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I have been reading DMG and the process to add armor to monsters. And frankly, I don't wholly understand it.
Page 174: "Do not include Intelligence or Dexterity modifier if the creature wears heavy armor". Is this related to the whole ability modifier (adding half the level of the creature) or just the basic modifier?
Assuming is the whole modifier, I was trying to add a magical armor to a Fire Giant (MM, page 123). Statistics say it's wearing a plate mail. Since it's heavy armor, then effective armor bonus is 34 - 10 = 24!. Does it mean that unless I manage to come with an armor that gives an armor bonus of 25 or better, the Fire Giant won't improve its AC? What happens if I give it a magic plate mail +4? Is correct to say that his AC will only improve in 1, according to magic threshold rules?
Thanks all for answering! Any help will be welcomed.
They say not to add Int/Dex modifiers because it's the exact same as PC's armor. PCs don't add their Int/Dex mods when wearing heavy armor either. So a monster wearing heavy armor only gets the armor bonus, no stat bonuses.
Many of the DMG's statements about creature design are out of date at this point, and some didn't really reflect how the system worked in the first place. (There's an obvious disconnect between the DMG and the MM1 with regard to creature stats, and the system updates since then have rendered both pretty much inaccurate.)
On the whole, magical armor shouldn't really have any effect: the creature's defenses are set by its level and role with appropriate tweaks. If you want to have a mechanical effect for its thematic wearing of magical armor then give it a +1 AC boost at the cost of bumping one of its other defenses down by 2 points (or possibly lowering two of them by 1 each), but otherwise the presence of the magical armor does nothing at all for its stats.
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