Shield Block Reaction damage


Running the Game


If a fighter with a raised shield uses their reaction to do the Shield block, where does the damage go? Say he is holding a steel shield (Hardness 5) and they were struck for 15 damage. Does 5 get ignore due to hardness then 10 goes to the fighter or does the 10 go to the shield giving it 2 dents, Or both?

Thanks,

K-ray


Kennethray wrote:

If a fighter with a raised shield uses their reaction to do the Shield block, where does the damage go? Say he is holding a steel shield (Hardness 5) and they were struck for 15 damage. Does 5 get ignore due to hardness then 10 goes to the fighter or does the 10 go to the shield giving it 2 dents, Or both?

Thanks,

K-ray

Both.

5 damage ignored due to hardness then shield and Fighter take 10. Because 10 is Double indicated Hardness= 2 dents.

Repairing shields will be a common thing in PF 2.


Ok, thanks. The wording of it was just a little off for me to grasp that, even though it's in the book at least 3 times.

K-ray

Silver Crusade

Not so sure about that, the description on page 175 muddies the waters somewhat, but at least shield block is pretty clear:

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

The shield only receives damage up to his hardness and if that is the case it receives a dent- which might break or destroy it, if it already has dents.

Of course, I might be dead wrong, do we have an example somewhere, maybe in a current video?

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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If you take 15 damage and the shield's hardness is 5, the shield takes 1 dent and you take 10 damage.


So, in essence, you give up a reaction and gain 1 dent so that you can gain a DR at the shields hardness, for one attack? That makes sense. I hope that is the intent. I hate to base my feedback on it if we were doing it wrong the whole time.

K-Ray


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Superscriber

There's another thread where people are very confused. But since we have a developer here, likes try to lay out the cases.

All of these are with a hardness 5 shield.

1) You are hit for 1-4 points of damage, you block. You take 0 damage. Your shield received 0 dents. (This is the sweet spot at low levels with a shield. Keep the shield raised for higher AC and only block a weak-ish attack that happens close to your turn when you can re-raise it)

2) You are hit for 5-9 points of damage, you block. You take 0-4 damage, and the shield receive 1 dent.

3) You are hit for 10+ points of damage, you block. You take 5+ damage, and the shield receives 1 dent.

When using the shield block reaction, the shield never takes more than its hardness in damage, so it can not be dented more than once in that attack. This is a case of a specific rule (shield block) overriding the general (damage to items) rule.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

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I have actually talked to Logan, and I need to correct myself- since the shield took a significant multiple of its hardness in damage, it does in fact seem that it would be subject to multiple dents. I was apparently working from out of date knowledge based on some earlier in-house playtesting and I apologize for increasing the confusion on this subject. We'll be back from GenCon in a couple days and the design team will be able to start tackling these questions in an organized fashion.


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So is this the correct version?

Version 1)
A) You are hit for 1-4 points of damage, you block. You take 0 damage. Your shield received 0 dents.

B) You are hit for 5-9 points of damage, you block. You take 0-4 damage, and the shield receive 1 dent.

C) You are hit for 10-14 points of damage, you block. You take 5-9 damage, and the shield receives 2 dents. (Shield is broken)

D) You are hit for 15-19+ points of damage, you block. You take 10-14+, the shield takes two dents(broken) + 1 more (destroyed).

or

Version 2)
A) You are hit for 1-4 points of damage, you block. You take 0 damage. Your shield received 0 dents.

B) You are hit for 5-9 points of damage, you block. You take 0-4 damage, and the shield receive 0 dents.

C) You are hit for 10-14 points of damage, you block. You take 5-9 damage, and the shield receives 1 dent.

D) You are hit for 15-19 points of damage, you block. You take 10-14+, the shield takes two dents(broken).

E) 20+, shield is triple dented/destroyed, you take 5 less.


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from what we worked out to be so far:

the quick and dirty maths are like this for anyone wondering:

2+xHardness=1 dent
3+xHardness=2 dents

so, at later levels better invest in those "sturdy shields" if you plan on blocking a lot, they seem to can take a beating (about the high end of a level appropriate creature damage to dent it plus extra dent, beware the crits though:P)

examples:
you get hit for 12 using a hardness 5 shield: shield absorbs 5 you take 7. the 12 damage that shield takes get reduced by hardness, so 7, 7 is more than it's hardness but less than double it's hardness, so 1 dent

you're level 12, holding a lvl12 sturdy shield (18 hardness), you get hit for 32 from a adult green dragon. 32-18= 16. You get 14 damage.
Shield gets hit for 32-18 its hardness=14, less than it's hardness so no dents
if dragon had rolled better, and gotten like 36, you would have taken 18 damage and shield would have taken a dent

at least that's how we think it works so far


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Michael Sayre wrote:
I have actually talked to Logan, and I need to correct myself- since the shield took a significant multiple of its hardness in damage, it does in fact seem that it would be subject to multiple dents. I was apparently working from out of date knowledge based on some earlier in-house playtesting and I apologize for increasing the confusion on this subject. We'll be back from GenCon in a couple days and the design team will be able to start tackling these questions in an organized fashion.

This is definitely going to require some fixes, as each part of this particular action contradicts each other part.

- Shield Block seems to state that the Shield takes the damage that it blocks (so up to it's hardness), and points to the Item Damage section on pg. 175 to describe how to handle that damage.

- Item Damage section starts with stating that damage the item receives is first reduced by it's hardness. If that is the case, and since Shield Block can only block up to it's hardness, then the shield takes 0 damage, and as such, never takes a dent. I think we can assume this part is in error, and the hardness is not considered here - but even going with that, it means that the shield can never take more than its hardness form a Shield Block, and as such, only ever takes 0 or 1 dents from any given block.

- Once a shield takes 2 dents, it is broken, and can no longer be used. This means that it can never be destroyed in a shield block, because it cannot function as a shield after the second dent.

In addition to all of this, and complicating matters a bit, is that the base item damage rules have no use other than Shield Block - there doesn't appear to be any action to damage an object in the playtest. No Sunder. No Break.


Sucks for druids then. Sturdy Shields stop progressing at Expert Heavy Wooden (8 hardness, level 5 item), and the Ironwood spell seems to have also gone missing-in-action. Darkwood shields aren't any better either, and are actually slightly worse. A Legendary Wooden Shield tops out at 9 hardness, but by the time you can craft one it's irrelevant compared to the Sturdy options.


Michael Sayre wrote:
I have actually talked to Logan, and I need to correct myself- since the shield took a significant multiple of its hardness in damage, it does in fact seem that it would be subject to multiple dents. I was apparently working from out of date knowledge based on some earlier in-house playtesting and I apologize for increasing the confusion on this subject. We'll be back from GenCon in a couple days and the design team will be able to start tackling these questions in an organized fashion.

I'm sure this is what Logan thinks, but it's not what is published in the book and I recall he was also the guy who thought alchemist bombs took two hands to throw, much to the surprise of the rest of the design team. I await further developments (heh).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Pathfinder Deluxe Comics Subscriber

This mechanic makes very little sense to me.

Personally, it would make a lot more sense if the shield absorbed only up to it's hardness in damage, and then overflow went to the player. Without the shield taking any additional damage.

Doing this would add a significant amount of added mitigation from properly using a shield.

If an enemy wants to get around it then they should be able to either target the item to sunder it normally, or go for a Disarm.

I can also see an upgraded version of Shield Block that allows a player to have the shield take all of the damage, possibly breaking the shield in the process. If the shield is destroyed then they would take any remaining damage.

Liberty's Edge

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Can we all agree that the is FAR too many differing opinions on how Shields are supposed to work, and maybe get someone who is working on the PT actually you know... address that there is a problem at least?


I would sure love that. My first character that I'll play again in a few weeks had a shield, but if shields aren't able to block attacks and survive I may swap out for a different fighting style.

Also can I say it's seems REALLY lame that the DEVs can't/haven't giving a straight answer to this. Like the rules were made with some interpretation in mind, share that.


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For a shield to take multiple dents from a single hit you have to a) ignore that shield block rules says the shield only prevents damage up to it's hardness and you take the rest and b) double count the overflow damage. It's patently nonsense.


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dragonhunterq wrote:

For a shield to take multiple dents from a single hit you have to a) ignore that shield block rules says the shield only prevents damage up to it's hardness and you take the rest and b) double count the overflow damage. It's patently nonsense.

If the interpretation is "patently nonsense" then why has it been so hard for the DEVs to comment and say that's how it works?

I'd agree except I no longer trust the reading that makes sense and is what the rules say to actually be the rule anymore after some PF1 FAQs.


Hah true enough! it'd probably help if they didn't use a shield in the damaging objects example - I'm sure that has added to the confusion more than it needed too.

Still, how hard is to notice that the shield in that example is taking all of the damage (because, you know, the example is about damaging objects) and not being used to shield block.

Liberty's Edge

It's apparently pretty hard based on the number of posts you see DAILY in the Facebook, Reddit, and Forum posts about the mechanic.

I am confident that SOMEONE at the Purple Golem has taken wind that they need to sit down and rewrite ALL of the Item/Equipment Damage/Hardness Rules for PF2, probably from scratch. I'm sure that Shields in large part has only muddled things for them, especially since as written there are no rules for Sundering/Damaging Worn Equipment (Except Shields), and VERY few ways to "Strike" or attack unattended objects. I think they probably had 2-3 people working on overlapping ideas about Equipment Damage/Dents and Shields were the biggest casualty.


dragonhunterq wrote:

Hah true enough! it'd probably help if they didn't use a shield in the damaging objects example - I'm sure that has added to the confusion more than it needed too.

Still, how hard is to notice that the shield in that example is taking all of the damage (because, you know, the example is about damaging objects) and not being used to shield block.

Well I think the rational view for the other view is that the example of the shield taking all the damage is in the situation of a shield block, the most likely time it takes damage and seemingly the only way to damage a shield per the rules. And that the part about taking and splitting damage previously is the wording that is "incorrect".

It's like when the table for a feat doesn't match the printed feat. Either can be correct by changing the other.


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But when you have a rule that can be read two ways and one way it's a workable mechanic that's actually quite cool and the other a worthless waste of ink isn't it reasonable to assume that the former reading is the right one?

until it's FAQ'd into oblivion anyway!


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dragonhunterq wrote:

But when you have a rule that can be read two ways and one way it's a workable mechanic that's actually quite cool and the other a worthless waste of ink isn't it reasonable to assume that the former reading is the right one?

until it's FAQ'd into oblivion anyway!

haha, I used to believe that, but some of the recent FAQs repeatedly seeming to go contrary to my understanding of the game I'm not so sure that the "reasonable" use is the intended rule.


dragonhunterq wrote:

For a shield to take multiple dents from a single hit you have to a) ignore that shield block rules says the shield only prevents damage up to it's hardness and you take the rest and b) double count the overflow damage. It's patently nonsense.

Yet that's exactly what the rulebook does on page 175 with its example.

I agree entirely that the Shield Block interpretation is better. It's silly that shields can explode in a single hit and you also take all the damage from it. That's just silly and you have to really question how worth it a shield is when you have to constantly grab new ones or repair them.

A single shield should at least be able to last a combat when it's used more than once, wouldn't you think?

This really needs some clarification. It's just confusing and not intuitive right now.


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Tridus wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:

For a shield to take multiple dents from a single hit you have to a) ignore that shield block rules says the shield only prevents damage up to it's hardness and you take the rest and b) double count the overflow damage. It's patently nonsense.

Yet that's exactly what the rulebook does on page 175 with its example.

I agree entirely that the Shield Block interpretation is better. It's silly that shields can explode in a single hit and you also take all the damage from it. That's just silly and you have to really question how worth it a shield is when you have to constantly grab new ones or repair them.

A single shield should at least be able to last a combat when it's used more than once, wouldn't you think?

This really needs some clarification. It's just confusing and not intuitive right now.

Page 175 is an example of damaging an object - not an example of what happens when you shield block. There is a difference. When you damage an object the object takes all of the damage. When you shield block the object only takes damage up to it's hardness and you take the rest.


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dragonhunterq wrote:
Page 175 is an example of damaging an object - not an example of what happens when you shield block. There is a difference. When you damage an object the object takes all of the damage. When you shield block the object only takes damage up to it's hardness and you take the rest.

That's how I read it too, but they really shouldn't use a shield as the example if that's the case. That seems to the root of all the confusion, even among Paizo staff that have tried to answer it and only muddied the waters more.

Silver Crusade

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The way I read p. 175 is that it's a remnant of an earlier version of the rules in which: (1) shield block could result in multiple dents; and/or (2) sunder rules of some sort we're still in the game.

Alternatively, that it's just a mistake or a bad example.

Shield block itself seems clear to me, and to be the more fun rule. So that's what I'm going with for now and (cautiously) what I'd expect the eventual clarification to reflect.

But who knows.

Dark Archive

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tridus wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
Page 175 is an example of damaging an object - not an example of what happens when you shield block. There is a difference. When you damage an object the object takes all of the damage. When you shield block the object only takes damage up to it's hardness and you take the rest.
That's how I read it too, but they really shouldn't use a shield as the example if that's the case. That seems to the root of all the confusion, even among Paizo staff that have tried to answer it and only muddied the waters more.

The other ambiguity is whether or not Hardness should apply to the damage taken by the shield during a block. If Hardness applies, the hit would need to pierce the shield to apply a dent, otherwise, there is no dent.

I agree this is a pretty basic option that should have already been clarified in one of the TWO rules updates released...


Joe M. wrote:

The way I read p. 175 is that it's a remnant of an earlier version of the rules in which: (1) shield block could result in multiple dents; and/or (2) sunder rules of some sort we're still in the game.

Alternatively, that it's just a mistake or a bad example.

Shield block itself seems clear to me, and to be the more fun rule. So that's what I'm going with for now and (cautiously) what I'd expect the eventual clarification to reflect.

But who knows.

What Joe said.


I don't think shield block is clear at all with the current wording. Since the PC gets the extra damage after the hardness the shield only gets damage up to its hardness so with the current RAW the shield can only get one dent per shield block.


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Ghilteras wrote:
I don't think shield block is clear at all with the current wording. Since the PC gets the extra damage after the hardness the shield only gets damage up to its hardness so with the current RAW the shield can only get one dent per shield block.

Thats kind of how it looks like it should work - you really don't want a shield being destroyed in one hit.


I actually think it’s kind of realistic for shields to receive multiple dents.
Like, if the tarrasque charges you and you block with a light wooden shield, I’d expect the shield to be obliterated.

Grand Lodge

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Sounds like an exception, not a rule. Let us not muddle the rule. Shieldblock, 1 dent.

If your 3 hardness shield blocks 6 damage, it takes 3, and is dented. You take 3.

It does not take 2 dents and you take 3, since that would be _9_ total damage.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Legends Subscriber
YogoZuno wrote:
Tridus wrote:
dragonhunterq wrote:
Page 175 is an example of damaging an object - not an example of what happens when you shield block. There is a difference. When you damage an object the object takes all of the damage. When you shield block the object only takes damage up to it's hardness and you take the rest.
That's how I read it too, but they really shouldn't use a shield as the example if that's the case. That seems to the root of all the confusion, even among Paizo staff that have tried to answer it and only muddied the waters more.

The other ambiguity is whether or not Hardness should apply to the damage taken by the shield during a block. If Hardness applies, the hit would need to pierce the shield to apply a dent, otherwise, there is no dent.

I agree this is a pretty basic option that should have already been clarified in one of the TWO rules updates released...

That ambiguity was actually cleared up with the errata. THe line that was causing that confusion, "An item reduces any damage dealt to it by its Hardness. (pg 175, second line of Item Damage section) has per errata been removed. My friends and I had this discussion on twitter with Mark Seifer and a friend of mine pointed out that line way back and lo and behold next errata that was removed. https://twitter.com/MarkSeifter/status/1032073167500525568

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Starfinder Society Roleplaying Guild Subscriber

If shields blocked the whole hit, having them take multiple dents would make sense. As it stands now, the "one dent per block" paradigm is just fine. That still means you can only block, at most, two decent hits per combat with a mundane shield (and that's with giving the shield the Broken condition). If you invest magic and class features into it (such as with the Paladin ally) then it should be more useful.


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swordchucks wrote:
If shields blocked the whole hit, having them take multiple dents would make sense. As it stands now, the "one dent per block" paradigm is just fine. That still means you can only block, at most, two decent hits per combat with a mundane shield (and that's with giving the shield the Broken condition). If you invest magic and class features into it (such as with the Paladin ally) then it should be more useful.

tbf, paladins investing in shields can have up to 5 dents before it becomes broken.

that's like 40+ "temp hp" per battle at level 2!, which is nothing to scoff at.

i mean, level 10, you're looking at 17*5= 85 temp hp, when your maximum (starting at 12 con and bumping it up at both 5 and 10 to 16) would be something like 136-140 hp. That's more than 50% HP increase that you can replenish with 10mins of "rest" in between combats.

Silver Crusade

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shroudb wrote:
swordchucks wrote:
If shields blocked the whole hit, having them take multiple dents would make sense. As it stands now, the "one dent per block" paradigm is just fine. That still means you can only block, at most, two decent hits per combat with a mundane shield (and that's with giving the shield the Broken condition). If you invest magic and class features into it (such as with the Paladin ally) then it should be more useful.

tbf, paladins investing in shields can have up to 5 dents before it becomes broken.

that's like 40+ "temp hp" per battle at level 2!, which is nothing to scoff at.

i mean, level 10, you're looking at 17*5= 85 temp hp, when your maximum (starting at 12 con and bumping it up at both 5 and 10 to 16) would be something like 136-140 hp. That's more than 50% HP increase that you can replenish with 10mins of "rest" in between combats.

Yeah, Shield Paladin is great for this. Was playing a level-4 with an expert heavy steel shield in Doomsday Dawn last night. Hardness 8, breaks at 4 Dents, very easy to patch up with Quick Repair (I think the DC was 10-12 range?) = 32 temp hp per combat on top of 56 base hp.

(Could have had 40 temp hp if I went with the study expert light wooden shield instead but I wanted the higher AC boost, which did pay off.)


Well according to the post about the twitch stream "Jason is not sure whether the shield takes one dent and then all other damages are transferred to the user, or if it takes multiple dents."
So with the lead designer not understanding how it works I think it's fair that most players aren't sure how it works.

Silver Crusade

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Chess Pwn wrote:

Well according to the post about the twitch stream "Jason is not sure whether the shield takes one dent and then all other damages are transferred to the user, or if it takes multiple dents."

So with the lead designer not understanding how it works I think it's fair that most players aren't sure how it works.

That's not exactly right. That poster was posting from notes/memories, so lost some details. Here's the timestamped link and a quick transcript:

Jason Bulmahn wrote:

So there has been a question and to be honest I think we’ve been a little unclear about it ourselves about how shields take dents. Basically the gist of it is that the shield takes damage up to its hardness and it takes a dent then the rest of the damage transfers over to you.

There is some language in there that can be interpreted as the shield takes multiple dents. To be honest, I’d need to dig through the rules to confirm it. I don’t believe it is our intent but I’d have to double check. I think there might have been a portion of the rules that said, “yeah, your shield can get destroyed in one hit”—but I’m not sure that’s something we actually want. I’d need to double-check.


oh if that's what it is that's a lot better. So only 1 dent that's good.


Pathfinder Companion, Modules, Roleplaying Game Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
Chess Pwn wrote:

Well according to the post about the twitch stream "Jason is not sure whether the shield takes one dent and then all other damages are transferred to the user, or if it takes multiple dents."

So with the lead designer not understanding how it works I think it's fair that most players aren't sure how it works.

Jason did mention one advantage that we have over him. He is aware of at least half a different versions of those rules that the Paizo folks have tried. We only know of the 1 or 2 versions that they have revealed to us, so we have less extraneous information that we have to filter out.


As of update 1.3 :

Update 1.3's FAQ wrote:

We’ve recently made an update to shields, so here’s how they currently work. The shield takes a Dent if the damage

it blocks equals or exceeds its Hardness, but can’t take more
than 1 Dent at a time. So if you had a Hardness 3 shield and
blocked a 6-damage attack, you would take 3 damage and
the shield would take 1 Dent because 6 damage is equal to or
greater than its Hardness. Note that it no longer gets broken
due to the update.

:)

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