Problem: High AC characters tend to not wear armor.


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While I find the raw information in this thread interesting I'd like to urge for some more Pathfinder RPG rules only discussion. I mean, does it really matter how many broken and abusable things can be found in splat books? Paizo can't change those so it is up to each GM to allow them or not.

So do High AC characters tend to not wear armor or not?

No, if we're talking about melee characters. A char without fighter armor training wearing Bracers of Armor +8 would need a dexterity of +7 to match the AC from a Mithral Shirt +5 or Mithral Breastplate +5 and a dexterity of +8 to match the AC of a Mithral Full Plate +5. For every fighter armor training progression the dexterity to match the AC goes up by two!

I made a sortable table here

Sovereign Court

Tholas wrote:

While I find the raw information in this thread interesting I'd like to urge for some more Pathfinder RPG rules only discussion. I mean, does it really matter how many broken and abusable things can be found in splat books? Paizo can't change those so it is up to each GM to allow them or not.

It's relevant because of the requirement for backwards compatibility (so that people can still use their old stuff) but also because the new versions of the core classes are supposed to be buffed somewhat in order to be close to Prestige Classes and other non-core 20 level classes (although it's generally pointed out that of the most powerful 20-level classes in RaW, three are core) so that dipping doesn't become a necessity but is supposed to be more of a choice. Whether this is achievable is a moot point.

I agree with you that more discussion and comparison of the PFRPG classes is welcome, though.


Bagpuss wrote:


It's relevant because of the requirement for backwards compatibility (so that people can still use their old stuff) but also because the new versions of the core classes are supposed to be buffed somewhat in order to be close to Prestige Classes and other non-core 20 level classes (although it's generally pointed out that of the most powerful 20-level classes in RaW, three are core) so that dipping doesn't become a necessity but is supposed to be more of a choice. Whether this is achievable is a moot point.

Granted, but if some splatbook stuff was broken in 3.5 it might as well be broken in Pathfinder. Maybe it might be more problematic when some new or changed rule in Pathfinder RPG makes splatbook stuff (more) abusable. See (Greater) Mighty Wallop, Strongarm Bracers, Monkey Grip with Vital Strike.


Tholas wrote:

While I find the raw information in this thread interesting I'd like to urge for some more Pathfinder RPG rules only discussion. I mean, does it really matter how many broken and abusable things can be found in splat books? Paizo can't change those so it is up to each GM to allow them or not.

So do High AC characters tend to not wear armor or not?

No, if we're talking about melee characters. A char without fighter armor training wearing Bracers of Armor +8 would need a dexterity of +7 to match the AC from a Mithral Shirt +5 or Mithral Breastplate +5 and a dexterity of +8 to match the AC of a Mithral Full Plate +5. For every fighter armor training progression the dexterity to match the AC goes up by two!

I made a sortable table here

Magic Vestment. Clothing is a valid target. Subtract 5 from your numbers. Seeing as that only means you need 14 or 16 dex... well do the math.

Non core stuff is getting brought up because there are no core means of making melees valid, and PF amplifies this effect. Therefore it is an automatically associated factor. Discussing anything core not named Cleric, Druid, Wizard (or maybe Bard) is like discussing building a wall when the only tools you have available for this task are a half eaten pack of gum, a pencil, and a paper clip. You can talk about it all you want, make hypothetical plans, but sooner or later you have to realize that unless you get the proper tools you are never going to be able to actually do anything. Once you have some 2 * 4s, drywall, and nails you can start getting somewhere. Until then, all discussion is moot.

Edit: Monkey Grip is a trap (you lose damage by taking this feat). Strongarm Bracers are a trap (you now require this item in order to do anything, thereby setting yourself up to fail). Greater Mighty Wallop would be a valid point, except it's an evening measure due to the fact bludgeoning weapons are flat out inferior to the other types. Also, since it's only increasing base damage dice it's not actually doing that much. 1d6 becomes 4d6 at the most, which is +10.5. 1d10 becomes... 4d8? +12.5. Greater Magic Weapon adds 12 (higher, with anything that boosts PA multipliers). Not a big deal.


Crusader of Logic wrote:


Magic Vestment. Clothing is a valid target. Subtract 5 from your numbers. Seeing as that only means you need 14 or 16 dex... well do the math.

I am pretty sure that the armor bonus from Magic Vestment does not stack with Bracers of Armor.

Crusader of Logic wrote:


Non core stuff is getting brought up because there are no core means of making melees valid, and PF amplifies this effect.

Really? I had the opposite impression.

Sovereign Court

Tholas wrote:


Really? I had the opposite impression.

He may be talking about the Power Attack and Improved Trip nerfs, for example (which both blow and I hope get fixed).


Tholas wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:


Magic Vestment. Clothing is a valid target. Subtract 5 from your numbers. Seeing as that only means you need 14 or 16 dex... well do the math.

I am pretty sure that the armor bonus from Magic Vestment does not stack with Bracers of Armor.

Crusader of Logic wrote:


Non core stuff is getting brought up because there are no core means of making melees valid, and PF amplifies this effect.

Really? I had the opposite impression.

Bracers of armor are an armor bonus. Magic Vestment gives an enhancement bonus to armor. They stack for the same reason +x armors and shields add x more AC than non magical versions of the same. Now, if you were wearing a suit of padded armor only the highest AC bonus would apply (but the point of that would be getting more special properties, which do still work).

And yes, PF amplifies the effect because of the PA and Improved Trip nerfs. It also helps that even if these maneuvers are the same, the latter would still have a lower chance of working against just about anything, pigeonholing you more into 'the only option is to hit it in the face' when hitting it in the face is invalid and not good enough. 15 + CMB = enjoy your 30% success chance against your mirror match. Except the enemy big dumb melee brutes have better stats than you, lowering this further. Before, you had a 50% success rate against your mirror match, higher with Improved Trip. Still higher with party cooperation (Enlarge Person). All of the above are now considerably less effective.

Grand Lodge

After reading and following for a while I am curious how a lot of this fits with real playing, not just number crunching.

For example, a lot of the examples use a large number of spells. How often do players get so many rounds before combat to start prepping and casting so many buff spells?

Also, a lot of the examples depend upon some uncommon items. Again the question is how often do all of those items get awarded? It would seem rather unusual for players to have access to ALL of those items and have the time to buff with ALL of those spells.

How does all of this stack up in real play?


Crusader of Logic wrote:


And yes, PF amplifies the effect because of the PA and Improved Trip nerfs. It also helps that even if these maneuvers are the same, the latter would still have a lower chance of working against just about anything, pigeonholing you more into 'the only option is to hit it in the face' when hitting it in the face is invalid and not good enough. 15 + CMB = enjoy your 30% success chance against your mirror match. Except the enemy big dumb melee brutes have better stats than you, lowering this further. Before, you had a 50% success rate against your mirror match, higher with Improved Trip. Still higher with party cooperation (Enlarge Person). All of the above are now considerably less effective.

Can it then be agreed that against an opponent of equal CMB+modifiers, the mechanics should allow for a 50% success rate? It makes it somewhat like touch AC, but subject to alternate rules and BAB scalable, which I think may have been part of the reason for the creation of the entire CMB system. Would you also consider it less of a nerf, and opening more options, to allow *all* the Improved <foo> feats, at BAB 6+ maybe, to allow a followup AOO if the manuever is successful? This would partially undo the Improved Trip nerf, make Disarm suck slightly less, and make Bullrush, Overrun, and Grapple marginally interesting uses of full rounds.

Mobility is still a problem, but the Full BAB classes now can do more without giving up their ability to do some hitpoint damage.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Tholas wrote:
I am pretty sure that the armor bonus from Magic Vestment does not stack with Bracers of Armor.
Crusader of Logic wrote:
Bracers of armor are an armor bonus. Magic Vestment gives an enhancement bonus to armor. They stack for the same reason +x armors and shields add x more AC than non magical versions of the same.

I think Tholas is correct. Re-read magic vestment; it has a target of a set of armor or a shield, not a character. It can be placed on armor (including, yes, clothing), or shields, increasing the enhancement bonus of the item. The spell can't be placed on magic bracers, because those bracers aren't armor, they're miscellaneous magic items that provide an armor bonus to AC.

So if a 17th-Level cleric places magic vestment on your robes, the robes have a +4 enhancement bonus to their armor bonus. (That goes from 0 to +4.) If you're also wearing bracers of armor, you'd have two sources of an armor bonus, and you'd take the better of them.

Bonuses from bracers of armor don't stack with bonuses from actual armor, which is what magic vestment provides to a character's robes.

Again, if you can provide a citation (maybe a character in one of Wizards' published adventures who uses magic vestment in conjunction with miscellaneous magic items that provide a shield or armor bonus) I'd be good with that.

Incidentally, the +2 shield provides more shield bonus to a character's AC because that +2 is an enhancement bonus to the item's shield bonus. But, like magic vestment that enhancement bonus sticks to its target. If I have a +2 light shield, and am also weilding a masterwork heavy shield (maybe I have more than two arms, or maybe I just like carrying shields...) the +2 doesn't transfer over to the heavy shield, giving me a +4 armor bonus. I use the better of the two shield bonuses.


Krome wrote:

After reading and following for a while I am curious how a lot of this fits with real playing, not just number crunching.

For example, a lot of the examples use a large number of spells. How often do players get so many rounds before combat to start prepping and casting so many buff spells?

Also, a lot of the examples depend upon some uncommon items. Again the question is how often do all of those items get awarded? It would seem rather unusual for players to have access to ALL of those items and have the time to buff with ALL of those spells.

How does all of this stack up in real play?

Are you referring to my examples? If so, every single one of those effects lasts 24 hours except Law Devotion which is a Swift action to turn on and I can use 4 times a day. In other words, it lasts the entire standard day aka 4 encounters.

Doesn't matter how the DM awards items, see self crafting. If the DM doesn't allow players to buy anything they can afford, that's one more way the other guy loses.

The only difference in 'real play' is I'd be using a slightly less optimized character. Which still completely outclasses Mr. Heavy Armor, he just needs 7-8 more levels to do it. Which is fine, considering that I'm comparing him to Mr. Heavy Armor when the latter has a 7-8 level advantage anyways. In other words, 20 vs 20 (my 20 wins), not 12-13 vs 20 (I still win). Actually he likely needs less, but still.

TreeLynx: Base 50% success is still too low, even with a follow up. Remember, this costs 2 feats. As such it needs to be significantly better than what you have for free.

The enhancement thing works as I have stated. Especially when Ghost Ward is changing its effect. Clearly, +5 AC (3 of which is touch) is not the same thing as +4 AC (none of which is touch). As stated multiple times I checked with many intelligent and knowledgeable people to clarify this for myself before I ever used it. So drop it.

Sovereign Court

Krome wrote:

After reading and following for a while I am curious how a lot of this fits with real playing, not just number crunching.

For example, a lot of the examples use a large number of spells. How often do players get so many rounds before combat to start prepping and casting so many buff spells?

The two key factors here are duration and advanced warning, I think. Good roleplaying would often involve every effort to find out about threats, so as to use intelligence to plan ahead. Buffing would come into that. Of course, longer-duration spells are just sensible...

Krome wrote:
Also, a lot of the examples depend upon some uncommon items. Again the question is how often do all of those items get awarded? It would seem rather unusual for players to have access to ALL of those items and have the time to buff with ALL of those spells.

As per the default 3.5 assumptions, you buy the items.

Krome wrote:
How does all of this stack up in real play?

No one would ever call me an optimiser (and I've never had a character anything like these ones) -- my game group would get butchered by a same-theoretical-CR group of people who developed their characters for more-than-obvious combat effect -- but the gathering intelligence/planning ahead elements, plus purchasing/commissioning of magical items, is everpresent. If this was real life, I'd do the same things, too, just because it makes sense.


Crusader of Logic wrote:


TreeLynx: Base 50% success is still too low, even with a follow up. Remember, this costs 2 feats. As such it needs to be significantly better than what you have for free.

I was refering to absolute mirror image equality. Same feats, same BAB, same Strength, same unspecified but hypothetical buffs. In short, effective CMB = effective CMB.

I think it is utterly reasonable to set 50% as the baseline, and let specialists boost this by 10%-25% as they scale in level.

This means that first the CMB DC needs to be adjusted, to ensure that two raw unequipped, no relevant feat selected level 1 Warriors have a 50% chance of performing a combat manuever on their buddy.

Then, I think Improved <foo> should scale with BAB, beyond what is already provided by the natural increase in BAB. Maybe tie it to +6,+11,and +16, to add an additional +1 to the CMB check.

That way, at level 6, our Improved Tripper can succeed 65% of the time against a non-optimized but otherwise equivalent Warrior, scaling up to 70% of the time when the stat disparity starts to creep up against the full BAB classes in appropriately CRed creatures.


Except we're still talking about a minor effect and a significant chance of failure. On a specialist.

Let's try this another way. A character with 27 Strength, and Powerful Build (Large when it is advantageous for him to be) is wearing Bracers of Might (+2 strength checks). That gives him a base +14 as per 3.5 rules. Add Improved Trip, +18. Now, put him against himself, he has a 66% success rate. Sounds good, just one issue.

He's going up against things that have higher than 27 Strength and/or are larger than Large. They also sometimes have four or more legs or are otherwise exceptionally stable. So he can beat up little peon humanoid opponents, but when it comes to the big threats he can't do much. Ok.

In PF, same guy has a +23, +25 with Improved Trip. Except it's 15 + 23 to resist, therefore his success rate is 30% against himself, 40% against himself if specialized (except that against himself means his opponent is also specialized, reverting him to 30%), and his success against anything bigger and/or stronger drops even more since now BAB factors into it, and the enemy melee brutes are better at his job than he is. Size playing less of a role works both ways, but works against him more as now he can't at least slam the odd Medium Outsider around.


Crusader of Logic wrote:

Except we're still talking about a minor effect and a significant chance of failure. On a specialist.

<snip>

In PF, same guy has a +23, +25 with Improved Trip. Except it's 15 + 23 to resist, therefore his success rate is 30% against himself, 40% against himself if specialized (except that against himself means his opponent is also specialized, reverting him to 30%), and his success against anything bigger and/or stronger drops even more since now BAB factors into it, and the enemy melee brutes are better at his job than he is. Size playing less of a role works both ways, but works against him more as now he can't at least slam the odd Medium Outsider around.

We are more than a bit off topic here, which is why I think the board ate my first post in response.

A specialist against a specialist should have a substantial chance of failure, because they know the same kind of tricks. I know this from my own martial arts training.

I don't dislike the change from old trip DCs to a new system, I just think the new system models it wrong, and is a massive nerf, when it just doesn't need to.

Having a Full BAB or being a monk means that you have a lifetime of martial arts training. At the least, when you are pitting your martial training against someone elses, you should have a base DC of 10, or make it an opposed roll, which slows down combat. If CMB has to stay at 15 DC for some unfathomable reason, then give Improved <foo> +7 to the CMB check, and keep the scaling mechanism and AOO mechanisms I proposed.

Otherwise, all Combat Manuevers are a trap.

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TreeLynx wrote:


Otherwise, all Combat Manuevers are a trap.

Hmmm. You even look a little like a Calamari.


Depending on how you define specialist that either means it will only ever work against meaningless peons you are better off just stabbing in the face because against everything remotely level appropriate your only option is to stab it in the face, or you are referring to Improved whatever as a specialist in which case it would have to mean more than +2 to qualify.

Also, I remind you trying to apply 'realism' to a world where anyone of above average Intelligence and/or Charisma is quite capable of sodomizing the laws of physics as they exist on Earth is the primary reason why Fighters Do Not Get Nice Things. It's also why the entire two weapon fighting style is gimped out of the box. It's 'hard'. Great. That's not a valid reason to make it require far more resources to yield the same or lesser result. I imagine beating an Ogre in single melee combat is pretty damn hard too. Would you complain if a martial character did so? No? Then I'd say since everything is 'hard' by that definition, there's no reason to screw over TWF, and martial characters in general.

Especially when it'd probably require less effort to become reasonably ambidexterous than to kick the ass of something much bigger and stronger than yourself.


Chris Mortika wrote:
TreeLynx wrote:


Otherwise, all Combat Manuevers are a trap.
Hmmm. You even look a little like a Calamari.

*sniff* Brings a tear to ones eye when the little ones catch on.

Grand Lodge

Crusader of Logic wrote:
Krome wrote:

After reading and following for a while I am curious how a lot of this fits with real playing, not just number crunching.

For example, a lot of the examples use a large number of spells. How often do players get so many rounds before combat to start prepping and casting so many buff spells?

Also, a lot of the examples depend upon some uncommon items. Again the question is how often do all of those items get awarded? It would seem rather unusual for players to have access to ALL of those items and have the time to buff with ALL of those spells.

How does all of this stack up in real play?

Are you referring to my examples?

No, I wasn't thinking any one example. There have been several tossed out over the last few pages with lots of spells.

I have no problem with gathering intelligence ahead of time. But as a GM I rarely give my PCs enough info that they can plan ahead to the round before combat begins. Though 24hr spells help that problem :)

As for items, I grant my PCs three ways to get items. Loot- which I control to suit needs of the story itself. Purchasing- again I don't allow them to get anything and everything they want, but this allows them to tweak out their PC a bit more. Creation- if they can find the time, the money and resources they can make whatever they wish. However, they have a choice- go adventure and save the world, or sit around for a few days or weeks drinking in the Inn while they wait and make items and let others do the adventuring for them.

Crafting/Creation is fine as long as the PCs aren't sitting around spending tremendous amounts of time doing just that. My last character was a crafter, and we rarely had time for more than potions and scrolls. Not many easy ways to lug around a full lab of equipment in a dungeon and set up shop for a few days...


Funny thing is being able to plan far in advance... it helps the less adaptable types more. Whereas say... knowing a few hours ahead there be demons ahead means time to pass around the anti evil outsider measures. Not having any forewarning means quickly available general measures (see spells) win the day, other guys are screwed.

Not being able to buy anything and everything you can afford screws non casters. Casters have crafting, and fewer needs.

Scarab Sages

But that isn't what he is saying, he's saying that not being able to plan in advance puts all characters at a disadvantage, event the spellcasters. Yes, in a pinch a spellcasters has more resources at their disposal than a non-caster. But a prepared spellcaster exceeds a non-prepared one, and some of the examples discussed seem to imply prepared spellcasters.


Jal Dorak wrote:
But that isn't what he is saying, he's saying that not being able to plan in advance puts all characters at a disadvantage, event the spellcasters. Yes, in a pinch a spellcasters has more resources at their disposal than a non-caster. But a prepared spellcaster exceeds a non-prepared one, and some of the examples discussed seem to imply prepared spellcasters.

Given the generality of spells, no. Not really.

Anyways. Still missing the point. The point is AC is not a valid defense because it only blocks the things that are least threatening to you anyways, does a very poor job of even that much, and is extremely inefficient such that other means of getting the same or better protection are cheaper, allowing you to focus on the things that matter.

So not only do high AC characters tend not to wear armor, AC is a low priority stat in the first place.

Seriously. Just look at the costs of that stuff. It scales fast. +1 AC costs as much as 19k (armor or shield), or 18k (amulet of natural armor or ring of deflection).

24k means everything with an attack roll has a 1 in 5 chance to miss automatically, on top of everything else. That's including touch attacks. In some cases it's including spells that don't involve an attack roll, but are still targeted. As an added bonus, having Concealment means you can Hide. The cloak grants this. Greater Displacement cloak would be on here for 1 in 2 chances for 50k, except it's not always on and requires burning entire rounds to activate it, therefore it is yet another trash item.

Alternately you could start torching your feats like crazy, which isn't much better.

This assumes your DM is allowing the MIC rules for applying common stats to items. Without these that +5 natural armor amulet means no Con booster. Naturally 60 HP > 5 AC. Scale down for lower levels, it still holds true.


Crusader of Logic wrote:

Depending on how you define specialist that either means it will only ever work against meaningless peons you are better off just stabbing in the face because against everything remotely level appropriate your only option is to stab it in the face, or you are referring to Improved whatever as a specialist in which case it would have to mean more than +2 to qualify.

Also, I remind you trying to apply 'realism' to a world where anyone of above average Intelligence and/or Charisma is quite capable of sodomizing the laws of physics as they exist on Earth is the primary reason why Fighters Do Not Get Nice Things. It's also why the entire two weapon fighting style is gimped out of the box. It's 'hard'. Great. That's not a valid reason to make it require far more resources to yield the same or lesser result. I imagine beating an Ogre in single melee combat is pretty damn hard too. Would you complain if a martial character did so? No? Then I'd say since everything is 'hard' by that definition, there's no reason to screw over TWF, and martial characters in general.

Especially when it'd probably require less effort to become reasonably ambidexterous than to kick the ass of something much bigger and stronger than yourself.

Slow down...I am saying that being a first level Fighter should mean you are a order of magnitude better than any but the most baddest of bada**es in the real world. Yes it is hardcore, but that's what fantasy is about. I said anyone with a full BAB has spent their entire life training to be a martial artist. I am not even remotely implying that myself or any but 1 or 2 of the teachers I have had would qualify to be a first level Monk or Fighter. This also means that a Archivist, Artificer, or Wizard at first level is also utterly hardcore at what they do, but we already knew that.

PFRPG is so beyond low fantasy it isn't funny, and I wish people would stop trying to use them as low fantasy systems. So many characters and opponents are so beyond what earthlings are capable of, at ridiculously low levels, that it won't effectively model low fantasy at E6 levels, even if you let nobody have Nice Things. If you want low fantasy in d20, you should use d20 modern.

I am not overly attached to the numbers. I am saying that one feat should turn someone into an effective tripping machine, in a scalable and effective way throughout their character life, but that against an equal tripping machine, or someone sufficiently bigger, wierder, or more badass than them, the odds should only allow him to do it half the time. Heck, I'd be happy with Improved <foo> going back to +4, if CMB checks went down to DC 10. Otherwise, it would need to be +8 or +9 to not be a trap. While we are at it, let's add in +2 at every additional iterative attack. That means at level 20, a full BAB character invested in the feat will 95% be able to trip an otherwise equal character without the feat, assuming autofail on 1. Assuming you add back +2 to appropriate weapons to trip, I think Tripper boy could be in good shape.

I am not at all saying Fighters Should Not Have Nice Things. This is not me even saying Feats should be modeled on reality. It is me asking for there to be some standard basis to judge an arbitrary mechanic against.

At the minimum, I want Improved Trip and Improved Disarm to start as good as the spell grease, or better, preferably, since unlike grease, they represent a full time, unremoveable commitment from the character invested in them. And since they never can be changed, maybe don't even look at spells. Instead, every feat should provide a scalable benefit of equivalence to a psionic power of the feat's approximate tier or "level" minus 1. Why -1? Feats are always available, and have only the action economy and circumstances to limit their use. If it isn't at least that good, then it is too weak to be a feat. Tier 2 feats map to Level 1 or 2 spell or power. Tier 3, Level 3, Tier 4, Level 4 or 5, and Tier 5/capstone feats, Level 6.

If the feat gives you less, in a less scalable way, than a spell of equal level, I don't think it is good enough.

This does tie back into your points against heavy armor use, by the way. Since Wear Heavy Armor is essentially a Tier 3 feat, requiring Wear Light, and Wear Medium, the benefits of Heavy Armor should be as good as a Level 3 spell or power. Right now, it isn't, because the Level 3 equivalent AC and defense boosters blow it away without any penalties for their use except for the spells normal resource consumption. This needs to be fixed.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:
Bracers of armor are an armor bonus. Magic Vestment gives an enhancement bonus to armor. They stack for the same reason +x armors and shields add x more AC than non magical versions of the same. Now, if you were wearing a suit of padded armor only the highest AC bonus would apply (but the point of that would be getting more special properties, which do still work).

One. Last. Time.

Read the definition of enhancement bonuses on pg. 308 of the PHB: "A bonus that represents an increase in the sturdiness and/or effectiveness of armor or natural armor, or the effectiveness of of a weapon, or a general bonus to an ability score. Multiple enhancement bonuses on the same object (in the case of armor or weapons), creature (in the case of natural armor), or ability score do not stack. Only the highest enhancement bonus applies. Since enhancement bonuses to armor or natural armor effectively increase the armor or natural armor's bonus to AC, they don't apply to touch attacks."

An enhancement bonus adds to the bonus granted by the affected object, not to the bonus granted by a different object or effect. What you are doing is similar to someone with a +1 longsword and a +4 short sword claiming that the short sword's enhancement bonus applies to all attacks with both weapons when using Two-Weapon Fighting.


Dragonchess Player wrote:
Crusader of Logic wrote:
Bracers of armor are an armor bonus. Magic Vestment gives an enhancement bonus to armor. They stack for the same reason +x armors and shields add x more AC than non magical versions of the same. Now, if you were wearing a suit of padded armor only the highest AC bonus would apply (but the point of that would be getting more special properties, which do still work).

One. Last. Time.

Read the definition of enhancement bonuses on pg. 308 of the PHB: "A bonus that represents an increase in the sturdiness and/or effectiveness of armor or natural armor, or the effectiveness of of a weapon, or a general bonus to an ability score. Multiple enhancement bonuses on the same object (in the case of armor or weapons), creature (in the case of natural armor), or ability score do not stack. Only the highest enhancement bonus applies. Since enhancement bonuses to armor or natural armor effectively increase the the armor or natural armor's bonus to AC, they don't apply to touch attacks."

An enhancement bonus adds to the bonus from the affected object, not to the bonus granted from a different object or effect. What you are doing is similar to someone with a +1 longsword and a +4 short sword claiming that the short sword's enhancement bonus applies to all attacks with both weapons when using Two-Weapon Fighting.

I agree, IMO casting magic vestments (+5) on bracers (which I dont think would work, see my comment below) gives you bracers that have the ac they provide by their own nature (not by some other magical enchantment) enhanced by 5. I would say bracers normally provide no armor bonus and that means they then count as an armor bonus enhanced to +5. If they happen to additionally be Bracers of AC +8 they would also create an armor bonus of +8. But these would not stack as they are caused by different effects.

- incidentally the magic vestment spell contempltes being cast on a suit of armor, a shield or an outfit of regular clothing. I would think casting it on bracers or other such items would not qualify anyway. No barbarians with +5 armor loincloths- they got to at least wear an 'outfit' which to me means something that covers a significant part of your body


You are blabbering about enhancement bonuses not stacking, which is completely irrelevant to the discussion as nothing I have said presumes that they do. You might as well be bringing Ferraris into a discussion about what type of pizza to order for all the relevance your words have.

Let me know at any time when you are ready to stop obfuscating the issue and actually discuss the topic.

Until then... Mmm, pizza.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Crusader of Logic wrote:

You are blabbering about enhancement bonuses not stacking, which is completely irrelevant to the discussion as nothing I have said presumes that they do.

Let me know at any time when you are ready to stop obfuscating the issue and actually discuss the topic.

Actually, he's explaining the same thing I've been trying to articulate, although he's done a clearer job of it.

You've insisted that an enhancement on Item A's bonus somehow transfers to Spell B. We have all explained, to the best of our varying abilities, that the rules don't work like that. In response, you have simply damanded that they do, insulted those of us kind enough to patiently explain things over and over to you, and assured us that "The enhancement thing works as I have stated. ... As stated multiple times I checked with many intelligent and knowledgeable people to clarify this for myself before I ever used it. So drop it."

You may well have checked with intelligent people. But either they misunderstood the rules, or they didn't have any better luck explaining them to you than we have.

Perhaps you don't understand that "blabber" is an insult.

Is all of this relevant?

Up to a point. The suggestion that, at hyper-high levels, there are some combinations of prestige classes, equipment, feats, spells, attributes, and the like which give astronomical armor classes to certain lightly-armored fighters is on-topic, but maybe wide of the mark.

In my experience, looking at the campaigns around me, convention adventures, and modules for sale, most PCs spend most of their active careers around levels 4 - 12. In that range, are heavy armors better than light armors for AC?

(And, I guess, if it takes *all* of a character's feats, equipment, etc. to get a great AC at some level, then that's a character who really wants to focus on armor class, and so that seems appropriate.)


Werecorpse agrees with Dragonchess wrote:
[...]I agree, IMO... [...]

You should have read the rules.

SRD 3.5, Magic Vestment wrote:

Magic Vestment

Transmutation
Level: Clr 3, Strength 3, War 3
Components: V, S, DF
Casting Time: 1 standard action
Range: Touch
Target: Armor or shield touched
Duration: 1 hour/level
Saving Throw: Will negates (harmless, object)
Spell Resistance: Yes (harmless, object)
You imbue a suit of armor or a shield with an enhancement
bonus
of +1 per four caster levels (maximum +5 at 20th
level).
An outfit of regular clothing counts as armor that grants
no AC bonus
for the purpose of this spell.

Magic Vestment --> Enhancement bonus to AC.

SRD 3.5, Bracers of Armor wrote:

Bracers of Armor: These items appear to be wrist or arm guards. They surround the wearer with an invisible but tangible feld of force, granting him an armor bonus of +1 to +8, just as though he were wearing armor. Both bracers must

be worn for the magic to be effective.

Bracers of Armor --> Armor bonus to AC.

Sources of bonuses are irrelevant since both items use different slots (clothes --> armor slot, bracers --> bracer slot). Bonuses are of different type and they are not subject to an exception to stacking rule.

Ergo, both bonuses stack and whoever claims otherwise, failed their research check.

Final joke. Shield, as per Sage ruling (it is, if I remember correctly, in 3.5 errata somewhere, provides armor bonus which stacks with other armor bonuses) and, Armor enhancement bonus on shield stacks with Armor enhancement bonus of armor, so, it's worth mentioning that, as an exception to general rule, Armor enhancement bonus from shield stack with another bonus of the same type, if it is added by armor.

Regards,
Ruemere

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Hi, ruemere.

ruemere wrote:

Sources of bonuses are irrelevant since both items use different slots (clothes --> armor slot, bracers --> bracer slot). Bonuses are of different type and they are not subject to an exception to stacking rule.

Ergo, both bonuses stack and whoever claims otherwise, failed their research check.

I'd agree with that, except, as I've been unable to clearly state before, the magic vestment dwoemer doesn't affect the character's AC, directly. It helps the armor or shield bonus of an item. (In this way, it acts exactly like the "+4 enhancement" of a magical shield.)

So, a magic +4 heavy shield grants a +6 shield bonus to a character's AC, not a "+2 shield, +4 enhancement bonus". (For whatever reason, the d20 OGL on-line site seems to be down right now, so I can't cut-and-paste, but take a look at the section on enhancement bonuses to equipment. They add to the armor or shield bonus of the target item.)

And a heavy shield that was the target of a +4 magic vestment spell acts exactly the same way. It gives a +6 shield bonus to the bearer's AC.

That's the clear reading of the description of magic vestment and of the way enhancement bonuses afftect armor and shields. If you have any evidence that it works otherwise, perhaps a character in a WotC or Dungeon adventure that is himself the subject of a magic vestment spell, I'd be happy to look at it.

So, with respect, I believe we have succeeded in our "research check", because we read about how enhancement bonuses are applied to armor and shields.

And, no, I don't believe shields ever provide armor bonuses. That's why shield bonuses are separate.


Funny, I was thinking most of the weekend how to reply to your(imho ridiculous) claims at face value and try to bring the discussion back to something productive, one last time. But Dragonchess Player and Chris Mortika already tried that and honestly I'd have had a hard time not breaking the messageboard rules because after your penultimate posting I was rather convinced that you're just rattling on peoples cages for the fun of it.

Mind if I throw your last post back in your face?

Crusader of Logic wrote:


You are blabbering about enhancement bonuses not stacking, which is completely irrelevant to the discussion as nothing I have said presumes that they do. You might as well be bringing Ferraris into a discussion about what type of pizza to order for all the relevance your words have.

Let me know at any time when you are ready to stop obfuscating the issue and actually discuss the topic.

And with that I'm out of here.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber
Crusader of Logic wrote:

You are blabbering about enhancement bonuses not stacking, which is completely irrelevant to the discussion as nothing I have said presumes that they do. You might as well be bringing Ferraris into a discussion about what type of pizza to order for all the relevance your words have.

Let me know at any time when you are ready to stop obfuscating the issue and actually discuss the topic.

Actually, this is the topic. Your build with the artificer, with the enhancement bonus from magic vestment on +1 ghost ward padded armor adding to the armor bonus from bracers of armor (and magic vestment on a +1 ghost ward light shield adding to the shield bonus from a shield spell) is not valid per the RAW.

Enhancement bonuses on armor/shields are not "general AC bonuses" or "add to the highest bonus of the same type" as you have been asserting. The definition that I have quoted states that they are specifically a bonus to the object they affect.

This is the fourth time I have pointed out an error you have made in the RAW: additional damage from the collision ability is not multiplied on a critical hit because it is classified as extra damage in the description (sidebar on critical hits, PHB pg. 140); lizardfolk have +5 natural armor (MM pg. 169); a PC polymorphed into a bipedal humanoid Aberration, Dragon, Fey, Humanoid, or Monstrous Humanoid of the same size would gain the natural armor bonus of the new form and be able to use all current equipment (polymorph description on PHB pg. 263 and alter self description on PHB pg. 197); enhancement bonuses are classified as adding to an object (armor, weapons), creature (natural armor), or ability score (PHB pg. 308).

None of these is "obscure" or from "non-mainstream" supplements, but core mechanics. Of course, given your stated contempt for the core rules, willingness to call an entire section of the RAW invalid (magic item creation), and assumption that you know more about the system than the publisher or designers (Improved Critical and keen no longer stacking in 3.5), I suppose that I shouldn't be surprised...


Chris Mortika wrote:
Hi, ruemere.

Hello there.

Please note that I am specifically addressing case of
stacking of two different bonuses coming from two different items.

ruemere wrote:

Sources of bonuses are irrelevant since both items use different slots (clothes --> armor slot, bracers --> bracer slot). Bonuses are of different type and they are not subject to an exception to stacking rule.

Ergo, both bonuses stack and whoever claims otherwise, failed their research check.

Chris Mortika wrote:
I'd agree with that, except, as I've been unable to clearly state before, the magic vestment dwoemer doesn't affect the character's AC, directly. It helps the armor or shield bonus of an item. (In this way, it acts exactly like the "+4 enhancement" of a magical shield.)

Let's keep the discussion simple and leave shields for a moment out of it. If you want, we can return to this at later date.

Item number one:
Clothing: Armor bonus of 0 + Enhancement bonus to AC.
Item number two:
Bracers: Armor bonus of X + Enhancement bonus of 0.

Moreover, since Bracers of Armor provide armor bonus, they could be argued to be a valid target for Magic Vestment, which:
"Bracers of Armor: These items appear to be wrist or arm guards. They surround the wearer with an invisible but tangible feld of force, granting him an armor bonus of +1 to +8, just as though he were wearing armor."

So, instead of clothing, one should be able to target Bracers of Armor with enhancement bonus effect of magic vestment (if you feel uncomfortable with Armor bonus and Enhancement to Armor bonus being applied to AC from two different sources).

Also, if you want a non-logical but reasonable in character explanation:
- bracers produce force field, which constitutes outer layer of protection,
- magic vestment improves resistance quality of clothes, which consitutes internal and separate layer of protection.

Chris Mortika wrote:
So, a magic +4 heavy shield grants a +6 shield bonus to a character's AC, not a "+2 shield, +4 enhancement bonus". (For whatever reason, the d20 OGL on-line site seems to be down right now, so I can't cut-and-paste, but take a look at the section on enhancement bonuses to equipment. They add to the armor or shield bonus of the target item.)

Were you talking about this? Shield Bonus

A shield bonus improves Armor Class and is granted by a shield or by a spell or magic effect that mimics a shield. Shield bonuses stack with all other bonuses to AC except other shield bonuses. A magic shield typically grants an enhancement bonus to the shield's shield bonus, which has the effect of increasing the shield's overall bonus to AC. A shield bonus granted by a spell or magic item typically takes the form of an invisible, tangible field of force that protects the recipient. A shield bonus doesn't apply against touch attacks.

As you can see, Shield bonus is a little different from Armor bonus and Enhancement bonus to armor, so please, let's discuss it separately (though, actually, it has no bearing on this particular discussion, since, as worded here, Shield bonus and Enhancement bonus to shield stack with both Armor bonus and Enhancement bonus to armor).

Chris Mortika wrote:

And a heavy shield that was the target of a +4 magic vestment spell acts exactly the same way. It gives a +6 shield bonus to the bearer's AC.

That's the clear reading of the description of magic vestment and of the way enhancement bonuses afftect armor and shields. If you have any evidence that it works otherwise, perhaps a character in a WotC or Dungeon adventure that is himself the subject of a magic vestment spell, I'd be happy to look at it.

Again, let's leave it for laters.

Chris Mortika wrote:

So, with respect, I believe we have succeeded in our "research check", because we read about how enhancement bonuses are applied to armor and shields.

And, no, I don't believe shields ever provide armor bonuses. That's why shield bonuses are separate.

My turn to apologize for vague wording - I meant "shield armor bonus" here, not "armor bonus". It was intended to introduce clearer separation between "shield enhancement bonus" and "shield armor bonus". Though, as it is, use of "shield bonus" would have been better.

Regards,
Ruemere

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Ruemere,
I'd like to express my appreciation for your level of discussion. You offer explanations, examples, and descriptons that alow me to easily see where you're coming from.

ruemere wrote:

Let's keep the discussion simple and leave shields for a moment out of it. If you want, we can return to this at later date.

Item number one:
Clothing: Armor bonus of 0 + Enhancement bonus to AC.
Item number two:
Bracers: Armor bonus of X + Enhancement bonus of 0.

Moreover, since Bracers of Armor provide armor bonus, they could be argued to be a valid target for Magic Vestment, which:
"Bracers of Armor: These items appear to be wrist or arm guards. They surround the wearer with an invisible but tangible feld of force, granting him an armor bonus of +1 to +8, just as though he were wearing armor."

So, instead of clothing, one should be able to target Bracers of Armor with enhancement bonus effect of magic vestment (if you feel uncomfortable with Armor bonus and Enhancement to Armor bonus being applied to AC from two different sources).

Thank you. I certainly see your point, and it's what I'd consider a weird case, but I'd like to point out two parts of the 3.5 rules:

1) Magic vestment can be cast on normal clothing, but for purposes of the spell it's considered armor that provides +0 armor bonus on it's own. And an enhancement bonus to armor increases the item's armor bonus; that's the key. The item then turns around and provides an armor bonus.

So, the way I understand the rules to work, your Item number one should read:
Clothing Armor bonus of Y, all of which comes from magic vestment.

Do you see why I wouldn't stack that with the bracers? I think it's a weird case because of the magic-vestment-working-on-regular-clothes thing. If we were discussing enhanced chain mail and bracers of defense, I think it would be clearer. But magic vestment gives an enhancement to the clothes' armor bonus, so the clothes act like any other armor.

2) Unfortunately, the bracers aren't a legal target for the magic vestment spell. They're wondrous items, and the only legal target for the spell is a set of armor (including normal clothing) or shield. There are a lot of wondrous items that look like they should be armor: helms and gauntlets, for example, but they're different kinds of things.


Well, One. Last. Time. Too.

Straight from the 3.5 FAQ:

Wizards 3.5 FAQ, Update Version: 6/30/08, p52 wrote:


Q: I have a bard in my game who has a bit of money to spend. She buys a set of bracers of armor +3 and a suit of +3 leather armor. If the bard wears both at the same time, the armor bonus from the bracers (+3) overrides the armor bonus from the leather armor (+1). Our question is, does the +3 enhancement bonus from the armor still get applied for a total of +6, is it subsumed by the magic of the bracers, or is it just ignored completely? Since the enhancement bonus and armor bonus are different types of bonuses, the bard thinks her total Armor Class bonus should be +6.

A: The magic leather armor’s +3 enhancement bonus applies to make the armor’s armor bonus bigger (+4 in this case). The example character uses only the larger armor bonus (+4) when wearing both the armor and the bracers. The overlapping +3 bonus from the bracers is still there, however. (It is just irrelevant most of the time.) If something bypasses the +4 bonus from the magic armor, the bracers might still prove effective. For example, an incorporeal touch attack bypasses the whole armor bonus from the magic armor. Since the bracers provide a force effect, they protect the bard against the incorporeal touch attack. The example character still has a +3 armor bonus against the incorporeal touch attack.

An enhancement bonus to armor class makes the particular armor better, regardless if it comes from a permanent or temporary source. That means that only the armor that was enchanted has the benefit, and the enhancement bonus can not stack with any other item that provides an armor bonus.

Moreover Bracers of Armor aren't a valid target for Magic Vestment because they are wondrous items and not armor, shield or regular clothing. (Ninja'd by Chris ;)

Chris Mortika wrote:

Ruemere,

I'd like to express my appreciation for your level of discussion. You offer explanations, examples, and descriptons that alow me to easily see where you're coming from.

+1.


The FAQ is not a valid source on the grounds the writer is completely and utterly incompetent.

Since you still are all completely unwilling to discuss the actual topic despite multiple attempts on my part to refocus you and you would instead rather whine about something you are wrong about and is quite irrelevant anyways...

Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Avocado Pie, Thesis Defense, Oh, My!
Tomorrow I defend my Master's thesis before my graduate committee, before scholars in my field who will ask me difficult questions and point out all the theoretical concerns, flaws, and problems in my 96 page opus. This 2 hour period tomorrow afternoon will seal the fate of my academic success forever. Okay, so maybe it's not that grim, but it's really just one of the last hoops to jump through before this project is done. I have worked nearly two years on this project, which details the World War II literature of a collaborate duo of writers Clara Spiegel and Jane Mayer, who wrote under the pseudonym, Clare Jaynes. In those two years, I've come to know this material inside and out. There's blood, sweat, tears, and cookie dough in it.

Yes, cookie dough. In honor of my thesis defense, I am baking one of Spiegel's cookie recipes, which I will share with my committee members. Critical literary theory is always better on a stomach full of crisp, buttery Apricot Monte Carlos, right?

The Clara Spiegel Papers are archived at Boise State, which has made my research a joy. In fact, I never would have discovered these fascinating women who give us a very shocking glimpse of what it was like to be woman in World War II America had it not been for Clara's archive. Archival research means permission to rifle through someone's diaries, travel journals, scrapbooks, photo albums, and manuscripts, which means you never know what you are going to find. Last fall, I discovered among Clara's papers a cookbook manuscript she had written.

The recipes are cheater versions of gourmet fare, written when Spiegel was 86 years old. Because Spiegel had a private cook for half of her life, it's no surprise that some of these recipes are a bit strange and dubious. However, because I'm the brave gastronant that I am, I've fallen in love with Clara's The Indolent Gourmet.

Here's a recipe I recently adapted from The Indolent Gourmet:
(note: I have changed this recipe from its original state by 10% or more)

Avocado Pie

(I know this sounds strange, but if you enjoy key lime pie, you'll probably like this. The sweetened condensed milk gives the pie a rich mouth feel, contrasted by the punch of citrus. Then, as an afterthought the earthy, mellow vibe of avocado comes through on the finish. And, Clara was right even the absolutely Indolent can make it.)

1 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted butter
3 T. sugar
2 avocados, pitted, peeled, and quartered
1 - 14 0z. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 T. lime juice
1 t. lemon zest
1 cup sour cream
2 T. milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees.

Combine graham cracker, melted butter, and sugar. Press firmly into 9 inch pie pan to form a pie shell. Bake 10 min.

Meanwhile, combine avocado, sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, lime juice, and lemon zest in food processor and blend until smooth.

Remove pie shell from oven. Allow to cool slightly, then pour the avocado mixture into shell.

Combine sour cream and milk and mix well. Carefully spread this over the avocado mixture. Sprinkle top with 1/2 cup chopped walnuts. Chill thoroughly before serving.

(You'll need 5 or 6 hours for it to chill enough to set. Notice in my pictures how I got a little antsy and cut into it too soon, but it did finally firm up to a nice, velvety inconsistency.)

Yum, pie. I suppose I could have just told the troll squad to kindly **** off, but since they are mentally incapable of grasping very simple points anyways I might as well reflect complete irrelevance right back at them. Think of it like Spell Turning, except without the spell level cap and affecting all attacks, not just the magical targeted ones.


Chris Mortika wrote:

Ruemere,

I'd like to express my appreciation for your level of discussion. You offer explanations, examples, and descriptons that alow me to easily see where you're coming from.

It's my Magic: The Gathering background... I don't know if you're familiar with lengthy and elaborate rulings it is famous for, but it teaches a lot about looking for little catches.

ruemere wrote:
[my reasoning skipped]
Chris Mortika wrote:

Thank you. I certainly see your point, and it's what I'd consider a weird case, but I'd like to point out two parts of the 3.5 rules:[...]

But magic vestment gives an enhancement to the clothes' armor bonus, so the clothes act like any other armor.

Basically, if I understand correctly, your point is that:

1. Armor bonus is a property of an item.
2. Enhancement armor bonus is an added property of item mentioned in 1.
3. Both bonuses form a single entity (pair #1).
4. Separate item, bracers, provides separate armor bonus.
5. Separate item armor bonus comes with zero enhancement bonus.
6. Separate item armor bonus and its enhancement bonus form a single entity (pair #2).
7. Both entities (pair #1 and pair #2) overlap.

Crusader's (and mine) point would be that:
7. Both entities' (pair #1 and pair #2) respective item properties overlap.

While I most certainly see your point, please take into consideration that neither interpretation is clearly disproved by rules while both sides can present arguments to their advantage.

Regarding possibility of targetting Bracers of Armor with Magic Vestment: as per general ruling, more specific rule overrides general rule (like specific mention of Magic Vestment being able to target ordinary clothing). It could still be argued that "just as though he were wearing armor" in bracer description could be consituted as sufficient to provide grounds for another exception to targetting object.

However, please continue below:

Tholas wrote:
[very useful quote from FAQ]

It's hard to argue with official rulings. Factual error:

- Leather Armor armor bonus is +2, not +1. +3 Leather Armor total bonus to AC is +5, not +4.

Concluding, as written in SRD, Crusader point still stands. As per this ruling, you and Tholas are accurate. The fail is mine to read this version of FAQ (I have pretty ancient version).

(though, again, sometimes this FAQ's author's competence has been called into question)

Regards,
Ruemere

Sovereign Court

Good luck with the thesis defence, old chap.


IMO bracers of armor create a force field that grants an armor bonus as if wearing armor. If you wanted to enhance this armor bonus you would have to target the force field, not the bracers. (which magic vestments doesnt do)

Similarly Ring of Force Shield having magic vestments cast on it IMO doesnt enhance the ac granted by the shield sized wall of force that the ring creates.

blabber, blabber, blabber......:)

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

Ruemere, I don't think the rules allow magic vestment to work on wondrous items, but if I were playing under a DM that did allow the spell to work on Bracers of Armor, I could certainly understand that ruling.

ruemere wrote:

It's hard to argue with official rulings. Factual error:

- Leather Armor armor bonus is +2, not +1. +3 Leather Armor total bonus to AC is +5, not +4.

Concluding, as written in SRD, Crusader point still stands. As per this ruling, you and Tholas are accurate. The fail is mine to read this version of FAQ (I have pretty ancient version).

(though, again, sometimes this FAQ's author's competence has been called into question)

Oh, yes! (Depends on who "the Sage" is. Skip Williams, when he was being careful, and when he was focussing on core rules, was better than the gentleman who replaced him. And Skip is now doing the same job, over at Kobold Quarterly.)

And, to be fair, the Sage has always been willing to revisit decisions and be swayed by cogent objections.

--+--

There was a comment here, trying to engage another user. I've thought better of posting it.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This clearly needs to be revisited, hopefully only to let Jason know of the contrary views, in the spells and magic items discussions. It would add a few words to the spell description of magic vestment to clarify if it works the way Chris says, or the way ruemere says, and the same with enchanting bracers of armour. My interpretation of the rules agrees with Chris', but that's hardly a definitive conclusion.

Suggested wording in Magic Vestment:

Suggestion wrote:
This does/does not stack with armour bonuses from sources other than the item it is cast on. It can/cannot be cast on bracers of armour or other items that are not armour or clothing but provide an armour bonus.

Would that clarify matters sufficiently?


Paul Watson wrote:

This clearly needs to be revisited, hopefully only to let Jason know of the contrary views, in the spells and magic items discussions. It would add a few words to the spell description of magic vestment to clarify if it works the way Chris says, or the way ruemere says, and the same with enchanting bracers of armour. My interpretation of the rules agrees with Chris', but that's hardly a definitive conclusion.

Suggested wording in Magic Vestment:

Suggestion wrote:
This does/does not stack with armour bonuses from sources other than the item it is cast on. It can/cannot be cast on bracers of armour or other items that are not armour or clothing but provide an armour bonus.
Would that clarify matters sufficiently?

Yes, but I'd suggest to clarify this right at the source of the problem:

Alternate creation rules for magic armor wrote:


In general, magic armor protects the wearer to a greater extent than nonmagical armor. Magic armor bonuses are enhancement bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with the regular armor bonus of the enchanted armor (and with shield and magic shield enhancement bonuses). All magic armor is also masterwork armor, reducing armor check penalties by 1.

Well, something like that, english isn't my native language.


Now that the topic seems to be past magic vestment and bracers of armor, let's get back to part of the problem, which really starts at CR10.

Unless your character is a dwarf, medium and heavy armor reduce mobility by a third. Having to invest in items which allow you to mitigate this loss of mobility increases the net disparity which already exists between a caster and a melee character, both in terms of standard action efficiency, and wealth by level power enhancements.

At CR10, 5 foot steps are completely insufficient to have any meaningful result against any opponent with reach, which is effectively every opponent of CR10 and up. Even if you are a deeply optimized Spring Attacker, dual wielding life drinkers or spell storing weapons, at which point you are almost a gish, being locked to 20 ft of movement is deadly.

Plus, lets assume a +1 <foo> platemail and magic vestment +2 or 3, for a net benefit of 5 or 6 extra AC at Level 11 for a PFRPG Fighter over bracers of armor +8, assuming no magic vestment, and Dexterity 22 for everybody. This may or may not be useful and/or relevant, because only in the best case scenario will the Fighter be getting hit 25% less. Keep in mind a +1 animated heavy mithral shield can be used by anyone with proficiency for +4 or 5 AC, assuming magic vestment, or a mithral buckler for +3 or +4, with minimal penalties for its use, so shield bonuses are moot, since they cancel out.

We are talking +17 AC here for a Fighter, +11 AC for a Cleric or Paladin without the armor training in platemail (non-mithral), and, assuming 22 Dexterity for everybody, +12 AC, except for monks. Any other bonus can be gained by any character, with little to no penalty, unlike the Fighter, who had to pay one-third of their movement for that 25% miss chance, and the Paladin and Cleric, who pay the same amount for a 5% lower miss chance compared to other characters.

In order to get this AC at level 11, the Fighter has to have a belt of physical perfection assuming they have a solid Strength and Constitution. Otherwise, they will be loosing ground, to someone who only cares about boosting Dexterity. This does mean that any other class continues to gain ground on this break even point.

So, the key problems are, for the huge penalty in invested wealth and mobility, a sometimes effective 25%, or worse, -5%, miss chance seems a bit weak from what should be a capstone option, when a Level 3 spell will provide a 50% miss chance in displacement which works against almost every opponent regardless of how good they are at hitting things, in any fight a caster doesn't care to get hit in, for an easy 4 times a day at level 11, and that isn't the caster's only option for not getting hit. Within class abilities, armor, specifically heavy armor, or other AC boosters are the only way for a melee character to not be hit. Not even counting the +1 <foo> mithral breastplate, which loses 3 AC in ground with no penalties at the same Dexterity, and can load up with more Dexterity.

After all, once the attacks of the opponents gain to a point where that extra AC will get hit anyway, the additional 2 AC the Fighter could potentially eke out of Armor Training isn't going to help him, whereas other tricks might be able to scale up, or don't need to scale.

Edited to include:

So, how can we allow heavy armor to do more? Can we strip the encumbrance penalties for high strength characters, and/or allow Armor Training to lower the speed penalty by 5' per +2? How can we keep heavy armor from seeming like a weak option relative to other defensive boosts, like entropic shield?


Krome wrote:

After reading and following for a while I am curious how a lot of this fits with real playing, not just number crunching.

For example, a lot of the examples use a large number of spells. How often do players get so many rounds before combat to start prepping and casting so many buff spells?

Also, a lot of the examples depend upon some uncommon items. Again the question is how often do all of those items get awarded? It would seem rather unusual for players to have access to ALL of those items and have the time to buff with ALL of those spells.

How does all of this stack up in real play?

yes, how does it. And if you got a godly dex, well do away with armor.

Angels don't use armor nor does gods.
I would like rogues, bards and rangers to get a better AC....and barbarians.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

(nods) Anyone with a Dexterity score of 22 shouldn't be wearing heavy armor. Aside from slowing the character down, there's killer Maximum Dex Bonus caps.

The fighter who started with a Dex of 12 (an average roll for best 3 of 4d6) is the kind of character who needs armor.


Chris Mortika wrote:

(nods) Anyone with a Dexterity score of 22 shouldn't be wearing heavy armor. Aside from slowing the character down, there's killer Maximum Dex Bonus caps.

The fighter who started with a Dex of 12 (an average roll for best 3 of 4d6) is the kind of character who needs armor.

Not so, with armor training, the scope, for the Fighter at least, expands who can wear Heavy Armor to include characters who might have had a suboptimal experience with Heavy Armor due to higher Dex, until Armor Training added up to +4 to the max dex bonus, which if you change the platemail to mithral, leaves it wide open for almost all values of Dexterity. The reason I was using high Dexterity was to yeild optimal results for the Fighter's Armor Training feature.

The fact of the matter is, even if we prune out high dexterity values, which yield dividends in initiative, and Combat Reflexes, the net gain between chain shirt or a mithral breastplate, 12 Dex, and platemail, 12 dex, is still relatively minimal, when you consider everything you loose to gain that extra few points of AC.

Heavy armor use is a Tier 3 feat, requiring Light Armor (which is good enough), and Medium Armor (which might need some help). A 15% gain over what you could have with one feat, Light Armor Proficiency, is not enough, especially if we want armor past chain shirt equivalents to remain meaningful. I think it is important that the system make Mithral not actually lower the proficiency feat needed. That still means there is only a 20% gain between light and heavy armor in actual miss chance, regardless of any other factors, because you can enchant a chain shirt with anything you can throw on platemail.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2010 Top 16

I agree, TreeLynx. I think that learning to move in a Mithril set of plate mail is more closely related to learning how to move in standard plate mail than it is to learning how to move in hide armor.

You're also comparing fighters who are burning several feats to be good at heavy armor. It's interesting to compare that to, say, fighters who are interested in mounted combat or some other aspect of the class besides moving in armor.

For those fighters, lighter armor is definitely a better choice than heavy plate.

So, if we want the game to include the "knight in shining heavy armor" as a realistic character, what would you do?

The simplest solution I can think of is to disallow an armor enhancement greater than the armor's natural bonus. (Since leather armor gives a +2 armor bonus, don't permit any enhancements on leather armor greater than +2.)

Scarab Sages

OT: Good luck on the thesis defence, Crusader. I hope your treats turn out yummy, too!

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Jal Dorak wrote:
OT: Good luck on the thesis defence, Crusader. I hope your treats turn out yummy, too!

I don't think he's actually defending a thesis. He's making fun of you.


Yes, that was a potshot at all the people derailing the thread, as anyone who actually read it (specifically the last paragraph) would know. Which proves people aren't even reading my posts before responding to them. Very interesting.

Now that we're actually back on topic though...

TreeLynx, you forgot to mention that while Dwarves don't lose a third their mobility for heavy armors they already lose a third their mobility regardless of armor choice.

Also, Light Armor Proficiency is a completely useless feat. See, if you are not proficient with armor you take its armor check penalty to some other stuff like attacks. I don't remember what that is exactly, but regardless that means any light armor that lacks an armor check penalty can be used just fine without the feat.

Now let's review.

Padded Armor has no armor check penalty. It can be used just fine.

Leather Armor again has no armor check penalty. It can also be used just fine.

Studded Leather has an ACP of 1. However, MW quality lowers this by 1, therefore MW Studded Leather or better is perfectly available.

Chain Shirts have an ACP of 2. Mithril lowers this by 3, and this also is enough to consider it as MW.

And... that's it for the light armors.

So we have a 5 gold item, a 10 gold item, a... 165 gold item (or was it 175?), and a 1,100 gold item. Cool, you can take advantage of this from level 1 on.

Don't forget Twilight if you are an arcane caster.

The Exchange RPG Superstar 2009 Top 8

Crusader of Logic wrote:

Yes, that was a potshot at all the people derailing the thread, as anyone who actually read it (specifically the last paragraph) would know. Which proves people aren't even reading my posts before responding to them. Very interesting.

It was pretty easy to tell without reading the last paragraph. The person you plagiarised was less belligerent than you are. Besides, you would not have written a thesis on women's literature as that would involve seeing things from another's perspective.

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