Unfortunately, a lot of adventures happen in places (and dungeons) that aren’t exactly the most comfortable to be walking around starkers in, but there are solutions to this obstacle as well!
There are a few magic items that allow you to exist comfortably in a range of temperatures or which increase the temperature around you, such as the Ring of Warmth or Thermal Cube, but one thing many people don’t realize is that creatures with cold resistance are entirely immune to the effects of cold weather, so that widens the possibilities significantly.
But maybe you don’t want to wait and see if you will obtain items like the Ring of Cold Resistance, Staff of Frost, and Boots of the Winterlands, or depend on spells that will provide only short term cold resistance like Protection from Energy and Fire Shield?
Well, dragonborn with silver or white dragon ancestry as well as tritons have innate cold resistance, and tieflings with the infernal constitution feat can as well.
Classes can also provide cold resistance. Draconic Bloodline sorcerers with silver or white dragon ancestry also gain resistance to cold at 6th level. Likewise Transmuter wizards can have an elemental resistance of their choice through their Transmuter’s Stone at 6th level. Path of the Storm Herald barbarians gain cold, fire, or lightning resistance at 6th level as well. Fathomless Pact and Genie Pact (Marid) warlocks both gain cold resistance at 6th level, and Fiend Pact warlocks gain Fiendish Resilience (granting them an elemental resistance of their choice) to at 10th level.
Heat is also a concern, but usually one that the whole party has to grapple with. But sometimes it’s direct exposure that might be the concern. Thankfully, just as cold resistance provides protection from extreme cold, fire resistance provides protection from extreme heat. Here are some ways to handle being out in the hot, hot desert sun without any lightweight white fabrics that less naked party members might be relying on:
A Ring of Fire Resistance, Frost Brand, Helm of Brilliance, Ring of Fire Elemental Command, or Staff of Fire grant fire resistance.
As do tieflings, some types of dragonborn, and fire genasi.
And there are also the aforementioned transmuter’s stone for wizards, draconic bloodline for sorcerers, path of the storm herald for barbarians, and elemental gift (efreeti) and fiendish resilience for warlocks.
Finally, there are some extra ways to avoid danger that don’t require clothing, if you want to be a little tankier, either by providing magical assistance to your Armor Class, reducing the damage you receive when you get hit, or by helping you to not actually get hit in the first place through other means than AC.
For magic item armor class improvements, the non-homebrewed options to look for are bracers of defense, a ring of protection, a defender sword, a magic shield, or the exotic and sought after ioun stone of protection.
Also Bladesinger wizards, kensei monks, and artificers using either enhanced defense or repulsion shield infusions on their shield all can provide not continuous, but at least relatively steady additional protection, and war magic wizards can spend spell slots to increase their defense in a manner similar to the defensive duelist feat discussed in a previous entry in this blog, and bardic inspiration from a College of Valor bard or Blade Flourish for a College of Swords bard can be used in much the same way.
There are other means of avoiding getting hit in the first place than Armor Class, as well. Bardic Inspiration from a College of Lore bard can decrease an attack roll targeting you; boots of speed, the blur spell, and warding flare from Light Domain clerics all impose disadvantage on incoming attacks, as does the bonus action dodge from patient defense as a Monk. Armor of Hexes from Hexblade Pact warlock, the Invoke Duplicity ability from Trickster Domain clerics, Manifest Echo from the Echo Knight and the mirror image spell all can turn an attack that would hit into a miss.
The final significant way to avoid getting hit is to not be there to attack in the first place, though due to the variety of ranged attacks, area spells, and abilities that allow one to attack ethereal creatures, these are not a substitute by themselves for a good Armor Class, but certainly an excellent way to supplement a merely okay AC or as a force multiplier to an excellent one.
There are many ways of slipping out of melee, like the Mobile feat; Tempestuous Magic from Storm Sorcerer; Step of the Wind or Drunken Technique (from Drunken Master) for monks; Cunning Action, Fancy Footwork (from Swashbuckler), and Skirmisher (from Scout) for rogues; and spells like Thunder Step, Misty Step, and Far Step. The standout in this category, though, is the Blink spell, which both moves you out of melee combat and also prevents most enemies from attacking you while it is in effect, as well.
And finally (this post is already nearly twice as long as all the previous ones), when you do eventually get hit, there’s still one more line of defense. Reducing the damage of the attack.
Barbarians and Circle of the Moon druids are the stars of this show, with the former gaining resistance to most of the damage you will take whenever raging, and the latter gaining an additional pool of hit points every time they wild shape. There are a lot of other excellent options as well, such as Uncanny Dodge for rogues, the Arcane Ward ability of Abjuration wizards, and using the Eldritch Knight’s War Magic ability to cast Blade Ward while still fighting. Goliaths and Monks can both conditionally reduce the damage of an incoming attack as well. Even simply standing near an ancestral guardian barbarian can reduce damage you receive. Likewise any spell or ability that provides temporary hit points is effectively having this effect, in advance.
Now that the general rules toolset is out of the way, we can move on to the fun we’ve been building up for…actual lore content to justify all this mechanical deep-diving.
Next time on Jaybird’s Guide to Naked Adventuring: A sample warlock patron to use for your next naked character!