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Armor Class/Reflex Save woes. Help.

Gnimish88

First Post
Well, wise @$$ as it may sound...

um... tell them to 'Read the Book'?
As far as a rational for it, there really isn't one, it is just yet one more thing that putting hard numbers to can lead to some interesting paradoxes. That said, it is in the rules and if they really want to grumble, remind them that they have options for improving their AC that lie fully withing the RAW.
 

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Nellisir

Hero
dead said:
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.

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

A Reflex save is (usually) a character's action versus an unintelligent force (a spell, a rock, whatever), and a successful save often isn't a complete miss, and still causes a penalty (ie, 1/2 damage), not considering variable class abilities.

A character's AC versus touch attacks is their ability to anticipate and avoid an attack (usually) by an intelligent foe who does NOT have to hit hard enough to inflict damage. Touch attacks generally inflict damage via magical means, not blunt hp damage (ie, unarmed strike) Avoiding the touch attack completely voids the effects of the attack.

You could assign grant a Reflex bonus to AC, but then the character would have to take 1/2 damage if the attack missed. :D

Cheers
Nell.
 

I'm A Banana

Potassium-Rich
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),
If you're high level, where's her magic? Where's her rings of protection, her gloves of dexterity, her bracers of armor, her amulet of natural armor?

None of those make her any more ponderous, all of them jack up her AC, for a relatively inexpensive price.

Another alternative is to take levels in Monk (with Wis bonus to AC and AC bonus by level, and deflect arrows), or Swashbuckler (stacking dodge feats, charisma bonus, etc.).

I mean, yeah, she's buck nekkid, of course she's not gonna have a high AC....how easy are you to hit when you're running around in your skivvies? Magic is essential for a high-level campaign after all. To have a +15 Reflex save, she'd be epic level...spend some o' that epic gold on some amulets, bracers, rings, and gloves....
 

DmQ

First Post
The mistake in the Original posters question is the fact he is removing the rest of the game from the equation. The reason there are such “Discrepancies” in the game rules is that by the time a character has that high a class bonus to Reflex, other game mechanics, such as Feats, Skills, Prestige Classes, and Magic Items must be taken into account.

It’s that simple.
 

Tessarael

Explorer
DmQ said:
The reason there are such “Discrepancies” in the game rules is that by the time a character has that high a class bonus to Reflex, other game mechanics, such as Feats, Skills, Prestige Classes, and Magic Items must be taken into account.

It is quite easy to create a 20th level character whose naked AC is in the range of 10 to 15 (DEX 10 to DEX 20). Their Reflex save will be in the range +6 (poor Reflex save +6, DEX 10) to +17 (good reflex save +12, DEX 20).

The big issue is this: (naked) saving throws scale linearly with level, (naked) AC remains flat with level.

D&D assumes AC will scale due to equipment. If you want to run a campaign where equipment is less important, use the optional Arcana Unearthed ruled for AC bonus scaling with level.

And yes, I agree the discrepancy between Reflex saves and AC is somewhat silly. You could give people an AC bonus based on half their Reflex save, but then you'd have to seriously think about whether or not the classes with good Reflex saves (Monk, Ranger, Rogue, Bard) need to lose some other abilities in exchange for better AC (+3 better at 20th level vs. a class with poor Reflex save).
 

dead

Explorer
Nellisir said:
A Reflex save is (usually) a character's action versus an unintelligent force (a spell, a rock, whatever), and a successful save often isn't a complete miss, and still causes a penalty (ie, 1/2 damage), not considering variable class abilities.

A character's AC versus touch attacks is their ability to anticipate and avoid an attack (usually) by an intelligent foe who does NOT have to hit hard enough to inflict damage. Touch attacks generally inflict damage via magical means, not blunt hp damage (ie, unarmed strike) Avoiding the touch attack completely voids the effects of the attack.

You could assign grant a Reflex bonus to AC, but then the character would have to take 1/2 damage if the attack missed. :D

Cheers
Nell.

Rogues get Evasion and Imp. Evasion so they can totally negate any damage. Also, a rock would be treated as a ranged attack. If you wanted to just see if the rock "makes contact" it would be treated as a ranged touch attack. Also, it doesn't matter if the foe doesn't want to "hit hard"; STR bonus to hit is still applied. Besides, it's all about "dodging" that I'm concerned with. Throwing an unintelligent net at someone is the same as trying to blast 'em with an unintelligent fireball to me.

I'm still not sure if I'm any better off. But thankyou very much to everyone for your help. :D
 

dead

Explorer
Dreaddisease said:
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.

I would think that a fireball and lightning bolt are as unpredictable as any ranged attack. The are "aimed" by the spellcaster at a target just like a ray effect for a spell is aimed at a target. The only difference is that a fireball and lightning bolt are also area effects. But then, wouldn't a net hurled at someone by an area effect?

Also, as a side note, I've noticed that some traps offer Reflex saves, but others will supply a base attack bonus for the trap (even if it's stationary spikes at the bottom of a pit!). So there's a whole new can o' worms here.
 

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