I bet someone will say the mechanic already exists in the form of cover and soft cover rules. Improvised weapons impose a -4 to attack.
A table would give +4 to your AC. A bench maybe partial cover with a +2 to AC. But on the flip side, your opponents will get the same bonuses. So you do get negative effects of improvising a shield.
We have rules for improvised weapons but how about improvised shields? Say a character picks up a wooden table and employs it like a tower shield or a bench for a light/heavy shield? This is certainly a trope that exists in fiction
Yes! This is an AWESOME idea for a house rule. I love the thought!
can we pull it off in PFS?
Say a character picks up a 5' x 5' wooden table and holds it over his head. Total cover from above? What if he did it was a tower shield (not strapping it to his arm)?
As with anything this far outside the rules expect table variation on how effective the table is.
Total cover would be a little extreme: that prevents all attacks, spells, etc and its better than a purpose made tower shield. (The shield acts as a 5 foot wall, but because of the funky square rules its pretty unlikely to keep people from shooting at you around the sides)
+2 to +4 shield bonus to ac should probably work.
René P wrote:Say a character picks up a 5' x 5' wooden table and holds it over his head. Total cover from above? What if he did it was a tower shield (not strapping it to his arm)?As with anything this far outside the rules expect table variation on how effective the table is.
Love that humor.
It sounds like the cover rules actually cover the concept pretty well. If it isn't strapped on it will need a minimum of two hands, so not the sort of thing one wields when they plan to strike back. The improvised shield has its own hardness and hit points, after which the cover breaks.
If someone does find a way to wield an improvised shield one-handed (for example, hold a door by the handle or a table by a leg), then it's like any other similarly-sized shield, although probably with higher armor check skill penalty, lower max dexterity, and higher spell failure, due to how awkward it would be to carry. Not sure if there is any official standard for this adjustment.