Oversized 1-handed weapon and Shield


Advice

Silver Crusade

Hi all.

I am currently playing a Dwarf Cleric of Torag (Forgemaster) with the Blessed Hammer feat, thus he often finds himself only doing a single attack per round. Next level, I will be hitting BAB +6, and so I was thinking of picking Vital Strike to add a little bit of additional damage.

Since I am forced to use only warhammers, I was thinking of using a Large one 2-handed, paired with Irongrip Gauntlets to negate the size-penalties, plus Lead Blades/Impact to get to a base damage of 3d6. This however puts me in the uncomfortable situation of having to ditch my shield, which I would like to avoid.

Do you know of any options that would allow me to be able to wield both a Large warhammer and a shield?

Here are a few options I have already explored:
- Buckler
Pro: cheap, can be enhanced to +6 shield bonus. Con: -1 to hit and loses shield bonus when attacking.

- Buckler + Unhindering Shield feat
Pro: cheap, can be enhanced, caps at +7 shield bonus, no penalty to hit and constant shield bonus. Con: requires TWO feats on a feat-starved class.

- Ring of Force Shield
Pro: free actions shenanigans to get AC between attacks at no cost. Con: cannot be enhanced, capping to a puny +2; no AoOs (which is a big thing for me since I do have Torag's Divine Fighting Technique feat and I often use wands of Long Arm)

- Greater Hat of Disguise into Kasatha
Pro: 4 arms. Con: ugly RP-wise, also not sure it works RAW since Multi-Armed is a racial trait.

- Drop weapon, drink potion of Enlarge Person, grab back weapon
Pro: the weapon is now appropriately sized and can be wielded 1-handed. Con: lowers AC by 2, making the shield less useful; defies the point of stacking base damage for the purposes of Vital Strike as I would be losing 1d6 base damage (and so 2d6 in total) due to the size increase.

Thank you for your help!


If you were using a polearm or spear type weapon it would be simple with a pair of feats. Shield focus, and shield brace. Your ac goes up +1 with a shield, and you can wield a two handed weapon while still holding your shield! Howveer, you have a warhammer, that makes that much more difficult.

Out of your solutions, the only viable one i see is the ring of force shield, as its the only one not stopping your ac from being higher and attacking, but as you pointed out, they all kinda suck.

If it was piercing or slashing you could go with effortless lace, but again, its a warhammer, so its doing bludgeon....

hmm... what about an animated shield? Its only good for 4 rounds... but, your other hand is now free once you activate it..
https://www.d20pfsrd.com/magic-items/magic-armor/magic-armor-and-shield-spe cial-abilities/animated/

As a move action, an animated shield can be loosed to defend its wielder on its own. For the following 4 rounds, the shield grants its bonus to the one who loosed it and then drops. While animated, the shield provides its shield bonus and the bonuses from all of the other shield special abilities it possesses, but it cannot take actions on its own, such as those provided by the bashing and blinding abilities. It can, however, use special abilities that do not require an action to function, such as arrow deflection and reflecting. While animated, a shield shares the same space as the activating character and accompanies the character who activated it, even if the character moves by magical means. A character with an animated shield still takes any penalties associated with shield use, such as armor check penalty, arcane spell failure chance, and nonproficiency. If the wielder who loosed it has an unoccupied hand, she can grasp it to end its animation as a free action. Once a shield has been retrieved, it cannot be animated again for at least 4 rounds. This special ability cannot be added to a tower shield.


Shield spell? It’s in the defense subdomain. Warhammer isn’t a great weapon to try to leverage weapon damage dice tho.

Silver Crusade

Evilserran wrote:
If you were using a polearm or spear type weapon it would be simple with a pair of feats. Shield focus, and shield brace. Your ac goes up +1 with a shield, and you can wield a two handed weapon while still holding your shield! Howveer, you have a warhammer, that makes that much more difficult.

That's literally the same as using a buckler with Unhindered Shield. The problem is the two feat cost on a feat-starved build such as Cleric.

Evilserran wrote:
If it was piercing or slashing you could go with effortless lace, but again, its a warhammer, so its doing bludgeon....

I am using Irongrip Gauntlets, which are identical to Effortless Lace for the purpose of oversized weapons.

Evilserran wrote:
hmm... what about an animated shield? Its only good for 4 rounds... but, your other hand is now free once you activate it..

Indeed it is a good option. I was hoping for something more stable though.

Lelomenia wrote:
Shield spell? It’s in the defense subdomain.

As a Forgepriest, I cannot choose that domain. However I can use UMD on wands. Shield is useful, but it would be my last option if nothing else can be done.

Lelomenia wrote:
Warhammer isn’t a great weapon to try to leverage weapon damage dice tho.

Warhammer is needed for the build I am playing. I am not trying to maximise a Vital Strike build with a warhammer, but rather to improve a warhammer build with Vital Strike.


It has to be a Warhammer, not an Earthbreaker Hammer or Lucerne Hammer?

Take a dip in Ranger, and you can use a Wand of Lead Blades which gives you a 1 step Virtual Size Increase.

Take a dip in Living Monolith, and you can Enlarge Person as a Swift Action, giving yourself (and your weapon, if you want) a 1 step actual size increase.

I always thought it would be funny to 2 Weapon Fight with Warhammer and Sickle. You'd be the Soviet Union! You'd take Tripping Feats: Combat Expertise, Improved and Greater trip, Vicious Stomp, and Fury's Fall. You'd hit with the Hammer, Trip with the Sickle, then take your Attacks of Opportunity with the Hammer. I'd have you take 5 levels in Inquisitor to get Bane, but also to get Bane for your Hammer, but also to get Harder they Fall to bypass the Size limit, Coordinated Maneuvers for that extra +2, and Broken Wing Gambit because why not? Then dip a level in Cavalier and take Paired Opportunist.

Silver Crusade

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
It has to be a Warhammer, not an Earthbreaker Hammer or Lucerne Hammer?

Blessed Hammer (linked) only works with war hahmmers.

Torag's Divine Fighting Technique (also linked) only works with war hammers.

Thus, yes, it has to be a war hammer.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:

Take a dip in Ranger, and you can use a Wand of Lead Blades which gives you a 1 step Virtual Size Increase.

Take a dip in Living Monolith, and you can Enlarge Person as a Swift Action, giving yourself (and your weapon, if you want) a 1 step actual size increase.

I can already use Lead Blades, since it is on the Forgemaster's spell list. Even if I didn't, I wrote I can already use wands of Long Arm, therefore it is obvious that I have enough UMD to be able to do so without the dip. And even if that wasn't true, Feral Hunter would be the dip to go with, given the permanent Animal Focus and the second spell pool I could use to cast Lead Blades, definitely not Ranger.

That being said, this is not a Vital Strike thread, but about how to use a shield with a Large war hammer. I do not need advice on how to boost the war hammer base damage.

Scott Wilhelm wrote:
I always thought it would be funny to 2 Weapon Fight with Warhammer and Sickle. You'd be the Soviet Union! You'd take Tripping Feats: Combat Expertise, Improved and Greater trip, Vicious Stomp, and Fury's Fall. You'd hit with the Hammer, Trip with the Sickle, then take your Attacks of Opportunity with the Hammer. I'd have you take 5 levels in Inquisitor to get Bane, but also to get Bane for your Hammer, but also to get Harder they Fall to bypass the Size limit, Coordinated Maneuvers for that extra +2, and Broken Wing Gambit because why not? Then dip a level in Cavalier and take Paired Opportunist.

Ok, let's look into this, shall we? I asked about advice on how to get a shield bonus while wielding a Large war hammer as a 8th level Cleric (since I said I just hit BAB +6), and that my main concern is that Unhindering Shield would be perfect if it wasn't for the fact that I am feat starved.

Your best piece of advice is:

- dip Ranger.
- dip Living Monolith.
- dip Cavalier.
- 5 levels Inquisitor.
- get Endurance and Iron will to qualify for Living Monolith.
- get two weapon fighting feats.
- get Combat Expertise, Improved Trip, Greater Trip, Vicious Stomp and Fury's Fall.
- get Power Attack and Harder They Fall.
- get Coordinated Maneuvers, Broken Wing Gambit and Paired Opportunist.

So, to summarise here we have: 8 levels in random classes that have nothing to do with each other, leaving zero levels left for Cleric despite this being a 8th levels Cleric build; a butchered caster level that has no reason to exist, and an amount of feats all over the place whose number (at least 13) cannot be covered even on a 20 levels build, let alone if we include the feats that I have already clearly stated I have and I am planning to pick.

How in hell, heaven and/or earth can you even think this is in any way a good answer to my thread, or rather a good answer in any thread at all?!


Just brainstorming. Just trying to help. I make powerful characters. I was hoping you'd find something useful.

You don't like my ideas, fine.

Good luck.

Dark Archive

Well - I saw someone doing some "free actions shenanigans" with the feat Quickdraw and a Quickdraw light shield. With the feat you can don or put away a QD shield as a free action...

so your combat round actions would start by you putting away your QD shield (free action) taking your combat actions, then end with you donning your QD shield again.

Pure Cheese to me, but it seems to work under the rules. The downside is that you cannot use your 2-h hammer to take AOOs... you're down to shield bash attacks?


Gray Warden wrote:
I am currently playing a Dwarf Cleric of Torag (Forgemaster) with the Blessed Hammer feat, thus he often finds himself only doing a single attack per round.

Why? The feat isn't spellstrike, you don't get a free attack - you have to cast one round, and attack the next (barring an AoO), where you could full attack just fine.

Gray Warden wrote:
How in hell, heaven and/or earth can you even think this is in any way a good answer to my thread, or rather a good answer in any thread at all?!

Look at that, I'm not the only one who feels this way!

Silver Crusade

Derklord wrote:
Gray Warden wrote:
I am currently playing a Dwarf Cleric of Torag (Forgemaster) with the Blessed Hammer feat, thus he often finds himself only doing a single attack per round.

Why? The feat isn't spellstrike, you don't get a free attack - you have to cast one round, and attack the next (barring an AoO), where you could full attack just fine.

Because it does act like Spellstrike, except you also have to spend a swift action to activate it. According to the rules regarding touch spells, upon casting a touch spell, the caster is granted a free touch attack to deliver the charge.

In this case, the charge is held and delivered by the hammer rather than the caster. Particularly:

Blessed Hammer wrote:
When you deliver a touch spell with your warhammer you can do so as part of melee attack made with the warhammer.

Therefore, the usual routine for this character is: standard action to cast the touch spell, move action to the target, free action to deliver the spell via the hammer. The delivery can be done as the usual touch attack, or as part of a melee attack which also adds weapon damage.

This is how I understand the feat works, due to how it is written and the research I have done on these boards, and the GM agrees with me. Since this is not a rules thread, this is how the feat works for the purposes of this thread.

However, your point still stands, as I realise now that I would still not be able to use Vital Strike on the round of casting, since I would be using the standard action to cast. This makes the increased size of the war hammer less important, and the problem of wielding it 2-handed superfluous.

Although any further suggestion on how I could improve the single attack are more than welcome, I consider this particular thread closed for me. Thank you all for your help.


This is a bit of a ridiculous way to get what you want, but...

if you got a [urlhttps://aonprd.com/ConstructMods.aspx?ItemName=Construct%20Limb]construct limb[/url] you're mechanical limb would count as a heavy shield. Good news: no feats required, but horribly expensive. But if you can afford it, you can even get a construct limb that can perform special attacks or fight for you.


I don't go down this route, but couldn't you just dip one level in Titan Mauler or whatever it is, and use what the developer's intent was for the class rather than how it is RAW? Then you can use a Large warhammer 1-handed if I'm not mistaken and you take reasonable penalties rather than the absolute dump the RAW archetype gives you.

Never realized there was a feat that let you basically Spellstrike with a warhammer. SUPER neat!


There's always the lowly buckler - you could still use the warhammer in two hands.


Gray Warden wrote:

Because it does act like Spellstrike, except you also have to spend a swift action to activate it. According to the rules regarding touch spells, upon casting a touch spell, the caster is granted a free touch attack to deliver the charge.

In this case, the charge is held and delivered by the hammer rather than the caster.

It doesn't work that way. Spellstrike explicitly says "Instead of the free melee touch attack normally allowed to deliver the spell, a magus can make one free melee attack with his weapon (...) as part of casting this spell.", there's nothing similar in the Blessed Hammer description.

The charge held, and the free touch attack, are seperate things. The feat changes where the charge is stored, but it doesn't change the free touch to one made with a weapon. It's not simply a regular attack, for instance you don't deal unarmed damage when you hit with a regular touch spell's free touch.
All the feat does is make your warhammer attacks function like delivering touch spells via unarmed attacks or natural attacks: "Alternatively, you may make a normal unarmed attack (or an attack with a natural weapon) while holding a charge. (...) If the attack hits, you deal normal damage for your unarmed attack or natural weapon and the spell discharges." CRB pg. 186

Sorry, no delivering the spell during the same turn. Your GM may be fine with giving you a powerful class feature for the cost of a feat, but you shoudl know that it's not RAW.


your reading assumes the sentence means the same thing if it was reversed, i.e., “when you make a melee attack with your warhammer, you can deliver a stored touch spell with a successful hit.”

But there’s a fairly standard construction for abilities, and order matters for them. “When you are [doing thing A], you can add on [thing B]”.

In this situation, when you are [delivering a touch spell with your warhammer as a free action as part of the cast of the spell], you can [do it as part of a melee attack with the warhammer]”

Or maybe not. It’s certainly not worded clearly, and it doesn’t use spellstrike templating. But looking through previous threads, it appears most people have sided with the spellstrike interpretation, and there isn’t official word.


Either way you can't combine a spell and a vital strike attack in the same round. Just something to keep in mind.

Silver Crusade

Derklord wrote:
Sorry, no delivering the spell during the same turn. Your GM may be fine with giving you a powerful class feature for the cost of a feat, but you shoudl know that it's not RAW.

I do not agree with you and I have explained to you why. Despite not following the Spellstrike template, nothing in the text of the feat contradicts my interpretation, which is further corroborated by the general consensus. Therefore, claiming that this is "not RAW", despite the evidence shown, is an overstatement with a touch of rudeness.

As said, this is not the place to discuss such matter. I invite you to open a relative thread in the rules forum if you are really interested.

baggageboy wrote:
Either way you can't combine a spell and a vital strike attack in the same round. Just something to keep in mind.

I am aware.

Myself, just a few lines above wrote:
However, your point still stands, as I realise now that I would still not be able to use Vital Strike on the round of casting, since I would be using the standard action to cast. This makes the increased size of the war hammer less important, and the problem of wielding it 2-handed superfluous.


Lelomenia wrote:
In this situation, when you are [delivering a touch spell with your warhammer as a free action as part of the cast of the spell], you can [do it as part of a melee attack with the warhammer]”

This presumes "delivering a touch spell" is equal to the free touch. It isn't. Delivering a touch spell is the act of discharging it, by whatever means, as this FAQ proves. Normally, these means are a) free touch made on the same round, b) standard action touch (not the attack action) on subsequent rounds, and c) by any hit with a natural weapon or unarmed strike. The feat adds d) any hit with a warhammer.

Gray Warden wrote:
Despite not following the Spellstrike template, nothing in the text of the feat contradicts my interpretation, which is further corroborated by the general consensus. Therefore, claiming that this is "not RAW", despite the evidence shown, is an overstatement with a touch of rudeness.

You haven't shown any evidence. At best you've commited a argumentum ad populum fallacy. The wording of the feat, and the rules, do contradict you. You get a free action touch, not a free action attempt to deliver the charge.

If you consider stating the truth "rudeness", so be it.

You've said "I consider this particular thread closed for me", so why do you care what I discuss in this thread? That you continued to post proves that statement false. Also, you're discussing it same as me (by defending your interpretation), so your statement of "this is not the place to discuss such matter" is hypocritical.
I don't really care about the feat, as I know its severe limitations. The point of my arguing about it is to prevent others from getting misconceptions about what the feat does, based on your posts.


I think it's pretty clear that such a discussion would be better suited in the Rules threads. I think when the OP basically says "if X, how Y? And I'm not interested in debating X," any attempts to debunk X are off-topic at best.

If we're really concerned with offering wise and sagely advice to other players, the point has been made. At this point, another thread would be the way to go.

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