D&D 5E Homebrew: How to modify Shield spell?

Horwath

Legend
Now, personally I do not have a problem with Shield spell, as 1st level slots are finite and if you do 2-3 combats per day that matter, not some medium level trash fights to buy that 6-8 combats per day budget, those 4 slots will not last very long.

But, lot's of people have a problem with +5 AC for 1 round mechanic and waiting for reaction to get trigger might take some more game time if player is thinking too much if to use the Shield or not.

Now, how to modify it and keep it useful and flavorful to a degree.

maybe solution is just to have it be magical invisible shield that you use instead of your normal one. And not requiring proficiency or using carry capacity:

Shield.
1st level spell
cast time: 1 Bonus action
Duration: 12hrs (so sorcerers can have 24hrs with 1pt metamagic usage)

You create an invisible shield of force:
you gain +1 bonus to AC or +3 bonus to AC if you have one hand free(you can still use this hand for spellcasting)
This bonus does not stack with bonus from normal shield.

upcasting:
3rd level: increase bonus by 1
6th level: increase bonus by 2
9th level: increase bonus by 3
 

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Quickleaf

Legend
I think that version, which lacks concentration and has a huge duration, would make Shield of Faith look like crap in comparison. Definitely OP for a 1st level spell IMO.

Here's my hack...with changes from 2014 D&D version in orange...

Shield
1st-Level Abjuration (Sorcerer, Swordmage, Wizard)
Casting Time: 1 reaction, which you take when you are hit by an attack or targeted by the magic missile spell
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: Until the end of the turn

An invisible barrier of magical force appears and protects you. You gain a +5 bonus to AC against the triggering attack and all attacks made in the same turn against you. You take no damage from magic missile spells this turn.
 

Horwath

Legend
I think that version, which lacks concentration and has a huge duration, would make Shield of Faith look like crap in comparison. Definitely OP for a 1st level spell IMO.

well, shield of faith is a crap spell, I haven't seen it once used in 10 years.
If it didn't have Con tag it would be a good spell, with it it's D-tier at best.
 

Stormonu

Legend
If it didn't have Con tag it would be a good spell, with it it's D-tier at best.
I think any spell that is meant to avoid/reduce damage and has the Concentration tag should be scrutinized and re-examined. Both shield of faith and barkskin fall into this category, for example.

I agree I'd rather this spell basically be a "forcefield" that in effect acts like a normal shield. With the addition (as a reaction) you can "burn it out" for extra protection. So, something like this:

Shield
1st level Abjuration
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute
You create a shimmering disc of opaque force that protects you from harm. This acts in all regards as if you were employing a shield (+2 AC) that you were proficient in.

As a reaction when you are targeted by an attack you can expend the spell to instead gain twice the shield's bonus to your AC or to negate a magic missile spell. If you do so, the spell ends at the start of your next turn.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell as a 3rd level spell, the bonus to your AC becomes +3. This increases to +4 as a 5th level spell, +5 as a 7th level spell and +6 as 9th level spell (matching Prof bonus).
 

Horwath

Legend
I think any spell that is meant to avoid/reduce damage and has the Concentration tag should be scrutinized and re-examined. Both shield of faith and barkskin fall into this category, for example.

I agree I'd rather this spell basically be a "forcefield" that in effect acts like a normal shield. With the addition (as a reaction) you can "burn it out" for extra protection. So, something like this:

Shield
1st level Abjuration
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S
Duration: 1 minute
You create a shimmering disc of opaque force that protects you from harm. This acts in all regards as if you were employing a shield (+2 AC) that you were proficient in.

As a reaction when you are targeted by an attack you can expend the spell to instead gain twice the shield's bonus to your AC or to negate a magic missile spell. If you do so, the spell ends at the start of your next turn.

At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell as a 3rd level spell, the bonus to your AC becomes +3. This increases to +4 as a 5th level spell, +5 as a 7th level spell and +6 as 9th level spell (matching Prof bonus).
this is still a D-tier spell, maybe C.
1 minute? 1st level slot for +2 AC that does not stack with a shield for 1 battle?
If I'm that desperate for AC, I will sacrifice one level and be a multiclass fighter.
 

The way Shield works in 5e is one of the things I like about the edition. The short time pre-buff of earlier editions was such a chore to track that the spell was rarely used. And the 5e spell is far more cinematic. It would be the last thing I would change about 5e.
 
Last edited:

mellored

Legend
Trigger: you take non-psychic damage.
Reduce the damage you take by 5 until the start of your turn, including the triggering damage.
At Higher Level: reduce the damage by 5 * the spells level.

Conveniently still works to block magic missile.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Now, personally I do not have a problem with Shield spell, as 1st level slots are finite and if you do 2-3 combats per day that matter, not some medium level trash fights to buy that 6-8 combats per day budget, those 4 slots will not last very long.

But, lot's of people have a problem with +5 AC for 1 round mechanic and waiting for reaction to get trigger might take some more game time if player is thinking too much if to use the Shield or not.

Now, how to modify it and keep it useful and flavorful to a degree.

maybe solution is just to have it be magical invisible shield that you use instead of your normal one. And not requiring proficiency or using carry capacity:

Shield.
1st level spell
cast time: 1 Bonus action
Duration: 12hrs (so sorcerers can have 24hrs with 1pt metamagic usage)

You create an invisible shield of force:
you gain +1 bonus to AC or +3 bonus to AC if you have one hand free(you can still use this hand for spellcasting)
This bonus does not stack with bonus from normal shield.

upcasting:
3rd level: increase bonus by 1
6th level: increase bonus by 2
9th level: increase bonus by 3
I'd make it 8 hours to match mage armour. I might not include an up cast bonus. I'd maybe include an ability that dismisses the spell but prevents all damage from a single hit, something to give the spell an active ability.
 


James Gasik

We don't talk about Pun-Pun
Is it to much of a nerf to have it inflict disadvantage on attacks that target you instead of a +5 bonus to AC?
Not really, the +5 is slightly better mathematically, but only a tiny bit. It would prevent you from stacking Shield with things like Dodge, Silvery Barbs, or Blur. You would lose out on the reliability of the spell, since you couldn't wait to see if you get hit at all before using it (unless you reworded it's effect to force a reroll of the d20 that hit you, but even then, you could still be hit). These might be good things for your game, personally, I don't care if someone wants to use resources to avoid hit point damage; it's basically the same thing as using those same resources to heal hit point damage.

Really, my problem isn't with Shield, it's with the fact that at higher levels, you run out of good 1st-level spells to cast in combat. Right now, every Shield is one less Silvery Barbs or vice versa. My last character, a Wizard, did their level best to stay out of the firing line. I'd cast a Mage Armor as the start of day, and if something did target me, well, ok, I'd Shield it because there wasn't much else I had to work with at that level.

And on days when I didn't get targeted at all, I'd have open 1st level slots when everyone else is completely out of gas.*

*This depends on how your DM rules Magic Missile vs. Concentration- if it's three saves, there might be some niche use for the spell if you have to fight enemy casters.
 

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