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Why Plate Mail 5e armor costs so high in D&D?

What is Plate Mail 5e armor?

Plate mail (also known as field plate or simply plate was a kind of armor used on Toril. These plates coated the entire body. Beneath the alloy was a thick layer of padding and many pliers and straps to distribute the weight. In dnd 5e, Plate mail is the heaviest kind of armor available. The exceptional protection sacrifices mobility and agility.

Variations of plate mail were offered depending on the level of security or manoeuvrability the wearer required.

  1. Breast-plate: The breastplate armor covered the front and back. A light suit of studded leather was often worn underneath to protect the rest of the body.
  2. Half-plate: This comprised several critical components from a set of full plate, but maybe not all. Half-plate was fitted over chainmail and wrapped more broadly than the plate.
  3. Full plate: As the name implies, this was an entire set of plate mail. Total plate mail had to be constructed or adjusted to match its wearer. That could only be done utilizing an armorsmith.
  4. Heavy plate: This was a heavily reinforced suit of full plate. Heavy plate mail offered exceptional protection but weighed around 100 lbs. Races of strength generally manufactured it. Orogs were known to manufacture thick plate mail.

5e Plate Mail armor level

In dnd, a character (or party, depending on loot-sharing) should have the ability to obtain a 5e plate mail from around level 7. A party at level 5 could have the ability to pay for this by pooling their resources.

The price tables are somewhat imprecise, but we know that at level 5, you start with about 600GP and at level 11, you start with roughly 5600GP. Notice that ~600GP is consistent with anticipated loot from CR-appropriate monsters during levels 1-4.

The only official component that would confine the acquisition of dnd 5e plate mail armor could be its exorbitant price. Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (page 135) suggests that a party ought to have seven rolls on the Challenge 0-4 treasure hoard table and 18 rolls on the 5-10 table as it levels up. 

With average treasure rolls, with a set of 4 to 5 player characters, plate armor should likely become cheap somewhere around level 7, even though that can change somewhat depending on how much money you are making outside of hoard rolls. The number of men and women are splitting the profits. (This matches my personal experience, where the paladin in our party of 5 obtained his first pair of the plate just about the time we levelled up to 7.)

Heavy Duty

But I think you’ve got it a bit backwards; even if you strike a plate from the armor list entirely, it does not change who wants to utilize their heavy-duty. It doesn’t make heavy armor undesirable or weak. Medium armor is especially desirable if you’ve got reasonably good Dexterity; in case you don’t, you go Heavy if you’re able to.

In general, you want to use the heaviest armor (i.e., Plate Mail 5e). You have proficiency unless you’ve got a great reason not to. That usually implies having impressive stats to your class (such as a finesse Fighter) or having abnormal needs not generally associated with your level (for example, stealth).

AC 17, the best for most non-Plate mail 5e armors, is pretty easily achievable if you care to go there. Still, it is a lot cheaper and more accessible for Heavy armor wearers, provided they can manage the weight (which usually means a good strength score or a dwarf).

In other words, if you hit AC 17, you are doing well and have efficiently maxed out your defence from armor. The plate is a little extra to stand above as the Ultimate Armor, with a price tag to coincide. But suppose you exclude it from your match or make it prohibitively uncommon. In that case, the fighter and paladin (and a few clerics) are STILL going to probably wear heavy armor, just because it is the easiest route to AC 17 and matches with their customary stats nicely.

It may be different if stat bonuses were easy to get, however since they are not, you usually will need to concentrate on stat increases in your core abilities, which will not often leave a lot of space to buff your Dexterity out of the Heavy armor range; and having heavy armor available is what allows these characters to disperse their ability points everywhere.

Why Plate Mail 5e armor costs so high in D&D?

Plate mail 5e price

Half and full plate are costly compared to splint. Splint – 200gp for AC17 Half plate – 750gp to get AC15 Total plate – 1500gp for AC 18 They have a disadvantage on stealth. Why would anybody buy a plate mail 5e overly costly?

5e Plate mail armor is tough to make. IRL, it required some blacksmiths months to finish a single pair. It has to be correctly sized and fitted to the wearer. It is possible to use an inadequately sized breastplate. However, you can’t do the same using a complete set of plate mail. In 5e dnd, not having any STR feature limit signifies even low STR characters can utilize it.

By way of example, one of my favourites assembles personally is playing with a Bard with the Moderately Armored feat clad in half plate and a tower shield. The half plate would be the best that someone who only has Medium armor proficiency can wear. If you’re in a position to wear Heavy, you would bypass it and choose something greater. As for wearing Splint vs Full plate, it’s still +1 better.

The armor cost 5e table, including Plate Mail.

Type Armor Armor Class (AC) Cost Strength Weight Stealth
Light Armor Leather 11 + Dex modifier 10 gp 10 lb.
Light Armor Padded 11 + Dex modifier 5 gp 8 lb. Disadvantage
Light Armor Studded Leather 12 + Dex modifier 45 gp 13 lb.
Medium Armor Breastplate 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) 400 gp 20 lb.
Medium Armor Chain Shirt 13 + Dex modifier (max 2) 50 gp 20 lb.
Medium Armor Half Plate 15 + Dex modifier (max 2) 750 gp 40 lb. Disadvantage
Medium Armor Hide 12 + Dex modifier (max 2) 10 gp 12 lb.
Medium Armor Scale Mail 14 + Dex modifier (max 2) 50 gp 45 lb. Disadvantage
Heavy Armor Chain Mail 16 75 gp Str 13 55 lb. Disadvantage
Heavy Armor Plate 18 1,500 gp Str 15 65 lb. Disadvantage
Heavy Armor Ring Mail 14 30 gp 40 lb. Disadvantage
Heavy Armor Splint 17 200 gp Str 15 60 lb. Disadvantage
Heavy Armor Shield 2 10 gp 6 lb.



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