Can you drop a shield in combat?


Rules Discussion

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I'm assuming the answer is no, but wanted to confirm. A shield (other than a buckler) means that hand is occupied, and if you're holding a weapon that uses the other hand. Remove a shield strapped to you is a one-handed interact, so you couldn't do that while holding the weapon, correct? I wanted to make sure there isn't some text I missed somewhere that lets you wriggle out of your shield using the shield hand as the hand for the action.


That's a good question. It seems ambiguous. I would go with yes until it's clarified, as an action is already more than dropping anything else.


Where is it written, that the shield is strapped to you? A buckler is, but you will have the hand free nonetheless.

Else just drop it.

RELEASE [free-action]
MANIPULATE
You release something you’re holding in your hand or hands. This might mean dropping an item, removing one hand from your weapon while continuing to hold it in another hand, releasing a rope suspending a chandelier, or performing a similar action. Unlike most manipulate actions, Release does not trigger reactions that can be triggered by actions with the manipulate trait (such as Attack of Opportunity). If you want to prepare to Release something outside of your turn, use the Ready activity.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

I didn’t notice the change in language between PF1, where it explicitly said all shields are strapped to your arm. If the only contrary argument is that other shields aren’t strapped to your arm, I’ll probably continue to run it as an interact and not a release.

And I’d never let someone use the buckler free hand to unstrap the buckler. Hands just don’t bend like that.


TomParker wrote:

I didn’t notice the change in language between PF1, where it explicitly said all shields are strapped to your arm. If the only contrary argument is that other shields aren’t strapped to your arm, I’ll probably continue to run it as an interact and not a release.

And I’d never let someone use the buckler free hand to unstrap the buckler. Hands just don’t bend like that.

Even if the description mentioned "strapped" the necessary move action stated "ready or drop a shield" which implies that it is not glued to your arm and can be done in combat.

However I concur, compared to PF1 interact sounds mmore probable than free.


2 people marked this as a favorite.
Ubertron_X wrote:

Where is it written, that the shield is strapped to you? A buckler is, but you will have the hand free nonetheless.

Else just drop it.

RELEASE [free-action]
MANIPULATE
You release something you’re holding in your hand or hands. This might mean dropping an item, removing one hand from your weapon while continuing to hold it in another hand, releasing a rope suspending a chandelier, or performing a similar action. Unlike most manipulate actions, Release does not trigger reactions that can be triggered by actions with the manipulate trait (such as Attack of Opportunity). If you want to prepare to Release something outside of your turn, use the Ready activity.

It is explicitly mentioned that "detaching" a shield is a 1-action Interact. CRB 274, Table 6-2.


lordcirth wrote:
It is explicitly mentioned that "detaching" a shield is a 1-action Interact. CRB 274, Table 6-2.

CRB 273, but yes, scrolled too fast... ;)

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
lordcirth wrote:
It is explicitly mentioned that "detaching" a shield is a 1-action Interact. CRB 274, Table 6-2.

Yes, I mentioned that rule in my OP, although I didn’t cite the page. But it says “detaching a shield or item strapped to you.” The question we were discussing was whether that applied to all shields, or just bucklers.

In 2e, shields other than bucklers no longer say they are “strapped” to you. I think it applies to all shields, but I would understand if someone felt the RAW made shields a held object that just required a release.


Yeah, this came up earlier, I think all Shield descriptions should mention strap like Buckler does (for clarity).
Realistically, dropping weapon/item in other hand wouldn't be necessary, but I would require action to properly regrip it. (FAQ?)
(Quickdraw is really only way there is action difference between 2, but terrain/enemies can make dropping item bad idea)

Although another question is if Shields need action to detach, do they also need action to "attach"?
As opposed to weapons or other items which merely need be "drawn" to be used.
I don't see why "drawing" a shield (as a weapon or other object) automatically includes "attaching" concept.
(if intent is for "attach" to also use action, Errata is simple... just add "Attach or" before "Detach a shield" in 6-2)


What actions does it take to stow a shield instead of dropping it?


I think "Draw, stow, or pick up an item" covers that assuming you have strap to hang it over your back etc.

I'm inclined to say stowing it in backpack always needs 2 free hands, but clarity on that
would need to Errata "Retrieve an item from a backpack 3 or satchel" to have "Stow or" before Retrieve,

Actually,
Errating "Draw, Stow or" before Retrieve would clarify if weapon is properly wielded/gripped via Retrieve from Backpack action.
Otherwise the different wording vs Draw/Stow/PickupItem could imply non-mention of "Draw" means weapon is not properly wielded.


So if it takes an action to stow the shield, and it takes an action to release the shield from your arm so that you can drop it - wouldn't you have to also use the release shield action in addition to the stow action when stowing a shield?


breithauptclan wrote:

So if it takes an action to stow the shield, and it takes an action to release the shield from your arm so that you can drop it

- wouldn't you have to also use the release shield action in addition to the stow action when stowing a shield?

Seems pretty clear you would, although you can just drop it (free) after detaching it if rushed for actions.

Obviously Bucklers would very rarely need to be detached. Parry weapons are also faster to Wield/Pickup/Stow than Shields.

Personally, I am also hoping for Errata to give Shields* the Shove trait, they are Martial weapons after all,
their CritSpec includes de facto Shove effect, and it's obviously awkward to remove them just to have free hand for Shove.

* AFAIK, RAW currently doesn't seem to prevent using Bucklers as weapons for Shield Bash, not sure if intended.
If intended to be allowed, Shove trait would also be reasonable, although Bucklers don't NEED this as they allow free hand.
(that just wouldn't benefit from Shield Item bonuses/Boss/Spikes, although would use UAS Wraps based on developer SRMF's comment)


Pathfinder Maps, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber
lordcirth wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:

Where is it written, that the shield is strapped to you? A buckler is, but you will have the hand free nonetheless.

Else just drop it.

RELEASE [free-action]
MANIPULATE
You release something you’re holding in your hand or hands. This might mean dropping an item, removing one hand from your weapon while continuing to hold it in another hand, releasing a rope suspending a chandelier, or performing a similar action. Unlike most manipulate actions, Release does not trigger reactions that can be triggered by actions with the manipulate trait (such as Attack of Opportunity). If you want to prepare to Release something outside of your turn, use the Ready activity.

It is explicitly mentioned that "detaching" a shield is a 1-action Interact. CRB 274, Table 6-2.

CRB 273. There is no table on 274.

Silver Crusade

Ravingdork wrote:
lordcirth wrote:
Ubertron_X wrote:

Where is it written, that the shield is strapped to you? A buckler is, but you will have the hand free nonetheless.

Else just drop it.

RELEASE [free-action]
MANIPULATE
You release something you’re holding in your hand or hands. This might mean dropping an item, removing one hand from your weapon while continuing to hold it in another hand, releasing a rope suspending a chandelier, or performing a similar action. Unlike most manipulate actions, Release does not trigger reactions that can be triggered by actions with the manipulate trait (such as Attack of Opportunity). If you want to prepare to Release something outside of your turn, use the Ready activity.

It is explicitly mentioned that "detaching" a shield is a 1-action Interact. CRB 274, Table 6-2.
CRB 273. There is no table on 274.

I guess that is the usual error of looking at the page your PDF viewer is showing you the actual page and counting the cover. I heard some viewers do not have this problem.


Quandary wrote:


Personally, I am also hoping for Errata to give Shields* the Shove trait, they are Martial weapons after all,
their CritSpec includes de facto Shove effect, and it's obviously awkward to remove them just to have free hand for Shove.

* AFAIK, RAW currently doesn't seem to prevent using Bucklers as weapons for Shield Bash, not sure if intended.
If intended to be allowed, Shove trait would also be reasonable, although Bucklers don't NEED this as they allow free hand.
(that just wouldn't benefit from Shield Item bonuses/Boss/Spikes, although would use UAS Wraps based on developer SRMF's comment)

Shove trait for a shield should be reasonable, but we have to consider that even if shields are weapons, they do have 2 traits which are not mentioned in the weapons table:

- Circumstance AC bonus if they are raised.
- The possibility of Shield Block.

If we consider them as traits, it would be 2 traits ( even if they are meant to be defensive ).

About dropping your shield in combat, just simply enhance it with a shifting rune and use 1 action to transform it in a spiked glove ( free hand, but no shield dropped nor stowed ).


K1 wrote:
About dropping your shield in combat, just simply enhance it with a shifting rune and use 1 action to transform it in a spiked glove ( free hand, but no shield dropped nor stowed ).

You can't put a potency or property rune on the shield itself. Only on a shield boss or shield spike attached to the shield. So a shifting rune can't be put on the base shield in the first place to transform it. You could transform the boss or spike, although I'm not sure how that would work. It probably just falls off the front of the shield and you can then pick it up and use it. Check page 277 of the CRB.

Sovereign Court

2 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook Subscriber

Oh wow I hadn’t even considered that you can’t shove with a shield. That seems absolutely bonkers and I hope it is fixed. Seems like a basic use of a shield.


Hiruma Kai wrote:
K1 wrote:
About dropping your shield in combat, just simply enhance it with a shifting rune and use 1 action to transform it in a spiked glove ( free hand, but no shield dropped nor stowed ).
You can't put a potency or property rune on the shield itself. Only on a shield boss or shield spike attached to the shield. So a shifting rune can't be put on the base shield in the first place to transform it. You could transform the boss or spike, although I'm not sure how that would work. It probably just falls off the front of the shield and you can then pick it up and use it. Check page 277 of the CRB.

Not sure about it, since:

- shield bash is the attack you do with a shield
- shield is in the weapon table
- shield has its weapon critical effect
- shields are among the weapons you can select as a fighter ( specialization )

So, as a weapon, a shield should be able to have enchants.
Dunno about spikes and boss, but the shield itself ( which attacks with shield bash ) is a weapon.

You can't put armor runes on a shield, that's right.

However, simply take a weapon ( sword, hammer, etc ) and enhance it the way u want + shifting rune. When you transmute it into a shield, if you won't to consider the runes legit, you simply don't add em.

PS: if you want to consider a modify on a shield not part of it but something else apart it is also possible, but you can avoid using both boss and spikes as explained before.

Also, you can't attack with a spike or boss alone ( they need to be attached to a shield ), so they are not a weapon. They are part of it.


1 person marked this as a favorite.
K1 wrote:

Not sure about it, since:

- shield bash is the attack you do with a shield
- shield is in the weapon table
- shield has its weapon critical effect
- shields are among the weapons you can select as a fighter ( specialization )

So, as a weapon, a shield should be able to have enchants.
Dunno about spikes and boss, but the shield itself ( which attacks with shield bash ) is a weapon.

You can't put armor runes on a shield, that's right.

However, simply take a weapon ( sword, hammer, etc ) and enhance it the way u want + shifting rune. When you transmute it into a shield, if you won't to consider the runes legit, you simply don't add em.

PS: if you want to consider a modify on a shield not part of it but something else apart it is also possible, but you can avoid using both boss and spikes as explained before.

Also, you can't attack with a spike or boss alone ( they need to be attached to a shield ), so they are not a weapon. They are part of it.

It's not a question of does it act like a weapon. There's a specific rule explicitly saying you can't. Page 277, right side under the header "Attacking with a shield".

CRB, page 277 wrote:
A shield can't have runes added to it. You can also buy and attach a shield boss or shield spikes to a shield to make it a more practical weapon. These can be found on Table 6-7. These work like other weapons and can even be etched with runes.

Edit: I suppose if you shift a normal weapon into a shield (which is unclear to me if valid, but lets assume it is), it is now a shield, and all the runes go dormant since none of them are valid on it. Shifting rune indicates property runes that can't apply to the new form are suppressed until the item takes a shape to which they can apply.

So it either immediately reverts, or is stuck in shield form and can't change back depending on your GM's interpretation of what a suppressed shifting rune does.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
TomParker wrote:
In 2e, shields other than bucklers no longer say they are “strapped” to you. I think it applies to all shields, but I would understand if someone felt the RAW made shields a held object that just required a release.

Bucklers are strapped to your arm, freeing that hand for other uses. I think non-bucklers do not have the word strapped in their description intentionally because these shields are indeed held in your hand and not strapped to your arm. For shields that have a boss, the boss is there because that's where the hand holding it goes. Thus dropping a shield is a release action and stowing it is an interact action, the same as a weapon.


Hiruma Kai wrote:
K1 wrote:

Not sure about it, since:

- shield bash is the attack you do with a shield
- shield is in the weapon table
- shield has its weapon critical effect
- shields are among the weapons you can select as a fighter ( specialization )

So, as a weapon, a shield should be able to have enchants.
Dunno about spikes and boss, but the shield itself ( which attacks with shield bash ) is a weapon.

You can't put armor runes on a shield, that's right.

However, simply take a weapon ( sword, hammer, etc ) and enhance it the way u want + shifting rune. When you transmute it into a shield, if you won't to consider the runes legit, you simply don't add em.

PS: if you want to consider a modify on a shield not part of it but something else apart it is also possible, but you can avoid using both boss and spikes as explained before.

Also, you can't attack with a spike or boss alone ( they need to be attached to a shield ), so they are not a weapon. They are part of it.

It's not a question of does it act like a weapon. There's a specific rule explicitly saying you can't. Page 277, right side under the header "Attacking with a shield".

CRB, page 277 wrote:
A shield can't have runes added to it. You can also buy and attach a shield boss or shield spikes to a shield to make it a more practical weapon. These can be found on Table 6-7. These work like other weapons and can even be etched with runes.

Edit: I suppose if you shift a normal weapon into a shield (which is unclear to me if valid, but lets assume it is), it is now a shield, and all the runes go dormant since none of them are valid on it. Shifting rune indicates property runes that can't apply to the new form are suppressed until the tiem takes a shape to which they can apply.

No property runes (including shifting) apply to shields, since they're not allowed. So it either immediately reverts, or is stuck in shield form and can't change back depending on your GM's interpretation of what a suppressed...

Quote:

A shield can’t have runes added to it. You can

also buy and attach a shield boss or shield spikes to a
shield to make it a more practical weapon. These can be
found on Table 6–7. These work like other weapons and
can even be etched with runes.

Which means "A brand new shield can't be enhanced with runes. First you have to mod it with the dmg you prefer ( P or B ), then you can enhance it"

The fact that it says "To make it a more pratical weapon" implies that you mod a weapon, and the mod ( unless removed ) becomes part of it.

So you can enhance a shield, but first you must choose between boss and spikes. After that, your attack will change ( will be enhanced ), and your shield/weapon will improve and will be able to receive upgrades.

For starters, it like a spiked glove vs a gauntlet.
But since there are 100 shields and just 1 spiked glove and 1 gauntlet, it is easier to leave the shields apart and allow players to mod them after.

Or ofc will be possible to craft a shield with a default boss or spikes. It is normal.


K1 wrote:

Which means "A brand new shield can't be enhanced with runes. First you have to mod it with the dmg you prefer ( P or B ), then you can enhance it"

The fact that it says "To make it a more pratical weapon" implies that you mod a weapon, and the mod ( unless removed ) becomes part of it.

So you can enhance a shield, but first you must choose between boss and spikes. After that, your attack will change ( will be enhanced ), and your shield/weapon will improve and will be able to receive upgrades.

For starters, it like a spiked glove vs a gauntlet.
But since there are 100 shields and just 1 spiked glove and 1 gauntlet, it is easier to leave the shields apart and allow players to mod them after.

Or ofc will be possible to craft a shield with a default boss or spikes. It is normal.

If they ever print armor spikes with the "attached" trait, this could be quite amusing turning your bastard sword into a suit of full plate.

Assuming your interpretation is correct, let's say you have a +1 adamantine shifting bastard sword.

You shift it into adamantine shield spikes + adamantine tower shield (same object so presumably same materials). You now take 10 minutes and make a DC 10 craft check to move those spikes over to your spare wooden shield (per rules on page 282 for the attached trait). What happens?

Can I then shift that adamantine shield spike and wooden shield into an a +1 adamantine shifting bastard sword? Have I successfully turned a wooden shield into an adamantine tower shield for the cost of 10 minutes of work? Can I repeat this with another wooden shield?

I guess what I'm saying is that the shield spikes and shield boss have the "attached to shield" trait, meaning they are in fact not the shield since they can always be separated from the shield and moved to a different one.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I think you should simply consider the possibility that most of the shields come out with specific features.

It's not that you decide to craft a shield and then to add spikes, maybe without thinking about the shield composition during its craft.

And even if you do, it's now a "spiked shield", unless you decide to change it with a boss, or simply by removing the spikes.

The fact that you have to expend time to attach a mod to a weapon is a fact, and we agree on that. But when the weapon is upgraded, that's the new weapon.

Imagine to have a club and the possibility to add a pick head or a morning star spiked ball on top of it.

Would the weapon become the pick head or the spiked ball?
No, it will simply become a new weapon ( from club, to Morning star or pick ).

I understand the "attached to shield" trait, but it is mostly to give them a slightly customization.

I mean, a shield can come out already provided by boss or spikes, which means it would be a boss/spiked shield by default.

It would be ridiculous to think that a blacksmither/carpenter couldn't craft a spike/boss shield but only a standard shield.

And even if it was attached before, just check some images of spiked shields or boss shields. They are a unique item, even if they could be disassembled.

As for the weapons' transformation

Shield to sword = ok
Adamantine to adamantine = ok ( just because you can turn a dagger into a sword. and the metal in a dagger is at least equal to the spikes on a shield. Imagine a wooden tower shield which is huge. U will get 5 daggers ).

I see no big deals, if not for some runes ( like returning, which would be suppressed on a shield, on a bastard sword, but not on a dagger or an Hatchet ).

And about the separation, you are right. You can disassemble part of a weapon to make another one. Like a sword grip, a sword guard, a morning star ball or handle.

if we check how it is composed a mere sword, we can see that it's not a whole piece

https://www.supremereplicas.com/en/productinfo/the-parts-of-a-sword

You can replace the tang if it's broken, or if we want it in a different material, not necessarily by throwing the rest of the sword apart.

Finally, we could proceed in another way by asking ourselves

"Why should they consider shield and spikes/bass a separate thing in terms of enchants?"

I mean, I can't find a reason ( leaving apart the fact that base spiked/boss shields can be crafted without the need to be enhanced ).

But following the rules, is definitely unclear ( even if i tend consider obvious my point of view ).


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

There are some folks who have asked precisely this question concerning historical shields. My first thought was that shields generally had two straps, one around the forearm and the other gripped in the shield hand.

Apparently this isn't universally the case. What these guys found, after studying historical descriptions, that sometimes there was a forearm strap, but most often the shield was held with a single hand strap in the upper right quadrant of the shield, and another longer strap, called the "guige" which looped around the person's neck and shoulders.

Offhand, I would conclude that all shields are "strapped" and hence require the one-action manipulate action to drop them, as the rules seem to suggest.

This said, from what I've seen of shields with a shield boss (spiked or not) the inside of the boss has a handle or strap, so that's where you hold it. In the excellent iconography referenced in the above site, I didn't see any shield boss-type shields, all of them seemed to be Norman-style long kite shields.

Shad talks about shield bosses, and the type of shield he seems to be presenting would have a single hand grip behind the boss.

Here is a historical hand grip from a shield boss type shield. whether there would also be a neck/shoulder strap or "guige" remains undetermined.

YMMV.

Community / Forums / Pathfinder / Pathfinder Second Edition / Rules Discussion / Can you drop a shield in combat? All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.