As an experiment, I made a level 1 monk and level 1 barbarian character. I set all the stats to 18.

Monk's unarmored defense defines your AC = 10 + Dex + Wis. The Barbarian's feature adds Con.

Yet the AC was still only 18. Is this intended or is it a bug with dndbeyond?


3 Answers 3


You cannot get Unarmored Defense twice

As the other answer notes, different ways to calculate AC don't stack but rather you choose which one applies (generally the one that gives you the biggest number).

In this case however, there is a more specific rule: You actually cannot get the Barbarians Unarmored Defense by multiclassing, because the multiclassing rules specifically don't allow you to gain the Unarmored Defense feature twice. So you only have the Monk Unarmored Defense calculation available and couldn't choose the Barbarian version even if it would've given you a higher AC because you just don't have it.

Relevant Q&A: Can you switch to the other Unarmored Defense by multiclassing?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Which "other answer" are you referring to in the answer? Captain Delano's? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 1:46
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast I would assume Sanford Bassett's as it was the only one posted before this one. Either way, including a link when referring to other answers is a really good idea, because other answers may appear and their order will depend on votes (link is also better than just name because users do sometimes change their handle and/or post multiple answers to the same q). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Jun 12, 2020 at 21:51

This is intended. D&D Beyond is following the rules from the Player's Handbook.

From page 164 of the Player's Handbook:

If you already have the Unarmored Defense feature, you can't gain it again from another class. (emphasis mine)

If you had taken the Barbarian class first, your Armor Class would equal 10 + DEX + CON instead, and you would keep your Unarmored Defense feature even when using a shield.


This is intentional. Both effects change the way your AC is calculated, and this wording is used in other effects. For example, Mage Armor causes your AC to be calculated as 13 + your Dex modifier, plate mail sets your AC to 18 (with no Dex bonus) and a breastplate makes your AC 14 + Dex modifier (max +2).

All of these effects are mutually exclusive for balance purposes, making a divide between effects that provide a bonus to AC (using a shield, Bracers of Defense, ect.), and effects that change how your AC is calculated. This would prevent you from using both even if the multiclassing rules didn't explicitly prevent you from gaining multiple instances of Unarmored Defense (hence making it so you cannot switch between the two versions of the same ability).

  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ "Wearing armor" doesn't grant an AC bonus (shields do, armor doesn't). Instead, Armor gives another method of determining AC (base number + max dex modifier). It is in fact the same as Unarmored Defense, Mage Armor etc, in that it doesn't stack but provide a basis. \$\endgroup\$
    – Willibrord
    Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 9:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks. I'll update my answer to include that. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jun 8, 2020 at 14:28

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .