Ring of Force Shield. Can it be used by wizards, and if so at what cost?


Rules Questions


Item Description:

"This ring generates a shield-sized (and shield-shaped) wall of force that stays with the ring and can be wielded by the wearer as if it were a heavy shield (+2 AC). This special creation has no armor check penalty or arcane spell failure chance since it is weightless and encumbrance-free. It can be activated and deactivated at will as a free action."

Wizard Weapon and Armor Proficiency:
"Wizards are proficient with the club, dagger, heavy crossbow, light crossbow, and quarterstaff, but not with any type of armor or shield. Armor interferes with a wizard’s movements, which can cause his spells with somatic components to fail."

I know if I use it as a wizard I won't suffer check penalties or encumbrance but can I use it at all since it acts *as if* it were a shield. Or does my lack of proficiency prevent me from doing so?

Further more when using it does it take up a hand slot? I wouldn't think so since it already takes up a ring slot and having it take up a free hand slot would defeat the purpose(and waste gold), but I just want to makes sure.

The Exchange

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a wizard can use a sheild just at penalty, so good there. i have ruled you dont use hand cause you are using ring slot


The fact it has no arcane penalty should be all the info you need to realize it's made for wizards.


Yes, you can, in fact, use the ring of force shields as a shield even if you are not proficient with shields. Wielding a shield without proficiency would normally require you to apply its armor check penalty to your attack rolls; however, as the ring has no armor check penalty, that's a non-issue in this case.


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The only penalty a character takes for wielding equipment they are not proficient in is a penalty to your attack rolls equal to the armor check penalty.

As the penalty in this case is 0 and there is no arcane spell failure, a wizard can use the ring of force shield with no issues whatsoever. That being said, you could also buy a +1 mithral buckler that gives you +2 AC, no ACP, no ASF, and leaves your hand free for a fraction of the cost.


Jeff Morse wrote:
a wizard can use a sheild just at penalty, so good there. i have ruled you dont use hand cause you are using ring slot

I would second that answer. It probably isn't the ideal use for a Wizard's ring slot, but that is not the question.


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If you're not proficient with armour or a shield, the penlty is that you take the Armour Check Penalty to your attack rolls. Since this item has no ACP that's not a problem. As a wizard you would also incur the Arcane Spell Failure chance for wearing armour or a shield (whether proficient or not), but again this item has no ASF chance.

In this case you are taking the penalties for using this item, it just so happens that the penalties are a -0 to hit and a 0% chance for your spells to fail.

On a side note, a Mithral Buckler has the same penalties, so you could wear a +3 Mithral Buckler. It would have a +4 AC bonus and cost ~9000gp. It wouldn't be a force effect though.

As for whether it takes up a hand, it says it's "wielded by the wearer as if it were a heavy shield" which implies you can't use that hand for anything else (light shields and bucklers let you use the hand, but heavy shields don't).

HOWEVER:

It also says it's a free action to activate/deactivate, so you could deactivate it at the beginning of your round (so you can do something with that hand), then activate again at the end of your round. This has been debated ad-nauseum, but it seems to be the strictest RAW. I'd check how your GM wants to rule this before using it this way.

EDIT: Multi-ninja'd


You typed a lot. That's all. Ninjas sneak in that way.


Thank you all for the answers. Since we've made it here I'll pull the curtain back to explain why I asked the questions.

This is loot that was received for NOT killing a certain Barghest. Upon receiving it I had already decided on not using it. I have wands of mage armor and scrolls of shield for the time being. But there was some confusion on how it's actually used. Thanks to you that is no longer the case. Knowledge is power and you've all helped my party become more powerful.

It's been decided the fighter should have it since he serves as point guard. The shields utility is more suited to it. Most notably the ability to block breath weapons. My thinking is if he isn't in the right spot to block a breath weapon then several other things have already gone wrong.


Ezzard wrote:
Most notably the ability to block breath weapons.

Is that a thing? It's only a heavy shield-sized wall of force, not a 5 foot wide barrier.


blahpers wrote:
Ezzard wrote:
Most notably the ability to block breath weapons.
Is that a thing? It's only a heavy shield-sized wall of force, not a 5 foot wide barrier.

Spell text "Breath weapons and spells cannot pass through a wall of force in either direction"

Yes. The user might have to take an action to hide behind it (I'll have to look into what that would be.)

Then again a 5ft by 5ft Barrier would block the breath weapon and still have some of it spill over hitting anything above 5ft tall(Assuming it's a cone attack.) So I guess the question you want to ask is how much cover is the user able to gain using the shield or the normal spell. These both feel like GM fiat questions but there they are.

Also There doesn't seem to be a listed size for "Heavy Shield" so for all I know they are 5ft tall and just wide enough to cover a medium sized humanoid if need be. Again feels like Fiat territory.

Unless you're asking if it can be done at all. In which case the answer is yes. Other wise why bother using "Wall of Force" as the spell tied to the item.


blahpers wrote:
Ezzard wrote:
Most notably the ability to block breath weapons.
Is that a thing? It's only a heavy shield-sized wall of force, not a 5 foot wide barrier.

Minor update: I found the action required to do this without a tower shield. It took a while cuz for a long time all I got was "How to block PF2E" posts.

Anyway here's the link to the feat.
http://www.d20pfsrd.com/feats/combat-feats/equipment-trick-combat

And here's the part that matters to this discussion.

"Little Wall (Escape Artist 5 ranks): You can contort your body behind your shield in order to gain a brief moment of security. Whenever you use the total defense action, you may choose to gain cover instead of the normal dodge bonus to AC."


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Ezzard wrote:
blahpers wrote:
Ezzard wrote:
Most notably the ability to block breath weapons.
Is that a thing? It's only a heavy shield-sized wall of force, not a 5 foot wide barrier.

Spell text "Breath weapons and spells cannot pass through a wall of force in either direction"

...

Unless you're asking if it can be done at all. In which case the answer is yes. Other wise why bother using "Wall of Force" as the spell tied to the item.

The text about it being a wall of force means that it blocks attacks by incorporeal creatures (it denotes that it's a force effect), not that it acts as the spell: "Wall of Force". The items specifically says it acts like a shield. If your GM allows it then great, but generally that's not what it's intended for.

Regarding size, a 5×5 shield would definitely be a Tower Shield.

The text you quoted is from a feat (Equipment Trick). Without the feat you can't do this (which is why the feat exists). If your Fighter does have the feat then no worries.


Had to work late, just getting through this. There is a difference between the ring and a buckler specific to spell casters (unless of course, they have nothing in the other hand) and that is if the hand wielding the buckler is used for an offensive purpose (attack, cast a spell, etc.) then the AC bonus drops for the round until your turn comes up again. My guess is that the game writers feel the hand is doing other things than protecting for that six seconds.

There is also the chance to enchant the buckler with additional bonuses and enhancements, while the ring is stuck with what it has.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

You need only one free hand to cast spells.


Yeah I'm pretty sure with Light Shields and Bucklers you can hold something in the hand that's wearing the shield with no penalties as long as you don't use it to attack etc (if you do attack then you lose the AC bonus).

If you use a Heavy Shield or Tower Shield that hand is considered full so you can't hold anything in it or use it for anything.

This means you could hold a rod/etc in your shield hand, and use your free hand to for focus/material/somatic components (which only need 1 hand between them).

I just tried (briefly) to look this up though, and I couldn't find it. I could be remembering an old version of DnD rules (or even a different game), so if someone knows where to check that it'd be great.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Ezzard wrote:
I have wands of mage armor and scrolls of shield for the time being.

It sound like you are equating the ring of force shield with the shield spell. They are not the same.

1) The Shield spell "hovers", implying that it doesn't require a free hand to use, and also blocks magic missile spells.

2) The shield created by the Ring of Force Shield "stays with the ring" and must be "wielded", both of which suggest that the ring hand isn't free for any other purposes as long as the shield is manifested. Its bonus is also less than the shield spell, and is of the same type, so it won't stack.

There is no mention of any special effect against breath weapons, although that sounds like a cool and thematic way to use shields.

As far as the notion of switching off the shield with a free action at the start of your "round" of actions and switching it back on after you've taken your actions is concerned, that seems like cheese to me. Allowed under a strict RAW reading that gives you unlimited free actions every turn, but easily subject to DM fiat limiting you to one activation or deactivation per round. AFAIK, this is the only sticking point for this item that you need to discuss with your DM.


Wheldrake wrote:
As far as the notion of switching off the shield with a free action at the start of your "round" of actions and switching it back on after you've taken your actions is concerned, that seems like cheese to me. Allowed under a strict RAW reading that gives you unlimited free actions every turn, but easily subject to DM fiat limiting you to one activation or deactivation per round.

Yeah I've seen a couple of threads on this item discuss this, and while it seems to be legal to do this, a lot of people have a problem with it. Ask your GM before you try this and see what they say.

My fix would be to do what you suggest and limit it to: "Free action, but once per turn" (on OR off, but not on AND off). Of course that's assuming you care, it's less good than a +2 Mithral Buckler and costs more to buy, so play it how you like.

As far as free actions, I think one of the books (the GM guide maybe?) recommends 3 free actions per round as a standard. If you feel that's too restrictive you can add more, or if you feel that's too free you can take some away from the players, but that's more-or-less how they devs thought of it.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
MrCharisma wrote:
Wheldrake wrote:
As far as the notion of switching off the shield with a free action at the start of your "round" of actions and switching it back on after you've taken your actions is concerned, that seems like cheese to me. Allowed under a strict RAW reading that gives you unlimited free actions every turn, but easily subject to DM fiat limiting you to one activation or deactivation per round.

Yeah I've seen a couple of threads on this item discuss this, and while it seems to be legal to do this, a lot of people have a problem with it. Ask your GM before you try this and see what they say.

My fix would be to do what you suggest and limit it to: "Free action, but once per turn" (on OR off, but not on AND off). Of course that's assuming you care, it's less good than a +2 Mithral Buckler and costs more to buy, so play it how you like.

As far as free actions, I think one of the books (the GM guide maybe?) recommends 3 free actions per round as a standard. If you feel that's too restrictive you can add more, or if you feel that's too free you can take some away from the players, but that's more-or-less how they devs thought of it.

If I recall correctly, it was a FAQ, that was later redacted because of archers.

It is hard to fire a bazillion of arrows in a round if you can't take a bazillion of free actions to draw them.


My issue with the ring is that it required a hand to wield, and thus I could not two-hand a weapon.

/cevah


Well that and I've got a lot of other rings I'd rather be wearing except for various edge cases making their way through other threads.


Cevah wrote:

My issue with the ring is that it required a hand to wield, and thus I could not two-hand a weapon.

/cevah

It was my impression that while it does require a hand to wield, you only wield a shield for bashing. You wear/don/strap-on a shield for defense. Am I wrong?


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grab a clawhand shield. it's +2 heavy shield (+4 shield bonus total). no problem for arcane casters. no acp. and it make the somatic hand gestures for casting so don't need a free hand to cast.
bonus it hits things that grapple you.

force shield ring cost 8,500 gp and take up your ring slot. clawhand cost less (8,158) and while taking up the hand, leave it open for casting and such. and higher ac all together (+4 vs +2)


Cevah wrote:

My issue with the ring is that it required a hand to wield, and thus I could not two-hand a weapon.

/cevah

if your two handing a weapon go for shield brace feat. let you use pole-arm or spear group weapons with Shields. i like using Nodachi with a heavy shield. (my warpriest uses the clawhand from above with it so he can cast ,fight with 2 handed weapon and have shield on)

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