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Armor Class/Reflex Save woes. Help.

Gnimish88

First Post
Definately bed made, lie in it

My current 9th level rogue has a 24 AC thanks to a +1 Mithral Chain Shirt ( 2100 gp) and a +1 Mithral Heavy Shield (2020 gp), which is a pretty small part of a 9th level character's finances in most games. Neither item has an armor check penalty. If she legitimately can't aquire magic items of even this low a power level at the same time she managed a +20 reflex save, then perhaps the blame on such a low AC doen't lie with the player...

Either way, I still would in no way allow the reflex save to modify her AC. As other people have said, tumble and full defense also do wonders for ones armor class.
 

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silverblade

First Post
Well, either the player has made some very poor choices with money, feats,and ability score placement or the character hasn't been given the opportunity to acquire the proper magic items for the given character level. In the first case, the player should just have to live with it. In the second case, the DM needs to help out a little.

In my experience, having a poorly designed character can end up hurting the party, but the player should learn the hard way. I've seen a rogue PC that had a 7 str (intentionally made the dump stat by the player), and took zero combat related feats. The PC complained a few times about not being able to do anything in combat. The player's answer was to get leadership to have a flanking buddy. That would have been fine if the party wasn't upwards of eight characters already. We all ended up paying the price for the character's quick fix by having combat slowed down even more and futher dividing exp and treasure rewards. The DM should've have denied the leadership, and made the player live with her decisions.
 

Aaron2

Explorer
Gnimish88 said:
My current 9th level rogue has a 24 AC thanks to a +1 Mithral Chain Shirt ( 2100 gp) and a +1 Mithral Heavy Shield (2020 gp), which is a pretty small part of a 9th level character's finances in most games. Neither item has an armor check penalty. If she legitimately can't aquire magic items of even this low a power level at the same time she managed a +20 reflex save, then perhaps the blame on such a low AC doen't lie with the player...

I think the original poster is talking about Touch AC which is significantly more difficult to raise. The 9th level characters IMC have touch ACs ranging from 11 to 20 but I also let shield bonus apply to touch attack so, RAW, would be 11 to 15. The same party's reflex saves, are in the +5 to +9 range.


Aaron
 

Thanee

First Post
@Aaron2: The original poster said her reflex save is +20! That's quite a lot, I think. ;)

If you have that high reflex save there must be a great deal of items, not just a cloak of resistance boosting that save, since Dex cannot be higher than 20 (touch AC 15 - which then is PURELY Dex and not a single magical bonus, unlike Reflex save, which must have multiple magical sources to raise it that high).

Bye
Thanee
 

Chupacabra

First Post
This may be too simple of a solution, but as DM you have total control over all facets of combat. If one PC is woefully inadequate at touch attacks, you can simply not throw that many touch attacks at that PC or the party in general. Problem solved.

Now, the only negatives is that of credibility and fairness. If you are seen to be going out of your way to coddle a particular PC then your credibility as a big bad DM will suffer. Also, it 'tait fair if this PC gets essentially protected by you due to her (poor) choice of equipment, feats, skills, etc. if the other players have taken active measures to make their PC's a bit more survivable.
 

Dreaddisease

First Post
I think the point needs to be made that Reflex is a save made against a stationary and predictable movement in either a trap or a spell. A fireball always expands the same way. A arrow trap always shoots straight out of the tiny hole. In combat the movement of the enemy as well as the ability for intellegent creatures to adjust their aim to compensate for a willy opponent is what AC is all about. A touch attack or range touch attack is constantly changing as the enemy tries to pinpoint a location on the body of your character.

The only problem with these rules is that of crossbows and arrows. The archer can adjust to catch the character at the most opportune time but once that arrow or bolt flies it is committed. If I were to do any type of Reflex save it would be against arrows and bolts. Besides that the rules are pretty good if not excellent the way they are in handling these complex issues.

Edit: Typos galore.
 
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My only thought is to look at d20 modern and perhaps build something similar to the class based defense bonus, which correlates somewhat with Reflex saves.

Other than that, I'm with the lying in bed crowed.
 
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CalrinAlshaw

First Post
Well, out of curiosity, why doesn't a PC who can achieve a +20 reflex and not gain more AC GET a +20 reflex?

At best... 6 levels of rogue with lightning reflexes is +7, +5 resist cloak, +12, then 4 prestige classes granting +2 reflex per level would be +20...

By that minimum, a PC should be able to get a ring of protection, PADDED or LEATHER armor (Both provide bonus's without penalties for rogues.) and even Masterwork STUDDED leather armor. That'd increase the AC by 3 right there. Anyhow, without more details about WHY the PC doesn't have some of these simple solutions...can't help much.

Calrin Alshaw
 

Psychotic Jim

First Post
Deflect Arrows (and related feats) might be helpful for attacks that don't rely on spell effect. If the character has a high Int, the duelist PrC might help for a more combat-oriented rogue (at the expense of skill though)
 

dead

Explorer
I think some people are missing my point. It doesn't matter what AC this PC *should* have; in fact, let's pretend the PC is naked.

Now, the naked PC has an AC of, let's say, 15. This AC includes her +5 DEX bonus. Now, besides the fact that this PC also has a +15 Reflex bonus while they are naked (they are high level plus it includes DEX bonus), it's almost certain that they'll be hit with a cream pie in the face. On the other hand, if a lightning bolt is hurled at her (and I don't see any difference between dodging a lightning bolt from a cream pie -- in fact, the cream pie should be easier to dodge) then she's got a very good chance of dodging the lightning bolt's DC which would, maybe, be as high as 18.

So, the point is that there seems to be a problem in the game mechanics when the PC cannot also dodge (ie. Reflex save) a pie in the face. What's more, if you allowed this, then the same PC should also be allowed to "dodge" not only ranged touch attacks like the pie, but ANY attack!

I don't know, it's just a discrepancy I've found in the rules. Whenever Reflex is allowed, the PC dodges with superhuman agility, but when a ranged touch attack is called for, then 9 times out of 10 the PC will be hit. To add to the problem, I don't see much difference (as I've mentioned above) from dodging fireballs and lightning bolts to dodging arrows, ray spells, cream pies, etc.

I'm not one who likes to change the rules much, so whenever this problem comes up in my game I usually just mumble to the player: "It's just a glitch in the rules. Grin and bear it."

Perhaps someone can give me a "plausible excuse" for these rules next time I have to appease my grumbling player?
 

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