A character's Defense
represents how hard it is for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on the character. It's the attack roll
result that an opponent needs to achieve to hit the character. The average, unarmored civilian has a Defense
of 10. A character's Defense
is equal to:
If a character's Dexterity is high, he or she is particularly adept at dodging blows or gunfire. If a character's Dexterity is low, he or she is particularly inept at it. Characters apply their Dexterity modifier
Sometimes a character can't use his or her Dexterity bonus. If a character can't react to a blow, that character can't use his or her Dexterity bonus to Defense
A character's class and level grant the character an innate bonus to Defense
. This bonus applies in all situations, even when the character is flat-footed or when the character would lose his or her Dexterity bonus for some other reason.
If a character wears armor
, it provides a bonus to his or her Defense
. This bonus represents the armor
's ability to protect the character from blows.
provides a minimum bonus to anyone who wears it, but a character who is proficient in the use of a certain type of armor
receives a larger bonus to Defense
The bigger an opponent 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 creature doesn't have a hard time attacking another creature of the same size. Size modifiers
are shown on Table: Size Modifiers
Other factors can add to a character's Defense
Some creatures have natural armor
, which usually consists of scales, fur, or layers of thick muscle.
Some other Defense
bonuses represent actively avoiding blows. These bonuses are called dodge
bo-nus-es. Any situation that denies a character his or her Dexterity bonus also denies his or her dodge
bonuses. Unlike most sorts of bonuses, dodge
bonuses stack with each other.
Some campaigns may include magic. Some magical effects offer enhancement bonuses to armor
(making it more effective) or deflection bonuses that ward off attacks.