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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    Default [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    I've been working on one of my favorite character concepts, and found that I'm running into... issues, with it. The concept is that of a guy who carries two tower shields, one with spikes on the bottom, and fights in a very unique manner. He plants the spiked shield in the ground, pulls a weapon, and uses the cover and his other shield to dominate anyone who approaches. If no one approaches, he's got cover and can use a crossbow or something to great effect. It's not a perfect concept, but it's fun.

    However, there are mechanical issues. First, those spikes? They don't exist in 3.5 anywhere that I can find. Second, planting a tower shield like that? No rules exist for it. Third, the -2 penalty on attacks from using a tower shield is... problematic at low levels. Thus, I turn to the realm of brew to fix the issue! Behold, some new rules, a new feat or two, and maybe something else if I get inspired.

    New Rule:
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    Creating Cover
    During a fight, a character might wish to create some cover, either from a table, from a tower shield, from the corpses of their foes, or whatever. Doing this takes a varying kind of action, depending on the nature of the situation.

    -To create cover from something such as a table or tower shield is a move action, as it's fairly quick to just flip a table or to prop up a shield.
    -To create cover from something more solid, such as a bolted down table or hacking a door off it's hinges or some such, is a full-round action, due to the increased amount of effort required.
    -To create cover from an amount of something that must be stacked or piled takes 1 minute.

    All above numbers assume the cover is for only one person. For more, increase the timing appropriately.

    New Feat:
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    Tower Shield Specialization
    Prerequisites: Proficient with tower shields
    Benefit: You no longer take the -2 penalty from using a tower shield in combat. Additionally, you are now proficient with tower shield variants, such as the crossbow shield.
    Normal: You take a -2 penalty from using a tower shield in combat

    New Item:
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    The Crossbow Shield
    This... weapon, is a tower shield with a crenelation in the top, behind which sits a folded down crossbow. A user proficient in the crossbow shield can unfold the crossbow and use it to fire, while still maintaining the defensive benefits of the tower shield.

    A crossbow shield requires Tower Shield Proficiency to use properly.

    A crossbow shield is an exotic two handed weapon that deals 1d6 piercing damage with a range of 70 ft and a critical range of 19-20/x2. Reloading a crossbow shield is a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity. When using a crossbow shield, you suffer a -2 penalty on attacks with the weapon, due to a limited field of fire (this stacks with the penalty for using a tower shield in combat). Unfolding the crossbow is a standard action.

    A crossbow shield costs 80 gp, and weighs 50 lbs. It comes with 10 bolts, and can store up to 40 on the inside of the shield.

    NOTE: This is a remake of something I made some time ago. Felt this was a good place to update it with new thoughts and repost it.
    Last edited by arguskos; 2010-08-04 at 04:11 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    I've been working on one of my favorite character concepts, and found that I'm running into... issues, with it. The concept is that of a guy who carries two tower shields, one with spikes on the bottom, and fights in a very unique manner. He plants the spiked shield in the ground, pulls a weapon, and uses the cover and his other shield to dominate anyone who approaches. If no one approaches, he's got cover and can use a crossbow or something to great effect. It's not a perfect concept, but it's fun.

    However, there are mechanical issues. First, those spikes? They don't exist in 3.5 anywhere that I can find. Second, planting a tower shield like that? No rules exist for it. Third, the -2 penalty on attacks from using a tower shield is... problematic at low levels. Thus, I turn to the realm of brew to fix the issue! Behold, some new rules, a new feat or two, and maybe something else if I get inspired.

    New Rule:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Creating Cover
    During a fight, a character might wish to create some cover, either from a table, from a tower shield, from the corpses of their foes, or whatever. Doing this takes a varying kind of action, depending on the nature of the situation.

    -To create cover from something such as a table or tower shield is a move action, as it's fairly quick to just flip a table or to prop up a shield.
    -To create cover from something more solid, such as a bolted down table or hacking a door off it's hinges or some such, is a full-round action, due to the increased amount of effort required.
    -To create cover from an amount of something that must be stacked or piled takes 1 minute.

    All above numbers assume the cover is for only one person. For more, increase the timing appropriately.

    New Feat:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Tower Shield Specialization
    Prerequisites: Proficient with tower shields
    Benefit: You no longer take a -2 on attack rolls when using a tower shield.
    Normal: You take a -2 on attack rolls while wielding a tower shield.

    New Item:
    Spoiler
    Show
    The Crossbow Shield
    This... weapon, is a tower shield with a crenelation in the top, behind which sits a folded down crossbow. A user proficient in the crossbow shield can unfold the crossbow and use it to fire, while still maintaining the defensive benefits of the tower shield.

    A crossbow shield requires both Tower Shield Proficiency and Exotic Weapon Proficiency (crossbow shield) to use properly.

    A crossbow shield is an exotic two handed weapon that deals 1d6 piercing damage with a range of 70 ft and a critical range of 19-20/x2. Reloading a crossbow shield is a move action that provokes attacks of opportunity. When using a crossbow shield, you suffer a -2 penalty on attacks with the weapon, due to a limited field of fire (this stacks with the penalty for using a tower shield in combat).

    A crossbow shield costs 80 gp, and weighs 50 lbs. It comes with 10 bolts, and can store up to 40 on the inside of the shield.

    NOTE: This is a remake of something I made some time ago. Felt this was a good place to update it with new thoughts and repost it.
    I knew you'd use that crossbow shield when I saw you talking about Tower Shields.

    I'm long range support anyway. I'm going bow mastery and support so I can stand behind you standing behind a tower shield.

    Score.

    Edit: Didn't realise this wasn't our OOC thread. So:

    The items look nifty. I can see justification for nullifying the -2 to attack considering your planting the shield in the ground, thus not technically "wielding" it.

    You know I liked your shield crossbow from before. Did the niggles that were on your original homebrew get sorted out? I saw a few people disagreeding whether you were wielding the tower shield or not required a proficiency?
    Last edited by zenanarchist; 2010-08-01 at 07:51 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    The crossbow shield is a knockup from something the italians actually used [shields with what amount to blunderbusses in the middle] so i can't see anything wrong with them. In fairness, i'd only apply the requirement for the exotic weapon proficiency if you're using it in hand. You're far more likely to plant it and fire, which wouldn't be nearly so hard.

    I'm not sure i'd spend the feat; I'd probably just request it as an addendum to the existing Shield Specialisation feat, which with a mere +1 AC, is a bit feeble [considering i can have Block Arrows or such for the same investment].

    I was always surprised about the lack of the Spikes and Hammer in 3.5, they were such basic and useful kit in 2e. Were this my game, i'd probably say it was a Standard action, though as I'd also say that the spikes would apply a -2 Balance penalty when moving swiftly through Difficult Terrain, i'd reconsider to be a Move.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    I had a shield-fighter for a short lived campaign some time ago. I too noticed there was no contingency for Tower Shield shield spikes, as I wanted to dual-wield shields using shield spikes to clobber enemies. The smaller shield was returning like captain america's shield, and the tower shield was adamantine and did greatsword level damage (though getting all of those required most of my feats).

    It helped that I played a halfdragon so I could actually carry all of those. It also makes me wonder why there's no minimum strength requirement to wield certain weapons.
    Last edited by RickGriffin; 2010-08-02 at 02:37 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Quote Originally Posted by RickGriffin View Post
    It also makes me wonder why there's no minimum strength requirement to wield certain weapons.
    Because of encumbrance rules and because it would limit a character's possibilities.
    Last edited by Temotei; 2010-08-02 at 02:11 PM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Quote Originally Posted by Mulletmanalive View Post
    I'm not sure i'd spend the feat; I'd probably just request it as an addendum to the existing Shield Specialisation feat, which with a mere +1 AC, is a bit feeble [considering i can have Block Arrows or such for the same investment].
    I wholeheartedly agree with this, attaching it to the existing chain as an alternative Shield Specialization.

    As for the -4 total with proficiency, this seems to be suffering what befell the Sugliin in implementation. I mean, Fighter 1 could pull off EWP(Crossbow Shield) and Tower Shield Specialization but that seems to be a lot to ask for just to be competent, y'know? I'd think planting a tower shield would actually grant a bonus to hit, considering it's something to use to support the crossbow so you can make a level shot, somewhat like what Iron Kingdoms did with their Markman's Bulwark in the Character Guide.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Let's try this instead:

    New Feat:
    Tower Shield Specialization
    Prerequisites: Proficient with tower shields
    Benefit: You no longer take the -2 penalty from using a tower shield in combat. Additionally, you are now proficient with tower shield variants, such as the crossbow shield.
    Normal: You take a -2 penalty from using a tower shield in combat

    Thoughts? This obviously replaces the prof for the crossbow shield.
    Last edited by arguskos; 2010-08-03 at 11:49 AM.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Let's try this instead:

    New Feat:
    Tower Shield Specialization
    Prerequisites: Proficient with tower shields
    Benefit: You no longer take the -2 penalty from using a tower shield in combat. Additionally, you are now proficient with tower shield variants, such as the crossbow shield.
    Normal: You take a -2 penalty from using a tower shield in combat

    Thoughts? This obviously replaces the prof for the crossbow shield.
    I like that.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Take a peek at my battlecruiser PrC (it's in my extended signature).

    It makes dual tower shields viable... in melee. At least that was the intent. Still needs peaching I think.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Quote Originally Posted by arguskos View Post
    Let's try this instead:

    New Feat:
    Tower Shield Specialization
    Prerequisites: Proficient with tower shields
    Benefit: You no longer take the -2 penalty from using a tower shield in combat. Additionally, you are now proficient with tower shield variants, such as the crossbow shield.
    Normal: You take a -2 penalty from using a tower shield in combat

    Thoughts? This obviously replaces the prof for the crossbow shield.
    Looks like exactly what the doctor ordered.

    I'd still remove the attack penalty for the crossbow, though. Realism aside, it just detracts from people wanting to use it. Being proficient with it should mean getting used to the weapon to the point of working within the limitations of the weapon to best effect.
    Last edited by Cieyrin; 2010-08-04 at 11:57 AM.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Describe what sort of action is required to unfold and ready the crossbow.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Quote Originally Posted by Cieyrin View Post
    Looks like exactly what the doctor ordered.

    I'd still remove the attack penalty for the crossbow, though. Realism aside, it just detracts from people wanting to use it. Being proficient with it should mean getting used to the weapon to the point of working within the limitations of the weapon to best effect.
    Well, the issue is that such a thing would be constrained in your ability to aim it. Makes sense to have an attack penalty, no?

    @imp_fireball: Seen it, wasn't honestly impressed. It's fine work, but I didn't like it much really for some hard-to-explain reason.

    @jiriku: Huh. Good catch. Let's roll with standard.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Just a minor note... wouldn't hacking a door off its hinges already be covered under the rules for damaging objects? At the least, I would start from that, rather than just making it a standard action... at that assumes that the door is open, making it possible to attack the hinges precisely.
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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Seen it, wasn't honestly impressed. It's fine work, but I didn't like it much really for some hard-to-explain reason.
    Well the class does allow dual wielding of tower shields if you take monkey grip. :P

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    Quote Originally Posted by DracoDei View Post
    Just a minor note... wouldn't hacking a door off its hinges already be covered under the rules for damaging objects? At the least, I would start from that, rather than just making it a standard action... at that assumes that the door is open, making it possible to attack the hinges precisely.
    Yeah, it technically is, but it doesn't play nicely with cinematic situations, which is what that rule is more tilted towards.

    Quote Originally Posted by imp_fireball View Post
    Well the class does allow dual wielding of tower shields if you take monkey grip. :P
    Didn't disagree with that. Just said I didn't like it for some random nebulous reason.

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    So... apologies for resurrecting such an old thread but while rummaging through threads and threads i find this rough diamond and started using it in a campaign. Why isnt this in a place where people can see? It's so good it makes me think why i havent thought of it before. Can you imagine an army of this guys?

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    Default Re: [3.5] An Aside About Tower Shields

    How about these?

    Tower Shield Bash
    Your skill with a tower shield allows you to smash it into opponents with extreme force.
    Prerequisites: Proficiency with tower shields, base attack bonus +1
    Benefit: You can make a shield bash with a tower shield. Treat a tower shield as a one-handed weapon which deals 1d8 points of bludgeoning damage.
    Special: With this feat, you can also make use of a spiked tower shield which deals 1d10 points of piercing damage. A fighter may take this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

    Tower Shield Charge
    You become a true juggernaut when carrying a tower shield.
    Prerequisites: Improved Bull Rush, Tower Shield Bash, base attack bonus +2
    Benefit: When you charge while carrying a tower shield, you do not suffer an AC penalty against attacks that are launched from a cone-shaped area in front of you. You can make a bull rush attempt while charging with a tower shield. If you succeed, you deal shield bash damage to your opponent.
    Special: A fighter may take this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

    Improved Tower Shield Charge
    Your skill with a tower shield lets you knock opponents out of your way with ease.
    Prerequisites: Improved Bull Rush, Tower Shield Bash, Tower Shield Charge, base attack bonus +5
    Benefit: When you succeed on a bull rush attempt while charging with a tower shield, you can push your opponent 5 feet in the direction of your choice and continue charging forward. When you do this, the remaining distance you can travel is reduced by 5 feet. If you can make multiple attacks per round, you may make a bull rush attempt against the next opponent in your path, using your next highest base attack bonus. You may continue charging and making bull rush attempts until you fail a bull rush attempt, use up all of your attacks for the round, or reach the maximum distance you can charge in that round.
    Special: A fighter may take this feat as one of his fighter bonus feats.

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