When do you apply a shield's armor check penalty?


Rules Questions


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

When you have it on your arm/in your hand, or simply when carrying it on your person at all (such as on your back)?

Dark Archive

I believe only when you're using it.

At the very least, none of my DMs have claimed I've taken the ACP when not wearing it, even though they are aware that I have it on my character's back.


Only "using" a shield applies its respective ACP.

RAW:
Shields: If a character is wearing armor and using a shield, both armor check penalties apply.

Not quite talking about a shield by itself, but I think it implies what you need.


Because putting the tower shield on your back totally makes it easier to jump and ride horses!


Doomed Hero wrote:
Because putting the tower shield on your back totally makes it easier to jump and ride horses!

compared to wielding it on your arm, yes.


I apply the ACP from shields at all times. Carried, slung, in use...it doesnt matter.


handy haversacks fix that issue :)


If you're going for realism you should always apply double ACP for armor that is just carried not worn because almost every armor is much less cumbersom when worn than when carried.


asthyril wrote:
handy haversacks fix that issue :)

Actually, a haversack is too small to accomodate either a heavy or tower shield.

A haversack is essentially a backpack. Backpacks have 12"-18" apertures.
Heavy and tower shields are quite simply larger than this.

IMHO.


Umbranus wrote:
If you're going for realism you should always apply double ACP for armor that is just carried not worn because almost every armor is much less cumbersom when worn than when carried.

I actually do use a similar mechanic. I double the weight of high-bulk items.

My players have learned from experience that their mounts and saddlebags are indispensible. Of course, they dont take their mounts into dungeons, but they will most definitely take time to go back and get the equipment they need from their camp.

Encumberance is a pet peeve of mine. I track it by both weight and volume. For example, the beltpouch is described as having about enough room in it for two apples, so a drinking flask and one days rations would fill one up.

Again, IMHO.


Weslocke wrote:
asthyril wrote:
handy haversacks fix that issue :)

Actually, a haversack is too small to accomodate either a heavy or tower shield.

A haversack is essentially a backpack. Backpacks have 12"-18" apertures.
Heavy and tower shields are quite simply larger than this.

IMHO.

well i have always been of the opinion that if an item is magical in that it can hold much more than it appears, the magic also allows you to put larger things inside it. a bag of holding 4 isn't nearly as useful with its ridiculous amount of weight it can hold if you can't put larger things inside it. magic makes it bigger on the inside should also include magic for making the opening bigger to fit stuff.

IMHO.


asthyril wrote:
Weslocke wrote:
asthyril wrote:
handy haversacks fix that issue :)

Actually, a haversack is too small to accomodate either a heavy or tower shield.

A haversack is essentially a backpack. Backpacks have 12"-18" apertures.
Heavy and tower shields are quite simply larger than this.

IMHO.

well i have always been of the opinion that if an item is magical in that it can hold much more than it appears, the magic also allows you to put larger things inside it. a bag of holding 4 isn't nearly as useful with its ridiculous amount of weight it can hold if you can't put larger things inside it. magic makes it bigger on the inside should also include magic for making the opening bigger to fit stuff.

IMHO.

Interesting. In my opinion, a bag that could do that would be worth much more than a haversack.

Additionally, if that was the thinking, then why did they even bother to give the interior dimensions of the haversack?


Weslocke wrote:
asthyril wrote:
Weslocke wrote:
asthyril wrote:
handy haversacks fix that issue :)

Actually, a haversack is too small to accomodate either a heavy or tower shield.

A haversack is essentially a backpack. Backpacks have 12"-18" apertures.
Heavy and tower shields are quite simply larger than this.

IMHO.

well i have always been of the opinion that if an item is magical in that it can hold much more than it appears, the magic also allows you to put larger things inside it. a bag of holding 4 isn't nearly as useful with its ridiculous amount of weight it can hold if you can't put larger things inside it. magic makes it bigger on the inside should also include magic for making the opening bigger to fit stuff.

IMHO.

Interesting. In my opinion, a bag that could do that would be worth much more than a haversack.

Additionally, if that was the thinking, then why did they even bother to give the interior dimensions of the haversack?

a bag of holding 4 costs 5 times as much as a haversack. (and incidentally, all a haversack really does is stop the action of getting something from it from provoking, getting a stored item from a normal backpack is also only a move action)

why would giving weight and volume (which is what is given) have anything to do with the maximum size of anything that could be put inside it?

what the bag descriptions DO give are total weight and volume of what it can contain.

what the bag descriptions DO NOT give is any other restrictions on what can be placed inside, such as the orifice limitation of the bag.

it is a magic bag, i don't see why it shouldn't be able to fit anything that would take up the volume. a bag of holding 4 holds 1,500 lbs of 250 cubic feet worth of stuff. i don't see how a large shield, or even a tower shield, shouldn't be able to fit inside that.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Weslocke wrote:
I apply the ACP from shields at all times. Carried, slung, in use...it doesnt matter.

Why would you do that? There is no RAW, or logical evidence to support that.

If you are meaning carrying capacity, that is a different thing.

Weapons don't do that, and some are pretty big.

Heck, Amiri, the Iconic Barbarian, carries a Large Bastard Sword around without some sort of penalty for just carrying it.

If you go with this, then you suddenly have to examine the size of every object carried, and decide if some sort of arbitrary penalty applies.

Talk about a ton of work, for no reason.


asthyril wrote:
Weslocke wrote:
asthyril wrote:
Weslocke wrote:
asthyril wrote:
handy haversacks fix that issue :)

Actually, a haversack is too small to accomodate either a heavy or tower shield.

A haversack is essentially a backpack. Backpacks have 12"-18" apertures.
Heavy and tower shields are quite simply larger than this.

IMHO.

well i have always been of the opinion that if an item is magical in that it can hold much more than it appears, the magic also allows you to put larger things inside it. a bag of holding 4 isn't nearly as useful with its ridiculous amount of weight it can hold if you can't put larger things inside it. magic makes it bigger on the inside should also include magic for making the opening bigger to fit stuff.

IMHO.

Interesting. In my opinion, a bag that could do that would be worth much more than a haversack.

HAVERSACK. You said haversack.

Sorry, but they just will not fit in a haversack. Not in the mouth of the bag. Not in the middle of the bag. Not in the bottom of the bag. Not even in the side-pouches.

Switching your argument over to Type 4 bag of holding is just misdirection and a blatant attempt to obsfuscate the fact that you said a tower shield would fit in a haversack.

WHICH IT SIMPLY WILL NOT DO.

IMHO

Additionally, if that was the thinking, then why did they even bother to give the interior dimensions of the haversack?

a bag of holding 4 costs 5 times as much as a haversack. (and incidentally, all a haversack really does is stop the action of getting something from it from provoking, getting a stored item from a normal backpack is also only a move action)

why would giving weight and volume (which is what is given) have anything to do with the maximum size of anything that could be put inside it?

what the bag descriptions DO give are total weight and volume of what it can contain.

what the bag descriptions DO NOT give is any other restrictions on what can be placed inside, such as the orifice limitation of the bag.

it is a magic bag, i don't see why it shouldn't be able to fit anything that would take up the volume. a bag of holding 4 holds 1,500 lbs of 250 cubic feet worth of stuff. i don't see how a large shield, or even a tower shield, shouldn't be able to fit inside that.


Sorry, RD. Asthyril and I have gotten way off topic. I will cease and desist and return you now to your previously shceduled forum topic.


Weslocke wrote:
Sorry, RD. Asthyril and I have gotten way off topic. I will cease and desist and return you now to your previously shceduled forum topic.

yes, i concur. apologies for hijacking.

as to the original question, i think ACP should only apply when youre wielding (ie getting an AC bonus) a shield, and all other situations it should just apply the penalty for weight vs encumbrance like all other carried items.

Sczarni

Weslocke wrote:
I apply the ACP from shields at all times. Carried, slung, in use...it doesnt matter.

This is, plain and simply, wrong. Of course swimming, jumping, or getting onto a mount is going to be easier when the shield is slung on your back than if it were in your hand. Your hands are free. If the weight of the shield on your back is not enough to encumber you then there is no penalty.

If you're going to impose a penalty then you also have to allow the bonuses, otherwise you're purposefully going out of your way to screw your players over.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

My answer to the original question is "when worn and usable", covering both using it to gain the AC bonus and when using it to shield bash.

The rest of the time, it just adds to encumbrance.


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Corren28 wrote:
Weslocke wrote:
I apply the ACP from shields at all times. Carried, slung, in use...it doesn't matter.
This is, plain and simply, wrong.

How can Welocke be "wrong." He's simply stating the way he does things, not the way they are meant to be. Therefore, unless he's lying to us about how he runs his games for some reason, he is not "wrong."

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
Ravingdork wrote:
Corren28 wrote:
Weslocke wrote:
I apply the ACP from shields at all times. Carried, slung, in use...it doesn't matter.
This is, plain and simply, wrong.
How can Welocke be "wrong." He's simply stating the way he does things, not the way they are meant to be. Therefore, unless he's lying to us about how he runs his games for some reason, he is not "wrong."

He would only be wrong in claiming it was RAW.


I like the simple rule, "If it adds to your AC, then the AC penalty applies."

As other people have posted, climbing with a shield in your hand is WAAAY harder than climbing with a shield on your back. Ditto swimming, etc. If the weight of the shield isn't enough to encumber you, then it's just another piece of gear when it's strapped on your back.

(And I personally have both climbed and swum with a backpack on, and weight on your back is much easier to deal with than weight in your hands...)


Thanks, RD.

I always looked at it like this. The penalty is just as much about bulk as it is about not having that second hand.

My own experience with shields (from SCA) is that even slung they make movement considerably more difficult and when slung over armor they compound the armors bulk considerably. While their own bulk is somewhat mitigated when they are slung they are still bulky enough to effect a person. Especially one in armor.

I did make exception for the Tower shield, and set the penalty at half when stowed. But what about the tower shield isnt an exception, really? That seemed fair to me.

If I am not mistaken the R.A.W. hinges upon the definition of the word "using". I submit that a person carrying a shield and wearing armor is "using" a shield with armor, whether that shield has been readied or not.

I can see your points. I just have some real-world experience that has taught me better. Kind of like how the penalties for becoming middle aged used to be set at 40 years for humans, but got dropped to 35 when most of the authors actually reached that age. Real world experience taught them better.

I am not saying you guys are "wrong" or that I am "right".
I am just saying that this is how I do it.
And why I do it that way.

By all means play the way you like best.

Also, it might be worth mentioning that this particular ruling comprises precisely 50% of all the changes that I have made for my home game.

The only other change away from R.A.W. that I have made was to raise Magic Item crafting DC's by 5.

My home campaign is just about as close to R.A.W. as one can stay. I mean, seriously, we are talking about a 2 point check penalty (in most cases) that doesnt even apply to many skill rolls. In addition this is a Skill penalty, meaning it can be easily mitigated by advancing levels and spending skill points to do so.

To date I do not believe even a single casualty has resulted from this change in more than 100 gaming sessions. Not one drowning or real splat-worthy fall.

Dark Archive

I think what people are trying to say, Weslocke, is that that's not how it works in the rules, and as this is the rules forum, they are really only interested in the RAW/RAI factors.

Not that you're not free to state the houserule your table uses. Just that's it's not terribly relevant to the topic at hand.

Sczarni

Well, considering this is a rules forum and this was a rules question...yes, he's wrong. I've been corrected several times for throwing my own perspective in on a RAW discussion. This is no different.

Wes, I think your definition of the word "using" could use a bit of revision.
Using(v):To put into service or apply for a purpose.

If your shield is stowed on your back it isn't put into service. You can't block with a shield that is on your back and you aren't applying it to any kind of purpose, just toting it around. A player MAY end up with an ACP because of encumbrance when his shield is on his back, but that's a different beast. The penalty will still change depending on if the shield is stowed or in your hand.

I agree in that you should play the way you like best. By all means! Fun is the name of the game. It just isn't RAW is all.

Edit: Ninja'd by Seranov. :P


While logically carrying 200 pounds of stuff should make it hard-to-impossible to climb a cliff or swim, the game does not prescribe penalties to skills like that based on weight; just specific things that are equipped.

It makes no sense that a shield carried on the back would give ACP while an alchemist's lab or water clock would not, so don't do it.


if a wooden shield is carried, why couldn't you use it as a flotation device while swimming? in that case shouldn't it give a bonus to swim, not a penalty? point is there are a lot of ways RAW differs from reality, for game balance or whatever.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Joesi wrote:
While logically carrying 200 pounds of stuff should make it hard-to-impossible to climb a cliff or swim, the game does not prescribe penalties to skills like that based on weight; just specific things that are equipped.

I take it you've never read the encumbrance rules?

Core Rulebook wrote:
Like armor, a character's load affects his maximum Dexterity bonus to AC, carries a check penalty (which works like an armor check penalty), reduces the character's speed, and affects how fast the character can run, as shown on Table: Encumbrance Effects.


asthyril wrote:
if a wooden shield is carried, why couldn't you use it as a flotation device while swimming? in that case shouldn't it give a bonus to swim, not a penalty? point is there are a lot of ways RAW differs from reality, for game balance or whatever.

Right. RAW is to make gaming easier.

I'd see a flowing robe or dress as much worse for swimming than a simple leather armor. And I guess a greatsword would be even worse than the robe. But it would be rather complex to add rules for every kind of clothing, weapon and gear.

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