D&D 5E Why AD&D Rocks and 3e - 5e Mocks all over AC...

GreyLord

Legend
This is actually somewhat tongue in cheek...so don't take the title all THAT seriously. This isn't REALLY an AD&D vs. other editions thing...it's more of a discussion on the why's and what's of AC in 3e and 5e.


AD&D allows the full DEX modifier.

I found it ridiculous how 3e decided that your DEX modifier to AC was limited due to the armor type. Even more so with 5e.

Why did they even start this trend (Back in 3e) of limiting the amount of DEX modifier you could have to your AC depending on the type of armor you wore?

Ridiculous assumptions regarding armor? Fallacious views of how mobile knights were?

Anyone know the answer?

Anyone share my view that the full DEX modifier should be allowed to be added to AC regardless of armor type. The only thing that happens by not allowing this is reducing Warrior efficiency. People already criticize the Warrior types for being weaker at higher levels...let them have that DEX bonus (if they even have it) to their AC!
 

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Lanefan

Victoria Rules
Way back when - i.e. in about 1983 - we houseruled that heavy armour had a maximum effective dex it would allow, as it just made sense. Enchanted heavy armour sometimes got around this.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
AC range too.

D&D more or less has AC in a ~10 point AC range for nonmagical armor. From 1 to 8. 10 to 0. Or 10 to 20. Once Dex modifier was raised to +4 at 18, it was too high for that range to be added to AC. It would only give 6 points of wiggle room. So only lighter armor gave full bonus.

One thing I hope for in 6e is the return of 4e Weapon. A +2 or +3 bonus based to the weapon.

This would allow for AC to exceed 20 in mundane tiers as the "to hit" roll would be: Strength or Dexterity Modifier + Weapon Bonus + Proficiency Modifier.

Then AC could be Armor bonus + Shield bonus + Dexterity or Strength Modifier. Plate and Shield with 20 DEX or 20 STR could be 25 AC.
 




Oofta

Legend
Try it in leather armor which allows full dex bonuses. :p
Nah, studded leather armor is where it's at. Take that biker jacket, cut off the arms, put random studs here and there an presto! Functional armor that is not only perfect for those hot days, Olympic swimming events, is comfy to sleep in, doesn't ever interfere with movement at all! So functional it's like it doesn't even exist! :unsure:
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
Why did they even start this trend (Back in 3e) of limiting the amount of DEX modifier you could have to your AC depending on the type of armor you wore?

Ridiculous assumptions regarding armor? Fallacious views of how mobile knights were?

Anyone know the answer?

Anyone share my view that the full DEX modifier should be allowed to be added to AC regardless of armor type. The only thing that happens by not allowing this is reducing Warrior efficiency. People already criticize the Warrior types for being weaker at higher levels...let them have that DEX bonus (if they even have it) to their AC!
Probably a combination of a few factors. Likely elements include:

1. Trying to make Dex slightly less of a "God Stat", critical for all characters.
2. Trying to make both light-armored and heavy-armored characters come out with similar total ACs, thus making both archetypes similarly viable in combat.
3. Simple verisimilitude for most gamers. I've run around in armor and out of it, and while strong, athletic people in armor can absolutely still move athletically, the difference in how you can move is stark and apparent when you're wearing 30-50lbs of extra weight vs when you're not. Hence why gymnasts and dancers wear as light kit as they possibly can, to maximize performance.

I think factor 2 is pretty key. As designers, do we want to make heavy armor compulsory/eliminate the swashbuckling fighter as an archetype (at least without the aid of magic) in a game where heavy armor is allowed?

Do we want the heavy armored fighters to be so much harder to hit than everyone else that it makes encounter scaling more difficult?

Of course, other approaches could be taken, like giving heavy armor Damage Resistance.
 
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Oofta

Legend
We don't get dex added to armor because if we did there would be virtually no reason to have a strength higher than what you need to carry. I blame the whole myth of the dextrous fighter being as good as the tank covered in steel. 🤷‍♂️
 

Mannahnin

Scion of Murgen (He/Him)
We don't get dex added to armor because if we did there would be virtually no reason to have a strength higher than what you need to carry.
Well, depending on where you set the requirements, that could be reason enough. Fighters would then need both good Strength and Dex, as in real life. Whether we want front line warrior types to generally be a bit more multiple-ability-dependent is then the question.

I blame the whole myth of the dextrous fighter being as good as the tank covered in steel. 🤷‍♂️
The unarmored fighter winning over the armored guy is definitely a big trope in fiction, and I'm sure that's a contributing factor.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
I've reached the point in my D&D gaming where I actually wouldn't mind seeing Dexterity removed entirely from AC calculation. Armor and shield calculations for 'Armor Class' would be about how well they absorb the potential damage of a solid hit... whereas anything having to do with parrying or dodging or cover (in other words 'avoiding') hits would be some other calculation.

I know that won't happen just because it would add additional rolls and things to deal with all in an attempt to increase the "reality" of weapon combat and thus the complexity for no real necessity (in D&D at least). But there is something to be said for a double layer of "protection"... the complete avoidance of blows number (from dodging and cover), and then the number for when you absorb the hit with the weapon, shield or armor (oftentimes done as 'damage resistance' in alternate D&D rules).

I imagine some of the more complex swordfighting RPGs might have levels like that, but they just are more trouble than they are worth in D&D for the larger playerbase.
 

Oofta

Legend
Well, depending on where you set the requirements, that could be reason enough. Fighters would then need both good Strength and Dex, as in real life. Whether we want front line warrior types to generally be a bit more multiple-ability-dependent is then the question.
I personally appreciate that I can play the tank that's, if not clumsy is at least not going to be doing triple backflips any time soon. It does kind of fit general a general archetype.

The current approach more or less works from a balance perspective, even if I do think dex should be nerfed bit or strength should get some boosts.

The unarmored fighter winning over the armored guy is definitely a big trope in fiction, and I'm sure that's a contributing factor.

When it comes to high quality plate, I think the game underestimates how effective it can be while simultaneously being too generous with dexterity. The superiority of dex applies to more things than just AC. Ah well, no system is perfect.
 

It's primarily a gamist concession to avoid turning Dexterity into even more of a "god" stat, without enforcing draconian (heh) requirements for high strength on heavier armor.

If the lack of realism bothers you, try to practice the MST3k mantra, and focus on your ability to overlook things like "a combat round is only 6 seconds" or "a good night's sleep heals the most grievous of injuries" (unless you houserule it, of course.)
 



Jer

Legend
Supporter
I've reached the point in my D&D gaming where I actually wouldn't mind seeing Dexterity removed entirely from AC calculation.
I'm at the point in my D&D gaming where I actually wouldn't mind seeing stat bonuses removed entirely from the game. Or maybe only as bonuses/penalties to saving throws.

(Mildly tongue in cheek, but thinking about how little stats mattered in D&D unless you were a huge outlier compared to how core they became in the game with 3e makes me wonder about an alternate history where D&D did the opposite and demphasized stats even more instead of making them more important.)
 


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