A druid player in my game decides he’d like some breastplate armour, which since druids can’t wear metal he decides on dragonhide. It’s surprisingly cheap, at 600gp for the masterwork stuff – in fact, about one third cheaper than having ironwood armour made. However, despite being made from a dragon, dragonhide armour doesn’t confer any sort of energy resistance or improved defensive ability.
Here’s where it gets weird. According to the rules, breastplate or fullplate created from created from dragonhide requires a slain dragon four sizes larger than the wearer. Each human-sized suit of breastplate requires a Colossal dragon!
Every goofball adventurer you see in dragonhide full plate? Someone slew a great red wyrm for the privilege – or gold, or silver. In fact, if you see one of any other colour, they’re lying, because those dragons only reach a twenty-feet-long Gargantuan, and apparently if you can’t run the distance from one end of the dragon to the other as a move action it’s not quite big enough to dress up in.
Despite being covered in flameproof material, however, you’re not any better protected against flames or the effect of heat. In fact, the only benefits of dragonhide armour are that it’s red, it’s rustproof, and that you can let on you slew an archdragon and dragged it single-handedly back to the city armourer when in reality you bought it pre-owned for a mere 3,300 gold pieces.
No worries, though – the rules also say you get to make a shield out of the leftovers. I’m thinking more along the lines of a small fortress.