Confused about Shield Block


Playing the Game


Pathfinder Companion, Maps Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

Shield Block says:

Quote:

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.

Okay, so the shield

  • prevents me from taking an amount of damage up to its Hardness, for example, 3 for a wooden shield,

  • takes this damage (3) instead,

  • presumably leaving me to take the rest of the damage (7 from a 10-damage hit),

  • but also possibly becomes dented and broken? How?

    Let's turn to p. 175:

    Quote:
    An item reduces any damage dealt to it by its Hardness. The Hardness of various materials is explained in the Materials section on page 354. If an item takes damage equal to or exceeding the item’s Hardness, the item takes a Dent. If the item takes damage equal to or greater than twice its Hardness in one hit, it takes 2 Dents. For instance, a wooden shield (Hardness 3) that takes 10 damage would take 2 Dents. A typical item can take only 1 Dent without becoming broken. A second Dent causes it to become broken, though it can still be repaired. An item that would take a Dent or become broken while already broken is destroyed beyond salvage. Some magical or especially sturdy items can take more than 1 Dent before becoming broken, as noted in their descriptions.

    So, in this explanation, the wooden shield

  • reduces damage taken up to its Hardness (3),

  • is dented if the remaining damage is equal to or exceeding its hardness (7, in this case),

  • takes 2 Dents if the remaining damage from a single hit is equal to or greater than twice its hardness (7, in this case, so the shield is broken but reparable),

  • presumably leaving me to take no damage, or possibly the excess damage over the hardness plus twice the hardness (1, in this case)?

    These two abilities don't seem to work together. If Shield Block reduces damage to the character by only the shield's hardness, as the reaction reads, the shield shouldn't have a chance to be dented or broken, and there's no need to link to p. 175. If the shield can be dented or broken by using it to Shield Block, then the reaction should reduce damage to the PC by the amount equal to up to three times the shield's hardness (the amount of damage reduced by Hardness plus the amount needed to break the shield.)

    (Apologies if this has been brought up already; there are so many threads in the playtest forum. I'd appreciate a link to any previous discussion.)


  • If you shield block against a 10 damage hit with a hardness 3 shield, these are the results:

    You: Take 7 damage because shield block reduces the damage to you by the hardness of your shield.

    Shield: 10 damage hit the shield. To check for dents you reduce the damage to the shield by its hardness. That leaves 7 damage. For each time that this remaining damage equals the hardness of the shield, it takes 1 dent. In this case, that's 2 dents.


    thenobledrake wrote:

    If you shield block against a 10 damage hit with a hardness 3 shield, these are the results:

    You: Take 7 damage because shield block reduces the damage to you by the hardness of your shield.

    Shield: 10 damage hit the shield. To check for dents you reduce the damage to the shield by its hardness. That leaves 7 damage. For each time that this remaining damage equals the hardness of the shield, it takes 1 dent. In this case, that's 2 dents.

    That's not right. In your calculation you use the effects of the 7 points of un-blocked damage twice. While using Shield Block the shield can only take damage equal to its hardness, so it can only take 1 dent per Reaction. All of the extra damage goes to the target of the attack.

    If the shield were attacked directly, rather than the character, then Shield Block wouldn't apply and all of the damage would go directly to the shield. In that case you would have the following results:
    1-2 damage: No effect
    3-5 damage: 1 Dent
    6+ damage: 2 Dents and the shield is broken. Another set of 3+ damage would then destroy it.


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

    There are many threads about shields, this one is a good one. I will repost my comment here for ease of reference:

    me wrote:

    Until a developer states something to the contrary, this is how I am going to rule it:

    An attack hits a fighter with a raised shield (where H = shield hardness)

    Attacker rolls X damage.

    X - H = E, the effective damage dealt to the fighter as well as the shield.

    If E > 0 the fighter subtracts E from their HP.

    If E ≥ H the shield takes a dent

    If E ≥ H x 2 the shield takes two dents


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    The shield can never take more than one dent per shield block as the PC gets the rest of damage not the shield.

    Liberty's Edge

    3 people marked this as a favorite.
    Ghilteras wrote:
    The shield can never take more than one dent per shield block as the PC gets the rest of damage not the shield.

    +1 to this, everything else is Houserule territory. If you use the Shield Block Reaction a Shield can only EVER take 1 Dent, even from crits or 1000000000 Damage.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    This is like the 14th thread about this. No one has an answer, only suggestions. Even Paizo staff chiming in haven't helped things.

    e.g. a stream last week/week before had someone ask "what happens when a fighter with a wooden shield gets hit with 100 damage" and the response was along the lines of "I don't know, but the shield would take at least one dent, two if its a crit, but its probably destroyed."

    Here's another thread posted within minutes of this one


    Remember, it can become broken after blocking 3 hits (not counting other abilities) - thus "dented or broken".


    dragonhunterq wrote:
    Remember, it can become broken after blocking 3 hits (not counting other abilities) - thus "dented or broken".

    2 dents, unless its sturdy.

    A "broken" shield can't be raised and grants no benefits if it was already raised, so the 3rd dent (which would destroy it) doesn't count.


    And we have an answer from Mark as to what things should be:

    https://twitter.com/MarkSeifter/status/1040693453317783552

    Ignore the f$*# out of what the Shield Block text is, use page 175.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    So let clarify this?

    Fighter raises heavy steel shield to block.
    Fighter gets shield AC > check
    Fighter get 5 hps of dmg mitigated > check
    incoming ogre swipe from club is 20 hit points non-critical.

    What happens to the shield?


    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    larsenex wrote:

    So let clarify this?

    Fighter raises heavy steel shield to block.
    Fighter gets shield AC > check
    Fighter get 5 hps of dmg mitigated > check
    incoming ogre swipe from club is 20 hit points non-critical.

    What happens to the shield?

    According to Mark, 2 dents.


    1 person marked this as a favorite.

    Actually this tweet says that the designers don't know how it works


    Andy Brown wrote:
    Actually this tweet says that the designers don't know how it works

    I was part of that conversation ;)

    Liberty's Edge

    Well, at least the Purple Golem is taking a harder look at these things now.

    Silver Crusade

    Is it bad that this confusion really has kinda killed my desire to play a tank using a real shield and actually using shield block? Right now there are other options and I really have no desire to argue about it, though I am kinda hoping that we get specific rules in the next update.


    Shield Block (p309) wrote:
    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.
    Item Damage (p175) wrote:
    An item reduces any damage dealt to it by its Hardness. If an item takes damage equal to or exceeding the item’s Hardness, the item takes a Dent.

    I would read that as:

    Your shield has 3 hardness.
    You get hit for 10 damage.

    If you use Shield Block, you take 7 damage and your shield takes 3.
    Your shield reduces the 3 damage by its hardness, to 0. As the shield took no damage, it does not gain a Dent.

    "Possibly becoming dented or broken" then becomes extraneous, unless you're hit by something that has an extra effect against objects.

    I suggest that the amount of damage the shield soaks be doubled when you're critically hit. That would mean the shield probably takes enough damage to gain a dent, but the dent means something.


    Fayteri wrote:
    Item Damage (p175) wrote:
    An item reduces any damage dealt to it by its Hardness. If an item takes damage equal to or exceeding the item’s Hardness, the item takes a Dent.

    As I know has been mentioned at least once:

    This line was removed in Errata 1.2

    And:

    Andy Brown wrote:
    Actually this tweet says that the designers don't know how it works


    Shields' rules have been clarified in 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.

    :)


    Almarane wrote:

    Shields' rules have been clarified in 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.
    :)

    ... just need ability to take more dents now - perhaps up to the hardness and your hardness reduces by the number of dents until unuseable. (so a havy steel shield with hardness of 5 takes a dent - now hardness 4 and 1 dent.)

    Although amusingly if you RAW this statement it sort of claims that denting your shield does not break it... ever :P


    Boli32 wrote:
    Almarane wrote:

    Shields' rules have been clarified in 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.
    :)

    ... just need ability to take more dents now - perhaps up to the hardness and your hardness reduces by the number of dents until unuseable. (so a havy steel shield with hardness of 5 takes a dent - now hardness 4 and 1 dent.)

    Although amusingly if you RAW this statement it sort of claims that denting your shield does not break it... ever :P

    Paladin dedication

    Righteous ally - Shield

    Gives you +2 dents and +2 hardness.

    Tack it on a sturdy shield, and now you can block 6 times before it gets broken.

    As a fun factor, legendary crafting can now repair in 1 action. So a fighter can shield block like 2-3 times per round, and then toss a single action every 2-3 rounds and have it permanently on.


    I saw Legendary repair. I think the result is hilarious.


    2 people marked this as a favorite.
    Draco18s wrote:
    I saw Legendary repair. I think the result is hilarious.

    "What do you mean my shield is broken? Just because it's split in half? 'Tis but a scratch!!! Let me polish it with my sleeve just a sec... Here! Good as new! "

    Grand Lodge

    1 person marked this as a favorite.
    shroudb wrote:
    Draco18s wrote:
    I saw Legendary repair. I think the result is hilarious.
    "What do you mean my shield is broken? Just because it's split in half? 'Tis but a scratch!!! Let me polish it with my sleeve just a sec... Here! Good as new! "

    I figure you just hit it and the dents pop right back out. :)


    That's indeed hilarious x)

    I love it.

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