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Xanathar’s has rules about sleeping in armor.

Xanathar’s has rules about sleeping in armor. published on 2 Comments on Xanathar’s has rules about sleeping in armor.

We can’t keep doing this, Daniel.

Sleeping in Armor

The rules for sleeping in armor in Xanathar’s are really good rules, but it’s one of those details I despise dealing with as a DM. It’s hard to explain my dislike of keeping track of this. Warlocks and Wizards have ways of getting instant armor and this should make them a tad harder to ambush than Fighters who’ve set their Full Plate aside for the night. And asking, “are you sleeping in your armor?” is a quick, fair question. But it feels fussy, and as the DM I have the meta knowledge of being able to attack at their weakest. Since I set up the question, it feels unfair if they get ambushed. “Those Kobolds only attacked because you knew we didn’t have our armor on” feels a lot worse than “Those kobolds waited until we didn’t have armor on!”

There are ways to get around this, but I’d just as soon not. Did the fighter sleep in full plate? Probably, they’re in a cave full of ice-breathing spiders. Is it uncomfortable? Sure, that’s the adventuring life. These people can go unbelievable stretches without food and water. I’ll give those Herculean figures a pass on consequences for sleeping in armor.

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The way I dealt with it as a DM was to tap into my “medieval geek” side. Many people, especially fantasy dwellers, don’t really care for how armor worked in real life, even though it could benefit them in certain ways. You didn’t just slap a hunk of steel onto your bare skin – it wouldn’t help much. Underneath the plate was a gambeson – a very thick, quilted armor which was actually a very good armor in itself (peasants and foot soldiers didn’t have anything better than that), and isn’t anywhere near as uncomfortable.
What I did as a DM was to let heavy armored guys doff only the plating and keep the gambeson on, which acted as a simple light armor, which already boosted their AC. And grabbing a shield, should you have one, is basically instant, yet potentially life saving.

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