I can't possibly be reading this right...

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We're doing Keep on the Shadowfell, and my group's trading off the party roles, doing different race/class combos every session so we can get a feel for 4E and what we like playing during this module, and we'll do our "real" characters after.

Okay, so it's time to make our 2nd level characters. I asked our DM how to figure out starting gold/equip at 2nd level. He referred me to page 143 of the DMG, which says you can:

Choose whatever standard adventuring gear you want from the tables in the Player’s Handbook.For magic items, choose one item of your level + 1, one item of your level, and one item of your level – 1. In addition, you have gold pieces equal to the value of one magic item of your level – 1. You can spend this money on rituals, potions, or other magic items, or save it for later.

Seriously?!? So godplate at level 2? PLUS whatever other non-magical stuff in the PHB AND 360 gold?

That seems... Santa Claus. I can't possibly be interpreting that right. Someone set me straight.
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Well, I'm away from my books right now, but I don't think godplate is a level 3 item. Don't the masterwork armors require at least +4 or +6 enhancement bonus? If I'm remember right, those are level 20ish items.

Make sure you're looking at the item level, not the item bonus. Like a +1 flaming sword is a level 5 item.
Godplate and the other "special" purchase armor types are the base types from which armor with a +4 or greater enhancement bonus are made. None of those are available as items of level 3 or lower.

The absolute earliest you can achieve a +4 enhancement bonus is with a level 16 item (Magic Armor +4) and the absolute earliest you can achieve a +6 enhancement bonus is with a level 26 item (Magic Armor +6).

So no feyweave/warplate/darkhide/etc until level 16 (at minimum - other types of +4 armor are higher level) and no starweave/spiritmail/godplate/etc until level 26 (also at minimum).
ah, okay! Item level isn't just for magic stuff. Gotcha.

Thanks for the help. But one (at least) more question - where are you seeing the item level for the mundane items?
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Item level is just for magic items. Godplate is a magic item.
The Bruce Campbell of D&D.
They don't have a specific item level innately. What they do have is a minimum enhancement bonus requirement (+4 and +6, respectively). Basically, the masterwork armor type is a freebie upgrade which you get for hitting the minimum enhancement bonus requirement.

The earliest you can achieve those enhancement bonuses is 16th and 26th level with plain "Magic Armor" (bottom right of page 230). If you're using some other kind of magical armor then +4 and +6 wouldn't be achievable until higher level - Hydra Armor (directly above Magic Armor on the same page) shows up with a +4 enhancement bonus as a level 18 item and with a +6 bonus as a level 28 item, for example.

The FAQ has a question about this (because it's a very common one here). Here's a link to a post which someone made including the FAQ; the question which you want is #5: http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?t=1057540
wonderful. Thank you all for the prompt responses.

So if I'm getting this right, anything with a + under "minimum enchantment bonus" or a price of "special" isn't considered mundane, despite being listed on the tables along with the mundane armor.

(still, plate at level 2 seems a bit much, but okay... or do I have that wrong, too?)

Also: there are no "magic" weapons in the chart on page 218, correct?

Again, thanks.
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Correct. The "masterwork" armor types with the "special" price aren't mundane items, which is different than what masterwork meant in 3E.

You can get plate at 1st level, actually - it's within the price range of first level characters, though typically only a paladin or fighter (with the expenditure of a feat) can pick it up. On the other hand, plate isn't necessarily the king of armors - in scale armor is just as good in a different way.

There are no "masterwork" weapon types on the chart, no.

You can acquire a magical weapon with your 2nd level character, however - the first table on Page 232 has a few magical weapons available as 1st, 2nd, and 3rd level items, which you could select as one of your choices of starting magical item. None of them are particularly powerful, mind you.
Of course, the guidelines on DMG 143 works best for higher starting levels so that the DM don't have to calculate the accumulated treasure parcels for say 17 levels. Someone on the board did a calculation and basically the pg 143 guidelines matches well enough for starting characters of lv 4 or higher but don't really work for lv 2 and 3. Starting at level 2, it would probably be easier for the DM to just give your party the treasure parcels for lv 1 and have you divide that among your party.
(still, plate at level 2 seems a bit much, but okay... or do I have that wrong, too?)

Well consider that only one class can even utilize plate effectivly at level 2 without taking a feat... and it only costs 50gp now, so its not really hard to acquire. Plate at level 2 is not only 'not too much' but its 'working as intended'. They have balanced the game to account for it.
I think one of the paradigm shifts in 4e is that 1st level PCs aren't going to be clueless boys fresh off the farm. 1st level PCs are supposed to be somewhat seasoned and used to the rigors of adventuring and combat. Effectively, a first level PC in 4e is about equivalent to a 3rd or 4th lv PC in previous editions, at least in terms of combat ability.
Plate armor and such you can get at level 1, Paladin has it under class. if hes willing to spend the 50 gp on it that is (I beleve Scale is better overall).

But yes the Armor under it (Like Godplate) count as a magic item (Thus need a level to hold it).

That and the Level of magic weapons (Like flameing sword of +1) allso has a level requirement.

there was allso a tab someplace of someone makeing a good list of how much gold you get per level (He did a good job on it).

Dont remeber where it was however. if i find it ill post the link
That and the Level of magic weapons (Like flameing sword of +1) allso has a level requirement.

there was allso a tab someplace of someone makeing a good list of how much gold you get per level (He did a good job on it).

Where is the level requirement on the items in RAW?... Seriously, I didn't see that in there, but would love to know. "Item Level" simply is relavent for the purposes of parcel assignments and cost.

As far as how much gold per level you get... the parcel pages in the DMG tell you exactly how much you gain per level if you follow the parcel system...
Let me make sure I have this exactly right.

Leather Armor gives you an armor bonus of 2.
Leather Armor +1 gives you an armor bonus of 3.
Leather Armor +2 gives you an armor bonus of 4.
Leather Armor +3 gives you an armor bonus of 5.
Leather Armor +4 gives you an armor bonus of 7.
Leather Armor +5 gives you an armor bonus of 8.
Leather Armor +6 gives you an armor bonus of 10.
There is no leather armor that will give you an armor bonus of 6 or 9.

Is this all correct?
Yup. And it is even worse with the heavy armours since they bump by 3 instead of 1 at the masterwork levels.
Back to the original point: If you are making a character of level 2 or 3, maybe even 4, I suggest the DM completely ignores the paragraph on magic items, and instead hand chooses an appropriate number of items to hand out. Through normal play, the party should receive about 1 fewer magic item per level than there are party members. That is, a party of 5 should get about 4 magic items between them per level. There's no way that PCs should start with 3 magic items before level 4 or 5.
Two Readings:<br /> <br /> Reading 1:<br /> Armor of a certain enhancement bonus is automatically<br /> armor the masterwork type.<br /> <br /> Armor Upgrades to Base AC Enhc Total AC<br /> Leather - 2 0 2<br /> Leather - 2 +1 3<br /> Leather - 2 +2 4<br /> Leather - 2 +3 5<br /> Leather Feyleather 3 +4 7<br /> Leather Feyleather 3 +5 8<br /> Leather Starleather 4 +6 10<br /> <br /> <br /> Reading 2:<br /> Armor of a certian enhancement bonus does NOT automatically<br /> upgrade to the masterwork version.<br /> <br /> Armor Base AC Enhc Total AC<br /> Leather 2 0 2<br /> Leather 2 +1 3<br /> Leather 2 +2 4<br /> Leather 2 +3 5<br /> Leather 2 +4 6<br /> Leather 2 +5 7<br /> Leather 2 +6 8<br /> Feyleather 3 +4 7<br /> Feyleather 3 +5 8<br /> Feyleather 3 +6 9<br /> Starleatehr 4 +6 10

I think the intended reading of the RAW is first one. However, I think the second reading is more interesting.

The above done with plate armor<br /> <br /> Reading 1:<br /> Armor of a certain enhancement bonus is automatically<br /> armor the masterwork type.<br /> <br /> Armor Upgrades to Base AC Enhc Total AC<br /> Plate - 8 0 8<br /> Plate - 8 +1 9<br /> Plate - 8 +2 10<br /> Plate - 8 +3 11<br /> Plate Warplate 11 +4 15<br /> Plate Warplate 11 +5 16<br /> Plate Godplate 14 +6 20<br /> <br /> <br /> Reading 2:<br /> Armor of a certian enhancement bonus does NOT automatically<br /> upgrade to the masterwork version.<br /> <br /> Armor Base AC Enhc Total AC<br /> Plate 8 0 8<br /> Plate 8 +1 9<br /> Plate 8 +2 10<br /> Plate 8 +3 11<br /> Plate 8 +4 12<br /> Plate 8 +5 13<br /> Plate 8 +6 14<br /> Warplate 11 +4 15<br /> Warplate 11 +5 16<br /> Warplate 11 +6 17<br /> Godplate 14 +6 20

Yeah I really do like the second interpretation more.

Though in a sense it's less cool since now warplate is just a terminological difference....
GrogMcGee, cool chart. Yeah, I like the second reading as well. Is there anything RAW that prohibits option two as being correct? Maybe that is how it is supposed to be. Are there any WotC published examples of higher level characters wearing magic armor? That would be an indication.
I have to say thanks - when reading the book and trying to run the KoTS, I ran afoul of trying to understand the armor tables. Putting magical armor in with the regular armor, with very little explanation, confused us, and we are all long-time players. The equipment section was poorly written in our opinion (it was a major gripe when we looked through it) and I almost went home to get my other gamebooks so that we had equipment, but since we are playtesting it for the group, I didn't. I had let one player buy non-magic magic material and he had to switch armor when we discovered the error.

So, thanks again for the information. Makes my job easier.
I figured out why option 2 doesn't work. There would have to be two different prices for leather armor +4, because feyleather and normal leather wouldn't be valued the same. As there is only one price, all +4 leather armor must be feyleather. It is odd though that they don't mention anything about the qualities of feyleather armor before it becomes enchanted.
Doesn't the magic item charts give their item level along with the price?
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Doesn't the magic item charts give their item level along with the price?

So +6 plate and +6 godplate cost the same?
+6 plate is +6 godplate. Just think of it as the normal armor not being good enough to hold more of an enchantment than +3, so any higher level armor you find must be of superior quality, since they couldn't bind that much magic to plain steel or leather without it being destroyed.

And, with that in mind, would you ever make godplate if you weren't also going to enchant it up to +6? That'd just be a complete waste of the understandably expensive materials, particularly when you could get the same protection from a lesser suit of armor with an enchantment on it, and with the effort required to make such perfect armor... basically you'd be wasting your time as a smith if you didn't have someone in line to buy and enchant it since it protects you less than cheaper armor.

Just an idea, tweak it as you will until you're comfortable with it.
This armour thing is actually one of the things that ticks me off about 4e (I'm pretty much loving everything else). What is ticking me off is not the fact that it is unclear, or that they got something wrong, but that they almost got it right. It really annoys me that absolutely nothing can be good unless it is magical. 3.x had masterwork and that was close to good. Here we had a chart with special armours that were better in their basic construction because they were forged with (insert fluff here). Then boom, sorry they have to be magical. Why can't we have special armours that are great, and superior, without them having to be magical. Not just armour either. What about any equipment? I would love to have a side quest to seek out the great smith Shmoemacschlubb to craft a fine blade.

Seriously, make, maybe, some racial specialties or whatever. They could have assigned levels to them and made these special items face the same price index - each bump up is 5x the cost (if you haven't noticed that is the universal progression on all magic). So you want darkhide armour? Well that is a level 3 item and costs 150 gp instead of 30 like regular hide. The heavys jump by threes so the cost would be x125. That is right in line with the costs of magic of equivalent bonus.

It just seems the mind set in D&D is that nothing can be good unless it is magical. (Like the 3x camouflage paint. A paint that you applied to increase hide. We have that in real life!!! Yet, in the game it had to be magical - come on people!!!)

Sorry, rant over. 4e happy guy back in chair.
I'm going to houserule the specialty armors so that they can appear mundane.

I was confused by the table when I first saw it also.
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I'm going to houserule the specialty armors so that they can appear mundane.

Really? How will you price them? They would have to be priced higher than an equivilent AC modifier of the same armor so who would want them? Read SilentOne's post again. It makes sense.
Well, I definitely like the idea of +6 Platemail or Warplate. The issue comes down to pricing. I have not had a chance to do a complete analysis (and am not really certain how I would do so), so let's throw out an idea and let those who are better at the numbers have a stab at it. Since the only armor stat that changes between regular and Masterwork armors is the AC Bonus, the first thing that came to my mind is reducing the level of the item by the difference in armor bonus it would give. So for instance:

+6 Godplate Magic Armor (Luxury model): Level 26, Cost 1,125,000, AC:20
+6 Warplate Magic Armor (Deluxe model): Level 23, Cost 425,000, AC:17
+6 Platemail Magic Armor (Econo model): Level 20, Cost 125,000, AC:14

In comparison, a suit of +5 Warplate (a level 21 item) is 225,000, and gives you an AC of 16. This certainly seems in line with the prices presented.

So what about "mundane" special material armors? Can the same principle work? I would suggest making it the equivalent, price-wise, of the cost of the armor + the cost of a magic item of the same level of it's increased bonus:

Light Armors (Feyweave, Feyleather, Darkhide) +1 bonus over non-magical equivalent = 360 gold + armor cost
Light Armors (Starweave, Starleather, Elderhide) +2 bonus over non-magical equivalent = 520 gold + armor cost

Heavy Armors (Forgemail, Wyrmscale, Warplate) +3 bonus over non-magical equivalent = 680 gold + armor cost
Heavy Armors (Spiritmail, Elderscale, Godplate) +6 bonus over non-magical equivalent = 1,800 gold + armor cost

This is where we run into a problem:

mundane Godplate: AC: 14 Cost 1,850
+6 Magic Platemail: AC: 14 Cost 125,000

Hmmm... think I know which one I would take.

I don't see any problem with limiting the special materials to higher level armors. It is easy enough to explain that these masterwork materials require a certain amount of enchantment to bring out their special properties. At the same time, there is something to be said for having masterwork armor that is NOT magical, just better than "regular". That is one thing that 3.5 did well - the reduction in check penalties and arcane failure made having masterwork armor worth having. Unfortunately, with the reduction in check penalties for armor in general and the elimination of arcane spell failure completely *still shakes head at the thought of a Wizard in full plate* there really isn't much that can be made a difference by making something masterwork.
Well, I definitely like the idea of +6 Platemail or Warplate. The issue comes down to pricing.

Stop right there.

All Plate armor that has a +4 or +5 is actually +4 or +5 Warplate. All Plate armor that has a +6 is actually +6 Godplate. The book clearly states the price of it being included in the magic.

+4 Armor costs between 45,000 gp and 125,000 gp (level 16 through 20 magic item)
+5 Armor costs between 325,000 gp and 625,000 gp (level 21 through 25 magic item)
+6 Armor costs at least 1,125,000 gp (level 26+ magic item)

The reason why the game has the tiers is because the developers decided that they wanted half tiers.

The level 16 bump of +1 for light armor and +3 for heavy armor allows for tougher monsters. Basically a level 15 party fighting level 16 monsters is going to notice a difference (compared to lower levels fighting level+1 monsters). Level 21 already sees its up as Epic level monsters are designed with the assumption that the PCs should be at 2[W] damage for basic attacks and At-Will powers.

Level 26 sees another bump in the attack bonus of monsters.

But the reason heavy armor gets +3 while light armor gets +1 is the comparable "armor advantage."

At level 1 Plate has a +5 advantage over Hide. The most a PC can get from Dex/Int to AC is +5 at level 1. Over 28 levels a PC can easily get +8 to one stat (+10 if a Demigod). So let's use a Rogue as an example. A Rogue starting with a (realistic) 18 Dex will probably finish with either 26 or 28 Dexterity (Demigod). 26 Dex is a +8 to AC.

Without upgrades a Rogue would suddenly be better than a Paladin, even if that Paladin had a Heavy Shield.

So the +2 upgrade advantage improved the +5 advantage to +7, then +9.
Yes a rouge with 18 Dex starting then gets 26 Dex for +8 mod wielding Hide armor for example gets.

So ElderHide Armor with +5/+6 Bonus = 11+your 8 = 18 Armor.

im going to ignore half level and hat. im just going with armor.

GodPlate (14) with +6 = 20 Armor.

So even with your +8 Bonus Mod your still behind the plate mail user by 2 points. and Scale mail by 1 point and Tied with ChainMale.

Of course we can add feats and all to this. and or Shields. in which case AC can improve as well.

But this is just armor vs amror. (With 1 armor getting the mod). As such Rouge still has lower AC then other user. but not by much.

sure the price can be ALOT more then normal. But the game basicly says you have alot of gear and all when your that high level and all (Such as createing character X Level) You just cant go above X level of items. like a level 2 character cant hold items of 2+1 Level Requirement or more for getting his gear.

So yes if we can make level 30 useing the rules so far where you get your X Items of whateverness.

Then yes the rouge is still behind in AC but only by 2 freeken points. You are not even adding in other things. but both side can get the other things. so go with whatever you want.

Level 30 characters are going to have a +6 item face it. there going to.
So ...
Stop right there.

All Plate armor that has a +4 or +5 is actually +4 or +5 Warplate. All Plate armor that has a +6 is actually +6 Godplate. The book clearly states the price of it being included in the magic.

Does it state all +6 is automatically Godplate? Are you contending that if you enhance a normal set of platemail to +6 it changes the armor to an entirely different material than it started as?
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Does it state all +6 is automatically Godplate? Are you contending that if you enhance a normal set of platemail to +6 it changes the armor to an entirely different material than it started as?

You cannot enchant a normal set of platemail to +6. That is the whole point of this discussion.
You cannot enchant a normal set of platemail to +6. That is the whole point of this discussion.

Concur.
[code]
Two Readings:

Reading 1:
Armor of a certain enhancement bonus is automatically
armor the masterwork type.

Reading 2:
Armor of a certian enhancement bonus does NOT automatically
upgrade to the masterwork version.

I think the intended reading of the RAW is first one. However, I think the second reading is more interesting.

Yeah I really do like the second interpretation more.

Though in a sense it's less cool since now warplate is just a terminological difference....

RAW supports the first reading and not the second. The upgrade isn't optional; the game is (said to be) balanced to assume the upgrades.
I'm going to houserule the specialty armors so that they can appear mundane.

I was confused by the table when I first saw it also.

Really? How will you price them? They would have to be priced higher than an equivilent AC modifier of the same armor so who would want them? Read SilentOne's post again. It makes sense.

It would be pretty easy to include the "special" armors as mundane armor. The item level and price would be equivalent to a mundane armor with an enhancement bonus to bring it up to the AC bonus of the special armor.

For example, a 'mundane' suit of Feyleather would cost the same as a +1 suit of mundane leather. A 'mundane' suit of Wyrmscale would cost the same as a +3 suit of Scale armor. A 'mundane' suit of Godplate would cost the same as a +6 suit of Plate armor, so it would be completely pointless.

There isn't any 'advantage' to an item being mundane; magic is always better. So, it doesn't hurt to allow players to buy Forgemail for the same price (and at the same level) as they can buy +3 Chainmail.
Does it state all +6 is automatically Godplate? Are you contending that if you enhance a normal set of platemail to +6 it changes the armor to an entirely different material than it started as?

It's magic. So yes. +6 Plate is automatically +6 Godplate.
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