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Vindicator’s Shield rule clearification...


Rules Questions


"A vindicator can channel energy into his shield as a standard action; when worn, the shield gives the vindicator a sacred bonus (if positive energy) or profane bonus (if negative energy) to his Armor Class equal to the number of dice of the vindicator’s channel energy. This bonus lasts for 24 hours or until the vindicator is struck in combat, whichever comes first. The shield does not provide this bonus to any other wielder, but the vindicator does not need to be holding the shield for it to retain this power."

If I understand this correctly; I need to be using the shield to get the benefit, correct? So if I were to wield a two-handed sword, I couldn't cast it on a buckler and get the Vindicator's bonus while attacking with a greatsword...

Dedicated Voter 2013

I think that you have it, I would say you couldn't get the bonus while attacking, since the buckler isn't adding to ac at that point.

This is when you get that Animated Tower Shield.
Or the ring of force shield.


I'm assuming that this bonus would apply to an animated shield then?


Adam Zeliasz wrote:
I'm assuming that this bonus would apply to an animated shield then?

Nope; per a strict reading of the rules, the shield would retain the power of the ability, but it would not function unless the vindicator is actually wearing it. So, while such a shield were animated, the sacred bonus would not be applied. However, the bonus would apply once again when/if the vindicator took hold of the item at the end of its animation.

Be sure to check with your GM, though. This is a unique case, and many would likely allow it.

The Exchange

You can cast it on a buckler, but you have to be holding the buckler to get the bonus to AC. It doesn't really change it from being a regular shield, because if your buckler is strapped to your back and not wielded on your arm, it does nothing to your AC. It just retains the power of the channel placed into the shield, until you get hit while wielding it or 24 hours pass.

Now, the only way you can get the bonus from the shield while attacking with a two-handed weapon would be if the shield is animated. (Bolded for emphasis)

Core p. 462 wrote:
Animated: As a move action, an animated shield can be loosed to defend its wielder on its own. For the following 4 rounds, the shield grants its bonus to the one who loosed it and then drops. While animated, the shield provides its shield bonus and the bonuses from all of the other shield special abilities it possesses, but it cannot take actions on its own, such as those provided by the bashing and blinding abilities. It can, however, use special abilities that do not require an action to function, such as arrow deflection and reflecting. While animated, a shield shares the same space as the activating character and accompanies the character who activated it, even if the character moves by magical means. A character with an animated shield still takes any penalties associated with shield use, such as armor check penalty, arcane spell failure chance, and nonproficiency. If the wielder who loosed it has an unoccupied hand, she can grasp it to end its animation as a free action. Once a shield has been retrieved, it cannot be animated again for at least 4 rounds. This property cannot be added to a tower shield.

Vindicator's Shield is a bonus like arrow deflection, so you are safe in that it would still work. But in order to use it with a greatsword, you wouldon your first round loose the shield and draw out your greatsword. Then for the next 3 rounds you could attack with your greatsword. The shield would then fall on the ground at the start of your next round, and thus you would then lose the AC bonus from your shield entirely.

/PS. You cannot animate a tower shield, as per the last line of the animated paragraph.

Star Voter 2014

Joseph Caubo wrote:

Vindicator's Shield is a bonus like arrow deflection, so you are safe in that it would still work.

Except Arrow Deflection is a property of the shield, whereas Vindicator's Shield is a class feature. It's not a "Shield special ability".


Joseph Caubo wrote:
Vindicator's Shield is a bonus like arrow deflection, so you are safe in that it would still work.

Actually, the reason it wouldn't work isn't due to the animated property, but the vindicator's shield ability description:

PRD wrote:
Vindicator's Shield (Su): A vindicator can channel energy into his shield as a standard action; when worn, the shield gives the vindicator a sacred bonus (if positive energy) or profane bonus (if negative energy) to his Armor Class equal to the number of dice of the vindicator's channel energy. This bonus lasts for 24 hours or until the vindicator is struck in combat, whichever comes first. The shield does not provide this bonus to any other wielder, but the vindicator does not need to be holding the shield for it to retain this power.

The ability only provides a bonus if the shield is worn. The animated property does not address bonuses such as this; the reason the sacred bonus wouldn't apply isn't because the shield is animated, but because it is not being worn, as defined by the ability itself.

The Exchange

Bobson wrote:
Joseph Caubo wrote:

Vindicator's Shield is a bonus like arrow deflection, so you are safe in that it would still work.

Except Arrow Deflection is a property of the shield, whereas Vindicator's Shield is a class feature. It's not a "Shield special ability".

I guess, but it is a bonus ability your class gives to the shield it holds. But that's moot considering what the text here states (bolded for my emphasis):

Quote:
Vindicator's Shield (Su): A vindicator can channel energy into his shield as a standard action; when worn, the shield gives the vindicator a sacred bonus (if positive energy) or profane bonus (if negative energy) to his Armor Class equal to the number of dice of the vindicator's channel energy. This bonus lasts for 24 hours or until the vindicator is struck in combat, whichever comes first. The shield does not provide this bonus to any other wielder, but the vindicator does not need to be holding the shield for it to retain this power.

So in the instance of it being animated, the shield is still essentially being 'wielded,' so it is providing you a bonus to AC. Now, if your shield is strapped to your back, it just means when you pull it out again to use, it will still have the bonus to the AC is grants you. It does not give you a bonus to AC if you are not 'wielding' it.

The Exchange

An animated shield is still considered to be worn. It just can only be worn for 4 rounds until it falls (that is if you don't call it back to your arm before it falls). You still get the bonus to AC for an animated shield with Vindicator's shield surging through it.

EDIT: There's also no reason why you should penalize a character for spending x amount of gold for a +2 ability to his shield and then rule it ineffective with a class ability that doesn't actually interfere with it. I would invite anyone to animate a Vindicator's shield and then watch them not recall it after 4 rounds. Then it drops and they lose the shield's AC. At 12 level, that could mean as big as a 12 AC drop (for my PFS cleric that's how much his AC would drop if his shield fell).


Joseph Caubo wrote:
So in the instance of it being animated, the shield is still essentially being 'wielded,' so it is providing you a bonus to AC. Now, if your shield is strapped to your back, it just means when you pull it out again to use, it will still have the bonus to the AC is grants you. It does not give you a bonus to AC if you are not 'wielding' it.

Nothing in the animated property indicates that such a shield is still considered worn or wielded. In fact, the entire purpose of the property is to allow one to benefit from its shield bonus without wielding or wearing it.

The last line of the ability holds true; the shield retains the power of the vindicator's shield ability when not worn. But that power only provides a bonus to the vindicator when the shield is worn.


Additional question (and bit of a threadjack) about vindicator's shield. Cleric-vindicator is using this ability like this: before resting he channels energy to his shield and as it states in description it lasts for next 24 hours. Then he sleeps 8 hours and gains all channels ready for next day. Is this leagal? Do channels per day come back after sleeping 8 hours? Channel energy just states that you can use ability 3+X times per day...

Not like this is a problem or anything, I'm fine with this. Just curious about what others think about this.

Scarab Sages RPG Superstar 2008 Top 4; Contributor; Publisher, Legendary Games

Blue_Hill wrote:

Additional question (and bit of a threadjack) about vindicator's shield. Cleric-vindicator is using this ability like this: before resting he channels energy to his shield and as it states in description it lasts for next 24 hours. Then he sleeps 8 hours and gains all channels ready for next day. Is this leagal? Do channels per day come back after sleeping 8 hours? Channel energy just states that you can use ability 3+X times per day...

Not like this is a problem or anything, I'm fine with this. Just curious about what others think about this.

Yes it is legal, and yes it is intentional. You juice it up and carry it around, and it lasts until you get hit.

If you go to bed and put your shield on the ground, the power stays in it until you get hit.

If you get disarmed or stunned or otherwise drop your shield, the power stays in it until you get hit.

If you take off your shield to get out your bow, then switch back to sword and shield, the power stays in it until you get hit.

Note that if you get struck in combat, even while you're not using, holding, wielding, or doing anything else with the shield, it still goes away. You don't have to be using it at the time you get hit to lose the power.

Wonky? Sure. But a lot simpler to adjudicate.

As to the above question, it's a tough corner case for the HV, but as written it doesn't work with animated. An animated weapon or a dancing sword isn't actually held, so can't be used with the ability. I don't think it's unreasonable to allow the two to work together, but as written it's a no go.

The Exchange

Heaven's Agent wrote:
Joseph Caubo wrote:
So in the instance of it being animated, the shield is still essentially being 'wielded,' so it is providing you a bonus to AC. Now, if your shield is strapped to your back, it just means when you pull it out again to use, it will still have the bonus to the AC is grants you. It does not give you a bonus to AC if you are not 'wielding' it.

Nothing in the animated property indicates that such a shield is still considered worn or wielded. In fact, the entire purpose of the property is to allow one to benefit from its shield bonus without wielding or wearing it.

The last line of the ability holds true; the shield retains the power of the vindicator's shield ability when not worn. But that power only provides a bonus to the vindicator when the shield is worn.

If it's not considered worn then you wouldn't even be getting a bonus to AC from the shield regardless of what else the shield has. That's way too strict of an interpretation. I mean, if you want to go that route, I wear a shield on my back like a backpack (think turtle - even though it's not in my hand). Therefore the Vindicator's shield bonus to my AC should be up in effect because it is being "worn." And sure, you can fire back with the fact it's not actually being worn because it's not taking up a slot, but then we can go all day about it because nothing ever said it needed to be in a slot. Then it just devolves into arguments of mental masturbation and doesn't solve OP's question.

I mean really, I believe in the spirit of the game it is intended that the bonus to AC still applies if the shield is animated, even with special abilities placed on it (whether it comes from paid magical enhancements of powers from your class). I even quoted in the animated text where it says it confers all powers (except those that deal with taking an action on its own). It does nothing to break the mechanics of the game, especially if your shield can only fly around you for 4 rounds of combat and wait another 4 rounds before flying out again. For all intents and purposes, it's still being worn because it is still granting you a bonus to AC, despite not being in a "slot." But if you want to have a narrow-minded interpretation of the rules, be my guest.


Joseph Caubo wrote:
If it's not considered worn then you wouldn't even be getting a bonus to AC from the shield regardless of what else the shield has.

You get the shield bonus to AC because the animated property says you do. Not because it's worn or because it's wielded.

I'm not disagreeing that the "spirit of the game" should allow the sacred bonus to apply in this specific instance. However, this is a rules discussion forum; here we address the rules as they are written and/or clarified by the developers. With that in mind, the situation is very clear.

The sacred bonus is only applied when the shield is worn. Despite arguments that can be made about the word's meaning, it is very clear that an animated shield is not worn: it's not carried, it's not in hand, it's not wielded. As such, per the ability's description, such a shield does not grant the sacred bonus from the vindicator's shield ability when that animated property is used. GMs are free to change things as they see fit for their games, but as far as the game's official rules are concerned that's all there is to it.

The Exchange

An animated shield is considered as being "worn / wielded" during the 4 rounds it is animated for the purposes of bonuses you get (not for actions the shield could take - negating bashing and the like). After those 4 rounds, it loses its "worn / wielded" status and falls to the ground if the PC does not grab it back as a free action, thus ending providing any bonus to AC or other abilities at that point. If it was not considered "worn / wielded" for those purposes, it could not provide any bonuses. Period. Thankfully they wrote it so it does.


Joseph Caubo wrote:
An animated shield is considered as being "worn / wielded" during the 4 rounds it is animated for the purposes of bonuses you get (not for actions the shield could take - negating bashing and the like). After those 4 rounds, it loses its "worn / wielded" status and falls to the ground if the PC does not grab it back as a free action, thus ending providing any bonus to AC or other abilities at that point. If it was not considered "worn / wielded" for those purposes, it could not provide any bonuses. Period. Thankfully they wrote it so it does.

Where in the property description does it state an animated shield is considered worn or wielded when the property is active?

It does not, and as such, from a rules perspective, your entire argument has no validity. If you could show where it does, then you would have a case. Otherwise you're just making things up.

The Exchange

Heaven's Agent wrote:

Where in the property description does it state an animated shield is considered worn or wielded when the property is active?

It does not, and as such, from a rules perspective, your entire argument has no validity. If you could show where it does, then you would have a case. Otherwise you're just making things up.

If you can't follow the argument from the parts I bolded earlier, then we will never meet eye to eye on this.


Actually Heaven's Agent is right on this -- compare to the dancing quality which specifically states that it counts as being wielded:

Dancing wrote:


As a standard action, a dancing weapon can be loosed to attack on its own. It fights for 4 rounds using the base attack bonus of the one who loosed it and then drops. While dancing, it cannot make attacks of opportunity, and the person who activated it is not considered armed with the weapon. The weapon is considered wielded or attended by the creature for all maneuvers and effects that target items. While dancing, the weapon shares the same space as the activating character and can attack adjacent foes (weapons with reach can attack opponents up to 10 feet away). The dancing weapon accompanies the person who activated it everywhere, whether she moves by physical or magical means. If the wielder who loosed it has an unoccupied hand, she can grasp it while it is attacking on its own as a free action; when so retrieved, the weapon can't dance (attack on its own) again for 4 rounds.
Animated wrote:


As a move action, an animated shield can be loosed to defend its wielder on its own. For the following 4 rounds, the shield grants its bonus to the one who loosed it and then drops. While animated, the shield provides its shield bonus and the bonuses from all of the other shield special abilities it possesses, but it cannot take actions on its own, such as those provided by the bashing and blinding abilities. It can, however, use special abilities that do not require an action to function, such as arrow deflection and reflecting. While animated, a shield shares the same space as the activating character and accompanies the character who activated it, even if the character moves by magical means. A character with an animated shield still takes any penalties associated with shield use, such as armor check penalty, arcane spell failure chance, and nonproficiency. If the wielder who loosed it has an unoccupied hand, she can grasp it to end its animation as a free action. Once a shield has been retrieved, it cannot be animated again for at least 4 rounds.

The only line in Animated that offers any chance of this working is the one I've bold. Even then I think there is a strong argument to be made against this too in that it is talking about special abilities of the shield itself -- not class features of the person using the shield.

Now could this be a future area of errata? Sure -- mark it for the FAQ and see what comes of it -- but currently with the wording like it is the vindicator isn't going to get much mileage out of an animated shield.

Now if your GM will allow you to have an animated dancing shield then you might get somewhere since a dancing item counts as being wielded. But even that is probably a stretch.


Jason Nelson wrote:

Good stuff

Thanks Jason for your help. Nice to get answer that tells more than I asked.


*Waves hands in a disconcerting display of blatant Threadomancy*

So, there's a spirited debate about the Animated property, but I'm still curious about a buckler being WORN while attacking with a 2-H weapon. You wouldn't get the bucker's shield bonus, but it sounds like the bonus from Vindicator's Shield should still apply.

And yes, it's munchkin-y (-esque?), but we're sort of running a brutal "almost anything goes" kinda campaign and I think it would make a fun Pally dip.

Grand Lodge

I think it is important to point out that the elf Favoured class Oracle bonus 1/2 per level can be added to "Channel"

for example a 9th level Elf Oracle(Life) 8 / Holy Vindicator 1

has 7d6 Channel Dice or a +7 sacred bonus to ac with Vindicators shield.

much better than situational at best.


I am not 100% sure, but I think the intent of "when worn" contrasted with "does not need to hold it for it to retain this" is:

1. It only gives you the bonus while you are wearing it.
2. If you stop wearing it, or even hand it to someone else, they do not get the bonus, but...
3. If they hand it back to you, and you wear it again, the bonus is still there as long as the duration hasn't expired.

So they're distinguishing between "the bonus does not apply" and "the bonus goes away and must be restored by reactivating the ability".

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