In the last post, I covered how to have a reasonably comparable armor class for a nudist character at level 1, however that sometimes requires either good ability score rolls or a concerted effort to build the character for the concept. If your character is starting at a higher level or only begins adventuring nude after some advancement, there are a lot more options to open up the flexibility. These usually come down to either feats, abilities a class or subclass gains at a higher level, or multiclassing.
The same feats I mentioned in the last post as options for variant humans to begin with—Eldritch Adept or Magic Initiate for mage armor, Moderately Armored for shield proficiency, Dual Wielder and Defensive Duelist—become generally available at 4th level.
Many classes also become easier to have a solid defense sans armor as they advance:
Barbarian and Monk both simply require ability score increases.
Warlocks, beginning at 2nd level, can gain the Armor of Shadows invocation which allows them to cast mage armor at will without using a spell slot.
Eldritch Knight fighters and Arcane Trickster rogues can both gain mage armor as a spell at 3rd level.
Fighters also gain additional ability score increases (and/or feats) that can help greatly at middle to high tiers of play.
Lore Bards can gain mage armor at 6th level with their Additional Magical Secrets. Other types of bards can also do so at level 10, although some may consider this a suboptimal option (and late in the character’s career).
The remaining relatively simple option is multiclassing. Most of the options discussed so far become available at 1st level (unarmored defense, draconic resilience, casting mage armor) or 2nd level (Armor of Shadows), so it doesn’t take too much of an investment.
Wizard is a good choice of multiclass for Artificers, since they both use intelligence for their spellcasting and the spell lists are fairly complimentary, and it does not slow your advancement as a spellcaster.
Sorcerer or Warlock are good choices to pick up a level or two from for bards and paladins, since they all share charisma-based spellcasting, and for the paladin this will actually increase their total spell slots nicely relative to their ordinary advancement and also give them easy access to cantrips.
One level of monk is a good choice for multiclassing for clerics, druids, and rangers due to the shared importance of wisdom (and dexterity as well in the case of rangers), as well as anyone who wants to be able to fight well unarmed. This will slow spellcasting somewhat, however, so if that is your primary focus, consider if it is worth it.
Like monk, one level of barbarian is all it takes to give a solid armor class while naked to anyone with good dexterity and constitution…which is probably anyone intending to get into front line combat without wearing plate armor already. Every class benefits from constitution and most benefit from dexterity (any can, with the right build).
Fighters and Rogues can benefit greatly from any of these options, depending on their ability scores, but Wizard is especially useful for Eldritch Knights and Arcane Tricksters due to their spellcasting synergy and the in-character ease of justifying the out-of-character multiclassing choice.
That pretty much covers how to have a good baseline armor class while adventuring naked, but there are still some other protective options that you might want to consider if you really want to keep the delicates protected.
Next time on Jaybirds Guide to Naked Adventuring, weather and other defensive considerations!