Has there been clarification on how shields work?


General Discussion

1 to 50 of 83 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Have any designers commented on the intended functioning of shields yet? I didn't see anything about them in the errata itself or the comments, but haven't been sure if I missed a post in a thread somewhere.
My group is currently going with the "shields don't dent unless the blocked attack ignores hardness" interpretation, but it would help for playtesting to know how the shield rules are intended to be read and if we're doing it wrong or right. Like, if shields are supposed to dent easily then that can have a big impact on how sessions flow, since it means prioritizing more repair abilities and using shield blocks less often.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Shields take a dent once it takes its hardness in damage. Items also specifically say they reduce damage done to them by their hardness, as does the Shield Block option, it reduces the damage done to you by its hardness. So therefore a Wooden Shield would need to take 6 or more damage to get a dent and 9 or more damage to break, which is the example the book gives. Steel Shields have hardness 5 which would mean they would need to take 10 or more damage to get a dent and 15 or more damage to break.

To me this makes shields amazing. If you're up against a group of low level monsters that are constantly doing less than 6 damage with wooden, or 10 with steel, you basically get free DR every turn. Once you get to the big boss it's probably better to not shield block unless you're really low on health and it could save your life.

At higher lvls item quality improves hardness and materials improve hardness.

Edit: I actually don't think a shield being magic improves its hardness. I don't see anything to indicate that it does.

Edit #2: Found it, it's called sturdy shield. It's really good. It raises its hardness considerably and let's it take an additional dent before being broken. Pretty awesome.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Rameth wrote:

Shields take a dent once it takes its hardness in damage. Items also specifically say they reduce damage done to them by their hardness, as does the Shield Block option, it reduces the damage done to you by its hardness. So therefore a Wooden Shield would need to take 6 or more damage to get a dent and 9 or more damage to break, which is the example the book gives. Steel Shields have hardness 5 which would mean they would need to take 10 or more damage to get a dent and 15 or more damage to break.

To me this makes shields amazing. If you're up against a group of low level monsters that are constantly doing less than 6 damage with wooden, or 10 with steel, you basically get free DR every turn. Once you get to the big boss it's probably better to not shield block unless you're really low on health and it could save your life.

At higher lvls item quality improves hardness and materials improve hardness.

Edit: I actually don't think a shield being magic improves its hardness. I don't see anything to indicate that it does.

Edit #2: Found it, it's called sturdy shield. It's really good. It raises its hardness considerably and let's it take an additional dent before being broken. Pretty awesome.

The problem is, that RAW, a shield would never get a dent when you use it to block:

rulebook wrote:

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.

Some people also have interpreted, that this damage would bypass the hardness, so it gets a dent if the damage is high enough, which would make shields pretty bad, IMO.

I also believe, that the intention is, that basically you and the shield suffer the full amount of damage from the attack and for both of you its reduced by the shields hardness.
Example: You are hit for 8 damage, and block with a steel shield.
This damage is reduced by 5 (steel hardness), so you and the shield suffer 3 damage, which the shield itself "ignores", because its below its hardness.
If the attack dealt 10-14 damage, the shield would take a dent, if it was 15+ damage, two dents.
That is the way I will play it, at least... And that you have to use shield block before you know the amount of damage you take (but after you know you will be hit).


Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I'm waiting more for the clarification on reaction orders. Are you able to use the shield to block attacks while knowing how much damage you're going to take, or do you have to guess and blow your shield on a piddly 1 point of damage when a lethal 10 is coming in on the next attack?


RunnerAndJumper wrote:
Rameth wrote:

Shields take a dent once it takes its hardness in damage. Items also specifically say they reduce damage done to them by their hardness, as does the Shield Block option, it reduces the damage done to you by its hardness. So therefore a Wooden Shield would need to take 6 or more damage to get a dent and 9 or more damage to break, which is the example the book gives. Steel Shields have hardness 5 which would mean they would need to take 10 or more damage to get a dent and 15 or more damage to break.

To me this makes shields amazing. If you're up against a group of low level monsters that are constantly doing less than 6 damage with wooden, or 10 with steel, you basically get free DR every turn. Once you get to the big boss it's probably better to not shield block unless you're really low on health and it could save your life.

At higher lvls item quality improves hardness and materials improve hardness.

Edit: I actually don't think a shield being magic improves its hardness. I don't see anything to indicate that it does.

Edit #2: Found it, it's called sturdy shield. It's really good. It raises its hardness considerably and let's it take an additional dent before being broken. Pretty awesome.

The problem is, that RAW, a shield would never get a dent when you use it to block:

rulebook wrote:

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.

Some people also have interpreted, that this damage would bypass the hardness, so it gets a dent if the damage is high enough, which would make shields pretty bad, IMO.

I also believe, that the intention is, that basically you and the shield suffer the full amount of damage from the attack and for both of you its reduced by the shields hardness.
Example: You are hit for 8 damage, and block with a steel shield....

That's how I see it as well. It makes sense to me that you both take the full damage and you and the shield reduce the damage by its hardness. Otherwise you it would be as you said and the shield would never take a dent but that contradicts the wording in the ability.

Dark Archive

2 people marked this as a favorite.

The way I've been running it is to have the shield only take the damage it actually blocks. Therefore, an attack that deals 2 damage and is blocked by a Hardness 3 shield would not dent it, but an attack that deals 7 damage and is blocked by the shield would deal 3 to the shield and 4 to the wielder, giving the shield 1 Dent. If an attack or spell specifically targets the shield it can deal more damage and potentially give it multiple dents.

This is one area of the rules that could really use clarification. Otherwise feedback is going to be very difficult to gather since everyone seems to run it differently.


It seems via the twitch stream last Friday that a shield with hardness 3 blocks an attack that deals 3 damage it takes a dent. And if the shield is used to block and the attack would deal 6 damage the shield is destroyed (2 dents) and the user still takes 3 damage.


Chess Pwn wrote:
It seems via the twitch stream last Friday that a shield with hardness 3 blocks an attack that deals 3 damage it takes a dent. And if the shield is used to block and the attack would deal 6 damage the shield is destroyed (2 dents) and the user still takes 3 damage.

In the stream he didn't actually clarify what we've been talking about. So we still don't know which way it works. All he did was restate what was already in the book. He didn't talk about reduction in damage first or after the fact or not at all.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Rameth wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
It seems via the twitch stream last Friday that a shield with hardness 3 blocks an attack that deals 3 damage it takes a dent. And if the shield is used to block and the attack would deal 6 damage the shield is destroyed (2 dents) and the user still takes 3 damage.
In the stream he didn't actually clarify what we've been talking about. So we still don't know which way it works. All he did was restate what was already in the book. He didn't talk about reduction in damage first or after the fact or not at all.

I believe he did say that the shield gets dented and the rest of the damage passes through, which would be "hardness isn't applied to the shield at all". The problem is pinning down that exact line in a 3 hour livestream.

And I just managed to find it. Timecode is 2:47:05 at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/301012575

JB: Alright so you shield block?
EK: Yep.
JB: He is going to do 9 points of damage, so that's reduced by the hardness of the shield.
EK: Which is 5.
JB: Which is 5.
EK: Which means I'm going to take 4 points of damage.
JB: So you take 4 and the shield is dented.
EK: Correct.

As an additional bonus, I also got my question answered which is if you can shield block with the knowledge of how much damage you're going to take. Just need that noted in the rules now.


Ohhh this is from the one that just happened yesterday. I see. I take back what I said. So how does that work with items that aren't being used to shield block?


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Alchemaic wrote:
Rameth wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
It seems via the twitch stream last Friday that a shield with hardness 3 blocks an attack that deals 3 damage it takes a dent. And if the shield is used to block and the attack would deal 6 damage the shield is destroyed (2 dents) and the user still takes 3 damage.
In the stream he didn't actually clarify what we've been talking about. So we still don't know which way it works. All he did was restate what was already in the book. He didn't talk about reduction in damage first or after the fact or not at all.

I believe he did say that the shield gets dented and the rest of the damage passes through, which would be "hardness isn't applied to the shield at all". The problem is pinning down that exact line in a 3 hour livestream.

And I just managed to find it. Timecode is 2:47:05 at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/301012575

JB: Alright so you shield block?
EK: Yep.
JB: He is going to do 9 points of damage, so that's reduced by the hardness of the shield.
EK: Which is 5.
JB: Which is 5.
EK: Which means I'm going to take 4 points of damage.
JB: So you take 4 and the shield is dented.
EK: Correct.

As an additional bonus, I also got my question answered which is if you can shield block with the knowledge of how much damage you're going to take. Just need that noted in the rules now.

If the above is correct, and apparently it is, this is laughably bad.

Please explain to me why, if I attack a shield when it's unattended, and I do 9 damage, I would do 4 damage to the shield and, I guess, Dent it, while if I attack a shield (inadvertently) because someone used their reaction, and I do 9 damage, the shield is also Dented and I also do 5 damage to the person who used Shield Block? This makes no sense.

If damage over the Shield's Hardness (excess damage) gets through to the Blocker, how can the Shield ever take more than 1 Dent? It is only EVER 'taking damage' equal to its Hardness, no?

If it indeed is taking the full damage AND letting through damage, you are artificially increasing the damage that the attack performed. I.e., if you count up the total damage done to you and the Shield, it would be the Shield's Hardness higher than the total damage done if either the Blocker or the Shield had been attacked.

I can easily say that in my group, Shield Block will simply cancel the attack against you, and the Shield takes full damage. While it is a potent defensive resource, it has 3 main costs:

1) The Action to Raise a Shield.
2) The Reaction to Shield Block.
3) The likely destruction of your Shield.

I most certainly fail to see how a conditional damage reduction of such a low number (barring major magic) is worth a reduction in your AC (due to losing the Raise a Shield action) and the constant inventory madness of replacing equipment.


Pathfinder Maps, Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I kinda like the shield rules that a lot of people seem to hate. The main point of a shield is the addition to AC, like it always has been. But, now you can throw your shield up to block a particularly vicious blow. Your shield might get destroyed into splinters, but it might save your life.

This happens in movies all the time and I love the imagery.

I agree the rules still need clarifying (they have said some things on Twitch but it’s still hard to follow) but in general I dig it.


The problem is they were trying to make shields more important to combat then just giving you a static +2 bonus but if that's how the rules are they aren't really different compared to before. Cause now anything but the biggest heaviest shield is bound to break in 1 swing. That makes their coolest ability not being used in fear of their shield being broken. I guess you could maybe argue that you get free DR once an encounter but unless you focus on crafting you can't even fix your shield in between encounters as it takes to long. Which makes the ability much less useful.

Having it work the other way, where shields reduce the damage done to them, would have made shields much more interesting and helpful for all characters, but still not overly powerful as a good crit could still damage or break your shield but not nearly all attacks doing so. As it is right now I see it as more of a hassle unless you're fighting creatures of lower level, as you know they won't do as much damage.

Im honestly probably going to houserule it the other way in my games as I really liked it how I initially thought it worked.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
MUKid wrote:

I kinda like the shield rules that a lot of people seem to hate. The main point of a shield is the addition to AC, like it always has been. But, now you can throw your shield up to block a particularly vicious blow. Your shield might get destroyed into splinters, but it might save your life.

This happens in movies all the time and I love the imagery.

I agree the rules still need clarifying (they have said some things on Twitch but it’s still hard to follow) but in general I dig it.

I mean sure, the imagery's nice, but it sucks to play with. Plus a shield doesn't soak more damage for extra dents for some reason, instead you seem to just arbitrarily take more dents without blocking the additional damage. I feel like it would go a long way to making them feel better to use if they actually blocked a significant amount of damage before breaking. Maybe every time the shield blocks damage equal to its hardness it takes another dent but that damage actually gets stopped. Hardness still gets a use, and shields are suddenly very valuable, plus you even get to have your own image of "the shield sacrifices itself for your life" in a more effective manner.


RAndom bit.

Ok. my alchemist throws darts with 12 str. That is 1d4+1
Say they block.. with a wooden shield. I have a rather high chance of causing a dent. With that little thrown dart I broke the shield. and can do that every time he blocks. (who knows. maybe fears poison darts or something.)

It feels pretty weird.

I don't hate the idea it gets dents. What I hate about it is how easily it gains one for not much benefit. With how low Hardness actually is in this game, and how common Acid damage is now. I do wish that it was
"blocks Hardness damage, and only takes a dent if it takes twice its hardness in damage"

Or. the previous mentioned "blocks hardness X dents recieved damage from that one attack"


The way I think of it is that the shield takes all the damage, but it can only stop so much from getting to you. Same situation as if you had a shield on the ground and were beating on it, just the ground doesn't have relevant HP to reduce.

For those that favour doubling effective hardness to check for denting, why would a shield be tougher on somebody's arm than it is when sitting on the ground?


I think should be at least the double hardness


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Cyouni wrote:

The way I think of it is that the shield takes all the damage, but it can only stop so much from getting to you. Same situation as if you had a shield on the ground and were beating on it, just the ground doesn't have relevant HP to reduce.

For those that favour doubling effective hardness to check for denting, why would a shield be tougher on somebody's arm than it is when sitting on the ground?

because of how people block, deflecting slight. using your arm to as a spring to against the blow compared to being against a hard surface.

Double hardness is just the easiest arbitrary rule compared to some factor of str or dex or level


I don't really think that we should double effective hardness.

I simply think that the shield should absorb enough damage to destroy it before passing anything more to the character.

Basically, picture Eowyn vs. the Witch-King, at least in the movies an iconic fight with a desperate Shield Block that destroys the Shield. Sure, Eowyn still gets her arm broken, but it doesn't make sense that the shield only absorbs some damage but takes damage as if it did.

So, as I understand the rules right now, a Light Wooden Shield has 3 Hardness and takes 1 Dent to become Broken. (Which means 2 Dents to become destroyed, right?) Therefore, if I Shield Block with it, it should take the first 6 damage of the hit, then be destroyed, and then any extra carries over. (Yes, this is a slight change to my earlier post.)

Anything else is simply not accounting for the damage correctly, IMO.

Also... is NO ONE talking about how Bards, Clerics, and Wizards get a free Raise Shield action without taking a hand at all times? The Shield cantrip looks _insane_.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For anyone who thinks the rule as written is in the slightest bit accurate, here's Skallagrim beating up a small wooden shield. This is made of plywood rather than plank, but it has no steel boss or rim and it's taking blows that would kill or disable a human (ie >10hp). It remains entirely functional until the handle comes loose.


I also wondered if attacking someone's armor (how to target the armor - no idea) would be a great tactic since the penalty for wearing broken armor is high, it's too difficult to remove, and breaking items is easy.

Overall, I think the issue is wrapping our heads around how shields can give DR 1/turn (don't forget - if you're fighting a horde of small things, you can only block damage once per turn) but the cost is that you're going to break the shield in one or at most two uses of this. Even an adamantine, legendary shield can get broken pretty easily by a level 1 character's lucky crit or two. The problem isn't necessarily the tactic - it's that no one can believe that's how it works because it makes blocking with shields so useless. Then again, you have to waste an action EVERY TURN to gain any benefit from a shield - even when it's worn, and even though you always take the penalty from wearing it - so it's sort of par for the course.

As written, it seems like shields just negate their hardness in damage - so 8 damage would mean you take 3 and the shield blocks 5 and takes a dent. But the confusing part is the example (p.175) about taking 10 damage and the shield takes 2 dents. Does the shield negate more than 5 damage? Why would the 10 damage attack break the shield when the 8 damage attack didn't? Or is it just talking about the shield as an item, not how it is used in Shield Block? Personally I think using Shield Block means the 10 damage attack is reduced by 5 and the shield takes 1 dent - i.e. you can never take more than 1 dent using Shield Block.

Either way, shields seem extremely bad right now: massive action waste + too easy to break. Hopefully this gets addressed soon.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Alchemaic wrote:
Rameth wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
It seems via the twitch stream last Friday that a shield with hardness 3 blocks an attack that deals 3 damage it takes a dent. And if the shield is used to block and the attack would deal 6 damage the shield is destroyed (2 dents) and the user still takes 3 damage.
In the stream he didn't actually clarify what we've been talking about. So we still don't know which way it works. All he did was restate what was already in the book. He didn't talk about reduction in damage first or after the fact or not at all.

I believe he did say that the shield gets dented and the rest of the damage passes through, which would be "hardness isn't applied to the shield at all". The problem is pinning down that exact line in a 3 hour livestream.

And I just managed to find it. Timecode is 2:47:05 at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/301012575

JB: Alright so you shield block?
EK: Yep.
JB: He is going to do 9 points of damage, so that's reduced by the hardness of the shield.
EK: Which is 5.
JB: Which is 5.
EK: Which means I'm going to take 4 points of damage.
JB: So you take 4 and the shield is dented.
EK: Correct.

As an additional bonus, I also got my question answered which is if you can shield block with the knowledge of how much damage you're going to take. Just need that noted in the rules now.

I did not expect that. This means that hardness is actually hp for the shield (and not what we usually refer to as hardness, that is, a damage reduction), and "number of dents" is just an hp multiplier.

This makes shields worse than the alternate way some (most?) of us were running it. I haven't played in high level combat yet, but at lvl 7 a Sturdy Shield with hardness 10 would have been dented by pretty much every single attack, which means that after 2 rounds (when it's broken and you don't want to risk having it destroyed) the only thing it does is prevent you from wieding a bigger weapon

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

I am pretty sure that the shield (and other items) doesn't become broken until the 2nd dent and destroyed until the 3rd dent.

When I played Doomsday Dawn my heavy steel shield (hardness 5) made me impervious to 1 attack around against non-crits from one of the most dangerous enemies (due to poison). In the end my shield took a single dent through the whole dungeon crawl.

Also it seems to me that most people are ignoring generally how easy it is to fix a shield. Takes an hour, but that drops to 10 minutes with Quick Repair (gained by the Warrior background at 1st level), and gets even faster as your crafting skill goes up.

Also at higher levels and with Paladin's Righteous Ally you could have a shield that takes 3 dents without becoming broken (using any of the Sturdy Shields + Righteous Ally)

Seems like quite a few when you can take a few minutes to fix it.


Yeah, I know the sturdy shield becomes broken at 2 dents. that's why you shouldn't use it a third time, else it becomes destroyed and you lose it forever


Blueskier wrote:
Alchemaic wrote:
Rameth wrote:
Chess Pwn wrote:
It seems via the twitch stream last Friday that a shield with hardness 3 blocks an attack that deals 3 damage it takes a dent. And if the shield is used to block and the attack would deal 6 damage the shield is destroyed (2 dents) and the user still takes 3 damage.
In the stream he didn't actually clarify what we've been talking about. So we still don't know which way it works. All he did was restate what was already in the book. He didn't talk about reduction in damage first or after the fact or not at all.

I believe he did say that the shield gets dented and the rest of the damage passes through, which would be "hardness isn't applied to the shield at all". The problem is pinning down that exact line in a 3 hour livestream.

And I just managed to find it. Timecode is 2:47:05 at https://www.twitch.tv/videos/301012575

JB: Alright so you shield block?
EK: Yep.
JB: He is going to do 9 points of damage, so that's reduced by the hardness of the shield.
EK: Which is 5.
JB: Which is 5.
EK: Which means I'm going to take 4 points of damage.
JB: So you take 4 and the shield is dented.
EK: Correct.

As an additional bonus, I also got my question answered which is if you can shield block with the knowledge of how much damage you're going to take. Just need that noted in the rules now.

I did not expect that. This means that hardness is actually hp for the shield (and not what we usually refer to as hardness, that is, a damage reduction), and "number of dents" is just an hp multiplier.

This makes shields worse than the alternate way some (most?) of us were running it. I haven't played in high level combat yet, but at lvl 7 a Sturdy Shield with hardness 10 would have been dented by pretty much every single attack, which means that after 2 rounds (when it's broken and you don't want to risk having it destroyed) the only thing it does is prevent you from wieding a bigger weapon

There is another possibility, they played it wrong. In my opinion they did not know their own rules, because the totally ignored the hardness of the shield. The shield should have absorbed 5 damage and the character should have received 4 damage as explained. The shield should not have received a dent, because of its hardness of five it should take 10 damage for it to receive a dent, and 15 damage to get broken instantly.

Liberty's Edge

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Wait a minute I just thought of something.

So if an Item becomes Broken it cannot be used anymore, right? Also, there are no rules for Sundering Equipment, right?

Also, based on the above interpretations; Shields can only ever take 1 Dent at a time, right?

Doesn't that mean Shields are basically indestructible in combat because a Broken Shield cannot be used to Shield Block and therefore will no longer take any more Dents?

Voila, Shields cannot be Destroyed if they are "Attended Items" (Eg. In a PCs Inventory), only Broken. You spend the Hour/10 Minutes it takes to repair the Shield during Downtime and you're good to go.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Thravion wrote:
There is another possibility, they played it wrong. In my opinion they did not know their own rules, because the totally ignored the hardness of the shield.

You must be using Monkey Lunge, because you're reaching really far for no discernible reason.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Themetricsystem wrote:

Wait a minute I just thought of something.

So if an Item becomes Broken it cannot be used anymore, right? Also, there are no rules for Sundering Equipment, right?

Also, based on the above interpretations; Shields can only ever take 1 Dent at a time, right?

Doesn't that mean Shields are basically indestructible in combat because a Broken Shield cannot be used to Shield Block and therefore will no longer take any more Dents?

Voila, Shields cannot be Destroyed if they are "Attended Items" (Eg. In a PCs Inventory), only Broken. You spend the Hour/10 Minutes it takes to repair the Shield during Downtime and you're good to go.

The interpretation that a shield can only take one dent at a time is quite explicitly contradicted on page 175: 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.

I think the problem here is that when it says "a wooden shield that takes ten damage", what it should say is "a wooden shield that is hit for 13 damage takes 10, and thus receives 2 dents. This is what they missed in the twitch video. The amount of damage "taken" is not the same as the amount dealt, also corroborated by this from the same page: An item reduces any damage dealt to it by its Hardness.

I think all this confusion is simply stemming from shield block's wording: "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." This is confusing, because it is saying the the shield is taking the damage that it reduced due to hardness, which is false.

This should instead read "You shield negates an amount of damage equal to its hardness. Any damage in excess of that is dealt to both you and your shield, possibly resulting in one more more dents.

Liberty's Edge

2 people marked this as a favorite.

Page 309. Shield Block / Reaction

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.

This is the SPECIFIC Action here and the rules that apply, the only reason Dented and Broken Rules are refrenced is to indicate what Dents and the Broken Condition are. The Shield can only EVER take damage up to it own Hardness, it's spelled out VERY clearly right here.

ALSO NOTE: It mentions NOTHING here about a Shield Block destroying a Shield.


Themetricsystem wrote:

Page 309. Shield Block / Reaction

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.

This is the SPECIFIC Action here and the rules that apply, the only reason Dented and Broken Rules are refrenced is to indicate what Dents and the Broken Condition are. The Shield can only EVER take damage up to it own Hardness, it's spelled out VERY clearly right here.

ALSO NOTE: It mentions NOTHING here about a Shield Block destroying a Shield.

You can still shield block with a shield that has one dent. The example in the book talks about a shield taking two dents in one hit. How can that not result in a shield being destroyed?

Scarab Sages

SRM Answered this on the Facebook PF2 playtest forum.

Hardness blocks damage to the wielder, not the shield.

Any single damage blow equal to the hardness or greater gives the shield 1 dent.

I believe if the damage blow is double the shield's hardness, the shield takes 2 dents.

Regardless of how you calculate whether the shield takes a dent or not, all damage over the shield's hardness applies to the wielder.


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Tallow wrote:

SRM Answered this on the Facebook PF2 playtest forum.

Hardness blocks damage to the wielder, not the shield.

Any single damage blow equal to the hardness or greater gives the shield 1 dent.

I believe if the damage blow is double the shield's hardness, the shield takes 2 dents.

Regardless of how you calculate whether the shield takes a dent or not, all damage over the shield's hardness applies to the wielder.

A shield being used to block only ever gets one dent at a time. The example on Page 175 is where Shield not being used to block but instead just lying there and getting attacked. A shield use to to block only ever takes damage up to its hardness gaining one dent, with the excess going to the wielder.


Tallow wrote:

SRM Answered this on the Facebook PF2 playtest forum.

Hardness blocks damage to the wielder, not the shield.

Any single damage blow equal to the hardness or greater gives the shield 1 dent.

I believe if the damage blow is double the shield's hardness, the shield takes 2 dents.

Regardless of how you calculate whether the shield takes a dent or not, all damage over the shield's hardness applies to the wielder.

Can't wait to use cardboard and paper shields, negligible bulk and all that sweet sweet AC. How nice! It also is easier to paint and customize each time it brakes, which is anytime you put your hand on it or wiggle it a little too fast!

Honestly, though, the math was actually great before, with Hardness reducing the damage to the item itself, because it was possible to dent it and a crit would break it by giving it two dents, but I'm talking about a lower level monster, while stronger monsters would still break and destroy it easily. Without the sentence "hardness reduce the damage dealt to the item" (paraphrasing) then every blow will break the shield and if they land a crit and you use your shield (which you should, because you don't want to die) you straight up lost your shield forever, given how Paizo's math has be designed to stay consistent through all levels, it's safe to assume it's the same against a CR 0 enemy (rolling 1d6's, sometimes with bonuses) and CR 20+.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lightning Raven wrote:
Tallow wrote:

SRM Answered this on the Facebook PF2 playtest forum.

Hardness blocks damage to the wielder, not the shield.

Any single damage blow equal to the hardness or greater gives the shield 1 dent.

I believe if the damage blow is double the shield's hardness, the shield takes 2 dents.

Regardless of how you calculate whether the shield takes a dent or not, all damage over the shield's hardness applies to the wielder.

Can't wait to use cardboard and paper shields, negligible bulk and all that sweet sweet AC. How nice! It also is easier to paint and customize each time it brakes, which is anytime you put your hand on it or wiggle it a little too fast!

Honestly, though, the math was actually great before, with Hardness reducing the damage to the item itself, because it was possible to dent it and a crit would break it by giving it two dents, but I'm talking about a lower level monster, while stronger monsters would still break and destroy it easily. Without the sentence "hardness reduce the damage dealt to the item" (paraphrasing) then every blow will break the shield and if they land a crit and you use your shield (which you should, because you don't want to die) you straight up lost your shield forever, given how Paizo's math has be designed to stay consistent through all levels, it's safe to assume it's the same against a CR 0 enemy (rolling 1d6's, sometimes with bonuses) and CR 20+.

Harness was never meant to reduce damage. It's the amount of damage and item can resist before it gains a dent. The idea of Shield blocking is that you're not really supposed to do it every time you raise your Shield. The most versatile and best use of a shield is the bonus to your AC. The reaction is icing on the cake that you can use when you need it. By using that reaction reactions that are potentially better from attacks of opportunity to counter spelling to pretty much any other reaction. I think people are looking at the shield block reaction is something you're doing constantly which I don't think is the design goal. It's a further option that you can use as a bonus from already using a shield to Grant you an ac buff. Choosing to block is a choice you don't have to do it you can take the damage and if you're up. And taking a normal hit, just taking the damage instead of gaining a dent is likely your better option. It's when your lower on it points and potentially need to keep fighting that resisting blows to some degree becomes more valuable. No personally I do think she would need a slight buff, potentially wooden Shields having hardness 5 and steel Shields having hardness 7, and shield being able to take three dents before being broken would make them a much more solid option


This is idiotic. Shield block was barely useful with hardness reduced ahead of dents. This edition is not looking good so far.


Happily, there's a new Update document out today.

Sadly, it says nothing to resolve this question.

What happened to the FAQ button?


Vorsk, Follower or Erastil wrote:
Lightning Raven wrote:
Tallow wrote:

SRM Answered this on the Facebook PF2 playtest forum.

Hardness blocks damage to the wielder, not the shield.

Any single damage blow equal to the hardness or greater gives the shield 1 dent.

I believe if the damage blow is double the shield's hardness, the shield takes 2 dents.

Regardless of how you calculate whether the shield takes a dent or not, all damage over the shield's hardness applies to the wielder.

Can't wait to use cardboard and paper shields, negligible bulk and all that sweet sweet AC. How nice! It also is easier to paint and customize each time it brakes, which is anytime you put your hand on it or wiggle it a little too fast!

Honestly, though, the math was actually great before, with Hardness reducing the damage to the item itself, because it was possible to dent it and a crit would break it by giving it two dents, but I'm talking about a lower level monster, while stronger monsters would still break and destroy it easily. Without the sentence "hardness reduce the damage dealt to the item" (paraphrasing) then every blow will break the shield and if they land a crit and you use your shield (which you should, because you don't want to die) you straight up lost your shield forever, given how Paizo's math has be designed to stay consistent through all levels, it's safe to assume it's the same against a CR 0 enemy (rolling 1d6's, sometimes with bonuses) and CR 20+.

Harness was never meant to reduce damage. It's the amount of damage and item can resist before it gains a dent. The idea of Shield blocking is that you're not really supposed to do it every time you raise your Shield. The most versatile and best use of a shield is the bonus to your AC. The reaction is icing on the cake that you can use when you need it. By using that reaction reactions that are potentially better from attacks of opportunity to counter spelling to pretty much any other reaction. I think people are looking at the shield block reaction is...

Without the damage reduction clause a Wooden Shield (hardness 3) would be completely destroyed by a 9 damage attack, which is not that hard for level 0 creatures since it's only a crit away from complete destruction and a max dmg roll for breaking the shield. Despite the rules on dent and broken beyond repair being separated in the books, Item Damage covers the two dents=broken condition part while the Broken section says that if the item gets a dent while with two dents it's destroyed, it doesn't mean that massive damage on a shield will only arbitrarily stop on two dents just because the rule is not tied together, that would really go against logic, because if such was the case, then if by change you took more than 7 damage on your item, let's say 20, then it wouldn't mean anything because if we only consider one side of the rules, the shield would only suffer 2 dents and the rest of the damage would lose meaning, that's why it makes no sense to treat any damage, regardless of how much as just one or two dents and nothing more.

Grand Lodge

5 people marked this as a favorite.

Shield block specifically says the shield takes up to its hardness, end.

Damaging an object notes you can cause two dents.

These two work together just fine. The shield can only take up to its hardness. This causes a dent. The shield can never take two dents from shield blocking.

If a creature has an ability to target the shield specifically, 9 damage will wreck your 3 hardness shield. Other than that, shield blocking, your shield is getting 1 dent at most.


David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:

Shield block specifically says the shield takes up to its hardness, end.

Damaging an object notes you can cause two dents.

These two work together just fine. The shield can only take up to its hardness. This causes a dent. The shield can never take two dents from shield blocking.

If a creature has an ability to target the shield specifically, 9 damage will wreck your 3 hardness shield. Other than that, shield blocking, your shield is getting 1 dent at most.

I find your explanation compelling, if a little disappointing. And if it is the case, putting an example in the book where someone *attacks a shield that's sitting unused* to demonstrate breaking items is probably the red herring of the year.

Liberty's Edge

theservantsllcleanitup wrote:
David Silver - Ponyfinder wrote:

Shield block specifically says the shield takes up to its hardness, end.

Damaging an object notes you can cause two dents.

These two work together just fine. The shield can only take up to its hardness. This causes a dent. The shield can never take two dents from shield blocking.

If a creature has an ability to target the shield specifically, 9 damage will wreck your 3 hardness shield. Other than that, shield blocking, your shield is getting 1 dent at most.

I find your explanation compelling, if a little disappointing. And if it is the case, putting an example in the book where someone *attacks a shield that's sitting unused* to demonstrate breaking items is probably the red herring of the year.

I am confident that this is indeed the red herring we have all been looking for.

Note that specific always overrides general in cases where rules conflict, in this case the Shield Block Reaction is the relevant reading, and it only cites page 175 for reference to what Dents ARE.

I have NO CLUE why they describe a Shield taking Damage in the example provided, but this interpetation applies to unattended objects only regardless because Sundering isn't a thing in PF2 yet.

Sovereign Court

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Also keep in mind that the in the Critical Updates section of the 1.1 rules update is this:

Page 175—In Equipment, in Item Damage, delete the second
sentence.

That sentence is "An item reduces any damage dealt to it by its Hardness."

I think that makes it clear that if you strike you are blocking deals damage = to or more than the hardness of your shield when you shield block it will take a dent.

I think there still needs to be some clarification if the shield can take 2 dents during the shield block or if it only takes damage up to the hardness of the shield.

I believe that the intent is that blocking an attack that would deal double the shield's hardness in damage, or more, would cause 2 dents.

I agree that Hardness seem quite low, due to my play experience last night. I played one of the 5th level PFS scenarios. My paladin had an expert heavy steel shield that was a righteous ally (hardness 8, 5 base +1 from expert +2 from righteous ally). Many of the attacks our group faced were dealing from 15-20 damage. Meaning most attacks would cause 2 dents, which my shield would only not break due to the extra dent from righteous ally. The druid in the party had just a regular heavy wooden shield (hardness 3), that broke the one and only time he used shield block. Even the shield cantrip at 5th level (heightened to 3rd) has a hardness of 10

Grand Lodge

That line was removed in the eratta.


4 people marked this as a favorite.

I am firmly in the Shield Block RAW camp. It says it takes damage up to its hardness. Period. That's how much damage it takes. The page 175 example is a red herring. The hardness damage reduction line was literally errata'd out of existence. This case is closed, shield block can only cause one dent at a time until further errata changes that.


theservantsllcleanitup wrote:
I am firmly in the Shield Block RAW camp. It says it takes damage up to its hardness. Period. That's how much damage it takes. The page 175 example is a red herring. The hardness damage reduction line was literally errata'd out of existence. This case is closed, shield block can only cause one dent at a time until further errata changes that.

And ignore all logic in the meanwhile. Why not keep the sentence and the math holds up quite fine? It's more logical that way and shields work quite well, despite being destructible by max damage.

Grand Lodge

4 people marked this as a favorite.

Are you complaining at a random board poster for saying the devs made their choice? If you want to argue it _should_ be a certain way, fine, but it isn't at this time. It is quite clear what it is, right now.

Hardness 3 shield, someone taps me for 3 damage, I shield block, 1 dent.

Someone taps me for 5 damage, 1 dent, I take 2.

Someone taps me for 6 damage, 1 dent, I take 3.

Someone taps me for 1000 damage, 1 dent, I fall over, owie.

Liberty's Edge

3 people marked this as a favorite.

At this point, the only thing they need to do to fix the confusion for this whole mess is change the wording from "wooden shield" to "wooden door" on page 175.

!BOOM!
Problem solved - Everyone is happy!


Themetricsystem wrote:
Problem solved - Everyone is happy!

Well, everyone except the people who thought that shield block would be a fighter's bread and butter.

I think we now just see what they intended shield block to be: the "oh heck!" button that you press when things are getting hairy and every last HP counts.

Also, time to get those backup mithral heavy shields ready (L bulk, oh yea)


If "a shield can only take damage up to its hardness, period", then there's precious little difference between a wooden shield and a metal one: past 1st level pretty much any attack is going to cause 1 dent, and as they all have 3 hp they're functionally identical.

It doesn't work as that "Oh heck!" button unless you expect to be healed up to full hp before each fight. And either way the shield is essentially acting as 9 (wood) or 15 (metal) hit points, which is what it'll absorb before breaking. Which is a bit like a potion except that it uses reactions and encumbrance rather than resonance*. Or you can spend a while mending it, if that's your idea of adventure and derring-do.

I do like the shield block reaction as a concept, but it's just really badly implemented (and described). Shame. Maybe they'll fix it.

* actually it does use resonance when you pick the next one out of your golf bag of holding.

Grand Lodge

Bags of holding don't work that way anymore.

1 to 50 of 83 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Pathfinder Playtest General Discussion / Has there been clarification on how shields work? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.