Excerpts Archive | 6/25/2013
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Magic Item Compendium Excerpts: Armor

M agic items are an integral part of the Dungeons & Dragons game experience. As long as D&D has been around, there have been +1 swords and potions of healing—they’re as inextricably linked with the game’s identity as 18th-level fighters and magic missile spells. Every fighter saves up for his first magic weapon, and no one who’s played a paladin hasn’t dreamed about what it would be like to wield a holy avenger.

Magic items also make up a crucial part of every D&D character’s array of abilities. A magic weapon can slice through a creature’s damage reduction, a ring of protection diverts otherwise deadly attacks, and a handy potion or scroll can tip the balance in a critical encounter. A character without magic items is like a wizard with only half her spells prepared or a fighter who hasn’t bothered to select all his feats—he’s simply incomplete.

So begins the introduction to the 3.5 Magic Item Compendium—collecting the most popular magic items in the D&D game and presents them in one easy-to-reference tome.

In today's excerpt, we look back at a sampling of the book's many suits of magic armor.


For the average adventurer, a suit of magic armor is the first and most important defense against enemies. Not much can compare with the effectiveness of a magically enhanced coat of tough leather, steel rings, or sturdy plates. But the potential protection of a suit of armor or shield doesn’t stop with its enhancement bonus. Chapter 1 of the Magic Item Compendium collects dozens of magical properties applicable to armor and shields, along with many specific suits of armor and shields constructed with a particular array of useful properties.

Exoskeleton Armor

Prepared from the remains of an animated skeleton, this armor covers the upper body with a white, rib-like structure that resembles bleached bones. Large skulls serve as epaulets.

Ghoul Shell Armor

This armor consists of shaped and fitted sections of ghoul flesh sewn together to cover the entire body, except for the head, hands, and feet. A gaunt face is emblazoned on the chestpiece.

Kyton Armor

This armor of black chain links has obviously seen heavy use: Five long lengths of chain, to which nasty-looking barbs and small blades are affixed, have unraveled and now dangle free from the bottom of the chest piece.

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