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D&D: Five Magic Armors That are Almost as Good as a Good Offense

4 Minute Read
May 8 2024

The best defense might be a good offense, but these suits of magic armor are a pretty close second. Check ’em out.

Clothes make the adventurer. And when you’re playing D&D, sometimes those clothes are suits of armor. But in D&D armor is kind of boring.

It makes sense. Looking at the game from a gameplay standpoint, having a higher AC means you don’t get hit, which is fun but it also tends to result in a lot of nothing happening. Because the enemy missed you. And from a pure numbers standpoint, it’s better to do more damage than to not get hit.

Even the designers seem to know—magic armor is the smallest category of magic items in the game. Which is kind of a shame. There are some fantastic armors out there once you stop worrying about the bonus they provide to your AC and learn to love the cool passive effects they confer. Let’s take a look at five awesome armors you can find on your next adventure.

Dwarven Plate

This suit of +2 magic armor doesn’t require attunement, which is always a plus, but in addition to being heavy plate armor, this series of interlocking metal plates that fit together into an impregnable suit of armor that covers your whole body from your visored helmet to your heavy leather booted toes. It also prevents you from being moved against your will. If you get pushed, pulled, or forced to move against your will, warriors clad in dwarven plates reduce the amount they’re moved by ten feet.

Scorpion Armor

Fashioned from the carapace of a giant scorpion, this suit of plate armor hearkens back to the good old days of D&D when you could craft magic items out of monster parts.

And this suit is awesome. If you can find it, hidden away in the pages of the Tomb of Annihilation, you’ll find plate armor that’s made so that you can stealth along with the rest of the party. In addition to being plate armor, it grants you a +5 bonus to initiative, doesn’t impose disadvantage of your Dexterity (Stealth) checks, and doesn’t give you disadvantage on saves against extreme heat. If your strength score is 15+ you don’t even lose speed when wearing it.


It’s made to creep around in – except for the curse.

What curse? Well, there’s the slightest chance the armor might kill you when you put it on or take it off.

Whenever you do either, you have to make a DC 15 Con save or else take 10d10 + 45 damage on a failed save, or half as much on a successful one. Good thing there are so many ways to be resistant to or immune to poison.

Smoldering Armor

Smoldering armor is a common magical item, meaning you could go out and purchase it, probably. It’s definitely worth grabbing though. Because this suit of armor produces wisps of harmless, odorless smoke from it while it’s being worn.


Whether you interpret this as a Blackbeard style of intimidation, or just think of it as an armor of vaping, what more do you want?

Heward’s Hireling Armor

This suit of magical armor is found in the Lost Laboratory of Kwalish module. Heward’s Hireling Armor grants you a +1 bonus, sure. But where it really shines is in dealing with items. It has animated straps that assist with the drawing and sheathing of weapons. That means you can draw or stow two one-handed weapons instead of just one.

It also comes with six extradimensional pockets, which can hold up to 20 pounds of material and up to 2 cubic feet of room. And you can always get exactly what you need as an action. Just keep it away from a bag of holding or Heward’s Handy Haversack.

Castoff Armor

This is armor you can doff as an action. This is surprisingly handy for what it is. If you fall overboard in heavy plate, hey now you can jettison that armor. Or you can show your enemies that you’re willing to talk peace and mean it when you step out of your scale male with a single stride. Better still, be a Monk or a Barbarian or someone who gets harder to hit when they’re not wearing armor, and then doff this armor when the fight gets serious.

What’s your favorite armor? Let us know in the comments!


Author: J.R. Zambrano
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