I think it depends on whether you want AC to be more of a class feature or more of an upgrade that players need to work for (which is what the AD&D and later games moved to). Full plate in 2E is 10k GP! There is the movement rate penalty in Basic too, but most people seem to forget about that.
Personally, I still think the cleric should be limited to chain, and thus be the “medium armor” class. See here:
Also, don’t forget about elven chain.
– Brendan 2013-06-29 16:27 UTC
Yeah, the move difference would be the main reason to use chain…also a generous DM might say Chain is a mail shirt you could remove before drowning but plate, you’d be pretty screwed, that scene from Excalibur notwithstanding.
I just like knowing I don’t need to outrun the owlbear, I only need to outrun the guys in plate…
– Mike Monaco 2013-06-29 19:14 UTC
Yeah, I try to enforce movement rates but in the simple Basic rules, all metal armor is equal when it comes to movement. I guess thinking of AC as a class feature instead of an upgrade works for me.
As for elven chain mail: in my game it doesn’t grant AC bonus but it only encumbers like leather, ie. no trouble swimming and faster than dudes in metal armor.
– AlexSchroeder 2013-06-29 21:03 UTC