D&D 5E Have we misunderstood the shield and sword fighter (or warrior)?


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DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
Using your chances to hit above (i'm ignoring criticals). Each attack should do 7+4+2+10 = 23 damage. You make 4 attacks. Thats potentially 92 damage before accuracy.

I get 69 DPR for AC 13 and 59 DPR for AC 15.
Here's my sheet. I don't think I forgot anything at this point, but if you see something let me know.
1664642051516.png

I also have 23 dmg per hit, but obviously you won't hit all the time. The Roll-DMG-eff. DMG shows the weighted dmg (including crits) for each roll that does hit. When you sum those, you get 11.85 for AC 13 and 9.55 for AC 15. Multiple by the four attacks and you get the 47.4 and 38.2, respectively.

I wasn’t. Chill out with the pedantry.
LOL relax! It isn't just you, a lot of people post DPR numbers assuming ALL hits--and I don't know why they do it since you don't hit all the time. I mean, I know it shows "potential" DPR, but I (personally) am more interested in actual or effective DPR.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Here's my sheet. I don't think I forgot anything at this point, but if you see something let me know.
View attachment 262926
I also have 23 dmg per hit, but obviously you won't hit all the time. The Roll-DMG-eff. DMG shows the weighted dmg (including crits) for each roll that does hit. When you sum those, you get 11.85 for AC 13 and 9.55 for AC 15. Multiple by the four attacks and you get the 47.4 and 38.2, respectively.
You aren't factoring in advantage from reckless attack. So your chance to hit vs 13 ac is 50% and vs 15 AC is 40% when it should be 75% and 64% that you cited earlier.
 



FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Totally true. It also had some synergy with the -5/+10, as you're quite likely to drop CR 1/4-1/2 creatures in one attack when you average 20 damage a hit.
Yep. Or if the enemy is already injured you can go back to non -5/+10 in hopes of maximizing your chance of killing it now for greater chance at the bonus action attack.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Hmm...fair. The near 100% chance to get the +prof bonus once per round does really make up a lot of the delta. New SS is still behind in high accuracy situations, since it lacks the +prof damage bonus, but GWM is pretty comparable outside of extreme conditions.
In terms of raw damage numbers SS is weaker than it used to be, however in play I think it will be stronger overall due to enabling melee-range attacks without disadvantage and the +1 ASI.
 

Oofta

Legend
Right, you use your action to don or doff... so what? NOTHING in 5E says what that entails other than the image I posted about your shield is "carried in one hand." No strapping on your arm or anything else. According to the rules: if you go unconscious, you DROP ANYTHING you are carrying. So, I would say that is a pretty good reason to "believe" it. ;)

Also, most shields in history were simply held in one hand behind the shield boss or on a handle.


I would simple rule that if you are paralyzed or unconscious your shield doesn't help you. I wouldn't bother with the half bonus personally.

I agree shields should be a bit "more effective" (given your edit), but basically the designers see it as half cover (tower shields would be 3/4-cover IMO). But in the sense of realism, a shield should only be effective against a certain number of opponents. However, since 5E doesn't normally use facing rules as the default, that is all hand-waved away.

If you are paralyzed while holding a shield, the enemy simply moves to a side where the shield is not and attacks without that hinderance. If you are unconscious, the enemy could use a free object interaction to move it aside, opening up your body to unhindered attack.

But, I agree, 5E is not a simulation, so I understand why the game ignores things which logically make sense, but start making the game too rule heavy for the common user (in the designers' views anyway).

You aren't just carrying a shield in D&D though. Well, I suppose you could but if you were it wouldn't add to AC. Saying "it doesn't explicitly say" could be used justify that all your armor falls off.

Some shields were held one handed, others had a loop you put your arm through. Viking shields fo example were mad to be dropped because they were designed to "catch" edged weapons, effectively disarming your opponent. However that also means they had to drop their shield.

As far as paralyzed...how far do you take it beyond advantage? Someone on leather armor that's paralyzed should have at most an 11 AC. We don't because the game values simplicity over logic.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I don't understand what people who think that you can drop your shield for free (or do it by accident when you're unconscious or paralyzed) think that "donning" and "doffing" mean. How do you drop your shield without doffing it? You somehow have your shield on the ground and yet it is still "donned"? So if you pick it back up it's still "equipped"? That's so weird (to me).

I see where you're justifying it RAW, but I don't get what is happening in the story.
 

Bill Zebub

“It’s probably Matt Mercer’s fault.”
I don't understand what people who think that you can drop your shield for free (or do it by accident when you're unconscious or paralyzed) think that "donning" and "doffing" mean. How do you drop your shield without doffing it? You somehow have your shield on the ground and yet it is still "donned"? So if you pick it back up it's still "equipped"? That's so weird (to me).

I see where you're justifying it RAW, but I don't get what is happening in the story.
It’s actually a very large yo-yo.
 


DND_Reborn

The High Aldwin
You aren't just carrying a shield in D&D though. Well, I suppose you could but if you were it wouldn't add to AC. Saying "it doesn't explicitly say" could be used justify that all your armor falls off.
You armor isn't "carried in one hand" when equipped like a shield, though, is it? :rolleyes:

Some shields were held one handed, others had a loop you put your arm through. Viking shields fo example were mad to be dropped because they were designed to "catch" edged weapons, effectively disarming your opponent. However that also means they had to drop their shield.
Most shields were held one-handed, without a loop to put your arm through (which came later). Viking shields were made to be dropped because the fibers of the wood used would "hug" a weapon lodged in it, making it difficult to be withdrawn. So, because they were made to be dropped, they were held "in one hand" without a strap for the arm.

1664648712836.png
1664648724363.png


FWIW, loops were added for cavalry shields IIRC, freeing the shield hand to hold the reins of the steed while the other hand held a weapon, while still allowing for a benefit from the shield.

Smaller loops (as in the red circle shown above) was used for hanging the shield (on walls, boat sides, etc.) when not in use, although I suppose you could slip your hand through it for extra security, but even that shouldn't require your action for the round IMO.

As far as paralyzed...how far do you take it beyond advantage? Someone on leather armor that's paralyzed should have at most an 11 AC. We don't because the game values simplicity over logic.
It should mean you gain no DEX bonus to AC nor a shield, then apply advantage because you are literally not defending yourself at all! The only protection you have is whatever armor is worn, which might prevent an attack from injuring you.

Yeah, the designers favored simplicity over logic--I know that--but even in 3E WotC had different AC values IIRC (like flat-footed, which should be a condition in 5E IMO).

I don't understand what people who think that you can drop your shield for free (or do it by accident when you're unconscious or paralyzed) think that "donning" and "doffing" mean. How do you drop your shield without doffing it? You somehow have your shield on the ground and yet it is still "donned"? So if you pick it back up it's still "equipped"? That's so weird (to me).

I see where you're justifying it RAW, but I don't get what is happening in the story.
Even if shields in your games have straps, you can still drop them if you aren't carrying them in your hand (holding it) as well (so they are braced against attacks). The difference being it would hang from your shoulder/arm instead of falling to the ground. Either way, it is still "dropped" and no longer equipped or benefiting your AC because you can't use it.

IMO, it shouldn't be an action to doff a shield anyway, at worst a bonus action maybe, even if strapped. Either way, you can drop it because it is carried in one hand.

If your shields don't have a strap (such as the Viking round shield, Roman scutum, or many other shields throughout history) dropping it should be a free action, as should picking it up.

1664649506861.png

(back of Roman scutum shield)
 
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Argyle King

Legend
I don't understand what people who think that you can drop your shield for free (or do it by accident when you're unconscious or paralyzed) think that "donning" and "doffing" mean. How do you drop your shield without doffing it? You somehow have your shield on the ground and yet it is still "donned"? So if you pick it back up it's still "equipped"? That's so weird (to me).

I see where you're justifying it RAW, but I don't get what is happening in the story.

I do not believe that dropping a shield and doffing a shield are the same thing.

Dropping an item held in your hands typically means just letting go of it.

Doffing [a shield] would be going through the process of unequipping a shield and stowing it on your person for future use.

Typically, dropping an item also means it would fall to the ground. However, it is possible (and common) for some items to have attached slings -more accurately called a "guige" for shields. In such a case, the item would no longer be in your hand (nor be equipped) but would not fall to the ground.

So, what's the benefit of the guige in that case? The benefit is that the item moves along with you for later retrieval rather than just being tossed on the ground.

(Sidenote: Other items which may benefit from doing something similar are the crossbow and a brace of gunpowder pistols, so as to allow pre-loading before kicking in a door.)

Do I believe a dropped shield is still donned? No

I understand that D&D internationally has abstract rules for certain things.

Currently, it appears that 5e shields are hand-items which give a bonus to AC. From this discussion, it seems that 5e shields are simultaneously considered held in a hand and not held in a hand.

Can casting the Command spell force someone to drop a shield?

I had thought yes, but now I'm unsure.
 

FitzTheRuke

Legend
I do not believe that dropping a shield and doffing a shield are the same thing.

Dropping an item held in your hands typically means just letting go of it.

Doffing [a shield] would be going through the process of unequipping a shield and stowing it on your person for future use.

Typically, dropping an item also means it would fall to the ground. However, it is possible (and common) for some items to have attached slings -more accurately called a "guige" for shields. In such a case, the item would no longer be in your hand (nor be equipped) but would not fall to the ground.

So, what's the benefit of the guige in that case? The benefit is that the item moves along with you for later retrieval rather than just being tossed on the ground.

(Sidenote: Other items which may benefit from doing something similar are the crossbow and a brace of gunpowder pistols, so as to allow pre-loading before kicking in a door.)

Do I believe a dropped shield is still donned? No

I understand that D&D internationally has abstract rules for certain things.

Currently, it appears that 5e shields are hand-items which give a bonus to AC. From this discussion, it seems that 5e shields are simultaneously considered held in a hand and not held in a hand.

Can casting the Command spell force someone to drop a shield?

I had thought yes, but now I'm unsure.
Okay, now I get where you're coming from story-wise, but I'm not 100% sure that I follow you rules wise. If you "drop" your shield (either on purpose or by something that causes you to drop stuff (unconscious, paralyzed, disarmed maybe), you are saying that it's no longer donned (you don't benefit from its AC bonus) but it is ALSO not "doffed" - which you're defining more as "putting it away" so that it's carried, but not in hand, rather than just un-equipped. (I'm not sure how accurate wearing it on your back is, but I think that's how most people imagine it).

Did you add the idea of the guige after this discussion? Is it just a matter of "picking up" a dropped shield to re-equip it, rather than an action? So, if I'm right, you consider the action for equipping to be, again, more about getting it out (off your back, say) than about strapping it to your arm (as a lot of people imagine).

Does that mean that you could pick up any shield off the ground and use its AC bonus, without spending an action, though?

Honestly, I can get on board with your interpretation, either way. I hadn't thought of it that way before. It's a pretty big shield that would take fully "strapping" it on.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I do not believe that dropping a shield and doffing a shield are the same thing.

Dropping an item held in your hands typically means just letting go of it.

Doffing [a shield] would be going through the process of unequipping a shield and stowing it on your person for future use.

So if I don a shield I get A +2 AC. Then I drop it without doffing it, so now it is on the ground my hand is free and I still get a +2 AC because it is still donned?

To do this you have to houserule it such that dropping it means it is no longer donned.

How about if I don it before combat, then I drop it in combat, then I pick it back up (interaction). Is it now donned again because I never doffed it?

Also there is another affect here. If a shield can be simply dropped then it can be similarly disarmed using the rules in the DMG for disarming an opponent (not to mention the battlemaster maneuver). Also things like the fear spell would presumably make you drop your shield. I've never seen any game played that way.
 
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James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
Good grief, this aside about what a shield is has gotten out of hand. Despite all evidence to the contrary in the real world, the D&D shield is a wall that you strap to your arm, and requires an action to equip or unequip. It thus cannot be dropped, and it always provides it's AC benefit because D&D shields are not actively used to defend, but things you hide behind for cover.

It's still better than how Pathfinder 2e thinks shields work...
 

Argyle King

Legend
So if I don a shield I get A +2 AC. Then I drop it without doffing it, so now it is on the ground my hand is free and I still get a +2 AC?

That makes no sense at all.

To do this you have to houserule it such that doffing it means it is no longer donned.

How about if I don it before combat, then I drop it in combat, then I pick it back up (interaction). Is it now donned again because I never doffed it?

No, you don't still get the AC if it's on the ground. It's no longer in your hand -which, by definition, is a requirement of using a hand item.

In a system with more granularity, you might have it equipped just by picking it up. In 5e you wouldn't because that donning specifically does require an action. I think that's a little weird given that it works differently when picking up a dropped weapon. However, that's an area where the game specifies something that doesn't have a different option.

Okay, now I get where you're coming from story-wise, but I'm not 100% sure that I follow you rules wise. If you "drop" your shield (either on purpose or by something that causes you to drop stuff (unconscious, paralyzed, disarmed maybe), you are saying that it's no longer donned (you don't benefit from its AC bonus) but it is ALSO not "doffed" - which you're defining more as "putting it away" so that it's carried, but not in hand, rather than just un-equipped. (I'm not sure how accurate wearing it on your back is, but I think that's how most people imagine it).

Did you add the idea of the guige after this discussion? Is it just a matter of "picking up" a dropped shield to re-equip it, rather than an action? So, if I'm right, you consider the action for equipping to be, again, more about getting it out (off your back, say) than about strapping it to your arm (as a lot of people imagine).

Does that mean that you could pick up any shield off the ground and use its AC bonus, without spending an action, though?

Honestly, I can get on board with your interpretation, either way. I hadn't thought of it that way before. It's a pretty big shield that would take fully "strapping" it on.

My understanding is that donning a shield still requires an action.

That is a bit weird with picking things up, but I can see why it would still take an action from a gameplay perspective. There's a limit to how many free interactions you get with objects on your turn.

I was familiar with using a guige before this discussion. While the shields I have do not have them, I am familiar with the concept of a sling/lanyard being attached to a rifle or a crossbow. Also, some of the other rpgs I play have more types of shields.

I can appreciate the simplicity of 5e just having a "shield," but I think there may be room for a little bit more detail.

Maybe still have 1 type of "shield," but offer 1-3 simple options for mundane shield accessories to allow for mimicking things like bucklers, heater shields (with forearm straps), and shields with hand grips.
 

Argyle King

Legend
Good grief, this aside about what a shield is has gotten out of hand. Despite all evidence to the contrary in the real world, the D&D shield is a wall that you strap to your arm, and requires an action to equip or unequip. It thus cannot be dropped, and it always provides it's AC benefit because D&D shields are not actively used to defend, but things you hide behind for cover.

It's still better than how Pathfinder 2e thinks shields work...

What's odd is that even the 5e rules disagree on if a shield is held in the hand. Clearly, donning it only has one option: requires an action. But it is unclear whether or not it is possible to drop (rather than doff) a shield.

So, can the Command spell force a target to drop a shield?

Can a sword & board fighter climb a ladder without first taking an action to doff the shield (so as to use their hand)?

I suppose that's up to the DM.
 

James Gasik

Legend
Supporter
What's odd is that even the 5e rules disagree on if a shield is held in the hand. Clearly, donning it only has one option: requires an action. But it is unclear whether or not it is possible to drop (rather than doff) a shield.

So, can the Command spell force a target to drop a shield?

Can a sword & board fighter climb a ladder without first taking an action to doff the shield (so as to use their hand)?

I suppose that's up to the DM.
That's the only real answer we have. Nothing really new for D&D, but 5e really doubled down on it, which makes discussions about the game rather circular.
 

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