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AC of 80 at 20th level?

   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Avaday Daydream View Post
Actually, the scenario is important; the question is 'How do you get your AC to a sufficient point that a monster of equivalent CR cannot hit you (except with natural-20 auto-hits)?'
It doesn't need to be an AC-as-high-as-possible, it just needs to be 21+enemy attack bonus high. Bonus points if you can still be effective in a fight while being tap-danced upon by a Tarrasque.
The real answer is: You can't. Because no DM wants to run a game where one member of the party is functionally invulnerable. If you build a character that has the AC such that all possible CR-appropriate enemies can hit only on a 20, one of the following things will start happening:

1.) The DM adds situational bonuses, such as aspects of the terrain or swapping feats or adding random magical bonuses ("Oh, this purple worm just ate an adventurer who was carrying a potion of Heroism"), to bring the math back in line to whatever they think is a "fair" chance to hit you.

2.) The DM finds ways to debuff your AC, such as finding ways to catch you flat-footed or hitting you with spells that stack on penalties, until they reach the same "fair" chance.

3.) The DM designs battles around removing you or otherwise diminishing your importance, such that it makes logical sense for the monster to not even bother attacking you, letting you sit by yourself with your perfect AC while the rest of group has fun.

4.) The DM will begin using non-CR appropriate monsters, reasoning that obviously his players are skilled enough that the CR guidelines don't apply. The more your AC increases, the more they assume they need to use higher CR monsters, until the rest of your party gets killed by a monster no one but you can handle.

5.) The DM completely ignores your AC since they're rolling behind a screen anyway, and just announces that the monster hits you about 20% of the time (or whatever they think is "fair"). Since you aren't privy to the monster's stats and can't say for certain what the monster's attack bonus actually is, you don't know whether they are adding legitimate bonuses or merely handwaving it.

6.) A mixture of several of the above.

A perfect defense of any kind is useful for exactly one play session, the one in which you surprise your DM with it. After which almost every DM will find a way, with varying degrees of subtlety and rule-fealty, to subvert it. So if you want high AC as a thought experiment, great! If you think it will actually render you invulnerable in an actual game played by actual people, that's not gonna happen.

This is a thread about optimization. Arguing that the GM will simply counter-optimize is not appropriate.

Algid Enhancement would do it with Greater Circle Magic. Get your CL up to 40 and grab the [Cold] subtype via Mantle of the Icy Soul and you can get +14 Deflection to AC from just that spell.

Greater Luminous Armor cast by level 5 Abjurant Champion gives a further +13 Armor.

Take the feat Otherworldly at first level to count as an Outsider, and (as TheFred said) Polymorph into a Pit Fiend for +23 Natural Armor.

60 = 10 (Base) + 23 (Natural) + 13 (Armor) + 14 (Deflection)

Now you're up to 60 and you haven't included any real stats or anything yet.

Throw on a Mithril Chain Shirt just for the hell of it; you're getting your Armor bonus from the GLA spell anyhow...
...but it does give you a vehicle for both magic vestment...
...and +1 Defending Armor Spikes and +1 Defending Armor Razors, so there's another +15, no hands needed.

75 = 10 (Base) + 23 (Natural) + 13 (Armor) + 5 (Enhancement Bonus to Armor) + 14 (Deflection) + 10 (Untyped; Defending)

You hit 80 right there if you have at least a 20 Dexterity.

Oh, wait, you're a level 5 Abjurant Champion. Cast Shield for another +9.

84 = 10 (Base) + 23 (Natural) + 13 (Armor) + 5 (Enhancement Bonus to Armor) + 9 (Shield) + 14 (Deflection) + 10 (Untyped; Defending)

Wear a buckler (that you don't need b/c you're using a Shield spell) and use it as a vehicle for magic vestment and shield of warding.

99 = 10 (Base) + 23 (Natural) + 13 (Armor) + 5 (Enhancement Bonus to Armor) + 9 (Shield) + 5 (Enhancement Bonus to Shield) + 14 (Deflection) + 10 (Untyped; Defending) + 5 (Sacred)

For this exercise to work as-written, you are a Wizard 5 / Red Wizard (or Hathran) 10 / Abjurant Champion 5
with a Cleric or Archivist cohort capable of casting at least 6th level spells.

Best I can do; there's probably more. I still haven't accounted for Dex or other abilities.

On the old Gleemax forums, Otto the Bugbear (I believe) hit 302 AC with this build.



Note: there was nothing official in 3.5 to stop the three Wis to AC abilities from stacking but I doubt any GM anywhere has ever allowed all three on one character.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kakita Ayame
Armor/Shield Spikes + defending, iirc, stack up for more AC.
For a somewhat race/class independent method I highly second the Armor/Shield Spike path.
  • +5 Defending Armor Spikes
  • +5 Defending Shield Spike
  • +5 Defending Gauntlet x2
  • +5 Defending One Handed Weapon
  • Total Boost to AC: +25

If you're DM is willing to utilize some 3.0 Psionic content, the fear Deflective Armor lets you apply your armor bonus to your touch AC. This coupled with Parrying Shield from Lord's of Madness and you get your full armor + shield bonus to your touch AC.
  • +5 Mithril Fullplate (Armor by itself grants +10 AC thanks to Heavy Armor Optimization feat)
  • +5 Mithril Tower Shield (With +5 Shield Spike - Note: While you cannot shield bash with a tower shield it makes no mention of disallowing shield spikes added to it.)
  • Total Boost to AC: +24

Combined with the previously listed items you're looking at an unbuffed touch AC of 63 assuming a +4 dex modifier. Throw in a Ring of Protection +5 and that boosts your touch AC up to 68.

Some touch up points here:

Instead of GLA or Mithril Full Plate (which would loose the HAO feat since it is no longer Heavy armor!) use Mithril Mountain Plate (races of stone) since it specifically calls out that mithril versions are still heavy armor and starts at +10 to AC, so with HAO thats +11 armor and with GHAO a total of +13(!) without any enhancements. Sure it costs a feat to be proficient, but if the goal is the highest AC...do we care about that?

Find a way to get the Incorporeal subtype or cast Scintillating Scales on yourself, now all that shiny Pit Fiend +NA is a deflection bonus and influences Touch Armor!

I don't think a +5 enhancement bonus to your chain shirt is that useful if your shirt is still giving you less AC than your Luminous Armour. The +5 doesn't apply to the bonus provided by the spell (and, technically, not to your AC either but to a different bonus to AC). Heavy Armour can definitely beat Luminous Armour but the latter stacks with Monk's Belt and other AC-boosting abilities (it also imposes a -4 on enemy's melee attacks which in many cases is an effective +4 more to AC).

@TheFred. I believe the +X on the chain shirt is there for the sole use of the defending property to be sacrificed away for that juicy untyped bonus to AC. In addition, I believe this conversation is ignoring obvious other defensive things like (Greater) Luminous Armor's -4 on to-hit rolls for enemies and keeping the focus on simply jacking ones AC to the highest value possible. Otherwise, we have to get into the practical bonus to AC of such things as "the best defense is a good offense" (in other words, what is the AC bonus of my enemy being dead?) or the Hamster-ball conjurer.

Defending is a weapon enhancement. There's one to let you swap your armour enhancement bonus for a bonus to saves, which would be worthwhile if you were also using a spell for the AC, but not really relevant for this discussion (and anyway, a Monk's Belt is likely to be at least as good even for non-Wis-based characters, as with a +6 Wis item and a tome +5 you're unlikely to have less than a +5 to AC from it, and unarmoured you have no max Dex either).

Luminous Armour's penalty is relevant if you're asking what AC you need to evade a given foe's melee attacks. Then again, I guess that it's still situational in the same way that e.g. Mirror Image is, as some foes will be able to ignore it.

I don't really know about stacking Defending enchantments on armor/shield spikes and gauntlets and weapons; the wording of the 'Defending' enchantment suggests that you need to be able to use the weapon in order to benefit from the enchantment.
So you could fight kung-fu-ish style and bludgeon people with gauntlets, or fight with a sword with one hand and use your armor spikes to make off-hand attacks, or fight with two weapons, or one weapon and a spiked shield...but in any case, while you can put Defending enchantments on all of those things, I don't think you can actually activate said enchantments unless you're actively wielding them as weapons.

...Of course, if you played a thri-kreen (from the Expanded Psionics Handbook, not SRD material), or somehow polymorphed yourself into a marilith (though there's the 15 HD limit on normal Polymorph and it doesn't allow you to polymorph into outsiders, how do you get around that?), you could Multiattack with all of the defending weapons/shields/armor-spikes you have hands for.

But do keep in mind: (Source)
Quote:
You canít put spikes on a buckler or a tower shield.
Also, looking at the EPH (bits that are on the SRD, too), Inertial Armor can be augmented up to a +13 armor bonus at level 20, with Force Screen being able to provide a +9 shield bonus. Although both of them (like a large number of psionic powers) are self-targeting only, so you can't really use them to buff someone else.







 

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