Shield Bonus and Shield Enhancement Bonus


Rules Questions


Let's say I have a +1 Buckler, and something that will grant me a shield bonus to my AC that is of a higher value of 1, and let's say it grants a +2 shield bonus specifically. What is my end result for my total shield bonus?

I know you wouldn't stack the buckler and the other thing giving a +2 shield bonus, but what about that +1 enhancement on the buckler? Take the higher shield bonus (+2 shield bonus), and then applying the shield enhancement bonus (+1 from the +1 buckler)?

I was trying to look how armor enhancement bonuses are figured out, and maybe I am just missing some language in the rules. Are there rules that clarify if the enhancement bonuses are exclusive to the item?

I would appreciate it if people could help me with the actual rules to better understand this. Thanks!


I don't have anything to quote but I believe the enhancement is specific to the item.


I looked in the Core rule book FAQ to see if I could find something, but I didn't see anything. I always took it as the enhancement was exclusive to the item, then you applied it on as one thing, but I don't see language backing that up. At the same time I don't really see anything that elaborately explains armor/shield and armor/shield enhancement.


The enhancement Bonus enhances the shield, armor or natural Bonus depending on the item.
With a buckler +1 the enhancement Bonus enhances the shield Bonus by +1 so it effectively has an overall shieldbonus of +2.

Thus a spell giving a shield Bonus of +2 does not stack with a buckler +1.

Same with armor. A leather armor +2 has effectively an armor Bonus of 3 + 2 = 5. A mage armor cast on the wearer of such an armor has therefor no effect on the AC.


What in the rules should I be reading to clarify this?

Also, I think you meant Studded Leather.


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Yeah, it's really hard to find that sort of straightforward explanation of what something actually is in the CRB. However the best I could find is from the section where it is explaining how to calculate AC;

Pathfincer Core Rulebook p179 wrote:
Enhancement Bonuses: Enhancement bonuses apply to your armor to increase the armor bonus it provides.

Which seems to indicate that the enhancement is affecting the armor to increase it's value, not adding a new type of bonus to you like a ring of protection or amulet of natural armor.

I think in one of the later books it goes into more detail on that, but I don't have the time right now to track down which book that piece of information is hidden in.


I appreciate you tracking that down.

The relevant places in my mind to look were under armor, magic armor, and the rules on how bonuses work. I would have never thought to look at the combat section for that.

I checked my book, and it is there, plus I went on the d20pfsrd in the combat section and found it.

This was making me feel like I was doing things wrong all this time. Thanks a bunch, Lost In Limbo!


The best thing about owning the PDFs of the rulebooks is the ability to do a text search. Being able to just Ctrl+F "enhancement" made that job take 5 minutes rather than 3 hours.

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