5E Changing the Shield spell
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  1. #1
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    Changing the Shield spell

    From another thread:

    Quote Originally Posted by Li Shenron View Post
    I have sometimes wished that the Shield spell hadn't been designed specifically against Magic Missile but more generally against force damage effects.
    So, let me rewrite Shield:

    1st level abjuration
    Casting time: 1 reaction, which you take when you are hit by an attack or targeted by a spell that does damage with a Force effect.
    Range: Self
    Components: V,S
    Duration: 1 round

    An invisible barrier of force appears and protects you. Until the start of your next turn you have a +5 bonus to AC, including against the triggering attack and you take no damage from force effects from a cantrip or spell of 1st level, including the triggering attack.

    At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 2nd level or higher, you take no damage from force effects from cantrips or spells of the spell slot used or lower. The spell lasts one round per level of spell slot used to a maximum of 9 rounds when cast using a 9th level spell slot.

    What do you think? How would this affect your game?
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  2. #2
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    Too much duration tracking for my taste. And I don't feel like encouraging wizards to burn high-level spell slots on personal defense is good for the game. I'd rather see those slots used to do something (ideally, something with a possibility of entertainingly dangerous side effects).

    What about just granting resistance to force for the duration?
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    Too much duration tracking for my taste. And I don't feel like encouraging wizards to burn high-level spell slots on personal defense is good for the game. I'd rather see those slots used to do something (ideally, something with a possibility of entertainingly dangerous side effects).

    What about just granting resistance to force for the duration?
    Drop the extended duration and the level limit altogether imo. Let "do they have shield" be an issue of eorry.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dausuul View Post
    Too much duration tracking for my taste.
    I disagree: put a stack of chips in front of the player. There won't be many. It's not a Concentration spell.

    And I don't feel like encouraging wizards to burn high-level spell slots on personal defense is good for the game.
    Except in extremis, who is going to burn a 9th level slot on this? I could envision burning a 7th level slot to protect against Mordenkainen's Sword.

    I'd rather see those slots used to do something (ideally, something with a possibility of entertainingly dangerous side effects).
    Entertainingly dangerous? Oh yes! Do tell.

    What about just granting resistance to force for the duration?
    Blade Ward is a cantrip that grants Resistance; making Force Ward a cantrip that grants Resistance is a no-brainer.

    Quote Originally Posted by 5ekyu View Post
    Drop the extended duration and the level limit altogether imo. Let "do they have shield" be an issue of eorry.
    So you'd let Shield make you immune to Mordenkainen's Sword for one round? Yes, I could dig that. How about immunity to a Force breath weapon?

  5. #5
    I've never seen Shield used for anything aside from the +5 AC, and I think even without the magic missile text it's too good.

    I think the reason it protects you against magic missile is because it's one of the few spells that can't miss. Shield also protects you from Eldritch Blast, and Scorching Ray, and Spiritual Weapon, and Mordenkainen's Sword, and any other spell that requires an attack roll, so the magic missile clause means that shield will also protect you from that.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    I disagree: put a stack of chips in front of the player. There won't be many. It's not a Concentration spell.



    Except in extremis, who is going to burn a 9th level slot on this? I could envision burning a 7th level slot to protect against Mordenkainen's Sword.



    Entertainingly dangerous? Oh yes! Do tell.



    Blade Ward is a cantrip that grants Resistance; making Force Ward a cantrip that grants Resistance is a no-brainer.



    So you'd let Shield make you immune to Mordenkainen's Sword for one round? Yes, I could dig that. How about immunity to a Force breath weapon?
    Sure.

  7. #7
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    IMO, Shield is much too good already, mostly because it stacks with Mage Armor. At the very least, that combo needs to be nerfed. Mages should not be able to make themselves as hard (or harder) to hit as a heavily armored fighter - at least not so cheaply.

    Anyway, if you want to expand the applicability of Shield, IMO you should reduce its effectiveness, e.g., resistance instead of immunity. One alternative idea that had crossed my mind, though I haven't pursued thinking about it very hard, was to reduce the AC bonus (e.g. to +2 or +3) but add a commensurate bonus to saving throws.

  8. #8
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    I agree with others that shield doesn't need to be stronger. That said, if that's your cup of tea I like the force resistance concept.

    Shield: Until the start of your next turn, you have a +5 bonus to AC. This includes the triggering attack. You have resistance to force damage.


    Simple and Easy
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
    What do you think? How would this affect your game?
    The "at higher levels" thing makes it overpowered, in my opinion.

    On top of that, I don't see a need to make this change. The efficaciousness of shield against magic missile is a longstanding tradition, as is its lack of effect against force damage in general. I don't see how rewriting shield in this way improves the game, it just gives a free powerup to wizards and others with access to shield, which they frankly don't need.

    I acknowledge that force damage is rare and won't come up much, so in practice, the 'immune to force damage' bit is not likely to make much of a difference, but the 'at higher levels' giving +5 to AC for multiple rounds is extremely overpowered.

    Also, giving immunity to a damage type- any damage type other than perhaps poison- should be well out of the purview of a 1st level spell, especially when it's in addition to other effects.
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  10. #10
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    I think that it blocks Magic Missile partly as a legacy from older editions. AD&D had the damage scale along with wizard level from his first level spell slot, so mid level wizards could do substantial damage with MM that was guaranteed. MM still is a guaranteed hit, but getting more damage from it requires a higher level spell slot. I think the main reason to have Shield block MM in 5e, is to do with concentration. A to-hit roll and a concentration check has a smaller chance of ending concentration than just straight concentration check every round - something MM could force - albeit at a considerable resource cost.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harzel View Post
    IMO, Shield is much too good already, mostly because it stacks with Mage Armor. At the very least, that combo needs to be nerfed. Mages should not be able to make themselves as hard (or harder) to hit as a heavily armored fighter - at least not so cheaply.
    I really don't find this to be a problem, your spell slots are a limited resource so having plate mail level armour for a turn isn't any different from misty step, essentially giving a wizard a super Cunning Action (Disengage and Dash as the same bonus action). Its certainly a great spell that probably makes it on to almost every arcane caster's spell list, but if they are relying on Shield to give them a great AC they are going to run out of spell fast fast. It definitely does not need a boost though. Even just to make force damage resisted/immune.

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