OneDnD Armour Bonus Stacking and Rings of Protection

Pauln6

Adventurer
I begrudge using an attunement slot for a Ring of Protection when the Paladin gives out higher save bonuses without breaking a sweat.

Bracers of Defence and Rings of Protection never used to stack with magic armours but the 5e wording is sketchy, especially surrounding Barbarians or Monks and mage armour.

To limited attunement slots make these items useless to the classes they were intended for and is there a way to either remove attunement requirements or give the items some gravy to make them worthwhile, such as giving bracers a defensive reaction or the ring a save re-roll?
 

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mellored

Hero
Or nerf the paladin.

Make aura of protection take their reaction, and/or have limited uses. Similar to Flash of Genius the artificers have.

Barbarians are fine on defense.

Monks could use a boost.
 

Clint_L

Hero
We don't have a ton of magic items in my campaigns, and nobody ever wants to play a paladin, so both of those are highly coveted items, the Bracers in particular! Can you clarify what is "sketchy" about the wording? Mage armor shields a target who is not wearing armour in a "magical force"; I don't see why that wouldn't work with the bracers. And 5e ring of protection works with everything.

Edit: thinking further, what this comes down to is 5e trying to police the use of magic items through attunement slots. I assume this is done for balance reasons, on the premise that characters with too many powerful magic items will really skew the intended challenge presented by creature combat ratings, etc. However, if you are an experienced DM who likes having very powerful PCs, you could just tell them to ignore attunement and equip what they want. Your table, your rules.
 
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Pauln6

Adventurer
We don't have a ton of magic items in my campaigns, and nobody ever wants to play a paladin, so both of those are highly coveted items, the Bracers in particular! Can you clarify what is "sketchy" about the wording? Mage armor shields a target who is not wearing armour in a "magical force"; I don't see why that wouldn't work with the bracers. And 5e ring of protection works with everything.

Edit: thinking further, what this comes down to is 5e trying to police the use of magic items through attunement slots. I assume this is done for balance reasons, on the premise that characters with too many powerful magic items will really skew the intended challenge presented by creature combat ratings, etc. However, if you are an experienced DM who likes having very powerful PCs, you could just tell them to ignore attunement and equip what they want. Your table, your rules.
I meant that, technically, features and spells that determine an AC determine your final AC. You don't layer any bonuses, magical or otherwise on top. So most unarmoured classes would not benefit from these items, which is counterintuitive. Spellcasting classes, who should want these, have to use up an attunement slot that could be used for something far more valuable.

A ring that adds +1 to saves vs armour that adds +3 to AC. What is so valuable about the former that should require the designers to think attunement was required?
 

Clint_L

Hero
I meant that, technically, features and spells that determine an AC determine your final AC.
Come again? Where is that in the rules? Maybe I'm not understanding; are you stating that a monk, for example, couldn't benefit from bracers of defence because of unarmored defence? Both the ring and bracers work fine with unarmored defence on DnDBeyond, which is WotC.
 
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W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
Bracers of Defence and Rings of Protection never used to stack with magic armours but the 5e wording is sketchy, especially surrounding Barbarians or Monks and mage armour.
the bracers of defense specifically say you gain the bonus to AC "if you are wearing no armor and using no shield". i'd say that's pretty specific. barbarians and monks have unarmoured defense, meaning their AC calculation changes specifically when they do not wear armor - there's no reason why this feature would disallow you from wearing bracers of defense.

mage armor also only works on a creature not wearing armor, and RAW only gives you a different AC calculation, meaning RAW it's not actually armor.
I meant that, technically, features and spells that determine an AC determine your final AC. You don't layer any bonuses, magical or otherwise on top.
this is wrong - most features and spells that determine an AC give you an alternate AC calculation. the base AC calculation is 10+Dexterity, most armors give you an AC calculation either #+Dexterity, #+Dexterity (maximum 2), or just # (depending on if it's light, medium, or heavy armor respectively), mage armor gives you an AC calculation of 13+Dexterity, etc. however, there are features that just give bonuses to AC, like shield of faith or the bracers of defense - these are stacked on top of your AC calculation. if AC worked the way you said it would, shield of faith and bracers of defense would be literally worthless, because everyone has a default AC calculation they wouldn't work with.
 

Pauln6

Adventurer
the bracers of defense specifically say you gain the bonus to AC "if you are wearing no armor and using no shield". i'd say that's pretty specific. barbarians and monks have unarmoured defense, meaning their AC calculation changes specifically when they do not wear armor - there's no reason why this feature would disallow you from wearing bracers of defense.

mage armor also only works on a creature not wearing armor, and RAW only gives you a different AC calculation, meaning RAW it's not actually armor.

this is wrong - most features and spells that determine an AC give you an alternate AC calculation. the base AC calculation is 10+Dexterity, most armors give you an AC calculation either #+Dexterity, #+Dexterity (maximum 2), or just # (depending on if it's light, medium, or heavy armor respectively), mage armor gives you an AC calculation of 13+Dexterity, etc. however, there are features that just give bonuses to AC, like shield of faith or the bracers of defense - these are stacked on top of your AC calculation. if AC worked the way you said it would, shield of faith and bracers of defense would be literally worthless, because everyone has a default AC calculation they wouldn't work with.
OK, that makes sense but now I suppose we are in a scenario where the bonuses stack with armour, magic armour, class features etc?

I recall in 1e Cloaks of Protection worked only for characters in light or no armour but would free up a finger for wizards.

I think Rings of Protection should not require attunement but should not work while wearing magic armour. Cloaks of Protection should be brought back. Shield bonuses should not stack with magic armour (unless limited to +1).
Bracers of Protection should not require attunement or stack with armour but we're now in a scenario whereby a monk or barbarian could invest or multiclass for AC26?

I am thinking a hard cap of AC25 might not be a bad idea.
 

Horwath

Hero
Simple idea:

remove +X to attack, AC, DCs,saves from magic items.

add +Xd6 damage to weapons and bonus HP or DR to armors.

Cloak or resistance could give proficiency in saves that you lack after attunement during long rest.

"+1" cloak would give one save proficiency, "+2" would give two, "+3" would give proficiency in 3 saves.
 

Magic Armor and Ring/Cloak of Protection worked together in OD&D thru 2E, and most of 5E's magic items are based on that time period. Not sure where you're looking at the Bracers of Defense, but like Mage Armor, it doesn't work with armor due to providing a different AC option.
Simple idea:

remove +X to attack, AC, DCs,saves from magic items.

add +Xd6 damage to weapons and bonus HP or DR to armors.

Cloak or resistance could give proficiency in saves that you lack after attunement during long rest.

"+1" cloak would give one save proficiency, "+2" would give two, "+3" would give proficiency in 3 saves.
Overall I like the ideas, because I feel +X magic items are fairly boring. Moving away from them helps keep Bounded Accuracy intact.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
OK, that makes sense but now I suppose we are in a scenario where the bonuses stack with armour, magic armour, class features etc?
bracers of defense specifically do not stack with armor, and there's no reason they shouldn't stack with unarmored defense, but yeah RAW they stack with mage armor for some reason.
I recall in 1e Cloaks of Protection worked only for characters in light or no armour but would free up a finger for wizards.

I think Rings of Protection should not require attunement but should not work while wearing magic armour. Cloaks of Protection should be brought back.
i mean...why would they not work with magic armor? they have nothing to do with AC, they boost saves, and they don't exactly take up the spot a piece of armor could (not even a cloak would do that, really - if anything you might be able to work it into a surcoat, which was almost universal for any sort of soldier in the medieval era, even ones in full plate). frankly, aside from high level monks and parties with paladins, most characters get absolutely screwed in the save department anyway. why make it worse?
Shield bonuses should not stack with magic armour (unless limited to +1).
i think shields need to be reworked entirely tbh.
Bracers of Protection should not require attunement or stack with armour but we're now in a scenario whereby a monk or barbarian could invest or multiclass for AC26?
bracers of defense already don't work with armor. a monk or barbarian could hypothetically get to 22 AC with unarmoured defense (20 wis/dex for monk or 20 con/dex for barbarian) and bracers of defense, but the vast majority of players will never be able to get that and idk where you're pulling the extra 4 AC from. i guess a barbarian could have a magical shield for up to a +5 but dex barbarians are hard to make well and i doubt the party would be giving a +3 shield to one. edit: oops, this doesn't work with the bracers of defense because those don't allow shields - though level 20 boosts the barbarian up to 24 con if they already had it at 20, so theoretically a barbarian could get to 22 AC before a shield anyway if they were a dex barbarian, but why the hell would you be a level 20 dex barbarian when you'd have 24 strength at this level? anyway, idk how either of them would have an advantage at multiclassing to get to 26 AC either compared to anyone else
Not sure where you're looking at the Bracers of Defense, but like Mage Armor, it doesn't work with armor due to providing a different AC option.
from what i can find, this is not correct.
 


Pauln6

Adventurer
Apologies, I was so desperate for a thread unrelated to OGL, I didn't re-read the rules and threw in Bracers as an afterthought. So if bracers don't work with shields then that does reduce the max AC to 24 (20+20 + fighting style + ring + bracers or shield). That doesn't seem so bad if magical bonuses to shields are capped at +1 (AC25) and don't stack with the ring.

To be clear, when I was talking about the Cloak of Protection, I was referring to the 1e version, which would be the same as the ring except that it only worked with no or light armour (don't look for logic, it was an item for wizards or thieves). This is different to the 3e Cloak of Resistance that only applied to saves. I'm a bit meh about that arbitrary change, which was really just to fill up different body slots.

I'm fine with only allowing +1 to saves, I'm just unconvinced that this is good enough to require attunement. I also think that the ring's armour bonus should not apply when wearing magic armour, particularly if not requiring attunement.

I think in a bounded system, the default should be no magical stacking unless noted otherwise but that's a whole other issue.
 

rules.mechanic

Craft homebrewer
I totally agree that AC bonuses from item really shouldn't stack with each other. Likewise AC bonuses from effects also really shouldn't stack with each other (I'm looking at you Ceremony of Wedding, Defensive Duelist, Defensive Flourish, Haste, Multiattack Defense, Shield, Shield of Faith and undoubtedly others). I've just learned that Pathfinder specifies this, so good on Pathfinder (wrong thread to say why I'm reading Pathfinder...)
 

mellored

Hero
Overall I like the ideas, because I feel +X magic items are fairly boring. Moving away from them helps keep Bounded Accuracy intact.
There is room in the game for boring items that some one can write down and forget they have, instead of trying to remember to use it under that scenario that comes up once evey other session.

That said. I would make the + armor, + weapons require attunement.

Then if you want to spend all your slots of defense, instead of winged boots and a weapon, that's fine.
 

Pauln6

Adventurer
There is room in the game for boring items that some one can write down and forget they have, instead of trying to remember to use it under that scenario that comes up once evey other session.

That said. I would make the + armor, + weapons require attunement.

Then if you want to spend all your slots of defense, instead of winged boots and a weapon, that's fine.
So un-attuned no stack; attuned 1 stack chosen on a short rest? Sounds doable.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
Apologies, I was so desperate for a thread unrelated to OGL, I didn't re-read the rules and threw in Bracers as an afterthought. So if bracers don't work with shields then that does reduce the max AC to 24 (20+20 + fighting style + ring + bracers or shield).
oh yeah, the ring does effect AC. didn't notice that earlier, my bad.
defense (the fighting style you're referencing) only works if you're wearing armor, so that gets nixed here, and again, very few characters are going to get to 20 in both of their unarmoured defense stats (monks have a better chance because they actually use dex, but i don't see most barbarians going past 14 dex and even that's only to fill out medium armor because, frankly, medium armor is just better then a barbarian's unarmoured defense most of the time). i'd guess until level 16-19 the actual maximum will probably be closer to 20.
That doesn't seem so bad if magical bonuses to shields are capped at +1 (AC25) and don't stack with the ring.
again i think shields should get a total rework to make them more interesting then just "more AC", but like that'll ever happen.
I'm fine with only allowing +1 to saves, I'm just unconvinced that this is good enough to require attunement.
yeah it's really not, you're right.
I also think that the ring's armour bonus should not apply when wearing magic armour, particularly if not requiring attunement.

I think in a bounded system, the default should be no magical stacking unless noted otherwise but that's a whole other issue.
to be fair, at the levels you're going to have all of this set up, you're fighting things with like...+19 to hit, meaning even 25 AC is kind of a joke. the problem is not just player AC - bounded accuracy kind of just goes out the window after a point. it's EXTREMELY noticeable with saves.
 

Clint_L

Hero
Apologies, I was so desperate for a thread unrelated to OGL...
I didn't even need to read the rest and I was already gonna throw you a like. Quite frankly, the rest could have been something about the virtues of factory farming and why puppies are horrible and I still would have given you the like.

You had me at hello, is what I'm saying.
 

Pauln6

Adventurer
oh yeah, the ring does effect AC. didn't notice that earlier, my bad.
defense (the fighting style you're referencing) only works if you're wearing armor, so that gets nixed here, and again, very few characters are going to get to 20 in both of their unarmoured defense stats (monks have a better chance because they actually use dex, but i don't see most barbarians going past 14 dex and even that's only to fill out medium armor because, frankly, medium armor is just better then a barbarian's unarmoured defense most of the time). i'd guess until level 16-19 the actual maximum will probably be closer to 20.

again i think shields should get a total rework to make them more interesting then just "more AC", but like that'll ever happen.

yeah it's really not, you're right.

to be fair, at the levels you're going to have all of this set up, you're fighting things with like...+19 to hit, meaning even 25 AC is kind of a joke. the problem is not just player AC - bounded accuracy kind of just goes out the window after a point. it's EXTREMELY noticeable with saves.
I'm not sure +19 to attack is common. I thought stats went up to 30 (+10) and proficiency bonus goes up to +6 so only something with god-like attack stats and a +3 weapon is going to be that good. A range of +7 to +12 seems to be far more common. Doesn't dual wielder grant +1 AC regardless of armour so it might still be possible to get to AC24? Admittedly, to achieve it, a character has to trade off against other things so I am fine with that.
 

W'rkncacnter

Adventurer
I'm not sure +19 to attack is common. I thought stats went up to 30 (+10) and proficiency bonus goes up to +6
monster proficiency goes up to +9.
A range of +7 to +12 seems to be far more common.
+13 and higher isn't exactly uncommon at CR 18+, which are probably the sort of big monsters you're going to be fighting when your hypothetical monk/barbarian is getting up to AC 22+.
Doesn't dual wielder grant +1 AC regardless of armour so it might still be possible to get to AC24? Admittedly, to achieve it, a character has to trade off against other things so I am fine with that.
why would a monk or barbarian invest in two-weapon fighting? monks get flurry of blows and the passive bonus action attack from martial arts, and barbarians are best with two-handed weapons.
 

Pauln6

Adventurer
monster proficiency goes up to +9.

+13 and higher isn't exactly uncommon at CR 18+, which are probably the sort of big monsters you're going to be fighting when your hypothetical monk/barbarian is getting up to AC 22+.

why would a monk or barbarian invest in two-weapon fighting? monks get flurry of blows and the passive bonus action attack from martial arts, and barbarians are best with two-handed weapons.
Oh ok. Our PCs are level 16 so maybe I will be building such encounters soon but even so, the monster still needs 30 in an attack stat to get that high (or a +3 weapon) Still unlikely for most encounters, but I get your point.
 

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