Weapon skill and AC

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The one aspect of 3ed D&D that I never really understood was why weapons skill doesn't add to a character's Armor Class? In some ways, D&D tried to incorporate this through the "fighting defensively" and "total defense" options, but they never had acknowledged the amount of deflection that a weapon has in combat more so than armor. Parrying incoming attacks should somehow be included in the AC formula in regards to weapons skill for this upcoming addition. I've seen them try to do this before with the Duelist prestige class but it just seemed like the AC didn't add up to anything useful. I can understand that even a skilled swordsman couldn't parry and incoming arrow (without some kind of sick training), but still, a Level 18 Fighter using a longsword should get at least some natural bonuses to AC (without any extra feats) in melee fighting compared to a Level 1 Elf Wizard who is also using a longsword. Weapon skill shouldn't just be reflected only as a Base Attack Bonus, but also as an increasing effect on melee AC.
Rumour has it that there will be some sort of class-based defense bonus. If so, depending on how it works it could easily be seen as an abstract accounting of a character's basic ability to dodge and parry.
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
The one aspect of 3ed D&D that I never really understood was why weapons skill doesn't add to a character's Armor Class? In some ways, D&D tried to incorporate this through the "fighting defensively" and "total defense" options, but they never had acknowledged the amount of deflection that a weapon has in combat more so than armor. Parrying incoming attacks should somehow be included in the AC formula in regards to weapons skill for this upcoming addition. I've seen them try to do this before with the Duelist prestige class but it just seemed like the AC didn't add up to anything useful. I can understand that even a skilled swordsman couldn't parry and incoming arrow (without some kind of sick training), but still, a Level 18 Fighter using a longsword should get at least some natural bonuses to AC (without any extra feats) in melee fighting compared to a Level 1 Elf Wizard who is also using a longsword. Weapon skill shouldn't just be reflected only as a Base Attack Bonus, but also as an increasing effect on melee AC.

I logged on just now to make precisely this suggestion here. How many times has the villain stripped the hero of his weapon and then the fight is 'over' as he puts the blade to his neck, then somehow the hero regains his sword and the fight ensues again. Princess Bride had a lot of this, Star Wars (all that lightsaber telekinesis stuff), Rob Roy, all the Zorro films, and on and on. Come to think of it, when Zorro did all his sword work, not a single foe, Zorro included, wore any armour whatsover. In D&D it would have been endless carnage and there's nobody that would've come out unscathed.

A weapon should definitely count as a defense. It's really odd having a fighter in full plate, unarmed, being just as unlikely to hit as when he's wielding his sword.

Player - Ok, I disarm the BBEG.
DM - Ok, his sword drops.
Player - I attack!
DM - Ok... AC is exactly the same. Hmm... hold on. Um yeah... it's the same.
I logged on just now to make precisely this suggestion here. How many times has the villain stripped the hero of his weapon and then the fight is 'over' as he puts the blade to his neck, then somehow the hero regains his sword and the fight ensues again. Princess Bride had a lot of this, Star Wars (all that lightsaber telekinesis stuff), Rob Roy, all the Zorro films, and on and on. Come to think of it, when Zorro did all his sword work, not a single foe, Zorro included, wore any armour whatsover. In D&D it would have been endless carnage and there's nobody that would've come out unscathed.

A weapon should definitely count as a defense. It's really odd having a fighter in full plate, unarmed, being just as unlikely to hit as when he's wielding his sword.

Player - Ok, I disarm the BBEG.
DM - Ok, his sword drops.
Player - I attack!
DM - Ok... AC is exactly the same. Hmm... hold on. Um yeah... it's the same.

I completely agree! I think there needs to be some kind of Coup de Grace rule or something on this, but only applied to armed melee combat. Lets say you just disarmed you opponent, you can then make a move on your next turn to advance on your opponent (if he is still unarmed) and to train your weapon on the opponent's vital spot (heart, neck, head, groin...might as well be death, haha). If you succeed you have the option to ready an Coup de Grace on the opponent if he does something you're not to thrilled with (like spit in your face or something?). Thus, once you disarm your opponent, he has one round to pull out another weapon, run away, cast a spell, or some other action until you can advance on him for this Coup de Grace type of readying attack.
I completely agree! I think there needs to be some kind of Coup de Grace rule or something on this, but only applied to armed melee combat. Lets say you just disarmed you opponent, you can then make a move on your next turn to advance on your opponent (if he is still unarmed) and to train your weapon on the opponent's vital spot (heart, neck, head, groin...might as well be death, haha). If you succeed you have the option to ready an Coup de Grace on the opponent if he does something you're not to thrilled with (like spit in your face or something?). Thus, once you disarm your opponent, he has one round to pull out another weapon, run away, cast a spell, or some other action until you can advance on him for this Coup de Grace type of readying attack.

That's just one opponent getting the upper hand and the other choosing to surrender (and it should be a choice, rather than forced by some rule). An unarmed opponent isn't helpless, however, and thus shouldn't be subject to a Coup de Grace.

It's just that too often in D&D no one chooses to surrender.
At least I have my proper avatar now, I guess. But man is this cloud dark.
A very simple rule, and not an over-powered one, is apply Base Attack Bonus to AC. This way, armour is where it should be... less important than a sword, but still 'useful'. I hear there may be a DR application to armour instead of AC. Maybe it's time BaB was AC (and attack bonus) instead and armour only counted for damage reduction. In fact I can see that working fairly well even in the current 3.5 rules... the higher the level the PC the harder it is to hit him. I'm sure it could be tweaked some more but it seems *way* more realistic.

"Too many rolls, too many rolls!" I hear you cry. Maybe not. You could have a single opposed roll for example by your bad guy. 4 players attack. Maybe he manages to block the wizard, the priest etc, but the fighter is too skillful and breaks through a parry attempt. He takes damage. But the full plate is pretty good, and shrugs off the damage fairly well. The +1 enchantment on it helps reduce the DR another point, so you'd have to do 9 points of damage to get though... haha maybe the AC points for the armour would need adjusting but you get the idea. There's of course the question of how many attacks he should be able to defend against, but current rules are one round is 6 seconds. I don't see why he can't have a chance at deflecting at least 6 attacks... even a peasant might be able to fend off a group of wolves with a pitchfork, at least for a few rounds...

This has another excellent bonus, free, and only if you (WotC) act now! Not only is it far more realistic, the players, especially the fighters, are going to be *far* less reliant on gear to defend themselves. If there's so much as a chair on the floor or a loose plank, a highly trained fighter will have a chance to defend himself from being slaughtered because he slept in the Inn without his +5 full plate. Call me crazy, but the flimsy cloth the kung-fu masters wore in Crouching Tiger wasn't enchanted. They just knew how to defend themselves *really* well... even a stick can outmatch Green Destiny folks... it's true cuz me seens it.:D
I'm all for class AC bonuses and armor as damage reduction. I hate to use the phrase "more realistic" but it does make more sense. A character that wears lighter armor and realize more on his agility to avoid blows should have more to fear from getting hit than the one that dons full plate. Tying this bonus to BAB (although probably not on a one for one basis) Will make it easer to handle when multi classing. We can then also include talents and feats for characters that want to focus further on their defensive capabilities.
Yeah I'm sure you could tweak it some more. I made a thread of this on Enworld and someone suggested big weapons like 2 handers don't defend quite so well. I think that's a decent idea too. Those quick rogues with the rapiers (or Zorros!) would be much harder to hit, and (perhaps) rightly so...
How do we avoid turning this into a free feat for everyone and removing the combat expertise (or expertise in 3.0) feat all together?

Hmm perhaps a -1 penalty to their AC per attack beyond the first when it comes from another foe say if surrounded for example.

Combat Expertise allows the BAB to be reduced for actual attacks to increase this since it makes sense tht those with a higher BAB would be better at defending themselves from melee attacks, but what about ranged attacks or spells?

Should wizards gain the fighters BAB when casting spells?
After all it IS their speciality just as fighting with weapons is the fighters... how do you handle this?
Iron Heroes introduced a concept of Active and Passive defense. I don't actually have (and have not read) the book, but from what I gather shields and weapons provide what would be in D&D a dodge bonus (i.e. you loose it if you couldn't see the attack coming).

Arcana Evolved had the concept of a "parry modifier" for weapons.

I think the simplest solution right now would be that BAB adds to AC, but the armor check penalty subtracts from this (and armor would be DR). So you could go unarmored and be harder to hit, but if you were hit you'd take more damage. Getting even more detailed would then have a parry modifier to weapons, with some adding and some subtracting but having better damage potential.
A very simple rule, and not an over-powered one, is apply Base Attack Bonus to AC. This way, armour is where it should be... less important than a sword, but still 'useful'. I hear there may be a DR application to armour instead of AC. Maybe it's time BaB was AC (and attack bonus) instead and armour only counted for damage reduction. In fact I can see that working fairly well even in the current 3.5 rules... the higher the level the PC the harder it is to hit him. I'm sure it could be tweaked some more but it seems *way* more realistic.

I disagree with just blindly adding BAB to AC. I do think there should be some sort of class ability to add points to AC as characters level (either through a "Defensive based feat" or something that can be chosen every so many levels), or through some inherit class based bonus. I just don't think it should be as simple as BAB.

The reason is that if you get BAB to both attack and Defense, the game seems a little too generic and plain.

Remember, while "sweet spots" make gameplay enjoyable, and intentional game design that stretches those "sweet spots" across wider range of levels is desirable, so is the room to "optimize" one's character for either combat, or role playing, or whatever. It's only through optimization and personalization that we breath any life into these heaps of numbers that we call characters.
I kind of like the Zorro idea that a character can survive just fine with his rapier and not a +5 Full Plate. Its the skill that makes the character, not the crap he puts on... even though it should help. I really like the idea of using armor as DR rather than AC. Armor class should determine if the blow actually lands a hit, while the DR takes into effect whether or not the armor stops it from causing any real damage; when does armor actually let you dodge a blow from landing? It mainly just makes sure that when blows do land, they don't hurt as much. This way, a character can better mitigate the factors of AC/Damage rather than the 'all or nothing' approach.
The one aspect of 3ed D&D that I never really understood was why weapons skill doesn't add to a character's Armor Class?

Because it gets to be a mess. The problem is that parrying begins to break down as soon as you are facing two or more opponents at once. Not to mention ranged attacks, giant monsters, weapons that can't be parried (such as flails) tentacles, and so on.

What I would like to see is some real dueling rules in the new rules. Something to handle one on one fights with some special rules and some flavor. In those situations the ability to parry may be more important then then heavy armor.

Jay
Because it gets to be a mess. The problem is that parrying begins to break down as soon as you are facing two or more opponents at once. Not to mention ranged attacks, giant monsters, weapons that can't be parried (such as flails) tentacles, and so on.

What I would like to see is some real dueling rules in the new rules. Something to handle one on one fights with some special rules and some flavor. In those situations the ability to parry may be more important then then heavy armor.

Jay

As said above, the defender simply adds one number, we can call it Base Defense Bonus to his AC just like any other armour bonus. Let's say it's 25 in total. Btw, on Enworld I suggested a separate line that could be either higher or lower for Base Defense Bonus, that changes in level. Monks may even get a higher defense bonus than a fighter, while using weapons or even fists, whereas the fighter needs something in his hands to get the bonus.

The multiple opponents all try to hit 25.

Not sure why that's complicated. I also don't see why you can't parry a tentacle. Remember the pool monster thing in LotR outside Moria?

Ranged attacks might be slightly problematic, but I don't see why you can't parry ranged attacks as well. Harder, yes, but possible at least in a fantasy setting. Personally I wouldn't mind adding a new box for ranged (where you either don't get a parry bonus, or you get half or something). This new box might be simply replacing the current 'deflection bonus' to AC and not be adding anything at all but a different take on the rule.

Really, the details aren't all that important to me. My only real point is to have something that scales with level (thus skill) that applies to AC, and that a weapon should be used for defense *much more* than a suit of armour. Just exactly how that's done can be discussed forever. The idea of using BaB was just thrown out there as an example.
Hmm, I'd be in favor of this mechanic, whether it's adding BAB or some other scaling modifier to AC.

3rd Edition always had this flaw, which became particularly noticable at epic levels, that AC and the spells' save DC couldn't keep up with BAB and Saves. At some point, players would have so insanely good BAB and Saves that magic was basically useless or very unreliable if it required a save (this trend started already at mid-levels), and boosting your AC was merely a way of avoiding iterative attacks, since the first attack always hit.

And BAB represents a character's fighting prowess, so why not also a character's ability to defend him-/herself? It needn't be parrying, but could also be dodging, or blocking, or using the environment to one's advantage.

Leaving armor to then offer some damage migitation would be an option, though the details would need some serious work to ensure both options (high-AC, low-migitation fighters versus low-AC, high-migitation fighters) are viable, and it would create another and interesting way for martial characters to destinguish themselves.
Just curious - doesn't basing AC off bab sort of defeat the purpose of bab? You use it for attack...and defense? Won't they end up canceling each other out or something?
I agree that in many cases an opponent carrying a weapon should be harder to hit than an opponent not carrying a weapon if in melee combat.

However, I disagree that a person wearing a t-shirt and wielding a sword should have a better AC than someone whose body is encased in steel. Heavy armor is effective against melee weapons. The reason people stopped wearing armor was because of guns ... the cost of armor effective against firearms was just too high. Soldiers in modern armies often do wear armor ... they're called bullet-proof vests.

The problem is how to keep the rules streamlined, but still account for a weapon without it becoming too powerful. Combat Expertise tried to do that, but very few people used it. Parry from 2e probably came closer.

One option would be a Parry feat where your AC against melee attacks is raised by +1 for every 5 levels. Or a +1 for every 5 points of BAB, or even your weapon attack bonus?

If it was +1 for every +5 in your Weapon Attack Bonus it would scale with your character, reflect the fact that you are a weapon master and not penalize you for something that should be part of normal combat.

Allen.
The one aspect of 3ed D&D that I never really understood was why weapons skill doesn't add to a character's Armor Class? .... Weapon skill shouldn't just be reflected only as a Base Attack Bonus, but also as an increasing effect on melee AC.

I was writing in another related thread. This all has to do with the hold over of THAC0 from the transition of 2e to 3e.

With THAC0, the ultimate armour was considered platemail with shield and that was AC 0. Dragons were considered really tough because they had AC of -2 to -4. Gods had an AC of -6 to -10. AC -10 was the ultimate Armour Class as there was no AC -11.

The direct conversion of AC from 2e to 3e resulted in platemail being given +8 and heavy shield being given +2. This resulted in +10 which was seen as the inverse of AC 0.

All seems happy in our land until you start adding in fighters that to hit bonus climbs to +20 at level 20.

A level 20 fighter now has the requisite skill to have a 50/50 chance to hit the toughest god with a rock ( AC -10 in 2e is AC 20 in 3e ) before considering bonuses for strength or magic.

It was a nice and quick transfer of a table of information from 2e to 3e but the result was that fighters began to wear tissue paper as they got to higher levels and mages had no protection at all ( bracers of Defense that used to be AC 0 in 2e were limited to bracers +5 which was only half the armour protection in 2e and a quarter of the protection at best in 3e ).

One oops in transfering information from one edition to the next and havoc results. That is the lesson in game design for today :D
A level 20 fighter now has the requisite skill to have a 50/50 chance to hit the toughest god with a rock ( AC -10 in 2e is AC 20 in 3e ) before considering bonuses for strength or magic.

AC -10 in 2E is AC 30 in 3E.

The base is 10, modified up or down by 20.
Some advice for such system :

1°) have the defence bonus be an armor bonus to AC, so it doesn't stack with normal armor (but you could use the better bonus score, like a wizard using bracers of armor to up his AC, and wearing a magical robe with some ability as his armor)

2°) do not have this bonus based on BAB, but on another progression system depending on the class. As for BAB, each class would have a poor, average or good progression, with barbarians, rangers, rogues and monk having the good progression (with maybe an additionnal bonus for the monk), fighters only having an average progression (they rely more on their armor), and so on ...

You could even give clerics and druid a bad progression (they can manage to use an armor, but their devotion let them less time to learn active and passive defences)

That way you could play a conan-like barbarian.

Using an armor would still be useful (don't forget armor special properties such as energy resistance), but you wouldn't be useless without your armor

3°) maybe have this bonus be ignored when flat footed as someone suggested (same as dodge bonus), another incentive to keep at least some armor when you can (even if conan level give him a +8 AC at level 20, wearing occasionaly a chain shirt might deflect an unexpected attack and still be useful).


Exemple progression :

Good

Level 1 - +3
Level 2 - +3
Level 3 - +3
Level 4 - +4
Level 5 - +4
Level 6 - +4
Level 7 - +5
Level 8 - +5
Level 9 - +5
Level 10 - +6
Level 11 - +6
Level 12 - +6
Level 13 - +7
Level 14 - +7
Level 15 - +7
Level 16 - +8
Level 17 - +8
Level 18 - +8
Level 19 - +9
Level 20 - +9

Average

Level 1 - +2
Level 2 - +2
Level 3 - +2
Level 4 - +2
Level 5 - +3
Level 6 - +3
Level 7 - +3
Level 8 - +3
Level 9 - +4
Level 10 - +4
Level 11 - +4
Level 12 - +4
Level 13 - +5
Level 14 - +5
Level 15 - +5
Level 16 - +5
Level 17 - +6
Level 18 - +6
Level 19 - +6
Level 20 - +6

Poor

Level 1 - +0
Level 2 - +0
Level 3 - +1
Level 4 - +1
Level 5 - +2
Level 6 - +2
Level 7 - +2
Level 8 - +2
Level 9 - +2
Level 10 - +3
Level 11 - +3
Level 12 - +3
Level 13 - +3
Level 14 - +3
Level 15 - +4
Level 16 - +4
Level 17 - +4
Level 18 - +4
Level 19 - +4
Level 20 - +4

My two cents it is to say goodbye to AC and use opposed attack rolls for an active defense (avoiding to be hit) and use armor, toughness and so as a passive defense (if you are hit).

It is clear that the most skilled swordsman in the world should be untouchable by a commoner ever if he is fighting in undies, also makes the fights more personal since is weaponmanship vs weaponmanship.

It also helps to have the fantasy archetypes of warriors who uses no armor such as Conan even if isn't a finesse one.

In the same way, fighters without armor should have bonuses to both avoiding getting hit and hitting the enemy cause the freedom of movement that is not wearing armor but with the penalty of being easier to hurt and kill if struck.
AC -10 in 2E is AC 30 in 3E.

The base is 10, modified up or down by 20.

You are correct.

I was simplifying to track only the actual + modifier that armour reflects. Platemail is listed as +8, not AC 18. When I listed AC 20, I probably should have included the + to make it look better but I was trying to simply to make it easier to see where the numbers came from since the base 10 makes it appear that the numbers are not the same.
After reading this thread and others, I'm beginning to really like the idea of using a hybrid of approaches.

I think that having Armor act as DR makes alot of sense, since heavy steel will certainly prevent lots of cuts. Since DR is based upon damage type (or weapon type) this also makes sense, since heavy armor would provide more protection against light slashing weapons than against heavy bludgeoning weapons.

I also like the class based scalable approach of a succession of defensive feats that either improve the passive AC to beat.

I also hope that they have some concept of "defensive feats" which help improve your AC. These could then only apply if you're wearing certain types of armor or whatever.
I like the idea of adding a Base Defence Bonus to AC. It makes sense that a fighter is going to be bettere at blocking/parrying swords. It also takes the battles away from toe-to-toe slugfests. At the moment there isn't much reason to use a small weapon. Perhaps this can be a way to make small fast weapons enticing to players again.

On the same logic, I dont see why spellcasters shouldn't have a Base Spell Defence Bonus. Spell casters have more intimate knowledge of the spells being used against them so why shouldn't they be better at avoiding/counterspelling them?

I also like the idea of armour providing DR and no AC bonus. It therefore makes it beneficial to wear armour but not too crippling if you don't. At the moment there isn't much reason to not wear heavy armour unless it causes you to lose class abilities (e.g. spell casting flurry of blows). Thus if your class allows armour then there is no reason to have anything other than full heavy plate male. I wonder how many fighters or clerics are playing 3.5 who dont wear the heaviest armour possible and weild a massive weapon? I personally would like to see the rapier fighter or the spear fighter gain as much recognition as the 2h sword fighter.
I was thinking something similar as the idea being discussed here, so I guess I'll post here instead of making a new thread.

Thing is, I was just reading the MM looking for some Encounters to throw on the players and something came to me: AC should grow at (relatively) the same pace that Attack increases.

When you're looking at monsters, that works. For example:

(Attack is the monsters "primary" Attack value shown in the MM; AC is given as a sum of total bonuses, or listed AC -10)
Blink Dog (CR 2): Attack +4, AC +6
Devourer (CR 11): Attack +15, AC +14
Titan (CR 21): Attack +37, AC +28
Red Great Wyrm (CR 26): Attack +49, AC +31

So, what we have is a scenario where it is almost even a chance to hit at lower levels, and increasingly easier as you go up, speaking of monsters.

When you think of classes, it gets worse. You're almost entirely dependant upon equipment to get any AC bonus (monks and spellcasters have their options, of course). If you don't wear armor (rogues, for example), you get stranded with your Dex points every 4 lvls or some Gloves of dexterity (and the dream of some Bracers of Armor +8, of course).

Which leads to the "must win initiative" game, where if you don't act first (and therefore hit first, since AC is generally way lower than Attack), you lose.

I hope that 4e addresses this issue, and there have been many suggestions in this thread alone (I might bump into more of them around, and hope the designers do too), but what appeals to me is the "BDB" that's being commented around here. It would even allow for further "uniqueness" in playstyle for different classes, if, say, a fighter gets good BAB and low BDB (thus relying on armor to avoid getting hurt), a monk gets average BAB but good BDB (replacing the Wis to AC stuff), a wizard gets nothing, but some spell should have similar effects (like tenser's transformation does for BAB, some defensive spell could add your Caster Level to AC) should a wizard need or want to get his hands into melee. You could even add some rogue ability to enhance his Base Defense, or have the rogue have an Average progression or something.

With the new "Party Roles" model, there's an even easier job to define which classes should get the AC boosting stuff (Defenders > Leaders > Strikers > Controllers).

Anyways, I vote Yay for "AC Increases with Class Levels"

PS: God, I wrote a lot. Sorry for that, just got carried away... :D
It's not just about parrying, folks. A skilled fighter also has much better judgment and control of distance. Even he's unarmed and the peasant has a sword, he'll win.

Each weapon should have a defense rating of some sort, based on reach and maneuverability. Obviously, reach shouldn't help against ranged attacks.
per-weapon defense rating isn't a bad idea. In my homebrew RPG ( who isn't working on one, eventually? ) I classify weapons by damage, control, defense and reach, right now. This may be fine for computer, but might get too clunky for a tabletop game, however.

Do note things like, say, pistols. Help defense much? Or even the katana? Consider a rapier vs. a waraxe? ( can you say, broken rapier? )

Also, apparently light weapons have some serious trouble trying to hurt someone in a full plate... but in that case, you're absorbing blows, not dodging them.
You don't want a per item defense rating, but if you do allow a certain bonus to defense that scales up wards based on a fraction of BAB when armed that would help remove a +X AC boosting item.
How about just have this. If you are fighting with a weapon you are non-proficient with, apply the -X non-proficiency penalty to AC as well as attack, representing the fact you cannot parry nearly as well.

So most PC's that get disarmed suddenly find themselves more vulnerable to attack, as well. If they have trained in Improved Unarmed Combat, or have some fall-back weapon (Armor Spikes, Spiked Gauntlet, off-hand weapon or shield), then they can still parry effectively, and not suffer the penalty.

This would only work if the cost of carrying the fall-back weapon has some significance (spikes impair somatic spellcasting, like a shield's ACP), so everyone just doesn't end up with one.

Ed Tostanoski
841191
Do note things like, say, pistols. Help defense much? Or even the katana? Consider a rapier vs. a waraxe? ( can you say, broken rapier? )

Pistol, no. Ranged weapons other than long guns with bayonets tend to get you killed up close. A katana would have a considerable reach advantage over a dagger or unarmed man, and could be used to parry.

Rapier aren't as bad at parrying heavier weapons as you might think. Parrying with the forte gives you mechanical advantage. I know Tom Leoni can block a full longsword cut. Here's an article on the subject:

http://www.salvatorfabris.com/RapierParryingLongsword.shtml

Staff weapons, of course, are different. They should have a considerable advantage against a single sword. However, Meyer wrote about parrying a partisan blow with a rapier. It can be done.

You don't want a per item defense rating,

I do.
i actually really like the idea of adding BAB to AC and armor giving DR. it removes the dependance of fighters particularly on magical gear which is a game mechanic that has never really sat well with me. also adding a defense bonus for weapons is really good too.

now lets look at the math of this. a 1st level fighter under the current rules may buy either a chain shirt or a scale mail, keeping in mind all the other stuff they have to buy aside from armor and weapons and needing spending money in game, that would give them a AC bonus from equipment at about +3. now that same fighter with the BAB to AC bonus thing he would have +1 from BAB and say he is using a longsword a longsword being a medium sized weapon with ok damage we'll give it a defense bonus of +2. so by both rules its the same.

now lets do the same thing at 20th level. the magic protection you can get is really high. full plate: +8, enhancement bonuses to armor can be +8 max from bracers of armor as enhancement from them and enhancement of armor doesnt stack, ring of protection +5, amulet of natural armor +5. thats a +26 to AC. now the BAB to AC rule fighter would have +20 from BAB and say he's got a longsword again so +2. thats +22 which is not that much of a discrepancy and can be made up with some magic items (i said reduces the dependance not removes it).

heavier items should have a lower defense bonus than lighter weapons as heavier weapons like a great axe are slower and therefore are harder to block with. as for the argue ment that a rapier cant stop a greataxe thats bollox. there is a big difference between a parry and a block. a block is where you stop their blow dead and yes blocking a greataxe with a rapier woulnt work but parrying is where instead of stopping the blow you redirect it away from you which would be quite easy to pull off with a rapier against a greataxe.

shields should remain the same. and i would also say that a sneak attack bypasses the DR of armor.
so no one has anything more to say?
so no one has anything more to say?

Well I'll say one more thing and that is I really hope Wizards is looking at the boards and taking this suggestion seriously.

The problem is though I wonder how much is set in stone, and how much is subject to change. I'm sure there are certain 'elements' of the game they're not willing to adjust at this point. I guess we'll have to find out when the ink's dry.
I would support any move on D&D's part to:

A: Give each class a 'Defence' score a la UA. Possibly improvable with feats

B: Represent armour as DR. Armour is worn to mitigate damage, not avoid incoming attacks. I appreciate the current AC system includes both avoiding blows and mitigating damage, but it is an overly abstract concept.

C: Represent shields in terms of a deflection bonus to defence/AC, and not DR. Possibly improvable with feats.

and finally of course (given the nature of the post) ...
D: Give weapons a parry or deflection bonus to defence/AC. Again, possibly improvable with feats.

Hopefully these sorts of concepts are part of the 4e ruleset. Hopefully.
I would support any move on D&D's part to:

A: Give each class a 'Defence' score a la UA. Possibly improvable with feats

B: Represent armour as DR. Armour is worn to mitigate damage, not avoid incoming attacks. I appreciate the current AC system includes both avoiding blows and mitigating damage, but it is an overly abstract concept.

C: Represent shields in terms of a deflection bonus to defence/AC, and not DR. Possibly improvable with feats.

and finally of course (given the nature of the post) ...
D: Give weapons a parry or deflection bonus to defence/AC. Again, possibly improvable with feats.

Hopefully these sorts of concepts are part of the 4e ruleset. Hopefully.

I think that just about sums up this thread very nicely.

And to throw another spanner in the works, shields giving an ability/feat bonus like Evasion to avoid things like dragon's breath...

But that'd be a whole new thread!
My house rule is to have static HP (Str plus Con).
AC = Reflex Bonus + Armor + Attack bonus

It shouldn't be just BAB, it should be the whole thing. If you've got a magic sword that whips around extra fast, then that helps parry! So too does that Battle Ax that you spent all those feats in!

With all of that dynamic AC, there's no need for HP to go up. HP has historically represented all of this stuff in the abstract.
I totaly agree with Llawgoch.
If those points are in 4th, I would go for the change. If not I would consider my 3.5 as still valuable.
And to throw another spanner in the works, shields giving an ability/feat bonus like Evasion to avoid things like dragon's breath...

Good idea. That's exactly the kind of martial 'power' that a Fighter could possess. I know many people are concerned that the Fighter might become too exotic in 4e, and a 'Shield Evasion' power seems extraordinary enough with going too Swordsage.
A couple of tangential points.

Straight DR is problematic. It is too easy to deal no damage with a successful hit, which feels implausible and leads to unsatisfying gameplay. I would suggest a proportional DR system like this one: If you deal less damage than the DR of the opponent, the opponent takes half damage. If you deal more damage than the DR, the opponent takes full damage.

I think it is likely that we will see the end of different progressions for BAB. By expanding the levels the game designers made it so there will be even more difference between things that scale at a different rate at high levels. Those differences become insurmountable (hence we have epic progressions in 3e).

Rather than different progressions we may see BAB broken into class and level bonus, like Defenses in SWSE.

I do not think we will see armor as DR, much to my displeasure. Between the presence of an AC stat and the lack of any DR for the spined devil, it seems decreasingly likely.