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D&D 5E Using shields with two-handed weapons

Quartz

Adventurer
Apparently it was a historical thing



That video makes it look much more useful to a spear-wielder than a sword-wielder. How would you do this in D&D? Would you add it to the Shield Master feat or make it a Fighting Style or perhaps tweak the Great Weapon Master or Polearm Master feats? A new feat?

And what bonus would you give? I'm thinking a +1 bonus instead of +2.
 

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6ENow!

The Game Is Over
FWIW, we already house-ruled a few things:
  • Taking the Protection Fighting Style or the Shield Master feat allows you to don and doff a shield as a bonus action.
  • Tower shields give +3 AC bonus.

When wielding a shield and trying to use a two-handed weapon I would either reduce the AC bonus by 1 or impose disadvantage on the attacks with the two-handed weapon. A feat could remove whatever penalty (reduced AC or disadvantage on attack) you want to impose.
 

DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
Since there's no functional mechanical difference between a shield and +2 magical armor (or +1 armor and the Defense style, or any combo that grants a +2 to your AC)... I would just treat the ability to use a shield while wielding a two-handed weapon to be possible at about whatever the time is you'd make +2 armor available to the PC. If they are proficient with two-handed weapons and proficient with shields... the option to use both simultaneously becomes available at some point in the leveling process and they can choose to go that route if they want. No reason to insist on them spending a feat to get it.
 

auburn2

Explorer
Since there's no functional mechanical difference between a shield and +2 magical armor (or +1 armor and the Defense style, or any combo that grants a +2 to your AC)... I would just treat the ability to use a shield while wielding a two-handed weapon to be possible at about whatever the time is you'd make +2 armor available to the PC. If they are proficient with two-handed weapons and proficient with shields... the option to use both simultaneously becomes available at some point in the leveling process and they can choose to go that route if they want. No reason to insist on them spending a feat to get it.
The difference is said character will have a +4 to AC, not +2. She will have +2 for the magic armor that is now available and +2 more for the shield, unless of course you make the +2 armor not available in your campaign.
 

I want the buckler, the medium (kite) shield and tower shield (large) back.
I want the buckler to add +1 AC vs One attacker or two with shield mastery.
I want the medium shield to add +2 AC VS 3 or 4 attackers with shield mastery.
I want the Tower Shield (pavise) to add +3 AC vs 3 or 4 attackers with shield mastery.

It would be so fun to finally some good thing happening with shields. :)
 

DM Dave1

Hero
I want the buckler, the medium (kite) shield and tower shield (large) back.
I want the buckler to add +1 AC vs One attacker or two with shield mastery.
I want the medium shield to add +2 AC VS 3 or 4 attackers with shield mastery.
I want the Tower Shield (pavise) to add +3 AC vs 3 or 4 attackers with shield mastery.

It would be so fun to finally some good thing happening with shields. :)

I agree. Some shield variation would be nice.
 

pming

Hero
Hiya!

Apparently it was a historical thing;

That video makes it look much more useful to a spear-wielder than a sword-wielder. How would you do this in D&D? Would you add it to the Shield Master feat or make it a Fighting Style or perhaps tweak the Great Weapon Master or Polearm Master feats? A new feat?
And what bonus would you give? I'm thinking a +1 bonus instead of +2.

We're playing D&D...not Harnmaster or some other "semi-serious focus on medieval combat" type RPG.
I wouldn't let it go as a base "Ok, sure". At BEST I'd allow someone to be able to switch from 'defense' to 'offense' at the cost of their Bonus action... BEFORE they take a full action (like, say, Attack). I'd also require the character to be using a weapon with the Versatile trait (so, 1-h or 2-h use, like a Bastard Sword). If they aren't using their weapon 1-handed, they get no benefit to the shield (including any magical adjustment/abilities it may have).

Effectively, it's a "you don't have to spend a full action to get your shield off your back and strap it to your arm"...but it does use up your Bonus action if you want to switch 'tactics'.

^_^

Paul L. Ming
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I agree. Some shield variation would be nice.
Something like this?
1601851744150.png
 


DEFCON 1

Legend
Supporter
The difference is said character will have a +4 to AC, not +2. She will have +2 for the magic armor that is now available and +2 more for the shield, unless of course you make the +2 armor not available in your campaign.
That was the point. They get to use a shield instead of getting +2 magical armor.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
If you understand bucklers they do not provide any less defense in melee than a rotella (round shield) or heater (most commonly depicted knight shield like the one used in Zelda). They actual provide about the same melee defense but with better visibility which is why they are preferred for duels. Bucklers are not good for ranged defense however.

You could honestly do small shield = buckler, Standard shield = rotella/heater/wrankel, Tall shield = tower/kite/oval/celtic/coffin etc.

Your melee damage is backwards. Bucklers are extremely good a punching and intended for it. Heater shields have a special variant where the strapping is vertical in stead of horizontal placing the handle at the point specifically for punching.
Heater shield with vertical strapping.jpg


As you also depicted with weight requirements most standard and heavy shields are not good as melee weapons because they are too slow for strikes. They are useful for body checks but that is basically the special action "shove" and you can body check without a shield it just gives you defense.

Daggers are also very good for melee defense but again suck for ranged defense.

I would suggest
Off Hand Sparing Dagger +2AC vs melee attacks, 1d4 damage, light, finesse
Buckler/Punch Shield +2 AC vs melee attacks, 1d6 damage, light
Standard shield (rotella/heater) +2AC vs ranged and melee, 1d4 damage as an improvised weapon.
Tall shield (tower/kite/oval/celtic/coffin) +4AC vs ranged and melee, requires str 13, advantage on dex saves hiding behind the shield.

I am not sure why you would have a disadvantage to stealth for a shield. They are not noisy and black or brown tower shield would still be harder to see than a brightly painted or metallic buckler. That would be up to the owner. Also, if your carrying a heavy shield you likely have heavy armor anyway so its redundant.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
@ClaytonCross , I am not going to explain our reasoning for our house-rules/homebrew, and disagree with a lot of what you said so I will leave it at that. Please don't bother pursuing this with me and thank you.
 

I mean, some forms of popular culture and the Zaku from Mobile Suit Gundam, have the concept of a shield like type device connecting to the shoulder portion of an armor or some stuff like that.

The same could be said if you design and armor with a segment joint that a shield can connect to.
 



Charlaquin

Goblin Queen
I want the buckler, the medium (kite) shield and tower shield (large) back.
I want the buckler to add +1 AC vs One attacker or two with shield mastery.
I want the medium shield to add +2 AC VS 3 or 4 attackers with shield mastery.
I want the Tower Shield (pavise) to add +3 AC vs 3 or 4 attackers with shield mastery.

It would be so fun to finally some good thing happening with shields. :)
I like the idea of different shields granting varying AC bonuses to different numbers of attackers. I feel like you could leverage this concept alongside cover and facing rules to create a pretty neat matrix. For example...

ShieldCostFront coverSide cover
Buckler5 sp1/2None
Heater10 sp1/21/2
Kite20 sp3/41/2
Round15 sp3/4None
Tower30 sp3/43/4

“Front cover” applies to your front arc and “Side cover” applies to the arc on the side the shield is equipped to. Of course, that would require you to use the facing rules which are not to everyone’s taste. But I like it a lot in concept.
 

Horwath

Hero
I like to keep it simple and neat.

Buckler; +1 AC, requires light armor proficiency, cannot be used for shield master or similar feats or features.
you can use off handed weapon or two handed weapon attacks without penalty, but you lose AC bonus until your next turn.
you can hold items and cast S/M component spells with buckler and keeping AC bonus as normal.

Shield(default 5E); +2 AC, requires medium armor proficiency.

Tower shield; +3 AC, requires heavy armor proficiency, -10 ft move speed(-5 with 15+ strength), disadvantage on stealth,

added option; when you take Dodge action, double the base shield bonus to AC vs ranged attacks.

optional feat:

shield bash.
+1 str. As a bonus action you can make one bashing attack with your shield.
you are proficient with this attack if you are proficient with the shield you have equiped.
add STR to attack and damage.
add you shields enhancement bonus to AC as bonus to attack and damage.
damage is 1d4 for shield and 1d6 for tower shield. you cannot bash with a buckler(unless you have buckler expert feat).

buckler expert:
+1 str or dex.
you can attack and keep buckler AC bonus.
you treat buckler as normal shield for all shield feats or special features.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Since there's no functional mechanical difference between a shield and +2 magical armor (or +1 armor and the Defense style, or any combo that grants a +2 to your AC)... I would just treat the ability to use a shield while wielding a two-handed weapon to be possible at about whatever the time is you'd make +2 armor available to the PC. If they are proficient with two-handed weapons and proficient with shields... the option to use both simultaneously becomes available at some point in the leveling process and they can choose to go that route if they want. No reason to insist on them spending a feat to get it.

There's one very obvious mechanical difference. Using only magic armour leaves you with a free hand to do something with. Using a shield means that hands full.
 

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