What 'unarmored' effects work together?


Rules Discussion


Mage armor says this:

Mage Armor wrote:


You ward yourself with shimmering magical energy, gaining a +1 item bonus to AC and a maximum Dexterity modifier of +5. While wearing mage armor, you use your unarmored proficiency to calculate your AC.

The language here suggests that, though mage armor uses your unarmored proficiency, it isn't actually unarmored.

Meanwhile, Bracers of Armor says this:

Bracers of Armor wrote:


These stiff leather armguards grant you a +1 item bonus to AC and saving throws, and a maximum Dexterity modifier of +5. You can affix talismans to bracers of armor as though they were light armor.

Obviously both this and mage armor add an item bonus, so neither work together, but the bracers of armor has no language to suggest it's actually treating you as wearing armor. This suggests you are actually unarmored.

Meanwhile, let's look at Scales of the Dragon from Dragon Disciple:

Scales of the Dragon wrote:


Scales grow across your body, protecting you against physical and magical threats. When you're unarmored, the scales give you a +2 status bonus to AC with a Dexterity cap of +2. Your resistance from Dragon Disciple Dedication increases to 3 + half your level.

This one is asking for you to specifically be unarmored, but grants a status bonus and not an item bonus. So presumably, it stacks with any effect that grants an item bonus to AC. But what effects actually grant that while still being unarmored? From what I can tell, only bracers of armor between the two first options I listed seem to count. Is this accurate?

(Also, I'm assuming you use the worst of the dex caps, so the scales will always take precedent there.)


It's the same as wearing Explorer's clothes, with runes etched to it.
You can benefit from AC provided from runes, but you still will be considered unarmored.


Scales stacks with Bracers or Mage Armor. It would not stack with another AC status bonus like mountain stance.

The real boost to AC for unarmored with Scales is the Drakeheart mutagen


Drakeheart Mutagen with Mountain Stance is good. The stance gets you a +4 status bonus which stacks with the +4 to +7 item bonus from the mutagen. It does set a +0 cap for your Dex bonus. (Mountain Stronghold raises that to +1.)

So a 1st level Monk using Mountain Stance, a lesser Drakeheart Mutagen, and a shield would have:

AC = 10 + proficiency + stance + mutagen + shield
= 10 + 5 + 4 + 4 + 2
= 25

Liberty's Edge

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Gisher wrote:
Drakeheart Mutagen with Mountain Stance is good. The stance gets you a +4 status bonus which stacks with the +4 to +7 item bonus from the mutagen. It does set a +0 cap for your Dex bonus. (Mountain Stronghold raises that to +1.)

The people at Paizo have noted that this is specifically not an intended interaction and will be errata'd to not work in some fashion ASAP.

Whether that'll hit Mountain Stance or Drakeheart Mutagen is still a bit ambiguous, but this combo is not long for this world.

Dark Archive

Do you know what they were referring to in particular? Surely different bonus types we still stack.

I wonder if they meant to make Drakeheart a status bonus or something.


Old_Man_Robot wrote:

Do you know what they were referring to in particular? Surely different bonus types we still stack.

I wonder if they meant to make Drakeheart a status bonus or something.

They'll probably change mountain stance to item bonus and adjust its bonus.

Changing drakeheart to status is not consistent with alchemist giving only +item bonuses and it would make it stack on top of every armor in the game.

Dark Archive

That's true enough. Just seems equally odd, if less mechanically troublesome, to turn Mountain Stance into an item bonus.

Guess we'll have to wait and see.

Liberty's Edge

Old_Man_Robot wrote:

Do you know what they were referring to in particular? Surely different bonus types we still stack.

I wonder if they meant to make Drakeheart a status bonus or something.

Different types of bonuses will surely continue to stack. But they didn't actually state a specific solution, just that there was a problem and they were going to fix it.

Personally, I think they might might adjust the language of Drakeheart to count as armor in some sense, but that's pure speculation on my part.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

It wI'll almost certainly be Mountain Stance that changes. The large Status bonus taking the role normally filled by an item bonus is the issue, and this is not the only instance where Mountain Stance allows things to combine in unintended ways.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Drakeheart Mutagen with Mountain Stance is good. The stance gets you a +4 status bonus which stacks with the +4 to +7 item bonus from the mutagen. It does set a +0 cap for your Dex bonus. (Mountain Stronghold raises that to +1.)

The people at Paizo have noted that this is specifically not an intended interaction and will be errata'd to not work in some fashion ASAP.

Whether that'll hit Mountain Stance or Drakeheart Mutagen is still a bit ambiguous, but this combo is not long for this world.

Poor Mountain Stance. It keeps getting revised downward. Where did they announce that?


Gisher wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
Gisher wrote:
Drakeheart Mutagen with Mountain Stance is good. The stance gets you a +4 status bonus which stacks with the +4 to +7 item bonus from the mutagen. It does set a +0 cap for your Dex bonus. (Mountain Stronghold raises that to +1.)

The people at Paizo have noted that this is specifically not an intended interaction and will be errata'd to not work in some fashion ASAP.

Whether that'll hit Mountain Stance or Drakeheart Mutagen is still a bit ambiguous, but this combo is not long for this world.

Poor Mountain Stance. It keeps getting revised downward. Where did they announce that?

like 1 day after APG was out they said that it was on top of their errata list. But cant remember the thread

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