Armor Class "softcaps"


Advice

The Exchange

OK, I was looking into creating an "uberAC" character and it turns out there is really no such thing. Which is to say, yes you can get a great AC, but so can the next guy.

So I compiled a list of things that help AC, and want to know if I am missing very much:

Trait - Defender of Society +1 in Medium or Heavy Armor
Feat - Dodge +1
Feat combinations for Fighting Defensively: Exotic Weapon Proficiency (or an ioun stone that makes it familiar, thus martial) Madu, Cautious Fighter (halfling), Cautious Warrior. Fight defensively for -1 attack, and +6 AC

Classes that grant AC bonuses of some sort (over DEX + Armor, see below)

Spoiler:

Monk: +WIS Bonus to AC, +1 at 4th, +5 at 20th. Only while not wearing armor (thus "no" armor bonus, thus a complete wash IMHO with armor wearers, save it applies to touch AC). Monks generally could end up +8, except they lose 5 for enhancement. So they are only +3 over an armor wearer (total).

Stalwart defender: +1, get a bonus on fighting defensively if they don't move. There's a point to this, but honestly, at 20th level if you aren't moving you are getting hit or ignored in most combats.

Warpriest: same as monk. despite someone saying it "stacks" with monk, only the level stacks for the +1/4 effect. You don't get double WIS bonuses to AC.

Sorcerer; Dreamspun or Verdant bloodlines get a +1 to AC in some cases. Verdant would be replaced with NAV item, or used in it's place to get up to a +9 AC bonus (casting a 9th level spell), for 1d4 turns, so that is a total of +4 over a normal armor wearer - slightly better than a monk, for 1d4 rounds.

Cavalier and Inquisitors: Meh, yeh, get a +1 or so but they aren't any better than a normal armor wearer (everyone else) as level goes up.

Mouser Swashbuckler: Can give allies a +4AC (effectively) if their opponent misses and they move into the opponent's square.

Duelist: +1 per IntB / level to AC; max +10, reasonable is +5 for a str based fighter character. Again, not really better than a monk / sorcerer of the same level.

Magus: can add defending to a weapon with their arcane pool. So this is a wash with a normal armor wearer who just has the item.

OTHER AC Adders:
Armor - this tops out around +15. +10 total for armor and dex, sometimes +9, and then +5 enhancement bonus. It doesn't really matter what you are going to do, you are going to pick up something to fit your Dex bonus, and then enhance it.
Deflection: Personal shield type spell or magic aura?
Dodge: these can all stack, but everyone can get the ones I mentioned in the feat tree (pretty much). Does anyone know of a spell that grants a dodge bonus?
Enhancement: to AC, and NAC, shield so +15 total
Insight: Spell gives +4 AC (I think, double check).
Luck: +1, +2, ioun stones, spells(?).
Natural armor: NAC is usually limited to 8 from items, I believe.
Profane: +2 or +4 from spells, +more from anti-Paladin SMITE with high stats.
Sacred: +2 or +4 from spells, +more from Paladin SMITE with high stats.
Shield: +2, +4 generally.
Size: +1 small (or tiny for +2 I think)
Morale: boosts stats, so boosts AC if to Dex (and not capped on AC Dex limit).

Am I missing many things? Which/what? If you want to fill in specific spells or what not for the bonuses, feel free. If you know of something that grants more bonus somehow, please let me know that as well. Thanks!

By my calc, almost anyone can get 15 armor, 2 shield, 5 NAC, 15 enhancement, 2 luck, 1 size (reduce person), and then spell boosts to generally hit a 50+ AC. But it all seems to be the same after first level: quite item dependent.


A swashbuckler's Opportune Parry and Riposte can get very high and is a lot like AC. Similarly with Snake Style.

There's armor focus and shield focus feats.

Haste and blessing of fervor add dodge bonuses. A half-elf investigator who really pushes their inspiration bonus could find defensive grace very useful.

The Exchange

avr wrote:

A swashbuckler's Opportune Parry and Riposte can get very high and is a lot like AC. Similarly with Snake Style.

There's armor focus and shield focus feats.

Haste and blessing of fervor add dodge bonuses. A half-elf investigator who really pushes their inspiration bonus could find defensive grace very useful.

Snake style is against a single attack a round (immediate action). Pretty useless if they have a level 20 BAB.

The Swashbuckler could roll attacks against the opponent and negate attacks. That's not exactly an AC thing so much as an ability similar to Arrow Catching for ranged attacks. But it is at least more than once a round (as long as their Panache holds out)

The focus feats I had missed, thanks. Armor specialization on top makes it a +3 total. Anyone can get the +1 from focus. Fighter 4+ for the other +2.

Shield focus and improved is +2 total for anyone (using a shield) also.

That bumps up "everyone's" total AC to 53. 56 with the spells.

Does the inspiration from the DG spell keep rolling (and adding) on a 6 like normal? Or just once?

edit: ioun stones give a +1 insight bonus to AC. Anyone know of something that does better? 51 AC for all otherwise (I had it at a +2 luck, which was incorrect, but I am sure there is a luck bonus from somewhere)

I also forgot: in theory, you could loose two (or more?) dancing defending weapons for 4 turns for another +10. so 61 if gold were no object.


Oh yeah, fighters. The armor specialization which is an option under advanced armor training is +3 to +5 AC. I think the feat you're looking at is a 3rd party one on d20pfsrd.

Defensive grace has you roll an inspiration die, but those don't normally roll up the way you describe - that's some deeds using panache or similar. By pushing it I meant the half-elf alternate favored class bonus for +5 and the amazing inspiration talent to make the base die 2d8 at 20th level. +2d8+5 dodge is a decent amount to your AC.

The Exchange

avr wrote:

Oh yeah, fighters. The armor specialization which is an option under advanced armor training is +3 to +5 AC. I think the feat you're looking at is a 3rd party one on d20pfsrd.

Defensive grace has you roll an inspiration die, but those don't normally roll up the way you describe - that's some deeds using panache or similar. By pushing it I meant the half-elf alternate favored class bonus for +5 and the amazing inspiration talent to make the base die 2d8 at 20th level. +2d8+5 dodge is a decent amount to your AC.

yes, 21 dodge bonus is significantly higher than what the general character can get (61 vs 82) but at the same time, is a bit unnecessary. But definitely over what can be "bought by everyone." I think the high build I saw as 123 AC out there on the internet.


Armor Training increases the DEX cap on full plate, as does the nimble property and mithral.

A DEX based fighter in +5 Mithral Nimble Full Plate + Armor Specialization has a 38 AC before anything else gets added in.

Shield Focus & +5 heavy steel shield goes to 46

+5 Amulet of Natural Armor & +5 Ring of Protection = 56

From there you have a wide range of extras to choose from:

  • Dusty Rose Ioun Stone (+1)
  • Haste (+1)
  • Dodge (+1)
  • Combat Expertise (+5)
  • Fighting Defensively (+3)
  • Armor of the Pit (+2)
  • Improved Armor Focus (+2)
  • Greater Shield Focus (+1)
  • Demonhide

That is 72 AC, and the list goes on.

The only real limit to AC is the resources a character is willing to devote. Past a certain point, you're just wasting resources as the cost of the next +1 keeps getting higher and the returns lower.

The Exchange

Volkard Abendroth wrote:


  • Dusty Rose Ioun Stone (+1)
  • Haste (+1)
  • Dodge (+1)
  • Combat Expertise (+5)
  • Fighting Defensively (+3)
  • Armor of the Pit (+2)
  • Improved Armor Focus (+2)
  • Greater Shield Focus (+1)
  • Demonhide

That is 72 AC, and the list goes on.

The only real limit to AC is the resources a character is willing to devote. Past a certain point, you're just wasting resources as the cost of the next +1 keeps getting higher and the returns lower.

Yeh, my point wasn't in "getting the best AC ever" it was "what is the best AC ANYONE can have", regardless of class specializations. As I said, 123 is the best I found online for specialized all AC 20th level character. I was just trying to get a list of "resources" anyone could buy to see how high it could go, because, well, after level 1 everyone is depending on items and spells (or spell items) if they don't have the "+21 to dodge" that some classes get. (that's an example of how some classes boost AC. I am aware of that. Not the point of what I was asking for help with). Anything after +60 is pretty much useless anyway (+40 attack by cr23/26 mobs is about the highest you will ever face, things with higher will kill you other ways than attacking your AC), but it would be nice to have a list of what gets everyone there, regardless of class.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder RPG / Advice / Armor Class "softcaps" All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.