When do natural armor bonuses stack?


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Shadow Lodge

15 people marked this as FAQ candidate. Answered in the errata. 3 people marked this as a favorite.

As the title suggests, when do natural armor bonuses stack.

In the rules natural armor is listed three ways.

  • "increase to the character's existing natural armor"
  • Natural Armor Bonus
  • Enhancement Bonus to Natural Armor

    It seems pretty clear to me that an increase to existing natural armor should stack with nearly anything because it's not a bonus. The rules for a named bonus like an enhancement bonus are fairly well laid out too, they stack other bonuses and increases but not with other enhancement bonuses.

    What isn't as clear is the more generic "Natural Armor Bonus". Is this an untyped bonus which stacks or is it considered a named bonus that doesn't stack? The phrase is used with polymorph spells, the draconic sorcerer's bloodline power, all the alchemist abilities, and... other places. So how do they stack?

    If I have a draconic sorcerer 3 (+1 NA Bonus) / alchemist 7 (+2 NA Bonus while mutated)/ Master Chymst 2 (+1 NA Bonus using the Nimble Advanced Mutagen) does she get a +4 natural armor bonus?

    What if the same sorcerer was polymorphed into a dragon (+4 Natural Armor Bonus) then took the mutagen? Would he lose his natural armor bonus from being a sorcerer then gain it for being a dragon then apply the mutagen and the nimble bonus?

    I'm not suggesting this actual combination is realistic, but I have bumped into several of the above issues with characters.


  • I would say that gain a "+4 natural armor bonus" like in the dragon shape spells is not a bonus in the usual sense, but it replaces your usual natural armor bonus.
    Thus if you normally have a +2 natural armor bonus (let's say from being a draconic sorcerer) and shape into a dragon, you gain the new natural armor bonus of +4.
    The same would also apply if you are a dwarf taking the Iron Hide feat and multiple times Improved Natural Armor for a natural armor bonus of +6. If you shape into a dragon you get a natural armor bonus of +4.

    Why the mutagen gives you a natual armor bonus instead of an increase to your natural armor is not clear to me and doesn't really make sense.

    The Nimble Advanced Mutagen is a bit oddly worded since it states that you get a natural armor bonus, which would not even stack with the one from the mutagen itself, but replace it. It should probably be an increase to natural armor as in the case of the mutagen itself.


    +1

    Natural armour bonus is a type of bonus, just like enhancement, or dodge.

    +1 on Nimble Advanced Mutagen as well.

    *edit* to elaborate: your list of 3 different ways natural armour can be increased is correct.

    You apply increases and enhancement bonuses to natural armour bonus to your natural armour bonus.

    Overlapping natural armour bonuses don't stack.


    I'm not sure how natural armor bonus (not enhancement) stack with himself (i.e. racial, or from multiple sources). It was a question of the 3.5 FAQ iirc but I never understood how it was intended to work.

    Shadow Lodge

    While I agree that Natural Armor Bonus seems like it shouldn't stack it appears in a few places where you would think it should stack. The Alchemist and the Chymst Nimble ability being the one I can think of off the top of my head but I think there are others.


    As the RAW are now, the bonuses from 'mutagen'/'mutate' and 'nimble' would clearly NOT stack (which is why I think it might be an error).

    The 'draconic bloodline' and the dragon disciple prestige class are the only presumable exceptions to the "no bonuses except dodge stack"-rule I know of. And in both cases the descriptions state that the increases pertain to the total 'natural armor bonus' that the class feature grants. The increases are not separate bonuses. So these cases are actually not really in contradiction to the "no bonuses except dodge stack"-rule.

    A polymorph spell that changes a character into a creature that has a 'natural armor bonus' works just like a buffing spell that directly grants the bonus.


    Alch wrote:


    A polymorph spell that changes a character into a creature that has a 'natural armor bonus' works just like a buffing spell that directly grants the bonus.

    Wouldn't a Druid who wildshapes but also have the feat Improved Natural Armor a few times have the wildshapes natural armor bonus stack with the Druids from the feat?


    Razal-Thule wrote:
    Alch wrote:


    A polymorph spell that changes a character into a creature that has a 'natural armor bonus' works just like a buffing spell that directly grants the bonus.
    Wouldn't a Druid who wildshapes but also have the feat Improved Natural Armor a few times have the wildshapes natural armor bonus stack with the Druids from the feat?

    Although 'wild shape' is not exactly a spell, your point about the 'improved natural armor' feat is a good one. This would be another case like the 'draconic bloodline' and the dragon disciple, where the bonus itself is increased. The increase granted by the feat does not represent a separate bonus, it is directly applied to a pre-existing 'natural armor bonus'.


    Alch wrote:
    A polymorph spell that changes a character into a creature that has a 'natural armor bonus' works just like a buffing spell that directly grants the bonus.

    Agreed if you mean that it replaces the previous bonus (as opposed to stacking/increasing the base natural armor).

    Pretty sure you got it down Ogre - APG stuff apparently needs a little clean up. Ignoring that:

  • You have a natural armor bonus (to AC), which can be +0. Two things that grant this will never stack (unless it's an error).
  • You may have something that increases that bonus, such as a template or Improved Natural Armor feat (though that feat cannot increase a +0). As these are not bonuses, they would stack if they are not mutually exclusive. See your GM.
  • You may have an enhancement bonus to natural armor (bonus), from amulets of natural armor or barkskin or righteous might. These would never stack.

  • Shadow Lodge

    Majuba wrote:
    Pretty sure you got it down Ogre - APG stuff apparently needs a little clean up.

    Ok, then I did have it right in my head, just a little weirdness in Master Chymst. I think there were some other weird cases but I'm not exactly sure where off the top of my head.

    Shadow Lodge

    Just to veryfy, I was looking at the Barbarian alternate class ability Savage Barbarian.

    At 7th level, they get a +1 natural armor bonus to AC when wearing no armor.

    Will this stack with an amulet of Natural Armor, which provides a +1 enhancement bouns to natural armor?

    These would stack as one is an enhancement bonus and one is just a general bonus, correct?


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Derekjr wrote:

    Just to veryfy, I was looking at the Barbarian alternate class ability Savage Barbarian.

    At 7th level, they get a +1 natural armor bonus to AC when wearing no armor.

    Will this stack with an amulet of Natural Armor, which provides a +1 enhancement bonus to natural armor?

    These would stack as one is an enhancement bonus and one is just a general bonus, correct?

    It is a 'Natural Armor' bonus that was enchanted on the item. It would stack with an Enchantment Bonus, but not a Natural Armor Bonus.

    Shadow Lodge

    Derekjr wrote:

    Just to veryfy, I was looking at the Barbarian alternate class ability Savage Barbarian.

    At 7th level, they get a +1 natural armor bonus to AC when wearing no armor.

    Will this stack with an amulet of Natural Armor, which provides a +1 enhancement bouns to natural armor?

    These would stack as one is an enhancement bonus and one is just a general bonus, correct?

    Yes, they should stack.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    0gre wrote:
    Yes, they should stack.

    Why are you saying that Natural Armor stacks with Natural Armor?


    Shain Edge wrote:
    0gre wrote:
    Yes, they should stack.

    Why are you saying that Natural Armor stacks with Natural Armor? [/QUOTE

    'cause one is an enhancement bonus and thus is not the same bonus I think

    Shadow Lodge

    Shain Edge wrote:
    0gre wrote:
    Yes, they should stack.
    Why are you saying that Natural Armor stacks with Natural Armor?

    A natural armor bonus stacks with an enhancement bonus to natural armor, yes.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    0gre wrote:
    A natural armor bonus stacks with an enhancement bonus to natural armor, yes.

    I was under the impression that Natural Armor was one type, and enchantment bonus was it's own type.

    So my question is now, is it an enchantment bonus or a natural armor bonus? Will it stack with Enchantments or Natural Armor?

    By reading, I can only see that an enchantment bonus to Natural armor would not stack with natural armor, unless there are some specific instances that they do stack.

    What page am I missing?

    Shadow Lodge

    Shain Edge wrote:
    0gre wrote:
    A natural armor bonus stacks with an enhancement bonus to natural armor, yes.

    I was under the impression that Natural Armor was one type, and enchantment bonus was it's own type.

    So my question is now, is it an enchantment bonus or a natural armor bonus? Will it stack with Enchantments or Natural Armor?

    By reading, I can only see that an enchantment bonus to Natural armor would not stack with natural armor, unless there are some specific instances that they do stack.

    What page am I missing?

    This goes back to my original question. The way I see it they do but it's not crystal clear.


    Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

    Natural armor bonuses do NOT stack with natural armor bonuses, exceptions abound. They are their own type (as are enhancement bonuses) and thus do not stack with one another (the only typed bonus that does do that are dodge bonuses).

    Again, multiple sources that give natural armor bonuses do NOT stack. However, many abilities specifically say that they increase existing natural armor bonuses or stack with existing natural armor bonuses (as an exception to the normal rule).

    If you read the text for each individual instance in which you get a natural armor bonus or a natural armor increase closely, it becomes pretty clear.


    Shain Edge wrote:
    0gre wrote:
    A natural armor bonus stacks with an enhancement bonus to natural armor, yes.

    I was under the impression that Natural Armor was one type, and enchantment bonus was it's own type.

    So my question is now, is it an enchantment bonus or a natural armor bonus? Will it stack with Enchantments or Natural Armor?

    By reading, I can only see that an enchantment bonus to Natural armor would not stack with natural armor, unless there are some specific instances that they do stack.

    What page am I missing?

    You're missing that the Savage Barbarian gets a natural armor bonus of +1, while the amulet provides an enhancement bonus to natural armor. There are two things of note there. The first is that the types of bonus (natural armor and enhancement) are different. The second is that this doesn't matter, because they aren't applying bonuses to the same thing.

    The Natural Armor bonus is a bonus to your AC. The Enhancement Bonus is a bonus to your Natural Armor bonus.


    Ok Here's an example where stacking or not really does make a huge difference.

    Imp Companion From Diabolist Class
    Lets Say the imp is the companion of a wizard/diabloist
    The Wizard buys the imp an Amulet of natural armor +2, and some light armor +4 , with +2 enchament.
    this lets him share spells , so for this example the wizard shares Form of the Dragon III.

    Imp AC from stat block
    DEX 17, Nat +1

    From Animal Companion Increases to level 15
    +10 Natural Armor , +5 STR/DEX

    From Amulet of Natural Armor+3
    +3 Natural Armor

    From Form of the Dragon III
    +8 natural armor bonus

    So DEX 22 +3 Light armor gives AC base of +5 +7 = AC 22
    But how much of the natural armor stack ?
    source is imp race +1
    animal companion ( a class ability) +10
    natural armor (magic item enchanemtent) +3
    form of the dragon (spell that turns you into a dragon , note the STR and CON bonus in this spell is size bonus not enchantment) +8

    so on the surface this looks like 4 differen't sources that could potentially all stack, if they do all stack

    AC 22 + 1 + 10 + 3 + 8 = AC 44


    The imp's base natural armor is a natural armor bonus to AC.

    The animal companion bonuses are untyped bonuses to natural armor.

    The amulet's bonus is an enhancement bonus to natural armor.

    Form of the dragon III is a natural armor bonus to AC with special rules.

    This is a really, really bad example, because form of the dragon is a polymorph spell, and polymorph spells remove effects that are entirely based on your original form, such as the imp's natural armor bonus and the untyped bonus to that from being an animal companion. An animal companion imp with an amulet of natural armor +3 has 15 natural armor. The same imp under the effect of form of the dragon III has 11 natural armor.


    Zurai wrote:

    The imp's base natural armor is a natural armor bonus to AC.

    The animal companion bonuses are untyped bonuses to natural armor.

    The amulet's bonus is an enhancement bonus to natural armor.

    Form of the dragon III is a natural armor bonus to AC with special rules.

    This is a really, really bad example, because form of the dragon is a polymorph spell, and polymorph spells remove effects that are entirely based on your original form, such as the imp's natural armor bonus and the untyped bonus to that from being an animal companion. An animal companion imp with an amulet of natural armor +3 has 15 natural armor. The same imp under the effect of form of the dragon III has 11 natural armor.

    or a really really good example of how complicated natural armor bonuses are.

    you sure about the untyped being lost in polymorph its not based on the original form as you say it an untyped bonus for being an animal companion


    Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Phasics wrote:
    You sure about the untyped being lost in polymorph its not based on the original form as you say it an untyped bonus for being an animal companion?

    I think he is wrong in that regard but correct about pretty much everything else.


    It's an untyped bonus to the imp's natural armor. When the imp isn't an imp, it doesn't have the imp's natural armor.


    0gre wrote:


    If I have a draconic sorcerer 3 (+1 NA Bonus) / alchemist 7 (+2 NA Bonus while mutated)/ Master Chymst 2 (+1 NA Bonus using the Nimble Advanced Mutagen) does she get a +4 natural armor bonus?

    These abilities all 'grant a natural armor bonus' and as such you should see them as a 'base' natural armor.

    They don't stack.

    So this PC would have a +1 natural armor bonus that would increase to a +2 when mutated.

    A barkskin potion (+2) would add an enhancement bonus to this.

    Meanwhile a polymorph spell would give a 'base' natural armor bonus that would not stack with what you already had.

    Likewise if the PC were of a race that naturally had a Natural Armor bonus then that too would be a 'base' natural armor bonus to AC.

    Does this make any sense?

    -James


    Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Zurai wrote:
    It's an untyped bonus to the imp's natural armor. When the imp isn't an imp, it doesn't have the imp's natural armor.

    Would it not become an untyped bonus to the dragon's natural armor?


    Ravingdork wrote:
    Zurai wrote:
    It's an untyped bonus to the imp's natural armor. When the imp isn't an imp, it doesn't have the imp's natural armor.
    Would it not become an untyped bonus to the dragon's natural armor?

    No. I just said that. You quoted me saying it.

    The bonuses from being an animal companion are unique to that animal companion. They're especially strong/agile/tough/skilled <insert type of animal here>. Polymorph spells change you into an average member of the target species. Being an animal companion doesn't let you keep your uberness when you're specifically transformed into an average, ie non-uber, specimen.

    This was more obvious with 3.5's polymorph rules, but it still applies to natural armor for Pathfinder.


    Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
    Zurai wrote:
    Ravingdork wrote:
    Zurai wrote:
    It's an untyped bonus to the imp's natural armor. When the imp isn't an imp, it doesn't have the imp's natural armor.
    Would it not become an untyped bonus to the dragon's natural armor?

    No. I just said that. You quoted me saying it.

    The bonuses from being an animal companion are unique to that animal companion. They're especially strong/agile/tough/skilled <insert type of animal here>. Polymorph spells change you into an average member of the target species. Being an animal companion doesn't let you keep your uberness when you're specifically transformed into an average, ie non-uber, specimen.

    This was more obvious with 3.5's polymorph rules, but it still applies to natural armor for Pathfinder.

    But changing into a dragon does not change the fact that the creature is your familiar. The improvement to natural armor bonuses isn't unique to a specific creature, it is unique to familiars.


    its almost like bonuses need 2 descriptors, one which is the name but a second that tells you what it can and can't stack with.

    so e.g.
    bull rush
    +4 natural armor bonus (enchantment)

    dodge feat
    + 1 dodge bonus (untyped)

    all untyped bonuses stack and all other bonuses will only stack if they have a differnt (source) ?


    Phasics wrote:
    its almost like bonuses need 2 descriptors, one which is the name but a second that tells you what it can and can't stack with.

    No, they don't, because (with the exception of dodge bonuses and circumstance bonuses) the name IS the descriptor that tells you whether it can stack with another bonus. Dodge bonuses always stack, and circumstance bonuses stack if they're from different circumstances.


    Zurai wrote:
    Phasics wrote:
    its almost like bonuses need 2 descriptors, one which is the name but a second that tells you what it can and can't stack with.
    No, they don't, because (with the exception of dodge bonuses and circumstance bonuses) the name IS the descriptor that tells you whether it can stack with another bonus. Dodge bonuses always stack, and circumstance bonuses stack if they're from different circumstances.

    and yet this is clearly not the case as by your logic none of the bonuses below would stack, not even the amulet since it too is a bonus to "natural armor".

    Zurai wrote:

    The imp's base natural armor is a natural armor bonus to AC.

    The animal companion bonuses are untyped bonuses to natural armor.

    The amulet's bonus is an enhancement bonus to natural armor.

    Form of the dragon III is a natural armor bonus to AC with special rules.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    Natural armor is a type. Bonuses that stack with natural armor specifically say they do. Any thing that doesn't specifically state it goes by the stacking rules. In the case of Natural Armor, it does not stack.

    In the case of the Familiar bonus, it stacks. It specifically states that it does. It might as well be an untyped bonus. Barkskin's effects stacks with Natural Armor, because it specifically states that it does. The Natural Armor Amulet does not say it can stack with natural armor. It is an armor bonus that counts as Natural Armor, rather then say, deflection. If you put it on someone who already has natural armor, it will not stack.

    Druids Companion Natural Armor Bonus:

    Natural Armor Bonus: The number noted here is an
    improvement to the animal companion’s existing natural
    armor bonus.

    Barkskin:

    School transmutation; Level druid 2, ranger 2
    Casting Time 1 standard action
    Components V, S, DF
    Range touch
    Target living creature touched
    Duration 10 min./level
    Saving Throw none; Spell Resistance yes (harmless)
    Barkskin toughens a creature’s skin. The effect grants a +2
    enhancement bonus to the creature’s existing natural armor
    bonus. This enhancement bonus increases by 1 for every three
    caster levels above 3rd, to a maximum of +5 at 12th level.
    The enhancement bonus provided by barkskin stacks with the
    target’s natural armor bonus, but not with other enhancement
    bonuses to natural armor. A creature without natural armor has an
    effective natural armor bonus of +0.

    Amulet of Natural Armor:

    This amulet, usually crafted from bone or beast scales, toughens
    the wearer’s body and flesh, giving him an enhancement bonus to
    his natural armor from +1 to +5, depending on the kind of amulet.


    Phasics wrote:
    Zurai wrote:
    Phasics wrote:
    its almost like bonuses need 2 descriptors, one which is the name but a second that tells you what it can and can't stack with.
    No, they don't, because (with the exception of dodge bonuses and circumstance bonuses) the name IS the descriptor that tells you whether it can stack with another bonus. Dodge bonuses always stack, and circumstance bonuses stack if they're from different circumstances.
    and yet this is clearly not the case as by your logic none of the bonuses below would stack, not even the amulet since it too is a bonus to "natural armor".

    Incorrect. Please read more closely. Bonuses to the same stat do not stack if they are the same type. Bonuses of the same type that apply to different stats don't trigger any kind of stacking rules because there's no way to make them stack or not stack.

    Do you have a problem with an Insight Bonus to AC and an Insight Bonus to Initiative both being active for the same character?


    Shain Edge wrote:
    The Natural Armor Amulet does not say it can stack with natural armor. It is an armor bonus that counts as Natural Armor, rather then say, deflection. If you put it on someone who already has natural armor, it will not stack.

    Please actually read the item. It is an enhancement bonus to natural armor. That means it enhances the natural armor of the wearer. It is not "an armor bonus that counts as natural armor", and frankly I have no clue how it is even possible to read it that way.

    EDIT: To put it another way, your interpretation makes a suit of +5 full plate increase the wearer's AC by exactly the same amount as a non-magical suit of full plate.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
    Zurai wrote:


    EDIT: To put it another way, your interpretation makes a suit of +5 full plate increase the wearer's AC by exactly the same amount as a non-magical suit of full plate.

    Everyone knows that the spell Mage Armor Doesn't stack with wearable armor. However, by what I seem to hear you saying, based on the spell description alone, it 'would' stack, because it is an Armor Bonus and says nothing about not stacking with other armor.

    Mage Armor:

    School conjuration (creation) [force]; Level sorcerer/wizard 1
    Casting Time 1 standard action
    Components V, S, F (a piece of cured leather)
    Range touch
    Target creature touched
    Duration 1 hour/level (D)
    Saving Throw Will negates (harmless); Spell Resistance no
    An invisible but tangible field of force surrounds the subject of a
    mage armor spell, providing a +4 armor bonus to AC.
    Unlike mundane armor, mage armor entails no armor check
    penalty, arcane spell failure chance, or speed reduction. Since mage
    armor is made of force, incorporeal creatures can’t bypass it the way
    they do normal armor.

    If that were the case, then what would happen if you cast Mage Armor on someone wearing +5 leather armor?

    Does the player get an effective Armor based AC Bonus of 1+5(6) (which is better then the +4 Mage Armor Grants) or 4+5(9)? After all the enhancement bonus does effect 'armor' and you would seem to think that Mage Armor may replace the Leather armor aspect.

    Does it?

    On the other hand Bracers of Armor do specifically state that it's Armor Bonus doesn't Stack with other Armor bonuses. but does it stack with Armor Enhancement bonuses? Can you wear Leather armor +5 with Bracers of Armor +5 and get a +10 (After ignoring the wearable leather.) After all the +5 on the leather is an 'enhancement bonus' to Armor.


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    I can actually see it occurring both ways, that the Amulet of Natural Armor can and can not provide additional armor bonus to natural armor. But, based on the specific wording in the rules, I would have to rule that it would not provide a stacking Natural Armor bonus, because it doesn't specifically say that it provides such a bonus, like every other Natural Armor effect does.


    Zurai wrote:
    The bonuses from being an animal companion are unique to that animal companion. They're especially strong/agile/tough/skilled <insert type of animal here>. Polymorph spells change you into an average member of the target species. Being an animal companion doesn't let you keep your uberness when you're specifically transformed into an average, ie non-uber, specimen.

    Polymorph, pg 211, I don't want to copy it all down... for one thing its a lot of text, and for another I don't want to get in trouble, but the long and short of it is you are NOT turned into the thing you are polymorphing into.

    Snipit from Dead Tree wrote:
    Polymorph transforms your physical body to take on the shape of another creature. While these spells make you appear to be the creature, granting you a +20 bonus on Disguise skill checks, they do not grant you all of the abilities and powers of the creature.

    It goes on to say that you cannot turn into a specific individual, only a generic form of the thing you are turning into, but says nothing about being an average individual (ie stats), just you cant LOOK like a specific indiviual... and then what you do and dont keep from your base character:

    Dead Tree Rising wrote:
    While under the effects of a polymorph spell, you lose all extraordinary and supernatural abilities that depend on your original form (such as keen senses, scent, and darkvision), as well as any natural attacks and movement types possessed by your original form. You also lose any class features that depend upon form, but those that allow you to add features (such as sorcerers that can grow claws) still function. While most of these should be obvious, the GM is the final arbiter of what abilities depend on form and are lost when a new form is assumed. Your new form might restore a number of these abilities if they are possessed by the new form.

    The Nat AC bonus isn't dependent on the original form, so it would seem to suggest it would indeed work while in the new form. The question is, would the dragon's Nat AC gained stack with the bonus Nat AC gained from levels as an animal companion? Again it seems the answer is yes.

    Base creatures Nat AC: n
    Animal companion bonus, untyped: +10
    Enhancement bonus from amulet OR barkskin never both: +5
    Form of the dragon 3's bonus: +8
    n+10+5+8 = total Nat AC

    Remember, the only time it suggests that a creature's base Natural Armor is a bonus anything is when it's refereed to in spells that grant an increase to it, and even then, it says explicitly that it is effectively a bonus, never that a creatures 'natural' Nat Armor is a bonus. (aka, natural armor is a thing, just as armor is a thing, and anything that calls itself a natural armor bonus is just that, a bonus, which is why the amulet stacks with a non-magical Nat AC)


    Shain Edge wrote:
    Zurai wrote:


    EDIT: To put it another way, your interpretation makes a suit of +5 full plate increase the wearer's AC by exactly the same amount as a non-magical suit of full plate.
    Everyone knows that the spell Mage Armor Doesn't stack with wearable armor. However, by what I seem to hear you saying, based on the spell description alone, it 'would' stack, because it is an Armor Bonus and says nothing about not stacking with other armor.

    Uh, no. Again, I cannot even fathom how you can come to that conclusion.

    Mage armor is a +4 armor bonus to AC. Full plate is a +9 armor bonus to AC. Both bonuses are the same type (armor) and apply to the same stat (AC); thus, they do not stack.

    Now compare:

    An amulet of natural armor +4 is a +4 enhancement bonus to natural armor. An elephant has a +9 natural armor bonus to AC. Both bonuses are different types and they both apply to different stats (the enhancement bonus applies to natural armor, the natural armor bonus (which is modified by the enhancement bonus) applies to AC).


    An elephant has an AC of 17, of which, 9 comes from his Natural Armor... not a natural armor bonus.

    bestiary, elephant companion wrote:
    Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 40ft.; AC +4 natural armor; Attack gore....

    Natural armor is listed as such, not as a bonus, but as Natural armor, a type of armor that stacks with other AC. It is generally referred to as a bonus because it enhances AC, but not because it's some type of bonus to AC alone (aka doesn't exist without other AC).


    Stubs McKenzie wrote:

    An elephant has an AC of 17, of which, 9 comes from his Natural Armor... not a natural armor bonus.

    bestiary, elephant companion wrote:
    Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 40ft.; AC +4 natural armor; Attack gore....
    Natural armor is listed as such, not as a bonus, but as Natural armor, a type of armor that stacks with other AC. It is generally referred to as a bonus because it enhances AC, but not because it's some type of bonus to AC alone (aka doesn't exist without other AC).

    This is a remarkably silly statement. Natural armor is a bonus type. Paizo doesn't list the bonus types like the 3.5 player's handbook did, but the rules are the same, so here is the 3.5 SRD on the subject.


    Zurai wrote:
    Phasics wrote:
    Zurai wrote:
    Phasics wrote:
    its almost like bonuses need 2 descriptors, one which is the name but a second that tells you what it can and can't stack with.
    No, they don't, because (with the exception of dodge bonuses and circumstance bonuses) the name IS the descriptor that tells you whether it can stack with another bonus. Dodge bonuses always stack, and circumstance bonuses stack if they're from different circumstances.
    and yet this is clearly not the case as by your logic none of the bonuses below would stack, not even the amulet since it too is a bonus to "natural armor".
    Incorrect. Please read more closely. Bonuses to the same stat do not stack if they are the same type.

    and how would you know what type of bonus it is ? becuase it says ? like a descriptor ;)

    would you not agree that if all types of bonuses were standadised to some format e.g. +X Type (source) this thread wouldn't have been posted in the first place ;)


    <headdesk>

    All bonuses do use a standardized format.

    +X <bonus type; untyped if not present> bonus to <stat>.

    In NPC/monster stat blocks it's sometimes shortened, as in the animal companion stats above, to:

    Stat: Total_Number (+X <bonus type>, +Y <bonus type> ...)


    Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

    So would 'bonus' be the same as an enhancement, or base armor?

    Beast Shape II gives a natural armor bonus of +4, if you turn into a large creature. Will this stack with Barkskin, or the Amulet of Natural Armor?

    Based on specific defining within Barkskin, we know it would not stack with the 'Amulet of Natural Armor', because it doesn't stack with an enchantment bonus to Natural Armor. It does sound that you could 'Barkskin' a 'Beast Shape'd individual for full stacking bonuses, as would 'Beast Shape' + Amulet of Natural Armor.

    I'm still interested in how to deal with casting 'Mage Armor' on a person with enchanted Leather Armor on.


    Zurai wrote:

    <headdesk>

    All bonuses do use a standardized format.

    +X <bonus type; untyped if not present> bonus to <stat>.

    In NPC/monster stat blocks it's sometimes shortened, as in the animal companion stats above, to:

    Stat: Total_Number (+X <bonus type>, +Y <bonus type> ...)

    so if its all so blatantly obvious why does this thread exist and why do so many people have differing views ?


    Shain Edge wrote:
    So would 'bonus' be the same as an enhancement, or base armor?

    I do not understand your question.

    Quote:
    Beast Shape II gives a natural armor bonus of +4, if you turn into a large creature. Will this stack with Barkskin, or the Amulet of Natural Armor?

    Yes. Beast shape gives a natural armor bonus to AC; barkskin and amulets of natural armor give an enhancement bonus to natural armor.

    Quote:
    Based on specific defining within Barkskin, we know it would not stack with the 'Amulet of Natural Armor', because it doesn't stack with an enchantment bonus to Natural Armor.

    Correct. Both barkskin and amulets of natural armor give the same type of bonus (enhancement) to the same stat (natural armor).

    Quote:
    It does sound that you could 'Barkskin' a 'Beast Shape'd individual for full stacking bonuses, as would 'Beast Shape' + Amulet of Natural Armor.

    Correct. Beast shape is a natural armor bonus to AC, while barkskin/amulet of natural armor are enhancement bonuses to natural armor. Since they're different types and have different 'targets', they stack.

    Quote:
    I'm still interested in how to deal with casting 'Mage Armor' on a person with enchanted Leather Armor on.

    Mage armor gives a +4 Armor bonus to AC. Leather armor gives a +2 Armor bonus to AC. Casting mage armor on a person wearing nonmagical leather armor changes their Armor bonus to AC from +2 to +4. Adding a +3 enchantment onto the leather armor (giving it a +3 enhancement bonus to its armor bonus, for a total of a +5 Armor bonus to AC) would make the mage armor spell pointless, as the +3 leather armor provides a higher Armor bonus to AC than the spell.


    Phasics wrote:
    Zurai wrote:

    <headdesk>

    All bonuses do use a standardized format.

    +X <bonus type; untyped if not present> bonus to <stat>.

    In NPC/monster stat blocks it's sometimes shortened, as in the animal companion stats above, to:

    Stat: Total_Number (+X <bonus type>, +Y <bonus type> ...)

    so if its all so blatantly obvious why does this thread exist and why do so many people have differing views ?

    Because they can't read English very well?

    Actually, it's partly Paizo's fault for choosing not to reprint the SRD section on bonus types, which I linked above.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Saying it's a remarkably silly statement only makes for an unfriendly atmosphere, and is pretty unnecessary especially when you follow that statement with "this info isn't defined in Paizo's books but..."

    Past that, with what you linked I agree with you, and can admit when I'm wrong. Natural AC is always a bonus just as AC is always a bonus.


    Zurai wrote:
    Stubs McKenzie wrote:

    An elephant has an AC of 17, of which, 9 comes from his Natural Armor... not a natural armor bonus.

    bestiary, elephant companion wrote:
    Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 40ft.; AC +4 natural armor; Attack gore....
    Natural armor is listed as such, not as a bonus, but as Natural armor, a type of armor that stacks with other AC. It is generally referred to as a bonus because it enhances AC, but not because it's some type of bonus to AC alone (aka doesn't exist without other AC).
    This is a remarkably silly statement. Natural armor is a bonus type. Paizo doesn't list the bonus types like the 3.5 player's handbook did, but the rules are the same, so here is the 3.5 SRD on the subject.

    well first off this isn't 3.5. second i don't think it's right to call Stubs McKenzie statement silly, especially when he is CORRECT.

    what everyone is missing about pathfinder is if a specific bonus is not worded as such then it NOT A SPECIFIC bonus it is UNTYPED and untyped bonuses ALWAYS stack even with other untyped bonuses. You have to really read how the natural armor increase is worded for EVERY effect, people are ASSUMING just because it increases natural armor that it is automatically TYPED as a NATURAL ARMOR BONUS. while it may BE a bonus to natural armor it's not necessarily typed as natural armor bonus and will stack. To explain it better i will list some ways to stack increases to natural armor by how there worded and maybe things will become clearer.

    examples-

    An elephant-Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 40ft.; AC +4 natural armor; Attack gore.... If this is how it's worded in the book then this WOULD stack as +4 to natural armor has NO bonus TYPE stated so that makes it UNTYPED.

    Improve your natural armor by +1-again no bonus type listed so if anything was worded as such it would be an untyped bonus and would stack with anything.

    Increase your natural armor by +2/your natural armor increases by +2-again no bonus type listed so if anything was worded as such it would be an untyped bonus and would stack with anything.

    +1 to natural armor- no bonus listed so untyped and stacks with everything.

    you gain a +1 bonus to natural armor-again no bonus type listed so if anything was worded as such it would be an untyped bonus and would stack with anything.

    In order for something to be classed as a NATURAL ARMOR BONUS it has to be worded as such. "NATURAL ARMOR" IS A BONUS TYPE, just like sacred, insight, etc. your total bonus to natural armor is NOT the same thing as a NATURAL ARMOR BONUS. there completely different things.

    a +X enhancement bonus to natural armor would stack with a +x natural armor bonus as there TWO different types of bonuses. one is an enhancement the other natural armor, those are the bonus TYPES. which gives you your total bonus to natural armor of +y.


    RunebladeX wrote:
    well first off this isn't 3.5. second i don't think it's right to call Stubs McKenzie statement silly, especially when he is CORRECT.

    No, actually, he isn't, and neither are you.

    Quote:
    An elephant-Starting Statistics: Size Medium; Speed 40ft.; AC +4 natural armor; Attack gore.... If this is how it's worded in the book then this WOULD stack as +4 to natural armor has NO bonus TYPE stated so that makes it UNTYPED.

    By this logic, mage armor stacks with worn armor. Bonuses to AC are listed in statblocks (including the mini animal companion statblocks) simply by their bonus type. Look at any adventure. Actually, look specifically at an adventure with a mage that has pre-cast mage armor. You'll see that it's listed in their stat block as "AC X (+4 armor ...)".

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