Fighting 2 Shields without penalty


Rules Questions

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So why doesn't masterwork give a shield +1 to attack if it's a weapon?
How do you arm yourself with two shields with the restrictions they place on use of hands?
How do you remove them?
If there is only one magic shield slot how then can you use two magic shields? (and so logically two ordinary ones)
Magic weapon slots varies on limbs and abilities so is not specified.

I didn't understand your post about the Klar Darksol.

Scarab Sages

CountofUndolpho wrote:
So why doesn't masterwork give a shield +1 to attack if it's a weapon?

Because it's a defensive item that can also be used as a weapon. It receives the bonuses armor/shields receive, but also acts as a weapon.

CountofUndolpho wrote:


How do you arm yourself with two shields with the restrictions they place on use of hands?
How do you remove them?

Technically, the game doesn't tell you that you need to have hands available to equip a shield: only that you need to use a move action. As far as I can tell, you can use your teeth to pull the straps if you really need to. Getting it off, however... that would be a different matter.

CountofUndolpho wrote:


If there is only one magic shield slot how then can you use two magic shields? (and so logically two ordinary ones)
Magic weapon slots varies on limbs and abilities so is not specified.

I didn't understand your post about the Klar Darksol.

No. If you're going to sit there and argue about magic shield slots, then you have to explain magic weapon slots, too. If your rationale for not allowing dual shields is "There's only one shield slot!", then you have to defend wielding a weapon without a weapon slot. Now, what those slots DO mean is that you can only benefit from a single magic item that fits into those slots. A shield is both a magic shield and a weapon simultaneously, and so while you could only receive the benefits of a single magical shield, you are free to wield another as a weapon as normal, since you can wield weapons regardless of slots.

As to the question of defensive enchantments on a shield you're wielding as a weapon, that's debatable, but not overly.


Why can you fight with two weapons without using two weapon fighting?

Why can't you use two weapon fighting when you're fighting with a two-handed weapon and armor spikes?

The answer to both the rules above is because they are the rules. They were meant for balance, not just to follow a theme.

Masterwork on armor (and shields) costs 150gp. Masterwork on weapons costs 300gp. Therefore, the rule was made that normally, you cannot gain the +1 enhancement bonus to attack with a shield that masterwork applies to "normal" weapons. However, you can make the shield spikes masterwork and attack with them in their own right.

The difference in cost is the reason why masterwork shields do not gain +1 to attack.


CountofUndolpho wrote:
So why doesn't masterwork give a shield +1 to attack if it's a weapon?

Because the rules says you can't, this has no bearing on weapon status.

CountofUndolpho wrote:


How do you arm yourself with two shields with the restrictions they place on use of hands?

There is no restriction placed on hands by shields, the only restrictions are the penalties for TWF

CountofUndolpho wrote:


How do you remove them?

TWF, improved shield bash, and many other feats.

CountofUndolpho wrote:


If there is only one magic shield slot how then can you use two magic shields? (and so logically two ordinary ones)
Magic weapon slots varies on limbs and abilities so is not specified.

I didn't understand your post about the Klar Darksol.

If you have a +2 shield of arrow catching and a +1 bashing shield of blinding you are correct only one shield would work as a shield.

So with shield master you have 2 possibilities:
(1) +2 shield of arrow catching, with a +1 bludgeoning weapon (no bashing).
(2) +1 bashing shield of blinding, with a +2 bludgeoning weapon.
Now the down side is you can't have 2 active shields with bashing


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Hey, Read through the argument and thought I would throw my 2 copper in, hope that's alright. While I am wording this in the affirmative, I'm not denying I could be wrong. This is just the way it works in my mind and you are free to agree/disagree and tell me so of course!

First speaking to the argument from realism:
I have a little experience using actual shields, it's totally doable to wear two shields, even putting them on and take them off. I've done it before, and it's not a big deal, would probably take maybe 3 tries to get practiced with the motion. For the record strapping your shield on tight is a good way to hurt or lose an arm or die when adventuring or fighting. Any situation where a shield gets caught or pinned makes it a liability you need to be able to just let go of.

Using both as weapons: If we are still talking about a standard heater shield this would be awkward as hell, but I wouldn't knock it till I tried it. A fantasy character that spent it's life training at it using shields built to also be fought with (such as spiked shields and round shields), yah that raises the likelihood of it working.

Realism aside, I like this game for the game, so I also want to talk about rules.

Lets break down what's been said so far:
MordredofFairy brought up the most important stuff so far in my opinion: Shields do count as weapons, explicitly, but not all the time. As much as CountofUndolpho would prefer otherwise, a shields classification as a weapon IS controlled by how you use it. If you bash with it, it IS a weapon, for the duration of the attack. That is clear just from reading the bolded text from Mordred's post.

From the FAQ brought up above, we have further learned that shield bashes are no-longer restricted to off-hand attacks and can be main handed.

While there is only one shield magic item slot, a shield occupies a hand, not some esoteric conceptual nether position on a paper doll. Rings are the best example, you can only have 2 functioning rings at a time but you can coat your fingers in magic rings until they don't bend anymore. The magic function of items ARE controlled by an esoteric paper doll thing, so it does stand to reason the magic effects of two shields couldn't be stacked as you just don't have the slots. Might not make sense, but it's magic. Maybe if they re-wrote the system today they would remove the slot for shields like they do for weapons, to bring it in line with their allowance of using them as both main handed and off handed.

I think the only argument that leaves, at least as far as I can remember, is that you can't use a main hand and an off hand shield at the same time because the game doesn't SAY you can. I think it's already been argued back and forth about 5 times but I just want to give it one more shot to try and make both side's arguments clear to myself and any readers that made it this far:

-Shields are sometimes weapons and always shields
-Shields can be wielded as main handed weapons and as off handed weapons.
-Assuming you are playing the same character for both the above possibilities, that means you are using a shield in both the left and right hand, but not explicitly at the same time.
-The only equipping requirements of shields is the ability to hold it in you hand and strap it to your arm.
-The only equipping requirements of weapons is holding them in your hand.
-It states you can use light weapons in one hand, and single-handed weapons in one hand. When used as a weapon, shields count as light or single-handed weapons.

I think right there we can slap a big THEREFORE, followed by: You can use as many shields as weapons as you have hands, so long as those hands have arms to also strap them to, as they are still shields.

So, is this soluble? Are we able to move on or is there something I didn't address?


CountofUndolpho wrote:

So why doesn't masterwork give a shield +1 to attack if it's a weapon?

How do you arm yourself with two shields with the restrictions they place on use of hands?
How do you remove them?
If there is only one magic shield slot how then can you use two magic shields? (and so logically two ordinary ones)
Magic weapon slots varies on limbs and abilities so is not specified.

I didn't understand your post about the Klar Darksol.

As to why you can't give a +1 enhancement to attacks with a shield, it's because the rules say you can't, simple as that, plain as day. From the PRD:

Masterwork Weapons wrote:
Even though some types of armor and shields can be used as weapons, you can't create a masterwork version of such an item that confers an enhancement bonus on attack rolls. Instead, masterwork armor and shields have lessened armor check penalties.

The rules specifically say that Masterwork Shields must reduce armor check penalties, so you aren't allowed an option to grant a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks, no exceptions allowed. (This rule would also mean a subject like the Klar, which is a shield that has a weapon attached, cannot receive a +1 enhancement bonus to attacks.)

As for how you arm yourself with two shields, there aren't really restrictions for putting them on or off, all that's mentioned is that a move action is needed to 'ready' (read: equip) them; this is supported by the factor that the table doesn't make a footnote of it requiring help to don, as Full-Plate or Half-Plate would, meaning you don't need to have hands free to equip them. Even so, I'm sure Quickdraw Shields would provide further ability to do so, since it states you can draw a weapon (and don a shield) simultaneously, versus where you normally don just a shield. This same argument applies for removing them.

Again, the Magic Shield "slot" is a major misnomer, and simply shows an iteration of "Same X doesn't stack," similar to how the Staggered condition needlessly revisits the ability to take Swift, Free, and Immediate Actions. Although it's mentioned as a slot in Core, this sort of thing isn't reflected in future books (which, if there was a reason for there to be a slot, would be listed, and thus is what the original purpose of slots were supposed to intend).

As for the Klar, you said that it's a Martial One-Handed weapon that Shield Bashes for Slashing Damage. The description says that it's a Light Shield with Armor Spikes, and James Jacobs refers to the Blade on the Weapon not receiving Shield Enhancement benefits like Bashing in one of his posts (can refer you to it if you really need it, but I'm lazy about it currently). To further clarify, the actual Klar entry on the weapons table is the Blade's attack, and is a Martial One-Handed weapon that deals 1D6 Slashing damage; it has other uses (like other shields) in that it is a Light Shield with Armor Spikes (possibly meant to read Shield Spikes), so it deals 1D3 Bludgeoning Shield Bashes, or 1D6 Piercing from Armor Spikes attached to it (or a 1D4 Piercing Shield Bash, if meant to read Shield Spikes).

Liberty's Edge

I'd like to see that quote from JJ, as my Shoanti has been using a Bashing Klar for almost 10 levels now.

I had done extensive research (including posting my own thread) to make sure it was legal. I'd hate to have missed something.


Bear Burning Ashes wrote:

I'd like to see that quote from JJ, as my Shoanti has been using a Bashing Klar for almost 10 levels now.

I had done extensive research (including posting my own thread) to make sure it was legal. I'd hate to have missed something.

Here

Liberty's Edge

Well, drat.


Oh, good, this thread again!
I shall now compose an elaborate critique of the views expressed by the side that opposes me, carefully analyzing their complaints and STOP HAVING FUN GUYS

The Exchange Owner - D20 Hobbies

Bear, your thread didn't have many posts. The last post pointed to an FAQ that ultimately came down that many size/damage dice increases don't stack.

It isn't always a good idea to consider a thread with little discussion as any indication on whether or not the rules are universally interpreted to agree with your view.

Liberty's Edge

James Risner wrote:

Bear, your thread didn't have many posts. The last post pointed to an FAQ that ultimately came down that many size/damage dice increases don't stack.

It isn't always a good idea to consider a thread with little discussion as any indication on whether or not the rules are universally interpreted to agree with your view.

Ironically, the thread linked at the end was my FAQ request, which was still unanswered (at the time).

As I said, I did quite a bit of research at the time, and yet I still apparently missed JJ's comment. So, my loss.


Bashing is still a crazy good enchantment, you've just gotta settle for a non-spiked shield.

Dual shields remain the most badass fighting style I know. :D

Liberty's Edge

At least, as a 10th level Warpriest, it's not that much of a loss, crunching the numbers now.

It means 2d8, rather than 3d6, when enlarged.

10.5 average damage, down to 9.


Bear Burning Ashes wrote:
Well, drat.

Honestly, I'd take his post with a grain of salt, because you can notice several rules inconsistencies with his post in regards to other rules he cites. A prime example towards the end is him saying that Spikes on a Shield are their own weapons, whereas the RAW treats Shield Spikes as an add-on subject to a Shield, and when combined, becomes its own item.

I only reference that post because, since he designed the Klar, he specifically points out that there is a Blade on the item, which is what the 1D6 One-Handed Martial Slashing Damage entry relates to: The fact that it has a blade, and that blade is not a part of the Klar's Shield Bash capabilities. Remember, the Bashing property only adjusts Shield Bash damage, not just all damage altogether.

The RAW description actually makes no such distinction in relations to the entry the Klar has, since the hardcover book cites it as a "Light Shield with Armor Spikes," meaning the description would say the Klar is actually a combination of the Light Shield entry and the Armor Spikes entry. (i.e. you have a 1D6 Martial Light Piercing weapon attached to a Light Shield that bashes for 1D3 Bludgeoning.)

That being said, the Klar is all sorts of messed up, and it needs Errata/Official Clarification badly, since the RAW doesn't match up to the RAI that James Jacobs says it should emulate, and several people are stipulating that the Klar entry is the Shield Bash damage (when James Jacobs' post outright says Bashing wouldn't apply to the Blade of the Klar).


Kobold Cleaver wrote:

Bashing is still a crazy good enchantment, you've just gotta settle for a non-spiked shield.

Dual shields remain the most badass fighting style I know. :D

It's honestly a trade-off, and it varies on which is more important: a +1 Shield Enhancement (that has an extra size of damage dice), or a few gold for an attachment (that changes the damage type to something a lot more unimportant).


Unless you're underwater. ;)

Dark Archive

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Kobold Cleaver wrote:
Dual shields remain the most badass fighting style I know. :D

Loved it ever since I saw the image on the last (4th) page of this document from Green Ronin's Plot & Poison (although, at the time, I was more interested in how it would mesh with the Gnomish Tortoise Blade, which was the 3.5 version of the Klar).

Of all the crazy crap we've had over the history of this game (not even mentioning stuff like magic and dragons), such as Dire Flails and Mercurial Greatswords and Gnomish Battle Ladders and Ripsaw Glaives, emulating a real world fighting style and using two shields seems pretty innocuous to be breaking any camels backs.

I'm also inclined to cheer for any rules element that lets a player emulate something cool they've seen in media, from Captain America's shield fighting to Prince Oberyn's spear dancing fighting style.


And yet the Humanoid Weapon Group continues to elude us. :(


Ok minor change of thought do you get Multiple attacks if your only attack is a shield bash if your BAB is high enough?


Before they removed the "shield bash as an offhand attack" wording no one even thought about fighting with two shields.

I've been roleplaying for 38 years and have only encountered the concept on here, post that change. We never took any notice of that anyway if you wanted to shield bash as a primary attack then hey good luck to you.

I sometimes find the discussions on the rules here are more akin to an exploits thread on a gaming site than ....well a discussion about roleplaying games.

Anyway I'm off to put my cardigan and slippers on and sit in front of the fire to warm my old bones...

Dark Archive

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CountofUndolpho wrote:
Before they removed the "shield bash as an offhand attack" wording no one even thought about fighting with two shields.

Lots of 'no ones' thought of it.

It was a fighting style in the 3.X Plot & Poison book by Green Ronin, called Mithril Carapace, IIRC. The book introduced some notions like Shield Focus and Shield Specialization that core D&D hadn't used yet, and the dual-shield-wielding Mithril Carapace fighting style/school seemed a logical outgrowth of that.

It was also a thing in City of Heroes, where you ended up fighting shield using foes who could join their two shields together to form a defensive bulwark, rendering themselves mostly invulnerable for a short time.

And, obviously, real world, which happened before there was a D&D, let alone any sort of shield-bash-offhand rules.

Whether or not it's silly, compared to, say, a spiked chain or dire flail or mercurial greatsword or starknife or a monk roundhouse-kicking iron golems or dragons or fire elementals, or any other even-less-probable weapon or fighting style or situation, is up to the viewer.

As 'exploits' go, it's not exactly Pun-Pun, so I'm not sure it would break game balance (such as it is) or anything.


warren Burgess wrote:
Ok minor change of thought do you get Multiple attacks if your only attack is a shield bash if your BAB is high enough?

Yes


CountofUndolpho wrote:

Before they removed the "shield bash as an offhand attack" wording no one even thought about fighting with two shields.

I've been roleplaying for 38 years and have only encountered the concept on here, post that change. We never took any notice of that anyway if you wanted to shield bash as a primary attack then hey good luck to you.

I sometimes find the discussions on the rules here are more akin to an exploits thread on a gaming site than ....well a discussion about roleplaying games.

Anyway I'm off to put my cardigan and slippers on and sit in front of the fire to warm my old bones...

I saw questions about it before that FAQ. However I do agree that I have only seen the concept online. I think the feat that allows you to get no penalty for TWF'ing with a shield is what made this idea popular.


I just like the concept. Because it's a f$$+in' badass-looking concept. It seems like the Stormwind Fallacy is really strong hereabouts—"People only like this concept because it's powerful. They aren't really interested in roleplaying games."

Scarab Sages

I really just like the idea of a guy that hefts these two slabs of metal, looking like a durable, but fundamentally non-threatening tank, who then proceeds to smash his enemies to paste with his two hunks of steel.


I think it's a cool vision for a "protector" warrior. Bludgeoning damage maybe just as lethal according to the rules (and, generally, reality) but it's a lot less bloody. I could see a paladin with this style, actually, though it'd be pretty damn tricky to pull off (maybe a ranger/paladin multiclass, or a paladin wielding light shields with a houseruled "Dex to damage" feat for light bludgeoning weapons).


I think the powerfulness of this is questionable. You could probably do better with a big two hander while spending fewer feats.


Davor wrote:
I really just like the idea of a guy that hefts these two slabs of metal, looking like a durable, but fundamentally non-threatening tank, who then proceeds to smash his enemies to paste with his two hunks of steel.

One of the few redeeming features of the second Hulk movie (which isn't to say they succeeded in redeeming the movie as a whole) were the two instances where he converts pieces of a tank or a car into improvised shields. "Hulk (shield) Bash!!"

And of course, Samurai Jack was doing it back in the Renaissance Era of Cartoons.

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