Questions tagged [armor-class]

For questions about Armor Class (AC), the mechanical abstraction of how difficult it is to hit and cause damage to an opponent in D&D and related RPGs.

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45
votes
11answers
201k views

What is the highest possible AC?

Assuming you are level 20, and have access to any magic item, how high can you get AC (permanently or for a set duration)? Constraints: Magic items are those on the tables in the D&D 5th ...
35
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7answers
10k views

Mathematically, is a +2 bonus to AC better than attackers having disadvantage?

Mathematically speaking, I'm trying to determine if Bracers of Defense (AC+2) is better than a Cloak of Displacement, which causes all attackers to have disadvantage on attack rolls against you. If ...
29
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8answers
35k views

How does a DM deal with a PC with an abnormally high Armor Class?

One of the Fighters in my party has an AC of 21 at level 5. He wears chainmail which gives an AC of 16, has the Defense Fighting Style which gives a +1 to AC when wearing armor, and a +2 shield (found ...
29
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6answers
7k views

Can someone decide to be hit?

In this question, I asked about whether a character could willingly not use their shield or Dex bonus on certain attacks due to wanting to be hit. This raises the greater question- Can someone decide ...
27
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4answers
49k views

How does Mage Armor interact with Unarmored Defense?

If a character with the Unarmoured Defence class feature casts Mage Armour, what is their AC? Do they choose which 'base' AC they take, or do they stack somehow? Is there rules text that explains ...
27
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3answers
4k views

What rules or guidelines are there about when to allow a party to acquire plate mail?

I have heard it said that 5e does not balance its encounters with respect to magic items; in other words it does not consider possession of magic items when defining appropriately challenging ...
26
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8answers
34k views

What is the highest AC possible for a sorcerer?

What is the highest Armor Class achievable for a Sorcerer with the Sorcerous Origin of Draconic Bloodline? Player's Handbook Chapter 6 variant rules included. (Multiclassing, Feats, etc.)
24
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3answers
310k views

What exactly is “base AC”?

The phrase "base AC" appears in the D&D 5E basic rules exactly once, in the description of the Mage Armor spell. This says: The target’s base AC becomes 13 + its Dexterity modifier. But if ...
23
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5answers
31k views

Is there any difference between Studded Leather and Breastplate if my AC is the same with both?

Playing 5e with a Rogue. To make a long story short: In my possession I have both Studded Leather armor and a Breastplate. With my 18 Dexterity, My AC with Studded Leather is 16 (12+4). But if I don ...
23
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2answers
3k views

If you attack a Tarrasque while swallowed, what AC do you need to beat to hit it?

If you get swallowed by a Tarrasque, your only way of getting out is to deal it enough damage to force it to regurgitate you (60 damage or more on a single turn). There's no mention of the AC when ...
23
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2answers
4k views

Can you benefit from the Defense fighting style while not using armor AC calculation?

Let's assume a Lizardfolk fighter, with the Defense fighting style, wearing leather armor. Lizardfolk, per Volo's p. 113, get Natural Armor: You have tough, scaly skin. When you aren't wearing ...
23
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2answers
36k views

In what situations would a target be denied a Dex bonus to AC?

I have an encounter coming up where my PCs will face a high level rogue. Naturally, I'd like to use his sneak attack ability, but I've never played a rogue before so I'm light on experience. From the ...
20
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6answers
32k views

How do you calculate THAC0?

We're playing AD&D 1st edition and we have been asked by the DM to calculate our THAC0s so as to speed things up. So, I get what THAC0 stands for (To Hit Armour Class 0) but it's not something I ...
20
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3answers
2k views

What is the lowest possible AC?

This is a direct, somewhat silly, opposite question to What is the highest possible AC? . I’m wondering what is the lowest possible Armor Class a Player Character can get at any point in time, “...
20
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1answer
698 views

Which Armor Class values should be used as controls when making damage calculations?

It is known that occasionally questions will pop up that are about attempts to optimize a character's damage output (sometimes shorthanded as DPR, or Damage-per-Round), and veterans of this game know ...
19
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3answers
21k views

Combining various AC-providing clothing and armor

Are there any rules for combining different clothing/armor for providing AC? For example, can an adventurer wear full plate and bracers and get the AC bonus from both? Can an adventurer wear a Cloak ...
18
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10answers
4k views

Does rolling AC to oppose an Attack Roll impact game balance?

I really like the concept of rolling d20 against each other during ability checks like grappling, etc. I want the same thing for normal attacks, so the defender would also roll a d20 + (AC-10). Would ...
18
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1answer
4k views

What is the best 1-level multiclass to improve the AC of Wild Shape?

I'm planning on playing a Circle of the Moon Druid, primarily using Wild Shape for combat and saving my spells as much as possible. That said, I want to take 1 level of either Barbarian or Monk to get ...
17
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5answers
2k views

Is there a feat that allows you to subtract a number from your AC and add it to your attack roll?

Is there a feat that's the opposite of the Combat Expertise feat? I'm looking for a feat which would allow you to subtract a number from your AC and add it to your attack roll.
17
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3answers
4k views

Is trading +1 AC for -9 Max HP a good deal for a level 7 fighter?

During a recent dungeon, my character received wounds that were filled with a magical metal. The GM ruled that these wounds gave my character +1 AC and -9 Max HP until cured. My question is: should I ...
17
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5answers
3k views

How does the Shield spell interact with the Barkskin spell?

I am wondering what the ruling would be on a creature under the effects of the Barkskin spell that then casts the Shield spell as a reaction. Barkskin states: Until the spell ends, the target’s ...
17
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3answers
2k views

Are there advantages to descending AC?

From a game design standpoint, are there any advantages to descending AC? I've tagged this D&D because I think this was the most popular game which required a low AC all the way to the year 2000 ...
16
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2answers
2k views

How much attack damage does the AC boost from a shield prevent on average?

Statistically, how much attack damage does the AC boost from a shield prevent on average? I've seen claims it results in a 10% reduction in damage taken, is that accurate?
16
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1answer
3k views

Do tortles get a bonus to AC from a shield while using Shell Defense?

Shell Defense. You can withdraw into your shell as an action. Until you emerge, you gain a +4 bonus to AC, and you have advantage on Strength and Constitution saving throws. While in your shell, you ...
15
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9answers
13k views

Is AC really as powerful as I think it is?

My understanding of AC is that an enemy must roll higher than your AC to take any damage on you. However, if this is the case, wouldn't a player only need an AC higher than 20 to be invincible? I am ...
15
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5answers
4k views

Can a target have two Armor Class (AC) values?

I had an idea for a kobold-operated tank. The armor would be thick enough to be immune to damage from all mundane projectiles (arrows, bolts, flintlocks, javelins, etc.), and resistant to magic and ...
15
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4answers
3k views

What is the highest possible temporary AC at level 1, without any help from others?

Assuming you are level 1 and have access to any item that you can afford at character creation rolling the maximum amount of starting gold, and all spells that are available to you due to character ...
15
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6answers
2k views

Consequences of having half damage on attacks that tie AC as house rule?

Typically if an attack roll equals the AC of a target then the attack does normal damage. I quite like the idea of making it a glancing blow, dealing half damage instead, this would help clue the PCs ...
15
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1answer
196k views

What is the base AC when not wearing Armor?

Background Several character classes do not typically or cannot wear armor. Sorcerer, Monk, Wizard, Barbarian. Monk, Barbarian, and even draconian ancestry sorcerer have unarmored defense perks that ...
15
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1answer
8k views

Does Mage Armor stack with the Shield spell?

Mage Armor sets the target's base AC to 13+Dex. The Shield spell gives you a +5 bonus to AC. If you cast both on yourself, does that give you an effective AC of 18+Dex while both spells are in effect?
14
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2answers
3k views

How do I calculate my AC for this character?

I play a Tortle Draconic bloodline sorcerer and my DM and myself are scratching our heads on what it's AC total should be. Draconic Bloodline gets 13 + dex, but Tortles get 17 flat with no dex mod. I ...
14
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3answers
10k views

Is there Touch AC and/or Flatfooted AC in 5th Edition D&D?

Does D&D 5E have a mechanic similar to Touch AC or Flatfooted AC as it exists in D&D 3.5? To put it simply, in D&D 3.5, touch AC excludes armor bonuses when armor can't help against an ...
14
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1answer
1k views

As a Swords bard, how do I determine my AC bonus from Defensive Flourish on a critical hit?

Let's say I'm playing a College of Swords bard, and happen to critically strike an enemy with a natural 20. I choose to use my Defensive Flourish at this time, so the dice look like this: 2d6 (...
13
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3answers
3k views

Can a character dodge an attack that beats their Armor Class?

I am DMing a campaign. The party was fighting two castle guards, and killed one of them. The other guard attacked them, got past the AC of one of my players. He said he could dodge, but I don't know ...
13
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4answers
2k views

Is gaining 1 AC in exchange for disadvantage on Perception checks a balanced trade?

Inspired by this answer, and to avoid lengthy back and forth comments, I decided to make this a question in itself. You can put on your helmet for +1 AC and disadvantage on Perception checks. In ...
13
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3answers
22k views

Can a Beast Master ranger armor their animal companion with barding?

I was reading about the Barding rule on page 155 of the PHB, and I was just curious if a Beastmaster Ranger could armor up their companion? If so, how would that stack with the Ranger's proficiency ...
13
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2answers
45k views

Does Size Affect AC?

I have been playing 3.5 for 6 years now and am trying out 5e. Does size affect AC in 5e? In 3.5 a tiny creature would get a bonus to their AC for being smaller, while a huge creature would get a ...
13
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1answer
4k views

Does an Enhancement bonus on clothing become an Armor bonus?

Given this discussion I had here about combining Magic Vestment and Coat of Many Stars: Targeting what you're wearing would get you two different, non-stacking sources of Armor bonus. – Zachiel ...
13
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2answers
1k views

Does the AC bonus of the Haste Spell apply to Mirror Image?

Considering the fact that the +2 increase to a creature's Armor Class from the Haste spell is reasonably a result of the creature being "sped up" and thus having faster reflexes and dodging attacks ...
13
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2answers
3k views

How does __(Dexterity) vs. AC work?

I'm working through the new Red Box, and have ended up with a character with the at-will Bump And Run power. The attack is listed as __ (Dexterity) vs. AC Is ...
12
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5answers
35k views

How does barkskin work?

Now the wording in the spell description is extremely vague and ambiguous making the spell effect up for interpretation. It just says: ... the target's AC can't be less than 16, regardless of what ...
12
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3answers
12k views

Will adding helmets unbalance the game?

I can't find any mention of a helmet in the Player Handbook in the armour table, and the only helmets I can find are magic items like The Helm of Telepathy. Would it be unbalanced to allow helmets to ...
12
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2answers
3k views

Does the Wisdom modifier apply on a lizard-monk's armor class? [duplicate]

Lizardfolk is a PC race from the book Volo's Guide to Monsters. The Players Handbook says (Monk): Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield, your AC equals ...
12
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2answers
2k views

Is it possible to increase the AC of a mirror image duplicate?

Pretty straight forward question. By RAW, is it possible to increase the AC of the duplicates created by mirror image or they will always have an AC equal to 10 + Dex modifier? Be it using other ...
12
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3answers
5k views

Does an unconscious creature still use its dexterity to avoid attacks?

Related - How does one dispatch a helpless opponent? Here's the unconscious condition description: Unconscious An unconscious creature is Incapacitated, can't move or speak, and is unaware of ...
12
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2answers
3k views

How to improve AC when it's so low that enemies hit on 3–5?

The AC of my character is falling far behind her other defenses, and I'm wondering if I have missed out on something basic and important. I am going to post some of her stats as an example to this ...
12
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2answers
713 views

Do monsters need to don the shields in their stat blocks?

PHB page 146 says that donning and doffing a shield takes 1 action for PCs. However I did not find anything about monsters. For example, a goblin (MM page 166) wears both a leather armor (AC 11 + ...
12
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1answer
574 views

Does Medium Armor's Max dex also put a cap on the negative side?

I know heavy armor ignores Dexterity modifiers for AC calculations, but what about medium armor for a character with a -3 to their dexterity? Does Medium armor bottom out at -2, or will -3 still apply?...
12
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2answers
5k views

Is the UA Warforged considered to naturally be wearing armor?

I know Warforged are Unearthed Arcana races, and considered in play testing and/or incomplete, but based off of the information available to Warforged, would you consider a Warforged to be wearing ...
12
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2answers
554 views

Does the Defensive Duelist feat stack with the AC calculation from the Warforged's Integrated Protection trait?

The warforged integrated protection uses your proficiency bonus as part of the calculation for your AC at all 3 levels if you are proficient in that armor type. The Defensive Duelist feat allows you ...