Improving Shields


Classes: Barbarian, Fighter, and Ranger

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Shields where a historically popular form of defense but in D&D they aren't as effective as fighting with a Big Weapon. I think shields are fairly iconic in the fantasy genre so I'd like to see them improved to be more competitive.

Things I'd like to see happen with shields.

  • Shield AC is counted as touch AC, fantasy has many examples of the warrior deflecting magic with their shields.
  • Shields giving an extra benefit for a defensive warrior. Maybe provide 2x their AC when fighting defensively or using combat expertise. They provide 3x their AC when using total defense.
  • Giving sword-and-boarders more options for damage, preferably through power attack or a feat that stacks with power attack. I'd like it if power attack would do 1.5 times the tradeoff in damage.
  • The warrior's skill (BAB) should have an effect on the size of the AC bonus received from a shield. Not +1 per level but maybe 1 in 4, depending on shield size.


Juton wrote:

Shields where a historically popular form of defense but in D&D they aren't as effective as fighting with a Big Weapon. I think shields are fairly iconic in the fantasy genre so I'd like to see them improved to be more competitive.

Things I'd like to see happen with shields.
[list]

  • Shield AC is counted as touch AC, fantasy has many examples of the warrior deflecting magic with their shields.
  • This I like. And It does make a kind of sence. May be we could add shield to reflex saves that call for half damage

    Juton wrote:


  • Shields giving an extra benefit for a defensive warrior. Maybe provide 2x their AC when fighting defensively or using combat expertise. They provide 3x their AC when using total defense.
  • Humm this maybe could work or see below

    Juton wrote:


  • The warrior's skill (BAB) should have an effect on the size of the AC bonus received from a shield. Not +1 per level but maybe 1 in 4, depending on shield size.
  • Well this can be done if the fighters armor training is allowed to cout for both armor and shields

    Mostly I am with you and thing shield should indeed grant more then a mere +2


    Juton wrote:

    Shields where a historically popular form of defense but in D&D they aren't as effective as fighting with a Big Weapon. I think shields are fairly iconic in the fantasy genre so I'd like to see them improved to be more competitive.

    Things I'd like to see happen with shields.

    • Shield AC is counted as touch AC, fantasy has many examples of the warrior deflecting magic with their shields.
    • Shields giving an extra benefit for a defensive warrior. Maybe provide 2x their AC when fighting defensively or using combat expertise. They provide 3x their AC when using total defense.
    • Giving sword-and-boarders more options for damage, preferably through power attack or a feat that stacks with power attack. I'd like it if power attack would do 1.5 times the tradeoff in damage.
    • The warrior's skill (BAB) should have an effect on the size of the AC bonus received from a shield. Not +1 per level but maybe 1 in 4, depending on shield size.

    Those all sound like solid suggestions to me. Shields have definitely gotten the short end of it in fantasy games, when in fact they were among the most crucial items of gear.

    Even in legend, they've got a considerable role to play -- Beowulf survives the dragon's fire, IIRC, by sheltering behind his shield! :)

    Dark Archive

    We already discussed (on another thread) about the possibility of the 'Shield Ward' feat (from PHB 2) to grant your shield bonus to REF saves and Touch AC in PF RPG. I don't think it should be a given that anyone can "parry" magical attacks with a shield, but it could be possible by spending a Feat.

    In any case, I would rule that these bonuses do not apply against attacks from Incorporeal creatures...


    I agree. I've never seen anyone even think about shields other than myself, and even then I was playing a Warlock.


    Asgetrion wrote:

    We already discussed (on another thread) about the possibility of the 'Shield Ward' feat (from PHB 2) to grant your shield bonus to REF saves and Touch AC in PF RPG. I don't think it should be a given that anyone can "parry" magical attacks with a shield, but it could be possible by spending a Feat.

    In any case, I would rule that these bonuses do not apply against attacks from Incorporeal creatures...

    If we brought in a feat like Shield Ward should the shield bonus apply to CMB? For those who haven't read the feat you can apply your shield bonus vs trips, bullrushes and overruns.

    Dark Archive

    Juton wrote:
    Asgetrion wrote:

    We already discussed (on another thread) about the possibility of the 'Shield Ward' feat (from PHB 2) to grant your shield bonus to REF saves and Touch AC in PF RPG. I don't think it should be a given that anyone can "parry" magical attacks with a shield, but it could be possible by spending a Feat.

    In any case, I would rule that these bonuses do not apply against attacks from Incorporeal creatures...

    If we brought in a feat like Shield Ward should the shield bonus apply to CMB? For those who haven't read the feat you can apply your shield bonus vs trips, bullrushes and overruns.

    Hmmm... would that make it too good? The point is to make shields and shield-and-weapon fighting style a more appealing choice, but without making two-handed weapons seem like a poorer choice in comparison...


    There is a feat in some book that allows shield bonus vs maneuvers.


    Hmmm...
    I think the Shields THEMSELVES need to be upgraded, not just a Fighter-only ability. I mean, there SHOULD be good reasons a non-Warrior Class character would ever want to take a Shield Proficiency Feat, right?

    I think integrating some sort of DR/ Miss Chance into Shields, tied to their "Heaviness" would be called for. This would only apply if you're PROFICIENT in said Shield - Anyone CAN pick up a Heavy Shield and boost their AC somewhat, they just shouldn't get the full benefit.

    Though this should probably wait until the Equipment (or Feat) chapter...

    Scarab Sages

    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


    wow, why we are at it, how about we create a actual reason to fight with a single non twohanded weapon. I like the idea that there are four major melee fighting styles rather than three

    *Two handed style
    +more damage and forced (already does this)
    -shoulders squared with foe so is less defensive (need to work on this)

    *Single Weapon style
    +unsquare shoulders, smaller target to be hit with ranged and melee attacks, greater speed
    -mediocre damage

    *Two Weapon style
    +more attacks when going all out, fighting defensive bonus of some sort (if not using of hand weapon to attack, maybe all hits are sunder attempts against the of hand weapon)
    -attack penalty, squared shoulders (but makes up for it when fighting defensively)

    *Shield Style
    +great ranged protection, Fighting defensive bonus (all hits are sunder attempts against the shield)
    -Mediocre damage

    ...yeah yeah yeah not backwards compatible....


    Well, shields could be improved to give their base AC + half the enchantment to all reflex saves and touch attacks.

    Then you could say that metal shields cannot stop touch attack (do not give this bonus) that are electrical in nature and wooden ones do not work as well against fire.
    Both do not stop Sonic.


    Ehh, keep it simple.

    Adding the shield bonus to touch AC serves another purpose: it shortens the huge gap between normal AC and touch AC. As it stands, your heaviest-armored PCs, the ones who have sacrificed damage for protection, have the lowest touch ACs. Touch AC is currently "everyone's weakness." But if the shield bonus counted, the gap wouldn't be quite so huge.

    As for the shield bonus adding to Reflex saves... the problem with doing that is that it weakens the all-good-saves feature of the Monk. Suddenly, between good Fort, Bravery (which equates to good Will-1 versus fear effects), and a shield bonus to Reflex saves, the Fighter creeps towards becoming an all-good-save class.

    But that's what Monks are for.

    So, if we added the shield bonus to touch AC and/or added a shield bonus to Reflex saves, we'd have to boost the Monk at the same time.

    -Matt

    Sovereign Court

    Mattastrophic wrote:

    Ehh, keep it simple.

    Adding the shield bonus to touch AC serves another purpose: it shortens the huge gap between normal AC and touch AC. As it stands, your heaviest-armored PCs, the ones who have sacrificed damage for protection, have the lowest touch ACs. Touch AC is currently "everyone's weakness." But if the shield bonus counted, the gap wouldn't be quite so huge.

    I agree, really I think all that is needed is to have shields work against touch AC and have the AC bonus to light shields and heavy shields bumped by +1 so that the buckler with 2 weapon fighting isn't the best option.

    Mattastrophic wrote:


    As for the shield bonus adding to Reflex saves... the problem with doing that is that it weakens the all-good-saves feature of the Monk. Suddenly, between good Fort, Bravery (which equates to good Will-1 versus fear effects), and a shield bonus to Reflex saves, the Fighter creeps towards becoming an all-good-save class.

    But that's what Monks are for.

    So, if we added the shield bonus to touch AC and/or added a shield bonus to Reflex saves, we'd have to boost the Monk at the same time.

    -Matt

    I think it would be fine to have a feat to add Shield AC to reflex saves. But I agree that just giving it that boost doesn't work.

    Liberty's Edge

    Definitively, while there are a few feats to use the shield... why not being able to just use nomal combat maneuvers... you can do trip without imtproved trip... why would you need the feat "Shield bash" to actually do that?

    and yes.. its a clasic image watching the fighting covering from dragon's breath or an spell behind his shield (ok... of course its also supposed to be magical)

    Sovereign Court

    Shields could do two nifty things:

    - Add their bonus to touch AC.
    - Standardize criticals. Natural 20/x2 damage for all weapons vs. a shield user.

    Sovereign Court

    Juton wrote:

    Things I'd like to see happen with shields.

    • Shield AC is counted as touch AC, fantasy has many examples of the warrior deflecting magic with their shields.
    • Shields giving an extra benefit for a defensive warrior. Maybe provide 2x their AC when fighting defensively or using combat expertise. They provide 3x their AC when using total defense.
    • Giving sword-and-boarders more options for damage, preferably through power attack or a feat that stacks with power attack. I'd like it if power attack would do 1.5 times the tradeoff in damage.
    • The warrior's skill (BAB) should have an effect on the size of the AC bonus received from a shield. Not +1 per level but maybe 1 in 4, depending on shield size.

    Great ideas and along with some options for damage, boni to Combat Maneuvers(pelnty of examples of Bull Rushing with Shields come to mind) is also a great suggestion. Now wether this should be done with feats or maybe Shield Training to go along with Weapon Training and Armor Training should be a discision for our designers.


    As a player running a "sword and board" cleric, I would love to see some benefits from the shield so I will stop looking at the rules and thinking "I should have just gone with a two-handed weapon".....


    I agree shields should be improved, I do not think it should be linked to feats. I agree with the touch AC issue (though shocking grasp could be altered to read and it ignores any bonus to touch ac from a metal shield). But this is not enough IMO

    addin to Ref saves is a little too much, perhaps adding half the shield bonus to Ref saves (round down) would be better.


    Asgetrion wrote:

    We already discussed (on another thread) about the possibility of the 'Shield Ward' feat (from PHB 2) to grant your shield bonus to REF saves and Touch AC in PF RPG. I don't think it should be a given that anyone can "parry" magical attacks with a shield, but it could be possible by spending a Feat.

    In any case, I would rule that these bonuses do not apply against attacks from Incorporeal creatures...

    At higher level, the AC numbers are plenty high without using shield ward.


  • Fighter's armor training bonus should work with sheilds as well, and stack if armor is worn.
  • A feat to add shield bonus to Reflex saves for half and/or touch AC sounds very good to me.
  • A feat to provide your shield bonus to an adjacent ally would be nice.
  • I'd really like to see a CMB for parrying with a shield, maybe in place of bashing with it.


  • Alphonse Joly wrote:
    Asgetrion wrote:

    We already discussed (on another thread) about the possibility of the 'Shield Ward' feat (from PHB 2) to grant your shield bonus to REF saves and Touch AC in PF RPG. I don't think it should be a given that anyone can "parry" magical attacks with a shield, but it could be possible by spending a Feat.

    In any case, I would rule that these bonuses do not apply against attacks from Incorporeal creatures...

    At higher level, the AC numbers are plenty high without using shield ward.

    That is why I suggested only getting half the enchantment bonus of the shield to reflex saves and touch attacks (that comes down to mostly +2 for +5 shields).

    Oh yea, bucklers should give nothing against ranged touch attacks and nothing on reflex saves.


    Mattastrophic wrote:

    Ehh, keep it simple.

    Adding the shield bonus to touch AC serves another purpose: it shortens the huge gap between normal AC and touch AC. As it stands, your heaviest-armored PCs, the ones who have sacrificed damage for protection, have the lowest touch ACs. Touch AC is currently "everyone's weakness." But if the shield bonus counted, the gap wouldn't be quite so huge.

    As for the shield bonus adding to Reflex saves... the problem with doing that is that it weakens the all-good-saves feature of the Monk. Suddenly, between good Fort, Bravery (which equates to good Will-1 versus fear effects), and a shield bonus to Reflex saves, the Fighter creeps towards becoming an all-good-save class.

    But that's what Monks are for.

    So, if we added the shield bonus to touch AC and/or added a shield bonus to Reflex saves, we'd have to boost the Monk at the same time.

    -Matt

    Your numbers are kind of off. Monks have good will save not just because of the good will save, but because of very good Wisdom score (compare a lvl 20 monk to lvl 20 wizard and you will see a big difference in total will save), and in addition they get +2 against Enchantment spells. So fighters with their paltry bonus just against fear is not even close (this was put in place first and foremost so the fighters can actually fight a dragon).

    And then fighters getting a shield (by my suggestion +4 tops with a +5 shield) bonus on Reflex saves again is not a danger to monks, since monks again have good Dexterity in addition to high Reflex and they get Improved Evasion (the main reason their Reflex save is so powerful).
    And on top of that Monks get SR.
    So I do not see how this makes monks any weaker, or less useful in their role.

    The main reason we all want this is that finally being a x and board warrior is not subpar to being a two-handed or two-weapon warrior.
    The +7 to AC tops that warriors could get so far is not enough and is completely useless against spells and other kind of attacks.

    Sovereign Court

    My take of it

    Buckler +1 AC
    Light Shields +2 AC applies to touch AC also
    Heavy Shields +3 AC applies to touch AC also
    Tower Shields +4 AC applies to touch AC also

    New Feat:

    Shield Evasion
    Pre-reqs BAB +5, Proficiency with shield type

    When you choose this feat you must choose a type of shield (light, heavy, tower) in which you are proficient. You may add your shields AC bonus as an armor bonus to your reflex save. You may not choose bucklers as a shield type for this feat.

    Normal: shields do not apply to your reflex save.


    here's another option (though probably won't be liked too much):

    * Shields negate critical damage from one attack.
    The rationale for this is that Shields give more protection. Instead of just the additional AC bonus, they give a hit point compliment as well. It negates a maximization of damage from one attack (but an onslaught can still surpass it. In doing this, it makes sundering a shield even more important. It's also dramatic and useful.


    -Archangel- wrote:


    Monks have good will save not just because of the good will save, but because of very good Wisdom score...

    And then fighters getting a shield (by my suggestion +4 tops with a +5 shield) bonus on Reflex saves again is not a danger to monks, since monks again have good Dexterity...

    Comparing two classes by their prime stats is an illogical argument, because both classes have the same pool of stats to work with.

    In fact, your statement actually supports my argument, by showing that the Monk needs to spend precious stat points to improve his saves, where a Reflex-boosting, Bravery-sporting shield fighter wouldn't have to.

    -Matt


    lastknightleft wrote:


    New Feat:

    Shield Evasion

    There's already a Reflex-boosting feat out there that does nothing to mess with class balance. It's called Lightning Reflexes.

    The Fighter's got the feat slots. He can afford it if he really wants to.

    -Matt


    Mattastrophic wrote:
    The Fighter's got the feat slots. He can afford it if he really wants to.

    I'm curious, do you disagree that, as it currently stands, sword-and-shield fighting is more or less completely eclipsed by THW (for people with high Str) and TWF (for people with sneak attack or other "goodies")? In order to bring sword-and-shield back to "par," most here seem to feel that something needs to be done -- either by the introduction of useful (non-bashing) shield feats, or by playing with shields themselves a bit. A number of suggestions have been offered; so far you've contributed a large number of gripes, but have not replaced them with any suggestions of your own. Is that because you feel that shields are too good already?


    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    A number of suggestions have been offered; so far you've contributed a large number of gripes, but have not replaced them with any suggestions of your own. Is that because you feel that shields are too good already?

    Actually, I was the origin of the Shields to Touch AC suggestion from the Touch AC thread in General Discussion. I'm simply in opposition to going too far.

    Yes, sword-n-shield should be improved. However, there's a big picture that must be kept in mind:

    -Animated Shields are in the 3.5 DMG. Thus, two-handed and two-weapon fighters have have been using shields for a long time. Any boost to shields themselves helps them as well, unless the Animated enchantment is also removed.
    -Monks need AC as well. They can't use shields. Any boost to the shield itself weakens the Monk, unless we boost the Monk to compensate.
    -The Shield spell, and other forms of shield bonuses, must be accounted for as well.
    -Other stuff I haven't yet thought of.

    -Matt


    Mattastrophic wrote:
    Actually, I was the origin of the Shields to Touch AC suggestion from the Touch AC thread in General Discussion. I'm simply in opposition to going too far.

    Excellent. That answers my question, and concerns.

    Mattastrophic wrote:
    Animated Shields are in the 3.5 DMG. Thus, two-handed and two-weapon fighters have have been using shields for a long time. Any boost to shields themselves helps them as well, unless the Animated enchantment is also removed.

    Agreed. Jason Nelson and myself have both expressed a desire to do away with them, elsewhere on the boards.

    Mattastrophic wrote:
    Monks need AC as well. They can't use shields. Any boost to the shield itself weakens the Monk, unless we boost the Monk to compensate.

    What the monk really needs is a way to use his two scticks -- high mobility and lots of fast blows -- in tandem with each other. Having to use them individually means that he has problems far above whether fighters are getting better shield use.

    Mattastrophic wrote:
    So would you like to retract your previous statement now, Kirth?

    With regards to contribution, yes; I missed that other thread apparently. Otherwise no; I asked for clarification; you provided it. Thanks again.

    Sovereign Court

    Mattastrophic wrote:
    lastknightleft wrote:


    New Feat:

    Shield Evasion

    There's already a Reflex-boosting feat out there that does nothing to mess with class balance. It's called Lightning Reflexes.

    The Fighter's got the feat slots. He can afford it if he really wants to.

    -Matt

    And where the heck did I put this as a fighter only feat in the pre-reqs, hmmm? I put this in so that and sword and board class can take it, if a full BAB at 5th level, if not at a higher level, and don't tell me it throws off balance, because at that point we'd have to throw out lightning reflexes for that exact same reason.


    lastknightleft wrote:
    don't tell me it throws off balance, because at that point we'd have to throw out lightning reflexes for that exact same reason.

    Monks. Rogues. Rogues don't get Shield Proficiency. Monks can't use shields at all. They need touch AC and Reflex saves, too.

    Everybody can take Lightning Reflexes. Not everybody can take your feat.

    Remember, big picture.

    -Matt

    Sovereign Court

    I'm sorry what is preventing monks or rogues from using this feat? as far as I can tell absolutely nothing.

    Scarab Sages

    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    Mattastrophic wrote:
    The Fighter's got the feat slots. He can afford it if he really wants to.
    I'm curious, do you disagree that, as it currently stands, sword-and-shield fighting is more or less completely eclipsed by THW (for people with high Str) and TWF (for people with sneak attack or other "goodies")? In order to bring sword-and-shield back to "par," most here seem to feel that something needs to be done -- either by the introduction of useful (non-bashing) shield feats, or by playing with shields themselves a bit. A number of suggestions have been offered; so far you've contributed a large number of gripes, but have not replaced them with any suggestions of your own. Is that because you feel that shields are too good already?

    No, because Pathfinder adds Shield feats which allow TWF with the shield WHILE maintaining the shield bonus...

    Shields should not allow touch defense...sorry. Heavily armored fighters have never been known for getting out of the way...touch should go up with training, not with shields...

    Shields should be more effective when used defensively.

    I do like the Blocking a critical idea. Classic shattered shield visuals abound. Have the critical be an automatic sunder strike. *HINT* *get an adamantine shield* but it can stop a critical while defensive.

    Sovereign Court

    man the forums are acting even more screwy than usual of late


    Well this is about the seventh time this particular thread has come around. I do hope that eventually someone pays attention to us.

    I am strongly in favor of improving the defensive capabilities of shields and the options available to single weapon and sword & board fighters (that don't include shield bash).

    I am also a big fan of SHIELD bonuses being applied to Touch AC but NOT to Flat-Footed AC. Shields are generally NOT static items and require concentrated effort to use.

    I like the idea of shields being able to limit the effectiveness of critical hits -- I think this should be a feat.

    I like the idea of an across the board increase to the defensive (shield) bonus granted by shields: +2 for light shields, +3 for heavy shields, +4 for tower shields.

    There should be a chain of feats that allow increasingly cool defensive shield maneuvers.

    All this being said...I don't think that this is totally appropriate for a discussion thread on Classes: Barbarian, Fighter, and Ranger. This should probably wait until discussions about Combat or Feats. That isn't going me from contributing my $.02 though.

    CJ

    Liberty's Edge

    lastknightleft wrote:

    My take of it

    Buckler +1 AC
    Light Shields +2 AC applies to touch AC also
    Heavy Shields +3 AC applies to touch AC also
    Tower Shields +4 AC applies to touch AC also

    I totally agree that shields need a bit of love - to make their use a fighting style that is currently far-inferior to that of TWF and THW.

    That being said - IMO - many of the proposed fixes seem too much to simply be added to the overall benefit of the shield as equipment. Adding some of the benefits in via feats sounds far more agreeable.

    That all being said - I agree that the base AC bonus from shields DO need to be increased (with exception of buckler).

    I agree with this proposal with the exception of tower shield; IF light and heavy are both increased by +1, and the -2 penalty to attacks when using a tower shield are still going to be present, and be available to fighters only (without spending a feat), then the tower shield should be more than just one point better than a heavy shield that carries no penalties - otherwise, IMO, one point of difference is not enough of a benefit to warrant suffering such penalties. Thus, I think the Tower Shield in this scenario should be +5 to AC. I recommend against simply removing the -2 to hit and keeping the shield at +4, since part of the benefit of using a TS is the 'full cover' option; and would be too much of an obvious choice to have and have the portable ability of full cover without any such penalty to attacks.

    Finally, I feel that all shield except bucklers should provide automatically a bonus to Ref Saves that deal damage equal one-half the Shield/AC bonus rounded UP. (shield bonus only - not including the enhancement bonus).

    Thus:

    Buckler +1 AC +0 Ref
    Light +2 AC +1 Ref
    Hvy +3 AC +2 Ref
    Tower +5 AC +3 Ref

    Robert


    Robert Brambley wrote:
    I agree with this proposal with the exception of tower shield; IF light and heavy are both increased by +1, and the -2 penalty to attacks when using a tower shield are still going to be present, and be available to fighters only (without spending a feat), then the tower shield should be more than just one point better than a heavy shield that carries no penalties - otherwise, IMO, one point of difference is not enough of a benefit to warrant suffering such penalties.

    I'd motion that, to justify its penalties and feat cost, a tower shield should provide cover, rather than a shield bonus to AC.


    Things I like:

    Shields other than bucklers giving higher AC bonuses. Buckler/ Light/ Heavy/ Tower giving +1/2/3/5 respectively looks about right to me. I've always thought these were too low in 3E.

    Shields giving higher bonuses when using Fight Defensively/ Total Defence. I'd say one and a half times and double normal rather than double and triple though. Although I wouldn't be against a feat which increased it to double and triple.

    Shields adding to Touch AC. I think this should be a magical special property rather than a standard ability though.

    Shields giving bonuses to Reflex saves (to evade incoming energy/ projectiles: obviously not to avoid, say, falling down a pit trap). I think this should be a feat rather than a standard ability: lastleftknight's version looks OK to me.

    I also think doing away with the "Animated" enchantment might be a good idea for balance reasons. Alternatively, you could treat it like a Dancing weapon, which only fights on its own for 4 rounds before dropping, and then can't Dance again for 4 rounds.

    I don't like the idea of shields limiting critical hits, it doesn't make any sense to me. To my mind, if a critical hit has been scored, that means you've successfully penetrated their defences; the fact you're carrying a shield shouldn't make any difference.

    I also don't like anything which increases the power of shields too much, because as (others have pointed out) if you make shields too good, it penalises those classes who can't use them. Shields should be just good enough to be a worthwhile option and no better.

    Sovereign Court

    Robert Brambley wrote:
    lastknightleft wrote:

    My take of it

    Buckler +1 AC
    Light Shields +2 AC applies to touch AC also
    Heavy Shields +3 AC applies to touch AC also
    Tower Shields +4 AC applies to touch AC also

    I agree with this proposal with the exception of tower shield; IF light and heavy are both increased by +1, and the -2 penalty to attacks when using a tower shield are still going to be present, and be available to fighters only (without spending a feat), then the tower shield should be more than just one point better than a heavy shield that carries no penalties - otherwise, IMO, one point of difference is not enough of a benefit to warrant suffering such penalties. Thus, I think the Tower Shield in this scenario should be +5 to AC. I recommend against simply removing the -2 to hit and keeping the shield at +4, since part of the benefit of using a TS is the 'full cover' option; and would be too much of an obvious choice to have and have the portable ability of full cover without any such penalty to attacks.

    Robert

    Heh funnily enough I agree with you and thought the same thing, I just left it alone because I was worried I'd get screams of +5 is too high and powerful.


    Biggus wrote:

    Things I like:

    Shields other than bucklers giving higher AC bonuses. Buckler/ Light/ Heavy/ Tower giving +1/2/3/5 respectively looks about right to me. I've always thought these were too low in 3E.

    Shields giving higher bonuses when using Fight Defensively/ Total Defence. I'd say one and a half times and double normal rather than double and triple though. Although I wouldn't be against a feat which increased it to double and triple.

    Shields adding to Touch AC. I think this should be a magical special property rather than a standard ability though.

    Shields giving bonuses to Reflex saves (to evade incoming energy/ projectiles: obviously not to avoid, say, falling down a pit trap). I think this should be a feat rather than a standard ability: lastleftknight's version looks OK to me.

    I also think doing away with the "Animated" enchantment might be a good idea for balance reasons. Alternatively, you could treat it like a Dancing weapon, which only fights on its own for 4 rounds before dropping, and then can't Dance again for 4 rounds.

    I don't like the idea of shields limiting critical hits, it doesn't make any sense to me. To my mind, if a critical hit has been scored, that means you've successfully penetrated their defences; the fact you're carrying a shield shouldn't make any difference.

    I also don't like anything which increases the power of shields too much, because as (others have pointed out) if you make shields too good, it penalises those classes who can't use them. Shields should be just good enough to be a worthwhile option and no better.

    I agree with all of these points, especially the fist increasing the AC bonus of all but bucklers.

    As for the feat adding shield bonus to reflex save, I could see it being unrestricted as it is a feat with a +5 BAB prerequisite. Any question of it stretching believability would not be a concern to anyone who has ever read Captain America comics. He is the character that redefines the boundaries of what can be done with a shield.

    I also favor Fighter Armor Training applying to shields (physical equipment only, excepting those that are Animated) and that benefit stacking with their armor.

    Touch AC and spells is a more difficult call for me. While I can see the value/need, there is precedent to support both for and against. The idea that having shield apply to touch AC and deflect touch/ranged touch spells as a magical special property is a good compromise that I fully support.


    Mattastrophic wrote:
    -Archangel- wrote:


    Monks have good will save not just because of the good will save, but because of very good Wisdom score...

    And then fighters getting a shield (by my suggestion +4 tops with a +5 shield) bonus on Reflex saves again is not a danger to monks, since monks again have good Dexterity...

    Comparing two classes by their prime stats is an illogical argument, because both classes have the same pool of stats to work with.

    In fact, your statement actually supports my argument, by showing that the Monk needs to spend precious stat points to improve his saves, where a Reflex-boosting, Bravery-sporting shield fighter wouldn't have to.

    -Matt

    No, it is not because monks class features depend on these stats that boost saves as well. Only save that warriors are going to have better is Fort save but that is ok.

    And you complete ignored the monk class features that improve on their already high Reflex and Will saves. Furthermore, monks do not use armors and weapons so getting stat boosting items is the must have for monks (those are their weapons, Dex for attack, Str for damage, Wis for stunning and quivering palm). So no I do not see my statement supporting your argument, but I cannot stop you from interpreting anything the way "you" like it.
    Also monk is a similar character to a two-weapon wielding warrior, the one that does not use a shield. And we are talking here about improving shields users. Monks are not among them. Monks have their own problems, and they have nothing to do with low saves (that is one area when monks beat any other class easily) or defenses.


    Biggus wrote:


    I don't like the idea of shields limiting critical hits, it doesn't make any sense to me. To my mind, if a critical hit has been scored, that means you've successfully penetrated their defences; the fact you're carrying a shield shouldn't make any difference.

    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:

    * Shields can negate one instance of critical damage.
    * Shields can add a hit point bonus to its wielder equal to material and size of the shield.
    * Shields can reduce damage taken from an attack.


    NeoSamurai wrote:
    Biggus wrote:


    I don't like the idea of shields limiting critical hits, it doesn't make any sense to me. To my mind, if a critical hit has been scored, that means you've successfully penetrated their defences; the fact you're carrying a shield shouldn't make any difference.

    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:

    * Shields can negate one instance of critical damage.
    * Shields can add a hit point bonus to its wielder equal to material and size of the shield.
    * Shields can reduce damage taken from an attack.

    I would prefer the effects of shields be focus more on preventing attacks from actually striking the shieldbearer rather than lessing the effects of successful hits. I could see armor reducing damage or providing addition hitpoints before I would attribute those effects to shields.

    Sovereign Court

    Yeah I'm not a big fan of the crit hit reduction either, sorry.

    especially since right now I play a paladin who uses a pick for that x4 modifier. If every person I fought with a shield negated that x4 then I might as well have gone with a longsword for the d8 damage, and that is what that change to shields will encourage, people ignoring different crit range weapons in favor of always having the highest damage dice because they want to always be effective.


    lastknightleft wrote:

    Yeah I'm not a big fan of the crit hit reduction either, sorry.

    especially since right now I play a paladin who uses a pick for that x4 modifier. If every person I fought with a shield negated that x4 then I might as well have gone with a longsword for the d8 damage, and that is what that change to shields will encourage, people ignoring different crit range weapons in favor of always having the highest damage dice because they want to always be effective.

    by that logic, everyone and their dog should be attacking your PCs with a pick because of that x4 modifier instead of using spears, axes and swords.

    you still need the appropriate shield proficiency or you take penalties to attack. you still need strength or you take encumberance penalties. if you're a spellcaster, a shield makes it more likely to fail a spell-check.

    sure, more people will be wanting to use shields with it negating 1 crit hit, but not at the cost of the penalties compared to a 4 in 20 chance of someone scoring a crit with a improved crit weapon that most opposition does not carry.

    it won't be as prevalent as you claim. sure a baddie might have it every once in awhile, but the same benefit also applies to a PC.


    Kalyth wrote:


    I would prefer the effects of shields be focus more on preventing attacks from actually striking the shieldbearer rather than lessing the effects of successful hits. I could see armor reducing damage or providing addition hitpoints before I would attribute those effects to shields.

    I agree with this. I have looked into various armor as DR options at various times. One thing I always stood firm on was Shields adding to AC, but not DR. The reasoning is a view that shields are an active defense while armor is passive. Active stops hits, passive absorbs/mitigates damage.


    lastknightleft wrote:

    Yeah I'm not a big fan of the crit hit reduction either, sorry.

    especially since right now I play a paladin who uses a pick for that x4 modifier. If every person I fought with a shield negated that x4 then I might as well have gone with a longsword for the d8 damage, and that is what that change to shields will encourage, people ignoring different crit range weapons in favor of always having the highest damage dice because they want to always be effective.

    Either that or shields becoming a regular target of Sunder.

    As for negating Criticals, there is already the fortification special properties for armor and shields. Auto negating a critical with a mundane shield really conflicts with this.


    Kalyth wrote:
    NeoSamurai wrote:
    Biggus wrote:


    I would prefer the effects of shields be focus more on preventing attacks from actually striking the shieldbearer rather than lessing the effects of successful hits. I could see armor reducing damage or providing addition hitpoints before I would attribute those effects to shields.

    I agree, if an attack hits the shield it shouldn't do any damage, I don't see any real middleground.

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Charter Superscriber

    Adding shield bonuses to Touch AC works, even against Shocking Grasp, because it means you use your shield to bat the attach away; there might be some contact but not a solid enough hit to discharge the effect.

    Adding shield bonus (or some fraction of it) to Reflex saves work great for things like magical attacks. It works well for some dodging functions too, like avoiding arrow traps and swinging blades. Like above, you deflect the attack with your shield. Avoiding pits and falling damage, though, is hard for me to accept. If we could come up with a good catch-all category for when it works and doesn't, that might help. Ex: shields add to Reflex vs. attacks but not falls?

    If shield bonus were to be added to Reflex, I'd prefer to see us use the same bonus as it's regular AC bonus, just so I don't have to remember two different numbers.

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