Help to make a "Shield Maiden"


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So I have this idea for making a Ulfen warrior based on a Shield Maiden.
The only thing I have so far is her design and name and the thought of having her be a fighter. But I am curious about what possibilities I have. I am open for advices and help with a good solid build (Equipment, skills, Feats, whatever).
My own drawing.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Starfinder Society Subscriber

My first thought is a Weapon and Shield ranger. With possibly the Skirmisher and/or Wild Hunter archetypes depending on how you imagine her playing and whether you care for spellcasting.

Grand Lodge

Fighter - Easiest choice with the most feats overall
Skald - More skillful but a bit weaker physically, with more casting ability
Ranger - Sword and board, plus you can get spells and extra feats
Hunter - Sword and board with spells and an animal companion, for awesomeness.
Unchained Barbarian - Guarded stance, and using shields so your AC actually goes up when raging.

Quite a few to choose from actually.


Indeed. One could even make an excuse for a paladin or cleric. As far as equipment, a shield might come in handy. How big depends on what you plan on doing with it, of course, especially if you're looking into bashing a lot, or for some reason relying on it to shield you.


You should if you have a bit of extra cash take a look at our (Flying Pincushion Games) Into the Breach: the Cavalier, as the shield maiden is a specific cavalier archetype in that book (a no horse cavalier BTW)

Link

/products/btpy9d6z?Into-the-Breach-The-Cavalier

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

A Viking Archetype fighter is also a quintessential shield maid, with the ac bonus coming from using the shield and access to Rage feats.

==Aelryinth


Qaianna wrote:
Indeed. One could even make an excuse for a paladin or cleric. As far as equipment, a shield might come in handy. How big depends on what you plan on doing with it, of course, especially if you're looking into bashing a lot, or for some reason relying on it to shield you.

Funny you mention that, the paladin build I made a friend in one campaign I'm in now has a TWF with a scimitar/shield build and it rocks the house. You can definitely be a meat shield and deal decent damage with it.

Scarab Sages

As an Ulfen, there are two traits for this build you should look in to.

Shield Bearer You gain +1 damage with a shield bash, and can give an adjacent ally a +2 to AC. You must be Ulfen.
Shield-trained Shields are considered simple weapons instead of martial, and you treat heavy shields as light weapons. Must worship Gorum.

I'd recommend a Ranger or Slayer over Fighter, as early access to shield slam and shield master are awesome.


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Grond wrote:
Qaianna wrote:
Indeed. One could even make an excuse for a paladin or cleric. As far as equipment, a shield might come in handy. How big depends on what you plan on doing with it, of course, especially if you're looking into bashing a lot, or for some reason relying on it to shield you.
Funny you mention that, the paladin build I made a friend in one campaign I'm in now has a TWF with a scimitar/shield build and it rocks the house. You can definitely be a meat shield and deal decent damage with it.

My #1 in PFS play is a Slayer/Cleric build with Improved Shield Bash, TWF, and uses a sawtooth saber in the off-hand (shield on the main). It works rather well.

Sovereign Court

As no one has mentioned it yet - a Sword & Board Slayer works if you don't want to deal with spellcasting like a Ranger does. Both have the big advantage of grabbing Shield Master at level 6 - which is an amazing feat if you're going TWF Sword & Board. (Very potent combat style.) Normally you can't grab it until level 11.

Also of note - consider the Shield Trained trait as it makes a heavy shield count as a light weapon. Great if you want to go battleaxe/heavy shield.

Edit: Semi-ninja'd.


To echo and expand upon what Aelryinth said, the viking fighter archetype fits this theme really well, and if you can convince your DM to allow you to use unchained rage, even better (since you'll likely be TWFing with a one-hander and shield). The ulfen guard prestige class combines with the viking archetype really amazingly, letting you advance both your rage and fighter level for feat purposes if you choose the right dedications. The traits Imbicatus mentioned above are pretty awesome, too. All of this together makes for an awesome bodyguard sort of character.

I love your drawing, by the way. Reminds me of Kelda Oxgutter from the Jade Regent AP.


Barbarian/Fighter. As Charon said, Slayer is also very very good so maybe Barbarian/Slayer.

The Fighter levels will help for the feats you need to make 'axe and board' builds useful and for the heavy armor/tower shields in case you want to go that way.

Alternatively, Barb/Fighter with the 'formation fighter' archtype for longspear + Shield combo.


These are all super amazing ideas. Sadly I forgot to mention one detail; no spell casting in any from. I am not a huge fan of playing a spell caster (never was never will be, I hate keeping track of spells and all of that hullabaloo).

But so far the Barbarian/Slayer sounds amazing.
And sorry Jeff, the link shows me nothing when I click it.


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Hi! I whipped up a level 10 build, ranger 9/fighter 1 (fighter for heavy armor prof)

With my build I focused on the shield being the main weapon, so I used a handaxe instead of a battleaxe. I also used boon companion on a Yzobu, but i have no idea how thematically appropriate that is, lol

Ulfen Lady:

Attild Stormdaughter
Human (Ulfen) fighter 1/ranger 9
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +6; Senses Perception +15
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 30, touch 13, flat-footed 29 (+11 armor, +2 deflection, +1 Dex, +2 natural, +4 shield)
hp 103 (10d10+39)
Fort +14, Ref +11, Will +11
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee +1 handaxe +12 (1d6+10/×3) or
+2 heavy shield bash +15/+10 (2d6+15)
Special Attacks combat style (weapon and shield), favored enemies (humans +4, undead +2)
Ranger Spells Prepared (CL 6th; concentration +8)
2nd—barkskin, stone call[APG]
1st—lead blades[APG], longstrider, resist energy
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 22, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 11, Wis 14, Cha 7
Base Atk +10; CMB +13; CMD 30
Feats Boon Companion, Double Slice, Endurance, Improved Initiative, Improved Shield Bash, Iron Will, Power Attack, Shield Master, Shield Slam, Two-weapon Fighting
Traits indomitable faith, shield bearer (ulfen)
Skills Acrobatics -4 (-8 to jump), Climb +4, Handle Animal +11, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +13, Knowledge (engineering) +4, Knowledge (geography) +6, Knowledge (nature) +13, Perception +15, Spellcraft +10, Stealth +9, Survival +8, Swim +4
Languages Common, Skald
SQ favored terrains (mountainous +2, urban +4), hunter's bond (yzobu named stinky), swift tracker, track +4, wild empathy +7, woodland stride
Other Gear +2 full plate, +2 bashing shield spikes heavy steel shield, +1 handaxe, amulet of natural armor +2, belt of physical perfection +2, cloak of resistance +3, ring of protection +2, 150 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Animal Companion Link (Ex) You have a link with your Animal Companion.
Boon Companion (Animal Companion) +4 levels to calc familiar/animal comp abilities (max of your HD).
Endurance +4 to a variety of fort saves, skill and ability checks. Sleep in L/M armor with no fatigue.
Favored Enemy (Humans +4) (Ex) +4 to rolls vs. Favored Enemy (Humans) foes.
Favored Enemy (Undead +2) (Ex) +2 to rolls vs. Favored Enemy (Undead) foes.
Favored Terrain (Mountain +2) (Ex) +2 to rolls when in Favored Terrain (Mountain).
Favored Terrain (Urban +4) (Ex) +4 to rolls when in Favored Terrain (Urban).
Improved Shield Bash You still get your shield bonus while using Shield Bash.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Share Spells with Companion (Ex) Can cast spells with a target of "you" on animal companion, as touch spells.
Shield Master No off-hand penalties for shield bashes, add a shield's enhancement bonus to attack rolls.
Shield Slam Shield Bash attack gives a free bull rush on a hit.
Swift Tracker (Ex) Tracking penalties when moving at normal speed or faster are reduced.
Track +4 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.
Wild Empathy +7 (Ex) Improve the attitude of an animal, as if using Diplomacy.
Woodland Stride (Ex) Move through undergrowth at normal speed.

--------------------

Stinky
Yzobu
N Large animal
Init +2; Senses low-light vision, scent; Perception +9
Aura stench (30 ft., DC 21, 15d30rounds)
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 24, touch 11, flat-footed 22 (+4 armor, +2 Dex, +9 natural, -1 size)
hp 76 (+36)
Fort +11, Ref +8, Will +3 (+4 morale bonus vs. Enchantment spells and effects)
Defensive Abilities evasion
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 40 ft.
Melee gore +13/+8 (1d8+12)
Space 10 ft.; Reach 10 ft.
Special Attacks stampede, trample (1d6+12, DC 22)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 26, Dex 15, Con 16, Int 3, Wis 11, Cha 4
Base Atk +6; CMB +15; CMD 27
Feats Ability Focus (stench), Great Fortitude, Improved Stench, Pungent Stench, Toughness
Skills Acrobatics +2 (+6 to jump), Climb +12, Linguistics -3, Perception +9, Swim +12
Languages Common
SQ devotion, multiattack / extra attack
Other Gear mithral chain shirt
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Devotion +4 (Ex) +4 morale bonus on Will Saves vs. Enchantments.
Evasion (Ex) No damage on successful reflex save.
Low-Light Vision See twice as far as a human in low light, distinguishing color and detail.
Multiattack / Extra Attack Multiattack or second attack with primary weapon at a -5 penalty.
Pungent Stench Foes affected by stench are nauseated & sickened on 1st rd. Resave each rd to remove nausea.
Scent (Ex) Detect opponents within 15+ feet by sense of smell.
Stampede (Ex) Trample improves with multiple tramplers.
Stench (60 feet, 30rounds, DC 21) Living creatures in aura's range are nauseated, then sickened for listed duration (Fort neg).


This is with power attack on. Your movement is 30 feet with longstrider, and barkskin on your AC makes stinky pretty tanky.

Sovereign Court

If no casting - it sounds like Slayer is the way to go.

While Barbarian is a solid class in its own right - I wouldn't recommend the mix. One of the main reasons to go Slayer is to get Shield Master at 6 instead of waiting until BAB +11, and for Barbarian to be useful you'd need to take several levels to get a decent # rounds of Rage and Rage powers (Rage Powers are what make Barbarian so potent - Rage itself is solid - but not amazing.). The fast movement you wouldn't get if you go heavy armor, and it'd also take too much away from Studied Target/SA.

If you need to dip away from Slayer - a 1 level dip in Fighter as CWheezy suggests isn't bad for Heavy Armor prof (essentially 2 feats for 1 level) though far from necessary. (Extra good if you take the 1st level in fighter to grab the +1 AC trait.)

Fighter alone isn't a good sword & board (axe & board in your case) class, as it invests too much into a single weapon type - and you'd be using two different ones.


My first thought is get the Thunder And Fang Feat. Use an Earthbreaker in 1 hand, and a Klar shield in the other.

Get the Bashing Enchantment on your Klar, and your Klar will do 2d6 base damage to compliment your 2d6 damage from your Earthbreaker.

Take 2 levels in Ranger, and you can take the Shield Slam Feat: free Bull Rush with every Shield Bash.

Take the Greater Bull Rush Feat: all your allies get attacks of opportunity on the creatures you Bull Rush out of Threatened Squares.

Take the Paired Opportunist Feat, and you get that Attack of Opportunity, too. Paired Opportunist is a Teamwork Feat, so I usually prefer to take it via 3 levels in Inquisitor which gets around that with the Class Ability Solo Tactics, but since you don't want to cast spells, get it via 1 level in Cavalier and get around the Teamwork Feat problem with the Class Ability Tactician.

Normally, you can't Bull Rush opponents into a wall or into other people, but you can with Shield Slam. If you Shield Slam someone into a wall, your victim goes Prone. When you get your Attack of Opportunity via Paired Opportunist, you can Shield Bash with your Klar for your Attack of Opportunity, triggering another round of Attacks of Opportunity, looping until you run out from your Combat Reflexes.

Since my suggestion involves lots of Feats, I recommend you mostly take levels in Fighter with a couple of levels in Ranger here, in Inquisitor or Cavalier there.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

klar bashes as a spiked light shield, so it'll do d6 (since spikes and bashing don't stack anymore), not 2d6. If you're using the blade, you're not bashing.

Shield Master is a great feat...IF you're going to go TWF'ing, or have shield as your main weapon. If you just want a shield...you're fine.

But, yeah, Ranger/slayer getting access to the key feats before fighter is a BIG reason to take that class instead of fighter.

But if you're Ulfen...the combo of Viking archetype + Ulfen Guard later on is thematically very hard to beat.

==Aelryinth


Oh oops, I just saw the no spellcasting. In that case, use the skirmisher archetype for ranger


Aelryinth wrote:
klar bashes as a spiked light shield, so it'll do d6 (since spikes and bashing don't stack anymore), not 2d6. If you're using the blade, you're not bashing.

The latest official word that I know of is that Shield Spikes stack just fine with the Bashing Enchantment.

NPC Codex, Barbarians, Scarred Wanderer, Level 20 wrote:
Melee+5 bashing spiked heavy shield +31/+26/+21/+16 (2d6+11)

But a Klar is not a Spiked Shield. It does not have Shield Spikes. It's description in Ultimate Equipment as "a light shield with Armor Spikes."

A Klar is a shield, and melee attacks with a shield are shield bashes. The damage is listed on the table. The Shield Bash damage of a Klar is 1d6. To say otherwise is to propose a whole new way of making a damaging melee attack with a shield that is not a Shield Bash, and I have not seen text in the rules to support that claim.

But, if the OP is really worried about the damage done by a Bashing Klar, she should just take 1 level in Warpriest, take Weapon Focus Klar, or if Aelrynth is your GM, Weapon Focus Light Shield, so that your Sacred Weapon Damage with your Klar Shield Bash is 1d6, and then your Bashing Klar will do 2d6 that way.


Here is a Fighter 1/Slayer 9

Spoiler:

Slayer Ulfen
Human fighter 1/slayer 9 (Pathfinder RPG Advanced Class Guide 53)
NG Medium humanoid (human)
Init +8; Senses Perception +17
--------------------
Defense
--------------------
AC 32, touch 15, flat-footed 29 (+11 armor, +2 deflection, +3 Dex, +2 natural, +4 shield)
hp 94 (10d10+30)
Fort +13, Ref +12, Will +10
--------------------
Offense
--------------------
Speed 30 ft. (20 ft. in armor)
Melee +1 handaxe +13/+8 (1d6+11/×3) or
+2 heavy shield bash +17/+12 (2d6+16) or
armor spikes +15/+10 (1d6+11)
Special Attacks sneak attack +3d6, studied target +2 (2nd, swift action)
--------------------
Statistics
--------------------
Str 20, Dex 18, Con 16, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 7
Base Atk +10; CMB +14; CMD 31
Feats Double Slice, Improved Initiative, Improved Shield Bash, Improved Two-weapon Fighting, Iron Will, Power Attack, Shield Master, Shield Slam, Spiked Destroyer, Two-weapon Fighting, Weapon Focus (shield, heavy)
Traits indomitable faith, shield bearer (ulfen)
Skills Acrobatics +13 (+9 to jump), Bluff +0, Climb +5, Disguise +0, Intimidate +0, Knowledge (dungeoneering) +13, Knowledge (engineering) +10, Knowledge (geography) +10, Knowledge (local) +10, Perception +17, Sense Motive +17, Stealth +15, Survival +8, Swim +5
Languages Common
SQ combat style (weapon and shield), slayer talents (blood reader, combat trick, ranger combat style, ranger combat style, weapon training), stalker, track +4
Other Gear +2 armor spikes mithral full plate, +2 bashing shield spikes heavy steel shield, +1 handaxe, amulet of natural armor +2, belt of physical perfection +2, cloak of resistance +2, ring of protection +2, 150 gp
--------------------
Special Abilities
--------------------
Blood Reader (Ex) Know number of remaining hp a studied target within sight has.
Improved Shield Bash You still get your shield bonus while using Shield Bash.
Power Attack -3/+6 You can subtract from your attack roll to add to your damage.
Shield Master No off-hand penalties for shield bashes, add a shield's enhancement bonus to attack rolls.
Shield Slam Shield Bash attack gives a free bull rush on a hit.
Sneak Attack +3d6 Attacks deal extra dam if flank foe or if foe is flat-footed.
Spiked Destroyer You can attack with your armor spikes while using bull rush or overrun.

Prerequisite: Proficient with armor spikes.

Benefit: When you succeed at a bull rush or overrun combat maneuver, you may automatically make an attack
Studied Target +2 (swift action, 2 at a time) (Ex) Study foe as a Swift action, gain +2 to att/dam & some skills vs. them.
Track +4 Add the listed bonus to survival checks made to track.


Your bull rush is +17, which isn't too bad, and can get you a free attack! You also have a lot of skills and stuff, which is cool.

This is with studied target and power attack on. Studied target should basically always be on, it is only a swift action


Aelryinth wrote:

klar bashes as a spiked light shield, so it'll do d6 (since spikes and bashing don't stack anymore), not 2d6. If you're using the blade, you're not bashing.

Shield Master is a great feat...IF you're going to go TWF'ing, or have shield as your main weapon. If you just want a shield...you're fine.

But, yeah, Ranger/slayer getting access to the key feats before fighter is a BIG reason to take that class instead of fighter.

But if you're Ulfen...the combo of Viking archetype + Ulfen Guard later on is thematically very hard to beat.

==Aelryinth

yeah, I've been thinking the same. Ulfen Guard sounds like you need more ranks of barbarian with the rage powers.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder PF Special Edition, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
evil_diva wrote:

So I have this idea for making a Ulfen warrior based on a Shield Maiden.

The only thing I have so far is her design and name and the thought of having her be a fighter. But I am curious about what possibilities I have. I am open for advices and help with a good solid build (Equipment, skills, Feats, whatever).
My own drawing.

You have enough choices to throw a book at... from a specialized fighter, to at least one, maybe two magus archetypes. The Valkyries of Norse myth were frequently described as shield maidens.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 16

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Aelryinth wrote:
klar bashes as a spiked light shield, so it'll do d6 (since spikes and bashing don't stack anymore), not 2d6. If you're using the blade, you're not bashing.

The latest official word that I know of is that Shield Spikes stack just fine with the Bashing Enchantment.

NPC Codex, Barbarians, Scarred Wanderer, Level 20 wrote:
Melee+5 bashing spiked heavy shield +31/+26/+21/+16 (2d6+11)

But a Klar is not a Spiked Shield. It does not have Shield Spikes. It's description in Ultimate Equipment as "a light shield with Armor Spikes."

A Klar is a shield, and melee attacks with a shield are shield bashes. The damage is listed on the table. The Shield Bash damage of a Klar is 1d6. To say otherwise is to propose a whole new way of making a damaging melee attack with a shield that is not a Shield Bash, and I have not seen text in the rules to support that claim.

But, if the OP is really worried about the damage done by a Bashing Klar, she should just take 1 level in Warpriest, take Weapon Focus Klar, or if Aelrynth is your GM, Weapon Focus Light Shield, so that your Sacred Weapon Damage with your Klar Shield Bash is 1d6, and then your Bashing Klar will do 2d6 that way.

Scott, let's please not turn this into a klar discussion.

You can't put armor spikes on a shield. They don't do anything if you do. They only do damage if attached to armor.

They issued a FAQ that spikes, a virtual size increase, and Bashing, a virtual magical size increase, do not stack. It is much derided, but it is now official. Strong Jaw and Improved natural Attack do not stack now, either. Likewise, Sacred Weapon and Bashing won't stack.

A klar's blade attack is not a shield bash. If you bash with it, you bash as a spiked light shield...or, if you insist on using the erroneous armor spike wording instead of the original wording, a plain shield, since armor spikes do no damage on a shield.

This is a case of text explicitly trumps table. If you attack without bashing, you can do d6, but since it is not a bash, you'll lose the shield AC (Since IMproved Shield Bash only works if you bash).

A klar is not the be-all and end-all of shield weapons. It IS unique, in that the extra blade gives you an option normal shields do not have. Basically, you have the equivalent of a quickdraw blade without having to draw the blade, at cost of shield AC.

If bashing, by its own definition, its just a light spiked shield. Bashing is thus d3 or d4, depending on how you follow the impossible 'armor spike' addition.
If you are NOT bashing, but cutting with the blade, it's a d6, but you lose the shield AC even with Improved Shield Bash, because it's not a bash.
If you give the klar Bashing, damage improves to d6 (blunt, if you use 'armor spikes', pierce if you use 'spiked'), since it doesn't stack with a Spiked Shield, but since it IS a bash, it stacks with Improved Shield Bash.

If you have Shield Mastery, only the bashing attack will be enhanced, NOT the blade attack, which is pure weapon.

==Aelryinth


It's irrelevant in my opinion, as the OP has a clear vision of the PC he wants to play, a shield maiden.

I could link a couple images and sources that show shieldmaidens but none of those will have a giant hammer with spikes and a horned skull used as a light shield by shoantis.

So if the goal is to provide help to the OP, that's not a good advice. If the goal is to prove you are right in a internet argument even if it means derailing the thread, then it's going to work pretty good I guess


http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9t3f

Relevant Faq showing that with new five stacking rules bashing and spikes don't stack


gustavo iglesias wrote:

It's irrelevant in my opinion, as the OP has a clear vision of the PC he wants to play, a shield maiden.

I could link a couple images and sources that show shieldmaidens but none of those will have a giant hammer with spikes and a horned skull used as a light shield by shoantis.

So if the goal is to provide help to the OP, that's not a good advice. If the goal is to prove you are right in a internet argument even if it means derailing the thread, then it's going to work pretty good I guess

I saw the picture she drew. She drew a picture of a female warrior with an Axe in 1 hand and a Shield in the other. My counter proposal was that she fight with a hammer in 1 hand an a shield in the other: not that radical a suggestion, really. So, I think my advice to the OP was just swell.

Furthermore, my advice also included a shield build including Shield Slam, Greater Bull Rush, and Paired Opportunist, and how she might incorporate that smoothly into her build. She wants to use a shield, and I gave her advice on one way she could develop a character that uses a shield. So I think my advice to the OP was just swell.


FelwynGD wrote:

http://paizo.com/paizo/faq/v5748nruor1fm#v5748eaic9t3f

Relevant Faq showing that with new five stacking rules bashing and spikes don't stack

I followed your link to 2 posts: one was just a table explaining how the damage increases with size increases.

The other confirms that while virtual size increases stack with actual size increases, virtual size increases don't stack with virtual size increases.

But what it doesn't say is that Shield Spikes count as a virtual size increase. The description of Shield Spikes is found in the Core Rulebook, and so was written before the concept of virtual size increases even existed, so it couldn't possibly have been intended by the author. While by RAW, I would interpret Shield Spikes to bring a virtual size increase based on their description in the Core Rulebook, the latest official word I have heard about Shield Spikes comes to us from the NPC Codex.

NPC Codex, Barbarians, Scarred Wanderer wrote:
Melee+5 bashing spiked heavy shield +31/+26/+21/+16 (2d6+11)

I'm not happy with the state of the RAW under these circumstances, but it is clear that Shield Spikes stack with Bashing.

The 2 FAQs I found by following your link do not contradict the NPC Codex. But perhaps there is something I missed. If there is, could you give me a little more help finding it?


You can do cool things with a light shield. Light Shields can come in Quickdraw and Throwing models. And you can get a quickdraw, throwing shield. Throwing Shields can be unclasped and thrown as a Free Action. If you have the Quckdraw Feat, you can draw a Quickdraw Shield as a Free Action. So if had the Quickdraw Feat, you could carry several Quickdraw, Throwing Shields, and throw several each round, limited by the number of shields you carry and the number of Free Actions your GM will let you take in a round.

If you get a magic item called a Blinkback Belt, your thrown weapons instantly return to your Belt as soon as your attack is resolved. So after throwing your Throwing Shield, it would return to your 'Belt instantly, and if your Throwing Shield is also a Quickdraw Shield, and if you have the Quickdraw Feat, you can then draw it again as a Free Action, perhaps to throw it again setting up a Free Action attacking loop that lasts for as long as your GM allows you to take Free Actions. You can probably use this combination to get 1 extra attack/round anyway. If you took the Snapshot feats, you can threaten Attacks of Opportunity at Range with your Quickdraw Throwing shield.

Since the character you drew looks like she might be holding a light, throwing axe, it might be your intention to be throwing axes, hammers, spears, etc, so a Blinkback Belt and the Quickdraw Feat might be a good idea anyway. If that is the case, you should have a look at the Close Quarters Thrower Feat, which lets you throw your weapon without provoking attacks of opportunity, giving you a ranged potential even while in melee, which is a neat tactical trick. There is another Feat called False Opening, where you provoke AoO's professionally, but then get a +4 to your AC and your opponents who take your bait are Flatfooted. It would be really cool if you could then have some Sneak Attack Damage, somehow, and I'd really like the Snake Fang Feat, but putting all those things together is really expensive in terms of the number of Feats you'd spend, but such hotness!

Scarab Sages

The NPC Codex is in error as of the current FAQ.

Linked FAQ wrote:
As per the rules on size changes, size changes do not stack, so if you have multiple size changing effects (for instance an effect that increases your size by one step and another that increases your size by two steps), only the largest applies. The same is true of effective size increases (which includes “deal damage as if they were one size category larger than they actually are,” “your damage die type increases by one step,” and similar language). They don’t stack with each other, just take the biggest one. However, you can have one of each and they do work together (for example, enlarge person increasing your actual size to Large and a bashing shield increasing your shield’s effective size by two steps, for a total of 2d6 damage).

The FAQ clearly states that effective size increases do not stack. Based on the wording of Shield Spikes, as of current RAW, Shield Spikes are an effective size increase.

Shield Spikes wrote:
Shield Spikes: These spikes turn a shield into a martial piercing weapon and increase the damage dealt by a shield bash as if the shield were designed for a creature one size category larger than you (see “spiked shields” on Table: Weapons). You can't put spikes on a buckler or a tower shield. Otherwise, attacking with a spiked shield is like making a shield bash attack.

I am against this completely, because Shield Spikes should not be a size increase, but instead make the shield into a different weapon with a higher damage die. A club with spikes on it isn't a spiked club that does damage as if it was one size larger, but instead is a morning star. However, that is irrelevant under the rules as clarified by the current FAQ.


Imbicatus wrote:

The NPC Codex is in error as of the current FAQ.

Linked FAQ wrote:
As per the rules on size changes, size changes do not stack, so if you have multiple size changing effects (for instance an effect that increases your size by one step and another that increases your size by two steps), only the largest applies. The same is true of effective size increases (which includes “deal damage as if they were one size category larger than they actually are,” “your damage die type increases by one step,” and similar language). They don’t stack with each other, just take the biggest one. However, you can have one of each and they do work together (for example, enlarge person increasing your actual size to Large and a bashing shield increasing your shield’s effective size by two steps, for a total of 2d6 damage).

The FAQ clearly states that effective size increases do not stack. Based on the wording of Shield Spikes, as of current RAW, Shield Spikes are an effective size increase.

Shield Spikes wrote:
Shield Spikes: These spikes turn a shield into a martial piercing weapon and increase the damage dealt by a shield bash as if the shield were designed for a creature one size category larger than you (see “spiked shields” on Table: Weapons). You can't put spikes on a buckler or a tower shield. Otherwise, attacking with a spiked shield is like making a shield bash attack.
I am against this completely, because Shield Spikes should not be a size increase, but instead make the shield into a different weapon with a higher damage die. A club with spikes on it isn't a spiked club that does damage as if it was one size larger, but instead is a morning star. However, that is irrelevant under the rules as clarified by the current FAQ.

Imbicatus,

I am aware of this FAQ, and I am aware of the description of Shield Spikes, and I have said as much earlier.

I wrote:
by RAW, I would interpret Shield Spikes to bring a virtual size increase based on their description in the Core Rulebook,

But, the writers of the NPC Codex must have known about the Core Rulebook, too, and mindful of the Shield Spikes description which you faithfully provided, they made they nonetheless made the definitive statement that the Bashing Enchantment does stack with Shield Spikes.

NPC Codex, Barbarians, Scarred Wanderer wrote:
Melee+5 bashing spiked heavy shield +31/+26/+21/+16 (2d6+11)

As far as I know, this is the latest official word on Shield Spikes and the Bashing Enchantment: Shield Spikes don't really count as a virtual size increase such as don't stack with other virtual size increases. They couldn't have been intended to in the first place. The FAQ you quoted does not call out the NPC Codex as being in error, so we can't suppose that it is.


Let's try to steer this back to the OP question: how would you build a shield maiden to go into the Ulfen Guard PRC?

Scarab Sages

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
But, the writers of the NPC Codex must have known about the Core Rulebook, too, and mindful of the Shield Spikes description which you faithfully provided, they made they nonetheless made the definitive statement that the Bashing Enchantment does stack with Shield Spikes.

The writers of the NPC Codex were going by the rules as they understood them at that time. Prior to the FAQ, there was not any contradictory rules text that made that build invalid. However, the FAQ was released after the NPC Codex was released. It is the most recent ruling on how size increases work. By the rules listed for Shield Spikes and that FAQ, a Bashing Shield and Shield spikes are both effective size increases and do not stack.

I encourage you to make a separate thread on this in the rules forum if you wish to continue the discussion, as this is an advice thread on how to build a Shield Maiden PC.


I like the OP’s drawing. It reminds me of Lagertha from the Vikings TV show. It makes me want to put on some Wardruna or maybe Amon Amarth and think Viking thoughts. My own Viking themed PC is focused on high AC, TWF, and intimidation though the TWF part is purely for style (not ineffective, just very expensive in feat costs). He recently took Terrifying Howl. I guess understanding what capabilities you want the PC to have along with the point buy (or rolled stats) might help with more specific build advice.

One important thing to find out for a shield using PC is whether the DM will allow the Combat Stamina feat and associated Stamina Pool and if so whether Fighters get free or exclusive access to it. This will help determine how awesome Shield Slam is in your game. I play a Viking with Shield Slam in a game without Stamina Pools, and it is pretty cool. Enemies get knocked into walls, trees, etc and fall down pretty frequently. Sometimes they get pushed off cliffs or ships. With the Stamina Pool I’d be able to spend 2 Stamina points to attempt a free disarm, reposition, trip, or sunder combat maneuver instead of just a free bull rush though, and that would be even better. I could imagine entire builds based around this ability.

@Scott Wilhelm - I'm not sure if it is really what the OP is looking for, but I kind of like the idea of using Shield Slam to push people away and then take an AoO on them with Improved Snap Shot if they try to close for melee again. The feat cost might be tough to endure though.


Grond wrote:
Let's try to steer this back to the OP question: how would you build a shield maiden to go into the Ulfen Guard PRC?

"Ulfen Gaurd PRC?" I thought the OP was just fishing for advice on how to make a martial character with a shield and a Nordic-Berserker flavor like in the picture. Is there something much more specific that she's looking for? Could somebody drop me a hint as to where to look?


Great picture btw. Do you publish/sell your work ? With that style i'd try Adventure A Week games...


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Grond wrote:
Let's try to steer this back to the OP question: how would you build a shield maiden to go into the Ulfen Guard PRC?
"Ulfen Gaurd PRC?" I thought the OP was just fishing for advice on how to make a martial character with a shield and a Nordic-Berserker flavor like in the picture. Is there something much more specific that she's looking for? Could somebody drop me a hint as to where to look?

OP said they wanted an Ulfen martial class, no spellcasting, and provided a picture that heavily suggests an Ulfen Guard PrC at some point.


Awesome Artwork. As she's clearly looking to be TWF and also looking to be raging the Viking Fighter Archetype or a Ranger/Slayer Barbarian multiclass would prolly be your best bet. Or Ranger into Ulfen Guard.

If you don't like the ranger angle the viking can pull off high STR and DEX (needed for TWF) if going dual talent Human.


Grond wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Grond wrote:
Let's try to steer this back to the OP question: how would you build a shield maiden to go into the Ulfen Guard PRC?
"Ulfen Gaurd PRC?" I thought the OP was just fishing for advice on how to make a martial character with a shield and a Nordic-Berserker flavor like in the picture. Is there something much more specific that she's looking for? Could somebody drop me a hint as to where to look?
OP said they wanted an Ulfen martial class, no spellcasting, and provided a picture that heavily suggests an Ulfen Guard PrC at some point.

I'm not doubting you. I'm asking: what is the Ulfen Guard Prestige Class?


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Grond wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Grond wrote:
Let's try to steer this back to the OP question: how would you build a shield maiden to go into the Ulfen Guard PRC?
"Ulfen Gaurd PRC?" I thought the OP was just fishing for advice on how to make a martial character with a shield and a Nordic-Berserker flavor like in the picture. Is there something much more specific that she's looking for? Could somebody drop me a hint as to where to look?
OP said they wanted an Ulfen martial class, no spellcasting, and provided a picture that heavily suggests an Ulfen Guard PrC at some point.
I'm not doubting you. I'm asking: what is the Ulfen Guard Prestige Class?

Can find it here:

http://www.archivesofnethys.com/PrestigeClassesDisplay.aspx?ItemName=Ulfen% 20Guard


go with fighter invest into the twf feat tree take Shield Trained as Imbicactus suggested, take the shield bash feat tree, shield specialization feats and the bull rush feats

edit: also for archetypes go with either the Shielded Fighter, Tower Shield Specialist, or Viking


Imbicatus wrote:
Scott Wilhelm wrote:
But, the writers of the NPC Codex must have known about the Core Rulebook, too, and mindful of the Shield Spikes description which you faithfully provided, they made they nonetheless made the definitive statement that the Bashing Enchantment does stack with Shield Spikes.

The writers of the NPC Codex were going by the rules as they understood them at that time. Prior to the FAQ, there was not any contradictory rules text that made that build invalid. However, the FAQ was released after the NPC Codex was released. It is the most recent ruling on how size increases work. By the rules listed for Shield Spikes and that FAQ, a Bashing Shield and Shield spikes are both effective size increases and do not stack.

I encourage you to make a separate thread on this in the rules forum if you wish to continue the discussion, as this is an advice thread on how to build a Shield Maiden PC.

Yeah, the FAQ happened after the NPC Codex, and later trumps earlier, but the NPC Codex is specific about Shield Spikes and the Bashing Enchantment, whereas the FAQ is talking in general about how virtual size increases interact with each other and actual size increases. Specific trumps general.

That being said, I agree that we seem to have run out of things to say about this FAQ.


Devilkiller wrote:
@Scott Wilhelm - I'm not sure if it is really what the OP is looking for, but I kind of like the idea of using Shield Slam to push people away and then take an AoO on them with Improved Snap Shot if they try to close for melee again. The feat cost might be tough to endure though.

I wasn't exactly thinking about Snap Shot working together with Bull Rushing, but now that you mention it, that does sound pretty sweet.

I have been fooling around with the idea of combining Bull Rushing with a Reach Weapon, say taking levels in Fighter with the Phalanx Soldier Archetype so you can use your Shield in 1 hand and your Reach Pole Arm in the other. That flavor seems very different from what the OP is going for, though, too Classical and less Nordic.

Maybe not: it's not like real Vikings didn't use spears, shields, and shield walls. They owed their success to opportunistic strategy springing from superior naval technology to achieve uncontested landings coupled with a disciplined order of battle after disembarking.

Community Manager

Removed a post. Please be civil—words like, "I'm right and you're wrong" don't really help further discussions.


@Scott Wilhelm - My girlfriend’s Viking themed PC has 3 levels of Phalanx Fighter and sometimes carries a bardiche styled as a Danish Axe. Historically speaking there was some overlap between the haft lengths of a short bardiche or a long Dane Axe, so we think this is a fair enough re-skin. If you’re concerned that it might be frowned upon in your group then a longspear or lance might work just as well, and spears were certainly in the Viking arsenal. Preventing enemies from making full attacks and scoring AoOs can work really well, especially against mooks. Even just creating some distance so you can move without suffering AoOs yourself can be nice.

My own Viking is of the archetypal sort and does TWF with a heavy shield as his primary weapon and a light hammer in the off-hand. This might not be a terribly effective way to deal damage without the benefit of Mythic Power Attack, but it might be closer to what the OP is looking for based on the artwork (at least substituting an axe for the hammer). On the upside, Shield Defense can help you build a pretty high AC, especially if you can find another PC interested in Shield Wall. My 11th level Viking's AC is sitting at 42 when adjacent to the Phalanx Fighter. We used rolled stats, and I'm pretty high on WBL, but I'd think the mid to high 30s should be pretty easy to reach even without those benefits. That's before considering rage, but with stuff like Beast Totem and Guarded Stance sometimes rage is an AC booster.


That ulfen guard prc is ok. It is basically Barbarian + some other stuff, since your ulfen guard levels stack with barbarian levels to determine your rage power access.

Plus, you can even get more rage powers from the abilities in class. Overall, not bad


Devilkiller wrote:

@Scott Wilhelm - My girlfriend’s Viking themed PC has 3 levels of Phalanx Fighter and sometimes carries a bardiche styled as a Danish Axe. Historically speaking there was some overlap between the haft lengths of a short bardiche or a long Dane Axe, so we think this is a fair enough re-skin. If you’re concerned that it might be frowned upon in your group then a longspear or lance might work just as well, and spears were certainly in the Viking arsenal. Preventing enemies from making full attacks and scoring AoOs can work really well, especially against mooks. Even just creating some distance so you can move without suffering AoOs yourself can be nice.

My own Viking is of the archetypal sort and does TWF with a heavy shield as his primary weapon and a light hammer in the off-hand. This might not be a terribly effective way to deal damage without the benefit of Mythic Power Attack, but it might be closer to what the OP is looking for based on the artwork (at least substituting an axe for the hammer). On the upside, Shield Defense can help you build a pretty high AC, especially if you can find another PC interested in Shield Wall. My 11th level Viking's AC is sitting at 42 when adjacent to the Phalanx Fighter. We used rolled stats, and I'm pretty high on WBL, but I'd think the mid to high 30s should be pretty easy to reach even without those benefits. That's before considering rage, but with stuff like Beast Totem and Guarded Stance sometimes rage is an AC booster.

A Bardiche styled as a Danish Axe seems reasonably Viking to me. Personally, my gaming groups have no problems with it. I was just conjecturing that perhaps the OP might. I'd go ahead and use a Lucerne Hammer or sometimes a Goblin Horeschopper taking Quickdraw to switch between them quickly or to be able to use Ready Pike super fast after finessing a charge.

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