Adding Equipment to Monsters

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Hi all,

I have been struggling with this mechanic since the game was released and I swear I cannot still understand it. I've been trying to add better armor to an Orc Archer from Monster Vault (level 4, artillery, wearing leather armor). According to Dungeon Master Guide rules, I have to substract to his AC (-10 -Dex ability modifier -6). But if i do that I get 16 - 10 - 6 = 0!. I am totally lost here, if I am getting 0 what does that mean? That any armor that I add will give the orc a boost on AC? Am I missing anything?

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Every time I ask about this I get the same answer . Why the rule then? Is it broken? Should I just forget the whole thing and add armor ad-hoc as suggested by erachima?

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Yes. Monsters are balanced (in theory) for their level, including defense scores and attacks. Call the armor and weapons whatever you like but use the listed stats. Unless, of course, you're adding magic items as erachima points out, in which case you alter stats as necessary.
Every time I ask about this I get the same answer . Why the rule then? Is it broken? Should I just forget the whole thing and add armor ad-hoc as suggested by erachima?

Because monsters don't work by PC rules. They work by monster rules. Their defenses are balanced around difficulty, not what they are wearing. If you don't understand the system math, it'd be better not to screw with it. Just use the monsters as-is.
D&D - has always had the strength - of giving the dm STRONG GUIDELINES on how to draw up fights - providing chats and table for suggested combatants and resulting rewards - - -  It is easy to misjudge what the players are capable of handling - varying from trivial to total party kill - - - When and how to use party resources has added to the tactical flair of the game. DM can and should make alterations for flavor - but i have a lot of respect for their oublished guidelines.
  The problem is that the DMG1 discussion of this reflects early design concepts in which creatures did use gear (among other things) in a vaguely PC-like fashion. This didn't really survive into 4E proper, although the creatures in the MM1 were influenced by it.

  In practice, if you want to theme the creature as wearing better armor, describe it as doing so, and if you want to tweak the mechanics to reflect that, just give it +1 AC, -1 Reflex, and maybe -1 Speed. (AC is generally more valuable than a single NAD.)
Thanks all for the advices

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