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As the title says. If, let's say, I catch my opponent flat-footed and use Claw at the Moon, do I check against flat-footed AC or complete AC?

Claw at the Moon:

As part of this maneuver, you attempt a Jump check to leap into the air and make a melee attack that targets your foe's upper body, face, and neck. The Jump check's DC is equal to your target's AC. If this check succeeds your attack deals +2d6 damage. if this attack threatens a critical hit, you gain a +4 bonus on your roll to confirm it. If your check fails, you can still attack but deal no extra damage or gain a bonus to confirm a critical hit. The maneuver is still considered expended.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What reason is there to think it may be against the target's flat-footed AC instead? Did the Tiger Claw adept act first and this is the first regular round of combat? \$\endgroup\$ Jul 6 '20 at 17:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ AC may change for a variety of reasons and may not be the same depending on who attacks (if I attack an opponent while invisible, their AC is not the same as if my buddy is hitting him from the front). The flat-footed case is an hypothetical, but could apply to any case where there is a change in AC dependant on the attacker. \$\endgroup\$
    – Karrion42
    Jul 6 '20 at 18:39
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While most character sheets list “flat-footed” as a “separate AC,” it isn’t actually so in game terms: it’s just a common enough circumstance that the people who made the sheet wanted to make sure you’d have it easily available.

(As opposed to “touch AC,” which really is a separate stat that you have.)

So you roll against their AC—whatever that is at the time. If they have the Dodge feat and have chosen you for it, then the DC for your Jump check is 1 higher than it would have been. If they are flat-footed and thus denied their Dexterity and Dodge bonuses to AC, then the DC for your Jump check is that much less, and so on.

(Even if your attack would target touch AC—e.g. with wraithstrike or a brilliant weapon—your Jump DC is still their regular AC, because it says “AC” and not “touch AC.” So their armor, natural armor, and shield bonuses to AC make your Jump check harder, even if they don’t make your attack harder.)

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    \$\begingroup\$ It is not important for the answer, but unless you are talking about some variant Dodge it is only +1 bonus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ols
    Jul 6 '20 at 18:40
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Ols Ah yeah. I eliminated Dodge from my games entirely so I guess I forgot that it’s even worse than I thought it was. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Jul 6 '20 at 18:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Suspected something of that sort :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Ols
    Jul 6 '20 at 18:58

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