Barbarians and Rangers not proficient with shields: what do you think of it?


Classes


1 person marked this as a favorite.

In my opinion, I'd like they were trained with shields, otherwise it seems to me that the system enforces players too much to play specific types of characters (barbarians with greatswords or great axes, and rangers who wield almost exclusively either two weapons or ranged weapons). What do you think?
Many thanks and happy life!


3 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't mind it for the ranger who I will forever see as going either TWF or ranged after 3.5e.

It does seem an odd choice for the Barbarian not to have shield proficiency since the lightly armored viking running around with a bearded axe and shield is a fairly iconic image for the Barbarian.

I would say both of those classes have larger issues than lack of shield proficiency, however.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I agree that them losing shield proficiency doesn't make any sense.
2E seems to be attempting to roughly balance 2H weapons, TWF, and Sword and Board.
So why do these classes need to burn a general feat just to gain access to shields?


A Ranger is just a likely to use a shield as a Barbarian. One of my 3.5 Rangers is sword and board and its a lot of fun using Shield Slam.

But I agree, shield proficiency is low on the priority list. I'd give up shields to get back spells.


3 people marked this as a favorite.

A lot of concepts for barbarians in particular might be very likely to use shields. Picts, vikings, vandals, gauls, and goths in particular might be groups that would have shield wielding barbarians in an Arthurian, Norse, Carolinian, or Wagnerian style campaigns. Alternatively, African, Native American, Aztec, Mayan, and Australian Aboriginal warriors that might fit the barbarian bill might use shields. In Golarion, Shoanti, Ulfen, Kellid, and Mwangi seems like peoples who would have shield wielding barbarians because of their similarities to real Earth and fantasy cultures that have them. I can see some barbarian plains horsemen using shields and spears. They may even be the precursors of cavaliers that appear when societies advance into feudal societies.

Rangers seem less suited to shields because their larger focus on stealth, guerilla tactics, and climbing. A shield seems like it would get too much in the way, be too clunky, and draw too much attention for all the things that they want to be able to do on a moments notice. Rangers also seem like their skills are more directly derived from stealth style hunting, which wouldn't use shields. Barbarian skills, on the other hand, seem to be built more around things like raiding and pillaging where a shield may be more useful.


Madame Endor wrote:
Rangers seem less suited to shields because their larger focus on stealth, guerilla tactics, and climbing. A shield seems like it would get too much in the way, be too clunky, and draw too much attention for all the things that they want to be able to do on a moments notice. Rangers also seem like their skills are more directly derived from stealth style hunting, which wouldn't use shields. Barbarian skills, on the other hand, seem to be built more around things like raiding and pillaging where a shield may be more useful.

Another thing to consider, however, is edition parity.

Sword and board was an extremely popular build for Rangers in 1E. Players seeking to recreate in part their 1E characters and finding Rangers unsuited to do so would be disappointing.

Also, mechanically, Rangers' TWF fighting style works just fine with a weapon and shield, so having shield proficiency would certainly be useful.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Frankly, rangers having to pay for shield doesnt really bother me. As mentioned, they dont fit the image of the ranger really. Drizzt didnt use one. Aragorn didnt use one either.

But barbarians missing it seems seriously wrong, though.

Edition parity seems like not a huge deal in this case since I doubt Shield Wielding Rangers were a major thing.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Data Lore wrote:

Frankly, rangers having to pay for shield doesnt really bother me. As mentioned, they dont fit the image of the ranger really. Drizzt didnt use one. Aragorn didnt use one either.

But barbarians missing it seems seriously wrong, though.

Edition parity seems like not a huge deal in this case since I doubt Shield Wielding Rangers were a major thing.

Depends on where you play. I really liked my weapon and shield ranger in PF1. It is probably safe to assume that most, if not all, of the ranger fighting styles in PF1 have players who use them and like them.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.
Data Lore wrote:

Frankly, rangers having to pay for shield doesnt really bother me. As mentioned, they dont fit the image of the ranger really. Drizzt didnt use one. Aragorn didnt use one either.

But barbarians missing it seems seriously wrong, though.

Edition parity seems like not a huge deal in this case since I doubt Shield Wielding Rangers were a major thing.

I’m troubled with the assertion that rangers are fine as a class if you can create Drizzt and Aragorn. I feel like a bit more variety could be possible, and many rangers in PF1 used the shield style, including one of mine that exclusively used one.


Mergy wrote:
Data Lore wrote:

Frankly, rangers having to pay for shield doesnt really bother me. As mentioned, they dont fit the image of the ranger really. Drizzt didnt use one. Aragorn didnt use one either.

But barbarians missing it seems seriously wrong, though.

Edition parity seems like not a huge deal in this case since I doubt Shield Wielding Rangers were a major thing.

I’m troubled with the assertion that rangers are fine as a class if you can create Drizzt and Aragorn. I feel like a bit more variety could be possible, and many rangers in PF1 used the shield style, including one of mine that exclusively used one.

I guess I see classes as representing visual or thematic archetypes. If you can make the "archetypal ranger" with the base class, then its solid. Right now, you can (though, I would argue that it needs some ability to make salves or poultices).

Shields as a thing is possible for a non-archetypal ranger but he needs to burn a general feat to do so. To me, this seems reasonable.

I mean, the same argument could be made for heavy armor, right? Certainly some rangers could be made with heavy armor. It would be weird, but why not? Well, its sorta non-standard, so they need to burn a feat for it.

The same argument cannot be made for the Barbarian. Shields are fairly archetypal for them (as clearly shown in posts above) - so, I would expect them not to have to burn a general feat for shields.

Again, its not about what should be possible in the system. Both classes can wield shields with a general feat. Its about what should come in the base package.

Also, I should clarify that I am not a PF1 player. I played plenty of 3.5 and 5e but "system stuff" is less influential on how I judge this than "thematic stuff." Frankly, I don't give a hoot about what was or wasn't in PF1.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What makes a ranger a thematic ranger though? Is it their strength as a guide in the wilderness, or the ability to hunt a target, or their skill with two weapons/ranged weapons?

I will say, none of the write up in the Playing a Ranger or Roleplaying a Ranger sections mentions two weapon fighting; there are only melee weapons and bows. I would say there is then just as much justification from a PF2 design standpoint for a ranger to wield two weapons as there is for a ranger to use a shield, which is none. Drizzt is several games ago and from a different system at this point, so I would rather take more inspiration from PF1 than from one drow.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Yeah, i brought this concern up a long time ago, and I agree. Barbarians and rangers should have access to shields. They even explained how they got the idea from watching Vikings!!!

I guess the developers didn't do so because then they would need to make up more feats that fit the ranger and barbarian?


I get what you are saying but I think "savvy hunter" and "wilderness stalker" are good thematic touchstones. You are right that TWF and bows maybe shouldn't be the only viable styles. Aragorn used a 2 hander.

However, you are wrong about shields. Its the sort of thing you wouldn't expect on what is basically a scout. I guess I still don't see how them not having shield proficiency is any more wrong than a wizard not having shield proficiency.

Classes are classes. They come with limitations that fit their thematic archetype.

Dark Archive

1 person marked this as a favorite.

What makes TWF iconic for a wilderness scout? That’s a duelist’s style, isn’t it? Why TWF but not shields?


Data Lore wrote:
I get what you are saying but I think "savvy hunter" and "wilderness stalker" are good thematic touchstones.

Answering this question is probably the biggest hurdle for the design of a Ranger. I'm going to try and do a write up on it and I hope to examine this question.

Quote:
You are right that TWF and bows maybe shouldn't be the only viable styles. Aragorn used a 2 hander. However, you are wrong about shields.***Classes are classes. They come with limitations that fit their thematic archetype.

The attitude you express here is at the heart of Paizo's challenge: where do they draw the line? There are a bunch of things that I think should never be allowed or severely restricted, yet you'll find many people clamor for them. I'm sure there are things you think that should be added and many others would say wrongbadfun. Paizo has to decide if offering a specific configuration improves the game or undermines it. This is the "art" of game making.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Mergy wrote:
What makes TWF iconic for a wilderness scout? That’s a duelist’s style, isn’t it? Why TWF but not shields?

I guess, thematically, the shield gets in the way. Its a big round thing that even strapped to your back would make it hard to climb up stuff, run and so on. I am not talking in mechanical game terms but in thematic terms. A shield is sort of thing you put on to go to battle but not something you would typically use to hunt boar, if you get my drift.

Again, I am not looking at the classes as just united in a miniature wargame but as representing archetypes in a fantasy world.

As I mentioned, you are right on TWF (I was wrong there; admitted it myself earlier). I would add 2 handers and even open hand fighting as something a wilderness scout should be ok at.

I am perfectly fine with shields not being standard on rangers though.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I kind of think shields should just be folded into armor proficiency. Light Shields should be medium and heavy shields should be heavy (no shields for light armored characters) and then leave it at that. Gives Rangers and Barbarians access to shields. Removes the odd thing where shield proficiency doesn't work like everything else. It might need some more tweaking but that's what I have been thinking about.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

For barbarian, this is a disappointment for me. I like the idea of barbarians having less armor and compensating with a shield. During the previews I'd wanted to make a spear and shield barbarian, using critical specializations to weaken enemy attacks and raise a shield for the one round of fatigue. Now, that takes a good bit more than I think it ought to.

For ranger I care a good bit less. Before the playtest, the ranger was just a slayer with unfortunate baggage to me. During the playtest, the ranger seems just to be a kinda bad fighter that might have a sorta okay pet. I'd seen shield and sword rangers before in PF1, largely because ranger was flat-better at shields with the sword and shield fighting style. Thematically it makes plenty of sense to me for rangers to have or not have shields.


Data Lore wrote:
I guess, thematically, the shield gets in the way. Its a big round thing that even strapped to your back would make it hard to climb up stuff, run and so on. I am not talking in mechanical game terms but in thematic terms. A shield is sort of thing you put on to go to battle but not something you would typically use to hunt boar, if you get my drift.

I've never seen a PFS scenario where a Ranger had to go on a boar hunt. I've yet to have an PFS encounter where the Ranger was the only one who had to "climb up stuff, run and so on." The overwhelming majority of PFS combat takes place indoors/underground. There is very little in the game where being outdoorsy or unencumbered makes any difference.

So while I can certainly see where you are coming from, that's not how the game is played. My sword and shield Ranger has never had a situation where his shield got in the way fo his doing Ranger stuff.

Paradozen wrote:
I'd seen shield and sword rangers before in PF1, largely because ranger was flat-better at shields with the sword and shield fighting style.

Exactly. The sword & board Ranger was fun to play. Did it step on any toes? I don't see how and as others have mentioned, the TWF theme works really well with a shield in the off-hand.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
So while I can certainly see where you are coming from, that's not how the game is played. My sword and shield Ranger has never had a situation where his shield got in the way fo his doing Ranger stuff.

The mechanics of a previous game has little to do with how the thematics of its successor are framed. There are tangible thematic reasons why rangers do not have shield proficiency. Niche builds associated with PF1 are, frankly, a nonissue for me.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Data Lore wrote:
Quote:
So while I can certainly see where you are coming from, that's not how the game is played. My sword and shield Ranger has never had a situation where his shield got in the way fo his doing Ranger stuff.
The mechanics of a previous game has little to do with how the thematics of its successor are framed. There are tangible thematic reasons why rangers do not have shield proficiency. Niche builds associated with PF1 are, frankly, a nonissue for me.

I don't think you're understanding me. There is no Ranger actions that are incompatible with using/carrying a shield. You have an idealized concept of what Rangers do and it has little or nothing to do with how the game actually works/plays, irrespective of mechanics.

On top of that, Sword and Shield Ranger is not a "niche build." It's one of the Combat Style offered along THF, TWF, and archery. In fact, the "Weapon and Shield" combat Style appeared in the Advanced Player's Guide along with the Crossbow, Mounted, Natural Weapon, and Two-Handed styles.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Quote:
You have an idealized concept of what Rangers do and it has little or nothing to do with how the game actually works/plays, irrespective of mechanics.

Those thematics have everything to do with how proficiencies are assigned. If mechanical limitations were the only arbiter here, then rogues should have shield proficiency - and wizards, and sorcerers, and so on.

How the game actually works/plays is informed by mechanics that are derived from concepts which get boiled down into these things called classes, after all.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Here is the "Role" of the Ranger as defined in the Core Rulebook

PRD wrote:
Role: Rangers are deft skirmishers, either in melee or at range, capable of skillfully dancing in and out of battle. Their abilities allow them to deal significant harm to specific types of foes, but their skills are valuable against all manner of enemies.

There is nothing in there that aligns with your notion of Stealth and crawling around on one's belly. There is nothing about the Role of the Ranger that precludes shield use/proficiency.

Go bark up another tree.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Lol, settle down now.

Also, are you actually arguing a class that gets numerous feats focused on stealth and perception isn't a scout because that wasn't in a blurb?

Haha.

Also...

Quote:
You might be a scout, tracker, or hunter of fugitives or beasts, haunting the edge of civilization or exploring the wilds. Living off the land, you are skilled at spotting and taking down both opportune prey and hated enemies. -page 112

Hmm, anywho, I think Paizo has it right for the Ranger but should probably give shield profiency to the Barbarian. The character concepts fit best that way. You disagree because mechanics or whatever. Just fill out the class survey and specify as much.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Here is the AD&D picture of Ranger that accompanied the class in the Players Handbook

AD&D depicted Ranger with shield

There is nothing thematically wrong with a Ranger having a shield.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N N 959 wrote:

Here is the AD&D picture of Ranger that accompanied the class in the Players Handbook

AD&D depicted Ranger with shield

There is nothing thematically wrong with a Ranger having a shield.

If your one true guide is ADnD, they need to limit you to one attack unless your a fighter fighting low cr enemies. Also, clerics should only be able to attack with blunt weapons, nonhumans should be level capped and a bunch of other foolishness.

Nope, sorry, still not convinced.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

I don't care if you're convinced.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N N 959 wrote:
I don't care if you're convinced.

Ok


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Rangers and Barbarians should have shield proficiency because using a shield is really frickin' easy, and a basic way to fight in all cultures. In PF1, warriors and aristocrats (NPCs!) got proficiency with all types of shield, and rangers and barbarians are better than them. And in PF2, even bards, clerics and druids get shields.

Someone really was not joining the dots here.


Clerics are often portrayed as more heavily armored and Druids are not scouts so much as wanderers. Either of them coming stock with shield proficiency is well within their thematic archetype.

You are assuming shield use is a byproduct of martial competency - which I dont think it is. Why then do monks not have shield proficiency? Rogues?

You make a strong point of comparison by noting the Bard. I would rather he not have shield proficiency stock though. Still, I can see it as the Bard is a kind of Jack of All Trades.

*shrug*


1 person marked this as a favorite.

My design philosophy is always inclusive, not exclusive.
Rangers and Barbarians having shield proficiency opens up more options and doesn't restrict those who want to not use them.

Fighters and Paladins would still remain better with shields defensively due to class feats.


I guess I would disagree the current implementation isnt inclusive since for the low price of a general feat you can get shield proficiency.

One of the things I would call out PF2 for doing well, is that racial weapon proficiency feats and feats like shield proficiency actually feel valuable because not everyone that would want such a proficiency gets it for free.

There is value in defining the theme and then giving folks the option to step beyond for a cost as opposed to making everyone feel the same by giving them the same slate of features.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
N N 959 wrote:
Paradozen wrote:
I'd seen shield and sword rangers before in PF1, largely because ranger was flat-better at shields with the sword and shield fighting style.
Exactly. The sword & board Ranger was fun to play. Did it step on any toes? I don't see how and as others have mentioned, the TWF theme works really well with a shield in the off-hand.

Well, in PF1 it did and it didn't. Mostly when I went for sword and shield, I would ignore the option to TWF with a shield and just focus on the weakened attacks with a one-handed sword. But I've heard people complain along the lines of rangers getting the good shield feats 4-5 levels earlier than fighters or paladins (more iconic shielded warriors, in their minds). Specifically, shield slam and shield mastery were earlier than anyone else. Didn't bother me as much though.

PF2 almost certainly won't have that problem if they give rangers shields though. Unless they also took away all the cool shield feats fighters get and gave them to rangers.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Data Lore wrote:
There is value in defining the theme and then giving folks the option to step beyond for a cost as opposed to making everyone feel the same by giving them the same slate of features.

I fully agree, with the exception that I draw the line for "stepping beyond for a cost" beyond just being able to do a thing.

Like wanting to multiclass Fighter to pick up some shield feats or multiclassing Paladin (eventually) to get a divinely powerful shield.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I guess we have to agree to disagree. I see no problem with proficiency feats.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Basic shield use is very simple to pick up on with minimal effort. Martials without basic shield proficiency is dumb.
And the cost of a general feat is not low when you stop to consider you only get 5 and they don't even start coming in until level 3.

You know, with all the things they took away from the Ranger it kind of make me wonder what exactly they spend all their training time on exactly?


Since barbarians are supposed to use 2-handed weapons and rangers are supposed to use crossbows what use do they have for shields?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
thorin001 wrote:
Since barbarians are supposed to use 2-handed weapons and rangers are supposed to use crossbows what use do they have for shields?

They want to be full fledged classes and not just crossbow guy and big sword girl?


3 people marked this as a favorite.
Data Lore wrote:
Drizzt didnt use one.

Drizzt didn't, but his fighting style was supposed to be unique, not a benchmark for all other rangers going forward.

Drizzt's ranger mentor did use a shield.

Community / Forums / Archive / Pathfinder / Playtests & Prerelease Discussions / Pathfinder Playtest / Player Rules / Classes / Barbarians and Rangers not proficient with shields: what do you think of it? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.