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View Full Version : Attempt to Salvage AC Part 2; Simpler, Easier?

wayfare
2012-06-23, 12:20 AM
Ok, I started a thread a while back, asking folks to help me fix AC. The general consensus was that its a futile task, given that AC is very "Swingy" and hard to predict.

After some thought, a potentially simple solution occurred to me:

Make AC (or Defense in this case) equal to the characters Base Attack Bonus. Modify it with the highest of Dex/Wis/Con.

Armor is DR X/--.

Would this work, to some degree?

erikun
2012-06-23, 12:31 AM
Clerics and Druids would love the free AC you're handing them. Dex-based fighters as well.

Look, I'm don't recall your previous thread, but the AC problem is that you have characters with 20 STR (+5 to hit) which are supposed to be on the same "level" as characters with 50 STR (+20 to hit). You can see the problem here. As long as this problem exists; as long as we're comparing characters with +15 to hit to characters with +50 to hit; then you simply will not get reasonable values for the AC system. Regardless of what those AC values are.

And this doesn't even consider touch AC, saving throws, miss chance...

wayfare
2012-06-23, 12:38 AM
Clerics and Druids would love the free AC you're handing them. Dex-based fighters as well.

Look, I'm don't recall your previous thread, but the AC problem is that you have characters with 20 STR (+5 to hit) which are supposed to be on the same "level" as characters with 50 STR (+20 to hit). You can see the problem here. As long as this problem exists; as long as we're comparing characters with +15 to hit to characters with +50 to hit; then you simply will not get reasonable values for the AC system. Regardless of what those AC values are.

And this doesn't even consider touch AC, saving throws, miss chance...

Yep, I am all about the free AC!

I think it holds together well for most things until you get into the truly ridiculous attribute modifiers...but things are SUPPOSED to fall apart at that point! :smallbiggrin:

erikun
2012-06-23, 01:14 AM
Yep, I am all about the free AC!

I think it holds together well for most things until you get into the truly ridiculous attribute modifiers...but things are SUPPOSED to fall apart at that point! :smallbiggrin:
Well if you've already gone through the math, I can't object too much. I haven't, after all! :smalltongue: You might want to give it a try in an actual game, if you have the time to put one together.

I'd still worry about touch AC, as how it is determined is no longer obvious.

wayfare
2012-06-23, 10:25 AM
I should note a few things here:

I feel that this system makes Wisdom and Constitution based Tanking a possibility, allowing nearly every class to find some attribute that is compatible with their build.

wayfare
2012-06-24, 03:13 PM
Ok, all, tried this out at lower levels and it seemed to work ok, once we made a big change to how armor works.

So, shields kept on throwing off the calculations, so we made them semi ornamental. If you are wearing armor, you can be wearing a shield too and benefit from any shield feats. But shields cannot have enhancement bonuses themselves -- the whole suit of armor carries the enhancement bonus (shield included).

Any thoughts?

Yitzi
2012-06-24, 04:58 PM
Clerics and Druids would love the free AC you're handing them. Dex-based fighters as well.

Look, I'm don't recall your previous thread, but the AC problem is that you have characters with 20 STR (+5 to hit) which are supposed to be on the same "level" as characters with 50 STR (+20 to hit).

Wait, who has 50 STR? Even the Tarrasque has only 45, and by that point a class-based character should have in the low 30s at a minimum. It's still imbalanced (mainly due to the higher hit dice making a crazy BAB for the tarrasque) and fixing AC is largely an issue of reworking the Monster Manual to follow its own suggestions, but it's not as bad as you say.

I'd still worry about touch AC, as how it is determined is no longer obvious.

Say that it works just like normal AC except that you can't use CON, and the DR from armor doesn't apply.

Yes, that means that ranged touch attacks are no longer overpowered against fighter-sorts.

wayfare
2012-06-25, 05:29 PM
Thanks for the input! Any other comments or suggestions, folks?

Techwarrior
2012-06-25, 06:53 PM
I do have a question. If this is supposed to fix AC, and the shield, the classic example of someone trying to be defensive... gets.. rendered worse than the old system.. :smallconfused:

Zerasen
2012-06-25, 07:16 PM
Why not have shields represent some way to completely deflect a blow? Like, enemy makes an attack and you make opposed rolls. Success indicates the blow is negated and failure indicates it goes through as normal and is rolled against your AC.

Bigger/stronger shields have a higher bonus to the check. You could even have the attack not be "negated" but just have the attack hit additional (sumptuous) DR of the shield or deduct from the shield's HP instead of yours, which is also based on the shield material and size.

Obviously, touch attacks would be unblockable as well as area spells. Ranged attacks.... are blockable the same way? :smallconfused:

Techwarrior
2012-06-25, 10:01 PM

wayfare
2012-06-25, 11:05 PM

I like opposed rolls in theory, but my players hated that kind of thing in exalted.

Perhaps as an extension of the Base attack system, wherein you can save one or more of your attacks to get a parry at equivalent bonus...

ArkenBrony
2012-06-28, 12:17 AM
you could let the shield give a deflect arrow ability, where you can make a check a number of times per round based on the size of your shield
1 for buckler
2 for large shield
4 for tower shield

Roderick_BR
2012-06-28, 07:43 AM
If you don't want opposite rolls, a direct fix for the shield: It gives a flat deflection bonus to your AC (as the Shield Ward feat from PHB2). Maybe add a reflex bonus in some situations or something.

As for using BAB as defense, I'll assume you checked the Defense and Armor as DR rules from Unearthed Arcana (available in the hyper text site here http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/defenseBonus.htm and http://www.d20srd.org/srd/variant/adventuring/armorAsDamageReduction.htm).

Yakk
2012-06-28, 08:24 AM
BaseAC: 13 plus your level (non-caster classes).

Full BAB base classes count as non-caster classes, even if they get spells some levels.

Full BAB PrC classes that grant spells or boosts to caster levels are counted as caster class levels.

Caster classes get a BaseAC of 13 plus half their level (round down), but may sacrifice spell slots up to half their level (round up) to boost their AC against an attack as a free action. Each spell slot gives a bonus to their AC equal to the spell slot's level.

Psionic classes are treated as Caster classes. They sacrifice power points instead of (or as well as) spell slots.

Add up all of your caster and psionic class levels to figure out how much BaseAC you gain, and how many points you can boost it by sacrificing spells and power points.

This spell slot sacrifice may be done after you see the attack roll.

(This gives everyone the same effective AC, but charges caster classes a modest price to defend against attacks. Possibly we could define "hybrid" caster classes who get +3/4 their level to AC, and can burn up to 1/4 their level in spell slots/power points to defend against an attack, for something like the Psi Warrior.)

Light or No Armor: Requires a Dex Bonus of 4 plus level/3 to keep full AC. Every point under this you lose 1 AC.

Leather: +1 AC, Light
Studded/Hide/Chain shirt: +2 AC, Light, -1 ACP

Heavy and Medium armor requires no Dex bonus to use effectively.

Medium:
Chain/Breastplate: +1 AC, Heavy (-5' movement), -1 ACP

Heavy:
Banded: +2 AC, Heavy (-5' movement), -2 ACP
Plate: +3 AC, Heavy (-10' movement), -3 ACP

Calculate Touch AC as if you where unarmored, but apply your Armor Check Penalty to your touch AC.

Shields: A non-magical shield can be sacrificed to parry a blow. Roll d20+BAB+Str+Shield bonus vs the attack roll. If you succeed, the attack fails, and your shield loses 1 point of shield bonus (2 if the shield is wooden). When the shield has 0 points of shield bonus, the shield is ruined.

Magical Shields: Enhancement bonuses of shields recharge after 10 minutes of not being sacrificed. Enhancement bonus points are lost to shield blocks before shield bonuses are, and are always lost at a rate of 1 per successful block even if the magical shield is wood. A shield with +0 remaining enhancement bonus still counts as a magical shield.

Shields and Saves: You can sacrifice a shield to attempt a save. Non-magical shields only protect against Reflex saves where the shield could somehow block the attack. Magical shields can be sacrificed to roll against any save.

...

How is that for an attempt to keep AC under control?

At level 20, a character will need 22 dex to keep their full AC in light armor.

For Monks who get to double-dip their stat bonus to AC, what I'd do is grant their wisdom bonus as an enhancement bonus to AC when in light armor (and, while I'm at it, their unarmed attacks), limited by half their class level (round up).