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Enchantment of the Mage's Robe

by Mike Harvey

Personally I don't like the *image* of mages wearing armour. But you can still provide them with the equivalent:

Enchantment of the Mage's Robe
Level: 1
Duration: permanent until dispelled
Affects: self only (you cannot use it on your friends clothes)
This spell enchants a wizard's robe (or other clothing), making it equivalent to a suit of mail (AC 5). The robe is still loose, flowing, and comfortable to the person wearing it, but becomes hard as steel when attacked. The robe protects against all physical damage, but does not protect against magical weapons or spells. Enchanted robes cannot be used in conjunction with actual armour or magical items, although spells (such as Shield) can be used with it, and DEX bonuses still apply. Dispel Magic will cancel the spell.

All this spell really does is provide a magic-user with armour equivalent to his adventuring comrades, without putting him in a tin can. A first level wizard can cast this spell the day before a dungeon crawl and have reasonable protection. It has a few drawbacks, so higher level wizards tend to rely on more permanent forms of magical protection. It also gives a great reason why wizards don't wear armour: they don't need to! (BTW, this spell will give wizards about the same defences as thieves, once you account for DEX bonuses. However, thieves still get better melee weapons. Both classes should probably leave melee to fighters and clerics anyway.)