[RPG] How does the Shield spell interact with the Barkskin spell


I am wondering what the ruling would be on a creature under the effects of the Barkskin spell that then casts the Shield spell as a reaction.

Barkskin states:

Until the spell ends, the target’s skin has a rough, bark-like appearance, and the target’s AC can’t be less than 16, regardless of what kind of armor it is wearing.

Shield states:

Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to AC, including against the triggering attack…

Which of the following results would occur?

A) The creature’s AC becomes 21, adding the +5 bonus from Shield to their AC from barkskin;

B) The creature applies the +5 bonus from Shield to their base AC and if it is higher then 16, it overrules Barkskin.

Best Answer

It depends on your original AC

Jeremy E. Crawford says in the Sage Advice Compendium (thanks to Daze 413 for the link):

How does barkskin work with shields, cover, and other modifiers to AC? Barkskin specifies that your AC can’t be lower than 16 while you are affected by the spell. This means you effectively ignore any modifiers to your AC—including your Dexterity modifier, your armor, a shield, and cover—unless your AC is higher than 16. For example, if your AC is normally 14, it’s 16 while barkskin is on you. If your AC is 15 and you have half cover, your AC is 17; barkskin isn’t relevant in this case.

So if your original AC is 12 or greater you add the +5 from shield to that. Otherwise it remains a 16.