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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber. Organized Play Member. 18 posts. 5 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist.

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm not sure whether this should be filed under Rules Questions or somewhere else, but as it deals with game mechanics, this seemed like the right place to post it.

I missed the entire d20, D&D 3.0/3.5 feeding frenzy and only recently returned to gaming. My experience has been from when the original little books were published until TSR had their meltdown in the 90s, so if this question was covered in detail before, just point me to the explanation.

By nature, I like the rules in the games I play to make sense and have consistent logic. I was re-reading the core rules PFRPG book and started working up characters who used both two weapons and a weapon and a shield and ran into an issue that defied sense and consistency.

The example character is below with everything statted out, but the questions are:

1. Why is it that a character using a weapon and a shield to attack his target has better attack bonuses than a character who is using two weapons to do the same thing?

2. A short sword is 2 lbs, a heavy steel spiked shield is 20 lbs. From a purely mechanics perspective, why does the shield, 10 times the weight of the sword, incur no penalties whatsoever in the attack and defense, yet the short sword has a -2?

3. From a mechanics perspective, where is the benefit of using two swords (defenses not withstanding)? The sample character does the same amount of damage (heavy spiked shield and short sword)? The shield attacks with no penalties and the sword is again at -2 (either sword and shield or two swords)?

For discussion, the sample character only has stats above 10 to enable him to gain the feats needed. If this were a ranger, even the Dex stat could be 10.

Male Human Fighter 11
TN Medium Humanoid (Human)
Init +4; Perception +0
Use this AC for #1 and 2: AC 17, touch 13, flat-footed 14 (+4 shield, +3 Dex)
Use this AC for #3: AC 14, touch 13, flat-footed 10 (+1 2 weapon defense, +3 Dex)
hp 60 (11d10)
Fort +7, Ref +7, Will +3
1. Short sword only, shield is used as protection
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Shortsword +11/+6/+1 (1d6) (2 lbs)
2. Short sword and heavy steel spiked shield
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Spiked Shield, Heavy Steel +11/+6/+1 (1d6) (20 lbs) and
Shortsword +7/+2/-3 (1d6) (2 lbs)
3. Two short swords
Spd 20 ft.
Melee Shortsword +9/+4/-1 (1d6) (2 lbs) and
Shortsword +9/+4/-1 (1d6) (2 lbs)
Str 10, Dex 19, Con 10, Int 11, Wis 10, Cha 10
Base Atk +11/+6/+1; CMB +11; CMD 25
Feats Critical Focus, Double Slice, Greater Shield Focus, Greater Two-weapon Fighting, Improved Shield Bash, Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Shield Focus, Shield Master, Shield Slam, Two-weapon Defense, Two-weapon Fighting, Two-weapon Rend
Skills Acrobatics +1, Climb -3, Escape Artist +1, Fly +1, Ride +1, Stealth +1, Swim -3
Languages Common
SQ Armor Training 3 (Ex), Bravery +3 (Ex)
Combat Gear Shortsword, Shortsword, Shield, Heavy Steel, Shield, Heavy Steel, Shield, Light Steel;
Armor Training 3 (Ex) Worn armor -3 check penalty, +3 max DEX.
Bravery +3 (Ex) +3 Will save vs. Fear
Critical Focus +4 to confirm critical hits.
Improved Shield Bash You still get your shield bonus while using Shield Bash.
Shield Focus +1 Shield AC
Shield Master No off-hand penalties for shield bashes, add a shield's enhancement bonus to attack rolls.
Shield Slam Shield Bash is also a Bull Rush.
Two-weapon Defense +1 to AC while wielding 2 weapons. +2 when doing so defensively.
Two-weapon Rend You deal an additional 1d10+(STR*1.5) if you hit with both of your weapons.
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