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Inspired by this question, this question and this question, I, too have been thinking about typical RPG-style magic systems.

It's a truism in RPGs (and fantasy in general) that armour and magic don't mix (fair warning: that's a TVTropes link) - that is, wizards are capable of astonishing feats of magic as long as they wear nothing more protective than robes and a pointy hat.

This is, of course, done for reasons of balance, and often handwaved away by saying that the armour is restrictive and prevents the wizards from performing the complex gestures (also a TVTropes link) necessary to cast spells.

Speaking as someone who owns a haubergeon, this blanket ban on armour (for this reason) seems at best suspect, especially given the existence of cleric-type characters. I for one would rather wear mail than robes with massive sleeves if my life depended on waving my hands about in complicated ways.

Let's assume a typical Forgotten Realms style universe, with similar magic rules to Secespitus' question, but closer to those used in the Forgotten Realms:

  • wizards draw upon magic that permeates the universe
  • They learn spells through study and on special occasions, such as reading a grimoire
  • wizards prepare spells by memorising them, and cannot cast spells without first preparing them - the memory of the spell is wiped from their mind when cast
  • They can do all of the normal things for this genre - throw around fireballs, create walls of earth, fly through the sky, etc.
  • Spells have power proportional to their caster's skill and knowledge about magic and how to use it efficiently. This can be represented by a stat like Intelligence.
  • The God(s) have nothing to do with this kind of magic (think of it as arcane rather than divine)
  • Casting spells requires the wizard to say the magic words and perform the ritual gestures (see D&D's Verbal and Somatic components, let's ignore Material components for now)
  • Wearing armour massively reduces a wizard's ability to use magic

Given the above, why would a wizard not be able to use magic while wearing armour?

I'm looking for a sensible in-universe explanation as to why armour in general would prevent a wizard from using magic while worn.

To be clear, some armour types are restrictive enough to (theoretically) cause problems - we see this IRL with things like tournament armours, but we have pictures of archers shooting in plate harness, and properly sized mail imposes virtually no restriction on freedom of movement, so a blanket ban doesn't add up.

This edit might invalidate the text of some of the extant replies, but hopefully it shouldn't invalidate the concept of any of them and narrows the scope of the question enough to be reopened.

If you're reading this and thinking of an answer based on metal interfering with the flow of mana, or armour being cumbersome and preventing the wizard from making the necessary gestures to cast their spell, please stop and consider whether you're adding anything that the fourteen existing answers on these themes haven't already added.

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  • $\begingroup$ Apologies if I overlooked, but a similar question was asked on RPG.SE a few years ago: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/21265/… $\endgroup$ – Dan Neely Dec 6 '17 at 16:57
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    $\begingroup$ Moderator note: Before answering, please make sure you're not repeating existing answers. Also, please take discussions of scope to Worldbuilding Meta or Worldbuilding Chat. Thank you. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Dec 8 '17 at 4:52
  • $\begingroup$ Having a tl;dr at the top of an answer is a nice convenience when there's only one answer to a question. But now that this question's got 30+ answers, it'd really help. $\endgroup$ – Nat Dec 9 '17 at 0:39
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    $\begingroup$ It's very much tongue in cheek. TVTropes has a reputation for being a rabbit hole - once you click on one link you'll inevitably get dragged further and further in until you've wasted hours on the site when you only wanted to read that one page. $\endgroup$ – walrus Dec 10 '17 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ the term you're looking for here is Faraday Cage $\endgroup$ – Fattie Dec 10 '17 at 21:53

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Easy.

Metal interferes with the correct and proper flow of mana. Depending on how far you would want to take things you can say wizards can't stand to be near any metal at all while spell casting, so no metal weapons either. Or you can just say that the wizard being surrounded by metal (as they would be while wearing metal armour) prevents them from properly controlling mana. So they can still use a sword if you wish.

This could manifest itself in a number of ways, perhaps the armour gets magically charged and this causes discharges of power that are very dangerous. Or the wizard just loses control of their spells due to the interference of metal and either nothing happens or the spell goes badly wrong.

Edit: I don't think the edit to the question changes this much, but the addition of the further classification of the type of magic does allow a further explanation.
Metal disrupts the Weave, causing dead zones and preventing wizards from accessing it properly and casting spells correctly.

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  • $\begingroup$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Dec 8 '17 at 4:48
  • $\begingroup$ +1 This is actually an explanation that's well used across multitudes of different RPG's and it always felt like one that made a lot of sense to me. $\endgroup$ – Cronax Dec 8 '17 at 16:38
  • $\begingroup$ Iron and/or steel armor may interfere with magic use but leather armor is available. It's lightweight, offers some protection, and is not that restrictive. $\endgroup$ – Yoshi Bro Dec 9 '17 at 3:57
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    $\begingroup$ You could also wear a leather robe. There must be some kinky mages around. $\endgroup$ – Yoshi Bro Dec 9 '17 at 4:05
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    $\begingroup$ A slight modification would be that the metal doesn't interfere with magic, but it accumulates the magical equivalent of static electricity. And you don't want to see what happens when that static is discharged. $\endgroup$ – Wasabi Dec 10 '17 at 2:09
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Wearing armor is a skill. Just strapping armor on someone who isn't physically fit, doesn't have the callouses, muscle strength, and proper reflexes means the armor is worse than useless. It will actively impede their movement, make them fatigued, and distract them from the fine concentration necessary to cast magic. While warriors are wearing armor, getting it properly fitted, and tuning their bodies for it, magicians are studying. If a mage were to spend time practicing in armor then they would miss out on spell study. Just having armor on, with no knowledge of how to move in it, use it to block hits, or the stamina to wear it for long while running around won't lead to the "armor class improvement" seen in game systems.

Several RPG systems accommodate this "resource management" concept. DnD 5e, for example, has NO ARMOR RESTRICTION for magic use, provided they have proficiency in that armor. But will a mage character spend a precious skill on armor instead of a more directly useful magic feat? So "in universe" you can effectively prevent mages from wearing armor while casting without having to require it interfere with magic casting directly. Even boiled leather or quilted armor, while not that bad when wearing it in the comfort of your house, quickly becomes a big nuisance when you wear it all day tramping through the woods. Distractions are death for mages...

To address some of the comments to my answer, I believe in a RPG system, armor class is more than just passive resistance. Sure, you could drape a chainmail shirt over someone and presumably it may protect from an arrow hit (kind of like how journalists or prisoners wear ballistic armor today) but in a fight being unfamiliar with wearing armor means you won't react appropriately. Movies love to show a belly slash with a sword against someone wearing mail as being a lethal attack, but in reality that would be worse than useless as it would just dull your sword edge. A warrior would know this and not defend against a belly slash and instead strike, but a mage may not and would instinctively react to protect their belly even though they didn't need to. So this is why wearing armor may not increase your armor class without training, so why bother?

Armor has to be tailored to the individual for full mobility. Mail shirts are not one size fits all. They have specific expansion areas in the shoulders to allow for the arms to swing, they are tapered in areas so they don't have excessive weight. Rigid armor sets are even worse, they need to be tightened in specific ways and are usually worn over a bulky padded underlayer. You can't just pick a set off the shelf, strap it on, and go for a jog. So a mage unfamiliar with wearing not just armor, but a specific set of armor, is gonna find that a certain set of gestures won't work while casting a spell in combat to potentially disastrous results. The risk/reward ratio is in favor of no armor.

Clearly things like bulky winter clothing shouldn't interfere with spell casting (unless you really want to penalize casters) so there is a bit of handwaving. Though presumably folks in cold climates have their winter clothes and have practiced in them, modifying jackets and such to allow for proper spell casting. Maybe this is why wizards are always shown wearing robes! The least restrictive clothes to allow for the precise gestures and movements required. But unless casting spells involves yoga positions or something similar it is a little bit of a logic tweak to say that padded or leather armor will interfere with casting but a heavy woolen jacket wouldn't.

So I'd say that a caster in fitted leather armor could still cast spells, but wouldn't know how to fight in leather in order to receive an AC bonus. This could apply to fitted plate armor as well. You could spend a day and a bunch of money getting it custom fit, but without years of fighting practice a wizard in plate is barely more protected than one not in plate as the weight of plate would throw off their reactions, make them easy to knock over, and they wouldn't know which vulnerable areas to protect and what areas they can use to block an attack. Add in the possibility of messing up a spell due to the armor and it becomes obvious that casters, unless they are of a specific battle mage school, should forego armor if they have any intention of casting.

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    $\begingroup$ Best answer in my opinion, as it's rooted in real-world common sense. Intel analysts don't become soldiers just because you slap bullet-resistant armor on them. Such modern armor can easily weight 40-50 lbs (~20kg), not including a rifle, a sidearm, a couple hundred rounds of ammo, and additional ruggedized equipment. It takes intense physical training to carry that kind of load at all, much less sprint when your life is in danger. Requires no modification to magic system or worldbuilding explanation. $\endgroup$ – automaton Dec 6 '17 at 19:09
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    $\begingroup$ "A full suit of plate armor would weigh 15-25kg" en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plate_armour I guess it really depends on your definition of encumber and what situations you would be expected to perform in $\endgroup$ – automaton Dec 6 '17 at 20:23
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    $\begingroup$ You could get around this by incorporating a very simple training technique: "Welcome to wizard school. Don't take off this hauberk until you have graduated." Now you have a bunch of Wizards that are fully accustomed to wearing nothing but life-saving armor in every situation. $\endgroup$ – Mad Physicist Dec 6 '17 at 22:32
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    $\begingroup$ The distraction, fatigue, and simple irritation such armor would cause may drop the "grade" of wizards produced by that school, or change it's demographics. Westpoint Wizard Academy might produce better warmages, but Harvard Magician School graduates get all the cushy court-wizard positions. $\endgroup$ – ench Dec 7 '17 at 0:56
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    $\begingroup$ Oddly, I actually have a fair bit of experience moving and fighting in armor. (aclknights.com) My kit, at the low end of average, is 60lbs, and it has taken constant work and conditioning to be able to move and fight freely in it. To travel and fight in it CONSTANTLY, as does your average fantasy fighter would absolutely be a full time job, and leave no time to study. Far better to eschew any conditioning for you mages, and allow them to focus on maximizing their arcane potential. $\endgroup$ – ThunderGuppy Dec 8 '17 at 18:40
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A wizard wearing armour is a disgrace – it suggests his magic is poor.

Regardless of how good his magical defences actually are, relying on armour makes him look weak – and thus, regardless of anything else, no-one will hire him.

Perhaps this even extends to undermining his own confidence, rendering his spells weak?

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    $\begingroup$ i like this answer because it's in-universe and only expands on the lore without expanding on the defined magic-system of OP (except the last line maybe...) $\endgroup$ – Brian H. Dec 5 '17 at 15:07
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    $\begingroup$ This is a great explanation for the prevalence of 'iron skin' spells that create magical armor in many games and settings. Wizards are not only weak physically, but also stereotypically haughty because of their magical prowess, "I don't need your mundane armor... I will create my own in the moment when it's called for". $\endgroup$ – TylerH Dec 5 '17 at 15:20
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    $\begingroup$ IMO this is a weak explanation for a wizard not being proactive in preserving his own life. Also not universally applicable in a good story, as wizards without (very stereotypical) personality flaws like pride or superiority complexes are walking plot holes. A weak-looking wizard is better than a dead wizard! $\endgroup$ – automaton Dec 6 '17 at 19:16
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    $\begingroup$ @automaton. Not to mention that they wouldn't look weak after a generation or so when survival rates began to speak for themselves. $\endgroup$ – Mad Physicist Dec 6 '17 at 22:28
  • $\begingroup$ This would be a very good explanation for a particular culture, especially one of the ancient and rigid ones we so often find in Fantasy. $\endgroup$ – ench Dec 7 '17 at 0:53
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Here is a fun folklore based reason.

The bane of all fairy magic is Cold Iron. It comes up a lot in folklore and some think it might be the source of a horse-shoe for luck. It might have been the only bit of decent cold iron that a peasant might be able to get their hands on.

Anyway, this root of folklore plays into a lot of modern fantasy works with iron having all sorts of effects on magic from an inconvenience to the Fey up to warping the effects of all magics. it all kind of depends.

So here is a structure that is logical:

Magic is Energy! Somewhat but not entirely like electricity. Like electricity, magic will try to go to a ground or earth plane. That means the presence of large amounts of sheet metal, like plate armor, would act like a ground plane and disrupt subtle spells

The more subtle and complex the magic is, the smaller amounts of metal you can be near without the effects becoming harder and harder to cope with. Think in terms of Radio Antenna design. For faint signals you need precise design and as my uncle the engineer (who built them) it became more of a black art than science.

So your mage, when young, deals with big whomping spells and as he progresses has to be more and more aware of the metals around him. Armor would simply get in the way of the magic and become more hassle than it's worth.

Besides, if you are tossing lightning about, a big metal shell is not the greatest idea.

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    $\begingroup$ 'Besides, if you are tossing lightning about, a big metal shell is not the greatest idea.' Michael Faraday disagrees: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage $\endgroup$ – M.Herzkamp Dec 5 '17 at 15:02
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    $\begingroup$ @M.Herzkamp so, instead of lightning going through you, it goes around you. But it still heats up your armor. And you also provide the path of least resistance for bolts for which you didn't before. Plus, these things are really bright. Is it better to be incinerated on the spot, or to be blinded and then cooked alive? $\endgroup$ – John Dvorak Dec 5 '17 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ You are now completely cooked and are in your own easy to dispose of foil wrapper. $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI Dec 5 '17 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ According to the Romans, iron was anti-magic in general: all spell components had to be gathered without being touched by iron, or the magic would be ruined. Lucan describes a necromancer commanding wolves to separate body parts for reanimation, to avoid touching the flesh with iron. $\endgroup$ – Draconis Dec 5 '17 at 15:41
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    $\begingroup$ @MadPhysicist the "black art" thing was my uncle's words. He designed antennae while at Sandia National Labs in the 60's and 70's, when slide rules were the dominant technology (computer time was expensive). He showed me the math once when I was in high school. It made my eyes water and the phrase stuck with me. :) No, I'm not directly in the sciences, I didn't have the math. I went with information systems $\endgroup$ – Paul TIKI Dec 7 '17 at 14:19
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Metallic armor acts like a Faraday cage for magic. (I.e. won't allow the power to get in.) A Faraday cage prevents outside electromagnetic energies from entering the cage. In this case, the magi would be inside the chain mail metal suit, which would make a perfect Faraday cage.

There are you-tube videos of people wearing chain mail suits while Tesla coils send out jillion volt lightning bolts all around them, even striking the armor. So if the process of generating the power to create the magic came from some form of electromagnetic energy (drawing lightning from the sky, for instance) the chain mail would prevent it from reaching the magi in order to be harnessed.

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    $\begingroup$ @Justin That was a pretty big edit. Normally that would be left to the OP. For example you erased his point about the clerics. This is more like your answer now, instead of the OP's. See for example this discussion. (I feel the answer would have been okay already with removing the "joke answer" part that makes it look like a comment, even if it was a bit short.) $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Dec 8 '17 at 20:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Secespitus Perhaps I didn't understand the concept of 'enhancing and fleshing out' the answer to give it more substance, given that it was challenged as being a marginal answer. The original answer did not clarify WHY a Faraday cage would limit the ability to do magic. The bit about the cleric I thought was irrelevant. The OP does not elaborate on clerics either way when it comes to wearing armor. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme Dec 9 '17 at 1:45
  • $\begingroup$ If wearing metallic armour didn't allow the power to get in then anyone wearing armour would be immune to spells cast on them... Also, in typical (D&D-type) RPGs clerics can wear armour, which is why OP put them as the opposite example for magic users who can still wear armour. $\endgroup$ – Real Subtle Dec 9 '17 at 12:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Real Subtle The bit about the clerics seemed to me to be superfluous and distracting, but perhaps it wasn't. The answer did mention that clerics get their power from a divine source, which is apparently different from magi who get their power from the world without. But as I understood your reference to the Faraday cage, it was not magic getting OUT but the power to do it getting IN, based on the reference to clerics getting their power from the divine source. Thus, a Faraday cage would not interfere with the magic itself, once it was produced. $\endgroup$ – Justin Thyme Dec 10 '17 at 15:10
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Not all magic is incompatible with all armour. Nature magic and leather armour are fine as the druids and shaman will explain. Holy magic has no problem with full plate as any paladin will tell you.

The problems are frost, fire, and necromancy.

There are some obvious factors. Metal is heavy, mages tend to spend more time in the library than the gym and hence would have some considerable trouble moving around in 40lbs of armour.

There are some secondary factors for frost and fire. Metal is a really good conductor of heat and often doesn't respond well to extremes of temperature. Some metals freeze and shatter, or contract excessively when cooled. Others will go soft at high temperatures and become useless as armour.

The mage would certainly be more comfortable with better insulation rather than the extra weight of shattered half melted metal, and that's before even being hit by anything.

Necromancers are an entirely different game from your average frost and fire mages. Necromancy just doesn't work if you don't look cool enough. It's all about those robes, gotta look good.

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  • $\begingroup$ And when casting fire spells the robe doesn't catch fire because... ? $\endgroup$ – M.Herzkamp Dec 5 '17 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ @M.Herzkamp, it's asbestos $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Dec 5 '17 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ @TylerH, they're mostly going to get heavy metal poisoning courtesy of a sword to the gut before they get a chance $\endgroup$ – Separatrix Dec 5 '17 at 15:19
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    $\begingroup$ @M.Herzkamp Ah, a child of the polyester age! While natural fibers can be consumed when exposed to flame, they don't generally maintain that flame when the source is removed. $\endgroup$ – tjd Dec 6 '17 at 13:30
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    $\begingroup$ I like the "mages tend to spend more time in the library than the gym". Mages don't wear metal armor because they are nerds. $\endgroup$ – Asoub Dec 6 '17 at 15:11
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So no answer can be "in universe" or this question should be closed as that is purely the problem of the universes creator.

Aside from that,

One mythological look at magic, particularly fairy lore poses the notion that processed iron can hurt/trap/dispel fairies.

There isn't ever an explanation for this however I always viewed it as:

  • magic comes from nature
  • metals are produced by processing 'perceivably' immortal natural objects into solid man made forms

so its this corruption of an immutable natural form that gives iron (as well as any metals of your choosing)its anti-magic properties.

By this explanation it justifies why mages wouldn't wear metal armor and why they tend to wear leather armor. If you were a mage you would want your fireballs to be as strong as possible.

Concurrently, this also explains why metal armor is able to resist magical attacks as well as they do. Like how the heck does a knight survive a full blown lightning strike?

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  • $\begingroup$ This is more or less the original reasoning behind the issue, so +1. Note that gold and silver exist naturally and are generally exempt or just special. Same with telluric or meteoric iron. $\endgroup$ – Ville Niemi Dec 6 '17 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Neat detail on the folklore. Faraday cages are magic indeed: +1. A knight in a lightning strike would be pretty much completely safe as long as he is standing on the ground, and probably OK sitting on a horse (which would not be so OK). I wonder what would happen if the knight was not properly grounded, like if he was jumping through the air (with 200lbs armor, in the rain, I know) or standing on an insulating platform of sorts. He still probably wouldn't be electrocuted directly, but I would expect at least significant burns from the heat buildup before the insulator breaks down. $\endgroup$ – Mad Physicist Dec 6 '17 at 22:46
  • $\begingroup$ @VilleNiemi with Gold, Silver, and Meteoric Iron, it has to do with the rarity an associations with magical energy. Meteors are considered magical. Silver is associated with the moon (and its magic), gold with the sun. $\endgroup$ – Aviose Dec 11 '17 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ +1 Additionally, Iron itself was associated with Mars (and fire, passionate emotions, war, protection, etc.) This may have some relevance to the topic of metals and what their associations are. As for your answer, it justifies the use of Leather armor, but typically speaking the trope that the OP was referencing, even Leather armor is eschewed. I do like your answer, but with Ville's comment I figured it was worth adding a little bit. $\endgroup$ – Aviose Dec 11 '17 at 14:42
  • $\begingroup$ Or in d20 speak, all mages are really druids. :) $\endgroup$ – gmatht Jan 3 '18 at 10:51
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Casting spells is incredibly physically taxing. Every spell is, to borrow terminology from the fitness world, like trying to lift your one rep max weight while doing partial differentiation and singing the alphabet backwards in Urdu Wearing armour compounds this problem - it's a struggle to stay on your feet while casting in light clothing, and anything heavier than a tunic is just too much for most wizards (who, after all, don't tend to be the most physically fit people around).

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    $\begingroup$ This isn't a good argument. Fighting with sword or bow is also exhausting, but people still prefer being tired in armour over being dead. Wizards would spend more time doing cardio if wearing armour would keep them alive. $\endgroup$ – Erik Dec 5 '17 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Erik I've clarified my answer. The limitation I'm trying to get at is more of a single time effort rather than an endurance problem. Of course, wizards could still spend more time in the gym, but that only helps so much. $\endgroup$ – walrus Dec 5 '17 at 15:18
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    $\begingroup$ The problem with this answer is that in most RPGs there are stats to govern physical endurance - typically strength or constitution. Explaining the restriction as a physical aspect raises the question why, for example, a wizard with 18 CON is no more able to wear armour than one with 7. $\endgroup$ – DaveMongoose Dec 7 '17 at 11:58
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If you don't need to worry about it for reasons of balance (which I'm going to assume is the case since you're asking here and not the RPG.stack) why not put the cart before the horse.

Wizards eschew armor because it's frivolous

Any wizard worth their salt doesn't bother with armor because their magical protection is inherently superior to any armor. Instead they wear what is comfortable.

A new apprentice who still hasn't mastered basic protection spells might need to wear armor while learning them or practicing combat magic.

This has also led to a bit of a stigma on wearing armor; If a wizard is wearing armor most other wizards (or in the know folk) will assume she hasn't mastered protection spells yet, so a prideful mage may go unarmored even when they haven't quite mastered protection spells to avoid the embarrassment of others learning of their lack of skill.

Finally most opponents won't even try to stab a wizard without some sort of magical blade, due to the potentially lethal nature of common magical defenses which leads to some perfectly capable, but slightly lazy wizards not bothering to cast their magical defenses every day (security through obscurity).

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  • $\begingroup$ Any wizard worth his salt will be darned impressed when he sees a wizard wearing dragon mail (especially of the silver kind), knowing how hard it is to come by! $\endgroup$ – RonJohn Nov 23 '18 at 22:02
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Armour is heavy. If you've ever worn a chainmail top, you'll know.

Becoming a wizard requires massive study and devotion to books, resulting in wizards being physically weak because they can't devote time to training. Magical handwaving if needed – perhaps mental training for magic takes the nourishment from muscles.

Thus wizards just don't have the strength to wear decent strong (and therefore heavy) armour.

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    $\begingroup$ OP already said he owns a chain-mail top ( haubergeon) and he disagrees with you on that point. $\endgroup$ – Mołot Dec 5 '17 at 14:47
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    $\begingroup$ @Mołot it's not that I disagree per se; armour is heavy, but not all armour is heavy enough to cause problems. (my mail shirt weighs a little under 9kg, for example) The bit about mental training touches on a similar concept to my answer, and might be a better basis for an answer. $\endgroup$ – walrus Dec 5 '17 at 14:57
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    $\begingroup$ They should be able to don it though. E.g. here 1HP wizard, please done this heavy suit with out help and sit on the wagon (or lie down on it), while we ride the wagon to the healer. Been there. Done that in D&D. (No attempt to cast or do anything but lie was made). $\endgroup$ – Hennes Dec 5 '17 at 15:00
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It interferes with their daily routines

Wizards have various rituals that they must perform in order to fully master their spells. Wearing armor takes practice and time, it interferes with certain rituals, it's heavy when you have to carry it around and it shows that you are dangerous and prepared for a physical confrontation when all you want to do is look harmless until someone turns his back to you, which allows you to throw a ball of fire at him.

Wizards just find wearing armor inconvenient. It doesn't offer anything their magic wouldn't offer and it's far too much of a hassle when thinking about what they have to do to stay as strong as they are on a mental level. Everything that needs some concentration needs to be eliminated - you don't want that Fireball to explode in your face, do you?

By sticking to routines, rituals and rules your wizard stays mentally capable of casting spells throughout the day - wearing armor is something that interferes with this concentration, which is very dangerous when wielding power that is normally beyond humans.

If your wizard is not careful and doesn't perform his daily rituals his magic might not work the way he wants it to work in a critical moment, leading to his death. And death is not a good thing for most wizards - at least if they are the ones who die.

You need to provide an incentive to not wearing armor by making it affect the areas where your wizards are especially good.

If you need different types of mages where some are capable of using armor and others are not you could vary the kind of rituals. A war mage might in fact need to spend at least 4 hours every day in full plate armor. It's what he always does, it's what feels natural. It helps him concentrate and brings him into a mental state where he is able to quickly react to any danger. When he takes off the armor he suddenly feels all the tiredness of the day and becomes far less capable of using his magic. But war mages are not wizards - that's why war mages need to wear armor, while wizards can't wear armor if each one wants to be capable of using his magic.

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Magic as a Mystical Energy

Magical Energy has problems transmitting through non-natural sources. Anything processed can provide problems, interfering with magic by either preventing it from happening, or altering the magic itself. What happens depends on the material, but a few possible guidelines help:

Ferrous Metal

Metal based armors absorb magical energy, as they conduct energy efficiently in any form. Due to this, metal armor causes the energy to course over it, losing focus and potency in the circuit of the armor and caster until it loses almost all power. The chance of being able to cast through this is low. Weight can also cause concentration issues.

Animal Hides/Leather

Hides and leather, however, are the remains of dead animals. This taints the magic, causing it to either carry traces of necromantic energies, or the energy of the creature itself.

In some very specific cases, armor like this could be beneficial, but only if it is a rare creature of magical energy, and only if the caster only wants to cast one type of spell (that associated with the creature's energy). The armor still causes the spell to lose power, and thus have a chance of not working, but is also tainted by the energy of the creature the skin came from.

Natural Fibers

Natural Fibers that are not mixed fabrics allow the caster to have the least interference in their casting, thus allowing them to channel properly. Magical energy passes much more easily through cloth than through animal remains or metal, and that energy isn't altered. This allows easy casting that follows the intent of the caster.

Bonus feature: Power Foci

Focusing power through objects such as wands is deliberate. The wand is typically made out of conductors made of animal remains or metal because then the downsides of armor can be focused as positives, by conducting the power to a singular point of focus. They can still flavor the magical energies, but when deliberate and focus-able, it allows more control over the shift in energy.

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    $\begingroup$ "tainted by the energy of the creature the skin came from.": This suggests leather armor could create some amusing cow-oriented misfires when the spell doesn't work. $\endgroup$ – Paul Johnson Dec 10 '17 at 18:09
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This answer is inspired by a line in Dan W's answer.

In short: It is all about confidence.

Magic is supernatural. Yes, in this universe the magical energy is part of the world, but fireballs don't just spontaneously erupt from the sky. Using the energy allows you to break the normal physical rules of the universe, it allows you to change causality. Breaking the normal physical rules requires not just that you say the right words, and perform the correct gestures, but that you actually believe that the ritual will have the intended result, and that you personally can control causality. It requires suspension of disbelief. Any doubt weakens or completely undermines the casting. A skeptic performing the ritual with technical perfection but not believing it will do anything will produce no results.

With this in mind, besides the potential for the armour physically getting in the way of the gestures, there is nothing about armour that is technically incompatible with magic. However wearing armour still weakens a practitioner for two reasons, both of them are psychological:

  1. Armour is a tool to mitigate risk of harm. Wearing armour is an implicit acknowledgement of that risk, thus on a subconscious level undermines the belief that you are in control. If you were confident you were in control, then you are not at risk and wouldn't need protection. Wearing simple robes is acceptable because that isn't about protection or control, it is about modesty and keeping up cultural norms.
  2. Culturally people are taught from a young age that wearing armour is incompatible with casting spells, it has become part of the zeitgeist, it is accepted lore. As such it is an integral component of the wizard's belief system. They believe wearing armour will undermine their ability and so it does.

Note that since this explanation is entirely mental, it allows for exceptions!

  • In a culture where everyone wears armour, not for protection, but for style, or tribal identity, or rank, then 1 won't apply. (2 might or might not still apply depending on the details of the culture)
  • In a culture without 2, 1 would still apply if the armour is worn for protection, but an individual might don the armour for another reason:
    • "This was my mother's, I wear it out of sentiment."
    • "This stuff is heavy, wearing it at all times helps keep me at peak physical condition."
  • Even in a culture with 2, some individuals can still get away with wearing armour as long as they were not wearing it for protection:
    • One might learn that 2 isn't actually the case. If they were confident enough in their skills, they could wear it as an intimidation tactic: "I am so powerful the normal rules do not apply to me. Tremble in fear." (Note: They know they are not actually special, but it is useful to have others believe it to be so.)
    • One could become deranged and actually believe that armour and magic are still incompatible for normal people, but I'm special. They then go on wearing the armour as proof of their special status.
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  • $\begingroup$ Note that it doesn't have to be about confidence. If magic is an unnatural force that bends the fabric of reality, perhaps is also corrupting/addictive/whatever. Wizards could simply be too drunk on power to consider the possibility that a sharpened lump of metal could hurt them... Fools! Even after so many of there fellow wizards have fallen before them! Myself, on the other hand am the master of all four elements and don't wear armour because none would be foolish enough to oppose my tyrannical reign! Bwahahahaha! $\endgroup$ – gmatht Jan 5 '18 at 8:16
  • $\begingroup$ @gmatht the question was all about why would wearing armour hinder magical ability. How does thinking you are invulnerable make armour hinder your magical ability? $\endgroup$ – Mr.Mindor Jan 5 '18 at 16:19
  • $\begingroup$ Well the question was "why would a wizard not be able to use magic while wearing armour?" Certainly one reason for this would be if armour prevented spell casting; the other reason would be if spell casting prevented the wearing armour. In cyberpunk getting getting augmentations drops Humanity, and can lead to cyber-psychosis. Perhaps the first symptom of arcane Humanity loss, triggered by drawing enough power for even the smallest cantrip, is a compulsion to remove armour before anything else. $\endgroup$ – gmatht Jan 7 '18 at 12:16
  • $\begingroup$ @gmatht Oh, I think I see what you are saying... It isn't that wearing armour make your magic ineffective, it's that the magic itself drives you to away from armour. This is interesting, but I think it deserves it's own answer. Though both are psychological in nature, the compulsion is a psychological change induced externally, where confidence is internal based on the individual's world view. $\endgroup$ – Mr.Mindor Jan 8 '18 at 15:00
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I've been beaten to the punch regarding the "iron has anti-magic properties" thing so instead, here's an alternate explanation based on one of the other rules:

You can throw around fireballs, create walls of earth, fly through the sky, ...

If you can create walls of earth, do you need armour? Incoming arrow? Block it with a wall of earth. Incoming fireball? Wall of earth. Incoming sword? Maybe a smaller, well-placed pillar of earth to knock the guy's sword arm out of the way.

Alternately, maybe a "Shield" spell exists, that creates a protective sphere around the caster. It would take mana to maintain, and more while it's under attack, but it would protect the caster from any and all attacks (and could be one-way so they can fire attacks out of it). A wizard who can cast a Shield spell or Wall of Earth spell might not think armour is necessary, regardless of whether it would reduce their magic ability or not.

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  • $\begingroup$ But you need to prepare the spell in this universe. You'd have to be a different kind of wizard to be able to react to incoming arrows by reading a spell and carrying it out in time. $\endgroup$ – Mad Physicist Dec 6 '17 at 22:49
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Arcane magic involves drawing energy into your body from the world around you. Wearing something as solid as metal armor is to magic what wearing something over your nose and mouth are to breathing. You can deal with having your nose blocked if your mouth is free - so rings and pendants and the like aren't a major problem - but if you have your mouth blocked and need to pant, you're going to have a bad time, and so too if you're wearing a breastplate. Maybe some people can train themselves to work under those conditions, maybe no one can. Maybe some special material - like what we use for a surgeon's mask in our analogy - can be created to enable you to draw energy in...but maybe no such material exists that's both protective and allows that. Or maybe a spellsword can just learn how to draw energy differently, like a person can learn to breathe circularly or something.

There are all kinds of different degrees that you could take here, too. Maybe even a ring or pendant is a little problem, if it's not specially enchanted to not obstruct the flow of magic. Maybe that same enchantment could be applied to armor if you could get someone capable of casting the spell that much despite an inverse economy of scale - or maybe that's not possible at all.

And if you want these same principles applied to other types of armor, it may be that it's not the presence of metal but the presence of any kind of thoroughly-air-obstructive or insulating material. Maybe wizards DON'T wear thick robes in this world, or those thick robes are pushed aside by wind produced by drawing energy in, in a way that leather or metal armors aren't. In fact, maybe robes provide a sort of 'wind tunnel' effect to amplify the caster's ability to draw magic in!

This mechanism also adds a neat approach to the lore behind retaining spells. Maybe the spells that you 'memorize' are actually just precast, and their energy rests against your body until you summon them forth. You can recognize a high-level wizard because there seems to be a slight wind going through his robes at all times, and you see a magical spark-light effect if he holds a shield for too long as the energies struggle to escape him and are aided by the shield's interference.

Oh, and as for other types of magic? Clerics don't draw magic in through their bodies, they're given it by their gods, sort of like they have a breathing tube. And druids, if we want to allow them leather, have a more efficient mechanism of drawing magic that isn't blocked by non-metal armor, but only allows them to draw in very specific types of magic that can permeate through leather. Or maybe the druids ask the energy to join with them, and the energy itself tries to get through the leather, adding more force to get around it or something. Still wouldn't work for heavier armor, but that could theoretically get around some leather. If we hand-wave away how rigid leather armor generally actually is. xD

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Spellcasting has side effects

No mage is perfect. No spell is perfectly controlled - which means that every time they throw a spell around, the mage is also releasing chaotic secondary effects out into the immediate space around them. Those effects are really rough on things like heavy armor, often reducing it to an unusable state after only a day or two of a standard adventurer's workload of spellcasting. Higher-powered mages can afford this better, but they also throw around more powerful spells, which means it tends to happen (much) faster. Thankfully, mages have figured out a few relatively straightforward enchantments for making robes self-repairing, but no such enchantments have been discovered for the heavier armors. Also, if a fight happens, you might want to give the wizard some room. Just saying.

Basically, while they technically could wear armor, it's not worth it for the sheer cost of keeping the stuff repaired... and that means that it's not worthwhile for the mages to learn to wear the armor properly in the first place. Also, while the mage is protected from the direct effects of his spell's spillover, he isn't protected from the spillover. Independently wealthy mages have worm plate in the past. Independently wealthy mages have also died a time or two in the past when their armor got warped by spacial magic into a cage of inward-pointing spikes.

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The necessary gestures are precluded by protection.

In some worlds, armor interferes with all magic, hence the answers talking about Faraday cages and magical charge. In earlier editions of D&D, armor specifically interfered with somatic components, the gesture part of a spell, but not with purely verbal spells. Additionally, not all armors are metal, and hide armor can still can interfere with spells.

Given this, I like the idea that the act of protecting yourself is what interferes with magic. How does this work? The more armor you wear, the more likely that a given body part you might need to "open" up to the ether via gesture to draw power is covered and less likely to get you into the proper position to complete a spell.

For example, perhaps your spell gestures require you to place your hand on a central chakra/chi node/magical organ, simply, you gotta touch your chest. Wearing armor means you can't effectively complete this gesture, and even some thick leather might occasionally catch you up in the complex act of tapping into arcane energies.

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Balance is in-universe.

This is, of course, done for reasons of balance ... I'm looking for a sensible in-universe explanation.

Note that in fantasy settings there frequently are beings with powers beyond that of the gods. They may be called "Eru", "Ao" or "Dungeon Master"; in any case they are beyond caring for the worship of mortals, and care mainly for maintaining a form of balance. This balance allows for at least limited free will. It is in their interest to ensure that the the universe is not dominated forever by a single wizard with mind control and necromancy powers. Thus they shape the arcane powers to give wizards at least one Achilles heel, so there is always hope that such a tyrant would be overthrown.

Although wizards draw on the arcane power created by the overdeity, they have no need to pray. Indeed they only depend on the overdeity for arcane power in the same way a fighter depends on the overdeity for the existence of iron (or food and water). Never-the-less the rules of reality that so limit wizards were created by an overdeity with an explicit interest in balance.

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There's nothing forbidding a caster to wear heavy armor... unless they want to boil inside the breastplate.

That's because channeling mana through our bodies is quite an exotermic reaction and it's easier to bear if you're wearing light-fluffy wavy clothes.

Maybe you think that the heat could be bearable but ask yourself: would you be able to concentrate on complex chants inside a furnace at 40-50 degrees?

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    $\begingroup$ This has the same flaw as some other answers in that it's an interesting suggestion but implies things which don't hold true in (most?) versions of this kind of magic. If heat was the problem, casting with armour on would be easier in a cold climate (or with some kind of cold spell / enchantment active on the user), and conversely even without armour it would be more difficult in a tropical jungle or hot desert. $\endgroup$ – DaveMongoose Dec 7 '17 at 12:06
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Depending on your setting there might simply be some analogy to the Geneva Conventions in place prohibiting mages from wearing armor at all. This could be because of some concept of honor or fair-fight philosophy.

Regents/Generals may have had a problem in the past with troop morale. Foot-soldiers may have rebelled because they felt they were merely cannon-fodder and human shields for the mages. Putting these rules in place may have solved that problem.

A historical example of such deliberate restrictions can be found in medieval times. The use of crossbows against christian soldiers was generally frowned upon or even forbidden.

  1. We prohibit under anathema that murderous art of crossbowmen and archers, which is hateful to God, to be employed against Christians and Catholics from now on.

(from http://www.ewtn.com/library/COUNCILS/LATERAN2.HTM)

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to WorldBuilding Richard! I am not completely sure how this answers the question of why a wizard might be unable to use magic while wearing armor. Your example reads like you just want to state that wizards shouldn't use magic on the battlefield against normal soldiers. But they still could. Prohibiting wizards from wearing armor at all doesn't mean they can't fight in the back rows. Normal troops would still be cannon fodder and human shields. If you have a moment please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. Have fun! $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Dec 7 '17 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks for the feedback. Would it help to add that these rules could have been weaved into the very fabric of magic therefore practically inhibiting mages from practicing their powers when wearing armor? $\endgroup$ – Richard Dec 7 '17 at 16:50
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Magic Waves

If magical energy was being transferred from one point to another, it's reasonable that it might move in waves (in analogy to sound waves and light waves).

If that's the case, then the magic wave speed (more specifically, the wave impedance) would depend on the medium the waves were traveling in. If the wave speed changed in certain ways because of a change in the medium, then there could be both reflection and refraction.

Armor, then, might not only reflect magical energies, but set up standing waves of magical energy within that armor (and so within the magic user) that would be less than healthy to that user. The armor might refract the magical energy too, into directions that are difficult to control.

This could also be why the magic user uses a wooden staff. If the staff had a magical wave speed that was in-between the wave speed of the user's body and the air, then there would be less reflection at the boundary between the magic user and the air and so there would be less energy lost in casting the spell.

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I would say a couple options:

  • Heavy garments block the flow of energies around the body. Harnessing those energies is what makes magic... well... magic.
  • Movement: You need precise control of mind, spirit and... body. Heavy clothing interferes with those precise movements.
  • Bad energies in the garments/armor. How much violence did it take to make? Killing animals to make leather? Mountains destroyed to make metal? Energy expended to beat rocks into shape? Those energies - violence, death, destruction - leave it's own energy. That energy interferes/negates your magic. (Necromancers wear leather to harness that bad energy? Taint the good energy to raise the dead? Leather washed in blood is even more powerful... leather washed in the blood of humans more-so... Washed in the blood of wizards? Hasn't been tried yet... .. . yet...)
  • It takes pure materials and "good" energy to make proper clothing for a mage (in addition to heavy materials being bad and impure materials actually blocking magic)... that's why silk is better than wool... and why druids are known to dance naked under the full moon.
  • Ever try to call lightning while holding a lightning rod? Or wearing one? Magic pulls that energy through you... last thing you want to do is be grounded... (Further note: Don't use swords. I'd say ask my friend Steve... but he's a crispy mound now. He didn't listen.)
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    $\begingroup$ I should have read every single answer before I answered instead of just the top several and the bottom one. This is very close to what I added, and seems to follow the exact same intent. $\endgroup$ – Aviose Dec 6 '17 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Aviose you had some tangents (Wands as specialized tools, leather made from Unicorns) that I didn't cover but yeah, definitely a lot of similarities between the two. $\endgroup$ – WernerCD Dec 6 '17 at 19:29
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Wizards do not normally engage in hand-to-hand combat. Their primary offence is magic and, while they might use weaponry, they are probably best advised to run away because they will be facing those much better trained and, in any case, a good (or even mediocre) wizard is far more valuable than an ordinary soldier.

Although a wizard may use magic defensively, they are most effective when concentrating their magic for attack purposes. Their best defence for most practical purposes is to hide behind something like a wall or in a good solid tower. Light armour may help, if necessary, to protect a wizard out in the open from ranged weapons but may be counter-productive if it significantly slows him in running for cover or prevents him from crouching behind whatever may give protective shelter.

Wizards are essentially cowards - they don't dress to fight, they dress to run (and otherwise just to look good).

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Interesting that you would even provide the link to the Weave and you haven't gotten a Weave based answer. Spell casting is less about 'casting a spell' and more about entering the non-physical world that this world is drawn upon and asking the very fabric of existence to rearrange itself to suit your needs. You need to unbind yourself from this world to see and interact with the Weave for spell casting to become reality.

Encasing yourself in the frivolities of this world (read as 'armor') is to bind and anchor yourself into this world, thusly denying yourself access to the very weave that grants you your magic. Armor = binded to this plane = no magic. You need loosely connected flowing robes (at most) to disassociate yourself from this world and see the Weave

Of course clerical magic gets around this as the clerics very core is bound to their God and can access the weave through their binding to their God and not need to enter the weave themselves (they ask the god of this world to alter the weave for them, while a spell caster must enter the weave and ask themselves).

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From my 7 year old son - in all universes, all magic comes down to manipulating energy through some system such as psionics, ritual, familiar spirits, link to nanotechnology left over from a prior civilization, divine (or not) grant, etc. Metals are good conductors of energy (electricity, heat, sound, etc).

Metal armor interferes with the mage's ability to control the energy they are manipulating by shorting it out. However, properly formed metal tools and implements can actually aid in the manipulation of energy (ever seen a radar dish? ), so the same should be true of magic.

(Edit) I suddenly get an image of a mage with a parabolic metallic reflector cowl behind his head.

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If I remember correctly, even in the Forgotten Realms there was a God of magic, whose clerics might not be magic users, but who was considered the creator and administrator of what magic was. It could be as simple as a dictate from the deity.

Another possibility comes from mixing in some other themes of magic. It could be the souls of those capable of wielding magic are vulnerable to influence from spirits (ex: the main villain of the first book of the Inheritance series, Eragon, was overwhelmed by spirits). Could be, every magic sensitive in the realm is provided abjuration protecting against spiritual assault. Armor is a strong natural abjuration from physical assault. The natural physical abjuration might weaken the spiritual one, like a drug interaction, leaving the magician vulnerable to having his or her mind consumed. This would tap into Hermetic ideas of contagion.

Or, it might be that the (pure) unbound body, robes of rank, and other accoutrements are a usually-not-talked-about somatic and material component to most (if not all) magic. This would pull in ideas from Egyptian and Oriental magic where, to make something happen, you had to demonstrate (somehow) your authority to be making requests.

Or, magic might be a widely encountered force, and it might be mediated by tiny elementals and tiny spirits. This pulling in ideas from modern physics where particles communicate light (photons), gravity (gluons), and mass (higgs). Could be a scary armor scares away, or a strong natural abjuration drives away the spirits of most utility to the average magic practitioner. This could also help explain magic poor areas (if they exist in your world). But this approach is a supernatural restatement of the "metal short circuits/Faraday cages magic electricity" suggestion.

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Quite related to the mana-based approach on interference between magic and metal. However, I noticed we can also use this argument to exclude ordinary cloth. To do that, we could simply say that wizard robes are woven of a special material, say, unicorn hair. And we could further say that unicorn hair is not just the only material that allows you to wear it and still channel mana, but rather actually a necessary conduit of mana in first place.

That would mean that every piece of unicorn hair cloth missing or not touching both the wizard's bare skin and the air around him is a waste of mana-channeling capacity. Of course, wizard robes extending down to the floor could still be justified quite well: As long as the cloth is connected to other unicorn hair cloth, it still can somewhat contribute to mana channeling, although not as much as cloth with direct contact. (Or actually, you could leave that justification out - would be fun to have your wizards run around in tight unicorn hair suits.)

While there might be metals with the same capacity to conduct mana, you could easily restrict that property to the most special, but also most clumsy metals, like gold or also electrum, a melding of gold and platinum present in many fantasy universes. Believe me, even if you go for mail, goldmail and electrummail are already quite heavy. Mithril is often used as a metal that's very lightweight and incredibly sturdy, and certainly you'd have a hard time to justify it cannot conduct mana since it's one of the most unique materials in existance, but it's also incredibly rare. In most fantasy stories where mithril is present, only the most skilled dwarven metallurgists are able to produce it, let aside the fact that the needed metals are among the rarest as well. And as a matter of fact, you don't even need to include mithril in your universe (although most people would probably be a little bummed if you didn't).

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  • $\begingroup$ On a related note, that's also the explanation why so many, especially younger, wizards wear hoods. $\endgroup$ – Egor Hans Dec 10 '17 at 14:17
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If you take mana as energy that is manipulated by a mage and the mage is the source of this magic/spell, then when the spell is cast, the energy radiates from the mage and reflects into reality (doesn't matter what system it is, just that the energy is released). Just as spells can not pass throught armour (unless it is specialized for it) when it hits the hard material, such as metal, the spell takes effect (just like when electricity reaches a component in a circuit). (Fireball hitting a human)

Staves are not made from metal, because it stops the energy from flowing (electricity -> ground), while formerly alive materials such as wood or bones are used to flows of magical energy.

Wearing armour thus presents several dangers to the caster:

  1. Mail armour mesh could stop the flow of energy from the caster, just like a cage does for electrical discharge.
  2. With added size and weight, there is a chance, that the spell will discharge into the caster and not the intended target.
  3. Many magic systems require some sort of sense, to cast the spell successfully. (The caster has to see the target-offensive spells, the target has to hear the caster-controlling curses, sound from caster must spread-thunder voice, etc.) So the caster can not wear a helmet, but instead wears a big hat, to prevent from being blinded by sun.
  4. Because of elemental nature of some spells (lightning, frost) some spells could also target the caster, if he wears metal objects.

In my world I compensate for this with using rare highly conductive materials (mana crystals, gold, silver) or using enchantments and runes, to artificially infuse the material with magic and thus making it conductive. Thinking about mana/magic as if it was electricity and/or radiation/light, helps you establish basic rules. And make reasonable and strongly set rules.

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If we try to apply game rules to the in game universe logic wizard spell casting is primarily a mental exercise as indicated by dexterity not being of no relevance as could be expected if intricate and complex set of movements is required. In addition not all spells in the wizards list have somatic components I.E don't require movement and in fact some bards can ignore the adverse effects of armor presumably because their spells are "simpler".

Taking that into account it is reasonable to assume that the problem with armor among wizards lies in effect wearing it has on the mind of the wizard or in other words a wizard can only cast spells when he can convince him self he can and since in FR setting arcane magic of the wizards relies on vast and old traditions maybe wizards struggle with armor because their whole concept of "wizardness" is constructed that way.

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In a world with magic, everyone uses magic.

Now, they don't memorize spells and wear robes. But every blacksmith uses magic to forge metal, every leatherworker uses magic to cure leather. Midwives use magic to birth babies, matchmakers use magic to find matches.

Magic is everywhere, so everyone uses it.

Every kind of effective armor must be enchanted, because unenchanted armor is garbage. The other side has enchanted swords, and they will cut through your unenchanted armor like butter.

Even human bodies are enchanted. From the little things, protective magic placed on them by midwives, mothers, fathers. Ancestral blessings placed on them through prayer wheels.

Everything uses magic.

Wizards are people who collect magical secrets in the form of spells. In order to cast these spells, any enchanted items you have on you have to be taken into account.

The magic that infuses weapons and armor doesn't work well with most wizard magic. Their presence on the body warps the spells. The "armor" that a wizard must wear is enchanted with effects that help them cast their spells, and the "weapons" (staffs, wands, orbs) likewise.

These enchanted tools and clothing don't protect you against swords, at least not passively. Instead, they enhance and enable you to cast spells.

If you could find a armorer willing and able to make it, a wizard could wear unenchanted plate armor just fine. Wouldn't do him much good against anything other than hail stones, as any crude dagger used by an urchin with even a modest enchantment makes your plate armor useless.

This also permits there to be "wizards" who do use armor and weapons. They either use a different form of magic/spells, and/or they have unique enchantments on their armor/weapons that permit both weapon use and magic use. Such "spellswords" may not be able to cast as powerful a spell given the same level of training as a traditional wizard.

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protected by Monica Cellio Dec 8 '17 at 4:50

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