Sturdy Shield good for the game?


Pathfinder Second Edition General Discussion

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Shield builds paladin/Fighter specifically want the highest level of sturdy Shield they can get. If they care about character effectiveness.

There are other Shields but you get more uses of your precious class feats (quick block, shield of reckoning) with a sturdy shield than any other type of shield.

Is this a good thing for the game ?

Does it matter if sturdy Shields are the optimal choice for shield fighters and paladins?

Are any of the other types of shield pretty cool and you would like to see more people use but they get ignored because sturdy is the dominant option?


Since sturdy shields are the only ones sturdy enough for the shield block reaction to have a function I'd say they are good.

Creating a mechanism in the game that drives people nuts because of how jarringly unrealistic it is (every other shield losing you thousands of gold if you try to save your life by, you know, using a shield like a shield) not so much.

Either let crafters repair shields even at 0 hp (magic non-sturdy shields work much like the Shield spell: one use per 10 minutes), or give all shields useful amounts of hit points (and remove sturdy from the game).

Or at the very least reskin non-sturdy shields as some kind of protective amulet or something: gives the AC bonus and the special ability, but comes with no expectation of actually blocking any damage (and so its hit points cease to be an issue).

Sturdy shield: shield
Other shield: protective totem or icon or whatever (held in 1 hand). AC bonus not stacking with a shield, obvs.


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber

Sturdy shields are good for now because they let people use the shield block reaction. It very much feels like a last minute add after someone realized the shield system was borked just before they had to send it to the printers.

I don't think they're good for the game in the long run, being boring and filling a thematic niche better suited for different materials.

If Paizo retconned them out and rebalanced other interesting shields around having different base materials to improve their block usability, I would applaud them.

It's not fair that shield focused characters are locked out of interesting shields just because Sturdy Shields exist and are required.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Sturdy should be a rune for all shields.


I prefer the Indestructible Shield if I can get my hands on one.


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WatersLethe wrote:
It very much feels like a last minute add after someone realized the shield system was borked just before they had to send it to the printers.

The thing is, even in the playtest Sturdy Shields were a thing, and pretty much always had the best Hardness, and were still generally the most likely to be able to take more than one hit. Of course, the playtest also had the Dent system, which meant shields couldn't be destroyed in a single hit like they can now.


I shall see, for in the last game session of my PF2 Ironfang Invasion campaign I put a 7th-level lesser sturdy shield into a treasure trove and the 4th-level champion claimed it. The original items in that vault did not exist in PF2 and level-appropriate items did not seem sufficiently impressive.

For now, I can merely examine the numbers for shields:
Wooden shield: 0th level, hardness 3, hp 12
Steel shield: 0th level, hardness 5, hp 20
Low-grade cold iron shield: 2nd level, hardness 5, hp 20
Minor sturdy shield: 4th level, hardness 8, hp 64
Lion's shield: 6th level, hardness 6, hp 36, free melee Strike with Raise a Shield for 1 minute.
Spellguard shield: 6th level, hardness 6, hp 36, circumstance bonus saving throws against spells.
Spined shield: 7th level, hardness 6, hp 24, spines break off to absorb 6 damage and can be shot in an attack.
Standard-grade cold iron shield: 7th level, hardness 7, hp 28
Lesser sturdy shield: 7th level, hardness 10, hp 80
Standard-grade dragonhide shield: 8th level, hardness 4, hp 16, immune to one damage type
Standard-grade darkwood shield: 8th level, hardness 5, hp 20, bulk L
Standard-grade mithral shield: 8th level, hardness 5, hp 20, counts as silver
Standard-grade adamantine shield: 8th level, hardness 10, hp 40
Dragonslayer's shield: 9th level, hardness 8, hp 32, Shield Block and resistance 10 against attacks of one damage type.
Force shield: 9th level, hardness 8, hp 32, creates protective bubble of force for 1 minute.
Moderate sturdy shield: 10th level, hardness 13, hp 104

The 7th-level spined shield can absorb 12 damage while it still has one of its 6 spines (which regenerate the next morning) while the 7th-level lesser sturdy shield absorbs 10 damage. It appears competitive for characters who use Shield Block.

I am so accustomed to adamantly-hard adamantine that the standard-grade adamantine shield with hardness only 10 feels counterfeit.

Sovereign Court

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I see a lot of monks, wizards and cloistered clerics with shields, and they really don't care about the hardness or hit points of the shield.

I think my double slice fighter hasn't used shield block in several levels, because I don't often have a third action to spare to raise it.


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Mathmuse wrote:
I am so accustomed to adamantly-hard adamantine that the standard-grade adamantine shield with hardness only 10 feels counterfeit.

That's where it's helpful to remember that the grades refer to alloy mixes, so "standard-grade adamantine" could be like a titanium bike frame - there's titanium in the mix, but also a whole bunch of aluminum and likely a few other materials.

Translating that to adamantine, it's basically steel with a bit of extra oomph from including some adamantine until it's a high-grade alloy.


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I guess I don't quite understand the problem or issue.

I mean of course anyone using a shield to block will want the highest hardness shield they can get at their level.

I think the only problem here is that the shields that exist at item levels in between the study shield upgrades remain at a lower hardness and thus are less useful to someone looking primarily to get mileage out of blocking.

No matter what you do, there's pretty much always going to be an optimum shield at each character level for those looking primarily for it's ability to block. In this case the hardness and hp of the sturdy line of shields is such that the family remains the best purchase for shield blockers.


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The thing is, I want shield block to work on a consistant basis, not only for the damage reduction but also for other ingame feats to work properly.

Our Fighter wanted to build the "party tank" and went down the Reactive Shield, Aggressive Block, Powerful Shove and Reflexive Shield line, only to find that if he wants to actually use his class feats in combat he can use them approximately one or at the very best two times per battle, at least versus even leveled or better foes and by doing so will probably break his shield for the rest of the battle.

Our GM did not add loot to the existing AP, a sturdy shield was not at sale at the local small town and we did not have the time yet to craft one, so we are stuck with a hardness 6 , 24 HP shield at level 6.


@mathmuse

I think the problem is less that the of two shields you compare The non sturdy shield blocks slightly more but a limited number of times a day. To me that’s completely valid and a the shield does a neat thing. It’s more that the HP of the two means the non sturdy shield stands a good chance of not surviving a hit from on level foes, or multiple hits from lower level foes, if used to do that neat thing. Consider the difference between the spine shield and the level 4 sturdy.

The spine shield Blocks 12 damage a limited number of times, and has 24 HP

The level 4 sturdy blocks 8, more than the spine after it’s done it’s limited run, and has 64 HP.

That’s thee times the HP on a shield that’s half the level of the other. I’d absolutely take the lower level shield and toss the other if I was a shield using character. Who wants their main bit to shatter if you use it?


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Spellguard is my favorite shield for non-champions. Champions take sturdy shields. I don't see a problem with this.


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The problem is that anyone who specializes in shields is specializing in shield block, because that's what all the class feats are for. That means that characters who go all in on shields have to use boring sturdy shields, while people who just grabbed a shield because they had nothing better to use get all the cool shields.

Scarab Sages

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It should definitely be a rune, shields aren't in a great place right now.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

If you want to use shields to mitigate damage, you go with sturdy shield.

If you want +2 AC and some other thing out of your shield, you don't.

I'm not seeing the problem.


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What if you want to be able to use your shield to mitigate damage but you would also like some other cool thing out of your shield?

This is what most shield users want, but have no way of getting. That feels like a problem.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

I still don't see the issue with the dent system. Its easier in many ways than tracking HP on the shield. Can someone explain why it was replaced?

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Matthew Downie wrote:

What if you want to be able to use your shield to mitigate damage but you would also like some other cool thing out of your shield?

This is what most shield users want, but have no way of getting. That feels like a problem.

What if I want to be as good at melee as a Fighter and as good at casting as a Wizard? I want it, I'm not getting it, this feels like a problem.

Sometimes, the game requires you to give up something for something, instead of twinking your way into having it all at the same time. PF1 spoiled y'all with the ability to effectively game the system to get all the shiny things at the same time.


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Gorbacz wrote:
Matthew Downie wrote:

What if you want to be able to use your shield to mitigate damage but you would also like some other cool thing out of your shield?

This is what most shield users want, but have no way of getting. That feels like a problem.

What if I want to be as good at melee as a Fighter and as good at casting as a Wizard? I want it, I'm not getting it, this feels like a problem.

Sometimes, the game requires you to give up something for something, instead of twinking your way into having it all at the same time. PF1 spoiled y'all with the ability to effectively game the system to get all the shiny things at the same time.

So it's may or not really an issue for many people but if you have one option that is substantially better than others or one that is necessary for a specific build then the majority people end up taking it and use loose a little bit of variability if you had multiple functional options. Every shield paladin fighter will want this one item so you will end up with gms moaning about cookie cutter shield builds.

Having a default best option can lead to the gnomeflik mace problem we're 70% of humans who practised with exotic weapons practised with a gnome yoyo because its allows you to have both a reach and a ahield/dueling build.

Liberty's Edge

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Being able to treat Sturdy as a Rune and thus add it to other, special, shields (albeit with combined costs) would be great and enable a lot of fun stuff.

Mechanically, that's not necessary for the game to be good or an immensely big deal, it would 'just' be fun. But fun is sort of the point, so I hope they do something about this at some point.


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Am I the only one that thinks "all shield-block-focused characters are going to want sturdy shields instead of variety" sounds a lot like "all blaster casters are going to want fireball instead of variety" or "all dual-wield-focused fighters keep taking double slice instead of other feats"?


thenobledrake wrote:
Am I the only one that thinks "all shield-block-focused characters are going to want sturdy shields instead of variety" sounds a lot like "all blaster casters are going to want fireball instead of variety" or "all dual-wield-focused fighters keep taking double slice instead of other feats"?

Well except that there are times that fireball will not be the most effective spell because enemies are immune or resistant or because your allies are in the way. For a blaster fireball is a good tool but one of many.

Class Feats especially first level ones have a different niche to items, double slice you will likely have for the entire 20 levels of the game as a duel wielding fighter.

Silver Crusade

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I'm not opposed to a "sturdy-" rune, that is - as long as it won't replace sturdy and won't be an autopick. Autopick options are what made 80% of PF1 characters very reactionary children of rich parents, after all.


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Claxon wrote:

I guess I don't quite understand the problem or issue.

The issue is that any player coming to Pathfinder 2 and creating a sword & board fighter will obviously and intuitively expect to find and use cool magic shields AND be able to block with them.

Not one or the other. Both.

But if you do that, you will soon realize you must take many hits to the face, because the attack would perma-destroy your shield if you tried to use it actively.

This is aggressively counter-intuitive and feels entirely artifical.

Having a rule that feels so wrong is the problem and issue.

Telling these players to stick to sturdy shields only is a mediocre workaround at best, since it means all the cool shields with magic abilities can't be used by precisely the kind of character that can use them in every other edition of D&D.

Hope that helps. Cheers :)


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Queaux wrote:
I don't see a problem with this.

The constant threads on the subject suggest others do.


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Gorbacz wrote:

If you want to use shields to mitigate damage, you go with sturdy shield.

If you want +2 AC and some other thing out of your shield, you don't.

I'm not seeing the problem.

You missed the post just above yours:

Strill wrote:
The problem is that anyone who specializes in shields is specializing in shield block, because that's what all the class feats are for. That means that characters who go all in on shields have to use boring sturdy shields, while people who just grabbed a shield because they had nothing better to use get all the cool shields.


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Cyder wrote:
I still don't see the issue with the dent system. Its easier in many ways than tracking HP on the shield. Can someone explain why it was replaced?

I too would like to know what was said at the time.

Was it deemed too complex, too unlike how damage to other items worked?


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Gorbacz wrote:

What if I want to be as good at melee as a Fighter and as good at casting as a Wizard? I want it, I'm not getting it, this feels like a problem.

Sometimes, the game requires you to give up something for something, instead of twinking your way into having it all at the same time. PF1 spoiled y'all with the ability to effectively game the system to get all the shiny things at the same time.

No.

You're generalizing, and you are trying to make the problem something it isn't. Nobody is asking to both have the cake and eat it too. Please stop pretending Paizo could not have created a system that gave us both, and still was balanced.

There is zero reason to ask players to make a completely artificial choice. THIS is the problem, not the game balance part of it. Your arguments are not convincing, and you are not helping.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

I would see the sturdy rune being the mainstay rune for shields like the striking rune is for weapons.

Several of the magical shields would instantly break if you used their abilities. For example the Arrow catching shield is a level 11 item with Hardness 6 and 24 hp, a level appropriate monster would break that with 1 attack.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

People really hated the dent system in the playtest. Not everyone, but people who disliked it felt really strongly about it. I don’t think too deep of a dive went into an analysis of why since the people who were fine with it didn’t hate the game without it.

My guess is that it felt like another new thing for people to have to learn when people from PF1 and D&D were used to the idea of everything having HP and wanted that to feel familiar.

I liked dents better for dealing with object damage as a whole, but I understand how important “comfort” and conforming to long standing conventions can feel to players. If you could just repair shields from 0 hp, but have it take 2x as long then I think you can avoid needing to change anything else about how shields work. That sounds like something that could be fixed with a crafting skill feat.


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Unicore wrote:

People really hated the dent system in the playtest. Not everyone, but people who disliked it felt really strongly about it. I don’t think too deep of a dive went into an analysis of why since the people who were fine with it didn’t hate the game without it.

My guess is that it felt like another new thing for people to have to learn when people from PF1 and D&D were used to the idea of everything having HP and wanted that to feel familiar.

I liked dents better for dealing with object damage as a whole, but I understand how important “comfort” and conforming to long standing conventions can feel to players. If you could just repair shields from 0 hp, but have it take 2x as long then I think you can avoid needing to change anything else about how shields work. That sounds like something that could be fixed with a crafting skill feat.

I also liked the dent system honestly. It's just easier to track if nothing else, and had a good feel to it. I was hoping to see it return as an optional system, maybe with some refinement. Magical shields could sometimes take additional dents before becoming broken, but I would have liked to see a hybrid of the two, with dents essentially being the HP of the shield, but being much more manageable in number. Say 10 at absolute most, with 0 level basic shields having 1 dent.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Zapp wrote:
Gorbacz wrote:

What if I want to be as good at melee as a Fighter and as good at casting as a Wizard? I want it, I'm not getting it, this feels like a problem.

Sometimes, the game requires you to give up something for something, instead of twinking your way into having it all at the same time. PF1 spoiled y'all with the ability to effectively game the system to get all the shiny things at the same time.

No.

You're generalizing, and you are trying to make the problem something it isn't. Nobody is asking to both have the cake and eat it too. Please stop pretending Paizo could not have created a system that gave us both, and still was balanced.

There is zero reason to ask players to make a completely artificial choice. THIS is the problem, not the game balance part of it. Your arguments are not convincing, and you are not helping.

You're entirely entitled to your opinion, just as everyone is.


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Gorbacz wrote:
I'm not opposed to a "sturdy-" rune, that is - as long as it won't replace sturdy and won't be an autopick. Autopick options are what made 80% of PF1 characters very reactionary children of rich parents, after all.

Study Shield IS an autopick option and is why EVERYONE here is arguing for a change, but YOU are arguing against it. That's the issue. You're clearly being contradictory or not understanding the reason why there's so many people discussing the current shield state.

Sturdy shields are the only option for shield-blocking characters at higher levels. Everything else either gets completely destroyed in a single hit or are nowhere near enough the Sturdy Shield in terms of price and utility and MANY of them are worse in ALL aspects, specially the material shields (which is by far the worst part of PF2e I came to realize these past few days, they do nothing but cost gold).

Having a Sturdy Rune and removing that shield from the game would just make it so that you can pick any shield and invest the money to make it work as a blocking item. That way you can have cool effects and reactions while also using your shield for its intended purpose.

If you're a dabbler, just pick any shield you want and enjoy its simple +1 or +2 AC.


Zapp wrote:
Claxon wrote:

I guess I don't quite understand the problem or issue.

The issue is that any player coming to Pathfinder 2 and creating a sword & board fighter will obviously and intuitively expect to find and use cool magic shields AND be able to block with them.

Not one or the other. Both.

But if you do that, you will soon realize you must take many hits to the face, because the attack would perma-destroy your shield if you tried to use it actively.

This is aggressively counter-intuitive and feels entirely artifical.

Having a rule that feels so wrong is the problem and issue.

Telling these players to stick to sturdy shields only is a mediocre workaround at best, since it means all the cool shields with magic abilities can't be used by precisely the kind of character that can use them in every other edition of D&D.

Hope that helps. Cheers :)

So it's a perception problem for players thinking they should be able to have the cool shield effects and block damage.

I get it now. I guess that's fair. Although as soon as you read how shield block works it should trigger the idea in your mind that it's probably not going to work that way, but I guess that has more to do with experience in table top games like Pathfinder/D&D.

I think a good remedy to this could be allowing players who focus on shields to pickup Quick Repair and to modify how quick repair works so that you can repair a shield with 3 actions at Expert in repair. It's not a perfect solution, but it means in combat you can spend a turn to repair your shield. Which isn't amazing, but does mean you can decide how you want to do things. Using your shield to block, repairing, or just getting the static AC bonus and continuing the fight.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

+1 or +2 AC in PF2 isn't "simple". It's a massive difference, given how the math works. It's not "dabbling", it's increasing your chance of not getting a crit in your face, especially so against enemies that are +3 or +4 levels above you. Having additional enchantments over that is gravy.


Sturdy shields are definitely good if you plan to rely on shield block.

If you don't, but you still want to use a shield for the circumstance bonus, there are plenty of good alternatives.

***

Given how the system works, shields are worth even if you plan to use a standard wooden shield for the +2 circumstance ac.

+2 AC means

10% less chances to be hit.
10% less chances to be critically hit.

And this is something every shield has.

After that,you can decide to:

- rely on a specific buff.

or

- rely on the shield block reaction.

The fact that with a sturdy shield you can block a good amount of damage doesn't necessarily mean that you will be likely to save your reaction for it.attack of opportunity, paladin reaction,

We have plenty of skills which require a reaction for being used:

- Champion Reaction
- Attack of opportunity
- Racial skills ( Orc Ferocity, Know oneself, Goblin Scuttle, Unexpected Shift, etc... )
- Grab an edge
- Recognize spell
- Counterspell
- Etc...

and it won't be strange to find characters which only want to use the +2 AC circ bonus ( and eventually other bonuses, depends the shield ), eventually only if the enemies are too close to them ( saving an extra action for something else ).

Finally, for what I happened to read on forums, many people seem not to realize that the major perk of shield is the +2 ac, and that the choice between sturdy shields and other shields is fair.


Yeah. Shield Block is there for everyone who wants to focus their reaction on chunking down damage.

Personally, if I'm a Fighter, forget that- I'm grabbing a feat so my reaction can be for raising my shield in the first place, allowing me to sword and board for the cost of my AoO instead of any of my actions.

If I'm a Paladin, you can also forget that. I've got the game's best reaction already, so I might as well get something cool on my shield.

I'm probably not gonna be spending a feat on getting the shield block reaction.

Sure, I like DR, so some of my shield characters will go for sturdy.


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I get the fact that some shields are meant for blocking often, and are good at that (still could be better at higher levels, IMO), while others have cool abilities.
But I think that some things could had been done better:

1) Special materials shields exist, but have worse stats than sturdy ones and cost more. Maybe they are meant to combine with other abilities, but there are no rules about that.

2) Without having the blocking power and HP of sturdy shields, the special ones could definitely have better stats, expecially HP. As it is now, having the option to block a blow with a Reflective Shield is a joke. If a comparable Sturdy Shield (2 levels lower and half price) has 17 hardness and 136 HP, why can't the other have, say, hardness 10 and 90 HP? That would make blocking with it a worthwhile option, albeit strictly inferior as it should be, since the main ability of the Reflective Shield is of course the Spell Turning.
With 24 HP only the option to block is basically non-existent, and I don't think that it's good for the game.

3) What about shields that rely on blocking to activate their abilities? They are basically a consumable, and not even a good one, but priced as a permanent item. I don't think this was the intent behind them.


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Gorbacz wrote:

+1 or +2 AC in PF2 isn't "simple". It's a massive difference, given how the math works. It's not "dabbling", it's increasing your chance of not getting a crit in your face, especially so against enemies that are +3 or +4 levels above you. Having additional enchantments over that is gravy.

It's "simple" because it's baseline. That's it. It's unnecessary to explain simple pathfinder 2e math to deflect my argument. Anyone here know that small bonuses make a difference due to the degrees of success.


Let us proceed by steps:

1) special materials. Since shields are considered weapons, special materials are meant to bypass some resistances or to provide extra damage beacue of vulnerability ( ex: cold iron and demons ).

In adjunt, it is already clear that some materials are meant to be more resistant than others.

You can check on
https://2e.aonprd.com/Equipment.aspx?Category=28&Subcategory=29

And then compare materials and levels.

Note that any shield can be used to block most of the hits ( depends on the level, which is however lined up with monster level ) without being destroyed. So you have a chance to trade your +2 ac to block some damage on a standard 4/5 combat round scenario.

2) Abosolutely not.

They already have special perks instead of the hp/hardness.

If you find more comfortable to have all your character using shields and relying on shield block with their single reaction ( not to talk about a roleplay scenarion, which seems to see any living being wearing a shield and using shield block ).

If you instead plan to use your reaction to something else, but still want to get the +2 ac from a shield, consider using a different shield.

3) About the shield which Rely on blocking we have:

- Forge Warding

- Arrow Catching shield

Both are lvl 10/11 shields, which can easly handle one single attack ( 24 hp and 6 hardness means you can use it on a 29 dmg without destroying the shield. And 29 dmg is high for that level )
Forge warden also provides a group fire resistance while using "raise Shield".

As always, a choice is given.

- You are not forced to take a specific magic shield instead of a sturdy one.
- You are not required to block all attacks
- You are allowed to decide whether to block or not after having seen


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Claxon wrote:
I get it now. I guess that's fair.

Hats off to you! Cheers


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HumbleGamer wrote:

Let us proceed by steps:

1) special materials. Since shields are considered weapons, special materials are meant to bypass some resistances or to provide extra damage beacue of vulnerability ( ex: cold iron and demons ).

In adjunt, it is already clear that some materials are meant to be more resistant than others.

You can check on
https://2e.aonprd.com/Equipment.aspx?Category=28&Subcategory=29

And then compare materials and levels.

Note that any shield can be used to block most of the hits ( depends on the level, which is however lined up with monster level ) without being destroyed. So you have a chance to trade your +2 ac to block some damage on a standard 4/5 combat round scenario.

So special material for shields are there just to use them for bashing?

It could be, but it's really a niche use.

HumbleGamer wrote:

2) Abosolutely not.

They already have special perks instead of the hp/hardness.

If you find more comfortable to have all your character using shields and relying on shield block with their single reaction ( not to talk about a roleplay scenarion, which seems to see any living being wearing a shield and using shield block ).

If you instead plan to use your reaction to something else, but still want to get the +2 ac from a shield, consider using a different shield.

Absolutely not?

You are saying that having no option (you can choose to only block, or to never block) is better than having two balanced options (this shield works much better when blocking, but you can still save yourself some damage with that one).
I don't buy it. As I said, you can give non-sturdy shields stats that make them at least survive a blow or two, while not making them comparable to sturdy one for damage absorbed and durability. A balanced choice, instead of a non-choice.
Maybe you prefer a game where you have no option like that, but don't say 'Absolutely not' like if it would destroy the game's balance utterly.

HumbleGamer wrote:

3) About the shield which Rely on blocking we have:

- Forge Warding

- Arrow Catching shield

Both are lvl 10/11 shields, which can easly handle one single attack ( 24 hp and 6 hardness means you can use it on a 29 dmg without destroying the shield. And 29 dmg is high for that level )
Forge warden also provides a group fire resistance while using "raise Shield".

'Probably survives activating its special ability once' really doesn't sound like easily handling it.

HumbleGamer wrote:

As always, a choice is given.

- You are not forced to take a specific magic shield instead of a sturdy one.
- You are not required to block all attacks
- You are allowed to decide whether to block or not after having seen

Again, there is no choice. Use that if you want to block, or don't bother with shield blocking, ever. That doesn't sound much fun.


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Megistone,

to sum up, the issue is that you don't find satisfying enough to trade a sturdy shield for a magic shield, but this doesn't mean it's a flaw in the system, but simply that you don't find the choice worth it.

Given this, since these seem to be the rules, the choice is up to you.

- if you don't find it worth it, go with a sturdy shied.

- if you don't see the system balanced, modify with some homebrew rules and try them out ( you will probably find everybody go with magic shield with increased hp and/or hardness ).

Finally, and here I state it again, try to see it in a 4/5 round combat scenario, where even 6/8hp could make the difference between life and death ( and here it comes the choice to block an attack which could have instead killed you ), and eventually consider that not everybody would like to expend their reaction on a shield block, and because of that magic shields could be a way better choice.


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For the people who are using "Sturdy is the shield meant for blocking" as an argument in this discussion, I'm sorry, but you're missing the point entirely. *Everyone knows that*. What we're saying is that this is not a good design choice, nor is it good for the game in the long term. That it creates an extremely bland interaction where non-shield focused characters can have cool shields that elevate the concept of their character, where people who have the shield as their core gameplay aspect are completely stuck with the most boring option you can possibly have.

What we want is for this paradigm to be changed somehow, either with stat adjustments, turning Sturdy into a Rune or many other possible solutions, and Paizo has shown to be willing to make big changes to the rules in this edition. If you disagree with this, you're in your right and please explain why, but simply restating the initial assumption as if it were an answer isn't a valid point. It isn't even a point at all.


How many "hits" should a shield handle before being broken (not usable). I am fine with some shield being only for 1 shield block per combat, while the strudy shields are there for more than 1 shield block per combat.

I think a problem for the players is that you can´t shield block with not-sturdy shields without it getting destroyed for ever, because you are using a "permanent" object as a consumable. We have wands that work like that, they are permanent objects that you can use once per day, but if you foce it, you are risking the object to be destroyed.

Maybe the problem is that we as players don´t perceive shield block as a risky move for our shield (as forcing a wand). In fact, we can tell before hand if the shield is going to be broken or destroyed, so is not a risk, it´s a choice, and we don´t want to take bad choices (but we can take chances like with the wands).

For me, as GM, if my players fell bad about their shields being destroyed, I will make a skill feat for crafting to repair destroyed shields (costing time, gold or making it worst until they get a propper fix). And if I do that, I should make a skill feat for wands too (because why shields can and wands can´t).

In the end, I think we have been "conditioned" over years of dungeoning, we think shields are permanent equipment, but the "reality" is that shields were things for use and ditch most of the times. I know realism is not important in a game like this, and is more important having a robust system and having fun, all I am saying is that the new reality in Golarion is the shields can be destroyed if you block something too big, your characters can adjust to it or the players can adjust Golarion to the reality the want to play.


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Aswaarg wrote:


For me, as GM, if my players fell bad about their shields being destroyed, I will make a skill feat for crafting to repair destroyed shields (costing time, gold or making it worst until they get a propper fix). And if I do that, I should make a skill feat for wands too (because why shields can and wands can´t).

It's their choice.

1) An enemy decides to attack a player
2) Enemy rolls and hit the player
3) Enemy rolls its weapon damage
4) Player read the damage he will receive
5) Player consider the possibility to take the hit or use the shield block reaction
6) Player knows exactly if the shield is going to be destroyed if he performs a shield block, since the player itself is extremely skilled.
7) Player decides if to block or not.

No reason to introduce something meant to repair something which is permanently destroyed ( unless with a lvl 10 spell maybe ).


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Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Roleplaying Game Subscriber
HumbleGamer wrote:
Aswaarg wrote:


For me, as GM, if my players fell bad about their shields being destroyed, I will make a skill feat for crafting to repair destroyed shields (costing time, gold or making it worst until they get a propper fix). And if I do that, I should make a skill feat for wands too (because why shields can and wands can´t).

It's their choice.

1) An enemy decides to attack a player
2) Enemy rolls and hit the player
3) Enemy rolls its weapon damage
4) Player read the damage he will receive
5) Player consider the possibility to take the hit or use the shield block reaction
6) Player knows exactly if the shield is going to be destroyed if he performs a shield block, since the player itself is extremely skilled.
7) Player decides if to block or not.

No reason to introduce something meant to repair something which is permanently destroyed ( unless with a lvl 10 spell maybe ).

For many people, the image of constantly protecting your shield with your body because your shield is a significant fraction of your net worth is the problem. If shields were priced much, much more cheaply and there was a snowball's chance in hell of players *actually* deciding that destroying their shield might be worth it, then the whole system might fit the fantasy.

This "Hit my face, not my shield! please!" situation is waaaay too common for my taste.

Grand Lodge

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Lightning Raven wrote:
If you're a dabbler, just pick any shield you want and enjoy its simple +1 or +2 AC.

I like this terminology btw (and it doesn't seem ambiguous to me).

A shield dabbler is the guy who doesn't invest in the shield feats and just wants the AC bonus. Obviously most of the shields would be great for a shield dabbler who NEVER wants to Edit: Shield Block.

But, as for a PC who is a Shield Professional...
...who invests in shield feats, it kind of sucks as a GM when you want to give your PC Captain Absalom a cool new shield and he sells it and just buys the Sturdy Shield for that level.

Shield mechanics are actually one of the cool things that PF2 has over 5e.
I don't know why you wouldn't want to lean in and try to make them as cool as possible. It kind of sucks as a new player to come up with this really cool dwarven fighter shield master character who uses a Forge Warden and then see it get destroyed on its first hit. That PC is going to have a bad taste in his mouth even after the GM says, "ya don't worry, you just need to get a sturdy shield all of the other ones can't block".

Not to mention that most players and GMs don't even know that you know the damage before blocking or that all these shield calculations aren't even talking about going against boss enemies where your shield is even worse with the high number of crits.


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WatersLethe wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:
Aswaarg wrote:


For me, as GM, if my players fell bad about their shields being destroyed, I will make a skill feat for crafting to repair destroyed shields (costing time, gold or making it worst until they get a propper fix). And if I do that, I should make a skill feat for wands too (because why shields can and wands can´t).

It's their choice.

1) An enemy decides to attack a player
2) Enemy rolls and hit the player
3) Enemy rolls its weapon damage
4) Player read the damage he will receive
5) Player consider the possibility to take the hit or use the shield block reaction
6) Player knows exactly if the shield is going to be destroyed if he performs a shield block, since the player itself is extremely skilled.
7) Player decides if to block or not.

No reason to introduce something meant to repair something which is permanently destroyed ( unless with a lvl 10 spell maybe ).

For many people, the image of constantly protecting your shield with your body because your shield is a significant fraction of your net worth is the problem. If shields were priced much, much more cheaply and there was a snowball's chance in hell of players *actually* deciding that destroying their shield might be worth it, then the whole system might fit the fantasy.

This "Hit my face, not my shield! please!" situation is waaaay too common for my taste.

No need to do this if you use a sturdy shield.

If you use a shield not meant to be used to parry, well I suppose it is right to think before using it to block a devastating blow.

I can hardly imagine those "many people" going on adventure wielding a plastic shield instead of a steel shield, and then complain because they have to shield their shield.

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