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

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


mellored

Legend
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.
Agreed.

If you want to play a robe wizard you can take lucky or something, and not feel bad about not using a shield.
 

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Vaalingrade

Legend
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".
Or like if your character wouldn't carry a shield.

It's not like every person in any period of history carried a shield.
 

kunadam

Adventurer
I'm also against most characters having weapon proficiencies.
Anyone can take up an axe and a shield. That does not make anyone a warrior.
Ask yourself the question, how many of you actually had any weapon training in his/her life? (and we are the subsection of society that are actually interested in weapons) Most medieval farmers have not possessed a weapon ever.

One could make an argument that light armour does not need a proficiency (unlike a shield), and I would consider giving every character access to those amour. But not shields!
 

Horwath

Legend
I'm also against most characters having weapon proficiencies.
Anyone can take up an axe and a shield. That does not make anyone a warrior.
Ask yourself the question, how many of you actually had any weapon training in his/her life? (and we are the subsection of society that are actually interested in weapons) Most medieval farmers have not possessed a weapon ever.

One could make an argument that light armour does not need a proficiency (unlike a shield), and I would consider giving every character access to those amour. But not shields!
Honestly, I would not have a problem that all characters are proficient with all weapons and armor.

Weapon proficiency without investment in STR/DEX, fighting style, feats, various attack riders means very little, mostly is +1 average on damage.
It's not even worth printing 2 sets of weapons because of 2 categories of weapons.

All armor should be gated on STR:
want to wear lightest leather armor? Sure, min STR of 10. So no STR dumping for wizards.
Fullplate? STR 18.
 

Hriston

Dungeon Master of Middle-earth
No, only those characters who are functioning as infantry/cavalry and combat services support should have proficiency with shields. It says this character’s function is to engage in/get in range of melee and exposure to missile fire. This includes most characters but specifically excludes artillery and some special forces. For example, rogues and monks should use stealth and high mobility to avoid hits, rather than shields. That’s why they have those abilities.
 
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Or like if your character wouldn't carry a shield.

It's not like every person in any period of history carried a shield.
It's also not like every person in any period of history had a realistic expectation of being in multiple life-threatening fights every day. But adventurers do.

People didn't carry shields because they were large, bulky, unwieldy, and pointless for most people. By your rules modifications shields aren't meaningully bulky or unwieldy other than for people with two handed weapons. And D&D adventurers can expect to get into potentially lethal fights multiple times a day. Every single reason most people have to not carry a shield has been basically removed.

Therefore anyone not wielding a two handed weapon (or occasional rogues and two weapon fighters)should be carrying a shield - and not to do so is to be committed to their "bit" to a near suicidal degree. They might as well paint a large D on their pointy hats.

Meanwhile if you make these 4' pieces of heavy wood take effort and training to maneuver (represented by proficiency) or even bucklers requiring skill you get results closer to the expected outcome.
 



kunadam

Adventurer
I imagine most people here aren't characters in a heroic fantasy game either. Which to me is the operant point.
But then are wizards fighting men who can sometimes cast fireball? I imagine them as the bookish type who were for some reason dragged around but still does not like close combat. Raistlin was not with a shield. Dandelion in the Witcher books did not much fight (ok, he was a bard/rogue, but still).
I think Shadowrun is a good example. Compared to fighting characters like street samurais and martial adepts, deckers, riggers and magicians fare very poorly in a fight. That is fine. Not all characters are meant to be in the tick of combat. This is exactly why there are fighters, paladins and barbarians in the game.
 

Reynard

Legend
This is one of those places where people seem to want to have their cake and eat it to in regards to verisimilitude/realism and game/fun factor. In the end, since 5E is about as unrealistic a set of rules one can imagine, it is probably best to consider how it would affect game balance. What should a character have to give up for that +2 AC. Fighters in 5E give up a point of damage per hit for it, on average. What should the wizard give up?
 

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