Shield numbers are... worrying


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thenobledrake wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
There are no rules for it whatsoever. The magical shields are as presented. It would have been painfully simple to have added those rules.

Since you said "no rules for it whatsoever" I had to go looking because I thought I had seen something on the topic.

Here are things I've found:
1. The shields section lists special materials, including the various grades of quality that they can be.
2. The materials section says "An item can be made with no more than one precious material, and only an expert in Crafting can create it." which doesn't exclude shields.
3. That section continues on to say "...creating higher-level items and more powerful magic runes with precious material requires greater purity." which implies combining a higher-grade material with higher-level item type.
4. There is a sub-section called "Crafting with Precious Materials" which says "Low-grade items can be used in the creation of magic items of up to 8th level, and they can hold runes of up to 8th level. Standard-grade items can be used to create magic items of up to 15th level and can hold runes of up to 15th level. High-grade items use the purest form of the precious material, and can be used to Craft magic items of any level holding any runes."

Note how "creation of magic items" and "hold runes" are separate, showing that special materials aren't just limited to usage in magical items that derive their traits from runes - meaning any magic item, so long as there is not a specific exception listed, can be made from special materials.

That same section covers how much of the special material is needed for the creation of a particular item.
5. The crafting rules cover the rest, except for explicitly stating that you just combine the prices of the special material and the magic item you are making out of it to determine the costs.

So "no rules for it whatsoever" seems to be an overstatement... since I appear to have scrounged up enough rules on the topic to get the job done. Would have been nice...

Great. When you have time can you please tell me what the hardness and hp for a level 18 adamantine returning shield and then explain how you derived those numbers based on the rules you found.


The general rule regarding making an item out of a special material is that the hardness and hp of the special material supersede those of the original item.

That seems like it carries over to making magical items of them, despite most of the magical shields having slightly better stats than the mundane shield types they correspond to, since the indestructible shield doesn't up the hardness from the high-grade adamantine it claims to be.

What's a returning shield?

Assuming you meant reflecting shield (because that's level 18 and starts with an 'r'), replace the existing hardness and hp listed for the item with those of the appropriate quality of adamantine shield... because that's the thing which the words found in the book makes possible.

Like, I get that it doesn't state to do that in the most explicit way possible and it's easy to think that you'd do something different than that because of how the previous edition handle things (both mechanically and in the sense of how rules text was presented)... but there's a great big ol' gulf between the existent situation of "it's not as clear as a it could be" and the claim "no rules for it whatsoever" that I was addressing.

Silver Crusade

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Since Sturdy is built on a steel shield can't we just minus the steel part and add adamantine?

Steel shield 20 hp, hardness 5

Adamantine shield (standard, level 8+) 40 HP 10 Hardness

Adamantine shield (high-grade, level 16+) 52 HP 13 Hardness

So

Moderate* Sturdy Shield 104 HP 13 Hardness

becomes Moderate Sturdy Adamantine Shield 124 HP 18 Hardness

Major* Sturdy Shield 136 HP 17 Hardness

becomes Major Sturdy Adamantine Shield 168 HP 25 Hardness

*based on the earliest the grades of Adamantine become available.


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My take is that shields are meant to absorb damage once a fight. You have the option of doing it more, but at extreme risk of destroying your shield.

Shields are not meant to absorb damage endlessly. Remember that choosing a shield build needs to be balanced with other non shield builds, and being able to absorb damage multiple times in combat in addition to an AC bonus quickly eclipses the benefits of non shield builds. The math (creature damage vs hardness/hp levels of shields) strongly supports the once a combat Shield Block.

Thus, shield users are meant to use Shield Block later in the fight when the healer is busy and your shield wielder would remain standing by using the Shield Block action.

Certain magical shields CAN support taking more hits though. In my own games I see almost every shield wielder gravitate to shields that have higher hardness and HPs in order to absorb more damage which is understandable because people who use shields want better defense whether its through an AC bonus or damage absorption. The tradeoff is that you are giving up some potential offensive/utility abilities of other magical shields for a purely defensive build.

Once you understand that shield damage absorption is limited and you understand when you should use Shield Block, magic shields with other abilities than a higher hardness/hp threshold become a little more appealing.

In my view, if the designers were a bit more obvious about the shield niche in the game, this would curb a lot of confusion.


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thenobledrake wrote:

The general rule regarding making an item out of a special material is that the hardness and hp of the special material supersede those of the original item.

That seems like it carries over to making magical items of them, despite most of the magical shields having slightly better stats than the mundane shield types they correspond to, since the indestructible shield doesn't up the hardness from the high-grade adamantine it claims to be.

What's a returning shield?

Assuming you meant reflecting shield (because that's level 18 and starts with an 'r'), replace the existing hardness and hp listed for the item with those of the appropriate quality of adamantine shield... because that's the thing which the words found in the book makes possible.

Like, I get that it doesn't state to do that in the most explicit way possible and it's easy to think that you'd do something different than that because of how the previous edition handle things (both mechanically and in the sense of how rules text was presented)... but there's a great big ol' gulf between the existent situation of "it's not as clear as a it could be" and the claim "no rules for it whatsoever" that I was addressing.

Yeah. You got the right shield. Thanks for that, How much does crafting this item cost compared with the standard item? How does using the precious material impact the level of the item?

I’m not saying your wrong. I’m just trying to understand your interpretation of the rules. Because intuitively, to me, that reflective shield should have a higher value and higher level. But I don’t know how to calculate those.


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thenobledrake wrote:
...and the chance isn't actually 50% because the timing of Shield Block is such that the damage roll has already been made before you choose whether to block or not since "roll dice" is step 1 of figuring out damage and "take damage" is step 4. So you can use the reaction on the hits that won't destroy your shield in one go if that's what you'd rather do than just get a little extra reduction of damage at the cost of your isn't-just-for-defense item.

That decision still doesn't feel right to me.

GM: "You are hit."
Player: "Fortunately, my character is ready to use her shield to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her body."
GM: "It's a heavy blow: 68 damage."
Player: "Yikes! In that case she will use her body to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her shield."
GM: "The fiend's axe sinks deep into your flesh. Blood flies everywhere."
Player: "Don't worry, little shield. I won't let you come to any harm..."

Silver Crusade

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I miss Rust Monsters.

Silver Crusade

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John Lynch 106 wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:

The general rule regarding making an item out of a special material is that the hardness and hp of the special material supersede those of the original item.

That seems like it carries over to making magical items of them, despite most of the magical shields having slightly better stats than the mundane shield types they correspond to, since the indestructible shield doesn't up the hardness from the high-grade adamantine it claims to be.

What's a returning shield?

Assuming you meant reflecting shield (because that's level 18 and starts with an 'r'), replace the existing hardness and hp listed for the item with those of the appropriate quality of adamantine shield... because that's the thing which the words found in the book makes possible.

Like, I get that it doesn't state to do that in the most explicit way possible and it's easy to think that you'd do something different than that because of how the previous edition handle things (both mechanically and in the sense of how rules text was presented)... but there's a great big ol' gulf between the existent situation of "it's not as clear as a it could be" and the claim "no rules for it whatsoever" that I was addressing.

Yeah. You got the right shield. Thanks for that, How much does crafting this item cost compared with the standard item? How does using the precious material impact the level of the item?

I’m not saying your wrong. I’m just trying to understand your interpretation of the rules. Because intuitively, to me, that reflective shield should have a higher value and higher level. But I don’t know how to calculate those.

I don't think the items level up persay but I'd just add the costs together.


Matthew Downie wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
...and the chance isn't actually 50% because the timing of Shield Block is such that the damage roll has already been made before you choose whether to block or not since "roll dice" is step 1 of figuring out damage and "take damage" is step 4. So you can use the reaction on the hits that won't destroy your shield in one go if that's what you'd rather do than just get a little extra reduction of damage at the cost of your isn't-just-for-defense item.

That decision still doesn't feel right to me.

GM: "You are hit."
Player: "Fortunately, my character is ready to use her shield to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her body."
GM: "It's a heavy blow: 68 damage."
Player: "Yikes! In that case she will use her body to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her shield."
GM: "The fiend's axe sinks deep into your flesh. Blood flies everywhere."
Player: "Don't worry, little shield. I won't let you come to any harm..."

So here's something to consider. Shield Block's trigger says "While you have your shield raised, you would take damage from a physical attack."

What if you had Resist 5 Physical Damage? If an attack hit you for 4 damage, you would not take damage, thus you could not activate your Shield Block, but you can't even choose to use Shield Block at that point because you didn't know that you took damage. Therefore, you need to know that you took damage and the only way for you to know that is for the DM to tell you that you took X damage.

So the trigger has to happen after you are told damage.

Therefore, the player will know at all times whether an incoming attack will destroy the shield or not.


What do you mean items don’t level up? Cost is pretty much always linked to level and level is a function of power.

Or are you going to argue that an adamantine reflective shield isn’t more powerful then a steel reflective shield?


John Lynch 106 wrote:
Yeah. You got the right shield. Thanks for that, How much does crafting this item cost compared with the standard item?

Take the cost of high-grade silver off the total (including the required amount of silver mentioned) and add in the cost of the adamantine. So it looks like 3,300 gp more expensive.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
How does using the precious material impact the level of the item?

It has no impact on it at all, or the text for making items out of special materials would list not just the level of the special material grade (which determines if you are capable of crafting with the material in question to the grade in question) but also what adjustment to item level would be made.

John Lynch 106 wrote:
I’m not saying your wrong. I’m just trying to understand your interpretation of the rules. Because intuitively, to me, that reflective shield should have a higher value and higher level. But I don’t know how to calculate those.

Item level seems, to me, to be used more as a "must be this tall to ride" indicator than a specific measure of comparative power - that function being handled by the monetary cost and to a lesser degree rarity trait.

Mind you, I don't mean "must be this tall to ride" as a hard limit like how some video games won't even let you equip an item until your level hits the requirement of the item. I mean it as a "if you are this level, the effect of this item is not going to over-power the encounters that should be challenging to you" soft limit.

Silver Crusade

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John Lynch 106 wrote:

What do you mean items don’t level up? Cost is pretty much always linked to level and level is a function of power.

Or are you going to argue that an adamantine reflective shield isn’t more powerful then a steel reflective shield?

Adamantine costs more than steel, add the cost to the reflective shield.


Duskreign wrote:

So here's something to consider. Shield Block's trigger says "While you have your shield raised, you would take damage from a physical attack."

What if you had Resist 5 Physical Damage? If an attack hit you for 4 damage, you would not take damage, thus you could not activate your Shield Block, but you can't even choose to use Shield Block at that point because you didn't know that you took damage. Therefore, you need to know that you took damage and the only way for you to know that is for the DM to tell you that you took X damage.

So the trigger has to happen after you are told damage.

Therefore, the player will know at all times whether an incoming attack will destroy the shield or not.

I don't think he was arguing that it wasn't how it worked according to the rules, only that the decision making it promoted was bizarre.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I like the way they work...it makes using shield block a meaningful choice. I can see situations where it will be life saving to sacrifice your shield.
Study Shields fit the bill if you want use them more often to block but if you want magical effects you have to be more careful.Once again it is meaningful choice. If all the shields were indestructible there is no longer a choice...you would just use them always.

My two cents :)


Fair enough. I don’t think I’ll use it for my first campaign. But it seems reasonable enough for future ones.

Thanks for the help :)


Being able to use them more than once a fight, and even then not being able to use them on a big strike is hardly "indestructible".


thenobledrake wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
There are no rules for it whatsoever. The magical shields are as presented. It would have been painfully simple to have added those rules.

Since you said "no rules for it whatsoever" I had to go looking because I thought I had seen something on the topic.

Here are things I've found:
1. The shields section lists special materials, including the various grades of quality that they can be.
2. The materials section says "An item can be made with no more than one precious material, and only an expert in Crafting can create it." which doesn't exclude shields.
3. That section continues on to say "...creating higher-level items and more powerful magic runes with precious material requires greater purity." which implies combining a higher-grade material with higher-level item type.
4. There is a sub-section called "Crafting with Precious Materials" which says "Low-grade items can be used in the creation of magic items of up to 8th level, and they can hold runes of up to 8th level. Standard-grade items can be used to create magic items of up to 15th level and can hold runes of up to 15th level. High-grade items use the purest form of the precious material, and can be used to Craft magic items of any level holding any runes."

Note how "creation of magic items" and "hold runes" are separate, showing that special materials aren't just limited to usage in magical items that derive their traits from runes - meaning any magic item, so long as there is not a specific exception listed, can be made from special materials.

That same section covers how much of the special material is needed for the creation of a particular item.
5. The crafting rules cover the rest, except for explicitly stating that you just combine the prices of the special material and the magic item you are making out of it to determine the costs.

So "no rules for it whatsoever" seems to be an overstatement... since I appear to have scrounged up enough rules on the topic to get the job done. Would have been nice...

I intended mild hyperbole, believing the rules inadequate.

I stand corrected, upon further inspection, you can build the magic items out of the higher quality materials and it works for all but the Sturdy Shield which overrides the stats. Doesn't tell us how to make an Adamantine Sturdy shield that has any benefits over the steel one.

Gotta make every shield mid level and higher a Spellguard or Spined Shield.


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Matthew Downie wrote:
That decision still doesn't feel right to me.

I agree that mechanics which don't operate in a strictly intuitive fashion can feel awkward to use.

But when it comes to choosing between option A) a player has to commit to spending a limited resource without knowing if it's "worth it" B) a rule feels a little awkward but enables the player to know if it's "worth it" to spend a limited resource - I'll choose option B every time.


NA Palm wrote:
Duskreign wrote:

So here's something to consider. Shield Block's trigger says "While you have your shield raised, you would take damage from a physical attack."

What if you had Resist 5 Physical Damage? If an attack hit you for 4 damage, you would not take damage, thus you could not activate your Shield Block, but you can't even choose to use Shield Block at that point because you didn't know that you took damage. Therefore, you need to know that you took damage and the only way for you to know that is for the DM to tell you that you took X damage.

So the trigger has to happen after you are told damage.

Therefore, the player will know at all times whether an incoming attack will destroy the shield or not.

I don't think he was arguing that it wasn't how it worked according to the rules, only that the decision making it promoted was bizarre.

I just felt it was important to point out to anyone reading the thread why the timing for Shield Block is important and that players benefit from knowing the incoming damage before making your decision. A certain segment of DMs force the player to decide before hand, and this is not the correct ruling. So I grabbed the opportunity to reinforce this. :)


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thenobledrake wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
There are no rules for it whatsoever. The magical shields are as presented. It would have been painfully simple to have added those rules.

Since you said "no rules for it whatsoever" I had to go looking because I thought I had seen something on the topic.

Here are things I've found:
1. The shields section lists special materials, including the various grades of quality that they can be.
2. The materials section says "An item can be made with no more than one precious material, and only an expert in Crafting can create it." which doesn't exclude shields.
3. That section continues on to say "...creating higher-level items and more powerful magic runes with precious material requires greater purity." which implies combining a higher-grade material with higher-level item type.
4. There is a sub-section called "Crafting with Precious Materials" which says "Low-grade items can be used in the creation of magic items of up to 8th level, and they can hold runes of up to 8th level. Standard-grade items can be used to create magic items of up to 15th level and can hold runes of up to 15th level. High-grade items use the purest form of the precious material, and can be used to Craft magic items of any level holding any runes."

Note how "creation of magic items" and "hold runes" are separate, showing that special materials aren't just limited to usage in magical items that derive their traits from runes - meaning any magic item, so long as there is not a specific exception listed, can be made from special materials.

That same section covers how much of the special material is needed for the creation of a particular item.
5. The crafting rules cover the rest, except for explicitly stating that you just combine the prices of the special material and the magic item you are making out of it to determine the costs.

So "no rules for it whatsoever" seems to be an overstatement... since I appear to have scrounged up enough rules on the topic to get the job done. Would have been nice...

Heck yeah. This is the solution I was gonna use anyway, but I wasn't sure if it we could do it by RAW because it wasn't explicitly written and most things you can do are in these games. But if that's RAW it pretty much solves this shield problem.


I’m curious if there’s anything stoping multiple shield types, like making a Sturdy Adamantine Forge Warden of Greater Floating, aside from the estimated price of 58,775g?

Grand Lodge

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Duskreign wrote:
NA Palm wrote:
Duskreign wrote:

So here's something to consider. Shield Block's trigger says "While you have your shield raised, you would take damage from a physical attack."

What if you had Resist 5 Physical Damage? If an attack hit you for 4 damage, you would not take damage, thus you could not activate your Shield Block, but you can't even choose to use Shield Block at that point because you didn't know that you took damage. Therefore, you need to know that you took damage and the only way for you to know that is for the DM to tell you that you took X damage.

So the trigger has to happen after you are told damage.

Therefore, the player will know at all times whether an incoming attack will destroy the shield or not.

I don't think he was arguing that it wasn't how it worked according to the rules, only that the decision making it promoted was bizarre.
I just felt it was important to point out to anyone reading the thread why the timing for Shield Block is important and that players benefit from knowing the incoming damage before making your decision. A certain segment of DMs force the player to decide before hand, and this is not the correct ruling. So I grabbed the opportunity to reinforce this. :)

Has "knowing the damage" been clarified? Watching episodes of Oblivion Oath Jason B seems to ask if they want shield block first before they know the damage. So sorry if I missed that clarification but reading the feat it does not specifically state you know the incoming damage amount...just that damage made it through all you resistances.


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Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
I’m curious if there’s anything stoping multiple shield types, like making a Sturdy Adamantine Forge Warden of Greater Floating, aside from the estimated price of 58,775g?

Aside from common sense? I'd probably look at the rules on property runes vs named magic weapons. Inherent unique abilities can't stack with property runes, so I'd assume they can't stack with themselves. Much as you couldn't make a Flametongue that was also a Frostbrand, but you could make an Adamantine Flametongue.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
I’m curious if there’s anything stoping multiple shield types, like making a Sturdy Adamantine Forge Warden of Greater Floating, aside from the estimated price of 58,775g?
Aside from common sense? I'd probably look at the rules on property runes vs named magic weapons. Inherent unique abilities can't stack with property runes, so I'd assume they can't stack with themselves. Much as you couldn't make a Flametongue that was also a Frostbrand, but you could make an Adamantine Flametongue.

That would make sense. Then the appeal i see between an Adamantine Forge Warden and a Supreme Sturdy Adamantine Shield would be the latter is insanely more expensive, but will take forever to break.

Common sense is overrated anyway. :P


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Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:
Duskreign wrote:
NA Palm wrote:
Duskreign wrote:

So here's something to consider. Shield Block's trigger says "While you have your shield raised, you would take damage from a physical attack."

What if you had Resist 5 Physical Damage? If an attack hit you for 4 damage, you would not take damage, thus you could not activate your Shield Block, but you can't even choose to use Shield Block at that point because you didn't know that you took damage. Therefore, you need to know that you took damage and the only way for you to know that is for the DM to tell you that you took X damage.

So the trigger has to happen after you are told damage.

Therefore, the player will know at all times whether an incoming attack will destroy the shield or not.

I don't think he was arguing that it wasn't how it worked according to the rules, only that the decision making it promoted was bizarre.
I just felt it was important to point out to anyone reading the thread why the timing for Shield Block is important and that players benefit from knowing the incoming damage before making your decision. A certain segment of DMs force the player to decide before hand, and this is not the correct ruling. So I grabbed the opportunity to reinforce this. :)
Has "knowing the damage" been clarified? Watching episodes of Oblivion Oath Jason B seems to ask if they want shield block first before they know the damage. So sorry if I missed that clarification but reading the feat it does not specifically state you know the incoming damage amount...just that damage made it through all you resistances.

Well, that's the real trick. I think Jason plays it simpler for the stream but who knows. What I do know, is that I had a long conversation with Mark Seifter (one of the PF designers) about this and he stated this was how it worked. Although he did say that he wasn't authorized to make it official as Paizo wants to have a single source for definitive FAQs and errata. So while its not official, its as close as it can get. Further, he brought up the resistance example I used above which clearly illustrates that you need to know that you actually take damage before you can trigger the reaction.


Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:
Duskreign wrote:
NA Palm wrote:
Duskreign wrote:

So here's something to consider. Shield Block's trigger says "While you have your shield raised, you would take damage from a physical attack."

What if you had Resist 5 Physical Damage? If an attack hit you for 4 damage, you would not take damage, thus you could not activate your Shield Block, but you can't even choose to use Shield Block at that point because you didn't know that you took damage. Therefore, you need to know that you took damage and the only way for you to know that is for the DM to tell you that you took X damage.

So the trigger has to happen after you are told damage.

Therefore, the player will know at all times whether an incoming attack will destroy the shield or not.

I don't think he was arguing that it wasn't how it worked according to the rules, only that the decision making it promoted was bizarre.
I just felt it was important to point out to anyone reading the thread why the timing for Shield Block is important and that players benefit from knowing the incoming damage before making your decision. A certain segment of DMs force the player to decide before hand, and this is not the correct ruling. So I grabbed the opportunity to reinforce this. :)
Has "knowing the damage" been clarified? Watching episodes of Oblivion Oath Jason B seems to ask if they want shield block first before they know the damage. So sorry if I missed that clarification but reading the feat it does not specifically state you know the incoming damage amount...just that damage made it through all you resistances.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Pathfinder Accessories, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

I wish the devs would weigh in on this stuff, the game has been out for over 3 weeks already...a FAQ would be nice.

Dataphiles

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Slamy Mcbiteo wrote:
I wish the devs would weigh in on this stuff, the game has been out for over 3 weeks already...a FAQ would be nice.

They're probably:

1. Accumulating everything for a giant post.
2. Getting the four new classes ready for the playtest in October.


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Alright, this post got a lot more attention than I expect. Just to clarify something because some people apparently misinterpreted what I said (even though I explicitely said it wasn't that). I don't have any issues with Sturdy Shields being better at blocking. My issue is with the other shields being not a little, not mildly, not very, but atrociously worse, especially at higher levels, when they become basically unusable for that purpose. Unless you want to lose your 18.000 GP shield to block 6 damage, that is.

Edge93 is correct in that I miscalculated the Marid case. Sorry for that. I don't think it makes the point any less relevant though, because I specifically picked a level-1 monster, and one that doesn't even hit that hard. If you add 3 more damage to that attack (and I'll not even mention a crit), it would still destroy the shield to pieces.

Some people are saying this is an intentional design choice rather than an oversight. I highly doubt it. Not only because the design choice of "any shield that's not this one specifically made for blocking eventually becomes useless at blocking" is a VERY odd one, but also because you have cases like the Arrow-Catching shield that has an ability used specifically for blocking and still has the stats of a level 1 shield basically (just a tiny bit higher).

Finally, if it is the case that you can make specific, high-quality material shields, like some people are saying, that should definitely be stated properly in the book. The rules as written leave it vague if you even can do that, let alone the specifics of pricing, hardness, HP, what can't and can't be combined, etc. I would say this topic definitely deserves a FAQ, Errata or at the very least an explanation.


Well, I currently run a level 13 game, and shields work fine at these levels if you believe in the idea that shields aren't meant to block damage round after round. But I also think there is a lot of moving parts with shields. If you run shields differently than the expected way (which is admittedly confusing), then you will have drastically different results and feelings about shields.


I would prefer things be more on the character side. Being good with shields, rather than having a good shield.

Though I also agree they should not be used to block round after round. And that the current equipment is a bit lopsided.


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Angel Hunter D wrote:
Another rushed part of the core rules. Ugh.

Another?


Mellored wrote:

I would prefer things be more on the character side. Being good with shields, rather than having a good shield.

Me too but that applies to striking runes as well.

I can live with it but shields are a mess with only one type that works, house rules time (I can give any shield any stats I want ;) ) .

Silver Crusade

How about house ruling Shield Block to add some portion of your proficiency bonus to hardness?


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I'm really not a fan of it being possible to lose permanent items worth north of 25% of your total wealth ever accumulated, not as part of a simple decision of "do I want to block 6-10 damage." The HP values are certainly borked, but it just leads me to question why we're having shields explode in the first place. Why not just have the shields break and be useless for a bit? For the purposes of a fight, that's about the same.

And it's not like someone using a shield is getting insane benefit here. They're getting fairly significant DR, sure, but it's at the expense of an arm. I'm not sure that really needs to be risk-and-rewarded with the penalty of losing a massive chunk of your character's power in every single fight, in a way that just isn't true of most other martial or magical fighting styles.

I agree with dmerceless that the idea that some shields are "supposed" to risk destruction after a single use as an actual shield is a ludicrous take (a lower hardness is more than suffiicent as a tradeoff, you're literally taking extra damage in exchange for these other abilities), but I'd take it a step further and just say that a shield cannot be destroyed unless it's used to block again while already broken. That at least puts it in the same neighborhood of sacrificing expensive items as overcharging wands, something that might be done in a climactic final battle but otherwise not something that comes up.


Helmic wrote:
but I'd take it a step further and just say that a shield cannot be destroyed unless it's used to block again while already broken.

Except that you can't, because when it's in the "broken" state you aren't allowed to perform the Raise Shield action.


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Draco18s wrote:
Helmic wrote:
but I'd take it a step further and just say that a shield cannot be destroyed unless it's used to block again while already broken.
Except that you can't, because when it's in the "broken" state you aren't allowed to perform the Raise Shield action.

So you mean that a suggestion of how shields could work differently than they currently do would require shields to work differently than they currently do? Darn.


Matthew Downie wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
...and the chance isn't actually 50% because the timing of Shield Block is such that the damage roll has already been made before you choose whether to block or not since "roll dice" is step 1 of figuring out damage and "take damage" is step 4. So you can use the reaction on the hits that won't destroy your shield in one go if that's what you'd rather do than just get a little extra reduction of damage at the cost of your isn't-just-for-defense item.

That decision still doesn't feel right to me.

GM: "You are hit."
Player: "Fortunately, my character is ready to use her shield to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her body."
GM: "It's a heavy blow: 68 damage."
Player: "Yikes! In that case she will use her body to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her shield."
GM: "The fiend's axe sinks deep into your flesh. Blood flies everywhere."
Player: "Don't worry, little shield. I won't let you come to any harm..."

Won't the shield be Broken before being destroyed, meaning we can repair it after combat, and it effectively works as temporary HP per fight?

It takes 10 minutes to sit down and repair your shield with just trained. If you put more ranks into crafting, you heal more, if not, spend more time or wands of Mending.

Duskreign wrote:
Well, I currently run a level 13 game, and shields work fine at these levels if you believe in the idea that shields aren't meant to block damage round after round. But I also think there is a lot of moving parts with shields. If you run shields differently than the expected way (which is admittedly confusing), then you will have drastically different results and feelings about shields.

Could be just me, but I feel like choices have a bit more weight to them. Are you gonna keep your shield raised and enjoy the bonus AC, or are you willing to use it as a temporary HP barrier but lose the AC. The biggest issue might be that we want both great hp sponginess from shields, usually on characters with most hp, and the AC bonus as well. How much would a champion/fighter that can block 10 hits every encounter change the balance?


darrenan wrote:
How about house ruling Shield Block to add some portion of your proficiency bonus to hardness?

That is the way I am learning. But I still think they should be limited use.

Maybe adding 2*level hit points to the shield. Should be enough for a block, or at least to prevent destroying it outright.

I also agree striking runes should be integrated into the classes, but that ship is sailed.


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Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
...and the chance isn't actually 50% because the timing of Shield Block is such that the damage roll has already been made before you choose whether to block or not since "roll dice" is step 1 of figuring out damage and "take damage" is step 4. So you can use the reaction on the hits that won't destroy your shield in one go if that's what you'd rather do than just get a little extra reduction of damage at the cost of your isn't-just-for-defense item.

That decision still doesn't feel right to me.

GM: "You are hit."
Player: "Fortunately, my character is ready to use her shield to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her body."
GM: "It's a heavy blow: 68 damage."
Player: "Yikes! In that case she will use her body to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her shield."
GM: "The fiend's axe sinks deep into your flesh. Blood flies everywhere."
Player: "Don't worry, little shield. I won't let you come to any harm..."

Won't the shield be Broken before being destroyed, meaning we can repair it after combat, and it effectively works as temporary HP per fight?

It takes 10 minutes to sit down and repair your shield with just trained. If you put more ranks into crafting, you heal more, if not, spend more time or wands of Mending.

Only if the shield has enough HP to not get outright destroyed, which is the thing that keeps getting said here: that shields other than sturdy shields don't at higher levels, at least not with any consistency. A 68 damage hit, as given in that example, will permanently destroy any shield that isn't a sturdy shield or an indestructible shield - blocking it isn't even an option unless you decide the 6-8 HP you save is worth the potentially thousands of gold pieces it costs to buy a brand new shield.

And, to be clear, if it worked as you say then I would have no problem - the shields don't need to be great at shield blocking, a 1/fight emergency shield block is fine for the bucklers, since they aren't really meant for that in the first place, and 1-2 blocks for a real shield that has some other power is likewise pretty alright. >=50% chance for most attacks to be more than your shield could survive is a bit much, however.


FowlJ wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:
...and the chance isn't actually 50% because the timing of Shield Block is such that the damage roll has already been made before you choose whether to block or not since "roll dice" is step 1 of figuring out damage and "take damage" is step 4. So you can use the reaction on the hits that won't destroy your shield in one go if that's what you'd rather do than just get a little extra reduction of damage at the cost of your isn't-just-for-defense item.

That decision still doesn't feel right to me.

GM: "You are hit."
Player: "Fortunately, my character is ready to use her shield to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her body."
GM: "It's a heavy blow: 68 damage."
Player: "Yikes! In that case she will use her body to absorb the blow, thus preventing damage to her shield."
GM: "The fiend's axe sinks deep into your flesh. Blood flies everywhere."
Player: "Don't worry, little shield. I won't let you come to any harm..."

Won't the shield be Broken before being destroyed, meaning we can repair it after combat, and it effectively works as temporary HP per fight?

It takes 10 minutes to sit down and repair your shield with just trained. If you put more ranks into crafting, you heal more, if not, spend more time or wands of Mending.

Only if the shield has enough HP to not get outright destroyed, which is the thing that keeps getting said here: that shields other than sturdy shields don't at higher levels, at least not with any consistency. A 68 damage hit, as given in that example, will permanently destroy any shield that isn't a sturdy shield or an indestructible shield - blocking it isn't even an option unless you decide the 6-8 HP you save is worth the potentially thousands of gold pieces it costs to buy a brand new shield.

And, to be clear, if it worked as you say then I would have no problem - the shields don't need to be great at shield blocking, a 1/fight emergency shield block is...

Ah, still bit fuzzy on the rules I suppose. Is the damage number an average or the max hits? I'll scroll up to the damage example, but is the shield block still viable for the mooks, or is the damage based on the mooks and everyone and their mother deals the 68 damage at that level?


68 damage would be a critical hit, basically nothing hits for that on average, so it is definitely an extreme example - it doesn't need to be nearly that much, though, because non-sturdy shields cap out at 8 Hardness and 32 HP (for the Force Shield and Dragonslayer's Shield) and most of the shields with special properties have 6 Hardness and 24 HP - at high levels enemies will pretty regularly be hitting for those kind of amounts.


FowlJ wrote:
68 damage would be a critical hit, basically nothing hits for that on average, so it is definitely an extreme example - it doesn't need to be nearly that much, though, because non-sturdy shields cap out at 8 Hardness and 32 HP (for the Force Shield and Dragonslayer's Shield) and most of the shields with special properties have 6 Hardness and 24 HP - at high levels enemies will pretty regularly be hitting for those kind of amounts.

I don't have bestiary on hand so can't see the damage numbers right now, but from a glance at say, level 10 enemies vs Forge Warden with (Hardness 6, HP 24, BT 12), vs say, a level 10 grave knight whose Str is +7, that hardness alone negates most of the damage from Str. Not sure how much a mook would have, need to look a bit more into that kind of thing, but would it be typical for a Grave Knight level enemy to deal 30HP in one swing very often?


Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
FowlJ wrote:
68 damage would be a critical hit, basically nothing hits for that on average, so it is definitely an extreme example - it doesn't need to be nearly that much, though, because non-sturdy shields cap out at 8 Hardness and 32 HP (for the Force Shield and Dragonslayer's Shield) and most of the shields with special properties have 6 Hardness and 24 HP - at high levels enemies will pretty regularly be hitting for those kind of amounts.
I don't have bestiary on hand so can't see the damage numbers right now, but from a glance at say, level 10 enemies vs Forge Warden with (Hardness 6, HP 24, BT 12), vs say, a level 10 grave knight whose Str is +7, that hardness alone negates most of the damage from Str. Not sure how much a mook would have, need to look a bit more into that kind of thing, but would it be typical for a Grave Knight level enemy to deal 30HP in one swing very often?

Graveknights deal an average of 23 physical damage, so no. Other creatures of that level deal a bit more (since part of the Graveknight's damage is elemental and as far as I'm aware shields don't block that?), but around level 10-12 is still in the zone where the shields do alright (though basically nothing won't at least hit hard enough to break them).

The problem being that at that level you are already at the apex of what magic shields can survive while enemies still get a whole lot better - this is definitely a problem that becomes evident at higher levels (though even a couple levels after the Forge Warden / Arrow Catching Shield come online there start to be enemies that will hit that on average, around level 13+).

Take, for instance, level 18. The level 18 Reflecting Shield also has 6 Hardness and 24 HP, like the Forge Warden - it is a buckler, so it's definitely not meant for shield blocking as a regular thing, but I feel like 'emergency 1/fight block' should be a role that light shields can fill somewhat consistently. Literally no level 18 enemy will not destroy the shield on average. Only a couple enemies from levels 16-17 will not do so. They can still roll low, and you can block those, but well over half the time for many of those enemies (and a little over half the time for most of the rest) it isn't an option. (And, naturally, forget about blocking any kind of boss enemy at those levels, though one could argue that light shields should struggle in that particular regard.)


FowlJ wrote:
Corvo Spiritwind wrote:
FowlJ wrote:
68 damage would be a critical hit, basically nothing hits for that on average, so it is definitely an extreme example - it doesn't need to be nearly that much, though, because non-sturdy shields cap out at 8 Hardness and 32 HP (for the Force Shield and Dragonslayer's Shield) and most of the shields with special properties have 6 Hardness and 24 HP - at high levels enemies will pretty regularly be hitting for those kind of amounts.
I don't have bestiary on hand so can't see the damage numbers right now, but from a glance at say, level 10 enemies vs Forge Warden with (Hardness 6, HP 24, BT 12), vs say, a level 10 grave knight whose Str is +7, that hardness alone negates most of the damage from Str. Not sure how much a mook would have, need to look a bit more into that kind of thing, but would it be typical for a Grave Knight level enemy to deal 30HP in one swing very often?

Graveknights deal an average of 23 physical damage, so no. Other creatures of that level deal a bit more (since part of the Graveknight's damage is elemental and as far as I'm aware shields don't block that?), but around level 10-12 is still in the zone where the shields do alright (though basically nothing won't at least hit hard enough to break them).

The problem being that at that level you are already at the apex of what magic shields can survive while enemies still get a whole lot better - this is definitely a problem that becomes evident at higher levels (though even a couple levels after the Forge Warden / Arrow Catching Shield come online there start to be enemies that will hit that on average, around level 13+).

Take, for instance, level 18. The level 18 Reflecting Shield also has 6 Hardness and 24 HP, like the Forge Warden - it is a buckler, so it's definitely not meant for shield blocking as a regular thing, but I feel like 'emergency 1/fight block' should be a role that light shields can fill somewhat consistently. Literally no level 18...

Huh, good to know. I was considering building a Shield Hero/Pantheon(league) inspired character eventually. You'd think that the shield upgrades for hp/bt/hardness would be an upgrade applicable to all shields. Wonder if we'll get in any comments from devs about the thought behind that. I suppose one could swing the idea that the sturdy shields are for blocking and others are for AC, but still.


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Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
darrenan wrote:
How about house ruling Shield Block to add some portion of your proficiency bonus to hardness?

Here's a feat I am thinking of adding to my game:

Durable Shield
Champion 8, Fighter 12
Add your armor proficiency level to your shield’s hardness (+4 for Expert, +6 for Master, +8 for Legendary). Your shield’s HP and BT are not changed. This stacks with Shield Ally.

Scarab Sages

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Ravingdork wrote:
Angel Hunter D wrote:
Another rushed part of the core rules. Ugh.
Another?

I keep finding bits and pieces where things don't really work well and appear rushed.

Some of my problems may be PFS scaling, but on the whole my main impression of 2e is that it needed 6 more months of playtesting and developing with the full rules, and that really annoys me because the good parts are *so* good and I really like a lot about the edition.

Silver Crusade

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

But that 6 months would have turned into needing another 6 months, which would have turned into needed another 6 months, which would have turned into needing another 6 months.

You can only edit for so long.


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I agree, its a slippery slope. But I do think a brief beta test would have been good. If I recall, PF1 went through alpha and beta tests and that was already on top of pretty polished 3.5 game (ymmv).

I think overall, PF2 is very solid, but a beta test would have caught some of the language omissions and rules edge cases that exist now.


One other effect I think shields has had on the game is that in order to make the shield math generally work, its pigeon holed the math of creatures to be pretty same-y on the same levels. There are some outliers though.

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