d20 Shields - Take 2
©2006 - Randal Snyder
I wrote a fairly complex shield rule a while ago and I had a sudden epiphany, the mechanism for using shields effectively in D&D already exists… SAVING THROWS!!! (que the heavenly music and trumpeting angels)
Here’s my new shield rule:
In addition to the standard bonus to AC, shields gain the following characteristics:
Shield Use is a skill and thus the character can spend skill points to improve their shield use. For all classes that are allowed to use shields, it is considered a Class Skill. Ranks in Shield Use are added as a miscellaneous modifier to a Reflex Save.
Each type of shield grants the character a Reflex Save vs. a successful melee or ranged attack. Larger shields grant larger bonuses to the Reflex Save. A successful save means that the attack hits the shield. If a shield is destroyed, any damage not absorbed by the shield affects the shield’s wearer.
Shields can only be used when not surprised or flatfooted. Only one attack can be blocked with a shield each round unless the character has an appropriate feat. If an attack would normally hit a character, the shield user can attempt a Reflex Save with a DC equal to the attack’s total roll. If the Reflex Save is equal to or greater than the attack, then the shield is hit instead of the character.
Shields have hit points and damage reduction based on the materials they are made of. If a shield’s hit points are reduced to 0, then the shield is destroyed and any excess damage points are applied to the shield bearer.
Masterwork shields increase the shield’s hit point by 50%. Magical bonuses are applied to the shield’s Saving Throw bonus, Damage Reduction, and Hit Points.
Shields can be used against area effects only if a Reflex save is allowed. They can be used against spells requiring ranged touch attacks, however a successful block with a shield makes the shield the new target for the spell. Any effects of the spell now affect the shield if applicable.
The following is from the SRD:
Improved Shield Work – This feat enables the user of a shield to make additional Reflex Saves to defend using his shield up to her Dexterity Bonus. Thus a character with a +3 Dex Modifier can attempt to block up to 3 additional attacks.