Throwing Shield is Broken and needs a Rewrite!


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So everybody has come forward with the Ultimate Equipment errata (myself included), and have stated their distaste about certain options. Thankfully, this isn't a thread about the errata in particular, but it does involve the Ultimate Equipment book. This is a request for a complete overhaul and rewriting of the Throwing Shield, because it is (as far as I've perceived) broken and doesn't properly work (or at least work as the development team thinks it does).

Now, some people might say "Naw, it's fine, you're overreacting," but let's take a fresh GM who's looking at this item for the first time (but has basic knowledge of how items are classified and categorized, etc)., and take an objective stance on the item and it's description.

To start with, let's examine how it is on a table:

A Throwing Shield is under the Exotic Weapon table, that's priced "+50 Gold." The reason it's a "+50 Gold" price, according to other items priced with a "+" Gold Value is because they're attachments to other items on the table (and are usually explained within their descriptions). It also has a X2 multiplier, a range of 20 feet, and the Performance and Trip special qualities. Makes sense so far, right? Of course. That's not where the problems lie; and those are everywhere else.

Further examining the table tells us that it deals 1D6 damage (1D4 small) on a hit. But how? Isn't a shield's damage and handiness based on what type of shield it is (heavy or light)? And even whether it's enhanced with Spikes or the Bashing property? Why is it that is factored in when used in melee, but it doesn't matter when it's used as a throwing weapon?

There's also the concept of it being a versatile weapon; in other words, functioning as both a melee and ranged weapon, as well as it being in the Exotic table (versus the melee types being on the Martial table). How does that work? A Throwing Shield is an Exotic Weapon, but if it's still a Shield, can I still bash with it? I'd guess so, but now it's all of a sudden harder for me to bash with it because it's an Exotic Weapon (i.e. it's a Throwing Shield too)? Something like that doesn't make sense to me, and a lot of GMs may come to the conclusion that even making melee attacks with a Throwing Shield would impose a -4 in the event you are not proficient.

The pricing also suggests that even items such as Klars, which are classified as being a type of shield, can also receive this benefit, and whether that is intentional or not is unclear. (A FAQ would help this, but one step at a time.)

Oh, and next is the abysmal description. It says:

Throwing Shield wrote:
This shield is designed for throwing and has specially designed straps that allow you to unclasp and throw it as a free action. Tower shields cannot be throwing shields. Neither a shield's enhancement bonus to AC nor its shield spikes apply on your attack or damage rolls. A throwing shield can't be disarmed.

It creates more questions than it answers; for starters, the first text is ran in so many different ways I don't even know which one is right anymore. One way it's ran is that it allows you to make it throwable as a Free Action. Another is that it allows you to throw it to attack as a Free Action. And another yet is that it can only be used to throw it to allies, and can never actually be used at enemies. There are so many interpretations provided and enforced with the first bolded text that you don't know what to expect until you actually consult the GM to see how he would run it (which is not a bad idea, but shouldn't be required to do so at every table you play at all the time, #PFSprobs).

The second bolded part does answer that if you apply Shield Spikes, it doesn't actually help when it's thrown, but what about the Bashing property? I presume that wouldn't apply to any thrown attacks you make (assuming you're at a table which allows thrown attacks with said weapon), but it still beckons the question, and I imagine several GMs would rule differently, on both sides of the spectrum.

The third bolded part creates a very weird scenario. Let's say I'm a creature within range of a PC using the Throwing Shield, and they make a thrown attack against another creature, so they unclasp their shield as a Free Action to throw it at their target (this is just one interpretation, but for the purposes of this example, I'm rolling with it). Now, I decide that I want to disarm it. Just because the bolded part exists, that means I can't ever disarm the shield, even if it's unclasped from their arm to throw at their target (which is the intent behind a shield being impossible to disarm)? It just seems fallacious that such a sentence is allowed.

At any rate, my explanations of this post all lead to one conclusion: The throwing shield is broken, and it needs to be fixed.

Almost every table runs it differently, and it too easily can lead to conclusions that may not (or even may be) intended, as well as leads to contradictions as to how it could be ran. This is almost as confusing and contradicting as the Bastard Sword, and there are so many FAQs on that thing (I think there are currently 4 or 5 now) in order for people to properly understand how it works, and even that may not be enough.

The fact that so many tables run it differently, think it's right (and every other interpretation is wrong), and others can't even get the shield to function at all, speaks for itself; that the rules for it are inconsistent, incoherent, and/or don't add up. That's not acceptable, especially for a weapon as iconic as a Throwing Shield. Too many times I've seen players attempt to create a character revolving around such an item, only to get hung up on all of the problems that actually come with it, and it's absolutely ridiculous.

If you too find that the rules for the Throwing Shield are unclear, inconsistent, and/or contradict each other, then show your support for a more clear, consistent, and non-contradictory iconic weapon by hitting the FAQ button on this post; I and many other players would appreciate something done about this hot steamy mess of an item, whether it's a FAQ or even an Errata.


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I've always understood the free action part to refer to the requirement for thrown weapons that they either be in hand ready to throw or be able to be drawn as a free action. Since it's reasonable to say that a shield strapped to your arm for defense isn't fully prepared to be thrown, this shield specifies it can be ready to do so as a free action.


Clever ideas get spoiled. A throwing shield is a great idea. It should be something someone can use to trip or distract people. It should not cause damage, or if it does it should cause less damage tham if you were holding it. For that matter, all thrown weapons should do less damage if You are not holding them.


I think its a deliberate scheme to introduce new DMs to their first munchkin and a taste of having to say "no" to a peasant carting around 67 throwing shields for 69 attacks


Scythia wrote:
I've always understood the free action part to refer to the requirement for thrown weapons that they either be in hand ready to throw or be able to be drawn as a free action. Since it's reasonable to say that a shield strapped to your arm for defense isn't fully prepared to be thrown, this shield specifies it can be ready to do so as a free action.

So have I. And that's what I agree with.

But unfortunately, a lot of other tables (and players) have ruled differently. I've found three common interpretations, when there should only be one. I'm not saying that there can't be variation, but the amount of variations I've seen among tables running this item is almost limitless, and that's just unacceptable.

That's probably the biggest reason why I feel a rewrite is in order; so the shield can be consistently ran across most "by-the-rules" tables as a unified ruling, instead of having 3 different "by-the-rules" interpretations being enforced.

@ Seeker of Light: As I've said before, "I imagine several GMs would rule differently, on both sides of the spectrum," which I imagine you're saying that in relation to the damage dice of the item. All you've done is provide credence to the statement I provided; to that, I thank/not thank you (think "sorry/notsorry", but in a more gratuitous manner).

@ BigNorseWolf: Paizo has maintained trap options from the carry-overs of 3.X. I'd prefer to call this a trap option, because it cannot even feasibly function, but there are interpretations where it works but it's also cheesy (*cough*FreeActionAttacks*cough*), so in those instances I'd agree with that statement. Of course, this isn't always the case at the tables that I've played at.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Companion, Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

I endorse this call for future errata to more extensively modify the texts. :]


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Although given the recent complaints, I'd half expect errata to change the action to throw it to full round, and stipulate it only works once a day. :P


CBDunkerson wrote:
I endorse this call for future errata to more extensively modify the texts. :]

If you do, please hit the FAQ button on the OP, especially if you feel this specific case deserves it. (I certainly do.)

@ Scythia: While it's fun to joke about the PDT destroying options, I'd rather you don't; it decreases the likelyhood of them taking stuff like this seriously. And trust me, this is some serious stuff that needs to be fixed.


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Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
I endorse this call for future errata to more extensively modify the texts. :]

If you do, please hit the FAQ button on the OP, especially if you feel this specific case deserves it. (I certainly do.)

@ Scythia: While it's fun to joke about the PDT destroying options, I'd rather you don't; it decreases the likelyhood of them taking stuff like this seriously. And trust me, this is some serious stuff that needs to be fixed.

Sorry. It's in my nature.

Grand Lodge

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Scythia wrote:
Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
CBDunkerson wrote:
I endorse this call for future errata to more extensively modify the texts. :]

If you do, please hit the FAQ button on the OP, especially if you feel this specific case deserves it. (I certainly do.)

@ Scythia: While it's fun to joke about the PDT destroying options, I'd rather you don't; it decreases the likelyhood of them taking stuff like this seriously. And trust me, this is some serious stuff that needs to be fixed.

Sorry. It's in my nature.

But only a minute per day, awakened as a standard action.


BigNorseWolf wrote:

I think its a deliberate scheme to introduce new DMs to their first munchkin and a taste of having to say "no" to a peasant carting around 67 throwing shields for 69 attacks

I was thinking more along the lines of having a Quickdraw, Throwing Shield, taking the Quickdraw Feat, and acquiring a Blinkback Belt.

You unclasp and throw the Shield as a Free Action.

Blinkback Belt teleports the belt back to itself immediately after the attack is resolved.

Then you can Draw it as a Free Action, to throw it again as a Free Action.

That's an infinite, Free-Action Attack loop.

Infinitiy Damage! I win at D&D!

Kidding aside, I feel like there are already safeguards in the rules to prevent this. The Core Rulebook specifically empowers GMs to impose reasonable limits on the number of Free Actions you can take in a round.

Core Rulebook, Combat, Free Actions wrote:
here are reasonable limits on what you can really do for free, as decided by the GM.

The rule seems to be written just for me! As it is, it seems to me that you could do this to get 1 extra attack/round, maybe even a couple. Perhaps this should allow you to use your Throwing Shield at will for Ranged Attacks of Opportunity such as for Snapshot Feats. The combo is kind of expensive, you should get something good. Meanwhile, as it is, the GM can use this "reasonable limit" rule to help the game run more smoothly. If the party is facing a TPK and the GM doesn't want it to happen, he doesn't have to if one of the players has a Quickdraw Throwing Shield, the Quickdraw Feat, and a Blinkback Belt. He can just let that player take a "reasonable" number of Free Actions until the party has a fighting chance again.


The reasonable number of "throw a throwing shield" free actions you should allow is zero.

The description is obviously an error. The most likely intent is that readying the shield to be thrown is a free action. Fortunately, the rulebook has my back against "but it's RAW". So is my response. Enjoy your zero free actions.


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Keep in mind that the "most likely" interpretation isn't always the "most fair" interpretation. As much as I wish it was, we've been proven wrong before.

So, if you want your answer cemented, please hit the FAQ button on the OP.


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You really need to get better at summarizing things. I'm serious, it takes way too much time to read all that for a simple issue such as this.

That's a wall of text and the only real issue here is the line "This shield is designed for throwing and has specially designed straps that allow you to unclasp and throw it as a free action". And I only understand your first two interpretations of the line you provide, the third about only being able to throw at allies and not enemies goes way beyond anything within this line of text. There's one reasonable interpretation, the others just doesn't make sense within this game.

The "+50gp" cost is in addition to the shield itself, to make it a throwable shield (This is something that could be more clear).

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Further examining the table tells us that it deals 1D6 damage (1D4 small) on a hit. But how? Isn't a shield's damage and handiness based on what type of shield it is (heavy or light)?

Not when it's a throwable shield. As noted by the entry. These are not questions relevant to this game, just like "what level do I need to be to wear Adamantine Armor?" isn't.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
And even whether it's enhanced with Spikes or the Bashing property? Why is it that is factored in when used in melee, but it doesn't matter when it's used as a throwing weapon?

"But how" has no place in rules text. You simply don't hit with the spikes when you throw the shield. But there's no rules preventing the Bashing property from being applied (aside from the +1 enhancement bonus when bashing, since you're not bashing). Just like no other shields reserves that property within their own rules, this one does neither.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
A Throwing Shield is an Exotic Weapon, but if it's still a Shield, can I still bash with it? I'd guess so, but now it's all of a sudden harder for me to bash with it because it's an Exotic Weapon (i.e. it's a Throwing Shield too)?

The Exotic Weapon Proficency is to use the shield as as a thrown weapon, not to use it as a shield. You still use the normal shield rules (appropriate to what kind of shield it is) when it comes to bashing and using it as a shield.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The pricing also suggests that even items such as Klars, which are classified as being a type of shield, can also receive this benefit, and whether that is intentional or not is unclear.

That sure is a question. I'm not sure it deserves a FAQ.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Just because the bolded part exists, that means I can't ever disarm the shield, even if it's unclasped from their arm to throw at their target (which is the intent behind a shield being impossible to disarm)? It just seems fallacious that such a sentence is allowed.

Sure it's weird. Just like a lot of other rules are. Not a problem compard to much else. Nothing ambiguous.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
At any rate, my explanations of this post all lead to one conclusion: The throwing shield is broken, and it needs to be fixed.

I do not find this at all.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
The fact that so many tables run it differently, think it's right (and every other interpretation is wrong), and others can't even get the shield to function at all, speaks for itself;

Is it a fact? It is the case for many other rules in the game, such as Diplomacy and other social skills. But they don't need any more clarifications, people won't use them as writen anyway.

To me, this seems more worthy of a comprehensiv thread than a FAQ or an Errata.


Menacing Shade of mauve wrote:

The reasonable number of "throw a throwing shield" free actions you should allow is zero.

The description is obviously an error. The most likely intent is that readying the shield to be thrown is a free action. Fortunately, the rulebook has my back against "but it's RAW". So is my response. Enjoy your zero free actions.

So, you're saying that I am supporting the argument in favor of an FAQ regarding Throwing Shields.

Or are you saying that Free Actions shouldn't exist?


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Has anybody seen players attempting the infinite free action attack loop in PFS? Short of that I don't think that being able to draw and throw as many throwing shields each round as you could daggers, javelins, etc would be broken even if it might seem a little silly to some folks. As an aside, I feel like better single attack options than non-mythic Vital Strike might help make thrown weapon builds more fun and viable.

@Darksol - I think that PDT generally likes FAQ requests to include a specific question, maybe something like, "Can a PC make an attack with a throwing shield as a free action, or does the free action to unclasp the shield simply prepare the shield to be thrown as one of the PC's attacks?" (that could probably be rewritten a bit more clearly, and perhaps your primary concern is something slightly different)

@Scott Wilhelm - After some of the initial firearm FAQs I've become convinced that any attempt to invoke the limit on free actions seems bound to end in disaster, misery, and people claiming that longbows will stop working.


I agree with every rules point Rub-Eta covers.

Seems obvious that you are supposed to be able to change how you hold the shield as a free action, and then make an attack action to throw it.


Rub-Eta wrote:

You really need to get better at summarizing things. I'm serious, it takes way too much time to read all that for a simple issue such as this.

That's a wall of text and the only real issue here is the line "This shield is designed for throwing and has specially designed straps that allow you to unclasp and throw it as a free action". And I only understand your first two interpretations of the line you provide, the third about only being able to throw at allies and not enemies goes way beyond anything within this line of text. There's one reasonable interpretation, the others just doesn't make sense within this game.

The "+50gp" cost is in addition to the shield itself, to make it a throwable shield (This is something that could be more clear).

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
Further examining the table tells us that it deals 1D6 damage (1D4 small) on a hit. But how? Isn't a shield's damage and handiness based on what type of shield it is (heavy or light)?

Not when it's a throwable shield. As noted by the entry. These are not questions relevant to this game, just like "what level do I need to be to wear Adamantine Armor?" isn't.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
And even whether it's enhanced with Spikes or the Bashing property? Why is it that is factored in when used in melee, but it doesn't matter when it's used as a throwing weapon?

"But how" has no place in rules text. You simply don't hit with the spikes when you throw the shield. But there's no rules preventing the Bashing property from being applied (aside from the +1 enhancement bonus when bashing, since you're not bashing). Just like no other shields reserves that property within their own rules, this one does neither.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:
A Throwing Shield is an Exotic Weapon, but if it's still a Shield, can I still bash with it? I'd guess so, but now it's all of a sudden harder for me to bash with it because it's an Exotic Weapon (i.e. it's a Throwing Shield too)?
The Exotic Weapon Proficency is...

I'll admit to that. I've been having to put more "bandages" on my recurring wall of text syndrome, though at the same time, some of it is necessary, especially if I gots some 'splainin' to do. And no, as I've demonstrated, the issue is not "simple," a lot of the text and entries regarding the Throwing Shield are ran inconsistently and don't add up with themselves.

I've actually seen GMs rule that the 1D6 overrules every damage you deal with the shield, even while bashing, because the Throwing Shield is a template that overrides what the base shield has listed. Trust me when I say that even a sentence saying "This shield otherwise functions as normal," or "The shield deals damage in the table only when used as a thrown weapon," would be helpful.

Which is why I'm presuming they have the "No Shield Spikes apply" clause. However, GMs have ruled that the Bashing property is designed to improve your ability to bash with the shield, not when it's used as a thrown weapon, as evidenced by the "No Shield Spikes apply" clause. Even though the RAW doesn't say so, I'm not sure the RAI would match it.

I mean, I suppose this can be the bastard sword all over again, where you can treat it as a Martial Two-Handed Weapon, but the issue still remains that the rules aren't particularly clear on this matter; some official clarity would be appreciated as to how this sort of thing interacts.

All I'm saying is that items that are treated like shields can be considered eligible to be treated as a Throwing Shield; whether that's intentional or not, I don't know, but I'm certain a lot of GMs would smell cheese if a player tried to pull this off on them.

Again, it's weird, but if it's supposed to function like a normal shield, I don't think the intent is that it's immune to being disarmed at all times, even when you're just holding on to it (with no intention to use it whatsoever) instead of being immune to disarms because it's strapped to your forearm.

You've already seen answers in this thread leading to conclusions different from other posters. If that's not evidence that a FAQ/Errata is needed, then I don't know what does anymore.


I supposed a clarification on the shield being disarmable if its not being worn as a shield, but being readied as a weapon, might be useful. The intent seems fairly obvious, you cannot disarm a shield, so you cannot disarm a throwing shield, when it's strapped to the opponent's arm. Perfectly reasonable to use a triggered action to disarm if the opponent readies the shield to throw.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:
Menacing Shade of mauve wrote:

The reasonable number of "throw a throwing shield" free actions you should allow is zero.

The description is obviously an error. The most likely intent is that readying the shield to be thrown is a free action. Fortunately, the rulebook has my back against "but it's RAW". So is my response. Enjoy your zero free actions.

So, you're saying that I am supporting the argument in favor of an FAQ regarding Throwing Shields.

Or are you saying that Free Actions shouldn't exist?

I'm saying that if you can do an errataed reprint of Adventurer's Armory, an Ultimate Equipment, and errata for Ultimate Equipment and still not fix this....you're really not taking pride in your work any more.

The rules text is obviously borked, the reasonable way to run is fairly obvious.


Joey Cote wrote:

I agree with every rules point Rub-Eta covers.

Seems obvious that you are supposed to be able to change how you hold the shield as a free action, and then make an attack action to throw it.

But it doesn't actually say that. It says "unclasp and throw it as a Free Action." PFS Players and Referees are supposed to adhere to RAW. If you are confident about how Throwing Shields aught to work, then click that FAQ button, because it's obvious they made a mistake and they should fix it because to what

Devilkiller wrote:
Has anybody seen players attempting the infinite free action attack loop in PFS?

I haven't, but I really want to. I've been busy with work.

I was just looking it up. Throwing Shields are Trip Weapons: Did you know that? I'm going to take Snap Shot Feats and Greater Trip. So when I Trip you with my Shield, my Blinkback Belt immediately summons it back, then I draw it again and make my attack of opportunity again with the Throwing Shield. The damage isn't great, but it will get better with levels in Warpriest.

Somebody stop me!


Menacing Shade of mauve wrote:
I'm saying that if you can do an errataed reprint of Adventurer's Armory, an Ultimate Equipment, and errata for Ultimate Equipment and still not fix this....you're really not taking pride in your work any more.

You mean Paizo is not taking pride in their work any more?

Menacing Shade of mauve wrote:
The rules text is obviously borked, the reasonable way to run is fairly obvious.

I suppose if my infinity damage, Free Action Attack loop has survived 3 revisions, they really do intend for it to be legal. Maybe they just feel that the GM's discretion on the number of Free Actions characters are allowed to take in a round is already an adequate safeguard, as long as you are not serious about banning Free Actions from your PFS games, that is.

But if, as you're saying, Paizo just doesn't care anymore, why should you? If they broke their own game, what do you care if I break it more?

Silver Crusade

I often buy these for my martial characters. I treat it as paying 50 gp for the option to drop my shield as a free action and nothing else.

Worth it for the cost.

Being able to actually use it to make an attack as a free action is absurdly overpowered and fairly obviously not the intent.


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pauljathome wrote:

I often buy these for my martial characters. I treat it as paying 50 gp for the option to drop my shield as a free action and nothing else.

Worth it for the cost.

Being able to actually use it to make an attack as a free action is absurdly overpowered and fairly obviously not the intent.

A lot of GMs would argue that unclasping it to drop it as a free action, to then drop it as a free action, is not the intent behind the ability to throw it.

An ingenious idea, but I don't think a lot of sane GMs would let that fly.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Menacing Shade of mauve wrote:

The reasonable number of "throw a throwing shield" free actions you should allow is zero.

The description is obviously an error. The most likely intent is that readying the shield to be thrown is a free action. Fortunately, the rulebook has my back against "but it's RAW". So is my response. Enjoy your zero free actions.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Keep in mind that the "most likely" interpretation isn't always the "most fair" interpretation. As much as I wish it was, we've been proven wrong before.

So, if you want your answer cemented, please hit the FAQ button on the OP.

The "I can make infinite attacks as free actions is RAW" has its mirror opposite in the "it say that you can only throw the shield, not attack, so you can throw it away or to a friend, but not attack, that is the RAW" position.

I have never been a fan of Captain America and dislike the whole item, but you are right, it is a mess and it should be cleared for those that want to use it.
FAQed.

Liberty's Edge

Diego Rossi wrote:
Menacing Shade of mauve wrote:

The reasonable number of "throw a throwing shield" free actions you should allow is zero.

The description is obviously an error. The most likely intent is that readying the shield to be thrown is a free action. Fortunately, the rulebook has my back against "but it's RAW". So is my response. Enjoy your zero free actions.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Keep in mind that the "most likely" interpretation isn't always the "most fair" interpretation. As much as I wish it was, we've been proven wrong before.

So, if you want your answer cemented, please hit the FAQ button on the OP.

The "I can make infinite attacks as free actions is RAW" has its mirror opposite in the "it say that you can only throw the shield, not attack, so you can throw it away or to a friend, but not attack, that is the RAW" position.

I have never been a fan of Captain America and dislike the whole item, but you are right, it is a mess and it should be cleared for those that want to use it.
FAQed.

There's a little bit of historical precident that Vikings would throw their shields as a weapon so the item isn't nonsensical to the point that it only exists in comic books.


Scott Wilhelm wrote:


I suppose if my infinity damage, Free Action Attack loop has survived 3 revisions, they really do intend for it to be legal. Maybe they just feel that the GM's discretion on the number of Free Actions characters are allowed to take in a round is already an adequate safeguard, as long as you are not serious about banning Free Actions from your PFS games, that is.

Hm. Looking it over, the rules seem to say that you can take at least one free action on your turn, so I can't completely shut it down with just that one tool. But it's close.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Crisischild wrote:
Diego Rossi wrote:
Menacing Shade of mauve wrote:

The reasonable number of "throw a throwing shield" free actions you should allow is zero.

The description is obviously an error. The most likely intent is that readying the shield to be thrown is a free action. Fortunately, the rulebook has my back against "but it's RAW". So is my response. Enjoy your zero free actions.

Darksol the Painbringer wrote:

Keep in mind that the "most likely" interpretation isn't always the "most fair" interpretation. As much as I wish it was, we've been proven wrong before.

So, if you want your answer cemented, please hit the FAQ button on the OP.

The "I can make infinite attacks as free actions is RAW" has its mirror opposite in the "it say that you can only throw the shield, not attack, so you can throw it away or to a friend, but not attack, that is the RAW" position.

I have never been a fan of Captain America and dislike the whole item, but you are right, it is a mess and it should be cleared for those that want to use it.
FAQed.
There's a little bit of historical precident that Vikings would throw their shields as a weapon so the item isn't nonsensical to the point that it only exists in comic books.

I have no problem with people throwing it as a improvised weapon, as a way to free and arm to use their weapon two handed and hinder somewhat the enemy or similar things.

My problem is about using it as a main weapon.

It is more a problem of esthetic than mechanics. call it a throwing discus that can be used to parry while you hold it in your hand, giving you a +1 shield bonus to AC, and probably I would be fine.

I have a similar problem with the quickdraw shield. "What, this thing is linked to suspenders to be strapped so fast?"

Liberty's Edge

Staying on the viking theme, they were center grip shields. You just grab the center, doesn't take much time at all. Other shields had what was called a guige. A long strap that ran over the shoulder and allowed the soldier to basically drop his shield in combat without losing it. Retrieval was simple and fast. It also let you rest some of the weight of the shield on your shoulders when you were using it.

In Pathfinder, shields seem to bizarrely be physically strapped to the users arm. This was not done historically because, obviously, an opponent would just have to grab and wrench your shield to break your arm and topple you. So realy, all shields are quickdraw shields.

Throwing shields as a main weapon aren't any more strange than everyone not wearing plate armor, but you rarely see plate in Pathfinder. Not any stranger than swords with blades as wide as a human, or steel warhammers that would weigh hundreds of pounds being wielded in one hand.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Crisischild wrote:

Staying on the viking theme, they were center grip shields. You just grab the center, doesn't take much time at all. Other shields had what was called a guige. A long strap that ran over the shoulder and allowed the soldier to basically drop his shield in combat without losing it. Retrieval was simple and fast. It also let you rest some of the weight of the shield on your shoulders when you were using it.

In Pathfinder, shields seem to bizarrely be physically strapped to the users arm. This was not done historically because, obviously, an opponent would just have to grab and wrench your shield to break your arm and topple you. So realy, all shields are quickdraw shields.

Throwing shields as a main weapon aren't any more strange than everyone not wearing plate armor, but you rarely see plate in Pathfinder.

All true, but "quickdraw" is used differently by the guys arguing for free action fire.

The shield description agree with you.

PRD wrote:


Quickdraw Shield, Light Wooden or Steel: This light shield is specially crafted with a series of straps to allow a character proficient in shields to ready or stow it on his or her back quickly and easily. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a swift action combined with a regular move. If you have the Two-Weapon Fighting feat, you can draw a light or one-handed weapon with one hand and a quickdraw shield with the other in the time it would normally take you to draw one weapon. If you have the Quick Draw feat, you may don or put away a quickdraw shield as a free action.

As written I read it as "you can have one or at most 2 (one on each shoulder) shields on your back". some people seem to read it as "you can have as many as you wish".

Crisischild wrote:
Not any stranger than swords with blades as wide as a human, or steel warhammers that would weigh hundreds of pounds being wielded in one hand.

Please, those are anime stuff that some illustrator love. I have handled some real Renaissance and Napoleonic era sword and a good reproduction of a warhammer, beside seeing tons of them in different museums I have an idea of the size and weight.


Crisischild wrote:

Staying on the viking theme, they were center grip shields. You just grab the center, doesn't take much time at all. Other shields had what was called a guige. A long strap that ran over the shoulder and allowed the soldier to basically drop his shield in combat without losing it. Retrieval was simple and fast. It also let you rest some of the weight of the shield on your shoulders when you were using it.

In Pathfinder, shields seem to bizarrely be physically strapped to the users arm. This was not done historically because, obviously, an opponent would just have to grab and wrench your shield to break your arm and topple you. So realy, all shields are quickdraw shields.

Throwing shields as a main weapon aren't any more strange than everyone not wearing plate armor, but you rarely see plate in Pathfinder. Not any stranger than swords with blades as wide as a human, or steel warhammers that would weigh hundreds of pounds being wielded in one hand.

The design itself might be "bizarre," as far as historical accuracy is concerned, but the mechanics are not; it is implied that by having the shield strapped to your arm/hand, that the hand is occupied wielding the shield in its proper use, as evidenced by the text of light/heavy shields stating that you can/cannot hold items in your shield hand.

Who isn't to say that there are such safeties in line for things like you just said (plate armors, giant swords, overweight hammers)? Because there are. Plate Armor is expensive to craft, even for beginner adventurers, and requires quite a bit of experience and skill to craft properly. I mean, it was already discussed that Masterwork Weapons for a town full of guards could potentially bankrupt said town's government, and I can assure you, using Plate Armor or Full Plate is two to five times as expensive as any given Masterwork Longsword. Speaking of which, if you want to craft said Plate Armor as Masterwork, it requires even further skill (and resources). Giant swords would be unwieldy, and as such would become more difficult to make accurate and devastating hits with such weaponry (as evidenced by the Oversized Weapon rules). This also applies to the overweight hammers, and not to mention Carrying Capacity. If they're running around with over a hundred pounds of weaponry in a single hand, that's adding to their limited carrying capacity.

Plus, it is well within GM FIAT to rule that such extensive usage would be physically taxing and cause penalties for the wearer if their desire to have their extremely heavy weapon at the ready (such as the Fatigued or even Exhausted condition, depending on circumstances).


1 person marked this as FAQ candidate.
Diego Rossi wrote:

The "I can make infinite attacks as free actions is RAW" has its mirror opposite in the "it say that you can only throw the shield, not attack, so you can throw it away or to a friend, but not attack, that is the RAW" position.

I have never been a fan of Captain America and dislike the whole item, but you are right, it is a mess and it should be cleared for those that want to use it.
FAQed.

This... throw as many times as you like, you would still only get one attack roll.


We're at over 20 FAQ requests so far.

Keep it coming guys; if you want a cemented, sure-fire answer/change to Throwing Shields, press the FAQ button on the OP if you haven't yet. I (and many others) thank you for the support.

Liberty's Edge

Diego Rossi wrote:

All true, but "quickdraw" is used differently by the guys arguing for free action fire.

As written I read it as "you can have one or at most 2 (one on each shoulder) shields on your back". some people seem to read it as "you can have as many as you wish".

I agree. The intent of the throwing shield's mechanics is obvious, and the infinite-attack loop crowd are being intentionally daft..

Diego Rossi wrote:
Please, those are anime stuff that some illustrator love. I have handled some real Renaissance and Napoleonic era sword and a good reproduction of a warhammer, beside seeing tons of them in different museums I have an idea of the size and weight.

That's my point. Weapons in pathfinder are generally oversized and overweight to the point they simply could not be wielded. Why is a club that is literally just a log any more strange than throwing a shield?


Crisischild wrote:
I agree. The intent of the throwing shield's mechanics is obvious, and the infinite-attack loop crowd are being intentionally daft..

Hey now, there is an enormous difference between going "Hey, this exploit exists within the rules," and actually thinking anyone will let you play that way.

Sovereign Court

Well, i have seen it in PFS and it was an issue, but it was already quoted that the GM can limit the available free actions to a reasonable number.

So that is something that is creating table variation in organized play.

The rules clearly say you can throw it as a free action and since in PFS you are bound to RAW, you have to play it that way, but every GM can limit the number of free actions and that means all free actions.

So it would be absolutely RAW to allow throwing your shield and don´t allow to draw the quickdraw shield from your back (as a free action, still possible as a swift action as mentioned in the rules for quickdraw shields). Also here i already experienced table variation.

In total, a FAQ would be nice but i don´t think it is that urgent.


This thread probably contains at least one person who thinks the infinite attack loop is funny and forcing it down some PFS group's throat would be even funnier.

In this particular case I'm guessing the most tables would tell the clever trickster it doesn't work and move on (perhaps followed by a Venture Captain saying something similar if that decision gets appealed). It is probably in Paizo's best interest to reduce the number of times somebody tries to force PFS DMs (or players, for that matter) to swallow a bitter RAW pill though. Sometimes even silly stuff can get people pretty miffed, and miffed DMs are more likely to consider switching rule sets.

I guess I'll go ahead and click FAQ even though I wonder if the PDT won't privately react to this like, "For goodness sake, are these people little children who refuse to use even a little common sense and can't adjudicate even the most ridiculous loopholes without direct intervention from us?"


Devilkiller wrote:

This thread probably contains at least one person who thinks the infinite attack loop is funny and forcing it down some PFS group's throat would be even funnier.

In this particular case I'm guessing the most tables would tell the clever trickster it doesn't work and move on (perhaps followed by a Venture Captain saying something similar if that decision gets appealed). It is probably in Paizo's best interest to reduce the number of times somebody tries to force PFS DMs (or players, for that matter) to swallow a bitter RAW pill though. Sometimes even silly stuff can get people pretty miffed, and miffed DMs are more likely to consider switching rule sets.

I guess I'll go ahead and click FAQ even though I wonder if the PDT won't privately react to this like, "For goodness sake, are these people little children who refuse to use even a little common sense and can't adjudicate even the most ridiculous loopholes without direct intervention from us?"

Shameless bump.

In my personal opinion, that sort of "infinite attack loop" scheme falls under the same premise of the deep seedy underbelly of the messageboards, where a character breaks the game due to a specific interpretation of the rules that leads to something that appears obviously unintended. The most basic one is a "No-Holds Barred Wish," in that the GM treats the spell as "anything the PCs want," and turns it into a "Gotcha" scenario (unless the PCs set out a contract, in which case you might as well should've made a deal with the Devil), or the GM gives in to whatever outrageous desire the PCs want (such as unlimited power). There are others, but that alone tells you that, if given a liberal viewpoint of a rules element, it can certainly lead to a broken (and probably unfun) game.

As to whether that really happens in PFS, I can't say. I don't play PFS, I just read what others have stated on here, and any stories I hear through the grapevine. Needless to say, based on what I've heard and read, it's happened (or at least brought up) more than several times, and in a few of them, it's happened. Thankfully, none of them had the system mastery to abuse it like Scott figured out, but it's only a matter of time; remember the Songbird of Doom? Yeah, that turkey's gonna be coming home to roost sooner or later, and the big fat goose egg is gonna be the Throwing Shield.

Hopefully, with the FAQ, it will be sooner rather than later. I do have a character concept with a Throwing Shield (more-or-less, becoming a MAD character with both Melee and Ranged capabilities using the same statistic), possibly making the whole "Dex to Damage" option more useful than just "I melee thing," so hopefully they'll have this sort of thing fixed before I come across some GMs who are all like "Yup, I won't allow this weapon because it's too stupid and broken."

That being said, if people have said that this item has been errata'd THREE TIMES, across THREE Paizo souces...and the issues are STILL THERE...well, I doubt Paizo would have much excuse to point the finger and call us "little children who refuse to use even a little common sense." At least, according to that track record. Whether that's true or not needs to be verified.

Again, I implore people to hit the FAQ button on the OP if they want an official rewrite (or even clarification) regarding the Throwing Shield. We appreciate the support so far, but it doesn't have to stop here (, nor should it). Keep hitting it, and with any luck, we'll get something in return.

Silver Crusade

Maggus wrote:


The rules clearly say you can throw it as a free action and since in PFS you are bound to RAW

People keep saying this about PFS but it really is NOT true. GMs are allowed (arguably required) to decide what the rules mean when there is reasonable doubt. And I would definitely say there is reasonable doubt here.


pauljathome wrote:
Maggus wrote:


The rules clearly say you can throw it as a free action and since in PFS you are bound to RAW

People keep saying this about PFS but it really is NOT true. GMs are allowed (arguably required) to decide what the rules mean when there is reasonable doubt. And I would definitely say there is reasonable doubt here.

More than that, within the doubtlessly binding RAW, PFSGMs are granted discretion as to the number of Free Actions allowable to PCs.

If I ever bring such a character to the table, I will present a character that I invested a piece of mundane special equipment a 5000gp magic item occupying a belt slot I would totally would have occupied with something else, and a Feat. How many low-damage, Free Action attacks does he think is fair to buy at that price? Honestly, I think a couple of bonus attacks is fair. And I think it would be fair to be allowed to use the Free Action loop in conjunction with other Feats, such as making Ranged Attacks of Opportunity via Snap Shot Feats, for example.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Well, its the same errata that changed jaunt boots from "fun item, but depend on a GM" to "useless garbage"...


@Darksol - I agree that Paizo should clarify this. I was just thinking that it might get frustrating dealing with such semantic tortures. Just because something is part of your job doesn't mean it couldn't get annoying sometimes.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Maggus wrote:

Well, i have seen it in PFS and it was an issue, but it was already quoted that the GM can limit the available free actions to a reasonable number.

So that is something that is creating table variation in organized play.

The rules clearly say you can throw it as a free action and since in PFS you are bound to RAW, you have to play it that way, but every GM can limit the number of free actions and that means all free actions.

So it would be absolutely RAW to allow throwing your shield and don´t allow to draw the quickdraw shield from your back (as a free action, still possible as a swift action as mentioned in the rules for quickdraw shields). Also here i already experienced table variation.

In total, a FAQ would be nice but i don´t think it is that urgent.

You do realize drawing and arrow is a free action so: how much are we going to nerf archers to stop throwing shields?

If we limit throwers to 3 free/rd, then archers are also limited to 3 attacks/rd.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Maggus wrote:

Well, i have seen it in PFS and it was an issue, but it was already quoted that the GM can limit the available free actions to a reasonable number.

So that is something that is creating table variation in organized play.

The rules clearly say you can throw it as a free action and since in PFS you are bound to RAW, you have to play it that way, but every GM can limit the number of free actions and that means all free actions.

So it would be absolutely RAW to allow throwing your shield and don´t allow to draw the quickdraw shield from your back (as a free action, still possible as a swift action as mentioned in the rules for quickdraw shields). Also here i already experienced table variation.

In total, a FAQ would be nice but i don´t think it is that urgent.

You do realize drawing and arrow is a free action so: how much are we going to nerf archers to stop throwing shields?

If we limit throwers to 3 free/rd, then archers are also limited to 3 attacks/rd.

Given that one free action (although it's really not a free action, it's considered part of the attack instead of a separate action) is constrained by the number of attacks one can normally get, while the other being proposed is not, they are not comparable in the least.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Scythia wrote:
Starbuck_II wrote:
Maggus wrote:

Well, i have seen it in PFS and it was an issue, but it was already quoted that the GM can limit the available free actions to a reasonable number.

So that is something that is creating table variation in organized play.

The rules clearly say you can throw it as a free action and since in PFS you are bound to RAW, you have to play it that way, but every GM can limit the number of free actions and that means all free actions.

So it would be absolutely RAW to allow throwing your shield and don´t allow to draw the quickdraw shield from your back (as a free action, still possible as a swift action as mentioned in the rules for quickdraw shields). Also here i already experienced table variation.

In total, a FAQ would be nice but i don´t think it is that urgent.

You do realize drawing and arrow is a free action so: how much are we going to nerf archers to stop throwing shields?

If we limit throwers to 3 free/rd, then archers are also limited to 3 attacks/rd.
Given that one free action (although it's really not a free action, it's considered part of the attack instead of a separate action) is constrained by the number of attacks one can normally get, while the other being proposed is not, they are not comparable in the least.

Wrong, nocking (that thing where you put the arrow at the string and pull back) an arrow is a part of an attack and is a not an action. But drawing it is a free action.

Ammunition: Projectile weapons use ammunition: arrows (for bows), bolts (for crossbows), darts (for blowguns), or sling bullets (for slings and halfling sling staves). When using a bow, a character can draw ammunition as a free action; crossbows and slings require an action for reloading (as noted in their descriptions


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I'll quote myself on this...

Devilkiller wrote:
After some of the initial firearm FAQs I've become convinced that any attempt to invoke the limit on free actions seems bound to end in disaster, misery, and people claiming that longbows will stop working.


Devilkiller wrote:

I'll quote myself on this...

Devilkiller wrote:
After some of the initial firearm FAQs I've become convinced that any attempt to invoke the limit on free actions seems bound to end in disaster, misery, and people claiming that longbows will stop working.

If I cannot have my cheese, I'll burn everyone else's toys in the process of leaving.

/sarcasm


Starbuck_II wrote:


You do realize drawing and arrow is a free action so: how much are we going to nerf archers to stop throwing shields?
If we limit throwers to 3 free/rd, then archers are also limited to 3 attacks/rd.

As a GM, I am under no obligation to apply the same free action limit to every player.


Starbuck_II wrote:
Maggus wrote:

Well, i have seen it in PFS and it was an issue, but it was already quoted that the GM can limit the available free actions to a reasonable number.

So that is something that is creating table variation in organized play.

The rules clearly say you can throw it as a free action and since in PFS you are bound to RAW, you have to play it that way, but every GM can limit the number of free actions and that means all free actions.

So it would be absolutely RAW to allow throwing your shield and don´t allow to draw the quickdraw shield from your back (as a free action, still possible as a swift action as mentioned in the rules for quickdraw shields). Also here i already experienced table variation.

In total, a FAQ would be nice but i don´t think it is that urgent.

You do realize drawing and arrow is a free action so: how much are we going to nerf archers to stop throwing shields?

If we limit throwers to 3 free/rd, then archers are also limited to 3 attacks/rd.

Not all free actions are created equally.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

But shouldn't a DM not be bias, why be not be fair and impartial?

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