Do you lose your DEX bonus to AC while standing in the area of effect of a Grease spell?


Only if you are trying to walk

Let's unpack the situation.

You are standing around and someone cast grease on your location.

If you failed the save, you fell down. You have -4 AC against melee attacks, and +4 AC against ranged attacks, but you don't take any other penalties.

If you passed the save, you have to repeat the save every round, but otherwise you're fine. This changes if you try to move, because

A creature can walk within or through the area of grease at half normal speed with a DC 10 Balance check.

But as soon as you make the Balance check, this happens:

You are considered flat-footed while balancing, since you can’t move to avoid a blow, and thus you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any). If you have 5 or more ranks in Balance, you aren’t considered flat-footed while balancing.

Because the Balance check is only called for if you try to walk, a creature that is not trying to walk does not lose Dexterity to AC. This means that you can keep your AC high by standing still.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I thought the assumption was that in combat, you're moving around your 5' square to avoid being hit by things. "Standing still" and "dodge bonus" seem to be contrary things, to me. \$\endgroup\$ – JoshuaD Jun 13 '16 at 0:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Dex to AC is not a dodge bonus, and moving around is not the same as walking. \$\endgroup\$ – SPavel Jun 13 '16 at 2:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SPavel a dodge bonus would still apply anyway, correct? \$\endgroup\$ – FrancisJohn Jun 13 '16 at 3:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SPavel How else does a humanoid PC move around, but by walking? \$\endgroup\$ – JoshuaD Jun 13 '16 at 3:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @JoshuaD: While I agree with you, calling for both a Reflex save and a Balance check seems a bit much for a lvl 1 spell. Real world logic does not necessarily translate well to rules. \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Jun 13 '16 at 14:25

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