Mage Armor "flip"?

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3.5, non-core

Okay, let's see if I can do this short-n-sweet. I'm playing a F4/W2/AbC4 guy with a roman-esque flavor. He has leadership, and he is the Centurion type to his legionnaire follower types. (Please don't hassle me about ranks, I have a feeling that century means "100" and all that, but whatever, we've been too lazy to google history).

So anyways, all my followers are tricked out in lorica segmentata (banded mail), with their trusty gladius and pilum each.

And here I am, supposed to lead them into battle, with my INVISIBLE mage armor & shield, WEARING MY COOKIE-MONSTER PAJAMAS!

Not a very troop-morale inspiring visual!

So my question is, does mage armor HAVE TO BE invisible? Other force effects are sometimes visual, I think? Spiritual Weapon has a visual description, and I'm sure there are some others.

And just to head off some lines of thought, my wizard prohibited schools are illusion & necro. No disguise effects for me.

Is there a clause that allows me to just state, "I make it look like armor of whatever type"? Somewhere/somehow?

Neue 
Before I answer I just want make sure we're clear on something.  Mage Armor is a Conjuration spell and thu does NOT benefit from the AbC's Aburant Armor ability so you're still just getting +4 AC from it.  Throw out a Shield spell and it will provide you with +8 while it's up but Mage Armor is still just +4.

While I wouldn't say your Mage Armor needs to be "invisible" I am would NOT let you "make it look like armor of whatever type."  I hope I don't need to spell out why but if I play NPCs "intelligently" they may not attack you if they think you are wearing full plate but may be more likely to attack you if you are wearing padded armor.  I'd say that Mage Armor can have its own distinct appearance although if it is visible it should be relatively easy to see it is magical in nature.

As for visual effects I may be more impressed following that bare-chested man who can run through the enemy yet hardly get scratched then the one wearing massive amounts of armor who does the same thing.
 
3.5, non-core

Okay, let's see if I can do this short-n-sweet. I'm playing a F4/W2/AbC4 guy with a roman-esque flavor. He has leadership, and he is the Centurion type to his legionnaire follower types. (Please don't hassle me about ranks, I have a feeling that century means "100" and all that, but whatever, we've been too lazy to google history).

So anyways, all my followers are tricked out in lorica segmentata (banded mail), with their trusty gladius and pilum each.

And here I am, supposed to lead them into battle, with my INVISIBLE mage armor & shield, WEARING MY COOKIE-MONSTER PAJAMAS!

Not a very troop-morale inspiring visual!

So my question is, does mage armor HAVE TO BE invisible? Other force effects are sometimes visual, I think? Spiritual Weapon has a visual description, and I'm sure there are some others.

And just to head off some lines of thought, my wizard prohibited schools are illusion & necro. No disguise effects for me.

Is there a clause that allows me to just state, "I make it look like armor of whatever type"? Somewhere/somehow?

Neue 

you don't play only core??? ABC are from the CM 0.0????


well as normal any creature that make spot of 20 can see that you have some weird aura on your body.
Pepe pecas pica papas con un pico con un pico pepe pecas pica papas si pepe pecas pica papas con un pico donde esta el pico con que pepe pecas pica papas.
Before I answer I just want make sure we're clear on something.  Mage Armor is a Conjuration spell and thu does NOT benefit from the AbC's Aburant Armor ability so you're still just getting +4 AC from it.  Throw out a Shield spell and it will provide you with +8 while it's up but Mage Armor is still just +4.

While I wouldn't say your Mage Armor needs to be "invisible" I am would NOT let you "make it look like armor of whatever type."  I hope I don't need to spell out why but if I play NPCs "intelligently" they may not attack you if they think you are wearing full plate but may be more likely to attack you if you are wearing padded armor.  I'd say that Mage Armor can have its own distinct appearance although if it is visible it should be relatively easy to see it is magical in nature.

As for visual effects I may be more impressed following that bare-chested man who can run through the enemy yet hardly get scratched then the one wearing massive amounts of armor who does the same thing.
 



A) We discussed the mage armor not an abjuration, you Draco and I (I think) a long time ago. Quite clear on that. In the errata, etc. Thanks for making it clear for anyone else not so enlightened Steve. *nod*

B) Good point on the appearance; That also had occured to me; If allowed, mayhaps a "pale white ghostly milky translucent" suit of (in this case) banded mail armor? Obviously magical, but decisions by the enemy (or by allies) to be judged from that?

C) IF he were supposed to be a Visagoth barbarian leading these legionnaires, that might make more sense.  ;)

D) This character has a non-core class because he was supposed to be an NPC drop-in to seed the party with key information, but the players like him so much that I sorta have kept playing him.  That said, stay out of my thread Oma.
A.  You know I meant no offense Neue it's just a little habit when I see "Mage Armor" and AbC brought up in the same subject matter.  Of course at the point he's at now a quick dip into SpellSword for the -10% ASF so you can easily wear a mithral chain shirt (or its equivalent) solves that little issue.

B.  I guess that works although I'd probably have the "form" be something a relatively close to the AC actually provided.  I know I kind of think of it as something that shimmers/glows a little bit when some kind of force in pushing against it; if you were standing in a strong breeze your Mage Armor would be clear.

C.  I'd need to give you that although I could point out that I don't recall Brad Pitt's Achillies wearing much armor in Troy.

Although it may not be the most "optimal" build I kind of like the "light weight" casting warrior.  I'd still like the level of Spellsword in there but I believe a Figher4/Wiz2/AbC5/SS1 could be pretty acceptable.  I don't know what spells he favors using but if you stick to spells without Somatic Components you wouldn't even need to worry about ASF and could wear "real" armor.

p.s.  Good luck with that last request.  I see your "non-core" as a request for ideas instead of someone strictly looking for things in the books to justify something.
 
Heh. How about some costume armor that looks like the appropriate armour class but is functionally just clothing? Or would costume armour even be a thing back then?
Of course at the point he's at now a quick dip into SpellSword for the -10% ASF so you can easily wear a mithral chain shirt (or its equivalent) solves that little issue.

Or the versions made by fairies and angry gith.

Throw spellsword in there for that little extra, and you can go for the breastplate version (feycraft mithral breastplate with thistledown padding) in order to look the part for a centurion.  Or just give him a hat of disguise.

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I also like the "hat of disguise" or possibly some glamered armor solutions although glamered does require actually wearing armor first.
I suppose that the Hat of Disguise idea is in fact by-and-far the best. As well as I know the rules, I was so centered on the prohibited school "illusion" that I forgot that Use items don't count that way.

But still might just go with "ghosty" armor as is, just make sure to remember to "mention it alot". I like your description Steve: " I know I kind of think of it as something that shimmers/glows a little bit when some kind of force in pushing against it; if you were standing in a strong breeze your Mage Armor would be clear." 
Not having access to Illusion or Necromancy means you can't use those scrolls, wands, or other spell completion items (rods/stalves) but you can get your mojo from other things.

My idea of appearance is based on how it almost always seems like you see shields used in science fiction.  They are invisible until something strikes them at which time you can see the edge of them.
 
as an alternative approach. If you have access to the BoED you could grab luminous armor, which is stated to look like a breastplate
as an alternative approach. If you have access to the BoED you could grab luminous armor, which is stated to look like a breastplate
To follow that up luminous armor is in fact an abjuration spell. A little food for thought.
Thanks Seeron, but alas, We don't have the book. I did a quick google on it, and the spell sounds great, very powerful, but it (out of context) looks like a cleric domain spell that my character couldn't use. I see you give up some strength for it too, or something. But all that's aside, I don't have the book, wouldn't really use it for a player character if I did, etc. Just wanted to throw you a thanx for your effort.
Actually nue that brought an interesting question to mind. I know you typically play core only, but on average what books outside of core and the SRD do you usually have to work with? I know spending oodles of money on supplements isn't everyone's thing, but I would imagine a few books would tickle your fancy here and there (I know it does for me, I love my options to be plentiful on the mechanical front).
A couple of my players usually leave a duffle bag full of their books and sundries here in my walk-in closet, for when they spend the weekend camped out in my livingroom. I never really know what books are around, but they don't care that I sort around. But nothing's organized, and it changes as the weeks go by, and they come and go.

And let's face it. I'd be lying to deny not having a few tomes downloaded pirate style. I need NPC material to keep my players guessing, after all these years. We "play" core. Core classes, PrC's, races, etc. I DM whatever I feel like adds to the story, as I need to. (But I still like to be able to point to a written, published rule, if screams of "NOT FAIR!" arise). 
You could possibly research a new spell that has a visual effect to it (adjusting it's spell level), or you could cast a seperate illusion spell. Even core 3.5 has glamoured armor in the DMG.
You missed the first post. Illusion is a prohibited school for this character. Thanx tho.
Illusion might be a prohibited school, but what of magic items? a Glamored suit is a 2,700 gp enhancement.
Illusion might be a prohibited school, but what of magic items? a Glamored suit is a 2,700 gp enhancement.

A glamered suit of armor requires a suit of armor to start with an Neue is looking at the "armor" provided by the Mage Armor spell.  Reading glamered in the SRD it also seem to me like the only thing it does is change an "armored" appearance into an "unarmored" one and it doesn't let you make a suit of padded armor look like full plate; now some DMs will read in a little added functionality to glamered but I don't see it in the SRD.
 
I think MrC was just talking about a suit of clothes?
If so, there are rules for that. Shiftweave in the ECS, I believe. It allows you to have a set of clothing which is actually 3 sets.
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luminous is no cleric spell its a sanctified spell so every good caster has access to it. If you do t have the book you could still use it as a guideline to create your own spell. my suggestion would be removing the -4 penalty for enemys and the str dmg for you
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Luminous Armor



Abjuration
Level: Sor/Wiz 2
Components: V, S
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Creature touched
Duration: 1 hour/level (D)
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless)



This spell envelops the target in a protective, shimmering aura of light.
The luminous armor resembles a suit of incandescent full plate*, but it is weightless and does not restrict the target's movement or mobility in any way. (* or other armor type as desired or appropriate to the culture or campaign).



In addition to imparting the benefits of a breastplate (+5 armor bonus to AC), the luminous armor has no maximum Dexterity restriction, no armor check penalty, and no chance for arcane spell failure.



Luminous armor sheds light exactly as if the wearer were under the affects of a faerie fire spell:


Wearers do not benefit from the concealment normally provided by darkness (though a 2nd-level or higher magical darkness effect functions normally), blur, displacement, invisibility, or similar effects. The light is too dim to have any special effect on undead or dark-dwelling creatures vulnerable to light.




Luminous Armor, Greater



Abjuration
Level: Sor/Wiz 4



This spell functions like luminous armor, except that it imparts the benefits of full plate (+8 armor bonus to AC).



 
I'd say make the armor resemble the type of protection it's based on. So Greater would still resemble full plate, but the regular version would look like a breastplate,
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88534793 wrote:
Punctuation exists for a reason, and your neglect of the shift key is to the point where Social Services should be involved.
The distinction of what it looks like is sorta moot, as the original write-up says it looks like full plate even at breastplate bonus.  But thanks for looking in.
Oh, and something I just noticed: Greater versions of spells are usually 3 levels higher than the original. I agree with making a +5 bonus a 2nd-level spell (since Shield is only a +4), which would put the Greater version at 5th-level.
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88534793 wrote:
Punctuation exists for a reason, and your neglect of the shift key is to the point where Social Services should be involved.
Well the text does say that the armor can look like other equivalent cultural armors, you could say that it looks like a Cuirass, or a full set of lōrīca segmentāta, albeit made out of pure light.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cuirass

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_armour
Count: Lesser Globe of Invulnerabilty is 4th
Globe of Invulnerabilty is 6th

Mage Armor is 1st
Greater Mager Armor is 3rd

Prot Evil is 1st
Circle Evil is 3rd



Not to dis ya, but seems the abjurations/conjurations/protections are a bit more forgiving. I didn't write the spells, just stole them.

Lash: um, that text was my own, not the original, I put that in just cuz.  *wink*
Fair enough.
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88534793 wrote:
Punctuation exists for a reason, and your neglect of the shift key is to the point where Social Services should be involved.
You mentioned globes of invulnerability and I had a vision that as some sort of transparent Testudo formation. Just sayin', that might look awesome.
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