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Thread: Tower Shields OP?

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    Titan in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2004

    Default Re: Tower Shields OP?

    The 3.5 FAQ has a lot to say about this, though many will not accept it as RAW:
    Quote Originally Posted by FAQ
    Total cover prevents any attack against you. You can
    use a tower shield to get total cover if you give up all your
    attacks. What does “give up all your attacks” mean? Can
    you move while getting total cover from the shield? Can
    you cast a spell? Also, do you get total cover from all
    directions or from just one side of your square? Will the
    total cover from a tower shield negate spell effects? Will it
    negate attacks of opportunity from movement or from
    other actions such as spellcasting? Will it prevent charge
    attacks against you? What about bull rush attacks? Can it
    prevent grapple attacks or snatch attacks? Will it stop fear
    effects, gaze attacks, or clouds of poison gas? Will it defeat
    traps?

    To claim total cover from a tower shield, you must use a
    standard action. The tower shield rules don’t say that, but that’s
    what they mean. Since you can take only one standard action
    each round, you cannot also attack, cast a spell, activate a
    magic item (except for some use-activated items), use a special
    ability, use total defense, or start or complete a full-round
    action during the same round you claim total cover from the
    shield. You can, however, take a move action before or after
    you claim cover from the shield.

    Like other kinds of cover, the shield has to have a location
    relative to you on the battlefield. When you use the shield for
    cover, choose one edge of your space (not a corner). You have
    total cover against any attack’s line of effect that passes
    through that side of your space. If an attack’s line of effect goes
    through the corner of the side of your space that the shield
    blocks, you get cover from the shield (+4 AC, +2 on Reflex
    saves) instead of total cover. If an attack’s line of effect passes
    through a side of your space that the shield does not block, you
    get no cover from the shield at all. To determine where the line
    of effect enters your space, draw a line from the attacker’s
    center to your center. Or, in the case of a magical effect, from
    the effect’s point of origin and your center.

    Once you claim cover from the shield, the shield keeps
    blocking the side of your space that you chose until the
    beginning of your next turn, when you can again decide
    whether you’ll use the shield for cover. Once you choose the
    side of your space that the shield blocks, you cannot change it
    until your next turn.

    You continue to threaten the area around you while you use
    the shield for cover; however, it provides your opponents with
    the same benefits you get. You cannot make attacks through the
    side of your space that the shield blocks, and should you attack
    through the corners of that space, your foe gets cover against
    your attack. Since cover of any kind prevents attacks of
    opportunity (see page 151 in the PH), the shield keeps you
    from making attacks of opportunity in a pretty wide swath.

    Total cover or cover from a tower shield has the following
    effects in different situations:
    • Magical Attacks: A tower shield’s effects on
      magical attacks depend on the kind of magical attack.
      Any attack aimed at your equipment is aimed at you.
      If a magical attack has you as a specific target (that is
      it does not merely affect the area that contains you
      but is aimed right at you), the shield has no effect. All
      rays fall into this category, as does any spell that has
      a Target entry in its header and any spell that has an
      Effect entry and affects creatures (provided, of
      course, that the attacker can and does choose the
      shield user as a target). Magical attacks that fill areas
      (bursts, cones, cylinders, lines, emanations, and
      spreads) are subject to all the rules for cover on page
      151 of the PH. Such attacks are completely blocked
      if line of effect between you and the attack’s point of
      origin passes through the side of your space the
      shield blocks. You get cover (+4 AC, +2 on Reflex
      saves) if the magical attack’s line of effect passes
      through the corner of the blocked side. Spread effects
      reach around the shield if they normally would
      extend into your space, but you still get a Reflex save
      bonus for cover when they do. A gaze attack is
      blocked if the shield would give you total cover
      against attacks from the creature with the gaze attack.
      If the shield gives you cover only, you’re still subject
      to the gaze attack (although you could avert or close
      your eyes to avoid the attack).
    • Attacks of Opportunity: As noted earlier, cover or
      total cover prevents attacks of opportunity. So you
      could, for example, hunker down behind a tower
      shield and pick up a weapon or rummage around in a
      backpack and avoid attacks of opportunity against
      you. If you’re moving while using the shield for
      cover, things get a little more complicated. You must
      determine whether the shield gives you cover (or
      total cover) at the point during your movement when
      you’d normally provoke an attack of opportunity.
      Remember that attacks of opportunity are usually
      resolved before the actions that provoke them. In
      many cases, the shield won’t be positioned correctly
      to protect you during your whole move.
    • Charging and Bull Rushing: Opponents can charge
      you while you claim cover from the shield. An
      opponent moves as normal when charging you,
      moving to the closest square from which a melee
      attack normally would be possible. If the shield gives
      you total cover from the attack, the attack
      automatically fails. Foes can bull rush you normally,
      moving right into your space in spite of the shield.
      You normally get an attack of opportunity against
      someone entering your space, but not if the shield
      gives your foe cover or total cover.
    • Grapple and Snatch Attacks: Total cover from a
      tower shield blocks such attacks (the foe just can’t
      get hold of you). The foe could, however grab the
      shield. Conduct such attacks just like any other
      grapple or snatch attack. Your foe can’t damage you
      unless he pins you first. You can escape the foe’s
      hold simply by dropping the shield (a standard action
      since it’s strapped to your arm), so long as the foe has
      not pinned you.
    • Traps: Cover or total cover from a tower shield is
      just as effective against a trap as it is against any
      other attack.
    Last edited by Biffoniacus_Furiou; 2014-07-27 at 01:45 AM.