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Human Paragon 3
2009-08-18, 08:00 AM
Compared to the huge amount of damage you can get via THF or the extra attacks afforded by TWF, sword and board fighting just doesn't stack up. The minuscule armor bonus doesn't really counterbalance your lack of offense. To help make shield fighting a viable tactic, I submit the following feat.


Shield Mastery
Prerequisites: Shield Proficiency (Light or Heavy), Combat Expertise
Benefit: When fighting defensively or using your Combat Expertise feat with a light or heavy shield in which you are proficient, you may add 1/2 your BAB as a shield bonus to your armor class instead of the bonus normally granted by the shield. Enhancement bonuses are still applied normally. You lose this benefit if you make a shield bash or use your shield hand for anything other than defending.
Normal: Light shields provide a +1 shield bonus to AC and heavy shields provide a +2 shield bonus to AC.

Yes, this feat gives you a huge, scaling bonus to AC, but if your fighting style is highly defensive, you SHOULD get a huge, scaling bonus to AC. This gives you a highly viable defensive option at the cost of just a couple feats, keeping the rest of your feats free for offense, or if you want, more shield feats.

It also makes concept like a lightly armored, shield+spear hoppolite fighter viable and gives needed extra defense to classes like the Warblade who lacks heavy armor proficiency. Great for any mobile defender.

Epinephrine
2009-08-18, 08:09 AM
Wow, sounds like a huge bonus. Might be too big, though I do understand that attack bonuses greatly outstrip AC in most cases.

It offers no advantage based on shield size, is this deliberate? a 10th level fighter optiong to use this with a light shield gets 4 AC, and opting to do so with an extreme shield gets only 2 AC (or 1 AC with a tower shield). I think that most players would like to see an advantage if they've put feats into using a shield with a bigger bonus, or even in choosing a bigger, heavier shield.

Have you thought about how it interacts with other feats? With Shield Ward, this allows a huge touch AC, since you've defined the bonus as being the Shield AC. And while it carries the enhancement bonus, it doesn't specify that bonuses like the +1 bonus from Shield Specialization would apply - if you've invested a feat to improve your shield bonus (based on skill with it) it's probably be nice to have the bonus pass along to a feat like this.

I posted a feat to deflect blows yesterday, might be good for you - I was hoping to make a feat that would provide a solid, non AC advantage.

http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=121878

XiaoTie
2009-08-18, 08:16 AM
Compared to the huge amount of damage you can get via THF or the extra attacks afforded by TWF, sword and board fighting just doesn't stack up. The minuscule armor bonus doesn't really counterbalance your lack of offense. To help make shield fighting a viable tactic, I submit the following feat.


Shield Mastery
Prerequisites: Shield Proficiency (Light or Heavy), Combat Expertise
Benefit: When fighting defensively or using your Combat Expertise feat with a light or heavy shield in which you are proficient, you may add 1/2 your BAB as a shield bonus to your armor class instead of the bonus normally granted by the shield. Enhancement bonuses are still applied normally. You lose this benefit if you make a shield bash or use your shield hand for anything other than defending.
Normal: Light shields provide a +1 shield bonus to AC and heavy shields provide a +2 shield bonus to AC.

Yes, this feat gives you a huge, scaling bonus to AC, but if your fighting style is highly defensive, you SHOULD get a huge, scaling bonus to AC. This gives you a highly viable defensive option at the cost of just a couple feats, keeping the rest of your feats free for offense, or if you want, more shield feats.

It also makes concept like a lightly armored, shield+spear hoppolite fighter viable and gives needed extra defense to classes like the Warblade who lacks heavy armor proficiency. Great for any mobile defender.

I think there is only one thing I can say that would be fair to what this feat is...
AWESOME

As for bigger shields making some difference, how about you get to add:

1/2 your BAB + 1/2 of the shield's original AC bonus
or
1/2 your BAB + the shield AC bonus?

Might be too much, but then again...Wizards, Clerics and Druids
:smalltongue:

Human Paragon 3
2009-08-18, 08:45 AM
I'd like to keep the feat as simple as possible, although I take your point about shield size.

There are still a couple reasons to use a heavy shield over a light shield... harder to sunder, more damage on a shield bash. That's about it. I think it's a matter of style preference really, and I don't see a problem with that.

Dienekes
2009-08-18, 08:52 AM
You could just as easily say "you may add 1/2 your BAB to AC when using a shield" and not even mention shields. It'd actually be less complicated and large and tower shields would still feel that there bigger shield still does something.

elliott20
2009-08-18, 11:20 PM
this one feat alone does not make sword and board effective. You're still a melee character who cannot compete with the other two builds for damage or attacks. If you're idea is to make the character a defensive machine, you'll have to do more than just give him a couple more points in AC.

i.e. maybe a feat that allows his shield to give him a reflex bonus or something.

dragonfan6490
2009-08-18, 11:32 PM
Whenever I build a Sword and Board character, I always give him shield bash and TWF feats, since I myself fight with my shield, I've never seen a S&B be ineffective.

On topic, that is and AWESOME feat. Maybe too awesome. I can't imagine anyone not wanting to take that feat.

Gnomo
2009-08-19, 01:05 AM
I don't like it, has clunky mechanics and completely negates the usefulness of the Heavy Shield compared to the Light Shield. How would that interact with Shield Specialization and Shield Ward from the PHB2... I think "replacing" the AC bonus from the shield is a bad idea.

Besides, Shield AC Bonus is not that useful, since their weak point is their touch AC, unless the character is using Shield Ward, but even then it's bane are the touch attacks like enervation, ray of enfeeblement, polar ray, crystal shard, the touch attack to start a grapple or a trip, etc; All of those are a given against an armored warrior, if you only improve the Shield AC you don't give any real improvement to the warrior character cause he already has a way to handle regular attacks (lots of HP, damage resistance, a lot of regular AC, etc) and special attacks (good BAB and Strength score).

I would do it like this:

Shield Mastery
Prerequisites: Shield Proficiency (Light or Heavy), Combat Expertise
Benefit: When using your Combat Expertise feat with a light or heavy shield in which you are proficient the dodge bonus to AC provided by the feat is equal to twice the penalty taken on the attacks, besides you gain a +2 bonus to Reflex Saves. You lose this benefit if you cannot benefit from the AC bonus of the shield.
Special: A fighter can take this feat as a bonus feat.

Person_Man
2009-08-19, 11:26 AM
For the record, sword and board is currently a competitive. You just need to focus on defense and battlefield control instead of offense. I suggest playing a Knight (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=109429). Other tools you may wish to consider:

Shield of the Severed Hand: Once per round grants you a free Bull Rush whenever an enemy attacks you and misses. (Combine with Shock Trooper for awesomeness). Requires True Believer feat and 7 HD. Complete Divine pg 102 or Magic Item Compendium.

Shield of Vigor: Spend knight's challenges to gain Fast Healing 5 for 3 rounds. MIC p. 196.

Empyreal armor or shield enhancement: You can transfer your enhancement bonus to AC to be a sacred bonus to Saves. Although adding this to a +5 shield to get a bonus to your Saves would be twice as expensive as a Cloak of Resistance, itís noteworthy in that the bonuses stack. (Put together, you spend 75,000ish gp for a +10 to all Saves, +5 of which you can swap into AC). A good high ECL choice. Book of Exalted Deeds pg 112.

Shield Slam feat: When you charge an enemy and attack with your Shield, you get a free Trip attack (from the Shield Charge pre-req) and your enemy must Save or be Dazed for 1 round. A good mid level combo. A nice DM might let you use it with Pounce, making it far more effective. Otherwise it loses itís usefulness by ECL 11+. Requires Shield Bash and Shield Charge. Complete Warrior pg 105.

Parrying Shield feat: You add your shield bonus to Touch AC. This is a huge weak point for many builds, which this feat fixes. Lords of Madness pg 181.

Shield Ward feat: Your shield bonus applies to touch attacks and checks to resist Bull Rush, Disarm, Grapple, Overrun, and Trip attempts. Unfortunately, it requires Shield Specialization (which sucks). PHBII 82.

Tower Shield: You can hide behind this to gain total cover. This is especially useful if you have something to do with your actions that don't involve attacks, such as summoning, healing, buffing, Demoralize, etc. Note that Fighters get proficiency for free at first level.

Active Shield Defense feat: When fighting defensively with a shield, you don't take the attack penalties on your AoO. Also, you still threaten when on Total Defense, which is useful when combined with Spinning Defense (Dungeon Compendium) you can use Deflect Arrows to deflect any number of ranged attacks when wielding a polearm and using the Total Defense action. PHBII.

Divine Shield: Burn a turn/rebuke undead to add your Cha bonus to your shield bonus for a number of rounds. Amazing for defensive Paladins or Blackguards. Comp Warrior.

It's also worth mentioning that if you get Pounce and Ride by Attack, you can use a lance and shield (using Shield Bash instead of TWF) for some very impressive damage.

Ichor
2009-08-19, 12:06 PM
Pretty much what Person_Man said.

Last time I checked, using a shield in your off hand translates into +7 (or more) AC at higher levels. Considering how big of a shift in to-hit numbers this is (-35%, with some difference at the ends), it seems like a reasonable investment. Coupled with the shield bash and TWF feats, it becomes in a lot of respects just like the dual-wielding style but with more armor class, and at the cost of much more money.

The thing I would concern myself with is the difference between sword-and-board and greatsword-and-board, a style category made possible by the Animated (http://www.d20srd.org/srd/magicItems/magicArmor.htm#animated) property for magic shields. Fortunately, that's an easy fix: remove the property.

PinkysBrain
2009-08-19, 01:18 PM
You need to increase offense, not defense. Let people bullrush while attacking. Let people use their shields to hide their attacks (deny DEX to AC). That sort of thing.

ericgrau
2009-08-19, 04:38 PM
Lack of AC isn't a problem with S & B.

elliott20
2009-08-19, 09:28 PM
has anyone ever written a guide to Sword and Board? I think most of us here know how to pimp out the TWF and the THF. but seldom do I see people actually say that S&B is viable.

Knaight
2009-08-20, 07:55 AM
Because most of the time the guide goes like this: Use ToB.

Worth noting is that in real life shields can make it easier to land a blow. You can use them to close up safely when you have a shorter weapon, or attack when your opponent does and block with the shield, etc. Allow a shield to add a major bonus to AC, and a significant one to attack. This can be broken when dealing with ToB, so apply ASF to maneuvers.

elliott20
2009-08-20, 08:47 AM
how well does ToB actually support S&B? I'd figure it's actually not too bad on that front, since ToB pretty much means you can afford to spare on hand on a shield. but I'm not sure what so of synergies you get out of it.

Draz74
2009-08-20, 12:12 PM
how well does ToB actually support S&B? I'd figure it's actually not too bad on that front, since ToB pretty much means you can afford to spare on hand on a shield. but I'm not sure what so of synergies you get out of it.

Yeah, mostly it's just making you able to do decent damage without needing two hands on your weapon. But there are a couple other little tricks for true shield "synergy," mostly in Devoted Spirit. I'm a big fan of the Shield Block counter maneuver (give an adjacent ally your shield bonus to AC, +4, vs. one attack as an immediate action).