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Shield Bashing Questoins


Rules Questions

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Ok, so there are like 20 threads about various questions I am about to ask but as I am about to make a PFS character using a shield as his main weapon and none of the promised FAQs seem to ever have come to fruition I will ask here in hopes that I missed something.

1. Does a shield gain the cumulative benefits of both being spiked and the bashing enhancement to give it (for heavy) 2d6 damage?

2. Can I make shields out of special materials such as adimantium, silver and cold iron? if so what are the costs? do they apply to dr?

3. When I enchant a shield with bashing and then enchant it as a weapon to the +1 enhancements stack? For instance a +1 bashing shield normally give a +1 bonus to attack and damage. If I ad a +1 weapon enhancement does it provide a +2? Also does the shield +10 cap on shields and weapons count both. Example: can a +4 bashing shield with a +5 enhancement bonus be enchanted further?

4. Do I have to have a spiked shield to enhance it as a weapon? I can make masterwork spike on my shield but if I make a masterwork shield does it count as a weapon for enhancing?

Thanks for all your help!

Grand Lodge

1) It use to not as they both adjusted damage of the base shield by size. However looking at the UE now, spiked shield seems to have it's own listing with nothing about size increase to damage dice...so it looks like it should stack now.

2) Yes...it can be made of any material that applies to either the shield or spikes if you have one. If wooden shield, then the various wood items can be applies...if metal, the metal ones. And apply seperate for spikes if you have one. The costs is for a weapon if you want it to do what the metal does as a weapon and shield if you want what to do as a shield and both if you want both. Kinda like the magical enchantments.

3) No...you need to enchant the shield as a +1 weapon before further weapon enchantments can be added. The weapon and shield enchantments have their own caps. So you could have a +5 bashing added to the shield as an armor enhancement then +5 defending as a weapon one. Then you transfer all +5 to defense for +5 ac and then use shield mastery to to add the shield enhancement to you shield bash attack. Now in PFS, getting something like that isn't gonna be easy...or even possible really.

4) No, a shield can be made masterwork as a weapon without the spikes...BUT it must be a masterwork weapon before you can enchant the shield...this cost is seperate from masterwork as a shield. If you want to enchant it both ways, you need to have a shield that is made as both a masterwork weapon AND shield +450 GP.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Thanks for the reply. Those make sense for the most part.

On 3, just a clarification. If I pay seperatly for +1 bashing shield bonus and a +1 weapon bonus do I add +2 to attack and damage? The Bashing ability says it grants +1 attack and damage.

on 2 & 4, where is that coming from? do you have any rules you could point me to? why would I need to make an item mithril twice or masterwork twice? that doesn't seem right to me.

I am also hoping for some consensus. So if anyone else wants to throw in that would be great :)

Grand Lodge

On 3...no just a +1...both are enhancement bonus so no stacking. But that enhancement is needed before you can stack on other weapon enhancements.

On 2 and 4, you need the item to be a masterwork shield before you can stack on magical shield enchanments...which has a cost of +150 gp. You need it to be a masterwork weapon for weapon enchantments which is +300 gp. A shield is both a armor (shield) and a weapon so all costs has to paid for whatever aspect you are improving. If you need a logical reasoning, then think of it this way. The shield portion modifies the face of the shield, the weapon is the edge of the shield you will be shield slamming with.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Seriphim84 wrote:
1. Does a shield gain the cumulative benefits of both being spiked and the bashing enhancement to give it (for heavy) 2d6 damage?

AFAIK, SKR and the PFS campaign leadership have not mentioned this. RAW it could go either way. James Jacobs says no. (here, here, here, here, and here, among other places.)

For PFS, it's probably the easiest to just treat the spikes, in all ways, like a separate unrelated weapon.

Seriphim84 wrote:
2. Can I make shields out of special materials such as adimantium, silver and cold iron? if so what are the costs? do they apply to dr?

Not clear. Most people would probably allow it, price it as a weapon, and bypass DR.

Seriphim84 wrote:
3. When I enchant a shield with bashing and then enchant it as a weapon to the +1 enhancements stack?

Could go either way. The most restrictive answer is "The shield acts as a +1 weapon" means it's always +1 when bashing, even if you've enchanted it to be +3.

Seriphim84 wrote:
4. Do I have to have a spiked shield to enhance it as a weapon?

No. "An enhancement bonus on a shield does not improve the effectiveness of a shield bash made with it, but the shield can be made into a magic weapon in its own right."

Although, I guess that could maybe refer to adding a spike? It would be easier that way.

Seriphim84 wrote:
I can make masterwork spike on my shield but if I make a masterwork shield does it count as a weapon for enhancing?

Nobody knows!


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

1) No, they do not stack.

2) Absolutely. When no pricing is listed for shields, price as a weapon.

3) They don't stack, and don't count towards the total of weapon enchantments, as it is not a weapon enchantment.

4) You do not need to add spikes to enchant it as a weapon. Being Masterwork is enough. For the most part, treat the spikes as separate weapons.

If focusing on fighting with a shield, then you should actually avoid shield spikes.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Why should I avoid shield spikes? admitedly they are not as good as the bashing enchantment but at love levels they are aq great option for increasing damage. Aren't They?

Also on 4 and 2 do I have to masterwork/make with mithril separately for sheild and weapon as Cold Napalm advised?

Final question. should I avoid using a shield as my primary weapon as they have so many grey areas?


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Shield Master feat should be your end goal. It is not effected by Shield Spikes.

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

Well I won't be able to get that feat. I am putting this on a bard :p. So for level 12 PFS I will only have a 9 bab.


2 people marked this as FAQ candidate.

Sorry for bumping an older thread, but I have some additional questions, also for a PFS character. I think it would just get moved out of the PFS section, but maybe if we use the FAQ system we can get a response.

Core Rulebook wrote:

Shield Bash Attacks

An enhancement bonus on a shield does not improve the effectiveness of a shield bash made with it, but the shield can be made into a magic weapon in its own right.

I have a masterwork heavy steel shield (Price: 170 gp). The masterwork quality removes one point of armor check penalty, it does not grant a bonus to hit.

Question 1: If I want to make it into a magic weapon, does the masterwork armor count, or does it need to be a masterwork weapon first? If it needs to be a masterwork weapon, how do I do that? Just add 300gp to the cost of the first enchantment, or do I need to have someone cast Masterwork Transformation?

Core Rulebook wrote:

Magic Item Creation

Multiple Different Abilities: Abilities such as an attack roll bonus or saving throw bonus and a spell-like function are not similar, and their values are simply added together to determine the cost. For items that take up a space on a character's body, each additional power not only has no discount but instead has a 50% increase in price.

Question 2: Is magic armor and weapon enchantment considered multiple different abilities? If I have a magic (armor) shield, and I want to enchant it as a weapon, do I pay 50% more for the weapon enchantments?

Core Rulebook wrote:

Magic Shield Special Ability Bashing

A shield with this special ability is designed to perform a shield bash. A bashing shield deals damage as if it were a weapon of two size categories larger (a Medium light shield thus deals 1d6 points of damage and a Medium heavy shield deals 1d8 points of damage). The shield acts as a +1 weapon when used to bash. Only light and heavy shields can have this ability.
Ultimate Magic wrote:

Magus Arcane Pool

At 1st level, a magus can expend 1 point from his arcane pool as a swift action to grant any weapon he is holding a +1 enhancement bonus for 1 minute. For every four levels beyond 1st, the weapon gains another +1 enhancement bonus, to a maximum of +5 at 17th level. These bonuses can be added to the weapon, stacking with existing weapon enhancement to a maximum of +5. Multiple uses of this ability do not stack with themselves.
Ultimate Combat wrote:

Skirnir (Archetype)

Arcane Pool
At 1st level, a skirnir can use his arcane pool to grant an enhancement bonus to a weapon as normal, as well as to his shield, paying the arcane pool cost separately for each.

Question 3: I can use my Arcane Pool to grant a +1 enhancement bonus to my shield. Does this stack with the "acts as a +1 weapon" from bashing, resulting in it effectively being a +2 weapon? Or, since the bashing enchantment isn't a real weapon enchantment, it becomes a +1 weapon that acts as a +1 weapon?

Question 4: At level 5, I can use my Arcane Pool to grant +2 worth of weapon/shield properties (from a limited list). When the shield "acts as a +1 weapon when used to bash" does that qualify as a +1 enhancement bonus, allowing me to put both of my pool bonuses into special properties? Or do I still need to burn one point as a weapon enhancement bonus first? Meaning, can I use my pool to turn my +1 Bashing heavy shield into a +1 Bashing Flaming Shock heavy shield? Or does it have to be a +1 (weapon) +1 (armor) Bashing Flaming heavy shield?

Thank you for your time and input.


Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

1) Yes.

2) No.

3) No.

4) Not sure.


Speaking of Arcane Pool, doesn't it state that it works on weapons, last I remembered shields were considered armours in regards of mechanics, even if you could hit with them? I could be wrong but I always find them listed in armours.

The line between shields being weapons or armour seems to change depending on what you attach to it and if any feats affect your use of it then?

Shadow Lodge Star Voter 2013, Star Voter 2014

1. From what I have gathered there is a debate about whether or not you need to make a shield masterwork twice. For PFS I have decided to take the most expensive route so that there are no questions. This comes with the perk of getting a plus one to hit with it before its enchanted.

2. No they don't cost extra.

3. The bashing bonus and first enchantment do not stack.

4. That's a great questions and I also want to know the answer. Ultimately the same question exists even if your not a magus for the purposes of enchanting a shield. I am going to FAQ your post.

Edit: At least when it comes to magic the Core Rule Book Specifically states that it can be enchanted as a weapon in its own right. At this point I view shields as a form of double weapon. One end is a shield and the other a weapon. It doesn't make any sense realistically but mechanically that seems to be how it works.


blackbloodtroll wrote:

1) Yes.

2) No.

3) No.

4) Not sure.

1: That was not a yes or no question.

2: Why not? What makes AC and attack/damage not similar?

3: I sort of thought so, but why wouldn't that make 4 a no also?

I appreciate the response, but it would be helpful to have a reason for the answers, since it's probably something I'll have to show a GM at some point.


Ehtah Irthir wrote:
Speaking of Arcane Pool, doesn't it state that it works on weapons, last I remembered shields were considered armours in regards of mechanics, even if you could hit with them?

The Skirnir arcane pool says it works with my shield, as well as on weapons.

The magic armor section also says "A shield could be built that also acted as a magic weapon, but the cost of the enhancement bonus on attack rolls would need to be added into the cost of the shield and its enhancement bonus to AC."

So weapon enchantments like Flaming should work with a shield, at weapon enchantment costs.


Here's another question about arcane bonds.

"The magic properties of a bonded object, including any magic abilities added to the object, only function for the wizard who owns it. If a bonded object's owner dies, or the item is replaced, the object reverts to being an ordinary masterwork item of the appropriate type."

Is the "magic abilities" referring only to ones put there via the arcane bond ability, or any magic at all?

For instance, I foolishly paid someone a full 1,000 gold to make my existing bonded masterwork shield into a +1 shield (armor).

If I bond with a new item, does my old shield become a plain masterwork shield again?

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