How does Magic Shield Enhancments (Defense + Offense enchanments) work together?


Rules Questions


How does magically enhancing your shield for defense enhancements & weapon enhancements work?

1. Would it be two seperate chains of enchantment i.e.

+2 (Defense Enhancement)4,000
+2 (Weapon Enhancement) 8,000
= 12,000

2. or a cumulative enhancment i.e.

+2 (Defense Enhancement) 4,000
+2 (Weapon Enhancement) +24,000 (the difference between +2 and +4)
= 28,000

My DM ruled #2 because it made the most sense to him, but also because the rules don't really cover this, but rather simply mention that you "can" enchant it as a weapon (pg 152 & pg 462). It doesn't actually describe how it works.


I would also rule the latter. However, since the price of defensive enhancements are cheaper than the price of offensive enhancements, this could be complicated to do.

The way around this (again, how I would adjudicate it) is to require someone wanting to enchant a shield as a weapon can only enchant it as a weapon and require them to decide if the enhancement bonus is offensive or defensive that round. Keep in mind that I allow a player to say "my character is doing X by default unless I state otherwise" so this wouldn't bog play down too much.

Also, you can add shield spikes to a shield and enhance them separately from the shield. So you can have a couple of plusses for defense (on the shield) and a couple of plusses for attack (on the spikes). This seems the fairest way to do it, since effectively a sword and shield two-weapon fighter is (on some levels) trying to have his cake and eat it to.

You can have cake and eat cake. You just have to buy two cakes. So they enhance their shield and their "weapon".


They're treated differently, just as two ends of the same double weapon are. If you want a shield with +2 enhancement bonus to shield AC and +2 enhancement bonus to attack and damage, that costs 12k.


Pathfinder Rulebook Subscriber
Mauril wrote:


You can have cake and eat cake. You just have to buy two cakes. So they enhance their shield and their "weapon".

Wait? You would rule that because the shield has an adjective attached too it (spiked) it can carry both bonus. Both the text for the shield and the spiked shield use the exact same verbage. So you really should rule the same way on both types of shields.

"An enhancement bonus on a XXXX does not
improve the effectiveness of a shield bash made with it,
but a XXXX can be made into a magic weapon in
its own right."

Honestly I would go with option 1. Pay for each bonus individually. If he is opposed I would ask if I could use a klar (referenced in serveral pathfinder settings) which has text in its description specifically allowing both functions to be ehanced seperately.

If the GM is strongly opposed I suggest using the pricing rules as on p549 for magic items with multiple different abilities that take the same space on the body. In this case you would pay 1.0*the more expensive enhancement bonus + 1.5*the less expensive. For your +2 attack/+2 defense it would be cost of MW shield + 8,000 for +2 attack + 6,000 for the +2 bonus to defense.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Drew Epstein wrote:

1. Would it be two seperate chains of enchantment i.e.

+2 (Defense Enhancement)4,000
+2 (Weapon Enhancement) 8,000
= 12,000

This is how it is designed to work in the rules.

The same for a double weapon, each end would be treated as a separate weapon/item.


Drew Epstein wrote:

How does magically enhancing your shield for defense enhancements & weapon enhancements work?

1. Would it be two seperate chains of enchantment i.e.

+2 (Defense Enhancement)4,000
+2 (Weapon Enhancement) 8,000
= 12,000

2. or a cumulative enhancment i.e.

+2 (Defense Enhancement) 4,000
+2 (Weapon Enhancement) +24,000 (the difference between +2 and +4)
= 28,000

My DM ruled #2 because it made the most sense to him, but also because the rules don't really cover this, but rather simply mention that you "can" enchant it as a weapon (pg 152 & pg 462). It doesn't actually describe how it works.

Or

3. as for items with multiple abilities i.e.

+2 (Defense Enhancement)4,000 x 1.5 = 6,000gp
+2 (Weapon Enhancement) 8,000 x 1.5 = 12,000gp
= 18,000gp

Which is the approach I would take.


I'm pretty sure it would be considered as two different abilities of the same item, because "armor bonus" and "weapon bonus" are listed as different effects in table 15-29 page 550 or in the prd: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magicItems/magicItemCreation.html

Therefore it would be calculated as follows:
+2 (Weapon Enhancement) 8,000
+2 (Defense Enhancement)4,000 x 1.5 = 6,000gp
= 14,000gp

As you can see in the table under "special" multiple different abilities are just added but the price of the ability with the lower item cost is multiplied by 1.5

I would know no rule why your shield would make an exception of that rule.

Hope that helps


Zerberus wrote:

I'm pretty sure it would be considered as two different abilities of the same item, because "armor bonus" and "weapon bonus" are listed as different effects in table 15-29 page 550 or in the prd: http://paizo.com/pathfinderRPG/prd/magicItems/magicItemCreation.html

Therefore it would be calculated as follows:
+2 (Weapon Enhancement) 8,000
+2 (Defense Enhancement)4,000 x 1.5 = 6,000gp
= 14,000gp

As you can see in the table under "special" multiple different abilities are just added but the price of the ability with the lower item cost is multiplied by 1.5

I would know no rule why your shield would make an exception of that rule.

Hope that helps

That is what I was trying to say.

I just multiplied the weapon bonus as well. Of course only one of the two abilities has to be multiplied. But should that not be the weapon bonus (probably the one last added?).
That would make the price 16000gp


So, double weapons don't take the 1.5 price multiplier to the cheaper end, but shields do? I'm pretty sure they both have the same specification of being enchanted "separately". The more I think about it though, they're both certainly the same item ... I think I'm going to switch to using the multiple enchantment penalty for both double weapons and shields.


Christopher Vrysen wrote:
So, double weapons don't take the 1.5 price multiplier to the cheaper end, but shields do? I'm pretty sure they both have the same specification of being enchanted "separately". The more I think about it though, they're both certainly the same item ... I think I'm going to switch to using the multiple enchantment penalty for both double weapons and shields.

I just tried to find an example in the rules, and could only come up with the Shifters' Sorrow.

At a price of 12,780gp (where of the 12,000gp are the magic effect) its price comes closer to a multiple ability item than to two separate items.
Both ends of the double sword are +1/semi-bane weapons.
On average that would be 10,000gp for the separate weapon approach
and 13,000gp for the miltiple effect approach.

It really is not a lot of help.

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Christopher Vrysen wrote:
So, double weapons don't take the 1.5 price multiplier to the cheaper end, but shields do?

They both cost the whole normal amount, neither get the 1.5 multiplier since they are in effect "different items."

The Grandfather wrote:

Shifters' Sorrow.

At a price of 12,780gp (where of the 12,000gp are the magic effect) ... 10,000gp for the separate weapon approach and 13,000gp for the miltiple effect approach.

Unique items are often adhoc priced. In this case there is probably a "whole item" price for the effect as it applies to both ends instead of working up the price per end.

Shadow Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
James Risner wrote:
Christopher Vrysen wrote:
So, double weapons don't take the 1.5 price multiplier to the cheaper end, but shields do?

They both cost the whole normal amount, neither get the 1.5 multiplier since they are in effect "different items."

The Grandfather wrote:

Shifters' Sorrow.

At a price of 12,780gp (where of the 12,000gp are the magic effect) ... 10,000gp for the separate weapon approach and 13,000gp for the miltiple effect approach.
Unique items are often adhoc priced. In this case there is probably a "whole item" price for the effect as it applies to both ends instead of working up the price per end.

Also note if you are going to be a shield bashing kinda guy you will just pick up this feat and never need to enhance your shield as a weapon.

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.

Benefit: You do not suffer any penalties on attack rolls made with a shield while you are wielding another weapon. Add your shield's shield bonus to attacks and damage rolls made with the shield as if it was an enhancement bonus.

this makes any enchanted large shield a weapon with an enhancement bonus 2 higher than its actual enhancement bonus. Not sure if this is intentional but a +5 large shield would get an effective +7 to attacks and damage with this feat.


Actually, saw in another thread, official word that Shield Master only adds the base shield bonus (+1 or +2) to attack and damage, not the enhanced (+7), unless that was all weapon enchant on your MW / +5 shield.

So if I understand, if that was a +1 bashing / +3 heavy shield, it would have: +3 shield bonus to AC not counting any focus feats, and +3 weapon enhancement bonus (the +1 from bashing wouldn't stack), with an extra non-magic +2 to atk and damage from Shield Master, doing 1d8 base damage.

If it was a +3 spiked +1 bashing shield then the argument is whether that would be 2d6 or still just 1d8 base damage. I know that spells that increase size don't stack, but don't see anything that says effects that increase weapon damage as if size were increased stack or not.

And I just can't keep from flip-flopping on whether it would cost 4k+18k=22k or 6k+18k=24k. The simplest reading I guess would be 22k, since that doesn't require flipping over to the more detailed item creation rules, but I don't know if requiring to be enchanted separately is an official exception to the otherwise clear penalty on multiple enchants on the same item.


Actually, some kind of official help on the subject of how to calculate the price on this would be extremely helpful :-) ::crosses fingers::

Christopher Vrysen wrote:

Actually, saw in another thread, official word that Shield Master only adds the base shield bonus (+1 or +2) to attack and damage, not the enhanced (+7), unless that was all weapon enchant on your MW / +5 shield.

So if I understand, if that was a +1 bashing / +3 heavy shield, it would have: +3 shield bonus to AC not counting any focus feats, and +3 weapon enhancement bonus (the +1 from bashing wouldn't stack), with an extra non-magic +2 to atk and damage from Shield Master, doing 1d8 base damage.

If it was a +3 spiked +1 bashing shield then the argument is whether that would be 2d6 or still just 1d8 base damage. I know that spells that increase size don't stack, but don't see anything that says effects that increase weapon damage as if size were increased stack or not.

And I just can't keep from flip-flopping on whether it would cost 4k+18k=22k or 6k+18k=24k. The simplest reading I guess would be 22k, since that doesn't require flipping over to the more detailed item creation rules, but I don't know if requiring to be enchanted separately is an official exception to the otherwise clear penalty on multiple enchants on the same item.

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