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    Default [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Ok, so, after doing a little reading into this, am I right in thinking that the rules for shield bashing in 3.5 absolutely suck? In particular, I'm not seeing anywhere where a shield can be used as anything other than an offhand weapon. If you don't pick up any of the TWF feats, you're looking at a rather hefty -10 chance to hit for a heavy steel shield (1d6 damage, with spikes), and a -8 for a light steel shield (1d4, as above) and on top of that you'll always receive only half your strength bonus to damage with them barring some feat I've forgotten/haven't seen yet.

    I started looking into it after reading through Complete Warrior and seeing the feat Shield Charge, which looked interesting enough until I started actually looking at what's entailed in a shield bash. The build was designed to be a controllish sword'nboard fighter, and being able to open up combat by tripping an opponent by charging at it from across the field would be a nice ability. The build itself isn't very relevant, but the goal behind it was why I even thought about using the feat in the first place.
    Last edited by Vonriel; 2010-01-20 at 12:38 AM. Reason: To add extra info.
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    You only take those penalties if you attack with both the Sword and the Shield in the same turn.

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    And if you take the agile shield fighter (From PHB 2, I think? Or maybe complete warrior) you can get a shield bash in addition to your normal attacks, with only a -2 to your attacks.

    Add shield spikes and the bashing enchantment and you can get half-way decent damage, too. Of course, not as much awesomeness as just power attacking with a two-hander, but it makes shields not completely gimped. At lower levels anyway.

    Edit: While RAW says that shield bashes are only off-hand, I'm pretty sure most DMs would be okay with a shield bash as a primary attack. I think the player's handbook just assumed shields would always be an off-hand attack.
    Last edited by rezplz; 2010-01-20 at 12:50 AM.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    improved shield bash lets you keep your AC bonus from shield while bashing , hardly worthless

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing


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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    From the official FAQ:

    Can a character make a shield bash attack using the
    shield as a primary weapon or can it be used only as an offhand
    weapon?


    While the rules describe a shield bash as an off-hand
    weapon, that’s simply an assumption (that your primary hand is
    holding a weapon). There’s nothing stopping you from
    declaring your shield bash as your primary weapon.
    Of course,
    that means that any attack you make with your other hand
    becomes a secondary weapon.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Combine with Improved Bull Rush and Dungeoncrasher Fighter Variant for extra shieldy fun.

    Also, I must say that I love the flavor of a battlefield controller who uses a shield.

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Me too ...

    Especially when it's a Gestalt Tome of Battle shield/kusari-gama wielder ...
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Few things (you couldn't take all of them of course)

    If Dragon Magazine is allowed, there is a Fighter Variant called "Shield Bearer".

    At level 2 (IIRC) the SB is able to use Stunning Fist with its Shield Bash.

    Remember that in Underdark there are blades that work like armor and shield spikes but are slashing: this could improve your damage types (by FAQ you can put both on your armor and shield and choose when striking).

    In complete warrior there are a pair of feats able to perform trip attempts and daze chance on a charge or a full round action. Not uber but daze is a powerful condition to inflict and the charge part fits very well with dungeoncrasher (splat someone on a wall is good, but splat him and daze him is better).

    If you like the stun thing (but depending from the campaign could be not powerful or just suck) take staggering blow from Dragon Compendium and keep your shield bludgeoning: take improved critical: shield and now your shield bashes have ALWAYS the 10% chanche to force a svave vs stun.

    Take staggering critical from DoTU and now you critical slow automatically, no save.

    Three Mountains style from CW has prerequisites fitting with charge feats and dungeoncrasher: take it and you will have full attacks full of stun and nauseating chances.

    If you consider it too much feat intensive, ask your DM to create a new Weapon Category (take a look in SRD or UA) to merge one handed maces and shields.
    Last edited by Kaiyanwang; 2010-01-20 at 03:14 AM.
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    The rogue isn't really using charisma in melee, the rogue is applying Ability Score #6 to his Type-One attacks.
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    I've made a few shield builds, and they're extremely effective in play. They require very little as far as gear is concerned (a Heavy Spiked Shield, preferably (but not necessarily) with Valorous and Bashing, and as much strength boosting gear as you can get). They basically made use of Shield Slam and Shield Charge along with Improved Trip, the combination of which means you double hit with every charging attack (one hit, then they get tripped, then you get a second hit due to Improved Trip) and you daze them. This is of course awesome when Pounce and Shock Trooper get in on the action. There are some issues, mostly the lack of reach, but they're quite good. Two basic variants:

    D&D Smitadin: Barbarian 2/Fighter 2/Crusader 16 with Shock Trooper, Shield Slam, Leap Attack, and the various other goodies. Use Shield Counter and Shield Block as manuevers in addition to Iron Guard's Glare to protect nearby allies. Use Wolf and Lion Totems for Pounce and Improved Trip. Shock Trooper and Leap Attack give you plenty of damage, especially since you double hit. And of course you've got all the fun manuevers to use when you can't charge (or when you can, with manuevers like Battle Leader's Charge and various White Raven manuevers). You'll also want Whirling Frenzy so you get plenty of attacks when you charge.

    Bulldozer: You'll want the Skillfull enchantment on your shield for this one to fix your BAB. Feat Rogue 2/Barbarian 2/Fighter 6/War Hulk 10. If you can be a Half Minotaur Water Orc do so, otherwise be a regular Orc and get Permanent Enlarge Person by level 10. Again, you want Whirling Frenzy, Lion Totem, and Wolf Totem, but you also now want Dungeoncrasher. Use Knockback and Shock Trooper. Now each attack knocks enemies back into each other in addition to the dazing and tripping, and don't forget the extra trips from Shock Trooper give you even more attacks. Plus when you get to higher levels each attack hits everybody within range... not bad. Your save DC from Shield Slam as well as your trip modifier from Shield Charge is incredible. Plus Knockback ensures that you can charge enemies again next round, and Shock Trooper lets you chose where your enemies go. Dungeoncrasher makes sure that if they hit a wall they take tons of extra damage. While this build is less varied and flexible than the Smiteadin, it's rather satisfying to knock everyone around like that. Nothing quite beats knocking the BBEGs minions into him, then smashing him into a wall. Repeatedly.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    You actually have a bunch of good options. They're listed out in my guide to shields.

    Questions?

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Iku Rex View Post
    From the official FAQ:
    Now I want to make a character that duel wields shields...
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Then you'll definitely want pounce, Shield Charge, and Shield Slam.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Akushin Oka View Post
    Now I want to make a character that duel wields shields...
    Just keep in mind that while you can wield them both as weapons, you only get the AC bonus from one.
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    Just keep in mind that while you can wield them both as weapons, you only get the AC bonus from one.
    Inlindl School: You can sacrifice your shield bonus to AC to gain 1/2 that bonus To-Hit with any light or Weapon Finesse-able weapon. While this may not sound like much, keep in mind that with enhancements, Shield Specialization, Divine Shield, Knight bonuses, etc, it's not that hard to get a +10 or higher shield bonus, which means that you can easily get a +5 or higher untyped bonus to hit for minimal investment. Also note that you could use a heavy shield and a Gnome Battle Cloak (or just a heavy shield in each hand, or one or two animated shields, etc) and only sacrifice the shield bonus from one, while keeping the bonuses from the second shield. Requires Combat Expertise, Shield Proficiency, and Weapon Finesse. Drow of the Underdark pg 56.

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by lsfreak View Post
    Just keep in mind that while you can wield them both as weapons, you only get the AC bonus from one.
    That doesn't make a great deal of sense. Is the other intangible?
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Akushin Oka View Post
    Now I want to make a character that duel wields shields...
    Oh, I remember having a long argument with someone on this very boards who insisted on dual wielding shields making no sense and having to be banned from all games. Damn, there are a lot worse choices for weaponry. I myself would prefer two shields before two longswords all the way.
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Akushin Oka View Post
    That doesn't make a great deal of sense. Is the other intangible?
    They are both 'shield' bonuses, and bonuses of the same type do not stack. Therefore, with two shields you do not get the shield bonus from both. Just like if you have a shield and cast Shield, you only get the higher of the two.

    Though, of course, Person_Man brings up an excellent point. As usual.
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Inlindl School: You can sacrifice your shield bonus to AC to gain 1/2 that bonus To-Hit with any light or Weapon Finesse-able weapon. While this may not sound like much, keep in mind that with enhancements, Shield Specialization, Divine Shield, Knight bonuses, etc, it's not that hard to get a +10 or higher shield bonus, which means that you can easily get a +5 or higher untyped bonus to hit for minimal investment. Also note that you could use a heavy shield and a Gnome Battle Cloak (or just a heavy shield in each hand, or one or two animated shields, etc) and only sacrifice the shield bonus from one, while keeping the bonuses from the second shield. Requires Combat Expertise, Shield Proficiency, and Weapon Finesse. Drow of the Underdark pg 56.
    Impressive, but unfortunately the light weapon requirement means it can't be combined with Power Attack and Shock Trooper. Otherwise, this would be incredible, but consider the good shield feats require that you charge anyway, I don't think this one's actually terribly useful.

    On the bright side, you could at least get a bonus to hit with your offhand attacks while still using Power Attack with your main hand.

    JaronK

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Inlindl School: You can sacrifice your shield bonus to AC to gain 1/2 that bonus To-Hit with any light or Weapon Finesse-able weapon.
    Elven Courtblades are awesome.
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Akushin Oka View Post
    Now I want to make a character that duel wields shields...
    I homebrewed a PrC for that once...
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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by JaronK View Post
    Impressive, but unfortunately the light weapon requirement means it can't be combined with Power Attack and Shock Trooper. Otherwise, this would be incredible, but consider the good shield feats require that you charge anyway, I don't think this one's actually terribly useful.
    Foryn correctly sites the Elven Courtblade. I raise him with Unarmed Strikes, Natural Weapons, Spinning Swords, Rapiers, Whip, Whip-Dagger, and probably half a dozen others I'm forgetting. Also, there are plenty of combos that don't need Power Attack. Just ask the Swordsage, Totemist, Incarnate, Binder, and Psychic Warrior.

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Quote Originally Posted by Person_Man View Post
    Foryn correctly sites the Elven Courtblade. I raise him with Unarmed Strikes, Natural Weapons, Spinning Swords, Rapiers, Whip, Whip-Dagger, and probably half a dozen others I'm forgetting. Also, there are plenty of combos that don't need Power Attack. Just ask the Swordsage, Totemist, Incarnate, Binder, and Psychic Warrior.
    Or, you know, just Dual-Wield Feycraft Shields and accept the smaller damage die in exchange for the best of both worlds?

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    Last edited by Sinfire Titan; 2010-01-20 at 08:44 PM.

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    Default Re: [3.5 D&D] Shield Bashing

    Thanks for the responses, everyone, in particular Person Man for the link to all the shield info I could want. I'm glad to see that someone somewhere realized that the RAW on the subject were completely stupid, but it's been proven before that WotC won't always notice and fix it via errata.
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