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I'm making an Adventurers League character. He's a fighter but I want to start him off with Medium Armor (Scale Armor) instead of Heavy Armor (Chain Mail). With my stats, the only difference between the two sets of armor is the cost and the weight of the armor. So is it within Adventurers League's rules to be able to exchange the two armor sets? I don't expect to gain gold from the exchange of armor...

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Yes, but there is a value exchange that you need to do

The AL league rules (currently at v8.2) state:

Your character may sell or buy equipment using the rules found in the Player's Handbook.

For ease, here are the related rules from the Basic Rules

As a general rule, undamaged weapons, armor, and other equipment fetch half their cost when sold in a market. Weapons and armor used by monsters are rarely in good enough condition to sell.

In your case, this is how it would work:

  1. Fighter starts off with Chain Mail (heavy). This has value of 75gp.
  2. Selling it would net you 37gp.
  3. Scale Mail shirt (medium) has a cost of 50gp.
  4. You'd need to find another 13gp somewhere in order to make this purchase.

If you can get 13gp from somewhere (possibly background), then you can do this.

AL doesn't give an option for starting wealth

The rules also state:

...don't roll for starting wealth

Choosing equipment does seem to be the limitation.

A way to finesse this to get what you want

If your background doesn't provide you with enough gp, then by picking some high cost items and selling them back, you can get what you want.

Equipment (from Basic Rules, p. 27, Fighter equipment)
You start with the following equipment, in addition to the equipment granted by your background:

  • (a) chain mail or (b) leather armor, longbow, and 20 arrows
  • (a) a martial weapon and a shield or (b) two martial weapons
  • (a) a light crossbow and 20 bolts or (b) two handaxes
  • (a) a dungeoneer’s pack or (b) an explorer’s pack
  1. Start with a hand crossbows from pick "two martial weapons", and then pick one more weapon that you want to use.
  2. Sell the hand crossbow for 37gp. This gives you enough to buy your scale mail.
  3. Pick and choose the rest of what you need, and consider selling a few things from the explorer's or dungeoneer's pack for a little more cash if there are other things you'd like.
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    \$\begingroup\$ Chainmail is worth 75gp, not 50gp. That might things a bit easier to manage. \$\endgroup\$ – Erik Mar 6 at 16:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ You might want to use two hand crossbows instead; two would sell for 75 gp. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Starnes Mar 6 at 16:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik Ack! I was looking at the shirts, not the heavy armor mail. Adjusted everything. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 6 at 17:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm making a High Elf Eldritch Knight... I don't really need the Light Crossbow and my background gives me 10 g. So I'll sell that and the bolts and get the coin I need. \$\endgroup\$ – TribalBearWarrior Mar 7 at 21:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you all for your help answering my question. \$\endgroup\$ – TribalBearWarrior Mar 7 at 21:31

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