Does a magical shield or spell / effect that grants a shield bonus count as a shield?

Rules Questions

Scarab Sages

The aldori sword style has a lot of abilities that don't function if they are wielding a shield and I'm fairly sure there's other classes and abilities that have a similar restriction. What I'm wondering is do magical shields e.g. ring of force shield or spells like shield (assume mult-class so they can cast it) count as a shield for disabling these abilities? I'm thinking things like ring of force shield would as your wielding a magical effect like a heavy shield but shield just floats there by itself with no involvement from you.

The ring of force shield is treated as a heavy shield, so yes, it indeed does count as wielding a shield when in use. The shield spell (and it’s variants), however, under normal circumstances do not count as wielding a shield.

Scarab Sages

Hmmm interesting.

Liberty's Edge

Ring of Force Shield wrote:
This ring generates a shield-sized (and shield-shaped) wall of force that stays with the ring and can be wielded by the wearer as if it were a heavy shield (+2 AC).

As I see it, the Ring of Force Shield generates a shield of force that is maneuvered exactly like a physical shield (besides being weightless, having no maneuver penalties, and being transparent), so you have all the benefits and drawbacks of an actual shield. You use the hand with the ring to maneuver it and you can use all the shield feats with it. You can even use it to attack (and it should damage incorporeal creatures, as it is made of force).

The Shield spell instead generate a totally autonomous globe of force around you that moves with you and has none of the benefits and drawbacks of an actual shield.
As it is a personal spell it can't be made into a potion, but an alchemist can make an extract of it, and a wand works fine if you have a high enough UMD. Our paladin did take Craft Wand and used it often, in 7 levels we made two CL 2 Wands of Shield (he felt that having it last 2 minutes was very useful for action economy, allowing him to pre buff with ease).

^---- Chell and Diego are correct. The Shield spell is not a shield that you can maneuver with your hand, but it does provide a Shield Bonus to AC-- its simply a tangible field of force that surrounds you, and you may even wield two weapons with it active. Ring of Force Shield is an actual shield that is maneuvered with your hand, and you may use Shield Feats with it, such as Shield Bash/Shield Slam.

In your case, Aldori abilities are not inhibited by the spell Shield because your offhand is considered free, but these abilities would be inhibited if you were using a Ring of Force Shield.

If you're looking to have a shield "without having a shield", pickup the unhindering shield feat and use a buckler (you probably have some spare feats lying around), or if you want something bigger, get a dancing shield and just try to kill stuff in 4 rounds.

The Exchange

Here's a suggestion, but the efficacy is going to depend on exactly what "Aldori" material you are using: Take the Quick Draw feat and use a quickdraw shield.

At the start of your round put away the shield as a free action. At the end of your round, put on the shield as a free action. There's a few things that would be negatively affected by this but most of your abilities won't be affected.

An Aldori Swordlord (prestige class) couldn't use Defensive Slash, but if you are using Aldori Style (style feat) you would still get the bonus damage on attacks made during your turn (while you aren't wielding a shield.)

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