Here’s a post that has nothing to do with Gen Con. Based upon my RSS feeds and twitters it feels like I’m the only one not there, but I am sure there are others too.
One of my favorite magic items is armor that appears to be something other than armor. There’s like a billion role-playing reasons why this is awesome. In a recent game I played an evil Paladin. I wanted him to be fearsome on the battlefield: he had dark black Plate-mail with blood runes, skulls, and death metal stickers. At the same time I wanted him to be able to travel around the countryside without attracting attention, especially from good aligned priests and warriors. In 3rd Edition, I made good use of Glamered Armor with my rogues, making them that much more sneaky and unremarkable. In 4th Edition we have the Imposter’s Armor [DDI], thanks to The Adventurer’s Vault. I gave my evil Paladin the plate-mail version of it.
This armor is great for appearing to be something else on purpose. By day it can appear as whatever you want (e.g. court clothes, peasant clothes, wizard robes, etc) so it counts as a disguise. Even if you had it appear as normal “adventuring gear,” NPCs may misjudge your function in combat (i.e. a controller not a defender) or may just misjudge your overall “squishiness.” On top of that, while the armor is in “clothes form” it doesn’t incur any armor check penalties, so you can sleep, climb, or swim in it and not have to worry about leaving your armor behind or having a tougher time. The downside is that the armor doesn’t provide any bonus in “clothes form” and I’ve been dinged by this several times by having a low initiative at the start of combat. The advantages are still totally worth it. In addition, if this is a common scenario you can take feats like Unarmored Agility [DDI] to balance out the lack of armor bonus.
With the Imposter’s Armor you can swap it back and forth as an At-Will Minor Action, which means it doesn’t count against your magic item dailies and you can use it pretty much at the start of combat and still get in a Move and Standard, so you don’t loose time switching.
Basically, you should pick one up today for the sneaky Defender in your life! And if that’s not enough for you, there’s also Summoned Armor [DDI] from the Adventurer’s Vault that works with any armor type. It doesn’t give the disguise bonus, but does have the “gone one minute, here the next” of the Imposter‘s Armor. And since it’s not actually on your person it can’t be magic-detected, stolen, or confiscated.