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Concerning drawing a shield + temporary hit points


Rules Questions


First I'd like to say hello to all of users, since it's my first post here. We're playing Pf for about year, and because my players beginning to know the rules more and more, some of them start to make some powergame attempts. So the first issue:
One of my players plays Paladin (sic!). On the last session he made something like that: (1) Drop, or rather put of his shield at his back as a move action; (2) strikes an enemy with his long sword wielded with two hands to have '1,5X' damage bonus; (3) Ready a shield as a free action.
It wasn't dropping a shield which I understand as dropping it on the ground (since I'am not an English native speaker I could of course understand the word 'drop' wrong).
Reading combat chapter I realise that it isn't possible, because even having BAB +1, you can ready a shield only during move action. But, knowing this player, he could take Quick Draw feat on next level, so my question is if this possible to make such complicated maneuver and still benefit from all of armour and damage bonuses?

And the second issue:
I was looking for it at the forums, but I didn't find satisfying answer anywhere. Do one need to treat temporary hit points as different hit point 'pool' or with addition to base hit points. What do I have in mind:
3-rd level wizard is a target of attack. He was wounded e.g. for 5, and have 4 HP (of his 9 HP max) left. He cast 'False life' on himself and now he has e.g. 14 HP. My question is when the spell ends, and since the wizard didn't obtain any damage after casting 'false life', do his HP amount go back to 4 HP, or will he end with his max HP, so we can count 'false life' as healing spell?


DooM1982 wrote:
First I'd like to say hello to all of users, since it's my first post here. We're playing Pf for about year, and because my players beginning to know the rules more and more, some of them start to make some powergame attempts.

Hello & welcome! Glad you're enjoying Pathfinder. I apologize if my meaning is lost, but I hope that you will understand.

DooM1982 wrote:

So the first issue:

One of my players plays Paladin (sic!). On the last session he made something like that: (1) Drop, or rather put of his shield at his back as a move action; (2) strikes an enemy with his long sword wielded with two hands to have '1,5X' damage bonus; (3) Ready a shield as a free action.
It wasn't dropping a shield which I understand as dropping it on the ground (since I'am not an English native speaker I could of course understand the word 'drop' wrong).
Reading combat chapter I realise that it isn't possible, because even having BAB +1, you can ready a shield only during move action. But, knowing this player, he could take Quick Draw feat on next level, so my question is if this possible to make such complicated maneuver and still benefit from all of armour and damage bonuses?

This issue is up for debate, however, it is not something that I would allow. Your Paladin is using both his arms to make an attack with two hands, then pulling out a shield to add defense, which seems to be too much.

Firstly, if we are talking about a standard shield* then it is a Move Action to ready (strap a shield back on) and a Move Action remove the shield from your arm. You cannot drop a shield that is still worn by your character. This is in addition to the Move Action of putting the shield on your back or taking it off your back.

*I mention this because of the Advanced Players Guide introduced a Quickdraw Shield later on that interacts more fluidly with the Quickdraw Feat.

Anyhow, compare what your Paladin wants to do with a Shield Bash attack or using a Buckler Shield. In those cases, if you use the shielded arm to attack then you lose the defensive bonus. It should work the same way for any other shield - even if you manage to equip the shield later on in the same round.

DooM1982 wrote:

And the second issue:

I was looking for it at the forums, but I didn't find satisfying answer anywhere. Do one need to treat temporary hit points as different hit point 'pool' or with addition to base hit points. What do I have in mind:
3-rd level wizard is a target of attack. He was wounded e.g. for 5, and have 4 HP (of his 9 HP max) left. He cast 'False life' on himself and now he has e.g. 14 HP. My question is when the spell ends, and since the wizard didn't obtain any damage after casting 'false life', do his HP amount go back to 4 HP, or will he end with his max HP, so we can count 'false life' as healing spell?

This is the easiest question: The rules regarding Temporary Hit Points are located here.

Certain effects give a character temporary hit points. These hit points are in addition to the character's current hit point total and any damage taken by the character is subtracted from these hit points first. Any damage in excess of a character's temporary hit points is applied to his current hit points as normal. If the effect that grants the temporary hit points ends or is dispelled, any remaining temporary hit points go away.

So, you keep track of them separately as sort of an extra layer of hit points. If the wizard did not get damaged then after False Life Expires he loses the hit points and goes back to the original number.

So in your case the Wizard would be at 4 HP when the False Life Spell ended, not 14 HP.


DooM1982 wrote:


(1) Drop, or rather put of his shield at his back as a move action; (2) strikes an enemy with his long sword wielded with two hands to have '1,5X' damage bonus; (3) Ready a shield as a free action.
It wasn't dropping a shield which I understand as dropping it on the ground (since I'am not an English native speaker I could of course understand the word 'drop' wrong).

Your interpretation is not wrong.

Removing a shield from the arm and dropping it is only a move action. That means dropping it on the ground, which if he has a BAB+1 can be done as part of a normal movement so he could drop it anywhere along that movement, but it is still on the ground. Removing a shield and storing it would take more than a move action, which would leave him unable to take the standard action of an attack. If he did choose to remove and drop, he could still get his 2-handed attack.

BUT to regain his shield he would have to 1) pick it up (a move action which provokes an AoO), and then use a second move action to DON his shield again.

DooM1982 wrote:


Reading combat chapter I realise that it isn't possible, because even having BAB +1, you can ready a shield only during move action. But, knowing this player, he could take Quick Draw feat on next level, so my question is if this possible to make such complicated maneuver and still benefit from all of armour and damage bonuses?

EDIT - Thx Stynkk for pointing out Quickdraw Shield in APG.

Quickdraw Shield, Light Wooden or Steel: This light shield is specially crafted with a series of straps to allow a character proficient in shields to ready or stow it on his or her back quickly and easily. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a swift action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw a light or one-handed weapon with one hand and a quickdraw shield with the other in the time it would normally take you to draw one weapon. If you have the Quick Draw feat, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a free action.

This would read that with a Quickdraw Shield and the Quick Draw Feat, the maneuver would be possible with all bonuses.

DooM1982 wrote:


And the second issue:
I was looking for it at the forums, but I didn't find satisfying answer anywhere. Do one need to treat temporary hit points as different hit point 'pool' or with addition to base hit points. What do I have in mind:
3-rd level wizard is a target of attack. He was wounded e.g. for 5, and have 4 HP (of his 9 HP max) left. He cast 'False life' on himself and now he has e.g. 14 HP. My question is when the spell ends, and since the wizard didn't obtain any damage after casting 'false life', do his HP amount go back to 4 HP, or will he end with his max HP, so we can count 'false life' as healing spell?

False life does not heal. In your example, when False life wears off, he would still be at 4 HP (needing to heal his 5 points of real damage by either magic or resting).

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