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Shield bashes and proficiency


Rules Questions


So the cleric (of Pharisma, but it's not relevant) decides, 'screw weapons, I just want to shield bash', and buys the token dagger (It is the favoured wepaon of pharisma after all, and doubtless a usefull tool even when it's not a weapon), and just takes a spiked shield.

I notice that clerics are prficient with shields, but only simple wepaons (and the weapon of their god...in this case another simple weapon).

So he wants to use a spiked shield as his weapon, but the shield bash entry says it's martial weapon (bludgeonig martial without the shield spikes)

so...can he shield bash? or is it at -4 for non proficiency?

and while I'm at it, are there any consequences fo using the shiled bash as the primary attack form?

Batts

Paizo Employee Creative Director

Since a shield bash or shield spike is a martial weapon, the cleric in this case could use the attack but would take the -4 penalty for not being proficient.

Scarab Sages

Used as a shield bash, the shield is a martial weapon. So a character without martial weapon proficiency would take the -4 on their attack rolls to shield bash. Proficiency with a shield is only in reference to the armor increasing abilities.

A shield bash can only be used as an off-hand attack, so using it as your only attack in a round is a bit sketchy. I would personally suggest allowing it, with the stipulation that it's still treated as an off-hand weapon in regards to other things like damage (half str bonus) or power attack (1-1 ratio).

Your God of Knowledge,
Nethys


Thanks James (why are you up so late?!) and Nethys.

Truth be told, It snuck up on me in gameplay, so I should have caught this before it happened. Thankfully he attempted his shield bash just the once.

Many thanks for the promptness of your replies

Batts

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

Nethys wrote:
A shield bash can only be used as an off-hand attack, so using it as your only attack in a round is a bit sketchy.

Not true. Someone from Paizo said it can be used as a one or two handed weapon if desired, just that it is usually intended for off hand, and that is why the book said that. No idea where to look for that thread, though.

Scarab Sages

Think you can find the thread? The problem with that is you then get into the whole 'dual-wielding shields' bit, which is... well, dumb. :)


I've had a ranger/barbarian dual weild Klars so it's not that dumb. Sub par perhaps but he's wearing a skull on each arm!

Batts

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013

Karui Kage wrote:
Think you can find the thread?

Sorry, not a freaking clue. It was at least 3 months old and wasn't about shields at all, so do not even know where to look. Could have been aything between "PF Clerics suck", "how to break a Rogue", "Two Weapon Fighting", "Spiked Chain", "why are non-spellcasters shafted___%" :)

Karui Kage wrote:


The problem with that is you then get into the whole 'dual-wielding shields' bit, which is... well, dumb. :)

What problem do you mean? Why is dual wielding shields dumb? Unorthodox, sure, uncommon, yah, unexpected, most definetly, but not at all without real world precedence or even a big cool factor. In most cases, dual wielding shields is a bad idea, (there are much better weapons to go with, and it drains a lt of feats/gold to make it worth while anyway).

Grand Lodge

Beckett wrote:
Karui Kage wrote:
Think you can find the thread?

Sorry, not a freaking clue. It was at least 3 months old and wasn't about shields at all, so do not even know where to look. Could have been aything between "PF Clerics suck", "how to break a Rogue", "Two Weapon Fighting", "Spiked Chain", "why are non-spellcasters shafted___%" :)

Karui Kage wrote:


The problem with that is you then get into the whole 'dual-wielding shields' bit, which is... well, dumb. :)
What problem do you mean? Why is dual wielding shields dumb? Unorthodox, sure, uncommon, yah, unexpected, most definetly, but not at all without real world precedence or even a big cool factor. In most cases, dual wielding shields is a bad idea, (there are much better weapons to go with, and it drains a lt of feats/gold to make it worth while anyway).

Seriously have to agree with Beckett here. It may not be optimum by the numbers, but I don't think it is "dumb." Honestly no more dumb than dual wielding swords... I'd MUCH rather dual wield shields in combat than swords... maybe the part of me that likes a BIG piece of metal blocking all the pointy things coming my way has something to do with it :)

Actually I think that dual wielding shields could work quite well with the cool shield feats and such. Let's face, it is something DIFFERENT and not the SAME OLD BORING combination you see at EVERY SINGLE game across the country.


Heck in the shield use feats chain you could introduce one that allow you to increase your shield bonus by dual wielding shields to offset the big suboptimal aspect of it a little bit.

Grand Lodge

golden pony wrote:
Heck in the shield use feats chain you could introduce one that allow you to increase your shield bonus by dual wielding shields to offset the big suboptimal aspect of it a little bit.

Not a bad idea!

WAIT I KNOW!

Can I Triple wield a shield... or rather... dual wield while using a third to sled down the icy hill? No seriously... I think that would be cool to try!

regardless of the dual wielding part... I suppose you could use a shield to sled down an icy/snowy hill... Athletics (balance) to stay on it? Tower shield would be best, and best not to try with a buckler! lol

I LOVE IT! I need a game set in the far north now!

Scarab Sages

Sorry, dumb was a bad choice of word. I *really* don't want to start the humongous shield thread that was done before, but the core of it was that dual-wielding shields could actually be more optimum then normal weapons, being that they could both do 2d6 damage if given a simple +1 Bashing armor upgrade and spikes.

As it is, the text says someone can 'shield bash as an offhand attack', which seems specific enough to justify that it is all it can be used for. If that wasn't the case, then it wouldn't need to say it at all. You can use *any* light or one-handed weapon as an off-hand attack, and the light shield and heavy shield already count as both of those (well, light for light and heavy for one-handed) for shield bashes. Saying it can be used as an off-hand attack would not be needed, so I'm one to believe the clarification was intended.

That, and it does help to balance the whole bashing tree. It keeps the 2d6+1 shield from getting full str/power attack, which seems fair. It still grants AC and is a really fun tree to go down, without getting into the weirdness that is dual-bashing. I don't know much when it comes to actually wielding a shield in real combat (and I know, 'real' in D&D, yeah yeah) but it seems to make sense that a person couldn't put their full power into a blow with a big, flat object like a shield. It's not like you could swing it with very little air resistance like a mace or a sword, it's a giant object meant to absorb damage, not deal it out.

That said, I also don't want to get into realism too much... I think the rules do speak for themselves, as above. The last bit is just my thoughts on how it makes some kind of sense.


Karui Kage wrote:

Sorry, dumb was a bad choice of word. I *really* don't want to start the humongous shield thread that was done before, but the core of it was that dual-wielding shields could actually be more optimum then normal weapons, being that they could both do 2d6 damage if given a simple +1 Bashing armor upgrade and spikes.

As it is, the text says someone can 'shield bash as an offhand attack', which seems specific enough to justify that it is all it can be used for. If that wasn't the case, then it wouldn't need to say it at all. You can use *any* light or one-handed weapon as an off-hand attack, and the light shield and heavy shield already count as both of those (well, light for light and heavy for one-handed) for shield bashes. Saying it can be used as an off-hand attack would not be needed, so I'm one to believe the clarification was intended.

That, and it does help to balance the whole bashing tree. It keeps the 2d6+1 shield from getting full str/power attack, which seems fair. It still grants AC and is a really fun tree to go down, without getting into the weirdness that is dual-bashing. I don't know much when it comes to actually wielding a shield in real combat (and I know, 'real' in D&D, yeah yeah) but it seems to make sense that a person couldn't put their full power into a blow with a big, flat object like a shield. It's not like you could swing it with very little air resistance like a mace or a sword, it's a giant object meant to absorb damage, not deal it out.

That said, I also don't want to get into realism too much... I think the rules do speak for themselves, as above. The last bit is just my thoughts on how it makes some kind of sense.

Of course, Jason did specify a few times already that Shield Spikes and the Bashing enchantment do not stack. Still, just with Bashing a heavy shield is a pretty decent weapon.

Scarab Sages

I believe you're thinking of James, as he did post that. I haven't seen Jason post on these boards in god near forever. Though as I recall it seemed to delve into more of a balance argument than a real 'rules answer'. I dunno. The book hasn't changed anything from 3.5, where they stacked, and the text makes sense. Both increase the effective size of a shield bash for the purpose of damage.

One of these days when I can talk to Jason I need to ask him that. I had the perfect opportunity at NorWesCon and my mind drew a blank.


Karui Kage wrote:

I believe you're thinking of James, as he did post that. I haven't seen Jason post on these boards in god near forever. Though as I recall it seemed to delve into more of a balance argument than a real 'rules answer'. I dunno. The book hasn't changed anything from 3.5, where they stacked, and the text makes sense. Both increase the effective size of a shield bash for the purpose of damage.

One of these days when I can talk to Jason I need to ask him that. I had the perfect opportunity at NorWesCon and my mind drew a blank.

You're right, I did mean James. No coffee this morning...

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