PDA

View Full Version : How Would You Stat the Spartan Shield (3.5)



EdroGrimshell
2010-08-26, 04:28 PM
I'm thinking of a spartan-style character for an upcoming game and i need the stats for a spartan shield. The thing is THE primary weapon of the spartans, above even their spears.

This may help (http://www.spike.com/full-episode/spartan-vs-ninja/31578)

ErrantX
2010-08-26, 04:39 PM
Heavy shield? Their fighting style is more feat based than equipment based. They all have the Phalanx Fighting feats, shield bashing feats, and some two-weapon fighting feats. Additionally, if you use Tome of Battle stuff and homebrew, my Iron Tortoise (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160377) discipline would be able to emulate their fighting method (as it was one of my inspirations for it).

-X

jiriku
2010-08-26, 04:44 PM
+1 for heavy shield. The Spartan shield is one of the archetypal historical examples of a heavy shield.

EdroGrimshell
2010-08-26, 04:47 PM
Heavy shield? Their fighting style is more feat based than equipment based. They all have the Phalanx Fighting feats, shield bashing feats, and some two-weapon fighting feats. Additionally, if you use Tome of Battle stuff and homebrew, my Iron Tortoise (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=160377) discipline would be able to emulate their fighting method (as it was one of my inspirations for it).

-X

Very much so, I agree on most of what you pointed out. But the heavy shield does not do the spartan shield justice, its bigger, completely round, built for battering an opponent. My DM agrees and says that based on what's said on this thread he'll stat the shield for my character.

Zaydos
2010-08-26, 04:50 PM
The Spartan's shield is the basic heavy shield; or at least it is what a heavy shield is supposed to be.

In practice the heavy shield fails to live up to the task.

WotC did make a (exotic) shield that was between Heavy and Tower called an Extreme Shield (from Races of Stone), +3 AC but no shield-bash. Add shield bash to it and you might have a good starting place for a Spartan shield. Also see if your DM will allow you Shield Specialization in it for another +1 AC.

Jair Barik
2010-08-26, 04:51 PM
Pretty much heavy shield, perhaps with spikes added that deal bludgeoning damage. Really though most of the utility of the shield your looking for is gained through magic upgrades/feats that allow you to perform more interesting actions.

jiriku
2010-08-26, 04:56 PM
Heavy shields come in all shapes and several sizes. What you really need is solid feat support for a shield-based combat style. If you're interested, I have balance-adjusted some shield feats to not suck so much, I should probably offer the obligatory link the Spartan class (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=136953)one of my players and I built for his use in a previous game. The final version is in post #35 (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showpost.php?p=7682217&postcount=35). It is full of awesome, although much stronger than typical PHB melee classes. And yes, he was also a fan of the Spartan-vs-Ninja clip.

Jane_Smith
2010-08-27, 11:26 AM
I honestly think its a tower shield. To many scenes where they are abosely bracing for impact with those things for cover, like the 'wizards' scene. Heavy shields dont guard against explosions. >.> Plus, its not like they are wearing armor, they had to get their ac from -something-.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-08-27, 11:32 AM
It's definitely a heavy shield, although perhaps one that grants an additional +1 bonus to AC when fighting defensively or taking the total defense action.

The Spartan shield was approximately three feet in diameter, but the individuals at the time were slightly smaller, so it did occupy a large amount of space. However, due to its size (and subsequent weight), they were usually brass and leather rather than iron or steel, making them less effective than they would otherwise be. In a world where steel weapons are the norm (like D&D), such a shield wouldn't offer the sort of protection that its size would indicate, so I'd say a Heavy Shield is more than sufficient. Even if you had a high enough strength for one made of steel, a Heavy Shield would probably still cover the basics.

It does, however, cover a large portion of the body, so I think my suggestion of a +1 additional AC bonus for fighting defensively will work well. I don't think it's necessary (because in all honesty, those shields weren't really any better or worse than others), but if you really must differentiate it, that's what I'd recommend.

The rest, as others have said, comes from feats and/or maneuvers.

n00b killa
2010-08-27, 11:34 AM
Thatís it. Iím sick of all this ďMasterwork Heavy ShieldĒ bull**** thatís going on in the d20 system right now. Spartan Combat Shields deserve much better than that. Much, much better than that.

I should know what Iím talking about. I myself commissioned a genuine Spartan Combat Shield in Greece for 500 Dracma (thatís about 325 GP) and have been practicing with it for almost 2 years now. I can even cut slabs of solid steel with my Spartan Combat Shield.

Greek smiths spend years working on a single shield and fold it up to a million times to produce the finest defensive/offensive implements known to mankind.
Spartan Combat Shields are thrice as sharp as European shields and thrice as hard for that matter too. Anything a longsword can shield-stun, a Spartan Combat Shield can shield-stun better. Iím pretty sure a Spartan Combat Shield could easily shield-stun a Persian God-King wearing full plate with a simple vertical slash.

Ever wonder why Persia never bothered conquering Greece (Or did they?)? Thatís right, they were too scared to fight the disciplined Spartan foot soldiers and their Spartan Combat Shields of destruction. Even in 300, Immortals targeted the men with the shields first because their killing power was feared and respected.

So what am I saying? Spartan Combat Shields are simply the best shields that the world has ever seen, and thus, require better stats in the d20 system.

Here is the stat block I propose for Spartan Combat Shields:

(One-Handed Exotic Shield) 1d12 Damage 19-20 x4 Crit +2 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork
(Two-Handed Exotic Shield) 2d10 Damage 17-20 x4 Crit +5 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork

Now that seems a lot more representative of the shield stunning power of Spartan Combat Shields in real life, donít you think?

tl;dr = Shields need to do more damage in d20, see my new stat block.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-08-27, 11:35 AM
Thatís it. Iím sick of all this ďMasterwork Heavy ShieldĒ bull**** thatís going on in the d20 system right now. Spartan Combat Shields deserve much better than that. Much, much better than that.

Here is the stat block I propose for Spartan Combat Shields:
(One-Handed Exotic Shield) 1d12 Damage 19-20 x4 Crit +2 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork
(Two-Handed Exotic Shield) 2d10 Damage 17-20 x4 Crit +5 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork

...can I make it out of uranium? Can my Lightning Warrior dual-wield them? Can it cut through a tank? :smallbiggrin:

jiriku
2010-08-27, 12:00 PM
Not only can your lightning warrior dual-wield them, but so can his familiar -- IF he buys one with the Obtain Familiar feat.

dsmiles
2010-08-27, 12:04 PM
Thatís it. Iím sick of all this ďMasterwork Heavy ShieldĒ bull**** thatís going on in the d20 system right now. Spartan Combat Shields deserve much better than that. Much, much better than that.

I should know what Iím talking about. I myself commissioned a genuine Spartan Combat Shield(TM) in Greece for 500 Dracma (thatís about 325 GP) and have been practicing with it for almost 2 years now. I can even cut slabs of solid steel with my Spartan Combat Shield(TM).

Greek smiths spend years working on a single shield and fold it up to a million times to produce the finest defensive/offensive implements known to mankind.
Spartan Combat Shields(TM) are thrice as sharp as European shields and thrice as hard for that matter too. Anything a longsword can shield-stun, a Spartan Combat Shield(TM) can shield-stun better. Iím pretty sure a Spartan Combat Shield(TM) could easily shield-stun a Persian God-King wearing full plate with a simple vertical slash.

Ever wonder why Persia never bothered conquering Greece (Or did they?)? Thatís right, they were too scared to fight the disciplined Spartan foot soldiers and their Spartan Combat Shields(TM) of destruction. Even in 300, Immortals targeted the men with the shields first because their killing power was feared and respected.

So what am I saying? Spartan Combat Shields(TM) are simply the best shields that the world has ever seen, and thus, require better stats in the d20 system.

Here is the stat block I propose for Spartan Combat Shields(TM):

(One-Handed Exotic Shield) 1d12 Damage 19-20 x4 Crit +2 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork
(Two-Handed Exotic Shield) 2d10 Damage 17-20 x4 Crit +5 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork

Now that seems a lot more representative of the shield stunning power of Spartan Combat Shields in real life, donít you think?

tl;dr = Shields need to do more damage in d20, see my new stat block.

I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. This one's for you, Billy Mays! :smallbiggrin:

Kobold-Bard
2010-08-27, 01:39 PM
Thatís it. Iím sick of all this ďMasterwork Heavy ShieldĒ bull**** thatís going on in the d20 system right now. Spartan Combat Shields deserve much better than that. Much, much better than that.

I should know what Iím talking about. I myself commissioned a genuine Spartan Combat Shield in Greece for 500 Dracma (thatís about 325 GP) and have been practicing with it for almost 2 years now. I can even cut slabs of solid steel with my Spartan Combat Shield.

Greek smiths spend years working on a single shield and fold it up to a million times to produce the finest defensive/offensive implements known to mankind.
Spartan Combat Shields are thrice as sharp as European shields and thrice as hard for that matter too. Anything a longsword can shield-stun, a Spartan Combat Shield can shield-stun better. Iím pretty sure a Spartan Combat Shield could easily shield-stun a Persian God-King wearing full plate with a simple vertical slash.

Ever wonder why Persia never bothered conquering Greece (Or did they?)? Thatís right, they were too scared to fight the disciplined Spartan foot soldiers and their Spartan Combat Shields of destruction. Even in 300, Immortals targeted the men with the shields first because their killing power was feared and respected.

So what am I saying? Spartan Combat Shields are simply the best shields that the world has ever seen, and thus, require better stats in the d20 system.

Here is the stat block I propose for Spartan Combat Shields:

(One-Handed Exotic Shield) 1d12 Damage 19-20 x4 Crit +2 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork
(Two-Handed Exotic Shield) 2d10 Damage 17-20 x4 Crit +5 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork

Now that seems a lot more representative of the shield stunning power of Spartan Combat Shields in real life, donít you think?

tl;dr = Shields need to do more damage in d20, see my new stat block.

You're a bad person and you should feel bad :smalltongue:

Zaydos
2010-08-27, 01:53 PM
Thatís it. Iím sick of all this ďMasterwork Heavy ShieldĒ bull**** thatís going on in the d20 system right now. Spartan Combat Shields deserve much better than that. Much, much better than that.

I should know what Iím talking about. I myself commissioned a genuine Spartan Combat Shield in Greece for 500 Dracma (thatís about 325 GP) and have been practicing with it for almost 2 years now. I can even cut slabs of solid steel with my Spartan Combat Shield.

Greek smiths spend years working on a single shield and fold it up to a million times to produce the finest defensive/offensive implements known to mankind.
Spartan Combat Shields are thrice as sharp as European shields and thrice as hard for that matter too. Anything a longsword can shield-stun, a Spartan Combat Shield can shield-stun better. Iím pretty sure a Spartan Combat Shield could easily shield-stun a Persian God-King wearing full plate with a simple vertical slash.

Ever wonder why Persia never bothered conquering Greece (Or did they?)? Thatís right, they were too scared to fight the disciplined Spartan foot soldiers and their Spartan Combat Shields of destruction. Even in 300, Immortals targeted the men with the shields first because their killing power was feared and respected.

So what am I saying? Spartan Combat Shields are simply the best shields that the world has ever seen, and thus, require better stats in the d20 system.

Here is the stat block I propose for Spartan Combat Shields:

(One-Handed Exotic Shield) 1d12 Damage 19-20 x4 Crit +2 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork
(Two-Handed Exotic Shield) 2d10 Damage 17-20 x4 Crit +5 to hit, damage and AC Counts as Masterwork

Now that seems a lot more representative of the shield stunning power of Spartan Combat Shields in real life, donít you think?

tl;dr = Shields need to do more damage in d20, see my new stat block.

That is a horribly game mechanically broken weapon. Also neither damage nor AC are affected by being masterwork!!!

In all truthfulness a Spartan shield was for the time a really good shield, and was replaced by the Roman tower shield (for being better) and also because it was too large for the heavier materials used when better metals became common (the old Greek shields were leather with an under layer of metal). The Spartans were feared not for their shields but for their training and their heavy armor, the same is true of Grecian hoplites in general; the Spartans just had the best training (most of Sparta's army was actually composed of the artisan-caste Lacedaemians). Read Xenophon's Anabasis (Anabaxis, I can't spell old Greek) which tells how a group of Grecian mercenaries had to escape from the heart of Persia when the prince they were supporting was killed in battle (a battle that the Greeks still managed to win). It shows a lot of their tactics and talks about their gear contrasting it to the various parts of the Persian army they fought. The shield isn't the major portion either, it's useful only because of the Phalanx. What they have is the Phalanx position, using their shields defensively or to push back enemies that get too close, heavy armor, long spears and rows of people. Also slings. Turns out slings were really important.

Then again think about Lv 1. Now remember most NPCs have ~13 Str if they're a warrior. So a +2 to hit, +3 with weapon focus. Now a Spartan would be a 1st level fighter, with heavy armor (+7 or +8 to AC), and either a heavy shield with Shield Specialization or an Extreme Shield (+3 AC) and probably a +1 Dex bonus. 22 AC right there. When fighting Lv 1 warriors that's all you need.

I will restate, though, that I think 1) the extreme shield should be allowed to shield bash, 2) that it should work with Shield Specialization, and 3) that it would work well as a spartan's shield being the medium between Heavy and Tower Shields, just like a Greek hoplite's shield.

Eldan
2010-08-27, 02:04 PM
Sorry, but Spartan's really weren't wearing full plate. Just saying. Their AC in D&D s probably around 18. Still very good.

EdroGrimshell
2010-08-27, 02:27 PM
Sorry, but Spartan's really weren't wearing full plate. Just saying. Their AC in D&D s probably around 18. Still very good.

I agree, it was a bronze plate over each shin, the torso, a helmet, and bracers. Not heavy armor, sounds like its medium armor if anything

Pechvarry
2010-08-27, 02:36 PM
That is a horribly game mechanically broken weapon. Also neither damage nor AC are affected by being masterwork!!!

(more stuff)

I'll throw you a bone:

...nvm, the site is down and I'm about to blow a gasket. Google "Katanas are Undepowered in d20".

Jiriku, I'd like to see your improved shield feats.

n00b killa
2010-08-27, 03:26 PM
That is a horribly game mechanically broken weapon. Also neither damage nor AC are affected by being masterwork!!!

Zaydos, sorry for the misunderstanding, I was just trying to make a joke based on an old meme for Katanas (Google "Katanas are underpowered on d20" like suggested above and find out, it's quite amussing).

Back on topic, yeah, I also suggest the Extreme shield w/spikes (that deal bludgeoning DMG

Haarkla
2010-08-27, 04:05 PM
Not only can your lightning warrior dual-wield them, but so can his familiar -- IF he buys one with the Obtain Familiar feat.
That feats way overpowered.



EdroGrimshell:
I agree, it was a bronze plate over each shin, the torso, a helmet, and bracers. Not heavy armor, sounds like its medium armor if anything

The Spartans wore iron armour.
Archetypal example of d&d breastplate IMO.

jiriku
2010-08-27, 05:20 PM
I'll throw you a bone:

...nvm, the site is down and I'm about to blow a gasket. Google "Katanas are Undepowered in d20".

Jiriku, I'd like to see your improved shield feats.

Will do. I'll be home and at the PC in about an hour, so check back about 90 minutes from this post and you should see 'em.


That feats way overpowered.

Truly it sacrifices flavor for power.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-08-27, 05:35 PM
The Spartans wore iron armour.
Archetypal example of d&d breastplate IMO.

Nope. One-time classical history major here, with a pretty extensive knowledge of the primary source documents of the period, as well as the archeological finds.

Spartan armor (and Greek armor in general) was primarily bronze, as iron was much harder to work. Occasionally iron was used as decoration or to strengthen some aspect of the piece, but its weight and their inability to forge it as well made it impractical. The shields especially were normally bronze and leather over wood.

jiriku
2010-08-27, 08:50 PM
Late post is late. Nevertheless, here they are. To reduce the impact of thread derail, I've put them in a thread of their own (http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showthread.php?t=166004).

Spiryt
2010-08-28, 05:42 AM
Spartan armor (and Greek armor in general) was primarily bronze, as iron was much harder to work. Occasionally iron was used as decoration or to strengthen some aspect of the piece, but its weight and their inability to forge it as well made it impractical. The shields especially were normally bronze and leather over wood.

And thus, all kinds of textile armor were popular as well.

Anyway, iron is actually lighter than any alloy that can be called "bronze" so weight wouldn't be really issue.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-08-28, 09:50 AM
And thus, all kinds of textile armor were popular as well.

Anyway, iron is actually lighter than any alloy that can be called "bronze" so weight wouldn't be really issue.

Hm. That's what I get for not knowing metallurgy. Regardless, Bronze was easier to forge. :smallbiggrin:

Haarkla
2010-08-29, 11:15 AM
Nope. One-time classical history major here, with a pretty extensive knowledge of the primary source documents of the period, as well as the archeological finds.

Spartan armor (and Greek armor in general) was primarily bronze, as iron was much harder to work. Occasionally iron was used as decoration or to strengthen some aspect of the piece, but its weight and their inability to forge it as well made it impractical. The shields especially were normally bronze and leather over wood.
I suspect that you are more familiar with the Mycenaean/Trojan War period. Virtually every source I can find, both on the internet and in my extensive personal liberary, states that iron replaced bronze c. 1000 BC. Well before the "Spartan"/Persian Wars period around the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Ancient Greece had a long and varied history.

Djinn_in_Tonic
2010-08-29, 11:57 AM
I suspect that you are more familiar with the Mycenaean/Trojan War period. Virtually every source I can find, both on the internet and in my extensive personal liberary, states that iron replaced bronze c. 1000 BC. Well before the "Spartan"/Persian Wars period around the 6th and 5th centuries BC. Ancient Greece had a long and varied history.

This is true. I do specialize in the Mycenaean/Trojan period, and it is entirely possible that I failed to find record of the change. :smallredface: