Why Don’t Fighters Learn To Duck?

This is something that has pretty much bugged me through every edition of Dungeons & Dragons. Yes, I know there a little boosts in Armor Class but generally the only way a fighter gets harder to hit is to buy better armor. And, yes, I know they get more Hit Points. But let’s face it the “What do Hit Points mean?” Debate has been going on for nearly four decades.
Without throwing too many monkey wrenches into the works, I came up the idea of Minimum AC. So just what is Minimum AC? OK, that’s the worst AC a character can have despite armor (or lack there of) and penalties. Fighters have a Minimum AC based on their level.
It’s pretty simple. THe character’s AC is improved by level divided by 3, rounded down. So an 11th level Fighter’s AC would be improved by 3. Since I’m a Swords & Wizardry fan, that would be be -3[+3]. So unarmored the character’s AC would be 6[13] but if the character had a better AC due to equipment then use that.
It’s not a huge game breaking change and might not come into play that often but it could save a fighter’s bacon.

5 thoughts on “Why Don’t Fighters Learn To Duck?”

  1. Well, there is the potential for dex AC bonus (counteracted by heavy armor, if encumbrance is being applied) but not everyone gets that perk. I do like the concept though, as the idea that a fighter’s martial skills increase including both offensive and defensive abilities. (without going down the feats path…) Also, aren’t there ‘parry’ rules back in the original rulesets? A mod off those might be a similar alternative.

    Good thought experiments.


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