Content of the article: "What if armor wasn’t affected by Dex and instead offered different playstyle bonuses?"
Before reading, keep in mind this post is just about discussing this idea for the fun of it. I now it wouldn't be balanced if done poorly (and not thinking about spellcasters for example).
Something I was thinking a bit about was that what if armor was chosen to promote certain bonuses instead of being chosen based on your stats. A fighter with high Str and average Dex will use heavy armor 99% of the time because otherwise their AC will suck. A light armor character will be expected to have about 15 AC at low levels and 17 at high levels (without magic items), so why not just have the a cheap light armor that gives 15 AC (with no added dex mod) and an expensive light armor that gives 17 AC?
Because if the armors just give set numbers of AC, instead of being affected by Dex, it is easier to have them give different playstyle bonuses. A very easy example of this could be to have light armor give a speed bonus but have the lowest AC, have heavy armor impose a speed penalty but give highest AC, and have medium armor be in between. This choices benefit and affect all types of characters. The Strength build fighter with a greataxe might this way choose to use light armor and a Dex build ranger might use the medium armor. Other benefits that could be toyed with include bonuses/penalties to initiative, skills, saves, damage reduction.
I think shields is a good example of this already in the game. Shields can be used by both Str and Dex builds so it is not chosen as a result of your stats. It is chosen for the playstyle you are interested in at the moment. Comparing greatsword to using a shield+longsword means choosing between defense and offense, and this choice can always be changed later. Comparing longbow to shield+rapier is comparing AC to range.
I think the game would be more interesting if armor was chosen due to desired playstyle in the moment rather than a permanent chose made at level 1 based on the ability scores.
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