Rules Index

Chapter 6: Equipment


Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
Armor increases your character’s defenses, but some medium or heavy armor can hamper movement. If you want to increase your character’s defense beyond the protection your armor provides, they can use a shield. Armor protects your character only while they’re wearing it.

Armor Class

Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
Your Armor Class (AC) measures how well you can defend against attacks. When a creature attacks you, your Armor Class is the DC for that attack roll.

Armor Class = 10 + Dexterity modifier (up to your armor’s Dex Cap) + proficiency bonus + armor’s item bonus to AC + other bonuses + penalties

Use your proficiency bonus for the category (light, medium, or heavy) or the specific type of armor you’re wearing. If you’re not wearing armor, use your proficiency in unarmored defense.

Donning and Removing Armor

Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
Getting in and out of armor is time consuming—so make sure you’re wearing it when you need it! Donning and removing armor are both activities involving many Interact actions. It takes 1 minute to don light armor, 5 minutes to don medium or heavy armor, and 1 minute to remove any armor.

Armor Statistics

Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
Table 6–3: Unarmored Defense provides the statistics for the various forms of protection without wearing armor. Table 6–4: Armor provides the statistics for suits of armor that can be purchased and worn, organized by category. The columns in both tables provide the following statistics.


Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
The armor’s category—unarmored, light armor, medium armor, or heavy armor—indicates which proficiency bonus you use while wearing the armor.

AC Bonus

Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
This number is the item bonus you add for the armor when determining Armor Class.

Dexterity Modifier Cap (Dex Cap)

Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
This number is the maximum amount of your Dexterity modifier that can apply to your AC while you are wearing a given suit of armor. For example, if you have a Dexterity modifier of +4 and you are wearing a suit of half plate, you apply only a +1 bonus from your Dexterity modifier to your AC while wearing that armor.

Check Penalty

Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
While wearing your armor, you take this penalty to Strength- and Dexterity-based skill checks, except for those that have the attack trait. If you meet the armor’s Strength threshold (see Strength below), you don’t take this penalty.

Speed Penalty

Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
While wearing a suit of armor, you take the penalty listed in this entry to your Speed, as well as to any other movement types you have, such as a climb Speed or swim Speed, to a minimum Speed of 5 feet. If you meet the armor’s Strength threshold (see below), you reduce the penalty by 5 feet.


Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
This entry indicates the Strength score at which you are strong enough to overcome some of the armor’s penalties. If your Strength is equal to or greater than this value, you no longer take the armor’s check penalty, and you decrease the Speed penalty by 5 feet (to no penalty if the penalty was –5 feet, or to a –5-foot penalty if the penalty was –10 feet).


Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
This entry gives the armor’s Bulk, assuming you’re wearing the armor and distributing its weight across your body. A suit of armor that’s carried or worn usually has 1 more Bulk than what’s listed here (or 1 Bulk total for armor of light Bulk). An armor’s Bulk is increased or decreased if it’s sized for creatures that aren’t Small or Medium in size, following the rules on page 295.


Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
Each type of medium and heavy armor belongs to an armor group, which classifies it with similar types of armor. Some abilities reference armor groups, typically to grant armor specialization effects, which are described on page 275.

Armor Traits

Source Core Rulebook pg. 274
Armor can a number of traits, found under "Armor Traits" in the Traits section.

Armor Specialization Effects

Source Core Rulebook pg. 275
Certain class features can grant you additional benefits with certain armors. This is called an armor specialization effect. The exact effect depends on which armor group your armor belongs to, as listed below. Only medium and heavy armors have armor specialization effects. See here for details on each armor specialization effect.