Buck Naked Barbarians


Advanced Player's Guide Playtest General Discussion

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I'm staring at the cover of my Green Ronin Advanced Beastiary, and on the front is this beautiful barbarian guy wearing a helmet and fur loincloth. I'd love to see a barbarian class variant that offers no armor proficiency but an armor class bonus of some sort, perhaps similar to monks, but maybe as a rage power or something.


Maybe he's taken a page from Elan's book, and is just trying to be harder to see.

Sczarni

I agree with this idea, in ancient lore Berserkers would run into battle wearing nothing at all but maybe body paint.


northbrb wrote:
I agree with this idea, in ancient lore Berserkers would run into battle wearing nothing at all but maybe body paint.

Or the blood of their enemies, either way.

Sczarni

Ressy wrote:
northbrb wrote:
I agree with this idea, in ancient lore Berserkers would run into battle wearing nothing at all but maybe body paint.
Or the blood of their enemies, either way.

True


I think giving them a rage power would work, or the monks ablity either way


I actually have an idea for a spell that could facilitate this. I call it "Paint Armor", and the basic idea is a 5th level druid spell that functions as a mass Mage Armor spell, affecting up to 1 medium size person/level, and lasting 24 hours.

Casting the spell requires actually painting the recipients with some naturally made dye or paint, I am thinking Indigo would be the best choice, and so the casting time would be on the order of 10 minutes or more.

It could facilitate the naked barbarian concept, they would just be naked and painted head to toe (more or less).


or as a cheap wonderouse item " Pigment of the war god " or some such, great ideal though very fitting

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

Well if you make it as a continuous item that doesn't take up an item slot it would cost a mere 7,000gp

Mage Armor (1) x Caster Level (1) x 2,000 GP x 2 (slotless) x 1.5 (for duration greater then 10 minute/level but less then 24 hours.)

But like fifty-thousand voices will call out cheese and want your throat for daring to imitate a slotless bracers of armor +4 which would cost 32,000gp.

Maybe an item that had 3 charges/day would be more reasonable to the masses, but I have a devil of a time figuring out the prices for those.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

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Maybe something like this?

Savage

BAB: +1
Good Saves: Fortitude
Hit Dice: 1d12

Class Skills: Acrobatics, Climb, Escape Artist, Intimidate, Perception, Stealth, Survival, Swim.

Skill Ranks per Level: 4 + Int modifier.

Savages are proficient with the club, dagger, dart, greatclub, javelin, longspear, quarterstaff, shortspear, and spear. They are not proficient with any armors or shields.

LEVEL ABILITY
1. AC Bonus, Fast Movement, Natural Weapons, Rage
2. Rage Power, Uncanny Dodge
3. Natural Defenses +1
4. Rage Power
5. Improved Uncanny Dodge
6. Natural Defenses +2, Rage Power
7. DR 1/-
8. Rage Power
9. Natural Defenses +3
10. DR 2/-, Rage Power
11. Greater Rage
12. Natural Defenses +4, Rage Power
13. DR 3/-
14. Indomitable Will, Rage Power
15. Natural Defenses +5
16. DR 4/-, Rage Power
17. Tireless Rage
18. Natural Defenses +6, Rage Power
19. DR 5/-
20. Might Rage, Rage Power

AC Bonus (Ex). When unarmored and unencumbered, the savage adds his Wisdom bonus (if any) to his AC and his CMD. This bonus to AC applies even against touch attacks or when the savage is flat-footed. He loses this bonus when he is immobilized or helpless, when he wears armor, when he carries a shield, or when he carries a medium or heavy load.

Fast Movement (Ex). A savage's land speed is faster than the norm for his race by +10 feet. This benefit only applies when he is not wearing armor and not carrying a heavy load. Apply this bonus before modifying the barbarian's speed because of any load carried or armor worn. This bonus stacks with any other bonuses to the savage's land speed.

Natural Weapons (Ex). A savage has 2 primary natural attacks that cause 1d4 points of damage (1d3 if the savage is Small) plus the savage's Strength modifier. Treat this ability as Improved Unarmed Strike for the purposes of qualifying for feats.

Rage (Ex). As the barbarian ability of the same name.

Rage Powers (Ex). The savage has access to all the barbarian Rage Powers, plus the following.

Savage Claws (Ex). While raging, the savage's natural attacks do damage equal to the unarmed damage a monk of the same level as the savage would cause. A savage must have the Animal Fury rage power to select this rage power.

Pounce (Ex). While raging, the savage can charge and make a full attack at the end of the charge.

Rake (Ex). If a savage hits the same opponent with both of his natural attacks, he can make 2 rake attacks against the same opponent with a -5 penalty to their attack rolls. If they hit, they cause damage equal to the savage's primary natural attacks.

Rend (Ex). If a savage hits the same opponent with both of his natural attacks, he automatically causes an additional amount of damage equal to his primary natural attack.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex). As the barbarian ability of the same name.

Natural Defenses (Ex). At 3rd level, the savage gains a +1 bonus to Perception checks to avoid being surprised. In addition, if the savage has a Constitution bonus of +1 or higher, he gains a natural armor bonus to AC equal to +1. At 6th level, and every 3 levels thereafter, the savage's Natural Defenses bonus increases by +1. His natural armor bonus from this ability can never exceed his Constitution bonus.

Uncanny Dodge (Ex). As the barbarian ability of the same name.

Damage Reduction (Ex). As the barbarian ability of the same name.

Greater Rage (Ex). As the barbarian ability of the same name.

Indomitable Will (Ex). As the barbarian ability of the same name.

Tireless Rage (Ex). As the barbarian ability of the same name.

Mighty Rage (Ex). As the barbarian ability of the same name.


Mongoose did the body "paint armor" thing in their Drow War Campaign (it shows up in The Darkest Hour, which is the 3rd book). Though this deals with epic play, the principle is there and isn't bad. The "paint" is used by this female ruler and it gives her about a +10 armor bonus to AC for the day. I remember that it took a fair amount time to apply and required the assistance of others for applying the body "paint armor."

Just some advice for further reading.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

YES!!! females painting other females... [drools]


Oh you're good, Smilo, you're good. Maybe allow them to choose Wisdom or Charisma? Charisma as the idea that the Barbarian is so terrifying in combat, his presence so strong, that foes have difficulty attacking him. Just a fluff thought for something other than the wise-of-the-woods savage warrior.

Without introducing new game rules, you could fluff a "magical" body paint that gave protection equal to Leather Armor. I don't think it would be overpowered to rule that, the only difference might be a reduction in weight, and I doubt that would make a huge difference.

Not that I'm opposed to magical solutions or anything. Just a thought.


Purple Dragon Knight wrote:
YES!!! females painting other females... [drools]

Haha...actually she did have female assistants. One was a disgustingly deformed fey, but I can't remember others.

Paizo Employee Chief Creative Officer, Publisher

My barbarian in the James Jacob's office Pathfinder campaign is a Linnorm King barbarian who has survived five levels without wearing armor.

Decent Constitution and Dexterity is essential to make up for the lack of AC, and I've taken feats like Die-Hard to last a little longer. There is another feat in APG development right now that will enhance this particular character type, and I wouldn't be surprised if a couple more make it in largely due to the fact that I have been harping about it since the beginning of the campaign.


A rage monk (Dragon #310) could probably be an option, if ported into Pathfinder...

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 4

I've always told our party Barbarian he should just run around in a loincloth anyways since he's got like a 16 AC while raging and pretty much anything can tap that. The increased DR rage powers help out a lot too.


I came up with a custom feat for this type of character:

Unfettered
Benefit: Whenever you have no armor or natural armor bonus to AC, you gain a +3 circumstance bonus to AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels you possess.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Tim4488 wrote:

Oh you're good, Smilo, you're good. Maybe allow them to choose Wisdom or Charisma? Charisma as the idea that the Barbarian is so terrifying in combat, his presence so strong, that foes have difficulty attacking him. Just a fluff thought for something other than the wise-of-the-woods savage warrior.

Without introducing new game rules, you could fluff a "magical" body paint that gave protection equal to Leather Armor. I don't think it would be overpowered to rule that, the only difference might be a reduction in weight, and I doubt that would make a huge difference.

Not that I'm opposed to magical solutions or anything. Just a thought.

Charisma might work. I'm just afraid of nymph savages double-dipping their Cha bonus to AC. Or savage ghosts.

Would the Charisma-based bonus to AC be mind-affecting? So oozes, constructs, mindless undead, etc., wouldn't be hampered by it?


Mr. Fishy doesn't even wear a loin cloth. Mr. Fishy rages with it out.


there is an alternative for a wildhammer dwarf barbarian in World of Warcraft roleplaying game.

* no armor proficiency.
Armor is for Wussies !

* no ranged weapon proficiency.
Ranged Weapons are for Wussies !

* no trap sense feature

* gets + 2 hitpoints per level

* 1st level fearless

* 1st lvl + 1 luck bonus to AC, 3rd lvl + 2 and every 3 levels thereafter 6th, 9th etc.

* 6th lvl they get a raging mount ability, with a DC 15 + Mount's HD handle animal they get to share the rage.
(it says DC 15 + barbarian level though that is dumb)

The mount is a completely redundant addition for this thread, just here for the sake of completion ^^


Mr.Fishy wrote:
Mr. Fishy doesn't even wear a loin cloth. Mr. Fishy rages with it out.

Who doesn't like angry sex ? ^^


SmiloDan wrote:
Tim4488 wrote:

Oh you're good, Smilo, you're good. Maybe allow them to choose Wisdom or Charisma? Charisma as the idea that the Barbarian is so terrifying in combat, his presence so strong, that foes have difficulty attacking him. Just a fluff thought for something other than the wise-of-the-woods savage warrior.

Without introducing new game rules, you could fluff a "magical" body paint that gave protection equal to Leather Armor. I don't think it would be overpowered to rule that, the only difference might be a reduction in weight, and I doubt that would make a huge difference.

Not that I'm opposed to magical solutions or anything. Just a thought.

Charisma might work. I'm just afraid of nymph savages double-dipping their Cha bonus to AC. Or savage ghosts.

Would the Charisma-based bonus to AC be mind-affecting? So oozes, constructs, mindless undead, etc., wouldn't be hampered by it?

Why not constitution based?


Can Barbarians have oil of mage armor like monks.

Mr. Fishy likes rubbing oil on Mr. Fishy's chest, gives Mr. Fishy +4 on his AC.


I let martial characters trade shield proficiency for Combat Expertise if they want, and/or they can trade armor proficiency for "canny defense" (Int or Wis bonus added to Dex bonus to AC, when not wearing armor -- kinda like a monk gets).


Kirth Gersen wrote:
I let martial characters trade shield proficiency for Combat Expertise if they want, and/or they can trade armor proficiency for "canny defense" (Int or Wis bonus added to Dex bonus to AC, when not wearing armor -- kinda like a monk gets).

do you differentiate between giving up light, medium or heavy armor ?


Remco Sommeling wrote:
Do you differentiate between giving up light, medium or heavy armor ?

Those who normally get light and medium armor (barbarians, rangers) give up both. Those with heavy armor (fighters, paladins) give up heavy and medium, but keep light armor (and can use canny defense in light armor). Fighters can also trade out their tower shield proficiency for the Dodge feat.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
I let martial characters trade shield proficiency for Combat Expertise if they want, and/or they can trade armor proficiency for "canny defense" (Int or Wis bonus added to Dex bonus to AC, when not wearing armor -- kinda like a monk gets).

I like the "canny defense" idea (as you can see, I came up with a similar feat), but I don't really see the benefit of making the AC bonus tied to a stat instead of naturally scaling with level. I also prefer something that replaces Mage Armor rather than stacking with it (why should a fighter have to suck up to magic-users in order to be a bad-ass?).

Different strokes for different folks!


hogarth wrote:
I like the "canny defense" idea (as you can see, I came up with a similar feat), but I don't really see the benefit of making the AC bonus tied to a stat instead of naturally scaling with level.

Because my homebrew fighters have an Agile Dodge talent that scales with level (+1, +1/4 levels) they can take instead of Armor Training. I've got feats and talents for tough skin (natural AC bonus) and the like as well. Overall, martial guys are FAR less mage-dependent in my games.


I'd be inclined to stick to the monk mechanic, giving up two classes of armor proficiency seem fair, though in the case of fighters they would lose the benefit of armor training as well.


My DM and I found it more fitting for my barbarian to be at the very least shirtless and so I was in function wearing a chain shirt but in fluff I was not (maybe just chain reinforced hides on the legs or something.) Sure is fun to hear about maces bouncing off my overly massive pecks (it was sorta of creepy when he was dehydrated by one of those salt zombies though)


Icarus Pherae wrote:
My DM and I found it more fitting for my barbarian to be at the very least shirtless and so I was in function wearing a chain shirt but in fluff I was not (maybe just chain reinforced hides on the legs or something.) Sure is fun to hear about maces bouncing off my overly massive pecks (it was sorta of creepy when he was dehydrated by one of those salt zombies though)

if that ever makes it to official I want more female barbarians in the artwork ^^

Shadow Lodge

I came expecting pictures of Amiri. I leave disappointed.
BTW, Amiri >>> Seoni


hogarth wrote:

I came up with a custom feat for this type of character:

Unfettered
Benefit: Whenever you have no armor or natural armor bonus to AC, you gain a +3 circumstance bonus to AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels you possess.

Too good for casters. You'd need to add some sort of requirement, maybe a BAB requirement.

Smilodan wrote:

Charisma might work. I'm just afraid of nymph savages double-dipping their Cha bonus to AC. Or savage ghosts.

Would the Charisma-based bonus to AC be mind-affecting? So oozes, constructs, mindless undead, etc., wouldn't be hampered by it?

I don't think Nymph Savages will be all that common. As for the latter, eh, I'd say make it sound that way in fluff, but crunching it that way would be A: hard to remember at the table and B: a bit punishing on the character.

Kirth, some cool ideas as always!

Caineach wrote:
Why not constitution based?

Con is already an important score for Barbarians. It'd be too easy a pick. Wisdom and Charisma are both things they don't usually care about as much.


Tim4488 wrote:
hogarth wrote:

I came up with a custom feat for this type of character:

Unfettered
Benefit: Whenever you have no armor or natural armor bonus to AC, you gain a +3 circumstance bonus to AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels you possess.

Too good for casters. You'd need to add some sort of requirement, maybe a BAB requirement.

For casters that don't suffer arcane spell failure (i.e. most casters), armor is generally better. You can get a higher bonus faster, and you can put fancy enhancements on it as well.

For wizards and sorcerers, they have Mage Armor starting at level 1 and then Bracers of Armor + Amulets of Natural Armor at higher levels.

So, I disagree.


The problem with allowing a system that lets a character run around without armor having anywhere close to the same AC as someone in armor is that the person in armor had to invest cash into getting and advancing the armor. Since the 3.5 system is pretty much an item based system, doing stuff without items as well as someone with items is kind of a no no.

and besides, you can already do this with the Glamered enhancement on armor. A loincloth is a normal set of clothing, right? :)


Tim4488 wrote:


Caineach wrote:
Why not constitution based?
Con is already an important score for Barbarians. It'd be too easy a pick. Wisdom and Charisma are both things they don't usually care about as much.

So? You want them to have the same stat problems as Monks, where they need everything?

Wisdom would be avoiding blows by seeing them coming. Barbarians don't do that IMO.

Charisma is strength of will, so I understand this argument better for them. But do they will themselves to ignore the blow?

They take the hit and have "maces bouncing off my overly massive pecks" That is Constitution in a nutshell.


deathmaster wrote:
The problem with allowing a system that lets a character run around without armor having anywhere close to the same AC as someone in armor is that the person in armor had to invest cash into getting and advancing the armor. Since the 3.5 system is pretty much an item based system, doing stuff without items as well as someone with items is kind of a no no.

I agree; armor you pay for should be better than something you get for free. So a "free" bonus should be less than +4 at level 1 (chain shirt-type AC) and should be less than +11 at level 20 (+5 mithral chainmail-type AC).

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Adventure, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Quoting from the well-worth-the-$2.39-Fistful-of-Denarii:

Adventuring Classes: A Fistful of Denarii wrote:

Agile Defense [Combat, General]

Prerequisites: Dodge
Benefits: You gain a dodge bonus to AC, based on your Base Attack Bonus.
Base Attack Bonus AC Bonus
+0 to +3____+1
+4 to +7____+2
+8 to +11____+3
+12 to +15____+4
+16 to +19____+5
+20 or higher____+6
Special: This ability is reduced by worn armor.
Subtract 1 point of dodge bonus for light armor, 2 for medium armor, and 3 for heavy armor (to a minimum of +0 bonus).

And of course given that the feat gives a dodge bonus, it'll all actually stack.


Kvantum wrote:

Quoting from the well-worth-the-$2.39-Fistful-of-Denarii:

<feat>
And of course given that the feat gives a dodge bonus, it'll all actually stack.

Except that that feat boils down to a free +3-5 dodge bonus to AC for every high level non-caster. That's too much for one feat, if it's only hindered by armor, rather than negated.

I wish it weren't so hard to develop this kind of feat for balanced use with all classes and races. Every PC starts between 3-8 armor, but mages stay there while the others climb their way to anywhere between +9 and +21.

And then what do you do about balancing the feat for everything else in the bestiary? What dire wolf *doesn't* want an extra ~3 natural armor off a single feat?

I mean, I'm totally for zero-armor barbarians, rogues, and monks, but I'm not sure one can wrangle it with a single feat. Might have to stick to variant class rules.

Lantern Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Maeloke wrote:
I mean, I'm totally for zero-armor barbarians, rogues, and monks, but I'm not sure one can wrangle it with a single feat. Might have to stick to variant class rules.

We're talking about Barbarians, specifically, right? Make it a rage power. Something like:

Naked Anger(Ex): If the barbarian is not wearing any Armor, she gains a +4 Natural Armor bonus. This bonus increases by +1 for every 4 levels the barbarian has attained. Activating this ability is a move action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

+4 is equal to a Chain shirt or Hide, and at 20th level, it has risen to +9.

The offside is that you will be very squishy if surprised, unlike a character who invested in Armor. In addition, that armored barbarian has additional enchantments besides just those to AC. Amulets of Natural Armor would be useless to this barbarian, due to NA bonuses not stacking. You would only gain this bonus 42+Con mod rounds/day, given the nature of raging.


Mr.Fishy wrote:

Can Barbarians have oil of mage armor like monks.

Mr. Fishy likes rubbing oil on Mr. Fishy's chest, gives Mr. Fishy +4 on his AC.

How does Mr. Fishy accomplish this with those little flippers? :)

Leomund's Hairy Chest would require copious amounts of such an oil, so as to avoid painful hair-pulling.


Math wise wouldn't you need a class defense progression like in D20 modern rather than the Monk version?


I wrote a rather long post that didnt register here.. well I'll cut it short this time.

feat :

Agile defense (remake)

prerequiste dodge

just like the monk ability, except you gain + 1 AC per 4 BAB, you do not get the wisdom modifier to AC unless you are also a monk.

If you are a monk this ability replaces your usual monk AC bonus, but your BAB count as 1 higher than it actually is for every 4 monk levels you have.

Racial levels / hitdice are not included when determining the AC bonus.

RPG Superstar 2009 Top 16, 2012 Top 32

Maeloke wrote:
I'm totally for zero-armor barbarians, rogues, and monks, but I'm not sure one can wrangle it with a single feat.

What about this?

---

[Insert Feat Name Here]
Prerequisite: Proficient with light armor.
Benefit: When not wearing armor, you gain a +2 dodge bonus to AC. If you are proficient with medium armor, this bonus increases to +4. If you are proficient with heavy armor, it increases to +6.
Special: The dodge bonus provided by this feat does not stack with the AC bonus ability of the monk class. At any given time, apply either the bonus provided by this feat or the AC bonus granted by the monk class, whichever is better.

---

Creatures and character that don't get armor proficiencies can't exploit this feat to gain higher AC than they are expected to have. Fighter/monks can take this feat to bump their AC without breaking the game (and still get some use out of their monk AC bonus, since that would be the higher of the two non-stacking bonuses when flat-footed). And though this feat doesn't scale with level, it stacks with bracers of armor, so you can accumulate gear to improve your AC, just like guys who wear armor.

Grand Lodge

I'm thinking Paizo needs to come up with a new Base Class and iconic for just this concept... Seoni's sister perhaps?


hogarth wrote:


Unfettered
Benefit: Whenever you have no armor or natural armor bonus to AC, you gain a +3 circumstance bonus to AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels you possess.

I have an issue with this and similar concepts. Taken out of the context of this thread, I think it would look like a new, shiny AC booster for Monks. Something I realized while thinking about making feats for unarmored barbarians, is that Monks are unarmored melee combatants too. Whatever plum you make for the Bucknaked Barbarian to grab, the Monk may want to grab too.

I cooked up a few things myself, I offer no guarantees that they are not over-powered.

spoiler:
Feats

Doomstreaker
Benefit: If you damage an adjacent foe that is affected by the Shaken, Panicked or Frightened condition, the duration of that condition increases by one round. In addition, when you enter a square adjacent to a creature, you may attempt to demoralize that creature as a swift action.
Special: You gain the benefits of this feat only when you have no armor bonus to your AC.

Naked Carnage
Benefit: You get a +2 dodge bonus to Armor Class against attacks of opportunity caused when you move out of or within a threatened area. In addition, if making a full-attack action with a melee weapon, you can make an additional attack bonus at your highest BAB, but all of your attack rolls take a –2 penalty and you recieve a -2 penalty to your AC until your next turn.
Special: You gain the benefits of this feat only when you have no armor bonus to your AC.

Notes:These feats could benefit a Monk character, but I think that they would work better for a Barbarian character. Monks already get extra attacks with flurry of blows, and I think are less likely to want the drawbacks of attacking with the Naked Carnage feat. While Barbarians have other pro-Intimidate powers and feats available to them, that Doomstreaker could work with because of fear-stacking.

Rage Power
Furious Nude-jitsu (Ex): The barbarian gains +1 to her CMB and CMD for a number of rounds equal to the barbarian's current Constitution modifier (minimum 1). This bonus increases by +1 for every 6 levels the barbarian has attained. This bonus applies only if you have no armor bonus to your AC. Activating this ability is a move action that does not provoke an attack of opportunity.

Notes: Ordinary Nude-jitsu is for Bucknaked Monks, Furious Nude-jitsu is for raging Bucknaked Barbarians. You can infer from the term 'Nude-jitsu' that the Barbarian is empowered with extraordinary grace and combat prowess, by his un-encumbered-ness, but really it's just a pun.

I also think that a trait which allows a Barbarian to not take the -2 penalty to AC while raging, providing he has no armor bonus to his AC would be nice.


Dilvish the Danged wrote:
hogarth wrote:


Unfettered
Benefit: Whenever you have no armor or natural armor bonus to AC, you gain a +3 circumstance bonus to AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels you possess.
I have an issue with this and similar concepts. Taken out of the context of this thread, I think it would look like a new, shiny AC booster for Monks.

It's not any shinier than a casting of Mage Armor (or Bracers of Armor + Amulet of Natural Armor at higher levels). It's just cheaper (if you consider a feat "cheap").

Seriously, I don't think there's anything wrong with an unarmored AC boost that benefits monks and/or wizards, as long as it doesn't stack with other common, potentialy large AC boosts (namely armor and natural armor bonuses, and maybe shield bonuses).

The Exchange

Leomund's Hairy Chest wrote:
Mr.Fishy wrote:

Can Barbarians have oil of mage armor like monks.

Mr. Fishy likes rubbing oil on Mr. Fishy's chest, gives Mr. Fishy +4 on his AC.

How does Mr. Fishy accomplish this with those little flippers? :)

Leomund's Hairy Chest would require copious amounts of such an oil, so as to avoid painful hair-pulling.

Not to mention that the oil is derived from fish livers....


hogarth wrote:
Dilvish the Danged wrote:
hogarth wrote:


Unfettered
Benefit: Whenever you have no armor or natural armor bonus to AC, you gain a +3 circumstance bonus to AC. This bonus increases by +1 for every four levels you possess.
I have an issue with this and similar concepts. Taken out of the context of this thread, I think it would look like a new, shiny AC booster for Monks.

It's not any shinier than a casting of Mage Armor (or Bracers of Armor + Amulet of Natural Armor at higher levels). It's just cheaper (if you consider a feat "cheap").

Seriously, I don't think there's anything wrong with an unarmored AC boost that benefits monks and/or wizards, as long as it doesn't stack with other common, potentialy large AC boosts (namely armor and natural armor bonuses, and maybe shield bonuses).

In this example it is a circumstance bonus to ac, that stacks with just about everything. Only these kind of weird bonuses that stack with all the standard buffs will cause problems.

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