All armor should cost the same.

You should not be able to buy better stats.  Of course, there can be minor differences is cost (say... 10g to 100g) for flavor, story, and the like, but no armor should be straight up better then another.

Instead, different armors just give you different effects (resist, bonus AC, slow, stealthy), and balanced against eachother within their light/medium/heavy types.

Chain = resist piercing.
Plate = resist slashing.
Spiked Amor = deal 1d4 damage when missed.
ect...

Special armors should follow the same rules as magical items do.  Mainly, you cannot buy or sell them (usually), and generally would have to quest for them.  Killing a red dragon allows you to make red dragon armor.  Charm an elf queen to get mitheral.

Red Dragon = resist fire.
Displacer Hide = stealthy.
Adimantine = +1 AC, -10 speed, cannot attempt stealth.
Ironwood = good against rust monsters, heat metal spell.
Dimond Edge = ignores resistance.



The only case i can think of where cost would actually be a factor is makeshift armor.  Which would basicly be free.

Makeshift - Weather you slap a bucket on your head, use a broken door and some rope to make a chest piece, wrap yourself in heavy curtains, or use a fire poker as a pick.  With your DM's permission, you can generally make or find something that functions like armor and a weapon.

Makeshift armor works the same as basic armor, except you take a -2 penalty to AC.
Makeshift weapons work the same as basic weapons, except you reduce the die size by 1.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

The problem is that they want the base armor system to be very very simple. So the only factors are base AC, Dex bonus, speed penalty, and stealth penalty.

Unless they go the 3rd edition route with armors gaining base AC and losing Dex with each step of heavyness OR they add another chartable factor, all armors won't be the same value.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

The problem is that they want the base armor system to be very very simple. So the only factors are base AC, Dex bonus, speed penalty, and stealth penalty. Unless they go the 3rd edition route with armors gaining base AC and losing Dex with each step of heavyness OR they add another chartable factor, all armors won't be the same value.

For the basic game, only have 1 armor of each type.  The one with the high AC and no downsides.

Leather = 11 + Dex
Scale =  14 + Dex (max 2)
Plate = 16


Put the advanced armor in a seperate section.

Padded  = 10+dex, reisist bludgoning.
Studed Lether = 10+dex, resist slashing.
Ring = 13 + Dex (max 2), resist piercing.
Banded = 15, resist slashing.



But bottom line, they should cost the same.  And none is strictly better then the other.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Light Armor: AC = 11 + Dex mod (max +5)

Medium Armor: AC = 13 + Dex mod (max + 3)
*disadvantage to Str checks unless Con 13+
*disadvantage to Dex checks unless Str 13+

Heavy Armor: AC = 15 + Dex mod (max +1)
*Disadvantage to Str checks unless Con 15+
*Disadvantage to Dex checks unless Str 15+

To help AC scale with level I propose this:
All classes gain a combat bonus instead of a weapon attack bonus. The combat bonus applies to both AC and weapon attack rolls. A class has either a good, average, or poor combat bonus.

A good combat bonus starts at +1 and ends at +5 (like the fighter, paladin, ranger, monk, etc).

An average combat bonus starts at +1 and ends at +3 (like the rogue and cleric).

A poor combat bonus starts at +0 and ends at +2 (like the Druid).
You should not be able to buy better stats.  Not by default anyways.

Instead, different armors just give you different effects (resist, bonus AC, slow, stealthy), and balanced against eachother within their light/medium/heavy types.

Chain = resist piercing.
Plate = resist slashing.
ect...

Special armors should follow the same rules as magical items do.  Mainly, you cannot buy or sell them (usually), and generally would have to quest for them.  Killing a red dragon allows you to make red dragon armor.  Charm an elf queen to get mitheral.

Red Dragon = resist fire.
Displacer Hide = stealthy.
Adimantine = +1 AC, -10 speed, cannot attempt stealth.
Ironwood = good against rust monsters, heat metal spell.
Dimond Edge = ignores resistance.



The only case i can think of where cost would actually be a factor is makeshift armor.  Which would basicly be free.

Makeshift - Weather you slap a bucket on your head, use a broken door and some rope to make a chest piece, wrap yourself in heavy curtains, or use a fire poker as a pick.  With your DM's permission, you can generally make or find something that functions like armor and a weapon.

Makeshift armor works the same as basic armor, except you take a -2 penalty to AC.
Makeshift weapons work the same as basic weapons, except you reduce the die size by 1. 




Have any of you ever read something (like the above post) where it seemed that the OP was just posting to post?

Anyways, just incase your serious, your idea is just a bad one. 
@mellored

3 armor types in basic might not fly, even if players can't afford half of them at the start. It would have to be at least 4 of them. 5 woulf be better. To create the illusion of choice.

Orzel, Halfelven son of Zel, Mystic Ranger, Bane to Dragons, Death to Undeath, Killer of Abyssals, King of the Wilds. Constitution Based Class for Next!

To create the illusion of choice.


Having different AC and a different price would be even better as there would be a real choice.

I'm not sure why the OP wants to make all armors the same price. It's actually nice and conceptually easy to have different armors with different prices. I think it's one of the easiest things for new players to understand, because it relates well to real life and other games. You either buy a better weapon or a better armor, or maybe spend your money on something else.

I don't see why this should be simplified.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

@mellored 3 armor types in basic might not fly, even if players can't afford half of them at the start. It would have to be at least 4 of them. 5 woulf be better. To create the illusion of choice.

I'd rather have real choice, and not simply upgrade armor as soon as i get the money too.

You should NOT have...
Chain  < Banded < Plate  (Based on gold)

Instead.
Chain = Banded = Plate  (based on features).


Even if you don't want to do resist in a basic game, you can have...

Splint = -1 AC.
Chain = -5 speed, unstealty.
Banded = -10 speed.
Plate = unstealthy, -10 speed, +1 AC.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

To create the illusion of choice.


Having different AC and a different price would be even better as there would be a real choice.

I'm not sure why the OP wants to make all armors the same price. It's actually nice and conceptually easy to have different armors with different prices. I think it's one of the easiest things for new players to understand, because it relates well to real life and other games. You either buy a better weapon or a better armor, or maybe spend your money on something else.

I don't see why this should be simplified.



+1.

I don't see any real drawback to being able to get better armor for more money. That's typically how things work in general, so why not model it that way. I actually prefer to see the much better armor types more expensive than a 1st level character can afford so that they have to earn it through adventuring and collecting treasure, thus increasing their defensive stats through more than just bonus stat updates.
To create the illusion of choice.


Having different AC and a different price would be even better as there would be a real choice.

I'm not sure why the OP wants to make all armors the same price. It's actually nice and conceptually easy to have different armors with different prices. I think it's one of the easiest things for new players to understand, because it relates well to real life and other games. You either buy a better weapon or a better armor, or maybe spend your money on something else.

I don't see why this should be simplified.

How is it choice?

You have 100 gold.  What armor do you buy?
You have 1000 gold. What armor do you buy?
You have 10000 gold.  What armor do you buy?


Buying the highest AC you can afford is not a "choice".

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I don't see any real drawback to being able to get better armor for more money. That's typically how things work in general, so why not model it that way. I actually prefer to see the much better armor types more expensive than a 1st level character can afford so that they have to earn it through adventuring and collecting treasure, thus increasing their defensive stats through more than just bonus stat updates.

Gaining gold is not assumed.

If there was a gold by level chart, then sure.  This makes sense.  But it doesn't exsist.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Buying the highest AC you can afford is not a "choice".

The choice is between spending it on armor, or on a weapon or other useful item.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

I think the best armor money can buy should be available to a level 1 (3?) adventurer.

This doesn't mean armor made from exotic material, but a regular suit of plate armor should be purchasable with starting funds. Upgrading armor through wealth seems pointless.

Anyway, I would prefer armor to be easily "refluffable" which is why I prefer light, medium, heavy to leather, chain, plate. I can see the L/M/H model being expanded upon though to give examples of various armor types.
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Buying the highest AC you can afford is not a "choice".

The choice is between spending it on armor, or on a weapon or other useful item.




Problem is weapon or other useful items aren't there.

Weapons are cheap enough you start with what you want. You don't upgrade it outside of magic, which you're not supposed to be able to buy.

Similarly there's only so many random mundane items you want.


Really your choice is between better armor, a saddlebag full of potions of healing, or amenities that have no game effect.

Personally I'd rather that PCs can just get the amenities without needing to worry about carting around barrels of healing or really high cost armor, but maybe Im just weird. 
..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Buying the highest AC you can afford is not a "choice".

The choice is between spending it on armor, or on a weapon or other useful item.

Poison (100g), magifying glass (100g), and spyglass (1000g), are the only things compeating against better armor.

Edit: Ok, having a massive amount healing potions actually does compeate.  So that's 1 choice.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Unfortunately, armor that grants resistance to one damage type is just going to encourage more golf-bag-effect, because a non-magical dagger is more effective than a magical longsword against anyone who resists slashing but not piercing. They would need to have a much finer gradient (i.e. slash resist 4, pierce resist 3) in order to make armors different along this axis without just making people work around it.

The metagame is not the game.

..."window.parent.tinyMCE.get('post_content').onLoad.dispatch();" contenteditable="true" />Buying the highest AC you can afford is not a "choice".

The choice is between spending it on armor, or on a weapon or other useful item.




Problem is weapon or other useful items aren't there.

Weapons are cheap enough you start with what you want. You don't upgrade it outside of magic, which you're not supposed to be able to buy.

Similarly there's only so many random mundane items you want.

Really your choice is between better armor, a saddlebag full of potions of healing, or amenities that have no game effect.

Personally I'd rather that PCs can just get the amenities without needing to worry about carting around barrels of healing or really high cost armor, but maybe Im just weird. 


If you're going to get gold, there should be meaningful choices what to spend that gold on. If the only expensive item is armor, then there is no choice.

And not being able to buy magic is a flawed concept for two reasons:
- The characters end up with a lot of money they can't spend, especially if there are also no expensive items and you can basically buy everything you need from your starting money.
- If a character dies (well) above level 1 and a replacement character is made. This assumes that a replacement character doesn't start at level 1 in a level 18 party. Unless you let that character start naked he will probably need magic items. That character will be able to "buy" his items in some form, except if the DM rolls randomly or something like that. Unless no level 18 character is expected to have magic items.

I might have misunderstood, but if there is no way to spend the gold you find, and you're not expected to find any magic items either, why have treasure and items in the first place. Then just make armor a class feature, the Fighter gets it at level 1, the Rogue at level 3 and the Wizard at level 5 and do away with items and treasure alltogether.

5e should strongly stay away from "I don't like it, so you can't have it either."

 

I once asked the question (in D&D 3.5) "Does a Druid4/Wizard3/ArcaneHierophant1 have Wildshape?". Jesse Decker and Andy Collins: Yes and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Rich Redman and Ed Stark: No and the text is clear and can't be interpreted differently. Skip Williams: Lol, it's worded ambiguously and entirely not how I intended it. (Cust. Serv. Reference# 050815-000323)

The game does not assume magic items. In the latest article the designers said you start with 150 gold whether you start at level 1 or level 20.

In my savage worlds game there are no "magic items" but we blow through our money. We bought a boat and go on adventurers delivering goods, raiding pirates, smuggling, etc.

We spend most of our money repairing and upgrading the ship. Someone is saving up to buy his citizenship. Another player wants to buy a farm to retire to one day. You don't need magic items to have a reason to spend money.
Why is it bad to give players something to chase after?
Armor being the same price?
I'll just talk from real life experience, as thats how i enjoy playing the D&D game , by using real world mechanics as much as possible....where applicable.

We could take the same amount of metal and shape it into many different forms. Are you buying the metal, or are you buying the time of the tradesperson who shaped the metal?  Or are you buying the skill in which is executed upon the metal by more crafty hands because he could speed up the crafting time? Or are you buying the prestige that will go along with the metal after its been shaped by a world-reknown being?
Now only some of these questions tilt on the side of 'game mechanics', while the observer can easily see these questions posed, will more rely on the idea that there is more to something than simply its component stats....hence "roleplaying". The roleplaying of a system should never be dismissed in favour of simplifying a system's mechanics to create a nonsensical approach that would not be based on any sense of real world grounding. Allow me to explain; You come to an armor shop and the man is selling all types of armor. As you walk in, you realize that he only has 2 kinds of armor, chain mail and ring mail.....why? Well those are the fastest armors to build, now since he focuses on just those armors, he gets more skilled and can create them faster than other other armorer, so he lowers the price slightly per unit. So now everybody comes to the "Lord of the Rings Shop" cause he's got the best prices. So he's so filled up with orders cause he not only is the fastest at production, has the best prices but also knows how to create a more effective set of ring/chain mail than any other armorer cause that all he ever spends his time building. The characters may ask him if he would make a suit of plate mail, but he's so filed up with orders that he doesn't have time to build anything else. Eventually he gets such a name for the beautiful suits he creates that people prepay him even with a 2 year wait per suit. He hires more people and raises the price simply because the pretige of his name.
    That's basically how the real world works....and the D&D world wouldn't be much different, you could force it to be different, but then you lose credibility in the manifestation of your story. Now some would easily dismiss this as mild rhetoric and nothing to be woried about. I'll say i speak from experience and that i've found after 25y of DMing that the more one can bridge the game from the real world to the world of our imagination by using foundational facts that are evidenced in this world, the more believable your gaming world becomes.

[I've been working at a historical park as a blacksmith, 10 years, and share rich history via factual evidence and refined storytelling techniques to an average of 50,000-100,000 people on an annual basis. I bring those processes to the game table, and the players benefit from it (& the other DMs do too) with a richer experience that is "real-wordly grounded".]

So I do appreciate the sense that the OP would endeavour to streamline the game system by creating a more simplistic game mechanic approach, the "simplicity" of some systems is sometimes what steers me away from playing the system or makes me forcibly "house-rule" the rule in an altered direction. From the vantage point of the player....i don't believe i'd mind one bit if there was 20 different suits of armor with an array of acceptible "non-magic" abilities. (some suggestions would be; +1 to movement, +1 to parrying, +1 to execute a certain skill, allowance for no penaties when using rogue skills, quieter movement, non rusting, bouyancy, +1 to weapon entrapment, spiked armor (-2 to save vs nets tho Cry), bonus to climbing speed (harness built right in) and the list could go on and on. Some armors might just offer the AC benefit without a special effect but would also be the baseline for armor purchasing as these suits would be more cost-effective.
Anyway, ideas for thought. 
The game does not assume magic items. In the latest article the designers said you start with 150 gold whether you start at level 1 or level 20.

In my savage worlds game there are no "magic items" but we blow through our money. We bought a boat and go on adventurers delivering goods, raiding pirates, smuggling, etc.

We spend most of our money repairing and upgrading the ship. Someone is saving up to buy his citizenship. Another player wants to buy a farm to retire to one day. You don't need magic items to have a reason to spend money.



This is very refreshing to see.
I love when players look beyond the character sheet to the actual game-world, and make decisions based on their character's motivations, wants, and desires, not just "bigger weapons, better armor". I mean, if that's truly all your PC would want (weapons, armor, etc.), then whatever. Go for it. Others want more than that, though. Buy a house. Hell, buy a few houses. Start a farm. Get a family. Build a church. Do whatever you want, not just whatever will give you a better shot in the next encounter.
"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind." - H.P. Lovecraft
While I appreciate the OP's desire for different armor types to have meaningful differences beyond just their AC value, I think the complaint about pricing to be a distraction. Giving Chain, Scale, Leather, Hide, and Plate special properties would be sufficient to create meaningful choice without worrying about their prices.

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Proficiency Module

Armor being the same price?
I'll just talk from real life experience, as thats how i enjoy playing the D&D game , by using real world mechanics as much as possible....where applicable.

We could take the same amount of metal and shape it into many different forms. Are you buying the metal, or are you buying the time of the tradesperson who shaped the metal?  Or are you buying the skill in which is executed upon the metal by more crafty hands because he could speed up the crafting time? Or are you buying the prestige that will go along with the metal after its been shaped by a world-reknown being?

They don't have to be the exact same price.  I mean weapons are not the exact same price.

But they should be near the same price.  Say... 10g to 100g (10x).  Rather then 5g to 6000g (1200x).

And sure, there can probably be a +/- margine as well with all sorts of story reasons.  (ther is an iron shortage, since we lost the mines...).


I don't believe i'd mind one bit if there was 20 different suits of armor with an array of acceptible "non-magic" abilities. (some suggestions would be; +1 to movement, +1 to parrying, +1 to execute a certain skill, allowance for no penaties when using rogue skills, quieter movement, non rusting, bouyancy, +1 to weapon entrapment, spiked armor (-2 to save vs nets tho Cry), bonus to climbing speed (harness built right in) and the list could go on and on. Some armors might just offer the AC benefit without a special effect but would also be the baseline for armor purchasing as these suits would be more cost-effective.
Anyway, ideas for thought. 

Those are good ideas.  I'm not sure how fiddly we want to get though. 

But spiked armor seems good = as a reaction when you get missed with a melee attack, deal 1d4 damage.

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s to intentionally miss with
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Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
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my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

The game does not assume magic items. In the latest article the designers said you start with 150 gold whether you start at level 1 or level 20.

In my savage worlds game there are no "magic items" but we blow through our money. We bought a boat and go on adventurers delivering goods, raiding pirates, smuggling, etc.

We spend most of our money repairing and upgrading the ship. Someone is saving up to buy his citizenship. Another player wants to buy a farm to retire to one day. You don't need magic items to have a reason to spend money.



This is very refreshing to see.
I love when players look beyond the character sheet to the actual game-world, and make decisions based on their character's motivations, wants, and desires, not just "bigger weapons, better armor". I mean, if that's truly all your PC would want (weapons, armor, etc.), then whatever. Go for it. Others want more than that, though. Buy a house. Hell, buy a few houses. Start a farm. Get a family. Build a church. Do whatever you want, not just whatever will give you a better shot in the next encounter.



+1 on both of you guys

That's the way my group does it also. In our most recent PF campaign one player started to sponsor artisans and craftsmen. My character invested in repairs on our house and for his money made tons of antiplague potion to give to plague stricken village ( LN with good streak hobgoblin cleric of war with ranks in alchemy). And we started doing things like that on lv 2. There is more to character motivation than big sword and shiny armour so we spend fair share of our coin on stuff like that (we play in low magic,low power,grim and scary world). 

As for armor. I always like armor that provides DR. With bounded acuraccy give players defense rating based on class that rises similar to BAB and make armor give DR. And yes,I am lover of Grim&Gritty.  

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/20.jpg)


   = $500

      = $500




Why?

   = $500

      = $500




Why?




QFT
You should not be able to buy better stats.  Of course, there can be minor differences is cost (say... 10g to 100g) for flavor, story, and the like, but no armor should be straight up better then another.



  That is your opinion which you fail to back up with any reasoning.

  In the real world, some things are straight up better than others.  If you were to ask a non-gamer if a suit of plate armor is better than a suit of leather for medieval combat, they would of course answer YES, explaining why the vastly more cumbersome and more expensive pieces of armor even exist at all.  Reducing all armor down to a costume that has no difference aside from appearance is blatantly silly.

  If you want to play an action game like Diablo where killing a bat will cause a suit of plate armor to fall to the ground or where a scantily clad amazon is just as protected as a paladin in plate then go play Diablo.  If you want to play a role playing game that has at least a nodding acquaintance with how things work in reality, then stop trying to ruin DnD.

@mikemearls don't quite understand the difference

I don't make the rules, I just think them up and write them down. - Eric Cartman

Enough chitchat!  Time is candy! - Pinky Pie


   = $500

      = $500




Why?



Except that's not armor, armor is the latter car versus a similarly high-end Hummer.  You get size and carrying capacity, you give up gas mileage and handling. 
For what it's worth, I'd like to have armor that is clearly better than others, at least in a somewhat realistic way, but also have that armor be very expensive, and not practical for everyday wear.  I'd also like classes that don't presume to wear specific armor.

So Paladins and Fighters can wear plate, but I don't want them designed assuming they always have plate on.  It's silly to me, to have big ol' fighter types climbing a rock wall/mountain in a metal suit like a midieval Iron Man.

For everyday adventuring, they should be in lighter armor, like chain or reinforced leather, similar to what Gimli and Boromir were wearing in the LotR movies.  Then, when gearing up for a planned battle, let them don more appropriate armor, like plate and scale.

But again, that's just me, personally.
Essentials zigged, when I wanted to continue zagging. Roll dice, not cars.
I can understand some of the sentiment of the OP, we should try to get some interesting distinctions between armors other than cost.

More effective armor takes more resources to make, and thus should cost more.

For the most part I think the current system makes sense. There are some exceptions, padded armor has very little use.
I can understand some of the sentiment of the OP, we should try to get some interesting distinctions between armors other than cost.

More effective armor takes more resources to make, and thus should cost more.

For the most part I think the current system makes sense. There are some exceptions, padded armor has very little use.



Not neccessarily true. Chain was FAR FAR more expensive than plate. It was also more encumbring, heavier if you include the wieght of padding, and less effective. In point of fact chain went OUT OF USE except for a few bits of joint coverage as quickly as plate could be manufactured once good plate was possible at all.

If we have chain and plate in the same culture then the plate should be (a) CHEAPER and (b) GLOBALLY SUPERIOR, there's absolutely NOTHING other than flexible joint coverage that chain does better than even bad plate. But hand drawing wire is horribly labor intensive so the chain is actually more expensive to make. Similarly for most of the other D&D armors. The list of armors is a list of things that NEVER existed in one culture or trading block within any 500 year period.

If plate exists then armor should be something like:
1) Padded Coat
2) Back and breast
3) Half Plate
4) Field Plate
5) Jousting Plate

And then there can be quality differences within the categories, but the main difference is in the wieght and coverage. The most expensive suits of full gothic face hardened plate were in fact horribly, horribly expensive (and basically good for one major battle as the face hardening and joints were vulnerable to cumulative damage from multiple impacts), but below that there was plate armor being mass produced in large factories, with pieces of slightly different size being shipped all over Europe for local final fitting and with common soldiers like pikemen and archers being able to afford pretty good plate armor.

Their armor was made in the same factories by the same workers with the same tools and methods as the armor of all but a handful of kings and the very richest of nobles.

If you could afford a horse you could afford plate, and other than joint coverage it wouldn't be all that inferior to the best you could buy without ordering from a master craftsman a year or more in advance.

Similarly modern body armor, there isn't that much cost based variation. ANYONE who seriously wants armor in the USA can afford kevlar, the question is how much reinforcement you give it. But baring rigid reinforcing plates the kevlar suit that's basically the best protection we could give the President would be in my reach if I wanted it. There's simply not anything all that superior available.

Similarly, if chain exists and is being manufactured it's because it's the best armor the culture can make (you won't bother otherwise, chain is so hard to make that its either the best for what you're using it for or no one makes it). And in a culture that uses chain, chain is probably the vast majority of ALL the metal armor made in that culture, again with differences in wieght and coverage, but with the basics being the same, and in the case of chain almost all the cost is in the torso armor anyway so all armor at roughly equal prices might well be more realistic than massive variations.

Look, mate, I don't care for absolute historical precision in D&D, but please don't go spreading wrong historical data either because that's just misinformation. Your intentions were probably good and noble, but a little more research may help you there.

You got it right in some points, yes. There were different types of plate, mainly in quality ("munitions grade" is the term normally used to describe lower quality, mass-produced plate armors), and in body coverage.

But in no way was mail (chain) harder to make than plate! Nor was it heavier. Nor was it more expensive (unless you're comparing the finest mail against the cheapest plate with very low body coverage--like breast and arms only or something like that).

--> Mail was easier to make. Mail was incomparably easier to make than plate. In fact, one of the reasons why mail never vanished even after the spread of plate armor is because all you needed was some simple manual labor of twisting, interlacing and riveting. It was a long and laborious process that could take months, but anyone with barely any skill in metal-working could make mail. Making plate required real skill, and not many smiths knew how to make reliable plate armor. 

--> Mail was cheaper. Because mail was so easy to make and found almost anywhere, it was also cheaper than plate. By the late middle ages plate became widespread enough that sometimes even foot soldiers wore at least some pieces of lower quality. But that's not to say you could buy it anywhere, nor that any soldier had them. Lords and knights that could afford it would sometimes order mass-produced pieces from known smiths for their men-at-arms. Archers and temporary levy under that rank (recruited peasants usually) would probably not have those, but they could sometimes afford mail or something cheaper like boiled leather and gambeson.

--> Mail was lighter. The weight of plate armor is greatly exaggerated in D&D. It isn't as cumbersome as people tend to believe. A full suit of plate armor weighted less than the gear a modern soldier carries into the field, and it was better distributed along the body. But... a suit of mail was lighter than plate armor. And most plate armor was worn over a mail hauberk or padding, very ofter both. Mail was often worn over regular clothing only. Plate armor was almost always, to some degree, complemented by mail. Mail wasn't just used for the "joints". They could make joint pieces of plate too. Sometimes, even, a knight who had to fight on foot would choose not to use a full suit of plate but favor a three-quarter plate or half-plate (usually forfeiting the leg plates for a mail coverage only) so he could be lighter and have a little more mobility. Despite common misconceptions about plate armor, mail was still lighter.

--> Plate = Better. You got that one right! A soldier that could afford some plate would never choose to rely on mail alone. Even if he found a full suit of plate armor cumbersome for ground-fight at least some degree of plate coverage he would have (again, if he could afford and had access to it). The knowledge of crafting large metal plates for armor appeared only late in the middle ages, and it appeared gradually. Before that large forged iron/steel plates weren't reliable or durable enough, and that's why you had armors with "bits" of plates (like scale, coat-of-plates and such), also why mail reigned supreme for the best part of the medieval period. With new discoveries in metallurgy larger and larger pieces of plate armor could be made, first as coats-of-arms, vambraces and such, until full suits of plate armor were achieved. Mail did not disappear, though. It was ever used under plate, and remained as a more affordable and easy-to-make option for soldiers who didn't have means to acquire plate armor.


You should not be able to buy better stats.  Of course, there can be minor differences is cost (say... 10g to 100g) for flavor, story, and the like, but no armor should be straight up better then another.



This is a radically horrible approach to thinking.

 

I just said something and you just read it. Sorry about that.

What I sort of feel like is that the current approach to armor is largely congruent to having the lowest tiers of magical armor just available for purchase, without the fluff that they're magical. The gameplay is almost exactly the same - you save up your money for a long time and then pay for a +1 AC bonus. The only difference is that it's fluffed as being superior armor, as opposed to +1 magical armor. It's magic-item-mart, but only for armor, and cut off at +1 armor.
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I think a better approach would be to move armor into flavor for the most part, and have the bulk of AC come in the form of a class bonus. Fighters are harder to HIT, because they've trained a long time to become so. Wizards don't do martial training, and thus their AC isn't that great. I do feel there should be some distinctions in armor, but keep the specifics modular, to please the most number of people.

AC should reflect your overall ability to avoid getting hit by direct attacks, martial or magical. I want casters to roll vs AC on spells like acid arrow. Reserve indirect spells like fireball, all the "cloud" spells, et al to use dex or con to resist.

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it's almost impossible all armor have the same price

heavy armor is different from shields

in the playtest packet the different prices are discriminated 
There is always need to be a seperation of crunch and fluff.  For rules crunch the armor should be all the same price and each should offer different advantages and disadvantages so that players have true choice.   For lore fluff things like cost of the armor should be different so that it makes some sense within whatever world your game is set in.

A difference of 1000 gold pieces really doesn't matter.  You will be able to find or buy the armor you want for your character by level 3.  

The major problem is when the Armor chart is just a ladder of progression.  You move up each rung when you find that piece of armor, and that's boring crunch.  It completely spits in the eye of a bounded system which should offer lots of lateral options.


 
So who cares about price, roll your new fighter in a slaves tunic so that when you get that breast plate it's that much better.  Armor as a whole needs more legitimate options.
 
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