Phalanx Soldier and Bucklers


Rules Questions

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https://aonprd.com/ArchetypeDisplay.aspx?FixedName=Fighter%20Phalanx%20Sold ier

I was wondering if the Phalanx Fighter ability of the Phalanx Soldier works with a buckler.

My second question is if it does count as being wielded, if you do something else with that hand while wielding it, does it stop being wielded and thus mean that you can't hold a polearm with one hand anymore?


Phalanx Fighting (Ex): At 3rd level, when a phalanx soldier wields a shield, he can use any polearm or spear of his size as a one-handed weapon.

Bucklers generally aren't wielded in PF mechanics, they're worn instead. So probably not, barring the odd feat (upsetting shield style IIRC) or other ability that lets you wield a buckler as a weapon.


I disagree avr. Bucklers are worn the same way that light/heacy shields are. In this case it's referring to the use of the buckler - if you're getting an AC bonus from it then it's "wielded" (althought I agree they could probably have chosen a better word).

Regarding the second question, again I'd say if you lose the AC bonus because you're doing something else with the shield then you'd lose the benefits of Phalanx Fighting.


Light/heavy shields are wielded - you can make attacks with them. I think there is a difference there.


It's certainly not in the spirit of the Phalanx Soldier, who actually had large shields. You can standardly use a buckler and spear.


I understand that distinction, but I don't think it's meaningful here.

There have been a few threads talking about the word "wield" and I don't think any came to any definitive conclusions. This is an ability talking about shields being wielded as shields so the ability tonattack shouldn't be as important as the ability to defend.

I do think my previous answer to question 2 probably wasn't quite right though. If you were to shield bash with a heavy shield WITHOUT the Improved shield bash feat (thus losing your AC bonus) I don't think you'd lose this ability. As long as you're using the shield as a shield it should work - whether defending or attacking. If you were to use a two-handed weapon with a buckler (losing the buckler's AC bonus) you wouldn't get the benefits (although I guess you wouldn't need them).


Phalanx Soldiers can use Pole Arms with Heavy Shields. I don't see why they couldn't use them with Bucklers.

Phalanx Fighting wrote:
At 3rd level, when a phalanx soldier wields a shield, he can use any polearm or spear of his size as a one-handed weapon.

A Buckler is a Shield.

Roto wrote:
if you do something else with that hand while wielding it, does it stop being wielded and thus mean that you can't hold a polearm with one hand anymore?

I'm not sure where you are going with this. The Pole Arm becomes a 1 handed weapon. The other hand is holding the Shield.

Generally, it is a Free Action to remove a hand from a 2 handed weapon to do something else. There's an FAQ about this. I'd say if your fighter wanted to scratch his nose with his shield hand during the round, it should be a Free Action.

You are talking about a Buckler, though. There are rules that allow you to hold weapons with the same hand you are using a Buckler with.

If you are talking about a 3 or 4 handed Phalanx Soldier, say via a dip in Alchemist, you could do something like 2 weapon fight with Lecuerne Hammer and Short Sword, while also using a Shield.


I don't see any reason why the archetype wouldn't work with a buckler, excluding the shield ally and deft shield abilities. Heck, the irresistible advance ability has a specific entry for bucklers.

The second question is pretty interesting. I don't think bucklers are considered an "empty" hand. Instead the buckler has some specific things you can do with that hand. I think that if you are doing something with that hand that would cause you to loose the AC bonus, you would loose the ability to fight with a polearm one handed as well. Although, I think if the character had the feat that allowed them to bash with a buckler, I might allow that to work with the phalanx fighting ability. But this is all my interpretation, the rules are pretty vague in this case.

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Joey Cote wrote:
The second question is pretty interesting. I don't think bucklers are considered an "empty" hand. Instead the buckler has some specific things you can do with that hand. I think that if you are doing something with that hand that would cause you to loose the AC bonus, you would loose the ability to fight with a polearm one handed as well. Although, I think if the character had the feat that allowed them to bash with a buckler, I might allow that to work with the phalanx fighting ability. But this is all my interpretation, the rules are pretty vague in this case.

I guess my concern is that if I do something to would remove the AC bonus of the buckler, does it still count as wielding it for the purposes of being able to wield the polearm one handed.


Probably not.

What are you planning on doing with your buckler?

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MrCharisma wrote:

Probably not.

What are you planning on doing with your buckler?

Spell Combat (Ex): At 1st level, a magus learns to cast spells and wield his weapons at the same time. This functions much like two-weapon fighting, but the off-hand weapon is a spell that is being cast. To use this ability, the magus must have one hand free (even if the spell being cast does not have somatic components), while wielding a light or one-handed melee weapon in the other hand. As a full-round action, he can make all of his attacks with his melee weapon at a –2 penalty and can also cast any spell from the magus spell list with a casting time of 1 standard action (any attack roll made as part of this spell also takes this penalty). If he casts this spell defensively, he can decide to take an additional penalty on his attack rolls, up to his Intelligence bonus, and add the same amount as a circumstance bonus on his concentration check. If the check fails, the spell is wasted, but the attacks still take the penalty. A magus can choose to cast the spell first or make the weapon attacks first, but if he has more than one attack, he cannot cast the spell between weapon attacks.


It has a bad feel to it. You might want to check out the skirnir magus archetype. But if you want a similar effect, just use spell combat to cast longarm with a regular weapon on the first round.


Yeah I assume that won't work.

I assume you don't care about the shield bonus and are just trying to get Spell Combat with a reach weapon?

Skirnir can use a shield, Mindblade gets the ability to Spell Combat with a 2-handed weapon without penalty at level 13. Or you could go with a whip.


Magi don't have any ability to use spells+shields. Bucklers impose a 5% Arcane Spell Failure chance, so Mithril Buckler?

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