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What is the DnD lore on casting in armour?

polymorphedsquirrelpolymorphedsquirrel Member Posts: 114
Why mages can't do it and clerics can? I've seen only fan explanations, many ar fetched, and nothing official, certainly nothng explaining the difference between clerics. Divine magic is granted by gods while arcane is a combination of ntural gift and study, but this is only the source of powers. Otherwise they seem to work the same way, with spellbooks and memorisation, tapping to the weave. The divine magic was affected in the same way when the weave collapsed, wasn't it?

iosfrustrationgorgonzola

Comments

  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 838
    I dont know how was in adnd 2e, but in 3e there were classrs and feats that allow you to cast in heavy armor. It was a difficult task because of the complicated gestures and use of ingredient materials of spells (totally missed from bg games) and the armors hinder the movements.
    In 5e is gone, every mage can use the heaviest armor and cast spells in it if have the right armor proficiency.

  • Yeah, I found the 3ed explanation the classic 'lets pretend clerics do not exist' one, and factually incorrect for that matter. Loose robes - traditional mage garb - are much more confining than properly suited coat of plates or a simple hauberk.

  • Permidion_StarkPermidion_Stark Member Posts: 4,605
    I always worked on the basis that clerics don't really cast spells. They pray to their gods who in effect cast the spells for them. A mage is trying to directly manipulate magical forces but a cleric is doing it indirectly. Mind you, I am not aware that this explanation is part of D&D law, it's just how I explain it to myself.

    IseweinSkatangorgonzolaStummvonBordwehr
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 838
    So the most interesting is that there were some consistency in the older editions about that, and the 5e absolut allow mages tp cast in armor without any disadvantage. But thaco and bab is off too so everybody hit almost the same effectiveness.

    gorgonzola
  • ShinShin Member Posts: 2,345
    Zaxares wrote: »
    The REAL reason, of course, is for game balance. ;) Having Mages armored up in full plate and casting spells means that they'd be incredibly overpowered at lower levels.

    Personally I view it as a kind of thematic design decision, for one thing that (arcane) casters tend to be physically frail and non-athletic, the warrior classes not cerebral enough for spellcasting and the thieves and clerics kind of in between. For another it also serves to maintain a certain class distinction, i.e. different classes having their separate roles in the party rather than everyone being able to do everything.

    The fighter/mage (which I particularly dislike in this regard) is the most blatant example, being much more effective than a single-class mage in heavy armour would and reducing most other classes to supporting roles.

    gorgonzola
  • DJKajuruDJKajuru Member Posts: 3,279
    edited December 2019
    As mentioned by others , in 2nd edition heavy armor restricts your body.

    In 3rd edition there's a % of spell failure, the heavier the armor the bigger the chance, and you also need the class ability or feat that allows you to do it, which makes sense because it's hard to effectivelly fight and defend yourself if you're not trained to wear that kind of armor.

    In 5th edition it doesn't restrict you at all, so a fighter dualed to mage can casts spells while wearing full plate, as long as you got the class ability or feat to do it.

    gorgonzolaZaxares
  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 965
    It is completely wrong that there is no official word on this, every edition has clearly listed the reasons why arcane casters can't wear armor. People can and do disagree with those reasons, though.

    DJKajurugorgonzola
  • I do not own and did not play PnP, so can't say what's in te rulebook. I read a lot of google results, but found no mention 'this is what DnD says', apart from 5ed. Is what you say about clerics not casting official? I ind it had to reconcile with their memorising the spells - at least in BG.

  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,162
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    clerics cast, imo without any doubt about it.

    there are 3 sources of magic:
    1. nature, the druids use it. and the rangers also.
    2. gods, the clerics and paladins are granted by their god the power of casting spells.
    3. weave, the mages and bards can manipulate it thanks to their study or in an instinctive way for the sorcerers.

    the proof that clerics actually cast is that their spell effectiveness, for some spells, is related to the cleric level, and not to the power of the particular god that grants him the power to cast.
    they receive the power to do it, but how much they have progressed in their knowledge path dictates what spells, and how effectively, they can cast.
    while if they would instead pray to their gods who in effect cast the spells for them, that is actually very similar to praying for a miracle in RL (yep, in RL some people believes in miracles, it is a matter of fact, and i am not being judgmental about those people, nor about the ones that don't believe in them).
    a miracle is not related to the "level" of who ask for it, maybe related on how pure is his hart, but that is a different thing.

    I was actually thinking more about this last night, and yeah, depending on the setting and the DM's personal interpretation of the rules, it's fair to say that clerics CAN actually cast the spells themselves. For example, in Rich Burlew's Order of the Stick webcomic series, the way he's interpreted it is that, when a cleric prays for spells during their deity's holy hour, they ask for (and receive) various spells that are then stored in the cleric's body (soul?) until they are released via spellcasting. Still, the mechanics of spellcasting that clerics use is typically far simpler than that of mages. Usually, all a cleric requires to cast their spell is to hold their Holy Symbol and then gesture appropriately at their target (lay their hands on an ally, point threateningly at an enemy etc.) while calling upon their deity's power. Since the divine energy is already present in the cleric at the time of casting, it wouldn't suffer from my homebrew explanation of why mages are hindered by armor.

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited December 2019
    @Zaxares
    surely you can do it.
    but if the cleric's way, the way you just explained, is simple, some simple gesture, the clerics should not waste almost entire rounds to cast some spells.
    the cleric's spells should be more similar to the mage's sequencers and contingency, with the only difference that the work to prepare the spell is done by the mage himself instead of the god.
    and if it can be true for them, they receive the spells as a package "ready to use" from their god, it is not true for the druids, to shape the weave or to draw the energy from the nature's force are somehow similar works as complexity. no ready to use package there,

    still a druid, that can not use the heaviest armors, even if is allowed to use something heavier then the robes the mage can use, if is also fighter (through dual or multi class) can wear plate mail and cast when using it, but the multi, or dual, mage can use it, or every other armor, but then he completely loose the ability to cast the easiest to cast spell, even the very basic lev 1 ones, that a novice mage learn to cast right after his study has begun.
    the fact that some casting classes are not allowed to use certain armors comes before they even start to cast and is related to casting for mages only.

    also in the thread has been told that to use an armor some skill is needed, well a lev 40 fighter gets the same ac then a lev 1 one from a given armor, if the lev one has better dex there are chances he is the one that ends with the best ac between them.
    in the system mechanics the ac is only item and dex related, but some classes are "magically" forbidden from using some items, while having a single level in an other class that can do it gives to them mastery in their use.
    unless you belong to some very special kits or classes that get level depending ac bonuses, but them are exceptions, not the general rule.

    it is so clear to me that the rules are set, in a completely arbitrary way, before, then a lore is constructed around them.
    a lore that sometimes completely lacks of any logic and constancy, what is true for a mage becomes utterly not relevant for a cleric or druid and so on.

    it is good that we use the suspension of disbelief, as it help us to RP the game, but we should be aware of when we do it.
    your way to see the lore, the reason why a mage can not cast in armor, while the ones that use divine magic can, is a really good one, for you, as it gives more value to your RP.
    but almost only for that reason, as a little deeper analysis of the system immediately show the flaws of that logic, its lacking of consistency, the fact that the rules comes before, for a balance reason, and then the lore is stitched around them to give them a good look.
    and still you are right to use that reason as it gives a better value to your gaming experience, let you better look at a bunch of pixels on a monitor and imagine an adventure in a fantastic mythical world, just looking at a bunch of words printed in a book let us live an other fantastic adventure.

    Zaxares
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,162
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    @Zaxares
    surely you can do it.
    but if the cleric's way, the way you just explained, is simple, some simple gesture, the clerics should not waste almost entire rounds to cast some spells.
    the cleric's spells should be more similar to the mage's sequencers and contingency, with the only difference that the work to prepare the spell is done by the mage himself instead of the god.
    and if it can be true for them, they receive the spells as a package "ready to use" from their god, it is not true for the druids, to shape the weave or to draw the energy from the nature's force are somehow similar works as complexity. no ready to use package there,

    Well, again, that depends. In the Forgotten Realms, most druids don't actually worship a vague notion of "Nature" the way generic druids do. In the FR, most druids worship Silvanus, the Oakfather, and I believe they DO receive their spells from him. Some might also worship Talos (particularly evil druids who revel in the destruction natural disasters can bring), Malar (aficionados of the hunt), Umberlee (for oceanic druids) or Auril (for arctic druids). I'm sure there are more good-aligned nature deities suited for druids too, but their names are escaping me at the moment. (Oh wait, Mielikki, the patron deity of Rangers. There's one!) However, in other settings where druids are usually not tied to a particular deity, even a nature one, then yeah, I imagine they would probably cast their spells in a more direct fashion.

    With regards to druidic weapon and armor restrictions, my guess is that particular case is the druids taking sacred vows only to use "natural" items. For clerics, that's because I imagine clerics casting spells as something like shouting "Mighty Lolth! Bestow your venomous touch this upon this surfacer scum!" while brandishing their unholy symbol. Since a combat round in D&D is only 6 seconds long, merely yelling that out loud would take up roughly a round, taking place of the wizard mumbling some arcane phrase like "Outanum Fordigiama!"

    gorgonzola
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678
    edited December 2019
    yep, druids take sacred vows, then dual to fighter and forget about the vows at all, still retaining all the positive druid characteristics and the spell casting, or are multiclass so they take the vows and immediately start to break them.

    at least rangers and paladins can fall, and a druid that break his vows should also fall, but it seems that, at least in the computer game implementation, there are no vows, only an arbitrary rule without a real explanation.
    the cleric's limitation in weapons, that comes from something similar to a vow, the prohibition to spill blood (try to use a flail or spiked morning star and you will see a lot of it spilled, but anyway...), is overridden only by something so powerful as UAI.
    the druid's limitation in using armors is completely forgotten as he has also a little bit of a class that can use them.

    again no consistency, and little logic behind the way certain things are implemented, if not a logic based on game balance, with a pseudo lore related reason added only for flavor.

    about the druids taking their magic from the gods i would say no, it seems to me that their magic is more related to the nature, with spells that summon animals and elementals, or let them shapeshift, both with spells and as class ability, into animals or an elemental.
    while the clerics have spells like DUHM and holy power that are clearly related with their receiving power from their own god.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 965
    For several editions now, clerics "officially" cast spells rather than having their deity perform mini-miracles on the spot. The reason WotC clarified that is because of the balance problems that would be caused if, say, your deity were to suddenly vanish for reasons that have nothing to do with you. For similar reasons they clarified that druids can still cast spells even if, say, nature on a particular game world is obliterated. Otherwise you could suddenly find yourself with a severely gimped character.

    That's not meant to be a comment on how individual DMs handle it in-game, though.

    DJKajurugorgonzolaZaxares
  • jsaving wrote: »
    For several editions now, clerics "officially" cast spells rather than having their deity perform mini-miracles on the spot. The reason WotC clarified that is because of the balance problems that would be caused if, say, your deity were to suddenly vanish for reasons that have nothing to do with you. For similar reasons they clarified that druids can still cast spells even if, say, nature on a particular game world is obliterated. Otherwise you could suddenly find yourself with a severely gimped character.

    That's not meant to be a comment on how individual DMs handle it in-game, though.

    Interesting. Does it mean that clerics and other characters who received power from a god who dies retain it and can still advance in their class and abilities? Suddenly I want a cleric of bhaal as a boss.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,678

    Wizards are like Gandalf. Gandalf wore robes, carried a staff, and could cast spells; therefore so do wizards.
    actually the gandalf's weapon, glamdring, is a long sword, that fr mages can not use.
    and gandalf is not a mage, is somehow more similar to a fr deva, he is above the races, like humans, elves and hobbits, and in lotr cast very few spells, mainly uses his weapon to fight and is one of the best with a weapon.

    but i understand your point and i can not disagree, a mage with a robe and a staff is much more common in the whole fantasy/epic lore then an armored one that uses a big sword.

    polymorphedsquirrel
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,607
    gorgonzola wrote: »

    Wizards are like Gandalf. Gandalf wore robes, carried a staff, and could cast spells; therefore so do wizards.
    actually the gandalf's weapon, glamdring, is a long sword, that fr mages can not use.
    and gandalf is not a mage, is somehow more similar to a fr deva, he is above the races, like humans, elves and hobbits, and in lotr cast very few spells, mainly uses his weapon to fight and is one of the best with a weapon.

    but i understand your point and i can not disagree, a mage with a robe and a staff is much more common in the whole fantasy/epic lore then an armored one that uses a big sword.

    Gandalf kinda struck me as more like a druidic sorcerer (shaman?) than a wizard. He never had to memorize spells or anything like that. A lot of his magic was nature based too (speaking to moths and eagles for example). Druids can use scimitars, Gandalf could use a longsword. Not too far from D&D...

    gorgonzola
  • DanacmDanacm Member Posts: 838
    Gandalf's character is came from the old english tales, and from the King Arthur legends mages, like Merlin. Its far more a druid or nature based sorcerer yes than a learned mage.

    Balrog99
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,162
    I actually wonder... The three wizards in Middle Earth that we meet (Gandalf, Saruman and Radagast) largely cleave to the stereotypical image we have of wizards, but does that hold true for all of them? If we look at the elven wizards like Elrond they more closely resemble Fighter-Mages in that they usually also wear armor and wield martial weapons. I'm guessing that in the LotR settings, magic use is in no way related to whether or not you wear armor, so the decision to wear classic wizardly attire like robes etc. would primarily be born out of fashion/comfort.

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 6,639
    Gandalf was one of the Maiar (spirit beings of considerable power - though somewhat lesser than the Valar). That suggests his powers were essentially inherent rather than derived from a magic weave or deity - though in the books he was not allowed to use most of his powers while in the form of the wizard.

    If you wanted to find a comparison with AD&D, you could consider the different wizards as making different choices about which spells to specialize in. Radagast was the one with a particularly strong focus on nature. Gandalf had some abilities there, but his real expertise was with fire - his fireworks were particularly enjoyed by hobbit children :D (I think the fact he was given Narya, the Ring of Fire, was a reflection of his existing abilities rather than bestowing those). Gandalf also had some ability with charm/suggestion. Saruman was probably the closest analogue to a AD&D mage, with his areas of expertise including information gathering, necromancy, summoning, domination and direct damage.

    gorgonzolaZaxaresSkatanJuliusBorisov
  • The user and all related content has been deleted.

    Danacm
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 6,607
    Grond0 wrote: »
    Gandalf was one of the Maiar (spirit beings of considerable power - though somewhat lesser than the Valar). That suggests his powers were essentially inherent rather than derived from a magic weave or deity - though in the books he was not allowed to use most of his powers while in the form of the wizard.

    If you wanted to find a comparison with AD&D, you could consider the different wizards as making different choices about which spells to specialize in. Radagast was the one with a particularly strong focus on nature. Gandalf had some abilities there, but his real expertise was with fire - his fireworks were particularly enjoyed by hobbit children :D (I think the fact he was given Narya, the Ring of Fire, was a reflection of his existing abilities rather than bestowing those). Gandalf also had some ability with charm/suggestion. Saruman was probably the closest analogue to a AD&D mage, with his areas of expertise including information gathering, necromancy, summoning, domination and direct damage.

    I'd say Saruman was more of a Transmuter than a Necromancer myself. I don't see how he uses death magic to any degree but creating human orc hybrids just smells like transmutation to me

    Grond0
  • ZaxaresZaxares Member Posts: 1,162
    Right - and in pre-Advanced D&D, elves were all fighter/mages. They HAD to be fighter/mages. Because the elven archetype was something like Elrond.

    Heh, I actually remember that! I didn't play Basic/First Ed. much, but I do remember leafing through the rulebook that came with the Basic set and reading about that.

    "Back in my day, elves and dwarves didn't have classes! They WERE their own classes!"

    Skatan
  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    edited December 2019
    Clerics are like the Knights Templar; the Knights Templar wore armor, used blunt weapons, and invoked supernatural miracles; therefore so do clerics.
    The Knights Templar had no particular convictions about their weapons. They used swords like many other knights, and probably also maces (which were quite effective against armor) and morning stars. Flails (of the ball-and-chain kind) were probably almost never used in medieval combat. Maul-type warhammers are from the late 14th century, which is when the Knights Templar became extinct.

    The prohibition of edged weapons reportedly comes from Gygax' reading of a story about Bishop Odo of Bayeux in which his use of a mace was attributed to a clerical wow relating to Matthew 26, 26:52 ("Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword."); as far as I know, though, there's no real evidence to support this relation. Gygax simply found this a very cool concept and took it as inspiration for the early D&D rules.

    That's really what it comes down to: the creators thought this was a cool way to portray things. They didn't have the deep lore and world building we can draw on. It was all basically just "hey I saw this cool movie/read this cool story let's make that happen". The convoluted explanations are mostly retroactive explanations for what was simply spur-of-the-moment inspiration, or subjective game balancing (mages in armor were OP).

    DanacmgorgonzolapolymorphedsquirrelArdul
  • polymorphedsquirrelpolymorphedsquirrel Member Posts: 114
    edited December 2019
    Flails (of the ball-and-chain kind) were probably almost never used in medieval combat.

    Interesting. Could you elaborate or have a source? There is archeological evidence after all, altthough I admit I never heard about their presence in any treatise. My lack of knowledge comes though from the fact they aren't common among reenactors as being too dangerous.

  • Lord_TansheronLord_Tansheron Member Posts: 4,198
    edited December 2019
    Interesting. Could you elaborate or have a source? There is archeological evidence after all, altthough I admit I never heard about their presence in any treatise. My lack of knowledge comes though from the fact they aren't common among reenactors as being too dangerous.
    You can read more about it here. The "archaeological evidence" we have are almost all later creations. This is not uncommon. There's a substantial number of supposedly medieval artifacts that were created much later, usually 17th century+, as curios and collectibles. Another prominent example is the iron maiden, which was never actually used as a medieval torture device but was created in the 18th and 19th centuries to showcase medieval barbarism.

    What we DO have evidence for are agricultural flails used as improvised or makeshift weapons, usually by conscripted peasants or during peasant revolts. They are of a very different kind than the ball-and-chain variety: they are farming tools that have a long shaft to be used with both hands, and a hinged striking end. If used as a weapon, they were sometimes fitted with spikes or studs.

    gorgonzola
  • Mantis37Mantis37 Member Posts: 1,111
    If one looks at the literary sources of D&D in Appendix N...
    APPENDIX N: INSPIRATIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL READING

    “Inspiration for all the fantasy work I have done stems directly from the love my father showed when I was a tad, for he spent many hours telling me stories he made up as he went along, tales of cloaked old men who could grant wishes, of magic rings and enchanted swords, or wicked sorcerors [sic] and dauntless swordsmen.
    Then too, countless hundreds of comic books went down, and the long-gone EC ones certainly had their effect. Science fiction, fantasy, and horror movies were a big influence. In fact, all of us tend to get ample helpings of fantasy when we are very young from fairy tales such as those written by the Brothers Grimm and Andrew Lang. This often leads to reading books of mythology, paging through bestiaries, and consultation of compilations of the myths of various lands and peoples.
    Upon such a base I built my interest in fantasy, being an avid reader of all science fiction and fantasy literature since 1950.
    The following authors were of particular inspiration to me. In some cases I cite specific works, in others, I simply recommend all of their fantasy writing to you. From such sources, as well as any other imaginative writing or screenplay, you will be able to pluck kernels from which will grow the fruits of exciting campaigns. Good reading!
    Anderson, Poul: THREE HEARTS AND THREE LIONS; THE HIGH CRUSADE; THE BROKEN SWORD
    Bellairs, John: THE FACE IN THE FROST
    Brackett, Leigh
    Brown, Frederic
    Burroughs, Edgar Rice: “Pellucidar” series; Mars series; Venus series
    Carter, Lin: “World’s End” series
    de Camp, L. Sprague: LEST DARKNESS FALL; THE FALLIBLE FIEND; et al
    de Camp & Pratt: “Harold Shea” series; THE CARNELIAN CUBE
    Derleth, August
    Dunsany, Lord
    Farmer, P. J.: “The World of the Tiers” series; et al
    Fox, Gardner: “Kothar” series; “Kyrik” series; et al
    Howard, R. E.: “Conan” series
    Lanier, Sterling: HIERO’S JOURNEY
    Leiber, Fritz: “Fafhrd & Gray Mouser” series; et al
    Lovecraft, H. P.
    Merritt, A.: CREEP, SHADOW, CREEP; MOON POOL; DWELLERS IN THE MIRAGE; et al
    Moorcock, Michael: STORMBRINGER; STEALER OF SOULS; “Hawkmoon” series (esp. the first three books)
    Norton, Andre
    Offutt, Andrew J.: editor of SWORDS AGAINST DARKNESS III
    Pratt, Fletcher: BLUE STAR; et al
    Saberhagen, Fred: CHANGELING EARTH; et al
    St. Clair, Margaret: THE SHADOW PEOPLE; SIGN OF THE LABRYS
    Tolkien, J. R. R.: THE HOBBIT; “Ring trilogy”
    Vance, Jack: THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD; THE DYING EARTH; et al
    Weinbaum, Stanley
    Wellman, Manley Wade
    Williamson, Jack
    Zelazny, Roger: JACK OF SHADOWS; “Amber” series; et al
    The most immediate influences upon AD&D were probably de Camp & Pratt, R. E. Howard, Fritz Leiber, Jack Vance, H. P. Lovecraft, and A. Merritt; but all of the above authors, as well as many not listed, certainly helped to shape the form of the game. For this reason, and for the hours of reading enjoyment, I heartily recommend the works of these fine authors to you.”
    – E. Gary Gygax, 1979, AD&D Dungeon Masters Guide, p. 224

    ... then one can find numerous possible models for magic & inspirations for how it works. Vance is probably one of the strongest influences, but heavily mediated by game balance & strong character archetype design considerations.

    Incidentally one of my favourite go-to magic systems for just for fun games is inspired by Vance. The PC wizard makes up a couple of spells they can cast with suitably evocative names: "Septum's Spontaneous Seclusion", "Egbert's Excitable Eruptor"... and the GM decides what they actually do when the player casts them.

  • Seth_DivineSeth_Divine Member Posts: 8
    From the Player's Handbook and i quote:
    Wizards cannot wear any armor, for several reasons. Firstly, most spells require
    complicated gestures and odd posturings by the caster and armor restricts the wearer's
    ability to do these properly. Secondly, the wizard spent his youth (and will spend most of
    his life) learning arcane languages, poring through old books, and practicing his spells.
    This leaves no time for learning other things (like how to wear armor properly and use it
    effectively). If the wizard had spent his time learning about armor, he would not have
    even the meager skills and powers he begins with. There are even unfounded theories that
    claim the materials in most armors disrupt the delicate fabric of a spell as it gathers
    energy; the two cannot exist side by side in harmony.

    gorgonzola
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