Class Defense Bonus .
As a Character increases in experience, he becomes more aware of his surroundings, the flow of battle, and the many tricks and feints of his enemies. All of these things contribute to increase the defensive capabilities of the Character. The Character’s Base Defense Bonus (BDB) simulates this progressive ability by providing a bonus to defense that increases at a fixed rate dependant upon combat and relative defensive abilities of the class.
Armour Class (AC)
Your Armour Class represents how hard it is for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on you. It’s the Attack roll result that an opponent needs to achieve to hit you. The average, unarmoured peasant has an Armour Class of 10. Your Armour Class is equal to the following:
10 + Base Defense Bonus (or 1/2; rounded down) + Dexterity Bonus to AC + Armour or Equipment Bonus + Size Modifier
Base Defense Bonus: Your class and level grant an innate bonus to Armour Class. This measures your combat savvy and applies to all situations, even when your flat-footed or would lose your Dexterity Bonus. Your Base Defense Bonus only partially stacks with the equipment bonus for wearing armour, as it restricts your movement, perception and forces unnatural perceptions of danger and situation. When Wearing Armour or Carrying a Tower Shield (Special Circumstance) you may only add one-half (rounded down) of your Base Defense Bonus to AC.
Dexterity Bonus: If your Dexterity is high, you are particularly adept at dodging blows. If your Dexterity is low, you are particularly inept at it. That why you apply your Dexterity Modifier to Armour Class.
Not that Armour Limits Your Dexterity Modifier to AC, so if your wearing armour you might not be able to apply your whole Dexterity Bonus to your AC (see Table 7-5: Armour and Shields).
Sometimes you can’t use your Dexterity Bonus (if you have one). The AC bonus you get for a high Dexterity represents your ability to dodge incoming attacks. If you cant react to a blow, you cant use your Dexterity Bonus to Armour Class. (if you don’t have a Dexterity Bonus to Armour Class- Nothing Happens) You Lose your Dexterity bonus when for example, an invisible opponent attacks you, you’re hanging on for dear life to the edge of a crumbling cliff, or your caught flat-footed at the beginning of combat.
Armour or Equipment Bonus: Your Armour and Shield each provide a bonus to your armour class as listed in the Equipment Section. This bonus represents there ability to protect you from blows. Additionally, armour provides a limited form of Damage Reduction (listed Under the Revised Armour Stats Below) which can prevent some or all of damage inflicted from a specific attack. Again, if your wearing armour, you may only use one-half of your Base Defense Bonus (rounded down) to AC. Shields May be used without affecting your ability to maneuver, and allow you to use your full Base Defense Bonus.
Size Modifier: The bigger a creature is the easier it is to hit in combat. The smaller it is, the harder it is to hit. Since this same modifier applies to attack rolls, a Giant, for instance, doesn’t have a hard time hitting another giant. Size Modifiers are as follows: Colossal -8, Gargantuan -4, Huge -2, Large -1, Medium +0, Small +1, Tiny +2, Diminutive +4, and Fine +8.
Different Classes in both Dungeons & Dragons Version 3.5 and Advanced D20 progress at different rates with there Base Defense Bonus. There are Three different Progressions of Base Defense Bonus, as with saves and Base attack Bonus, and all three start at a fixed integer, and increase by fractions every level thereafter. The fractional increase is determined for each progression individually, and can be assessed on the above chart (Table 9-3: Base Defense Bonus Progressions).
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