[RPG] Is there Touch AC and/or Flatfooted AC in 5th Edition D&D


Does D&D 5E have a mechanic similar to Touch AC or Flatfooted AC as it exists in D&D 3.5?

To put it simply, in D&D 3.5, touch AC excludes armor bonuses when armor can't help against an attack, and flatfooted AC excludes your Dexterity bonus when you haven't acted yet in combat.

Best Answer

Mearls explicitly mentioned the design decision to not include Touch AC nor Flat-footed AC in the game during the playtest period. They are intentionally absent as a simplification which streamlines play.

Additionally, the thematic element of attacks is explained by Jeremy Crawford, on twitter (as mentioned by Doval):

Stoppable by armor? That's an attack. Not stoppable by armor? That usually requires a saving throw. #DnD

While not entirely accurate a portrayal of the spell list, it's substantially true. (In other words, there are exceptions.)