The question came up awhile back after a B Team game in which one player fought from a Levitated stance. Does being on what is essentially a magical elevated moving platform have a deleterious affect on dexterity bonus to AC?
The argument that it does is pretty strong. When Levitating, a player can’t move forward or backward, only up and down – it’s seems realistic that this would hamper a player’s movements (and thereby limit their dex bonus to AC – but the spell description is inconclusive. it does, however, hint at the problem:
A levitating creature that attacks with a melee or ranged weapon finds itself increasingly unstable; the first attack has a -1 penalty on attack rolls, the second -2, and so on, to a maximum penalty of -5. A full round spent stabilizing allows the creature to begin again at -1.
What does that mean? Well, it insinuates that the magical platform upon which the player stands is not entirely fixed. Which would, in my opinion, make it as difficult to defend as it would be to attack. Therefore I propose: for the attack penalty that a Levitating player incurs, a similar penalty to dex bonus to AC is incurred as well.
Gordon addendum: two threads of related interest…
Comments on Fly skill specific to the “Hover” ability (sorta like an advanced levitate) https://paizo.com/threads/rzs42hoj&page=1?Full-Attack-while-Flying
An interesting thread about using ray weapons while levitating (Given the weakness of ray weapons versus other ranged attacks in Pathfinder I would side with those against saying a ranged ray attack should be considered a ranged “weapon” that are impacted by this penalty–which would mean a house rule to this effect I guess.) https://paizo.com/threads/rzs2nyi6?Levitating-Wizards-shooting-Rays