DND: Can Druids Wear Metal? (Official Rules Explained)

Druids, known for their connection to nature, have restrictions on what they can wear.

Can Druids wear metal?

Druids in Dungeons & Dragons typically avoid wearing metal armor due to their affinity with nature. The Player’s Handbook states they “will not wear armor or use shields made of metal.” However, there’s no explicit penalty for doing so. Exceptions can be made based on Dungeon Master discretion.

Here’s everything you need to know about druids and metal in DND.

Can Druids Wear Metal? (Official Answer)

(This post may have affiliate links. Please see my full affiliate disclosure)
Digital Image of a Druid in nature - Can Druids Wear Metal
I made this image – Can Druids Wear Metal in DND?

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

This restriction is often interpreted as a strong aversion to metal due to their affinity with nature.

Druids prefer materials that are naturally sourced like hide or wood.

However, the rule doesn’t explicitly state that druids cannot wear metal, only that they will not.

This has led to much debate within the DnD community.

The general consensus is that wearing metal armor would go against a druid’s beliefs and principles, but it’s ultimately up to the Dungeon Master’s discretion to enforce this rule.

Can Druids Wear Silver?

Silver is technically a metal, but the rules around druids wearing silver are generally fuzzy.

In most DND lore, silver isn’t just considered a metal but is often linked to magical and mystical properties.

Because of this, some Dungeon Masters may allow druids to wear silver.

However, it’s essential to consider the thematic elements of a druid’s natural inclination.

In most canonical interpretations, a druid would avoid wearing silver armor just as they would any other metal.

Can Druids Wear Gold?

Much like silver, gold is also a metal, and the official rules state that druids will not wear metal.

In a strict interpretation, this would include gold.

Gold is often more associated with wealth and opulence than with nature, making it an unlikely choice for a druid even if allowed.

However, the magical properties of gold could be considered differently.

Particularly in campaigns with a strong mythological or high-fantasy setting.

Can Druids Wear Elven Chain?

Elven chain is a magical armor often made from mithral, a special, lightweight metal.

Given that elven chain is typically magical and lighter than most metals, some players argue that a druid might wear it.

It is, after all, an armor type that fits the ethereal and natural aesthetic that many druids uphold.

Nonetheless, the Player’s Handbook does not make an exception for magical or lightweight metals.

So, according to the official rules, druids would not wear elven chain.

However, as always, the Dungeon Master has the final say, and some may choose to bend this rule in the spirit of the game.

Here is a good video about Druids and metal:

YouTube Video by Nerd Immersion – Can Druids Wear Metal?

Can Druids Wear Metal Jewelry?

The official DND rules are not explicit about jewelry, focusing more on armor and shields.

However, given that jewelry is often made from metal and the druid’s general aversion to metal, it’s reasonable to assume most druids would avoid metal jewelry.

Some players and Dungeon Masters make exceptions for specific types of jewelry.

For example, jewerly with strong magical properties or deep sentimental value.

In these cases, the jewelry’s mystical aspects or emotional importance might override the druid’s natural aversion to metal.

Can Druids Use Metal Weapons?

The Player’s Handbook specifies that druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal but does not extend this restriction to weapons.

Most interpret this to mean that druids can indeed use metal weapons.

This is likely because a druid’s primary concern is their closeness to nature.

Weapons like scimitars or daggers do not encase them in metal, unlike armor or shields.

Can Druid Multiclass Wear Metal?

Multiclassing introduces an interesting dilemma.

When a druid multiclass into a class that typically wears metal armor, like a fighter or paladin, does the restriction still apply?

Personally, I like to start with the strictest interpretation of the rules.

And that means the aversion to metal remains, as it is a part of the druid’s core identity.

However, some Dungeon Masters may allow some flexibility here, especially if the character’s story justifies this shift in values.

But remember, even if mechanically allowed, wearing metal could lead to role-playing ramifications.

Especially concerning the druid’s relationship with nature.

Why Won’t Druids Wear Metal?

There are good reasons why druids may not wear metal.

Metal Is Unnatural

To druids, the natural world is sacred, and they believe in living in harmony with it.

Many metals, due to their extraction and refining processes, represent a departure from what is natural.

When metal is forged into armor or weapons, it often requires:

  • Mining
  • Smelting
  • Oher industrial processes

All of this can harm the environment.

By avoiding metal, druids make a symbolic gesture of staying connected to the raw, untouched beauty of nature.

Metal Symbolizes Man’s Attempt to Dominate Nature

Throughout history, the development and use of metal tools and structures have been symbolic of civilization’s growth and its attempt to dominate and reshape the natural world.

It’s helpful to take the perspective of a druid.

Metal could be seen as a testament to humankind’s ambition to overpower nature, rather than live alongside it.

By refraining from wearing metal, druids take a stand against this notion.

They may want to ephasize coexistence over conquest.

Damage to Fey Creatures

In many fantasy settings, fey creatures—beings like sprites, dryads, and other nature spirits—are particularly sensitive to metal, especially cold iron.

These creatures often represent the purest forms of nature.

Their aversion to metal is a testament to the divide between the natural and manufactured world.

Since druids often have deep ties to the fey realm and its inhabitants, they might avoid metal out of respect for these creatures.

And the harm it might inflict on them.

Metal Interferes with Natural Magic

Some believe that metal, especially when worn as armor, can interfere with the flow of natural magic that druids tap into.

Consider how some modern devices can be disrupted by metal interference.

The innate energies that druids channel could be seen as being “blocked” or “muffled” by metal.

Druids might prefer armor made from organic materials.

By doing this ensures that their connection to the primal forces of nature remains strong and uninterrupted.

5 Ways Druids Can Wear Metal

Let’s get creative and talk about five ways that I can imagine druides being able to wear metal.

Those five ways include:

  1. Homebrew rules
  2. Wish spell
  3. Deity intervention
  4. Magical modification
  5. Story-based exeptions

Homebrew Rules

The DM may decide to create homebrew rules that allow druids to wear metal under certain conditions.

These conditions could be:

  • Story-driven
  • Based on character development
  • Tied to in-game mechanics

For example, a druid might go through a ritual of purification to “cleanse” the metal.

Thereby, making it harmonious with nature.

Homebrew rules provide an opportunity for both the DM and players to engage creatively with the game’s mechanics.

I love flexibility and the unexpected in any campaign.

Wish Spell

The Wish spell is one of the most powerful spells in DnD, essentially allowing players to request nearly anything within reason.

A player could use a Wish spell to negate the druidic restrictions on wearing metal armor.

They might wish to be able to wear metal without facing any thematic or mechanical consequences.

However, it’s essential to note that the Wish spell comes with its own set of limitations and risks.

Miswording a wish or asking for something too grand could result in a disaster.

Therefore, using a Wish spell for this purpose should be carefully considered.

Deity Intervention

In campaigns where deities play a significant role, a druid who is particularly devout might receive divine intervention, allowing them to wear metal armor without the usual restrictions.

This could occur as a reward for completing a significant quest.

Then again, it could also come as a blessing from their deity, aligning with their goals or missions.

The inclusion of deity intervention can deepen a character’s backstory.

It can also introduce complex ethical and moral dilemmas.

Especially if the deity’s permission comes with certain conditions or responsibilities.

Magical Modification

In a high-magic setting, it’s conceivable that a spell or magical process could alter the metal armor in such a way that a druid would be willing to wear it.

For example, a spell might transform metal into a living, organic material more attuned to nature.

Or an enchanter could imbue the armor with nature-based magic.

This method can add a unique twist to the gameplay.

It might require players to seek out skilled spellcasters or rare magical components.

The quest for the magical modification could become a mini-adventure of its own.

Story-Based Exceptions

Sometimes, the narrative of a campaign or a character’s personal arc may justify breaking established rules or norms.

Perhaps a druid discovers that they are the descendant of a legendary warrior who wore metal armor.

Or the group finds a piece of ancient, enchanted metal armor that aligns with the druid’s philosophy.

Story-based exceptions can provide both character development and narrative depth.

In fact, I think they should do both..

These exceptions should be thoughtfully incorporated, serving a purpose within the story rather than merely acting as a convenient loophole.

What Happens When Druids Wear Metal?

The offiical DND rulebooks do not give any mechanical penalties for druids who decide to wear metal.

Therefore, any consequences would be thematic rather than mechanical.

A druid wearing metal might find themselves distanced from their deities or natural elements, potentially leading to role-playing penalties rather than gameplay ones.

In some campaigns, a Dungeon Master might decide to impose disadvantages.

For example, on skill checks related to nature or spellcasting as a penalty.

This would simulate the druid’s weakened connection to the natural world.

But, remember, it would be a homebrewed rule rather than an official one.

Types of Metal Druids Might Not Wear

It’s hard to remember all the different types of metal.

Therefore, here is a list I put together of many types of metal Druids will likely avoid.

This list is partially based on information gathered from epa.gov (see citations below this article):

  • Aluminum (Al)
  • Antimony (Sb)
  • Barium (Ba)
  • Beryllium (Be)
  • Bismuth (Bi)
  • Bohrium (Bh)
  • Cadmium (Cd)
  • Calcium (Ca)
  • Cesium (Cs)
  • Chromium (Cr)
  • Cobalt (Co)
  • Copper (Cu)
  • Dubnium (Db)
  • Dysprosium (Dy)
  • Erbium (Er)
  • Europium (Eu)
  • Francium (Fr)
  • Gadolinium (Gd)
  • Gallium (Ga)
  • Gold (Au)
  • Hafnium (Hf)
  • Hassium (Hs)
  • Holmium (Ho)
  • Indium (In)
  • Iridium (Ir)
  • Iron (Fe)
  • Krypton (Kr)
  • Lanthanum (La)
  • Lead (Pb)
  • Lithium (Li)
  • Magnesium (Mg)
  • Manganese (Mn)
  • Meitnerium (Mt)
  • Mercury (Hg)
  • Molybdenum (Mo)
  • Neodymium (Nd)
  • Neptunium (Np)
  • Nickel (Ni)
  • Niobium (Nb)
  • Osmium (Os)
  • Palladium (Pd)
  • Platinum (Pt)
  • Plutonium (Pu)
  • Polonium (Po)
  • Potassium (K)
  • Radium (Ra)
  • Radon (Rn)
  • Rhenium (Re)
  • Rhodium (Rh)
  • Rubidium (Rb)
  • Ruthenium (Ru)
  • Samarium (Sm)
  • Scandium (Sc)
  • Selenium (Se)
  • Silicon (Si)
  • Silver (Ag)
  • Sodium (Na)
  • Strontium (Sr)
  • Sulfur (S)
  • Tantalum (Ta)
  • Technetium (Tc)
  • Tellurium (Te)
  • Terbium (Tb)
  • Thallium (Tl)
  • Thorium (Th)
  • Thulium (Tm)
  • Tin (Sn)
  • Titanium (Ti)
  • Tungsten (W)
  • Uranium (U)
  • Vanadium (V)
  • Ytterbium (Yb)
  • Yttrium (Y)
  • Zinc (Zn)
  • Zirconium (Zr)

Note: While the list includes metals, some elements listed can also exist in non-metallic forms or be considered metalloids depending on their allotropes and conditions.

Final Thoughts: Can Druids Wear Metal in DND?

Well, there we have it, adventurers: the metallic maze of Druid dress code, deciphered.

Whether you’re team #NoMetal or considering taking that Wish spell for a fashionable spin, remember: the essence of D&D is all about creating YOUR story.

So, grab your (possibly metal) dice, give a nod to the Druidic fashion police, and forge your own path.

And hey, if you do decide to don some metal, just remember to accessorize with a touch of nature – maybe a flower crown or a wooden pendant

Happy adventuring, and may your choices always be as strong as steel (but with the soft touch of hide armor, of course)!

Related Posts:


DND Players Handbook
EPA.Gov (Types of Metal)
Heat Transfer In Industrial Combustion (PDF)