I am planning on playing a armorer artificer warforged front liner in a game with some friends of mine. I want to be able to shift between being a front liner in the guardian mode of armorer, with heavy armor on, and then use the one action don and doffing with arcane armor to switch to breastplate armor, and switch my arcane armor to the infiltrator mode so I can effectively play as a scout as well. Unfortunately, the warfored integrated armor feature means that donning and doffing armor takes one hour, which directly overlaps with the one action donning and doffing rules of the armorers arcane armor. What would you rule, and how could I find a way to quickly switch between armor sets?


2 Answers 2


It doesn't matter how Warforged and Arcane Armor rules interact, because the Arcane Armor rules won't apply to at least one step in the armor-switching process

You've got a misconception here: You can only have one suit of Arcane Armor at a time, and you must be wearing a suit of armor to change it into Arcane Armor. Even if we assume Arcane Armor rules override Warforged rules (it's not clear), if you're wearing Heavy Arcane Armor, while you can doff it as an action, you'd still have to spend the normal (for Warforged) hour donning the breastplate before you could use an action to turn it into Arcane Armor (and thereby allow you to doff it in the future as an action). When you want to switch back from the breastplate to the heavy armor, you'd doff as an action, but still need to spend an hour donning the heavy armor before it could become Arcane Armor again.

Point is, switching armor would not be a quick 3 action sequence of doff, designate new Arcane Armor, don, it would be 1 hour+2 actions to doff as an action, don over an hour, designate as Arcane Armor as an action.

Even if you weren't a Warforged (and therefore only had to spend 5-10 minutes on donning new Medium-Heavy armor), you'd still need at least an hour to switch between between Guardian and Infiltrator armor, because, per the rules for Armor Model, "You can [only] change the armor's model whenever you finish a short or long rest." You can't get around this by designating new Arcane Armor as a different Armor Model; that's not part of the Armor Model rules, only rests let you change the Armor Model. The newly designated Arcane Armor would have the same Armor Model rules as the prior Arcane Armor until you spent a rest changing it (maybe; some people on the linked question argue you'd need to rest to apply a model to new Arcane Armor, but given there's no indication of how you set the model, just how you change it, I'm inclined to assume new Arcane Armor inherits the prior model).

While short rest switches are viable, you won't be performing switches on short (less than an hour) notice; if enemies are in sight, or patrolling nearby, it's almost certainly too late to switch. It's perfectly reasonable to make a guess at what you'll need to do later that day and optimize for that (e.g. if you're performing a stealth run, switching from Guardian Plate Armor to Infiltrator Breastplate is useful), but you're likely to be less effective in at least one of those roles than a character built to optimize Guardian or Infiltrator exclusively (e.g. a pure Guardian wouldn't bother boosting their Dex much, if at all, while a pure Infiltrator would want a 14-16 Dex to boost AC in Medium Armor; feat selection would vary dramatically as well).


Switching between the arcane armor sets requires a short rest. Donning and you would need to doff the armor to gain those features.

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