Do the effects of the Thunder Gauntlets from the Armorer Artificer subclass stack with the effects of the Propulsion Armor gauntlets from the Propulsion Armor Infusion considering that they’re the same pair of gauntlets and thus a hit from the gauntlets triggers both conditions?

Some people have told me that it’s similar to AC calculations where you only choose one but that is an explicit rule for AC calculations that doesn’t have a counterpart for weapons and neither feature mentions being able to choose which effect occurs.

Also what would the damage be for a hit?


3 Answers 3


We can definitely make gauntlets having both properties.

The 9th level Armorer Artificer feature Armor Modifications states:

You learn how to use your artificer infusions to specially modify your Arcane Armor. That armor now counts as separate items for the purposes of your Infuse Items feature: armor (the chest piece), boots, helmet, and the armor’s special weapon. Each of those items can bear one of your infusions.

So we can definitely make this work.

It seems they both function.

This is congruent with the rules for Combining Game Effects, which state:

Different game features can affect a target at the same time.

Here, the target is the gauntlets, and the effects are the Propulsion Armor and Arcane Armor. We can stack different buffs on our characters, why not our armor? This should work just fine.

If they're both applying on a hit, then naturally, the damage would be 1d8 (thunder) + 1d8 (force) + int modifier, which doesn't seem terribly spectacular for a 14th level character (fire bolt the cantrip deals 3d10 at this level). Should be fine balance wise.

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    \$\begingroup\$ @Thomas_Markov I added a part asking what the damage on a hit would be, sorry if that wasn’t clear initially \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 20:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Keep in mind that thanks to the 9th level ability, the armor's "special weapon" (thunder gauntlets) can carry an infusion of its own, so the gauntlets can be a +2 weapon in addition to being a 2d8+STR thrown weapon with a special effect, and the Armorer gets two attacks per turn. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 20:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @DarthPseudonym Arcane Propulsion is the infusion being carried by the special weapon. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 20:58
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    \$\begingroup\$ @MichelleSims You are correct. The chestplate counts as your "armor" slot, so the Propulsion infusion rides there, leaving your helm, boots, and weapon (gauntlets) free for further infusion. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 21:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Oh neat. Still doesn't seem broken to me. It's good. But it isn't broken. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 21:07

They probably shouldn't "stack"

For the record, the text of the two abilities in question is reproduced here.

Guardian Armor comes with Thunder Gauntlets:

Thunder Gauntlets. Each of the armor's gauntlets counts as a simple melee weapon while you aren't holding anything in it, and it deals ld8 thunder damage on a hit. A creature hit by the gauntlet has disadvantage on attack rolls against targets other than you until the start of your next turn...

The Arcane Propulsion Armor infusion says, among other benefits:

  • The armor includes gauntlets, each of which is a magic melee weapon that can be wielded only when the hand is holding nothing. The wearer is proficient with the gauntlets, and each one deals ld8 force damage on a hit and has the thrown property, with a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet. When thrown, the gauntlet detaches and flies at the attack's target, then immediately returns to the wearer and reattaches.

Now you can clearly have both effects active at the same time there's no reason you can't infuse your chestplate with the Arcane Propulsion Armor infusion and thereby gain all the benefits of the infusion.

However, while it isn't explicit, I think "stacking" should be disallowed. I would agree with the people who compare this to an AC calculation; my reading of this is that the gauntlets have two 'modes' and you can pick which one you want to use for any given attack. In one mode, you deal thunder damage and encourage the enemy to target you; in the other you deal force damage and can make ranged attacks.

Allowing both effects at once would potentially mean your attacks deal 2d8+Int damage on a hit, which would perhaps not be entirely broken, but it seems contrary to the intent of either item.

If your intent here is to merely get your gauntlets to make 1d8-damage ranged attacks that inflict disadvantage if the target doesn't attack you, that's less broken, and while I understand what you're looking for, it doesn't seem like that should work. If nothing else, it becomes ambiguous what damage type your gauntlets actually deal in that case.

Your DM may be all right with you making rocket-punch attacks that cause the disadvantage effect, but I wouldn't allow that in my game. The simple answer is you have two weapons at your disposal, like any weapon-using character who carries a sword and a throwing axe.

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is still weaker than cantrips. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 20:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Armorers have Extra Attack, they get two shots of this every turn. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 20:59
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    \$\begingroup\$ Which is comparable to the monks 4 shots of 1d8+dex at this level. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 21:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, and you're still a spellcaster with a crap-ton of extra class features in addition to hitting harder than a monk. I smell cheese. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 12, 2021 at 21:09
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    \$\begingroup\$ I'm not sure what you mean by that. A paladin only deals the usual weapon+stat damage with their two attacks, unless they burn one of their very limited spell slots for a smite. A paladin can be reasonably expected to consistently hit twice each turn for weapon+stat each time, and a cantrip at 14th level can be expected to deal 3 dice of damage (which is roughly equivalent to 2 dice + stat). Being able to throw two attacks worth 2 dice + stat without spending any resources is pretty darn good. Like I said, it's not completely broken, but it's good enough that I'm fairly sure it's not intended \$\endgroup\$ Feb 16, 2021 at 15:27

Just to play the Advocatus Diaboli...

TBH I don't entirely know yet, how I'd DM that...

Thunder Gauntlets count each as simple melee weapons.

Thunder Gauntlets. Each of the armor's gauntlets counts as a simple melee weapon while you aren't holding anything in it, and it deals 1d8 thunder damage on a hit.

The gauntlets provided by Arcane Propulsion Armor count each as magic melee weapons.

The armor includes gauntlets, each of which is a magic melee weapon that can be wielded only when the hand is holding nothing.

So both armors give you 2 melee weapons. But none of them give you the ability to wield four weapons. So I read that RAW as you have to decide which pair of gauntlets you want to use. So EITHER rocket punch with force damage OR thunder punch with thunder damage. That might be a little harsh but an Armorer is not a damage dealer but has more in common with a classical crowd controller.

All three different readings are somewhat valid... depending on from which perspective you try to evaluate the particular wordings. After all they are two different weapons... that's the part the rules are undoubtedly clear about, but after that it's pretty much upto interpretation. Talk to your DM how to use it or if you're the DM go with anything you're cool with. In my opinion an Armorer doesn't want to deal the highest damage but to apply negative effects to enemies. An Artificer in its core is a supporting class. Yes, the Armorer is more on the damage dealing side but is still a supporter. Keep that in mind... or don't... it's your game table.

After all DnD has never been a clear ruleset (despite to some very strong opinions of the DnD-Community) and that's pretty much intentional... as written in the Dungeon Master's Guide on p.5

The rules don't account for every possible situation that might arise during a typical D&D session.

It's all up to the DM at some point... and I guess this is one of those points.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Your not wielding four weapons, you’re only wielding two because the arcane propulsion armor is your arcane armor just the same as if you made, say, adamantine armor your arcane armor. Think about it, if you made any other set of armor into your arcane armor you wouldn’t suddenly be wearing thunder gauntlets over the armors initial pair of gauntlets, the initial pair of gauntlets just become thunder gauntlets. So if you make your arcane propulsion armor into your arcane armor, then the arcane propulsion armors gauntlets will become thunder gauntlets. So you’ll only have two weapons, not four. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2021 at 5:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, then you lose your thunder gauntlets. Sorry, but I don't read it as: You now have gauntlets with 20ft reach, 2d8+IntMod damage, that gives your target disadvantage. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2021 at 5:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ What causes you to lose your thunder gauntlets? They only go away if you’re holding something in them and you aren’t. Also if a weapon has two sources of damage to it and they both proc on a hit, then they both take affect, so why wouldn’t it be 2d8 + Int? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2021 at 6:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ You don't lose them. It's a classical Artificer loophole... one of many for this sadly very poorly written class. As I wrote: IMO all possible readings are somewhat valid. Pick one, you and your DM are okay with and you're good to go. There are sadly very many contradictions within this class. And I'm afraid there is no single true answer for this question. Don't get me wrong: I love the Artificer... it's my all-time favorite class, but it needs some rule fixes or at least an appropriate FAQ... till that point you have to solve it for your table individually. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 27, 2021 at 11:38

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