Shield Block before or after rolling for damage?


Playing the Game


Page 309 states:

SHIELD BLOCK
Trigger While you have your shield raised, you take damage from
a physical attack.
You snap your shield into place to deflect a blow. Your shield
prevents you from taking an amount of damage up to its Hardness—
the shield takes this damage instead, possibly becoming dented or
broken. See page 175 for rules on dented and broken items.

Can this decision be made before or after the amount of damage is known? This condition seems to have been omitted.


The trigger is taking damage from a physical attack. If you block an attack with a shield after getting hit in the face it is simply too late...
You have to announce blocking before damage is rolled.


Thravion wrote:

The trigger is taking damage from a physical attack. If you block an attack with a shield after getting hit in the face it is simply too late...

You have to announce blocking before damage is rolled.

That is certainly a viable interpretation. On the other hand, it is also viable to say that you are not yet receiving damage until damage is actually being applied. I think the wording is simply too ambiguous (I know it would definitely lead to a lengthy discussion at my table).


Martijn Van Alphen wrote:
Thravion wrote:

The trigger is taking damage from a physical attack. If you block an attack with a shield after getting hit in the face it is simply too late...

You have to announce blocking before damage is rolled.
That is certainly a viable interpretation. On the other hand, it is also viable to say that you are not yet receiving damage until damage is actually being applied. I think the wording is simply too ambiguous (I know it would definitely lead to a lengthy discussion at my table).

I believe the intention is for you to declare it after you get hit, but before damage is rolled.

However, in that case, the trigger should be "You are hit or critically hit by an attack" (or something along those lines).

Unless the intention is for the sequence to be:

Hit -> Roll Damage -> Damage is Applied -> Use Shield Block to Reduce Damage

Which seems rather...backwards. But it's the only sequence that makes sense with that trigger since taking damage is....well, taking damage. You gotta take it from your HP.

Just another issue to add to the whole Shield Block rules I guess.


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Well I mean you get to use the Fighter feat to raise a shield after you know you've been hit and then retroactively apply it's bonus so I think you should be fine knowing the damage.


TheFinish wrote:
Martijn Van Alphen wrote:
Thravion wrote:

The trigger is taking damage from a physical attack. If you block an attack with a shield after getting hit in the face it is simply too late...

You have to announce blocking before damage is rolled.
That is certainly a viable interpretation. On the other hand, it is also viable to say that you are not yet receiving damage until damage is actually being applied. I think the wording is simply too ambiguous (I know it would definitely lead to a lengthy discussion at my table).

I believe the intention is for you to declare it after you get hit, but before damage is rolled.

However, in that case, the trigger should be "You are hit or critically hit by an attack" (or something along those lines).

Unless the intention is for the sequence to be:

Hit -> Roll Damage -> Damage is Applied -> Use Shield Block to Reduce Damage

Which seems rather...backwards. But it's the only sequence that makes sense with that trigger since taking damage is....well, taking damage. You gotta take it from your HP.

Just another issue to add to the whole Shield Block rules I guess.

You are right about the wording. The problem is, if you apply shield block after roling for damage you can prevent the shield from getting a dent, simply by not using block when the damage is higher or equal to the shields hardness. This can not be intended. As always I recommend to use rules “as intended” and not by the book.


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Thravion wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Martijn Van Alphen wrote:
Thravion wrote:

The trigger is taking damage from a physical attack. If you block an attack with a shield after getting hit in the face it is simply too late...

You have to announce blocking before damage is rolled.
That is certainly a viable interpretation. On the other hand, it is also viable to say that you are not yet receiving damage until damage is actually being applied. I think the wording is simply too ambiguous (I know it would definitely lead to a lengthy discussion at my table).

I believe the intention is for you to declare it after you get hit, but before damage is rolled.

However, in that case, the trigger should be "You are hit or critically hit by an attack" (or something along those lines).

Unless the intention is for the sequence to be:

Hit -> Roll Damage -> Damage is Applied -> Use Shield Block to Reduce Damage

Which seems rather...backwards. But it's the only sequence that makes sense with that trigger since taking damage is....well, taking damage. You gotta take it from your HP.

Just another issue to add to the whole Shield Block rules I guess.

You are right about the wording. The problem is, if you apply shield block after roling for damage you can prevent the shield from getting a dent, simply by not using block when the damage is higher or equal to the shields hardness. This can not be intended. As always I recommend to use rules “as intended” and not by the book.

Agreed, but this is a playtest, so we should iron out things like this. The whole Shield Block rules need serious revision, the trigger to the reaction is just one part of it, but an important one, and it should probably be changed.


Thravion wrote:

The trigger is taking damage from a physical attack. If you block an attack with a shield after getting hit in the face it is simply too late...

You have to announce blocking before damage is rolled.

Rules like that just aren't practical for a lot of games. If you are playing online, the attack and damage are often rolled simultaneously. And even on table top, some people do all of their rolls at once.


Thravion wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Martijn Van Alphen wrote:
Thravion wrote:

The trigger is taking damage from a physical attack. If you block an attack with a shield after getting hit in the face it is simply too late...

You have to announce blocking before damage is rolled.
That is certainly a viable interpretation. On the other hand, it is also viable to say that you are not yet receiving damage until damage is actually being applied. I think the wording is simply too ambiguous (I know it would definitely lead to a lengthy discussion at my table).

I believe the intention is for you to declare it after you get hit, but before damage is rolled.

However, in that case, the trigger should be "You are hit or critically hit by an attack" (or something along those lines).

Unless the intention is for the sequence to be:

Hit -> Roll Damage -> Damage is Applied -> Use Shield Block to Reduce Damage

Which seems rather...backwards. But it's the only sequence that makes sense with that trigger since taking damage is....well, taking damage. You gotta take it from your HP.

Just another issue to add to the whole Shield Block rules I guess.

You are right about the wording. The problem is, if you apply shield block after roling for damage you can prevent the shield from getting a dent, simply by not using block when the damage is higher or equal to the shields hardness. This can not be intended. As always I recommend to use rules “as intended” and not by the book.

But again we have an ability that allows a fighter to use their reaction to raise a shield after they know its a hit which means they might be able to raise the shield and make it not a hit. Seems like being able to react to the knowing the stimuli is in line with everything.


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Thravion wrote:
You are right about the wording. The problem is, if you apply shield block after roling for damage you can prevent the shield from getting a dent, simply by not using block when the damage is higher or equal to the shields hardness. This can not be intended. As always I recommend to use rules “as intended” and not by the book.

We're not sure that shields CAN get dented anyway:

From this thread:

Quote:

So if you have a Heavy Steel Shield and get hit for 8 Damage:

Shield is Hardness 5, so it can block up to 5 Damage. It does so.

3 Damage goes to the Fighter, 5 goes to the shield.

Shield suffers 5 damage. It's Hardness 5. 5-5=0. Shield takes no damage, and is never dented.

Scarab Sages

Thravion wrote:
TheFinish wrote:
Martijn Van Alphen wrote:
Thravion wrote:

The trigger is taking damage from a physical attack. If you block an attack with a shield after getting hit in the face it is simply too late...

You have to announce blocking before damage is rolled.
That is certainly a viable interpretation. On the other hand, it is also viable to say that you are not yet receiving damage until damage is actually being applied. I think the wording is simply too ambiguous (I know it would definitely lead to a lengthy discussion at my table).

I believe the intention is for you to declare it after you get hit, but before damage is rolled.

However, in that case, the trigger should be "You are hit or critically hit by an attack" (or something along those lines).

Unless the intention is for the sequence to be:

Hit -> Roll Damage -> Damage is Applied -> Use Shield Block to Reduce Damage

Which seems rather...backwards. But it's the only sequence that makes sense with that trigger since taking damage is....well, taking damage. You gotta take it from your HP.

Just another issue to add to the whole Shield Block rules I guess.

You are right about the wording. The problem is, if you apply shield block after roling for damage you can prevent the shield from getting a dent, simply by not using block when the damage is higher or equal to the shields hardness. This can not be intended. As always I recommend to use rules “as intended” and not by the book.

This is the best answer, not because he is saying just use RAI, it's best because you the GM are avoiding cheese, the player gaming the system to only block the hits that he or she knows will destroy his gear, think about it in the theater of the mind, make the attack let them know they are hit, and that they are going to take damage from a specific source, then the player AND the character decide at that specific point whether or not to use the the shield feature. Make character decisions great again, say no to cheese.


It’s just not practical though. It will break the flow of combat and slow down the game. Making things fun should take priority. And slowing everything down to decide what someone is going to do before you roll for damage isn’t fun or exciting.


Luceon wrote:
This is the best answer, not because he is saying just use RAI, it's best because you the GM are avoiding cheese, the player gaming the system to only block the hits that he or she knows will destroy his gear, think about it in the theater of the mind, make the attack let them know they are hit, and that they are going to take damage from a specific source, then the player AND the character decide at that specific point whether or not to use the the shield feature. Make character decisions...

First, if they know they are going to be hit, why don't they know how bad the hit will be?

Second, Re: Cheese, if my players want to take the whole 23 points of damage so they don't lose their shield, I welcome them to decide not to block.


Joe Mucchiello wrote:
Luceon wrote:
This is the best answer, not because he is saying just use RAI, it's best because you the GM are avoiding cheese, the player gaming the system to only block the hits that he or she knows will destroy his gear, think about it in the theater of the mind, make the attack let them know they are hit, and that they are going to take damage from a specific source, then the player AND the character decide at that specific point whether or not to use the the shield feature. Make character decisions...

First, if they know they are going to be hit, why don't they know how bad the hit will be?

Second, Re: Cheese, if my players want to take the whole 23 points of damage so they don't lose their shield, I welcome them to decide not to block.

I mean, blocking 3 or 5 damage out of 23 and losing your shield bonus to AC is a horrible move strategically unless you're in a situation where that 3 to 5 points of damage is the difference between you being knocked out or not.

It feels incredibly immersion breaking for me that a character facing > 3 or 5 damage would almost always be smarter to just let the attack hit them because they'll be weakened more going forward by losing their shield.


How can anyone claim to know what is intended, especially when that 'intention' conflicts with what is written? It is too early IMO to get a feel for which way the designers will fall. I know I'd need to read a few rulings to assess that.

And how is using a rule as presented 'cheese'?


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I guess I'll bump the thread since it's a new day and the Paizo staff are probably back from Gencon by now.


http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2vadp?Shield-Block-Reaction-damage#3

I asked about the damage in this thread, according to a dev, the hardness is not applied to you, but all extra damage is applied to you and the shield, causing possible dents.

K-Ray


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Kennethray wrote:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2vadp?Shield-Block-Reaction-damage#3

I asked about the damage in this thread, according to a dev, the hardness is not applied to you, but all extra damage is applied to you and the shield, causing possible dents.

K-Ray

Good to know. I just feel like the phrase "damage is dealt to the shield ignoring its hardness" would be handy someplace. That language already exists even in the Cushioning Shield feat.

"This damage ignores the shield’s hardness."


Curious about the specific ruling on this as well, since our gaming session is approaching. I can see arguments for it going either direction since it's a reaction (you can clearly tell you're reacting to an incoming hit, so could also have a feel of whether 'tis but a scratch or whether your bloody arm is off?)


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It wouldn't even matter if shields and objects generally weren't made of tissue paper. Virtually everything on Golarion breaking in 2 hits kind of makes it a comedy setting. Hit a tree twice for at least 5 damage each time and you break it. Hit the stone wall of a building twice for at least 8 damage each time and you break it. Golarion, Minecraft edition.

If they're going to use dents instead of hit points, there at least needs to be a reasonable number of them before stuff gets broken.

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