Sturdy Shield good for the game?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Staffan Johansson wrote:


Aggressive Block is a 2nd level feat. It looks really useful - I get to reduce the incoming damage AND push the enemy away so they need to move to make a second attack? Sweet! If I'm a fighter and I take that feat, I would expect to get as much fun out of it as a brute using Brutal Shove, a one-hander using Dueling Parry, or a scary dude using Intimidating Strike. But given that shields are made of cardboard and Shield Block is meant as a sometimes food, I can't. That's a pretty big disconnect.

Aggressive block is on the enemy, so while it could have some use, it's definitely all about positioning. And position costs.

Apart from that, you have a choice among shields.

Really, there's no point in being at a store and complaining that you find yourself forcing take a shield made for tanking instead a shield which gives utilities against spells, or a dragon's breath.

To list some comps

+2 ac and +2 vs spells

+2 ac and free hands ( all maneuvers available, combat climbing, grab an edge )

+2 ac while dualwielding with a parry weapon ( agile weapon, eventually finesse weapon )

+2 ac and shield block chance

There are plenty of difference.

What you want is mixing utility stuff from shield with the possibility to being able to block some blows.

While all encounters tend to last 4 max 5 rounds.
Being able to block 2 blows with a non sturdy shield would be predenting to exploit an already balancing system imo.


Just bring back shield proficiency along the Shield Block feat and the issue is quickly settled. Only those trained in shields will have the decision in between special effects or damage resistance, all others GTFO of shields please.

Alternatively let all classes that come with Shield Block as a class feature opt out of it, chosing a different general feat instead, because I don't want to have a feat "priced" into my class starting kit that I will more often than not never be able to use. Toughness works every time all the time, and will have the same or better effect than a single block with any non-sturdy shield by level 6.


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The current system is unsatisfying because it is so unintuitive - it does not let people use shields as they feel is natural.

Not because it is unbalanced.

Therefore I suggest the solution is best accomplished by reskinning rather than changing the mechanics.

Imagine non-sturdy shields are instead icons, relics or somesuch. You hold it in one hand and present it to the monster to ward off attack.

The mechanics remain identical. Yet, the imagery instantly changes. Should you block with a cross, or a small painting of the madonna, you will find it much more natural it will irreparably break, so you won't find it strange that you aren't blocking with it.

If you want to block with your item, you grab a shield, a sturdy one, instead.


HumbleGamer wrote:
The major issue I happened to see is that many people ( leaving apart playing metagame by running shields with any character which is not a champion or fighter ) doesn't really catch that

How the hell is running Shields on non-Fighter/Champions playing metagame? You know Druids and Warpriests get Shield Block as a baseline, right? And that Paizo purposefuly made so every class can have a shield if they want, compared to the Playtest where they required training?

Also, I really don't recommend using the term "playing metagame" in the videogame sense if you are in a TTRPG forum. The word has a completely different meaning in this context and people are gonna be even more confused about what you're trying to say.


dmerceless wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
The major issue I happened to see is that many people ( leaving apart playing metagame by running shields with any character which is not a champion or fighter ) doesn't really catch that

How the hell is running Shields on non-Fighter/Champions playing metagame? You know Druids and Warpriests get Shield Block as a baseline, right? And that Paizo purposefuly made so every class can have a shield if they want, compared to the Playtest where they required training?

Also, I really don't recommend using the term "playing metagame" in the videogame sense if you are in a TTRPG forum. The word has a completely different meaning in this context and people are gonna be even more confused about what you're trying to say.

Yaeh right, I should have said PowerPlaying.

My Bad.

however, the fact there is a possibility doesn't meat the choice is somehow right ( you can take the shield block free feat! good! )

Currently we could see any class using shields because of shieldblock, but, and here I talk fro myself, seeing classes like

- Wizards
- Rangers
- Rogues
- Bards
- Sorcerers
- Monks
- Alchemists

wearing a shield, is simply off ( they are going against the class by taking op mechanics. PP. )

Also other classes which use shields

- Barbarians
- Druids
- Clerics ( unless warpriest, maybe )

Are not the kind of class which have to absorb damage from a big hit by using their shield ( while it's ok having them to deflect, by increasing their AC ).

Or else, we will be seeing everybody with a sturdy shield with shieldblock reaction, because it is the probably the strongest thing they could use ( not to say that many casters doesn't even have a reaction they can use during all of their turns. Or not strong enough to compete like a shieldblock, which only takes a general feat ).

However everybody plays the game he likes, but as for me I try not to accept abominations ( like shield casters or full shieldblock party ).


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HumbleGamer wrote:
Wearing a shield, is simply off ( they are going against the class by taking op mechanics. PP.

Is the image a bit weird for a lot of these classes? In some situations, yes, but if someone wants to make a character that uses those, then what's the matter? I've used an Abjuration Wizard with a shield in previous games where shields weren't even that good; sometimes you just want to make something different and I think it's good that the game allows that. Plus, not having both hands free has turned out to be much more of a hassle in the games I've played than people take it for.

Also, Rangers and Monks? A Ranger is still a kind of warrior, and there are a bunch of eastern martial arts styles that use weapon + shield. Some even use just a shield and nothing else. Why the hell would using a shield on these characters be "going against the class"?

HumbleGamer wrote:
Or else, we will be seeing everybody with a sturdy shield with shieldblock reaction, because it is the probably the strongest thing they could use ( not to say that many casters doesn't even have a reaction they can use during all of their turns. Or not strong enough to compete like a shieldblock, which only takes a general feat ).

I don't really understand what's your point here, exactly. People can do that already, it just takes one General Feat and the gold for Sturdy Shield (which isn't even that significant for Spellcasters, who need less gold to be effective). I'm... really not seeing everybody getting Shield Block on Wizards. In fact, I think I've only ever seen one non-Fighter/Champion/Warpriest/Druid taking Shield Block, and it was a Temple Sword + Shield Monk.

The only difference the thing we're arguing for here would make, is that the people who do get Shield Block would have more options to choose from instead of the one boring shield that blocks things. They can get a Sturdy Shield whenever they want already, that wouldn't change anything in this regard.


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Shields are amazing for casters without pets (two actions being the norm) for monks (flurry of blow action efficiency), for animal barbarians (free hands).

If your not going to bother with shield block then shields are just a useful action to do when you have a spare action and hand especially with a spell-ward shield.

My issue with shields is that the rewards for specialization particularly when it comes to class feats is pretty lackluster. Especially compared to competing forms dueling and duel wielding.


dmerceless wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Wearing a shield, is simply off ( they are going against the class by taking op mechanics. PP.

Is the image a bit weird for a lot of these classes? In some situations, yes, but if someone wants to make a character that uses those, then what's the matter? I've used an Abjuration Wizard with a shield in previous games where shields weren't even that good; sometimes you just want to make something different and I think it's good that the game allows that. Plus, not having both hands free has turned out to be much more of a hassle in the games I've played than people take it for.

Also, Rangers and Monks? A Ranger is still a kind of warrior, and there are a bunch of eastern martial arts styles that use weapon + shield. Some even use just a shield and nothing else. Why the hell would using a shield on these characters be "going against the class"?

HumbleGamer wrote:
Or else, we will be seeing everybody with a sturdy shield with shieldblock reaction, because it is the probably the strongest thing they could use ( not to say that many casters doesn't even have a reaction they can use during all of their turns. Or not strong enough to compete like a shieldblock, which only takes a general feat ).

I don't really understand what's your point here, exactly. People can do that already, it just takes one General Feat and the gold for Sturdy Shield (which isn't even that significant for Spellcasters, who need less gold to be effective). I'm... really not seeing everybody getting Shield Block on Wizards. In fact, I think I've only ever seen one non-Fighter/Champion/Warpriest/Druid taking Shield Block, and it was a Temple Sword + Shield Monk.

The only difference the thing we're arguing for here would make, is that the people who do get Shield Block would have more options to choose from instead of the one boring shield that blocks things. They can get a Sturdy Shield whenever they want already, that wouldn't change anything in this regard.

My point is simply that even given freedom of choice, some archetipes are abominations.

You want to allow and play with them or having them in your party?
Be my guest. I simply don't even considerate stuff like that. Perdiod.

If we leave RP apart it is logic to think that every reasonable person will use the stuff that will allow him the possibility to survive the best, for example in a dungeon scenario, and everybody will go with a shield, with the possibility to raise it ( since the last action is probably not useful in many situations ) and use the shield block reaction.

But in terms of roleplay you won't see a wizard or a ranger stay in front of a troll and Absorbing the damage with a shield.

A wizard won't use a shield, while a ranger, if using a shield, will use it to deflect the troll attack through the AC. That's what I think.

The problem here is people seem not to be able to understand that raising a shield means defend themselves with it. Absorbing a blow is something different.

For the last part, to make it clear, we have a specific scenario.

1) A combat which lasts from 4 to 5 rounds.
2) Involving from 3 to 5 characters and X enemies
3) A sturdy shield will probably allow a character to block from 2 to 3 times ( since enemies will die, and they won't necessarily hit, or even target, that character too much ), which means 3 rounds out of 5

If a sturdy shield allows you to block from 2 to 3 times before reaching the broken threesold, and a non sturdy ( which exclude obviously the regenerating shield and the indestructible one too ) to barely absorb 1, or to decide if to trade the +2 AC in exchange of lowering damage, what would be the number of hit a magic non sturdy shield should be able to absorb?

If you can even abosrbo 1/2 of the sturdy shields capacity, which is 1 blow and half, it would be the main choice for almost any character.

Quote:
There won't be then any choice nor balance, since being able to absorb 1 hit while granting passive bonuses would be overall the best choice.

That's, imo, what people seems not to understand ( reading the forums ).

Feel free to provide a fix which won't let all of this balance ( what i pointed out before ) disappear, because the only thing i can think of is a personal progression for the shield to make it broken after any average hit from a monster of the same level.


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It honestly sounds absurd to me to complain about "going against class".

Pathfinder is a game that is based on the concept of diversity, experimentation, and sometimes just weird gimmicks. Where is the talk of Shields going against class comes from? Even in PF1 it wasn't hard for a Wizards (Arcane casters) to get a Shield all it took was a couple of feats, 1 spells, or a shield made for casters. Divine casters didnt even need to worry, their only concern was having enough free hands, which was solved with a feat.

Heck, one of the best classes for a Sword and Board character was a Ranger/Slayer because of their ability to skip pre-reqs. There were few ways to get Shield Master faster than being a Ranger.

So what is this talk about wanting options other than Sturdy Shield being "Power Playing"? Do you even know the meaning of that? Because "Power Playing" is when someone takes control of another player's character: That has nothing to do with wanting more blocking shield options. I am honestly stunned that type of retoric would show up at this point.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Feel free to provide a fix which won't let all of this balance ( what i pointed out before ) disappear, because the only thing i can think of is a personal progression for the shield to make it broken after any average hit from a monster of the same level.

I'm not sure the balance exists in the first place, since Wizards can go around blocking with Sturdy Shields already.

But let's assume shield blocking is too good if they don't break, and that we're making up new rules. How about:

Rule 1: Shields have double or triple HP or whatever.
Rule 2: To make a successful Shield Block, you have to make an attack roll with your shield equal or higher than the attack roll of the attack you're trying to block.

This means (a) shields do not break all the time, (b) someone can safely use a non-sturdy shield to block with, (c) shield blocking as a strategy is not overpowered as it uses an action and is not guaranteed to work.

Or:
Shields cannot be destroyed while blocking with them, only rendered unusable until after the battle.

Or:
A feat that causes all shields you use to take much less damage. This makes it too high an opportunity cost for a non-shield-focused character.


Temperans wrote:

It honestly sounds absurd to me to complain about "going against class".

Pathfinder is a game that is based on the concept of diversity, experimentation, and sometimes just weird gimmicks. Where is the talk of Shields going against class comes from? Even in PF1 it wasn't hard for a Wizards (Arcane casters) to get a Shield all it took was a couple of feats, 1 spells, or a shield made for casters. Divine casters didnt even need to worry, their only concern was having enough free hands, which was solved with a feat.

Heck, one of the best classes for a Sword and Board character was a Ranger/Slayer because of their ability to skip pre-reqs. There were few ways to get Shield Master faster than being a Ranger.

So what is this talk about wanting options other than Sturdy Shield being "Power Playing"? Do you even know the meaning of that? Because "Power Playing" is when someone takes control of another player's character: That has nothing to do with wanting more blocking shield options. I am honestly stunned that type of retoric would show up at this point.

Everybody is free to play the way they want.

I didn't mean to offend or modify anybody point of view.

What I wanted to point out is that while one the one hand we have mechanics which give us a large amount of customization, it's true that on the other hands some archetypes could be abominations, or simply strange ( like shield casters or shield monk ).

If i find strange to see, let's take your example over here, a ranger directly taking a heavy blow and absorbing it with his shield, let it be. It's like you are fine with it.

You have a strange definition of power playing, which means make a use of the knowledge let's say out of context, to have an advantage, even if it doens't fit your character.

To make you some examples:

- Every character using a flickmace as 1h weapon, simply because it's the best 1h weapon.

- Every characterusing a shield even if it doesn't fit his class, simply because it provides the best benefits.

- Taking adopted ancestries, or even ancestry/heritage, for the bonuses instead of roleplay choices.

And so on.


HumbleGamer wrote:
Temperans wrote:

It honestly sounds absurd to me to complain about "going against class".

Pathfinder is a game that is based on the concept of diversity, experimentation, and sometimes just weird gimmicks. Where is the talk of Shields going against class comes from? Even in PF1 it wasn't hard for a Wizards (Arcane casters) to get a Shield all it took was a couple of feats, 1 spells, or a shield made for casters. Divine casters didnt even need to worry, their only concern was having enough free hands, which was solved with a feat.

Heck, one of the best classes for a Sword and Board character was a Ranger/Slayer because of their ability to skip pre-reqs. There were few ways to get Shield Master faster than being a Ranger.

So what is this talk about wanting options other than Sturdy Shield being "Power Playing"? Do you even know the meaning of that? Because "Power Playing" is when someone takes control of another player's character: That has nothing to do with wanting more blocking shield options. I am honestly stunned that type of retoric would show up at this point.

Everybody is free to play the way they want.

I didn't mean to offend or modify anybody point of view.

What I wanted to point out is that while one the one hand we have mechanics which give us a large amount of customization, it's true that on the other hands some archetypes could be abominations, or simply strange ( like shield casters or shield monk ).

If i find strange to see, let's take your example over here, a ranger directly taking a heavy blow and absorbing it with his shield, let it be. It's like you are fine with it.

You have a strange definition of power playing, which means make a use of the knowledge let's say out of context, to have an advantage, even if it doens't fit your character.

To make you some examples:

- Every character using a flickmace as 1h weapon, simply because it's the best 1h weapon.

- Every characterusing a shield even if it doesn't fit his class, simply because it provides the...

I take it as a rule of thumb that in world people have noticed the incredible might of the flickmace and they are surprising common among adventurers.

Ranger taking hits is par of the course there nature fighters and can do slugging matches as well as the next man.

Shields are really helpful for not dying so people who who do not wish to die in melee combat but expect to be caught up in melee combat make use of them if they can, the same way a wizard might carry a staff or a dagger but not want to use them.


Power Playing
powerplay

You are mixing up the terms.

In any case wanting shields for blocking has nothing to do with the concept of metagame or powerplay. Those concept come about because of devs failing to provide a proper balance.

And you know what the current metagame is? Anyone who wants to block needs, not can or may needs to get a sturdy shield. That fact is, that only changes when Reforging Shields (a level 15 rare item not available in PFS) and Indestructible Shield (a level 18 rare item) become available is that people who use specialize in Shield Block have any option. They need to wait 11 levels to have the earlist option that is not a sturdy shield, and the game literally tells us dont even try to plan around it.

rare rarity wrote:
A rare feat, spell, item or the like is available to players only if the GM decides to include it in the game, typically through discovery during play.

So yes Sturdy Shields are the only choice. Anyone can get them at this point. Getting more shields that womt break on a single hit wont break the game more than Sturdy Shields being the only option does.

*****************

* P.S. Rangers used to be one of the best classes for Sword and Board. So I dont know why you are treating them as a group who doesn't know how to use a shield.


Matthew Downie wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Feel free to provide a fix which won't let all of this balance ( what i pointed out before ) disappear, because the only thing i can think of is a personal progression for the shield to make it broken after any average hit from a monster of the same level.

I'm not sure the balance exists in the first place, since Wizards can go around blocking with Sturdy Shields already.

But let's assume shield blocking is too good if they don't break, and that we're making up new rules. How about:

Rule 1: Shields have double or triple HP or whatever.
Rule 2: To make a successful Shield Block, you have to make an attack roll with your shield equal or higher than the attack roll of the attack you're trying to block.

This means (a) shields do not break all the time, (b) someone can safely use a non-sturdy shield to block with, (c) shield blocking as a strategy is not overpowered as it uses an action and is not guaranteed to work.

Or:
Shields cannot be destroyed while blocking with them, only rendered unusable until after the battle.

Or:
A feat that causes all shields you use to take much less damage. This makes it too high an opportunity cost for a non-shield-focused character.

I think we need first an Hypothetical to work with.

I'd say we can start by low levels and see how it proceeds the more we gain levels.

Something like:

a) Lvl 7 characters ( The level I guess those shields would be available. I used the Sturdy Minor because the lesse was lvl 7, and characters hardly find an item of their lvl. They are likely to find a slightly lower level item )
b) Sturdy Shield (Minor-L4) (hardness 8, HP 64, BT 32)
c) Spellguard Shield (L6) (Hardness 6, HP 24, BT 12)

Is this a reasonable scenario?
If, we have then to decide 5 monsters

- lvl 5 Basilisk ( 2d8+4 piercing ) Average DMG: 14
- lvl 6 Cave Bear ( 2d10+6 piercing ) Average DMG: 18
- lvl 7 Hill Giant ( 1d10+14 bludgeoning ) Average DMG: 20
- lvl 8 Chimera ( 2d6+9 piercing + 2d6 ) Average DMG: 25
- lvl 9 Efreti ( 2d6+11 slashing + 2d6 ) Average DMG: 27

to see the average damage.

More or less ( there are exceptions ) we can see a progression the more we proceed levelling.

With double HP, a spellguard shield could withstand an average lvl 9 hit without go under the BT. Imho this shouldn't happen ( but maybe the double HP shield could be available later in the game. Let's see, around lvl 9-10 ).

Something like

Spellguard Shield ( enhanced )(L10 Item): (Hardness 6, HP 48, BT 24)
Could do, I guess.

I'd personally avoid to complicate the game with extra roll, so instead of the Rule 2 i'd stick with the one ( or at least, to work around shields ).

Not sure, but probably would be better to create a specific topic to discuss scenario per scenario instead of using this one.


Temperans wrote:

Power Playing

powerplay

You are mixing up the terms.

In any case wanting shields for blocking has nothing to do with the concept of metagame or powerplay. Those concept come about because of devs failing to provide a proper balance.

And you know what the current metagame is? Anyone who wants to block needs, not can or may needs to get a sturdy shield. That fact is, that only changes when Reforging Shields (a level 15 rare item not available in PFS) and Indestructible Shield (a level 18 rare item) become available is that people who use specialize in Shield Block have any option. They need to wait 11 levels to have the earlist option that is not a sturdy shield, and the game literally tells us dont even try to plan around it.

rare rarity wrote:
A rare feat, spell, item or the like is available to players only if the GM decides to include it in the game, typically through discovery during play.

So yes Sturdy Shields are the only choice. Anyone can get them at this point. Getting more shields that womt break on a single hit wont break the game more than Sturdy Shields being the only option does.

*****************

* P.S. Rangers used to be one of the best classes for Sword and Board. So I dont know why you are treating them as a group who doesn't know how to use a shield.

When you call somebody a powerplayer you referr to him as somebody who min max without thinking about the character in terms of roleplay. I never used the powerplaying the way you linked ( and you can tell a friend of yours "please don't powerplay and make a more realistic character".

Apart from that, the meta is not sturdy shield block.

You are an adventurer and want a shield who is made for taking blows, so you choose among all those shield the sturdy. End.

You are simply been given no customizations among sturdy shields, but you are among shields.

You want to complain that you don't have choice in terms of shields which gives bonus to spells? Because you know, spellguard shield is the only one.

And please realize that there is balance in forgo a +2 vs spells for being able to block and absorb some damage from attacks by trading a reaction. And it's pretty balanced!

PS: as for ranger I already told you that using a shield to increase armor counts as using a shield to mitigate damage.

AC with shield = 22
Enemy roll a 21 = you can dodge, or even deflect with the shield, because the extra 2 armor which saved you from being hit comes through the raise shield action. So you used your shield to prevent being hit. Even as a hunter.

What I was referring to is that a i find more reasonable to think of a fighter or a champion which stand the blow by absorbing part of the damage through shield block.

But in the end, both characters ( ranger and champion/fighter ) use shields to prevent damage.


siegfriedliner wrote:
My issue with shields is that the rewards for specialization particularly when it comes to class feats is pretty lackluster. Especially compared to competing forms dueling and duel wielding.

I seriously couldn't disagree more that specializing in Shields is unrewarding. Its a solid piece of the puzzle that is providing damage mitigation and control for your group - not everyone needs to be dealing damage, and incoming damage is such that someone needs to be considering it.

Shields don't win fights on their own, but a shield specialist is an enabler for the party to succeed.

If you want to play without a healer, some sort of defensive specialist becomes close to necessary.

But like a lot of things in PF2E, how 'rewarding' something is is relative to your parties composition and its ability to capitalize on it. One shield specialist is great, assuming that you're part of a machine that wins fights.


siegfriedliner wrote:

I take it as a rule of thumb that in world people have noticed the incredible might of the flickmace and they are surprising common among adventurers.

Ranger taking hits is par of the course there nature fighters and can do slugging matches as well as the next man.

Shields are really helpful for not dying so people who who do not wish to die in melee combat but expect to be caught up in melee combat make use of them if they can, the same way a wizard might carry a staff or a dagger but not want to use them.

I do agree in terms of logic.

If you find a weapon which allows you to fight better, why shouldn't you use it?

The only issue comes in terms of roleplay imho.
It can happen to see a not gnome character to use a flickmace.

It would be unusual but hey, it's the adventurers!
They are the heroes so it's ok for a hero to be different.

The issue, in terms of roleplay, is when everybody uses a flickmace ( or a shield for shieldblock ). It also points out some flaws in terms of balance.

Reach is too powerful, and shouldn't exist on one hands imo.
But as you said, since it does exists, let's use it.
And everybody flickmace.

Giving every weapon the choice to expend X points to modify the weapon the way they like would have been probably better.


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Just for reference, in PF1 it is quite common to get a mithral buckler once it becomes relatively cheap. It's a benefit without any cons, and that's for every class.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Megistone wrote:
Just for reference, in PF1 it is quite common to get a mithral buckler once it becomes relatively cheap. It's a benefit without any cons, and that's for every class.

Yeah, it's pretty high on my list of caster gear, in fact. I get it every time it's available, since what else am I doing with my free hand?

HumbleGamer wrote:
What I wanted to point out is that while one the one hand we have mechanics which give us a large amount of customization, it's true that on the other hands some archetypes could be abominations, or simply strange ( like shield casters or shield monk ).

Please don't go down that road. One person's abomination is another person's favorite character.

Leave this "Stick to your class fantasy" crap for WoW and 5e.


Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zapp wrote:

The current system is unsatisfying because it is so unintuitive - it does not let people use shields as they feel is natural.

Not because it is unbalanced.

Therefore I suggest the solution is best accomplished by reskinning rather than changing the mechanics.

Imagine non-sturdy shields are instead icons, relics or somesuch. You hold it in one hand and present it to the monster to ward off attack.

The mechanics remain identical. Yet, the imagery instantly changes. Should you block with a cross, or a small painting of the madonna, you will find it much more natural it will irreparably break, so you won't find it strange that you aren't blocking with it.

If you want to block with your item, you grab a shield, a sturdy one, instead.

I will say that this would seriously change things for me. Still things like Arrow Catching Shield and Forge Warden would need to be reduced in price or be made 1/day effects, and the "Raise Shield" action might need to be addressed, but overall a magical charm might make more sense.

In fact, a mystical charm shield was part of one of my ideas for implementing a "Magical Defense Proficiency" for casters to replace light armor proficiency etc during the playtest. It would be cool to have magical trinkets you can raise like a shield, but isn't sturdy enough to block with.

They'd just *REALLY* need to buckle down and print a bunch of more interesting blocking shields to compete with the Sturdy Shield.


WatersLethe wrote:
Please don't go down that road. One person's abomination is another person's favorite character.

Exactly. Like, my current character is 16 year-old Changeling girl who started the campaign as a Champion, got affected by her mother's influence and went kinda nuts in a moment when one of the other PCs died, becoming a Hag-Riven of sorts, did some really gruesome s*@@, lost her Champion powers, and decided to learn how to use this sort of primal power she has to protect people. She is now an "Animal" Instinct Barbarian who uses animated hair (reflavored Deer Antler) as her main weapon and a shield to protect her friends from her previous training as a Champion. Oh, and she's also super shy and calm most of the time and like a 5 foot tall skinny girl.

Am I completely butchering "class identity"? Probably. Is this character an abomination? Absolutely. But it's also my favorite character I've ever played with. Okay, it did require a bit of reflavoring, but her abilities are all 100% RAW and I love that I can do some crazy stuff like this, because the game is extremely modular, no features are mandatory and almost no features are unreachable to any character. The game doesn't try to enforce class identity, and that can create incredible moments for a lot of people.


WatersLethe wrote:
I will say that this would seriously change things for me.

How so? Note there is no actual changes in my proposal - just that any non-sturdy shield is described as a small wooden block depicting a deity, your grandmothers' urn, or maybe a little box containing a bone of a saint, or something.

Every rule would remain exactly as is. Therefore no changes to price or function is suggested.

(If you believe Item X is too expensive or too weak, that is an entirely different subject. This is about fixing the overwhelmingly most common complaint against non-sturdy shields: that they break if used)

All that's changed is the perception of these items. Since that is the main complaint, that is what I set out to fix. It feels much more natural that a relic or icon shatters if used to block. It feels much more natural that you want to take a hit "to the face" to save your grandmother's urn.

Other than this change in expectations everything works as usual. You CAN use the relic or icon to block. Compared to a real-life little wooden block, you would probably even think it is very sturdy. :)


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
Zapp wrote:
WatersLethe wrote:
I will say that this would seriously change things for me.

How so? Note there is no actual changes in my proposal - just that any non-sturdy shield is described as a small wooden block depicting a deity, your grandmothers' urn, or maybe a little box containing a bone of a saint, or something.

Every rule would remain exactly as is. Therefore no changes to price or function is suggested.

(If you believe Item X is too expensive or too weak, that is an entirely different subject. This is about fixing the overwhelmingly most common complaint against non-sturdy shields: that they break if used)

All that's changed is the perception of these items. Since that is the main complaint, that is what I set out to fix. It feels much more natural that a relic or icon shatters if used to block. It feels much more natural that you want to take a hit "to the face" to save your grandmother's urn.

Other than this change in expectations everything works as usual. You CAN use the relic or icon to block. Compared to a real-life little wooden block, you would probably even think it is very sturdy. :)

Haha, I meant it would change my perspective and make me feel better about the fragile "shields".


Deadmanwalking wrote:
May I direct you to the holmgang (a viking duel), in which each combatant was given three shields (held by others, and replaced when they broke), because shields break? Shields rarely outlasted a single major battle in real life.

Maybe some shields, possibly even most shields, but the Spartans at least had some pretty insane shields. Sure they could break if hit hard enough or enough times, but it would take a lot of force. They also could make a pretty legit backup weapon if you lost your spear or short sword. In PF terms it could even be a pretty legit primary weapon, though in PF2e of course it would be the "boss" you're attacking with.

And on a side note, since Lion Shield was getting thrown around a lot a page or two ago, it's honestly something I think really needs either some errata or an upgraded form anyways. Its main trick is the Lion Head attack, which is pretty decent when you get it, but has a clause explicitly forbidding you using runes to enhance it so that 2d6 is going to fall off hard with time.


Shinigami02 wrote:
Deadmanwalking wrote:
May I direct you to the holmgang (a viking duel), in which each combatant was given three shields (held by others, and replaced when they broke), because shields break? Shields rarely outlasted a single major battle in real life.

Maybe some shields, possibly even most shields, but the Spartans at least had some pretty insane shields. Sure they could break if hit hard enough or enough times, but it would take a lot of force. They also could make a pretty legit backup weapon if you lost your spear or short sword. In PF terms it could even be a pretty legit primary weapon, though in PF2e of course it would be the "boss" you're attacking with.

And on a side note, since Lion Shield was getting thrown around a lot a page or two ago, it's honestly something I think really needs either some errata or an upgraded form anyways. Its main trick is the Lion Head attack, which is pretty decent when you get it, but has a clause explicitly forbidding you using runes to enhance it so that 2d6 is going to fall off hard with time.

There is something to be said for the era that the Spartan Shield hails from though. Not many warhammer's and picks kicking about to take away the shields edge so to speak, and what heavy weapons there were would be made of relatively inferior materials. It was made of wood with a thin outer layer of bronze, so wouldn't probably hold up to sustained heavy blows from a heavy hammer or what have you. They were also heavy as hell, coming in at around 30 pounds vs. a heater shield at 8-10. This could be a benefit for cushioning the impact of a blow for instance, but made for quite the burden on your shield arm I'd wager.

As to shields realistically breaking on the battlefield, it happened. To what degree is dependent more on the era and tactics of the time you are talking about than anything else. The Romans, as was mentioned up thread, used Pila specifically to foul shields and break up Phalanx formations while their own shield wall marched forward. Many later period weapons were designed to counter Plate, and so would be pretty effective against shields in turn. Still, I don't agree that PF2 represents realistic shields at all, and don't think it should really. I'd rather they be weighted the other direction, as more hardy than "real shields" though.

As to the Lion's Shield, it is unfortunate that it's attack doesn't scale. But I will point out that at least it is an attack that you wouldn't otherwise get on that same action. This does give the shield a niche, small though it may be. So as long as you raise your shield with your last action, it's more a "Hail Mary" 3rd attack than a strategy you could really build for. I would love to see higher level versions that allow you to activate it more than 1/day, and improve the damage from it never the less which may allow a character to focus more on using it as an offensive option.

Dark Archive

beowulf99 wrote:

As to shields realistically breaking on the battlefield, it happened. To what degree is dependent more on the era and tactics of the time you are talking about than anything else.

Not to mention, some regions specifically designed their shields to chip and break during combat. Because doing so meant there was a solid chance of enemy weapons getting stuck, even if only temporarily, in the shield. Which opened a tactical advantage. Specifically, your opponent being possibly disarmed, or at the least, off balance.

Further, I believe I read somewhere about Romans being expected to go through multiple shields during a battle. However I can't remember where, or during what time frame, so it may have been in later years when they shifted to less well-made arms due to money reasons.

(As a side note, it was also noted in some accounts, to the stability, and re-useability, of a

specific shield.:
The humble buckler, was designed with lasting re-use in mind.
)

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