Shields are too easily destroyed.


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ShadeRaven wrote:
If you don't want a broken shield, don't use it to block damage that was destined to hit you anyway.

That seems weird to me.

Fighter: "I slash at the orc with my sword, then raise my shield to prepare for a counterstrike."
GM: "The orc swings his great-axe at you... Natural 20."
Fighter: "Oh. In that case, I will fling my body in front of the blow to keep my shield from getting damaged."

Grand Lodge

To be honest I have been pondering this as well. I like the idea in theory as I love a sword and board fighter.
this shield concept makes using a shield more dynamic so I would like to see it continue.

Some of the ideas I was throwing around:

Increase dent amount.
3 minimum, and have item quality affect number of dents and not just hardness.
(Ex. Standard Steel shield - 5 hardness/ 3 dents. ->. Expert steel shield - hardness 6/ 4 dents, etc.)

Increase material hardness from base value since manufacturing a shield would make it reinforced to be more sturdy. The idea would be you are not hitting a piece of timber, you are hitting a reinforced banded wooden shield.
(Ex. Wood hardness 3, standard wooden shield hardness 6./ steel hardness 5, standard steel shield hardness 10, etc.)

Also it would make sense to use the current quality progression for hardness for an item so better materials are still inviting but quality increase would still be desirable. (Ex. Standard Steel Shield hardness 10/ 3 dents, Expert Steel Shield hardness 11/ 4 dents, Master Steel Shield hardness 13/ 5 dents, etc.)

Make it so when the shield is Broken you can still apply the AC bonus if you raise shield.
Basically you get a few damage reductions during combat and if you run out you still have higher AC for having the shield, then repair it between combat in downtime or resting.

Allow characters to shield block with a broken shield, but if it receives a dent when broken, then it is destroyed.
Allows you to really have some dynamic combat decissions in a big fight.

Just some thoughts I had to make shields really fun to use and more like a utility item during combat rather than a consumable.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
ShadeRaven wrote:
If you don't want a broken shield, don't use it to block damage that was destined to hit you anyway.

That seems weird to me.

Fighter: "I slash at the orc with my sword, then raise my shield to prepare for a counterstrike."
GM: "The orc swings his great-axe at you... Natural 20."
Fighter: "Oh. In that case, I will fling my body in front of the blow to keep my shield from getting damaged."

As opposed to?

GM: "The orc swings his great-axe at you... natural 20. You take 15 points of damage."

Why would taking away the ability to use a shield in reaction to a severe blow, even if it damages it, be so much worse than just taking that hit entirely with zero option to change its outcome?

If you want to argue that shield hardness and using it to deflect or absorb damage is a mechanic that adds unnecessary complexity... that you simply like having shields be +2 AC... I can understand your desire to keep them simple.

I *personally* would prefer they keep it nearly as is. I certainly don't want shield reactions to get a lot better so that the everyone needs a shield because it stops so much incoming damage it's manditory, and I don't want to go back to the old days of "you have a shield? okay, add 2 to your AC" and that's the last you ever think of them.


ShadeRaven wrote:
As opposed to?

Fighter: "Obviously, I keep my shield up to absorb the blow, because a metal shield is clearly going to be a lot more resilient than my body. Any blow hard enough to break my shield would surely kill me if the shield wasn't there."


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:
Fighter: "Obviously, I keep my shield up to absorb the blow, because a metal shield is clearly going to be a lot more resilient than my body. Any blow hard enough to break my shield would surely kill me if the shield wasn't there."

That's what the +2 AC is about.. either it take the damage (and obviously survives) or it hits the character and damage ensues.

I can only assume that what you are saying is get rid of the shield block entirely because either it stopped the attack (as indicated by +2 AC being effective) or it didn't. And that's fine.

My groups have enjoyed the new use of reaction for shield bearers so I hope to see it stay.


ShadeRaven wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
Fighter: "Obviously, I keep my shield up to absorb the blow, because a metal shield is clearly going to be a lot more resilient than my body. Any blow hard enough to break my shield would surely kill me if the shield wasn't there."

That's what the +2 AC is about.. either it take the damage (and obviously survives) or it hits the character and damage ensues.

I can only assume that what you are saying is get rid of the shield block entirely because either it stopped the attack (as indicated by +2 AC being effective) or it didn't. And that's fine.

My groups have enjoyed the new use of reaction for shield bearers so I hope to see it stay.

that;s like making your weapon break after you do a critical hit.

"well, you hit harder, so your sword broke, if you don't want to be broken, then don't make critical hits."

sounds about equal.

A shield is there to prevent damage, it does so in 2 ways, passive and active. "Passive" requires an action. Active requires both your action and a reaction.

if the reaction is not only useless but actually detrimental to use (because you gain 3-10hp and lose 2 to your AC for the rest of the combat), then what's the point of even existing? Trap option that takes page count?

Even IF it's currently a TRAP option, isn't the playtest the place to point out to the developers:

"Hey guys, shield block is terrible if the shield breaks in 1 hit, please fix it so that it isn't so."?


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ShadeRaven wrote:
I can only assume that what you are saying is get rid of the shield block entirely

I'm saying that any shield-block action where your shield gets dented should protect you from enough damage that you don't regret doing it.


I might propose that as a shield user gets more proficient, he gets better at using his shield properly. So an Expert's shield takes 1 fewer Dent when struck, a Master's shield takes 2 fewer dents, and a Legend's shield takes 3 fewer dents.

But even this doesn't kick in until 7th level (paladin) or 11th (fighter) so for most of his career he'll still be carting a sack of spare shields around or spending ages fixing the things.

I guess this is Paizo's fix for the 15-minute adventuring day. Stop for an hour (or 10 minutes at higher levels) after each encounter to fix shields and identify magic items.

Grand Lodge

At 7th level paladin, I can take 4 dents without breaking the shield, no problem. I can repair them in as little as one minute.

This is with the rules as they are. One minute. Is one minute too much?


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
shroudb wrote:

that;s like making your weapon break after you do a critical hit.

"well, you hit harder, so your sword broke, if you don't want to be broken, then don't make critical hits."

sounds about equal.

Apples to oranges there... not equal at all. If you wanted a more reasonable corollary, it would be more akin to saying:

If you miss with an attack, you can damage and potentially breaking your weapon to make that miss a hit.

We aren't talking about taking a positive result and turning it into a negative, quite the reverse in fact.

Again, I can think that the solution for people who don't like having this optional use of Shields is to simply never Shield Block. The Bonus to AC is still there... and it will never break.

Liberty's Edge

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Stream announced they are cleaning up dents. Your shield can't take more than one dent per hit. Period. Rule will read if the hit takes more than hardness you take the extra and it takes one dent. All stop.


David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:

At 7th level paladin, I can take 4 dents without breaking the shield, no problem. I can repair them in as little as one minute.

This is with the rules as they are. One minute. Is one minute too much?

That's OK if you want to sink a feat and 2 of your 3 skill increases into repairing things. Which is admittedly quite a decent return, but it does come with a real opportunity cost.

And the update above (max 1 dent) does help quite a lot here.

Sczarni RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

lordredraven wrote:
Stream announced they are cleaning up dents. Your shield can't take more than one dent per hit. Period. Rule will read if the hit takes more than hardness you take the extra and it takes one dent. All stop.

I was coming to say just that.

This is how I thought they were supposed to work, but because there was little wonky language I understood why we needed a clarification.

Now we need ways to raise hardness with damage values as levels increase to make Shield Block a worthwhile reaction beyond low levels.

Grand Lodge

Mudfoot wrote:
David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:

At 7th level paladin, I can take 4 dents without breaking the shield, no problem. I can repair them in as little as one minute.

This is with the rules as they are. One minute. Is one minute too much?

That's OK if you want to sink a feat and 2 of your 3 skill increases into repairing things. Which is admittedly quite a decent return, but it does come with a real opportunity cost.

And the update above (max 1 dent) does help quite a lot here.

It only takes one repair person to keep a party going. If my paladin is any given group, they can all enjoy shields easily. This also pleases me, the idea that my paladin of the forge fortifies the team in more ways.

Failing that, he can make stuff!


CalebTGordan wrote:
lordredraven wrote:
Stream announced they are cleaning up dents. Your shield can't take more than one dent per hit. Period. Rule will read if the hit takes more than hardness you take the extra and it takes one dent. All stop.

I was coming to say just that.

This is how I thought they were supposed to work, but because there was little wonky language I understood why we needed a clarification.

Now we need ways to raise hardness with damage values as levels increase to make Shield Block a worthwhile reaction beyond low levels.

Nah, just that and it's fine.

I mean, higher levels, if you're intent on using shield block often, you grab sturdy shields.

I mean, level 12 as an example. 18 hardness and 3 dents. That means it can absorb 72 damage before breaking.

A level 12 fighter will have like 16-18 con by then, so something like 164-176 hp. Getting 72 extra hp every battle, and +2 to AC before the shield breaks, is pretty plenty imo.

It's only level 1-2 that they are a pain due to 1h repair, from 3 and afterwards they're fine.


You know what would be a reasonable approach. if the shield gave its ac bonus for being held and then only did the hardness thing when you readied it.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Vidmaster7, that's what I struggle with. I haven't really come to any real conclusion on how I feel about that Action Tax required to use shields now. It costs a very valuable resource during turns (actions) to use its base benefit (+AC) and another resource (reactions) to use additionally as a way to deflect damage that's destined to hit the bearer.

I think on turns where my players have had all 3 actions to choose from because there wasn't much movement or other action use (wielding, etc.), they've found that action tax not so bad, but now a character needing to grab a weapon they didn't have readied, move to engage, now had to decide between getting at least one attack in or just going defensive entirely with not necessarily a great benefit for doing so. Even in a move, attack, attack or ready shield rounds, that choice between +2 and Shield Block and an addition -5 attack is tough.

I am probably leaning towards keeping it as is, because I like the feel of shields being an active part of combat, but I am not entire sold on it without more testing and feedback.


ShadeRaven wrote:
Even in a move, attack, attack or ready shield rounds, that choice between +2 and Shield Block and an addition -5 attack is tough.

I think that's exactly the reaction the design team wanted


Andy Brown wrote:
ShadeRaven wrote:
Even in a move, attack, attack or ready shield rounds, that choice between +2 and Shield Block and an addition -5 attack is tough.
I think that's exactly the reaction the design team wanted

Is this question tough to answer? We already know the -10 attack is worthless (it's a nat20 or a miss, basically), but against equal level mobs the -5 attack is equally bad. At your best, without any debuff on you, the top hit% against equal level monsters is around 65%. When you apply that -5 to attack, you drop to a 40% hit rate. At that point, you're more likely to come up with nothing than you are to hit. Sure, when you fight monsters lower level than you are, you raise that hit rate by 10% per level and then, yes, the 2nd attack has value after a few levels of difference. On the flip side, when you fight a monster of higher level than you that 2nd attack is almost sure to miss.

Basically, if you have lots of levels on something and someone didn't kill it in one hit, then you should attack twice. If you are close in level or the monster is higher level, then you should always, always raise a shield if you have it.


Greg.Everham wrote:
Andy Brown wrote:
ShadeRaven wrote:
Even in a move, attack, attack or ready shield rounds, that choice between +2 and Shield Block and an addition -5 attack is tough.
I think that's exactly the reaction the design team wanted
Is this question tough to answer? We already know the -10 attack is worthless (it's a nat20 or a miss, basically), but against equal level mobs the -5 attack is equally bad. At your best, without any debuff on you, the top hit% against equal level monsters is around 65%. When you apply that -5 to attack, you drop to a 40% hit rate. At that point, you're more likely to come up with nothing than you are to hit.

Just because you're more likely to miss than hit doesn't automatically make it a bad bet. If you do an average of 20 points per hit, then a 40% hit chance is an average of 8 damage. So to work out if it was actually a good idea, you'd have to compare doing 8 damage to an enemy to the amount of damage you think you'd protect yourself from by raising your shield, and then take into account the prospect of damaging your shield...


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Otherwise, there are questions like "is he going to attack me anyway?" and "do I need to kill this guy quickly?" and "do I care about damage? I have 3 clerics in the party." So in that sense it's a good mechanism.

OTOH, a small shield providing only +1AC isn't very meaningful, so most of its benefit is in the Block. Which eats your Reaction so you can't do Retributive Strike or AoO or all that good stuff.

It would be nice to be able to trade an Action for a second Reaction. Or bring back Combat Reflexes.


Has anyone mentioned that there is also a factor of shock absorption?
When you are holding a shield, it isn't an immobile item.
It isn't like chopping down a tree, it's more like hitting a palm.
There is a lot of give when you strike a shield which disperses a lot of the kinetic energy.

Having personally experienced using a shield and trying to chop down a palm tree, I can attest to just how much of a factor shock absorption is.

Right now the way shields are, they feel like the ones from Breath of the Wild. Brittle balsa wood replicas of a real shield.

Hopefully the 1.3 update does a smidge more than just remove double denting.


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I know this might not be a popular answer, but...

ShadeRaven wrote:

Vidmaster7, that's what I struggle with. I haven't really come to any real conclusion on how I feel about that Action Tax required to use shields now. It costs a very valuable resource during turns (actions) to use its base benefit (+AC) and another resource (reactions) to use additionally as a way to deflect damage that's destined to hit the bearer.

I think on turns where my players have had all 3 actions to choose from because there wasn't much movement or other action use (wielding, etc.), they've found that action tax not so bad, but now a character needing to grab a weapon they didn't have readied, move to engage, now had to decide between getting at least one attack in or just going defensive entirely with not necessarily a great benefit for doing so. Even in a move, attack, attack or ready shield rounds, that choice between +2 and Shield Block and an addition -5 attack is tough.

I am probably leaning towards keeping it as is, because I like the feel of shields being an active part of combat, but I am not entire sold on it without more testing and feedback.

There are feats that let you do it without an action every turn.

Quote:
It would be nice to be able to trade an Action for a second Reaction. Or bring back Combat Reflexes.

There are also feats to give you a second reaction.

More broadly speaking, I feel like the basic versions of the rules seem relatively well balanced right now, so having feats that let you improve your action economy doesn't seem like an unfair cost.

I've also never really bought the "reaction glut" argument that people have made before the game even came out. I think in actual play this will very rarely be an issue; in my experience you are happy any round you get to use ANY of your reactions. And in all likelihood you have to be fighting a lot of enemies before they will start proccing more than one in a round.

I particularly don't buy it for shields on Paladins, even ignoring the rather excellent Shield of Reckoning. Let's say you have your shield raised, and an enemy procs Retributive Strike. That enemy is either going to continue attacking your ally if it thinks you have spent your reaction and can't do it again, or they are going to switch their focus onto you. if they are worried you will do it again. But you've got +2 AC and they are taking the -5 penalty. Odds are they won't hit anyway, so you didn't need your shield block. On the next round, if they use their first attack and make your burn your reaction to shield block, attacking your allies will still be now be at iterative penalties. You're playing havoc with the enemy tactics.

Now, sub Attack of Opportunity for Retributive Strike, odds are the enemy triggered it by either moving away because they didn't think they could hurt you with that shield raised. At which point they've left you behind anyway so your weren't going to block them. Alternatively, they may have been casting and you just disrupted it, which cost them 2 actions. Even if they are a melee threat instead of your average squishy caster, you've still completely messed up their turn.

Now, fighting hordes of enemies changes this all a bit, and it is of course better to be able to take multiple reactions than not. But even with only one reaction per turn, having Retributive Strike, Attack of Opportunity, and Shield Block on the same character makes you a tactical nightmare to fight against.


^ Agreed, not that I think there is NO space for bonus Reactions (probably conditional or specific usage) but it is not something hugely critical just for fact of having 3-4 potential Reactions.


Mudfoot wrote:
It would be nice to be able to trade an Action for a second Reaction.

Trading one for one seems a bit too easy for the added versatility, there should be some cost, IMO.

That is why I think You should be able to trade 2 actions for one Reaction.

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