View Full Version : floating on tower shield

2008-08-12, 10:27 AM
Can you float on water, using a tower shield while wearing full plate armour ?:smallconfused:

2008-08-12, 10:29 AM
I don't understand...like on water?

2008-08-12, 10:33 AM
Can you float on a tower shield wearing full plate armour ?:smallconfused:Not unless the tower shield and the full plate are made of Balsa, or unless you're being pulled along behind a speedboat and using the tower shield as a kneeboard

2008-08-12, 10:36 AM
without any magical assisstance? No

Boats allow floating as the volume of water pushed aside by the hull weighs exactly as much as the boat and contents. If the hull is shallow (eg a shield) and you put on a lot of weight (eg a person wearing plate) then the weight of the boat and contents will be greater than the weight of the water that is pushed aside, resulting in a sinking feeling and general wetness.

Edit: i don't think a tower shield has enough curve to support its own weight.
the process of water being pushed aside is called displacement.

if the liquid to be floated upon is denser than normal water then this might allow floating additionally if the surface tension of the water was unusually strong then there would be the ability to literally walk on water.

2008-08-12, 11:03 AM
No. It might on its own, but with extra weight-just no.

Even if the shield is curved, that is only on the sides-water would come in over the top and bottom.

2008-08-12, 12:41 PM
Can you float on water, using a tower shield while wearing full plate armour ?:smallconfused:

If you have a Swim check above 32; then, yes...maybe. Make a Swim check.
If you have a Swim check below 32; then you sink like a stone under the weight of 95+lb of restrictive, encumbering wood and steel.

What do I base these numbers on? Armour check penalties (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/equipment/armor.htm#armorDescriptions) (doubled for swimming).

2008-08-12, 04:41 PM
There is a nonmagical item modification, buoyancy, which makes armor mods count 1X+1 instead of 2X against swim, and another modification, and another modification, keel, that gives a +2 circumstance bonus from the armor. All told, you can reduce the penalties to -12 total with mithral equipment. So you'd only need a 17 22 to keep afloat.

Interesting side note: a mithral heavy shield weighs less than a wooden heavy shield. But not less than darkwood, and a mithral tower shield weighs more than a wooden tower shield. Go figure.

And I think that pounds of encumbrance count against swim checks too. All adventurers know water = death.

2008-08-12, 06:09 PM
That's to swim while holding them not float on top of the tower shield.

To float you must displace a volume of water that equals the weight of what is floating. So unless the tower shield has enough volume to hold 300+lbs. of water (i.e., so it can create that same volume of air within the water), then no, it can't be done.

Water weighs about 60lbs. per cubic foot or about 8 lbs. per gallon. Assuming a tower shield of about 2 feet by 4 feet in area and curved in about 3 inches, you would get 2 cubic feet or 120lbs. of bouyancy. And even if you were a gnome riding a human-sized tower shield, the slightest tilt would let water flood in.

EDIT: Oh, maybe the OP meant swim while holding those things. Yeah, it's possible but it's very hard. Subtract double your armor check penalty from your swim check. The swim check DC for calm water is 10, rough water is 15, stormy water is 20.