Armor and Shields

Armor improves your ability to avoid damage. It comes in a multitude of styles, materials, and classes. Another piece of protective gear is the shield.

Properly using these items requires an Armor Proficiency, usually granted by your class.

Using armor

The most common way to avoid damage (outside of avoiding combat) is wearing armor. The basic function of all armor is to improve your Armor Class, the target number that any melee or ranged attack needs to meet or bypass in order to cause damage. You must be proficient in the weight class of the armor or wearing it imposes disadvantage on any ability check, saving throw, or attack roll using Strength or Dexterity. Some heavier armors require a minimum Strength score as well.

Armor Type Cost Armor Class (AC) Stealth Wt Strength
Armored shozoku Light 1,000 12 + Dex modifier 3
Combat armor, light Light 400 13 + Dex modifier 6
Faerie hauberk Light 50,000 13 + Dex modifier 12
Fire resistant suit Light 300 10 + Dex modifier 10
Flight suit and helmet Light 200 12 + Dex modifier 2
Football pads Light 40 11 + Dex modifier 3
Haubergeon Light 300 12 + Dex modifier 12
Kevlar-weave longcoat, light Light 500 13 + Dex modifier 4
Leather jacket Light 100 11 + Dex modifier 4
Light undercover shirt Light 280 12 + Dex modifier 2
NBC suit Light 500 10 + Dex modifier 10
Padded costume Light 50 11 + Dex modifier Disadvantage 8
Pull-up pouch vest Light 280 11 + Dex modifier 2
Undercover vest Light 350 13 + Dex modifier 3
Webweave longcoat Light 2,000 14 + Dex modifier 2
Combat armor, medium Medium 400 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) 8
Concealable vest Medium 500 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) 4
Dragon skin body armor Medium 4,000 16 + Dex modifier (max 2) Disadvantage 18
Hauberk Medium 500 13 + Dex modifier (max 2) 20
Interceptor body armor Medium 1,000 13 + Dex modifier (max 2) Disadvantage 17
Kevlar-weave longcoat, medium Medium 1,200 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) Disadvantage 10
Light-duty vest Medium 650 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) 8
Tactical vest Medium 900 16 + Dex modifier (max 2) Disadvantage 10
O-yoroi Heavy 20,000 17 Disadvantage 45 Str 15
Space-suit, armored Heavy 12,000 17 Disadvantage 50 Str 15
Special response vest Heavy 1,200 17 Disadvantage 15
Ultra Warrior armor Heavy 2,000 16 Disadvantage 10 Str 13
Boost armor Exo 25,000 17 Disadvantage 20
WASP body armor Exo 35,000 15 15
Bracers Shield 200 1 4
Energy shield Shield 8,000 2 5
Shield, ballistic Shield 120 2 10
Shield, heavy steel Shield 150 2 15
Shield, impromptu Shield 0 1 5
Shield, light steel Shield 100 2 6
Shield, riot Shield 120 2 6
Shield, tower Shield 200 3 45

Armor Class

Armor Class (AC) is the target number of any attack roll made by a creature. If the attack roll is less than the target's AC, the attack is not successful.

AC is typically determined by adding the armor's base AC to the wearer's Dexterity modifier. Medium armors cap the Dexterity modifier bonus you can add and Heavy and Exoframe armor gain no bonus from Dexterity.

If you aren't wearing armor, your AC is equal to 10 + your dexterity modifier.


Medium and Heavy armor is generally noisy, heavy, and difficult to sneak in. If you wear one of these classes of armor, you will have disadvantage on all stealth checks.


Most shields must be carried in one hand to be effective. Using a shield adds to your total AC, but you can only gain the benefits of one shield at a time.

Ballistic shield. Ballistic shields are used by police and military forces in situations where riot shields are not adequate protection. They include a window, allowing increased visibility. When used against ballistic firearms fired from twenty feet or more away a ballistic shield grants an additional +2 to AC.
Bracers. Bracers are armored sleeves worn on both forearms and do not require your hands to be free. You can wield a weapon in a hand with a bracer, but must unless you have one hand free, you must use your bonus action to ready the bracers as a shield before the end of your turn. If not, you do not gain the bracers' AC bonus until the beginning of your next turn.
Energy shield. An energy shield is a futuristic device that projects a disk of "hard light" from a wrist band. When not in use, the shield can be turned off.
Impromptu shield. Any object that is flat, wide, and suitably sturdy can be used as a shield in a pinch, like a car door or a small table. Impromptu shields generally require two hands to wield.
Riot shield. A riot shield is commonly used by police forces in large-scale hostile environments. They are clear, allowing unrestricted visibility.

Light Armor

The least restrictive class of armor, Light armor is favored by those who rely on mobility and stealth. Characters with high Dexterity modifiers gain the most benefit from wearing this armor.

Armored shozoku. A shozoku is famously worn my ninja. This sophisticated version employs advanced fibers and light-weight polymers to grant added protection. Each suit is designed with a specific environment in mind—arctic, desert, forest, grasslands, night, or urban. In the correct environment, the armor offers a +2 to Stealth checks made to hide.
Light combat armor. This armor is commonly used by military black-ops but has found wider use among super-powered stealth operatives. Most light combat armors consist of a reinforced blast vest, shoulder and upper arm pads, thigh and abdomen pads, and kneepads. Some light combat armors also include helmets and visors, though not all incorporate this aspect of the armor.
Faerie hauberk. This naturally enchanted armor is a very thin and light chain shirt.
Fire resistant suit. This full-body suit grants an AC 15 + Dexterity modifier against attacks that deal fire damage. Additionally, it offers a +5 bonus to saving throws against fire damage.
Flight suit and helmet. This gear is worn by pilots. For an additional $1,000 it can be spaceworthy, offering protection in the vacuum of space and an air-supply that can last up to 1 hour.
NBC suit. This full-body suit grants an AC 15 + Dexterity modifier against attacks that deal cold damage. Additionally, it offers a +5 bonus to saving throws against cold damage.
Pull-up pouch vest. This armor can be stored in a small bag on the back of a belt and readied as a move action. It grants no benefit when not ready.
Undercover vest. This armored vest provides better protection than the light undercover shirt but is more easily noticed.
Webweave armors. Webweave is a fabric spun from spider-silk. It is extremely light and strong and often doesn't appear to be armor at all.

Medium Armor

Medium armor splits the difference between the nimble Light armors and the bulky Heavy armors. They allow a wearer to add some portion of its Dexterity modifier to AC, but only to a specified maximum.

Medium combat armor. This armor is commonly used by military special forces. Designed for heavy warfare and dangerous situations, medium combat armor covers the user almost head to toe in armor plating. Medium combat armor comes with a helmet that fits snugly on the head and does not interfere with the soldier’s field of vision.
Concealable vest. Often worn by plain-clothed police officers, this "bullet-proof vest" provides protection and can be worn all day under regular clothing. While it might go unnoticed at a quick glance, it is visible to anyone looking closely for it.
Dragon skin body armor. Not made from dragon skin, this modern military armor is similar in many ways to modern scale mail with overlapping discs of silicon carbide ceramic matrices and laminates.
Interceptor body armor. Interceptor body armor is more effective than traditional bulletproof vests. While it once replaced the Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops (PASGT) in the US military, it has since been replaced itself.
Kevlar-weave longcoat. The Kevlar-weave longcoat is a trenchcoat or duster made of a strong para-aramid synthetic fiber. The longcoat is fitted with internal pockets that hold metal plates to offer additional protection.
Light-duty vest. This armor is designed for extended use by police and other forces on high alert for an attack.
Tactical vest. This is the standard issue armor of police tactical forces.

Heavy Armor

Heavy armor is best suited for characters who rely on Strength instead of Dexterity. These typically have a minimum Strength requirement and always impose disadvantage on Stealth checks.

O-yoroi. O-yoroi, also called "great armor", is a badge of honor for bushi of the samurai caste of Japan, and they frown on anyone else wearing such a suit. It's formed from small metal plates bound with leather lacings and lacquered to seal them from the environment. The full suit consists of a corselet, large rectangular shoulder pieces, an apron of large plates that cover the thighs and knees, shin guards made of metal splints, and a great helmet with a face mask.

Armored space-suit. This space suit used imploys high-density polymers to offer protection from damage to the wearer in addition to an enclosed environment capable of sustaining life in extremes of temperature and a lack of breathable air. The armor is bulky, composed of a thick body suit and helmet, capable of deflecting micro-meteors and other space-borne projectiles. Inside the suit, internal air tanks and environmental filters maintain temperature and pressure. Additionally, it has an integrated communications system and sensors that monitor the health of the wearer.

Special response vest. This armor is similar to the tactical vest but includes groin and neck protection as well as a ceramic plate over the chest.

Ultra Warrior armor. The Ultra Warrior includes a built-in computer that is capable of sending and receiving text, image, and audio transmissions through a display built into the armor, including images captured from the scope of a linked weapon. Additionally, the display can be linked to the scopes on a linked weapon.

Exo Armor

Exo armor, also known as an exoskeleton, exo-frame, robotic suit, or "powered armor" offer protection but also augments and reinforces the wearer's performance. They are wearable devices equipped with sensors and actuators that utilize robotics technology to work in tandem with the user. While most are made from rigid materials like as metal or carbon fiber, some are crafted of soft and elastic parts.

Some have a minimum Strength requirement and some impose disadvantage on Stealth checks.

Boost armor. This enhanced armor uses high-tech robotics to enhance the wearer's natural strength. The wearer gains a +2 bonus to his Strength score and can carry twice the normal load.

WASP body armor. WASP body armor is crafted from lightweight carbon plating and fibers to offer optimal protection. Advanced actuators compensate for the minimal weight of the armor and increase the wearer's speed by 10 feet. Integrated jump servos allow the wearer to jump twice the distance they normally could. In addition, this armor grants a +2 bonus to the wearer's Strength and Dexterity scores.

Getting Into and Out of Armor

If aliens invade your house while you're in the shower or you're knocked off of a bridge into the river, it could be important to know how long it takes to get into and out of your armor.

Donning armor is putting it on, an removing it is doffing. You can't gain your Armor Class benefits from your armor if you aren't wearing it, but you can reduce the time to doff armor by half if someone helps you.

Category Don Doff
Light Armor 1 minute 1 minute
Medium Armor 5 minutes 1 minute
Heavy Armor 10 minutes 5 minutes
Exo Armor 5 minutes 1 minute
Shield 1 action 1 action
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