AC Items for Sorcreer


Advice

Scarab Sages

Is it even worth it to bother with getting more than +1 ring and neck? It seems like after about a certain level it won't be worth the gold.


A good AC will keep you alive. Besides, with no weapons or armor to buy you should have the cash.

Also, Consider a 1 level dip into Lore Oracle for the Sidestep secret and a handful of minor healing spells.


If they're allowed in the campaign by your GM, consider the advantage of a haramaki. +1 AC, no penalties (even if non-proficient), no ASF, and as actual armor can later get the sort of armor enhancements that aren't bonus-equivalents.


see wrote:
If they're allowed in the campaign by your GM, consider the advantage of a haramaki. +1 AC, no penalties (even if non-proficient), no ASF, and as actual armor can later get the sort of armor enhancements that aren't bonus-equivalents.

Doesn't stack with mage armor though. Which is far cheaper.

AC becomes obsolete relatively fast. Takes more dedication than I like to keep it high enough to stop much. Mirror image or spells that create concealment are usually effective.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

As a sorcerer I would focus on the non-AC/shield items first until 4th level. My reason is burning a slot for mage armor is not that hard at low levels, and shield is good too as a low level wand or something. After level 4 consider getting a +1 Darkleaf cloth Studded leather is probably worth getting. It comes with no ACP and only 5% spell failure, and the same AC bennies (sans incorpereal) as Mage armor, except now it can increase cheaper than bracers of mage armor, and would be now worth swapping out the mage armor spell (and get the wand for the occasional incorpereal moments). Same thing goes for a mithril buckler...for the low price of ~10k you get the same defense as your Shield and Mage armor spells (+2 armor and +2 shield gives you 8)...add that with a decent dex, snagging a ring of protection and amulet of nat armor, there is no reason you can't have a decent enough AC to survive secondary and tertiary attacks...you will likely still get hit with many primaries..but it is still very doable to have a decent AC as a sorc. If you are playing PFS you could roughly maintain the level +20 model if you are decent enough at it :)

Depending on the UMD level you might grab some scrolls of barkskin at lower level which would reduce the absolute need for the amulet of nat armor as they are expensive when you scale it up, until you can afford the greater amount. That or if you are arcane bloodline and are able to find someone to cast the spells for you, you could craft your own amulet (if DM allows, I forget the rule for PFS on that.)


I would suggest highly against putting on anything that gives spell casting failure. Your most likely not in the front lines anyway, and its far cheaper to get a silken ceremonial gown for armor qualities and use mage armor for the +4. You can get a mithral light shield of any sort, not just a buckler, but shield will almost always be better and you can buff before fights. You can put armor spikes on either one and threaten without wielding a weapon.


At low levels keeping mage armor on all the time would mean spending most of your spells on it. A 3 gp haramaki is hardly a major expense for a bit of extra always-on-even-when-you're-surprised AC.

At higher levels, yeah, it's not there for the AC. Instead, it's a slot to hold various armor special abilities, including the ones that can't be put on bracers of armor or an amulet of natural armor. Like determination.


See if you can get hold of nereid's grace.


Fah sorcer and AC. You will lose the AC race. It would be much better to work on your saves with gear. Invisibility, mirror image and spells are what keep you safe. If you can get items to replicate these abilities that is worth doing as well. Play smart use cover.

my 8th level PFS sorcerer has a 12 AC that he retained from level 1.


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Finlanderboy wrote:

Fah sorcer and AC. You will lose the AC race. It would be much better to work on your saves with gear. Invisibility, mirror image and spells are what keep you safe. If you can get items to replicate these abilities that is worth doing as well. Play smart use cover.

my 8th level PFS sorcerer has a 12 AC that he retained from level 1.

Agreed. Everyone loses the AC arms race sooner or later; the ability to hit far outpaces methods of increasing AC.

The key to staying alive is concealment and miss chances; mirror image, invisibility, and so forth. IMO, a Lesser Cloak of Displacement is the best investment *any* character can put gold into; a constant 20% miss chance is incredible. The Greater version sucks because it only lasts a few rounds a day.


Well, if you keep your Bluff skill maxed and can spare the feats, then Osyluth Guile might be worth taking. This feat allows you to turn your CHA modifier into a dodge bonus to AC. That means that your stat boosting headband also improves your AC. Since dodge bonus stacks, you can still take more standard AC boosting items. Sadly, it is not available until level 9 at the earliest (unless you dip fighter at level 8, I suppose)

EDIT: Ah, forgot to mention that this only works on one opponent, and they need to see you. So that might conflict with invisibility. Still might be useful if they have See invisibility or True Seeing though. The limit on opponents is not that major, since if your Sorcerer gets spotted and surrounded, then you have larger issues to worry about.

Sczarni

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Unfortunately you have to fight defensively...that does not work with spell casting very well unless you are a magus.


Ah, right. I guess it is restricted to bards, paladins, oracles and synthesists for the most part, eh? ...wait, Sorcerer is the only CHA caster that can't really take advantage of this...I feel even sillier now.


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Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

To an extent, investing in AC is usually a good idea.

Mage armor only goes so far, so relying only on it is not a great idea (although it's good even at higher levels when facing incorporeal foes). "Miss chances" are just that, chances, and usually even more difficult to have active for long periods than AC; even when you have a minor cloak of displacement, a crappy AC will suck for the 80% of attacks that don't automatically miss.

As mentioned, a haramaki is more cost-effective and versatile than bracers of armor: 9,153 gp (+3 haramaki) gives you +4 AC without needing to use spell slots (you still want mage armor for incorporeal foes, as I mentioned; a scroll or wand is a good investment for that sort of situational use). Rings of protection (deflection bonus) are more important than amulets of natural armor (natural armor enhancement) because a deflection bonus applies to touch/ranged touch AC. Also look into picking up an ioun stone (dusty rose prism) (slotless, +1 insight AC; 5,000 gp), jingasa of the fortunate soldier (head slot, +1 luck AC, negate one critical hit or sneak attack per day; 5,000 gp), and a Dex-boosting item (either a belt or a snakeskin tunic) once you have a +2 haramaki, amulet +1, and ring +1; they're pretty cost-effective at boosting AC until you can afford that minor cloak of displacement (24,000 gp).

Shadow Lodge

lemeres wrote:
EDIT: Ah, forgot to mention that this only works on one opponent, and they need to see you.

No, you need to see them.

Osyluth Guile wrote:
Benefit: While you are fighting defensively or using the total defense action, select one opponent. Add your Charisma bonus to your AC as a dodge bonus against that opponent's melee attacks until your next turn. You cannot use this feat if you cannot see the selected opponent.


Ok, slightly better for a gish build I suppose then... A dragon disciple or eldrich knight could take advantage at least. Sorry if I am a bit shaky with such details recently.

Sczarni

I also vote Haramaki. It's easy and right from level 1 it helps you not feel so naked. If, at higher levels, you feel like your AC is no longer an issue, then just don't worry about enchanting it. But surviving to Level 2 is very tricky, and every advantage you can get helps.

I had a sorcerer who wore a haramaki once. It was literally no inconvenience at all (even at level 1 you can spare 3 gold) and while I don't think it ever specifically saved my life, it could have and there was no downside whatsoever.

Scarab Sages

King_Of_The_Crossroads wrote:


Agreed. Everyone loses the AC arms race sooner or later; the ability to hit far outpaces methods of increasing AC.

A common fallacy. There are classes capable of beating the AC arms race.

Sorcerer is not typically one of them.


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

01 dusty rose prism ioun stone
01 jingasa of the fortunate soldier
02 cauldron of flying
04 shield spell
05 amulet of natural armor +5
05 ring of protection +5
06 Dexterity (approximated)
08 bracers of armor +8

That's 42 AC that you can have at medium-high levels. If you are crafting the items yourself, it's actually pretty easy to stay competitive with the AC curve at ALL LEVELS with ANY CHARACTER.

Scarab Sages

Ravingdork wrote:

That's 42 AC that you can have at medium-high levels. If you are crafting the items yourself, it's actually pretty easy to stay competitive with the AC curve at ALL LEVELS with ANY CHARACTER.

With enough resource expenditure, yes. There are even a few other tricks in addition to those you listed.

Sorcerers and wizards would typically invest in alternative defenses. The shield spell in particular is unreliable unless you are forewarned due to the short duration and action economy once combat is initiated.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

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Be warned that concealment effects work best when stacked, but get more and more useless as you level because of the expanded senses of monsters and wider distribution of True Seeing. An Erinyes will really spoil your day. ANything with Tremorsense or Blindsense is unaffected by such tricks.

That said, a constant miss chance, such as a cloak of displacement, is an excellent investment at lower levels.

Here's a basic AC advancement table progression.

ADD Add’l COST AC TOTAL TOTAL COST
+1 Armor Enhance 1000 +1 1000
+1 Shield Enhance 1000 +2 2000
+1 Ring of Prot 2000 +3 4000
+1 Natural Armor 2000 +4 6000
+2 Armor Enhance 3000 +5 9000
+2 Shield Enhance 3000 +6 12000
+2 Dex Gaunts 4000 +7 16000
(+1 Jingasa of the Fortunate Soldier 5000)
(+1 Dusty Rose Ioun Stone 5000)
+3 Armor Enhance 5000 +8 21000
+3 Shield Enhance 5000 +9 26000
+2 Ring/Prot 6000 +10 32000
+2 Natural Armor 6000 +11 38000
+4 Armor Enhance 7000 +12 45000
+4 Shield Enhance 7000 +13 52000
+5 Armor Enhance 9000 +14 61000
+5 Shield Enhance 9000 +15 70000
+3 Ring/Prot 10000 +16 80000
+3 Natural Armor 10000 +17 90000
+4 Dex booster 12000 +18 102000
+4 Ring of Prot 14000 +19 116000
+4 Natural Armor 14000 +20 130000
+5 Ring of Prot 18000 +21 148000
+5 Natural Armor 18000 +22 166000
+6 Dex Booster 20000 +23 186000

Let's be clear that a Haramaki+X is not an efficient use of gold if you have access to mage armor. To equal mage armor, it must be +3, meaning you are out 9k gold that could be used to acquire another bonus. It will require 7k MORE to get it to +4, which costs you another bonus elsewhere.

Basically, for mages you concentrate on all the other AC boosting stuff, right up until you get to Dex booster +6. THEN, you start upgrading from Mage Armor to Bracers of Armor. That first one is going to cost you 25k gp...there's no bigger cost for +1 AC for any mage. Then run it up to +8 and you're done.

I will also note that a mage can wear a buckler +5 made out of mithral, and it will have no spell failure chance or penalty for him.

==+Aelryinth

Scarab Sages

Aelryinth wrote:
I will also note that a mage can wear a buckler +5 made out of mithral, and it will have no...

I use a mithral buckler and a weapon with both defending and guardian properties.

Mind Blank + Greater Invisibility/Ring of Invisibility is still the first line of defense.

Shadow Lodge

Artanthos wrote:
I use a mithral buckler and a weapon with both defending and guardian properties.

You're attacking frequently with your weapons, are you?

Silver Crusade

My level 6 sorc starts with +1 dex, +1 size bonus (gnome), +1 ring of protection, +1 amulet of natural armor, and mage armor for an 18 AC against unexpected surprise attacks. Not too bad for a level 6 who avoids the front and back of the marching order.

Before opening the door while exploring in a dungeon, he'll cast Shield for another +4, since it lasts 6 minutes at this point, so it's a good pre-battle buff, even if we explore one or two rooms before finding a fight. Yes, I end up casting Shield 4-5 times per day, but I've got 8 spells slots for level 1 spells, and I'm usually casting higher level stuff in battle, so I don't really mind.

His first action in most battles is Haste, which adds another +1 to AC, among other things. So that's a total of 23 AC when fully buffed, and I'm not even trying that hard. Sometimes, I don't get Shield up, and I may skip it if the positioning in the fight looks like nobody will be attacking me.

With 23 AC, he often has better AC than some of his companions in armor, especially the light armor types and those who don't use shields (barbarians, bards, etc). This is in PFS, when you never know who you'll be at a table with from week to week, and some people don't know how to optimize well at all.


I am currently playing a Gnome Sorcerer who has not even considered AC. It has been 13 since level 1 for the simple reason that he isn't close enough to get hit. I took Enlarge spell asap and have purposely selected spells that have range. Your best friends are blur, mirror image, fly, d-door, and any other spell that allow you to be difficult to hit and gives you distance. If my GM has a creature close enough to attack me than I am not paying attention. Initiative is your friend and if you go before the bads then you don't need AC! My Gnome is 13th now and I can count on one hand how many times He has actually lost HP!

Scarab Sages

Serum wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
I use a mithral buckler and a weapon with both defending and guardian properties.
You're attacking frequently with your weapons, are you?

I'm a big fan of Wreath of Blades

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

I am of the opinion that being in a spell effect is very definitely not the same thing as 'actively wielded' or 'attacking with.'

==Aelryinth

Shadow Lodge

Artanthos wrote:
Serum wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
I use a mithral buckler and a weapon with both defending and guardian properties.
You're attacking frequently with your weapons, are you?
I'm a big fan of Wreath of Blades

I don`t see how that spell is relevant at all.

Scarab Sages

Serum wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
Serum wrote:
Artanthos wrote:
I use a mithral buckler and a weapon with both defending and guardian properties.
You're attacking frequently with your weapons, are you?
I'm a big fan of Wreath of Blades
I don`t see how that spell is relevant at all.

It allows for usage of item special qualities when an opponent is struck by the blades.


You have to pay four times the price however, once for each dagger. Sounds a little expensive.

Shadow Lodge

Artanthos wrote:
It allows for usage of item special qualities when an opponent is struck by the blades.
Wreath of Blades wrote:


Area 5-foot-radius emanation centered on you
...Any creature that starts its turn within the area of the spinning blades takes 1d4 points of damage for every two caster levels...When all of the blades share the same enhancement bonus and special weapon qualities, a creature that is damaged by this spell is also treated as if hit by one of these weapons.

You stay adjacent to opponents frequently, do you? Frequently enough for you to prepare multiple copies of a level 4 round/level spell to gain +1 AC, after spending 34008gp (or +2 AC after spending 74008gp)?

Scarab Sages

If AC is relevant then I am probably adjacent, willingly or otherwise.

The size of the enchancement bonus many only be +1 or +2 on a high level wizard, but it stacks with everything.

+1 AC from Wreath of Blades is cheaper than moving from Bracers of Armor +7 to Bracers of Armor +8 and has other benefits not conferred by Bracers of Armor.


Aelryinth wrote:
Basically, for mages you concentrate on all the other AC boosting stuff, right up until you get to Dex booster +6. THEN, you start upgrading from Mage Armor to Bracers of Armor. That first one is going to cost you 25k gp...there's no bigger cost for +1 AC for any mage. Then run it up to +8 and you're done.

Let's be clear that a Bracers of Armor+X is not an efficient use of gold if you can have a Haramaki+(X-1).

Bracers of Armor +5, +5 armor bonus to AC : 25,000 gp
Haramaki +4, +5 armor bonus to AC : 16,153 gp

Bracers of Armor +6, +6 armor bonus to AC : 36,000 gp
Haramaki +5, +6 armor bonus to AC : 25,153 gp


Haramakis and Mithral Bucklers are my favorites. Haramakis take a while because they need a +4 before they are better than Mage Armor (although buying a Haramaki is pretty cheap for a +1 to AC when Mage Armor is not available)

Mihtral Bucklers, OTOH, stack with Mage Armor, so they're pretty nice.

Rings and Amuelts are relatively cheap, and you should eventually get them, but I don't think they should ever be a priority.

But all in all, your main method to increase AC should be through Dex-boosting items.

Scarab Sages

see wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
Basically, for mages you concentrate on all the other AC boosting stuff, right up until you get to Dex booster +6. THEN, you start upgrading from Mage Armor to Bracers of Armor. That first one is going to cost you 25k gp...there's no bigger cost for +1 AC for any mage. Then run it up to +8 and you're done.

Let's be clear that a Bracers of Armor+X is not an efficient use of gold if you can have a Haramaki+(X-1).

Bracers of Armor +5, +5 armor bonus to AC : 25,000 gp
Haramaki +4, +5 armor bonus to AC : 16,153 gp

Bracers of Armor +6, +6 armor bonus to AC : 36,000 gp
Haramaki +5, +6 armor bonus to AC : 25,153 gp

What does the comparison look like if you include the ghost touch property on the haramaki?

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

First of all, you don't compare bracers to haramaki, because you never, ever get Bracers less then +5. Bracers are simply worn Mage Armor. If it's less then +4, you should never use it.

Mage Armor = Haramaki +3. Okay, you're out 9k. You're out 16k if you want to do better then Mage Armor, which is still better then the 25k of bracers+5.

+Haramaki max at +5, so AC +6...lower then Bracers.

Ghost Touch for armor is a horribly overpriced +3. They lose any advantage vs Bracers if you try to add that.

In my sentence there, the +1 AC for the bracers I reference is the fact that Bracers+5 are +1 AC better then mage armor, and that +1 AC is costing you 25k. YOur NEXT point to +6, is 11k more, etc, all the way to the final loadout of 64k total for bracers +8.
==========

Defender and Guardian have the specific language that they must actively wielded in combat to be effective. Since you aren't making attack rolls, you literally cannot get a benefit from either special property (the spell is an AoE). Possibly the SPELL could get an AC bonus...but it doesn't have an AC, and it doesn't make attack rolls, either.

==Aelryinth


fromper just cats open close and open the door like 40 feet away.

Scarab Sages

Aelryinth wrote:


Defender and Guardian have the specific language that they must actively wielded in combat to be effective. Since you aren't making attack rolls, you literally cannot get a benefit from either special property (the spell is an AoE). Possibly the SPELL could get an AC bonus...but it doesn't have an AC, and it doesn't make attack rolls, either.

==Aelryinth

In general you do not benefit from guardian unless you make an attack roll but, as you said, specific overrides general. Wreath of Blades has the specific language that special qualities are used if the weapons inflict damage.

The user is still the wizard. Your grasping for straws trying to argue otherwise.


It still seems horribly expensive. If you want a dagger, get a dueling dagger for the +4 initiative bonus and just go first and do something awesome.


Also, draconic bloodline sorcerers get a Natural AC bonus with their bloodline. You can get that AC a little higher that way.


bfobar wrote:
It still seems horribly expensive. If you want a dagger, get a dueling dagger for the +4 initiative bonus and just go first and do something awesome.

Well for the same price as 4 +1 guardian daggers(32k) you could get a +1 pitfall/dueling mithral spiked light shield.

Regardless, I wouldn't suggest burning 32k or so for a +1, or a +3 haramaki. I'd say its more worth a spellslot to have +4 all day and you could spend that cost on armor qualities you like. Especially if your a human sorcerer.

Edit: Woops! both enhancement bonuses it looks like. Could probably find a better one than that.


What is a pitfall shield? I can't find that anywhere.
I was thinking that a +1 reflecting mithral buckler and a +1 dueling dagger would be a good combo. You can hold them both in the same hand.


bfobar wrote:

What is a pitfall shield? I can't find that anywhere.

I was thinking that a +1 reflecting mithral buckler and a +1 dueling dagger would be a good combo. You can hold them both in the same hand.

Pitfall is a weapon quality from Echoes of Taldor, and one of its bonuses is to initiative. Light spiked shields are always on hand, so you can get a weapon and an armor quality off the same item. Light, finessable, no ACP or spell casting failure if made of mithral.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Artanthos wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:


Defender and Guardian have the specific language that they must actively wielded in combat to be effective. Since you aren't making attack rolls, you literally cannot get a benefit from either special property (the spell is an AoE). Possibly the SPELL could get an AC bonus...but it doesn't have an AC, and it doesn't make attack rolls, either.

==Aelryinth

In general you do not benefit from guardian unless you make an attack roll but, as you said, specific overrides general. Wreath of Blades has the specific language that special qualities are used if the weapons inflict damage.

The user is still the wizard. Your grasping for straws trying to argue otherwise.

I'm not grasping at straws. I'm reading the language of the effect.

Sure, you can activate the power of a Defender or Guardian weapon...even when you aren't in combat. It just doesn't have any numeric effect until it is being actively wielded in a fight, unlike, say, Frost or flaming.

Defender and Guardian are both activated when you take that swing. There's nothing in Wreath of Blades to overrule that. Activate and reduce the bonus on the weapon all you like. You don't get the defensive bonuses just because you reduced the enhancement!

The 'actively wielded in combat' is a qualifier the spell does NOT do away with. If you ignore that language, then your Wreath of Blades works fine. So does staying out of combat and holding the weapon in your off hand.

==Aelryinth

Silver Crusade

Finlanderboy wrote:
fromper just cats open close and open the door like 40 feet away.

I never said my sorcerer was the one on the front line opening doors. That's what meat shields are for. :P

But if I even suspect we might be walking into a fight, I'll cast Shield on myself before the group opens a door. It lasts 6 minutes at level 6, so even if we explore a hallway before finding the next fight or something like that, there's a chance it'll still be active.

Speaking of casting a level 1 spell over and over, what's the name of the magic item that acts like a Pearl of Power for spontaneous casters? I really should get one of those for this character. And put it on my shopping list to pick up in a few levels with my lower level bards and oracle.


Fromper wrote:
Speaking of casting a level 1 spell over and over, what's the name of the magic item that acts like a Pearl of Power for spontaneous casters?

Page of Spell Knowledge is what your thinking of if I had to guess. Doesn't add slots, adds spells known. I forget if there is a spell slot one, don't have a book on me.

Shadow Lodge

They're rune stones of something or other, I think. They're definitely in the pathfinder society field guide.

Silver Crusade

Here it is.

Shadow Lodge

Power! Yeah!


Another good item is the reservoir tattoo that you would probably have to get from an NPC tattooed sorcerer or something. It lets you store half used defensive buffs for later.

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