A concise, play orietented argument regarding shields.


Advice


Since shield fighting requires specialization on the side of the character, in general only thusly specialised characters will use shields and those will know and want to use Shield Block, locking them into sturdy shields and mostly leaving the other kinds of shields without potential users.


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literally any character can use a shield, and many characters will have other things the player would rather spend their feats on than Shield Block - especially if they've come across a shield that has a non-blocking-related feature to it before they got around to the "maybe I'll use this feat on Shield Block?" moment.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Shield use doesn't require specialization. +2 AC for one action is a solid bet for any character.

Those who specialize in harm mitigation will want sturdy shields but that doesn't make other shields useless.

My mountain monk focussed on having optimal action economy use absolutely is looking forward to getting a floating shield for example.


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As already said, shields do not require specialization to be used for the raise shield feature.

You should decide the use of your shield before buying one.

1) If you simply want a higher AC, without using the block reaction, go for a magic shield with the bonus you like ( ex, +2 circ saves vs spells whigh target you )

2) If you want a higher AC and to use the block, then go with a sturdy one or eventually, if high lvl, with a autorepair or indestructible shield.

3) If you want higher AC and use the Shield as a second weapon ( ex, twin feint or double slice ) then go with a shield made of specific materials, to bypass enemy resistances, put an upgrade on it and use it for a weapon ( if it is your off hand, you will be needing a ring which shares the enchants on your main hand weapon ).


K1 wrote:
3) If you want higher AC and use the Shield as a second weapon ( ex, twin feint or double slice ) then go with a shield made of specific materials, to bypass enemy resistances, put an upgrade on it and use it for a weapon ( if it is your off hand, you will be needing a ring which shares the enchants on your main hand weapon ).

Technically you can combine this with options 1 or 2 since it's the shield boss or shield spikes that you would be making out of a special material and enchanting.


Perpdepog wrote:
K1 wrote:
3) If you want higher AC and use the Shield as a second weapon ( ex, twin feint or double slice ) then go with a shield made of specific materials, to bypass enemy resistances, put an upgrade on it and use it for a weapon ( if it is your off hand, you will be needing a ring which shares the enchants on your main hand weapon ).
Technically you can combine this with options 1 or 2 since it's the shield boss or shield spikes that you would be making out of a special material and enchanting.

You are right.

I still tend to forget that you can mod a shield after, cause I mostly consider it with the attached weapon built inside of it during the craft.


Yeah special materials are a great (and upgrade friendly) way to improve magical shield durability. It doesn't solve all the issues of something like an arrow catching shield, but it makes it more flexible for a large number of levels.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Aren't special shields' hardness and HP getting looked at in the errata coming out soon?


Mechalibur wrote:
Aren't special shields' hardness and HP getting looked at in the errata coming out soon?

They said that sturdy shields are intended to be the ones meant to use the Shield Block reaction.

They also said that they are looking at hardness/hp of other shields, to see what could be done ( it is still not Clear if they are specifically referring to all other magic shields or just the 2 with issues ).


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Past a certain level, I have trouble envisioning a pure caster that still casts the Shield spell over a Spellguard Shield.

Staff and Shield style forever.

Grand Lodge

My biggest confusion is why they mentioned sturdy shields are the only ones really meant to be used with shield block, then turn around and give druids the shield block feat but no way to wield sturdy shields without breaking anathema.


Syries wrote:
My biggest confusion is why they mentioned sturdy shields are the only ones really meant to be used with shield block, then turn around and give druids the shield block feat but no way to wield sturdy shields without breaking anathema.

Or shields that let you use Shield Block in other situations (arrow catching, anyone?) without also giving durability to those shields.


Could the druid thing be fixed if there were some non-metal hard material to create shields from?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

The druid thing is largely legacy and they said as such when leaving it in.


Dragonhide CRB pg 579 wrote:
The hide and scales of a dragon can be used to Craft any item normally made of ordinary leather or hide. Dragonhide varies in color from blue to glittering gold, depending on the dragon it came from. Due to the scales’ resiliency, it can also be used to Craft armor usually made out of metal plates (such as a breastplate, half plate, and full plate), allowing such armor to be made without metal. Dragonhide objects are immune to one damage type, depending on the type of dragon (see the table below).

Any Steel Shield can reasonably be made out of Dragonhide, so Druids would be able to use 90% of the shields by level 8 at the soonest; which includes Sturdy Shield. Though they’re kind of out of luck for the beginning levels.


Malk_Content wrote:
The druid thing is largely legacy and they said as such when leaving it in.

Makes sense, somehow.

They are able to perform a block, but not to use metal shields.

So they can only rely on Wood of leather shields.

Sovereign Court

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K1 wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Aren't special shields' hardness and HP getting looked at in the errata coming out soon?

They said that sturdy shields are intended to be the ones meant to use the Shield Block reaction.

They also said that they are looking at hardness/hp of other shields, to see what could be done ( it is still not Clear if they are specifically referring to all other magic shields or just the 2 with issues ).

Rather than redoing a bunch of stats for various shields, I still think my solution is the best option: change the shield rules.

Shields prevent damage up to their Hardness. If the damage is greater than that, any excess is passed to the protected character and the shield's hit points are reduced by 1.

By reducing shield hit points by 1 at a time per damage breach rather than having to track both your own HP and your shield HP just seems so much easier. But that may just be the way I handle HP's... I don't just mark down -12 HP if I'm hit for 12 damage, I subtract the 12 from my current HP and write down my current total. Having to do that for both my shield and myself is a pain! Maybe the devs do HP tracking differently and just write the damage they suffered and then add it all up later, but then you don't really know how badly hurt you are until you do that. You could easily take more damage than you have HP's and not realize it until you calculate it all up. At early levels that is not as likely, but in my current PF1e game I'm 13th level with 114 HP and we are fighting giants.


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I prefer not to have everything.

The fact that I have to choose between a high hp pool and hardness or some special effect is something I really appreciate.

As for deciding between an indestructible shield, a sturdy one or even an autorepair shield.

I am also fine that a Spellguard Shield will broken if you dare to parry with it.

I am not fine that an arrow catching shield and the one which deal fire dmg on a block have so few hp.

But that's thr only thing I think they forget to think about.


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Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
Samurai wrote:
K1 wrote:
Mechalibur wrote:
Aren't special shields' hardness and HP getting looked at in the errata coming out soon?

They said that sturdy shields are intended to be the ones meant to use the Shield Block reaction.

They also said that they are looking at hardness/hp of other shields, to see what could be done ( it is still not Clear if they are specifically referring to all other magic shields or just the 2 with issues ).

Rather than redoing a bunch of stats for various shields, I still think my solution is the best option: change the shield rules.

Shields prevent damage up to their Hardness. If the damage is greater than that, any excess is passed to the protected character and the shield's hit points are reduced by 1.

By reducing shield hit points by 1 at a time per damage breach rather than having to track both your own HP and your shield HP just seems so much easier. But that may just be the way I handle HP's... I don't just mark down -12 HP if I'm hit for 12 damage, I subtract the 12 from my current HP and write down my current total. Having to do that for both my shield and myself is a pain! Maybe the devs do HP tracking differently and just write the damage they suffered and then add it all up later, but then you don't really know how badly hurt you are until you do that. You could easily take more damage than you have HP's and not realize it until you calculate it all up. At early levels that is not as likely, but in my current PF1e game I'm 13th level with 114 HP and we are fighting giants.

They essentially had this in the play test. Rather than a bunch of hp items took dents, take 4 and you break. I found it a lot easier to track and made shields consistently usable across levels. But it was apparently disliked for some reason.


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Samurai wrote:
Maybe the devs do HP tracking differently and just write the damage they suffered and then add it all up later, but then you don't really know how badly hurt you are until you do that. You could easily take more damage than you have HP's and not realize it until you calculate it all up. At early levels that is not as likely, but in my current PF1e game I'm 13th level with 114 HP and we are fighting giants.

More likely they'd be adding it up as it's inflicted. It wouldn't be written down as "114 hp - 15 dmg, 18 dmg, 7 dmg, 24 dmg (I wonder where I'm at?)", but rather as "114 hp - 15 dmg, 33 dmg, 40 dmg, 64 dmg (and I know exactly where I'm at)".

Sovereign Court

Malk_Content wrote:

They essentially had this in the play test. Rather than a bunch of hp items took dents, take 4 and you break. I found it a lot easier to track and made shields consistently usable across levels. But it was apparently disliked for some reason.

I don't know either, maybe for some reason they thought peopled were confused by dents vs hit points, or maybe they wanted to expand the shield design space to allow for shields with more hit points/dent points (not sure what they were called?), but you can still do the same kind of thing with hit points.


Samurai wrote:
Malk_Content wrote:

They essentially had this in the play test. Rather than a bunch of hp items took dents, take 4 and you break. I found it a lot easier to track and made shields consistently usable across levels. But it was apparently disliked for some reason.

I don't know either, maybe for some reason they thought peopled were confused by dents vs hit points, or maybe they wanted to expand the shield design space to allow for shields with more hit points/dent points (not sure what they were called?), but you can still do the same kind of thing with hit points.

Well... there were all those posts about how dents work, and the questions regularly asked about how dents work. When I saw that the final game had gone with HP for shields I figured it was because the devs realized making up a new system for tracking damage instead of using the one people are already generally familiar with or at least already using elsewhere was less than helpful.

...they did, however, leave some of the language that was creating confusion in the first place so some people were still asking basically the same question because it seemed to them that a shield used to block would save the character its hardness in HP but then also reduce the damage to its own HP total by its hardness.


That and some odd cases with items and dents (such as the possibility to have a dented rope).


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thenobledrake wrote:
...they did, however, leave some of the language that was creating confusion in the first place so some people were still asking basically the same question because it seemed to them that a shield used to block would save the character its hardness in HP but then also reduce the damage to its own HP total by its hardness.

Quite. And as a result, things that were Fine became Not Fine. It was Fine that most shields had only 1 or 2 dents available and Sturdy and Indestructible had 4. Because any one attack couldn't do more than 1 dent at a time.

But now that level 15 shields have 6 hp and go from "fully repaired" to "turned into dust that is then ground into a fine powder" from one hit, it no longer works.


Pathfinder Adventure, Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Maps, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Maps Subscriber

I believe I saw a post, or watched some feed that a developer indicated the movement away from dents was due to already having a 'method' for dealing with damage, and so dents was being perceived, based on feedback as an extra, different method to do the same thing, and made it lose its original 'simplification' goal.

As to trying to address letting shields live a little longer, I've contemplated a relatively simple rule. Damage above the hardness of the shield gets applied to the original target. One-half of that value also gets applied to the shield as incidental damage. [min 1pt]

Some creatures, or characters however may have an ability (something like shield smasher) that is a free action, with a requirement that allow an attacker who attacks someone who uses a shield block, can switch the target of the attack to the shield instead of the wearer. In such a case you switch and full damage over the hardness gets applied to the shield. I have yet to decide if I'd allow half damage to apply to the original target, or perhaps only allow that option if the original hit were a critical hit.

This would boost the general durability of shields, but leave instances where it can be more dangerous.

I've also simply considered limiting how much a shield can take in one blow to its BT unless some special ability is used to actually target the shield.

There are also a couple other things that could adjust damage to shield. Make precision damage not apply to the shield (unless somehow it became the target).

So if you have a shield with 5 hardness, and you take 10hp damage from a hit +12hp precision damage, the target takes a total of 17hp damage, but the shield would then only takes 5hp.


Loreguard wrote:
One-half of that value also gets applied to the shield as incidental damage.

This doesn't actually change the underlying, fundamental problem, that it is impossible to make shields-that-aren't-the-sturdy-shield viable. Yes, it doubles their effective HP, but twice basically-zero is still basically-zero (and on the other end of the spectrum, sturdy shields get a prodigious boost).

You'd actually be better off by just increasing the HP of all shields by 30 (or other, arbitrary, value).

Sovereign Court

Loreguard wrote:

I believe I saw a post, or watched some feed that a developer indicated the movement away from dents was due to already having a 'method' for dealing with damage, and so dents was being perceived, based on feedback as an extra, different method to do the same thing, and made it lose its original 'simplification' goal.

As to trying to address letting shields live a little longer, I've contemplated a relatively simple rule. Damage above the hardness of the shield gets applied to the original target. One-half of that value also gets applied to the shield as incidental damage. [min 1pt]

Some creatures, or characters however may have an ability (something like shield smasher) that is a free action, with a requirement that allow an attacker who attacks someone who uses a shield block, can switch the target of the attack to the shield instead of the wearer. In such a case you switch and full damage over the hardness gets applied to the shield. I have yet to decide if I'd allow half damage to apply to the original target, or perhaps only allow that option if the original hit were a critical hit.

This would boost the general durability of shields, but leave instances where it can be more dangerous.

I've also simply considered limiting how much a shield can take in one blow to its BT unless some special ability is used to actually target the shield.

There are also a couple other things that could adjust damage to shield. Make precision damage not apply to the shield (unless somehow it became the target).

So if you have a shield with 5 hardness, and you take 10hp damage from a hit +12hp precision damage, the target takes a total of 17hp damage, but the shield would then only takes 5hp.

The devs being flooded with complicated ideas like this are probably why they dropped it. I would NOT allow monsters or enemies to be "shield smashers" unless it were a very special case, and probably not even then. That kind of thinking is what led to the feared Rust Monster back in 1e, who could turn the Fighter's prized Plate Armor into dust with a single touch. Should we bring them back too? Or the Disenchanter, who ate magic items?

If you wanted to create a barrier smashing effect, at most I would say this: "If this monster's attack hits the shield and at least twice the Hardness value in damage gets through the shield, reduce it by 2 hit points instead of just 1" but that should be extremely rare and, IMO, it should be kept as simple and easy to use as possible, without a lot of extra stuff to memorize.


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I really don't get the reason they have to keep things as they are, because the solution is really not that hard.
If a sturdy shield of a given level has hardness 12 and 60 HP, give the special shield of the same level hardness 8 and 50 HP (or some different stats that make sense). You don't have quite the same blocking power, but it's not like the shield explodes as soon as you use one of the options it gives you.
Also, you can fine-tune cases like the arrow-catching shield: maybe keep its hardness lowish, but give it decent enough HP to survive.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I wonder how it would work out if Shields had a special rule that, due to their innate sturdy construction and design for repair, they cannot be destroyed in the normal way.

It breaks at the broken threshold, but is only destroyed if it takes an attack while it's at 0 HP.

It just seems like it'd make things easier if shields break all the time, but are rarely destroyed.


I feel like 2E, as a system, is not at all built around magic items frequently being destroyed. If it happens once or twice as kind of a “cinematic moment” that’s fine, but if it happens frequently it starts to seriously hurt PC magic item economy.

My personal fix would probably be similar to Waterslethe. I don’t mind high level shields with low hp (unless they have mechanics that support shield blocking, the arrow-catching shield seems like an oversight) but I don’t believe they should get destroyed.


A 1d6 weapon tends to have from 2 to 4 traits, depends the weapon.

Now, a shield has the raise action ( which counts double, since the parry trait only gives you 1 ac ), and depends the attached weapon you decide to use, it could have P or B dmg.

Apart from that, a shield could also have the shield block feature or a specific perk.

I know that shield block is for all shields, but you will be using it only with some shields, like the sturdy ones.

So it is ok to say that on the one hand you will have the possibility to block dmg every round, and on the other hand a special effect.

That said, depends the character you are going to play, the choice will be extremely simple.

If you want to block some damage, you will go with a sturdy shield ( or at high lvls with an indestructible or auto repair one ).

In you want instead some other perks, you will simply go for a specific one.

Eventually, if you consider investing a nice amount of golds in rare materials, you could get a shield with enough hp to get broken but not destroyed on one hit. If needed. And this will be the best of the trades.

You will be forced to male a choice between saving your shield perk and the +2 ac or to sacrifice it for the rest of that combat to avoid part of the incoming dmg.

Apart from the fair choice, you will be in charge for the decision, which will not be hidden.

Which means you will see the damage first, then you could do your considerations in terms of dmg, hp, hardness, and then decide what to do.

Eventually, on a low damage roll, you could be able to block and still maintain the shield above the BT.

Remember also that a shield will have the same runes as a weapon.

So, try to compare it with a offhand with the parry trait.

Damage dice
Bonus ac
Perks
Etc...

Then realize that giving magic perks + the possibility to block huge amounts of damage is definitely senseless and unbalanced.


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K1 wrote:

If you want to block some damage, you will go with a sturdy shield ( or at high lvls with an indestructible or auto repair one ).

In you want instead some other perks, you will simply go for a specific one.

OK, great. Now explain why the arrow blocking shield (a block some damage type of shield) has such low HP and hardness.

Of the shield that triggers 1d6 of fire damage when you block with it.

(Ie you've stated nothing that helps the argument that everything is fine. Everything is not fine. The things that are not fine have not in any way been addressed by your post, which this thread had already mentioned four times)


I already stated in this thread that those 2 are the ones which needs some changes. Feel free to check my previous posts.

I haven't to say about those 2 everytime, I guess.

I hope.


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K1 wrote:
I already stated in this thread that those 2 are the ones which needs some changes. Feel free to check my previous posts.

In which case, your post has added nothing to the discussion except to reiterate a thing no one is arguing against.

should there be a distinction between study and non-sturdy shields?

Yes.

Should a 40,000gp item explode into dust from a single attack?

No.

Is there room for a middle ground?

Yes. So let's talk about the middle ground.


No, definitely not.

Not only you didn't read the whole discussion before leaving a reply, but also pretended to leave another comment which is merely your point, so drop it.

Sturdy shields are fine and so utility shields.

This is a fact ( and the long post i did was to point out a fair comparison between shields and other weapon, since many users tend not to see the actual balance ).

You are not forced to shield block simply because you know both the dmg and the shield's health.

And by knowing shields stats, you will be able to choose the shield which is good for you.

Want instead to discuss about flaming shield and arrow catch? Be my guest. I am here for the same reason too.

About 40k shield destroyed by 1 hit, I also stated the solution with materials. You definitely didn't read a thing.


No compromise then, got it.

I'm out.


You don't read at all.

The compromise is being able to make them out of a specific material, granting them the choice between

1)shield block and probably go under the BT, but without destroying a shield ( now the shield will be destroyed at high lvls or with a critical hit ).

2)take the hit maintain the raise action + effect.

As you can see, and you would have been able to get it if you had read my orevious posts, there is room for middle ground.

Remember also that a fight tends to last 4/5 rounds ( anD you won't necessarily be blocking a hit or even being targeted by an enemy ), so giving more shield blocks to not sturdy shields will simply mean to give sturdy shields no real advantage at all.

I think you, and many others, still don't have understood how many shield block happens during an encounter, and why there are such differences between sturdy shield and shields with special abilities ( apart from the 2 I already mentioned ).


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I’d like to see more actual exploding shield options. Like shields that blow up into an alchemist bomb when they are destroyed, automatically targeting the attacker.


Unicore wrote:
I’d like to see more actual exploding shield options. Like shields that blow up into an alchemist bomb when they are destroyed, automatically targeting the attacker.

This reminds me of the Bomb Mask in Majora’s mask


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Pumpkinhead11 wrote:
Unicore wrote:
I’d like to see more actual exploding shield options. Like shields that blow up into an alchemist bomb when they are destroyed, automatically targeting the attacker.
This reminds me of the Bomb Mask in Majora’s mask

Makes me think of Tediore weapons from Borderlands.


K1 wrote:

You don't read at all.

The compromise is being able to make them out of a specific material

I don't see any way, RAW, to apply a special material to a specific magical shield.

Quote:
As you can see, and you would have been able to get it if you had read my orevious posts, there is room for middle ground.

The room for middle ground is that, according to the Devs in their errata video, Sturdy Shields should have 2x the HP of non-sturdy shields, when in fact, they have many times that. Either Sturdy shields are far stronger than they should be, or other shields are far weaker.


Strill wrote:
K1 wrote:

You don't read at all.

The compromise is being able to make them out of a specific material

I don't see any way, RAW, to apply a special material to a specific magical shield.

Same way that you craft a magic weapon with a special material, which happens to also be the way you craft a magic weapon or armor that has property runes: the item counts as the highest level of the component parts, and the price is the total price of all the components.


Strill wrote:
K1 wrote:

You don't read at all.

The compromise is being able to make them out of a specific material

I don't see any way, RAW, to apply a special material to a specific magical shield.

Quote:
As you can see, and you would have been able to get it if you had read my orevious posts, there is room for middle ground.
The room for middle ground is that, according to the Devs in their errata video, Sturdy Shields should have 2x the HP of non-sturdy shields, when in fact, they have many times that. Either Sturdy shields are far stronger than they should be, or other shields are far weaker.

You’re correct that the book doesn’t seem to mention what the stat difference is, between say, a Cold Iron Forge Warden and an Adamantine Forge Warden; aside from price.

Though two methods can be deduced; Replacement or Compounding. Either replace the shields stats with the special material used to make it, or add the stats together to make a new total. Both have their pros and cons, but either way one of these methods will most likely be the intended way to deal with shields.


thenobledrake wrote:
Strill wrote:
K1 wrote:

You don't read at all.

The compromise is being able to make them out of a specific material

I don't see any way, RAW, to apply a special material to a specific magical shield.
Same way that you craft a magic weapon with a special material, which happens to also be the way you craft a magic weapon or armor that has property runes: the item counts as the highest level of the component parts, and the price is the total price of all the components.

Yes but there's no rule to determine what its stats are. Do you use the stats of the material? Do you add the material's stats to the base item? There's rules for adding fundamental runes to magic weapons, but property runes are forbidden. Does that apply here?

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