View Full Version : Behold! The Lantern Shield! (PEACH)

2017-03-25, 12:02 AM
I'm a fan of esoteric weapons, the stranger the better, and there's few that come stranger than the Lantern Shield. Hailing from the Renaissance era in real life, the Lantern Shield was known for, well, combining a lantern and a shield. Primary purpose from what I can dig up was that it was used for nighttime duels, where it could be used to partially blind the opponent (akin to shining a flashlight in someone's eyes) or for nighttime city guards to illuminate their patrol areas (I suspect that thieves of the era were not particularly fond of the thing). However, it's true strangeness comes from the fact that the Renaissance was a period of innovation and few smiths stopped at just adding a lantern to the thing. A typical surviving example, or at least those I can find pictures of, looks like some sort of medeival swiss army weapon.

Seriously, I love the thing. At least as a concept.

So much that I'm going to try and present this in the most general terms I can so that it can be fit into any system or campaign. Any D&D terms I need to use will likely be coached in generic or 5e format.

Here's a few images for reference:


The 'Basic' Lantern Shield:

The most basic form of the Lantern Shield is essentially a buckler. As a buckler, it provides the same bonus as a buckler, typically +1 to AC. It also has the benefit of leaving the hand free to hold another item if necessary. To be fully proficient in the use of this form of the Lantern Shield requires the Shield proficiency.

As for the lantern part, that can be done one of two ways, hanging from a hook or attached to the interior of the shield. The brightness is completely dependent on the type of lantern attached, and thus any illumination, effects, bonuses, or capacity to blind opponents when shone into their faces will be identical to the stats of the lantern being used. Dousing or igniting the lantern is also identical in mechanics (though a roll for performing the action one-handed while it is attached to the shield may be involved).

The hook is a less intensive modification to the shield design, and can be done by any smith. Hanging or removing the lantern takes just a standard action, but in combat there is a chance a lantern hanging from the shield can be broken from any successful attack made by an opponent. If the lantern is lit when it's broken, it may spill burning oil requiring a reflex save for the weilder to avoid catching on fire.
Any form of lantern may be used with this design.

Mounting the lantern to the inside of the shield (just above the wielder's arm) requires a more skilled smith to arrange, as it requires a firmer attachment as well as a hinged opening in the shield itelf that can be opened or closed as a swift action to provide or extinguish illumination while the lantern is lit. Removing or installing the lantern itself is a more invovled affair though and requires roughly a minute of focused work. Also, the lantern will only break when the shield is used to block a critical hit, though if lit at the time the reflex save for the weilder to avoid catching on fire is made at a disadvantage.
Only a bullseye lantern may be properly used with this design.

'Bells and Whistles':

Or as I shall call it 'the good stuff'. Any smith capable of making a Lantern Shield that doesn't include a few of these is not making the weapon properly. All of the following assume a non-magical Lantern Shield. Adding Magic creates many more possibilities.

Attached Gauntlet - The buckler portion is attached to an armored gauntlet. Since it is attached, it cannot be disarmed and must also be donned and doffed like a piece of armor. In this case, the Heavy Armor proficiency may be substituted for the Shield proficiency when wielding the Lantern Shield.

Parchment Clip - A clip on which can be attached a piece of parchment, such as a small map, something for writing, notes, or even a spell scroll. Any readable item clipped here is considered usable by the wearer. Properly removing or adding a new parchment is a full round action.

Wand Mount - A slot made at the top of the shield can hold a wand. The wand is not considered to be 'in hand', though it can be drawn as a swift action.

Holy Symbol - A cleric or paladin can have their holy symbol emblazoned on the shield.

Shield Spikes - By adding spikes to the buckler part of the Lantern Shield, a shield bash made with the weapon will now do piercing damage. Damage dice are dependent on the size and number of the spikes added.

Armor Spikes - Requires Attached Gauntlet. Spikes added to the gauntlet grant the ability to deal piercing damage on a punch attack. Damage dice depend on the size and length of the spikes.

Short Sword - If designed and smithed that way, a short sword can be attached to the inside of the shield underneath the bearers arm and typically parallel to it. This addition makes the Lantern Shield an exotic weapon requiring its own proficiency. Possessing proficiency with Shields or Short Swords allows the use of half the wielder's proficiency bonus though until they are sufficiently experienced to gain full proficiency.
Damage dice are equal to the short sword's. This can either be a firm mount or a secured sheath. In the latter case, the short sword can be drawn by the wielder with a full-round action. An opponent can also potentially draw it while grappling with a dexterity check made at disadvantage, which will also provoke an attack of opportunity.
A second short sword can be added at a downward angle as well.

Hidden Dagger - Requires Attached Gauntlet. A sheath in the gauntlet portion of the Lantern Shield may contain a dagger which can be drawn as a swift action.

Others - Feel free to come up with whatever other reasonable possibilities catch your imagination. Creativity and innovation is the hallmark of this unique weapon.

Special Notes:

If the Lantern Shield possesses more than one of the enhancements 'Shield Spikes', 'Armor Spikes', or 'Short Sword' then it possesses enough threatening pointy bits to give a +1 to Intimidation rolls while worn.

Most real-life Lantern Shields were forged to be worn on the left hand, even though roughly 9/10 people are right handed. This means that the Lantern Shield is designed as an off-hand weapon and should be treated as such in all instances.


An interesting question, of course. To which the easy answer would be 'the sum of the components' cost'. But... that strikes me as a little cheap, both in terms of how much something like this should cost as well as being kind of a cop-out. After all, something like this is essentially a custom order and should be treated as such, possibly complete with haggling over the price as well as what the customer (the player) wants versus what the smith is willing to make. So here's a few handy notes on how I think this should work.

Standard Smith - Custom orders aren't exactly what they do most of the time. And what they do make custom is usually a standard weapon they didn't have ready when the PC stopped by. It's entirely possible they don't even know what a Lantern Shield even is before the PC custom orders one. The kind of Lantern Shield they'll make is one with just a hook from which to hang a lantern and they can maybe be talked into one or two additions with a successful persuasion check but attempting to get them to do any more is likely to get them to look at your character funny and maybe start jacking the price in hopes of getting rid of you faster.
Expected Minimum Price: Cost of component pieces +10%

Master Smith - They like custom orders. Custom orders get their name heard in the kinds of circles that bring the big spenders to their door. The kind of Lantern Shield they'll almost always make is the one with the lantern mounted on the interior and a hinged cover in the shield to allow the light to shine through. Also, if the player wants fewer than two add-ons, there is a decent chance the smith will actually be insulted by the perceived slight to his skill. If masterworks are a thing in your system, these smiths can likely make one of such quality (lesser quality work will probably be foisted off on an apprentice). About the only limitation they have is the inability to include add-ons with moving parts, such as ranged weaponry.
Expected Minimum Price: Cost of component pieces +25%

Artificer - Not necessarily magical, but definitely no mere smith. These craftsmen know how to incorporate moving parts into their work, and are happy to include whatever add-ons a PC might want, up to and including ones that require moving mechanisms to work. In fact, it may take a contested persuasion roll in order to keep them from adding extra things the PC doesn't want included. They always mount the lantern on the interior with an opening, possible a mechanical one, in the shield to let out light from the lantern. They are very proud of their work and will charge accordingly. If masterworks are part of the setting, they could take grave offense at the mere suggestion they produce anything less.
Expected Minimum Price: Cost of component pieces +50%

Enchantments - Whatever rules there are for enchanting objects or weapons, including rules for pricing, use those.

2017-03-27, 11:04 PM
*Pokes thread*

Comments? Critiques? Cries of 'What the Hell is That?'?

The Mentalist
2017-03-28, 02:27 AM
Other add-ons:
Flask: drinking a potion from the shield no longer provokes an attack of opportunity but you don't receive the shield bonus until the beginning of your next turn.

Slingshots: Primitive Rubber cords hold darts and stones on the back of the shield. You may release the cords as an attack with either dart or sling with no strength bonus.

Oil Sprayer: Sprays a 10' cone of oil that does no damage on its own but if dealt fire damage in the same round they catch fire.

Multiple Metals: With an adamantine edge, cold iron shield boss, and alchemically silvered face it can overcome most damage reduction but you suffer a -1 to attack to specify which metal you are using.
Addendum: Possibly enchant them as separate weapons?

2017-03-28, 05:41 AM
And the most useless idea treat goes to this treat

2017-03-28, 02:19 PM
I really like this idea and might use it for my next character. I might also add something similar to my setting. Thanks for sharing ^_^

2017-03-28, 03:41 PM
i always love gimmicky things. my half-orc valor bard smashes things with a cello that he had reinforced. ouch.

2017-03-28, 11:10 PM
That is such a cool weapon! Thank you for sharing that!

2017-03-28, 11:28 PM
An interesting piece of hardware that you seem to have made... mostly Rules compatable with all editions of D&D/PF, it seems.

2017-03-29, 03:00 PM
Nice to hear the positive comments from everyone!

Changes to the OP:
A section for expected cost of a Lantern Shield has been added.
I learned what PEACH stands for. :P