Note: For small-sized characters, reduce the weight of the armor by ½.
The following describes the different features of armor and how they can affect your character.
AC Bonus and Reflex Bonus
Many armors impose an Attribute Penalty which applies to a character's Armor Class, Touch, and Reflex defense scores. This Attribute Penalty represents the imposition that bulky armors impose on a character's ability to move.
The attribute penalty reduces any positive Dexterity Accuracy (or Intelligence Accuracy if appropriate for Reflex) bonus (to a minimum of 0) as it is applied to the AC, Touch and Reflex defense scores. Calculations for the scores can be found on the Armor Class, Touch, and Reflex pages respectfully. Characters that have a negative modifier do not suffer any worse effect from the Armor Attribute Penalty.
The Check Penalty is a property of Armor and Shields that applies a penalty to certain Active Skill checks. If you are wielding both Armor and a Shield, the sum of the check penalty from both items applies. Whether or not the Check Penalty applies is indicated on each Active Skill's page.
Generally speaking, the heavier the armor or shield, the greater the Check Penalty. In other words, it is difficult to perform certain tasks, such as Climbing, Jumping, or Swimming while utilizing heavy or bulky equipment. A character can remove their check penalty at any time, if they remove the armor or shield they are utilizing before attempting the skill check.
Medium and Heavy Armors impose a Speed Penalty to a creature's movement, due to their heavy and bulky nature. Increase the Recovery Time of all of a creature's Movement Modes by the speed penalty. The speed penalty imposed by each armor is listed on the Armor table. The Base Recovery for movement is determined by the creature's Race. Certain abilities and feats can decrease the Speed Penalty imposed by Armor.
Your Armor Proficiency, provided by your class, determines the types of armor that you can wear. You can wear any armor of your proficiency rank or less. If your character attempts to wear armor he is not proficient in, he suffers the following detriments:
- A penalty to all Attack Rolls equal to the armor's Check Penalty.
- A penalty to all Recovery Times equal to the speed penalty for the armor (this is applied to movement as well, effectively applying the penalty twice).
- Your character cannot use cast actions with somatic components.
The amount of time it takes to don and remove armor is dependent on the type of armor worn. Typically, the lighter the armor, the faster it can be doned. If you are in a hurry, you can don your armor a little more hastily, but your Check Penalty increases by 1 and your AC bonus from the armor decreases by 1. See the table below for specifics:
|All Light Armor and all Medium Armor (except Breast Plate)
|Breast Plate, Ring Mail, Scale Mail, Splint Mail, and Banded Mail
|Half Plate or Full Plate
|*Armor may be doned or removed more quickly with assistance, reducing the time by 1/2. One creature that is performing no other actions may assist one or two adjacent creatures. Two adjacent creatures doning armor may assist each other.
**This Armor must be doned with assistance. If not assisted, Armor is considered Hastily Doned.