|2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.|
We've had a discussion IMC about the use of uncanny dodge in relation to various ways of losing your dexterity bonus to armor class, exemplified by climbing and balancing.
My question is, does uncanny dodge let you retain your Dexterity bonus to AC while climbing?
Starting at 4th level, a rogue can react to danger before her senses would normally allow her to do so. She cannot be caught flat-footed, nor does she lose her Dex bonus to AC if the attacker is invisible. She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A rogue with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against her.
While climbing, you can’t move to avoid a blow, so you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any).
[On Balancing] While you are using Acrobatics in this way, you are considered flat-footed and lose your Dexterity bonus to your AC (if any).
That uncanny dodge works while balancing is quite clear, as you explicitly become flat-footed, and this is exactly what uncanny dodge helps against. Climb is less clear. On one hand, Climb does not explicitly say you are flat-footed. On the other hand, separating flat-footed from having no Dexterity to AC might be over-thinking, and the the two might mean exactly the same, being just a variation of language.
Also, uncanny dodge explicitly cites "She still loses her Dexterity bonus to AC if immobilized. A rogue with this ability can still lose her Dexterity bonus to AC if an opponent successfully uses the feint action (see Combat) against her." - both cases of losing Dex bonus while not being flat-footed. This could mean that these are the only two examples of this applying and that uncanny dodge helps against all other cases of losing your Dexterity bonus to AC.
I am leaning towards reading flat-footed and losing dexterity bonus to AC is one and the same, and that uncanny dodge helps against both unless explicitly stated otherwise. It also encourages rogues and barbarians to act more heroic.