Brawler + Spiked Shield + Bashing Enchantment + Close Weapon Mastery + Monk's Robe = Confusion


Rules Questions

Grand Lodge

Ok...so I've been tooling around trying to figure out a good way to make a character who specializes in beating people to death with a shield.

Brawler seemed like one of the more solid choices for what I had in mind, so I started messing around with some build options, and I ran into some strangeness which I can't seem to wrap my mind around.

Namely the interaction between Close Weapon Mastery and a spiked shield with the bashing enchantment on it.

So the weapon of choice for this character is a +2 Bashing Mithral Heavy Steel Shield with a reinforcing shield boss and shield spikes.

Close Weapon Mastery makes the base damage for the shield the same as my brawler level -4. If I wear a Monk's Robe that balances out to Brawler level +1.

Shield spikes shift the base damage up 1 size category, the Bashing shield enchantment shifts the damage up 2 size categories.

What kind of interaction is there between all these things? Which ones are factored first, what stacks, what doesn't, etc?

HeroLab is telling me my shield should be doing 4d8+27 damage at level 12, but it isn't telling me how it came to that conclusion, and I am very dubious of that number.

I am guessing it is starting with the 2d6 brawler damage, then applying shield spikes to shift it up a category, then applying Bashing to shift it up 2 more categories...according to the chart for dice progression under Enlarge Person that should only push it up to 3d8...no idea how HeroLab is getting 4d8.

Is that even how these are supposed to interact? Do shield spikes and bashing stack? Should either of them be applied to the CWM dice?

Thoughts?

Liberty's Edge

Spike shield doesn't stack with Bashing enchant any more, based on the updated rules allowing only one size increase and one acts as larger size.

Liberty's Edge

Here is a threat discussing Close Weapon Mastery and Bashing.

Go to here.


Both Close Weapon Mastery and Bashing are separate features, and as such should be treated in that manner.

Bashing won't stack with Shield Spikes, and Close Weapon Mastery is increased based on your Unarmed Strike damage level +1 because of your Monk's Robes.

So, assuming 4D8 is possible, you'd have to be starting at 1D10 (minimum 7th level), then getting the Bashing property, raising it to 3D8, then Enlarging to 4D8.

**EDIT** At 12th level, you should be doing 6D6 damage plus modifiers, not 4D8, assuming Bashing and Monk's Robes.

Sczarni

Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Look at your total Monk Level (Brawler +1) versus the damage of a Bashing Heavy Shield (1d8) and choose the higher of the two.

Eventually your level will outpace the damage of your shield, so I'd recommend not even enchanting it with Bashing.


Samish Lakefinder wrote:
Spike shield doesn't stack with Bashing enchant any more, based on the updated rules allowing only one size increase and one acts as larger size.

Yes. I played a role in that debate. If you are planning on taking the Bashing Enchantment, then you should leave off the Shield Spikes. If you leave off the Shield Spikes, your Shield Bash will do all Bludgeoning Damage, so there will be no need for you have a Mithril Shield. Alchemal Silver Weapons only suffer reduced damage if they are Piercing or Slashing: the only reason to get a Mithril Weapon is to have a Piercing or Slashing Weapon to bypass DR/Silver. With no Shield Spikes, you can just get yourself an Alchemal Silver Shield and save yourself lots of money, then put the Bashing Enchanmtent on it, and your Damage will be all caught up.

Grand Lodge

Samish Lakefinder wrote:

Here is a threat discussing Close Weapon Mastery and Bashing.

Go to here.

That thread contains some rather heated debate over how these all interact, but does not contain any official rulings. There is no ruling on it in either the FAQ or Errata for the ACG either.

People seem very split on how it should work, the basic arguments I was seeing boil down to this:

Group 1 says: Bashing is applied to the weapon first, then if Close Weapon Mastery gives you better damage you can choose that instead...which basically makes bashing worthless to a Brawler.
According to group 1, a heavy steel bashing shield would do 1d8 damage, or you could choose to use the unarmed damage appropriate to your brawler level (in this case 2d6)

Group 2 says: Close Weapon Mastery changes the weapon damage first, then all enhancements are applied. Which can lead to some pretty sizable damage with a shield bash.
According to group 2, a heavy steel bashing shield would do the brawlers unarmed damage (2d6 in the case) then apply Bashing (2d6 upgrades to 3d6 if I am reading the enlarge charts correctly)

Have any devs or anything every chimed in anywhere on this debate?


Possibly off topic, but why is everyone using a heavy shield when this question comes up? What, do you just like that -2 penalty to attack rolls so much that your not willing to let it go and use a light offhand weapon?

Your replacing the base damage anyways. The +1 AC is just not worth -2 to hit.


toastedamphibian wrote:

Possibly off topic, but why is everyone using a heavy shield when this question comes up? What, do you just like that -2 penalty to attack rolls so much that your not willing to let it go and use a light offhand weapon?

Your replacing the base damage anyways. The +1 AC is just not worth -2 to hit.

That's a whole different thread we had roughly a month ago. Since it's not totally clear whether those penalties apply.


I assume shield master would be in the build, so it wouldn't matter after you get that.

Grand Lodge

With the character trait Shield Trained heavy shields become light simple weapons.


Ah. So you trade a trait and some weight (and a feat your going to take anyways) for +1 AC. Not bad.

Grand Lodge

The trait also makes it so the brawler doesn't have to take a feat to be proficient with shields as weapons. The heavy shield also does slightly better base damage.


Brawlers are proficient with all close weapons, which shields always are. They have proficiency.


toastedamphibian wrote:
Brawlers are proficient with all close weapons, which shields always are. They have proficiency.

But not Throwing Shields.


Slyme wrote:
According to group 2, a heavy steel bashing shield would do the brawlers unarmed damage (2d6 in the case) then apply Bashing (2d6 upgrades to 3d6 if I am reading the enlarge charts correctly)

It would upgrade to 4D6, not 3D6, and Enlarge would make it 6D6.

Group 1 is how I run Sacred Weapon, but I'd run this as Group 2 since the mechanics for Close Weapon Mastery appear to function differently.


Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
toastedamphibian wrote:
Brawlers are proficient with all close weapons, which shields always are. They have proficiency.
But not Throwing Shields.

The trait in question specifically affects only light and heavy shields, so throwing shields are not changed by it.

Grand Lodge

The chart on the pfsd for dice progression shows 2d6 going up to 2d8 then up to 3d6. Is there another chart for size changes I should be looking at?


Read the faq box on this page: Enlarge Person

If your moving up a size, you are not small, and the dice is larger than 1d6, then you move up 2 steps for each size increase.

Yes, it is odd.

Grand Lodge

Ok, size adjustment chart figured out. Now I could just use an official ruling on if the Bashing enchantment gets applied before or after Close Weapon Mastery.

This character is for PFS play, so a definitive ruling would makes things a lot easier when I go to actually play the character.


Good luck with that. Make sure to come let us know if you get one.


If it's for PFS, I'd suggest you prepare for the worst and just take your lumps. Just note that weapon damage dice cease to be a major factor by ~7th level.

Grand Lodge

'Worst' case scenario would be I am doing greatsword damage on 5+ attacks per round...(2d6+30ish or 3d6 enlarged)

'Best' case would be I am doing damage normally limited to things like vital strike on 5+ attacks per round.(4d6+30ish, or 6d6 enlarged)

It comes down to a difference of ~7 points of damage per hit, or 35 DPR. Not a huge difference when you are looking at ~185 DPR for the 'worst case' scenario. (Haste/Enlarge skew those numbers a bit further apart, but it's still pretty respectable damage even with the conservative ruling)

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Maps, Modules, Pawns, Roleplaying Game, Tales Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

With the Monk's original 'increased unarmed strike damage' ability the size category of the character and the weapon were perforce the same... a Medium monk always made Medium unarmed strikes.

When that increased damage ability was expanded to options allowing manufactured weapons it seems like no thought was given to the potential disconnect that introduced between the character and weapon sizes.

Many GMs go 'strictly literal' and thus continue to base damage on the size of the character (as it has been stated all the way back to the monk unarmed strike)... making shield spikes, bashing, Large size shields, and so forth irrelevant. All such adjustments would get replaced by Close Weapon Mastery damage based on the size of the character.

GMs who prefer logical and/or consistent rules interpretation instead give greater weapon damage based on weapon size.

Personally, the 'character size' argument always makes me imagine Brawlers, Warpriests, and others running around doing massive amounts of damage with miniaturized weapons (e.g. here is my little cold iron greatsword for killing fey, and this is my little silver greatsword for lycanthropes, and...). Greatly reduced cost... possible TWF with normally two-handed weapons... same weapon damage.

Grand Lodge

CBDunkerson wrote:
Personally, the 'character size' argument always makes me imagine Brawlers, Warpriests, and others running around doing massive amounts of damage with miniaturized weapons (e.g. here is my little cold iron greatsword for killing fey, and this is my little silver greatsword for lycanthropes, and...). Greatly reduced cost... possible TWF with normally two-handed weapons... same weapon damage.

Monks and Brawlers unarmed strikes already count as cold iron and silver for DR purposes by the time their damage would get high enough to make those kinds of shenanigans worth anything. Carrying around small sized weapons would only end up giving them negatives to hit from using improperly sized weapons, and they wouldn't be able to flurry with most of them.


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Exactly. Use any close weapon. They are all light and many have a base damage of 1d3 or 1d4. Doing Greatsword damage with knuckle dusters is not an unintended fluke, it's the freaking point.

Going from a 3 inch weightless stick to a 3ft 12lb club makes no diffrence to such a characters damage, but using a 3.8 inch stick made for a larger character should?

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