Shields


Prerelease Discussion

Silver Crusade

I thought the whole point of the New rules was to streamline rules not make them more complex.

Shields are being made more complex. Paizo is changing how shields have worked since the inception of D+D. Shields have always added to AC. How do you determine if you can add enchantments to shields. you used to always have to have a +1 on your armor or shield to add an enhancement to it.

Now don't get me wrong I like the raise shield that has been added.

DO wooden shields get less DR than metal shields? Why has the hardness of adamantine been reduced from 20 to 13. What is the DR of Mithril?


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It's already been explained that shields are actually broken into two components, the defensive part which can be enhanced to raise its AC and the offensive part which can be enhanced as a better weapon.

Wood will of course have lower DR than metal. There are apparently better starmetals or materials than adamantine now since the highest DR mentioned in dev comments is 25.

There is at least one known feat which allows you always have your shield readied without spending actions to do so, meaning you always have the AC bonus. I assume that means other feats to accomplish the same end are viable for non-Fighter classes, even if they don't end up appearing in the CRB.

Dark Archive

Fuzzypaws wrote:

It's already been explained that shields are actually broken into two components, the defensive part which can be enhanced to raise its AC and the offensive part which can be enhanced as a better weapon.

Wood will of course have lower DR than metal. There are apparently better starmetals or materials than adamantine now since the highest DR mentioned in dev comments is 25.

There is at least one known feat which allows you always have your shield readied without spending actions to do so, meaning you always have the AC bonus. I assume that means other feats to accomplish the same end are viable for non-Fighter classes, even if they don't end up appearing in the CRB.

I thought shields could not be enchanted with potency runes, they only got property runes?

The Boss on the shield could be enchanted with potency runes for attack.


Hm, well if they can't have potency runes, I missed that and that is unfortunate...


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"Shields don't have potency runes. Instead, you might pick up a shield made of a durable material like adamantine or craft a magic shield that catches arrows, reflects a spell back at its caster, or bites your enemies!"

I think allowing shield's AC bump to scale higher than +2 would have really screwed up the new math. Increased hardness results in higher DR though, and can be done multiple times a round with the right investment.


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I don’t see it as making them too complex, I see it as making them more interesting than just another AC booster. Very few fighter players I know ever chose sword and board, because two-handed weapon was always the more interesting choice and the optimal choice to take your enemy down sooner and end the combat sooner. Now, there is a very serious decision to make, as sword and board could mean a serious advantage against multiple foes with smaller damaging attacks.

The thing about needing an enchantment before properties is really only a 3rd Edition D&D convention — such a thing did not exist for the first twenty-five years of D&D’s life. Neither did stacking properties like an a la carte menu.


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I feel like if shields effectively could give up to +7 to AC with a "raise shield" action at higher levels once we can afford really good stuff, then you would effectively make doing so a mandatory action in combat, which is probably not ideal.

"Effective Damage Mitigation" is a better model for "how shields actually work" than "makes you harder to hit."


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Also, if we want to talk about complexity on shields, let's not give PF1 a pass. Did you remember you had to take a feat to retain the shield's AC bonus if you bash with it? How about how it interacts with Two Weapon Fighting?

Oh, and hey, let's throw in a shield that doesn't occupy a hand with an ACP everyone who isn't a monk can use the masterwork version with no penalty. It let's you make use most weapons (including two handed bows) with no issue but applies a -2 penalty if you use a two handed melee weapon. But hey, don't forget if you attack using that arm or cast a spell you now lose your AC bonus for the round. Wait, does that include bows? Freaking bucklers...

Also, while it was an amazing feat mechanically, Shield Master was pretty dang complex.


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Two handed weapons were, by far, the more optimal choice in PF.

Shields actually have many more interesting options in PF1 IMO, it's just that they tended to require heavy feat investment and/or weren't all that mechanically effective.

Greater Ray Shield, for example, is interesting, but it's so narrow in scope (how often are you getting attacked by casters using rays instead of just chucking a fireball in your area or catching you with a Hold Person type effect?) that you might not spend one feat on it, let along consider it worth the 5 prerequisite feats.


Runes RAW or not, I'm still kind of tempted to introduce a "mark of the evershield" that can be inscribed on any old shield.


I always liked Shield in PF1. It's a simple, 1st level spell you can cast at the beginning of combat and it will last the rest of that combat. :D

Liberty's Edge

Can we get Dancing Shields Please?

I don't care if they act as a functional Shield when dancing, I just want a Shield floating around me slapping goons in the face while I'm playing the Harmonica for my party.


Themetricsystem wrote:

Can we get Dancing Shields Please?

I don't care if they act as a functional Shield when dancing, I just want a Shield floating around me slapping goons in the face while I'm playing the Harmonica for my party.

I mean, they already have debuted a floating shield. It wouldn't be a big stretch for it to there to Dancing, but it strikes me as something you can pretty easily flavor if you want to as is.


Although it has not been explicitly stated as such. Per what they have said:
Shield quality should increase the shield's AC bonus (since quality and proficiency have the same effect, and it stacks). So a Legendary Shield can grant up to +5 AC (not counting the AC you gain or lose from umequal proficiency ranks).


I like the new shield mechanics. A lot, in fact.

The only thing I'm concerned about is their durability. A shield gets a dent when a blocked attack goes beyond their hardness and the shield is broken when it reaches 3 dents. At least I think that's how it was explained so far.

You could, of course, always just choose to simply not block any attack but that would limit your chances to use feats like agressive shield.

The question is, how easy is it to get rid of dents and/or the broken condition. Will a simple Mending cantrip be enough? Can a fighter take a minute after combat and fix his shield with a craft check?

Maybe getting dents only on blocking critical hits would be a better alternative? Will have to wait to see the actual numbers.


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Shields don't scale with +AC, they are always +2. Scaling things that should be linear like + to hit or AC is what broke d20 systems math.

They scale in DR, which helps keep up with increasing damage as you gain levels.


Themetricsystem wrote:

Can we get Dancing Shields Please?

I don't care if they act as a functional Shield when dancing, I just want a Shield floating around me slapping goons in the face while I'm playing the Harmonica for my party.

It will hit people. Like a boss.


At first I thought they provided a flat +1 or something and raising shield would give you an additional +2, but you have to use an action to get any AC bonus from them, which is cool in some ways, more proactive, and I really dig the block Reaction, using the shield's Hardness as DR - I have already added this to PF1.


Lou Diamond wrote:
DO wooden shields get less DR than metal shields?

I'd think they would be the same. My assumption has been that a metal shield is still primarily wood, but with a thin metal layer covering its face (instead of hardened leather) or perhaps a metal core.

Liberty's Edge

Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Lou Diamond wrote:
DO wooden shields get less DR than metal shields?
I'd think they would be the same. My assumption has been that a metal shield is still primarily wood, but with a thin metal layer covering its face (instead of hardened leather) or perhaps a metal core.

Shields of different materials seem to have different Hardness (and thus DR). We know it goes as high as 18 at higher levels, and that there's an unbreakable shield with a 13.


Deadmanwalking wrote:
Chance Wyvernspur wrote:
Lou Diamond wrote:
DO wooden shields get less DR than metal shields?
I'd think they would be the same. My assumption has been that a metal shield is still primarily wood, but with a thin metal layer covering its face (instead of hardened leather) or perhaps a metal core.
Shields of different materials seem to have different Hardness (and thus DR). We know it goes as high as 18 at higher levels, and that there's an unbreakable shield with a 13.

Ah, understood. It is PF, so it tracks that they'd go more fantastic than historical.


If they have DR I'm guessing some shield will take more damage from Fire, otherwise DR and Materials won't matter much.

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