Maximum dexterity bonus
Heavier armors limit mobility, reducing the wearer’s ability to dodge blows. Maximum dexterity bonus is the maximum amount of additional Armor Class you can gain from your Dexterity bonus while wearing an item. Maximum dexterity bonus also caps your maximum dodge bonus (up to the hard limit of 25%).
For example, a character with 14 Dexterity has a Dexterity modifier of +2. While unarmored, that character gains +2 AC from Dexterity and her maximum possible dodge bonus is 25%. If she wears armor with a maximum dexterity bonus of +1 (such as Full plate) she would only gain +1 AC from Dexterity and her dodge chance would be capped at 1%.
Your encumbrance level may also impose a maximum dexterity bonus. Smaller shields do not have a maximum dexterity bonus score, but tower shields do.
Maximum dexterity bonus of armor, shield, and encumbrance does not stack. The lowest value applies.
Note that any effects that increase your maximum Dodge bonus will not affect your Dodge cap, if your Max Dex Bonus is capped from an Armor or Tower shield.
- For example a character wearing an armor with Max Dex Bonus=2 and a Greataxe in his hands will have a maximum Dodge bonus of 2%. If he spends points in the Ninja Spy's - Agility enhancement, he will still remain with a Dodge Cap of 2%.
Note that your maximum dexterity bonus does not apply to other uses of Dexterity, such as ranged attack bonus, Reflex saves, and Dexterity based skills.
See armor overview in the Armor by Proficiency article. Mithral armors have a Maximum Dexterity Bonus that is 2 higher than normal. Darkleaf is 1 higher than normal. Enhancements that increase maximum Dexterity Bonus are available to Fighters and Dwarves, and very limited extent Paladin Defender of Siberys enhancements. Armor with augment slots can have its bonus increased using appropriate augments. Daggertooth's Belt can improve your maximum bonus as well. Armored Agility and Armor Mastery do not stack, for example a Daggertooth's Belt with a Sapphire of Armored Agility +2 Augment will only provide a +4 Max Dex Bonus.
- Various named armors have a much higher Armor Dex Bonus, for example the Platemail of the Celestial Sage with a score of 17.
Tower shields have a maximum dexterity bonus of +2. Mithral improves the bonus by 2. Enhancements that increase the Maximum Dexterity Bonus are available to Fighter Stalwart Defenders and Paladin Sacred Defenders. Shields other than tower shields do not have a Maximum Dexterity Bonus.
- Light (unaffected Maximum Dexterity Bonus)
- Medium 3
- Heavy 1
Bonus to Max dex bonus
- Fencing Master: +2 to armor
- Past Life: Student of the Sword: +1 to armor and tower shields
- Mobility: +2 to armor and tower shields
- Sapphire of Armored Agility: [+1/+2] Enhancement bonus to armor
- Daggertooth's Belt: [+2/+3/+4] Enhancement bonus to armor
- Boots of Blessed Travels: +2 Quality bonus to armor
- Items with Nimbleness enchantment: [+2/+4/+6] to armor
- Items that grant the Mobility feat: +2 to armor and tower shields
- Dwarven Armor Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to armor
- Dwarven Shield Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to tower shield
- Human Fighting Style: Shield Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to tower shield
- PDK Fighting Style: Shield Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to tower shield
- Halfling Nimble Reaction: [+1/+2/+3] to armor
- Deep Gnome Nimble Reaction: [+1/+2/+3] to armor
- Gnome Nimble Reaction: [+1/+2/+3] to armor
- Half-Elf Dilettante Special Ability: Armor Mastery: +2 to armor
- Assassin Light Armor Mastery: [+2/+4/+6] to light armor
- Kensei Athletic Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to armor (works with all armor types)
- Sacred Armor Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to armor
- Sacred Shield Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to tower shield
- Stalwart Defensive Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to armor
- Stalwart Shield Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to tower shield
- Swashbuckler Confidence: +1 to armor per core ability.
- Swashbuckler Second Skin: [+2/+4/+6] while swashbuckling
- Tempest Improved Mobility: [+1/+2/+3] to light armor
- Thief Acrobat Shadow Dodge: [+1/+2/+3] to light armor
- Vanguard Armor Mastery: [+1/+2/+3] to armor
- Lithe: up to +6 to light armor