Quote Originally Posted by PoeticallyPsyco View Post
Well, I'd love to see some abilities to use a shield more actively. Parry incoming attacks (to take advantage of high to-hit but low AC), defend allies, block AOEs... there's a lot of cool stuff to do with a shield besides it just being kind of there or using it as basically an improvised bludgeoning weapon, so I feel like the design space is being somewhat neglected.
Warhammer Fantasy RP had active defenses -- Block, Parry, Dodge -- and those worked pretty well in my (limited) experience.

A really nice consequence of that design was how you got an elegant and implicit mechanical explanation for why (and how) being outnumbered absolutely sucked.

You could also tie mechanical perks to the active effects -- Riposte onto Parry, for one obvious example, but you could also tie iconic racial abilities onto active defenses.

It really is a neglected design space.