4
\$\begingroup\$

As far as my knowledge of D&D goes there are 2 ways to determine AC:

  1. Calculation of AC through Base + Stat modifiers

    Examples of these AC calculations are:

    • Unarmored = 10 + Dex mod
    • Unarmored defense, such as Barbarian = 10 + Con mod + Dex mod
    • Light armors, such as Leather Armor = 11 + Dex mod
    • Medium armors, such as Breastplate = + Dex mod (max 2)
    • Spells, such as Mage Armor (AC = 13 + Dex mod)

  1. Setting the base AC to a specific value

    Examples of these AC calculations are:

    • Heavy Armor, such as Plate Armor = 18
    • Racial, such as Tortle's Natural armor race = 17
    • Spells such as Barkskin = 16

My interest goes out to the first way of calculating AC.

What are the stat modifiers (other than Dex) that can be used when calculating AC?

I already found 2:

  • Barbarian's Unarmored Defense = 10 + DEX mod + CON mod
  • Monk's Unarmored Defense = 10 + DEX mod + WIS mod

Are there any others that I missed?

\$\endgroup\$
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Are you interested in answers that draw on Unearthed Arcana, Planeshift, and other similar information? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 23 '19 at 21:54
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Does the boost to AC have to be permanent? \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 23 '19 at 22:00
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ @InfernoIV: The Plane Shift PDFs are distributed by WotC on their website and on DMsGuild, but are not playtested like published content or presented for playtesting; they're essentially James Wyatt's own personal untested "homebrew". \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 23 '19 at 22:57
  • 4
    \$\begingroup\$ What's your reasoning for looking for all the different (non-fixed-value) AC calculations? Different AC calculations don't stack anyway; only AC bonuses do. Is it just out of curiosity? \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Nov 24 '19 at 6:23
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast: I indeed know different AC calculations don't stack. I do know that AC only covers 1 of the 2 sides of D&D: Combat. But I find it annoying and boring that you always have to have either Dex or Str for getting a high AC, the other options that are available are either Class or Race specific. I would like to know what my options are, so: yes it is indeed out of curiosity. \$\endgroup\$ – Inferno IV Nov 24 '19 at 23:23
14
\$\begingroup\$

Dexterity, Constitution, and Wisdom can be added permanently to AC. Intelligence can be added for a minute. Charisma can be added through a magic item from Hoard of the Dragon Queen or to a single attack. I found no way at all to add Strength to AC.

Below I will provide "the best" methods of adding a given ability modifier to one's Armor Class. By "best" I mean the one that lasts the longest, which, in the case of Charisma, is quite short. This means that features which add Constitution to AC for 1 attack, turn, round, minute, or anything else will not be mentioned/listed:

Barbarian's Unarmored Defense feature (Con and Dex):

While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

- Player's Handbook (page 48)

Monk's Unarmored Defense feature (Wis and Dex):

Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier.

- Player's Handbook (page 78)

Bladesinging Wizard's Bladesong feature (Int):

[...] You can use a bonus action to start the Bladesong, which lasts for 1 minute. It ends early if you are incapacitated, if you don medium or heavy armor or a shield, or if you use two hands to make an attack with a weapon. You can also dismiss Bladesong at any time you choose (no action required).

While your bladesong is active, you gain the following benefits:

  • You gain a bonus to your AC equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of +1) [...]

- Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide (page 143)

Unearthed Arcana's Oath of Heroism Paladin's Glorious Defense feature (Cha):

[...] When a creature you can see hits you with an attack roll, you can use your reaction to gain a bonus to AC against that attack, potentially causing it to miss you. The bonus equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of +1) [...]

- Bard and Paladin Unearthed Arcana (page 2) [link to document]

An item from Hoard of the Dragon Queen (Cha):

This item is the Black Dragon Mask which has the following property:
Draconic Mastery. While you are wearing no armor, you can add your Charisma bonus to your Armor Class.

Thanks to user David Coffron for pointing out this item!

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can also add Charisma via a set of magic items found in Hoard of the Dragon Queen and Rise of Tiamat \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Nov 25 '19 at 15:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ @davidcoffron Thank you! I'll add that in later today. Unfortunately I haven't found an easy way to sort through magic item descriptions with any sort of ctrl-f function or categorization method that would help with this question, so thank you for finding these! \$\endgroup\$ – Medix2 Nov 25 '19 at 16:01

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.