Does Mage Armor count as armor?

I'm sure some one's brought this up some where but obviously mage armor doesn't qualify as armor completely since you can still cast spells with it on but how does it interact with Mindful Defense? Would a High Elf Monk with Mage Armor as their cantrip have 12+dex+wis AC? I would think so since it's more of a force barrier and doesn't restrict movement at all. The descriptions do conflict a little but those sort of things are bound to happen.
Makes sense to me. If you can cast in it, it's not armor. The description of Mage Armor should get updated to clarify that it isn't armor, even though it doesn't stack with armor.
Yep, because we totally need monks with 22 AC running around, when nobody else can top 19 (without enhancement bonuses, which presumably are available to monks as well).  
I'm sure some one's brought this up some where but obviously mage armor doesn't qualify as armor completely since you can still cast spells with it on but how does it interact with Mindful Defense? Would a High Elf Monk with Mage Armor as their cantrip have 12+dex+wis AC? I would think so since it's more of a force barrier and doesn't restrict movement at all. The descriptions do conflict a little but those sort of things are bound to happen.



The mage armor spell sets your AC to 12+dex mod. That's the value and defines how it interacts.

Some DIFFERENT, HYPOTHETICAL spell which gave a +2 force bonus to AC might have interaction problems, but Mage Armor as written does not have any such problem, the spell tells us what your AC is, that's your AC when under the spell.
Nice catch. Perhaps they need to change the monk thing to something like, "...your base AC becomes 10 plus your Wisdom modifier." Making it your base AC instead of just a bonus would keep it from stacking with anything else that sets your base AC. I reread it, it doesn't do that.


The mage armor spell sets your AC to 12+dex mod. That's the value and defines how it interacts.

Some DIFFERENT, HYPOTHETICAL spell which gave a +2 force bonus to AC might have interaction problems, but Mage Armor as written does not have any such problem, the spell tells us what your AC is, that's your AC when under the spell.

... Wow, ok, there's some wording that needs to be fixed. It does totally say "...your AC becomes…" suggesting a complete overwrite of everything. They need it to say "...your base AC becomes…" and they also need to say that in the Monk's ability. There's got to be something wrong with just saying "your AC," I've done enough programming to know how picky flat out setting a value like that can be. Give me a second...

If you are carrying a shield while you cast Mage Armor, you have to drop it and re-pick it back up in order to regain your AC bonus for the shield. I know ruling it like that is crazy dumb, but RAW any bonuses and negatives you have attached to your AC goes away once you cast Mage Armor because your AC becomes 12 + Dex mod. Re-equipping it would fix it because your AC has already been set and grabbing the shield would add 1 to your AC.
The mage armor spell sets your AC to 12+dex mod. That's the value and defines how it interacts.

Some DIFFERENT, HYPOTHETICAL spell which gave a +2 force bonus to AC might have interaction problems, but Mage Armor as written does not have any such problem, the spell tells us what your AC is, that's your AC when under the spell.



Exactly. Mage armor just straight up sets your AC to something else. It's not a bonus, it just outright replaces the value.

That just seems...odd...in some situations.  So if I am paralyzed, put to sleep, or restrained, my AC is 12+dex.  Never mind the fact I am in a prison cell with a ball and chain around my ankle and my arms shackled to the wall.  That interrigator will have to roll a 16 to hit me or wait 40 more minutes till the spell expires 
That just seems...odd...in some situations.  So if I am paralyzed, put to sleep, or restrained, my AC is 12+dex.  Never mind the fact I am in a prison cell with a ball and chain around my ankle and my arms shackled to the wall.  That interrigator will have to roll a 16 to hit me or wait 40 more minutes till the spell expires 



Presumably, there will be a rule that says 'if you're helpless, you're hosed, no matter what your AC is'.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
That just seems...odd...in some situations.  So if I am paralyzed, put to sleep, or restrained, my AC is 12+dex.  Never mind the fact I am in a prison cell with a ball and chain around my ankle and my arms shackled to the wall.  That interrigator will have to roll a 16 to hit me or wait 40 more minutes till the spell expires 



Presumably, there will be a rule that says 'if you're helpless, you're hosed, no matter what your AC is'.


I always thought helpless = hosed, was already a rule.
That just seems...odd...in some situations.  So if I am paralyzed, put to sleep, or restrained, my AC is 12+dex.  Never mind the fact I am in a prison cell with a ball and chain around my ankle and my arms shackled to the wall.  That interrigator will have to roll a 16 to hit me or wait 40 more minutes till the spell expires 



Presumably, there will be a rule that says 'if you're helpless, you're hosed, no matter what your AC is'.


I always thought helpless = hosed, was already a rule.



Might not have made it into the playtest package yet.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I may have missed it, but I am sure it will before too long(so perhaps no issue).  One thing I forgot to consider is that that situation would probably change you dex modifier to -4 or -5 anyway.  It is still pretty funny that you may be missed on something other than a natural 1.  There is always the question:  How helpless is helpless too?  Even under those circumstances, I may be able to fall prone and avoid the attack because of the mage armor bonus if they fail to hit a 7AC.  Then, when I am prone, they may roll a natural 1 and you get three stooges D&D style
Ok...I'll come out and say it.  I don't really care for the fixed nature of how this spell is described to work
I may have missed it, but I am sure it will before too long(so perhaps no issue).  One thing I forgot to consider is that that situation would probably change you dex modifier to -4 or -5 anyway.  It is still pretty funny that you may be missed on something other than a natural 1.  There is always the question:  How helpless is helpless too?  Even under those circumstances, I may be able to fall prone and avoid the attack because of the mage armor bonus if they fail to hit a 7AC.  Then, when I am prone, they may roll a natural 1 and you get three stooges D&D style



This is why I think the 'natural 1/natural 20' rules should go out the window.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
I suppose there is a discretionary clause to all this.  The DM has the discretion to rule an automatic hit if he/she wants to, I guess.  The natural 1/ natural 20 rule, I suppose, encourages players to try despite desperate circumstances.  Perhaps a variation of this may be to apply an additional penalty if a natural 1 is rolled and an additional bonus if a natural 20 is rolled, rather than automatic failure/automatic success.  Somehow, I don't think this variation sort of thing will be implimented any time soon though(as core anyways)