Player Advice: Armor Class, the lost art of not getting punched in the face.

Alright, so while I’m siphoning trough the entrees of Paizo’s RPG Superstar, while I look for my magic item so I can vote for it (Magebane Gauntlets), let me talk about something that I’ve disagreed with since my early days as a player…

Armor Class also known as “backwards THAC0” or just as AC.

I’ve heard so many people say that AC doesn’t matter, or that at higher levels it doesn’t matter. I disagree with this… So much, I’ve seen players say that AC doesn’t matter and then get angry when their characters get whacked in the face with a blunt object!

Now sure, the BIG BAD is probably going to have ridiculous “to hit”, but his mooks might not!

Here’s the kicker though, having decent AC isn’t just for martial characters, casters can have decent AC as well. I guess the major problem would be to spend gold on magic items that increase AC, but come on! What else are you going to use your gold on?

I know what you’re going to say, an “Apparatus of the Crab“, and I know, it’s an amazing magic item, but remember the game you’re playing, either 3.5 or Pathfinder, right? These games requires you to have proper gear to be worth anything against most opponents.

Now, I’m not going to do the math for you (trust me, I was tempted to), but AC does matter at EVERY level, even if you’re a 20th level wizard with your defensive items that bump up your AC to 36… The balor needs a 5 to hit you and a 10 to hit you with his second attack, see it does matter. Rather have some chance of avoiding a hit than ALWAYS getting hit, trust me, your cleric friend is going to thank you for it!

And if you’re a martial character, like a fighter or paladin, you have NO EXCUSE! All your gold goes into gear! Stop making the cleric heal you every turn, just because you are always taking hits! Not you paladin you’re fine with your swift action Lay on Hand I guess…

I’ve ranted enough, AC isn’t useless, it never really become useless, just take care of it, like you take care of your spell DCs, your “to hit” and damage bonus and you’ll be fine.

Are you using shields? Get the shield focus feat!

Two-Weapon Fighting? Get Two-Weapon Defense

Anyone else, get Dodge, it’s an amazing feat, sure you might say it’s just a +1, but it stacks with everything, and every +1 counts and adds up!

You’re a spell caster? Get Silken ceremonial armor or a Haramaki

Get yourself a mithril buckler! It’s there so spellcasters can have decent AC without incurring arcane spell failure chance.

Don’t skin AC, save yourself your characters, save some of the clerics spells and channel energies.

And if the REAL reason you don’t like to buy “gear” is because you find it silly that you HAVE to have certain gear to be up to the power level of many monsters and you can’t spend your hard earn gold on that Apparatus of the Crab…

I suggest my no “enhancement magic” conversion

With that, I head out! Always remember rule #1! Have fun!


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