Location: Games » Baldur's Gate 2 » Walkthroughs & Guides
of Armor, Armor Class and Shields in BG1 and BG2
[NOTE: This guide is partly inaccurate. See this thread for more information.]
An item of
a given armor class (AC) reduces the armor class of the person equipped
with it to a given value. The same principle applies to the various bracers
of armor class. High dexterity further reduces armor class. An example:
fighter (basic AC 10 and DEX 17) is equipped with a platemail
(AC 3), so his AC is reduced to the value 3.
His high dexterity of 17 gives him an AC bonus, reducing it by 3 to
Using the "Bracers of Armor Class AC 3" would result in the same AC
for example a platemail +2, improves item AC - you simply subtract the
bonus 2 from the armor type specific value of 3 - the platemail +2 has
AC 1, this means that the platemail reduces the AC of our fighter to 1
instead of 3. This final value is also shown in the item description.
The dexterity AC-bonus adds up so the fighter now has a total AC of -2.
shields follow the same principle, such as a shield +1 improves your AC
by -2 instead of -1. Unlike amulets/rings and cloaks of protection they
CAN be used with magical armor without problems.
Amulets, rings and cloaks of protection that additionally improve your
AC by -1 or -2 CAN NOT be used with magical armor (for game balance reasons
the obvious: Different armors give different protection. This depends
on damage type. In BG1 and 2 the damage types are: blunt (hammers/maces...),
piercing (arrows/daggers...) and slashing (swords/axes...). This is bringing
the gamer closer to pen&paper reality than a universal AC factor for
all damage types.
So a "solid and stiff" full platemail for example offers much better protection
against the piercing damage of arrows than a flexible "soft" chainmail
or leather armor. When you are wearing a chainmail and are hit with a
blunt weapon, the rings of the chainmail will press into your flesh and
hurt you and so on.
There are some shields in the game that offer improved protection, such
as the large shield +1, +4 against missiles - this not only improves our
fighter's AC by 2, it adds 4 to the basic -2 benefit against missiles,
resulting in a missile protection of -6. There are also various girdles
and boots that give improved protection against certain damage types -
quite handy to protect a mage from missiles or a thief from blunt weapons.
shields, their AC effects and protection against damage types:
no protection from piercing and missiles
no protection from missiles
protection from missiles
–2 protection from missiles
blunt 0/piercing +2/slashing 0
blunt 0/piercing-1/slashing -2
blunt +2/ piercing 0/slashing-2
blunt -2/ piercing -1/slashing 0
blunt 0/piercing 0/slashing -3
blunt 0/piercing -3/slashing -4
and armor class
types of armor that can be used by thieves also influence (reduce) thieving
& disarm traps
BG a bard does not have any thieving abilities except pick pockets.