One of the players in my campaign decided to pick up the Ring Mail proficiency feat from the MME book. This is the first time I've had a player take this option and the first time I've really paid close attention to the new armor types from this book.
The end result was confusion. Maybe I'm just thick skulled, but I can't figure out how this is supposed to work. Ring Mail is listed as light but is also chainmail? Isn't chainmail a heavy armor type? It gives a +3 AC bonus with a -1 check penalty, the same as hide, but costs 10gp more and is 5 pounds heavier than hide. It does have the durable 2 property which is nice, but is that worth the cost of a feat compared to hide? Does this item exist so that hide wearers have access to chainmail enchants?
I'm just not sure who this item is really designed for. And speaking of durable 2, you get to add the armor's enhancement bonus if it's light and twice the enh. bonus if it's heavy. So is ringmail light or heavy? It is, after all, chainmail.
My player is excited about this option (he simply likes the flavor of "ringmail", no char op people in this group), I just want to make sure I understand what this is all about so I can plan loot accordingly.
Those "superior" armor types in MME are by and large garbage given the cost of a feat to use them. (Thematically they don't make a whole lot of sense as being 'superior' to whatever they're supposed to be a variant of, either.)
Certain niche cases like the "light armor with chainmail properties" may be useful, but for the most part that section of MME is a waste of paper.
What about armor with the tough property? It's a guaranteed crit resist against the first crit per encounter. Compared to stoneroot's endurance which is always on but a 50/50 chance, the tough property seems better. Realistically, the chance of getting more than once in a 5 or 6 round encounter is pretty small. What do you think? Am I off on this?
Their not garbage, though they i agree they tend to be sub-par, but some niech builds would actually take them. The THP in paticular, since it's often better then toughness.
Monster crit's arn't usually that painful, so i wouldn't spend a feat on either. Not unless you really do draw 20 attacks per combat, and already took +defensive feats.
My player is asking for clarification on the ring mail regarding the Durable 2 property. He says that because ringmail is technically chainmail he should get twice the EH bonus added to the durable 2. But I'm thinking that because it actually functions as light armor (ie. no heavy armor penalties) he should only add a single EH bonus to the durable 2. If someone knows which it is, please let me know.
At the end of the day I really don't care because this group is all about RP and storytelling (We've had 2 combats in 4 sessions), but I would really like to know for future reference. Thanks!
Your player is making an assumption. An incorrect one. Ringmail doesn't "function" as light armor, it is light armor. (That also happens to "function" as chainmail.) It says so in the item description.
Ring mail is ring mail, chainmail is chainmail. The original "chainmail armor" game element happens to be heavy armor - this is in no way a mechanical game rule that any new game element introduced as being a variation of "chainmail" must be heavy armor.
If you really want to argue it from a narrative perspective, ring mail is described as leather armor which has rings sewn onto it. It's not chainmail - it simply counts as the chainmail armor type from a rules perspective. And as I said, there is no rule that any armor listed as chainmail is automatically heavy armor.
The MME defines:
Thanks to everyone for the clarification.
I can't help but think the authors could have been a little more direct with their explanation of how this works. For those using the character builder this issue would be obvious, but for anyone just reading the books it's a little vague. I'm a firm believer that any mechanical element that bends well established rules should have a crystal clear explanation on how it is intended to work.
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