5E Theory Crafting fun: Max AC with Standard Array, without Feats, and without GM provided magic items?

Using dodge would be another way to combine haste and enemy disadvantage an it is character controlled to its better than putting out a light. As far as "SSI" I am not sure what you mean by that. It likely obvious but its late here and my mind is not connecting the dots.
The spell storing item is neither a magical item nor does activating it use the cast a spell action which the two exceptions for the action 1
This opens up the potential of using haste to shoot of a spell while dodging and activating the Cannon.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
The spell storing item is neither a magical item nor does activating it use the cast a spell action which the two exceptions for the action 1
This opens up the potential of using haste to shoot of a spell while dodging and activating the Cannon.
Oh, yes that is correct just like using scrolls. The limit is the limit on spell storing which is one 1st or 2nd level spell that you can use a number of time equal to your intelligence modifier x2. So you could put scorching ray or shatter in it as an artillerist and shoot it for 10 rounds with a 20 intellect.

Assuming you know your going to fight and you don't have disguise self or alter self in it. Because having those in it and passing it around the party is just good fun. lol.
 
Oh, yes that is correct just like using scrolls. The limit is the limit on spell storing which is one 1st or 2nd level spell that you can use a number of time equal to your intelligence modifier x2. So you could put scorching ray or shatter in it as an artillerist and shoot it for 10 rounds with a 20 intellect.

Assuming you know your going to fight and you don't have disguise self or alter self in it. Because having those in it and passing it around the party is just good fun. lol.
Unfortunately you cannot activate a scroll with the use an object action. (Pg 141 DMG under activating an item)

And to double up on that the scroll uses the word cast so it doesn't work on two fronts.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Unfortunately you cannot activate a scroll with the use an object action. (Pg 141 DMG under activating an item)

And to double up on that the scroll uses the word cast so it doesn't work on two fronts.
Ah, not just scrolls but anything that requires an action to activate (which Spell-Storing Item does). You also can't use the action from Haste to dodge so you can't reverse standard for attack and haste for dodge. hmm... but you could still dodge and be pretty unkillable. lol
 
Ah, not just scrolls but anything that requires an action to activate (which Spell-Storing Item does). You also can't use the action from Haste to dodge so you can't reverse standard for attack and haste for dodge. hmm... but you could still dodge and be pretty unkillable. lol
I figured normal action dodge+ haste action use SSI + bonus action Cannon.

RAW the SSI is not a magical item so the rules for that don't apply could even make the SSI and arcane firearm the same item though the arcane bonus wouldn't apply to when you use the SSI

No idea if this was attentional. I'm expecting a large list of erratas for ERLW in the future.
 
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ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
I figured normal action dodge+ haste action use SSI + bonus action Cannon.

RAW the SSI is not a magical item so the rules for that don't apply could even make the SSI and arcane firearm the same item though the arcane bonus wouldn't apply to when you use the SSI

No idea if this was attentional. I'm expecting a large list of erratas for ERLW in the future.
Haste Spell: "That action can be used only to take the Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object action. "

- It would have to be the attack or use object action for haste.

SSI: "While holding the object, a creature can take an action to produce the spell’s effect from it, using your spellcasting ability modifier. "

- It's an object interaction per Spell Storing Item. This is likely in part because some spells you might put in it are not attacks as with the for mentioned disguise self.

DMG p.141 "If an item requires an action to activate, that action isn't a function of the Use an Item action, so a feature such as the rogue's Fast Hands can't be used to activate the item."

- Because its an object interaction that uses an action its disqualified form the "use an object" from the PHB p193. I don't think "use an object action" is different from "Use an Item action". I am pretty sure its the same thing but just written at different times and they missed lining up the language of item and object. Which I can confirm because while the item interaction paragraph in the DMG says "Item" the example in the PHB of fast hand's uses "object"

Fast Hands (PHB .p97)
Starting at 3rd level, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning A ction to make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check, use your thieves’ tools to disarm a trap or open a lock, or take the Use an Object action.
 
Haste Spell: "That action can be used only to take the Attack (one weapon attack only), Dash, Disengage, Hide, or Use an Object action. "

- It would have to be the attack or use object action for haste.

SSI: "While holding the object, a creature can take an action to produce the spell’s effect from it, using your spellcasting ability modifier. "

- It's an object interaction per Spell Storing Item.

DMG p.141 "If an item requires an action to activate, that action isn't a function of the Use an Item action, so a feature such as the rogue's Fast Hands can't be used to activate the item."

- Because its an object interaction that uses an action its disqualified form the "use an object" from the PHB p193. I don't think "use an object action" is different from "Use an Item action". I am pretty sure its the same thing but just written at different times and they missed lining up the language of item and object. Which I can confirm because while the item interaction paragraph in the DMG says "Item" the example in the PHB of fast hand's uses "object"

Fast Hands (PHB .p97)
Starting at 3rd level, you can use the bonus action granted by your Cunning A ction to make a Dexterity (Sleight of Hand) check, use your thieves’ tools to disarm a trap or open a lock, or take the Use an Object action.
DMG(141) rules only apply to magical items which the SSI is not. That's the hang up. So it would technically fall under the normal use object action.

If the word magic or magical was anywhere in the text under spell storing item this wouldn't be the case but it almost looks like the intentionally worded it that way because it would have been a lot easier just to say it creates a magical item that does X.
 

Iry

Adventurer
Personal favorite is actually the artillerist warforged artificer. They can use their action to dodge and bonus action to use cannon. Having 1/2 cover constantly and freeing up concentration for haste.
Mine is Dwarven Artillerist with Dwarven Fortitude, taking the Dodge Action with your choice of turrets. Who doesn't love a dwarven explosives expert?.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
remember once you reduce the chance of being hit below 10%(crits) its better to find ways of causing disadvantage on incoming attacks VS adding more AC. lets do a fighter 2/ battle smith 14+
  • warforged/simic hybrid 1 AC
  • plate 18 AC
  • shield 2 AC
  • def F style 1 AC
  • fighter lv 1 +
  • enhanced def infus 2 AC
  • repul shield 1 AC
  • cloak of prot 1 AC
  • ring of prot 1 AC
  • warding bond SSI + tiny servant 1 AC and resistance to all damage
that is 29 AC before casting shield or blur
  • def F style 1 AC
  • fighter lv 1 +
I believe these two are the same modifier and without counting both your total would be AC28.

I missed the Battlesmiths Warding Bond with Tiny servant. That is clever. Tiny servent only has 10(4d4) hp so after you take 20 damage its gone, but it is still 1 higher AC.
 
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ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Mine is Dwarven Artillerist with Dwarven Fortitude, taking the Dodge Action with your choice of turrets. Who doesn't love a dwarven explosives expert?.
Dwarven Fortitude is a very powerful ability that makes Dwarf a solid option for anyone who wants to prevent from dying. Hill Dwarf's more so because they can combine that with Dwarven Toughness for an extra +1 HP per level that stacks with the tough feat +2HP per level..
 
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Reactions: Iry
  • def F style 1 AC
  • fighter lv 1 +
I believe these two are the same modifier and without counting both your total would be AC28.

I missed the Battlesmiths Warding Bond with Tiny servant. That is clever. Tiny servent only has 10(4d4) hp so after you take 20 damage its gone, but it is still 1 higher AC.
Yea the fighter lv 1 defense style should be one line I only Counted for one.
The idea behind the tiny servant is to chain it so when one dies you get the next tiny servant to use the SSI. The +1 AC/saves is nice but the resistance to all damage is amazing even if for one attack. Up casting nets 2 more charges per level.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Many of these are "likely enough to be sustainable, maybe", so this is just for fun.

High Elf Bard (Swords) 12 / Wizard (Bladesinger) 2 / Monk (Kensei) 5 / Cleric (Forge) 1
Assumes 2 encounters of about 3-4 rounds between rests.

+2 DEX, +1 INT from race plus 4 ASIs = 20 INT, 20 DEX using Standard Array

Studded Leather: AC 12 +5 DEX
Bladesong (2/short rest for 1 min): +5 AC
Defensive Flourish (5/short rest): +d10 to AC with attack - +5.5
Forge Cleric: +1 Armor
Monk Patient Defense (5/short rest): Dodge as bonus action
Monk Kensei Agile Parry: +2 AC
Shield of Faith: +2 AC

Mostly Sustainable AC: 32.5 with disadvantage. (Disadv only 2+ round)
Shield: +5 when needed, which brings things up to "20 only hits" area.

Notes:
While many monk abilities turn off with armor, the Ki powers like Patient Defense do not. However, this does mean that the Unarmed attack made to enable the Kensei Agile Parry is STR based and doesn't get the martial arts die for damage if it hits.

So this requires an Attack action, one attack (likely with a rapier that is a kensei weapon) and one unarmed (STR based). Lucky we have Extra Attack from the monk. One must hit to trigger the Defensive Flourish, which also adds to it's damage. Then bonus action to spend a ki and Dodge. The Shield of Faith needs to have been already up. The first round will be without Dodge because the bonus action is used initiating the bladesong.

Defensive Flourish doesn't quite last long enough. Bard 14 would give a d6 whenever not spending a bardic inspiration, but that kills ASIs and other things. But we do have plenty of spell slots for Shield to help carry over.

If this was really good ability score rolls, we could go 20 WIS as well, drop the armor (and the forge cleric level) and gain an extra +2 AC with Monk's Unarmored Defense. (12+1 forge+5 dex vs. 10 + 5 wis + 5 dex), and that would also enable all the monk unarmored abilities.

Oh, and this does assume pre-casting Shield of Faith. Since others assumed consuming potions and the like I assumed that was on the table. Magical secrets could have gotten us other +2 AC concentration spells as well.

EDIT: And I'm a dumb-donkey. I was originally playing around with Bard 14 for the constant d6s, so I was only thinking about having enough of a CHR to MC into bard. But up there I'm assuming 20 CHR for 5 defensive flourishes per short rest.

EDIT the SECOND: I'm not just a dumb-donkey, I'm also an unobservant one. Mage Armor increases the AC by 1 and enable the Monk Martial Arts. (No, not Monk Unarmored Defense. Not using that.)
 
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ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Yea the fighter lv 1 defense style should be one line I only Counted for one.
The idea behind the tiny servant is to chain it so when one dies you get the next tiny servant to use the SSI. The +1 AC/saves is nice but the resistance to all damage is amazing even if for one attack. Up casting nets 2 more charges per level.
Chaining it is a fair point as well as the resistance. That means AC29 is a typo then as the total of your post is AC28. I added this technic to my original post with credit to you.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Many of these are "likely enough to be sustainable, maybe", so this is just for fun.

High Elf Bard (Swords) 12 / Wizard (Bladesinger) 2 / Monk (Kensei) 5 / Cleric (Forge) 1
Assumes 2 encounters of about 3-4 rounds between rests.

+2 DEX, +1 INT from race plus 4 ASIs = 20 INT, 20 DEX using Standard Array

Studded Leather: AC 12 +5 DEX
Bladesong (2/short rest for 1 min): +5 AC
Defensive Flourish (5/short rest): +d10 to AC with attack - +5.5
Forge Cleric: +1 Armor
Monk Patient Defense (5/short rest): Dodge as bonus action
Monk Kensei Agile Parry: +2 AC
Shield of Faith: +2 AC

Mostly Sustainable AC: 32.5 with disadvantage. (Disadv only 2+ round)
Shield: +5 when needed, which brings things up to "20 only hits" area.

Notes:
While many monk abilities turn off with armor, the Ki powers like Patient Defense do not. However, this does mean that the Unarmed attack made to enable the Kensei Agile Parry is STR based and doesn't get the martial arts die for damage if it hits.

So this requires an Attack action, one attack (likely with a rapier that is a kensei weapon) and one unarmed (STR based). Lucky we have Extra Attack from the monk. One must hit to trigger the Defensive Flourish, which also adds to it's damage. Then bonus action to spend a ki and Dodge. The Shield of Faith needs to have been already up. The first round will be without Dodge because the bonus action is used initiating the bladesong.

Defensive Flourish doesn't quite last long enough. Bard 14 would give a d6 whenever not spending a bardic inspiration, but that kills ASIs and other things. But we do have plenty of spell slots for Shield to help carry over.

If this was really good ability score rolls, we could go 20 WIS as well, drop the armor (and the forge cleric level) and gain an extra +2 AC with Monk's Unarmored Defense. (12+1 forge+5 dex vs. 10 + 5 wis + 5 dex), and that would also enable all the monk unarmored abilities.

Oh, and this does assume pre-casting Shield of Faith. Since others assumed consuming potions and the like I assumed that was on the table. Magical secrets could have gotten us other +2 AC concentration spells as well.

EDIT: And I'm a dumb-donkey. I was originally playing around with Bard 14 for the constant d6s, so I was only thinking about having enough of a CHR to MC into bard. But up there I'm assuming 20 CHR for 5 defensive flourishes per short rest.

EDIT the SECOND: I'm not just a dumb-donkey, I'm also an unobservant one. Mage Armor increases the AC by 1 and enable the Monk Martial Arts. (No, not Monk Unarmored Defense. Not using that.)
A lot of new tools I was not aware of here. Awesome.
I want to play with this...

HighElf +2 dex +1 int allows of Bladesinging, ok.
I don't think you can get three 20 stats with Standard array and 4 ASI increases.
I will drop Forge Cleric. Blessing of the forge requires armor.
Str and Con are drop stats, wisdom is not used for AC, so 13.
Standard Array: Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 15, Wiz 13, Cha 12
ASI
Wizard lvl4: +2 Dex(18) | Wizard lvl8: +2 Dex(20)
Monk lvl4: +2 Cha(14)
Bard lvl4: +2 Int(18) | Bard lvl 8: +2 Int(20)
Adjusted Stats: Str 8, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 20, Wiz 13, Cha 14
Wizard tadition of Bladesinging lvl 8:
MageArmor 13+5 Dex = AC18
Bladesong (2/short rest for 1 min, Intelgence modifier): +5 AC
Haste (+2AC)
Shield Spell (+5AC)
Subtotal (Static: AC18 Sustanable: AC23 Temperary/Consentraion spells: AC30)
Monk Way of the Kensi lvl 4 (characer level 12):
Agile Perry +2AC
Dodge action or Patient Defenst bonus action effective +5AC
Subtotal (Static: AC18 Sustanable: AC25 Temperary/Consentraion spells: AC37)
Bard Collage of Swords lvl 8 (characer level 20):
Defensive Flourish (Charisma modifier=2/short rest): +d8 (lvl 5) to AC with attack. +1 to 8AC
Total Static: AC18 Sustanable: AC23 Temperary/Consentraion spells: AC31-38
 
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dave2008

Legend
Interesting theory craft, but I would like to go back to the comment about the DM not handing out magical items. What if you limited your magic items to only options that have been available in official adventures (not random rolls - actual magic listed magic items)?
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Interesting theory craft, but I would like to go back to the comment about the DM not handing out magical items. What if you limited your magic items to only options that have been available in official adventures (not random rolls - actual magic listed magic items)?
I am not apposed to looking at it for fun but to do anything with that I would need a list of magic items by adventures and I don't have one. IF you do, or can come up with one. I am game.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
A lot of new tools I was not aware of here. Awesome.

I want to play with this...
Cool, that was the spirit I wrote the post - here's some things I haven't seen yet. Glad they inspired some ideas.

HighElf +2 dex +1 int allows of Bladesinging, ok.
I don't think you can get three 20 stats with Standard array and 4 ASI increases.
I will drop Forge Cleric. Blessing of the forge requires armor.
Str and Con are drop stats, wisdom is not used for AC, so 13.
Standard Array: Str 8, Dex 14, Con 10, Int 15, Wiz 13, Cha 12
ASI
Wizard lvl4: +2 Dex(18) | Wizard lvl8: +2 Dex(20)
Monk lvl4: +2 Cha(14)
Bard lvl4: +2 Int(18) | Bard lvl 8: +2 Int(20)
Adjusted Stats: Str 8, Dex 20, Con 12, Int 20, Wiz 13, Cha 14
Wizard tadition of Bladesinging lvl 8:
MageArmor 13+5 Dex = AC18
Bladesong (2/short rest for 1 min, Intelgence modifier): +5 AC
Haste (+2AC)
Shield Spell (+5AC)
Subtotal (Static: AC18 Sustanable: AC23 Temperary/Consentraion spells: AC30)
Monk Way of the Kensi lvl 4 (characer level 12):
Agile Perry +2AC
Dodge action or Patient Defenst bonus action effective +5AC
Subtotal (Static: AC18 Sustanable: AC25 Temperary/Consentraion spells: AC37)
Bard Collage of Swords lvl 8 (characer level 20):
Defensive Flourish (Charisma modifier=2/short rest): +d10 (lvl 5) to AC with attack. +1 to 10AC
Total Static: AC18 Sustanable: AC23 Temperary/Consentraion spells: AC31-40
Picked up extra attack from Bladesinger, and can use the martial arts die for the unarmed attack needed to trigger Agile Parry. Does better damage then mine did even before Haste action. And with 16 levels of full caster has plenty of slot to be able to Haste (and Shield) as often as needed in an adventuring day.

Evening out the levels got 2 more ASIs, which is quite nice.

Slight change: Bard 8 will only have a d8 for Bardic Inspiration, not a d10. That comes at Bard 10.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
We've all been doing level 20 builds for fun. But with most campaigns not getting that high, how would you do it with just 10 levels?

Let's assume a single picked uncommon item as a reasonable minimum proxy for a campaign. Which puts the Artificer into a more realistic focus compared to others as well.
 

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