Are shields actually that useful?


Pathfinder First Edition General Discussion

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I was looking over the notes I have about the players in the various games in which I DM or am a player in, and no one has a shield. Thinking back, I can't recall anyone using a shield all the way back as far as 3.0. Looking at the shield bonuses for Pathfinder, shields don't seem to really become useful until they reach a +2 bonus, with the tower shield the only one that seems particularly worth having. What am I missing here?


Shields are very useful. They provide a SHIELD bonus which stacks with your other AC bonuses. Plus you can enchant them. It depends on the type of character you want to make. If you want to deal out a lot of damage, generally the two-handed wpn for STRx1.5 w/ power attack and such is sweet.

I have made a shield and dwarven waraxe wielding fighter before who did very well. Great AC and really good damage. Also, shield are invaluable for bards. One hand free for spellcasting, one hand using shield and off you go. Clerics too.


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There is nothing wrong with the shield, there is something wrong with the current trend in that DPR is the only thing that matters. That's my 2 cp on the matter anyways.


Agreed. I think they are pretty sweet to have. Besides, those raging 2-handers could also just wield a buckler, get that enhanced, for a -1 penalty to hit.

Alternatively, it isn't just great for Bards. It's great for a VAST majority of spellcasters, assuming you get Mythril on it (for 0% arcane failure)

My witch almost got hit by (I think) a barbarian. That +1 Shield AC made all the difference (I made sure to curse his miserable existance afterwards :P )


2-handed weapons deal more damage and attack bonuses outstrip AC bonuses at high levels.

That being said, in the lower levels, +2 AC is nothing to sneeze at. That's 10% less chance of being hit. Without a shield, getting that much of an AC boost costs you 8000 gp. Also, shields are cheaper to enchant than natural armour or deflection bonuses and don't take up a ring or amulet slot.

Also, the tower shield is not that great. The -2 to hit really hurts.


At low levels, hey're decent. At high levels, they're a speedbump. Because of how deadly high-level 3e/Pathfinder combat is, the goal is to explode your enemies as fast as possible before they explode you, the loss on damage rolls is not worth the AC bonus.


Foregoing most other concerns except for defense, I could reliably get my AC so high with a base fighter that in melee combat that any creature couldn't hit me unless they rolled a 20. To be fair, only 9 of that comes from a shield, but attack bonus doesn't have to outstrip AC bonus.


Unless you devote /everything/ to high Ac it basically will. But that isnt actually a problem. The thing is At low levels Ac is a 'i hope i dont get hit' but at high levels its 'i hope i dont get hit by one of the monsters 8 attacks' and alot of the second tertiary quadrary attacks are at a much lower AC.

So the two handed fighter will possibly get hit by /everything/ where as the guy with the shield will likely be hit by only the primary attacks.

And thats what its usefl for, if it cuts the oponents damage to you in half or by 2/3 its done its job.


Heck, even my druid uses a buckler....

Shields are standard equipment for my characters who can use them.


Plus the combat expertise defensive "turtle" fighter uses the hell out of them. Before anyone say it the enemies would just ignore them. unlike a paladin a fighter has the extra feats to quick draw a reach weapon. I'm actually a fan of defensive fighter Rod of lordly might. You don't know what way my characters gonna go and you ignore them at your peril.


My experience with 'turtle fighters' is that is what happens. Although this isnt an issue of the concept so much as players when they decide to go 'defensive' go all out to the point where they are 'over ac'd for the encounters at the loss of offense.

Given the game was to lvl 8 neither got past that stage earlly. So monsters would just go around them.


Bucklers are nice on archers...they can basically use them for a cheap +1 to +6 AC without hindering their offense in the slightest.

My upcoming alchemist will have a 3rd arm (or tentacle, still deciding) mostly for the purpose of using a heavy shield. For the price of a discovery, ie a feat, I'm getting +2 AC and eventually +7. Totally worth it. Same would go for an eidolon or synthesist, it's worth the use of one of many arms.

Arcanists can also grab a mithral buckler for a cheap and easy AC boost.

For a "normal" melee type, though? Pretty bad past level 1-ish, when stuff is no longer dying on a single hit no matter what weapon you use.


My current barbarian is using a shield as his primary, carries a few other weapons as well but i'm pretty sure the people that he killed in one hit (at level one with only 14 base strength) with two handed charging large shield attacks would say that its a valid choice. Using improved shield bash and a large shield as a two handed weapon was quite funny andnot something i would have done for a whole level unless the game forced me to, but after that first level its my go to tactic until i can get my cestus into play as well.

One thing to remember is you can use a shield and not harm your damage too much, most weapon damage is about the +damage not the die you roll anyway and a well built character will often have such a large + that whatever he rolls kill the target. D4+10 and 2D6+10 have a minimum damage of 11 or 12, that kills most first level mooks, once you get into +20 teritory your damage dice are just something its nice to see a high number on to giggle about.


Enchanter Tom wrote:
At low levels, hey're decent. At high levels, they're a speedbump. Because of how deadly high-level 3e/Pathfinder combat is, the goal is to explode your enemies as fast as possible before they explode you, the loss on damage rolls is not worth the AC bonus.

Actually I find the opposite is true. Shields pack the most benefit when you're rolling with enhancement bonuses on both your armor and your weapon. You'll start to feel it around 5th level, but it won't really come into its own until, say, 10th or 12th level.

The price of a +5 armor is exactly the same as the price of a +4 armor and a +3 shield (for an additional FOUR AC for the same price. That's the difference between leather armor and a breastplate, people. That's BIG!)

Furthermore, Pathfinder's version of power attack is a LOT more generous. A 1h-weapon user can use it far, far better than a 3.5 fighter of any sort would. Not all shield fighter's need to be two-weapon fighters with no feats to spare. Any fighter can don a shield when necessary. For this reason I tend to have even my two-handed fighters wield a one handed weapon such as a longsword or warhammer. They pack a punch without seeing weapon specialisation and other feats go to waste.

StreamOfTheSky wrote:
My upcoming alchemist will have a 3rd arm (or tentacle, still deciding) mostly for the purpose of using a heavy shield. For the price of a discovery, ie a feat, I'm getting +2 AC and eventually +7. Totally worth it. Same would go for an eidolon or synthesist, it's worth the use of one of many arms.

*barf*


Stream of the sky wrote:
Bucklers are nice on archers...they can basically use them for a cheap +1 to +6 AC without hindering their offense in the slightest.

I don't think this works. You can carry the buckler and still get the bonus, but not use it (i think. the wording is a little less than clear on some aspects)


Valantrix1 wrote:
There is nothing wrong with the shield, there is something wrong with the current trend in that DPR is the only thing that matters. That's my 2 cp on the matter anyways.

That's because this game revolves around targeting the bigger threat and eliminating your enemies. When you go two handed not only are you killing your enemies faster so they will effectively do less damage, you're aggroing them so they're less likely to target the squishies. So the person that goes two handed is actually better at defending than the person with the shield. Given this is only true for full bab classes for the most part. However it's nice to have a shield if you know that you might be pummeled from time to time.


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You know, it's not an all or nothing decision. Every fighter I've ever rolled had a heavy shield, a one-handed weapon, and a two handed weapon.

Situation and opponent matter, at least to me.


BigNorseWolf wrote:
Stream of the sky wrote:
Bucklers are nice on archers...they can basically use them for a cheap +1 to +6 AC without hindering their offense in the slightest.
I don't think this works. You can carry the buckler and still get the bonus, but not use it (i think. the wording is a little less than clear on some aspects)

Yeah, the wording needs cleaned up, but as far as I know it still works the same as it did in 3.5. If this is the case, then Stream of the sky is correct. Even if it was different, then the only drawback IMO based on the wording would be that you would lose a +1 on attack rolls.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

It's also worth bearing out that a shield can be something more than a piece of metal or wood that gives you another armor bonus type. It can be the foundation of it's own variation on two weapon fighting.


On the one hand of the extreme look at my player's dex barbarian in our last campaign; not a very high ac but well built to max out speed, initiative and dex; he was the "hit first, ask questions later" type. He got to the enemies so fast that he never got hit that much except the one time that our level 5 heroes decided to go toe-to-toe with a school-bus sized modified chimera. But then he had tons of HP so it worked out in the end.

On the other hand you've got Brinnix Belthane, my character for our 1-a-yr game w/other friends. He's a shielded fighter and because of his skills and powers held a choke point in a hallway for 6 rounds while the other characters buffed, moved and strategically routed a dozen goblins, despite the pyromaniac w/the alchemist fire.

Look, if you want more out of your shield go watch the avengers. Cap gets A LOT of mileage out of the thing! But that principle is sound in PF too.

My shielded fighter is built so that by 8th level he's 2wf w/sword and shield, the shield is a bashing shield and he's got the feats to pull it off. He'll be full attacking for avg dpr of 28 (respectable if not optimal) + 1 free bull rush. Also he'll be able to either take point or cover friends in melee with some decent bonuses.

I think people that don't like shields are the same ones that like zombie films (hear me out.) If you don't have a shield you focus on damage, causing enemies to EXPLODE in fountains of gore, a la X of the Living Dead flicks. Those that carry a sheild are more into erosion; slowly wearing down the enemy by nickel and diming them.


Mark Hoover wrote:
I think people that don't like shields are the same ones that like zombie films (hear me out.) If you don't have a shield you focus on damage, causing enemies to EXPLODE in fountains of gore, a la X of the Living Dead flicks. Those that carry a sheild are more into erosion; slowly wearing down the enemy by nickel and diming them.

I prefer to make enemies explode in fountains of gore with my shields.

Its quite doable with the Shield Master feat and a bit of planning.

prototype00


A shield is not useless. That AC boost can be the difference between forcing your enemy to use his full attack bonus to have a chance to hit you, and being Power Attacked. Is it the make or break of the game? No, but for certain character types, that small shield bonus can make a surprising difference.


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My Paladin LOVEs his shield (even took Shield Focus for it). It's a great place to have his God's symbol worked in as well.

Another benefit that hasn't been mentioned is that Shields can be equipped as a move action. When you get woken up at night and your normal AC is derived from armor that takes 4 MINUTES to put on. Picking up that enchanted shield reduces your feelings of nakedness. Going from an AC 10, my current character has Dex 10 :(, to an AC of 14 (heavy shield, shield focus, +1 enchantment)means I'm getting hit 20% less often. That seems a valid reason for it.
This goes for in towns and in polite company as well. My Paladin does not wear his Full Plate armor when not adventuring or on parade, and most characters shouldn't really, so knowing his shield is close is a quick way to improve AC.


Both 3E and PF have the same sentence regarding bows and bucklers: "You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it."

In 3E, this sentence meant buckler use + bow = a-ok, you get the AC bonus and fire unhindered. Someone show me a designer quote stating the sentence means differently in PF.

If you wanted to be pedantic, I suppose you could argue against it by strict RAW on 2 possible fronts:

1) "It says "carrying," not "wielding," so tough luck!"
This argument is patently absurd. Clearly the meaning of carrying the shield here is using it, not just having it in your backpack. No one n their right mind thinks carrying a shield on your person gives you its armor check penalties or any other effects (unless it puts you into a new weight category for carrying capacity, but that's quite independent of the buckler itself). So asserting this argument is to claim that the sentence says nothing at all and may as well have not been printed, as it's giving a benefit everyone had already.

2) "What is "penalty," really?"
This one is actually somewhat credible. The game frequently uses penalty in the sense of "you take a -X penalty to Y." So it can be difficult to tell when penalty means "a numerical reduction to some roll or statistic" or a more general "worsening." I think its pretty clear in this sense they meant the more general dictionary definition of penalty, rather than any specific game term, as "without penalty" is a very generic statement. If they meant otherwise, it probably would have said something like, "without a penalty on the attack roll" or "without the -1 penalty on attack rolls" or "without the penalty on attack rolls." This is the only "-X to Y" type "penalty" involved with buckler use. Since attacking with a buckler equipping has another "penalty" in the generic sense, losing its AC bonus, logically that they used a more general phrase implies it's removing both "penalties."

Twigs wrote:
StreamOfTheSky wrote:
My upcoming alchemist will have a 3rd arm (or tentacle, still deciding) mostly for the purpose of using a heavy shield. For the price of a discovery, ie a feat, I'm getting +2 AC and eventually +7. Totally worth it. Same would go for an eidolon or synthesist, it's worth the use of one of many arms.
*barf*

Umm...sorry you don't like hentai? Not trying to make a Kali build of death with extra limbs, just use a shield...


BltzKrg242 wrote:

Another benefit that hasn't been mentioned is that Shields can be equipped as a move action. When you get woken up at night and your normal AC is derived from armor that takes 4 MINUTES to put on. Picking up that enchanted shield reduces your feelings of nakedness.

My Paladin LOVEs his shield (even took Shield Focus for it). It's a great place to have his God's symbol worked in as well.

You can sleep in light armor, no problem. Every fighter or paladin (or cleric) by level 3 or so should have chain shirt "pajamas."


The utility of a shield depends a bit on the strategies that your character uses to stay alive and how the party conducts its offense.

In Pathfinder it's entirely possible to build a front line melee-type that does excellent damage as well. For a party that is otherwise lacking in capacity to do HP damage (usually a popular way of preventing an enemy from doing further harm to you) you do well to forego a shield in favor of better damage-per-round so that you can kill your opponents before they kill you. However, if your role is more to protect the other members of your party (say ranged damage types) then the trade-off might now favor low DPR but higher survivability.

In my experience it can go either way depending on the party, PC and situation in question.

Against opponents that are less likely to hit but hit hard when they do you'll want to carry a shield if you can do so without completely ham-stringing your ability to fight (I play a Samurai that wields a katana two-handed but can switch to shield+katana in a pinch). Since it only takes a move action to drop a shield you can enter combat with one (say to protect against arrows as you close) and ditch it at will later.


StreamOfTheSky wrote:
You can sleep in light armor, no problem. Every fighter or paladin (or cleric) by level 3 or so should have chain shirt "pajamas."

You CAN do this but I try and do what my character would do. After a day in armor he's pretty happy being out of it.

He also doesn't wear his plate in towns or in civilized areas (unless on Parade or on a mission) as a Role Playing nod to reality. He has a Tabard with his colors on it that he wears instead.

For the most part, characters SHOULD be getting penalties to interpersonal action rolls for walking around in bloody, mud, stink covered armor all the time. I know not many folks take that into account but this character in particular does.


We have always interpreted the buckler rules exactly as written. Meaning you can use a bow or crossbow without penalty, because that's exactly what the specific rule says you can do.

The more detailed text describes taking a -1 penalty to attack rolls with weapons if you use the hand with the buckler. From the context it is and always has been clear to everyone in our group that this is talking about using a melee weapon in your buckler hand. It even specifically says this penalty stacks with TWF penalties.

I think it's pretty clear.

And as usual, when I see people interpreting a basic rule differently than I interpret it, I will ask...

How does PFS rule on use of a buckler?


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Robespierre wrote:
When you go two handed not only are you killing your enemies faster so they will effectively do less damage, you're aggroing them so they're less likely to target the squishies. So the person that goes two handed is actually better at defending than the person with the shield.

That logic is... Incredibly flawed. How exactly have they been "aggroed"? Or at least any more than a shield fighter would? How do they know who's dealing the most damage, and why does it make them likely to ignore the guy waving a sword in their face?

Alright, I'm going to roll up my sleeves and lay down the law.

Let's start with the assumption that shield-users are somehow incapable of dealing damage in comparison to a two-handed fighter, which is blatantly wrong.

Spoiler:
I think this fallacy stems from the assumption that one-handed fighters can't use power attack well, and that anybody toting a shield is also hiding behind combat expertise and another stack of wasted feats.

Let's compare the two:

A 2H fighter get's to apply his str bonus 1.5x to his damage. At MOST levels (unless your're a barbarian) you probably won't be seeing 24str. This bonus damage, then, probably won't exceed one or two points.

A one-handed powerattacker is dealing one less damage per 4 points of BAB. However, he starts with a +2 bonus to AC. RUBBISH! You say. THAT WON'T SCALE AT ALL INTO THE HIGH LEVELS! BAD PAST LEVEL ONE-ISH! Patience, gentle reader. I beseech you! Let us consider that every four levels he's likely to have, or at least have the gold to, add an additional +1 bonus to his shield, that the 2H fighter can never take advantage of.

All up, I'd say it's a pretty even trade, and if you like staying alive at high levels, its one you want to consider making.

As for aggro, these kinds of threads have the danger of looking at the fight in a vacuum. If the fight is in a dungeon, monsters are going to have a much harder time getting past the fighter's frontline. If it is indeed a wide open space, enlarge and a readied move action to intercept them should more than suffice against a single opponent. Against multiple opponents a fighter should consider readying an attack and standing in front of the wizard instead of charging off blindly. It can make all the difference. Ideally, the shield user wants to be directly between the enemies and the back line, forcing them to provoke if they try to move around him. Combat Reflexes and/or stand still are a great boon in this, as is bullrushing (which thanks to the shield fighter's higher AC he can afford to soak up the attack of opportunity for).

Of course, all of this falls apart against flying foes, but if your wizard is out in the open instead of cover or otherwise only packed a fly spell for himself, he probably deserves his fate.

What I think you or the fighter player are missing, OP, is that the fighter needs to PRESENT himself as a target. If he lets the enemies walk by and eat the wizard he's probably not doing all he could in this combat.


Adamantine Dragon wrote:
We have always interpreted the buckler rules exactly as written.

Circular

Quote:
Meaning you can use a bow or crossbow without penalty, because that's exactly what the specific rule says you can do.

Possibly. Here's why its unclear.

1) It says CARRY. Not wield. It may be on your arm but not used.

2) There are three seperate possibilities in the same paragraph

You can use a bow or crossbow

You can also use your shield arm to wield an offhand weapon

You can use your shield arm to help wield a two handed weapon

Followed by

In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you lose the buckler's AC bonus until your next turn. This could be applied to the previous two clauses or to all three.


Stream of the Sky wrote:
In 3E, this sentence meant buckler use + bow = a-ok, you get the AC bonus and fire unhindered. Someone show me a designer quote stating the sentence means differently in PF.

Do you have a designer quote from 3e? I'd take it to be a legitimate clarification unless something specifies otherwise.


Enchantments that can be applied *ONLY* to shields, NOT armor, and this just from the core rulebook:
- Animated: Oh, so you CAN use a shield and a 2-handed weapon
- Arrow Catching
- Arrow Deflection: If your GM hasn't had a horde of low-level archers raining death from above on your uber-tank, he/she isn't doing his/her job. 40 1st-level archers can hit you for 2d8/round no matter what your armor class is, and confirmed crits are going to be fairly frequent. And that's assuming their boss didn't give them some really nasty arrows to throw in at random, or the GM doesn't give them 2 (or even 3) shots per round.
- Bashing
- Blinding
- Reflecting: My personal favorite: A Reflecting shield of Heavy Fortification. Protect your tank from spells, backstabs, and crits, even if he gets woken up buck nekkid in the middle of the night.

My $0.02 is that shields don't do a ton for AC, but help you offload some of your enchantments from your armor so you can add more to it. And I have to agree with some of the other posters -- if all you're fighting is single heavy-hitters who walk up and go toe-to-toe with your fighter, your GM isn't doing his or her job. My 14th-level party is about to fight a 15th-level fighter. Who also has a dozen 2nd-level thugs who are going to be hurling smokesticks and thunderstones at the spellcasters, and tanglefoot bags at the fighters. All cheap, off-the-shelf stuff any group of thugs can afford, but that will allow the BBEG to pick-and-choose his targets. And he's NOT going to aim at the fighters...

*EDIT* - I come across as a bit of a jerk/snob up there, don't I? Every GM has his or her own style. I personally don't like the style of throwing in bigger and bigger tanks for the party to fight; in my opinion, half a dozen 8th-level bad guys with good tactics make for a much more entertaining/fun fight for both sides than one CR 14 bad guy. PF just makes it way too easy to bring down one baddie, no matter how tough.


BigNorseWolf wrote:


1) It says CARRY. Not wield. It may be on your arm but not used.

So are you claiming just carrying a buckler (which could be on your arm, or strapped to your back, or in your backpack, all of those are examples of "carrying" it) imparts its armor check penalty? Because if not, you just claimed that the sentence quoted has no mechanical effect whatsoever. If so...it's not worth my time trying to argue with you....

These kinds of insanely nitpicky readings just drive me flipping crazy.


Twigs wrote:
Robespierre wrote:
When you go two handed not only are you killing your enemies faster so they will effectively do less damage, you're aggroing them so they're less likely to target the squishies. So the person that goes two handed is actually better at defending than the person with the shield.

That logic is... Incredibly flawed. How exactly have they been "aggroed"? Or at least any more than a shield fighter would? How do they know who's dealing the most damage, and why does it make them likely to ignore the guy waving a sword in their face?

Alright, I'm going to roll up my sleeves and lay down the law.

Let's start with the assumption that shield-users are somehow incapable of dealing damage in comparison to a two-handed fighter, which is blatantly wrong.** spoiler omitted **

As for aggro, these kinds of threads have the danger of looking at the fight in a vacuum. If the fight is in a dungeon, monsters are going to have a much harder time getting past the fighter's frontline. If it...

There is another reason why they would target the 2 hander over the sword and board as well. I'm not referring to a mechanical aggro in any way shape or form. However I'm under the assumption that others can see who is doing more damage then the others. They're things in this game that get around the pathetic excuse a fighter has for presence. I'm not saying that a sword and board can't do their job. I'm saying the two hander does it better. This is because of higher base damage on two handed weapons, 1.5 strength, power attack, and the fact that they benefit more from strength buffs then sword and board fighters do. Tell me that I'm, it won't change a damn thing about how the game is set up.


Stream of the sky wrote:

1) It says CARRY. Not wield. It may be on your arm but not used.

So are you claiming just carrying a buckler (which could be on your arm, or strapped to your back, or in your backpack, all of those are examples of "carrying" it) imparts its armor check penalty? Because if not, you just claimed that the sentence quoted has no mechanical effect whatsoever. If so...it's not worth my time trying to argue with you....

These kinds of insanely nitpicky readings just drive me flipping crazy.

And sometimes they're the right ones. Sometimes they're not.

Yes. Because if your arm is busy operating a bow its not busy blocking that incoming greataxe.

You can also carry a two handed weapon in one hand, or hold a magic staff in one hand to cast spells, but can't use it like a quarterstaff that way.


My understanding of the rule is that you can use a buckler with a bow at no penalty, but it does not impart any bonus to your AC in any round in which you shoot with the bow. Are some people trying to argue that you get to keep your AC bonus when you shoot? If not, why is this a contentious issue? Surely a difference of -1 on an attack roll isn't worth arguing over?


Quote:
Surely a difference of -1 on an attack roll isn't worth arguing over?

-6 when enchanted fully.

Liberty's Edge

Enchanter Tom wrote:
Quote:
Surely a difference of -1 on an attack roll isn't worth arguing over?
-6 when enchanted fully.

Where do you get the -6? Not trying to argue; I just don't see where the -6 comes from.


Enchanter Tom wrote:
Quote:
Surely a difference of -1 on an attack roll isn't worth arguing over?
-6 when enchanted fully.

Yeah, where do you get -6 from? It's a flat -1 to attack rolls, as far as I can tell. It seems clear to me that you can use a buckler, and not suffer the normal -1 penalty to attack rolls with a bow.

However, because of the following text you lose the AC bonus provided if you make any attacks with a weapon that uses your offhand:

"In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you lose the buckler's Armor Class bonus until your next turn."

NOTE: attacking with a bow uses both your hands, per the following text:

"You need two hands to use a bow, regardless of its size."

---

So, are people trying to argue that not only do you not suffer a penalty when using a bow, you ALSO get to keep your shield bonus to AC? If so, I don't see how one can reasonably come to that conclusion, unless one wants to also claim that you get to keep your AC bonus from a buckler when attacking with a Great Axe. That interpretation would render the thunderstriker archetype's level 19 ability redundant, however.


I thought people were arguing about getting the shield bonus to AC, as otherwise I can't see why anyone would argue about it.

Quote:
Where do you get the -6? Not trying to argue; I just don't see where the -6 comes from.

+5 buckler of awesome.


Enchanter Tom wrote:

I thought people were arguing about getting the shield bonus to AC, as otherwise I can't see why anyone would argue about it.

Quote:
Where do you get the -6? Not trying to argue; I just don't see where the -6 comes from.
+5 buckler of awesome.

I can't find any text to support the position that you don't lose your shield bonus from a buckler when attacking with a bow. Not taking a penalty to your attack rolls is not the same thing as keeping your AC bonus.

RAW, I suppose the fact that the buckler text explicitly refers to offhand attacks and nothing more means this is sort of a grey area. It all depends on how you want to interpret the term "offhand".

RAI, however, it would be ludicrous to argue that you can keep your buckler AC bonus and attack with a great sword at the same time. How is a bow attack, which is explicitly called out as requiring two hands, any different?


I think sometimes we all tend to over-think things. I've been guilty of it myself even when I try to combat it.

I note that nobody answered my question of what PFS does with bucklers used with bows or crossbows. I suspect they treat them as no penalty from the buckler, but you get the +1 AC bonus anyway.

In fact this has never even come up at our tables. Bucklers are just assumed to work that way. They are integral to many of our standard builds.


PFS follows the core rules. So PFS says exactly what the core rules say.

There's a hole in the bucket dear johnny....


BigNorseWolf wrote:

PFS follows the core rules. So PFS says exactly what the core rules say.

There's a hole in the bucket dear johnny....

And what exactly is that BNW, since there is debate on this thread about "what the core rules say"?

Does the buckler provide an AC bonus with no attack penalties for bows and crossbows?

I think that was a pretty obvious and straightforward question, and could have been answered something like "Why yes they do! PFS absolutely allows AC bonus and does not have attack penalties for bows and crossbows."

That's the sort of answer I was looking for. Since, you know, people on this thread say the "core rules say" completely different things on this subject.


Adamantine dragon wrote:

That's the sort of answer I was looking for. Since, you know, people on this thread say the "core rules say" completely different things on this subject.

Sorry, humor doesn't always come through on line.

"There's a hole in the bucket" is a song about proposed solutions going around in circles.

Basically, you want a pfs answer to get a core answer but the core answer is the PFS answer you need the core answer to get the....

I'm not going to pretend that I have an absolute core answer (and thus the pfs answer) when I'm not sure.

I THINK carry is a deliberate choice vs wield or use, rather than me being pedantic. I think that "in any case" carries back through the entire paragraph and not just through two clauses. I think it makes sense that an arm is usually busy doing only one thing in a round, and if that thing isn't blocking with a shield then you don't get the bonus.

But the game doesn't have a set level of nitpickiness: sometimes its very nitpicky, sometimes the rai is based on a very loose interpretation. Sometimes its stuck on absolute reality, sometimes it tells the laws of physics to sit down and shut up even on mundane matters.


My 2 cents.

I always thought you lost all buckler bonus if you were using the arm that it was attached to.

The benefits to it were that if you stopped using it you wouldn't take negatives to use that arm like you would if used a different shield

Quote:
You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it.

So basically it'll stay on your arm, but it won't have any effect on your arm. A regular shield strapped to your arms while you tried to fight with it would take negatives.

So your benefit is you don't have to unstrap it or restrap it on everytime you want to switch your weapon choice. At least that was always my conclusion

Shadow Lodge

Paizo Superscriber; Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

So what about Free Hand Fighters with bucklers?

Free Hand Fighter wrote:
His fighting school benefits only apply when he is using a one-handed weapon and carrying nothing in his other hand.

Does a Free Hand Fighter get to use their class powers with a buckler strapped to their off-hand forearm (but with the hand still empty), and still get the shield bonus? Cause that seems decidedly weird, but its parallel to what's being said about bow wielders.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

There was actually a feat in 3.5 that allowed you to get a buckler AC bonus while wielding a 2h sword, as long as you took the TH penalty from the buckler (generally -1).

To think you get a free shield to ac penalty when wielding any kind of 2h weapon without specific noted exceptions is a bit of a pipe dream.

==Aelryinth

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