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Is Plate of the Dark +1 ultimately worse than just Full Plate Armor?

The lowest-AC armor in BG1 is Plate of the Dark +1, but given the odd rule that magical armor is considered a "protection" item even though it doesn't offer a bonus to saving throws, my thinking is that Full Plate Armor plus a protection item like the Cloak of Protection +2, the Cloak of Balduran +1, Ring of Protection +2, or even just a Ring of Protection +1 (because of the saving throw bonus) is a better choice.

Obviously the FPA is 35 lbs heavier, but any character than can wear plate armor also tends to have high STR and therefore can spare 35 lbs of load...


  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 2,200
    You can use a mod called Tweaks Anthology to solve this issue. This component in particular:
    Wear Multiple Protection Items
    All games except IWD2, PsT, PsTEE

    This component allows players to wear more than one "X of Protection" item at a time. Players have their choice of two different implementations (originally from Ease of Use and G3/Tutu Tweaks respectively):

    * No restrictions. Players can wear as many items together as they wish.

    * P&P Style: In Pen and Paper AD&D, characters are allowed to wear magical armor with Rings/Cloaks/Amulets of Protection, but only the armor class bonus from one item would apply. This component gives every ring/cloak/amulet of protection the ability to be worn with or without its Armor Class bonus. With the AC bonus, the items retain their usual restrictions from being worn with other protection items or magic armor. Without their AC bonus, they can be worn together. This allows players to gain the benefits of the saving throw bonuses from the items of protection. To toggle between the versions that offer armor class bonuses and those without, use the item's special ability--the new item will be created in your inventory.

    * Allow Armor Plus One Protection Item: The player can wear magical armor plus one more protection item.
    You may find other components very interesting. Here's the readme.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,504
    @Nerva to answer your question: yes, a protection item with full plate mail in my opinion is better than magical fullplate mail, although when SoA/ToB come by usually full plates +2 and better offer some other bonuses to things to help make up for it ( although in ToB i always have a warrior using full plate with the ring of protection +3 )

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 111
    Yeah I was noticing that again yesterday, and it is strange considering the Cloak of Balduran is certainly a protection item if there ever was one -- I wonder if there's an explanation?

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,504
    maybe there is something in the 2nd edition lore somewhere that protection items are the only items that don't stack with magic armors, plus im not sure if in the original 2nd edition game if there are even items like cloak of balduran

  • subtledoctorsubtledoctor Member Posts: 8,815
    For a more interesting challenge, apply the Tweaks Anthology mod to allow any protection items to be combined (because the rules for AC-boosting items are arbitrary and ridiculous), but add our Low Magic mod to limit yourself to only two magic items in any non-armor/non-weapon slot. (So you can wear two rings, but no cloak; or a cloak and boots, but no rings; etc.)

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 111
    It seems bizarre that magic armor isn't one of those exceptions. I can understand not allowing someone to wear a +1 amulet, a +1 cloak, and two +1 rings and have it all stack for +4 to AC and saving throws, but if the Cloak of Balduran and Helm of Balduran get an exceptions even though they both give +1 to AC and saving throws, in addition to other benefits. But the armor only gets the AC bonus, (and typically) not a bonus to saving throws -- that's completely consistent with the armor just being magically "stronger" and harder to penetrate, and completely unlike a magical ring or cloak that must "protect" you in some other way.

    Ultimately, I'm curious how the PnP 2nd edition treated this issue. If allowed stacking magical armor with other things, then I'd certainly want to look into mods that fix that in the game.

  • sarevok57sarevok57 Member Posts: 3,504
    perhaps, making it so you can't wear items of protection with magic armor, was the easiest way to "implement" the non stacking idea based on what they could do with the engine, personally for me, i'm not bothered much by the fact you can't wear magical armor with protective items

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 111
    True -- I often want to save the best protection rings/cloaks for characters that can't wear magical armor, anyway. It's just the logic of it that I had a problem with.

  • joluvjoluv Member Posts: 1,905
    My preferred system would be if the AC bonuses didn't stack but items could still be combined to get the other bonuses. So you could wear Shadow Armor and a Ring of Protection +2, for example, to have AC 4, the hide in shadows bonus, and +2 saves.

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 111
    This seems like something that Beamdog could eventually fix if they wanted to put the time and effort into changing the code, since my understanding is that Wizards of the Coast limits what changes Beamdog can make to the game mechanics, and I assume that is for the purposes of ensuring the integrity of the D&D 2nd edition rules -- but if they're fixing it to match the 2nd edition PnP rules more closely, then I wouldn't think WotC would have a problem with that.

  • NervaNerva Member Posts: 111
    Here's the other thing: why is magic armor considered a "protection item" while magic shields are not?

  • Wise_GrimwaldWise_Grimwald Member Posts: 1,456
    I think that just having Helm of Balduran and Cloak of Balduran as items which could be worn with magical armour was the devs way of preventing EVERYBODY from having stacking protections.

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