candle. When button 2 is pressed, the rod unfolds into a two-person tent, complete with bedrolls and warm blankets. When button 3 is pressed, the rod becomes a one-handed hammer, suitable for pounding pitons into a wall. When button 4 is pressed, the rod becomes a sturdy iron spade. When button 5 is pressed, the rod becomes a wooden bucket able to hold 2 gallons of liquid. Once per day, it can be commanded to fill with fresh water. If the rod is seriously damaged or broken in any of its alternate forms (button 2, 3, 4, or 5), it reverts to its basic rod form and cannot be activated for 24 hours. Moderate conjuration; CL 9th; Craft Rod, minor creation; Price 375 gp; Weight 2 lb.
MrCustomer is provide a lot of incorrect information.  The barding you put on a mount is EXACTLY like the armor its rider would wear except that it is made for the body type of the species in question.  All of this should be found in the PHB and can be found in the SRD under Armor For UnusualCreatures.  Full Plate "barding" for a horse (a large, non-humanoid) will cost 4x as much as it would for the rider and weigh twice as much and will also reduce the creature's movement rates just as it would a human.

Usually "barding" will be done using the lighter and less expensive armor to reduce cost and weight while keeping mobility up.  Don't forget that many "mounts" also have natural armor which will stack with the armor bonus "barding" provides and this will often bring the mount's net AC up to match that of the rider despite using a lighter armor base. 
I supposed banded mail is pretty plausible as well as...

...scale mail.




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