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unundindur
2012-03-21, 01:45 PM
Hi. I was just wondering if my understanding of the rules is right.

Am I right you can use bracers of armor and at the same time get the enchantment bonus from any worn armor? For instance, am I right that a character with Bracers of armor +8 and a +3 studded leather armor would have an AC of 21 (+8 armor, +3 enchantment)?

This seems like of weird, practically allowing everyone to wear fullplate.

For instance, playing a mage I would get bracers of armor +8 and a +5 twilight mithral chainshirt. I hope this is not right, but I think it is :/

Marnath
2012-03-21, 01:47 PM
Bracers of armor do not stack with regular armor.

unundindur
2012-03-21, 01:59 PM
I know that it doesn't stack with the armor's armor bonus, but enchantment bonus is not armor bonus as far as I understand.

As you can see from my calculation I am not arguing that a +3 studded leather armor should grant +6 bonus, but +3 if worn at the same time as bracers of armor +8.

Is this interpretation still wrong, and if so, what is the source? I really want this to be wrong :)

Jeraa
2012-03-21, 02:00 PM
+3 studded leather armor does not have a +3 enhancement bonus and a +3 armor bonus. The enhancement bonus improves the armors armor bonus, it is not a separate bonus. +3 studded leather is a +6 armor bonus.

Armor bonus don't stack. If you wore Bracers of Armor +8 and +3 studded leather, you would only get the +8 armor bonus from the bracers.

unundindur
2012-03-21, 02:04 PM
+3 studded leather armor does not have a +3 enhancement bonus and a +3 armor bonus. The enhancement bonus improves the armors armor bonus. +3 studded leather is a +6 armor bonus.

Armor bonus don't stack. If you wore Bracers of Armor +8 and +3 studded leather, you would only get the +8 armor bonus from the bracers.

DMG page 216: "Magic armor bonuses are enchantment bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with regular armor bonuses (and with shield and magic shield enchantment bonuses)."

Again, I really want it to work the way you mention, but I cannot make this align with the rules.

Siosilvar
2012-03-21, 02:07 PM
DMG page 216: "Magic armor bonuses are enchantment bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with regular armor bonuses (and with shield and magic shield enchantment bonuses)."

Again, I really want it to work the way you mention, but I cannot make this align with the rules.

PHB page 308: "An enhancement bonus represents an increase in the sturdiness and/or effectiveness of armor or natural armor, or the effectiveness of a weapon, or a general bonus to an ability score. Multiple enhancement bonuses on the same object (in the case of armor and weapons), creature (in the case of natural armor), or ability score do not stack. Only the highest enhancement bonus applies. Since enhancement bonuses to armor or natural armor effectively increase the armor or natural armor's bonus to AC, they don't apply against touch attacks."

The enhancement bonus (which goes up to +5) is added to the armor bonus of the armor, then the whole thing is added to armor class. DMG page 216 only clarifies that the enhancement bonus to armor stacks with the enhancement bonus to shield since they're not actually enhancement bonuses to AC, they're enhancement bonuses to another bonus.

Jeraa
2012-03-21, 02:11 PM
The enhancement bonus is not applied to your armor class. Its applied to the armors armor bonus. It improved the armor bonus granted by armor.

Look at any creature with magical armor in the Monster Manuals. They'll have a single number added to their ACs from their magical armor, not two seperate bonuses. Like the Hound Archon hero, with +3 full plate. It improves his AC by +11, not +8 and +3.

This question was already answered in the FAQ:


I have a bard in my game who has a bit of money to spend. She buys a set of bracers of armor +3 and a suit of +3 leather armor. If the bard wears both at the same time, the armor bonus from the bracers (+3) overrides the armor bonus from the leather armor (+1). Our question is, does the +3 enhancement bonus from the armor still get applied for a total of +6, is it subsumed by the magic of the bracers, or is it just ignored completely? Since the enhancement bonus and armor bonus are different types of bonuses, the bard thinks her total Armor Class bonus should be +6.

The magic leather armorís +3 enhancement bonus applies to make the armorís armor bonus bigger (+4 in this case). The example character uses only the larger armor bonus (+4) when wearing both the armor and the bracers.

The overlapping +3 bonus from the bracers is still there, however. (It is just irrelevant most of the time.) If something bypasses the +4 bonus from the magic armor, the bracers might still prove effective. For example, an incorporeal touch attack bypasses the whole armor bonus from the magic armor. Since the bracers provide a force effect, they protect the bard against the incorporeal touch attack. The example character still has a +3 armor bonus against the incorporeal touch attack.

unundindur
2012-03-21, 02:13 PM
Hmm... ok. I am not sure I would weight the second statement heavier than the first one though, since as far as i can read the latter could be written to explain why it doesn't protect against incorporeal, just like magic weapons are not ghost touch automatically (like the first can be seen as explaining shield/armor interaction).

If this is an established truth though, I will be more than happy to live by that :)

Duke of URL
2012-03-21, 02:30 PM
Agree with the above comments... however... if you want to wear a suit of magical armor in addition to the bracers, you won't get the AC bonus, but you could get any additional properties (say, fortification or the like) from that armor despite not getting an AC boost.

Keld Denar
2012-03-21, 02:40 PM
Even if they did, Bracers of Armor are crazy expensive! 64,000 gold for the +8 version. That's slightly more than +7 Mithril Full Plate. If you add +5 armor on top of that, you are looking at dropping almost 100k on AC, which is a lot for rather little.

Now, you could wear +8 Bracers of Armor and get a CL 20 Magic Vestments and get the same effect, but legally.

Jeraa
2012-03-21, 02:42 PM
Agree with the above comments... however... if you want to wear a suit of magical armor in addition to the bracers, you won't get the AC bonus, but you could get any additional properties (say, fortification or the like) from that armor despite not getting an AC boost.

True, you do get the special abilities from both. At least you do in 3.0/3.5. IF you are using Pathfinder, you don't. You only get the special abilities from either the bracers of armor or magical armor, whichever grants the highest armor bonus. The other one doesn't function at all in Pathfinder.


Now, you could wear +8 Bracers of Armor and get a CL 20 Magic Vestments and get the same effect, but legally.

No you can't. Magic Vestment provides an enhancement bonus to the armor or shield, just like magical armor or shields do. You just treat normal clothing as granting +0 armor for the purpose of the spell. Enhancement bonuses to armor improve that armors armor bonus.


Enhancement Bonus
An enhancement bonus represents an increase in the sturdiness and/or effectiveness of armor or natural armor, or the effectiveness of a weapon, or a general bonus to an ability score.

The only thing Magic Vestment does is improve the armor bonus (or shield bonus) of whatever you cast it on. If, at caster level 20, you cast Magic Vestment on a normal shirt, that shirt becomes a +5 shirt, and grants a +5 armor bonus.

Duke of URL
2012-03-21, 02:47 PM
Yet another reason for me to pretend Pathfinder doesn't exist.