Baldur's Gate


Unlike many games, the Heroes of Baldur's Gate, even the melee classes, are relatively fragile. Therefore, it becomes highly important to coble together the highest possible AC or Armor Class, to make it as difficult as possible for the baddies and beasties of the Sword Coast to land blows. The section reviews the various forms of armor, details their advantages and penalties, and provides the top examples for players looking to the end-game.

Name: Leather Armor (AC: 8)
Description: Leather Armor consists of heavy layers of boiled leather, molded and formed into a stiff, serviceable breastplate and leggings. Leather offers almost no penalties to Thief and Ranger skills, making the class of armor a popular choice for them, despite it's high AC.
Best Armor: Human Flesh +5 (AC: 3)
Effects: Armor Class +5, +4 to all saves, 20% magic resistance, only usable by evil characters.
Name: Studded Leather Armor (AC: 7)
Description: Studded Leather Armor consists of a covering of supple hide filled with hundreds of metal or bone rivets, creating a light and flexible covering that turns away slashes and stabs. Like Leather Armor, Studded Leather causes only minor penalties to a Ranger or Thief's stealth skills, making it popular choices for those classes.
Best Armor: Grandmaster Armor +6 (AC: 1)
Effects: Armor Class +6, doubles movement speed.

Name: Hide Armor (AC: 6)
Description: Hide Armor is a heavy, hair covered, un-cured animal hide, which had grown stiff and inflexible after drying. If often stinks and is covered in bugs - making it a generally um-attractive option for the socially conscious. Still, it does have a better AC than Studded and Leather Armor, although it begins to heavily penalize thief and ranger abilities to the point it is no longer an acceptable option.
Best Armor: Aeger's Hide +3 (AC: 3)
Effects: Armor Class +3, 15% resistance to cold, fire, and acid, immunity to magical confusion.
Name: Chain Mail Armor (AC: 5)
Description: Chain Mail is a type of armor made from hundreds of small interlocking metal rings. It offers a reasonable degree of protection from slashing attacks, and it's heavy under-padding is good at absorbing blows. However, solid thrusts and piercing attacks do have a tendency to penetrate. Elven Chain is a special type of Mail that's so light and flexible Bards and multi-class mages can cast spells while wearing it.
Best Armor: Aslyferund Elven Chain +5 (AC: 0)
Effects: Armor Class +5, immunity to weapons of less than +1 enchantment, casters may cast spells while wearing it.
Name: Splint Mail Armor (AC: 4)
Description: Splint Mail is a type of Oriental Armor consisting of a narrow metal bands, riveted to a backing of cloth, chain, and leather, which is then laminated. It offers reasonable flexibility, but there are few examples to be found in Baldur's Gate, and their enchantments are minimal.
Best Armor: Armor of Faith +3 (AC: 1)
Effects: Armor Class +3.

Name: Plate Mail Armor (AC: 3)
Description: Plate Mail Armor is a series of large metal plates affixes to a Chain Mail and padded backing. It is easy to wear, and provides a very good level of protection with a lesser strength requirement than Full Plate Armor. Additionally, there are some very good top-tier Plate Mail Armors, which make them an attractive choice for the end-game melee player.
Best Armor: Gorgon Plate +4 (AC: -1)
Effects: Armor Class +4, 15% resistance to fire and acid.

Name: Field Plate Armor (AC: 2)
Description: Field Plate, or Half Plate, is suit of Chain Mail, encased partially in overlapping and interlocking plates covering the chest, thighs and portions of the legs. It is a highly uncommon armor, and only a single example of it Exists in the entire Baldur's Gate series - and a player must kill a Helpful NPC to get their hands on it.
Best Armor: Mithril Field Plate +2 (AC: 0)
Effects: Armor Class +2, 50% reduced weight.

Name: Full Plate Armor (AC: 1)
Description: Full Plate Armor consists of perfectly designed metal plates that overlap one another to create a body covering exoskeleton of gleaming steel. Contrary to popular notion, Full Plate Armor is very easy to wear and maneuver in - it is essentially the pinnacle of the Armorer's art. Many of Baldur's Gate's finest Armors are Full Plate.
Best Armor: Shuruppak's Plate +3 (AC: -2)
Effects: Armor Class +3, +1 to Dexterity, 20% fire resistance.

Name: Mage Robe (AC: 10)
Description: Mage Robes are cloth garments imbued with magical energies, giving them enchanted resistance v.s. some forms of attack or energy. Since heavy armor prevents a Wizard from casting, the Robe becomes the default protection for the arcane caster. Some of the stronger robes offer enhanced AC bonuses and other special powers. While robes stink in raw defensive terms, some of their enchantments can be quite potent.
Best Armor: Robe of Vecna (AC: 5)
Effects: Armor Class +5, 10% magic resistance, reduces all spell cast times by 4.