Armor Class

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Armor Class (AC) is a scale of how well protected you are against physical
attacks. Until level 25, your armor class is displayed only as a description.
For example, 'The rags of a beggar' is a very poor AC while 'That of an
avatar' is a very good AC.

After level 25 you will see your AC as a number. The lower (More negative) the
number, the better protected you are from physical attacks.

Your armor class is determined by your attributes (Dexterity noticeably) and
by the equipment you wear. When you identify equipment, you will see that all
pieces of itemtype armor have their armor class shown. In addition to showing
the item's own durability (An item of AC 10 will take twice as many hits to
destroy than an item with AC 5), the item's AC can also affect your AC when
you are wearing it. 

Items worn on extremities or wielded will not have any effect on the wearer's
AC, but most wear locations will subtract the item's AC from the wearer's. Key
locations (Body, Legs, Head) will multiply the item's AC by 2 or 3 and 
subtract that value (Remember, the more negative a player's AC is, the better).
Additionally, in 'identify' you will see that some items "Affect AC by" a
number, the more negative this number, the better (Obviously).

Definition

Armor Class, or AC, is the level of protection that your equipment grants you from physical attacks. Some spells, such as armor, will also affect your AC. A better AC will cause your attacker's blows to do less damage or to miss altogether.

A lower AC is better, although this is sometimes confused and people will talk of raising their AC, when really they mean to improve their armor by lowering their AC. This is further confused by the armor class of items being measured the other way, in positive values with the highest being the best.

Until level 25, a player does not know their exact AC, instead only seeing a brief description based on the value as seen in the table below:

AC Level Description
-201 and lower that of an avatar
-101 to -200 the envy of emperors
-81 to -100 the envy of dukes
-61 to -80 the envy of barons
-41 to -60 the envy of knights
-21 to -40 excellently crafted
-11 to -20 the envy of squires
-1 to -10 well crafted
+9 to 0 moderately crafted
+19 to +10 that of a knave
+39 to +20 scant protection
+54 to +40 of poor quality
+79 to +55 shabby and threadbare
+100 to +80 improper for adventure
+101 and higher the rags of a beggar
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