I find your lack of shields disturbing


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Grand Lodge

Anyone else disappointed that there are no shields in SF?

High tech polymer riot shields, energy based shields, archaic metal shields, etc. Not ship based shields.


Archaic shields won't do a thing to stop (provide a bonus against) non-archaic attacks, which is very nearly all of them.

Could've sworn there was something that acted similarly to a shield ... but then, Starfinder armor scales substantially in its protective bonus, making me wonder if they simply felt that shields were an unnecessary element.

Riot shields I'd suggest are updated tower shields (providing cover et al, but not a KAC/EAC bonus).

Grand Lodge

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It would depend entirely on what they are made of. A shield made of the same metals as a suit of heavy armor should provide protection...or one which generates an energy barrier...or one that is enchanted with magic, made of adamantium, mirrored to deflect laser bolts, etc, etc.

There are plenty of sci-fi examples of shields in books, movies, TV, etc.

Captain America deflects all kinds of crazy attacks with his shield. The new Desinty 2 game gives glowing energy based shields to its Titans. The Gungans in Star Wars used shields which projected a force field into a metal framework. That is just 3 examples off the top of my head.

Liberty's Edge

There's the Phase Shield armor upgrade. That gives a shield, basically.


Maybe they will be some more tech shields in later books too. Id like to see the 4 armed race with sword shield and heavy weapon at the same time sounds terrifying.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
There's the Phase Shield armor upgrade. That gives a shield, basically.

This is what I was thinking of. Thanks!

Grand Lodge

Phase shield is something at least...pretty underwhelming though...use an upgrade slot for +1 EAC with no KAC...and only in heavy or powered armor?

Grand Lodge

Vidmaster7 wrote:
Maybe they will be some more tech shields in later books too. Id like to see the 4 armed race with sword shield and heavy weapon at the same time sounds terrifying.

One can hope.

Liberty's Edge

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
Phase shield is something at least...pretty underwhelming though...use an upgrade slot for +1 EAC with no KAC...and only in heavy or powered armor?

It's on top of existing armor, and one of the only things you can ever add on top of level appropriate armor. Anything larger in the way of bonuses would probably be too much.

And, visually and thematically, I'm not sure light armor and a shield makes much sense in a sci-fi setting.


Im personally imagining ultra marines (perticularly imperial fist) boarding a enemy ship. They tend to have those boarding shields. I think they could work like cover that you can carry around.


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Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

And, visually and thematically, I'm not sure light armor and a shield makes much sense in a sci-fi setting.

Blizzard seems to disagree . . . .

Liberty's Edge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

And, visually and thematically, I'm not sure light armor and a shield makes much sense in a sci-fi setting.

Blizzard seems to disagree . . . .

That's all heavy armor, not light.

Anything that looks as heavy as SWAT armor a shield can look cool with...light armor, not so much.


Higher-level Solarians can create gravity shields that give them cover wherever they go.

Grand Lodge

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Light armor and a shield makes perfect sense...

Swashbucklers used buckler shields with little or no armor. How about Agent Coulson with his force field shield and no armor in the latest season of Agents of Shield? Captain America's armor would probably also count as light armor. The Gungan's in Star Wars had energy tower shields and no armor. The Covenant from Halo. And on, and on.


Well, the Starcraft Marines are expressly in power armour. I'm not sure I'd call that light armour.

Mind you, on the other hand


I think its technically medium armor its officially scale mail...hmm sometimes it looks more like a chain shirt then its light.


Ikiry0 wrote:

Well, the Starcraft Marines are expressly in power armour. I'm not sure I'd call that light armour.

Mind you, on the other hand

I have no idea what is on his hand

Liberty's Edge

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Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:

Light armor and a shield makes perfect sense...

Swashbucklers used buckler shields with little or no armor. How about Agent Coulson with his force field shield and no armor in the latest season of Agents of Shield? Captain America's armor would probably also count as light armor. The Gungan's in Star Wars had energy tower shields and no armor. The Covenant from Halo. And on, and on.

I did specifically note 'in sci-fi' which a lot of those examples are not. Swashbucklers and Superheroes are very different genres...and I thought the Gungans looked deeply silly now that you mention it.


It's called a lightshield, a forcefield generator shield from a series called Outlaw Star. Something I'm almost certain inspired Starfinder, considering one of it's main setting things (Caster Guns, guns that can shoot 1 shot spells) are in the core rulebook as a weapon fusion.


Deeply.

Still I am ok with shields. I could see shields being a thing. Have them work like cover but not stack and I think that is a reasonable solution.


My leaning would be 'Cover + Damage reduction if you take full defence'. As full defence is rather a hard sell at the movement (Since you get no attacks or double move if you are melee)

Grand Lodge

Coulson's Energy Shield

Covenant with Energy Shield

Android with an energy shield

Obligitory Captain America pic

Physical Sci-Fi shield

So many options, and these are not even taking into account the fact that magic exists in Starfinder, or materials like Adamantium, newer high tech polymers, carbon fiber, nanotech, polycarbonate, etc.

Grand Lodge

I don't see why having them work just like in Pathfinder would be game breaking...+1 or +2 for small to medium sized shields, and +4 for tower shields, with the option to use a tower shield as cover.

Have energy based shields run on the same charges/uses framework as other tech, while the physical shields don't have batteries, but use up more bulk.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
UnArcaneElection wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

And, visually and thematically, I'm not sure light armor and a shield makes much sense in a sci-fi setting.

Blizzard seems to disagree . . . .

That's all heavy armor, not light.

Anything that looks as heavy as SWAT armor a shield can look cool with...light armor, not so much.

Oops, missed the specification of light armor with shield. But then modern ballistic shields come to mind.


The pathfinder way runs into issues with a corebook 4 armed race. There is no reason for them to ever TWF with heavy weapons so Tower Shield + Heavy Weapon would quickly become utterly dominant.

Liberty's Edge

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
Coulson's Energy Shield

As I said before, superhero stuff is a very different genre with different conventions than sci-fi, and warrants different aesthetics.

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
Covenant with Energy Shield

That looks rather silly to me.

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
Android with an energy shield

That looks very much like heavy armor. It could technically be light, I suppose, but could be heavy just as easily.

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
Obligitory Captain America pic

Honestly, Cap's armor probably qualifies as Heavy by Starfinder standards. Also, see above on the superhero thing.

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
Physical Sci-Fi shield

That looks like heavy armor to me.

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
So many options, and these are not even taking into account the fact that magic exists in Starfinder, or materials like Adamantium, newer high tech polymers, carbon fiber, nanotech, polycarbonate, etc.

By pure logic? Sure. Though even then, I doubt we'd see much of it sans heavy armor. But I'm talking visually and thematically.

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Oops, missed the specification of light armor with shield. But then modern ballistic shields come to mind.

I've never seen someone not wearing what would constitute heavy armor in Starfinder use a modern ballistic shield, either.

Grand Lodge

With the crazy high scaling of AC's in Starfinder already, I don't think adding a +2 AC shield on top of your +26/27 AC Vesk Monolith armor is going to break anything.

Liberty's Edge

Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
With the crazy high scaling of AC's in Starfinder already, I don't think adding a +2 AC shield on top of your +26/27 AC Vesk Monolith armor is going to break anything.

It easily might. The math in Starfinder is really finely tuned. We can't say for sure due to lack of NPCs to compare it to, but an equivalent bonus makes a huge different in several other areas.

Grand Lodge

The android pic I would say is not even wearing armor...it is an android...

For an energy based shield, I could see any combat wise character wearing a bracer that could pop a protective shield up at the push of a button.

For heavy, physical shields...I would agree that the majority of the time they would be seen on heavy/power armored characters. Although in real world history you always have the example of Greek and Roman warriors who would go into battle almost naked carrying a shield.

Just because you do not like the aesthetic of a light or unarmed person carrying a shield, does not mean that plenty of other Sci-Fi enthusiasts disagree with you.


You guys are arguing over tastes at this point which won't get you anywhere.

I don't think I +2 shield bonus is gonna break your game it might end up making every character start carrying a shield however. and increase the target roll to hit by 2. That is why I like the ideal of treating it as mobile cover. Characters are already gonna use cover and that is assumed.

Might encourage characters to use like some interesting pistol shield combos or something.


Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Oops, missed the specification of light armor with shield. But then modern ballistic shields come to mind.

I've never seen someone not wearing what would constitute heavy armor in Starfinder use a modern ballistic shield, either.

I don't think the soldiers in that photo are wearing heavy armor . . . .

Grand Lodge

Mobile cover would be worse...even soft cover grants a -4 to hit.

I still think mechanically shields work just fine the way Pathfinder did them. AC didn't scale as high in PF, so a +2 was even more valuable, and you don't see every player in PF going out of their way to carry a shield.


well I guess if you just stated it wouldn't stack with cover make it the same bonus type. I say give it a shot anyways.


Mind you, with the ability to just buy a 3rd arm for a shield you'd likely want to start including reasons to NOT have a shield.

Grand Lodge

That would depend entirely on how free your GM is with money...in society play, credits are pretty strictly regulated and you would have to sacrifice gear elsewhere to be able to first buy the cybernetics, then also buy the shield.

Liberty's Edge

UnArcaneElection wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:

{. . .}

UnArcaneElection wrote:

Oops, missed the specification of light armor with shield. But then modern ballistic shields come to mind.

I've never seen someone not wearing what would constitute heavy armor in Starfinder use a modern ballistic shield, either.

I don't think the soldiers in that photo are wearing heavy armor . . . .

By Starfinder standards? I'd say it is.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

The Titan Shield upgrade does just that. It grants cover for three squares (yours and the two next to you).

Granted it's a level 14 item and only available on power armor and can only be used for 4 rounds. (Capacity 40 with usage 10).

Grand Lodge

A helmet, vest and knee pads is heavy armor in Starfinder?


Alright this is pointless now I'm out folks good luck.

Grand Lodge

Titan shield is more of a barrier...like Wall of Force, not what I would call a shield in the sense we are discussing here.


Damanta wrote:

The Titan Shield upgrade does just that. It grants cover for three squares (yours and the two next to you).

Granted it's a level 14 item and only available on power armor and can only be used for 4 rounds. (Capacity 40 with usage 10).

Just pointing out it doesn't really state how long it stays on. Armor upgrades have a usage based on activation or duration, and neither shield specifies a duration.


Operatives would all get shields too, using small weapons as they do.
SF doesn't even have Dodge for +1, so I doubt they'll add a shield.

Unless...
If using a shield took a move action (or even a swift) then it would become it's own combat style (vs. Full Attack/Spring Attack/Operative's).
One could further limit it by counting it as a cover bonus (so no stacking with cover) and maybe even limit to vs. 1 attack (or opponent?) per round (or per move/swift action spent that round).
Or maybe roll attack vs. their attack (as reaction?) to block.

Thematically, one could say a PC's Missile Deflection was a shield or buckler if one liked the image. Or one's Stamina pool was them beating on your shield.

As for Space Fantasy tropes, shields are (or at least were) quite common, Flash Gordon being one among many. The sword & shield or ray gun & shield made for many classic covers on pulp fiction & comics.

Grand Lodge

I am not holding my breath on Paizo actually adding them at this point...I do feel that not having them as part of the core rules was a terrible oversight on their part though.

Maybe they will add a variant of Phase Shield which is more powerful...or at least adds to KAC...if anything I think Phase Shield should increase KAC before EAC...it would be a lot easier to block a melee attack with a shield than an an energy beam traveling at the speed of light.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
d'Eon wrote:
Damanta wrote:

The Titan Shield upgrade does just that. It grants cover for three squares (yours and the two next to you).

Granted it's a level 14 item and only available on power armor and can only be used for 4 rounds. (Capacity 40 with usage 10).

Just pointing out it doesn't really state how long it stays on. Armor upgrades have a usage based on activation or duration, and neither shield specifies a duration.

Huh, you're right. I read the usage bit of the armor upgrades wrong.

Based on the way other mods are written (forcepack useage 2/round, haste circuit 1/round) I'm now quite positive it's usage x/activation for the mods that don't have the useage x/round listed but usage x.

And yes, while the titan shield acts like a barrier, that's exactly what a shield is supposed to be, a barrier between you and your opponent, no?

I want energy shields to act like the personal shields from Dune. Fire an energyweapon at them and *boom*, atomic explosion, everyone in a radius of 100 ft. dies. Fire a gun at them and the bullets bounce. Stab them (slowly) with a dagger and you get through.

Grand Lodge

Damanta wrote:

And yes, while the titan shield acts like a barrier, that's exactly what a shield is supposed to be, a barrier between you and your opponent, no?

I want energy shields to act like the personal shields from Dune. Fire an energyweapon at them and *boom*, atomic explosion, everyone in a radius of 100 ft. dies. Fire a gun at them and the bullets bounce. Stab them (slowly) with a dagger and you get through.

Acting like a barrier between you and an incoming attack is exactly what any kind of defense does...light armor, heavy armor, etc. I am saying Titan Shield is a wall...not a shield. Like Reinhardt from Overwatch

As for the personal shields from Dune...that is what the Force Field mod is.


Hopefully the phase and titan shields get corrected to state how long an activation is. The entire fight? Until you turn it off? 1 minute? 1 round?

Without further guidance I'd say per minute to match the powered weapons, but I'm not sure.

Grand Lodge

Seems like most of the defensive abilities are in charges per round.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

The forcefields mods might resemble the Dune personal armors but they don't deflect high speed projectiles while letting slower ones go through they simply block everything except gases or light.
They also don't interact with lasers at all as they let them through instead of blowing up in a feedback reaction :)

The text for the usage states per activation or a certain duration, so I'm inclined to say both the Phase Shield and the Titan Shield last until you shut them off. They are also the only 2 that do not specify their duration. (Okay, granted the Spell Reflector doesn't either, but it has 1 capacity and 1 use, it's a 1/day thingy).

Grand Lodge

Damanta wrote:
The forcefields mods might resemble the Dune personal armors but they don't deflect high speed projectiles while letting slower ones go through they simply block everything except gases or light.

In Dune if a lasgun beam hit a Holtzman field, it would result in sub-atomic fusion and a nuclear explosion. The center of this blast was determined by random chance; sometimes it would originate within the shield, sometimes within the laser weapon, sometimes both.

Somehow I don't think they are going to put something like that into Starfinder.

Grand Lodge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber
Kemuri Kunoichi wrote:
Damanta wrote:
The forcefields mods might resemble the Dune personal armors but they don't deflect high speed projectiles while letting slower ones go through they simply block everything except gases or light.

In Dune if a lasgun beam hit a Holtzman field, it would result in sub-atomic fusion and a nuclear explosion. The center of this blast was determined by random chance; sometimes it would originate within the shield, sometimes within the laser weapon, sometimes both.

Somehow I don't think they are going to put something like that into Starfinder.

I'm not expecting them to either. But it would be funny as heck :)

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