All-Out Armors

April 9th, 2015

Joshua Zaback

Magic Market Archive

                While most characters wear armor, magical armor seems to take a backseat to magical weapons and exotic wondrous items when it comes to capturing the attention of adventurers. The primary reason for this is likely that armor seems more passive than a weapon, and it doesn’t provide permanent boosts to one’s ability scores. Another reason might be that armor is much cheaper than most other forms of items, so a player can purchase a +5 suit of armor for considerably less than a +4 weapon, and given the oftentimes rather depressing suite of armor special abilities, many don’t feel the need to do more than add the best enhancement bonus. This week I’m bringing you some high-end armors meant to engage the imagination and entice you to shell out tons of gold on protective gear.


ARMOR OF MAGICAL TRANSFERENCE                                PRICE 90,300 gp

Slot armor; CL 15th; Weight 40 lbs.
Aura strong transmutation

                While this suit of chainmail is visually indistinct from typical examples of its kind, most are wrapped in exotic, highly decorative surcoats to demonstrate their great value. Older suits are often stained with blood.

                This unique suit of +1 chainmail can be used to allow the wearer to form a close bond with a specific spellcaster. In order to form a bond, the spellcaster must be adjacent to the wearer and spend a full-round action to mark the armor with some of his blood, suffering 1 point of damage. For the next minute, any spell the bonded caster casts with a target of “you” can instead be cast upon the wearer of the armor of magical transference as a touch spell. Because this armor conducts magical energy the wearer suffers a -2 penalty on saving throws against spells.

Construction Requirements       Cost 45,300 gp
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, polymorph any object


IRON BOULDER ARMOR                            PRICE 61,650 gp

Slot armor; CL 9th; Weight 50 lbs.
Aura moderate transmutation

                This solid iron suit of full plate is made from large, interlocking plates which extend beyond the body in a sort of shell. These plates are magically empowered to join together when a command word is spoken, encasing the wearer in a ridged iron sphere.

                A suit of iron boulder armor always functions as a suit of +4 full plate, and by speaking a command word, the wearer of a suit of iron boulder armor can cause the armor to magically shift, forming an iron sphere around him. This can be performed as an immediate action in order to gain total cover for 1 round. Because the armor forces you into a tight ball when activated, the user is subsequently knocked prone after the effect ends. While encased in the iron sphere, the iron boulder armor is susceptible to attack as normal, and can be targeted by a disintegrate spell as though it were an unattended object. Fire damage dealt to the iron sphere is transferred as heat to the wearer, inflicting half the amount of fire damage dealt to the armor to the wearer.

                In addition to allowing the wearer to defend himself, the iron boulder armor’s magic can be activated while the wearer is moving in order to transform him into a rolling engine of destruction. In order to use the armor in this way, the wearer must move at least 10 feet and spend an immediate action to transform the armor. Once he does, the wearer continues to move for an additional 90 feet in a straight line, barreling into any creature in his path. While traveling in this fashion, the first 100 feet of downhill movement do not count against the distance traveled in this way, while uphill movement costs 3 times as much movement to be expended. Any creature whose square the wearer enters during this movement suffers 4d6 points of damage and is knocked prone in a random adjacent square; a successful Reflex save (DC 10 + 1 for every 10 feet moved in this way + the wearer’s Dexterity modifier) halves this damage and negates the target being knocked prone, though the target is still jostled enough out of the way to allow for the wearer’s continued movement. Certain terrain features might alter the wearer’s straight path, such as ditches, trenches, or banks. There is no limit to the number of times per day the magic of the iron boulder armor can be activated, though the wearer must wait 1d6 rounds between uses.

Construction Requirements       Cost 31,650 gp

Craft Magic Arms and Armor, beast shape III

TIRELESS ARMOR                          PRICE 48,250 gp

Slot armor; CL 5th; Weight 30 lbs.
Aura faint necromancy

                This suit of shiny steel plates is magically adhered to a thick and fluffy cotton robe, making it exceedingly comfortable. Because of its magic, the armor is as easy to don and remove as a robe, making it highly convenient, though most owners of these magical armors never take them off.

                These +3 half plate armors are exceedingly comfortable and easy to move around in, reducing the armor check penalty to -2 and imposing no speed penalty, although the arcane spell failure chance remains the same. In addition to being somewhat more comfortable than ordinary half plate, this magical armor can be worn while sleeping without difficulty and can animate the wearer’s sleeping body to continue moving while he dozes. To do this the wearer, must spend a full-round action instructing the armor on which path to continue walking or hustling while he sleeps; typically, this requires that the wearer either succeed on a DC 15 Survival check as well as a DC 15 Knowledge (geography) or Knowledge (local) check (depending on whether or not the environment is nature or urban), or that the armor is instructed to follow a creature or road.

                Additionally, while the wearer sleeps, the armor keeps an eye out for threats and produces a mental alarm, as the spell alarm, whenever a character makes an attack or casts a spell with a saving throw entry denoted as other than harmless 100 feet of the wearer. Finally, the tireless armor can use its magic to animate the user should he die. This causes the deceased character to rise as a zombie when he is killed, with the following exceptions. The character retains his Constitution and Intelligence scores, his Hit Dice from class levels (benefits derived from those levels are not recalculated), and the user suffers a -4 penalty to all physical ability scores and a -8 penalty to all mental ability scores. The zombie created in this way retains its free will and can use its feats and skills, and cast spells (provided its new ability scores allow it to do so). Finally, a zombie created in this way returns to a normal corpse when reduced to 0 hp, or if it is separated from the tireless armor, or if the tireless armor gains the broken condition.

Construction Requirements       Cost 24,500 gp

Craft Magic Arms and Armor, alarm, animate dead