Episode #125 of the Stack Overflow podcast is here. We talk Tilde Club and mechanical keyboards. Listen now
61

Hit your fighter in the NADs1 AC isn't the only way to cause damage to a fighter. Utilize creatures that force saving throws. High AC won't save you from a fireball Give them hard choices. AC won't save you when you have to choose between helping the rogue or the wizard…and you only have time to help one Talk to your players. Let them know the high AC is ...


54

I couldn't quite follow your logic, but this is how barkskin works. If your AC is less than 16, it is now 16. If your AC is greater than 16 it is not changed. If your AC was less than 16 before you cast barkskin, so it is currently 16, and then something changes to improve your AC further, then you calculate your AC with the new item ignoring barkskin. If ...


54

Under unusual circumstances, it is possible to get an AC of 49 Highest permanent AC: 31 Highest combat-ready AC: 35 Highest the-stars-aligned AC: 49 Permanent AC with Magic Armor, no other Magic Items: 27 There are actually several ways to achieve this. Barbarian 20 22: Unarmored Defense = 10 + 5 (20 DEX) + 7 (24 CON) +5: +3 Shield NOTE: Barbarian 20 ...


54

Right now, they're the same. But at some point, you're probably going to want to raise your Dexterity up to 20, and at that point, the studded leather will be worth 17 AC (12 + 5), whereas the breastplate will still be worth 16 (14 + 2). More generally, as you say, there's no reason for a piece of medium armor and Light armor to be statistically identical. ...


52

There are two differences off the top of my head that may be relevant: Donning medium armor takes 5 minutes; light armor is just 1 minute. \$\begin{array}{|l|c|c|} \hline \textbf{Category} & \textbf{Don} & \textbf{Doff} \\ \hline \text{Light Armor} & 1\,\text{minute} & 1\,\text{minute} \\ \text{Medium Armor} & 5\,\text{minutes} & ...


41

In D&D 5E, a player cannot roll to actively dodge an attack. This happens in such systems as Warhammer Fantasy, Dark Heresy and potentially a lot of other RPG systems. But not D&D 5E. In D&D 5E the dodge action can only be taken on your own turn as per page 192 of the Player's Handbook described under the (aptly named) Dodge action: When you ...


40

It's d20 + attack bonus vs. AC, not just d20 vs. AC. For example, the basic ogre in the Monster Manual makes attacks at +8. So that ogre can hit AC 20 on a 12 or higher. Rolling a "natural 20" (i.e. the die itself comes up 20) is a hit regardless of AC, so opponents have at least a 5% chance of inflicting some damage on you. (Damage tends to scale with ...


37

From the PHB p 14: Without armor or a shield, your character's AC equals 10 + his or her Dexterity modifier. Keep in mind that this is simply the default way to calculate AC. Armor and draconian ancestry do not add to this AC, they change the way your whole AC is calculated as is explained on the same page in the PHB and detailed, for example in this ...


36

In this case, the Cloak is better To explain this, let's first look at some stats. When no bonuses are involved, the Chances of rolling a 20 normally is 5% (1/20), while the chance for rolling 18 or higher normally is 15%. So, from the start, it seems as if having a 20 AC is a better thing. But not so fast. According to this source, who used a Monte Carlo ...


35

Does Armor Stack? In general, there are two notations for AC: The most common variety sets your AC to a fixed value, and looks something like this: AC = 11 + Dex Modifier (Padded armor) Your AC equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Wisdom modifier (Monk Unarmored Defense class feature) Alternately, some items increase your existing AC, and look ...


35

I believe the intention of the creators was that helmets are to be considered to be part of a set of armor. But more to the point, 5e, unlike 3.5e, has a very bounded set of attack bonuses and AC. +1 AC is actually rather useful in 5e. In addition, by doing this you discourage your players from using utility helms in favor of combat power.


35

10% is the naive answer The +2 bonus to AC is 10% of the d20 roll, but it is more complicated than that: If the enemy can only hit you on a natural 20, adding a shield does not do anything If without a shield the enemy hits you 50% of the time, it becomes 40% with one. The difference is about 20%1. If the enemy only misses on 1, dropping the shield does ...


34

Mearls explicitly mentioned the design decision to not include Touch AC nor Flat-footed AC in the game during the playtest period. They are intentionally absent as a simplification which streamlines play. Additionally, the thematic element of attacks is explained by Jeremy Crawford, on twitter (as mentioned by Doval): Stoppable by armor? That's an attack....


34

The lizard-monk's armour class would be: 10 + Dexterity mod + Wisdom mod or 13 + Dexterity mod, not 13 + Dexterity mod + Wisdom mod. Page 14 of the PHB says: Some spells and class features give you a different way to calculate your AC. If you have multiple features that give you different ways to calculate your AC, you choose which one to use. Both ...


33

Your "base AC" is your AC before any modifiers. However, it is not a defined game term at this time as it has little or no use outside of the Mage armor spell. Such modifiers may include: Class based bonuses like from a Fighting style Magic bonuses from items Temporary bonuses from spells. Other things not included in this list. So your "Base AC" is ...


33

One AC value should be enough AC isn't about how hard it is to hit you. It is about how hard it is to damage you. See the PHB, page 14, "Armor Class": Your Armor Class (AC) represents how well your character avoids being wounded in battle. Your tank is supposed to be "really hard to do damage to", that means it has quite big AC. DMG page 246 suggests ...


31

No. Armor Class is not an ability check. The PHB does not describe armor class(AC) as an ability check. Armor class is its own in-game thing. Armor protects its wearer from attacks. The armor (and shield) you wear determines your base Armor Class. (PHB, p. 145) While the Dexterity ability adds or subtracts to AC in some cases via the Dexterity ...


31

No, sorry. You can wear leather armor (AC=11+DEX); if you do you cannot cast mage armor on yourself per its description. Or you can cast mage armor on yourself (AC=13+DEX) and not wear the leather. Naively, this is an unambiguously-superior choice. Two more AC points and, since the invocation gives you mage armor at will, there's no cost in spell slots. ...


31

There is a precedent. Some creatures in the Monster Manual have body parts that, under certain circumstances, have a different AC from the creature itself. The Roper's Grasping Tendrils, for example. But does that apply here? Compare your theoretical kobold tank to a knight in plate armor. Is the knight harder to hit -- in the sense of 'make contact ...


31

Dragonborn don't get it by default Said specifically, it is not a feature granted by choosing Dragonborn as your race when building a character. If it was it would be listed in the race's description. The two special features Dragonborn get are Breath Weapon and Damage Resistance (and the Draconic Ancestry which determines the damage type for both). ...


30

No Both of these class features give you a different way to calculate your AC and according the page 14 of the PHB: Some spells and class features give you a different way to calculate your AC. If you have multiple features that give you different ways to calculate your AC, you choose which one to use.


30

Yes. Your armor class would certainly respond dynamically to changes in any value that is used to calculate AC. Your armor falls off? AC changes. Drop your shield? AC changes. Sprain your foot and lose Dexterity? Yup, your AC is recalculated from your new, lower Dex modifier.


29

Potentially Highest Achievable Armor Class Character Class: Barbarian using Unarmored Defense & some magic items AC 30(33) appears to be a theoretical max for "walking around" AC1 AC 42(45) appears to be a theoretical max for a brief duration1 +1 Ring of Protection (1)(attuned)1 +1 Cloak of Protection(attuned)1 Dexterity = 222 Constitution = 243 ...


28

There are two ways to alter your armor class: Set your base AC Add a modifier to AC. You only get the best base AC available to you, and not many things add a modifier. Mage Armor sets your base AC and Unarmed Defense from the Barbarian and Monk class features set your base AC as well, thus you only get the base AC from the best of them that you qualify ...


28

You take the lowest of the two maximum dex bonuses. As GMJoe noted, they aren't giving you a dex bonus, they're setting a maximum on your dexterity bonus to AC. As in, you cannot have a higher dexterity bonus to AC while using that item. If you have armor with a max dex of +1 and a shield with a max dex of +2, then the highest dexterity modifier your AC can ...


26

D&D 5e is premised on the idea of bounded accuracy. ... bounded accuracy means your attack bonus/defenses don't automatically increase with level ... bounded accuracy lets you take a monster (say, an orc) and pit him against pretty much any level of hero, knowing that the monster will still have a decent chance to hit and dodge. magic weapons and ...


26

I assume you mean the spell Mage Armor You touch a willing creature who isn't wearing armor, and a protective magical force surrounds it until the spell ends. The target's base AC becomes 13 + its Dexterity modifier. The spell ends if the target dons armor or if you dismiss the spell as an action. Compared to Studded Leather +1. Regarding Mage Armor, ......


26

Minimal. I go by a rule of thumb that ~things~ hit/land/happen about two-thirds of the time in 5e. Really tough encounters you may make contact less than half the time, easy ones you're making contact four-in-five hits.* So let's assume for argument's sake that "contact"--successful attack or failed save--happens 65% of the time, and does an average of X ...


25

Both of them set your base AC. So mage armor would supersede Unarmored Defense. You have this: Normal: AC = 10 + Dex Unarmored Defense: SET AC = 10 + Dex + Stat Mage Armor: SET AC = 13+Dex Basically, mage armor leaves no room for the second stat for Unarmored Defense so you would not be able to apply the second stat. The exclusive nature of AC ...


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