Shields blocking: Unknown damage or known damage


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Torag is one of my favorite deities. A dwarf with this shield would be doing both well and good.
I like that you can deal fire damage to your attacker. Well... it says adjacent attacker. So, I guess a creature with reach wouldn't take the 2d6 fire?
But at 24 hit points, that's a great item.
And, yea. I did forget about it =p


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Draco18s wrote:
Ched Greyfell wrote:

One of the guys (Cabbage, maybe?) pointed out that there are shields made of better materials you can get that soak up more damage. So at level 7 or 8, you'd have the option of an adamantine shield or something. So your shield is not always in danger of breaking.

And I feel like the break mechanic is just so that the character doesn't end up with a permanent damage reduction. Makes crafting useful, etc.

I'm going to keep chiming in with this every time someone forgets that it exists.

Forge Warden.

It's Uncommon, has 24HP, and 6 Hardness. It's very not amazing. A Level 1 Giant Instinct Barbarian with 18 STR does D12+10 damage. He'll destroy it with 1 average crit.

By the time you obtain one, which may not happen at all because it's Uncommon, even mooks will be destroying it in 1 average hit.


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Aratorin wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Forge Warden.

It's Uncommon, has 24HP, and 6 Hardness. It's very not amazing. A Level 1 Giant Instinct Barbarian with 18 STR does D12+10 damage. He'll destroy it with 1 average crit.

By the time you obtain one, which may not happen at all because it's Uncommon, even mooks will be destroying it in 1 average hit.

That's my point. It is a level 10 item with durability on par with a commonly available steel shield, yet the whole reason to HAVE and USE one requires that you block with it (which does damage to it).

The fact that it's uncommon doesn't really matter that much. Notably three fifths of the magical shields are uncommon or rare. Only the Cold Iron, Silver, Arrow Catching, Lion's, Spell Guard, Spined, and Sturdy are common. And the reason it doesn't matter is two fold:
(A) you can buy these in a campaign (in which case, treat as common).
(B) you can't and only having the one is a giant middle finger because if it breaks, its gone forever.

(Arrow Catching has the same problem as Forge Warden; you can intercept a ranged attack at an ally, but MUST use shield block, and its stats are identical, albeit a level 11 item).

Sovereign Court

So there are only a few of these low-durability shields that actually need to use Shield Block to get their special effects. Meanwhile, I've seen a lot of people using shields just for the AC, with no real intention of using shield blocking.

So I think a good solution would be to tweak the stats of those two shields, by increasing either their hardness or their HP (but not both), so that they don't break too soon, but also don't intrude on the Sturdy Shield's niche.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

So there are only a few of these low-durability shields that actually need to use Shield Block to get their special effects. Meanwhile, I've seen a lot of people using shields just for the AC, with no real intention of using shield blocking.

So I think a good solution would be to tweak the stats of those two shields, by increasing either their hardness or their HP (but not both), so that they don't break too soon, but also don't intrude on the Sturdy Shield's niche.

If people (Monk, Barbarian etc) only want to carry a shield for AC and not to invest any further that is ok, however the current shield iteration is bad for people that want to invest, respecitively that have already been invested for due to class selection (Champion, Warpriest, Druid, Fighter). Having a class feature you will not be able to utilize properly unless you carry a bag of holdings worth of disposable shields simply feels bad.


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Ascalaphus wrote:
So there are only a few of these low-durability shields that actually need to use Shield Block to get their special effects. Meanwhile, I've seen a lot of people using shields just for the AC, with no real intention of using shield blocking.

That usage has no place in this thread, because those people can buy a non-magical steel shield and use it for that purpose their entire career.

This thread is about Shield Block, so people who don't use Shield Block shouldn't really be a concern. I suspect that the reason they don't is because the hardness and HP values are so low as to be meaningless, so they've decided "that feature is not worth using, therefor I won't use it." And if that feature gets fixed they might start using it.


Ubertron_X wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

So there are only a few of these low-durability shields that actually need to use Shield Block to get their special effects. Meanwhile, I've seen a lot of people using shields just for the AC, with no real intention of using shield blocking.

So I think a good solution would be to tweak the stats of those two shields, by increasing either their hardness or their HP (but not both), so that they don't break too soon, but also don't intrude on the Sturdy Shield's niche.

If people (Monk, Barbarian etc) only want to carry a shield for AC and not to invest any further that is ok, however the current shield iteration is bad for people that want to invest, respecitively that have already been invested for due to class selection (Champion, Warpriest, Druid, Fighter). Having a class feature you will not be able to utilize properly unless you carry a bag of holdings worth of disposable shields simply feels bad.

Nah, you can utilize it properly. Just use a Sturdy Shield. Other shields have issues, but Sturdy shields can take plenty of abuse.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Just use a Sturdy Shield.

It's pretty clearly problematic though when Paizo publishes a dozen different types of shields and most of them end up being almost useless because only one category has proper scaling. Even the rare and "highly durable" adamantine shield is strictly a downgrade from sturdy.

Horizon Hunters

Draco18s wrote:
Ched Greyfell wrote:

One of the guys (Cabbage, maybe?) pointed out that there are shields made of better materials you can get that soak up more damage. So at level 7 or 8, you'd have the option of an adamantine shield or something. So your shield is not always in danger of breaking.

And I feel like the break mechanic is just so that the character doesn't end up with a permanent damage reduction. Makes crafting useful, etc.

I'm going to keep chiming in with this every time someone forgets that it exists.

Forge Warden.

Draco maybe I am being dense but I am really not sure of the point you are trying to make when you bring up Forge Warden.

Is it that it is an expensive level 10 shield that requires to be damaged for it's activated ability to work? Because it still serves as a shield to raise AC and grants you and your allies fire resistance without putting it at risk. It also is a religious symbol for Torag Clerics.

Yes it has to take damage to be used but if you do want to use it (which in order to use it intelligently you'd need to know the incoming damage) that is guaranteed fire damage. Their is no hit roll or ability to save from it.

It does not seem to me as if the Shield itself represents some huge unnoticed flaw.


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Goldryno wrote:
It does not seem to me as if the Shield itself represents some huge unnoticed flaw.

Because it works once and then is immediately destroyed?

But sure, it has some other features, fine. Maybe you want those instead.

But how about Arrow Catching? Its sole function is to intercept ranged attacks that you are required to Shield Block and has the same hardness and HP, does nothing else (besides the +2 AC you can get for buying a non-magical shield, so we can't consider that to be part of its benefits, because if you want that, buy a non-magical steel shield).

I'm not sure how "DR 6, once" is worth 900 or 1300 gp. Aren't there potions that are better and cheaper?

Horizon Hunters

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Draco18s wrote:
Goldryno wrote:
It does not seem to me as if the Shield itself represents some huge unnoticed flaw.

Because it works once and then is immediately destroyed?

But sure, it has some other features, fine. Maybe you want those instead.

But how about Arrow Catching? Its sole function is to intercept ranged attacks that you are required to Shield Block and has the same hardness and HP, does nothing else (besides the +2 AC you can get for buying a non-magical shield, so we can't consider that to be part of its benefits, because if you want that, buy a non-magical steel shield).

I'm not sure how "DR 6, once" is worth 900 or 1300 gp. Aren't there potions that are better and cheaper?

I think you are misinterpreting the main benefit of this shield.

What is nice about this shield in particular is not the fact that you want to block with it but that you want to use it's trigger. This trigger is worded a very specific way.

"Trigger: A ranged weapon Strike targets a creature within 15 feet of you when you have this shield raised, and the attacker has not yet rolled their attack; Effect The triggering Strike targets you instead of its normal target. If it hits, you gain the effects of the Shield Block reaction."

So first and foremost it is different from every other shield in the fact that you decide to use its ability before the attack roll is even made. You then get to redirect attacks towards you that may not even hit your AC, no save it just happens. Imagine a tanky paladin using this to help protect a squishy caster especially with his enhanced AC if he chooses to raise the shield.

The Shield Block is the risk you take by using this shield. However with that risk comes some big potential benefits.


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Quote:
Imagine a tanky paladin using this to help protect a squishy caster especially with his enhanced AC if he chooses to raise the shield.

There's a type of paladin that can already do that (I don't remember which of the alignments, I think its LN). You want to do that, then be that paladin. I was that paladin during the playtest.

Sure it's not quite the same, but it's still way better because you know what the attack roll and damage was before you do it. And you can use any shield, like a Sturdy Shield, that might actually survive.

Quote:
The Shield Block is the risk you take by using this shield. However with that risk comes some big potential benefits.

Is it worth risking 1300 gold to interpose your shield against an attack that you don't yet know might be a crit?

No, I don't think it is. You're puffing up the benefits to make it look valuable and I'm saying, "No, that is not valuable, because the shield--if the attack hits--is going to utterly obliterate the shield and then I won't have it."

Horizon Hunters

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Draco18s wrote:
Quote:
Imagine a tanky paladin using this to help protect a squishy caster especially with his enhanced AC if he chooses to raise the shield.

There's a type of paladin that can already do that (I don't remember which of the alignments, I think its LN). You want to do that, then be that paladin. I was that paladin during the playtest.

Sure it's not quite the same, but it's still way better because you know what the attack roll and damage was before you do it. And you can use any shield, like a Sturdy Shield, that might actually survive.

Quote:
The Shield Block is the risk you take by using this shield. However with that risk comes some big potential benefits.

Is it worth risking 1300 gold to interpose your shield against an attack that you don't yet know might be a crit?

No, I don't think it is. You're puffing up the benefits to make it look valuable and I'm saying, "No, that is not valuable, because the shield--if the attack hits--is going to utterly obliterate the shield and then I won't have it."

I believe what you are referring to is the Glimpse of Redemption. But that puts a debuff on the enemy and grants some DR to an ally. What it does not do is redirect the attack in its entirety to you. The benefit the feat grants is very different from forcing an attack to target you and your AC.

Additionally, just because a specific class choice can do something better than an item, does not mean that the item isn't a valid option for another class (or the same class that does not want to take that feat/feat combination). Just because it is not the all around best option does not mean no one could benefit from the option or incorporate it into the gear they want for their character. This game seems to put a lot of emphasis on granting options and it seems (in my mind) more restrictive to say "If you want to do x then be y class" rather than saying "If you can already do x then your character probably doesn't need y item". One requires intricate planning from the moment of character creation, the other can be decided during any downtime or shopping trip that your group manages to get.

Because there is risk involved there is the possibility it breaks and it is not worth it but at the same time it could be utterly game changing. Especially considering that even if it hits and the shield happens to be broken or destroyed, none of that damage is going to that ally. What if they were a squishy caster with 10 hp left? What if it was an unconscious ally already at dying 3? You could always enjoy the AC bonus to this shield fairly safety while having that Ace in the Hole for the right moment.

I am not puffing up anything, after all nothing is requiring you to take the shield, but it seems clear by the way it is designed that blocking is not the only benefit of this shield if you choose to use its trigger.


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Draco18s wrote:
Goldryno wrote:
It does not seem to me as if the Shield itself represents some huge unnoticed flaw.

Because it works once and then is immediately destroyed?

But sure, it has some other features, fine. Maybe you want those instead.

But how about Arrow Catching? Its sole function is to intercept ranged attacks that you are required to Shield Block and has the same hardness and HP, does nothing else (besides the +2 AC you can get for buying a non-magical shield, so we can't consider that to be part of its benefits, because if you want that, buy a non-magical steel shield).

I'm not sure how "DR 6, once" is worth 900 or 1300 gp. Aren't there potions that are better and cheaper?

In the real gameplay the players simply not do nothing of this. They will prefer to sold this shield if they win this as a treasure or they will simply never buy it, because there's many other things better.

So if all attack are stronger than hardness, they will not loose their shields in a attack becouse they will simply not try to block as if this reaction would never exist and forget about any other feat or shield block abilities they have (probably retraining and loose it later).

Why they will buy or keep a expensive shield that can easily broke, if they can simply change it for some thing better that doesn't have such risk?

In the real game play, the mostly sensate players will never try to block any attack that do more damage than it's hardness to avoid shield broke and they lost their shield AC. So such shields are just useless unless you are in a extreme situation where you need to broke the shield to avoid death. (but even some players still prefer to enter in dying state and wait for a heal than lose a shield).

For me that's the main problem of Shield Block, it's become more and more useless at high levels, so most feats that depend on it loose their effectiveness even before being really useful. Unless you invest heavily in a Sturdy Shield and forget all others magic shields (and make all your campaign fully of magic sturdy shields). And forget about do others magical shields using adamantine, this will become so expensive that mostly players and partys will never consider to buy them.

Horizon Hunters

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YuriP wrote:
Draco18s wrote:
Goldryno wrote:
It does not seem to me as if the Shield itself represents some huge unnoticed flaw.

Because it works once and then is immediately destroyed?

But sure, it has some other features, fine. Maybe you want those instead.

But how about Arrow Catching? Its sole function is to intercept ranged attacks that you are required to Shield Block and has the same hardness and HP, does nothing else (besides the +2 AC you can get for buying a non-magical shield, so we can't consider that to be part of its benefits, because if you want that, buy a non-magical steel shield).

I'm not sure how "DR 6, once" is worth 900 or 1300 gp. Aren't there potions that are better and cheaper?

I would not assume all parties would make the same decision or have the same priorities. Different Adventuring groups will have different needs and capabilities. Different IRL Players will make very different choices on what they want to invest in for mechanical or RP reasons. It is fine to sell or not use it if it doesn't fit a particular parties makeup or playstyle.

I am not saying your points are totally invalid about these shield being easier to break at high levels but I will say that these items do grant options and benefits that are the easiest to take advantage of if you know the incoming damage.


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If this game is all about options, can I please opt out of the shield block class feature and chose another? Maybe one that is not hampered by item design?

All that these special shields do sounds like a talisman that you can attach to a normal shield...

Horizon Hunters

Ubertron_X wrote:

If this game is all about options, can I please opt out of the shield block class feature and chose another? Maybe one that is not hampered by item design?

All that these special shields do sound like a talisman that you can attach to a normal shield...

It's a first level general feat....so yes you can do exactly that! Only Champion, War Cleric, Druid, and Fighter get it by default and that's just a free benefit at level 1 when they would be most useful.


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Goldryno wrote:
I am not saying your points are totally invalid about these shield being easier to break at high levels but I will say that these items do grant options and benefits that are the easiest to take advantage of if you know the incoming damage.

Arrow Catching is before the attack roll is even made, so no, it does not have that advantage.

Forge Warden, on the other hand, is utterly obliterated by the minimum damage possible by an on-level enemy. So "knowing that damage value before hand" becomes increasingly moot.

Silver Crusade

There is a talisman that you can attach to a shield: Mending Lattice.

I would suggest that if you are playing where you do not know the amount of damage that a shield will take as a result of using the Shield Block reaction, then you add another Trigger to this item:

Activate <Free> command; Trigger The affixed item would be destroyed; Requirements You are a master in Crafting

If the high value shield is going to be destroyed, this talisman will save the shield from destruction, negating all the damage and completely repair any previous damage. The shield will be vulnerable until a new Mending Lattice talisman can be attached.

You could carry multiple Mending Lattice talismans (if you can find them or make them - they are an Uncommon item) and use the 10 minute time normally used to Treat Wounds to perform the Affix A Talisman exploration activity.

You should be able to apply this talisman to the Forge Warden shield.

Would you be allowed to activate both the 2d6 fire damage to the attacking creature trigger and potentially activate the Mending Lattice destroyed trigger as well (since both a Free Actions)?

Horizon Hunters

Draco18s wrote:
Goldryno wrote:
I am not saying your points are totally invalid about these shield being easier to break at high levels but I will say that these items do grant options and benefits that are the easiest to take advantage of if you know the incoming damage.

Arrow Catching is before the attack roll is even made, so no, it does not have that advantage.

Forge Warden, on the other hand, is utterly obliterated by the minimum damage possible by an on-level enemy. So "knowing that damage value before hand" becomes increasingly moot.

It is a one off and I already talked about its unique advantages.

Also for the Forge Warden thats simply not true. I just went to a random level 10 enemy (I actually cherrypicked a bit because the first thing I picked was a brontosaurus which I though some might see as too much of a pushover compared to some other options)

So lets look at a T-Rex. Most would agree a scaryish foe. It's Foot attack is 2d10+12= So we're looking of average damage of 22. Shields hardness is 6= So on average we're looking at 16 damage getting through. With a HP of 24 and a BT of 12, it becomes broken but not destroyed. Still with no other Damage Reduction at play it is a losing gamble to block (especially if your GM does not allow you to raise a broken shield, but that's a matter that has been discussed in a different thread in depth) because you dont wanna lose that +2 AC. But say you know the instances where a GM has poor rolls and the total damage coming through. You would know exactly when a GM Rolls a 14-19 for damage and avoid it becoming Broken if you so choose while still getting to use the activated ability which the monster has no chance to avoid. It may not happen every battle but you have the choice of when to use it and when not to.

Sovereign Court

I really think the "shields take 1 HP of damage when they are breached" rule really solves pretty much all the problems.

The Forge Warden shield will still work properly just by marking off that 1 HP, so it is a reusable benefit, not just "once and done".

The Mending Lattice will still work, it will just take longer to be activated, and it should give you plenty of time after the battle to buy and affix another one.

There would no longer be a need to forget about buying anything but Sturdy Shields, and if you want, my rules also mention that each time it says "this shield is made with a steel shield" you can instead choose to replace the standard steel shield with a Sturdy Shield instead (replace the stats with those of the Study Shield chosen and add the Study Shield's cost to the item).

For example, you might decide to make a Moderately Sturdy Forge Warden. The Moderately Sturdy costs 1000 gp, and it costs 975 gp to add the Forge Warden ability to it. Total cost is now 1,975, but you now have a Forge Warden shield with Hardness 13, 104 HP, and 52 BT. When you combine that with the 1 HP per breach rule, that shield should last quite a long time!

Sovereign Court

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I wrote:

Ascalaphus wrote:

So there are only a few of these low-durability shields that actually need to use Shield Block to get their special effects. Meanwhile, I've seen a lot of people using shields just for the AC, with no real intention of using shield blocking.

So I think a good solution would be to tweak the stats of those two shields, by increasing either their hardness or their HP (but not both), so that they don't break too soon, but also don't intrude on the Sturdy Shield's niche.

And then people said:

Ubertron_X wrote:
If people (Monk, Barbarian etc) only want to carry a shield for AC and not to invest any further that is ok, however the current shield iteration is bad for people that want to invest, respecitively that have already been invested for due to class selection (Champion, Warpriest, Druid, Fighter). Having a class feature you will not be able to utilize properly unless you carry a bag of holdings worth of disposable shields simply feels bad.

And:

Draco18s wrote:
This thread is about Shield Block, so people who don't use Shield Block shouldn't really be a concern. I suspect that the reason they don't is because the hardness and HP values are so low as to be meaningless, so they've decided "that feature is not worth using, therefor I won't use it." And if that feature gets fixed they might start using it.

And I don't agree with that. Shield Block is a neat feat for some characters, not for others. Not all shields need to be designed for Shield Block users. The shield police isn't coming to arrest people for using a shield if they don't have the feat - it's not a decree from on high that only those classes should be using shields. Shields are really sensible things to carry if you don't want to be hit, and have the odd action to boost your AC.

If Shield Block is all you care about, grab a sturdy shield and move on. No other shield is/should ever be as good at simple blocking, because that's the only thing it's for.

Other shields don't all need to be good for blocking. If it does something else interesting, and can boost your AC, then it's perfect for people without Shield Block (or who want to spend their reaction on other things).

The only real offenders are the shields that have to be used to block for their magical function to really work. For those there are basically two remedies:

1) make those a bit sturdier, which will increase the span of levels where they work, or

2) allow you to hear the damage before you decide to put the shield in between

Now, #2 seems to be the designer intent, and they've murmured they might take another look at #1 at some point too.


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Samurai wrote:

Ok, for those that agree easily destructible shields are a problem, what do you think is the best solution?

Choice A) My current house rules that shields suffer 1 point of HP damage after being pierced. Shields can still be destroyed, but it takes longer for most of them (though a Druid's wooden shields still are quite weak).

Choice B) Those character's with Shield Block are able to block the shield's Hardness in damage once per turn as a reaction. The shield suffers no damage for doing so, but once it blocks damage the character no longer receives his shield bonus to AC until his next round (ie: next time he raises his shield.) You can pretty much ignore the shield's HP and BT except if someone is trying to melt it down or destroy it using downtime. Using this solution effectively gives shield users damage resistance once per round using their reaction.

Choice C) Use choice B above, but turn it into a Saving Throw contest between the attack roll and the attempted Block. The Defender's Shield Block requires a d20 roll to succeed. This could mean "Make a Reflex save vs the attack's roll to hit you in order to interpose your shield in time to prevent some damage".

Crit fail = no damage blocked, shield no longer raised this round
Fail = Block 1/2 the shield's Hardness, shield no longer raised this round
Success = Block the shield's Hardness, shield no longer raised this round
Crit Success = Block the shield's Hardness and you do not lose your Shield bonus against further attacks this round (your shield remains raised).

Choice D) As C above, but instead of a Reflex save, make it some other roll. It could be an attack roll, it could be d20 + level + armored Dex bonus + Unarmored (or best) Armor Proficiency bonus, it could be using your Class DC, or some other suggestion (please describe what you are thinking of if you choose D)

What about if the shield provides DR through hardness that it takes that amount of damage in HP? So a hardness 5 shield could prevent up to 5 damage but the shield will take up to 5 damage to it's HP.

This way you always know it won't take more than it's hardness in damage in a single blow, but it still makes the HP of the shield matter. It is also predictable enough damage where you don't need to know how much damage you are receiving before you choose to use it, but creates some opportunity where a hardness 5 shield with 4 HP left might be a risk you choose to take.


Ascalaphus wrote:
Other shields don't all need to be good for blocking.

This would be all well and good, except that we have pages of special material shields that are pretty much only defined by values that never come into play if you only use them for the +2 to AC.


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Getting back on topic: Until Paizo decides that they erred a bit too much on the side of caution when assigning shield harness and durability, can we agree that it is not only RAW, but also vital for a player to know the amount of damage *before* declaring a block, in order to get the most out of their class feature/feat investment?


Squiggit wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Just use a Sturdy Shield.
It's pretty clearly problematic though when Paizo publishes a dozen different types of shields and most of them end up being almost useless because only one category has proper scaling. Even the rare and "highly durable" adamantine shield is strictly a downgrade from sturdy.

I'm not saying other shields couldn't use a buff (though I think precious materials for special shields fixes most of this) but people are saying "however the current shield iteration is bad for people that want to invest, respecitively that have already been invested for due to class selection (Champion, Warpriest, Druid, Fighter). Having a class feature you will not be able to utilize properly unless you carry a bag of holdings worth of disposable shields simply feels bad."

Which simply isn't true if you use a Sturdy Shield. I've had a shield fighter in my group since the playtest began, and since converting to HP on shields for 2e I have yet to see him break his shield, much less have it destroyed or rendered disposable.

Are their issues? Sure. But saying an entire line of builds is invalid is exaggerating quite a bit.


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Captain Morgan wrote:
Which simply isn't true if you use a Sturdy Shield.

I think right there is the issue: the system for shields only works IF your shield is a Sturdy Shield and it's upgraded as high as possible. What do those builds do if they can't just BUY sturdy shields for the build to work?

So let me ask? What do you do with a non-sturdy shield you find? Is it of ANY use other than it's resale value? If then only shield worth using is Sturdy, then why isn't that the default shield that other enchants are built on especially if then require a block to work.


Goldryno wrote:
Also for the Forge Warden thats simply not true. I just went to a random level 10 enemy (I actually cherrypicked a bit because the first thing I picked was a brontosaurus which I though some might see as too much of a pushover compared to some other options)

Sorry, I was remembering based on another post I'd made. You're right, its minimum-to-break with a non-zero percent chance to destroy outright. Also assuming non-crit, but accounting for it is relatively insignificant.

Quote:

Fight a triceratops (moderate at Lv -2) and its average damage will break the shield in one hit (67% odds).

Fight a deinonychus (tough at Lv -1) and its minimum damage is only 3 points shy of breaking the shield (with a 10% chance of destroying it outright!)

The point is, just because Sturdy Shields are fine as written does not mean that ALL shields are fine.

Note that players can find level 10 items while level 10, but can purchase them when creating an 11th level character, so those "lv -x" values are assuming a level 10 character (and would be Lv-(x+1) for a newly made character; or Lv-(x+1) and Lv-(x+2) for Arrow Catching respectively).

(I also was looking at deinosuchus, not deinonychus, but you can understand my mistake there)


graystone wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Which simply isn't true if you use a Sturdy Shield.

I think right there is the issue: the system for shields only works IF your shield is a Sturdy Shield and it's upgraded as high as possible. What do those builds do if they can't just BUY sturdy shields for the build to work?

Same thing you do if you can't buy your large sized weapon for your barbarian or the right weapon group for your fighter: make it yourself. The shield character already has a good incentive to invest in Crafting for repairs. Might as well build some stuff with if.

Quote:

So let me ask? What do you do with a non-sturdy shield you find? Is it of ANY use other than it's resale value? If then only shield worth using is Sturdy, then why isn't that the default shield that other enchants are built on especially if then require a block to work.

Depends on the shield, but most of them retain solid uses. A Forgewarden and lion's shield might not block as much damage before breaking but they hurt the opponent in the process, unless you fight a fire based enemy at which point the Forgewarden provides you and your allies fire resistance. Spellguard shield and Dragonslayer shield provide substantial bonuses to saves. The Spined Shield is actually pretty great-- it can soak 30 more damage before the shield itself is damaged and functions as a solid ranged weapon for someone who doesn't want to juggle a bow.

Forceshield is ok for blocking, but the big thing is the once per day resistance 5. And you actually want to break a Nethysian Bulwark as it unleashes huge damage for doing so. Floating Shields literally can't block anyway. Really, the only shield I have trouble justifying using if I have it is the Arrow Catching Shield.

I'd love to find most of these shields, even if I didn't have shield block. I'd probably also want a Sturdy Shield as my workhorse if I'm gonna be blocking, but there's nothing wrong with carrying a some other shields for the right situation. Even if it is just using it for one fight and then shoving it back in the Bag of Holding for the day.


Captain Morgan wrote:
Same thing you do if you can't buy your large sized weapon for your barbarian or the right weapon group for your fighter: make it yourself. The shield character already has a good incentive to invest in Crafting for repairs. Might as well build some stuff with if.

And if your game doesn't have lots of downtime? Does your character only work then if the DM drops you specific sturdy shields? Secondly,even if you can make the shields you have to buy the formulas so it's a similar issue.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I'd love to find most of these shields, even if I didn't have shield block.

I can't say I've see the awesomeness you seem to see in non-sturdy shields. That and we're talking about shield blocking [people invested in blocking with a shield].

Forgewarden: every time I've seen it used, it broke from the attack it blocked. So it's like a damaging Talisman?

Lion's Shield: Great shield that you don't block with: as we're talking about not being able to block with non-sturdy shields...

Force Shield, Spellguard shield and Dragonslayer: Great if you don't block. Even if they are ok at blocking the level you get them they fall behind quickly as you level.

Nethysian Bulwark: this is a one use item really as 50 damage blows it up and at 16th that not hard to get.

Captain Morgan wrote:
there's nothing wrong with carrying a some other shields for the right situation.

I don't think there is anything wrong if that's what you want but I don't think it's ok if someone feels like they HAVE to do so. I'd need a crate of Forgewardens if I planned to use them in a consistent strategy.


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There's also the bevy of special material shields that are largely just kinda terrible.

A basic darkwood or mithril shield can be nice if you're worried about bulk, but there's essentially no reason to ever want to upgrade them because the scaling just isn't there.

A dragonhide shield would have some marginal advantage if you know you're going to be facing a specific type of elemental damage heavily, but again there's no real incentive to upgrade them, since they have blanket immunity to that element and their raw hardness and HP don't scale well at all.

Orichalcum sounds nice, but its advantage of being able to avoid breaking once a day is kind of undone by just how much softer it is than the sturdy shield and it doesn't provide any other benefit either.

Sovereign Court

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Captain Morgan wrote:


Which simply isn't true if you use a Sturdy Shield.

What about Druids? Their basic Anathema forbids them from using metal shields and armor, and Sturdy Shields specifically say they are a steel shield with higher Hardness:, meaning Druids can't just choose to use a sturdy shield. Their choices are a regular wooden Buckler or Wooden shield Hardness 3 each and only 6 or 12 HP), or find/make a Darkwood Shield (starts at Hardness 3, HP 12 for the bucker and goes as high as Hardness 8, HP 32 for a lvl 16 item. They would also be able to make/use a Dragonhide shield, starting at Hardness 2 and 8 HP for a level 8 item and going as high as Hardness 7, 28 HP for a level 16 item.

In short, the "just use Sturdy shields if you shield block" doesn't work for the Druids.


Squiggit wrote:

There's also the bevy of special material shields that are largely just kinda terrible.

A basic darkwood or mithril shield can be nice if you're worried about bulk, but there's essentially no reason to ever want to upgrade them because the scaling just isn't there.

A dragonhide shield would have some marginal advantage if you know you're going to be facing a specific type of elemental damage heavily, but again there's no real incentive to upgrade them, since they have blanket immunity to that element and their raw hardness and HP don't scale well at all.

Orichalcum sounds nice, but its advantage of being able to avoid breaking once a day is kind of undone by just how much softer it is than the sturdy shield and it doesn't provide any other benefit either.

This is more an issue with special materials than shields, IMO, since they don't actually give you any extra bang for your buck when you upgrade them aside from being able to hold more powerful runes. That's another rant for another time, though.

graystone wrote:
So let me ask? What do you do with a non-sturdy shield you find? Is it of ANY use other than it's resale value? If then only shield worth using is Sturdy, then why isn't that the default shield that other enchants are built on especially if then require a block to work.

That's the homebrew fix I favor, myself, turning the Sturdy enchantment into a kind of shield-specific rune.

I haven't actually played a game with a heavy shield user though, so aside from stating it as a preference if homebrew is needed I don't have much of a horse in this race.


Lycar wrote:
Getting back on topic: Until Paizo decides that they erred a bit too much on the side of caution when assigning shield harness and durability, can we agree that it is not only RAW, but also vital for a player to know the amount of damage * before * declaring a block, in order to get the most out of their class feature / feat investment?

Now don't make much difference to know or not.

If a player don't know the damage before block his / her can still try a knowledge check or if the foe have a weapon can do the choice based on it's weapon type or just wait the adversary to do some damage to take a idea.

Usually the main difference to choose if block or not based on damage knowledge is about 1 turn. Ex .: If a GM don't allow know the damage before block, a player have 5 Hardness shield just need to wait to see enemy damage roll before deciding to block the other attacks. So If see the a foe rolling a 1d6 + 4 in a attack a player with such shield hardness will probably never choose to block those attacks because his / her know that the attack will probably damage the shield.

So the main problem in this discussion is that. The mundane shield are so fragile (hardness 3 and BT 3 and 6 for bucklers and wooden shields respectively and hardness 5 BT 10 for steel shields) that even knowing the damage before don't make much difference in almost any non trivial encounter.

That's why I tried to do a similar solution like the Perpdepog's solution in my first homebrew rules for shields but instead of increase the shield HP initialy I divided the shield damage by level, but after some discussion with Samurai and rainzax (and have noticed that I misread the shield block rule ignoring that it can only block physical damage 😝) I have noticed that do this could slow to much the encounter rolls, so I changed the my rules completely in the end.

Now I'm separating shields damage from block reaction resurrecting the Sunder attacks as a weapon trait for heavy axes/hammers, this also creating a new interesting tactical options with shields now based on the attacker choice to sunder too and no more only in the defender choice in rise a shield (no more only in block reaction) in order to keep the shields destructible but not so fragile.

In the end I got excited that I continued to try to solve other shields problems, like removing Shield Block from general feats and improved the Shield cantrip to avoid the "tower shielded mages" problem* and I also created a Monk Sunder feat to allow monks to sunder shields and I took the opportunity to allow monks to force itens using martial arts like a karate fighter brokes things 🤜🏻.

*Tower Shielded Mages problem: When the players notice that the low AC casters like mage/sorcerer can just buy a tower shield and shield block feat to avoid damages creating strangely heavy shielded mages with a big +2AC shield (+4 if they use take cover) and also blocks the weak attacks just because we don't have arcane failure anymore, some time they just block even more than martial classes because even if shield broke they can still recover some shield AC with shield cantrip.


graystone wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
Same thing you do if you can't buy your large sized weapon for your barbarian or the right weapon group for your fighter: make it yourself. The shield character already has a good incentive to invest in Crafting for repairs. Might as well build some stuff with if.

And if your game doesn't have lots of downtime? Does your character only work then if the DM drops you specific sturdy shields? Secondly,even if you can make the shields you have to buy the formulas so it's a similar issue.

Captain Morgan wrote:
I'd love to find most of these shields, even if I didn't have shield block.

I can't say I've see the awesomeness you seem to see in non-sturdy shields. That and we're talking about shield blocking [people invested in blocking with a shield].

Forgewarden: every time I've seen it used, it broke from the attack it blocked. So it's like a damaging Talisman?

Lion's Shield: Great shield that you don't block with: as we're talking about not being able to block with non-sturdy shields...

Force Shield, Spellguard shield and Dragonslayer: Great if you don't block. Even if they are ok at blocking the level you get them they fall behind quickly as you level.

Nethysian Bulwark: this is a one use item really as 50 damage blows it up and at 16th that not hard to get.

Captain Morgan wrote:
there's nothing wrong with carrying a some other shields for the right situation.

I don't think there is anything wrong if that's what you want but I don't think it's ok if someone feels like they HAVE to do so. I'd need a crate of Forgewardens if I planned to use them in a consistent strategy.

Again, Sturdy shields aren't unique. If you play in a game where you don't find the right loot and you can't buy or craft it, you're in for a bad time. To pick the most basic example,imagine a game where you can't find a striking rune. PF2 also leans info giving people downtime though, as well as explicitly instructing GMs to alter treasure drops to their specific PCs.

And again, most of these shields provide great benefits if you don't use them to block, which are either good for their level (Spined and Lion) or continue to be relevant at higher levels (Spellguard and Dragonslayer.) It is like complaining that the range on throwing weapons is bad compared to bows. While true, they serve different purposes and throwing a trident or dagger is usually just a plan B to using them as a melee weapon.

And the nice thing about a shield that isn't exceptional for blocking is that any member of the party can utilize it.

Also, the Nethysian Bulwark is only one time use if you choose it to be. It has a 20 HP buffer between breaking and being destroyed. Just... Don't block with it if it would be destroyed. There's the odd chance it gets knocked to 21 HP and you won't have much margin to play with, but when you know the damage before you block you know when to switch to another shield.


Captain Morgan wrote:
but when you know the damage before you block you know when to switch to another shield.

What other shield would that be?

Quick, you're making a level 12 character and have the wealth by level listed in the book. Which permanent item slots are you spending on shields?


Captain Morgan wrote:
Again, Sturdy shields aren't unique. If you play in a game where you don't find the right loot and you can't buy or craft it, you're in for a bad time. To pick the most basic example,imagine a game where you can't find a striking rune.

That IMO is a bad faith example: we are talking about not getting a SPECIFIC item. An equivalent for weapons would be to say your build doesn't work unless you find a Dwarven Thrower or some similar specific weapon. Sturdy isn't the equivalent of a generic striking runes...

Captain Morgan wrote:
PF2 also leans info giving people downtime though, as well as explicitly instructing GMs to alter treasure drops to their specific PCs.

DM's vary. Also, it's not as explicit as you seem to think it is.

They talk about "adventures that have little downtime or that take place far from civilization". They suggest dropping "useful" items instead of cash or adding some traders: neither of these are saying to drop specific items in the parties laps.

"If the group goes a long time without being able to purchase or Craft useful items, the PCs will be flush with coins and valuables but behind on useful equipment. In a situation like this, you can either place more useful treasure in the adventure or introduce NPCs who are willing to trade." Nothing states the party get the exact items they want like sturdy shields or their formulas: as you seem to think all the shields are "useful", it could be any of the shields...

Captain Morgan wrote:
And again, most of these shields provide great benefits if you don't use them to block

And AGAIN we're talking about blocking and how it sucks so anything outside that is moot. It's as useful as telling me how useful a Staff of Healing is... It brings nothing to the table about the issue of blocking.

*look at thread title* you DO know we're talking about shield blocking right? Not shield holding or shield carrying...?


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Draco18s wrote:
Captain Morgan wrote:
but when you know the damage before you block you know when to switch to another shield.

What other shield would that be?

Quick, you're making a level 12 character and have the wealth by level listed in the book. Which permanent item slots are you spending on shields?

And how much money you need to do this? Have 2 magical shields is lot expensive not only in bulky but in money too. And switch shields in middle of a battle takes many actions and probably make you flat-footed and can activate an enemy opportunity attack, so to switch it safely you will probably need to waste a entire turn (if you are too close from an enemy, you need to take a step away from it (1 action), release your current shield (1 free action), take the new shield from your back (1 action), rise it (1 action)) and in situations where you are flanked you probably can't avoid the attack because is impossible to avoid the flanked enemies with a single step.

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Companion, Pawns Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Starfinder Charter Superscriber

Is it possible that the existence of the shield divine ally for champions is distorting the design space somewhat? Because a lot of shields, even ones that seem weirdly designed like the forge warden, become much more usable for blocking against on-level enemies if you give them +2 Hardness and +50% HP/BT.


Shisumo wrote:
Is it possible that the existence of the shield divine ally for champions is distorting the design space somewhat? Because a lot of shields, even ones that seem weirdly designed like the forge warden, become much more usable for blocking against on-level enemies if you give them +2 Hardness and +50% HP/BT.

I am not considering this ability as people other than the Paladin use shields and would want to block (mainly fighter).

However, if such a feature "fixes" shields, then here's a suggestion:

Increase all shield hardness by 2 and add 50% HP/BT. Except possibly the sturdy shield. I'd have to run the numbers.

Horizon Hunters

Shisumo wrote:
Is it possible that the existence of the shield divine ally for champions is distorting the design space somewhat? Because a lot of shields, even ones that seem weirdly designed like the forge warden, become much more usable for blocking against on-level enemies if you give them +2 Hardness and +50% HP/BT.

I was thinking of this too but didnt mention it because of how specific it was.

My biggest issue with all the proposed changes to Shield is yes it makes them usable more often and later into the game, so it solves that "problem". However, I am pretty concerned about the overall balance implications of being able to reliably mitigate damage as well as boost AC and gain some of these major benefits over and over. Especially since the enemy creature often has no opportunity to mitigate the effects.

Maybe it would not be a problem but perhaps it would make a level 1 General feat a lot stronger than intended. At any rate that is just a thought that keeps coming too mind.


Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber; Pathfinder Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

I have a custom feat for my players to select if they like. It's no help for society play of course, but I think it helps with issues people have identified. I don't recall if it is wholly my creation or something I modified from what someone else posted on this forum.

Quote:

Durable Shield

Champion 8, Fighter 12
Add your armor proficiency level to your shield’s hardness (+2 for Trained, +4 for Expert, +6 for Master, +8 for Legendary). Your shield’s HP and BT are not changed. This stacks with Shield Ally.

The Age of Ashes AP has an item that I don't think anyone has mentioned in this thread yet. It seems to be a decent enough item, especially if the GM is kind about the shield being destroyed not negating its magic.

Age of Ashes item spoiler:
REFORGING SHIELD ITEM 15
RARE ABJURATION MAGICAL
Price 6,000 gp
Usage held in 1 hand; Bulk 1
This steel shield contains a smoldering core of magma that never cools. Whenever the reforging shield’s current Hit Points are below its Break Threshold, the shield recovers 5 Hit Points at the start of its wielder’s turn each round until it is no longer broken. Each time a character Repairs the shield, the shield recovers double the number of Hit Points. The shield has Hardness 15, HP 120, and BT 60


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Fumarole wrote:

REFORGING SHIELD ITEM 15

RARE ABJURATION MAGICAL

Neat, for sure, but that rare tag basically makes it unobtainable. The game basically considers it as powerful and inaccessible as Wish (which it objectively is not).

I'd have to check those durability stats against the core shields to see how it stacks up, but off hand it looks to be on par with the sturdy shield.


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Reforging shield has identical stats to the level 13 version of the sturdy shield.


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Squiggit wrote:
Reforging shield has identical stats to the level 13 version of the sturdy shield.

Cool, thanks for pulling that up. So yeah, as a level 15 item it's a "little more powerful" than the level 13 sturdy (because of the auto-repair), which slots in at about what I expected for that ability.

This very easily could have been a general shield enchantment. "Recovers half* hardness per round when below BT."

*arbitrary multiplier is arbitrary. Actual stats of the item are a third, but the game likes to use "half" as a multiplier more often.

Sovereign Court

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So to collect a few things -

Shield Block works fairly well if you know the damage before deciding whether to block. That at least lets you decide whether you want to block a blow that would break or destroy the shield. Circumstantial evidence points to this being the designer intent.

It may offend some peoples' sense of plausibility, but I think we've also been able to swallow other practical implausibilities. For example, a barbarian with 1 HP left hits just as hard as one that's still got 100. The 1HP one isn't collapsing from the pain or anything. Playing a "death spiral" wounding system wouldn't really be fun in Pathfinder, so we sacrifice some realism for a game that runs better.

This still leaves some shields badly off, the ones that need to be used for blocking to use their key powers. Main examples being Forge Warden and Arrow-Cathing. The best solution for these is bumping those specific shields' hardness or HP in the next errata/CRB reprint.

Characters without Shield Block don't care all that much about hardness/HP For example a ranger with a Spellguard shield that he uses with Twin Takedown as his first Strike. Or a wizard who prefers the +2 AC from a real shield over the +1 and some damage absorption of a cantrip.

Characters who lean on Reactive Shield also don't care so much because they've already used up their reaction to raise the shield. Example: a monk who takes Lastwall Sentry dedication to get Reactive Shield and optimize his action economy. Or a fighter who took Reactive Shield + Double Slice, but doesn't often have the actions available to Raise it as a regular action, because he also has to Stride to get to enemies.

Since there are enough plausible use cases for non-blocking shields, it's fine that not all shields are highly durable. Follows from the previous two points. If you're not intending to block, then a lot of the CRB shields work just fine.

Druids have a problem because the Sturdy shield is metallic They got left in the cold. Best solution is to add a new magic shield that's explicitly druid-friendly, and is also fairly durable, but in a different way than the sturdy shield. That way the metal armor restriction remains meaningful (can't use a sturdy shield), but the class feature is still useful. Possible idea: a living wood shield that has about 80% of the hardness and HP of a sturdy shield, but regenerates all damage (even when destroyed) in 10 minutes unless it's actually burnt down.


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Ascalaphus wrote:

So to collect a few things -

Shield Block works fairly well if you know the damage before deciding whether to block.

Well, it does for sturdy shields. Less so for others as there isn't any scaling.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Characters without Shield Block don't care all that much about hardness/HP

Was this ever a question? A shield that never takes damage doesn't have to worry about hp.

Ascalaphus wrote:
Since there are enough plausible use cases for non-blocking shields, it's fine that not all shields are highly durable.

I think that most shields should function as a shield for all purposes. It'd be fine is some weren't good for blocking but it's actually the reverse.

Druids have a problem because the Sturdy shield is metallic

This can be fixed quite easily by removing "steel" from the sturdy description: the Hardness, HP, and BT clearly aren't from materials so IMO it could be made out of paper and make sense. It'd be silly, IMO, to make a specific shield just for druids that does the same thing but with a little less stats. Why take up space for a 'stout' wood shield that's the same as a sturdy shield with -2 hardness, -10 hp and -5 BT*...

*made up numbers, not thought out ones.


Ascalaphus wrote:

So to collect a few things -

Shield Block works fairly well if you know the damage before deciding whether to block. That at least lets you decide whether you want to block a blow that would break or destroy the shield. Circumstantial evidence points to this being the designer intent.

It may offend some peoples' sense of plausibility, but I think we've also been able to swallow other practical implausibilities. For example, a barbarian with 1 HP left hits just as hard as one that's still got 100. The 1HP one isn't collapsing from the pain or anything. Playing a "death spiral" wounding system wouldn't really be fun in Pathfinder, so we sacrifice some realism for a game that runs better.

Thank you! This should really answer the original question of this thread.

Also, nice summary.


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Lycar wrote:
Ascalaphus wrote:

So to collect a few things -

Shield Block works fairly well if you know the damage before deciding whether to block. That at least lets you decide whether you want to block a blow that would break or destroy the shield. Circumstantial evidence points to this being the designer intent.

It may offend some peoples' sense of plausibility, but I think we've also been able to swallow other practical implausibilities. For example, a barbarian with 1 HP left hits just as hard as one that's still got 100. The 1HP one isn't collapsing from the pain or anything. Playing a "death spiral" wounding system wouldn't really be fun in Pathfinder, so we sacrifice some realism for a game that runs better.

Thank you! This should really answer the original question of this thread.

Also, nice summary.

That is, the shields will never break (except in cases of extreme extremity), they will only be useless to block when opponents start to appear that cause a minimum damage equal to hardness.


Fumarole wrote:

The Age of Ashes AP has an item that I don't think anyone has mentioned in this thread yet. It seems to be a decent enough item, especially if the GM is kind about the shield being destroyed not negating its magic.

** spoiler omitted **

There's also the Fortifying Pebble of the Lost Omens Character Guide (page 110).

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