For example; a +5 chest piece, +5 gloves, etc. I don't have a 5e book to use anymore, I do have a 3.5 but I don't know if the rules have changed.

  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. Once you've done that, can you tell us which system / which edition of D&D you're asking about? It sounds like you're talking about D&D 5e, but there is no such thing as +5 equipment in 5e. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 16 '19 at 19:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome, you can use the basic rules as provided on D&D Beyond, for free. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Jun 16 '19 at 20:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ What do you mean by "+5 gloves"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Szega
    Jun 16 '19 at 20:57

5th edition, just like 3.5, doesn't break armour down beyond "armour" and "shield".

A "chest piece" would be considered part of a suit of armour that has an enchantment bonus that applies to the whole suit.

Also like 3.5: Other articles of clothing, such as gloves, can be enchanted to provide some different kind of magical effect and worn with armour. They aren't considered to be part of the suit of armour. For example Gauntlets of Ogre Power increase the wearer's strength score to 19.


Under 5e the only general rules for using magic items is covered by attunement.

The Dungeon Master’s Guide pages 136 and 138:

... a creature be attuned to no more than three magic items at a time. {snip} Additionally, a creature can't attune to more than one copy of an item.

Under this general rule, you can stack as many items that grant bonuses to AC as you want, so long as they do not exceed the limits on attuned items. So if you were to find a breast plate +3, a pair gloves +3, a pair of boots +3, and a helmet +3, you could wear all of them and have a magical +12 to AC.

But it will never happen because the breastplate is the only one of those items that actually exists in this version of the game.

In 5e, even a +1 to AC is enough to make a noticeable difference in combat. +1 items are "rare", +3 items are "legendary" and should only be given to characters at the highest levels, and +5 items do not even exist. Having a +12 to AC would make for an overpowered character, which is why all of the official materials limit the types of items that give this type of AC bonus. You can get gloves that increase your strength, boots that increase your speed, and a helm that gives you telepathy but none of them will give a bonus to AC.

Items like "Gloves +3" will only exist if they are home brewed by the DM, and the DM would need also need to home brew some additional mechanism for limiting or balancing the effects of these items on their game.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Just to add to this, you can only wear as many of the same type of item as makes sense. For example, you can’t normally wear two helmets but you would be able to wear a ring on each finger. For any item which comes in pairs, such as boots or gloves, both items must be worn to give a magical bonus, only wearing one does nothing. Finally, items must be worn in the intended way to give a bonus (helmets on the head, boots on the feet etc.). At the DM’s discretion though, items may give a bonus despite not being worn appropriately. All rules found on pages 140 and 141 of the 5e DMG. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 16 '19 at 22:48

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