The wasteland is an incredibly hostile place. If it isn’t raiders after your head, it’s ogres, mutated beasts, feral freaks or rogue robots. Along with food, water, anti-radiation medicines, and a decent weapon, protective gear can be considered one of the essentials any person should budget for when outfitting themselves for wasteland travel.

There are a number of different types of armour available which are grouped into four distinct tiers of armour, ranging from the most minimal to the toughest: light armour, medium armour, heavy armour, and power armour.

Armour can be worn in six different slots on a typical humanoid’s body: their head, their chest, their left and right arms, and their left and right legs.


Robots have the same armour slots, although in some cases they have unusual body shapes where the traditional six slots may not strictly apply. In such cases, they may still equip the equivalent of six slots worth of armour, which in a robot’s case typically represents an upgraded chassis or bolted-on plating.

Power armour can be worn by humans, medium-size artificial humans, and freaks. They can wear it on top of any other kind of armour, but the character only gets the benefit of the power armour until it is critically damaged and the armour underneath becomes exposed.

Some characters also choose to wield a shield, especially when their preferred (or only available) weapon is a melee weapon. However, shields are uncommon in the wasteland.

The Armour table shows the cost, weight, and other properties of the common types of light, medium, and heavy armour found in the wasteland.

The Power Armour table shows the cost, weight, and other properties of the common types of power armour found in the wasteland.

Armour Categories

Light armour is made from supple and thin materials, such as leather.

Although typically worn by wanderers who cannot afford better, agile characters may prefer light armour due to the fact it can be worn without sacrificing any mobility. A character can apply their full Dexterity bonus while wearing light armour. Therefore a full set of light armour is likely an optimal choice for a character with a high Dexterity bonus.

Two pieces of light arm or leg armour are treated as one piece of medium arm or leg armour (see Piecemeal Armour, below).

Medium armour offers more protection than light armour, but impairs movement more. Medium armour includes metal armour, combat armour, and armour made from the frames of old robots.

The amount of a character’s Dexterity bonus they can apply to their AC may be reduced by wearing some pieces of medium armour. A full set of medium armour is therefore a decent choice for a character with no Dexterity bonus or a Dexterity penalty, and an optimal choice for a character with only a small Dexterity bonus.

A piece of medium arm or leg armour is treated as two pieces of light arm or leg armour (see Piecemeal Armour, below).

Heavy armour offers the best protection but is bulky and far less mobile. Heavy armour is generally made from similar base materials to medium armour. It represents heavy variants of pre-nuclear combat armour as well as bulkier, tougher armours made from scrap metal and robot parts.

The amount of a character’s Dexterity bonus they can apply to their AC is reduced by every piece of heavy armour worn. A full set of heavy armour is therefore the optimal choice for a character with no Dexterity bonus or a Dexterity penalty.

Helmets are usually made of metal, fiberglass, or some similarly stiff and durable material. They are always considered light armour. Wearing a helmet increases your AC by +1.

Shields are typically made from wood, metal, or fiberglass. Wielding a shield increases your unmodified Armour Class by 2. You can benefit from only one shield at a time.

Armour and Shields
Armour Cost Armour Class (AC) Dexterity Strength Mobility Weight
Light Armour
Arm Piece 8 caps +1 per 4 pieces 1.5 lb.
Leg Piece 8 caps +1 per 4 pieces 1.5 lb.
Chest 15 caps +1 3 lb.
Medium Armour
Arm Piece 15 caps +1 per 2 pieces Max Dex -1 per 2 pieces 4 lb.
Leg Piece 15 caps +1 per 2 pieces Max Dex -1 per 2 pieces 4 lb.
Chest 30 caps +3 Max Dex -1 Disadvantage (2) 8 lb.
Heavy Armour
Arm Piece 40 caps +1 Max Dex -1 13 Disadvantage (2) 8 lb.
Leg Piece 40 caps +1 Max Dex -1 13 Disadvantage (2) 8 lb.
Chest 80 caps +4 Max Dex -2 15 Disadvantage (1) 16 lb.
Helmet 15 caps +1 4 lb.
Shield 25 caps +2 6 lb.

Armour Statistics

Armour Proficiency. Anyone can put on a suit of armour or strap a shield to an arm. Only those proficient in the armour’s use know how to wear it effectively, however. Your class gives you proficiency with certain types of armour. If you wear any piece of armour that you lack proficiency with, you have disadvantage on any ability check, saving throw, or attack roll that involves Strength or Dexterity.

Armour Class. Armour protects its wearer from attacks. The armour (and shield) you wear determines your base Armour Class. Some armour (such as light or medium arm and leg pieces) does not provide any benefit unless you are wearing multiple pieces of the same tier of armour.

Dexterity. Wearing some armour reduces the maximum Dexterity bonus you can apply to your Armour Class (if you have one).
A character who is wearing a complete set of matching armour (all light, all medium, or all heavy) and proficient with that armour ignores their Dexterity penalty.

Mobility. If the Armour table shows “Disadvantage” in the Mobility column, the wearer may have disadvantage on all Dexterity-based ability checks as well as Strength (Athletics) checks. The number of mobility impacting pieces that must be worn before the wearer suffers disadvantage is listed in brackets.

Strength. Heavier armour interferes with the wearer’s ability to move quickly, stealthily, and freely. If the Armour table shows “Str 13” or “Str 15” in the Strength column for an armour type, wearing that armour reduces the wearer’s speed unless the wearer has a Strength score equal to or higher than the listed score. The wearer’s speed is reduced by 5 feet if they are equipped with one to three pieces of heavy armour, or by 10 feet if they are equipped with four or more pieces of heavy armour.

Piecemeal Armour

A character may wear pieces of armour from different categories.

When piecemeal armour is worn:

  • 2 pieces of light arm and leg armour are equivalent to a single piece of medium arm or leg armour.
  • 1 piece of medium arm and leg armour is equivalent to 2 pieces of light arm and leg armour.

Thus, a wanderer wearing 1 piece of medium armour on their left arm and 2 pieces of light leg armour is effectively wearing either 4 pieces of light armour or 2 pieces of medium armour. Either way, that means they gain a +1 bonus to their AC.

A character combines the weight and negative modifiers of piecemeal armour worn in the same way that they would a complete set of the same armour. If even one piece of armour incurs Mobility disadvantage, it applies regardless of what other types of armour are worn.

Power Armour

See Power Armour.

Getting Into and Out of Armour

Getting into armour is referred to as donning the armour, while taking it off is referred to as doffing the armour.

Donning and Doffing Armour
Category Don Doff
Light 2 turns (12 seconds) 2 turns (12 seconds)
Medium 8 turns (48 seconds) 2 turns (12 seconds)
Heavy 16 turns (1 minute 36 seconds) 8 turns (48 seconds)
Power (Assembly Time) 16 turns (1 minute 36 seconds)
Shield 1 action 1 action

The time it takes to don or doff a piece of armour depends on the piece’s category, as shown in the Donning and Doffing Armour table. Donning and doffing an entire set of armour takes the combined time of all pieces to be donned or doffed.

Donning or doffing armour usually takes place outside of combat or other dangerous encounters (refer to the times in seconds and minutes).

If armour is being donned or doffed at the same time a dangerous encounter takes place, the following rules apply:

When donning or doffing a piece of armour requires multiple turns, the character cannot attempt to do anything else on those turns, nor can they take reactions between their turns, otherwise the process is interrupted.

If enough turns have occured to put on or retain partial armour before the process is interrupted, the character gains whatever benefits and incurs whatever penalties are associated with the number of pieces currently worn. Any additional turns taken are wasted, and the process of donning or doffing the remainder of the armour must begin again from zero.

Donning or doffing armour is completed at the end of the final turn, meaning that the character could take a reaction during the same round as long as it occurs after their turn).

Provided power armour is already on its frame and the frame has been powered with a fusion cell, donning and doffing it is as simple as stepping into or out of the suit, though it takes a short time for the frame to open. It takes 2 turns (12 seconds) for a character to enter or exit the frame. Assembling a suit of power armour onto its frame takes an equivalent amount of time to donning or doffing heavy armour.

Armour Modifications

See Armour Modifications.

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