Complete Guide to Elven Chain Armor in DnD 5e – Why It Rocks

Last Updated on February 14, 2023

Some RPGs exist to create an extremely deadly environment where your players should always have a few backup character sheets ready to go. DnD 5e is not that kind of game, so it’s a blessing that we have magical items like Elven Chain armor to protect our more squishy characters.

What Is Elven Chain in DnD 5e?

Elven chain is magical armor that gives the wearer a +1 bonus to AC. It also allows the user to wear it with proficiency whether or not they have proficiency in medium armor.

Armor (chain shirt), rare

You gain a +1 bonus to AC while you wear this armor. You are considered proficient with this armor even if you lack proficiency with medium armor.

We love some nice simple magic items, and this armor definitely fits in that category. There are really only two parts we need to wrap our heads around: AC and armor proficiency.

Since this has to be a chain shirt, we just use the normal chain shirt armor formula and then add 1 to the total. A chain shirt normally provides an AC of 13 plus your Dexterity modifier (up to +2). Instead, our AC is 14 plus Dexterity modifier (up to +2). 

It’s nothing insane, but the +1 can definitely be the difference between life and death in some cases. Remember that we’re only rolling on a d20, so that’s a 5% reduction in our enemies’ chances of hitting us.

The next part we should understand is armor proficiency. Anyone can wear any type of armor, but if you wear armor that you aren’t proficient in, you suffer some pretty annoying consequences. 

Not having proficiency in the armor you’re wearing means you have disadvantage on all ability checks, saving throws, and attack rolls that involve Strenght or Dexterity. Plus, you can’t cast spells. Basically, you can wear the suit, but you aren’t doing anything productive beyond protecting yourself.

Fortunately, elven chain is magical armor that perfectly suits the wearer. Even if you’re a squishy wizard who shouldn’t be wearing armor, this armor is perfect for you, and it treats you as if you have proficiency in it.

Is Elven Chain a Good Magical Item?

Elven chain is an amazing magical item on the sole basis that it can be worn by literally any character (except maybe druids that are hardcore about no metal). While a +1 bonus might seem dismal, it’s not really just a +1 bonus that we’re talking about.

If this armor is going to the right party member, this is probably a +4 bonus to their normal AC. On top of that, it means they don’t have to prep things like Shield or Mage Armor, so they can use spells that benefit the whole party. 

Would it be nice to see higher rarity tier versions of Elven Chain? Sure! Is that hard? Not at all. If you want a more expertly crafted Elven Chain that provides more bonuses, just add an additional +1 to the AC for each tier of rarity beyond rare. 

Heck, you can even make an elven plate, elven scale mail, or any type of elven armor if you really don’t want your casters to feel squishy. It’s a balance change for sure, but the point is that this armor is great and doesn’t take much to modify.


What Is the AC of Elven Chain in DnD 5e?

The AC of Elven Chain is 14 plus Dexterity modifier (up to +2).

Who Can Wear Elven Chain?

Anyone can wear Elven Chain in DnD 5e! Of course, anyone can wear any armor. The real kicker here is that anyone can wear Elven Chain without suffering any penalties.

How Rare Is Elven Chain?

Elven Chain is Rare, which is a decidedly mid-ranged rarity tier. Of course, the actual rarity in your world depends on, well, your world. A world where elves died off hundreds of years ago or where elven craftsmanship is highly expensive might see Elven Chain being incredibly hard to find.

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