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Two-Handed Weapon and Two Bucklers?


Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

Kinda unclear in the Buckler Description, can I equip two bucklers and also two-handed weapon (like a quarterstaff)?

Obviously, I'd only gain one shield bonus at a time, but there are feats that would benefit from having multiple shields equiped, like the Fortified Armor Training feat (UC).


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Short answer is no. If you use a two handed weapon you dont get a shield bonus and you take a penalty to your attack rolls.

Longer answer is... sort of, there are class abilities and feats that allow you to use a buckler with two handed weapons but there is no way to get two shield bonuses at the same time, that would really break the game's expectations on AC no matter how much we may want to dual wield Klars.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

You can absolutely have a buckler on each arm. You gain no mechanical benefit from doing so, except the extremely niche case of fortified armor training, in which you have an extra shield to break.

Scarab Sages

Imbicatus wrote:
You can absolutely have a buckler on each arm. You gain no mechanical benefit from doing so, except the extremely niche case of fortified armor training, in which you have an extra shield to break.

My only concern is that the Buckler mentions that it goes in the Off-hand. Can I have two off-hands? And if I do, can I still equip a two handed weapon?

Torbyne wrote:

Short answer is no. If you use a two handed weapon you dont get a shield bonus and you take a penalty to your attack rolls.

Longer answer is... sort of, there are class abilities and feats that allow you to use a buckler with two handed weapons but there is no way to get two shield bonuses at the same time, that would really break the game's expectations on AC no matter how much we may want to dual wield Klars.

Try reading the OP again. This response is unrelated to my question. I'm not seeking two shield bonuses (or any shield bonuses), I'm just asking if the character can physically equip two bucklers while wielding a Two-handed weapon.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Imbicatus wrote:
You can absolutely have a buckler on each arm. You gain no mechanical benefit from doing so, except the extremely niche case of fortified armor training, in which you have an extra shield to break.

My only concern is that the Buckler mentions that it goes in the Off-hand. Can I have two off-hands? And if I do, can I still equip a two handed weapon?

Torbyne wrote:

Short answer is no. If you use a two handed weapon you dont get a shield bonus and you take a penalty to your attack rolls.

Longer answer is... sort of, there are class abilities and feats that allow you to use a buckler with two handed weapons but there is no way to get two shield bonuses at the same time, that would really break the game's expectations on AC no matter how much we may want to dual wield Klars.

Try reading the OP again. This response is unrelated to my question. I'm not seeking two shield bonuses (or any shield bonuses), I'm just asking if the character can physically equip two bucklers while wielding a Two-handed weapon.

It actually is an answer to your assumption that you could *use* a buckler and a two handed weapon at the same time. You can strap bucklers onto a character where ever you like and so long as their combined weight doesn't change your encumbrance level they will have no effect on the character but you also gain no benefit from *carrying* bucklers. *Equipping* is a loaded word that implies you are trying to get a bonus out of the item, a shield AC of some kind or the like and you can not benefit from a buckler while *using* a two handed weapon. It does however give you a penalty for doing so.

You can use one buckler and hold a two handed weapon and receive the buckler's shield AC and any enchantments on the shield. If you use the weapon you turn off the shield. Your original post seems to assume this is not the case. I tried to point out that you need to jump through hoops just to get to where you seemed to think you started at.

Scarab Sages

Torbyne wrote:

It actually is an answer to your assumption that you could *use* a buckler and a two handed weapon at the same time. You can strap bucklers onto a character where ever you like and so long as their combined weight doesn't change your encumbrance level they will have no effect on the character but you also gain no benefit from *carrying* bucklers. *Equipping* is a loaded word that implies you are trying to get a bonus out of the item, a shield AC of some kind or the like and you can not benefit from a buckler while *using* a two handed weapon. It does however give you a penalty for doing so.

You can use one buckler and hold a two handed weapon and receive the buckler's shield AC and any enchantments on the shield. If you use the weapon you turn off the shield. Your original post seems to assume this is not the case. I tried to point out that you need to jump through hoops just to get to where you seemed to think you started at.

I am asking about "equipping" both bucklers at the same time. I am not expecting to get two shield bonuses to my AC (I'd get the better of the two). And yes, I would lose the AC bonus from both bucklers once I was "using" the Two-handed weapon (unclear how "using" functions, if it means holding/wielding, or if it means actually attacking, but that doesn't really matter for my question).

The example application here, is the Fortified Armor Training feat, which grants the ability to negate critical hits (they become normal hits), but in doing so my shield gains the broken condition each time this is done. So with one shield, I can normally only do this once until I equip another shield. With regard to this example, I'm wondering if I can equip two shields in order to negate a second critical hit (breaking the second buckler)..?

Obviously, the goal here is to be critically hit less, which seems to be how most of my characters die....


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

The closest rules to cover the scenario are the magic items rules that state a character has a single "shield" slot to use a single shield with.

Ask your GM if they will allow you to use Fortified Armor Training on a buckler in the same round in which you use a two handed weapon as you don't have the benefit of that buckler in any round in which you use a two handed weapon weapon.


Torbyne wrote:
It actually is an answer to your assumption that you could *use* a buckler and a two handed weapon at the same time.

Actually he can. It is explicitly called out in the rules for bucklers:

Quote:
You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an offhand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you lose the buckler’s Armor Class bonus until your next turn.

That said, using two bucklers at once is not covered by the rules and is home rule territory.

As a home rule I would state you could wear two at once (one on each arm) but their penalties would be cumulative (since the reason for the penalty is that they get in the way if your using the arm wearing them for fighting as well as defense).

Also, humanoids with only two arms have a main hand and an off hand. You cannot have two (or more) off hands that I am aware of unless you have more than two arms like the Kasatha.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Gilfalas wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
It actually is an answer to your assumption that you could *use* a buckler and a two handed weapon at the same time.

Actually he can. It is explicitly called out in the rules for bucklers:

Quote:
You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an offhand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you lose the buckler’s Armor Class bonus until your next turn.

That said, using two bucklers at once is not covered by the rules and is home rule territory.

As a home rule I would state you could wear two at once (one on each arm) but their penalties would be cumulative (since the reason for the penalty is that they get in the way if your using the arm wearing them for fighting as well as defense).

Also, humanoids with only two arms have a main hand and an off hand. You cannot have two (or more) off hands that I am aware of unless you have more than two arms like the Kasatha.

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Obviously, I'd only gain one shield bonus at a time...

This is the part i have been trying to correct, you can have the buckler on your arm yes, but no, you do not get the benefit of that buckler if you use a two handed weapon.

The buckler rules were not written at the same time as fortified armor training and the exact interaction is not covered but i at least would rule that you can not draw any benefit from a buckler on the same round that you used the shield bearing arm for other actions.


Torbyne wrote:
The buckler rules were not written at the same time as fortified armor training and the exact interaction is not covered but i at least would rule that you can not draw any benefit from a buckler on the same round that you used the shield bearing arm for other actions.

The rules only say that you do not gain the AC BONUS of the buckler if you use a weapon in the same hand. You would still gain any other effect that was not related to the shield AC.


You can change which hand is your 'off-hand' just like changing your grip on a weapon I think. The 'on-hand' buckler wouldn't be available to break with FAT until you did so IMO, while you were wielding a two-handed weapon.

Shadow Lodge

DeathlessOne wrote:


The rules only say that you do not gain the AC BONUS of the buckler if you use a weapon in the same hand. You would still gain any other effect that was not related to the shield AC.

Magic armor only lets you use the higher effective bonus if you have 2 armor producing items, such as bracers of mage armor and a suit of armor. Shields should work the same way.


Stacking also gets screwy when dealing with shield bonuses vs. enhancement bonuses, such as when a Wizard wearing a +1 mithral buckler casts the Shield spell. The spell grants +4 shield bonus to AC, the buckler grants +1 shield bonus as well as +1 enhancement bonus to shield AC. The shield bonuses don't stack, but enhancement bonuses explicitly stack with shield bonuses. However, it's from a second source, and so on, and deeper down the rabbit-hole we go.

I'm fairly certain the rules intend for you to only have one shield or suit of armor equipped at a time. The Fortified Armor Training feat would be balanced with this in mind. Could your character physically wear two shields? Sure. Would their specialised training let them deflect critical blows into both? Probably not. Most trainers will teach you to deflect the hit into your off-hand side, so as a DM I'd rule that unless you spend an action equipping a new shield into your off-hand, you don't gain the benefit of wearing two shields.


JDLPF wrote:
so as a DM I'd rule that unless you spend an action equipping a new shield into your off-hand, you don't gain the benefit of wearing two shields.

The off-hand is defined by the player and can change every round.

Assuming the character even has an off-hand, which is not always the case.

Scarab Sages

BigNorseWolf wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:


The rules only say that you do not gain the AC BONUS of the buckler if you use a weapon in the same hand. You would still gain any other effect that was not related to the shield AC.

Magic armor only lets you use the higher effective bonus if you have 2 armor producing items, such as bracers of mage armor and a suit of armor. Shields should work the same way.

Not just should, does. A sorcerer with the spell "Shield" and an actual shield only gains the one shield bonus, whichever is best.

Scarab Sages

Snowlilly wrote:
JDLPF wrote:
so as a DM I'd rule that unless you spend an action equipping a new shield into your off-hand, you don't gain the benefit of wearing two shields.

The off-hand is defined by the player and can change every round.

Assuming the character even has an off-hand, which is not always the case.

The challenge here is that the buckler only equips to the off hand, so with two bucklers, you couldn't equip second unless you had a second off hand (or if the main hand can function as an off hand, kinda unclear there).

I recall a D&D archetype for 3rd or 3.5 where they wielded dual shields. Is there a pathfinder version of this? Might be a good reference point.

Sovereign Court

No where in the buckler description does it say you can only equip it to your offhand. It talks about penalties for using a (2h or offhand) weapon in the same arm as a buckler, but not arm requirement.

Scarab Sages

Firebug wrote:
No where in the buckler description does it say you can only equip it to your offhand. It talks about penalties for using a (2h or offhand) weapon in the same arm as a buckler, but not arm requirement.

Hmm...I do have an older edition of the CRB. Maybe the language is different.


How often are you being subjected to critical hits?

Scarab Sages

Knight who says Meh wrote:
How often are you being subjected to critical hits?

Let's see, I have 20 or so PFS characters since I started playing pfs in June 2016, 3 or 4 have died, and they always die to critical hits....Not super common, but when it happens it is a dramatic issue.

My personal favorite was one where I was playing a Cleric of Nethys. I was the dedicated healer for our party. We found a small pool with some item at the bottom. We noticed a Water Elemental within, which we did communicate with and cautioned against taking her item. My cleric was against this, but two party members insisted, so they picked a fight with water elemental, which knocked out the first with one swing, and then attacked my cleric when I healed the knocked out party member. Of course, natural 20, confirmed, my level 1 character took like 40pts of damage. Died instantly. The best irony was that I was the only character with the knowledge skills that the party needed later on in the dungeon...


If you're using the bucklers to negate critical hits and critical hits are "not super common," why do you need to wear two at the same time?


You guys know that magic shields (and armor) occupy a magic item slot, right? Wear two magical shields, and one of them turns off. Combine that with the general "same bonuses don't stack, same penalties do", and double shields are *mostly* pointless.

Scarab Sages

Knight who says Meh wrote:
If you're using the bucklers to negate critical hits and critical hits are "not super common," why do you need to wear two at the same time?

Varies session by session. Our local GMs seem to have days where they roll "hot" and get lots of critical hits in a single session. Not every session, but when it happens, if your the guy getting hit, you often die. I'm not always the guy getting hit and this isn't every session, but death of the character in PFS really hurts in lots of ways.

PFS has a cool rewards program where if your party spends like $50 in the local store, they'll give you a big bonus on your CON for the death threshold - that has really helped us in multiple sessions.

Anyway, I'm not complaining, just looking for solutions. Critical hit resistance is something I feel is worth investing in - even if it doesn't shine in every session.


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Have you considered getting Fortification armor over burning feats and going through table variation every session on your build?

Scarab Sages

Torbyne wrote:
Have you considered getting Fortification armor over burning feats and going through table variation every session on your build?

I'm brainstorming my options now for future characters. Fortification armor is an option, and there are a few non-armor versions of that. Dwaves also have a race specific feat that is similar to the feat above, but more helmet related (those exotic dwarven helmets).

And then there's always just building a character that says out of combat (runs away, teleports, goes ethereal and hides in walls, or just invisible). Not usually my style...

But, yeah, I'm not a fan of options that result in heavy table variation. I'll still debate them on the boards, but I wouldn't do it in session. So for this one, I'm not going to be attempting a dual shield character. Still seems like a decent feat with the single shield.


Murdock Mudeater wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:


The rules only say that you do not gain the AC BONUS of the buckler if you use a weapon in the same hand. You would still gain any other effect that was not related to the shield AC.

Magic armor only lets you use the higher effective bonus if you have 2 armor producing items, such as bracers of mage armor and a suit of armor. Shields should work the same way.

Not just should, does. A sorcerer with the spell "Shield" and an actual shield only gains the one shield bonus, whichever is best.

He's talking about something different than bonuses of the same type not stacking. He's talking about how the special abilities of bracers of armor wouldn't stack with the special abilities of regular magical armor.

Scarab Sages

Melkiador wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
BigNorseWolf wrote:
DeathlessOne wrote:


The rules only say that you do not gain the AC BONUS of the buckler if you use a weapon in the same hand. You would still gain any other effect that was not related to the shield AC.

Magic armor only lets you use the higher effective bonus if you have 2 armor producing items, such as bracers of mage armor and a suit of armor. Shields should work the same way.

Not just should, does. A sorcerer with the spell "Shield" and an actual shield only gains the one shield bonus, whichever is best.
He's talking about something different than bonuses of the same type not stacking. He's talking about how the special abilities of bracers of armor wouldn't stack with the special abilities of regular magical armor.

Not sure if I follow. Explain, please. If I have this wrong, it would be very useful to know.


You can't wear 2 bucklers that have a list of special properties and then gain the benefits of both only one's magic would apply at a time.


Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Not sure if I follow. Explain, please. If I have this wrong, it would be very useful to know.

He was referring to this rule and extrapolating that it applies to other forms of equipment.

Bracers of Armor wrote:
Bracers of armor and ordinary armor do not stack. If the wearer receives a larger armor bonus from another source, the bracers of armor cease functioning and do not grant their armor bonus or their armor special abilities. If the bracers of armor grant a larger armor bonus, the other source of armor ceases functioning.

Scarab Sages

Talonhawke wrote:
You can't wear 2 bucklers that have a list of special properties and then gain the benefits of both only one's magic would apply at a time.
Yes, this one was explained already.
Melkiador wrote:
Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Not sure if I follow. Explain, please. If I have this wrong, it would be very useful to know.

He was referring to this rule and extrapolating that it applies to other forms of equipment.

Bracers of Armor wrote:
Bracers of armor and ordinary armor do not stack. If the wearer receives a larger armor bonus from another source, the bracers of armor cease functioning and do not grant their armor bonus or their armor special abilities. If the bracers of armor grant a larger armor bonus, the other source of armor ceases functioning.

Hmm. So the arguement is that if I cast shield (the spell) while an actual shield was equiped, I'd get the better shield bonus and only the special abilities attached to that shield bonus source?


That's the gist of it.

Scarab Sages

Interesting.

Scarab Sages

Necroing my own thread, but I found an interesting option I hadn't consided before.

Murdock Mudeater wrote:
Torbyne wrote:
Have you considered getting Fortification armor over burning feats and going through table variation every session on your build?

I'm brainstorming my options now for future characters.

Shield Cloak

Not two shields at the same time, but grants a quick option to replace the broken shield with a fresh one (move action).


It's fine for a fun build, but the shoulders slot is usually reserved for a cloak of resistance.

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