D&D (2024) Should shields, like Simple weapons be available to all characters?

Should shields, like Simple weapons be available to all characters?


Yaarel

He Mage
I didnt say not magical I said not Wizards.
Well, yeah, that is kinda fair.

Maybe there are no Nordics who are D&D Wizards. There are no spellbooks. Even the runic inscriptions − each one is unique − being personal and impromptu, the opposite of Wizard "magic words" or formula.
 

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Reallife Norse people cast spells. There are many runic examples, where they focused their magical intention into objects.

Feminine shamanic magic is specifically mind control (seiðr), much like the D&D enchantment and illusion schools. Masculine warrior magic is song (ljóð), which is much like the D&D abjuration school with protective and healing spells even resurrection. It is common for individuals to learn the magical traditions of the other gender.

Everyone with second sight (ófreski) − psionic divination − enjoys high status, whether male or female.

Manifesting animal forms is a pervasive trope.

There are many examples of normal Norse people doing magical affects, as well as powerful mages who are skilled at various kinds of magic.
Look, if you want to believe they can cast spells, I'm not going to tell you otherwise, but I think most would agree they weren't the magic missile tossing D&D wizard. Regardless, variant human and spending your feat appropriately gets you there.

Bards have the valor option, druids/clerics get shields, etc. Most classes get shields or have a subclass that does, I think only monks, rogues, wizards and sorcrs don't.
 

Yaarel

He Mage
Look, if you want to believe they can cast spells, I'm not going to tell you otherwise, but I think most would agree they weren't the magic missile tossing D&D wizard.
Scandinavian archeologists know the Norse were casting spells. The spells are improvisational and non-formulaic, more analogous to the Sámi joik meditations. It is more like D&D psionics. The intention of the mind forces (hugar) manifest the effect, and can do so accidentally while the mind wanders. Much of the magical training is for a "strong" mind learning how to not do magic.

With regard to the descriptions of seiðr, damage tends describe the psychic damage type. But with psychosomatic wounds appearing to targets, including broken bones, force damage might sometimes make sense too.


Regardless, variant human and spending your feat appropriately gets you there.
A more nuanced selection of feats can help. Especially when a level 0 Human gets both a human feat and a background feat.


Bards have the valor option, druids/clerics get shields, etc. Most classes get shields or have a subclass that does, I think only monks, rogues, wizards and sorcrs don't.
Consider a Norse-esque Rogue, in the sense of an athletic, agile, stealthy warrior. This one is likely to have a shield, but unlikely to wear light armor.

During the Viking Period, chain armor with layers of shirts under it seems uncommon, but notable. In the Post-Viking Period, chain armor seems common among the aristocrats.
 

Honestly, using a shield effectively is an IMPORTANT skill. Using a shield the way you THINK it should be used invites being killed quickly by someone who knows what they are doing.

You have a shield and sword and someone swings for your head.

The response from someone untrained in sword & board fighting is to block with the shield. This results in losing your line of sight with the enemy's sword and body movement, and a trained swordfighter will take the advantage to swing for your shins while your shield is up.

A trained fighter instead parries head shots with blade instead of shield, saving the shield for body blows and those going for the legs.
 

That... makes no sense.

That's saying that all rules exist for is enforcing flavor and that's simply not true. In fact, in my experience, ESPECIALLY with D&D, it's only the bad rules that do that. Paladin codes, druid metal allergies, arcane spell failure, alignment -- all the garbage rule we've mostly divested ourselves of over the past decade and a half.
No. It's saying that any rule that undermines flavour is a bad rule. Clunky ham-fisted attempts to enforce flavour are bad - but rules that undermine flavour are even worse. Druid metal allergies were mostly silly but ultimately didn't have much impact on play. Arcane Spell Failure was worse because it was slow and lead to subversion (especially when the Twilight enchantment showed up in very late 3.0). And the biggest problem with the alignment and its even worse relative in Paladin codes was exactly how anti-flavour the results were. "You suspect a paladin has fallen. We all know what to do. Everyone down to the courtyard and we'll see who can no longer Lay on Hands."

And letting wizards freely use shields while at the same time giving shields a bonus undermines flavour.
 


And it's also implying that agnostic rules like letting anyone who wants to pick up a shield can undermines flavor--and suggests that that specific flavor has inherent value. both of which I disagree with.
I'm saying that "anyone who wants can pick up a shield and use it with full effectiveness" is about as far from an agnostic rule as you can get. It's a rule that means only idiots won't carry shields because carrying a shield unless you would otherwise have a use for both hands is always better than not". It drenches the game in a specific pseudo-physics-sim flavour.

An actually agnostic rule would be to make AC a special effect of the class and say "wear what you like and draw your character how you like. It's all special effects".
 

Yaarel

He Mage
And letting wizards freely use shields while at the same time giving shields a bonus undermines flavour.
If I had my way, the Wizard class would lack simple weapons, nevermind lack shield and light armor.

Combat via cantrips works fine.



That said.

It seems common enough to grow up with combat training before becoming a Wizard.

When this is the case during the level 0 background, the choice of shield training is an opportunity cost, missing out on something else.
 

That said.

It seems common enough to grow up with combat training before becoming a Wizard.

When this is the case during the level 0 background, the choice of shield training is an opportunity cost, missing out on something else.
Agreed. It's one reason I'm glad of the Lightly Armoured feat being level 0 for light armour, medium armour, and shields as your feat. It makes an armoured wizard into a legitimate choice but not one that everyone's going to just automatically take.
 

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