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I was looking at the options I have for my Battle Smith's Infusions, focusing on the Replicate Magic Item, and noticed that one of the common magical items listed in XGE (P. 136) is called the Armour of Gleaming (which is regular armor that never gets dirty).

Given that this can be applied to any armor, that one does not need base materials to invoke this infusion, and that the Steel Defender has a Strength of 14, could I use this to grant my companion magically shiny plate mail?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Just so it's clear, are you suggesting that you could turn, say a normal suit of leather armour into gleaming plate armour for the Steel Defender? The question is sorta throwing loose with the facts and implications and it'd be useful to have the proposal fully clear. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Jun 13, 2022 at 22:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil There are two parts to my question, with the Steel Defender used for the first part just to push the narrative as far as it can go: Plate Barding having a base value of 6k gp. .. That said, the first part is my request to clarify if the lack of prerequisites for Replicate Magical Item would suggest that the artificer could craft such a valuable piece of armoury out of thin air... not even needing the leather armour you suggested. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Jun 14, 2022 at 11:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil The second part, the one focusing on the Steel Defender, was partly a confusion on the STR requirement needed, which you clarified, but also stemmed from how the infusion "Enhanced Defense" actually does have a prerequisite needing a suit of armour or shield, both of which his companion lacks. As I am building them at lvl 3, the only useful enhancement I could find to give my companion was Armour of Gleaming, which brings us back to the first part. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Jun 14, 2022 at 11:34

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DM Fiat, but a bad idea

You'd have to get buy in from your DM on whether or not you could make something for your Steel Defender. Nothing in the rules say you can't make plate armor that would fit whatever shape your Defender is. But there are some catches...

You are not infusing the Defender, you're making plate

Some players change the shape of their Defender from time to time. If you do that, you'll also have to redo your infusions. ALL of your infusions.

There is no RAW way to stop an infusion, you can only create more infusions so that you exceed the limit and cancel out the oldest. So if you need to redo the armor, you'll need to redo all of your infusions until the Defender armor is cancelled out. This may or may not be a big deal, but it is something to be aware of.

Steel Defenders are not proficient in any armor

They only have their natural armor. If you put on Plate, you invoke penalties:

Armor Proficiency. Anyone can put on a suit of armor or strap a shield to an arm. Only those proficient in the armor’s use know how to wear it effectively, however. Your class gives you proficiency with certain types of armor. If you wear armor that you lack proficiency with, you have disadvantage on any ability check, saving throw, or attack roll that involves Strength or Dexterity, and you can’t cast spells.

So while your SD now has a better AC, they suck at ability check, saving throw, and attack roll that involves Strength or Dexterity. Is the trade off worth it? I don't think so.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I didn't think armor proficiency was a thing for stat block creatures. How can I tell if such a creature has proficiency? \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Jun 13, 2022 at 22:36
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    \$\begingroup\$ Per the Monster Manual: "Assume that a creature is proficient with its armor, weapons, and tools. If you swap them out, you (the DM) decide whether the creature is proficient with its new equipment." Since the SD only has natural armor, it is VERY unlikely it would have Heavy Armor proficiency. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Jun 13, 2022 at 22:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @VictorB It's generally not super defined (ie. up the DM). See: Do monsters have proficiency with all weapons and armors? Also further bad news, plate requires Str 15 which means any such armour (which would likely fall under barding) would also reduce the defender's speed \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Jun 13, 2022 at 22:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil Ah, my bad. I thought it was a requirement of 13. \$\endgroup\$
    – Victor B
    Jun 13, 2022 at 23:05

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