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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Bandededed's Avatar

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    Default Some shield changes

    Shield wielding warriors, of sizes large and small, are common throughout history and appear in many fantasy novels. In such, this method of fighting is seen to be rather effective.

    In D&D however, this is not so much true. Carrying a shield represents a bonus to one's AC and a reduction in one's maximum damage output. However, this is a large reduction in MDO for a small AC bonus.

    As such, I was thinking. A shield is not a static object, like armor. And what I mean is that when you use a shield, it does not stay stationary like your armor does, but rather moves actively to intercept attacks coming at your body. Thus, I present my idea for changing the way a shield works.

    {table]Shield type | Initial AC | Max Dex
    Buckler | 0 | -
    Light | +2 | +6
    Heavy | +4 | +4
    Tower | +6 | +2[/table]

    A shields AC bonus is equal to it's initial AC bonus + your dexterity modifier (min 0). Your dexterity modifier is limited by your shield's Max Dex quality or your armor's, whichever is lower. Masterwork shields are unchanged, as are magical, in that the +x bonus is added to Initial AC.

    So, what are your thoughts, playgrounders? Is this far too easily broken for your tastes, or is it a step in the right direction? Will this make the decision of using a shield vs a two-handed weapon more than a decision of flavor vs min/maxing?
    Last edited by Bandededed; 2009-02-21 at 01:33 AM.
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  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    quiet1mi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    soo... someone with a buckler can add his dexterity twice to his ac?
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Troll in the Playground
     
    Hunter Noventa's Avatar

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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    Tower shields and possibly heavy shields are likely too heavy and unwieldly to be used as you described. You're basically letting people add Dex to AC twice, so it's a little bit broken.
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  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    If you want something that scales a shield's AC I'd suggest making the AC bonus of the shield be based off your BAB.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    Let's think this through a bit... One can trade attack bonus for AC on a 1 to 1 basis, using the Expertise feat, and one can also trade attack bonus for damage, on a 1 to 1 basis (if using a one-handed weapon) or a 2 to 1 basis (if using a two-handed weapon), using Power Attack. One can also, in some situation, trade AC for damage, on the same basis as attack bonus for damage (using the Shock Trooper feat). So we can conclude that one point of AC is worth about as much as one point of attack bonus, and one point of attack bonus is worth somewhere between one and two points of damage.

    Now, a melee character with a two-handed weapon gets 1.5 times his Str modifier to attack and damage rolls. If he converts all of the attack bonus he gets from strength to Power Attack, he'll end up with a net of 4.5 times his Str bonus to damage, no ability score bonus to attack, and his dex bonus to AC.

    Under these rules, consider a melee character with a one-handed weapon and a shield, who also Power Attacks for an amount equal to his Str bonus. He'll end up with 2 times his Str bonus to damage, no ability score bonus to attack, and 2 times his Dex bonus to AC.

    The difference between these two characters, as far as ability score bonuses go, is that the sword-and-boarder has 1x ability score bonus greater AC, but the greatsworder has 2.5x ability score bonus greater damage. From above, each point of AC is worth somewhere between 1 and 2 points of damage, so the greatsworder is still coming ahead slightly on the numbers. In addition, the greatsworder is also somewhat more SAD, since he has a heavier reliance on Str than on Dex, and so can take advantage of more lopsided scores, while the swordandboarder has about equal reliance on Str and Dex. Then, too, the dex bonus is still limited by the type of armor or shield, whereas the str bonus isn't limited by anything.

    So on the whole, from a game balance standpoint, I think that a two-handed weapon is still superior to a one-handed weapon and a shield, even with this rule. However, this rule does close the gap considerably, to where it might be a reasonable choice for some character types to choose sword-and-board. So on the whole, from a game balance standpoint, I think this is a good rule.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
    Colossus in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    I like this idea. It helps model shields better and give dexterous characters an incentive to try Sword & Board instead of TWF + damage stacking. If you state that Animated Shield doesn't give you the dex benefits as it just floats and isn't really controlled by you, that'd also give players an incentive to use real shields instead. Finally, if you rule that when Shield Bashing, the Dex-bonus to AC is lost (instead of the Shield-bonus), you could have Shield & Boarders who focus on using their shield DEFENSIVELY!

    Buckler needs a max Dex though; else it'll be stupid good (Improved Buckler Defense for a Dex-based TWFer would mean something like +12 to AC without any enhancements). +5, the same as Light Shield, sounds just fine, as Buckler doesn't cost you the ability to wield 2-handed weapon and thus you shouldn't benefit of it as much as the other shields. It should be about as wieldable as a Light Shield, so having that distinction may make sense.


    But I think this is brilliant. Kudos to you.
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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    How about this, instead of adding Dex to AC twice, you get STR to AC when using a shield. I mean, unless you have Weapon Finesse, you're using STR mod for attack rolls anyway. It wouldn't break versimilitude to have that apply.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    Here's what I do:

    Shields AC DR HPs Move Penalty Material Tech Weight Cost Special
    Round +2 5 3 0 -1 Wood Primitive 5 lb. 3 gp
    Target +3 5 5 0 -2 Wood Wild 10 lb. 7 gp Bash
    Tower +4 5 10 -10 -10 Wood Wild 30 lb. 30 gp Cannot be used mounted
    Buckler +1 10 0 0 -1 Steel Civilized 5 lb. 7 gp -1 to hit with 2H weapon
    Heater +2 10 2 0 -1 Steel Civilized 6 lb. 9 gp Bash
    Kite +3 10 5 0 -2 Steel Civilized 15 lb. 20 gp Bash


    But the STR bonus sounds good, too.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Bandededed's Avatar

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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    quiet1mi: Yes

    Hunter Noventa: Actually, the dex limitation on Tower Shields is the same as the dex limitation for Full Plate, which I believe is an accurate description. It's big enough to protect you even if you can only swing it back and forth and duck behind it - sort of.

    TheDarkOne: I hadn't thought about that, but it could probably work.

    Chronos: Wow, that's really a lot better than I could have ever thought that out. I'm glad it comes closer than previously, and that close is great.

    Eldariel: You're right, an animated shield doesn't give dex bonus, since you're not holding it yourself. I thought that would be implied, but some people will grab at anything Thanks for the catch.

    Shield bash would still take it all away, as you lose your shield bonus to AC, which means you lost the shields initial + dex bonus, unless you took improved shield bash... hmm.

    As for bucklers, they are small enough that they don't offer any protection just by being worn, but only by being placed to intercept any attack coming at you. Perhaps a +8 max dex? But then they are only 1 point better than a light shield, if you can hit the max dex on that. Maybe +10 max?

    TempusCC: I thought about it, but if you use strength for it, instead of deflecting the attack, you have your shield take it and hold the shield up to the attack, which to me, sounds like a free sunder attack against your shield.

    Yahzi: Wow, but that's really complex. I was aiming for simple.
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  10. - Top - End - #10
    Troll in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    How about your combat expertise/defensive fighting/total defense bonus is doubled when holding a shield? So with expertise you can get a 2 for 1 AC bonus?
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  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    That would make sense, however, you're using your STR score to put your weapon where you want it, and hitting with a big sword is more of a matter of just swinging very hard and hoping that you get there, you've got to be quick, obviously STR represents that ability on some level.

    Or, how about this, instead of STR being just tacked onto your AC, your STR instead governs the amount of AC a shield can give you, representing the fact that the stronger you are, the faster you can move heavier shields, so the more useful they are for defense?

  12. - Top - End - #12
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Some shield changes

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkOne View Post
    If you want something that scales a shield's AC I'd suggest making the AC bonus of the shield be based off your BAB.
    Or a skill-based parrying mechanic... actually, then you'd do better to just switch to RuneQuest.

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