Rules Clarification: Shield Mastery


Rules Questions

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It's not a single feat though, it's the end feat of the shield fighting chain, just like great cleave is at the end of the power attack chain and whirlwind attack is at the end of the dodge chain. You can't simply go "I'm taking Shield Master" and have it, you must take the other feats.

In order to take the Shield Master feat you must be 11th level, have taken the shield slam feat, the improved shield bash feat and the two weapon fighting feat.

That's a five feat chain total, just to get the shield master feat. This also requires a Dex of 15 (7 points out of your point buy) or two levels in Ranger.

And people are incorrect about what the feat does too:

It does not negate the penalties for two weapon fighting --

"You do not suffer any penalties on attack rolls made with a shield while you are wielding another weapon."

This means that the other weapon still suffers full penalties for two weapon fighting.

Scarab Sages

That's correct, and I indicated as such in my last post too.

If I am correct and the 'shield bonus' is just the base shield bonus, then you get the following:

1. No more -2 or -4 to the attack roll with the shield (depending on what type it is).
2. A +1 or +2 to attack and damage (depending on what type).

So if it's a heavy shield, that's an overall +6 to the attack roll and +2 to the damage over what you had without the feat.

Seems like a pretty awesome end to the feat chain to me!


For bastard sword vs. shield comparisons, also bear in mind that:

  • The bastard sword takes a VERY hefty penalty for off-hand use (vs. 0 for the shield); and
  • The bastard sword offers no AC bonus, whereas somewhere along that shield bash chain you get the ability to keep your shield bonus to AC even if you attack with it.

    Overall, the shield-bash feat chain makes weapon-and-shield fighting vastly better than TWF can possibly be, and that just rubs me wrong.


  • Karui Kage wrote:

    That's correct, and I indicated as such in my last post too.

    If I am correct and the 'shield bonus' is just the base shield bonus, then you get the following:

    1. No more -2 or -4 to the attack roll with the shield (depending on what type it is).
    2. A +1 or +2 to attack and damage (depending on what type).

    So if it's a heavy shield, that's an overall +6 to the attack roll and +2 to the damage over what you had without the feat.

    Seems like a pretty awesome end to the feat chain to me!

    Compared to what you would have with a spiked shield +5 (enchanted as a weapon) which would give you:

    Same bonus after the penalty (slightly larger for the magic weapon):
    -2+5=3
    -4+5=1

    With more damage:
    +5 compared to +2

    And it requires much fewer feats.

    HOWEVER:

    With a magic (weapon) shield and the feat it would be better:

    total +7 or + 9 to hit (since the penalty is negated) compared to a "normal" two weapon fighter

    and again with the +5 damage.

    Personally I would allow the feats that increase the shield's bonus to increase the bonus on attacking and damage, but that's because they specifically state they raise the bonus of the shield gives you, and don't give a seperate bonus of their own.

    Dark Archive

    The enhancement bonus of a magic shield is part of the shield bonus, it's the same a with magical armor and armor bonus. Otherwise, a sorcerer with an active shield spell and a +5 mithral buckler would gain a +9 bonus to armor class.

    How about counting the shield's enhancement bonus to the shield bonus as an enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls with the shield? It might not follow the wording of the feat (which isn't very clear anyway), but it's neither as over- or underpowered as the possible readings would be.

    Scarab Sages

    Abraham spalding wrote:


    Compared to what you would have with a spiked shield +5 (enchanted as a weapon) which would give you:

    Same bonus after the penalty (slightly larger for the magic weapon):
    -2+5=3
    -4+5=1

    With more damage:
    +5 compared to +2

    Well... yeah. That's kind of the point. If you want to pay to enchant the shield as a weapon, good on you, it will cost you double the amount it normally costs to enchant it as a shield and you won't get the increase to AC, but hey, no feat to spend.

    The same goes with Improved Critical and Keen. Spend the money on a Keen enhancement or a feat on Improved Critical?

    There's a lot of magic items you can buy that take the place of a feat, and vice versa. This is no exception.

    Scarab Sages

    Jadeite wrote:

    The enhancement bonus of a magic shield is part of the shield bonus, it's the same a with magical armor and armor bonus. Otherwise, a sorcerer with an active shield spell and a +5 mithral buckler would gain a +9 bonus to armor class.

    How about counting the shield's enhancement bonus to the shield bonus as an enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls with the shield? It might not follow the wording of the feat (which isn't very clear anyway), but it's neither as over- or underpowered as the possible readings would be.

    Again.

    PRPG wrote:


    In general, magic armor protects the wearer to a greater extent than nonmagical armor. Magic armor bonuses are enhancement bonuses, never rise above +5, and stack with regular armor bonuses (and with shield and magic shield enhancement bonuses). All magic armor is also masterwork armor, reducing armor check penalties by 1.

    Notice how 'magic armor bonus', 'regular armor bonus', 'shield bonus', and 'magic shield enhancement bonus' are all separated.

    I get that a lot of people really want to get +7 to Armor Class, attack, and damage rolls, along with negating the TWF penalties with a +5 heavy shield with one feat but... REALLY. Come on.

    We need Jason, but the below is my interpretation.

    1. Shield Master allows you to use the shield bonus (not enhancement) as an effective enhancement bonus on attack and damage rolls. It also negates the TWF penalty for using a shield.
    2. Shield Focus and Greater Shield Focus appear to increase the base shield bonus in this matter, though it is questionable.
    3. If you enhance your shield as a weapon separately, it overlaps and does not stack with this feat. A shield enhanced as a +3 weapon would gain +3 to attack and damage, even with this feat, not +5. The feat still has a HUGE purpose in that it negates the TWF penalty, which for a heavy shield is quite large at -4.

    This is a GREAT feat using the above. Why some think it needs to be better is beyond me. :)


    I'm not disagreeing, I'm providing information. Giving the actual comparison rather than making a point. Please note I also included how the bonuses would work out if the person had both the shield and the feat, as further reference.

    I'm still a bit set on the "A+B=B" thing for my games, but I'm still watching the conversation.

    Out of curiosity, where do you stand on the shield focus feats and shield master feat?

    Both Technically and how you would (or wouldn't) allow/use it.

    EDIT: (partially answered on the above ninja'd post)

    and, (important in my mind) the feat doesn't negate the two weapon fighting penalties, it partially mitigates them. If it completely negated the penalties I would fully go with the "no you can't have your cake and eat it too" approach.

    Scarab Sages

    Right, it only negates the TWF penalties with the shield. The main hand would still suffer them. Still, considering a person is likely using a heavy shield with this (not a light weapon) then negating that -4 penalty is pretty sweet, in and of itself.

    Dark Archive

    Karui Kage wrote:
    Right, it only negates the TWF penalties with the shield. The main hand would still suffer them. Still, considering a person is likely using a heavy shield with this (not a light weapon) then negating that -4 penalty is pretty sweet, in and of itself.

    Why would a person be likely to use a heavy shield? Even with Shield Mastery, the penalty on attack rolls is two points greater for only an average increase in off-hand damage of one (as well as an increase in AC of 1). You'll also be rather disadvantaged until you've learned Shield Mastery, so most characters would have a light shield of bashing at this point.

    So you'd allow a sorcerer to combine a buckler +5 with the shield spell since those bonuses stack? Or a rogue wearing bracers of armor +8 and a padded armor +5?

    Scarab Sages

    I would not, nor can I easily answer the question on differences. The fact of the matter is, the way armor, shield, armor enhancement, shield enhancement bonuses has always been a little quirky.

    Still, I am willing to believe that they just worded the Shield Master feat badly than believe that they intended the enhancement bonus to count as part of the shield bonus for the purposes of this feat.

    Ask yourself. Would you *ever* use a non-shield in your off-hand if it meant that? Why? If it means what you'd like it to, then not only will you not take the TWF penalty with the shield anymore, but that +5 Heavy Shield now gives you a +7 to attack and damage.

    You would have to find a way to give a +9 to attack and a +7 to damage for a light weapon to compare, and even then it wouldn't be giving you the +7 bonus to your armor class. Not to mention that the +5 enhancement bonus on the shield was half price compared to a +5 on a weapon.

    If the feat works the way I have stated it does above, then it makes sense, and is balanced.

    If it allows you to treat the ENTIRE shield + enhancement bonus as the 'effective' bonus to attack and damage, even if it's just the enhancement bonus, then the feat is grossly overpowered.

    Dark Archive

    Karui Kage wrote:

    I would not, nor can I easily answer the question on differences. The fact of the matter is, the way armor, shield, armor enhancement, shield enhancement bonuses has always been a little quirky.

    Still, I am willing to believe that they just worded the Shield Master feat badly than believe that they intended the enhancement bonus to count as part of the shield bonus for the purposes of this feat.

    Ask yourself. Would you *ever* use a non-shield in your off-hand if it meant that? Why? If it means what you'd like it to, then not only will you not take the TWF penalty with the shield anymore, but that +5 Heavy Shield now gives you a +7 to attack and damage.

    You would have to find a way to give a +9 to attack and a +7 to damage for a light weapon to compare, and even then it wouldn't be giving you the +7 bonus to your armor class. Not to mention that the +5 enhancement bonus on the shield was half price compared to a +5 on a weapon.

    If the feat works the way I have stated it does above, then it makes sense, and is balanced.

    If it allows you to treat the ENTIRE shield + enhancement bonus as the 'effective' bonus to attack and damage, even if it's just the enhancement bonus, then the feat is grossly overpowered.

    Yes, there are reasons not to use a shield as an off-hand weapon:

    Critical Hits. A kukri might only deal 1d4 points of base damage and incure a -2 penalty on attack rolls if dual wielded, but with improved critical, you gain a threat range of 15-20, perfect for applying critical feats.
    Fighters have lots of reason to use paired weapons. With Weapon Specialization and Greater Weapon Specialization, the kukri gets a bonus on damage rolls of +4. Of course it's possible to take those feats for a heavy spiked shield, too, but it would cost the character three feats that he could have used on other stuff like critical feats or penetrating strike.

    I would prefer the feat to be reworded, though, to simply elimenate the penalty on attack rolls you incur when using shield bashs on on-hand attacks as well as off-hand attacks. It would still be a fine feat, without all this arguing going on.

    Scarab Sages

    The range of a critical is a bit of a poor trade-off, and Weapon Spec is a non-argument since, like you said, you can apply it to a Shield as well.

    So the *only* reason to take a non-shield, with this feat doing what you think it should do, is for a higher crit range?

    Sigh.

    I've said as much as I can on this feat, I am officially done. :)


    Karui Kage wrote:

    I would not, nor can I easily answer the question on differences. The fact of the matter is, the way armor, shield, armor enhancement, shield enhancement bonuses has always been a little quirky.

    Still, I am willing to believe that they just worded the Shield Master feat badly than believe that they intended the enhancement bonus to count as part of the shield bonus for the purposes of this feat.

    Ask yourself. Would you *ever* use a non-shield in your off-hand if it meant that? Why? If it means what you'd like it to, then not only will you not take the TWF penalty with the shield anymore, but that +5 Heavy Shield now gives you a +7 to attack and damage.

    You would have to find a way to give a +9 to attack and a +7 to damage for a light weapon to compare, and even then it wouldn't be giving you the +7 bonus to your armor class. Not to mention that the +5 enhancement bonus on the shield was half price compared to a +5 on a weapon.

    If the feat works the way I have stated it does above, then it makes sense, and is balanced.

    If it allows you to treat the ENTIRE shield + enhancement bonus as the 'effective' bonus to attack and damage, even if it's just the enhancement bonus, then the feat is grossly overpowered.

    Well...it takes 3 feats over normal 2 weapon fighting. So for those three feats, I take Exotic Weapon Proficiency (two bladed sword), Double Slice, and Two Weapon Rend. With the other abilities at 12th level (the earliest you cna take Shield Master) counting in only weapon focus, greater weapon focus, weapon spec, and greater weapon spec for one weapon (so, counting the three shared TWF feats, 10 feats total used)

    I'd be at (on a full atack, not counting str) +17/+17/+12/+12/+7/+7 using a +3/+3 two handed sword (likely would have better than that at 12th, but at 36k spent, it works), doing 1d8+9+Str bonus every hit.

    The guy with the shield, will be doing (mainhand favored, to offset that -4 as much as possible): Mainhand (longsword+3) +15/+10/+5 for 1d8+9+Str Offhand (spiked large shield +5 only one point of weapon familiarity) +20/+15/+10 for 1d6+8+.5 Str. (total of 43k gold spent)

    Hrm...well...I dunno...but while yes, the poor guy with the shield does have better defense, I can't argue that, its still at the expense of offense. Yes, I know, he can spend even more feats to boost his offhand damage, but I can use those feats for other things...like maybe defense. All in all, seems pretty fair to me to say it allows shield bonus + enhancement bonus to attack and damage.


    I was hoping Jason would have given us some sort of explanation of how this feat works by now.

    Maybe by the end of the week? Maybe by the end of next week?

    I understand he is busy and all, but I just don't understand how this feat was intended to work.


    PRD wrote:

    Shield Master (Combat)

    Your mastery of the shield allows you to fight with it without hindrance.

    Prerequisites: Improved Shield Bash, Shield Proficiency, Shield Slam, Two-Weapon Fighting, base attack bonus +11.

    Looking at this feat, you come to notice that unless your a fighter, you have spent 5 of you 10/11 feats (that is half) getting this feat. So that says a lot to the amount of power you expect from a feat.

    PRD wrote:
    Benefit: You do not suffer any penalties on attack rolls made with a shield while you are wielding another weapon.

    That is nice. This seems clear, and really works well with a sub-optimal, non finessable, one handed weapon that is being used in two weapon fighting, which is a VERY HEAVY dex fighting style. So you are giving up a lot. This all might not be too true, if you count a second weapon in the other hand could also be a shield, and also count as a weapon for this feat; that is my main question now that needs to be clarified. However RAW, shield is listed as a weapon in the weapons chart, so it goes to say that it does.

    PRD wrote:
    Add your shield's shield bonus to attacks and damage rolls made with the shield as if it was an enhancement bonus.

    This is very straight forward, as with the minuses with noted above, and the fact that almost no matter what you do you will still be doing less of a job and hit and damage of a THF, especially due to DR in combat, that your shield using will cost you a lot more money because your not only spending twice the money for little less gain in two weapon fighting. There is also (if I am correct) no way for a shield to get the full +10 shield enhancement, and +10 weapon enhancement, as non epic items due to the 200,000 gold piece limit on any magic item. So while you will not be able to place any bonuses on the shield with out cutting into the total enhancement bonus of 200k for a weapon, you at least still get the +5 shield AC bonus to your shield free, with this feat.

    All in all, yes it is probably the most powerful feat in the game, it is well worth it, but it is hardly game breaking (mostly due to the feat cost), and it does the most to bring a sub-useful fighting style to semi-useful status.

    Sovereign Court

    Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber

    I'd say use the base shield bonus AND magical shield bonus. If you get +7 to AC from your +5 heavy steel shield, you shield bash at +7 with it (so BAB + STR + 7 on the attack, 1d6 + STR + 7 on the damage).

    Like others said: it's five feats in the making, can only be taken at 11th level, etc. It's about time sword and board got a little bit of love.

    e.g. longsword and heavy shield (one handed/one handed) via two-weap fighting feat, usually at -4/-4, but now at -4/+2 (nonmagical) or -4/+7 (if heavy shield +5) or -4/+8 (heavy shield +5 and shield focus). You still suck with the longsword with a whopping -4 (my PC happens to be specialized with the longsword, so that is going to blow a bit...) I think it's not that broken for a five feat chain...

    One more thing that Jason should look at is this: what happens when someone fights with two shields? (one in each hand) The feat says that you lose the penalties when fighting with "another weapon", which could technically be another shield... thus one would have no penalties whatsoever for fighting with two weapons... or was that "another weapon" line meant to imply that a maximum of one shield gets that bonus? (very important with monsters with four arms...)

    Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

    2 people marked this as FAQ candidate. 2 people marked this as a favorite.

    Hey there folks,

    I am going to try and clarify this in a future errata. The intent here was to add the shields base bonus as an enhancement bonus (that is, +1 for light shields, +2 for heavy).

    Sorry about the mix up.

    Jason Bulmahn
    Lead Designer
    Paizo Publishing

    Scarab Sages

    Huzzah! Thanks Jason :)


    Jason Bulmahn wrote:
    I am going to try and clarify this in a future errata.

    Thanks Jason!


    Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
    Jason Bulmahn wrote:

    Hey there folks,

    I am going to try and clarify this in a future errata. The intent here was to add the shields base bonus as an enhancement bonus (that is, +1 for light shields, +2 for heavy).

    Sorry about the mix up.

    Jason Bulmahn
    Lead Designer
    Paizo Publishing

    Thanks for the clarification


    But it's only a partial clarification, he completely forgot the part about whether or not Shield Focus applies :(


    Jason Bulmahn wrote:

    Hey there folks,

    I am going to try and clarify this in a future errata. The intent here was to add the shields base bonus as an enhancement bonus (that is, +1 for light shields, +2 for heavy).

    Sorry about the mix up.

    Jason Bulmahn
    Lead Designer
    Paizo Publishing

    *Snip* I will wait to see the errata.

    Thanks for the input.

    Scarab Sages

    Improvements for:

    Buckler/Light Shield - +2 to attack roll (negate the two weapon fighting penalty), +1 to attack roll (enhancement bonus), +1 to damage (enhancement bonus)

    Heavy Shield - +4 to attack roll (negate the two weapon fighting penalty), +2 to attack roll (enhancement bonus), +2 to damage (enhancement bonus).

    So (with just the shield) a +3 to attack and +1 to damage with Buckler/Light Shield, or a +6 to attack and a +2 to damage.

    I've been saying it, but this is better than any other feat that increases your attack roll or damage. And it really only requires three feats to get to, Shield Proficiency is a given with most classes that are going to be investing in this. And by level 11, every class will be on their 6th feat, fighters being on their 11th (+1 if you're human).

    It's a perfectly balanced feat. I have a Dwarven NPC cohort fighter that uses a dwarven waraxe and a shield, I know he'll love this feat. :D

    Paizo Employee Director of Game Design

    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    But it's only a partial clarification, he completely forgot the part about whether or not Shield Focus applies :(

    It does not.

    Jason Bulmahn
    Lead Designer
    Paizo Publishing


    Jason Bulmahn wrote:
    kyrt-ryder wrote:
    But it's only a partial clarification, he completely forgot the part about whether or not Shield Focus applies :(

    It does not.

    Jason Bulmahn
    Lead Designer
    Paizo Publishing

    DANGIT! Oh well, awesome quick response Jason, thanks. Guess I just have to bust out the houserule bat again.


    You can only bash with light and heavy shields. If you look them up in the armour section, you'll see the buckler lacks the shield bash text.

    Scarab Sages

    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    In honor of this ruling, here is my quintessential Dwarven Shield Fighter.

    Name pending. Dodge can probably be swapped out for Step Up, but eh. I just liked the high AC. :)

    Against Giants, the attack roll for Toe Chopper increases by +4 and the damage increases by 2d6+4. Slash was basically made for Rise of the Runelords. ;) With such a high attack roll, Slash could also take a -3 to his attack with either Toe Chopper or Shin Smasher and gain a respective +6 (TC) or +3 (SS) to damage rolls.

    Slash Basherson
    Male dwarf ranger 1 / fighter 10
    LN Medium humanoid (dwarf)
    Init +2; Senses darkvision 60 ft.; Perception +1
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    DEFENSE
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    AC 35, touch 15, flat-footed 32 (+13 armor, +7 shield, +2 Dex, +2 deflection, +1 dodge); +4 dodge vs. giants
    hp 130 (11d10+65)
    Fort +15, Ref +10, Will +7 (+10 vs. fear); +2 vs. poison, spells, or spell-like abilities
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    OFFENSE
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Speed 20 ft. (4 squares)
    Melee Toe Chopper +22 (1d10+9/x3)
    Melee Toe Chopper +18/+13/+8 (1d10+9/x3) and Shin Smasher +19 (2d6+5 and bullrush)
    Ranged Throwing axe +15 (1d6+7)
    Special Attacks favored enemy +2 (humanoid (giant))
    Space 5 ft.; Reach 5 ft.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    STATISTICS
    ----------------------------------------------------------------
    Abilities Str 20, Dex 15, Con 18, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 8
    Base Atk +11; CMB +16; CMD 31; 35 vs. bull rush or trip
    Feats Dodge, Improved Shield Bash, Greater Shield Focus, Greater Weapon Focus (Dwarven Waraxe), Power Attack, Shield Focus, Shield Master, Shield Slam, Toughness, Two Weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (Dwarven Waraxe), Weapon Specialization (Dwarven Waraxe)
    Skills Climb +12, Survival +2 (tracking only), Swim +11
    Languages Common, Dwarven
    Favored Class Fighter (+10 hp)
    SQ armor training 2, bravery +3, weapon training (axes) 2, weapon training (close) 1, wild empathy -1
    Combat Gear Potion of cure moderate wounds x6
    Other Gear Toe Chopper (+2 humanoid (giant) bane dwarven waraxe), Shin Smasher (+3 bashing spiked heavy steel shield), +4 full plate armor, belt of physical might +2 (str, con), cloak of resistance +3, ring of protection +2, 92 gp


    Good to hear it will be clarified.
    The hordes of dual-shield-wielders might be sad about Shield Focus not applying,
    but it probably is better in the grand scheme of things.


    There goes the Captain America build :( lol


    OK, with the clarification stated, now I am REALLY confused as to what the feat is supposed to do. Can someone put it into simply extended language please?

    Dark Archive

    Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
    OK, with the clarification stated, now I am REALLY confused as to what the feat is supposed to do. Can someone put it into simply extended language please?

    You shield bash with a light shield, you get a +1 to hit and damage.

    You shield bash with a heavy shield, you get a +2 to hit and damage.

    It's an enhancement bonus, so if the shield is already weapon-enchanted to be a +1 or +2 weapon (or you have a Masterwork Shield Spike that gives you a +1 enhancement bonus to attack), these bonuses don't stack.

    You also get to ignore the two-weapon fighting penalties if you bash with your shield and hit with another weapon in the same round, *but only for the shield bash.*


    Set wrote:
    Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
    OK, with the clarification stated, now I am REALLY confused as to what the feat is supposed to do. Can someone put it into simply extended language please?

    You shield bash with a light shield, you get a +1 to hit and damage.

    You shield bash with a heavy shield, you get a +2 to hit and damage.

    It's an enhancement bonus, so if the shield is already weapon-enchanted to be a +1 or +2 weapon (or you have a Masterwork Shield Spike that gives you a +1 enhancement bonus to attack), these bonuses don't stack.

    You also get to ignore the two-weapon fighting penalties if you bash with your shield and hit with another weapon in the same round, *but only for the shield bash.*

    In other words... we're back to square one where sword and board feats don't carry the combat effectiveness of two-handed weapons.

    (But on to other notes, a Spiked Heavy Shield of Bashing is pretty sweet if your using vital strike, as far as twf weapons go.)


    Just as a point of interest, what THW feats give +6 to attack and +2 to damage?


    Set wrote:
    Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
    OK, with the clarification stated, now I am REALLY confused as to what the feat is supposed to do. Can someone put it into simply extended language please?

    You shield bash with a light shield, you get a +1 to hit and damage.

    You shield bash with a heavy shield, you get a +2 to hit and damage.

    It's an enhancement bonus, so if the shield is already weapon-enchanted to be a +1 or +2 weapon (or you have a Masterwork Shield Spike that gives you a +1 enhancement bonus to attack), these bonuses don't stack.

    You also get to ignore the two-weapon fighting penalties if you bash with your shield and hit with another weapon in the same round, *but only for the shield bash.*

    OK, so if I had two heavy shields, then at the least I would not suffer the -4 for wielding two one handed weapons right?


    Jabor wrote:
    Just as a point of interest, what THW feats give +6 to attack and +2 to damage?

    Nothing, last I checked, actually gives you that... If your trying to imply shield feats do, it sounds like now that it is enhancement bonuses, which are completely worthless if you have the money to buy a 2nd +2 weapon.

    Dark Archive

    Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
    Jabor wrote:
    Just as a point of interest, what THW feats give +6 to attack and +2 to damage?
    Nothing, last I checked, actually gives you that... If your trying to imply shield feats do, it sounds like now that it is enhancement bonuses, which are completely worthless if you have the money to buy a 2nd +2 weapon.

    Key statement here: If you have the money. To this point the effectiveness of the Shield Mastery feat respectively to raw damage output. I honestly feel that it is more effective in respect to the game's economics.

    Sword and board shield bash fighters are trying to increase their damage output, while retaining their high defense. TWF and THF are trying to increase their damage further by sacrificing a high defense. So if you are a shield bashing fighter, it is somewhat assumed you will be spending cash enhancing your armor and shield magically for defense. You will be enhancing your main hand magically for damage.

    If your DM hands out an average amount of cash for your level, at 6th level, a fighter will have spent _every_ copper he has earned just to own a +2 main weapon, +2 armor enchantment, and a +2 defensive bonus to his shield. Now if he saved _every_ copper until level 8 he could afford to put a +2 weapon enhancement on his shield. Or he could ignore that for now and use the money to enhance his weapon from +2 to +3 offensively, or he could enhance his armor and shield from +2 to +3 each defensively (probably adding the bashing quality to his shield at this point) and count on getting the +2 offensive bonus for free at level 11. Doing this at level 11 he could enchant both his shield and his armor from +3 to +5 defensively and enchant his main hand from +3 to +4 offensively while simultaneously gaining a +2 offensive bonus on his shield through the Shield Mastery feat. Its not a question of saving 8,000 gp, its a question of what you can buy and when.


    Jason Bulmahn wrote:

    Hey there folks,

    I am going to try and clarify this in a future errata. The intent here was to add the shields base bonus as an enhancement bonus (that is, +1 for light shields, +2 for heavy).

    Sorry about the mix up.

    Jason Bulmahn
    Lead Designer
    Paizo Publishing

    Are we to assume that this does not stack with weapon enhancements applied to the shield(since enhancement bonuses don't stack)?

    Scarab Sages

    Yes.

    Shield Master is an unusual feat, but useful. For one, it negates that awful penalty to TWF (with the shield attack) which can be a -2 or a -4. This is not something you could normally just get rid of with enhancement bonuses, which is very nice.

    It also, essentially, gives you a +1 or +2 enhancement bonus on it for free, based on whether it is light or heavy. Giving something that you could buy instead of taking a feat for is not unheard of (see Keen vs. Improved Critical).

    Anyhow, you're correct, if you enhanced the shield as a weapon then it would not stack with the free +1 or +2.

    Your God of Knowledge,
    Nethys


    Does the shield mastery apply to both shields if you duel wield two shields?


    Duel (n.) - A fight, usually between two combatants, often conducted under a system of rules and/or special procedures.

    Dual (adj.) - Paired.


    P.S. The image of some idiot flailing around like a penguin with two shields and no weapon is just too goofy for me to take seriously. As DM I'd kill off that character in minutes.

    Dark Archive

    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    P.S. The image of some idiot flailing around like a penguin with two shields and no weapon is just too goofy for me to take seriously. As DM I'd kill off that character in minutes.

    I cry now. I love that concept. I know it's ludicrous and about as mechanically sound as the spiked chain, but the artwork in Plot & Poison inspired me.

    Plus, as a comic book fan, I've spent the last 40-some years rooting for a dude who carries nothing but a sheild into fights with gun-toting Nazis. :)

    And what's cooler than *one* desert eagle/uzi/katana/scimitar/shield? *Two* guns/swords/shields! All those John Woo movies and Drizzt novels can't be wrong!

    Scarab Sages

    Hey, dual-wielding two shields is good enough for

    Spoiler:
    the golem in Crypt of the Everflame

    and his were tower shields. :)


    Kirth Gersen wrote:
    P.S. The image of some idiot flailing around like a penguin with two shields and no weapon is just too goofy for me to take seriously. As DM I'd kill off that character in minutes.

    Us melee types have to do TWF some how, they didn't fix anything here, so go with what you can. I'd like to see an equally effective TWF build to a two handed weapon fighter.

    Still, my question was not answered; please.

    Does Shield Mastery Apply to BOTH shields if I am using two in two weapon fighting.

    Scarab Sages

    I don't see why it wouldn't.


    Karui Kage wrote:
    I don't see why it wouldn't.

    Thank you.


    Sir Hexen Ineptus wrote:
    Us melee types have to do TWF somehow, they didn't fix anything here, so go with what you can.

    Exactly right. In my case, that meant overhauling the TWF feats (in addition to completely rewriting the fighter class.). Problem solved!

    For the case in point, in a nutshell, I eliminated Shield Master, but rolled GTWF and PTWF into ITWF.


    Since only one Shield at a time applies it's Shield Bonus to AC, it would be reasonable to say that a second wielded Shield would not qualify for the Base Shield Bonus->Weapon Enhancement Bonus part, given it's not providing a Shield Bonus for the NORMAL usage of such.

    The 2WF penalty negation isn't directly linked to the Shield Bonus, and it seems reasonable to me if someone is good at 2WF with Shield Bashes, wielding 2 Shields would play to that strength...?
    Either of those interpretations could be off of course (and we haven't seen the 'final' updated Feat), but hopefully the updated version will be clear on both issues.

    Incidentally, I probably would PREFER disallowing ANY benefit beyond one Shield, BUT allow Shield Focus increases to Shield Bonus to work with the Weapon Enhancement conversion part... It's such a Pre-Req heavy Feat that going in HEAVIER seems reasonable to reward, and all-in-all I think the outcome of allowing Shield Focus is more balanced (and tasteful) than Dual-Shield-Bashers with free +1/2 Enhancements and no 2WF penalties.

    Scarab Sages

    There's nothing that really disallows it by RAW. Both shields can be worn, and both still possess their individual Shield bonus. It's just that they overlap in regards to adding to AC. It's not like one shield's bonus drops to +0 just because the guy has another shield.

    If someone wants to do this, I say let them. It's a little silly but mechanically speaking you're probably better off with normal weapons anyways.

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