A Storm Giant's AC is 16 due it its scale mail, and it has a Dex modifier of +2, so without the scale armour the giant's AC would be 12. However, a Cloud Giant has a Natural Armour of 14 and a Dex modifier of +0, meaning its AC calculation is [10+0+Y], where +Y is its natural armour bonus (thick/magical skin), in this case +4.

Does this mean the more powerful Storm Giant does not have this natural armor bonus? If its scale mail is taken away, would its AC be 12, 16, or something in between?

Hill Giants have a Dex modifier of -1 and a Natural Armour of 13, indicating their natural armour bonus (+Y) is also +4.


Monsters have armor as the DM demands

Monsters do not follow the same rules for AC as players do. If you look at the monster creation rules in the DMG you'll find a table that associates AC and HP with CR and can be used to give a rough estimate of a monsters defensive capabilities. When designing a monster you use this table and the result is, "As much AC as I think it should have based on CR and the feel I'm going for"

To preserve the player's immersion the reason for high AC on a monster should be visible (scales on a dragon, armor on an orc, quick like a ghost) but it need not be the appearance that is really granting them the AC and it can always be explained away as, "Natural Armor".

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