Shields as weapons


Rules Discussion


Probably an already discussed topic ( I remember having discussed this before, but not the outcome, or to better say it "any clarification from paizo" ).

So sorry if it has already been discussed plenty of times, but I couldn't find a topic with a proper response.

As you could imagine the question is whether shields are considered weapons or not.

In order to address stuff like

1) Can shields be used with Twin Feint, Twin Takedown, Double Slice attacks?

2) Since they do have a critical specialization, are they meant to be also "weapons"? On the weapon table i can see attacks made with a shield ( shield bash )or eventually attached weapons ( Spikes and Boss ), but not the shield itself ( maybe because since it is allowed to be modded, its damage can change in terms of dice and type, but still no answer here ).

3) Did they clarify if the attached weapon, once attached, is meant to be considered as a whole with the other item? To me it seems obvious that a spiked shield is a spiked shield, and not a shield + spikes ( nor i don't make the attack with the spikes, but with the spiked shield ), but as well as before, no answer too.

Thanks for reading and answers ( If you also manage to link the a thread with official response, that would be really kind and appreciated ).


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1) Yes and no. Technically, the shield is not a weapon in and of itself, but attach a shield boss or shield spikes to it, and THEN you can indeed use your shield as an off-hand weapon of the bashing or piercing persuasion.

2) Yes, Shields are a weapon category Fighters can specialise in. Of course, the actual weapon is still the shield boss or the spikes.

3) I'd have to look up the exact page, but it has been clarified that, not only can the weapons be attached or detached with a 10 minutes craft check, they also can be salvaged from a destroyed shield and reused.


Lycar wrote:

1) Yes and no. Technically, the shield is not a weapon in and of itself, but attach a shield boss or shield spikes to it, and THEN you can indeed use your shield as an off-hand weapon of the bashing or piercing persuasion.

2) Yes, Shields are a weapon category Fighters can specialise in. Of course, the actual weapon is still the shield boss or the spikes.

3) I'd have to look up the exact page, but it has been clarified that, not only can the weapons be attached or detached with a 10 minutes craft check, they also can be salvaged from a destroyed shield and reused.

Let us proceed by steps:

1) That would be the main point of the whole discussion. Knowing if paizo stated something about it.

-They could be either
-They could be both
-They CAN'T be "yes and no"

So, since the last point is not among the possibilities, it is not that way.

Here I am just using logic and binary choices.
Something can be X, and eventually X and Y. But can't be or not be X at the same time.

***

2) Boss and spikes are an example of attached weapon, but not the weapon. Let us take a look to their descritpions:

Shield Boss Description:

Typically a round, convex, or conical piece of thick metal attached to the center of a shield, a shield boss increases the bludgeoning damage of a shield bash.

Shortly, a shield boss is something which enhances the shield bash effect. What is a shield bash? Let's read its description

Shield Bash Description:

A shield bash is not actually a weapon, but a maneuver in which you thrust or swing your shield to hit your foe with an impromptu attack.

Shortly, the bash is the action you take with a shield, which is meant to be the weapon. It is like to say "Mace swing" is not a weapon, but an attack you perform with a mace.

So, reading RAW, Shield bash is a maneuver which use the shield. This maneuver could be used with a base shield or a shield with an attached weapon on it, in order modify and enhances its effect ( the reason a claim by paizo would be appreciated since there's too much confusion given by descriptions and terms ).

***

3) An attached weapon can be salvaged if what is destroyed is the other part.

To make and example:

-You raise your spiked shield
-You performa a shield block against an attack
-The attack is powerful enough to destroy your shield
-What was destroyed is the shield, but not the attached weapon.

In a scenario which sees an enemy targeting your weapon ( or attached weapon ) the weapon will instead receive the damage, and even if during the fight the shield will be destroyed, the attached weapon won't be possible to salvage, since it was already destroyed.

However, I am not sure you could attack/damage items a character/enemy has in its hands.


HumbleGamer wrote:

Here I am just using logic and binary choices.

Something can be X, and eventually X and Y. But can't be or not be X at the same time.

Oh, it seems that 'shield bash' is actually listed as its own weapon. Doing 1d4 damage instead of 1d6 for an attached weapon.

So correction: Yes, a shield is a weapon, but instead of cluttering the weapon list with bucklers, wooden and steel shields etc., they just list the shield bash as a stand-in. Because you bash with a shield. Hence the name.

Also that means, yes, shields can be used with Double Slice etc. Good to know.

HumbleGamer wrote:
2) Boss and spikes are an example of attached weapon, but not the weapon.

Here I am just using logic and binary choices.

Something can be a weapon, and eventually a weapon and attached. But can't be or not be a weapon at the same time. :p

Either way, seems to me like you already answered your own questions there.


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Lycar wrote:
HumbleGamer wrote:

Here I am just using logic and binary choices.

Something can be X, and eventually X and Y. But can't be or not be X at the same time.

Oh, it seems that 'shield bash' is actually listed as its own weapon. Doing 1d4 damage instead of 1d6 for an attached weapon.

So correction: Yes, a shield is a weapon, but instead of cluttering the weapon list with bucklers, wooden and steel shields etc., they just list the shield bash as a stand-in. Because you bash with a shield. Hence the name.

Also that means, yes, shields can be used with Double Slice etc. Good to know.

HumbleGamer wrote:
2) Boss and spikes are an example of attached weapon, but not the weapon.

Here I am just using logic and binary choices.

Something can be a weapon, and eventually a weapon and attached. But can't be or not be a weapon at the same time. :p

Either way, seems to me like you already answered your own questions there.

No. A Shield is not a Weapon. It counts as a Weapon during Shield Bash, but it is not a Weapon. You cannot put Weapon Runes on a Shield, and it does not count as Wielding a Weapon.

A Shield Boss or Spike is a Weapon.

Despite HumbleGamer's protest, Yes and No is in fact the correct answer. All Golarion Shields are made by Schrödinger.

CRB wrote:
Shield Bash: A shield bash is not actually a weapon, but a maneuver in which you thrust or swing your shield to hit your foe with an impromptu attack.


Still can't see anything pointing at the fact that shield is not a weapon.

It also has it's weapon critical specialization, which is meant for weapons.

And a fighter can specialize in shields, with his feature called

"FIGHTER WEAPON MASTERY"

Everything is pointing at shields like they are weapons.

What Aratorin quoted from the CRB, which is the one I also posted in my previous reply, only points out that a shield bash is not a weapon.

I'd say it is obvious, since a bash is a violent strike.

But they had to put the attack instead of the weapon in the weapon lists, probably because of the "modding" stuff.

What we know for sure is that:

1) Shields are elegible through fighter weapon specialization.

2) Shields have a critical weapon specialization.

3) Attacks made with a shield ( or a modded shield ) are on the weapon list.

4) It is stated that a bash is not a weapon ( guess nobody had doubts about though )

These are facts.

Starting from this, we can try to sum up if shields are or not weapons ( no interpretations, since the information we got is clear enough ).

What concerns me, as I pointed out at the beginning of my first post, is that since the CRB has plenty of not so clear stuff, and given the fact there have been plenty of discussions about this specific topic, I just wanted to know if they stated something else in these X months or not.

Discussing over the same topic could be done, but personally does not concerns me that much.

Ps: Note that this work as well for the attached weapon like spikes and boss, which is stated they can be built during the shield creation, and because so be part of it, or attached on a brand new shield, and because of that the name "attached weapon" ).


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If you can find a Shield on the list of Weapons, please point it out. Shields are not Weapons.

Shield is a Weapon Group, but that group contains only Shield bash, Shield boss, and Shield spikes.

Buckler, Wooden shield, Steel shield, and Tower shield, are listed on the Shields Table, not the Weapons Table.

This topic has been covered quite a bit on the boards and I don't understand why it keeps coming up. Spend the 5 SP on a Shield Boss and call it a day.


Aratorin wrote:

If you can find a Shield on the list of Weapons, please point it out. Shields are not Weapons.

Shield is a Weapon Group, but that group contains only Shield bash, Shield boss, and Shield spikes.

Buckler, Wooden shield, Steel shield, and Tower shield, are listed on the Shields Table, not the Weapons Table.

This topic has been covered quite a bit on the boards and I don't understand why it keeps coming up. Spend the 5 SP on a Shield Boss and call it a day.

Because still no official answer?

Also I don't get if you avoided the fighter weapon specialization or simply can't find it enough ( select a weapon > Shield ).

It's not that I am right and you wrong, but what we are doing is just arguing. And what I need instead is a statement from the creators ( which is was I was hoping to find when I decided to start a thread ), not claim from the playerbase.

Ps: However, as in irl but also state 282 CRB, an attached weapon can be already present in a shield.

So while there's the possibility to attach spikes to a brand new shield, there's also the possibility to have a Spiked shield as a unique item.

So it's either "add spikes to a shield" or "buy a spiked shield".


Aratorin wrote:
If you can find a Shield on the list of Weapons, please point it out.

It's on this page, listed as Shield Bash.


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HumbleGamer wrote:
Also I don't get if you avoided the fighter weapon specialization or simply can't find it enough ( select a weapon > Shield ).

I didn't avoid it, I addressed it pretty directly. Fighters choose a Weapon Group for Fighter Weapon Mastery, not a specific weapon.

Shield is in fact a Weapon Group.

That Weapon Group contains:

- Shield bash (explicitly a Maneuver, not a Weapon)
- Shield boss
- Shield spikes

However, no individual Shield is a Weapon.

You are correct though, that if the only response you want is from a developer, nothing I say matters, so I'll stop.

Matthew Downie wrote:
Aratorin wrote:
If you can find a Shield on the list of Weapons, please point it out.
It's on this page, listed as Shield Bash.

Again, Shield bash is explicitly called out as not being a Weapon. It's a Maneuver. Like Trip.


Okay, if your hang up is about the viability of shields in feats like Double Slice, then you just have to infer things.

Double Slice requires two melee weapons to work. Shields with bosses or spikes attached definitely count as melee weapons, same as your fists, which are listed as the only melee weapon in the 'Unarmed' category, and one of the weapons of the 'Brawling' weapon group.

It is a bit silly, but you could argue that the items listed in the weapons list after Fists are merely 'weapons attached to your fist'.

So a shield boss would be a weapon, which is attached to your shield, which is attached to your fist'.

Now if we consider shields to be 'fist attachments' which improve your fist to dealing 1d4 lethal damage, then you could say that a shield bash is essentially an augmented fist melee attack.

And since fists are melee weapons of the Brawling group, fists, and thus shield bashes, which are augmented fist melee attacks, apply to Double Slice.


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Lycar wrote:

Okay, if your hang up is about the viability of shields in feats like Double Slice, then you just have to infer things.

Double Slice requires two melee weapons to work. Shields with bosses or spikes attached definitely count as melee weapons, same as your fists, which are listed as the only melee weapon in the 'Unarmed' category, and one of the weapons of the 'Brawling' weapon group.

It is a bit silly, but you could argue that the items listed in the weapons list after Fists are merely 'weapons attached to your fist'.

So a shield boss would be a weapon, which is attached to your shield, which is attached to your fist'.

Now if we consider shields to be 'fist attachments' which improve your fist to dealing 1d4 lethal damage, then you could say that a shield bash is essentially an augmented fist melee attack.

And since fists are melee weapons of the Brawling group, fists, and thus shield bashes, which are augmented fist melee attacks, apply to Double Slice.

An Unarmed Attack isn't a Weapon either. You can't Double Slice with Unarmed Attacks.

CRB wrote:
Unarmed attacks can belong to a weapon group (page 280), and they might have weapon traits (page 282). However, unarmed attacks aren’t weapons, and effects and abilities that work with weapons never work with unarmed attacks unless they specifically say so.


Lycar wrote:
Double Slice requires two melee weapons to work. Shields with bosses or spikes attached definitely count as melee weapons,...

I think it is important to use precise language here. A Shield Boss or Shield Spikes don't just count as weapons. They are weapons. But neither of them makes the shield itself into a weapon. They are real weapons that are attached to a shield which is not a weapon.

Lycar wrote:
...same as your fists, which are listed as the only melee weapon in the 'Unarmed' category, and one of the weapons of the 'Brawling' weapon group.

As Aratorin points out, fists are explicitly not weapons.

Lycar wrote:
It is a bit silly, but you could argue that the items listed in the weapons list after Fists are merely 'weapons attached to your fist'. ...

It's not 'a bit silly.' It's just wrong. Hands are not fists, fists are not weapons, and only the shield boss and shield spikes have the Attached property.


Huh, so they aren't. For some reason I was convinced that had changed that in PF 2. Makes Monks taking Fighter dedication and vice versa a tad less synergistic.

In that case, I'm forced to conclude that, by RAW, you can not use shields with Double Slice etc., only shield bosses and spikes.

Edit: Oh I remember. We allowed Magic Weapon to work for the party Monk because we had no Primal caster.


Lycar wrote:
Huh, so they aren't. For some reason I was convinced that had changed that in PF 2. Makes Monks taking Fighter dedication and vice versa a tad less synergistic.

Yes it does, but Monastic Weapons can help. Those weapons can benefit from Monk abilities like Flurry and Ki Strike and as weapons can also utilize a number of abilities from Fighter (or other classes).


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I mean, the short answer here is just buy shield boss and don't worry about any potential ambiguity regarding a shield without it... It's ridiculously cheap and there's really no reason not to grab it. Sure, you might run into the corner case where you find a shield and want to use it immediately, but this is at least one of the potential ambiguities that can be mostly avoided.

Once you have spikes/boss attached, we have proof that it works as a weapon according to Paizo's Valeros pregen.


Yeah about that... Quick Draw and shields?

It's just a bit wonky if shields aren't weapons in their own right, but merely have weapons attached to them. By a strict reading, it means you can not quickdraw shields, weapon attachments or not.

I mean, if the actual weapon part is the shield boss, quickdrawing it also means quickdrawing the shield it is attached to. Can you quickdraw a shield boss?

It is just, in those shield threads that are going on, people are wondering about shields as consumables. But if dropping a shield is a free action, and you carry a spare or two, you would hardly lose actions switching shields that way. Could not use a 2-action feat, but quickdraw a shield, attack with weapon and raise shield would work.

Unless, of course, dropping the shield, or rather un-equipping it, is an action of its own. Then it is drop, quickdraw + attack and raise.


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Detaching a Shield requires an Interact Action.

You must be wielding the Item that an Attached Weapon is attached to in order to use it. A Shield is not a Weapon, so you cannot Quick Draw it. You must be wielding the Shield to attack with the Boss or Spike.


Makes sense. Which means that switching a shield will cost your turn, if you still intend to raise the shield.

It also means, if you ever consider allowing your shield to get broken, better invest into an alternative means of defence. For Fighters, Duelling Parry is an option. For Rangers and Fighters, there is Twin Parry.

You know what? That whole 'shield breaking issue' just goes to show how much of an advantage Fighters have in this edition by sheer versatility of fighting styles.


Just to add, but it seems that for people that might actually consider to shield block, shield attachments are incredibly important. Specially when talking about regular silver shields.

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