Improving Shields


Classes: Barbarian, Fighter, and Ranger

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Mosaic wrote:
Like above, you deflect the attack with your shield. Avoiding pits and falling damage, though, is hard for me to accept.

What, the edge of the shield catching on the lip of the pit and keeping you from falling in doesn't quite do it? Yeah, I could see that maybe "save for half" Ref effects would be affected, from a simulation standpoint. But it's easier to remember, and vastly easier to record on a character sheet, a straight bonus to Reflex saves.

Scarab Sages

The Reflex problem seems simple enough - just have all shields grant partial cover to anyone with a Improved Shield Defense feat. That is +2 AC and +1 Reflex saves. Debatable whether to also negate attacks of opportunity for wielders and opponents alike.

The system is already in the game with Tower Shields (which need some love anyway, like granting Total Cover as a swift action with this feat).

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber
Kirth Gersen wrote:
Yeah, I could see that maybe "save for half" Ref effects would be affected, from a simulation standpoint. But it's easier to remember, and vastly easier to record on a character sheet, a straight bonus to Reflex saves.

Agree 100%. In the end, the best rules strike a balance between simulation and easy-to-use.


Pathfinder X wrote:

I don't like touch AC for shields, since certain abilities are based upon discharge upon touch...shocking grasp for instance.

I DO like double BASE shield AC for refensive, and tripling BASE shield AC for Full Defense

Ah that was the entire point of granting shield bonus to touch. It is way too easy to get a melee type with a touch attack.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
Mosaic wrote:
Like above, you deflect the attack with your shield. Avoiding pits and falling damage, though, is hard for me to accept.
What, the edge of the shield catching on the lip of the pit and keeping you from falling in doesn't quite do it? Yeah, I could see that maybe "save for half" Ref effects would be affected, from a simulation standpoint. But it's easier to remember, and vastly easier to record on a character sheet, a straight bonus to Reflex saves.

This is true, but it's also true that circumstance-specific save bonuses are already a common feature of the game. So you'd only be adding one more to the list, rather than adding a whole new category of stuff to keep track of. When I have to make a saving throw, it's already a case of "what's my base save, and do I have any relevant bonuses?".

NeoSamurai wrote:

Hitpoints represents partial defensive actions (turning blows, narrow misses, etc.). A critical hit only exhausts that resource to avoid death by maximizing damage for a strike.

A shield is an added defense that currently only modifies AC and can be an awkward weapon. Yet, shield usage establishes a greater capability of turning blows (i.e. through blocking the attack covering a greater surface area) but does not figure into hit points as it should considering the nature of shields.

so, three options exist to make the sheild more viable in that discrepancy:

But armour doesn't reduce damage from critical hits either. Armour reduces the probability of a successful crit because the crit confirmation roll is harder to make. And shields reduce the probability of a confirmed crit in exactly the same way. So why does it make sense to add an extra crit-reducing property to shields but not armour? Or do you want to add it to armour too? Because if not, it seems to me you'd be adding a discrepancy rather than removing one.


Biggus wrote:
This is true, but it's also true that circumstance-specific save bonuses are already a common feature of the game. So you'd only be adding one more to the list, rather than adding a whole new category of stuff to keep track of. When I have to make a saving throw, it's already a case of "what's my base save, and do I have any relevant bonuses?".

Wait... I think I'm lost... when one of the players at your table needs to make a save, he/she always starts with the base save, then thinks through all the individual modifiers? In my experience, we do that when the buffs, etc. are applied, and from then on just look at the final bonus until the numbers change (through dispelling, end of duration, or whatever), at which point we jot a new number down. If there are only one or two bonuses, it's no big deal either way, but when you get to even medium levels, there are sometimes 3-4 or more of them.

It irks me that fighters now get a bonus to Will saves -- but only againt fear -- which makes a whole new notation and footnote to the "saves" section to keep track of. It's as annoying as the races that get a bonus to Perception rolls, but only for taste and hearing or whatever, and then they have a familiar that provides a different bonus to sight, but only if it's cloudy outside on a Thursday. That kind of stuff adds a slight amount of verisimilitude, but at the cost of bogging down the game in "sometimes, but maybe not" propositions. To me, it isn't worth it -- and I'm a big simulationist, when it comes to gaming.

Scarab Sages

Alright, how about this for an idea for improving shields.
*A shield can reduce the multiplier of a critical hit by one step. All damage then is treated as a sunder attempt (without drawing an attack of opportunity). If the amount of damage done exceeds what is required to destroy the shield, then any extra damage is dealt to shield bearer. Otherwise, the shield gains the broken condition.
*A shield can be used to intercept ranged touch attacks, taking the brunt of the attack. Add the shield's AC bonus on ranged touch attacks.
*As far as a Reflex bonus goes, I think the ideas of giving half of the shield's AC bonus would work pretty well. However, the shieldbearer should need to be prepared to hide behind the shield. So, he doesn't get the benefit when flat-footed.


Kirth Gersen wrote:

Wait... I think I'm lost... when one of the players at your table needs to make a save, he/she always starts with the base save, then thinks through all the individual modifiers? In my experience, we do that when the buffs, etc. are applied, and from then on just look at the final bonus until the numbers change (through dispelling, end of duration, or whatever), at which point we jot a new number down. If there are only one or two bonuses, it's no big deal either way, but when you get to even medium levels, there are sometimes 3-4 or more of them.

Sorry, "base save" was misleading. What I meant was "base save plus any modifiers which apply in all situations, such as from ability scores, resistance items etc." The point was, there are already lots of situational modifiers in 3.5, eg.

Barbarian/ Rogue Trap Sense
Barbarian Indomitable Will (enchantments)
Druid Resist Nature's Lure (Fey spells/SLAs)
Monk Still Mind (enchantments)
Paladin Aura of Courage (allies vs. Fear)
Dwarf Poison/ Magic bonus
Gnome Illusion bonus
Halfling Fear bonus

plus any spells or magic items which give bonuses against fear, poison, disease, or whatever. I always check my character sheet for situational modifiers before rolling, because there are already so many of them I might have forgotten one. What difference does one more make? Also, there's a precedent with Evasion, which only works if the the Reflex save is the "save for half" type.

Kirth Girsen wrote:
To me, it isn't worth it -- and I'm a big simulationist, when it comes to gaming.

I'm the opposite - I'm happy to play in a world with different rules, but when the rules are meant to be the same as our world, I want them to make as much sense as possible (as I noted above, there are some situations where you have to sacrifice verisimilitude for gameplay, because it would be just too complicated not to; but I don't consider this to be one of those cases). But this is just a matter of persoanl taste, obviously.


Malkari Durant wrote:

Alright, how about this for an idea for improving shields.

*A shield can reduce the multiplier of a critical hit by one step. All damage then is treated as a sunder attempt (without drawing an attack of opportunity). If the amount of damage done exceeds what is required to destroy the shield, then any extra damage is dealt to shield bearer. Otherwise, the shield gains the broken condition.

I like that idea a lot. It makes it more important to get rid of shields in a fight and make them more useful.


I am lost...
Why not just add to the AC a shield provides again?
I figure...
Two handed weapon fighting = Damage
Two Weapon Fighting = Multiple attacks per round
X & shield Fighting = Better AC

Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

Interesting ideas everyone. I am keen to make the "sword and board" fighter types a bit more appealing. I am not 100% convinced that there is any one perfect answer to this, but there are some intriguing directions suggested here. Feats might be a good way to go, especially considering there are so few for a shield user, and these already work within the framework of the game.

Thoughts?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

(Edit: Hey, my 1,000 post. Gee, that seemed to take a while. Although it has sped up quite a bit here over the past few months. Moving on.)


Well, I feel as if fighting with a shield should give you a significant defensive advantage. Currently, it doesn't. It's +1 to AC, and then you could get a magic shield if you wanted to spend the money which you usually don't really have because you spent it on armor and your weapon. It should probably give you a bit more than that to start with and feats boosting the AC benefit should be pretty efficient. Perhaps they could add to Reflex saves or something.

Liberty's Edge

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Interesting ideas everyone. I am keen to make the "sword and board" fighter types a bit more appealing. I am not 100% convinced that there is any one perfect answer to this, but there are some intriguing directions suggested here. Feats might be a good way to go, especially considering there are so few for a shield user, and these already work within the framework of the game.

Thoughts?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

I suppose my thoughts are the same as everyone else's here.

To sum it up, instead of going for the higher damage options the shield user is opting to increase his defenses to stay in the fight longer. Make the "sword & board" fighter better at it.

Some ideas(mostly repeats):


  • Increase the dodge bonus for Total defense to +6 if the defender is using a shield. Increase the dodge bonus for fighting defensively to +3 when using a shield. Allow this to stack with the bonus from acrobatics.

  • Allow shield users to go active with defense and spend a move action to block(increase DR)or parry(miss chance) a single attack. Add feats that make a character better at it, expand the number of attacks he can attempt to negate or increase the size of weapons he can counter.

  • Add the fighter's Armor Training bonus to the shield also, thus counting twice.

  • Add feats for using the shield to increase DR against all attacks.

I really don't like feats that would specifically target countering critical hits though. Higher defenses would already reduce their frequency.

Sam


Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Feats might be a good way to go, especially considering there are so few for a shield user, and these already work within the framework of the game.

Thoughts?

The one change I'd like to see as standard (ie, not as a feat or magical property) is the +1AC for light, heavy and tower shields. I think they just don't give enough of a bonus compared to armour as written, and it wouldn't be a major problem from a backwards-compatability standpoint, as all you'd have to do with an old character is ask "does this character use a L/H/T shield? If so, add 1 to their standard and FF AC".

Other than that, I agree with any changes being in the form of feats, except for the "shields add to Touch AC" thing. As I see it, touching a shield you hold is just like touching your armour; the magic "earths" itself through it like electricity. So it makes more sense to me that a magical shield could act like the equivalent of a layer of rubber, but not that someone through training could learn to avoid this happening.

Thinking about it, this could be an answer to the problem of low Touch AC discussed in this thread. Possibly the "magical rubber" property could be available for armour as well. This could work because

1) It's generally armour-wearing characters who have a problem with Touch AC
2) The big discrepancy between standard and Touch AC tends to come at higher levels
3) Higher-level characters can afford magical armour and shields
4) Making it a magical property forces them to choose between improving Touch AC and other useful properties, like Fortification
5) Making it a magical property favours all armour-users equally, whereas making it a feat favours Fighters (in fact since Fighters now get 21 feats by level 20, it'd be a no-brainer for a Fighter if it was a feat)

I favour feats for adding shield bonus to Reflex saves for half damage, and for adding to fight defensively/ total defence, but not for reducing critical hits, as I said earlier in the thread.


I'm down with Touch AC.

I'm also in favor of counting it vs. Reflex saves, but only Area-effect spells that allow a save for half damage. There are many instances that spring to mind where the shield should hurt a reflex save rather than help it.

Sovereign Court

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Interesting ideas everyone. I am keen to make the "sword and board" fighter types a bit more appealing. I am not 100% convinced that there is any one perfect answer to this, but there are some intriguing directions suggested here. Feats might be a good way to go, especially considering there are so few for a shield user, and these already work within the framework of the game.

Thoughts?

Jason Bulmahn
Lead Designer
Paizo Publishing

(Edit: Hey, my 1,000 post. Gee, that seemed to take a while. Although it has sped up quite a bit here over the past few months. Moving on.)

Just out of curiosity what are your thoughts on the increase to AC for small and large shields so that a buckler isn't better than a small shield?


I totally agree with adding shield AC bonus to touch AC - either with a feat or without (if it's a feat you should add it to Ref saves and other stuff in the bargain). I think it's pretty "blah" that all the shield feats are essentially offensive and not defensive in nature (bash, slam, master).

The reason I'm not sure it should be a feat is that without anyone having any feats, the rules make two-handed way better. Once you add the feats the gap just gets worse and worse.

Especially with Overhand Chop in the mix - that is a nice feat, our party fighter was getting a lot of use out of it last session, but it essentially makes weapon and shield a very untenable style.

Other ideas - as shields are a more active, not passive, defense, perhaps they should let you add something besides the flat +2 on (that also scales terribly). How about... Half or 1/3 your BAB? Or an ability mod, STR maybe? I like cueing off the BAB as it scales. Sure, if you do 1/3 BAB it's a +6 at level 20, but the two hand guy is dropping two metric handfuls of dice when he hits at that level, and AC is often not a meaningful impediment to hitting in high level play... I'd say "base shield bonus plus 1/3 BAB" would be good, not overpowered, but bring sword and shield back to a semi legit option, then add feats to add to touch attack/reflex save, and add on from there so that it's something for a fighter who wants to have a defensive aspect to them.


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Jason Bulmahn wrote:

Feats might be a good way to go, especially considering there are so few for a shield user, and these already work within the framework of the game.

Thoughts?

From our playtest games, based on some ideas from this board:

Shield Block
Prereq: Shield Prof.
When using a shield, your shield bonus to AC is raised by 1 point.

Shield Guard
Prereq: Shield Block feat, BAB 4+
When using a shield you gain a protective percentage miss
chance against all melee and ranged attacks (but not touch
attacks). This percentage chance is equal to 9%. It
increases to 12% when fighting defensively or using the
Expertise feat. It increases to 15% when using the total
defense action.

Improved Shield Guard
Prereq: Shield Guard feat, BAB 8+
Your protective percentage miss chance provided by the
Shield Guard feat increases to 15%. It increases to 20%
when fighting defensively or using the Expertise feat.
It increases to 25% when using the total defense action.

Greater Shield Guard
Prereq: Improved Shield Guard feat, BAB 12+
Your protective percentage miss chance provided by the
Improved Shield Guard feat increases to 21%. It
increases to 28% when fighting defensively or using
the Expertise feat. It increases to 35% when using the
total defense action.

Master's Shield Guard
Prereq: Greater Shield Guard feat, BAB 16+
Your protective percentage miss chance provided by the
Greater Shield Guard feat increases to 27%. It
increases to 36% when fighting defensively or using
the Expertise feat. It increases to 45% when using the
total defense action.

Shield Cover
Prereq: Shield Prof.
When using a shield, you add your shield AC bonus to your reflex save.
This effect stacks with cover bonuses.

Improved Shield Cover
Prereq: Shield Cover feat
When using a shield, allies treat any space you occupy and any
adjacent space you threaten as one quarter cover. The maximum
number of allies that can benefit from this feat is equal to
1/2 your BAB. This feat cannot be used with a reach weapon.

Nb. These feats all say "when using a shield", a buckler does not count!

Apologies for any bad spellings or typos, this was copy/pasted straight from notepad. So far, so good. This is working for us quite well. It takes a considerable investment for anyone other than a fighter to do it, but it is possible for them to grab a slice of the shield pie to varying degrees. And since miss chances don't stack with each other, this hasn't broke the game so far. The limit on Improved Shield Cover is to stop the smart a$$ with an ogre (or other large sized PC) getting too much more for their money.

Peace,

tfad


I came up with a few things that should help Sword and Boarders some what.

________________________________

Two Weapon Style
You are adept at wielding two weapons in a more brutal manor than with the two weapon fighting feat. You are not too concerned about getting specific points for maximum damage but rather raw damage from hitting things hard.
Preq: 17 Dex, 13 Str, +1 base attack bonus
Benefit: The user of this feat gains an additional attack with their off hand weapon for ever attack they have from the increase in their base attack bonus. So when your base attack reaches +6, +12, and +18 you get an additional attack at the lower base attack bonus attack. Attacking once with both your primary and off hand weapon is a standard action. Making more attacks requires a full round action.
Your penalties on attack rolls for fighting with two weapons are also reduced. The penalty for your primary hand lessens by 3 and the one for your off hand lessens by 7. There is no modification for wielding two light weapons. The extra off hand attacks gained from this feat are incapable of dealing extra damage, and damage dice, from precision based attacks. This includes such as Sneak Attack, Sudden Strike, skirmish, insightful Strike, elegant Strike, and other bonus damage that requires the target to be vulnerable to critical hits. If they gain the ability to deal precision based attacks to these targets they do not gain the ability to deal extra damage with their off hand attacks.
Special: Two Weapon Style counts as two weapon fighting feats when they match the base attack bonus to their two weapon fighting equivalents for all feats, prestige classes, etc, with the exception of Greater Two Weapon Fighting, Improved Two Weapon Fighting, and Two Weapon Fighting Feats. Example: If you have a base attack bonus of +6, you qualify as having improved two weapon fighting feat for all purposes such as feats, prestige classes, etc.

Shield Trickster
Using a shield you find better ways to perform specific combat maneuvers and optimizing on the cover and protection a shield grants.
Requirements: Base Attack +5, Improved Shield Bash, and ether Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun, Improved Grapple, or Improved Disarm.
Benefit: While attempting a combat maneuvers with a shield, you gain a +2 on each attempt you make to bull rush, overrun, disarm or grapple check. This works with a shield being used only. This bonus increases by +1 for every attack past the first that you gained from an increasing base attack bonus you have.
Special: You can not take this feat multiple times to have it apply to a separate combat maneuver. If have more than one improved combat maneuver listed in the requirements, or you later obtain one of those feats, the effects of this feat applies automatically


tallforadwarf wrote:
Shield Block

TfaD, love your shield feats, man. I'd personally round the 9% to 10%, and make the 12 into 15, etc. -- so that (a) you could just throw another d20 for it, and (b) because numbers like 9% are a lot harder to remember, and in actual play, probably no one will notice the 1% difference (unless of course you've got a bunch of Vegas-banned card-counting MIT students at your table!)


I agree with many ideas, especially...

buckler = +1 AC
light shield = +2 AC
heavy shield = +3 AC
tower shield = +4 AC

Shield bonus apply to touch AC instead of flat-footed AC.

Shield bonus apply to reflex save against spells with an area of burst, cone and line

Include a few feats improving shield defense beyond flat AC enhancement.

Also, Pathfinder has more flexible rules about cover than 3.5, conveniently on a 4 level scale model. Shield could provide cover rather than shield bonus to AC.

'findel


Kirth Gersen wrote:
TfaD, love your shield feats, man. I'd personally round the 9% to 10%, and make the 12 into 15, etc. -- so that (a) you could just throw another d20 for it, and (b) because numbers like 9% are a lot harder to remember, and in actual play, probably no one will notice the 1% difference (unless of course you've got a bunch of Vegas-banned card-counting MIT students at your table!)

I'm glad you like them. I follow your posts, so that's a compliment that means something to me. *closet Kirth fan* :D

The reason they're set at those percentages is to keep the other defense actions where we want them. If you round up the lower ones, you've got to round up the higher ones - which starts to have an effect at the table. Either that or you don't round up the higher ones and then there's little gap between defending and attacking. Or you have to throw the mathematical progression out of the window. Not something we wanted.

I post a lot of our house rules about different places and something people always say is "round up the percentages - I can't remember that!" and "round up the percentages - I can't be bothered to roll a d%, now I can't roll a d20!" and so on. It always surprises me. I'm thinking of revisiting some of those old 'no one loves a d12' jokes and replacing the d12 with a d%. ;p

Please, use, steal, adapt, change, enjoy!

Peace,

tfad


There are many good ideas in this thread (and well thought out countervailing arguments).

At the risk of accidentally excluded other solid ideas, my favourite is the application of the Shield bonus to Reflex saves for burst, cones and lines.

The warrior who bravely stands against a pummelling blast of dragon's breath is a classic scene in fantasy artwork. He's always worse for wear, but he comes through, partly in thanks to his trusty shield.

This simple mechanic captures that perfectly. It might not be enough to fix sword and board disparity, but it's a nice touch.

*(No originality claimed - it's a 'me too' post.)


tallforadwarf wrote:

Shield Block
Prereq: Shield Prof.
When using a shield, your shield bonus to AC is raised by 1 point.

Shield Guard
Prereq: Shield Block feat, BAB 4+
When using a shield you gain a protective percentage miss
chance against all melee and ranged attacks (but not touch
attacks). This percentage chance is equal to 9%. It
increases to 12% when fighting defensively or using the
Expertise feat. It increases to 15% when using the total
defense action.

Improved Shield Guard
Prereq: Shield Guard feat, BAB 8+
Your protective percentage miss chance provided by the
Shield Guard feat increases to 15%. It increases to 20%
when fighting defensively or using the Expertise feat.
It increases to 25% when using the total defense action.

Greater Shield Guard
Prereq: Improved Shield Guard feat, BAB 12+
Your protective percentage miss chance provided by the
Improved Shield Guard feat increases to 21%. It
increases to 28% when fighting defensively or using
the Expertise feat. It increases to 35% when using the
total defense action.

Master's Shield Guard
Prereq: Greater Shield Guard feat, BAB 16+
Your protective percentage miss chance provided by the
Greater Shield Guard feat increases to 27%. It
increases to 36% when fighting defensively or using
the Expertise feat. It increases to 45% when using the
total defense action.

This seems a bit too little for as many feats you have hear. I would think that a paladin would probably want to use a shield as well. Could you maybe cut it down or redistribute the bonuses to 3 feats?


While the idea of shields granting cover is neat I think it might be to much of a change for most games. I definitely think you should lose your shield AC when flatfooted, that's how we play it now and it makes a certain amount of sense.

I would like shield users to have a bit of variety, I was thinking a feat like:

Skillfull Block
Pre-reqs : (Some Shield Feat), Combat Reflexes

Shield bonus is added to your defensive CMB. Additionally you get a +4 Shield bonus to AC when you are the target of an Attack of Opportunity.

This lets a shield user be more resiliant against special attacks and lets the shield user be a bit more daring because it lessens the risk for trying special maneuvers. Encouraging Fighters to do more in a round then just swing their swords makes for a more lively game IMO.


Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
This seems a bit too little for as many feats you have hear. I would think that a paladin would probably want to use a shield as well. Could you maybe cut it down or redistribute the bonuses to 3 feats?

If you cut it down to 3 feats, either the feats do too much (keeping the current maximum progression), or they do too little (capping off earlier). Our playtests bore this one out, certainly for our group. Also, the miss chance is balanced against level as well. 9% - 15% is too much at level 1, hence the BAB 4+ requirement. Finally the feats are scaled by BAB - there are more of them so even a wizard or other low BAB class can actually progress more than one step along the chain. Shield love should be available to everyone.

If you want to shorten the chain, my advice would be to remove shield block as a prerequisite/first step, before messing with the percentages. It took a while to get them right! That said, what works for me and my group won't necessarily work for yours, so houserule away.

And yes, our Paladins(!) do like these feats. :D

Peace,

tfad


Juton wrote:
I definitely think you should lose your shield AC when flatfooted, that's how we play it now and it makes a certain amount of sense.

Yes, I thought this is the case, RAW/RAI. It's certainly how we play it. I suppose, for clarity, I should've posted that none of those feats I cooked up can be used when flat footed.

tfad


tallforadwarf wrote:
Juton wrote:
I definitely think you should lose your shield AC when flatfooted, that's how we play it now and it makes a certain amount of sense.

Yes, I thought this is the case, RAW/RAI. It's certainly how we play it. I suppose, for clarity, I should've posted that none of those feats I cooked up can be used when flat footed.

tfad

Huh? Are you saying losing your shield bonus when FF is RAW? I thought it was just your Dex bonus (plus any others which specify they're always lost when Dex is lost, like Dodge & some class abilities).

Also, what's RAI? Rules As Intended?


Pathfinder X wrote:

I don't like touch AC for shields, since certain abilities are based upon discharge upon touch...shocking grasp for instance.

I DO like double BASE shield AC for refensive, and tripling BASE shield AC for Full Defense

Shocking grasp grants a +3 to hit anyone in metal armor (or with a metal shield). That neatly negates the shield bonus. Touch AC is so low, that most mages have no trouble hitting with a touch or ray spell.

A hobgoblin warrior in studded leather with a light shield would have a Touch AC of 12 with the proposed change (instead of 11).

Sovereign Court

Thraxus wrote:
Pathfinder X wrote:

I don't like touch AC for shields, since certain abilities are based upon discharge upon touch...shocking grasp for instance.

I DO like double BASE shield AC for refensive, and tripling BASE shield AC for Full Defense

Shocking grasp grants a +3 to hit anyone in metal armor (or with a metal shield). That neatly negates the shield bonus. Touch AC is so low, that most mages have no trouble hitting with a touch or ray spell.

A hobgoblin warrior in studded leather with a light shield would have a Touch AC of 12 with the proposed change (instead of 11).

And if he has a wooden shield it should block the shocking grasp because wood isn't a good conducter of electricity, so I've got to side with thraxus on this one.


tallforadwarf wrote:
I follow your posts, so that's a compliment that means something to me.

Wow... I try to be fairly reasonable, but I often feel as if I totally fall flat. I really appreciate your boost.

Back on-topic: I see what you mean about rounding up/down. I kind of understand a later comment re: 3 vs. 4 feats... but then again, you have the playtesting on your side, which gives your opinion on the subject a lot more weight than anyone else's. I'll have to try some of these out and see how they work.

Thanks again.


Kirth Gersen wrote:
I'll have to try some of these out and see how they work.

Let us know how it plays out if you do. Like I said above, what works for us isn't going to necessarily work for other groups. I know that I don't have problem players, looking to exploit every loop hole, also. But that's all okay - it's the reason why houserules exist!

Re: Kirth-awesomeness, let's move along shall we? My man-crush is starting to make me blush and the wife's a mite suspicious.... ;p

Peace,

tfad

Liberty's Edge

Laurefindel wrote:

I agree with many ideas, especially...

buckler = +1 AC
light shield = +2 AC
heavy shield = +3 AC
tower shield = +4 AC

Shield bonus apply to touch AC instead of flat-footed AC.

Shield bonus apply to reflex save against spells with an area of burst, cone and line

Include a few feats improving shield defense beyond flat AC enhancement.

Also, Pathfinder has more flexible rules about cover than 3.5, conveniently on a 4 level scale model. Shield could provide cover rather than shield bonus to AC.

'findel

Actually I'm of the opinion if you raise the bonus on light and Heavy, you need to raise the bonus of Tower to +5! As I have previously stated - if the tower shield is still going to impose a -2 penalty to attacks and require a specific feat to use it, it should be two points better of AC than the highest shield you can use without such drawbacks.

And for the record, the Tower Shield SHOULD incur those penalties since it can still provide cover when so applied.

Robert

Sovereign Court

How about this?

Shield Parry
Prereq: Shield Proficiency, BAB+1
Benefit: Once per round, as an Immediate action, you can substitute your Shield Parry score for your armor class. Your Shield Parry score is equal to 10+BAB+Shield bonus(including magical enhancements)+ 1/2 Strength mod. This choice can only be made once per round, and only before the attack roll is made. You must be wielding a shield in one of your hands to use this feat.

This scales well, doesn't require any extra rolling and only minimal math (which can be done in advance), and is best for melee classes over other shield capable classes. Further feats like this in a potential chain could increase the modifier or increase the number of uses per round. Along with feats that allow shields to help vs touch attacks and/or Reflex saves, I think this would go a looong way in making sword'n'board viable again.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

What about removing the "Shield" bonus to AC and making it an unnamed bonus instead? I mean, fighters and wizards with the shield spell are the only ones that get that bonus.

I mean, just make it an item slot - shield. That way if someone wants a ring of force shield it's fine. And the slot is occupied so you can't have stacking bonuses. It's just the take what's better effect (overlap).

Since it's unnamed it will work against touch AC. Maybe a part of the fix, certainly not the whole thing.

Personally, I think a shield (not a buckler) should provide the cover save bonus against AoE attacks.


I like the idea of extending the armor training fighter ability to shields. As someone who's done a smidge of semi-historic combat simulation, I have to say that there is a right and wrong way to use shields. Just strapping one to your arm and holding it between yourself and the opponent won't cut it.

The feat chain is a great idea, though. Fighters love feat chains. Hmm. Something involving stances?

Shield Wall
Prerequisites: Constitution 13+

You plant your feet and bunch your shoulders, turning your shield into an impenetrable wall of iron.

Effect: As a move-equivalent action, you may increase the AC bonus granted by your shield for one round by your BaB or your Constitution bonus, whichever is lower. This effect ends if you are knocked prone or moved against your will from the spot where you started the effect. You must be wielding a shield to use this feat.
Effect: If wielding a heavy or tower shield, you may increase the AC bonus granted by your shield by one and one-half times your Constitution or BaB, whichever is lower. This effect ends if you are knocked prone or moved against your will from the spot where you started the effect.

Shield Block
Prerequisite: Shield Wall

You guard an ally with your shield.

Effect: As a standard action, you may increase the AC of any allies in adjacent squares for one round by your shield bonus. You must be wielding a small, large, or tower shield to use this feat.

Dancing Shield
Prerequisite: Shield Wall

You hold your shield edge-on to your opponent, deftly batting away missiles that fly towards you.

Effect: As a move-equivalent action, you may add your Constitution bonus or BaB, whichever is lower, to your Reflex save. You must be wielding a shield to use this feat. This effect ends if you are knocked prone or moved against your will from the spot where you started the effect.
Effect: If wielding a heavy or tower shield, you may add your one and one-half times your Constitution bonus or BaB, whichever is lower, to your Reflex save. This effect ends if you are knocked prone or moved against your will from the spot where you started the effect.

Dancing Block
Prerequisite: Shield Wall, Dancing Shield

Your guards against incoming missiles extends to your allies as well.

Effect: As a standard action, you may grant all allies in adjacent squares a bonus to their Reflex save equal to your Constitution bonus or BaB, whichever is lower. You must be wielding a small, large, or tower shield to use this feat.

Shield Mastery
Prerequisites: Shield Block, Dancing Shield

Your shield becomes an impenetrable wall to your opponent.

Effect: While wielding a shield, you gain partial cover.


Masterwork heavy steel shield with masterwork shield spikes: $630 gp

+5 magic bonus to shield: $25,000 gp

+5 Defending special ability to shield spikes: $72,000 gp

+12 to AC for $97,630 gp: priceless

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