Charisma AC


Rules Questions

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So there are these three things providing charisma to AC, and I'm just here to confirm if they stack.

Smite Evil
Osyluth Guile
Sidestep Secret

Smite Evil provides a deflection bonus to AC equal to your charisma modifier.
Osyluth Guile provides a dodge bonus to AC equal to your charisma modifier.
Sidestep Secret provides a dex bonus to AC equal to your charisma modifier.

These all stack, no?


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Yes, these are all different bonus types so they stack.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yes.


Agreed with the above, as different bonus types I believe they should stack.

Small correction on your explanations: Sidestep Secret provides a CHA bonus to AC INSTEAD of DEX, not a DEX bonus equal to CHA.

It doesn't make any difference to your question, and off the top of my head I can't think of a situation where it does, but it potentially could.


And Dodging Panache stacks with all three.


Would all these stack with an Enlightened Paladin's AC? You can pick up regular Smite Evil via Chevalier.

Does Sidestep Secret stack with Divine Grace?

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

My Self wrote:

Would all these stack with an Enlightened Paladin's AC? You can pick up regular Smite Evil via Chevalier.

Does Sidestep Secret stack with Divine Grace?

Enlightened Paladin wouldn't stack with Sidestep Secrets because both are Cha to AC. The FAQ makes it clear. Not sure why you ask.

Sidestep Secret also wouldn't stack with Divine Grace, again FAQ is clear. Why ask?


James Risner wrote:
My Self wrote:

Would all these stack with an Enlightened Paladin's AC? You can pick up regular Smite Evil via Chevalier.

Does Sidestep Secret stack with Divine Grace?

Enlightened Paladin wouldn't stack with Sidestep Secrets because both are Cha to AC. The FAQ makes it clear. Not sure why you ask.

Sidestep Secret also wouldn't stack with Divine Grace, again FAQ is clear. Why ask?

If you have Sidestep Secret and Divine Grace, do you get to choose if you want to apply your CHA and your actual DEX to reflex saves, or do you always only get CHA?

Sidestep Secret to AC is CHA replacing DEX, so I thought that it could behave more like a DEX bonus than a CHA bonus. Enlightened Paladin is a CHA bonus in addition to DEX bonus, and looked like it would stack. Thanks for clearing this up.


Use Nature's Whispers instead of Sidestep. Sidestep uses Cha in place of Dex for AC and Reflex saves, but not for CMD. Nature's Whispers uses Cha in place of Dex for AC and CMD and then Reflex is covered by Divine Grace. Also, Whispers is EX so it doesn't shut off in an anti-magic field/plane, whereas SS is SU so it does shut off in such circumstances.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

My Self wrote:
I thought that it could behave more like a DEX bonus than a CHA bonus. Enlightened Paladin is a CHA bonus in addition to DEX bonus, and looked like it would stack. Thanks for clearing this up.

If you are taking your CHA bonus (or a portion of it) and applying it to something, then any other things that apply just your CHA bonus wouldn't stack.


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FAQ wrote:

Do ability modifiers from the same ability stack? For instance, can you add the same ability bonus on the same roll twice using two different effects that each add that same ability modifier?

No. An ability bonus, such as "Strength bonus", is considered to be the same source for the purpose of bonuses from the same source not stacking. However, you can still add, for instance “a deflection bonus equal to your Charisma modifier” and your Charisma modifier. For this purpose, however, the paladin's untyped "bonus equal to her Charisma bonus (if any) on all saving throws" from divine grace is considered to be the same as "Charisma bonus (if any)", and the same would be true for any other untyped "bonus equal to her [ability score] bonus" constructions.

Basically, two bonuses derived from untyped "Charisma modifier" are considered "same source" so making AC from 10 + Dex Bonus + Cha bonus to 10 + Cha bonus + Cha bonus means that, whereas in the first iteration, you have two separate sources (Dex score and Cha score), in the second, you have both bonuses from a single source (Cha score) and they don't stack. This, however, can be averted when a bonus has a type. for instance, instead of 10 + Cha bonus + Cha bonus (which doesn't stack the Cha bonuses), you might have 10 + Cha bonus + Cha dodge bonus. The dodge bonus makes the second Cha a different source. Now, some of you might be thinking, "Hey, that doesn't make any sense." Well, yes, you're absolutely right. It's highly inconsistent and poor design on par with the "effects equivalent to race" debacle a while back. It makes zero sense. You are correct.


So Enlightened Paladin and Sidestep Secret do not stack, because they are both untyped bonuses to AC, but everything else stacks freely. Yes?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yes. The rest is fine.

Some untyped bonuses are "typed" bonuses, and have simultaneous multiple sources, and do not follow the rules written, but rather, unwritten rules.

You can see this from the quoted FAQ.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Some untyped bonuses are "typed" bonuses, and have simultaneous multiple sources, and do not follow the rules written, but rather, unwritten rules.

You can see this from the quoted FAQ.

It's not unwritten. It's written very clearly in the FAQ.

The rule just says that two untyped bonuses based on the same ability score do not stack.
It's not exactly neuroscience.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Kazaan wrote:
It makes zero sense. You are correct.

Unfortunately, there were two sides to this.

It made little sense to some to do it this way.

It made little sense to others to let them stack.


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James Risner wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
It makes zero sense. You are correct.
Unfortunately, there were two sides to this.

I know... the sensible side and the non-sensible side. The FAQ basically sets up source syllogism. The sensible thing to do would have been to acknowledge that the source is the rules element that allows you to add the bonus, and the value is the number, either fixed or variable, being added. Weapon Focus lets you add +1 to your attack roll, but you wouldn't say that the "source" of the bonus is the number 1. But when Nature's Whispers lets you use Cha in place of Dex, you get "nested sources" in that both the Nature's Whispers rules element as well as the Charisma score itself are counted as the "source" of the bonus, but only if the bonus is untyped, as Osyl's Guile is the sole source of the dodge bonus equal to Cha and Smite Evil is the sole source of the deflection bonus equal to Cha, but another ability that just adds Cha untyped to AC won't work because you're already adding untyped Cha from Nature's Whispers.

OR

Nature's Whispers, Smite Evil, and Osyl's Guile are sources, the Charisma modifier is a floating variable that represents the value, and untyped, dodge, deflection, et. al. are types.

I'll refer you to my previous statement.


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So wait, this is just a long way of saying all untyped bonuses stack, unless they're both untyped bonuses derived from a stat modifier.

Grand Lodge

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My Self wrote:
So wait, this is just a long way of saying all untyped bonuses stack, unless they're both untyped bonuses derived from a stat modifier.

Pretty much, although it's specifically ones derived from the same stat.


So undead antipaladins making fortitude saves only get their Charisma once, correct?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Correct.


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TriOmegaZero wrote:
Correct.

Awesome, or rather, not really awesome for the antipaladin, but whatever.


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So does "add x bonus" mean the same thing as "add y bonus equal to x bonus"?


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bookrat wrote:
So does "add x bonus" mean the same thing as "add y bonus equal to x bonus"?

If what you're asking is, does "add Cha bonus" mean the same thing as "add deflection bonus equal to Cha bonus", then no. "Add Cha bonus" won't stack with another source of "add Cha bonus" because they consider Charisma to also be a source. But "add Cha bonus" will stack with "add <type> bonus equal to Cha bonus".


Kazaan wrote:
bookrat wrote:
So does "add x bonus" mean the same thing as "add y bonus equal to x bonus"?
If what you're asking is, does "add Cha bonus" mean the same thing as "add deflection bonus equal to Cha bonus", then no. "Add Cha bonus" won't stack with another source of "add Cha bonus" because they consider Charisma to also be a source. But "add Cha bonus" will stack with "add <type> bonus equal to Cha bonus".

That makes sense to me.


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you are also forgeting arshea's boon giving:
cha to ac as ARMOR bonus, which stacks with all the above (but won't stack with actual armor)

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Kazaan wrote:
The sensible thing to do would have been to acknowledge that the source is the rules element that allows you to add the bonus

So for 10+ years all the other people who think the source in cases where Abilities are applied to effects is the Ability are just being non-sensible?

In your mind?


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James Risner wrote:
Kazaan wrote:
The sensible thing to do would have been to acknowledge that the source is the rules element that allows you to add the bonus

So for 10+ years all the other people who think the source in cases where Abilities are applied to effects is the Ability are just being non-sensible?

In your mind?

Correct. As I said, the source for the +1 bonus from Weapon Focus is not the number 1. Likewise, the source for a +(Cha) Dodge bonus is not (Cha). Moreover, even if it were, how would (Cha) be the source in the case of an untyped bonus, but not the source in the case of a typed bonus? It's simply a case of a bad design call on par with saying that "effects related to race" from Racial Heritage qualifies you for certain things, but "effects related to race" from other sources do not qualify you for those same things.

Also, adding "in your mind" is superfluous. Of course I hold facts in my mind; where else am I going to put it, my foot? It's probably also a bit rude because it carries the distinct implication that you are asserting that it is some fabrication that I generated. Don't be rude; it's against the rules.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Kazaan, answer my question. Don't filibuster.

So all the developer comments from WotC and Paizo over the last decade plus asserting that Charisma would be considered a source when it comes to two things adding Charisma to an ability? None of that makes sense?

Or did you somehow squeak by a decade never hearing any of those and get stunned by the FAQ saying "no this doesn't work" essentially?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
Or did you somehow squeak by a decade never hearing any of those and get stunned by the FAQ saying "no this doesn't work" essentially?

Uh....yes?


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I'm still salty about that FAQ.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

TriOmegaZero wrote:
James Risner wrote:
Or did you somehow squeak by a decade never hearing any of those and get stunned by the FAQ saying "no this doesn't work" essentially?
Uh....yes?

I believe you.

I just don't know how that is possible.

I remember seeing many threads like that in 3.5.

I remember seeing thread after thread on here about this before the FAQ. The question was asked of various Paizo staff time and again, each time saying they don't stack before the FAQ.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Well, I did have the Rules forum collapsed for a long time there...

Some days I feel opening it up again was a mistake.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Some days I feel opening it up again was a mistake.

I'm feeling that I should collapse it this last week. 4 or so extremely frustrating threads.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Avoron wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:

Some untyped bonuses are "typed" bonuses, and have simultaneous multiple sources, and do not follow the rules written, but rather, unwritten rules.

You can see this from the quoted FAQ.

It's not unwritten. It's written very clearly in the FAQ.

The rule just says that two untyped bonuses based on the same ability score do not stack.
It's not exactly neuroscience.

That's not a FAQ, that's Errata. Errata, without changing anything in the Core.

Also, don't flop your "superior" rules interpretations around like a phallic representation of your higher understanding.

It's rude.

If a FAQ said you couldn't use Power Attack with Rapiers, you would want to know where that is in the rules, or at least, if it was going to be updated in the next printing.

A FAQ, is something that clears up a part of the rules that is confusing, or vague.

An Errata, is a change, or addition, to the rules.

So, without the "FAQ", where would one find the rules that suggest such a ruling?

Look it up. It isn't neurosciences.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, without the "FAQ", where would one find the rules that suggest such a ruling?

The problem with your question, is different people are reading the same sentences and coming to a different interpretation.

Because that is happening, there will be no change to the rules to accommodate the FAQ. Why? Because the developers believe it is in the rules and the FAQ is there to cover the case of miss interpretation of the rules.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

What sentences?

See, you have to point out the thing that is being misunderstood.

So, there must be something, to interpret, before there can be a debate, on different interpretations.


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I also supported the assertion that differing "Sources", in the forms of differing rules elements, granting the same stat bonus to a functional ability (in an untyped form) stacked, so it was not cut and dry. It required Errata.

*Edited: Clarification.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

That's not a FAQ, that's Errata. Errata, without changing anything in the Core.

Also, don't flop your "superior" rules interpretations around like a phallic representation of your higher understanding.

It's rude.

If a FAQ said you couldn't use Power Attack with Rapiers, you would want to know where that is in the rules, or at least, if it was going to be updated in the next printing.

A FAQ, is something that clears up a part of the rules that is confusing, or vague.

An Errata, is a change, or addition, to the rules.

So, without the "FAQ", where would one find the rules that suggest such a ruling?

Look it up. It isn't neurosciences.

Sorry, I can see in retrospect I must have sounded unbearably condescending, although that was far from my intent.

I guess I'm just a little bit confused, because I've seen you comment on this topic several times before, and every time it seems like you portray it as if the FAQ itself is very complicated and difficult to understand.
I think often this just gets people more confused, because the FAQ itself is pretty straightforward. In fact, it has a lot less ambiguity than many pathfinder FAQs.

The one problem, as you pointed out, is that the rules themselves don't cover the issue. And although the FAQ explains the issue, it does go into the realm of "creating new rules solely in an FAQ" which I know annoys some people.
But that occurs in loads of pathfinder FAQs, and I don't think this one was particularly bad.

Again, sorry for sounding rude, I just think the FAQ itself has a good deal more clarity than you make it out to have.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

The explanation behind the "FAQ" was very complicated, and contrived.

If a FAQ says "That line there, it means this." then it is fine.

If a FAQ says "It's not written anywhere, but you need to add these additional rules, including ones that conflict with what is written." then it is not good.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

blackbloodtroll wrote:
So, there must be something, to interpret, before there can be a debate, on different interpretations.

A whole lot of people interpreted the "Blah ability: Add Stat1 to Bleh" as an ability that allowed you to apply Source Stat1 to Bleh.

Two abilities that resulted in Stat1 applied to Bleh don't stack.

I'll grant you the FAQ is less straightforward than it should be, but in different terms they explain this principal.

The fact that a load of people (not including you) interpreted the rules this way before the FAQ, is probably why they issued the FAQ.

Will they ever change the text to make it clear now that the FAQ is published? Maybe. Maybe not. Do they need to? No.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Yes.

When an ability adds an ability score as a bonus to something, we say the ability, and not the ability score, is the source. Unless, it is untyped.

When it is untyped, we say the ability granting the bonus, and the ability score that determines the bonus, are both simultaneous sources, for a single bonus.

We say this, because the rules for stacking bonuses, note that untyped bonuses stack, unless from the same source.

So, to make specific untyped bonuses not stack, we circumvent the rules for stacking, by adding additional sources, to a single bonus, so that there will be shared sources, justifying the ability to not stack.

How could I have pulled that from the rules?


blackbloodtroll wrote:

Yes.

When an ability adds an ability score as a bonus to something, we say the ability, and not the ability score, is the source. Unless, it is untyped.

When it is untyped, we say the ability granting the bonus, and the ability score that determines the bonus, are both simultaneous sources, for a single bonus.

We say this, because the rules for stacking bonuses, note that untyped bonuses stack, unless from the same source.

So, to make specific untyped bonuses not stack, we circumvent the rules for stacking, by adding additional sources, to a single bonus, so that there will be shared sources, justifying the ability to not stack.

How could I have pulled that from the rules?

But remember, if you treat it as a type it all works the same and makes sense, but they couldn't say it was a type because reasons. So instead we have the dual source. I agree the way they did it was poorly done. And I feel that it was an Errata change because the rules before it indicated that they should stack. And Errata shows that the "wrong" party had it right so they had to change the rules to the way they wanted it actually work.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

If it is Dodge bonus, it functions just as the rules say, and not this odd way, specific to untyped bonuses.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

blackbloodtroll wrote:
How could I have pulled that from the rules?

How I, most GM's I've played under other than PVP GMs, many Pathfinder developers, and some 3.5 developers, pulled that from stacking rules follows:

Divine Grace is an ability.
It allows you to add your Charisma to saves.
The Charisma is added to the saves, so the source is Charisma.
Divine Grace doesn't add anything directly to the saves, it does indirectly.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I had honestly never seen it referenced that way, all the way from 3.5 on. Ability mods were never typed bonuses, and always stacked with whatever you were adding. There just wasn't anything that would allow you to add the same ability score twice. (Save for monk/ninja/saint Wis bonus to AC.)

Sovereign Court

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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion Subscriber
TriOmegaZero wrote:
I had honestly never seen it referenced that way, all the way from 3.5 on. Ability mods were never typed bonuses, and always stacked with whatever you were adding. There just wasn't anything that would allow you to add the same ability score twice. (Save for monk/ninja/saint Wis bonus to AC.)

Pretty much the same here. The discussion that led to the FAQ was the first disagreement about this I'd ever seen.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

So, Divine Grace is not the source, but if it added a competence bonus, it would be the source.

Right?


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I was, and still am, on the side that says Divine Grace is the source.

Otherwise, if you take Sidestep Secret (or any similar ability), it would lower your save. Taking abilities should never hamper your character.

Our side wasn't vocal enough when they were debating the issue, and we lost. Now that the FAQ is issued, the other side has respectability and precedent, and we're always seen as rigidly-thinking reactionaries.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

I accept the FAQ exists.

Just don't tell it is in the written rules, and obvious.

I have been playing Pathfinder since Alpha Playtest, and up until this FAQ, not a single person conjured forth this idea of such a ruling.

I do not wade through games, group to group, DM to DM, with nothing but idiots.

Don't tell me how superior your understanding of the rules is, and how this "FAQ" just proves how damn better you are than everyone else.


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The importance of precise language:

When we write, we must be careful to say what we mean. Note the different between the following two sentences:

I helped my Uncle Jack off a horse.
I helped my uncle jack off a horse.

The same words can convey very different messages.

If you were to show up to an event where the parking fee was $1, you would be miffed if you showed up with a dollar bill only to find out that the parking permit dispenser only accepted quarters. Why didn't whoever informed you tell you that the parking fee was in quarters only? This matters, because no matter how much a dollar bill and four quarters have the same value, they are not the same thing.

Here, we have abilities which specifically state that you add Number Y. To find out the value of this number, see Ability X. It's not telling you to add Ability X, it's telling you to add Number Y with some value. Ability X and Number Y may have the same value, but they are not the same thing.

The FAQ doesn't fix this, either. All the FAQ says is "We didn't mean to say 'that,' we meant to say 'this.'" To which I respond, "Thank you for the trivia. But until you actually change the wording, you will continue to say 'that' no matter how much you wish otherwise."

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