Except... don't the rules state that just holding a magical shield grants its magical defense? That implies a significant bond between shield and wielder.I think touching a shield is a different question than touching the person wielding it, since the idea of a shield is to put it in the way of an attack. . .
Advantage against medium- and heavy-armored targets, and anyone using a shield. Hardly fiddly or complicated.
The point of Advantage is to smooth over the special cases, so I think it helps as a solution here. So...The devil will be in the special cases. As it's a monster ability rather than a general mechanic, that cuts down a lot of the permutations, but there's still a few you want to think about. Mage armour? A monk's Wisdom bonus to AC? An unarmoured barbarian's Con bonus to AC? Shield of faith?
Well, the same rules state that a magical shield must be donned -- "strapped to the arm" -- to use its magical properties, so there seems to be a fair amount of ambiguity there.Except... don't the rules state that just holding a magical shield grants its magical defense? That implies a significant bond between shield and wielder.
So, neat math is that a save of +X is roughly as hard to "hit" as an AC of 14+X.Yes, dex save. Also makes sure you don't directly compare it to unarmored AC. In 4e I thought it was inelegant when your reflex defense (which was effectively touch AC) was higher than your actual Armor.
It's a feature form the attacker's point of view, but kinda crappy if the player built their character to be really tough and the monster just sidesteps that by ignoring all the established defensive options.Isn't that a feature of touch attacks, not a problem?
I promise not to make anyone else use my house rules.Please don't. KISS applies and you're penalising those who wear armour. Variable ACs were one of the worst things about 3E.
Touch Attack. The monster selects two targets (including the same one twice) within 5 feet. They must make a DC 18 dexterity saving throw or suffer X. In addition, if they are wearing armor or a shield, they must pick one to suffer Y.I promise not to make anyone else use my house rules.
I'm okay with "penalizing those who wear armor" in this situation. This is just one encounter, not a global change to the rules. I want to make the players think a little outside the box, and try some new tactics for a change. But who knows? If I like the way the encounter feels, I might add this ability to other monsters in the game. If I don't, I'll never use it again.
Here's the version I'm gonna run with. Thanks for your input, everyone! I'll let you know how it shakes out.
Touch Attack. The <monster> makes two claw attacks at +10 to hit. Against creatures wearing armor or using a shield, these attacks are made at +12. Against creatures both wearing armor and using a shield, these attacks are made at +14. On a hit, the creature takes <damage> and must make a <DC> Dex save if it is wearing armor or using a shield. On a failed save, the target's armor or shield <effect>. If the target is using both armor and a shield, the target chooses which item is affected.
That's not the problem, it's the point!The problem with Touch AC is the notion that your level 12 Fighter with a Sword in his hand which he is exceptionally good at but with Dex 10 (Cos Heavy Armour) can't actually defend himself with any competence.
I thought it was one of 3e's better ideas.Please don't. KISS applies and you're penalising those who wear armour. Variable ACs were one of the worst things about 3E.
But what about your skill? How do you make sense of this? Is the 20th Level Fighter no better at putting his sword in the way of someone trying to touch him than the 0 level peasant?That's not the problem, it's the point!
The whole idea of touch AC is that sometimes armour just doesn't help very much: you're going to get hit anyway, so best to just attack all-out. As a pleasant side effect, a fight against creatures using touch attacks gives some usually-non-melee characters a chance to do some real fighting.
I'd been using a variant of touch AC for years without realizing it, before 3e formalized it.
I'm playing around with the idea of adding back the Touch AC mechanic from 3.X Edition.
Because D&D doesn't really use weapons as defense mechanisms, the answer here is essentially no: provided they each have the same Dex score the high-level Fighter (the high-level anyone, for all that) and the peasant are the same. The difference is that the high-level Fighter probably has access to various magical things that can help her touch AC (e.g. devices of Protection) and-or provide her with better means of escape (e.g. devices of levitation or flight).But what about your skill? How do you make sense of this? Is the 20th Level Fighter no better at putting his sword in the way of someone trying to touch him than the 0 level peasant?
Nonsensical only if you think that high level provides a buffer against everything.By and large the fact that D&D doesn't model the skill with weapons doesn't matter much because it gets hidden under normal play by AC. But it becomes very stark if you take the armour off the Heavily Armoured character. It produces really nonsensical results.