Shields Up


Homebrew and House Rules

Grand Lodge

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Here's an idea we were kicking around in another thread. I'm open to suggestions on how to improve it, so comments are welcome.

Shields

Overview
Instead of providing flat armor class bonuses, a new combat action allows shields to be used reactively, blocking attacks to prevent damage.

System
New Combat Action: Block
While wielding a shield with which you are proficient and not flat-footed, you may use an immediate action to attempt to block an incoming melee or ranged attack. Make a roll using your Base Attack Bonus + Dex Modifier. If the result equals or exceeds the roll of the incoming attack, you block it and take no damage.

If you are not proficient with the shield, blocking requires a readied action instead of an immediate action. You may not use a shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shields
All rules specific to each shield type apply normally, except that none of them grant a shield bonus to armor class.

Buckler: May be used to block one melee attack per round. Cannot be used to block ranged attacks.

Small Shield: May be used to block one melee or ranged attack per round.

Large Shield: May be used to block two melee or ranged attacks per round.

Tower Shield: May be used to block three melee or ranged attacks per round.

Magical Shields
Enhancement bonuses on shields add to block rolls instead of increasing armor class.

Feat Changes
Improved Shield Bash: You may use your shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shield Focus: The number of block attempts you may make per round increases by 1.

Shield Specialization: You receive a +2 bonus on all block rolls with the chosen shield type.

Saving Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against an adjacent ally.

Ray Shield: You may attempt the block action against ranged touch attacks.

Mounted Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against your mount.

Missile Shield: You receive a +2 bonus on block rolls against ranged attacks.

Covering Shield: You receive a +2 bonus on reflex saves against area of effect attacks.


Why not just give shields the Blocking special weapon quality and say it stacks with the shield bonus?

Grand Lodge

Barathos wrote:
Why not just give shields the Blocking special weapon quality and say it stacks with the shield bonus?

Because the whole point of this is to make shields interesting and fun. Tacking another +1 on there just makes them a bit more powerful.

Liberty's Edge

It needs to be something other than an immediate action. You can only make one immediate action per round. Making it a free action you can perform out of turn seems more appropriate.


I say make it an attack of opportunity instead, so you are actually trading offensive and battlefield control capabilities for self-defense.

Also, when you successfuly block something, it needs to be a sunder attempt, in my opinion. Shields aren't indestructible.

Grand Lodge

Deighton Thrane wrote:
It needs to be something other than an immediate action. You can only make one immediate action per round. Making it a free action you can perform out of turn seems more appropriate.

Hmm, you're right. Maybe we just say it's a special "block" action that you can use out of turn.

Grand Lodge

Gulian wrote:
I say make it an attack of opportunity instead, so you are actually trading offensive and battlefield control capabilities for self-defense.

The problem there is that a lot of characters are going to be limited by the amount of AOOs they can make per turn. I don't want large/tower shields to require combat reflexes to use effectively.

Gulian wrote:
Also, when you successfuly block something, it needs to be a sunder attempt, in my opinion. Shields aren't indestructible.

So every attack that hits armor is a sunder attempt, too?


Perhaps enchantments also add to the damage done when the shield is used to bash?

Grand Lodge

Indagare wrote:
Perhaps enchantments also add to the damage done when the shield is used to bash?

The bashing ability already gives a +1 bonus and improved damage.

Grand Lodge

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I am going to use what you came up with with a change for my game. Shields will still give the normal bounes but there is a feat called Block (combat feat). This feat lets you block like you have above in addtion to to getting the ac bouns from this. Any attack you block does damge to your shield like it was sunndered.

Shield Hardness Hit Points
Buckler 10 5
Light wooden shield 5 7
Heavy wooden shield 5 15
Light steel shield 10 10
Heavy steel shield 10 20
Tower shield 5 20

Rember enchantment makes it harder and and if you make it with diffrent items the points also change

Wood 5 10/in. of thickness
Stone 8 15/in. of thickness
Iron or steel 10 30/in. of thickness
Mithral 15 30/in. of thickness
Adamantine 20 40/in. of thickness


DeathMvp,
How does one repair the HP damage a shield has sustained?

Grand Lodge

Just like a reguler broken items

If the item does not fit into any of these categories, the broken condition has no effect on its use. Items with the broken condition, regardless of type, are worth 75% of their normal value. If the item is magical, it can only be repaired with a mending or make whole spell cast by a character with a caster level equal to or higher than the item's. Items lose the broken condition if the spell restores the object to half its original hit points or higher. Non-magical items can be repaired in a similar fashion, or through the Craft skill used to create it. Generally speaking, this requires a DC 20 Craft check and 1 hour of work per point of damage to be repaired. Most craftsmen charge one-tenth the item's total cost to repair such damage (more if the item is badly damaged or ruined).

Grand Lodge

Expainding on the chart above alittle

Shield............Hardness.........Hit Points
Buckler.............10..................5
Light wooden shield..5..................7
Heavy wooden shield..5.................15
Light steel shield...10................10
Heavy steel shield...10................20
Light Adamantine shield.20.............15
Heavy Adamantine Shield.20.............26
Tower shield.............5.............20
Mithral..............15..........Same as Steal

1 Add +2 for each +1 enhancement bonus of magic items.
2 The hp value given is for Medium armor, weapons, and shields. Divide by 2 for each size category of the item smaller than Medium, or multiply it by 2 for each size category larger than Medium.
3 Add 10 hp for each +1 enhancement bonus of magic items.

This would make Adamantine Shield more valueble to have.


Lovely idea. I'd try it out like Deathmvp suggested (as a feat option). Most likely that will end up too powerful, but it will give you a good sense of how well it works (and how annoying it is) without completely changing the game.

Would probably increase the frequency of PCs and NPCs taking Greater Sunder, to deal damage after destroying a shield.

Important to remember that the attack roll may not have been high enough to beat the defender's CMD (so then no damage from a sunder). That would put a potentially very narrow range on damaging the shield (you have to be able to roll high enough on BAB+Dex to beat the roll, but that has to beat BAB+Dex+Str+Deflection+Insight+....

Grand Lodge

I think you guys might be over complicating the system by adding the sunder mechanic in, but definitely let me know how the playtesting works out!

Grand Lodge

No problem. The first sesion of my new game start tonight. Unfortaly the one one using a shield will be the cleric and he is not taking the feat. Maby one of the Npc will be lol.


considering this:

Block (new maneuver)

Spoiler:

Shields function as they normally do, but also have a last-ditch defensive function.

Block is a special combat maneuver which requires a shield to use, never provokes an attack of opportunity, uses an immediate action for a proficient user or a readied action for a non-proficient user, is triggered when a melee attack would otherwise drop the shield-user to 0 HP or less, and adds any shield bonus (including from feats) to the CMB roll.

If the block succeeds, your shield takes damage instead of you (to it's hardness and hit points as normal). Overflow damage automatically spills over to you however.

Repairing a broken shield requires 1 hour of work per hit point restored, and costs X.


...

what should X be?

Grand Lodge

rainzax wrote:
Block (new maneuver)

You could simplify this even more by just making it so that you can always sacrifice your shield to negate all damage from an attack that would reduce you to 0 or fewer HP. No sunder math, no additional rolls, etc.


That's boring though.

I say that as an attack of opportunity (Dexterity grants you reflexes, which are required to make timely defensive shield maneuvers in real life. Combat Reflexes is also a thematically appropriate feat for this.) you may CONVERT an attack in a subder combat maneuver ATTEMPT, with an opposed CMB roll vs your subder CMD.

This depicts how a shield user would use his shield in an attempt to deflect the incoming blow, thus avoiding damaging both the shield and himself as the enemy weapon harmlessly slides along your board.

No, in fact, Tower Shields aren't able to deflect things in this manner at all, which is why the larger the shield, the more of a CMD penalty it must give to the wielder against blocking sunder attempts. However, in that same manner, a larger and heavier shield has more toughness and HP, hence you won't really even need to deflect things much.

This "math" would be fun, interactive and fairly useful for melee types and especially fighters, who can get their Subder CMD quite high with favorite class bonuses.

Further feats could allow for counter-attacks after a succesful block for lighter shields and possibly something else for larger ones.

The AC should not be taken away from the shields as simply holding one in one hand, placing said hand somewhere around your hip, as is the classic at-ease battle stance, already gives you some protection and closes some angles of attacks, which is exactly what AC is.

P.S. Unless you're making a sunder attempt, hitting someone armored through AC is considered as you hitting them in places that could damage their body in some fashion.

If you miss a flatfooted opponent, then maybe you hit somewhere his armor is sturdy enough to take the blow or just weren't accurate enough and the blow slid off the metal cover (Which is the main reason for wearing armor. You'd be a fool to take on an enemy blow head-on even covered in steel.). Meanwhile, missing an armored non-flatfooted opponent is considered as him simply moving in such a way that you either got dodged entirely or your weapon slid off of his armor, deflected.

P.P.S. Typed on an iPhone, so apologies for any awkward typos.


Headfirst wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Block (new maneuver)
You could simplify this even more by just making it so that you can always sacrifice your shield to negate all damage from an attack that would reduce you to 0 or fewer HP. No sunder math, no additional rolls, etc.

ooh i like that. maybe if you do so upon a critical hit it reduces it to a normal hit though. to be fair. also i'm okay with this being a CMB check so that there is a chance for failure and so it takes BAB into account.


Headfirst wrote:

Here's an idea we were kicking around in another thread. I'm open to suggestions on how to improve it, so comments are welcome.

Shields

Overview
Instead of providing flat armor class bonuses, a new combat action allows shields to be used reactively, blocking attacks to prevent damage.

System
New Combat Action: Block
While wielding a shield with which you are proficient and not flat-footed, you may use an immediate action to attempt to block an incoming melee or ranged attack. Make a roll using your Base Attack Bonus + Dex Modifier. If the result equals or exceeds the roll of the incoming attack, you block it and take no damage.

If you are not proficient with the shield, blocking requires a readied action instead of an immediate action. You may not use a shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shields
All rules specific to each shield type apply normally, except that none of them grant a shield bonus to armor class.

Buckler: May be used to block one melee attack per round. Cannot be used to block ranged attacks.

Small Shield: May be used to block one melee or ranged attack per round.

Large Shield: May be used to block two melee or ranged attacks per round.

Tower Shield: May be used to block three melee or ranged attacks per round.

Magical Shields
Enhancement bonuses on shields add to block rolls instead of increasing armor class.

Feat Changes
Improved Shield Bash: You may use your shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shield Focus: The number of block attempts you may make per round increases by 1.

Shield Specialization: You receive a +2 bonus on all block rolls with the chosen shield type.

Saving Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against an adjacent ally.

Ray Shield: You may attempt the block action against ranged touch attacks.

Mounted Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against your mount.

Missile Shield: You receive...

That's pretty good. I may use this mostly intact. I'm also, considering/exploring more dangerous weapons and armor as DR. This would go very well with that. Thanks.

Grand Lodge

rainzax wrote:
Headfirst wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Block (new maneuver)
You could simplify this even more by just making it so that you can always sacrifice your shield to negate all damage from an attack that would reduce you to 0 or fewer HP. No sunder math, no additional rolls, etc.
ooh i like that. maybe if you do so upon a critical hit it reduces it to a normal hit though. to be fair. also i'm okay with this being a CMB check so that there is a chance for failure and so it takes BAB into account.

I don't think you need a chance for failure here, seeing as you can really only do this once. At low levels, losing your shield is a significant loss for a character. At high levels, it could be a huge expense to have a magical shield break!

Grand Lodge

Headfirst wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Block (new maneuver)
You could simplify this even more by just making it so that you can always sacrifice your shield to negate all damage from an attack that would reduce you to 0 or fewer HP. No sunder math, no additional rolls, etc.

Now that I think about it, I'll probably add this as a combat feat to supplement the system I proposed above.

Grand Lodge

Headfirst wrote:
Tower Shield: May be used to block three melee or ranged attacks per round.

What do you guys think about changing tower shields so that, instead of blocking attacks, they do more with partial and full cover?


Headfirst wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Headfirst wrote:
rainzax wrote:
Block (new maneuver)
You could simplify this even more by just making it so that you can always sacrifice your shield to negate all damage from an attack that would reduce you to 0 or fewer HP. No sunder math, no additional rolls, etc.
ooh i like that. maybe if you do so upon a critical hit it reduces it to a normal hit though. to be fair. also i'm okay with this being a CMB check so that there is a chance for failure and so it takes BAB into account.
I don't think you need a chance for failure here, seeing as you can really only do this once. At low levels, losing your shield is a significant loss for a character. At high levels, it could be a huge expense to have a magical shield break!

you can only do this once, true, but even still, it is a significant boon given out for free. what more, how fair is it that a Hill Giant or 5th level Fighter can strike a 1st level Expert and have their blow totally negated without rolling a single die?

to me rolling CMB against CMD to negate a felling hit is a significant way to simplify my over-complicated original proposition above and retain a modicum of verisimilitude with respects to combat skill, creature size, etc (all the components of CMB/D).


I agree with Rainzax.

Going back to D&D 3.5's system of opposed rolls is introducing a disruptive, unconvincing game mechanic back into the Pathfinder game.

CMB/CMD is a progressive and effective game mechanic. It's fast and martial characters specialized in specific maneuvers are effective at doing them and defending against them.

And the Saving Shield feat facilitates the idea of blocking attacks.

The problem is the Fighter class doesn't have enough feats. Consolidating feat trees gives the Fighter more options in combat making the class more fun to play.


Final decision. Modification from base rules as follows.

Shields:
Shields add to both Flat-footed and Touch AC, making them a more versatile form of protection. A proficient user may, as an immediate action, break their shield to attempt to negate the damage of an otherwise non-critical felling blow (reduction to negative HP), rolling their CMB against their foe’s CMD.

Grand Lodge

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Okay, here's the updated version I'll be using:

Shields

Overview
Instead of providing flat armor class bonuses, a new combat maneuver allows shields to be used reactively, blocking attacks to prevent damage.

System
New Combat Maneuver: Block
While wielding a shield with which you are proficient and not flat-footed, you may use an immediate action to attempt to block an incoming melee or ranged attack. Make a roll using your CMB against the attacker's CMD. If the result equals or exceeds the roll of the incoming attack, you block it and take no damage.

If you are not proficient with the shield, blocking requires a readied action instead of an immediate action. You may not use a shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shields
All rules specific to each shield type apply normally, except that none of them grant a shield bonus to armor class.

Buckler: Cannot be used to block ranged attacks. Grants a +1 shield bonus on block rolls.

Small Shield: Grants a +1 shield bonus on block rolls.

Large Shield: Grants a +2 shield bonus on block rolls.

Tower Shield: Grants a +4 shield bonus on block rolls.

Magical Shields
Enhancement bonuses on shields add to block rolls instead of increasing armor class.

Feat Changes
Improved Shield Bash: You may use your shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shield Focus: You receive a +1 bonus on all block rolls with the chosen shield type.

Shield Specialization: You receive a +2 bonus on all block rolls with the chosen shield type.

Saving Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against an adjacent ally.

Ray Shield: You may attempt the block action against ranged touch attacks.

Mounted Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against your mount.

Missile Shield: You receive a +2 bonus on block rolls against ranged attacks.

Covering Shield: You receive a +2 bonus on reflex saves against area of effect attacks.

New Feats
Improved Block: You receive a +1 bonus on block rolls and may use one attack of opportunity to make an additional block attempt per round.

Greater Block: You receive a +2 bonus on block rolls and may use all of your attacks of opportunity to make additional block attempts each round.


I really like this "Block instead of AC" idea, I think I will salvage it for my group. :)

Things I would change

Weapon block restriction:
Bucklers and small shields can only be used to block one-handed weapons, bucklers can't block ranged attacks
Large shields can block all weapon attacks

Crit & Block:
If you block a critical threat your shield will take damage as it were sundered

Block Bonus by type:
The old "Shield AC Bonus" will be added to the Block roll.
The Block roll is BAB+Dex+Shield Bonus

Tower Shields
Tower Shields can only block one attack per round.

Number of Blocks
You can Block a number of attacks per round equal to your number of iterative attacks.

I also thinking about a talent which allows the attacker to hinder further blocking (like "If your attack is blocked, the defender can't block any other attacks for this round") and some "Shield bull rush" (e.g. "If your attack is blocked you can perform a free bull rush maneuver")

Grand Lodge

Tryn wrote:
You can Block a number of attacks per round equal to your number of iterative attacks.

Wow, this is a much better idea than the limit to blocks per round I came up with. Totally stealing it. :)


There is already a feat to let you block ranged attacks with a shield I think.

I also think you may want to look over the Shield Champion archetype.


Headfirst wrote:
Wow, this is a much better idea than the limit to blocks per round I came up with. Totally stealing it. :)

Thanks I believe it's always better to work with already existing stats (like AC to Shield Block rolls) then adding new numbers to the game. :)


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Worked a little bit on this idea and will try my concept of it this thursday.
Unfurtuneatly no PC use a shield but I will simply put some shield-fighter on the other side. :)

Concept:

Shield Block
Shields no longer give a bonus to AC instead they allow a player to block an incoming attack.
If you block an attack you negate the complete damage of this attack.
A player can block a number of attacks per round equal his number of iterative attacks. If you roll a natural 1 with a block you lose all further block attempts during this round.
Block an attack is an immediate action, but you can’t block an attack if you are flat-footed or if you use your shield for a shield bash.

Block Check
To block an incoming attack you have to make a block roll (BAB + Dex + Shield Bonus) against your enemies attack roll.

Shield types sizes and restrictions
You can only block certain attacks based on your shield type.
Bucklers & small shields can only block attacks from one-handed weapons, while large shields and tower shields can block all weapon types.

Tower shields
Due to their immense size you can only block one attack per round with a tower shield.

Critical threats/hits and block
If you block a critical threat or hit with your shield your shield take damage as you enemy performed a successful sunder maneuver against your shield.

Attacks by larger creatures
If you block an attack from a creature which is larger then yourself, your shield take half the normal weapon damage (+STR) as damage.

Feat changes:
- Feats which give a flat AC Bonus to a shield will give this bonus now to the block roll
- Shield Slam allows you to swap one of your block attempts for an shield bash
- Two-Weapon Defense: Allows you to forgo one of your off hand attacks to be able to block one attack during this round.
- Saving Defense: You can block attacks against an adjacent ally
- Missile Shield: You can block range attacks
- Ray Shield: You can block ray attacks, but your shield take half the spell damage
- Mounted Shield: You can block attacks against your mount
- Covering Shield: You can provide your shield bonus as AC bonus to an adjacent ally if you use a total defense action, but you can’t block any attacks
- NEW Feat:
Binding Shield
You can use the momentum of your block to perform a shield attack against your enemy
Prequisite: Shield Master, BAB +6
Benefit: If you block an attack with a critical roll, you can perform an attack with your main hand weapon using your highest attack roll against this enemy as an immediate action.


Tryn, Headfirst,
consider making your block check a ST check, with the buckler as the 'finesse' option


Rather than having those who are not proficient with shields use a readied action, what if they simply used their attacks of opportunity?


What about introducing a "critical block" feature?

Not sure what this would look like, but perhaps you could counter attack for free if you critical on your block roll.

Grand Lodge

rainzax wrote:

Tryn, Headfirst,

consider making your block check a ST check, with the buckler as the 'finesse' option

Man, you guys are absolutely packed with great ideas! I'm totally stealing this one, too. :)


@rainzax: good idea :)

@Caryth: I already added a new feat for it "Binding Shield".

Binding Shield
You can use the momentum of your block to perform a shield attack against your enemy

Prequisite: Shield Master, BAB +6

Benefit: If you block an attack with a critical block roll, you can perform an attack against this enemey with your main hand weapon using your highest attack roll as an immediate action.

Grand Lodge

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Here's the updated version:

New Combat Maneuver: Block
While wielding a shield with which you are proficient and not flat-footed, you may attempt to block an incoming melee or ranged attack as an immediate action. If your CMB roll equals or exceeds the roll of the incoming attack, you block it and take no damage.

If you are not proficient with the shield, blocking requires a readied action instead of a block action. You may not use a shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shields
All rules specific to each shield type apply normally, except that none grant a shield bonus to armor class.

Buckler: May be used to block melee attacks. May substitute dexterity for strength on CMB rolls made to block. May not be used to bash.

Small Shield: May be used to block melee or ranged attacks. May be used to bash (1d3 damage, 1d4 for spiked small shields).

Large Shield: May be used to block melee or ranged attacks. May be used to bash (1d4 damage, 1d6 for spiked small shields).

Tower Shield: May be used to block melee or ranged attacks. May also be used as cover per the standard tower shield rules. May not be used to bash.

Magical Shields
Enhancement bonuses on shields add to the block roll instead of increasing armor class.

Feat Changes
Improved Shield Bash: You may use your shield to bash and block in the same round.

Shield Focus: You receive a +1 bonus on all block rolls.

Shield Specialization: You receive a +2 bonus on block rolls against melee attacks.

Saving Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack on an adjacent ally.

Ray Shield: You may attempt the block action against ranged touch attacks.

Mounted Shield: You may attempt the block action to prevent an attack against your mount.

Missile Shield: You receive a +2 bonus on block rolls against ranged attacks.

Covering Shield: You receive a +2 bonus on reflex saves against area of effect attacks.

New Feat
Improved Block
Prerequisites: Base Attack Bonus +1
Benefit: When you successfully block a melee attack with a shield, you may make use an attack of opportunity to make a melee attack against the enemy who attacked you.


As a "maneuver," what is the reasoning behind not using CMB vs CMD?

Grand Lodge

rainzax wrote:
As a "maneuver," what is the reasoning behind not using CMB vs CMD?

I wanted the chance to block to contest the incoming attack roll, not the attacker's CMD. Cuts down on the confusion and stat look-ups.


What about a dan bong? If I fight defensively with one, and am proficient with it, may I block as an immediate action?

Also, I think with the buckler, being able to use the DX option shouldn't be any more or less automatic than your finesse weapons in general. For example, I (effectively) grant "Weapon Finesse" for free to all characters (but not Agile Maneuvers), so, I'd be on the fence as to whether or not to allow buckler to DX-block without feat investment. If that makes sense.

Last questions: When does the blocker declare? What happens if I try to block a sunder?

Shadow Lodge

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Like the idea. Will get my group to try it out. It's good that it's a manoeuvre, fits in well with the idea of these. There is already a feat that lets you give a shield (or armour) the broken condition to negate a critical and turn it into a standard hit, can't recall its name at the moment though.

Immediate action use limits it a lot. Why not just use an attack of opportunity up? Make it strength based as well. Only issue then with be a mythic character with infinite AoO.

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