I'm running into a bit of a problem.
Barbarians don't have to care too much about armour class. They have Damage Reduction and d12 hit dice. They hit hard enough that they can focus on killing before they get killed.
But I'm multiclassed with Hunter. So, no DR to speak of and significantly fewer hp than a Barbarian. I'm a Ferocious Beast pet build. I will have comparable damage output to a single-classed barbarian (maybe even more, once the pet is up to scratch). Hunter gives a lot of cool stuff, but I'm not seeing much in the way of defences. Early access Resist Energy; Barkskin; a few other decent defensive spells.
How can I protect myself from incoming attacks?
My Dex is a bit rubbish (13 at level 4). All my feats choices are set. I have perhaps one Rage Power free after taking Ferocious Beast. I only have medium armour proficiency. I don't see any solutions on the Hunter spell list, and I'll only have level 1 and 2 spells really, the level 3 spells known are accounted for. (Resinous Skin is quite nice, but I need Strong Jaw and Share Shape more).
I think I'm reliant on items. I'm tempted by Ring of Blinking but it's prohibitively expensive and carries a 20% miss chance on my own attacks. I might go for +1 invulnerable breastplate maybe, but this leaves me rocking an armour class of 18 (16 when raging) through the mid levels. Say I can get to 21 with Barkskin, 22 if I buy a ring of protection +1.
Are there any solutions I'm not seeing? Or am I stuck with the "kill it before it kills you" school of defence?
Buckler is an option I suppose, but I'm normally power attacking with a two handed weapon, meaning I don't get the shield bonus and I'd take -1 to attack.
I use an animated buckler on another melee character.
The pet will definitely have a better armour class, and I use vengeance strike with the pet to discourage foes from attacking me.