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Arcane Armor

Below is a listing of unusual armor (mainly robes) that can be worn by arcane spellcasters who wish to obtain protection without gaining the look of a warrior.  Although Arcane Spell Failure is a problem with most of these armors, intelligent casters will know when to shed these armors for the more traditional attire.



Armor/Shield Bonus

Maximum Dex Bonus

Armor Check Penalty

Arcane Spell Failure Chance

(30 ft.)

(20 ft.)


Armored Sleeves

5 gp




30 ft.

20 ft.

5 lb.

Bodysuit, Armored 125 gp +1 +6 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 8 lb.
Chain Cloak 100 gp +1 +6 -1 10% 20 ft. 15 ft. 25 lb.
Concealed Armor 160 gp +1 +8 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 10 lb.
Leather Coat 250 gp +3 +6 20% 30 ft. 20 ft. 20 lb.
Robe, Armored 55 gp +3 +3 -4 25% 20 ft. 15 ft. 30 lb.
Robe, Battle 2,500 gp +4 +4 -2 15 % 20 ft. 15 ft. 15 lb.
Robe of Yew Leaves 55 gp +2 +8 10 % 30 ft. 20 ft. 5 lb.
Shadesuit, Armored 500 gp +1 +6 5% 30 ft. 20 ft. 8 lb.
Skirt, Mithril 1,200 gp +2 -1 +8 lb.
Wizard's Armor +200 gp -2 -10% -5 lb.

Armored Sleeves (Light Armor): Strips of resistant material, usually chain links or exotic hides, can be sewn into the sleeves of any robe to offer protection to the wearer’s arms in much the same way as bracers. Heavier and bulkier than normal sleeves, these do have the drawback of slightly impeding arm movement, though the defense they offer can be quite valuable. Armored sleeves count as a shield for purposes of determining what armor their armor bonus stacks with. Their size and general inflexibility prevents a wearer from using them and another shield at the same time.

Bodysuit, Armored (Light Armor): This garment functions in most ways just like a normal bodysuit, except that it is made of leather and actually provides the wearer with limited armor protection. The armored bodysuit may be worn beneath other armor.

Chain Cloak (Light Armor): This is a man-sized sheet made of tiny interlocking metal rings, .t beneath two layers of quilt and wrapped in strong dark fabric. The cloak includes a thick collar of the same material, folded around the wearer’s neck and secured by a discreet, yet elegant silver clasp. The cloak can be entirely wrapped around a Medium-sized humanoid body. The chainmail sheet is crafted in such a way as to remain unnoticed by casual observers, although a successful Listen check (DC 15) discovers the clinking mail rings inside the apparently normal cloak.

A chain cloak gives the wearer a +1 armor bonus to his Armor Class. This bonus stacks with other armor bonuses. If the wearer wraps the cloak around his body (treat as performing the total defense action), the armor bonus increases to +2. A character cannot wrap the cloak around his body and use it as a shield (see below) on the same round.

A character with Shield Proficiency and at least one hand free can wrap the chain cloak around his arm, letting it hang in front of him. A chain cloak used in this fashion counts as an improvised shield, giving a +1 shield bonus to the wearer’s Armor Class in addition to its armor bonus. This shield bonus does not stack with other shield bonuses. A character using a chain cloak in this fashion suffers a –2 penalty on all attack rolls for the same round. A chain cloak cannot be used to perform a shield bash attack.

Notes: A chain cloak is not an armor suit per se, so it does not have an associated maximum Dexterity bonus. Instead, wearing a chain cloak reduces the maximum Dexterity bonus imposed from other armor suits by one. If the character wears no armor imposing a maximum Dexterity bonus, assume the chain cloak’s maximum Dexterity bonus to be +6.

Concealed Armor: Concealed armor is worked into a normal suit of clothes, generally a long sleeved shirt and trousers or a full-length dress. Cunningly incorporated sections of padding and resistant cloth strips are woven into a protective shell around the wearer’s body, without betraying their existence to the casual observer. While the suit only offers the same protection as padded armor, it is always considered masterwork armor and can be further enchanted as the wearer desires. The Spot check to see concealed armor for what it is has a of DC 25 and must be purposefully made – a passing glance is insufficient to detect concealed armor.

Leather Coat (Light Armor): This is a full-body leather overcoat, including a short cape over the shoulders and a high collar covering all the wearer’s neck up to the lower face. The suit includes a felt or leather cap and a pair of gloves. The coat features a great quantity of belts, pockets, buttons and buckles.

Designed for characters expecting both combat and a long journey, leather coats combine the best in light armor technology with fashionable weather protection attire. They are preferred by elite soldiers, overland couriers and secret agents. A leather coat offers excellent protection, while causing little or no penalties to the user’s movement. Leather coats are a relatively new fashion item, more common with every passing season.

In addition to armor bonuses, a character wearing a leather coat receives a +2 circumstance bonus on Fortitude saves and Survival checks made against the effects of stormy or cold weather.

Robe, Armored (Medium Armor): This mundane-looking garment appears as the typical robe worn by a wizard, priest or other scholar. Small, metal plates and thick leather padding sewn into the inner side of the robe provide protection without drawing undue attention to the wearer. Unfortunately, armored robes are both bulky and heavy, limited the wearer’s agility and speed.

Robe, Battle (Medium Armor): Another garment for battle-minded wizards, the elven version of the armored robe is not designed for stealth, but for the protection of a war wizard. Resilient fabric made from gossamer thread intertwines with mithril wire and small, iron plates, providing very good protection with few obstacles for spellcasting. There are versions of battle robes tailored as dresses and gowns, worn by elf ladies who go into battle as part of their noble duties.

Robe of Yew Leaves (Light Armor): Druids have long fashioned their own armor from the bounties of nature. This unique set of armor is no exception. Fashioned from the treated leaves of the yew tree and reinforced with thin strips of tanned leather, this armor is both functional and often quite beautiful.

Shadesuit, Armored (Light Armor): The armored shadesuit is, like the armored bodysuit, merely an armored version of the base item. The material of the armored shadesuit is leather, granting the wearer a +1 bonus to armor class. The armored shadesuit may be worn beneath other armor.

Skirt, Mithril (Light Armor): This skirt of interlocking mithril rings straps to the wearer’s waist and reaches no lower than the knees, giving additional protection to any armor worn. It fits easily over any armor except full plate and, though it adds weight to the character, it does not interfere with spellcasting. A mithril skirt gives a +1 armor bonus to a mount’s AC.

Wizard’s Armor (Heavy, Light, or Medium Armor): An enhancement that may be added to an existing type of armor rather than a class of protective gear of its own, wizard’s armor is created by taking a typical armor design and modifying it to allow for greater freedom of movement. An existing suit of armor may not be modified in this manner. Instead, wizard’s armor must be created from scratch. To calculate the cost and effectiveness of wizard’s armor, select a base armor type, such as chainmail, and determine the cost and characteristics of a masterwork version. Then, increase the cost by 200 gp, decrease its armor bonus by 2, drop its weight by 5 pounds and reduce its arcane spell failure by 10%. A suit of wizard’s armor is considered to be the same armor type as its original armor. For example, wizard’s chainmail counts as medium armor.

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