D&D Half Plate: Ultimate Guide w/ Stats + 31 Answers

D&D half plate armor is a god-send for players who need medium-level protection.

D&D half plate is medium armor with an armor class of 15 plus a character’s dexterity modifier. Half plate armor includes gauntlets, plates of metal to guard the torso, and minimal leg protection. Half plate weighs 40 lbs, gives a disadvantage on stealth rolls, and costs 750 gold pieces.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about D&D half plate.

D&D Half Plate Stats

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D&D Half PlateStats
AC15
ModifierDexterity (max 2)
Armor typeMedium
Player CategoryItem
Item rarityStandard
StealthDisadvantage
Weight40 lbs
Cost750 gold pieces
Hardness level10
Time to put on5 minutes
Time to take off1 minute
Arcane spell failure probability40%
Armor check penalty-7
D&D Half Plate Armor Stats

Half Plates are medium armor that does not provide protection beyond the body.

Although they contain simple greaves attached by a leather strap, they offer no additional protection to your lower body/legs.

D&D Half Plate (Detailed Description)

Two images of half plate armor—D&D Half Plate
Image by the author via Canva—D&D Half Plate

A D&D half plate is a form of armor made up of metal plates. The armor covers the body from the neck to the waist.

Each plate is shaped to form around the wearer’s body.

The plates included with a half plate are elbow guards, tasses, epaulets, greaves, shoulder pads, a breastplate, and leggings.

The breastplate protects the chest and upper back, while the shoulder pads cover the shoulders and upper arms.

The gauntlets protect the hands, and the leggings protect the legs.

Half-plate armor is heavier than other types of armor, such as chainmail or leather armor.

But it provides more protection.

In addition, half-plate armor does not impede movement or restrict dexterity as much as other types of heavier armor. As a result, half-plate armor is an excellent choice for characters who are looking for a balance between protection and maneuverability.

Although it uses leather straps and buckles to hold the metal sheets in place, the armor does hang looser than full plate armor.

What Does D&D Half Plate Not Come With?

A half plate does not come with much leg protection aside from the simple greaves attached by leather straps.

Unless otherwise specified by your Dungeon Master (DM), the armor does not include a helmet.

In D&D, your armor class (AC) is not typically impacted by the presence or absence of head protection. Rather, your AC is determined by your overall armor, Dexterity, class, magical items, spells, and other character variables.

Types Of Half Plate Armor In D&D

There are many different types of half plate armor in D&D.

Half plate Types include:

  • Mithral Half Plate
  • Adamantine Half Plate
  • Magical Half Plate
  • Dwarvish Half Plate
  • Half Plate Coat
  • Petrified Mushroom Half Plate
  • Ruby Half Plate
  • Reflective Half Plate Armor
  • Half Plate Dragon Armor

Mithral Half Plate

Mithral half plate is uncommon yet light and flexible. It can be used instead of regular armor that imposes a Stealth disadvantage or has a Stealth requirement.

Adamantine Half Plate

Adamantine half plate is reinforced with Adamantine, one of the hardest known substances in existence.

It allows any critical hit to become a normal hit when you’re wearing it.

Magical Half Plate

Magical half plate generally always protects the wearer better than regular armor.

It is also considered masterwork armor and reduces armor check penalties by 1 point. Magic half plate armor never rises above +5.

Dwarvish Half Plate

Dwarvish half plate is a very rare armor designed by Dwarves for Dwarves.

It gives you these special bonuses:

  • +2 to your armor class
  • Resistance to forced movement

Resistance to forced movement means you can use your reaction to limit movement against your will by 10 feet.

For example, let’s say a strong wind forces your character 20 feet away.

Since your character is wearing Dwarven armor, you can use a reaction to only move 10 feet.

Mourningsteel Half Plate

Mourningsteel half plate is dark armor crafted from refined metal ore located beneath battlegrounds of extremely vicious wars.

Players can get a +1 bonus to AC while wearing it and are resistant to radiant damage.

Radiant damage is a type of magic.

Since it has been soaked in the blood of countless victims, the armor has an aversion to anything holy.

Petrified Mushroom Half Plate

Petrified mushroom half plate is used only by Druids and grants the wearer poison resistance.

This unique half plate armor is rare and you must attune to it.

However, it is a good substitute for metal armor with a nice special feature.

Reflective Half Plate Armor

Reflective half plate armor works like a mirror, with a completely reflective surface.

It can be used once a day to reflect a ray-like spell back onto the caster.

On the downside, it’s incredibly hard to hide when your armor reflects light. Your character must roll hide checks with a -3 disadvantage.

Half Plate Dragon Armor

Half plate dragon armor is very rare and is said to be made completely of the scales of a dragon and metal.

It is highly valuable and gives the wearer a +1 AC bonus.

Half plate dragon armor also provides resistance to damage based on the type of dragon that provided the scales.

There are only two ways to make a Half Plate Dragon Armor:

  • Being gifted cast-off scales from a friendly dragon
  • Seeking out a dragon hunter that will kill and skin a dragon, preserving the hide and crafting the half plate

DND Half Plate Cost

A suit of D&D half plate armor costs 750 gold pieces.

You might see “gold pieces” abbreviated as “gp” in official and nonofficial Dungeons and Dragons books.

Many players choose Half Plate at the first level during the initial creation of their characters.

However, you can also purchase half plate armor anytime in the game.

Create a DND Character With Jasper ...
Create a DND Character With Jasper Art
Who Can Wear DND Half Plate? (Explained)

Anyone can wear a D&D half plate armor.

However, if you lack the required proficiency level, you may suffer distinct disadvantages.

Disadvantages can negatively affect:

  • Attack rolls
  • Saving throws
  • Ability checks

Ultimately, it’s up to each individual player character to decide whether the advantages of half-plate armor outweigh the disadvantages.

Can Wizards Wear Half Plate?

Yes, wizards who are proficient with half plate armor can continue to cast most spells wearing Half Plate without occurring a penalty.

However, there are a few things to consider.

First, the armor’s weight and bulk might make it difficult to move around in, which isn’t ideal for a class that needs to be able to dodge attacks and cast spells quickly.

Additionally, the armor could impact the wizard’s ability to tap into certain magical powers while wearing it.

As a result, most wizards prefer to stick with lighter armor.

Particularly armor that doesn’t hamper their mobility or impede their ability to use magic.

With that said, there are some situations where half plate armor can be useful for a wizard. If they know they’ll be going up against physical attackers, the extra protection can be worth the trade-off in speed and spellcasting ability.

Also, armor comes in handy if you’re purposefully building a tank wizard for combat.

You may like our article, Can Wizards Wear Armor? (15 Things You Need to Know).

Can Clerics Wear Half Plate?

Yes, clerics can wear a half plate.

If you want your cleric character to wear half plate armor, just ensure they have a good strength and dexterity score.

These buffed scores will mitigate the disadvantages to your stealth and other dice rolls.

Can Barbarians Wear Half Plate?

If you want your barbarian to be tankier, you can use Half Plate.

Barbarians are proficient in medium armor from the start, so using a high-end medium half plate can be slightly better than an unarmoured defense.

We wrote a good article over here about, Can Barbarians Wear Armor?

Can Bards Wear Half Plate?

Bards can wear D&D half plate but they are naturally proficient in light armor.

While a Bard can technically wear medium armor, they run the risk of arcane spell failure if they are wearing it while casting a spell with a somatic component.

Spell failure is a major drawback.

The last thing you want is for a spell to stop working mid-encounter with an enemy.

Can Druids Wear Half Plate?

According to the official D&D Player’s Handbook, “Druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal.”

The phrase “will not” is pretty strong and absolute.

To me, that means playing a Druid includes accepting not wearing armor made of metal.

Of course, there is lighter armor (such as leather) that offers non-metal protection.

Most DMs will allow you to wear armor without a problem. One possible expectation is if you’re in the Adventurers League.

Can Fighters Wear Half Plate?

Yes, fighters can wear half plate if they choose.

Fighters are one class that can wear half-plate without much or any penalty.

That’s thanks to their increased Strength, Dexterity, and Constitution.

As a result, fighters are often able to wear the heaviest armor without sacrificing too much of their speed or maneuverability.

Can Monks Wear Half Plate?

Monks can wear half plate but they lose all of their first-level special feats.

For example, a monk who puts on armor loses:

  • Unarmored defense
  • Martial arts
  • Unarmored movement

To make matters worse, if a monk is not proficient in medium armor, they suffer major disadvantages in movement, dexterity-related saving throws, and attacks.

Therefore, I don’t recommend monk characters wear half plate armor.

Can Paladins Wear Half Plate?

Yes, paladins can wear half plate and carry a shield.

Like fighters, paladins are made for wearing all types of armor—even heavy full plate.

I should note that paladins possess proficiency in all types of armor. That means, they should probably go with full plate instead of settling for less protection with half plate.

Can Rangers Wear Half Plate?

Yes, Rangers can wear half plate.

The major issue with Rangers is that wearing half-plate (or any armor above studded leather), removes their ability for stealth.

Since many Rangers serve as silent scouts, losing stealth is a death blow to their role in the group.

Yet, you are free to play Rangers in any way that you choose.

What Are the Benefits of DND Half Plate?

When it comes to armor, there are a lot of options available in Dungeons and Dragons.

Each type of armor has advantages and disadvantages.

Half-plate armor offers a good balance of protection and mobility, and it’s lighter than full-plate armor.

This can be a major advantage in combat, as it allows characters to move more freely and avoid being weighed down by their armor.

In addition, half plate armor provides better protection against certain types of damage, such as piercing damage from arrows.

Half plate armor is a great choice for characters who want the benefits of both light and heavy armor.

What Are the Disadvantages of DND Half Plate?

Along with advantages, DND half plate also comes with a few disadvantages.

Here are the major downsides of half plate armor:

  • Stealth disadvantage
  • May take away special feats
  • May prevent some spellcasting abilities
  • It’s the heaviest medium armor
  • It’s the most expensive medium armor

DND Half Plate vs. Full Plate: What’s the Difference?

Half plate armor covers the torso and head and allows for more dexterity and movement.

It uses a version of chainmail to connect the plates, allowing the wearer to move more freely. A Full Plate provides head-to-toe protection through interlocking plates covering the body.

Here is a simple chart comparing the stat blocks of the half plate vs full plate armor:

D&D Half PlateFull Plate
AC: 15AC: 18
Cost: 750 gpCost: 1,500 gp
Weight: 40 lbsWeight: 65 lbs
Strength Requirement: NoneStrength Requirement: 15
Stealth DisadvantageStealth disadvantage
Chart: Half Plate vs Full Plate in DND

Half Plate vs. Breastplate

A breastplate offers +4 to AC, while a half plate offers +5 to AC.

However, the latter also imposes a penalty on stealth checks. So, is the extra +1 to AC worth the disadvantage?

Let’s take a closer look.

When it comes to raw AC, the half plate is clearly superior. However, the penalty for stealth can be significant in some situations.

If you’re planning on sneaking up on an enemy or stealthily tracking someone through the wilderness, the breastplate will probably be a better choice.

On the other hand, if you’re confident in your ability to avoid being seen (or you’re simply not concerned about stealth), the half plate’s extra +1 to AC could be quite useful.

Ultimately, it’s up to each individual player to decide which type of armor best suits their playstyle.

Here is a good video that goes over the basics of choosing armor in D&D:

YouTube video by Critical Role

D&D Half Plate FAQs

In this section, I want to answer some of the related questions about half plates in D&D.

Where Can I Buy Half Plate Armor?

The first option is to get or “buy” half plate from your Dungeon Master.

You can usually do this most easily when you first create your player character. Once your character has been created, you’ll probably need to move to the other options.

Another option is to purchase half plate armor from a shop that specializes in selling this type of gear.

This option is usually more expensive, but it guarantees that you will get the armor you need.

The final option is to seek out specialty half plate armor from wizards or other special armor makers. This option can be very costly, but it allows you to get unique and powerful armor that will give you an edge in combat.

How To Get Half Plate At Level 2

After the first level, you’ll most likely purchase D&D half plate at a shop or from a metal worker.

Working with your DM, you might agree on a special adventure with the end goal of your character finding or earning half plate mail.

Another potential option is to “steal” half plate mail from a slain enemy.

Why Is Half Plate Lighter Than Chain Mail?

Although it may seem strange at first glance, chain mail is heavier than Half Plate.

A closer look reveals that this is due to a large amount of padding used beneath the chain mail and not only the metal itself.

Half Plate does not require the same level of padding underneath, making it lighter in the end.

Also, chain mail covers more of your body than D&D half plate armor.

Why Choose Half Plate Over A Full Plate?

There are a couple of reasons players choose a half plate over a full plate of armor.

The first is the most obvious: price.

Half plate costs significantly less than a full plate, and it’s better to have than nothing at all. Another reason is many players prefer the look of a half plate over a full plate.

Many characters are not proficient in heavy armor.

That makes medium armor like half plate more attractive as an option.

Finally, some characters rely on stealth, dexterity, and movement in gameplay. Wearing full plate armor restricts and penalizes all of these.

Can I Remove Part Of My Full Plate To Create Half Plate?

A full plate is not designed to be made into a half plate; however, if you can find a way to create greaves, it may be possible to make your full plate into a half plate.

Most likely, this is more trouble than simply replacing your armor with a 100% new set.

What Is the Arcane Spell Failure Chance With Half Plate?

Using half plate, a spellcaster is faced with an arcane spell failure chance of 40%.

Wearing armor can restrict a magical character’s movements, interfering with spells that require somatic components.

Somatic simply means a gesture or movement.

What Is The Half Plate Hardness Level?

Half plate has a hardness level of 10.

In Dungeons and Dragons, hardness is a measure of how difficult it is to damage an object. The higher an object’s hardness, the more resistant it is to damage.

The harder a material is, the more likely it is to withstand attacks.

For example, a stone wall has a high hardness than a wooden wall, meaning it is resistant to damage from unarmed strikes and small weapons.

D&D half plates made of different materials will have a different hardness:

  • Iron or steel half plate = hardness of 10
  • Mithral half plate = hardness of 15
  • Adamantine half plate = hardness of 20

What Is The Armor Check Penalty For Half Plate?

The armor check penalty for half plate is -7.

An armor check penalty in D&D is the disadvantage you roll against when climbing, hiding, jumping, escaping, or swimming.

When swimming, you double the armor check penalty.

Therefore, if you swim with half plate, your armor check penalty is -14.

Does A Half Plate Give A Lower Armor Check Penalty?

Yes, a half plate has a lower armor check penalty than a full plate.

Here are the armor check penalties for comparison:

  • Half plate = -7 armor check penalty
  • Full plate = -8 armor check penalty

When you think about it, this difference makes perfect sense. Full plate is heavier than half plate. So, it would logically make it harder to jump, climb, or swim.

Does Half Plate Give You A Dexterity Bonus?

No, you do not get a dex bonus by using a half plate.

In fact, your max dexterity modifier is limited to +2. Unless you’re wearing magical armor, most armor is a detriment to movement and dexterity.

Does Half Plate Weigh Less Than Full Plate?

Yes, half plate weighs 25 lbs less than full plate.

Here is a breakdown of the weight difference:

  • Half plate = 40 lbs
  • Full plate = 65 lbs

Can I Modify My Dexterity While Wearing Half Plate?

Yes, you can add a dexterity modifier while wearing half plate to a maximum of +2.

Let’s say that your armor class is 15.

In this case, you can add two more points to make it an AC of 17.

Final Thoughts: DND Half Plate Armor

The bottom line is that D&D half plate is a good option for many characters in Dungeons and Dragons.

If you like to read about D&D, this site is full of good information for you.

Here are some hand-selected posts I think you’ll enjoy:

Sources

Wizards of the Coast