I recently gained a Beheaded Familiar with the Improved Familiar feat. Since it has a slam attack, and is tiny, it would provoke attacks of opportunity to attack with said slam attack. Since it now has an Intelligence score, and would qualify for a feat, the DM allowed me to pick one, and I gave it Dodge (since some bonus is better than no bonus in my opinion).

Concerned Action

Since it has no body to wear armor, but it is literally a head, I decided to put a nice helmet on it. For role-playing purposes it looks more menacing. I would like to believe putting some material in between the familiar and a possible weapon is a good thing. If I look at the Beheaded; not as a creature without a body, but as a tiny creature in and of itself, the helmet-as-armor topic seems a little less trivial. I explained to my DM, that the helmet would itself be a "suit of armor" for an "exotic creature." He is now puzzled and not knowing how to make a ruling on that, since RAW, a helmet has no supported rules to dictate as such.


Since a beheaded has no body to wear armor, but is still a head and could wear a helmet, could that helmet count as armor?

  • If not, should I just concern myself with Mage Armor/Shield to increase its AC?
  • If so, what would be the AC for such an object?

1 Answer 1


Equipping a beheaded with armor for a nonhumanoid creature is legit

Instead of slapping a helmet on the floating head and leaving it to the GM to puzzle out, use the nonhumanoid column of the Table: Armor for Unusual Creatures, using the normal price and weight for the armor then applying that table's modifiers. Because it lacks any armor proficiency, the beheaded'll suffer if it wears something like full plate:

A character who wears armor and/or uses a shield with which he is not proficient takes the armor's (and/or shield's) armor check penalty on attack rolls as well as on all Dex- and Str-based ability and skill checks. The penalty for non-proficiency with armor stacks with the penalty for shields.

Also, the beheaded will likely need some assistance putting on and taking off the armor. That is, if it ever needs to.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could it earn (through XP) the ability to have an feat that covers that? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 18:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JesseCohoon So far as I'm aware, without GM intervention, only PCs gain XP. A similar idea was put forth in this question. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 18:15
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Since the OP's GM let him give the beheaded a feat, I would suggest that he switch dodge to light armor proficiency. Then he could get a tiny chain shirt (+4 ac and 2.5lbs). Alternately, he could just go for tiny leather armor (+2 ac and 1.5lbs) which doesn't require proficiency since it has a check penalty of 0. \$\endgroup\$
    – GreySage
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 19:00
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @GreySage In campaigns I DM monsters that can afford it and that lack armor proficiency typically wear masterwork studded leather because of its lack of an armor check penalty. Justifying how some monsters acquired such armor is sometimes problematic ("Who made masterwork studded leather armor for Cthulhu?"), but if the PCs ever find that guy who did, they're gonna kill the crap out of him. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 19:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @GreySage I will be "retraining" Dodge for Light Armor Proficiency after reading this answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Zangief
    Commented Jul 11, 2016 at 2:54

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