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Adumbration
2008-12-04, 10:03 AM
Q 628

Can a shield be disarmed?


A 628

Yes, but it's not necessarily easy. A shield would qualify as a well-secured, worn item:

Grabbing Items

You can use a disarm action to snatch an item worn by the target. If you want to have the item in your hand, the disarm must be made as an unarmed attack.

If the item is poorly secured or otherwise easy to snatch or cut away the attacker gets a +4 bonus. Unlike on a normal disarm attempt, failing the attempt doesnít allow the defender to attempt to disarm you. This otherwise functions identically to a disarm attempt, as noted above.

You canít snatch an item that is well secured unless you have pinned the wearer (see Grapple). Even then, the defender gains a +4 bonus on his roll to resist the attempt.


628, rebuttal

A shield would also qualify as a weapon. One that can be readied, on an extremity, in a single move action, and taken off in the same.

In your opinion, would you have to maintain total body control, including partially choking your opponent until he cannot speak, to even have a shot of getting off this item that the defender can take a move and a free action (less than 6 seconds) to toss to the ground? Or would establishing control over a single arm be sufficient to yank it out?

If the latter is true, then that is best represented by either a melee weapon (which a shield is) or a poorly-secured item, and disarmed without a pin.

So what is right? (By the way, Talic is involved in the PbP arena where the question is popped up. He disarmed the shield.)

Kizara
2008-12-04, 10:08 AM
If you want an opinion, I treat shields as weapons for purposes like this.

RMS Oceanic
2008-12-04, 10:08 AM
I'd personally rule that it depends what the shield was used for. If it has been used to bash, and the wielder doesn't have Improved Shield Bash, then it is a normal weapon, as you consequently lose your AC bonus when you do that. If you do have ISB, then you've kept it secure when you bash, so it would be harder to disarm.

That's just my opinion.

Duke of URL
2008-12-04, 10:15 AM
I stand by my original statement that it is a worn item:


Shield, Heavy, Wooden or Steel

You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A heavy shield is so heavy that you canít use your shield hand for anything else.

...

Shield, Light, Wooden or Steel

You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A light shieldís weight lets you carry other items in that hand, although you cannot use weapons with it.

Note that in both cases, the shield is strapped to the forearm, which makes it worn and secured.

Edit: I've modified the original post in the RAW thread to include this clarification.

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-12-04, 10:17 AM
I stand by my original statement that it is a worn item:



Note that in both cases, the shield is strapped to the forearm, which makes it worn and secured.It is also held, which is where I think the problem lies. It does both.

Brother Oni
2008-12-04, 10:19 AM
Speaking from a real world point of view, it depends on the shield.

Some shields require to be strapped onto the user to be effective and take some preparation time to wear. These would be harder to disarm, but wouldn't be able to be readied in a move action.

Other shields are just worn on a sling and have additional straps that allow it to be held with one hand. I'd judge these to be able to be readied with a move action, thrown away easily, etc, but also to be disarmed more easily.

My opinion is that before the combat starts, the DM needs to confirm how the shield is worn and whether the user has had suitable preparation time.

Brother Oni
2008-12-04, 10:25 AM
It is also held, which is where I think the problem lies. It does both.

Referring back to my earlier post, it depends. Supposing the heavy shield is like the strapped shield in my example, the user wouldn't be able to let go of it, even if he wanted to, so it would be more like a worn item.

Note that this may have interesting effects outside of combat as with a large shield, you wouldn't be able to go through narrow spaces easily.

Telonius
2008-12-04, 10:25 AM
I would say that they're both right, depending on the situation.

From the Shield description:

Shield, Heavy, Wooden or Steel
You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand. A heavy shield is so heavy that you canít use your shield hand for anything else


"Strapped to your forearm" sounds like it's reasonably well-secured, so "Grab an item" wouldn't apply unless the character is pinned.

However:


You can bash an opponent with a heavy shield, using it as an off-hand weapon. See Table: Weapons for the damage dealt by a shield bash. Used this way, a heavy shield is a martial bludgeoning weapon. For the purpose of penalties on attack rolls, treat a heavy shield as a one-handed weapon. If you use your shield as a weapon, you lose its AC bonus until your next action (usually until the next round). An enhancement bonus on a shield does not improve the effectiveness of a shield bash made with it, but the shield can be made into a magic weapon in its own right.


There's a similar paragraph for Light Shields. So in this way, the shield would be subject to Disarm, as though it were a normal melee weapon. A light shield is a light melee weapon, so would receive a -4 penalty on the opposed attack roll; a heavy shield would receive no penalty. Neither would take a -4 penalty for it not being a melee weapon.

Where this breaks down, at least a little, is for Bucklers. You can't bash with a Buckler, so it's not a weapon. But it also seems to be a bit more like a worn item. So, I'd say that it can't be disarmed at all, unless the character is pinned; though it would be subject to Sundering.

kamikasei
2008-12-04, 10:29 AM
Why does "you can bash with it" mean "it's a weapon, so you can disarm it"? Can you disarm armor spikes?

Sstoopidtallkid
2008-12-04, 10:31 AM
Why does "you can bash with it" mean "it's a weapon, so you can disarm it"? Can you disarm armor spikes?It's held. That's the issue. It's held in your hand, which means it's Disarmed like a weapon, but it's also strapped onto your arm, which means it should be treated like a worn object. :smalleek:

Triaxx
2008-12-04, 10:31 AM
Disarming a Buckler is likely akin to disarming a dagger. A small shield is easier, but beyond that it's more difficult.

When does it become more useful to simply Sunder the shield instead of trying to disarm it? When you're not sititing within arms reach of the opponent's player, that's when. :smallbiggrin:

metagaia
2008-12-04, 10:35 AM
It should have some penalty to disarm though, since dropping a shield takes a move action, as opposed to a free action for a weapon.

The locked gauntlet gives any weapon a +10 against disarm checks, and it takes a full-round action to drop a weapon from a locked gauntlet.

I would thus rule than a +5 bonus to avoid a shield being disarmed seems appropiate.

kamikasei
2008-12-04, 10:37 AM
It's held. That's the issue.

It's not the only issue. For example, RMS Oceanic above suggests that it may become disarmable or not depending on whether it was used to do damage in that round.

The fact that it is strapped to the arm to me says it's worn and has to be disarmed as a worn item - it's not being held in the hand so that it can be knocked out and dropped. The hand is being used to secure and control it, not to keep it from falling off.

You could disarm it as a worn item to cut the straps and cause it to fall off. Or you could disarm it as a held item to make it hard/impossible to control - you lose the AC or take a penalty, and you can't bash with it, but it's still on your arm and you can immediately grasp it again and regain all its benefits the next round.

Kizara
2008-12-04, 10:37 AM
Disarming a Buckler is likely akin to disarming a dagger. A small shield is easier, but beyond that it's more difficult.

When does it become more useful to simply Sunder the shield instead of trying to disarm it? When you're not sititing within arms reach of the opponent's player, that's when. :smallbiggrin:

I say anything that's not one of the wierd Races of Stone exotic shields or a tower shield is effectively a weapon for this purpose.

Considering it IS strapped to your arm, I'd grant a +2 bonus against it being disarmed, ala similar effects.

Honestly, the game treats them as such in many ways as well, and I'm surprized that disarming shields isn't directly addressed anywhere, it seems a fairly obvious tactic.

EDIT: Actually, I agree with the logic of the +5 above. TBH, this has never actually come up in one of my games. Once someone Sundered a shield, but people just generally attack the wielder.

Duke of URL
2008-12-04, 10:41 AM
It's held. That's the issue. It's held in your hand, which means it's Disarmed like a weapon, but it's also strapped onto your arm, which means it should be treated like a worn object. :smalleek:

It's a grey area, for sure, but as far as I read it, RAW is that it is secured due to being strapped to your body. But I will allow that the rules are not entirely explicit here.

As an aside, I'd probably not rule it this way in a game I was DMing, but rather use the following interpretation:

A shield is a worn item that is neither poorly-secured nor well-secured, and subject to a normal disarm attempt; however, since it is strapped to the body, this disarm attempt would only release it from the hand, not the body, and thus it could be re-equipped on the wearer's next turn. However, until then, the wearer would not gain any benefit from the shield.

Telonius
2008-12-04, 10:42 AM
I almost put the locked gauntlet comparison in my post as well, but that would technically be a houserule and not RAW. I think it would be an extremely logical houserule, though.

Enlong
2008-12-04, 10:51 AM
Yeah, you can disarm a shield, as long as the shield isn't securing its weapons with a locked gauntlet.

Matthew
2008-12-04, 10:59 AM
I would imagine that you could disarm a light or heavy shield with a normal disarm attempt; however that would only mean that you had knocked it from "readied" to "unreadied", as the shield is secured to the character, either by being strapped to the arm or via a shoulder strap.

Another_Poet
2008-12-04, 11:16 AM
It's held. That's the issue. It's held in your hand, which means it's Disarmed like a weapon, but it's also strapped onto your arm, which means it should be treated like a worn object. :smalleek:

I'm sorry, but this line of reasoning is flawed.

If it's strapped AND held... then it's as secure as something strapped. The fact that you add extra security to it (holding it) does not make the straps any weaker, nor does it mean you get to ignore them.

Comparisons:
If a chest has two locks--an "average lock" and an "amazing lock"--you have to overcome both to open it. Beating the Open Lock DC of the average lock does not open the chest on its own.

If a doorway is barricaded by wooden planks (break DC 18) and a slab of stone (break DC 50), you don't get through by rolling a 30, even though you broke the wooden planks.

If a goblin wears a Ring of Protection +1 and a Ring of Protection +3, your attack roll better be at least 3 higher than its normal (non-magicked) AC; rolling high enough to get past the weaker Ring of Protection doesn't mean anything.

In all these cases, it would be ludicrous for a player to claim that they succeed because they got past the weaker of two obstacles. Disarming something "held" is easier than grabbing something "secured" (in this case, strapped). If something is both held and secured, you have to overcome at least the more difficult odf the two, the "secured" part. A shield doesn't stop being secured just because it is also held, nor because the shield is used for an attack roll. The straps stay on regardless.

A kind DM would use the rules for a worn, secured item. A stickler DM would require separate disarm attempts for the strap (worn, secured) and the hand (held). Anything else is a house rule.

ap

kamikasei
2008-12-04, 11:22 AM
I would imagine that you could disarm a light or heavy shield with a normal disarm attempt; however that would only mean that you had knocked it from "readied" to "unreadied", as the shield is secured to the character, either by being strapped to the arm or via a shoulder strap.

I would say this is the consensus for how one should reasonably houserule it. Whether it's what the rules actually say... But if a ruling to use in your game is what you desire, go with this.

Roderick_BR
2008-12-04, 02:02 PM
I agree that it should be threated as a "weapon" with a locked gauntlet.
An interesting option from one of those old 3.0 books (sword & fist, I believe), is a feat that allow you to use your off-hand weapon to strike a shield, denying it's AC bonuses only for the rest of that round, with the target being able to reposition it as a free action after that attacker's turn is done. You could rule that someone with multiple attacks (or multiple attackers) could use one of his attacks to knock a shield outta the way (without making it actually drop), or take the -5/-10 to fully knock it off.

Tacoma
2008-12-04, 02:03 PM
Can you disarm someone's helmet? It is, after all, held on by just one strap. Maybe a hinge or something.

What about his boot? Can you disarm his boot? He can take it off in one action!

The answer is, it depends on the shield. If the shield is one that is securely strapped on, then the wielder needs to be pinned down or incapacitated. But the disarmer must simply take off the shield at that point - unstrap it as the wielder would have to do.

If the shield is a normal one, where you slide your arm through a strap and then grip a handle, I can see it being disarmed. It could be grabbed and pulled off strenuously. Or struck so hard you lose your grip, your arm swings wide, and it slides off your arm. This kind of shield could be dropped by the wielder in a single action. But I would give a -4 to disarm it.

If it's simply held, like a weapon, and can be dropped for a free action, then there is no disarm penalty - it's just like a weapon.

Nobody start disarming boots now, please.

Tsotha-lanti
2008-12-04, 02:10 PM
Nobody start disarming boots now, please.

You can sunder them, though. While someone's wearing them. Helmets, too.

Figure that one out.

Tacoma
2008-12-04, 05:56 PM
Sunder has all its own problems.

Note that the material of a stereotypical "plain gold ring" from which almost all magic rings seem to be made has poor Hardness and horrible HP as it is rarely more than a quarter-inch thick.

And that you can blast a ring off a Wizard's hand with 50 points overflow Greataxe damage without giving him a scratch.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-04, 08:10 PM
Gauntlet, Locked

This armored gauntlet has small chains and braces that allow the wearer to attach a weapon to the gauntlet so that it cannot be dropped easily. It provides a +10 bonus on any roll made to keep from being disarmed in combat. We've got a precedent for weapons being strapped on here. Why not just extend this to the strapped on shields (light & heavy)?

As for sundering a ring, I think the problem comes not from the actual sunder mechanics, but from the DM not enforcing the Spot rules regarding such items.
Difficulty (DC): Very easy (0) Notice something large in plain sight (Spot)

Trying to spot something you failed to see previously is a move action.
...
Per 10 feet of distance: -1 penalty When characters first have line of sight (and are within the maximum viewing distance permitted by the terrain), both sides get a chance to make a Spot check to notice the other party. This is a reactive check, and requires no stated action by the player. After that, there is generally no possibility of seeing anything missed on that first Spot check without making a stated Spot check, and using a move action for the purpose. (The Quick Reconnoiter feat is a way around this, providing an extra Spot chance each round.) Did the Barbarian Spot the Wizard's ring when they first had line of sight at 50' separation? Probably not. Did the Barbarian use up a move action to get more information about the small gear the Wizard is carrying or wearing? If not, simply following the rules makes it impossible for the Barbarian to sunder a ring that was never perceived.

We've got too may DMs and players playing D&D as if the automatic encounter rules of 3.0 and earlier editions were still in effect. They're not. 3.5 is a more tactically complex game. If you fail to Spot something -- even an adjacent person attacking you -- you have to treat them as visually undetectable until you succeed on a check. Keen eyesight and automatic tactical assessment of all items on a battlefield isn't a given. You've simply got to have the skill -- or at least luck on your d20 rolls.

Matthew
2008-12-04, 08:38 PM
We've got too may DMs and players playing D&D as if the automatic encounter rules of 3.0 and earlier editions were still in effect. They're not. 3.5 is a more tactically complex game. If you fail to Spot something -- even an adjacent person attacking you -- you have to treat them as visually undetectable until you succeed on a check. Keen eyesight and automatic tactical assessment of all items on a battlefield isn't a given. You've simply got to have the skill -- or at least luck on your d20 rolls.

For what it is worth, I completely disagree with this assessment. :smallwink:

Curmudgeon
2008-12-04, 09:20 PM
For what it is worth, I completely disagree with this assessment. :smallwink: Huh? What do you disagree with? The existence of the rules, my interpretation of them, or something else?

ericgrau
2008-12-04, 10:14 PM
Shields are not held, they are strapped to your arm. You even need one move action to get your shield, and a second move action to strap it on. Disarming a well secured object requires pinning a target first (see grapple rules), and the target gets a +4 bonus even after you pin him. Whether or not a shield is well secured depends on which picture you look at. One involves buckles like a belt, another just loose straps. But loose straps wouldn't take a move action IMO; you would strap it on as you draw it. Or you could rule that a shield strapped on that well couldn't be disarmed at all.
Or house rule what Curmudgeon said or etc.

EDIT: It also seems like the straps on shields are secure since you're allowed to hold any item in your shield hand. You can't swing a weapon unless the shield is a buckler and you can't use the hand for casting, but you could hold just about anything in that hand. Like, say, a lantern. I would think that if a shield were loosely strapped it would make this at least highly annoying and perhaps impossible.

Curmudgeon & spot checks: You don't need to take a move action or any action to make a spot check, even after the encounter begins. You get one automatically each round, but may spend a move action to get an extra one. As the DM you may reroll for the barbarian or rule that the barbarian uses his original spot check but without the -5 distance penalty once he gets up close (i.e., if he closes in the same round IMO). And once the ring was pointed out to him he would likely see it regardless. I forget exactly what the rules say on this; it might be a +X bonus or it might simply rely on common sense.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-05, 02:49 AM
You don't need to take a move action or any action to make a spot check, even after the encounter begins. You get one automatically each roundTrue, but those are to react to new situations -- things that weren't there to be seen before.

but may spend a move action to get an extra one.
No, that's something different entirely. You may use a move action Spot check to try to see things you missed previously. That's the rule.
Every time you have a chance to spot something in a reactive manner you can make a Spot check without using an action. Trying to spot something you failed to see previously is a move action.

As the DM you may reroll for the barbarian or rule that the barbarian uses his original spot check but without the -5 distance penalty once he gets up close (i.e., if he closes in the same round IMO). That's a house rule that's directly in contradiction to the RAW. The D&D rules require using a move action Spot check.
And once the ring was pointed out to him he would likely see it regardless.Sure, that would make sense to include a circumstance bonus to a new check, but who's going to point it out, and how -- using up a move action to point? And then the Barbarian still needs to use a move action to make the new check, and still must succeed before the ring is perceived.
To make a skill check, roll 1d20 and add your characterís skill modifier for that skill. ... Unlike with attack rolls and saving throws, a natural roll of 20 on the d20 is not an automatic success, and a natural roll of 1 is not an automatic failure. You don't Spot anything until you succeed on your check. So sayeth the RAW.

elliott20
2008-12-05, 02:58 AM
or you can chop off the whole arm and make it a literal disarm! *ba-dum-chh*

okay, I'll just go over there in the corner now.

Tacoma
2008-12-05, 03:27 AM
This appears to suggest that a man hiding in tall grass - there from the beginning of the encounter but with a high Spot requirement - who stands up is not automatically seen? That is complete hogwash.

Rolling to see if you can notice a dude standing right there? The fact that it's possible to fail that roll? The fact that a DM might take this to mean he needs to make all the players roll every time they enter every room to see the furniture?

Furthermore if the Spot DC for a large object is zero, the DC for a ring glinting on his finger can't be all that high. I can't tell because I'm looking at the SRD and it says nothing like what you're saying. In the 3.5 SRD Spot is specifically an anti-Hide and nothing more.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-05, 04:52 AM
This appears to suggest that a man hiding in tall grass - there from the beginning of the encounter but with a high Spot requirement - who stands up is not automatically seen? That is complete hogwash. It's actually complete RAW.

Furthermore if the Spot DC for a large object is zero, the DC for a ring glinting on his finger can't be all that high. It's 20 if within 10'. The DC (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/combat/movementPositionAndDistance.htm#bigandLittleCreatu resInCombat) opposing Spot changes by 4 for each size category, and there are 5 category jumps between large and fine.

I can't tell because I'm looking at the SRD and it says nothing like what you're saying. It says exactly what I'm saying; you're just not looking hard enough. It's right here (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/skills/usingSkills.htm#difficultyClass), at the beginning of the Skills chapter.

monty
2008-12-05, 05:35 AM
This appears to suggest that a man hiding in tall grass - there from the beginning of the encounter but with a high Spot requirement - who stands up is not automatically seen? That is complete hogwash.

Rolling to see if you can notice a dude standing right there? The fact that it's possible to fail that roll? The fact that a DM might take this to mean he needs to make all the players roll every time they enter every room to see the furniture?

Furthermore if the Spot DC for a large object is zero, the DC for a ring glinting on his finger can't be all that high. I can't tell because I'm looking at the SRD and it says nothing like what you're saying. In the 3.5 SRD Spot is specifically an anti-Hide and nothing more.

See: drowning to heal, among many other things. RAW can be stupid sometimes.

Matthew
2008-12-05, 05:48 AM
Huh? What do you disagree with? The existence of the rules, my interpretation of them, or something else?

Just about everything you wrote. That is to say, your interpretation of the rules and your understanding of their purpose. Of course, I am not saying your approach is "bad", I just don't agree it is the only valid one. Really, though, that is a whole different thread. If I have some time this afternoon, I will start one.

DigoDragon
2008-12-05, 10:17 AM
RAW can be stupid sometimes.

Verily. :smallsigh:
Common sense needs some love too. In this case I'd say the straps make the shield secured and difficult to disarm, even if you're also holding part of it or using it to shield bash. But' that's how I run it.

WickerNipple
2008-12-05, 10:28 AM
A Buckler should be disarmable like any other handheld weapon.

An actual shield, that's strapped on, would require you to cut the straps as part of the disarm action. That's no easy task, and is well represented by the +10 granted by a weapon chain.

Telonius
2008-12-05, 10:33 AM
Nobody start disarming boots now, please.

I can't find any dis-legging rules in the PHB. :smallbiggrin:

metagaia
2008-12-05, 10:38 AM
A Buckler should be disarmable like any other handheld weapon.

An actual shield, that's strapped on, would require you to cut the straps as part of the disarm action. That's no easy task, and is well represented by the +10 granted by a weapon chain.

What do think a buckler is held on by then, sellotape? In the end, the RAW rules give no clear answer so just use whatever ruling as DM you think is best :smallannoyed:

ericgrau
2008-12-05, 11:09 AM
This appears to suggest that a man hiding in tall grass - there from the beginning of the encounter but with a high Spot requirement - who stands up is not automatically seen? That is complete hogwash.

Rolling to see if you can notice a dude standing right there? The fact that it's possible to fail that roll? The fact that a DM might take this to mean he needs to make all the players roll every time they enter every room to see the furniture?

Furthermore if the Spot DC for a large object is zero, the DC for a ring glinting on his finger can't be all that high. I can't tell because I'm looking at the SRD and it says nothing like what you're saying. In the 3.5 SRD Spot is specifically an anti-Hide and nothing more.

If a guy stands up in tall grass, he no longer has concealment and therefore can no longer hide at all. Per the rules. And most times people say "RAW" it really means "RAII" (rules-as-I-interpret). And when that's the only leg they have to stand on - a highly questionable rules interpretation - it usually means that their point is so silly that they really have nothing better to back it up with.

Rules + common sense interpretation = a fun framework for a game.
"Rules" + something else = silly mind games, abusive powergaming, etc.

KevLar
2008-12-05, 11:17 AM
High, I'm the one who lost a shield from a disputed Disarm-as-a-weapon attempt (hence, Adumbration started the thread) and I thought to stop by, after all.

RAW informs us that: "You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand."

That's pretty much the definition of a worn, well secured item. I mean, what else can you do to secure one? Use Sovereign Glue?

"But it's a weapon as well!" you say. Sure. It's a weapon you wear. Not a weapon you just hold. You can't disarm it by "knocking it out of your opponent's hand", as RAW describes, because it's worn. It's strapped. (OMG, I lost my grip on the shield! Good thing it's attached to my arm, then.)

And you can't disarm it as a worn item, "grabbing it", because again, it's strapped. It's as well secured as a worn item can be. Even if you have a STR of 40 and would automatically succeed on a normal Disarm check, if you grab the shield, you'll yank the hand along. You won't end up with a shield in your hands. (Unless the arm is still inside. Regrettably, the rules for maiming in D&D are not properly addressed. So that's out.) And that's why, by RAW, worn, well secured items simply cannot be disarmed except when the opponent is pinned.

So grapple the shield-bearer, pin the shield-bearer, and now that he can't move very well, take the shield away. It'll take some effort, but it's not impossible.

But disarming a shield just as you disarm a sword? That's against RAW, RAI, common sense, and the Declaration of Human Rights.

Peace.

ericgrau
2008-12-05, 11:30 AM
Viva le resistance!

KevLar
2008-12-05, 11:44 AM
Viva la resistencia (Spanish)
or
Vive la resistance (French)

/geek
:smalltongue:

Tacoma
2008-12-05, 11:50 AM
If a guy stands up in tall grass, he no longer has concealment and therefore can no longer hide at all. Per the rules.

But while he cannot hide, he is still an object in the world that has a Spot DC in round 1 and in round 2 when he stands up. Whether he is actually using his Hide skill is irrelevant. If he were standing next to a mannequin who was also laid down in the grass, and he stood the mannequin up, we wouldn't suggest that the mannequin was using the Hide skill and that it cannot now use the Hide skill when it no longer has concealment.

Roderick_BR
2008-12-05, 12:34 PM
That's pretty much the definition of a worn, well secured item. I mean, what else can you do to secure one? Use an Amazing Lock?
I suggest Sovereign Glue.

KevLar
2008-12-05, 01:44 PM
Your suggestion is so wise that I will promptly edit my post to include it.

Curmudgeon
2008-12-05, 02:14 PM
But while he cannot hide, he is still an object in the world that has a Spot DC in round 1 and in round 2 when he stands up. Whether he is actually using his Hide skill is irrelevant. If he were standing next to a mannequin who was also laid down in the grass, and he stood the mannequin up, we wouldn't suggest that the mannequin was using the Hide skill and that it cannot now use the Hide skill when it no longer has concealment. Thank you for making this point.

Your average level 1 Commoner probably has 1-3 ranks in Spot. This Commoner is also wise enough to avoid combat, so can "take 10" continually. Our Commoner will succeed automatically on Spot checks of 11 or less -- enough to see and recognize small characters 30' across the marketplace.

Now let's think about what a level 16 Barbarian with zero ranks in Spot represents: someone who never tried to learn to visually recognize anything, ever. And to go into combat with such an appalling handicap is just preposterous. Min-maxers who minimize necessary skills, like ignoring Spot to maximize Intimidate, should expect their PCs to suffer the consequences of those choices. Should we award sharp, combat-aware visual acuity -- for free -- to an unskilled character just because they're a PC? Then we should probably give the Barbarian spellcasting, too; we wouldn't want the player to feel disadvantaged just because they chose to maximize martial aspects in their character development choices. :smallwink:

WickerNipple
2008-12-05, 02:43 PM
What do think a buckler is held on by then, sellotape?

"Buckler" != "Buckled on."

It's a small handheld shield one holds perpendicular to the arm, not parallel.

http://www.thearma.org/essays/SandB/Fol.96v_14thc.jpeg

Look it up before being witty.

Telonius
2008-12-05, 02:46 PM
Unfortunately that's not a buckler, as far as RAW is concerned.


Buckler
This small metal shield is worn strapped to your forearm. You can use a bow or crossbow without penalty while carrying it. You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an off-hand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a -1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. In any case, if you use a weapon in your off hand, you donít get the bucklerís AC bonus for the rest of the round.

You canít bash someone with a buckler.




I know, it's counter-historical, but it is what it is.

Tacoma
2008-12-05, 02:47 PM
D&D has always had some trouble with accurate equipment. Lately there have been ... significant errors. This is one of them.

KevLar
2008-12-05, 02:51 PM
This picture is mesmerizing. The clothes... dear god, the clothes!
*gapes*

WickerNipple
2008-12-05, 02:56 PM
Lol, that's hilarious. Guess I'm the one guilty of not looking things up. :smallmad:

Apologies! :roach:

Telonius
2008-12-05, 02:58 PM
No problem, Wicker! :smallbiggrin: It's not the silliest part of the rules anyway.

Tacoma
2008-12-05, 02:59 PM
Your average level 1 Commoner probably has 1-3 ranks in Spot.
Why? He would probably have so few skill points, he might have a single rank in Spot, but probably spent it all on Profession: Farmer or something.


This Commoner is also wise enough to avoid combat, so can "take 10" continually.
Well sure everyone can waste their rounds making Spot checks, not just a Commoner. But assuming the Commoner is acting normally, just like the Barbarian, or perhaps running away feverishly through the grass toward the mannequin and looking straight at it, he doesn't get to spend an action Spotting. Yet he could run smack into the mannequin without having noticed it standing 5' from him.

Look, I'm just saying it would work slightly better if the rule were "everyone makes a new Spot check if the Spot DC for an object degrades", or perhaps "everyone gets one Spot check per round for free to notice things not noticed before". The current rules result in undesirable unintended consequences. They can be improved measurably and possibly made simpler in the process.

Maybe at the start of combat everyone makes a Spot check to show their current alertness and that determines what they can see. Each person can take an action to look around, rerolling the Spot check, using the new roll if it's higher than the previous one.

This way we can illustrate the effects of an alert guard watching a limited area for a long time. He eventually hits a roll of 20 and retains it until he leaves the area or eats lunch or whatever.

And we can show someone as sort of surprised and not very alert until he takes a good look around and clear his head. Kind of a second layer of Surprise rules that don't take flat-footedness into account but that we get for free when we use this rule.

And that's just what some dude on the Internet came up with off the cuff. They did a bad job making this rule. I'm sure people could do a better job than me.

monty
2008-12-05, 03:01 PM
Well sure everyone can waste their rounds making Spot checks, not just a Commoner. But assuming the Commoner is acting normally, just like the Barbarian, or perhaps running away feverishly through the grass toward the mannequin and looking straight at it, he doesn't get to spend an action Spotting. Yet he could run smack into the mannequin without having noticed it standing 5' from him.


Every time you have a chance to spot something in a reactive manner you can make a Spot check without using an action.

As long as it's not a stressful situation, they can still take 10 on those checks.

Matthew
2008-12-05, 03:03 PM
D&D has always had some trouble with accurate equipment. Lately there have been ... significant errors. This is one of them.

Actually, in this case it is not as great an error as it seems. The word "buckler" is now commonly used to refer to a small shield grasped in the hand, but it also has significant currency as a word simply meaning "small shield" or even just "shield". I suppose it could be described as an archaic use of the word, much like "chain mail", but it is not technically entirely inaccurate, still less so because D20/3e takes the trouble to define its own terms.

ericgrau
2008-12-05, 03:32 PM
In everything I remember the buckler was used by archers. i.e., it would leave both their hands free to use a bow. There may be more than one "historically accurate" form of the buckler. Anyway, just go with the version in the rules.

Devils_Advocate
2008-12-05, 10:03 PM
Allow me to share what the Dungeonomicon (http://www.tgdmb.com/viewtopic.php?t=28547) has to say on the subject of visual awareness:


Hiding in 3.5 D&D is Dumb

OK, we all know that it makes us feel kind of bad when the Rogue sneaks up on people and stabs them in the face without them ever seeing who did it. But you know what? People totally do that crap all the time. It's not even an uncommon occurrence, and there's really no cause to get excited about. The 3.5 rules for hiding, where you need cover or concealment to hide, are retarded. That makes Rogues run around with tower shields so that they can hide themselves and their equipment behind the cover of the tower shield (including the tower shield itself, which makes my brain hurt). Yes, you can totally hide when there are no intervening objects between you and the victim. It's called "sneaking up behind people" and in a game with no facing it's handled with a hide check opposed by spot.

If you attempt to hide in a combat setting, you are under a number of restrictions:

<snip>

But you can do it. Hiding in combat is hard, but it's a thing that powerful characters may be able to do against some opponents. Some of the D&D authors have an outdated idea that Rogues should be forced to "hide in shadows" or something. But this is D&D, and most enemies have Darkvision. There are no shadows. Attempting to force Rogues to hide only in areas that they could plausibly hide in if a suspicious person was looking right at them and knew what they were looking for is incredibly cruel. In any kind of stressful situation that isn't an accurate picture of what is going on.

You don't properly deal with the game's lack of facing by treating everyone as facing in every direction simultaneously. That's ridiculous. So, no, a guy who stands up from hiding shouldn't automatically be seen by everyone, at least right away. If a group of people are battling each other nearby, a whole bunch of them might very plausible miss seeing him, especially if he ducks back down soon, because they're distracted by people who are trying to kill them. Bit of an attention-grabber, that.

Talic
2008-12-06, 02:28 AM
High, I'm the one who lost a shield from a disputed Disarm-as-a-weapon attempt (hence, Adumbration started the thread) and I thought to stop by, after all.

RAW informs us that: "You strap a shield to your forearm and grip it with your hand."

That's pretty much the definition of a worn, well secured item. I mean, what else can you do to secure one? Use Sovereign Glue?

"But it's a weapon as well!" you say. Sure. It's a weapon you wear. Not a weapon you just hold. You can't disarm it by "knocking it out of your opponent's hand", as RAW describes, because it's worn. It's strapped. (OMG, I lost my grip on the shield! Good thing it's attached to my arm, then.)

And you can't disarm it as a worn item, "grabbing it", because again, it's strapped. It's as well secured as a worn item can be. Even if you have a STR of 40 and would automatically succeed on a normal Disarm check, if you grab the shield, you'll yank the hand along. You won't end up with a shield in your hands. (Unless the arm is still inside. Regrettably, the rules for maiming in D&D are not properly addressed. So that's out.) And that's why, by RAW, worn, well secured items simply cannot be disarmed except when the opponent is pinned.

So grapple the shield-bearer, pin the shield-bearer, and now that he can't move very well, take the shield away. It'll take some effort, but it's not impossible.

But disarming a shield just as you disarm a sword? That's against RAW, RAI, common sense, and the Declaration of Human Rights.

Peace.

I was with you up until Human Rights. But no message that states "regrettably" and "maiming" can advocate human rights.

I agree with this position, incidentally. I wanted to explore options.

On a side note, I believe that the Throw shield feat should not be allowed with a shield that is strapped to your arm, by the same token.

KevLar
2008-12-06, 05:21 AM
I was with you up until Human Rights. But no message that states "regrettably" and "maiming" can advocate human rights.
LOL.
OK, problem solved. :)

I have no opinion about Throw Shield at the moment, I've never read it carefully, to be honest.

Oracle_Hunter
2008-12-06, 08:31 AM
Hasn't anyone noticed that you don't just hold a shield to use it? You actually have to use a Move Action to strap it to your arm for it to work:


Strapping a shield to your arm to gain its shield bonus to your AC, or unstrapping and dropping a shield so you can use your shield hand for another purpose, requires a move action. If you have a base attack bonus of +1 or higher, you can ready or loose a shield as a free action combined with a regular move.

Dropping a carried (but not worn) shield is a free action.

It seems to me that, if you need to spend a whole Move Action to use a shield once it's in your hand, then it shouldn't be as easily disarmed as a weapon.

Heliomance
2008-12-06, 09:12 AM
Thank you for making this point.

Your average level 1 Commoner probably has 1-3 ranks in Spot. This Commoner is also wise enough to avoid combat, so can "take 10" continually. Our Commoner will succeed automatically on Spot checks of 11 or less -- enough to see and recognize small characters 30' across the marketplace.

Now let's think about what a level 16 Barbarian with zero ranks in Spot represents: someone who never tried to learn to visually recognize anything, ever. And to go into combat with such an appalling handicap is just preposterous. Min-maxers who minimize necessary skills, like ignoring Spot to maximize Intimidate, should expect their PCs to suffer the consequences of those choices. Should we award sharp, combat-aware visual acuity -- for free -- to an unskilled character just because they're a PC? Then we should probably give the Barbarian spellcasting, too; we wouldn't want the player to feel disadvantaged just because they chose to maximize martial aspects in their character development choices. :smallwink:

Now you're just being ridiculous. Are you seriously trying to say that someone with no ranks in Spot wouldn't recognise a table if they saw one? Yes, the rules say that if you miss seeing someone initially and you don't take a move action to spot again, you won't see them even when they're right in your face. Yes, that rule is utterly retarded and has never been enforced by any DM ever.

Belial_the_Leveler
2008-12-06, 09:24 AM
Comeon people! No need to argue. Just sunder the shield. :smalltongue:



Incidentally, you can never disarm a shield. It has neither arms (weapons) you can deprive it of, nor arms (limbs) you could hack off.
You can, however, disarm the person carrying the shield.

Heliomance
2008-12-06, 09:27 AM
Actually, shields commonly do bear the arms of either the person wielding them or that person's lord.

metagaia
2008-12-06, 09:32 AM
Hasn't anyone noticed that you don't just hold a shield to use it? You actually have to use a Move Action to strap it to your arm for it to work:

If you bothered to read the whole thread, you will find that people have noticed this, but it's still not entirely clear (see locked gauntlet for comparison). There are logical houserules that involve giving a penalty of disarm, but the RAW rules are not clear at all.

Quirinus_Obsidian
2008-12-06, 09:34 AM
I would have to disagree with allowing it to be disarmed with a simple disarm attempt, even if it were used as a weapon. The item takes forever to put on (2 standard actions it was?) because of the weight and the straps that are holding it on. That gives the +10 bonus, which supersedes the normal DC from it being used as a weapon. It is still strapped to ones arm even if it is used as a weapon. Rule 0 is in effect here. :smallbiggrin:

Sunder ability was made specifically for shields and weapons.

Re: spot checks. RAW, by the book rules in this case are stupid. Basically, this "rule" would give 'Hide in plain sight' to just about everything. Mice and other tiny creatures would be literally undetectable. a normal person is going to notice things without having to actively 'see' it happening. Now, in the DnD universe, adventurers are like superhuman (well, having higher stats than the lowly commoner). Take the 'Wisdom score by chance. This score determines your listen, spot, and survival checks (in 3.5e). Higher wisdom means you have a higher chance of being able to perceive something.

Rule 0 states that it has to make sense in reality. If freakin Gawdzilla started walking the streets of Boston, the people there are going to notice it. It's Huge sized and has a deafening roar. By the RAW rules, if a person fails their spot and listen checks (it would have to be an Epic fail), they do not notice freakin' Gawdzilla. That to me makes no sense whatsoever.

Belial_the_Leveler
2008-12-06, 09:40 AM
If freakin Gawdzilla started walking the streets of Boston, the people there are going to notice it
Because "Gawdzilla" would be Titanic size, he'd take a -64 penalty to its hide checks. Unless somebody managed to roll -65 or lower, they'd see him.


Mice and other tiny creatures would be literally undetectable.
They are. In the average Galleon there were hundreds, if not thousands, of mice. Yet even in long voyages that took months, the crew could never find the little devils that ate the food.

Heliomance
2008-12-06, 09:46 AM
What is this "Titanic" size? I know not of it. Size categories only go up to Colossal, then you simply add + on the end - Colossal+, Colossal++, Colossal+++ - not that anything is that big.

Riffington
2008-12-06, 09:51 AM
They are. In the average Galleon there were hundreds, if not thousands, of mice. Yet even in long voyages that took months, the crew could never find the little devils that ate the food.

The difficulty in detecting a mouse is obtaining line-of-sight.

Evil DM Mark3
2008-12-06, 09:58 AM
I tend to rule as a well secured item, although for Tower shields I say that you would have to sunder it as the shield is strapped in place.

metagaia
2008-12-06, 10:02 AM
Ok, godzilla probably has a height of about 80 (around 270ft) which would mean (s)he is the next size catagory up from colossal. This gives a -32 penalty of hide checks. Giving the creature a dex of 10 for simplicity it means it's best hide check is -12. In other words the other persons spot modifier needs to be at -14 for there to be any chance of success. Assuming moonlight is sufficient for concealment then people start to fail to notice it from 140 ft away (less for fascinated and distracted people).

Very unliekly, but makes sense...it would make more sense if move silently carried a size penalty as well.

Knaight
2008-12-06, 10:02 AM
The cats or small dogs people brought along could however detect mice, using smell, which is why cats and small dogs were on ships so often.

As for disarming a shield, I typically give a -10 to the disarm check, same as a locked gauntlet, then count it the same as a two handed weapon, just because someone yanking the shield off of somebody, probably tearing the strap and sending it flying through the air is so damn awesome.