what works together -AC

4 posts / 0 new
Last post
Where can I find a chart that says what stacks with what for AC adjustment. I'm trying to find out if a masterwork chain shirt will stack with bracers of armor +6, & or an ioun stone providing +1 AC. but I'd still like the chart or page of what book explains it all. I've looked in the DMG and PHB but no luck. Did I just overlook it?

I'm gonna rip your head off and make it my puppet! (NWN 2)

Look at the type of bonus the item (or spell, or feat, or whatever) provides.  If two of them have the same type, they will not stack; you only take the larger number.  In your specific example, both the chain shirt and the bracers of armor provide armor bonuses, so they do not stack.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
As Salla says, look at the type. The general rules are as follows:
n most cases, modifiers to a given check or roll stack (combine for a cumulative effect) if they come from different sources and have different types (or no type at all), but do not stack if they have the same type or come from the same source (such as the same spell cast twice in succession). If the modifiers to a particular roll do not stack, only the best bonus and worst penalty applies. Dodge bonuses and circumstance bonuses however, do stack with one another unless otherwise specified.


There's also a general-purpose "same source" rule that prevents exploiting some of these things - for instance, two circumstances bonuses that come from essentially the same circumstance do not stack, and (depending on the task) there may be a limit on how many people can work together on a given Aid Another attempt. But these are corner cases and ALMOST always happen due to a scenario the DM is setting up rather than the way a character is built. As such they matter if you're behind the DM screen, but less so if you're in front.

The only other area of confusion is natural armor. Early material, particularly in 3e, considered "natural" a bonus type except that it stacked with existing native natural armor (i.e. a +3 amulet of natural armor improved your AC by 3). Later books made it clear that "Natural Armor" is a statistic you have, similar to your armor or shield scores. Thus, the amulet of natural armor actually provides a +3 enhancement bonus to your natural armor, in the same way that Magic Vestment does to your normal armor.

Cancer prognosis: I am now cancer-free.

Weekly Optimization Series

Show
These are NOT all my creations! The lead authors are identified as follows: [TS] Tempest Stormwind, [AR] Andarious Rosethorn, [RT] Radical Taoist, [SN] Sionnis, [DH] DisposableHero_, [SH] Seishi.

[TS] The Pinball Brothers: Large And In Charge (Melee, Lockdown, Charge, Juggling)
[TS] Ashardalon Reborn: I Will Swallow Your Soul (Melee, Fear, Negative Levels, AoE, Theme)
[AR] "A"-Game Paladin: Play That Funky Music, Knight Boy! (Team Support, Melee, Theme, Single-Class)
[RT] Uncanny Trapsmith: Get in, make it look like an accident, get out. (Skillmonkey, Stealth/Scout/Infiltration, Unorthodox Methods, Theme)
[AR] Wizsassin: *Everything* is permitted. (Spellcaster, Support, Sneak Attack, Utility)
[TS] Phantom Rush: General Gish Gouda. (Gish, Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Early-Entry PrC)
[TS] Storm Knight: Another kind of gish. (Melee/"Gish", Theme, Setting-Specific(Eberron), Unorthodox Methods)
[TS] Inevitable Nightmare: The weapon you only have to fire once. (Melee, "Unorthodox" Methods (no charging), Reliability)
[AR] Captain Constitution: The number one threat to America. (Melee, TOUGHTOUGHTOUGH, Defense, Theme)
[AR] Nuker: I casts the spells that makes the peoples fall down! (Spellcaster, damage, blasting, damage)
[TS] Dread Lord of the Dead: Let the Reaping Begin! (NPC-only, Variable (combat/casting/leadership), Iconic Villain, Theme)
[AR] Heavy Crusader: No Rest. No Mercy. No Matter What. (Melee, Damage (No charging), Variable, Theme).
[TS] Gun Fu: It's bullet time (Ranged, THEORETICAL, Twin weapons, Theme)
[RT] Face First: We should talk. (Psionic, social, mind-control, info-management)
[SN] Chaingun Porcupine: Never Enuff Dakka. (Ranged, Skirmishing, Spike Damage, Incarnum)
[RT] Always On Edge: The Mortal Draw deals death. (Melee, Generalist, Dungeoneering, Stunt)
[AR] Feral Druid: Real feral taste. Zero druid calories. (Melee, offense, damage, murder)
[RT] Rusty!: Man's Best Friend (Sentry, Support, Backup, Rearguard)
[RT] The T3 (Tashalatora Triple Threat): My Kung Fu is More Powerful (Hybrid, Flex-Function, Melee, Caster)
[RT] The #1 Snoipah: Boom. 'Eadshot. (Caster, Theme, Spike, Trapscout)
[AR] Dreamblade: Rest in Pieces. (Melee, Damage, Single-Class, Combo/Momentum)
[AR] Evasion Tank: “When fighting angry blind men, is best to stay out of the way.” (Melee, Tank, Unorthodox Methods (attack negation), Theme)
[DH] Psycarnum Warrior: ↑↑↓↓←→←→BA Start (Melee, Tank, Psionics, Incarnum, 1337 h4x)
[AR] Heavy Weapons Elf: WHO TOUCHED MY BOW? (Ranged, Cohort, Damage, Unorthodox Methods (ranged ToB))
[RT] Gnowhere Gnome: A little man who wasn't there (Caster, Stealth, Single-Class, Elusive)
[AR] Uberflank: I got your back. (Melee, support, stunt, teamwork)
[TS] Flip the Bird: Everyday I'm shuffling (Ranged, harrier, unorthodox methods (ranged ToB / off-turn movement), support)
[DH] Eat Sleep Gank: Real Ultimate Power (Stealth, Assassination, Spike, Magic Versatility)
[AR] Slash and Burn: Mind, Body, Blade, Flame / Aspects of a greater whole / which delivers death. (Melee, Theme (flex-style), Damage, Stunt)
[RT] Edge of the Light: Cut, Fade to Black (Melee, Defense/Offense, Momentum, Tactical)
[RT] Quiet Murder: Cut throats, not corners. (Melee, Stealth, Harrier, Tactical)
[TS] Wand Overdrive: Say Hello to my little friends. (Caster, support/artillery/variable, wand specialist)
[RT] God Hand: What did the five fingers say to the face? (Melee/Gish, Unarmed, SAD, Theme)
[AR] Zero Buff Time Gish: Try to keep up! (Gish, Speed, Movement, Opportunity)
[TS] Robo Tackle: I Am Iron Man. (Melee, setting-specific (Eberron), positioning, theme, stunt)

[TS] Holy Fire: Just getting warmed up! (Casting, damage, theme (fire), theme (sacred), blasting)

[TS] Groundhog Mage: ♪Let’s do the time warp again♪ (Casting, stunt, setting-specific (Faerun), spell stamina / versatility, spontaneous wizard)

 

Want to see how the entire group rolls?
[All] Party Optimization Showcase: Dead for Nothing
[TS/RT/AR] Optimization Article: The Flash Step
[RT] Optimization Article: Kung Fu Witchcraft

 

Seishi: I think it might be fun to have a one-off [game] tuned fairly, but with the intention of wiping the party. 

DisposableHero_: if [my campaign] has taught me nothing else, it is that with this group, nothing tuned fairly will ever wipe the party

RadicalTaoist: I've been throwing **** at this group that's 5 levels over CRed in DFN, and have yet to wipe the party.

As Salla says, look at the type. The general rules are as follows:
n most cases, modifiers to a given check or roll stack (combine for a cumulative effect) if they come from different sources and have different types (or no type at all), but do not stack if they have the same type or come from the same source (such as the same spell cast twice in succession). If the modifiers to a particular roll do not stack, only the best bonus and worst penalty applies. Dodge bonuses and circumstance bonuses however, do stack with one another unless otherwise specified.


There's also a general-purpose "same source" rule that prevents exploiting some of these things - for instance, two circumstances bonuses that come from essentially the same circumstance do not stack, and (depending on the task) there may be a limit on how many people can work together on a given Aid Another attempt. But these are corner cases and ALMOST always happen due to a scenario the DM is setting up rather than the way a character is built. As such they matter if you're behind the DM screen, but less so if you're in front.

The only other area of confusion is natural armor. Early material, particularly in 3e, considered "natural" a bonus type except that it stacked with existing native natural armor (i.e. a +3 amulet of natural armor improved your AC by 3). Later books made it clear that "Natural Armor" is a statistic you have, similar to your armor or shield scores. Thus, the amulet of natural armor actually provides a +3 enhancement bonus to your natural armor, in the same way that Magic Vestment does to your normal armor.

Except for Dodge and circumstance bonuses, bonuses of the same type don't stack, so bracers of armor and regular armor (both AC bonuses) don't stack.

It is explained in a box in the Dungeon Master Guide, but it doesn't list an actual chart. 


Either way, don't become overly focused on AC. you just need enough to give yourself a reasonably chance of avoiding being hit, then you should focus on Saves and hit point items. AC won't save you from a fireball or a charm person spell. it also won't save you if you take damage and have only a few hit points.