Shield mechanic - Suggestion


Playing the Game


Good evening everyone,

Upon making a cleric recently, I've founded pretty odd the "raise shield" mechanic.
Indeed, I don't see why someone has to repeatedly raise it, every single turn.
As a houserule for that, I would state that, while the shield is raised, one action per turn is lost to maintain that "status" or "effect", and that it can be stopped with a free action at any moment.
Aside from that, I really love to see so much enhancement to it's mechanic and usage.

Kind regards,


Think of the "Raise Shield" action as actively defending yourself with it, not it is actually elevated. You need to burn the action each turn to keep defending yourself with it. The reaction is the same interdiction of the shield with a connecting blow, not a deflection to an interposing of the shield.

Functionally, your suggestion is functionally no different than what the RAW is. I can't think of another example off hand which would work the way you want it to. The Dueling Parry is the same thing, just with a free hand. Still requires you to reiterate that is what your action is spent on each turn.


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Sid Meier once said that if you have to constantly click a button every single turn to do exactly the same thing, that button needs to go away. It's a boring mechanic.

Shields need to be changed. Keep the normal shield bonus if you're trained or better in it, but allow a player to "raise" his shield against a single opponent to either deflect an attack (via some mechanic) or to double the shield bonus to AC. As the player improves in his shield proficiency he/she may "Raise" it against an additional opponent without spending an additional action.

Now, you're not doing it as often, and when you're doing it you're basically saying "I'm seriously going on the defense here".


You would have the option to not raise it every turn, and fighters often will be raising it as a reaction with reactive shield. Some turns you’ll want that other attack, some turns you’ll need to move etc. I don’t see a problem with reaffirming it every time. Each turn you get three actions, defending yourself with a shield requires one of them.

Liberty's Edge

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Zman0 wrote:
You would have the option to not raise it every turn, and fighters often will be raising it as a reaction with reactive shield. Some turns you’ll want that other attack, some turns you’ll need to move etc. I don’t see a problem with reaffirming it every time. Each turn you get three actions, defending yourself with a shield requires one of them.

When you have to spend an action to avoid being flat footed this turn, to be able to use deflect arrows, shield users can spend an action to raise their shield.

Reactive shield or Shield Paragon will be a must have feat for fighters with shields and Shield Warden for Paladins.

The mechanic needs to go away.


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This is a big issue.

Think about a fighter wielding a shield that have to choose to spend his reaction to raise a shield (and receive DR) or to make an attack of opportunity is ok, but USING AN ACTION AND A REACTION to MAYBE use your shield is not so good and hamper the character fun and utility.

My suggestion is that the AC circumstance bonus from shield should be a passive bonus.

Maybe, just maybe, Shield Paragon should be a 1st level feat, at maximum.

But my real thought is that the ability to wield a shield and use it to gain AC bonus should be part of the basic shield proficiency.


I've just had a thought...
In PF1, if you shield-bash you lose the shield bonus to AC (until you get the right feats).
In PF2, right from first level, you can use an action to Strike with the shield, and still get the AC bonus by Raising the shield.

I'm still wondering if it would work if just carrying the shield gave your Proficiency bonus, and using an action added the shield's Circumstance bonus. 'Carrying' in this case would mean having the shield strapped on, and not having it slung on your back.


Zman0 wrote:
You need to burn the action each turn to keep defending yourself with it.

I agree with Zi Mishkal and therefore with Sid Meier. Burning a action each and every turn while raising a shield isn't a problem. It's the fact that it has to be reminded every single turn to the DM.

It would be easier to have a "risen shield" status, where you loose an action for more shield protection, and the ability to react against attack.


You could simply tell the GM something to the effect of, "I am using one of my actions each round on 'Raise Shield' until I say otherwise."

That wouldn't even be a house rule since it doesn't change the mechanics of the game at all. I think adding a formal 'shield risen' status to player characters and NPCs would be overkill.


Honestly I don't see the issue with it. Sure, sometimes you will wind up spending an action each turn on raising a shield, but (as breithauptclan said) you can just say "I raise shield on any turn that I don't spend my third action" but there are definitely turns where a third action spent on something else, like an attack against a foe with low AC (like Oozes, as far as I've seen), where a third attack has a decent chance of hitting, or if you want to do something like lay on hands, or if you have to move or whatever. I think that the ability to have the tactical decisions as to whether to use your third action raising a shield is worth it. Maybe most of the time you will just automatically raise your shield, but is that really an issue?

Grand Lodge

Aramaya wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
You need to burn the action each turn to keep defending yourself with it.

I agree with Zi Mishkal and therefore with Sid Meier. Burning a action each and every turn while raising a shield isn't a problem. It's the fact that it has to be reminded every single turn to the DM.

It would be easier to have a "risen shield" status, where you lose an action for more shield protection, and the ability to react against attack.

Sorry I totally disagree. The same argument could be used for casting a 1 round duration cantrip every turn or similar action. It’s still a provocative action that provides you with a bonus (in this case AC) for the rest of the round.

Anything that would prevent the use of actions or hinder certain actions may affect the bonus. Not to mention that the raising of the shield is a conscious choice. You could use that action to make an extra attack or to move, so its use or non-use has consequences.

Let’s say you decide to perform an action that uses two hands as your first action, such as a Paladin using Lay on Hands (although I think this needs rule clarification as a side note). Since raising the shield first would effectively waste the use for the round, any reaction you cause by the Lay on hands action would trigger before the raise shield.

Yes, in PF1 this wasn't always the case, but now it is and I personally love the concept of shields in PF2. Not only does it make them worthwhile using, it is also a good reminder for GMs that you are employing it as a defense when they are deciding if monsters hit or not.

Considering the shield as a passive affect is wrong on so many levels.
It’s not like armor any more.


Zi Mishkal wrote:

Sid Meier once said that if you have to constantly click a button every single turn to do exactly the same thing, that button needs to go away. It's a boring mechanic.

Shields need to be changed. Keep the normal shield bonus if you're trained or better in it, but allow a player to "raise" his shield against a single opponent to either deflect an attack (via some mechanic) or to double the shield bonus to AC. As the player improves in his shield proficiency he/she may "Raise" it against an additional opponent without spending an additional action.

Now, you're not doing it as often, and when you're doing it you're basically saying "I'm seriously going on the defense here".

In the old ROLEMASTER 2nd there was a similar mechaninc with the aim to give a realistic add value for a group of minions / low level NPC attacking a solo PC.

In that system You could decide with your main weapon to put some effort in defense against one enemy's attack. If you have the shield you could put some defense on another enemy's attack. From the third every attack enters because you do not have other defenses and because flank and rear give a huge ammount of bonuses. IMHO this is a very good mechanic..

In PF 2nd i would like to see a rule as described by Zi Mishkal where you have your AC bonus normaly and when you "raise the shield" (action or reaction) you can deflect 1 single attack (maybe with another +2 bonus = +4).

OR

You do not have the normal +2 bonus but your raise the shield action give to you a +4 against 1 single attack..


Pathfinder Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

What if by wield a shield, if you are proficient, you can use the Raise a Shield action to get your shield's AC bonus against all attacks.

If you are not proficient with a shield, it takes a Raise a Shield action to specify a single target you can see/identify for whom you will be able to apply the shield bonus to your AC, to their first attack against you. (this action of Raise a Shield does not offer Shield Block reaction.)

If you are proficient, and do not raise your shield. You can specify a target you can see/identify for free, of which you may apply your AC to some attacks by them. The total number of attacks you can apply your shield bonus to a number of attacks from that target based on your shield Rank. (Trained = 1, Expert =2, Master =3, Legendary=4) If you have Legendary Shield proficiency, you need not specify a particular target, you may apply your shield bonus to AC for 4 attacks against you as you choose, as long as you can see/identify your opponent. While this allows someone wielding a shield to get their shield bonus, without raising their shield, it does not enable the Shield Block reaction. It also would not stack with shield bonuses gotten from Raise a Shield.

This way, wearing a shield such that it takes up one of your arms, gives you a limited bonus, just because of that choice and commitment of resources, however, the raise a shield grants benefits of being more widely useful, and giving the option of blocking damage too.

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