I just started playing D&D, and I'd like to know if it is possible to add a breastplate to leather armor for an AC bonus?



Different from previous editions, armor does not give a + to AC. they set the AC to a particular value, then bonuses and penalties are applied.

Leather armor grants AC 11 (it is not a +1 to AC. It is straight 11).

Breastplate grants AC 14.

If you are a barbarian with 16 CON, you'd have AC 13 + Dex from the unarmored defense, and would not benefit from wearing leather armor.

One historical tidbit: Breastplate armor was worn over leather. It was not a hardened boiled leather cuirass like the leather armor, but a buff coat jacket.

TL;DR: Layering armor is useless for AC purposes. You would only get the biggest AC and possibly a lot of penalties.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So aside from acquiring heavier armor or magical buffs there isn't a way to increase your AC. \$\endgroup\$ – Beesinger Nov 8 '17 at 21:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ To clarify: D&D 5e Breastplate armor already includes a leather undercoat, if you read the description. \$\endgroup\$ – Alexander Dawson-Fink Nov 18 '18 at 16:28

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