View Full Version : Troubles with fighter armor (pathfinder)

Draconi Redfir
2010-03-08, 03:06 AM
Alright hears the deal, I made a lvl 3 bugbear fighter a few months ago, and due to a combination of lack of knowledge and idiocy on my part, I kinda forgot to factor in a few things when i gave him some armour.

I didnít know what armour check penalty was at the time, so I really didnít factor it in to my Dex-related skills (stealth and Ride). And I wound up decking him out with the following gear:

Chainmail: AC+6, check penalty -5, maximum Dex: +2

Heavy wooden shield: AC+2, check pen -2.

So with a Dex mod of 2, and a natural armour of 3 (bugbear) my AC is 23. (10+6+2+2+3)
My skills however, would have turned up something like this:

Ride: 0=Dex 2, +2 ranks, +3 for class skill
Stealth: 0=Dex 2, +1 rank, +4 bugbear bonus

Instead I completely forgot the penalties to these skills, and just kept them as 7.

And now after a short one-shot, I have a new piece of armour for him, yet Iím unsure whether or not to give it to him. Its plate, (half, full, or breast I have no idea) and its masterwork. Somehow giving it the following stats:

Masterwork plate: AC+8, -4 check pen, maximum Dex: +1.

Meaning that if I equipped this to my fighter along with the shield, I would get the following:

AC: 10+8+2+1(dex)+3 = 24.

Ride: 0=Dex 1, +2 ranks, +3 class
Stealth: 0=Dex 1, +1 rank, +4 race.

So overall I get one additional AC, at the cost of one Dex, with no change in my skills. if i ditched the shield, I would get an AC of 22, losing one AC, and gaining only a +2 bonus to my ride and stealth checks.

So I guess what Iím asking is this: which do you think I would be better off with?

23 AC and no bonus to ride or stealth?

24 AC and no bonus to ride or stealth?

Or 22 AC with only a +2 bonus to ride and stealth?

Is switching to the new armour really worth it at all? Should I just keep pretending like i donít know about the skill penalty and hope no one finds out? What should I do?

2010-03-08, 03:25 AM
Never cheat, as a DM, if I found out that someone cheated on purpose, I would not play with that DM again. Besides, you are a fighter, you need more AC and being catched flat-footed is not awesome

2010-03-08, 05:13 AM
Max Dex Bonus only applies to AC, not skills or anything else, so your skills would be one point higher with the plate armor. Also, you don't have to be using the shield all the time - just put it away while your riding or sneaking, and you'll only have the armor's penalty to deal with - still not ideal, but not as bad.

If you plan to do a lot of stealth, you could always get a secondary set of armor for that purpose (maybe masterwork studded leather, which would have no penalty).

2010-03-08, 05:52 AM
Go with the masterwork armor. I'm guessing the armor you have now is just a standard chainmail, so if you switch to the masterwork plate you can get it magically enhanced down the road. Your chainmail can't be enhanced because it's not MW. This really seems like a no-brainer to me tbh.

2010-03-08, 06:00 AM
Yes, the best thing to do here is to go with the full plate because you do want to wear it when combat appears. However, if you play a game where skills are more important you can also keep an armour that doesn't have such a high Armour Check Penalty, not using the shield when you want to ride or jump or stuff like that also reduces that ACP you've factored in.

When you are rich enough, getting a Full Plate made from Mithril (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/specialmaterials.htm) seems like your best bet as it allows you a much better skill check.

Draconi Redfir
2010-03-08, 07:23 PM
allright, ill be sure to write down somewere that i can remove the sheild and add 2 to the Dex skills i have ranks in. thanx a bunch guys.

2010-03-08, 10:58 PM
A good AC and combat in general is much more important than a few minor benefits from your ride skill. Keep the plate and continue increasing your ride skill. You can usually make the DC 5 ride checks to fight with both hands (instead of 1) and to not fall of your horse when you take damage. Those are the important ones. The higher DC ride checks are kinda nice but even less important. Good gear is critical as a fighter, getting fancy on your horse is merely icing on the cake. Later you can get a masterwork shield with an armor check penalty of only -1. OTOH your masterwork full plate is supposed to have an armor check penalty of -5.

Btw, it's a move action to strap or unstrap your shield and another move action to put it away or take it out again. So that's two move actions usually. Unless you drop it then that's a move action to unstrap it and a free action (doesn't cost you any action) to drop it. After 1 move action you can still attack so that's not so bad, but I'd avoid 2 move actions in 1 round in the middle of combat because then you just lost a round.

2010-03-09, 09:54 AM
Armour check penalty does NOT apply to the ride skill.

2010-03-09, 10:04 AM
It does in Pathfinder. It also applies to the Fly skill.

The Deej
2010-03-09, 10:15 AM
I'm a bit confused by the armor's stats. The armor bonus would seem to imply that it's half-plate, but the armor check penalty is one lower than normal (taking masterwork and your Armor training class feature into account)

It could also be mithral (meaning that those stats are before your armor training adjustments), but that would mean that the max dex bonus is a typo (being one too small).

Either way, though, new armor is better. And about the skills: just quietly change your skill modifiers to what they should be. If you do get pressed about it, simply explain that you honestly forgot to add in your armor penalties. You have no need to either cheat or lie, you just made a mistake.

2010-03-09, 10:21 AM
It does in Pathfinder. It also applies to the Fly skill.

If so it is badly written, and hard to understand correctly, quite unlike standard 3.5.

from the pathfinder srd:

Ride (Dex)

Fly (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

Stealth (Dex; Armor Check Penalty)

Climb (Str; Armor Check Penalty)

This strongly implies that the ride skill is not affected by armour check penalty.

2010-03-09, 10:29 AM
Since you are a fighter, I would go with AC first.

However, you ought to multiclass to rogue for at least one level.