# Uncanny Dodge and the Dodge bonus - Yes or No?

#### Enkhidu

##### Explorer
Over in ashockney's "I hate math" thread, Ourph made the following statement in defense of an example he made:

Ourph said:
...Uncanny dodge only returns your Dex bonus to you, it does not allow you to keep all of your dodge bonuses. The condition that made you lose your dodge bonuses still exists, Uncanny Dodge just allows you to avoid losing ONE of those bonuses...

Did I miss something from the sage? Because as I read it you lose dodge bonuses in any situation in which you are actually denied your Dex bonus, and Uncanny Dodge makes it so you pretty much can't lose your Dex bonus.

So, what's the collective rules forum verdict?

#### Ourph

##### First Post
Enkhidu said:
Did I miss something from the sage? Because as I read it you lose dodge bonuses in any situation in which you are actually denied your Dex bonus, and Uncanny Dodge makes it so you pretty much can't lose your Dex bonus.

So, what's the collective rules forum verdict?

Here are the relevant entries from the 3.5 Player's Handbook (FWIW I believe they're essentially unchanged from 3.0)

Uncanny Dodge: He retains his Dex bonus to AC (if any) even if he is struck while flat-footed or by an invisible attacker.

Mobility: A condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) also makes you lose dodge bonuses.

Note that the Uncanny Dodge ability specifically says "if he is struck while flat-footed. Uncanny Dodge doesn't eliminate the condition that caused you to lose your Dex bonus to AC, it merely allows you to keep your Dodge bonus to AC in spite of it.

Therefore, the condition that denies you your other dodge bonuses still exists and causes all but the one based on your Dex modifier to go away. Uncanny Dodge only addresses the character's Dex bonus, if it also applies to other dodge bonuses it should say "he retains his Dex bonus to AC (if any) and any other dodge bonuses to AC (if any) even if he is struck while flat-footed or by an invisible opponent.

Along the same lines, a character with Uncanny Dodge also still suffers all the other conditions associated with being flat-footed or any other conditions that would normally make him lose a Dex bonus to AC (i.e. cannot make attacks of opportunity unless he has the Combat Reflexes feat, does not threaten an area, etc.)

At least, that was always my take (and my ruling while running) on the subject. It's possible that Skip has overruled my interpretation of the rules (it wouldn't be the first time) but I wouldn't know, since my collection of Dragon stops ~issue 215.

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#### Caliban

##### Rules Monkey
Ourph said:
Here are the relevant entries from the 3.5 Player's Handbook (FWIW I believe they're essentially unchanged from 3.0)

Uncanny Dodge: He retains his Dex bonus to AC (if any) even if he is struck while flat-footed or by an invisible attacker.

Mobility: A condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) also makes you lose dodge bonuses.

Note that the Uncanny Dodge ability specifically says "if he is struck while flat-footed. Uncanny Dodge doesn't eliminate the condition that caused you to lose your Dex bonus to AC, it merely allows you to keep your Dodge bonus to AC in spite of it.

Therefore, the condition that denies you your other dodge bonuses still exists and causes all but the one based on your Dex modifier to go away. Uncanny Dodge only addresses the character's Dex bonus, if it also applies to other dodge bonuses it should say "he retains his Dex bonus to AC (if any) and any other dodge bonuses to AC (if any) even if he is struck while flat-footed or by an invisible opponent.

Along the same lines, a character with Uncanny Dodge also still suffers all the other conditions associated with being flat-footed or any other conditions that would normally make him lose a Dex bonus to AC (i.e. cannot make attacks of opportunity unless he has the Combat Reflexes feat, does not threaten an area, etc.)
Yeah, but if you have Uncanny Dodge, it doesn't make you lose your Dex bonus to AC. Since you only lose your Dodge bonus when you lose your Dex bonus, not losing your Dex bonus means you get to keep your Dodge bonus.

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#### Ourph

##### First Post
Caliban said:
Since you only lose your Dodge bonus when you lose your Dex bonus, not losing your Dex bonus means you get to keep your Dodge bonus.

My interpretation differs. Obviously.

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#### Hypersmurf

##### Moderatarrrrh...
Ourph said:
Mobility: A condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any) also makes you lose dodge bonuses.

"Is 'flat-footed' a condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any)?"
"No. I'm a barbarian."
"Carry on, then."

-Hyp.

#### Caliban

##### Rules Monkey
Ourph said:
My interpretation differs. Obviously.
Yeah, but mine's right. Obviously.

#### Ourph

##### First Post
Hypersmurf said:
"Is 'flat-footed' a condition that makes you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC (if any)?"
"No. I'm a barbarian."
"Carry on, then."

To be clear, the example in question had the rogue with uncanny dodge facing an invisible opponent he was unaware of.

I find it very strange that the rules would call for a character to get his Mobility AC bonus and his Fighting Defensively AC bonus vs. an opponent he cannot see and isn't aware of. Therefore, I interpret the rules differently.

Caliban said:
Yeah, but mine's right. Obviously.

It depends on how you read the rules. Is facing an invisible opponent a condition that makes you lose your Dex bonus to AC? Yes. Does Uncanny Dodge let you retain your Dex bonus to AC despite this condition? Yes. Does Uncanny Dodge allow you to retain your other dodge bonuses to AC? That's open to interpretation.

I'm not actually sure what the official answer is (and for the record, I don't care since I no longer run d20 anything and I know what my DM's ruling for my 3.5 game is on the subject).

In fact, it was rules questions like this that convinced me to hang up my 3e DMing hat for good and return to my roots.

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#### Caliban

##### Rules Monkey
Ourph said:
It depends on how you read the rules. Is facing an invisible opponent a condition that makes you lose your Dex bonus to AC? Yes. Does Uncanny Dodge let you retain your Dex bonus to AC despite this condition? Yes. Does Uncanny Dodge allow you to retain your other dodge bonuses to AC? That's open to interpretation.
Not really.

You lose your Dodge bonus to AC when you lose your Dex bonus AC.

Did the condition actually make you lose your Dex bonus? No, it did not.

Does this mean you keep your Dodge bonus? Yes.

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#### Ourph

##### First Post
Caliban said:
Did the condition actually make you lose your Dex bonus? No, it did not.

Fact.

Caliban said:
Does this mean you keep your Dodge bonus? Yes.

Opinion.

If Uncanny Dodge specifically said "you retain your Dex bonus to AC (if any) and any other Dodge bonuses to AC (if any)" there would be no need for interpretation, but it doesn't.

IMO, if an ability does not specifically state the character receives a benefit, s/he doesn't.

#### Elder-Basilisk

##### First Post
Ourph said:
To be clear, the example in question had the rogue with uncanny dodge facing an invisible opponent he was unaware of.

I find it very strange that the rules would call for a character to get his Mobility AC bonus and his Fighting Defensively AC bonus vs. an opponent he cannot see and isn't aware of. Therefore, I interpret the rules differently.

Yeah, it's almost uncanny the way rogues and barbarians can dodge blows from foes they're unaware of isn't it. Maybe that's why it's called UNCANNY dodge.

In fact, it was rules questions like this that convinced me to hang up my 3e DMing hat for good and return to my roots.

Like a good many so-called difficult rules questions in D&D 3.x, it's only difficult if you decide to make it so. If you decide that a rogue has the uncanny ability to dodge threats he's unaware of just as well as the threats he is aware of (somewhat like D'artagnan can parry foes behind him just as easily as foes in front of him in the barfight scene from Musketeer), then it's pretty easy to interpret most issues.

#### Ourph

##### First Post
Elder-Basilisk said:
Like a good many so-called difficult rules questions in D&D 3.x, it's only difficult if you decide to make it so. If you decide that a rogue has the uncanny ability to dodge threats he's unaware of just as well as the threats he is aware of (somewhat like D'artagnan can parry foes behind him just as easily as foes in front of him in the barfight scene from Musketeer), then it's pretty easy to interpret most issues.

I never said it was difficult. I never had a problem with the specific rules or my interpretation of them.

However, this isn't really the forum to discuss why I don't like DMing the 3e version of D&D, so I'll just say it didn't appeal to me and leave it at that.

#### Caliban

##### Rules Monkey
Ourph said:
Fact.

Opinion.

If Uncanny Dodge specifically said "you retain your Dex bonus to AC (if any) and any other Dodge bonuses to AC (if any)" there would be no need for interpretation, but it doesn't.

IMO, if an ability does not specifically state the character receives a benefit, s/he doesn't.
It's not just an opinion.

The PHB states that any situation that negates your Dex bonus also negates your Dodge bonuses. (Page 307)

Did the situation negate the character's Dex bonus? No, it did not.

Therefore, by the rules as written, they don't lose any Dodge bonus.

It's just that simple.

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#### Ourph

##### First Post
Caliban said:

It's a chicken and egg scenario.

Did you lose your Dex bonus? Yes.
Did you lose your Dodge bonuses? Yes.
Does Uncanny Dodge give your Dex bonus back to you? Yes.
Does Uncanny Dodge give your Dodge bonuses back to you? It doesn't say that it does, therefore my ruling is that it does not.

Unless you can show me a sentence in any of the rulebooks that specifically says Uncanny Dodge allows you to retain ALL dodge bonuses to AC, I'm not conceding your interpretation is fact.

However, I'm not asking anyone to concede my interpretation is fact either.

#### Caliban

##### Rules Monkey
Ourph said:
It's a chicken and egg scenario.

Did you lose your Dex bonus? Yes.
Did you lose your Dodge bonuses? Yes.
Does Uncanny Dodge give your Dex bonus back to you? Yes.
No that's incorrect. Uncanny dodge makes it so that you never lose your Dex bonus in the first place. You retain it, you don't lose it and get it back.

At no time are you without your Dex bonus. If you never lose your Dex bonus, then why would you lose your Dodge bonus?

You have been shown where the rules state that you lose your Dodge bonus if you lose your Dex bonus.

You have been shown where the rules state that Uncanny Dodge prevents you from losing your Dex bonus.

Now you show me were it says that you can lose your Dodge bonus even if you don't lose your Dex bonus.

Show me anything that actually supports your position.

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#### ruleslawyer

##### Registered User
What Caliban said.

Ourph: Your doubt would only apply if the character in question were exposed to a situation that specifically denied him his dodge bonus to AC rather than denying him his Dex bonus. There's no cause-and-effect here. If a character loses his Dex bonus, he loses his dodge bonus as a consequence. If a character does not lose his Dex bonus, then there is no loss of dodge bonus.

#### dcollins

##### First Post
I agree that Uncanny Dodge prevents loss of the Dex bonus to AC, and therefore retains Dodge bonuses. That's also the simplest way to handle it.

The ability to dodge an unseen attacker is truly Uncanny.

#### Lonely Tylenol

##### First Post
Note that the Uncanny Dodge ability specifically says "if he is struck while flat-footed. Uncanny Dodge doesn't eliminate the condition that caused you to lose your Dex bonus to AC, it merely allows you to keep your Dodge bonus to AC in spite of it.

Therefore, the condition that denies you your other dodge bonuses still exists and causes all but the one based on your Dex modifier to go away. Uncanny Dodge only addresses the character's Dex bonus, if it also applies to other dodge bonuses it should say "he retains his Dex bonus to AC (if any) and any other dodge bonuses to AC (if any) even if he is struck while flat-footed or by an invisible opponent.

To be clear, being attacked by an invisible attacker was not the cause of your loss of dodge bonuses, and uncanny dodge does in fact remove the effect which did cause you to lose your dodge bonuses.

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#### WizarDru

Elder-Basilisk said:
Yeah, it's almost uncanny the way rogues and barbarians can dodge blows from foes they're unaware of isn't it. Maybe that's why it's called UNCANNY dodge.
That made me laugh out loud. Kudos, sir, kudos.

Heh. Still makes me chuckle. "almost uncanny." I'll be grinning for a while, yet.

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#### jodyjohnson

##### First Post
6 to 1. Does the Jury need to be unanimous?

#### Christian

##### Explorer
Boy, I'm glad my DM didn't rule that way when my rogue was on total defense against invisible opponents the last two game sessions. Though I'm not sure that he realized that other party members (besides the barbarian) wouldn't be able to get the AC benefit of that, as it wasn't mentioned. And nobody else was as cowardly ... erm, practical as I was. (I have a firm policy of not getting into melee with anything I can't sneak attack. Sue me.)