Why are shield options so restrictive compared to weapons and armor?


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Because shields are stupidly designed in 2e in the first place. Shield Block is a trap and shouldn't be used at all unless you're about to die. Also, raising a shield shouldn't take an action, it should ALWAYS be counted as raised. Personally, I miss shields just being a passive AC bonus.


Ascalaphus wrote:
I'm not sure if shields breaking is quite that unrealistic - holmgang apparently involved a specific number of replacement shields per participant in the duel.

That is informative, thanks! Specifically sounds like they just took turns bashing each other.... I have a Ulfen character in my 2E game that might have 'beef' in his backstory that could possible have an old rival show up. I smell a challenge brewing.

As for the discussion, I wasn't trying to use the real world as an example. I was just trying to add weight to the 'shields probably aren't as fragile as to be obliterated in a single blow' conversation.

I think mechanically there needs to be some small tweak or addition to let shields scale to keep the 'shield game' happy at higher levels.


Malk_Content wrote:
And in real life we aren't taking blows from trolls.

I guess the question, if we're looking at higher level martials who are using mundane weapons, and not "obviously supernatural" class feats, are their blows going to regularly shatter shields of the appropriate level?

Like a 10th level fighter with 20 strength and a D12 weapon hits for d12+5+3- a normal blow can't shatter a forge warden, though it can break the shield.


I look at the mechanical issues differently.

It's not the hardness/durability situation that's the issue, it's that they're priced as permanents, where most shields are borderline disposable.

You can take AC as long as you want, but you only get so many shots absorbing the damage.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I think they should have implemented runes for shields maybe with hardness being one rune and improvements to shield hit points being another.


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By Ragathiel, this certainly blew up while I wasn't looking! To throw my own two cents back into the conversation, I would like to point something out to people who are saying "just get a shield made of special materials". While I initially agreed with you, and would love for that to be how shields work...

It isn't. At all.

Most of the specific magic shields in the book don't actually follow the hardness and hit points rules for their given material (usually steel). As an example, here we have the stats for a steel shield , and here we have the stats for a dragonslayer's shield, and finally here we have a spined shield. All three are steel shields, and all three have different hardness and HP. Meaning there's no entirely clear indication of how to price these shields if you change their material, or exactly what their hardness and HP will be if you do so. And before someone misquotes the book, no the dragonslayer shield doesn't use the dragonhide hardness either.

My working theory (read: desperate hope) at the moment is that someone at Paizo was tasked with creating a bunch of cool magic shield effects, and did so, but they copy-pasted the same magic shield over and over again for stat blocks and just changed the descriptions to give them different magical effects but forgot to change the actual shield statistics - either because the shield rules weren't set in stone at the time, or because they didn't personally have a great understanding of how shields worked at the time, or because of a simple oversight/misprint/typo error. There are simply too many shields which are clearly meant to do something involving shield blocking (i.e. arrow catching and dragonslayer's shields) that just...don't do that very well.

Also, generally speaking, if you're using a shield and spending a ton of money on it, it's because you're a character who's very invested in using their shield. If that's the case, you probably have the shield block reaction. Why would the design of an item actually punish you for spending more money on that item or investing feats in it? The numbers (if not necessarily the rules) are counterintuitive as-is, hence fundamental runes being my solution.

Silver Crusade

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What I do is just minus the Steel Shield HP and Hardness from the magic shield and then plug in the corresponding special material shield HP and Hardness.


It’s actually pretty easy to figure out pricing for shields of different materials. For example a Cold Iron Forge Warden:

Forge Warden Item 10
Cost 975gp
Hardness 6
HP 24
BP 12

Standard Grade Cold Iron Shield Item 7
Cost 340gp
Hardness 7
HP 28
BP 14

into:

Standard Grade Cold Iron Forge Warden Item 10
Cost 1315gp (975 + 340)
Hardness 13 (6 + 7)
HP 52 (24 + 28)
BP 26 (12 + 14)

And if we compare these stats to:

Moderate Sturdy Shield Item 10
Cost 1000gp
Hardness 13
HP 104
BP 52


HeHateMe wrote:
Because shields are stupidly designed in 2e in the first place. Shield Block is a trap and shouldn't be used at all unless you're about to die. Also, raising a shield shouldn't take an action, it should ALWAYS be counted as raised. Personally, I miss shields just being a passive AC bonus.

I disagree with this person on both accounts.

You want to use shield block you invest in sturdy Shields. You decide after damage is dealt whether to use shield block not before so you decide if your gonna let it break or not.

Otherwise it's a simple action to raise. If you invest. It's later a reaction. Then later it's it's own reaction separate from your normal.

My shield monk multiclass into fighter for said feats is quite happy.


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Martialmasters wrote:
You decide after damage is dealt whether to use shield block not before so you decide if your gonna let it break or not.

Nope. You decide BEFORE. See this example with the developers streaming one of their own games.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTKfepicXiE&feature=youtu.be&t=3597

Martialmasters wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Because shields are stupidly designed in 2e in the first place. Shield Block is a trap and shouldn't be used at all unless you're about to die. Also, raising a shield shouldn't take an action, it should ALWAYS be counted as raised. Personally, I miss shields just being a passive AC bonus.

I disagree with this person on both accounts.

You want to use shield block you invest in sturdy Shields. You decide after damage is dealt whether to use shield block not before so you decide if your gonna let it break or not.

Otherwise it's a simple action to raise. If you invest. It's later a reaction. Then later it's it's own reaction separate from your normal.

My shield monk multiclass into fighter for said feats is quite happy.

So should we also change Flaming runes, so that they destroy your weapon on a critical hit, in order to provide consistency among magic items? How about Bracers of Missile Deflection? Should those break the first time you use them to deflect missiles? How about wands? Should those have a 1/10 chance of breaking when you use them the first time each day?

Please for the love of god, think through what you're saying. You are coming here and seriously telling us that no one should be using the Forge Warden's or Arrow-catching shield's abilities, because they are not Sturdy shields, and therefore are not meant to do the thing that their ability allows them to do. Obviously those shields were created to be used, obviously they should perform their intended purpose at their intended level without being destroyed in one hit, and anyone who says otherwise is approaching this in bad faith.


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Strill wrote:
Martialmasters wrote:
You decide after damage is dealt whether to use shield block not before so you decide if your gonna let it break or not.

Nope. You decide BEFORE. See this example with the developers streaming one of their own games.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTKfepicXiE&feature=youtu.be&t=3597

Martialmasters wrote:
HeHateMe wrote:
Because shields are stupidly designed in 2e in the first place. Shield Block is a trap and shouldn't be used at all unless you're about to die. Also, raising a shield shouldn't take an action, it should ALWAYS be counted as raised. Personally, I miss shields just being a passive AC bonus.

I disagree with this person on both accounts.

You want to use shield block you invest in sturdy Shields. You decide after damage is dealt whether to use shield block not before so you decide if your gonna let it break or not.

Otherwise it's a simple action to raise. If you invest. It's later a reaction. Then later it's it's own reaction separate from your normal.

My shield monk multiclass into fighter for said feats is quite happy.

So should we also change Flaming runes, so that they destroy your weapon on a critical hit, in order to provide consistency among magic items? How about Bracers of Missile Deflection? Should those break the first time you use them to deflect missiles? How about wands? Should those have a 1/10 chance of breaking when you use them the first time each day?

Please for the love of god, think through what you're saying. You are coming here and seriously telling us that no one should be using the Forge Warden's or Arrow-catching shield's abilities, because they are not Sturdy shields, and therefore are not meant to do the thing that their ability allows them to do. Obviously those shields were created to be used, obviously they should perform their intended purpose at their intended level without being destroyed in one hit, and anyone who says otherwise is either not reading the actual rules, or is brain-dead.

what i saw was a dev accidently playing homebrew /shrug

Sovereign Court

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Vaktaeru wrote:

I love the shield rules, I love the way that shields have been approached, and I think actually getting to use a shield instead of just setting and forgetting it as a passive stat is a grand step forward. However, the magic shields that have been made available seem to go against the design philosophy of other magic items in the book. Most characters who intend to use a shield will, at some point, want to use it to shield block. In this instance, only the sturdy shield appears to be a viable option at higher levels, because every other "specific magic shield" will be destroyed in a single attack at high levels. I'm not sure if this is a deliberate design choice to keep shield blockers from having cool effects attached to their shields, but it seems to go against the way that weapons and armor were designed, to the degree that I actually created my own shield runes to provide my players with actual options at high levels and let them have cool things.

Does anyone have a solid explanation as to why shields were designed in this way? Surely the characters who specialize the most heavily in shields can't be intended to never use anything other than sturdy shields past level 8. In a perfect world I would love to see my shield rules included as an errata, but I realize they're little more than homebrew at this point.

To clarify, I didn't make this thread to discuss the merits or balance of the homebrewed shield rules I presented, but to discuss the existing state of magic shields and whether they're actually healthy for the game.

In my house rules I explained that the Specific Shields were crafted from a basic shield, but they can also be crafted from a Sturdy Shield. Just add the cost or crafting time of a Sturdy Shield to the Specific Shield you want and replace the standard values with those of the Sturdy Shield you used.


We want shields as "an interesting thing you can use because your conceptualization of your character is 'they use a shield' which also has mechanical weight which reinforces your concept and makes it feel rewarding" but we definitely need to avoid "shields are so good and there's so many runes and mechanics around them that it would be foolish to dual wield, or leave a hand free, or have a two handed weapon."

So this is why I'm opposed to shield runes- there are no free hand runes.


PossibleCabbage wrote:

We want shields as "an interesting thing you can use because your conceptualization of your character is 'they use a shield' which also has mechanical weight which reinforces your concept and makes it feel rewarding" but we definitely need to avoid "shields are so good and there's so many runes and mechanics around them that it would be foolish to dual wield, or leave a hand free, or have a two handed weapon."

So this is why I'm opposed to shield runes- there are no free hand runes.

You can get item bonuses to athletics from lots of different places already. Isn't that the equivalent of a free hand rune?


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Strill wrote:
Nope. You decide BEFORE. See this example with the developers streaming one of their own games.

Did you know that the developers are no less likely to misremember a rule than anyone else? Actually, it makes more logical sense to assume a developer is more likely to misremember a rule than people who have only read the final version of the rule as it sits in the book.

Just like it's more likely that someone misremembers a D&D/Pathfinder rule with the more different editions and house-rules they've played with previously.

Also, and likely the most important: Unless a developer is saying "This is the exactly correct way to use this rule as intended by our design", it is nonsense to treat whatever they are indicating the rule to be as correct if it runs counter to what the book says the rule is - as is the case with when the choice of using Shield Block occurs (which is not only after damage has been rolled, but also after any other reductions like resistance have been applied to it because you have to know for certain that you are taking damage as part of the requirements to use Shield Block)


PossibleCabbage wrote:

We want shields as "an interesting thing you can use because your conceptualization of your character is 'they use a shield' which also has mechanical weight which reinforces your concept and makes it feel rewarding" but we definitely need to avoid "shields are so good and there's so many runes and mechanics around them that it would be foolish to dual wield, or leave a hand free, or have a two handed weapon."

So this is why I'm opposed to shield runes- there are no free hand runes.

Which is why it would be interesting to instead of gating some abilities behind having a free hand to force it, it would be interesting to give a benefit for wielding a light weapon in your hand. For example: In Pillars of Eternity going one handed melee only grants you a hefty accuracy bonus, it is a computer game, but I find it a nice idea. It could be translated into getting a +1 to attack rolls by having a free hand and wielding a light weapon, it's a significant bonus, but the drawbacks are pretty clear: Smaller diced weapons than 2-h, no reach, less AC than weapon and shield, it doesn't have the extra weapon with different traits and you also are constrained to fewer options. But the thing is, every drawback already exists and it's applied, getting a benefit for using this playstyle could make more builds a lot more attractive, not only the classes that will probably have lots of feats to make it work.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Pawns, Rulebook Subscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

You decide after damage is known, but before it is dealt.

Pretty sure the devs discussed this in detail on Twitch.

Sovereign Court

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Ravingdork wrote:

You decide after damage is known, but before it is dealt.

Pretty sure the devs discussed this in detail on Twitch.

That's nice, but take a look at these shields:

Arrow-Catching If you use it and the attack hits you automatically use Shield Block, before hearing the damage.

Forge Warden To use one of the main features of the shield, you have to Shield Block. But Hardness 6, 24 HP isn't really very much at level 10.

These are shields where using the Shield Block is clearly part of how you're intended to use them, but their fragility compared to level makes them quite bad at that.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber
Captain Morgan wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
There was another long thread on this and my best answer to it is that they expect you to craft the special shields out of different materials. The rules seem to support it RAW and RAI, though it isn't laid out terribly intuitively.
I'm gonna requote this because it is important and seems to be overlooked. A sturdy shield might be better than an adamantine shield or a Forge Warden, but it is not especially better than an adamantine Forge Warden.

Technically, it isn't a clear cut and dry case that the special shields are intended to be able to made from special materials. I think, in general they should be able to be, but by RAW, given the values of the shields as pointed out don't match the base Steel shield it claims to be made from . it would require judgment on how to modify them. Do you subtract the values from a steel shield and then add the values from the material's shield entry.

A steel shield is Level 0; 2gp; Bul1; H 5, HP 20, BT 10
A standard Adamantine shield, Level 8; 440gp; Bulk 1; H 10, HP 40, BT 20
A Lion's Shield, Level 6; 245gp; B 1; H6, HP 36, BT 18

So is a Adamantine Lion's shield=
Lion - steel shield + adamantine shield?
Level 8; 683gp; Bulk 1; H 11, HP 56, BT 28

The above opens up some opportunities where the Hardness and the HP are quite different, which seems contrary to normal design, so I'm inclined to think it isn't intended.

So maybe you should use the material to determine the Hardness and have the type of shield determine the multiplier between Hardness and HP/BT
So is a Adamantine Lion's shield=
Lion - steel shield + adamantine shield for hardness? Then use the lion shield's multipliers for HP and BT based on calculated hardness.
Level 8; 683gp; Bulk 1; H 11, HP 66, BT 33

In any case, it isn't necessarily clear cut exactly what you do if you were to find a adamantine arrow catching shield, presuming one is intended to be allowed. I'm surprised that the arrow catching shield doesn't have a heightened hardness vs. HP ratio though, since its very purpose is to pull attacks to you to make a shield block. If the arrow catching shield were meant to be disposable, then why not make it a talisman you attach to your shield that 'attracts' a missile weapon to your shield. (which actually does sound like a reasonable magic item)

One thing that might resolve some of the concern with destroyed shields would be if by default, a shield will only take a maximum of its BT of damage from any single strike from a shield block. This actually makes some sense as the purpose of a strike, is to damage the target, so after you cut through the shield or push around the shield and finally slide into the target, not all the damage needs be applied to the shield once it gets past it. This sort of limitation would not apply if the shield itself is somehow the specific target of a spell (not targeting the wielder). That way a single block shouldn't ever destroy a shield, just break it. The GM would have to allow specific targeting of the shield after it is broken to allow it to be destroyed. (or if the GM allowed a broken shield to be raised for no AC bonus, but allowing it to provide a shield block action, which would open it up to being destroyed in that hit. [but obviously this would be a non-ideal, but intentional choice of a wielder, not just a chance]

Regarding the clip of video where Jason gives the amount of damage after the player indicated they were going to shield block, that was low level, and early in the series. I think there have been Also, I believe in future episodes in Oblivion oath and in the Knights of Everflame, where damage was specified, and they chose to block afterwards. I don't have time to track down a specific instance, but if I do I may try to provide it later.


breithauptclan wrote:
Is it completely unreasonable to think of the shield block reaction is a last-ditch option done out of desperation - much like overcharging a wand.

That's a reasonable thought, except a fair number of the magic shields have effects that are specifically based around blocking, like the dragonslayer or arrow-catcher.


Loreguard wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Zman0 wrote:
There was another long thread on this and my best answer to it is that they expect you to craft the special shields out of different materials. The rules seem to support it RAW and RAI, though it isn't laid out terribly intuitively.
I'm gonna requote this because it is important and seems to be overlooked. A sturdy shield might be better than an adamantine shield or a Forge Warden, but it is not especially better than an adamantine Forge Warden.

Technically, it isn't a clear cut and dry case that the special shields are intended to be able to made from special materials. I think, in general they should be able to be, but by RAW, given the values of the shields as pointed out don't match the base Steel shield it claims to be made from . it would require judgment on how to modify them. Do you subtract the values from a steel shield and then add the values from the material's shield entry.

A steel shield is Level 0; 2gp; Bul1; H 5, HP 20, BT 10
A standard Adamantine shield, Level 8; 440gp; Bulk 1; H 10, HP 40, BT 20
A Lion's Shield, Level 6; 245gp; B 1; H6, HP 36, BT 18

So is a Adamantine Lion's shield=
Lion - steel shield + adamantine shield?
Level 8; 683gp; Bulk 1; H 11, HP 56, BT 28

The above opens up some opportunities where the Hardness and the HP are quite different, which seems contrary to normal design, so I'm inclined to think it isn't intended.

So maybe you should use the material to determine the Hardness and have the type of shield determine the multiplier between Hardness and HP/BT
So is a Adamantine Lion's shield=
Lion - steel shield + adamantine shield for hardness? Then use the lion shield's multipliers for HP and BT based on calculated hardness.
Level 8; 683gp; Bulk 1; H 11, HP 66, BT 33

In any case, it isn't necessarily clear cut exactly what you do if you were to find a adamantine arrow catching shield, presuming one is intended to be allowed. I'm surprised that the arrow catching shield doesn't have a...

We can't explain their discrepancies, but the rules tell us how to create them. Use the base material shield then add the costs together. The HP and Hardness etc are as the base material. We can't explain their errors, but we can use the rules to get a reasonable result.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

You decide after damage is known, but before it is dealt.

Pretty sure the devs discussed this in detail on Twitch.

That's nice, but take a look at these shields:

Arrow-Catching If you use it and the attack hits you automatically use Shield Block, before hearing the damage.

Forge Warden To use one of the main features of the shield, you have to Shield Block. But Hardness 6, 24 HP isn't really very much at level 10.

These are shields where using the Shield Block is clearly part of how you're intended to use them, but their fragility compared to level makes them quite bad at that.

Yes, if you look at creatures at the same level that just seems wrong. Take a cloud giant. Its boulder will do around 30 points on average. If you redirect with arrow catching shield you have a roughly even chance of having it destroyed. The forge warden shield faces the same problem when hit from the cloud giant's ranseur.

The numbers seem off. My expectation is the shields should be able to block at leas three blows before they are destroyed. Anything less and they don't seem like shields.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Danbala wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:
Ravingdork wrote:

You decide after damage is known, but before it is dealt.

Pretty sure the devs discussed this in detail on Twitch.

That's nice, but take a look at these shields:

Arrow-Catching If you use it and the attack hits you automatically use Shield Block, before hearing the damage.

Forge Warden To use one of the main features of the shield, you have to Shield Block. But Hardness 6, 24 HP isn't really very much at level 10.

These are shields where using the Shield Block is clearly part of how you're intended to use them, but their fragility compared to level makes them quite bad at that.

Yes, if you look at creatures at the same level that just seems wrong. Take a cloud giant. Its boulder will do around 30 points on average. If you redirect with arrow catching shield you have a roughly even chance of having it destroyed. The forge warden shield faces the same problem when hit from the cloud giant's ranseur.

The numbers seem off. My expectation is the shields should be able to block at leas three blows before they are destroyed. Anything less and they don't seem like shields.

And people have pointed out that at-level enemies are supposed to be mini-bosses so you should look at hits from enemies a few levels lower.

But I point out to those people:

1. Hits from a monster a few levels lower are just slightly less likely to automatically destroy the shield.

2. You should generally be able to use a piece of gear for more than one or two levels before having it fall into complete uselessness.


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Well, I suppose having your shield explode is a good signal you should probably replace it. :P

Silver Crusade

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Captain Morgan wrote:

Well, I suppose having your shield explode is a good signal you should probably replace it. :P

Nah it's a Tediore, it's fine.


On the topic of the arrow-catching shield: First, I want to say that I don't personally think a giant-hurled rock is a good thing with which to test if the shield is working as intended or not by - because "arrow-catching" doesn't suggest to me that "boulder-blocking" is the intended function.

However, a similarly-leveled opponent firing actual arrows would likely do similar (by which I mean maybe give or take up to 5 points on average damage). So then the question becomes whether or not the practical effect of an arrow-catching shield being to divert an attack away from a nearby ally to yourself and reduce the damage by 6 if it hits once per combat (assuming enemy at-level with shield) is good enough. I think the answer is to that question is "maybe" because there are a lot of variables in play, and a fair few of them can sway the outcome significantly, especially if multiple variables that would increase the usefulness of the item align in a particular encounter.

And for me that's where an item should be - clearly useful in its intended circumstances of use, but not so useful as to have the "intended circumstances of use" be functionally "whenever".

Second, I want to really heavily emphasize that an arrow-catching shield's primary use is not to be mitigating damage to the wielder of the shield - it's to mitigate damage to some other character by directing an attack at the wielder of the shield. Game-balance-wise, it would be double-dipping to not only have the shield force the attack to target a presumably higher-AC, higher HP character, but to also provide that character much more protection than already given while doing so.

On the topic of Forge Warden: it's an awesome item, and would still be an awesome item even if it didn't have the offensive add on of being able to deal some fire damage to a creature whose attack you block with the shield.

In both cases: the shield block portion of the effects is not the "point", it's an added bonus.


Danbala wrote:
The numbers seem off. My expectation is the shields should be able to block at leas three blows before they are destroyed. Anything less and they don't seem like shields.

Even at levels as low as 3rd, a shield surviving 3 hits is unlikely... so that expectation might not line up with the design of shields in the game.

And when it comes to a shield not being usable once broken, I think it's more reasonable to see how many strikes a shield can usually block before needing repaired. That's 1-2 at the lowest levels of play, and then pretty solidly stays at 1-2 as levels go up if you use options that actually enhance the durability of a shield - except for indestructible shields and sturdy shields, which are the only shield options in the game clearly intent on making a shield able to shield block more frequently.


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Well I don't know what others will think of this concept, but I am houseruling that the Spellguard Shield is a rune that can be applied to any shield, mostly because I like the idea of formations still being a thing in a world where fireball is a thing.


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thenobledrake wrote:

In both cases: the shield block portion of the effects is not the "point", it's an added bonus.

And why would I be willing to pay 1,000gp for this "added bonus", when I could just grab a ring of fire resistance, and a level 4 Minor sturdy shield for only a third of the price, while at the same time getting much better shield stats? Heck, you could even buy a sturdy shield and THREE rings of fire resistance, and still save money over a Forge Warden! Not only that, but the stats you and your party would get from that combination of items are vastly superior to the Forge Warden! It's clear from the price comparison that the blocking ability was not priced as just an "added bonus", it's the shield's primary ability.

Either that or it was meant to have better HP and Hardness.


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thenobledrake wrote:


In both cases: the shield block portion of the effects is not the "point", it's an added bonus.

This is nonsense. That 'added bonus' is literally the only thing that differentiates the item from a 2 gold mundane version. What are you paying 1348 GP for if not the reaction?


Strill wrote:

And why would I be willing to pay 1,000gp for this "added bonus", when I could just grab a ring of fire resistance, and a level 4 Minor sturdy shield for only a third of the price, while at the same time getting much better shield stats? Heck, you could even buy a sturdy shield and THREE rings of fire resistance, and still save money over a Forge Warden! Not only that, but the stats you and your party would get from that combination of items are vastly superior to the Forge Warden! It's clear from the price comparison that the blocking ability was not priced as just an "added bonus", it's the shield's primary ability.

Either that or it was meant to have better HP and Hardness.

The forge warden fire resistance applies to all adjacent allies, and isn't an invested item. Plus it counts as a religious symbol which could matter too, I'm not sure.

It does all of that, which is worth a large portion of the cost, but then also happens to do a little extra thing too.


Squiggit wrote:
thenobledrake wrote:


In both cases: the shield block portion of the effects is not the "point", it's an added bonus.
This is nonsense. That 'added bonus' is literally the only thing that differentiates the item from a 2 gold mundane version. What are you paying 1348 GP for if not the reaction?

There are literally more functions to the forge warden than just its shield stats, so you must be talking about the arrow-catching shield.

But even that literally makes no sense because the trait that shield has which a 2 gold mundane version doesn't is forcing an enemy to target the wielder - not some special blocking ability.

Or maybe you just aren't using the word "literally" literally?


thenobledrake wrote:
But even that literally makes no sense because the trait that shield has which a 2 gold mundane version doesn't is forcing an enemy to target the wielder - not some special blocking ability.

Those two things are one and the same. If you force them to target you, then you also block the attack, and the shield is likely destroyed.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Strill wrote:

And why would I be willing to pay 1,000gp for this "added bonus", when I could just grab a ring of fire resistance, and a level 4 Minor sturdy shield for only a third of the price, while at the same time getting much better shield stats? Heck, you could even buy a sturdy shield and THREE rings of fire resistance, and still save money over a Forge Warden! Not only that, but the stats you and your party would get from that combination of items are vastly superior to the Forge Warden! It's clear from the price comparison that the blocking ability was not priced as just an "added bonus", it's the shield's primary ability.

Either that or it was meant to have better HP and Hardness.

The forge warden fire resistance applies to all adjacent allies, and isn't an invested item. Plus it counts as a religious symbol which could matter too, I'm not sure.

It does all of that, which is worth a large portion of the cost, but then also happens to do a little extra thing too.

Which is why I made the comparison between the Shield Warden, and a low-level Sturdy shield plus three rings of fire resistance. That combination of items has superior stats, is unconditional, and is cheaper than a Forge Warden.


If you force them to target you, you MIGHT get hit, and if you do you reduce the damage of that hit and your shield is likely broken (unless you're going up against enemies higher level than the shield's level, at least).

Those things are not "one and the same", though they are two parts of a single rules element.


Strill wrote:
]Which is why I made the comparison between the Shield Warden, and a low-level Sturdy shield plus three rings of fire resistance. That combination of items has superior stats, is unconditional, and is cheaper than a Forge Warden.

Superior stats? Not exactly. The game is written saying a party = 4, but at my table it's always been more like 6.

Unconditional? Nope, just different conditions. The party grouping up on the character holding the shield is a condition - so is everyone choosing the ring as one of their limited invested items. Neither are a hard condition to meet, but that doesn't make them not conditional.

Cheaper? Irrelevant, since the acquisition of treasure is not handled via gold piece value and lossless in nature. And the balance of items is not, and will never be, a particular amount of 'performance' (a value that is subject both in terms of what value players will place on different effects, and in terms of campaign style/substance variance) per gold piece cost of item.

Edit to add: Also, even with assumption of a 4-person party, the general effects of the Forge Warden shield would be of rough equivalence to 4 rings of fire resistance, not 3, and a shield so the Forge Warden actually is the cheaper option.


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thenobledrake wrote:

If you force them to target you, you MIGHT get hit, and if you do you reduce the damage of that hit and your shield is likely broken (unless you're going up against enemies higher level than the shield's level, at least).

Those things are not "one and the same", though they are two parts of a single rules element.

The only choice you make in this scenario is whether to redirect the attack. Once you redirect it, if it hits you, Shield block takes effect automatically and you block it whether you want to or not. It doesn't give you the choice to not block.

Also, what in the world do you mean by "enemies higher level than the shield's level"? Just so we're all on the same page here, this is a level 11 shield, but its stats are only 1 hardness and 4 HP above those of a basic non-magical level 1 shield. Are you saying that if you're going up against enemies level 3+, that you should expect the shield to be destroyed in one hit? Are you saying that +1 Hardness and +4 HP is enough to mitigate 10 levels of enemy damage progression? I am really trying hard to reconcile the words you're writing, with the stats printed in the book, and I simply cannot reach anything approaching a logical chain of thought for why you would write that.


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thenobledrake wrote:
Strill wrote:
]Which is why I made the comparison between the Shield Warden, and a low-level Sturdy shield plus three rings of fire resistance. That combination of items has superior stats, is unconditional, and is cheaper than a Forge Warden.

Superior stats? Not exactly. The game is written saying a party = 4, but at my table it's always been more like 6.

Unconditional? Nope, just different conditions. The party grouping up on the character holding the shield is a condition - so is everyone choosing the ring as one of their limited invested items. Neither are a hard condition to meet, but that doesn't make them not conditional.

If you have a party that is able to walk around in a phalanx all day every day, then congratulations. On your planet, Forge Warden is better. For everyone who's not playing a video game, however, the rings of fire resistance are going to be leaps and bounds more useful.

Quote:

Cheaper? Irrelevant, since the acquisition of treasure is not handled via gold piece value and lossless in nature. And the balance of items is not, and will never be, a particular amount of 'performance' (a value that is subject both in terms of what value players will place on different effects, and in terms of campaign style/substance variance) per gold piece cost of item.

Edit to add: Also, even with assumption of a 4-person party, the general effects of the Forge Warden shield would be of rough equivalence to 4 rings of fire resistance, not 3, and a shield so the Forge Warden actually is the cheaper option.

Subjectivity doesn't matter when you control for it. That's why I compared two sets of items with the same effects. If the devs make cheaper items that are equal to or superior to more expensive items, then they've chosen the prices wrong.

Also, magic item acquisition IS handled via gold piece value. That's what crafting is for.


That you can't choose to redirect the attack and not also use shield block against it doesn't change that redirecting the attack is the point and using shield block against it is a bonus.

What I mean by "enemies higher level than the shield's level" is enemies of higher than 11th level, which are the sort of enemies needed for a single attack to "likely destroy" the shield rather than just break it.

As for the phalanx comment... being deliberately ridiculous and tossing out the "video game" thing like it's an insult doesn't help your point at all. Yes, everyone having a ring of fire resistance is more useful for resisting fire than relying on a forge warden is - it is both more expensive for the party to have the rings than the shield, and logical that an item with a single function be better at that function than one with multiple functions unless there is a massive discrepancy in level between the too.

"Subjectivity doesn't matter when you control for it" - the subjectivity I mentioned is the kind that there is literally no control for, sorry.

"If the devs make cheaper items that are equal to or superior to more expensive items, then they've chosen the prices wrong." This is true... which is why I'm glad that I went and checked the facts and found the items you are saying are superior are also more expensive.

"Also, magic item acquisition IS handled via gold piece value. That's what crafting is for." Close, but not quite. The majority of a party's items are going to be the ones they've found along the way, or otherwise involve the "and lossless in nature" part of my statement you appear to have ignored by either losing some gold piece value to the selling>crafting>paying extra to finish quickly process or losing not-insignificant time to the process.

It is, in my experience, functionally never that a party has exactly the outfitting of items they'd most prefer to have at any given snapshot of the campaign.


Crafting should be equal to a Lore or performance skill, in terms of gold saving.

Which means that time needed for the craft multiplied for the daily incombe for a work of the same lvl, should provvide the same amount of cash.

The extra from crafting would be the possibility to repair any item, and the possibility to craft any item you want, while on the other hand a character without craft but with golds could not be able to find the item he wants at the market.

However, I would have put less cd in order to repair shields. I can't understand having to relay on someone else to fix my shield after every single Inc.

To think that a warrior has to hit legendary in craft to have a slight chance to repair his shield is not really smart.

Also, you will only be able to lvl 3 skills to legendary. And wasting one because reasons is not good.

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