This might seem like a stupid question, but I am a new DM and not super familiar with 4E rules and wanted to make sure I understand bonuses and how to effects that relate. I read several other questions on here about bonuses but did not get a clear answer.

As stated in title, if an effect gives a bonus to all defenses, does that include AC? For instance, do effects like Amulet of Protection that give "+1 to all defenses" also give a bonus to AC, or just the other 3 defenses?

Also, what does / doesn't that stack with?

Armor gives "untyped" bonus to AC? Shields give a "Shield" bonus to AC? (thus they do not stack with magical effects that give shield effects right?)


2 Answers 2


Amulet of Protection only gives you a bonus to Fort, Reflect and Will. That's what it says in the entry:

Enhancement Bonus: Fortitude, Reflex, and Will

As Zachiel mentions, "All Defenses" means all defenses, AC, Fort, Ref and Will. However, this verbiage is usually used when granting Power bonuses, not usually anything else.

Yes. Armor bonuses are untyped. Shields give Shield bonuses to AC and Ref. Same typed bonuses don't stack, different typed bonuses do. So if a power or item gives a "shield bonus" to AC/Ref and you're already wielding a shield, you get the higher of the two bonuses, not both.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for that clarification. That helps to make the situation make sense. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 6, 2014 at 14:31
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    \$\begingroup\$ I have a first printing PHB and the text is the same. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 6, 2014 at 15:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SevenSidedDie cool, conditional statement removed \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Jun 6, 2014 at 15:51

Anything that gives a bonus to "all defenses" includes AC, since AC is a defense.

Amulet of Protection's text explicitly says "+1 to Fortitude, Reflexes and Will defences".


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