3.5 The AC on a Budget challenge

Furthermore, it's Dragon. I really think that's all that needs to be said, as to taking it seriously. I mean, why not start including 3rd party books or homebrew while you're at it?
Normally, I'd agree, but in this instance it is clearly marked as an official update, it's not new material, and it's done by James Wyatt (who wrote the 3.0e OA in the first place).

Plus, with the way it's worded, the "fix" only applied with +1 cloth, +1 chahar aina, and +2 dastana. I just think that's worth pointing out.
No, that's absurd. That last sentence is very clearly an example to show what he's saying. It is the bolded sentence that gives the general rule - only one enhancement bonus applies.
 
Normally, I'd agree, but in this instance it is clearly marked as an official update, it's not new material, and it's done by James Wyatt (who wrote the 3.0e OA in the first place).
...And? It's precisely as relevant as Mouseferatu's Shadowcasting fix. Which is to say, in a discussion of rules, totally irrelevant unless explicitly stated as being used.
No, that's absurd. That last sentence is very clearly an example to show what he's saying. It is the bolded sentence that gives the general rule - only one enhancement bonus applies.
Wrong. AC has an enhancement bonus. Armor has an enhancement bonus. An armor bonus does not have an enhancement bonus. The way Enhancement bonuses work with armor makes this blatantly obvious. The way it's worded, it's meaningless. So the specific trumps the general, in that that particular combination doesn't stack, but that falls in the same boat as Dispel Psionic's +20.

Further, and this is the important bit, it's an "update." Not errata. Unless you can find me a RAW source that explicitly states that such an "update" is RAW, or a PDF as an errata on WotC's website, in which case I will gladly concede that point. But, finally, and this is the kicker, unless you it on WotC's website, it's still DRAGON. If we're actually taking it seriously, there is so much wrong I don't even know where to start.
 
...And? It's precisely as relevant as Mouseferatu's Shadowcasting fix.
The difference is that Mouseferatu's Shadowcasting fix isn't marked as official.

Wrong. AC has an enhancement bonus. Armor has an enhancement bonus. An armor bonus does not have an enhancement bonus. The way Enhancement bonuses work with armor makes this blatantly obvious. The way it's worded, it's meaningless. So the specific trumps the general, in that that particular combination doesn't stack, but that falls in the same boat as Dispel Psionic's +20.
CITE.

I've given my source - official, in-print, and by one of WotC's own designers (which is actually more than most 3.5e materials can claim).

Now it's your turn. Provide a source that shws that you can apply two enhancement bonuses to the same bonus type at the same time. Which should be easy if, as you assert, "bonuses don't work that way."
 
The difference is that Mouseferatu's Shadowcasting fix isn't marked as official.
So if he said it was official on the forum it would be?

Lolno.
CITE.

I've given my source - official, in-print, and by one of WotC's own designers (which is actually more than most 3.5e materials can claim).

Now it's your turn. Provide a source that shws that you can apply two enhancement bonuses to the same bonus type at the same time. Which should be easy if, as you assert, "bonuses don't work that way."
Chahar Aina and Dastana explicitly stack with a Chain Shirt. An enhancement to armor increases the armor bonus.

There you go, you're welcome.
 
So if he said it was official on the forum it would be?
No, but if it was marked "official" and published in the official Dungeons & Dragons magazine then it would be.

Chahar Aina and Dastana explicitly stack with a Chain Shirt. An enhancement to armor increases the armor bonus.

There you go, you're welcome.
Number of rules sources referenced: zero. Would you like to try again?

Also of note: earlier in this thread, back when discussing Caster Level boosters, you cited "Reserves of Strength", a feat taken from the Dragonlance Campaign Setting - itself a licensed product. So, are to assume that you can charry-pick your sources, but the rest of us have to ignore anything that damages your argument?
 
No, but if it was marked "official" and published in the official Dungeons & Dragons magazine then it would be.
"Number of rules sources referenced: zero. Would you like to try again?"
Number of rules sources referenced: zero. Would you like to try again?
You mean "One."

So, no, I won't.
Also of note: earlier in this thread, back when discussing Caster Level boosters, you cited "Reserves of Strength", a feat taken from the Dragonlance Campaign Setting - itself a licensed product. So, are to assume that you can charry-pick your sources, but the rest of us have to ignore anything that damages your argument?
...

If you honestly can't tell the difference between a published book and Dragon, there's honestly no point in continuing.
 
Oh the joys of rules citations... How about the fact that enhancement bonuses to any stat are tracked separately from the stat they enhance? So while chahar-aina and dastana's armor bonus to AC stacks with some other armors, the enhancement bonus itself is still just enhancing the armor bonus total, thus it does not stack.
 
Last edited:
Oh the joys of rules citations... How about the fact that enhancement bonuses to any stat are tracked separately from the stat they enhance? So while chahar-aina and dastana's armor bonus to AC stacks with some other armors, the enhancement bonus itself is still just enhancing the armor bonus total, thus it does not stack.
You're wasting your breath (well, electrons).

Time to walk away.
 

Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
I graciously accept your concession.

This was a rules-discussion, not a contest. No winners and losers, no need for concessions. This last, certainly, has nothing to do with the topic, and so we read it as an ego pot-shot, which is inappropriate.

Cyclone_Joker won't be back to discuss this for a few days.
 
Last edited:
Okay, I didn't have my A&EG with me so I looked up Dastana on line. My source there said they counted as a Shield bonus. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, and that's okay.
As noted, this is incorrect. Dastana provide an armour bonus that explicitly stacks with other armour bonuses. (When updated to 3.5e, these probably should have been changed over to a shield bonuses, but that was not done. So there it is.)

But Dastana are explicitly an arm guard, and Bracers describe themselves as "like ordinary protective arm wear". It appears that they're both worn on the forearms, so I'd say they conflict. YMMV, of course.
Actually, it's better than that. Dastana are explicitly described as being a set of bracers, in both Oriental Adventures and the Arms and Equipment Guide. And, as noted in the DMG, a character can only wear one set of bracers, so they do conflict.

(If you want to get really anal about it, the DMG only specifies this for magic bracers. So you could in theory wear a set of bracers of armour and a non-magical set of dastana. Though I would invite you to look at the picture of dastana in OA and answer the question: how?)
 

Greenfield

Adventurer
After reading through the rules, I can't find "Enhancement bonus" as a separate and distinct thing when it comes to AC.

Yeah, it's tracked separately for stats because some things count only actual ability mod, not the enhanced one. Int mod to new skills is a clear example of this.

Beyond that, I'm not seeing it.

According to some of the arguments presented, my Dastana +4 and my Mithral Chain +2 should pseudo-stack. That is, I'd get the +5 from Chain Mail, the +1 from Dastana, and the +4 Enhancement from the Dastana, but not the +2 enhancement on the chain. And, not to mock anyone, but that sounds crazy.

The reasonin? Dastana have a base +1 that stacks with other armors. The Chain has +5. If the Enhancement bonuses are a separate bonus type and can't stack, I should get the better of the two, right? So 5 + 1 + 4 = 10?

Read normally, of course, if the magic on the Dastana doesn't stack, then we have +7 (Chain +2) +1 (Dastana without the non-stacking Enhancement), for a total of +8.

Read even more normally, we'd have +7 (Chain +2) plus 5 (Dastana +4) for a total of +12. And I say "more normally" because Dastana specifically say they stack with other armors.

Unless otherwise noted, shield bonuses don't stack with shield bonuses. Armor bonuses don't stack with armor bonuses. Magical natural armor bonuses don't stack with magical natural armor bonuses. (That sounds funny when you say it :) ). Deflection bonuses don't stack with deflection bonuses, etc.

Enhancements to any of those seem to simply increase that armor, shield, deflection or natural armor bonuses, but "Enhancement bonus" isn't a thing unto itself as far as I can see.

If someone wants to disagree, could they please provide a book and page reference, or a cut-and-paste from the SRD, that says AC Enhancement bonus is a separate thing from Armor, Shield, Etc bonuses?

I mean, I'm not the top rules expert here, and I freely admit that my book knowledge is far from perfect, but according to everything I can find, "Enhancement" just counts as more points on whatever item is being enhanced, and the stack/no-stack is based on the item or spell in question.
 
After reading through the rules, I can't find "Enhancement bonus" as a separate and distinct thing when it comes to AC.

Yeah, it's tracked separately for stats because some things count only actual ability mod, not the enhanced one. Int mod to new skills is a clear example of this.

Beyond that, I'm not seeing it.
No, it's not clear. The only quote from the PHB (also in the SRD) that is relevant is "Multiple enhancement bonuses on the same object (in the case of armour or weapons), creature (in the case of natural armour), or ability score do not stack."

This does indeed imply that an enhancement bonus to the mithral shirt and an enhancement bonus to dastana are separate and should stack.

However, as I noted up-thread, the Dastana was updated to 3.5e in Dragon #318, in which James Wyatt (the designer who introduced them to the game) explicitly states that they don't stack (see the relevant post above, which quotes the source directly).

So...

According to some of the arguments presented, my Dastana +4 and my Mithral Chain +2 should pseudo-stack. That is, I'd get the +5 from Chain Mail, the +1 from Dastana, and the +4 Enhancement from the Dastana, but not the +2 enhancement on the chain. And, not to mock anyone, but that sounds crazy.

The reasonin? Dastana have a base +1 that stacks with other armors. The Chain has +5. If the Enhancement bonuses are a separate bonus type and can't stack, I should get the better of the two, right? So 5 + 1 + 4 = 10?
That's how James Wyatt, in Dragon 318, claims it works.

Read even more normally, we'd have +7 (Chain +2) plus 5 (Dastana +4) for a total of +12. And I say "more normally" because Dastana specifically say they stack with other armors.
Yep, that's how Cyclone_Joker has been maintaining it should work. And it is indeed the logical reading.

The problem is that it's an unbalanced combination: it renders the mithral shirt + dastana + chahar-aina far and away the best combination of armour.

I mean, I'm not the top rules expert here, and I freely admit that my book knowledge is far from perfect, but according to everything I can find, "Enhancement" just counts as more points on whatever item is being enhanced, and the stack/no-stack is based on the item or spell in question.
My honest opinion is, frankly, that James Wyatt screwed up when he introduced Chahar-aina and Dastana to the game. His intention was to add two interesting options that would each add a minor bonus to AC. He just didn't foresee the possibility of enhancing all three together to stack for a +15 bonus.

So, having later been presented with this 'hack', he then proceeded to patch it in the worst possible way - by issuing an 'update' rather than official errata, and doing so in Dragon rather than on the WotC website, meaning it had limited exposure, a limited lifespan (since it's now OOP and not legally available online), and of questionable* validity.

* Though Paizo always maintained that their license meant everything they published was 100% official. It was us who decided that we would exclude their material due to significant balance issues. It would be ironic, then, if this also led to the exclusion of a correction to a clear balance issue!

But I'll note this:

- The only place where this issue appears in the printed rules is in regards to the Dastana and Chahar-aina. In all other cases, there's no problem, since you can't wear two suits of armour together, and armour and shields are separate bonus types that stack together.

- It is very clear from the relevant designer's own words that the intention was that these were not meant to be enhanced separately and stacked together (Dragon #318 - and note that both the update and Oriental Adventures were penned by James Wyatt).

- Allowing them to stack is problematic, because it renders the mithral shirt + dastana + chahar-aina clearly the best type of armour, breaking the "is this so good everyone will want one?" part of the balance equation. (And note, even, that since such items are all masterwork or mithral, they don't apply any armour check penalty either, so even the "you must have this armour proficiency to use without penalty" is a non-restriction - even if you don't, you suffer a 'penalty' of -0!)

Also - even if you don't accept the logic that "enhancement bonuses don't stack", if you do accept the validity of the update from Dragon then that takes care of the problem - since that does close the loophole with regard to the two items in question. And since the convention is that you should always use the latest sources (that is, you shouldn't use the 3.0e version of an item if a 3.5e equivalent exists) then that really does suggest that the update should be admitted.

In all honesty, though, if I were including these items in my game, I'd make very sure to add them to my "house rules" document to make absolutely clear how they work - and there, instead of giving a special 'stacking armour bonus' exception, I'd have them just increase the base armour bonus by 1 and explicitly state that they couldn't be further enhanced. But that, of course, is purely in the realm of house rules.
 

Advertisement

Top