What are some typical defenses (AC, Fort, Will, Reflex) for a defender at the different tiers (Heroic, Paragon, Epic) of a D&D4 game?
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First, some formulas:
For purposes of the following chart, I'll be assuming either heavy shield or no shield.
The three general types of armor for a defender are: hide, scale, and plate.
Hide progression (assuming boosting the off-stat and enhancement bonus. Level 1 should be 1 point lower, but I'm assuming the standard armor drop off of one of the first few adventures.):
AC Level Armor Dex||Int Enhancement 17 1 3 16 1 21 6 3 17 2 25 11 3 19 3 31 16 4 20 4 35 21 4 22 5 40 26 5 23 6
AC Level Armor Enhancement 18 1 7 1 23 6 8 2 27 11 9 3 32 16 10 4 36 21 11 5 42 26 13 6
AC Level Armor Enhancement 19 1 8 1 24 6 9 2 28 11 10 3 33 16 11 4 37 21 12 5 43 26 14 6
Hide will almost always have a shield. Therefore, at the 6 equipment tiers we get:
1) AC: 19-21 (no feats) 6) AC: 23-26 (no feats) 11) AC: 27-32 (optional Armor specialization, Shield specialization) 16) AC: 33-37 (optional Armor specialization, Shield specialization) 21) AC: 37-41 (optional armor spec, shield spec, second skin) 26) AC: 42-47 (optional armor spec, shield spec, second skin)
Swordmages are slightly more special, as they are leather wearers, but they have class features which approximate hide or better.
NADs are far more variable, anywhere from 7 points under AC to 1-2 points over, depending on class, race, and feats. Aim for 2 points lower on 2 NADs, on average, as that's what monsters are geared to hit. It is virtually impossible to get 2 lower on all three without making difficult sacrifices in efficiency.
For interest, here are the chances of being hit at each level, assuming least and best AC.
Level LowAC HighAC Monster Low High ToHit Odds Odds 1 19 21 6 0.35 0.25 6 23 26 11 0.4 0.25 11 27 32 16 0.45 0.2 16 33 37 21 0.4 0.2 21 37 41 26 0.45 0.25 26 42 47 31 0.45 0.2
As a postscript, the related question of whether or not plate resist is worth it is easy to answer: -1 AC for, tier wise: Resist 1, 2,5
A monster at level 6 will be hitting around 30% of the time for around 14 damage, or a total damage per round of 4.2. At 35% and 13 damage, it does 4.55.
At level 16, 30% of the time for 24 damage = 7.2 versus 7.7
At level 26, 10.2 versus 10.15.
The other side of this is that the resist works on all attacks, and so it's a function of the game and GM preference for certain types of monsters.
Regardless of your tier, you should shoot for an AC of (20+your level). If your character doesn't have a shield, go with (18 + level). This is an aggressive goal, and will require top flight armor for your level. I wouldn't be too concerned to fall a point or two shy. If you are 3+ short, then you may want to consider changing up your build/equipment.
Depending on whether you have a Straladin or Chaladin your Fort and Will defenses should be within 2-5 points of that. Your reflex will almost certainly be in the "Yes, you hit me" range. :)
You should also consider your defenses in relation to your party. You are the defender. You should be taking 40-50% of all hits the party takes. If your defenses are much higher than the rest of the party then the monsters will be justified in ignoring your mark to hit the rest of the party. This is bad! Don't let your defenses get too far above the rest of the party.
I think this ultimately depends on the defender you are playing. If you're a typical defender, definitely get armor and shield together to boost AC to 20+. The type of defender will determine your Fort: Battleminds will have decent Fort where Swordmages and Paladins will not. Reflex will probably be your weakest defense, pending class choice. Will Def, if you're a Cha-based Paladin, will be decent.
So my opinion of some decent defense scores would be: (from level 1)
This is a base estimate, not counting magic items or other crazy feats you could take.
protected by Brian Ballsun-Stanton Jun 10 '14 at 10:10
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