MME armor confusion

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One of the players in my campaign decided to pick up the Ring Mail proficiency feat from the MME book. This is the first time I've had a player take this option and the first time I've really paid close attention to the new armor types from this book.

The end result was confusion. Maybe I'm just thick skulled, but I can't figure out how this is supposed to work. Ring Mail is listed as light but is also chainmail? Isn't chainmail a heavy armor type? It gives a +3 AC bonus with a -1 check penalty, the same as hide, but costs 10gp more and is 5 pounds heavier than hide. It does have the durable 2 property which is nice, but is that worth the cost of a feat compared to hide? Does this item exist so that hide wearers have access to chainmail enchants?

I'm just not sure who this item is really designed for. And speaking of durable 2, you get to add the armor's enhancement bonus if it's light and twice the enh. bonus if it's heavy. So is ringmail light or heavy? It is, after all, chainmail.

My player is excited about this option (he simply likes the flavor of "ringmail", no char op people in this group), I just want to make sure I understand what this is all about so I can plan loot accordingly.

Does this item exist so that hide wearers have access to chainmail enchants?


 Exactly. It's light armor that qualifies for chainmail enchantments and chainmail feats. Mianly it's of use to lightly-armored defenders, particularly swordmages - the two main enchantments it's good for are Agile Armor and Eladrin Chainmail...
 However, unless you're planning a specific build for which it would be useful, it's probably not worth spending a feat on. It most likely wouldn't be particularly unbalancing to simply houserule that it doesn't require a feat.


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Those "superior" armor types in MME are by and large garbage given the cost of a feat to use them. (Thematically they don't make a whole lot of sense as being 'superior' to whatever they're supposed to be a variant of, either.)

Certain niche cases like the "light armor with chainmail properties" may be useful, but for the most part that section of MME is a waste of paper.
What about armor with the tough property? It's a guaranteed crit resist against the first crit per encounter. Compared to stoneroot's endurance which is always on but a 50/50 chance, the tough property seems better. Realistically, the chance of getting more than once in a 5 or 6 round encounter is pretty small. What do you think? Am I off on this?
Their not garbage, though they i agree they tend to be sub-par, but some niech builds would actually take them.  The THP in paticular, since it's often better then toughness.


Monster crit's arn't usually that painful, so i wouldn't spend a feat on either.  Not unless you really do draw 20 attacks per combat, and already took +defensive feats.

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My player is asking for clarification on the ring mail regarding the Durable 2 property. He says that because ringmail is technically chainmail he should get twice the EH bonus added to the durable 2. But I'm thinking that because it actually functions as light armor (ie. no heavy armor penalties) he should only add a single EH bonus to the durable 2. If someone knows which it is, please let me know.

At the end of the day I really don't care because this group is all about RP and storytelling (We've had 2 combats in 4 sessions), but I would really like to know for future reference. Thanks!

  Your player is making an assumption. An incorrect one. Ringmail doesn't "function" as light armor, it is light armor. (That also happens to "function" as chainmail.) It says so in the item description.
 Ring mail is ring mail, chainmail is chainmail. The original "chainmail armor" game element happens to be heavy armor - this is in no way a mechanical game rule that any new game element introduced as being a variation of "chainmail" must be heavy armor.
 If you really want to argue it from a narrative perspective, ring mail is described as leather armor which has rings sewn onto it. It's not chainmail - it simply counts as the chainmail armor type from a rules perspective. And as I said, there is no rule that any armor listed as chainmail is automatically heavy armor.

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I am the Magic Man.

(Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.)

 

I am the Lawnmower Man.

(I AM GOD HERE!)

 

I am the Skull God.

(Koo Koo Ka Choo)

 

There are reasons they call me Mad...

Those "superior" armor types in MME are by and large garbage given the cost of a feat to use them. (Thematically they don't make a whole lot of sense as being 'superior' to whatever they're supposed to be a variant of, either.) Certain niche cases like the "light armor with chainmail properties" may be useful, but for the most part that section of MME is a waste of paper.


Right, because high Int leaders that have access to chain or hide wouldn't want to spend a feat for more effective hp and (Mad_Jack missed the top enchant) +1 to everything Int related except their own attack bonus (Tacticians).

In case my sarcasm is missed, it is absolutely worth spending a feat to keep your higher AC as a Shaman, Lazylord, or Cunning Bard while getting the best enchant possible.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.

The MME defines:

Base Type: A suit of armor or a shield counts as the indicated type for the purpose of determining what magical properties it can gain.


There is no way in which ringmail is considered chainmail except that it can have any enchantment that is valid for chainmail. 
It's value is two-fold: it allows chain enchants on light armor (hide equivalent) which may be preferred for a specific build, and it grants a few extra effective HP per rest.
It's cost is two-fold as well: it costs a feat and closes off access to armor type based feats. (It does not count as chainmail for the purposes of other feats, only for magical properties.) 
Thanks to everyone for the clarification.

I can't help but think the authors could have been a little more direct with their explanation of how this works. For those using the character builder this issue would be obvious, but for anyone just reading the books it's a little vague. I'm a firm believer that any mechanical element that bends well established rules should have a crystal clear explanation on how it is intended to work.
If you actually read the books, instead of skimming and picking things based on a description, the rules for the new armors ARE crystal clear.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.