Author Topic: This server still hating on shields.  (Read 1428 times)

Green Monster

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #25 on: January 17, 2019, 07:50:35 PM »
Two handed sword 18 str 14 dex
AC from Parry and related feats = +6
Steel Greatsword 1-12 +1-6 (steel) +6 (1.5x str bonus) = 8-24, avg 16
4 attacks per round = avg 64 dmg per round

Bastard sword 18 str 16 dex, nothing in off hand
AC from Parry and related feats = +9 Winner: Defense category
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
4 Attacks per round = 52 dmg per round

Bastard sword 18 str 15 dex, shield in off hand
AC from Parry and shield and related feats +8 (the way the skill check penalties work, you lose 1 parry ac for heavy and 2 for tower, so you can only ever get total +8 no matter what size the shield is)
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
4 Attacks per round = 52 dmg per round

Bastard Sword and Short Sword 18 str 16 dex
AC from Parry and related feats = +8
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
main hand 4 attacks per round = 52 dmg
Steel Short Sword 1-6 +2 (steel) +2 (0.5 str bonus) = 5-10, avg 7.5
off hand 2 attacks per round = 15
avg 67 dmg per round Winner: Offense category


So, the only way someone with a shield can hope to get close to the same defense as someone with nothing in their off hand, or a dagger in the off hand, is to pump way too much points into dex and/or enchant the shield, losing a level to boost an item that they might drop and loose if they get killed.

This is not ok. This is broken.

Three things need to happen to fix this:

1) Remove the 15 dex requirement from Shield Parry. You don't have to be a ballet dancer to intercept a blade with a shield. That's why shields exist. A shield is a pretty big target, it's hard for your opponent not to hit it. That's the point of a shield: your opponent hits it instead of you.

2) Have Shield Parry feat reduce the parry penalty for using a shield by 3 (by granting +3 parry when a shield is equipped). This would make shields as follows when the character has Shield Parry feat: Light = no parry penalty, Heavy = -5 parry, Tower -10 parry. Remember, all a two-handed sword user has to do to get full parry bonus is get Improved Parry, which grants +4 parry.

3) Make Bonetti's Defense (love the name) work ONLY with light, finessable weapons. No one's fencing with a 10 pound bastard sword. I don't care how strong you are, wrists can't move something that bulky that fast.




« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 08:01:40 PM by Green Monster »
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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #26 on: January 17, 2019, 07:55:53 PM »
Once again you are forgetting the fact that to maximize the AC you need 22 AC. The only way to get 6 AC from Parry is to have 30 Parry and no ACP whatsoever. You also completely dismiss the major feat investment.

And you also forget varnishes and buffs for the shields, so your analysis is partial. We actually ran all possible scenarios to compare.

Green Monster

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #27 on: January 17, 2019, 08:10:49 PM »
Once again you are forgetting the fact that to maximize the AC you need 22 AC. The only way to get 6 AC from Parry is to have 30 Parry and no ACP whatsoever.

So that's not possible with a high dex build and leather armor? I'm pretty sure it's quite doable. Certain, in fact.

You also completely dismiss the major feat investment.

The ever-popular and over-powered rogue/fighter combo can spend all the required feats and still have plenty to spare.


And you also forget varnishes and buffs for the shields, so your analysis is partial. We actually ran all possible scenarios to compare.

I'm not forgetting temporary varnishes and buffs. I discount them because they're temporary, dispellable, and costly.



You're still not answering my initial questions.

Why can someone with a dagger, or nothing at all, in their left hand block better than someone with a shield? Why does it takes 15 dex to intercept a 2 inch wide sword with a 2 foot wide shield?

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #28 on: January 17, 2019, 08:35:14 PM »
I think that your answer has been stated, it's just not one that satisfies you.  I do remember the old thread about this which I believe was over a year ago.  I think if the developers agreed with how you'd like to see things that there likely would have been a change that reflected that agreement between then and now.

The answer to your question appears to be, quite simply, that this is how it's currently done on POTM.  Whether or not that may change in the future is hard to say, but it's been pretty clearly stated that it is not changing currently.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 08:37:20 PM by FinalHeaven »

Green Monster

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #29 on: January 17, 2019, 08:44:01 PM »

The answer to your question appears to be, quite simply, that this is how it's currently done on POTM.

Ah, "because I said so" then. Right. Can I get an official answer from an actual dev?

Quote from: Me
Why can someone with a dagger, or nothing at all, in their left hand block better than someone with a shield? Why does it takes 15 dex to intercept a 2 inch wide sword with a 2 foot wide shield?

Still waiting for an official answer on that.


I think a sensible person would agree that the 15 dex requirement needs to go for BOTH reasons of immersion and reasons of balance. From an immersion standpoint, that shield should be doing more to block blows than a dagger. From a balance standpoint, there's already enough love for high-dex builds ( Two Weapon Defense series of feats, Bonetti's Defense series of feats). Shield Parry should be the LOW dex defensive build option.
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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2019, 09:01:46 PM »
Quote
Still waiting for an official answer on that.

You need to moderate your aggressiveness here, or we'll just close the thread.

The answer, which is fairly self-evident is that in D&D armor class represents a lot of things. It is a general measure of "difficult to hit-ness." Someone with dexterity dodges; someone with a shield blocks. It represents also such intangibles as presence of mind (monk) and the durability of one's skin (dragon disciple). Trying to get overmuch into the physical mechanics isn't particularly useful for this reason.
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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2019, 09:10:08 PM »
I'm not being aggressive, or rather, not intending to be. I'm just frustrated that there's so little for builds that can't invest in dex because they need the points for cha, int, wis, etcetera. Elsewhere, low dex and heavy armor vs high dex and lighter armor are comparable builds. Here, not. Why does shield parry require 15 dex? Why? It's hard NOT to intercept a sword with a shield. You'd have to actually turn round the other way because the shield is on the left arm, which is your opponent's sword side, and the shield is two feet across.

All I'm asking is ditch the 15 dex requirement on Shield Parry. People with 15 dex can get two weapon defense and all the associated feats, can get two out of three of the Bonetti's Defense feats (and are only 1 dex away from all 3). Please, just remove the dex requirement from Shield Parry. Please. Make it the low dex build option.
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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2019, 09:23:52 PM »
I'm not being aggressive, or rather, not intending to be. I'm just frustrated that there's so little for builds that can't invest in dex because they need the points for cha, int, wis, etcetera. Elsewhere, low dex and heavy armor vs high dex and lighter armor are comparable builds. Here, not. Why does shield parry require 15 dex? Why? It's hard NOT to intercept a sword with a shield. You'd have to actually turn round the other way because the shield is on the left arm, which is your opponent's sword side, and the shield is two feet across.

All I'm asking is ditch the 15 dex requirement on Shield Parry. People with 15 dex can get two weapon defense and all the associated feats, can get two out of three of the Bonetti's Defense feats (and are only 1 dex away from all 3). Please, just remove the dex requirement from Shield Parry. Please. Make it the low dex build option.

First of all, to get the three Two Weapon Defense feats, you need 19 Dex, same as Bonetti's Defense. Please ensure you actually research the facts before stating them or including them in your analysis.

We have looked at the numbers and balanced the feats accordingly. You may disagree with it, despite my different points, and that's your prerogative but we have no plans to change the feats right now because they work properly. The only change that may happen eventually, as aporg mentioned, is raising the base AC of tower shields to 4, if Beamdog fixes that bug.

And regardless of intent, aggressive and disrespectful tone is not tolerated here, so I encourage you to consider Arawn's feedback before posting or responding.

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2019, 09:25:35 PM »
This thread seems to be going nowhere but to toxicity.

Green Monster

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2019, 10:25:35 PM »
Well, thank all of you for your time. I do apologize for any ill-feeling my frustrations have caused.
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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2019, 10:32:05 PM »
Stance hasn't changed since the last thread.

Very disappointed the tower shield changes aren't in yet (if there even was any). This was their (alleged) change to +4 AC.

Disappointed in general there's literally no point in using a shield other than to save feats and even then, unless you have a cleric or endless stream of varnishes, or get an enchanted shield, you still don't get anywhere near the AC a DEX based character does (or even as quickly OR reliably).

Problem still easily solved as to give them % immunity to damage types or unique functions through feats.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 10:33:52 PM by Phantasia »
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Green Monster

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2019, 01:29:15 AM »
Stance hasn't changed since the last thread.

Very disappointed the tower shield changes aren't in yet (if there even was any). This was their (alleged) change to +4 AC.

Disappointed in general there's literally no point in using a shield other than to save feats and even then, unless you have a cleric or endless stream of varnishes, or get an enchanted shield, you still don't get anywhere near the AC a DEX based character does (or even as quickly OR reliably).

Problem still easily solved as to give them % immunity to damage types or unique functions through feats.

What I want to play, the archetype that I find most visually appealing, is a low-dex, high strength, high defense, sword and shield type character. A build that is perfectly viable (though costly equipment) everywhere but here. Here, enemies are balanced against dex-based ac that a shield user can't reach. I decided last time I brought this subject up that since what I wanted to play wasn't a viable build here this wasn't the server for me. I was correct. Shame though, it's my favourite setting. Not the only one I like, but my favourite. Good luck to you, and have fun.
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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2019, 01:47:12 AM »
I played a low dex tower shield wielding combat build for several years.  At the end the character was not only one of the most feared PvP combatants, but also one of the strongest frontline characters of the server.  In short, this reaction is frankly kneejerk.  To call a tower shield wielding low dex character unviable because of a potential single point of AC (which I assure is seldom the case) is a bit silly.

As EO has stated, it requires a base dexterity of 22.  In truth, this is -very- rare due to the sheer need for split stats.  I'd be surprised if anyone took the build he mentioned, even with all the feats, as frankly, its only truly powerful at end stage levels.

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2019, 03:04:17 AM »
I always felt like the shield parry required builds were too finicky to make work. You'd really have to invest and build for it with what feels like a minimal turn-around, and ultimately sub-optimal offensive prowess. I've always felt that one-handed dex builds with a rapier, or two-handed dex builds with dual-weapon defense landed their hits more, and ended up with better AC.

..And from my vain aesthetic standpoints, I've always like that this server allows you to now have a character who just uses a sword, or uses a sword and a dagger to parry with. It's incredibly satisfying from a historical standpoint and from an aesthetic standpoint. Shields? Are almost always ugly, especially the tower shield models. Large shields are OK, and none of the small shields seem to actually resemble bucklers, which turns me off of investing in a character with an awkwardly ugly item, not to mention the mechanical hindrances.

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2019, 08:22:30 AM »
One consideration to keep in mind is that POTM has fundamentally altered parry from the original NWN implementation:

Quote
Parry allows the character to block incoming attacks and make spectacular counterattacks....

Special: Wearing armor may incur a penalty to the roll. If the parry is successful and the difference between the roll and the DC is ten points or greater, a counterattack occurs.

When parry involves making a "spectacular counterattack," dexterity as a modifier and having an armor check penalty make more sense. But on POTM parry skill equals only armor class. Consequently, that a tower shield has an ACP of -10 means the wielder is effectively nullifying two points of AC that might have been gained through parry. This is 2/3 of the benefit of a 40-pound item.

That seems pretty unbalanced. Full plate gives 8 AC and incurs only a -8 ACP, nor does it require giving up employing the off-hand to some other purpose.

When parry is a combat mode that provides additional offense (a counterattack), then the shield in the off-hand incurring a penalty is plausible, but when parry is purely blocking incoming blows, then it is pretty counter-intuitive that having a shield makes this more difficult. That is the issue I have and is IMO at the root of the OP's.

If lowering the Dex requirement for Shield Parry won't be considered by Devs, I wonder whether there is any way to make ACP no longer apply to the parry skill?

Another idea for making tower shields better per "unique functions through feats" is granting those using tower shields a greater size category when receiving and attempting knockdowns. I imagine having a portable "door" in front of you would be comparably advantageous to being a little bigger in those situations.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 08:40:37 AM by Iridni Ren »

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2019, 02:11:21 PM »
From what I recall though, the shield parry feats weren't designed with tower shields in mind. They were put in specifically to make lighter shields more viable. Before they were added, the only real reason to use a small or large shield over a tower shield was purely weight considerations... meaning characters that don't have the strength to lug around such a massive shield. From a practical standpoint, that makes sense to me. While a big heavy tower shield should cover you more effectively than a smaller shield (thus offering more base AC than its lighter counterparts would) it would still be really hard to manoeuvre with any real finesse (which is what I assumed the DEX requirements for the shield parry feats represented).

I think of the shield parry feats as being more than just standing still and blocking an attack, but rather the ability and skill to deflect a blow and maybe even create an opening to counter-attack in the process, something which I feel would be far more difficult to do with a 45-lb shield. If you take none of the shield parry feats, then a small or large shield offers you less AC than a tower shield would. However, with those feats it's like you've learned to use your agility to become more effective with a lighter and smaller shield and thus are better at defending yourself with them. As stated before, AC is a representation of your ability to defend yourself and avoid being hit rather than just how much armour you're wearing.

All that being said, this is just my opinion and interpretation of the feats and I could be completely mistaken. I'm sure there could be a few feats that aren't DEX-based added that don't tie in to the shield parry line directly that caters to non-DEX builds, though. You could have a feat for tower shields that lets you add your STR bonus to your AC when holding one, to simulate the fact that it's better-suited to straight up blocking and taking a hit rather than deflection. Or you could have a feat that makes you more resistant to knockdowns when you're holding a tower shield, since they're essentially a small wall that you can brace yourself and hide behind, if that's even possible without changing size categories which I know isn't viable. Just my two cents on the matter.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 02:13:35 PM by Jeebs »

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #41 on: January 18, 2019, 03:53:47 PM »
Two handed sword 18 str 14 dex
AC from Parry and related feats = +6
Steel Greatsword 1-12 +1-6 (steel) +6 (1.5x str bonus) = 8-24, avg 16
4 attacks per round = avg 64 dmg per round

Bastard sword 18 str 16 dex, nothing in off hand
AC from Parry and related feats = +9 Winner: Defense category
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
4 Attacks per round = 52 dmg per round

Bastard sword 18 str 15 dex, shield in off hand
AC from Parry and shield and related feats +8 (the way the skill check penalties work, you lose 1 parry ac for heavy and 2 for tower, so you can only ever get total +8 no matter what size the shield is)
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
4 Attacks per round = 52 dmg per round

Bastard Sword and Short Sword 18 str 16 dex
AC from Parry and related feats = +8
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
main hand 4 attacks per round = 52 dmg
Steel Short Sword 1-6 +2 (steel) +2 (0.5 str bonus) = 5-10, avg 7.5
off hand 2 attacks per round = 15
avg 67 dmg per round Winner: Offense category
I think your calculations may not be fully exact for dual-wielding, as they are not factoring in the effect of decreased AB. In practice, two handed weapons tend to deal the highest damage while dual wielding tends to deal the least unless you're in a situation where your AB is decently high compared to opponent's AC.

As previously stated, at one point the intention was to increase tower shield base AC to 4, but that was unfortunately not feasible.

I understand that you feel pretty strongly about this, but, I've also had shield-wearing characters and I do like the visual idea of a templar glad in full armor, a bastard sword ready to strike from the cover of a tower shield.. As is, while you're correct that this might not be mechanically the strongest build, in the end, what we're talking of are differences of a few points of AC at most. The concept is not made or broken by such a minor difference in its power. You can compensate for "weaknesses" in a build by simply being fluent with the game mechanics and gameplay. A few points of AC, AB or damage should not be a deal-breaker.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2019, 04:54:35 PM by Exordium »

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #42 on: January 18, 2019, 05:12:50 PM »
Two handed sword 18 str 14 dex
AC from Parry and related feats = +6
Steel Greatsword 1-12 +1-6 (steel) +6 (1.5x str bonus) = 8-24, avg 16
4 attacks per round = avg 64 dmg per round

Bastard sword 18 str 16 dex, nothing in off hand
AC from Parry and related feats = +9 Winner: Defense category
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
4 Attacks per round = 52 dmg per round

Bastard sword 18 str 15 dex, shield in off hand
AC from Parry and shield and related feats +8 (the way the skill check penalties work, you lose 1 parry ac for heavy and 2 for tower, so you can only ever get total +8 no matter what size the shield is)
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
4 Attacks per round = 52 dmg per round

Bastard Sword and Short Sword 18 str 16 dex
AC from Parry and related feats = +8
Steel Bastard Sword 1-10 +1-6 (steel) +4 (str bonus) = 6-20, avg 13
main hand 4 attacks per round = 52 dmg
Steel Short Sword 1-6 +2 (steel) +2 (0.5 str bonus) = 5-10, avg 7.5
off hand 2 attacks per round = 15
avg 67 dmg per round Winner: Offense category
So there's a few issues with your estimations I'd like to see addressed.

1. Nowhere in here have you spoken about armor choice to maximize you AC for a given dexterity. With each armor choice there will be additional ACP (unless we are to assume all three cases are using leather or below armor each of which would horribly unoptimal.)

2. The actual ACP from armor will be greater than you have presented and will affect the maximum ac you can receive from Parry further skewing your assumed numbers.

3. While you might be able to achieve better AC from parry by using leather armor (if that was in fact your intent and not just an oversight) your overall AC will be far, far lower. You should be presenting a holistic picture of a given scenarios AC.

4. As Exordium mentioned you would be wise to include the AB of each given scenario and factor in probability to hit in several situations. (High AC/low AC targets and how quickly you achieve time to kill which is a better representation of build power rather than just DPS assuming all attacks hit. )

5. You failed to include critical hits in your average DPS. (The numbers you have provided are lower than actual) assuming we hit every attack.

6. In your fourth example your given character with 16 dex does not meet the minimum requirements for improved two weapon defense which you assume they would take. Even assuming 30 parry in leather armor this character would be only be able to achieve 7 bonus ac  (+6 from parry and +1 from two weapon defense.)

7. Last, I'm also confused why you didn't have the fourth scenario take greater two weapon defense for a +3 bonus. (dex requirement of 19 btw) If you're trying to portray the theoretical maximum for each build type you should be factoring that in as well. 

I suggest you review our wiki (http://nwnravenloft.wikia.com/wiki/Ravenloft:_Prisoners_of_the_Mist_Wikia) for additional information on the parry system, Bonetti's Defense line of feats, Two weapon defense line of feat and the shield parry feat. I'd also suggest using the Free-Advice channel on discord for insight into maximizing a characters AC and damage output. I'm sure one of our experienced players will be more than happy to help you.

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #43 on: March 12, 2019, 09:34:06 PM »
Seems a bit odd that the best way to get a high AC is to not use a shield. A little counter-intuitive, but not my cup of tea anyway!

Of course, you could go super radical and scrap the whole system and do what they did on Legacy of Britain:

AC goes up with each level (though the level cap was 8, with only feats coming after that). Perhaps on here that AC bonus could come from Parry so long as you don't use ACP from shields.. which is.. again extremely weird and counter-intuitive.

Armor doesn't add to your AC: it gives % damage reduction instead based on damage type. Some armor is good for certain damage types.

Shields give AC based on your ability scores and what you want your shield for:
Small shields give up to 3 AC if you've got high dex, though less if your dex is low and have better offensive capabilities (feats like shieldbashing),

Large shields have less offensive capability, but scale with strength up to like +4 AC.

Tower shields  can't be used as weapons, but scale up with strength to around +5 AC and this goes up for each person beside you with a tower shield, including a bit of extra % damage reduction, so you can make shield walls and really hold the baddies off while your support peppers them.

This system gave high dex builds by far the highest AC bonuses finishing out around 28, even with small shields and bucklers, but strength based and heavily armored shield fighters were solid tanks had decent AC but who relied on absorbing damage.  2-handed warriors were low AC, but depended on absorbing enough damage to drop whomever they were fighting before being killed.

Because of low level caps, you could never get your AC beyond 28 or 29, making these fighters good skirmishers who were fast, but still hittable by other 8th level characters, great for small battles and hit-and-runs. 2-handers probably had a slight edge in duels, but heavier shield fighters were the best at holding off hordes of monsters while their support mowed them down.

« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 09:37:38 PM by Hypatia »

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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #44 on: March 12, 2019, 10:07:58 PM »
Necro spell animate thread has been cast.

Best way to get a high AC overall is to have such a high Dex modifier that it exceeds the armor check.

Otherwise, the Max AC you get out of parry (+6) alongside 3x feats (+3) is equal to a shield with shield parry and greater magical varnish. +3+2+4.

Except in this latter option you aren't investing 19+ dexterity and get to retain some strength damage. Don't worry about it.

The suggested change in mechanics you've listed would result in an overhaul of character builds and enemy creatures. Every stat would have to be adjusted. For everything.

Don't worry about this thread, let it sleep.
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Re: This server still hating on shields.
« Reply #45 on: March 12, 2019, 10:24:44 PM »
Let me second this--this thread long ago ran its course. Locked.
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