The Order of the Stick: Utterly Dwarfed
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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    RedMage125's Avatar

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    Default Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    Many years back, I was bored on watch and decided as a thought exercise to see what I could do with a level 20 character to build for the highest Armor Class possible.

    I used feats from several sources, but almost all magic items came from the DMG.

    I remember that the build was a Grey Elf Swashbuckler 6/Rogue 4/Duelist 10.

    I remember that between level boosts, +6 DEX and INT items, and using what tomes I could afford with lvl 20 WBL, I was able to get DEX and INT to 30 each. And I think I got my WIS to 16 (get some Monk's Belt, yo). Duelist gets all kinds of bonuses for wearing no armor and "not attacking" with a weapon in their off-hand (meaning a +5 Defensive Dagger with all points moved to AC is fine as long as you don't attack with it). Of course the build has Daring Outlaw and Defensive Duelist feats as well. This build would always fight defensively. 4 Rogue levels ensure that dodge bonuses remain even when "flat-footed".

    10(base)
    +10 DEX
    +10 INT
    +10 Duelist (when fighting defensively)
    +5 Deflection (ring)
    +5 Natural Armor (amulet)
    +8 Armor bonus (bracers)
    +5 Defensive Weapon
    +4 (3 WIS and 1 Misc. from Monk's Belt)
    +2 Dodge bonus from Swashbuckler levels

    and an additional +8 against AoOs

    I feel like I'm forgetting one or two things, but I'm AFB right now, just going off memory. i feel like I managed to get in the 70s before and just over 80 against AoOs, but I can't remember what I'm missing.

    So this build's AC gets hit when immobilized. So his other ring is a Ring of Freedom of Movement.

    Any one else ever do anything like this? What maxed-out AC builds has anyone else come up with? Non-epic, please. And don't feel compelled to restrict magic item selection like I did, anything from a 1st-party source should be fine. Also, if anyone remembers some other bonuses that I'm forgetting right now for this build, I'd appreciate the memory-jog.


    P.S.
    As an aside, the build also does 4d6 damage with a rapier, so a +5 Keen Rapier would do [4d6+5 (15-20/x2)]. That's not counting the 5d6 Sneak Attack whenever he can get it. Overall, not too bad against strictly physical threats. but it was mostly an AC exercise anyway.
    Last edited by RedMage125; 2019-11-14 at 08:16 PM.
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    Kelb_Panthera's Avatar

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    I tend to prefer quality of AC over quantity.

    mithral mechanus gear +10 armor
    enhancement on the armor +5 ghostward
    tower shield +4
    enhancement on tower shield +5 ghostward
    +5 necklace of natural armor
    +5 ring of protection
    +1 dusty rose prism ioun stone
    +3 dex

    Makes only 48 but, of that, 45 applies to flat-foot, 28 applies to touch, and 25 applies at all times. It's not as impressive as 70+ but it offers a -lot- of protection.

    We can squeeze in a few extra points in with levels in knight for the shield block feature and and picking up the heavy armor optimization and greater HAA feats for another 8 points; 3 shield, 3 armor, and 2 dex.

    That's 56 full AC, 51 flat-foot, and 30 touch.

    Honestly, that's probably good enough for 90% of things.
    Last edited by Kelb_Panthera; 2019-11-14 at 09:41 PM.
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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    A few months ago, I came up with this, similarly more for amusement than actual use:

    A 20th-level Cleric of Mystra with unremarkable stats who can get their AC up to 104 for short periods with no magic items, in fact with only 3 items worth 1 silver piece total.


    Items required: Peasant's outfit (1SP), Club (no cost), Lock of Nixie's Hair, freely given to you by a Nixie (no cost)

    Ability scores required at 1st level: Int 13 Wis 14 Cha 12

    Feats required: Eschew Materials, Spell Focus (Transmutation), Initiate of Mystra, Ability Enhancer, Combat Expertise, Divine Shield

    Cleric spells required: Greater Luminous Armor, Magic Vestment, Recitation, Divine Protection, Shield of Faith, Holy Star, Exalted Raiment, Anyspell, Greater Anyspell (x3), Miracle (x3), Greater Visage of the Deity, Elation, Divine Agility, Grace


    Spell simulated with Anyspell: Shield

    Spells simulated with Greater Anyspell: Haste, Draconic Polymorph (into War Troll), Bigby's Interposing Hand

    Spells simulated with Miracle: Barkskin, Nixie's Grace, Snowsong


    Modifiers: +8 Armor, +5 Armor Enhancement, +3 Luck, +1 Morale, +5 Deflection, +6 Circumstance, +4 Sacred, +4 Shield, +6 Dodge, +15 Natural, +5 Natural Enhancement, +4 Cover, -1 Size, +14 Dex, +11 Cha, +4 Insight = +94, with base AC 10 = 104


    How you get a Dex bonus of +14: Draconic Polymorph into War Troll, base Dex 16. Spells (including Ability Enhancer): Greater Visage of the Deity +4 (Untyped), Divine Agility +12 (Enhancement), Grace +4 (Sacred), Elation +2 (Morale)

    How you get a Cha bonus of +11: Base Cha 12. Spells (including Ability Enhancer): Greater Visage of the Deity +6 (Untyped), Nixie's Grace +10 (Enhancement), Snowsong +4 (Morale)

    How you get a +6 Dodge bonus: +1 Haste, +5 Combat Expertise

    How you get a +15 Natural Armor bonus: +1 Greater Visage of the Deity, +14 Draconic Polymorph into War Troll


    This is without taking a Vow of Poverty, so if they had expensive equipment they could boost it further still (Monk's Belt, Tome of Understanding +5, Tome of Leadership and Influence +4, Manual of Quickness of Action +4, UMD'd scrolls of Inner Beauty, Aura of Vitality and Owl's Insight). And I'm sure someone will tell me I've still missed something...

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    Knight of the Unseelie Court, ECL 20 without LA buyoff:
    Gloura, +2 LA/ Fey 7/ Cobra-Strike Monk 2/ Fighter 2/ Arcane Duelist 3/ Blackguard 3/ Mystic Wanderer 1, with the feat Ascetic Mage.
    That gets its Cha bonus to saves twice (race, Blackguard) and to AC four times (race, monk, arcane duelist, mystic wanderer).

    Cha can be 40 for a +15 ability bonus: 18 base, +6 race, +4 levels, +5 inherent, +1 age, +6 enhancement.
    Dex can be 38 for a +14 ability bonus: 18 base, +10 race, +5 inherent, -1 age, +6 enhancement.

    Cha alone gives this character +60 AC, along with +30 to saving throws.
    Completely naked with no magic items or active spells whatsoever, his AC is 84, touch 84, flat-footed 70.
    Last edited by Biffoniacus_Furiou; 2019-11-14 at 10:50 PM.

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    You can get pretty good results by focusing on constitution instead of charisma too. I came up with this a few years ago:

    Quote Originally Posted by ranagrande View Post
    It's pretty easy to get high AC even without items or magic.

    Using the standard array for ability scores, a Dragonborn Gnome Undying Way Monk 2/Stoneblessed (Dwarf) 3/Dwarf Paragon 1/Forsaker 10/Deepwarden 2/Fist of the Forest 1/Dwarven Defender 1 with Vow of Poverty and Vow of Peace can get an AC of 66:

    10 Base
    12 Exalted
    5 Deflection
    14 Natural Armor
    10 Constitution (replaces Dex)
    10 Constitution
    3 Wisdom
    1 Dodge
    1 Size

    +10 more for 76 while in Defensive Stance.

    Note that that involves using the standard array and starting with 11 Con. If you instead started with 18 Con, it would have an AC of 75, or 85 while in Defensive Stance.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    Quote Originally Posted by ranagrande View Post
    You can get pretty good results by focusing on constitution instead of charisma too. I came up with this a few years ago:
    How do you swing being both a gnome and a dwarf?

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    Quote Originally Posted by Biggus View Post
    How do you swing being both a gnome and a dwarf?
    Stoneblessed level 3 lets you count as a Dwarf for all prerequisites.

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    BardGuy

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    Quote Originally Posted by RedMage125 View Post
    I remember that the build was a Grey Elf Swashbuckler 6/Rogue 4/Duelist 10.
    I created a similar build (see spoiler) a while ago that actually utilizes Swashbuckler, Duelist, and other Int and Dex based classes, feats, and what not to produce a unique unarmored swordsman with ridiculous AC as well.
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    Human or Strongheart Halfling
    1. Swashbuckler - Deadly Defense (CS), Combat Expertise, B: Weapon Finesse
    2. Cobra Strike (UA) Decisive Strike (PHBII) Monk - B: Dodge
    3. Cobra Strike (UA) Monk - Carmendine Monk (CoV), B: Mobility
    4. Swashbuckler
    5. Swashbuckler
    6. Thief Acrobat - Combat Reflexes
    7. Thief Acrobat
    8. Thief Acrobat
    9. Thief Acrobat - Einhander (PHBII)
    10. Thief Acrobat or Warblade
    11. Warblade or Duelist
    12. Warblade or Duelist - Ironheart Aura (ToB)
    13. Duelist
    14. Duelist
    15. Duelist - Robilar's Gambit (PHBII)
    16. Duelist
    17. Duelist
    18. Duelist - Stormgaurd Warrior (ToB)
    19. Duelist
    20. Duelist

    This build uses a number of the options mentioned in this handbook: A short guide to defensive fighting

    Levels 10 through 12 can be rearranged depending on your needs. The current setup gives you Improved Evasion and Uncanny Dodge at these levels. However if you don't need Improved Evasion take one less level of Thief Acrobat and move the first level of Warblade to level 10. If you don't need Uncanny Dodge don't take the 2nd level of Warblade and instead go into Duelist a level early. If you don't need either abilities take Warblade at level 10 and enter Duelist at level 11.

    If flaws are available, choose two and then grab the feats EWP: Broadblade Shortsword (CAdv, pre-errata version if possible) and Versatile Unarmed Strike (PHBII). If traits are available pick up Cautious (UA).

    Items:
    Vest of Defense (MIC)
    Bracers of Blocking (Dragon 322)
    Broadblade Shortsword (CAdv) (pre-errata version if possible) or Rapier with the Defensive Surge (MIC) enhancement.

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    Maat Mons's Avatar

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    You get a base of 40 from True Mindswitching with a Pit Fiend. Then you can get +15 from an Overchanneled Inertial Armor. Tashalatora and a feat to switch Monk's AC bonus to Int gives you +13 from your ability score, and an extra +4 for effective Monk level 20. That's 72 before items (except for the Int-boosting items, I mean).

    Then you've got the +5 tower shield for another +9. And of course +5 from a Ring of Protection, and another +5 from an Amulet of Natural Armor. So that's 91 until you dig out whatever obscure items probably exist to boost AC. And there's probably a bunch more powers to boost it too, I don't know.

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    RedMage125's Avatar

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    Quote Originally Posted by Maat Mons View Post
    You get a base of 40 from True Mindswitching with a Pit Fiend. Then you can get +15 from an Overchanneled Inertial Armor. Tashalatora and a feat to switch Monk's AC bonus to Int gives you +13 from your ability score, and an extra +4 for effective Monk level 20. That's 72 before items (except for the Int-boosting items, I mean).

    Then you've got the +5 tower shield for another +9. And of course +5 from a Ring of Protection, and another +5 from an Amulet of Natural Armor. So that's 91 until you dig out whatever obscure items probably exist to boost AC. And there's probably a bunch more powers to boost it too, I don't know.
    Pretty sure you cannot benefit from any AC bonus derived from [effective] Monk levels while also carrying a tower shield, or a shield of any kind for that matter. And an animated shield is still a shield that you are using, so that doesn't bypass it.

    Unless I'm missing something about your analysis. What are the class levels for this btw?
    Red Mage avatar by Aedilred.

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    "Remember that it is both a game and a story. If the two conflict, err on the side of cool, your players will thank you for it."

    Second Eternal Foe of the Draconic Lord, battling him across the multiverse in whatever shapes and forms he may take.

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    Default Re: Idle Armor Class Exercise - lvl20

    Oh, in that case, I guess you'd have to manifest an Overchanneled Force Screen. It gives the same AC bonus, but ... ugh ... 1 minute per level duration.

    The build to pull off this combo sort of needs to have 17 or more levels in Psion (Telepath), and then have the remaining levels in monk. Some people will tell you that Tashalatora works with 0 Monk levels. If you subscribe to that view, the build should just be Psion (Telepath) 20. If you instead figure you need at least 1 Monk level for Tashalatora, it should be Monk 1 / Psion (Telepath) 19.

    Technically, anyone capable of manifesting 9th-level powers could acquire True Mind Switch as a power known. What would have to happen is that a Telepath would need to use Psychic Chiurgery to add True Mind Switch to your powers known. So, I guess you could do it with any flavor of Psion (including Erudite), or with Ardent or Wilder, if you really wanted.



    I actually forgot that you can still wear Dex-boosing gear after you've True Mind Switched with the Pit Fiend. And I think any bonuses you've gained from manuals transfer with you? Worst case scenario, you can read the manuals after switching bodies. Since a Pit Fiend's Dex is an odd number, that's another +6 AC I didn't factor in.

    Come to think of it, a tower shield imposes a maximum on your Dexterity bonus to AC, doesn't it? So definitely don't use one of those.



    Hmm... maybe 10 levels of Crystal Master for the +6 insight bonus to AC when psionically focused?

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