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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Tower Shield: A Quick Fix? [P.E.A.C.H]

    Hey there, everyone!

    For a while now, I have been looking at tower shields and trying to figure out a way to make them useful. The thing is, they seem to be completely useless, save for some very, very niche uses. Which means you can go an entire campaign without seeing these niches.

    Taken from RPG Stack Exchange:

    Here are some exceptions:
    • A static martial melee blocker attempting to prevent passage beyond a chokepoint. Use cover mode to force the enemy to close, then switch to shield mode; if you have a high BAB, +2 AC for -2 on attack rolls is a good trade, especially if you are against multiple opponents.
    • If your saves are good (or you can make them so), get the Spelleating enhancement and suddenly that weakness to targeted spells becomes an ybasset.
    • If your opponent is an archer, the tower shield is really handy. Doesn't make you invulnerable, but cuts out a lot of their best tactics. With the Shield Ward feat or the Ghost Ward enhancement a tower shield's value goes way up against casters as well.
    • A temporary delay at the start of combat. Just because you start an encounter with the tower shield doesn't mean you have to end with it. At the start of the encounter, turtle behind the shield in cover mode, then start buffing yourself while the opposition closes from range. Swig some potions. Cast some divine buff spells. Then abandon the shield and come out swinging. Also can be used for a free round or two towards an assassin preparing to deliver a death attack. These tactics are pretty good for paladins, who are usually built for heavy armor melee defense, not range, and have divine buff spells at hand.


    Now, this just doesn't sound too great, so I tried to make it better. I drew some inspiration from Roman shields and formations (namely the well-known "turtle" formation).

    The Tower Shield, Revised:

    This massive wooden shield is nearly as tall as you are. You can use it in four different ways, or "degrees" of protection:
    • In most situations, it provides the indicated shield bonus (+4) to your AC, at no penalty to attack
    • However, by taking a -2 penalty to attack, you receive a +2 shield bonus to AC, for a total of +6
    • By taking a further -2 penalty to attack, for a total of -4, you receive instead a total of +8 shield bonus to AC from the Tower Shield. When using a tower shield in this manner, your base speed is halved (calculate movement penalties for armor after halving the base movement rate, but add bonuses, such as a Barbarian's fast movement ability, before).
    • However, you can instead use it as total cover, though you must give up your attacks to do so. The shield does provide cover against targeted spells; a spellcaster cannot cast a spell on you by targeting the shield you are holding. You cannot use your shield hand for anything else. While using a tower shield in this manner, your speed is reduced to 5 ft. per round.


    When not in cover mode, you can bash with a tower shield, at a further -2 penalty to attack, for 1d6 bludgeoning damage, or 1d8 piercing damage, if shield spikes have been added.


    If you are using a spiked tower shield for cover, or for a +8 to AC, if an enemy charges you or attempts to overrun or bullrush you, your shield counts as a spear readied for a charge.

    Tower Shields can be used for the Phalanx Fighting feat.

    ---

    What does this look like to you? Would you use a tower shield now? Would you take a feat just to use it? Does it seem overpowered, or still underpowered?

    wkwkwkwk1
    Last edited by wkwkwkwk1; 2016-01-19 at 10:45 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyleisch View Post
    It's come to my attention that some people don't know how to pronounce the name of the deity Fharlanghn. It's simple though - you begin with a Ff- sound, then flap your mouth at random as sounds come out. Continue for 2-90 seconds, depending on devoutness and saliva levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    I think this is the most civil battle between Good and Evil I've ever seen...
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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tower Shield: A Quick Fix? [P.E.A.C.H]

    I should also provide a little bit of context, as to how I plan on using these shields. Here it goes

    I plan on running, at some point, a campaign that will have mass combat (simplified!); namely, hordes of (mostly) mindless undead (think zombies) against human soldiers. Since the warrior class has proficiency with Tower Shields (it specifies nothing in relation to Tower Shields, so I'm going with the assumption that it does grant proficiency), I thought to use it as a defense.

    In this case, the front lines would have their shields providing full cover (or a +8 bonus to AC and wielding a longsword), while the second line would have readied reach weapons to strike against the undead. The undead, being mindless, would take damage from the shields when attempting to bullrush or overrun them to gain access to tasty organs and from the spears/glaives/guisarmes. Therefore, it would be a (mostly) impenetrable wall, to counterbalance the fact that most of the population is undead now.

    What do you think?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyleisch View Post
    It's come to my attention that some people don't know how to pronounce the name of the deity Fharlanghn. It's simple though - you begin with a Ff- sound, then flap your mouth at random as sounds come out. Continue for 2-90 seconds, depending on devoutness and saliva levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    I think this is the most civil battle between Good and Evil I've ever seen...
    10 Commandments of Op./Practical Op.
    3.5 WBL/GP
    Cleric Domains

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    gtwucla's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tower Shield: A Quick Fix? [P.E.A.C.H]

    I think the numbers check out. I just popped in to mention as far as strategy it would seem to me that the roman tactics for longer combat would do better in a battle like this. Essentially the front line forms a wall and fights with short spears while the secondary stands in reserve, taking the place of any fallen combatants and then eventually trading places with the first line to give them a break, which is especially pertinent in this case as they are basically holding off the weight of the zombie horde.

    It's not very glamorous, so I'm not sure how fun that'll be in a game, but it worked well for the Romans. With the constant bull rush/overrun checks, do you plan on factoring in endurance?

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tower Shield: A Quick Fix? [P.E.A.C.H]

    Quote Originally Posted by gtwucla View Post
    I think the numbers check out. I just popped in to mention as far as strategy it would seem to me that the roman tactics for longer combat would do better in a battle like this. Essentially the front line forms a wall and fights with short spears while the secondary stands in reserve, taking the place of any fallen combatants and then eventually trading places with the first line to give them a break, which is especially pertinent in this case as they are basically holding off the weight of the zombie horde.

    It's not very glamorous, so I'm not sure how fun that'll be in a game, but it worked well for the Romans. With the constant bull rush/overrun checks, do you plan on factoring in endurance?
    Hmmm... yes, tracking endurance would be likely to happen

    Thanks for your reply!

    EDIT: Also, in terms of being glamorous, well, this will mostly be taking place in the background;, the players will be elsewhere
    Last edited by wkwkwkwk1; 2016-01-07 at 12:41 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyleisch View Post
    It's come to my attention that some people don't know how to pronounce the name of the deity Fharlanghn. It's simple though - you begin with a Ff- sound, then flap your mouth at random as sounds come out. Continue for 2-90 seconds, depending on devoutness and saliva levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    I think this is the most civil battle between Good and Evil I've ever seen...
    10 Commandments of Op./Practical Op.
    3.5 WBL/GP
    Cleric Domains

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tower Shield: A Quick Fix? [P.E.A.C.H]

    UPDATE:
    Tower Shield can now be used for Phalanx Fighting!

    Do you think it's balanced?
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyleisch View Post
    It's come to my attention that some people don't know how to pronounce the name of the deity Fharlanghn. It's simple though - you begin with a Ff- sound, then flap your mouth at random as sounds come out. Continue for 2-90 seconds, depending on devoutness and saliva levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    I think this is the most civil battle between Good and Evil I've ever seen...
    10 Commandments of Op./Practical Op.
    3.5 WBL/GP
    Cleric Domains

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Tower Shield: A Quick Fix? [P.E.A.C.H]

    Quote Originally Posted by wkwkwkwk1 View Post
    UPDATE:
    Tower Shield can now be used for Phalanx Fighting!

    Do you think it's balanced?
    Oh, look, a wall of npcs hiding behind shields can survive more than a minute against a cr 5 encounter. I don't see a problem supporting sword and board combatants and encouraging a feat that PCs rarely if ever take.
    I reserve the right to be wrong and will use that right whenever it happens

    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tower Shield: A Quick Fix? [P.E.A.C.H]

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightlawbliss View Post
    Oh, look, a wall of npcs hiding behind shields can survive more than a minute against a cr 5 encounter. I don't see a problem supporting sword and board combatants and encouraging a feat that PCs rarely if ever take.
    Was that a praise?

    If it was, thanks!
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    Spoiler: GitP Quotes
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    Quote Originally Posted by fyleisch View Post
    It's come to my attention that some people don't know how to pronounce the name of the deity Fharlanghn. It's simple though - you begin with a Ff- sound, then flap your mouth at random as sounds come out. Continue for 2-90 seconds, depending on devoutness and saliva levels.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dark Shadow View Post
    I think this is the most civil battle between Good and Evil I've ever seen...
    10 Commandments of Op./Practical Op.
    3.5 WBL/GP
    Cleric Domains

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