Shield Champion and Shield Slam


Rules Questions


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On pg.24 of the ACG, under the flurry, it states "...a brawler has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat when attacking with any combination of unarmed strikes... etc"

The Shield Champion archetype on pg.87 states "a shield champion can throw her shield as part of a brawler's flurry."

Now, it says that the shield proficiency replaces the brawler's weapons proficiencies, which I assume means that the shield champion can flurry with the shield as though it were a monk weapon. (I could be wrong.)

My question is, for the purpose of qualifying for feats like "shield slam" does the "two weapon fighting" from the Brawlers flurry act as an equivalent for the two weapon fighting feat, or would I still have to take TWF?

Also, is there a ruling on how a Shield Champion's shield throwing interacts with equipment enhancements like "throwing shield," which makes throwing the shield a free action?

The Exchange

This is something thats gone both ways a bit and is actually a pretty big issue. It extends to a few other feats as well and goes to the main issue with the archtype, which is that many of your class feats require you to take other feats yourself. Most of them you'll take anyway but two weapon fighting isn't something you'd bother taking.

Basically, the way the shield champion makes use of feats needs to be FAQ'd, especially for PFS play. If you're talking about a home game just talk to the GM, most won't have issue. But I think most people asking about rules questions like this want a PFS answer.


The shield is part of the close weapon group. Which the brawler can flurry with.


Agreed, as I'm looking at it, you need to get Improved Shield Bash and Shield Slam and Shield Focus to qualify for the bonus feats (Greater Shield Focus at 9th, Shield Master at 11th).

Another thing of note are the problems of firing (throwing) a ranged weapon into melee (which the Shield Champion will probably need), so Point Blank Shot and Precise shot become necessary (we're at a 5 feat tax).

If we want to avoid AoO, we're going to need to do the Point Blank Mastery tree, or the Close-Quarters throwing tree (depending on rulings) to keep from being AoO'd when using the shield.

Yikes!

The Exchange

Eldon is correct about the flurry question so that's a non-issue. But the other parts are just odd.

A class with a high level feat that says you must take lower level feats before qualifying. Now the Brawler isn't exactly crying for more feats but it's still kind of strange. If this is as the developers intended it that's fine, they want to limit the feats available to the shield champion and they chose an odd way to do it but ok sure.

The Two-Weapon-Fighting requirement however is just odd since it's a feat we get no benefit from. There really is no point in taking it, no point in a brawler having it and unlike things like PBS and Precise Shot which show actual benefits this really is a feat tax.

So I guess what im saying is just that there needs to be clarification on how the shield champion bonus feats operate. Bash slam and focus Im ok with, i'll take those anyway. But two-weapon fighting is just weird.

The Exchange

Also another thing I just noticed.

The Brawlers AC dodge bonus doesn't apply when using a shield. So why was this ability not replaced or altered to work with shields?

The ACG is really just becoming more and more of a mess the more I look at it.


Swap out the AC bonus with Mutagenic Mauler. The two Archetypes should stack.

The Exchange

Yeah that's not going to work with my character concept and really doesn't go to addressing any of the issues at hand.


Just because there is an optimal way to get around an oversight it still doesn't excuse said oversight for existing.

And yeah, this new book is looking more and more like a playtest document, considering how many holes there are in the rules.

The Exchange

It's not even an oversight. It's got to be intentional.

The brawler isn't normally proficient with shields. So why are they listed at all if not to call out the shield champion?

I can't think of any other archtype that retains a class feature but losses access to it due simply to the way the archtype operates. It's absurd and just screams playtest. The cut and paste nature of this book is just atrocious.


I have question in regards to Half-Orc Brawlers (Favored Class = 1/4 to effective brawler level for unarmed strike dmg). I want to make sure my herolab is not bugged. With a monk's robe and at level 12, the brawler has unarmed dmg of 2d10. Now the shield champion ability, Returning Shield, states that at level 12, your shield bash dmg becomes your unarmed strike dmg. To test, i added shield spikes and bashing to my shield, which brought the dmg to a whopping 8d8. Is this accurate? cause i find it horrendously high for a melee character at lvl 12.

Thanks in advance!
Have a nice day!


Ninjaruski wrote:

Agreed, as I'm looking at it, you need to get Improved Shield Bash and Shield Slam and Shield Focus to qualify for the bonus feats (Greater Shield Focus at 9th, Shield Master at 11th).

Another thing of note are the problems of firing (throwing) a ranged weapon into melee (which the Shield Champion will probably need), so Point Blank Shot and Precise shot become necessary (we're at a 5 feat tax).

If we want to avoid AoO, we're going to need to do the Point Blank Mastery tree, or the Close-Quarters throwing tree (depending on rulings) to keep from being AoO'd when using the shield.

Yikes!

I think you're overstating the case of the feat tax on the ranged stuff. For one, picking up stuff like Point Blank Shot is a perfect example of something to do with Martial Flexibility-- you'll need it occasion but not every fight. Also, you probably already took Shield Slam because it's awesome, and you can throw your shield as part of the a flurry-- you just bash the enemy away from you to avoid an AoE and then throw the thing as part of the same attack action.

That said, there are definitely weird things about the class. Can you use Shield Slam to apply free bull rushes to shield throws? Can you use ricochets to basically omnidirectionly bull rush people? Lots of weird stuff like that.


Mitmout wrote:

I have question in regards to Half-Orc Brawlers (Favored Class = 1/4 to effective brawler level for unarmed strike dmg). I want to make sure my herolab is not bugged. With a monk's robe and at level 12, the brawler has unarmed dmg of 2d10. Now the shield champion ability, Returning Shield, states that at level 12, your shield bash dmg becomes your unarmed strike dmg. To test, i added shield spikes and bashing to my shield, which brought the dmg to a whopping 8d8. Is this accurate? cause i find it horrendously high for a melee character at lvl 12.

Thanks in advance!
Have a nice day!

Don't trust PC Gen for that stuff. I learned that hard way with the Brawler Fighter archetype.

Liberty's Edge

Mitmout wrote:

I have question in regards to Half-Orc Brawlers (Favored Class = 1/4 to effective brawler level for unarmed strike dmg). I want to make sure my herolab is not bugged. With a monk's robe and at level 12, the brawler has unarmed dmg of 2d10. Now the shield champion ability, Returning Shield, states that at level 12, your shield bash dmg becomes your unarmed strike dmg. To test, i added shield spikes and bashing to my shield, which brought the dmg to a whopping 8d8. Is this accurate? cause i find it horrendously high for a melee character at lvl 12.

Thanks in advance!
Have a nice day!

It would be your unarmed damage, increase by one step for spikes, increase by two steps for bashing. I dunno what that is, but I'm pretty sure it ain't 8d8.


That was was the next thing I was going to point out: the AC dodge bonus issue. If you take Shield Focus, you get +1 when using a shield, and if you take Improved Shield Bash, you keep your shield bonus when bashing. This, to me, seems like Paizo is relying on the shield feats to fill the gap.

The only reason I can see for not changing the AC thing is when the shield is thrown: it might not provide the AC bonus from shield focus if the shield is flying through the air. Even with this justification, I find it suspect.


I disagree on the shield damage assertion of 8d8.

The brawler close weapon quality states "The Brawler's damage..." "When wielding a close weapon, she uses the unarmed strike damage of a brawler 4 levels lower...." "If the weapon normally deals more damage than this, its damage is unchanged."

The bashing quality and spikes both increase the base damage of the shield. Medium heavy shield goes from 1d4 -> 1d6 -> 1d8 -> 2d6 going up 3 steps. This is the weapons 'normal damage' referenced above by my reading.

So long as your unarmed damage is less than 2d6... you use the shields damage. When it goes over you use the unarmed damage instead. That's how I read those abilities stacking up.

Tossed on top of something like the vital strike chain...4x(8d8+bonuses) is a bit ludicrous.

Grand Lodge

8d8 is about rite. Have a go at building this in herolab and see what happens.


Speaking of herolab can anybody explain to me how to get spikes on a shield in herolab? I have tried everything I can think of with no luck :/


Humphry B ManWitch wrote:
8d8 is about rite. Have a go at building this in herolab and see what happens.

That supposes herolab is correct, which it very frequently is not.

The Exchange

Spikes are treated as an enchantment in Herolab. So you create a magic or master work shield and add it that way.

Also Herolab works heavy shield damage to be 2d6. Not d8's. So that's enough of that particularly broken train of thought please.

Actually change that, I just did it for a level 12 brawler and oh my god. There is no way this is as intended and just one of the many things that need to be clarified about this archtype.


Rushley son of Halum wrote:

Spikes are treated as an enchantment in Herolab. So you create a magic or master work shield and add it that way.

Also Herolab works heavy shield damage to be 2d6. Not d8's. So that's enough of that particularly broken train of thought please.

Actually change that, I just did it for a level 12 brawler and oh my god. There is no way this is as intended and just one of the many things that need to be clarified about this archtype.

That was exactly my reaction lol. That can't be right

But thank you all for your replies!

We decided to go with the term "instead" so since at that point the unarmed dmg is now being used, it replaces the shield bash dmg, which that is boosted by spikes and bashing, not the unarmed strike!

Again thank you all and have a great day!


Rushley son of Halum wrote:

It's not even an oversight. It's got to be intentional.

The brawler isn't normally proficient with shields. So why are they listed at all if not to call out the shield champion?

I can't think of any other archtype that retains a class feature but losses access to it due simply to the way the archtype operates. It's absurd and just screams playtest. The cut and paste nature of this book is just atrocious.

Sohei gains access to light armor, but gains no ability to use it with his monk armor bonuses. The bonus armor is made up for by the armor you get from the shield itself. You don't get a replacement feature because it would be unbalancing. Removing the feature would be redundant.

They're listed in the class because picking up shield proficiency isn't hard. It's the same way in the monk class.

The Exchange

And how about requiring two-weapon fighting before you can qualify for bonus feats granted by new class features? That can't be working as intended.


Falkner wrote:

I disagree on the shield damage assertion of 8d8.

The brawler close weapon quality states "The Brawler's damage..." "When wielding a close weapon, she uses the unarmed strike damage of a brawler 4 levels lower...." "If the weapon normally deals more damage than this, its damage is unchanged."

The bashing quality and spikes both increase the base damage of the shield. Medium heavy shield goes from 1d4 -> 1d6 -> 1d8 -> 2d6 going up 3 steps. This is the weapons 'normal damage' referenced above by my reading.

So long as your unarmed damage is less than 2d6... you use the shields damage. When it goes over you use the unarmed damage instead. That's how I read those abilities stacking up.

Tossed on top of something like the vital strike chain...4x(8d8+bonuses) is a bit ludicrous.

That's how I see it. All those things are size changes to the shield for damage. None are size changes for unarmed damage. So they just raise your shield's base damage, making it take longer before your unarmed damage takes over for it.


I was under the impression that Brawler's Flurry gave Two-Weapon Fighting for it's purposes, which allows you to take Feats that require it, but that they only function whilst using Brawler's Flurry.


Evilgm wrote:

I was under the impression that Brawler's Flurry gave Two-Weapon Fighting for it's purposes, which allows you to take Feats that require it, but that they only function whilst using Brawler's Flurry.

It says "When doing so, a brawler has the Two-Weapon Fighting feat" "At 8th level, the brawler gains use of the Improved Two- Weapon Fighting feat when using brawler’s flurry. At 15th level, she gains use of the Greater Two-Weapon Fighting feat when using brawler’s flurry."

So to me, it looks like you have those feats but they only work while using flurry. You should be able to use them as prerequisites without issue.

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