Armor Check Penalties and Flatfooted AC (Another Rule I Should Know by Heart but Covid Brain Fog is Hindering Me)


Rules Questions


Hi, all. It looks like some of my Covid symptoms are going to be around for a long time to come. I can't focus well tonight and I'm helping someone put together a new character who'll wear heavy armor. My question is does the Armor Check Penalty (-6 in this case) affect the character's Flatfooted Armor Class score?

Thanks for putting up with my diminishing faculties.


No, the Armor Check Penalty does not apply to flat-footed AC, only to Str- and Dex-based skills and (if you are non-proficient) to attack rolls and Str and Dex ability checks.

The only penalties for flat-footed AC are losing Dex and dodge bonuses (and, of course, becoming vulnerable to any special attacks that target a creature that is denied its Dex bonus).

I hope you feel better soon, DMCal!


Tim Emrick wrote:

No, the Armor Check Penalty does not apply to flat-footed AC, only to Str- and Dex-based skills and (if you are non-proficient) to attack rolls and Str and Dex ability checks.

The only penalties for flat-footed AC are losing Dex and dodge bonuses (and, of course, becoming vulnerable to any special attacks that target a creature that is denied its Dex bonus).

I hope you feel better soon, DMCal!

Thank you very much, Tim! One more question and I'm taking my sleepy-time meds. The Armor Check Penalty doesn't affect the Reflex Save then?


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DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Tim Emrick wrote:

No, the Armor Check Penalty does not apply to flat-footed AC, only to Str- and Dex-based skills and (if you are non-proficient) to attack rolls and Str and Dex ability checks.

The only penalties for flat-footed AC are losing Dex and dodge bonuses (and, of course, becoming vulnerable to any special attacks that target a creature that is denied its Dex bonus).

I hope you feel better soon, DMCal!

Thank you very much, Tim! One more question and I'm taking my sleepy-time meds. The Armor Check Penalty doesn't affect the Reflex Save then?

No again. Nothing about armor normally affects your Reflex save.


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just to round things up it also can effect to hit and other skills:
"A character who is wearing armor with which he is not proficient applies its armor check penalty to attack rolls and to all skill checks that involve moving.".


Thanks, everyone!!

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