[RPG] How long would it take to doff armour heated by the Heat Metal spell


Page 146 of the PHB has the table for getting in and out of armour (1 to 5 minutes to doff, depending on the type).

Now the Heat Metal (PHB pg. 250) says;

Choose a manufactured metal object, such as a metal weapon or a suit of heavy or medium metal armour, that you can see within range. You cause the object to glow red-hot. Any creature in physical contact with the object takes 2d8 fire damage when you cast the spell. Until the spell ends, you can use a bonus action on each of your subsequent turns to cause this damage again. If a creature is holding or wearing the object and takes the damage from it, the creature must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or drop the object if it can.

(Emphasis mine)

I imagine a creature can't just drop a suit of armour it's wearing, otherwise what's the point of having the don/doff time rules, and it drops the object only if it fails the saving throw.
Even if Heat Metal only targets one piece of the armour, the obvious choice would be the shirt/breastplate if you can see it because there's other things a creature would have to take off before that.

So, is the creature trapped in their red-hot burning armour, potentially taking the extra damage for the 1 minute duration of the spell, or is there something I'm missing?

If there's strict RAW on taking armour off in less than a minute, I'll take it, but I'll happily accept answers that simply make sense provided there's an in-game time frame (1 action, 1 round, or whatever) given as well.
As for the type of armour I'm just looking at whatever's in the PHB (chainmail, half plate, full plate, breastplate, chain shirt), I don't know of any specific sub-categories or the exact size and shape.

This is of course assuming the creature tries to take of it's armour, it may not give a damn and take it like a man, but from an RP perspective I reckon it would feel like a brazen bull torture so I'm going with "they try to get out as quickly as possible".

Best Answer

RAW there really is only one option to quickly take off armor: have someone help you.

Getting Into and Out of Armor

The time it takes to don or doff armor depends on the armor’s category.

Don. This is the time it takes to put on armor. You benefit from the armor's AC only if you take the full time to don the suit o f armor.

Doff. This is the time it takes to take off armor. If you have help, reduce this time by half.

The fastest a PC could shed heavy armor with help would be in 2 and a half minutes or 25 rounds of combat.

RAW options to avoid the damage

  1. Run away. As I interpret the spell you would still need to be in its range to use the bonus action attack. Running out of range would be difficult to achieve since the spell attack is a bonus action allowing the caster to use both their actions to follow you. However if allies impede the movement of the caster or your move speed is greater it could be accomplished in one round.
  2. Deal Damage. Every time the magic user takes damage while concentrating on a spell they are forced to make a CON save to keep that spell up. If everyone hits the wizard odds are pretty high that he will fail one of those CON saves.

Houserule option

Let the PC take it off with a standard action, but doing so damages the armor, preventing them from wearing it again until they have it repaired.

Musings on Heat metal

There is no requirement for a PC or NPC whose gear is affected by heat metal to react taking off their armor. The stipulation of the spell is to throw it if they can, donning and doffing seems to be a bit more than all that and as such I would interpret it to mean weapons should be thrown, but armor can be kept on. I know 2d8 bonus action damage sounds like a lot, but dice only damage has a way of only coming out to be around the average most of the time, while 9 damage a round without an attack roll is pretty nice, it is probably a better idea for the party to focus-fire on the wizard to end it rather than someone in heavy armor taking their armor off and seriously lowering their AC for the rest of the fight.

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