Ways to bypass a shield bonus


Advice


I joined a game with a GM who uses houserules that greatly increase the potential AC a character can have. He showed me a level 6 character built using his houserules that has 50 AC while completely naked.

Now, most of the increases to AC are tied to dodge bonuses, which can be dealt with using feint, stealthing, turning invisible, or blinding the enemy. But one feat he modified, Two-Weapon Defense, grants a shield bonus to AC equal to your BAB + 2 as long as you wield two weapons.

So, what ways are there to bypass a shield bonus to AC? I could try disarming the enemy's weapons, but a simple Quick Draw and a truck load of backup weapons makes that moot. And I can't disarm unarmed strikes or natural weapons. Are there any feats or abilities that negate a target's shield bonus to AC?

By the way, this is a no-magic-classes game, so I can't just plop a save-or-die spell on an enemy.

Scarab Sages

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Buy a weighted d20. Because if your GM is housruling insanely high ACs like 50 at level 6 without also housruling massive bonuses to hit to counter-act it then cheating is they only way you'll hit.


Either what Imbicatus said or leave the game, explaining carefully to the GM why you are doing so.

The Exchange

Is a Tetori monk allowed? Grapple seems to be the solution here.

Scarab Sages

To drive this home, an average level 6 character with a constant true strike effect, granting a +20 to hit on every attack, would still only hit AC 50 on a natural 20.


There's this magic weapon but I guess with a no-magic-game there's probably no way to get magic items easily.

Level 9 Free-Hand Fighter can make a disarm attempt as a move action to negate the shield bonus for his next attack. Though I guess that doesn't help against Two Weapon Defense.

EDIT: Also, your GM is making an insane house-rule if he's proud of the naked AC 50 build.


The only thing I can think of feat wise is pinpoint targeting.
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/pinpoint-targeting-combat---fina l
Other options I would consider play a castor use spells and magic missile.
Take two weapon defense on any character you play it may be two feats but It will be more AC then any other feats would give you.

By the way Two-weapon defense does not work with natural weapons or unarmed attacks, so you would not have to worry about that.

In part the house rules seem crazy so I agree with Imbivatus and Fuzzy however if there are other house rules that counter balance this one you probably don't have to worry too much about negating a shield bonus.


Dip:
Gunslinger (or generally shoot it with a firearm within it's first range increment)
Bolt Ace
Hooded Champion (w/ Trapper or Skirmisher Archetype)
Kineticist (Blast it with Touch Attack Fire that's totally not magic.)

Other Options:
Throw Splash Weapons
Bear Traps. Bear Traps everywhere.

Best Option:
Explain to your GM that having an AC of 50 at level 6 demonstrates symptoms of insultingly bad act of game design, and that as his physician and sanity checker, need to make sure there's some realistic reason for this.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Another option: Learn the house rules.


Castilonium wrote:

I joined a game with a GM who uses houserules that greatly increase the potential AC a character can have. He showed me a level 6 character built using his houserules that has 50 AC while completely naked.

Now, most of the increases to AC are tied to dodge bonuses, which can be dealt with using feint, stealthing, turning invisible, or blinding the enemy. But one feat he modified, Two-Weapon Defense, grants a shield bonus to AC equal to your BAB + 2 as long as you wield two weapons.

So, what ways are there to bypass a shield bonus to AC? I could try disarming the enemy's weapons, but a simple Quick Draw and a truck load of backup weapons makes that moot. And I can't disarm unarmed strikes or natural weapons. Are there any feats or abilities that negate a target's shield bonus to AC?

By the way, this is a no-magic-classes game, so I can't just plop a save-or-die spell on an enemy.

there are several issues in your post;

This is really a Homebrew problem.

CRB wrote:
Dodge bonuses represent actively avoiding blows. Any situation that denies you your Dexterity bonus also denies you dodge bonuses. (Wearing armor, however, does not limit these bonuses the way it limits a Dexterity bonus to AC.) Unlike most sorts of bonuses, dodge bonuses stack with each other.

dodge bonuses can be as you suggested, or with conditions that negate movement(paralysis, helpless, unconscious, sleep...) or lower Dex to 0, poisons etc.

The increase to Two-Weapon Defense is just plain balance breaking. It should be +1 or +2 by RAW, so this is simply broken. The usual way of dealing with weapon based feats is to remove the weapons (hard if they're natural weapons). Spells such as Break, Shatter, Pilfering Hand or skills like Sleight of Hand, CM such as sunder.
If they have a truckload of weapons you need to take that away first. Suggestion, Command, etc, or Sleight of Hand... or they could just not have it on them like when sleeping.

Normally touch attacks bypass armor and shield bonuses... so in a non-magical game try a Gunslinger... lol...

Also there's environmental effects, such as being in water and drowning, mud, ice, lava, etc...

my suggestion is to talk to the GM and get him to change the homebrew rules to something closer to RAW. If that doesn't happen I'd find a new game. This is probably just the tip of the iceberg and you are "fighting city hall". Why create bad feelings or burn bridges.
If you learn the house rules and they are not acceptable, then just find another game.


Ask him and/or the other players what the purpose of that was?

Try to discuss logically - or even with a little "play-test example", where you make the similar build for a theoretical PC who now has 50AC and no monsters can hit - see how that would turn out from the GM's perspective.

No point in looking for a way to handle this "in game", player vs GM never ends up well.

As to passing Shield bonus in general.
-any attack that targets touch AC (melee or ranged touch attacks)
-Area of effects/splash (alchemy type items)

Grappling - after the first round you can deal damage from a 1-handed weapon just by succeeding on another grapple check (with a +5 bonus)or drop them over a cliff/something else dangerous and damaging (but they get a +4 to break the grapple if you try this)

PRD wrote:

If your target does not break the grapple, you get a +5 circumstance bonus on grapple checks made against the same target in subsequent rounds. Once you are grappling an opponent, a successful check allows you to continue grappling the foe, and also allows you to perform one of the following actions (as part of the standard action spent to maintain the grapple).

Move: You can move both yourself and your target up to half your speed. At the end of your movement, you can place your target in any square adjacent to you. If you attempt to place your foe in a hazardous location, such as in a wall of fire or over a pit, the target receives a free attempt to break your grapple with a +4 bonus.

Damage: You can inflict damage to your target equal to your unarmed strike, a natural attack, or an attack made with armor spikes or a light or one-handed weapon. This damage can be either lethal or nonlethal.

Sovereign Court

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Slap the GM upside the head. "NO! BAD GM!"


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Castilonium wrote:

I joined a game with a GM who uses houserules that greatly increase the potential AC a character can have. He showed me a level 6 character built using his houserules that has 50 AC while completely naked.

Now, most of the increases to AC are tied to dodge bonuses, which can be dealt with using feint, stealthing, turning invisible, or blinding the enemy. But one feat he modified, Two-Weapon Defense, grants a shield bonus to AC equal to your BAB + 2 as long as you wield two weapons.

So, what ways are there to bypass a shield bonus to AC? I could try disarming the enemy's weapons, but a simple Quick Draw and a truck load of backup weapons makes that moot. And I can't disarm unarmed strikes or natural weapons. Are there any feats or abilities that negate a target's shield bonus to AC?

By the way, this is a no-magic-classes game, so I can't just plop a save-or-die spell on an enemy.

You can only expect workable advice on games that adhere to at least a reasonable approximation of the rules norm.

Your game isn't one of them.


Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


You can only expect workable advice on games that adhere to at least a reasonable approximation of the rules norm.

Your game isn't one of them.

I gonna have to agree with Drahliana and others here. In my experience (of course this doesn't mean that you have the same situation) finding a way to get around the GM's homebrew AC rules will simply mean that you spend time coming up with a character that the first time you use a power to get around the high AC, it suddenly doesn't work the way the rules say it does because of yet another homebrew rule that the GM "forgot" to tell you about until now. Like touch AC doesn't exist anymore, or dodge bonus doesn't depend on dex, etc.

So yeah, like others have said, talk to the GM to see what he/she is trying to do, or why. Otherwise you run the risk of inadvertently being perceived as "that player" who keeps making the GM change the rules to keep you from breaking his/her game.

Me, I'm getting too old for that kind of game. I just pass and go home and grumble to the dog, who doesn't really care as long keep petting her.


Get a Plasma Blade...

Scarab Sages

Scrapper wrote:
Get a Plasma Blade...

If the GM isn't allowing spell-casting classes there is no way they are allowing a lightsaber.

Frankly this so so far into house rules that it's not really pathfinder anymore.

The Exchange

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I'm going to disagree with the "your GM is insane" crowd. . . until more information is in.

I suspect what we're seeing here is a GM who does not like the "one-round combat" phenomenon where the offensive side of the equation is so potent that if the PCs win initiative the BBEG may never get to act. However I'm afraid he's swung it too far around and now it's in the realm of both sides needing to roll natural 20s to have any effect.

So as one or two others have said, talk to your GM and see what his goal is with these greatly increased ACs. If it is to extend combats, discuss other options such as increasing hit points or implementing a robust custom DR system (one with a rock-paper-scissors or percentage reduction mechanic rather than straight DR/- as the players will simply all use two-handed weapons to counter that). And if the goal IS to extend the combats, look for options that let you play along with it in fun ways rather than trying to shorten them and cause an arms race of house rules.

It's also possible the GM just likes big numbers! If the house rules amp up offensive abilities by the same amount (not clear from your post) then don't worry about it!


Poisons could also work. Hitting touch AC(Gunslinger is the easiest way to do this). If most of the AC is tied to dodge bonuses, you're going to have a hard time doing any combat maneuvers as dodge bonuses are added to CMD. I would target things that are harder to hit, like saving throws.

The problem stems from where most of the AC is coming from. If it comes mostly from Dodge, then going after Touch AC doesn't help nor will using Combat Maneuvers.

I would say the best way to try and deal with it(aside from talking to the GM and other players) would be to use things that target Saving Throws. Maybe an alchemis, depending on how no-magic this game is.


Pathfinder Maps Subscriber

Start by throwing a net ?


This game makes no sense.
Get Gunslinger with Improved Feint.


Anonymous Warrior wrote:


Kineticist (Blast it with Touch Attack Fire that's totally not magic.)

Kineticist blasts are SLAs. Energy based blasts have to overcome spell resistance.


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CrystalSpellblade wrote:
I would say the best way to try and deal with it(aside from talking to the GM and other players) would be to use things that target Saving Throws. Maybe an alchemis, depending on how no-magic this game is.

Feints, magical darkness, have an arcane caster with a wand of Grease.

The real problem is that none of that will actually work. A GM that is already house ruling things to make his creatures unhittable will most likely house rule away any other weaknesses you find. It's a battle of escalation that you can never win.


It isn't like the GM is creating things the players can't also use. If you are in a situation where you can only hit on a 20, then become another thing that can only be hit on a 20. And then just pile on all of the extra attacks you can. Go full two weapon fighting with a bite attack. If you roll enough d20s, your odds of rolling a 20 become pretty good.


Ranged touch attack vs. Flatfooted AC:

Take 2 levels in Ninja, Vanishing Trick, attacking while Invisible means No Dex bonus, and I think no Dodge Bonus.

Take 4 levels in Monk, Quinngong Drunken Master. Level 4 Ki Ability: Scorching Ray: Ranged Touch Attack. Drunken Ki means you can replenish your Ki endlessly(ish).


Did the DM tell you what this homerule is? Because I'd kind of like to know, this sounds incredibly screwy.

But yeah, look for ways to target touch AC or grapple. Are you allowed to use non-caster archetypes of spellcasting classes? Because there are some winners in that category if it applies.


One of them seems to be that Shield Bonuses Stack; at least the Shield Bones from 2 Weapon Defense stacks with the Shield Bonus From Shield.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Two Weapon Defense says "Gain a +1 shield bonus".

Shield spell says "Gain +4 shield bonus".

Scott, How is it that you think they stack?

Sovereign Court

James Risner wrote:

Two Weapon Defense says "Gain a +1 shield bonus".

Shield spell says "Gain +4 shield bonus".

Scott, How is it that you think they stack?

He didn't say that they DO stack (at least in normal Pathfinder) - I believe that he was just speculating on this particular GM's screwy house-rules.


one hopes this thread has more cred than twitter posts... I did say *hope*...


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
One of them seems to be that Shield Bonuses Stack; at least the Shield Bones from 2 Weapon Defense stacks with the Shield Bonus From Shield.

That's what I was speculating myself. A rule allowing bonuses of the same type, but from different sources to stack.

I remember a story from an aquaintance from high school who played in a game with a similar rule. Something to the effect of simply having a shield on your person would give you the shield bonus, so the players took to quite literally tying shields to themselves.

I think it was a corruption of a house rule their DM instated that having a shield on your back prevented you from being flanked, and then quickly spun out of control.


Charon's Little Helper wrote:
James Risner wrote:

Two Weapon Defense says "Gain a +1 shield bonus".

Shield spell says "Gain +4 shield bonus".

Scott, How is it that you think they stack?

He didn't say that they DO stack (at least in normal Pathfinder) - I believe that he was just speculating on this particular GM's screwy house-rules.

Yes, that.

I deduce from the OP that one his GMs house rules is that Shield bonuses stack, at least sometimes.

So to answer your question directly, James

The way that Shield Bonuses stack is by the GM house-ruling that they stack.


The mundane Pilum comes to mind.


Doomed Hero wrote:
The mundane Pilum comes to mind.

Only helps against actual shields, not a shield bonus from a non-shield source.


amusingly you can do him one better... tonfas !
a light eastern martial weapon that's not exotic, most people miss the +1 shield AC bump when fighting defensively. Two-handed that should be +2, who cares about your to-hit as your fighting defensively!

Silver Crusade RPG Superstar 2014 Top 16

Seems like a homebrew problem, not a rules problem to me.

Scarab Sages

Castilonium wrote:

I joined a game with a GM who uses houserules that greatly increase the potential AC a character can have. He showed me a level 6 character built using his houserules that has 50 AC while completely naked.

Now, most of the increases to AC are tied to dodge bonuses, which can be dealt with using feint, stealthing, turning invisible, or blinding the enemy. But one feat he modified, Two-Weapon Defense, grants a shield bonus to AC equal to your BAB + 2 as long as you wield two weapons.

So, what ways are there to bypass a shield bonus to AC? I could try disarming the enemy's weapons, but a simple Quick Draw and a truck load of backup weapons makes that moot. And I can't disarm unarmed strikes or natural weapons. Are there any feats or abilities that negate a target's shield bonus to AC?

By the way, this is a no-magic-classes game, so I can't just plop a save-or-die spell on an enemy.

Touch attacks bypass shield AC. That's the easiest answer. Splash weapons target touch AC, as do firearms,

Disarm or sundering could also work if you have multiple attacks per round (as quick draw still requires them to wait for their turn). There are class archetypes and feats that allow disarm/sunder in addition to normal attacks.

Although not a shield bonus, making them prone would give them -4 AC.

Unclear exactly how they are getting such high AC, but I'd imagine that dex is a decent portion of it. Feats like Catch Off Guard or Feints are good means to deny dex bonuses to AC. Terrain can also be useful for denying dex to AC, as things like climbing or balancing will lose their Dex to AC.

Though regarding boosts to AC for GMs, one method would be by taking advantage of teamwork feats and the Phalanx archetype for the fighter, as you can get a pretty high PFS legal AC bonus, providing you have a bunch of adjacent buddies with the same feats and class abilities. An unlikely combo for PFS players, but a strong GM option. In this case, the Drag, Reposition, or bull rush maneuvers could play a vital role in denying AC bonuses, as separating the enemies would lower their AC.

Doomed Hero wrote:
The mundane Pilum comes to mind.

The Knobkerrie also helps along the same lines. In this case, it only functions against bucklers, light and heavy shields specifically, but rather than denying AC, it adds to attack (which effectively lowers AC).

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