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    Canonfire :: View topic - Weight/Encumbrance of Magic Armor in 1e
    Canonfire Forum Index -> Greyhawk- AD&D 1st Edition
    Weight/Encumbrance of Magic Armor in 1e
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    Apprentice Greytalker

    Joined: Feb 15, 2010
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    Mon Jun 04, 2012 3:39 am  
    Weight/Encumbrance of Magic Armor in 1e

    Curious if there is an "official ruling" out there--p28 of DMG says 50%, move at one category better, then later on p164 it says magic armor is essentially weightless, like wearing normal clothing.

    I always used the 50% wt rule without issue, just wondering if there is an errata or such out there--looked through the boards here, didn't see the topic.

    Thanks!
    Master Greytalker

    Joined: May 12, 2005
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    From: Woonsocket, RI, USA

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    Mon Jun 04, 2012 6:55 am  

    No official errata, but we've discussed this extensively at Dragonsfoot. A careful perusal of pre-gens in many 1E modules supports the "weightless" armor option.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Tue Jun 05, 2012 3:19 am  

    Hmm...hadn't thought of looking at old pre-gens. Many thanks!
    Grandmaster Greytalker

    Joined: Jul 10, 2003
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    Sun Aug 05, 2012 10:15 pm  

    From what I have read and seen of the pre-gens as well magical armor and weapons for the most part don't count towards encumbrance. I never cared for that rule as having magical armor in the first place is a major bonus. Though if you purposefully built into the armor the power to lessen encumbrance then I would allow it for that particular piece of armor or weapon.

    Later

    Argon
    GreySage

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    Mon Aug 06, 2012 8:06 am  

    I am with Argon on this. I was never a fan of the idea that enchanted armor was, essentially, 'weightless' in terms of encumbrance. At best, I'd perhaps reduce the encumbrance value one category for each + of magical enchantment. At worst, magic armor in my game still has encumbrance value.

    -Lanthorn
    Journeyman Greytalker

    Joined: Mar 05, 2007
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    From: The Pomarj

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    Mon Aug 06, 2012 7:45 pm  

    I'm in agreement. I don't see why a "simple" plus enchantment would reduce weight at all.
    As for reducing the encumbrance category, that may be in part from the magic, and also because an item to be enchanted is supposed to be of the highest quality, what they call "masterwork" in 3.5 I guess.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:15 pm  

    I'm not sure if 1e had a table for the weight of different armor types by the metal they were made from. So gold weighed more while mithral weighed less. So the metal used would play a factor. Hence, a major reason elven made armors are coveted by those wanting more protection and less encumbrance from the protection. Dwarves need not worry about heavy loads so their armors could be heavier and provide more protection or reduce a certain amount of damage before it need repair to provide the damage reduction again.

    My characters magic weapon was made from a meteor that hit a cloud city. The cloud giants fashioned it into an axe that could only be wielded by a large creature with at least an 18/00 strength. So it was heavy but it dealt more damage per hit and required me to devout a proficiency slot just to wield it. Even though I had proficiency with battle axes.

    Thats my take on magical armor and weapons. Funny no one asks if a magical crystal ball is weightless yet a suit of armor is? Strange don't you think?

    Later

    Argon
    GreySage

    Joined: Jul 26, 2010
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    Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:47 pm  

    I remember that we played by the letter of the rule back when we were playing 1st edition. I remember because, in one of his earlier adventures, a demon tried to telekinese my paladin and my buddy, who was DMing that adventure, asked me what all I was carrying/wearing so that he could add up the weight to see if the demon had the telekinetic power to move Sir Xaris very far. We agreed that his magical armor was weightless (per the rules), but I pointed out that the rules said nothing about magical shields being weightless. The shield's weight added to everything else would have been too much for the demon to move via his telekinetic power, so the DM ruled that the shield was also weightless.

    Sir Xaris survived that encounter and ended up with a weightless +2 shield out of the deal. Razz

    SirXaris
    GreySage

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    Mon Aug 06, 2012 9:48 pm  

    I think that 2e made the same (to me, ODD) ruling as 1e on this score. Magic armor is considered weightless for encumbrance values on movement and combat penalties, but I believe the PH mentions that it DOES count for total weight allowable based on Str.

    Nonetheless, a foreign concept to me...

    -Lanthorn
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Mon Aug 06, 2012 10:30 pm  

    Yeah, still don't like it. But to each their own. I have a magical armor tank that I can run over people with. Because its weightless they are not harmed. Razz

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    Argon
    Master Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 07, 2012 4:34 am  

    Magical armor is not weightless; it is unencumbering. (If it were weightless, it would float off into the clouds.) Due to its enchantment, it feels to the wearer no heavier than normal clothing, allowing a base 12" movement rate. To the wearer's horse, however (or a demon attempting to telekinese the wearer), plate mail +1 still weighs 45#.
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:41 pm  

    DMPrata,

    Still don't like it maybe less of a dexterity penalty then non-magical armor. Though it should still have a weight to it and maybe just lessen movement weight penalty to the next lower category as opposed to no encumbrance.

    Ottiluke is a mage, plenty of magic coarse's through his veins. But he still makes a chair cringe.

    Later

    Argon
    Journeyman Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:59 pm  

    I must agree with the assertion that magic armor is weightless for purposes of encumbrance, but NOT for purposes of determining the total weight a character is carrying.

    Otherwise, if it WAS weightless:
    DM "You hear a loud metallic clanking, as if several armored men are charging you. From behind a stand of trees, an empty suit of plate mail rolls by, being shoved around by the wind." (picture the armor blowing around like an empty soda can in a strong wind) "A man is chasing the armor. 'Dammit! I thought I tied this down!'"
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Tue Aug 07, 2012 9:08 pm  

    Blue Witch,

    You never heard of tin armor of the wererat? Shocked It is so weightless it actually can be blow away ringing like cans behind a limousine. It also comes with a trash-lid shield. Razz

    Later

    Argon
    Master Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:50 am  

    Argon wrote:
    Still don't like it maybe less of a dexterity penalty then non-magical armor.
    What dexterity penalty does non-magical armor cause? None in 1E of which I'm aware.
    GreySage

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    Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:59 am  

    Perhaps Dex checks. Not sure if that is 1e or 2e, but I recall seeing a chart designating certain penalties for ability checks based on the type of armor worn.

    -Lanthorn
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Aug 08, 2012 9:29 pm  

    DMprata your right 2e started that trend. It has continued in other editions.

    Later

    Argon
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    From: Clarksville, TN

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    Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:05 am  

    Argon wrote:
    ...I never cared for that rule as having magical armor in the first place is a major bonus. Though if you purposefully built into the armor the power to lessen encumbrance then I would allow it for that particular piece of armor or weapon...


    Lanthorn wrote:
    Perhaps Dex checks. Not sure if that is 1e or 2e, but I recall seeing a chart designating certain penalties for ability checks based on the type of armor worn.


    -Ah! In D&D 3.5, all magic armor is (by definition) masterwork armor, which have those qualities.

    Come. Be one of us. Evil Grin


    DMPrata wrote:
    Magical armor is not weightless; it is unencumbering. (If it were weightless, it would float off into the clouds...



    ...watching your armor drift away like a tumbleweed. Cool!
    GreySage

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    Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:23 am  

    jamesdglick wrote:


    Come. Be one of us. Evil Grin


    Never! I'll never join the DarkSide! I am a Jedi, like my father before me...

    -Lanthorn, of the Light!
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:10 pm  

    Quote:
    Never! I'll never join the DarkSide! I am a Jedi, like my father before me...

    -Lanthorn, of the Light!


    Says the guy with his 666th post! Shocked

    Later

    Argon
    GreySage

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    Thu Aug 09, 2012 9:19 pm  

    Laughing

    Hey, not any more, Argon! I've returned from the Lower Planes! Cool

    One of these days, maybe I'll catch you!

    -Lanthorn, Returned from Hell
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Thu Aug 09, 2012 10:47 pm  

    When you reach your 777th post I'll be convinced.

    Now it looks like Lanthorn killed his abyssal clone. Chalk another one up for killing players.

    Later

    Argon
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Mon Sep 03, 2012 5:46 am  

    I think 'weightless' was probably not literal, perhaps as much weight as a set of street clothes, but more along what DMPrata says, unencumbering.

    VERY slowly putting together a 1e campaign, and I'll probably have a house rule on this one, and call magic armor "un-naturally light", and go with some category lighter (and stick to the one contradictory rule about a category better), but not completely weightless or unencumbering.

    As a side benefit, I think the house rule would add a bit of value to things like elven chainmail.
    Apprentice Greytalker

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    Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:27 pm  

    I usually house rule and say for weight it's normal but for encumbrance purposes it's 50% "lighter". That's due to superior craftsmanship, materials and oh yeah enchantment.

    For items that actually weigh less for it's armor class, perhaps enchanted mithril? So just tell your players to head on down to their local armorsmith and purchase some for the whole party.... Razz
    Grandmaster Greytalker

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    Wed Sep 12, 2012 6:33 pm  

    Elliva,

    Yeah I need three mithril plate armors, 3 mithril chain mails, an adamantium mace, battleaxe and three longswords. O'h I hear there's a special where we get a pair of magical boots laces with each order. Razz

    Later

    Argon Laughing
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