Archives of Nethys

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Magic Armor

Source PRPG Core Rulebook pg. 461
In general, magic armor protects the wearer to a greater extent than nonmagical armor. Magic armor bonuses are enhancement bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with regular armor bonuses (and with shield and magic shield enhancement bonuses). All magic armor is also masterwork armor, reducing armor check penalties by 1.

In addition to an enhancement bonus, armor may have special abilities. Special abilities usually count as additional bonuses for determining the market value of an item, but do not improve AC. A suit of armor cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents, including from character abilities and spells) higher than +10. A suit of armor with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

A suit of armor or a shield may be made of an unusual material. Roll d%: 01–95 indicates that the item is of a standard sort, and 96–100 indicates that it is made of a special material (see Chapter 6).

Armor is always created so that if the type of armor comes with a pair of boots, a helm, or a set of gauntlets, these pieces can be switched for other magic boots, helms, or gauntlets.

Caster Level for Armor and Shields: The caster level of a magic shield or magic armor with a special ability is given in the item description. For an item with only an enhancement bonus, the caster level is three times the enhancement bonus. If an item has both an enhancement bonus and a special ability, the higher of the two caster level requirements must be met.

Shields: Shield enhancement bonuses stack with armor enhancement bonuses. Shield enhancement bonuses do not act as attack or damage bonuses when the shield is used in a shield bash. The bashing special ability, however, does grant a +1 bonus on attack and damage rolls (see the special ability description).

A shield could be built that also acted as a magic weapon, but the cost of the enhancement bonus on attack rolls would need to be added into the cost of the shield and its enhancement bonus to AC.

As with armor, special abilities built into the shield add to the market value in the form of additions to the bonus of the shield, although they do not improve AC. A shield cannot have an effective bonus (enhancement plus special ability bonus equivalents) higher than +10. A shield with a special ability must also have at least a +1 enhancement bonus.

Activation: Usually a character benefits from magic armor and shields in exactly the way a character benefits from nonmagical armor and shields: by wearing them. If armor or a shield has a special ability that the user needs to activate, then the user usually needs to utter the command word (a standard action).

Armor for Unusual Creatures: The cost of armor for nonhumanoid creatures, as well as for creatures who are neither Small nor Medium, varies (see Chapter 6). The cost of the masterwork quality and any magical enhancement remains the same.

Table 15-3: Armor and Shields

MinorMediumMajorItemBase Price
01-6001-05+1 shield1,000 gp
61-8006-10+1 armor1,000 gp
81-8511-20+2 shield4,000 gp
86-8721-30+2 armor4,000 gp
31-4001-08+3 shield9,000 gp
41-5009-16+3 armor9,000 gp
51-5517-27+4 shield16,000 gp
56-5728-38+4 armor16,000 gp
39-49+5 shield25,000 gp
50-57+5 armor25,000 gp
+6 armor/shield136,000 gp
+7 armor/shield149,000 gp
+8 armor/shield164,000 gp
+9 armor/shield181,000 gp
+10 armor/shield1100,000 gp
88-8958-6058-60Specific armor2
90-9161-6361-63Specific shield3
92-10064-10064-100Special ability and roll again4
1 Armor and shields can’t have enhancement bonuses higher than +5. Use these lines to determine price when special abilities are added in.
2 See here for specific armors.
3 See here for specific shields.
4 See here for armor and here for shields.