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Shield Other a trap?


Pathfinder RPG General Discussion


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Is the shield other spell a trap? Or do you find it most effective?

It's been my experience that anyone who ever uses it dies twice as fast, oftentimes to things like area effects that catch both spell targets. The range is just too short to be able to easily avoid such things.


It stretches channel positive energy (when you aren't fighting foes with AoE).

I've seen a particularly brave sorcerer have his fast healing familiar use it on him via wand. Surprisingly it turned out okay.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Against AoEs it is really dangerous.

But if you can stay safe while you share half damage with the protected target, one channel does double the work.

My PFS cleric used it quite often without too much trouble. Saved quite a few people with it, in fact.


It's definitely a risk to use, but it is worth it if you know you can sustain the increased damage.
I'm currently playing an oracle that uses it in conjunction with a few other damage sharing abilities to maintain a steady level of health amungst his teamates while mitigating most damage (he's quite resilient)

but it does require a lot of preplanning to use effectively, and as you said the hit and a half from AoE is a constant danger, but one that can be dealt with if played smartly.

in short, it's a great tool, but it's high cost isn't always worth it's use.


It's usually very good if the shielder has decent hp and is uncommonly attacked himself. Can backfire, though.

Game I'm in, just 2 weeks ago, a cleric player and his fighter/cleric cohort, who shield other'd each other, had an incident. His cohort, already damaged a fair bit, went into a nearby river to retrive the iron bands he had just used to take out an enemy. The PC cleric eats a nasty full attack, and suddenly his cohort is unconscious in the river...


It's quite good for keeping lower-level characters alive when playing up, especially squishies and archers. AoEs can hurt though. Plus you have to trust the other party NOT to screw you. My PFS cleric died when he was dropped to 0hp by a fireball, and the Shielded Other immediately RAN INTO MELEE!! Had the guy done almost anything else, my cleric would have lived thanks to Quick Channel and Extra Channeling, potions and wands, etc etc.

I once used it to great effect as a DM. I had a mummy cleric and two wight monk followers. Between the flurry of trips, half of the monks' damage going to the mummy (who in turn took half damage from blows) and channeling negative energy/mass inflict spells, it was a fun encounter!


I like to combine Sanctuary and Shield Other to mitigate damage for my squishy friend and keep myself safe from anyone that would directly harm me. I usually pair it with my rogue friend in the party. That plus Grace makes him a very happy camper :)


On the whole it seems to work out for a cleric playing friend of mine who shields other with the main party fighter. Our group is a little larger (7 + 2 animal companions) than usual so the cleric is not often attacked himself.

Shadow Lodge

I use it with my PFS Life oracle with his Life Link to good effect. The more damage I can heal on myself with my move+standard while I hide around the corner, the better.


Archer paladins love this spell. They can stay back and shoot, while taking half the tanks damage, and then using Lay On Hands on themselves.

Silver Crusade Star Voter 2014

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules Subscriber

It's a risky spell made for heroics and most often works as intended.

Feels good man.

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Odraude wrote:
I like to combine Sanctuary and Shield Other to mitigate damage for my squishy friend and keep myself safe from anyone that would directly harm me. I usually pair it with my rogue friend in the party. That plus Grace makes him a very happy camper :)

Maybe I'm missing something - are you referring to Grace the spell, or something else? Because the spell has a range of personal, meaning it can't be cast on the rogue.


Shield Other is amazing for a Life Oracle...anyone else has to be real careful.

Scarab Sages

It works real well so far for my cleric in our Age of Worms game. I keep it on the Invunerable Rager, and he and the paladin (who can swift action LoH himself) stay up and tanking even in the face of serious damage. You do have to pay attention though and be ready to drop it if things look bad.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Roleplaying Game Subscriber

What makes life oracles so special, pray tell?

Grand Lodge Marathon Voter 2013

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
What makes life oracles so special, pray tell?

Between Energy Body, Enhanced Cures, and Spirit Boost, the life oracle can make up for a lot of damage. You still have to have enough hp to eat the damage in the first place, though.

What I wonder is how Shield Other interacts with DR. I'm thinking of two Invulnerable Rager/Clerics in adamantine BPs striding into battle together.

Shadow Lodge

I had the spell prepared for ages, until we hit level 14-15, then it started to become a bit risky with the amount of hurt the party barbarian sometimes had to endure.

With a healing-centered cleric/oracle, the spell can make someone effectively immortal, but it does require a robust couple of characters. Pairs really well with channel energy to boot.


I want to use shild other on a troll cleric so the damage gets regenerated.

Shadow Lodge

Hmm, a mephit familiar in a jar containing the corresponding element who uses a wand of shield other on you...

Yeah, yeah, a jar of steam, but in principle.


Good in combination with DR, fast healing, regeneration and such. But few options that make strong combos can be had without multiclassing.

For example I think it works great in combination with the ablative barrier spell.


I don't think it is a trap, but you have to be careful how you use it. Stay out of AoE range, and make sure the primary target has good defences. If the target has an AC of 20 at level 10 I would not suggest using that spell.


Much like the life link mystery, it is a great way to put most of the damage on the toughest guy or easier guy to heal.

Some raging prophet with fey foundling and fast healer can soak the damage and get fully operational again after a handfull of spells.
If damage reduction applies on the redirected damage (GM fiat here) stalwart and bolstered resilience can help as well.


Shield other was my main spell use by my old cleric. I usually had it active on 2-3 people. However this particular cleric was built to last and had tons of hitpoints to make it work.

It saved me a lot of time in battle for me to cast spells other than healing.


Have an arbiter familiar use it.

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

Ravingdork wrote:

Is the shield other spell a trap? Or do you find it most effective?

It's been my experience that anyone who ever uses it dies twice as fast, oftentimes to things like area effects that catch both spell targets. The range is just too short to be able to easily avoid such things.

Area effects HURT, but its kept other party members up more often than it drops me.

Putting it on an animal companion or party member with evasion helps.


You've got to be really careful with shield other. I suggest combining it with other defensive buffs, like resist energy of the types being tossed around. But when you use it properly it partially defeats one of the trump cards of pathfinder and similar games (focus fire). By spreading the damage around you make area heals/channels a lot more effective and take advantage of the fact that damage doesn't really impede a character much until he gains the unconscious or dead condition. Handle with care but do handle it.


I use it on my reach paladin for mainlining our tankadwarf, the key thing to remember is the (D) in the duration, almost worth burning a hero point for an immediate action to dismiss it or fire off a Stabilize.

Star Voter 2013

Ravingdork wrote:

Is the shield other spell a trap? Or do you find it most effective?

It's been my experience that anyone who ever uses it dies twice as fast, oftentimes to things like area effects that catch both spell targets. The range is just too short to be able to easily avoid such things.

One of the best spells. It's a life saver for the tank. I've used it numbers of time to good effort, most recently in Bonekeep. It's so awesome that it's actually worthwhile to have someone UMD it with a scroll.

There are three things to keep in mind however.
1) AE damage can kill you when stacked.

2) Having more hit points than the guy you are shielding. It's really common that the cleric will have less hit points than the barbarian, the cleric will fall into negatives (not dead yet), but the barbarian keeps going. Cleric can't turn it off and then dies when the barbarian takes the next hit. It's especially dangerous to use on barbarians since their AC isn't usually the best.

3) Knowing how GMs rule the range. Every GM has a different idea how "breaking the range" should work.

Life oracles are better since they can break Life Link with an immediate action (at any time basically). To break Shield Other you need a standard action. Also, Life Link only shares 5 hit points at a time, which makes it less useful to the tank, but more useful in surviving yourself.


Thought: Can you have both Life Link and Shield Other active on the same target? If so, who/how do you determine the order of effects?


Blindmage wrote:
Thought: Can you have both Life Link and Shield Other active on the same target? If so, who/how do you determine the order of effects?

They don't actually interact at all.

Shield Other triggers when the target takes damage.
Life Link triggers at the beginning of the Oracle's turn, essentially funneling 5 HP from the Oracle to each target.


Works well with tanks. Not so much with skirmishers who like dancing around the battlefield. . .

Shadow Lodge Dedicated Voter 2014

Marius Castille wrote:
Works well with tanks. Not so much with skirmishers who like dancing around the battlefield. . .

Just get a rod of reach. That should cover most battles unless you have a reaaaaaly fast monk.

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