Can you two hand a heavy shield for 1.5 STR dmg?


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And what are the rules that specifically allow or disallow it?

Sovereign Court

Yes you can. There are no rules that disallow it - and it's a one-handed melee weapon. You can two-hand any one-handed weapon for 1.5x strength damage. It's not a bad choice for a defensive build when you don't want to worry about the whole TWF thing. The disadvantage is that it's piercing and it has a bad crit.


Absolutely you can. Unless you picked up the Shield-Trained (Gorum religion trait) which makes you treat a heavy shield as a light weapon.


You can. Why couldn't you? It's not a light weapon, so it can be two-handed for the extra str.


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The only rule that MIGHT have argued against two-handing a heavy shield would be REALLY early printings of the Core Rulebook stating that shield bashes are offhand attacks. But that wording has since been errata'ed out.


One might argue you can't two-handed a shield because a shield is not a real weapon:

Heavy Shield, Ultimate Equipment wrote:
Shield Bash Attacks: You can bash an opponent with a heavy shield. See "heavy shield" on the Martial Weapons table for the damage dealt by a shield bash with a heavy shield. Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon. For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon

The light shield has the same reference, but to be used as a light weapon.

You seems to treat only like that for the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, probably for TWF.

I didn't had any problem with TWFing a shield before, but I might be inclined to say it's a houserule now I checked.


HectorVivis wrote:
I didn't had any problem with TWFing a shield before, but I might be inclined to say it's a houserule now I checked.

Do you mean two hand or two weapon, because two weapon with a shield is definitely a thing. There's feats and a Ranger style for it.


A heavy shield is strapped to your arm, according to the definition... I would think that would interfere in how useful another hand would be in bashing with it. As HectorVis says, it really isn't a weapon (I wish it wasn't listed on a weapon table without some sort of qualifier, if that was the intent).


It doesn't matter whether or not it's on the weapon table.

Heavy Shield, Ultimate Equipment wrote:
Shield Bash Attacks: You can bash an opponent with a heavy shield. See "heavy shield" on the Martial Weapons table for the damage dealt by a shield bash with a heavy shield. Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon. For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon

(Emphasis mine.)

If you use your shield to bash an opponent it IS a martial bludgeoning weapon. And instead of just putting half your body behind the bash, you put your other arm against the shield and bash with your entire body. Probably not a particularly efficient or graceful tactic, but it's imaginable.


There are plenty of examples in fiction where a character holds a shield with both their hands and beats enemies with it. They aren't wielding the shield like an actual shield when they are - they're more holding onto the opposite edges of the shield and either bashing hard or stabbing with the bottom edge - but they can still block things, and seem to do more damage than a normal one-armed shield bash ... albeit with their fingers exposed, so there's that.

Either way, yes, mechanically you can totally do it.


I really dislike the argument that shields arnt weapons as the text constantly states they can be used as weapons thus should follow the rules for weapons.

one really needs to think of shields as double weapons that only take up one hand, one part is a defensive item and is treated as such with a plus to AC and an ACP and the other side bashes/pierces things (maybe both depending on how you interperet spikes on the shield) but they are weapons and follow all the same parts as one


NikolaiJuno wrote:
Do you mean two hand or two weapon, because two weapon with a shield is definitely a thing. There's feats and a Ranger style for it.

I was tired, wrote the wrong stuff. I meant using shields as a two-handed weapon.


HectorVivis wrote:
NikolaiJuno wrote:
Do you mean two hand or two weapon, because two weapon with a shield is definitely a thing. There's feats and a Ranger style for it.
I was tired, wrote the wrong stuff. I meant using shields as a two-handed weapon.

O.K. That makes a lot more sense then. :)


chbgraphicarts wrote:

There are plenty of examples in fiction where a character holds a shield with both their hands and beats enemies with it. They aren't wielding the shield like an actual shield when they are - they're more holding onto the opposite edges of the shield and either bashing hard or stabbing with the bottom edge - but they can still block things, and seem to do more damage than a normal one-armed shield bash ... albeit with their fingers exposed, so there's that.

Either way, yes, mechanically you can totally do it.

Could you give some examples of that happening? All I can think of is Tyrion in GoT. Also, I would call wielding it in that way an Improvised Weapon.


I agree with that idea, but I need to be able to "prove" that I can, not that there's no rule that says I can't.


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I don't think you'll find what you are looking for as there isn't a description that says a shield bash acts as a Light or One-Handed Weapon for anything other than attack roll penalties.

Improvised weapon is the only way I can see it working and if I was DMing I would probably count a shield as (at least) one size larger due to the size, shape and weight as per the Improvised weapon rules.

Improvised Weapons


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CountofUndolpho wrote:
I don't think you'll find what you are looking for as there isn't a description that says a shield bash acts as a Light or One-Handed Weapon for anything other than attack roll penalties.

"Shield, heavy" is listed in the weapons table as a martial one-handed melee weapon. The description quoted by Cuatroespada above says, "Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon."


slade867 wrote:
I agree with that idea, but I need to be able to "prove" that I can, not that there's no rule that says I can't.

The rule that proves you can is the rule stating you can do it with every one-handed weapon.

And what Matthew D. said.


Matthew Downie wrote:
CountofUndolpho wrote:
I don't think you'll find what you are looking for as there isn't a description that says a shield bash acts as a Light or One-Handed Weapon for anything other than attack roll penalties.
"Shield, heavy" is listed in the weapons table as a martial one-handed melee weapon. The description quoted by Cuatroespada above says, "Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon."

The description of how the weapon is used is under Armour; denoting the weapon as "martial bludgeoning weapon" describes the proficiency needed and the damage type only. Note it doesn't say "...is a Light martial bludgeoning weapon" (or Heavy)

The denotation of the weapon as Light or One-handed is specifically called out as just for attack roll penalties not "otherwise it acts as a...". It is my understanding that the specific outweighs the general in Pathfinder.

Added to the above Shield Bash is called as a specific sort of attack which follows specific rules.

This is just IMO of course and you can do what you like.


N.B. There is no need to mention Damage modifiers as only two-handed attacks effect weapon damage based on Light/One Handed.


CountofUndolpho wrote:
The denotation of the weapon as Light or One-handed is specifically called out as just for attack roll penalties not "otherwise it acts as a...". It is my understanding that the specific outweighs the general in Pathfinder.

While specific trumps general and text trumps table, "For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon" doesn't specifically define heavy shields as anything. Without a clear category, we should probably go by what's in the table.


Matthew Downie wrote:
While specific trumps general and text trumps table, "For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon" doesn't specifically define heavy shields as anything. Without a clear category, we should probably go by what's in the table.

They are defined under the entries in the Armour descriptions with specific details of the attack they can be used for and the rules for using them for such. Why is that specific description trumped by a table entry? Why would a shield need to be further defined as a light or One-Handed weapon?

Edited: as "Heavy Weapon" isn't a thing as pointed out by Matthew Downie


I can't shake an image of one gaul or other beating a fleeing roman over the head with a shield...


"Heavy weapon" isn't a thing.
Any item you attack with counts as light, one-handed, or two-handed.
You have to know which so you know how it interacts with feats.
If the specific description defined it as light or two-handed, that would override the table entry.


Which Feats?


Sissyl wrote:
I can't shake an image of one gaul or other beating a fleeing roman over the head with a shield...

Bob Blackman AKA The Tray - YouTube Is what comes to mind for me.


Improvised Weapon Mastery. Power Attack. Weapon Finesse. Furious Focus. Pushing Assault. Shield of Swings. Net and Trident. Raging Hurler. Two-Handed Thrower. Pinning Knockout. Pinning Rend...


Power Attack/Piranha Strike
Two-Weapon Fighting
Weapon Finesse


Also, Slashing Grace, which requires Weapon Finesse (which normally only works with light weapons) as a pre-requisite, yet can only be used with one-handed weapons.


Most of those, if not all are answered by the description given. A shield is only designated as Light or One-Handed when regarding attack penalties on a shield bash.


You seem to be conflating "Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon" with "a heavy shield is a heavy Martial Bludgeoning Weapon".

Liberty's Edge

CountofUndolpho wrote:

Most of those, if not all are answered by the description given. A shield is only designated as Light or One-Handed when regarding attack penalties on a shield bash.

I'm confused even by what you mean by this. A heavy shield is listed as a one-handed weapon on the weapons chart, and a light shield as a light weapon. Since nothing else contradicts this, that is what they are for all rules purposes.

Being one-handed for attack-roll penalties purposes does not mean they are not one-handed otherwise. Shields have always had a few rules written poorly because they are written from the assumption of using them as a secondary/off-hand weapon, not as a primary weapon. But using them as a primary/main-hand weapon is perfectly allowed.

ALL melee weapons are classified as light, one-handed, two-handed, or unwieldable. Even improvised weapons. It is not possible to have the shields be melee weapons and not be designated as one of those four categories, so your statement doesn't even make the beginnings of sense to me.


CountofUndolpho wrote:

You seem to be conflating "Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon" with "a heavy shield is a heavy Martial Bludgeoning Weapon".

No, people are thinking:

"Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon. For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon. If you use your shield as a weapon, you lose its AC bonus until your next turn. An enhancement bonus on a shield does not improve the effectiveness of a shield bash made with it, but the shield can be made into a magic weapon in its own right."

You can't enchant an improvised weapon, whereas the shield can be enchanted as a shield AND as a weapon, paying the costs seperately.

This FAQ specifically says attacking with the shield is a martial weapon and one needs martial weapon proficiency to attack with no non-proficiency penalties.

What penalties to attack rolls do you refer to when shield bashing? The next FAQ states that shield bashing doesn't have to be an offhand attack and can simply be a regular attack at the normal mainhand attack bonus.

The Shield-Trained trait was introduced specifically to make shield bashing simple weapons rather than martial weapons. The trait also specifically made heavy shields be treated as a light weapon for the character with the trait, rather than a one-handed weapon.


CountofUndolpho wrote:

You seem to be conflating "Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon" with "a heavy shield is a heavy Martial Bludgeoning Weapon".

There is no such category as a 'Heavy' Martial Bludgeoning Weapon. Martial melee weapons are Light, One-handed, or Two-handed. A Heavy Shield is unlikely to be a Light weapon or a Two-handed weapon. The only designation that makes sense is One-handed.

Scarab Sages

CountofUndolpho wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
I can't shake an image of one gaul or other beating a fleeing roman over the head with a shield...
Bob Blackman AKA The Tray - YouTube Is what comes to mind for me.

See, what happens at 24 seconds in this clip is what I imagine a two-handed shield bash to look like.

Sczarni

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Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Shield Champion Brawler wrote:

Durr... wait, people are saying my bashing disc isn't a weapon?

What else could it possibly be used as?

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

A Shield is a weapon.

It is not damn improvised weapon.

It is not a "off-hand only" weapon.

It can be enchanted as a weapon, because it is a weapon.

It can be wielded in two hands, like any other weapon, because it is a weapon.

It is a valid choice for the Weapon Focus feat, and similar, because it is a weapon.

It is in the Close Fighter Weapon Group, because it is a weapon.

When pricing the shield for special materials, and no specific cost is listed for shields, you use the price for weapons, because it is a weapon.

No one bats a dang eye at the realistically unwieldable Dire Flail, Orc Double Axe, Barbazu Beard, or the Halfling Doulble Sling.

No, we flip over a weapon that has seen centuries of real combat, and pretend it's a nerf covered anchor, hand-cuffed to the arm.

To those, I, and Captain F*cking America say:

Stuff it.


Imbicatus wrote:
CountofUndolpho wrote:
Sissyl wrote:
I can't shake an image of one gaul or other beating a fleeing roman over the head with a shield...
Bob Blackman AKA The Tray - YouTube Is what comes to mind for me.
See, what happens at 24 seconds in this clip is what I imagine a two-handed shield bash to look like.

Looks like he was just bracing the shield with his right arm, like how I expect a good shield bash to go even if you were wielding an arming sword. Can I get the two-hand str bonus if I just brace the back of my sword while I swing?

I'm perfectly fine with two-handing a shield in game, it doesn't seem game breaking, but it should be a shield with a strap or hand-hold for each hand (whether that's entirely flavour or an extra thing you need to buy would vary between GMs).


A shield can be used as a weapon rather than it is a weapon, it's primary use is defence, the clue is in the name. The only attack it is allowed is shield bash. The rules are in the Armour definitions as is pointed out in the weapon definitions.


It can be used as a weapon. Because of this, it gets to use all the rules for weapons, such as those listed by BBT above.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

No.

A Shield can be used as a weapon, because it is a weapon.

A Longsword can be used as a weapon, because it is a weapon.

A Klar can be used as a weapon, because it is a weapon.

Scarab Sages

CountofUndolpho wrote:

A shield can be used as a weapon rather than it is a weapon, it's primary use is defence, the clue is in the name. The only attack it is allowed is shield bash. The rules are in the Armour definitions as is pointed out in the weapon definitions.

As someone who owns three shields IRL, and fought with them extensively in SCA and martial arts, let me tell you, a shield is a weapon. It's better at blocking attacks than most weapons, granted.

The game also treats it as a weapon, as it is listed on the weapon tables. Really, shields shouldn't give an AC bonus at all, they should give either partial cover for "passive" use, or give a parry option for active blocking, but I'll leave that argument and play GURPs if I want more realistic weapon treatments.


Imbicatus wrote:
CountofUndolpho wrote:

A shield can be used as a weapon rather than it is a weapon, it's primary use is defence, the clue is in the name. The only attack it is allowed is shield bash. The rules are in the Armour definitions as is pointed out in the weapon definitions.

As someone who owns three shields IRL, and fought with them extensively in SCA and martial arts, let me tell you, a shield is a weapon. It's better at blocking attacks than most weapons, granted.

The game also treats it as a weapon, as it is listed on the weapon tables. Really, shields shouldn't give an AC bonus at all, they should give either partial cover for "passive" use, or give a parry option for active blocking, but I'll leave that argument and play GURPs if I want more realistic weapon treatments.

I like the idea of shields providing partial cover, but you'd have to specifically exclude it from allowing stealth checks. In such a houserule, how would be differentiate light from heavy shields? I assume bucklers wouldn't grant cover, so how would the defletion/parry ability work?


Oh look, It's this thread again.

The search tool is your friend, OP.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber

Exactly.

Some one forgets that shields are weapons, and this happens again.

You know what weapon I find ridiculous? The Rapier.

Hit a guy in Full Plate with a Rapier. See what happens.

Scarab Sages

blackbloodtroll wrote:

Exactly.

Some one forgets that shields are weapons, and this happens again.

You know what weapon I find ridiculous? The Rapier.

Hit a guy in Full Plate with a Rapier. See what happens.

If you mean a modern fencing rapier, you have a point. If you mean a cut and thrust backsword, it would be capable of going through the cracks in armor joints. Although a dagger would be more suited, or better yet a warhammer/pick/mace.


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blackbloodtroll wrote:
Hit a guy in Full Plate with a Rapier. See what happens.

1d6 + appropriate modifiers?

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber
chaoseffect wrote:
blackbloodtroll wrote:
Hit a guy in Full Plate with a Rapier. See what happens.
1d6 + appropriate modifiers?

Exactly.


Imbicatus wrote:
Really, shields shouldn't give an AC bonus at all, they should give either partial cover for "passive" use, or give a parry option for active blocking, but I'll leave that argument and play GURPs if I want more realistic weapon treatments.

Armor Class

Your Armor Class (AC) represents how hard it is for
opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on you.

I don't see how AC is an unrealistic representation of what a shield does for you. Yes it's abstract, but that's the point of AC.
A shield does make it harder for opponents to land a solid, damaging blow on you in real life and in Pathfinder.


Much as I appreciate the semantic strawman being put forward; whether or not it's a weapon, a shield or an allegory for the futility of life it still has rules for it's use in it's description (in the Armour section for some strange unknown reason). Usually rules in the description should take precedence over it's appearance in the weapons table and the general weapon and armour rules. Unless...?

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