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It's an age old question -- how can I make it as hard as possible for enemies to hit me, so I can slaughter them without even the slightest jostling of my coif? Typically, for those wanting to proceed armorless down a dangerous corridor, the option is to take a level in Monk for that sweet, sweet Wis bonus to AC.

But what if we want more? In the pursuit of building a more-or-less uselessly multiclassed but hilarious high level NPC, I've recently turned to third party resources to maximize the amount of stats I can grab to AC.

Thus far, I've found:

  • As noted above, Monks give Wis to AC;
  • the core Prestige class Duelist gives Int to AC, as an insight bonus equal to their Duelist level;
  • the Paizo, Inc. Warrior Poet archetype for the Samurai class gives Cha to AC;
  • Samurai Sheepdog's Accelerist class gives any of Int, Wis, or Cha to AC, depending on the chosen Accelerant;
  • Samurai Sheepdog's S-Class Fighter has an Advanced Armor Talent that gives Wis to AC (noted here because the Accelerist is a Monk variant class, and so I wouldn't let someone take levels in both)
  • and finally, Wordcasting Entertainment's Puglist gives 1/2 their Con modifier to AC.

So, this character is already a Warrior Poet Samurai 1 Accelerist (Alchemist) 1 Pugilist 1 S-Class Fighter 7 getting all the mentals and 1/2 Con to AC, but I want the full monty. My question is this: is there a published first- or third-party Pathfinder supplement with a class or archetype that, as a class feature or similar, adds some or all of a character's Strength modifier to their Armor Class?

To clarify, by "published first- or third-party Pathfinder supplement", I am explicitly disallowing things like homebrew-focused sites or forums, while allowing for books that d20pfsrd doesn't have. Ideally, it'd be under whatever open game license agreement that d20pfsrd has, and is thus published on their site, but I'm not against spending money on this NPC character if it's in a random PF1e book you got at a Barnes and Noble closing sale or something. Furthermore, I'm not going to borrow a class from 3.5e -- I'm exclusively focused on Pathfinder 1e, and no other game, no matter how close the relation. (And yes, I have checked the "Getting X to Y" doc, but that's largely first-party materials, and doesn't include any of the latter 3 classes as options, so...)

I'm willing to accept the answer "no", because I strongly suspect that if this existed I would already know about it, but there's no harm in asking a room full of experts for confirmation.

In advance of frame challenges that say I don't need to get all six stats to AC to have an absurdly high AC: I'm aware, but this is funnier.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you interested just in Strength or also in different ways of getting the same stat multiple times to your AC? For example, an incorporeal Water Dancer Monk can add his Charisma 3 times to his AC: once as an untyped bonus [Monk AC Bonus], once as a dodge bonus [Nereid's Grace, up to +20], and once as a deflection bonus [from being incorporeal]. All these bonuses stack, since they are of a different type, even if they are all based on Charisma. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theaitetos
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 3:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Theaitetos It never occurred to me to try to get the same stat multiple times. That combination is cool! This question is specifically about Strength, though. (BTW, how are you adding Cha the first time? Monks add Wis, so this would be Wis untyped + Cha dodge + Incorporeal, unless I'm missing something). \$\endgroup\$
    – toki
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 4:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Water Dancer Monks use Charisma instead of Wisdom for all their Monk class features, including the AC bonus. Scaled Fists Monks do the same, but don't get the additional dodge bonus. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theaitetos
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 4:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ah, I'd just found the sentence that indicates that in the class feature. Neat! \$\endgroup\$
    – toki
    Commented Aug 1, 2022 at 4:25

2 Answers 2

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Nothing In Terms of Official Paizo Material

In terms of resources for searching through official Pathfinder materials, the best one is the X to Y (2) google doc (which is the community updated version of the X to Y doc). No offense to KRyan's post, but the GitP post lacks a lot of the Pathfinder content (as does most of GitP), and despite the google doc being incomplete, it has quite a bit more X -> Y ways than the post.

Only a Couple I know of in Terms of 3pp

  • Path of War's Brutal Slayer archetype for the Stalker class gives you Str to AC in place of Dex at level 6.

  • Spheres of Might's Equipment Sphere has Force Redirection Technique, which as a legendary talent requires GM approval to be able to take.

  • Spheres of Might also has Painted Savage Barbarian which adds Strength as a natural armor bonus.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ oh man that's a much better doc than the one i had bookmarked. This is exactly the kind of thing I was looking for, thank you! \$\endgroup\$
    – toki
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 0:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will also start using that doc, thanks. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Aug 2, 2022 at 22:12
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Nothing in Wizards of the Coast or Paizo material

The best resource for this kind of question is Person_Man’s X Stat to Y Bonus thread, which covers all official content for D&D 3.5e and PF 1e. It confirms that there is no Strength to AC effect in either system, at least among official content. The second post lists every method of getting anything to AC, and while there are several options for each of Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma, there are only a few options for Constitution, and none for Strength or Dexterity (beyond, ya know, the default).

It would be very surprising for either Paizo or Wizards of the Coast to have published such a thing—they generally regarded Strength as a high-power ability score, and its usage was almost entirely offensive. I suspect both would have considered it overpowered and nonsensical in the fluff. (Paizo may well have insulted you for asking.)

That said, they’re both basically wrong about that. Strength is probably the least-valuable ability score of the six, and could really use more options for expanding on its usage. This is particularly true in Pathfinder, where there just aren’t a lot of quality feats for a Strength-based two-handed-weapon-wielding warrior to take. So it’s not out of the question that a third-party publisher might have included a way to do it. I just don’t know about it.

it'd be under whatever open game license agreement that d20pfsrd has, and is thus published on their site, but I'm not against spending money on this NPC character if it's in a random PF1e book you got at a Barnes and Noble closing sale or something

Basically everything mechanical in Pathfinder is published under the Open Game License; it’s something of an open question whether you even can publish mechanical Pathfinder content without doing so, since it’s necessarily going to be licensing other open-game content and the license may make it mandatory that you do the same with anything based on that content.

The bigger problem is that third-party open-game content rarely gets hosted in big, convenient places. Yes, there’s a lot on d20pfsrd.com, but there’s even more that could legally be there but isn’t, because the staff there never got around to adding it. For the record, I’ve worked for a third-party publisher of Pathfinder content, Dreamscarred Press. A lot of DSP stuff is on d20pfsrd.com, but a lot isn’t, including everything I personally had a hand in. And DSP is one of the better-represented third-party publishers there.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Hm, I missed the parenthetical in the question stating that this resource had already been consulted; that makes this answer a whole lot less useful. @toki, is this useful to you in any way, or should I just delete it? Unfortunately, I suspect, as you do, that the answer is “no,” but I don’t think anyone can be really sure about it. \$\endgroup\$
    – KRyan
    Commented Jul 31, 2022 at 23:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ unrelated to my high-AC memery, I've been building quite a few 2h strength builds recently and your third paragraph is certainly accurate. There are only so many interesting things to do when your feats boil down to Cleave, Power Attack and Furious Focus...that said, thanks for the confirmation on WotC/Paizo material! Upvoted just for that, but I'll let this be for a while to possibly catch any massively obscure material. re: the d20pfsrd stuff, I admittedly may have had an over-inflated idea of how much material is actually represented by the site. \$\endgroup\$
    – toki
    Commented Jul 31, 2022 at 23:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is still a meaningful answer on its own, in my opinion. Like I said, confirmation is nice. \$\endgroup\$
    – toki
    Commented Jul 31, 2022 at 23:37

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