Shields


Prerelease Discussion


As a huge fan of shields I have some concerns.

Current PF favors offense so much higher than defense if using your average defensive option slows your offense no one will use it unless there are significant defensive gains.

If it takes an action to get a benefit at all that makes them almost obsolete right off the bat. Now, if there is a static bonus and also an added greater bonus for spending an action I can see it.

Now to the shield actually taking damage. Realistically I see it of course. But this will make the mend spell very valuable or characters will carry around wagon of shields. This also makes magic shields even more expensive and reduces the chance of anyone using one.


Lincoln Cross wrote:

As a huge fan of shields I have some concerns.

Current PF favors offense so much higher than defense if using your average defensive option slows your offense no one will use it unless there are significant defensive gains.

If it takes an action to get a benefit at all that makes them almost obsolete right off the bat. Now, if there is a static bonus and also an added greater bonus for spending an action I can see it.

Now to the shield actually taking damage. Realistically I see it of course. But this will make the mend spell very valuable or characters will carry around wagon of shields. This also makes magic shields even more expensive and reduces the chance of anyone using one.

Seems almost to me that the shield till does what it did before but there is additional utility for it as well; you can also choose to expend an action in order to block or something similar. Might be wrong about that ...


I read something that implied you can spend an action to reduce damage by the hardness of the shield.

Without clarification of if this damages the shield, how many attacks it reduces the damage from, or really much pertinent information at all. If it reduces damage from all attacks in a round, and costs 1 action then it might not be so bad.

If it requires you to spend an action for each incoming attack, and if shield don't do anything unless you actively spend an action...they'll be even worse in 2nd edition than they are in 1st. Because you're right, in Pathfinder the best defense is a good offense.


But if that action spending is merely an additional option then it is an increase in utility not a decrease.


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As per the Podcast, right now you have to spend an Action to use your shield. Then you gain both the better AC and a reaction to gain DR equal to your shields hardness. In the example Level 1 gameplay, the shield had a hardness of 9. The shield only takes damage if the incoming damage exceeds the hardness. They didn't get into it, but there was some wording about an item would then suffer dents, and each item could withstand a number of dents.
It does Sound ok to me - you lose an iterative attack, which would be at -5 or -10 depending if second or third, and gain a reasonably high DR against one hit. In the combat example with the Skeletons, it would completely negate all possible attacks without taking any damage, excluding a crit. Which also gets harder, as crits are now AC+10 as well. So for one Action, you will get hit less often, you get less crits, andif you get hit, you can negate large amount of damage for negligible wear on your shield.
And, finally, it would introduce something like armour/weapon wear and make skills like weapon/armoursmith more interesting and have mor use in the game.

Liberty's Edge

Plus, this is just the baseline shield we're seeing, there's no telling what kind of support there might be if you want to focus on defense using a shield by spending feats or choosing class features.


Fighters are said to be the class that has a lot of reactions. That means fighters will be the *least* likely to use shields, as they have other, better reactions they can do instead.

The reaction thing is nice. It seems to work on all attacks against any one opponent, which makes ganging up even more dangerous. But ganging up is already good in a hp system, is this too much of a good thing?

Finally, damage scales a lot over levels. The shield that could keep you safe at level 1 won't work at all at level 10. I REALLY don't like the Starfinder equipment levels, but this more or less mandates that - or an ability that lets you add your class level to the effective hardness of your shield.


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Starfox wrote:
I REALLY don't like the Starfinder equipment levels, but this more or less mandates that - or an ability that lets you add your class level to the effective hardness of your shield.

I just have to say... enchanted adamantine shield? That's something I'd go for as a sword-and-board fighter-type. And since it's a reaction, you can choose which attack to block. Just my two cents.


Well like weapons the Shield will presumably have Expert/Master/Legendary qualities to it. These might increase the AC bonus or they might improve the Hardness or the Hit Points of the Shield. or even all three.

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Claxon wrote:

I read something that implied you can spend an action to reduce damage by the hardness of the shield.

Without clarification of if this damages the shield, how many attacks it reduces the damage from, or really much pertinent information at all. If it reduces damage from all attacks in a round, and costs 1 action then it might not be so bad.

If it requires you to spend an action for each incoming attack, and if shield don't do anything unless you actively spend an action...they'll be even worse in 2nd edition than they are in 1st. Because you're right, in Pathfinder the best defense is a good offense.

This is speculating a bit on rules I haven't seen, but if I'm locked in melee with a creature and I have a choice between spending my third action to take an attack roll at -10 to hit and readying a shield that can reduce an incoming hit's damage by 4, I think that decision becomes much more tactical.


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The current shield rules from the Glass Cannon preview look great to me. You have an active tradeoff that looks really meaningful. Do you make an attack that's unlikely to hit at BAB-10, or do you end your turn by hunkering down with your shield? Do you charge into the fray by hoping to take out an enemy immediately or do you bring your shield out to protect against the possible focus-fire? It might require an action on your turn, but if the bonus AC and "DR" are worth it, its going to be a real and valuable consideration.

From some of the discussion by the devs and from players who've used the Unchained Action Economy, this looks like it'll expand combat tactics a lot.


Interesting concepts, but sure seems like an awful lot of extra book-keeping for just using a shield. I hope everything else in 2nd Edition isn't the same, or that this isn't as fiddly as it sounds so far.


Now, I wanted to say that I like this active shield use concept very much. It already incentivized me to make a sword&board character, something I always found quite boring to play. Active shield use and the new action economy already gives a lot of interesting tactical choices, so it1s absolutely a thumbs up! I also like the reaction/DR stuff, it's realistic.

However, I gave it some thought and I believe, from a realistic standpoint (and based on my European martial arts experience), bigger shileds should provide some passive bonus, simply on the merit of covering that much of your body, even if you don't do anything with them. I'm talking about Roman scutum and Norman lenticular shields, maybe even viking shileds, or Renaissance Italian rotella. Basically medium and large shields. I think the best would be those providing some passive bonus, but considerably more, if used actively.

Small shileds however, such as bucklers should not, IMO. IRL you basically always use those actively, not so differently than a parrying dagger. The advantage of those could be the considerably smaller weight and very low/no armor check penalties (if that is still a thing in some form, which I think should be) in comparison to the big bros.

Just my 2cents. ;)

Liberty's Edge

I like the direction they are going in more active shield use. Presumably there will be ways to extend the DR to more than one attack via class/feat. Hopefully we can get the iconic image of blocking a dragon's breath and even shielding those behind you for a reasonable investment.


Question, does anything revealed so far indicate that a sheild user has to ready the shield every round or is readying a sheild more like drawing a weapon?


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JRutterbush wrote:
Plus, this is just the baseline shield we're seeing, there's no telling what kind of support there might be if you want to focus on defense using a shield by spending feats or choosing class features.

I expect this is going to be the worst part.

There's going to be a feat that says "you gain your shield's bonus to AC even when you don't spend an action to guard"

So, you'll have-

Base, no action: nothing

Base, action: +2 AC and use reaction for DR

And then after the feat tax!

Feat, no action: +2 AC

Feat, action: +2 AC and use reaction for DR (possibly slightly more)

This is without considering that shield bashing either effectively no longer exists, or is locked behind the feat or class ability that gives you a "shield bash action" where you attack with a weapon and a shield.

Potentially you'll have to take the passive AC feat, plus the shield bash feat, then a third feat to still be able to use the shield reaction when you shield bash. . . And it snowballs from there.


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Nathanael Love wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Plus, this is just the baseline shield we're seeing, there's no telling what kind of support there might be if you want to focus on defense using a shield by spending feats or choosing class features.

I expect this is going to be the worst part.

There's going to be a feat that says "you gain your shield's bonus to AC even when you don't spend an action to guard"

So, you'll have-

Base, no action: nothing

Base, action: +2 AC and use reaction for DR

And then after the feat tax!

Feat, no action: +2 AC

Feat, action: +2 AC and use reaction for DR (possibly slightly more)

This is without considering that shield bashing either effectively no longer exists, or is locked behind the feat or class ability that gives you a "shield bash action" where you attack with a weapon and a shield.

Potentially you'll have to take the passive AC feat, plus the shield bash feat, then a third feat to still be able to use the shield reaction when you shield bash. . . And it snowballs from there.

From the 2nd half of the Glass Cannon podcast, right around 1:15:00. Anyone using a shield can shield bash as an action, while still using the shield for defense. Fighter (trained in using shields) gets level + str mod (+5 at first level) to hit.

1st action - heavy steel shield comes up (+2 AC and get access to the 'shield block'* reaction)
2nd action - shield bash (+5 to hit)
3rd action - 2nd shield bash (+0 to hit)
reaction - DR 9 from shield against an attack.**

This is all at first level with no additional feats.

It sounds better and less restrictive than what you're fearing.

--
* I don't remember if they actually named the reaction in the podcast
** The attack was less than 9 damage, so the shield was undamaged. There was some mention of 'dented' as a condition for a shield that took damage, but I couldn't get exactly how you tell when your shield is effectively broken.


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Cheburn wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Plus, this is just the baseline shield we're seeing, there's no telling what kind of support there might be if you want to focus on defense using a shield by spending feats or choosing class features.

I expect this is going to be the worst part.

There's going to be a feat that says "you gain your shield's bonus to AC even when you don't spend an action to guard"

So, you'll have-

Base, no action: nothing

Base, action: +2 AC and use reaction for DR

And then after the feat tax!

Feat, no action: +2 AC

Feat, action: +2 AC and use reaction for DR (possibly slightly more)

This is without considering that shield bashing either effectively no longer exists, or is locked behind the feat or class ability that gives you a "shield bash action" where you attack with a weapon and a shield.

Potentially you'll have to take the passive AC feat, plus the shield bash feat, then a third feat to still be able to use the shield reaction when you shield bash. . . And it snowballs from there.

From the 2nd half of the Glass Cannon podcast, right around 1:15:00. Anyone using a shield can shield bash as an action, while still using the shield for defense. Fighter (trained in using shields) gets level + str mod (+5 at first level) to hit.

1st action - heavy steel shield comes up (+2 AC and get access to the 'shield block'* reaction)
2nd action - shield bash (+5 to hit)
3rd action - 2nd shield bash (+0 to hit)
reaction - DR 9 from shield against an attack.**

This is all at first level with no additional feats.

It sounds better and less restrictive than what you're fearing.

--
* I don't remember if they actually named the reaction in the podcast
** The attack was less than 9 damage, so the shield was undamaged. There was some mention of 'dented' as a condition for a shield that took damage, but I couldn't get exactly how you tell when your shield...

What you just described is using the shield as a weapon.

The purpose of a shield bash is to hit with your main hand weapon AND the shield, gaining an extra attack, not to be Captain American and use only a shield.

Currently we get the AC bonus for free, then get an attack with the main and an attack with the shield, or at 6th level 2 main attacks and the shield.


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Nathanael Love wrote:

What you just described is using the shield as a weapon.

The purpose of a shield bash is to hit with your main hand weapon AND the shield, gaining an extra attack, not to be Captain American and use only a shield.

Currently we get the AC bonus for free, then get an attack with the main and an attack with the shield, or at 6th level 2 main attacks and the shield.

What I described is a shield bash (PF Core Rulebook, page 152). A shield bash is literally "using a shield as a weapon." There's no requirement that a shield bash be made as part of another attack.

Core Rulebook wrote:
Shield Bash Attacks: You can bash an opponent with a heavy shield. See “shield, heavy” on Table 6–4 for the damage dealt by a shield bash. Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon. For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon. If you use your shield as a weapon, you lose its AC bonus until your next turn. An enhancement bonus on a shield does not improve the effectiveness of a shield bash made with it, but the shield can be made into a magic weapon in its own right. [There is analogous text for shield bash attacks with light shields]

What you're described is two-weapon fighting with a weapon and shield. That's already a highly feat- and ability score-dependent build (2-5 feats, depending how deep you want to go), and it locks you into needing a full attack action to deal respectable damage.

Shield bash in PF2 playtest looks reasonable so far. It exists. It does not lock you out of using your shield for other things (unlike in PF1, where you lose your shield AC bonus without feats). It does not preclude using another weapon, even in the same round (i.e., you do not have to be "Captain America" to use it). At a minimum, a shield gives you access to a bludgeoning weapon that can also be used for defense and that you don't have to spend an action to draw.

TWF rules in the PF2 action system are currently unknown. I'm hopeful that it's a style of fighting that PF2 will support, but I don't think we have enough info to say so yet. If TWF is supported, I'd suspect using a shield as part of TWF will be as well. I don't mind advocating for that (and would myself). That could be useful feedback in a playtest.


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If there is no benefit for bashing with the shield and you get to spend one action to gain its defense, then two to attack- why would you ever attack with it for the same cost as attacking with a sword that (presumably) does more damage?

Unless they are making shield bash do d8 damage, which I doubt they are, there has to be an option that makes it worth doing.

Current 2WF rules specifically discriminate against shields (because they do so little damage and only the worst of them are "light")- so unless they build shield rules specifically to be used with 2WF or a separate set of Shield Bashing rules, we are just straight up losing functionality.


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In the Glass Cannon Podcast, the character in question was shield bashing because they were fighting skeletons, which were resistant to all damage except bludgeoning damage, and his shield was the only bludgeoning weapon that he had. He would otherwise have kept using his sword.

Grand Lodge

If materials retain the hardness values from 1st to 2nd I think we're going to see a plethora adamantine shields.

Also, I hope there will be a feat or class feature that allows you to absorb more blows with the shield. If for an action you get 2 or 3 reactions to reduce damage. That could be useful.


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Madclaw wrote:

If materials retain the hardness values from 1st to 2nd I think we're going to see a plethora adamantine shields.

Agreed!


Stack wrote:
Small shileds however, such as bucklers should not, IMO. IRL you basically always use those actively, not so differently than a parrying dagger. The advantage of those could be the considerably smaller weight and very low/no armor check penalties (if that is still a thing in some form, which I think should be) in comparison to the big bros.

Maybe instead of a block action, small shields could give a parry as per current swashbucklers (beat their attack role to parry), and with a feat allow for parry and riposte as one reaction. Get that dark souls feel up in here.

Liberty's Edge

Nathanael Love wrote:
If there is no benefit for bashing with the shield and you get to spend one action to gain its defense, then two to attack- why would you ever attack with it for the same cost as attacking with a sword that (presumably) does more damage?

You wouldn't, because shields are defensive weapons. That's like saying "If you take a penalty to attack with improvised weapons and they deal less damage, why would you ever use them?" They're a last resort, you're not meant to be attacking with them most of the time. You can dedicate your resources to being good with them and then they become a good alternative, but they're not meant to be a standard attack.

To look at it differently, if attacking with a shield were just as good as a normal weapon from the start, why would anybody carry a normal weapon? They'd all just use shield for attacks and for defense.


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JRutterbush wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
If there is no benefit for bashing with the shield and you get to spend one action to gain its defense, then two to attack- why would you ever attack with it for the same cost as attacking with a sword that (presumably) does more damage?

You wouldn't, because shields are defensive weapons. That's like saying "If you take a penalty to attack with improvised weapons and they deal less damage, why would you ever use them?" They're a last resort, you're not meant to be attacking with them most of the time. You can dedicate your resources to being good with them and then they become a good alternative, but they're not meant to be a standard attack.

To look at it differently, if attacking with a shield were just as good as a normal weapon from the start, why would anybody carry a normal weapon? They'd all just use shield for attacks and for defense.

So, the shield fighter his effectively eliminated and no longer exists.

Gotta kill the bloat I guess.

Like it or not, the character who is a master of attacking with weapon and a shield is a mainstay of fantasy roleplaying.

Making it worthless to ever do so eliminates fun from the game in the worst possible way.

This is like the question of how you make a dagger fighter viable- if the answer is "you don't" then you don't have options.

Is PF2 going to be "if you use anything other than a 2 hander gtf off my table?"

It took PF1 a long time, but they finally worked around into having viable reasons and ways to fight with a two hander, with sword and board, with two weapons, and with a single one handed weapon- is PF2 going to take us back to having none of that?


Nathanael Love wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Plus, this is just the baseline shield we're seeing, there's no telling what kind of support there might be if you want to focus on defense using a shield by spending feats or choosing class features.

I expect this is going to be the worst part.

There's going to be a feat that says "you gain your shield's bonus to AC even when you don't spend an action to guard"

So, you'll have-

Base, no action: nothing

Base, action: +2 AC and use reaction for DR

And then after the feat tax!

Feat, no action: +2 AC

Feat, action: +2 AC and use reaction for DR (possibly slightly more)

This is without considering that shield bashing either effectively no longer exists, or is locked behind the feat or class ability that gives you a "shield bash action" where you attack with a weapon and a shield.

Potentially you'll have to take the passive AC feat, plus the shield bash feat, then a third feat to still be able to use the shield reaction when you shield bash. . . And it snowballs from there.

I just hope that the "feat" would be Shields Proficiency.


Nathanael Love wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
If there is no benefit for bashing with the shield and you get to spend one action to gain its defense, then two to attack- why would you ever attack with it for the same cost as attacking with a sword that (presumably) does more damage?

You wouldn't, because shields are defensive weapons. That's like saying "If you take a penalty to attack with improvised weapons and they deal less damage, why would you ever use them?" They're a last resort, you're not meant to be attacking with them most of the time. You can dedicate your resources to being good with them and then they become a good alternative, but they're not meant to be a standard attack.

To look at it differently, if attacking with a shield were just as good as a normal weapon from the start, why would anybody carry a normal weapon? They'd all just use shield for attacks and for defense.

So, the shield fighter his effectively eliminated and no longer exists.

Gotta kill the bloat I guess.

Like it or not, the character who is a master of attacking with weapon and a shield is a mainstay of fantasy roleplaying.

Making it worthless to ever do so eliminates fun from the game in the worst possible way.

This is like the question of how you make a dagger fighter viable- if the answer is "you don't" then you don't have options.

Is PF2 going to be "if you use anything other than a 2 hander gtf off my table?"

It took PF1 a long time, but they finally worked around into having viable reasons and ways to fight with a two hander, with sword and board, with two weapons, and with a single one handed weapon- is PF2 going to take us back to having none of that?

Hmm... I've had the opposite response to the shield spoiler.

Historically, shields were usually used primarily to defend, not to bash. But in PF1, if you use a shield you are forced to go the TWF route to keep up with DPR. I am psyched that we can build a character that uses a shield to defend and a sword to attack!


From what I've read, it seems like items are supposed to be more durable. More hardness, more hit points, and I remember something about an item taking multiple "dents" .. or something.

According to the compiled info thread, the shield in question was a wooden shield, which is normally hardness 5 in PF1. It was hardness 9 in the podcast...and just regular quality. A higher quality, wooden shield would have more, as would a steel shield, or higher quality steel shield.

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The only thing that I haven't liked about the shield reveals is that the rules make them a bit more disposable.

While shields were certainly destroyed in battle, they were designed to take a ton of punishment before they were useless. In my amateur study on the matter, I found that no one, not the vikings nor anyone else, made shields that broke on purpose for real combat situations. That myth as far as I can tell comes from pop culture and misunderstandings on how shields were made. Shields were meant to handle nearly everything an enemy could throw at you. It took repeated powerful attacks to destroy a shield.

Read the book I wrote on shields in Pathfinder for more specific information. Link is in the profile.

But I like the idea of using a shield to block attacks and reduce damage. I do no like the idea of my shield being destroyed in the process. I'll need to see the full rules to know what is going on, but if shields are fully disposable I'm going to be sternly against it and champion other options. If I can easily repair the shield in my downtime between adventuring days I'll probably tolerate more disposable shields.


CalebTGordan wrote:
But I like the idea of using a shield to block attacks and reduce damage. I do no like the idea of my shield being destroyed in the process. I'll need to see the full rules to know what is going on, but if shields are fully disposable I'm going to be sternly against it and champion other options. If I can easily repair the shield in my downtime between adventuring days I'll probably tolerate more disposable shields.

It sounds like shields will be much tougher than they are now.

I think the design works exactly as you're suggesting: they're tough and can take quite a beating, and only break after extended abuse. They implied more hardness, hit points, and "dents" for items, especially those with a higher mundane quality.

Unless of course some raging barbarian power-crits you for 84 damage at level one.. but you'll need a new you then.

(greataxe; 1d12. enlarge person-> 3d6. 20 strength human or similar -> +7 with two handed weapon. power attack -> +3 for basic power attack on 2h weapon. 18 max damage + 7+3 *3 = 84... and I think I forgot to add extra strength from enlarge... *shudder* terrifying.)


Nathanael Love wrote:
JRutterbush wrote:
Nathanael Love wrote:
If there is no benefit for bashing with the shield and you get to spend one action to gain its defense, then two to attack- why would you ever attack with it for the same cost as attacking with a sword that (presumably) does more damage?

You wouldn't, because shields are defensive weapons. That's like saying "If you take a penalty to attack with improvised weapons and they deal less damage, why would you ever use them?" They're a last resort, you're not meant to be attacking with them most of the time. You can dedicate your resources to being good with them and then they become a good alternative, but they're not meant to be a standard attack.

To look at it differently, if attacking with a shield were just as good as a normal weapon from the start, why would anybody carry a normal weapon? They'd all just use shield for attacks and for defense.

So, the shield fighter his effectively eliminated and no longer exists.

Gotta kill the bloat I guess.

Like it or not, the character who is a master of attacking with weapon and a shield is a mainstay of fantasy roleplaying.

Making it worthless to ever do so eliminates fun from the game in the worst possible way.

This is like the question of how you make a dagger fighter viable- if the answer is "you don't" then you don't have options.

Is PF2 going to be "if you use anything other than a 2 hander gtf off my table?"

It took PF1 a long time, but they finally worked around into having viable reasons and ways to fight with a two hander, with sword and board, with two weapons, and with a single one handed weapon- is PF2 going to take us back to having none of that?

Get the equivalent to TWF, whatever it ends up being in PF2. I don't see how this is different from anything ever... Shields by default are to defend, you cna bash with them but it's worse than using a weapon UNTIL you get feats to make that good.

They're already better than they are in PF1 right now (useful for defense, bahs at no penalty, dont lose AC). What are you talking about? Shields being better than swords vanilla?


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"ChibiNyan wrote:

Get the equivalent to TWF, whatever it ends up being in PF2. I don't see how this is different from anything ever... Shields by default are to defend, you cna bash with them but it's worse than using a weapon UNTIL you get feats to make that good.

They're already better than they...

We don't even know if there will be any viable two weapon fighting option, much less that it will apply to shields.

And they are only "better" if it's confirmed that it's one action one time to ready a shield for the entire combat, not one action every round, and assuming that there are actual options for them to replace all the feats we have now.


I only skimmed the thread so if I repeated anything already mentioned oops. :)

I don't have the time to go fully in depth with regard to shields but I will say a few quick things.

One, strapped to your arm(ie: kite shield) or held in you hand (ie: boss mounted "viking" shield). I think this is an important consideration as strapped to your arm means it's harder to take off or put on. However, it doesn't drop to the ground when your stunned or otherwise incapcitated. It would also be harder to disarm you.

Held in your hand is nice that you can drop it as a free action and maybe stow it or retrieve it faster than one you would strap to you arm. Down side is that you drop it when stunned etc. I guess you could throw it too. lol ;)

Maybe that would add too much complexity?

As for durability I can't say for certain in real life how long a shield would last. I think the first thing to consider is that in real life how many battles would a soldier actually be in per month? Per year? Per life? No where near a PC that's for sure. How much damage would a shield actually see in a battle? This could vary widely. What about in a duel?

So a shield might not be replaced very often as it might not see much action.

I think it's safe to say that wooden shields would have less life than a metal shield and would also be harder to repair.

I don't think it's unreasonable to think that a wooden shield could survive many battles or be essentially destroyed after one.

Metal shields I think would fair far better and could be hammered back into shape. They don't float though. ;)

Dark Archive

Jumping on the "please explain shields from start to finish" wagon.

In most situations in PF1 offense is better than defense. So even if you have a cool way to stay alive, if you're not killing the monster then the monster has more chances to do bad stuff.
So while the new shield description is cool and cinematic and stuff, part of my concern is that it's going to be a worse tactical decision than just trying to do more damage.
And that's without giving up an action to use it; that's just on weapon damage die (and static modifiers if 1.5 str on 2-h is still a thing).

So please, assuage some of our concerns. Or, justify our concerns. But please let us know explicitly and completely how the shields are used. It'd make a lot of people feel better to know, even if it's not the way they want it.


Well in today's blog on the fighter, they explicitly mentioned things like being able to build your character to get bonus reactions to block on top of your normal reaction, as well as feats to improve shield use like guarding other characters, as well as that Two Weapon Fighting is still a thing.

On top of the fact that just out of the box at level 1 with no investment a shield is already better in PF2 than PF1 (like how you can shield bash without losing your defense, and the aforementioned block), I think you don't have to worry about shields somehow not being a good option. They seem just fine.

The only thing I still want to know is whether you have to take an action to raise a shield every turn, because that is definitely not how they work in real life. Raised once like drawing a weapon would be ideal.


It's been seen in the Glass Cannon Podcast Playtest and confirmed here that raising your shield is something that needs to be done every turn if you want to use it. Try it this way in the playtest and if you don't like it give them feedback.


CalebTGordan wrote:
The only thing that I haven't liked about the shield reveals is that the rules make them a bit more disposable.

Mending spells (and upgraded Skill capabilities in P2E) are a thing.

As far as 'action to use Shield' thing, I think people are ignoring the Reactive Shield ability mentioned in dev comments to Fighter Blog. If you didn't spend normal action to Raise Shield, this lets you do so as Reaction but only for AC bonus since you no longer have Reaction to Block with (although high level ability grants free Block reaction that would work).

By similar logic, and depending on playtest result, I could see Paizo ruling that once you have spent action to Raise your Shield the AC bonus will apply to the next attack against you regardless if it happens before your next turn, but the Block function requires 're-upping' with Raise Shield Action each turn before attack (unless you have special Fighter ability granting bonus Block Reaction, for example). That would make it so you are more ensured to get something out of the action even if not attacked immediately.

But have to see playtest results before saying whether that is really necessary. Overall liking what I am hearing.


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One thing to consider for shield use is synergy with other feats. Not just feats that directly improve shields, but also things like the feat granting a riposte reaction on a critical attack failure. The shield bonus gives you a 10% higher chance of such a critical attack failure per attack. If you're absorbing lots of inaccurate attacks, you trade your -10 attack for a shield ready action that grants 10% fewer hits, 10% fewer crits, and a much higher chance of getting to use your reaction for an accurate riposte.


Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Reposting from the bucklers thread:

Shadrayl of the Mountain wrote:

So just thinking of what I would like to see for shields. I could see expanding this list, but it's a basic idea

1) all shields apply 1/2 their bonus to your AC while equipped. Taking the action applies the full bonus

2) bucklers +1
Shield +2
Tower shield +4

3) give each type a reaction to differentiate them
Bucklers: counter-punch?
Shield: block
Tower shield: take cover?


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Can we just call it "Using a Shield" instead of "Raising a shield"? Because if my opponent raises a shield and leaves it up I'm taking out a leg.


bargleslayer wrote:
Can we just call it "Using a Shield" instead of "Raising a shield"? Because if my opponent raises a shield and leaves it up I'm taking out a leg.

“Ready a shield” might be a good mix of the two.

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