Shields and Arm Slot Items

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A friend just pointed out to me that the PHB (224?) states that shields occupy the arms slot.  However, character builder allows me to equip both a shield and an arms slot item, and accounts for the bonuses in each.

Is this just a bug in the CB they haven't gotten around to fixing?
Was it a magic shield??
the slots are for magic items, a normal shield is supose to still be equipable.
But it looks like a bug in the builder to me.
A friend just pointed out to me that the PHB (224?) states that shields occupy the arms slot.  However, character builder allows me to equip both a shield and an arms slot item, and accounts for the bonuses in each.

Is this just a bug in the CB they haven't gotten around to fixing?



Yes, it is a bug in the builder.

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I see.

The PHB states that whatever magic item is equipped first is active, so does that mean I can equip the magic bracers first, then my magic shield and count my magic shield as a mundane one?
I see.

The PHB states that whatever magic item is equipped first is active, so does that mean I can equip the magic bracers first, then my magic shield and count my magic shield as a mundane one?



Yes.  You don't get the benefit of the ENCHANTMENT on the second item, but you can still get non-magical bonuses like the Shield bonus to AC and Reflex.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Thanks all for the clarification.
To further clarify (or complicate), if you are using a spiked shield, and have it enchanted as a weapon, then you get the benefit of the magic weapon as well as the benefit of your magic arm slot item.

Only if the shield is enchanted as a shield, do you not get its bonus. 

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What if the shield doesn't have a bonus but has another property, such as the Throwing Shield?  Can you equip Iron Armbands of Power (for example) and use its bonus during melee attacks but still decide to throw your shield later in the encounter?
What if the shield doesn't have a bonus but has another property, such as the Throwing Shield?  Can you equip Iron Armbands of Power (for example) and use its bonus during melee attacks but still decide to throw your shield later in the encounter?



Throwing Shield is a Shield enchantment.  You can't use a Shield Enchantment and an Arms Enchantment at the same time.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
If you could find a *weapon* enchantment with that property, then it could be used in conjunction with the arms enchantment.
To further clarify (or complicate), if you are using a spiked shield, and have it enchanted as a weapon, then you get the benefit of the magic weapon as well as the benefit of your magic arm slot item.

Only if the shield is enchanted as a shield, do you not get its bonus. 



Which, IMHO, really is further messing with shield fighters vs TWF. As is you can get a higher bonus with TWD, defensive weapon and rythem enchant then you can with a heavy shield, magical or otherwise. The fact it takes up both the off hand (to hold) and the arm slot if it's magical really is too high a cost. As such, I'd houserule it to count as the offhand slot, just as it is in the character builder.
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If you could find a *weapon* enchantment with that property, then it could be used in conjunction with the arms enchantment.


Notably, you can enchant a spiked shield as a Farbond Spellblade, allowing you to have a throwable shield and armbands at the same time.

Notably, you can enchant a spiked shield as a Farbond Spellblade, allowing you to have a throwable shield and armbands at the same time.



Good call.  Thanks for doing the legwork for my lazyness.

As is you can get a higher bonus with TWD, defensive weapon and rythem enchant then you can with a heavy shield, magical or otherwise.

That gives you a +3 bonus, Shield Specialization rases a heavy shield to +3,

As is you can get a higher bonus with TWD, defensive weapon and rythem enchant then you can with a heavy shield, magical or otherwise.

That gives you a +3 bonus, Shield Specialization rases a heavy shield to +3,




That provides a feat bonus, which would not stack with any of the Armor Spec feats.

With TWD, defensive property, and rhythm, you can still take an armor spec for 4 extra ac.
As is you can get a higher bonus with TWD, defensive weapon and rythem enchant then you can with a heavy shield, magical or otherwise.

That gives you a +3 bonus, Shield Specialization rases a heavy shield to +3,




That provides a feat bonus, which would not stack with any of the Armor Spec feats.

With TWD, defensive property, and rhythm, you can still take an armor spec for 4 extra ac.


True but (s)he did not mention those feats either. Though if you consider other options, it is possible to get you shields that apply their bonus to other defenses (of course the only one I know of is lv. 30, but it grants grants a shield bonus ot all 4 defenses)

Though the thing I am curious about is if there is any way to get a Heavy Shield in your main-hand, and a defensive weapon in your off-hand.


Though the thing I am curious about is if there is any way to get a Heavy Shield in your main-hand, and a defensive weapon in your off-hand.


The defensive property requires two weapons to be weilded... so you could do it with a spiked shield, but not a heavy shield.

Well there's also the fact that it's a pretty heavy feat investment to get all that extra AC; Two Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Defense, and possibly a Superior Weapon Proficiency to get a defensive weapon. Sure it's a bigger bonus than a heavy shield, however, the heavy shield user would have 3 feats to spend on the plethora of good feats out there.

Though the thing I am curious about is if there is any way to get a Heavy Shield in your main-hand, and a defensive weapon in your off-hand.


The defensive property requires two weapons to be weilded... so you could do it with a spiked shield, but not a heavy shield.

sorry, I should have said rhythm weapon.

A +1 Rhythm Blade spiked shield is better than a mundane heavy shield in every respect.  They both give +2 AC and +2 reflex, but the spiked shield is easier to qualify for as long as you aren't using it as your main weapon.  Cost is an issue, but at a certain point 680 gp stops meaning all that much.


_____ Cutting Wheel in main hand - defensive +1 AC
Rhythm Blade Spiked Shield in off hand - +2 AC, +2 Reflex

Fortunately Two-Weapon Defense won't work with shields, as it grants a shield bonus as well.
Well there's also the fact that it's a pretty heavy feat investment to get all that extra AC; Two Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Defense, and possibly a Superior Weapon Proficiency to get a defensive weapon. Sure it's a bigger bonus than a heavy shield, however, the heavy shield user would have 3 feats to spend on the plethora of good feats out there.



a shield costs you 1 item slot for mundane (offhand) and two if magical (offhand + arm).
I know I come off as Hostile and abrasive. It is not my intention to do so, I am just a very emotionally driven individual. I apologize if I come off as such to you and ask that you please don't take it personally, as I can assure you, it is not intended as such. ---------------------------------------------------------
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Well there's also the fact that it's a pretty heavy feat investment to get all that extra AC; Two Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Defense, and possibly a Superior Weapon Proficiency to get a defensive weapon. Sure it's a bigger bonus than a heavy shield, however, the heavy shield user would have 3 feats to spend on the plethora of good feats out there.



a shield costs you 1 item slot for mundane (offhand) and two if magical (offhand + arm).



Most characters aren't using the second hand slot, and swapping it doesn't require retraining, only an hour and 25 GP to trade your Longsword for a Greatsword or your Battleaxe for a Greataxe.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Well there's also the fact that it's a pretty heavy feat investment to get all that extra AC; Two Weapon Fighting, Two Weapon Defense, and possibly a Superior Weapon Proficiency to get a defensive weapon. Sure it's a bigger bonus than a heavy shield, however, the heavy shield user would have 3 feats to spend on the plethora of good feats out there.



a shield costs you 1 item slot for mundane (offhand) and two if magical (offhand + arm).



Most characters aren't using the second hand slot, and swapping it doesn't require retraining, only an hour and 25 GP to trade your Longsword for a Greatsword or your Battleaxe for a Greataxe.



Oh, I don't think I can agree on the "most characters don't use the off hand slot". With duel implement and weapon enchants like subtle and medic, that don't need to be used in the attack to offer their benefit's, most strikers, leaders and controllers do make use of the off hand slot. Defenders are really the only ones denied that slot, due to ether shield use or two handed weapon.

As for your "swapping" things mention, sorry, I don't folow what your getting at.
I know I come off as Hostile and abrasive. It is not my intention to do so, I am just a very emotionally driven individual. I apologize if I come off as such to you and ask that you please don't take it personally, as I can assure you, it is not intended as such. ---------------------------------------------------------
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weapon enchants like subtle and medic, that don't need to be used in the attack to offer their benefit's


Per AV1, subtle wouldn't work if it wasn't used as part of the attack.  Since medic doesn't trigger based on an attack, that should work.

Sorry, just a nitpick.
weapon enchants like subtle and medic, that don't need to be used in the attack to offer their benefit's


Per AV1, subtle wouldn't work if it wasn't used as part of the attack.  Since medic doesn't trigger based on an attack, that should work.

Sorry, just a nitpick.



hehe. Just FYI the rule you're referring to, AV1 P54 IIRC is so universally ignored that even CS ignores it. I agree, by RAW you have to attack with a weapon to get the benefits of its properties but essentially that rule is inoperative in practice and I doubt you could make such a ruling stick even in LFR play. It was certainly a badly written rule and if you actually apply it literally something like a medic's weapon won't work at all, at least the way some people parse it. In practice it means quite a few weapons are usefully held in the off hand for access to their properties, subtle weapon being the prime example.
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Close, AV1 P56.

CS ignores a lot of rules, which is why no one really pays much attention to them around here.  I know it's not universally ignored because I've seen a number of other people on the boards bring it up and discuss it.  There was even a thread on the subject in which Mike Donais from R&D stepped in and confirmed that to benefit from your off-hand weapon on attacks with your main hand you'd need a weapon with a power that didn't say "with this weapon" (community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...) and that properties won't work.  It's not that the rule is ignored, it's that it's overlooked, since most people don't check AV when looking for magic weapon rules.

I'm assuming the thing that you're referring to that could stop medic's weapon from working is general confusion about the term "wield," but the rule goes on to make clear that it just limits getting the property of one weapon while attacking with the other:

Many weapons have properties that provide a constant benefit. To gain the benefit of a weapon’s property, you must be wielding the weapon. Unless specified otherwise, a property affects only the weapon to which it’s attached. For example, a +2 cunning dagger, which bestows a –2 penalty to an enemy’s saving throws against your weapon powers, affects only powers that are delivered using that weapon. You couldn’t hold the weapon in your off-hand and gain the benefit of the property on powers delivered using a main weapon.
Close, AV1 P56.

CS ignores a lot of rules, which is why no one really pays much attention to them around here.  I know it's not universally ignored because I've seen a number of other people on the boards bring it up and discuss it.  There was even a thread on the subject in which Mike Donais from R&D stepped in and confirmed that to benefit from your off-hand weapon on attacks with your main hand you'd need a weapon with a power that didn't say "with this weapon" (community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...) and that properties won't work.  It's not that the rule is ignored, it's that it's overlooked, since most people don't check AV when looking for magic weapon rules.

I'm assuming the thing that you're referring to that could stop medic's weapon from working is general confusion about the term "wield," but the rule goes on to make clear that it just limits getting the property of one weapon while attacking with the other:

Many weapons have properties that provide a constant benefit. To gain the benefit of a weapon’s property, you must be wielding the weapon. Unless specified otherwise, a property affects only the weapon to which it’s attached. For example, a +2 cunning dagger, which bestows a –2 penalty to an enemy’s saving throws against your weapon powers, affects only powers that are delivered using that weapon. You couldn’t hold the weapon in your off-hand and gain the benefit of the property on powers delivered using a main weapon.



Yep... from "his reading it seems pretty clear" and only talking about weapon powers that don't say "with this weapon."  And still no FAQ entry...

It is the "unless otherwise specified" part of the rule you quoted that is the issue. At the moment no weapon properties explicitly call out this rule to override it. That means the Medic's Weapon only affects powers delivered using that weapon... which in turn means it does not work as intended.

Also, the example in the rule you quoted is moot, since the cunning weapon explicitly says "with this weapon" in its property line. If the example were instead something that did not already say "with this weapon" (like subtle weapon), then you would have more ground to stand on.

That is unless the "unless otherwise" is the omission of the "with this weapon" clause that is so often found in weapon properites.

The Medic's Weapon's property doesn't affect Channel Divinity powers, it just triggers off of them.  So the paragraph on page 56 doesn't really apply to them, as it is focused on when a weapon property affect a power.

I would go further and say that as this seems like a pretty clear case of specific vs. general.  
The paragraph on page 56 doesn't change that rule.  

Confusing the larger issue is that implements held in the off-hand do apply their properties.  So while a sorcerer's off-hand Cunning dagger wouldn't do much as it calls out using the weapon, a sorcerer's off-hand Subtle dagger would still apply its property.



Confusing the larger issue is that implements held in the off-hand do apply their properties.  So while a sorcerer's off-hand Cunning dagger wouldn't do much as it calls out using the weapon, a sorcerer's off-hand Subtle dagger would still apply its property.



Weapons being used as implements don't stop being weapons; the rules on properties of weapons apply even if it's being used as an implement.

The Medic's Weapon's property doesn't affect Channel Divinity powers, it just triggers off of them.  So the paragraph on page 56 doesn't really apply to them, as it is focused on when a weapon property affect a power.

I would go further and say that as this seems like a pretty clear case of specific vs. general.  
The paragraph on page 56 doesn't change that rule.  

Confusing the larger issue is that implements held in the off-hand do apply their properties.  So while a sorcerer's off-hand Cunning dagger wouldn't do much as it calls out using the weapon, a sorcerer's off-hand Subtle dagger would still apply its property.




I see nothing mentioned in the power for it to be a specific vs general ruling. There is nothing specific there to override the general...

With medic's weapon it is a "do this" to "get this." If that can override the general rule of only affecting the weapon it is on, why can't the subtle weapon do so as well? It is also a "do this" to "get this."

Nothing about the general rule says it only affects powers--and then only powers that can have a weapon used with them.
Just to clarify, when I said medic's weapon in the off hand, I meant mace of healing, but I believe people have made the same mistake I have and are debating based on the mace of healing's ability...

Mace of healing: When you use a power that restores HP's to an ally
Subtle weapon: When attacking with combat advantage

They both seem to have similar wording, nether of which appears to specifically break the aforementioned AV1 rule. There is no reason to believe you could benefit from the mace of healing, simply by weilding it, unless you believed that the wording "when you use a power that" is breaking the AV1 rule, in which case "attak with combat advantage" is equally cappable of breaking that rule.
I know I come off as Hostile and abrasive. It is not my intention to do so, I am just a very emotionally driven individual. I apologize if I come off as such to you and ask that you please don't take it personally, as I can assure you, it is not intended as such. ---------------------------------------------------------
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A +1 Rhythm Blade spiked shield is better than a mundane heavy shield in every respect.  They both give +2 AC and +2 reflex, but the spiked shield is easier to qualify for as long as you aren't using it as your main weapon.  Cost is an issue, but at a certain point 680 gp stops meaning all that much.



@Dirge: The main difference being that heavy shields require 15 STR?  The feat cost is the same as spiked shields are superior weapons.


@Dirge: The main difference being that heavy shields require 15 STR?  The feat cost is the same as spiked shields are superior weapons.





There's no need to take the Spiked Shield proficiency feat in order to wear the weapon/shield and get the AC and reflex bonus.
So you could wear a rhythm spiked shield, gain the +1 AC and Ref shield and item bonus just not the proficiency to atk?  In effect, for the cost of 680 gold, you don't need to take heavy shield prof?

That's chump change to pay for a feat.

My character is not proficient in spiked shields and I tried throwing one on him in CB and it didnt add the shield bonus.  Might e a bug though, its not a rules reference anyway.
So you could wear a rhythm spiked shield, gain the +1 AC and Ref shield and item bonus just not the proficiency to atk?  In effect, for the cost of 680 gold, you don't need to take heavy shield prof?

That's chump change to pay for a feat.

My character is not proficient in spiked shields and I tried throwing one on him in CB and it didnt add the shield bonus.  Might e a bug though, its not a rules reference anyway.



A Spiked Shield is shield that, unless you have the Spiked Shield Proficiency, you aren't proficient with.  You don't gain a Shield bonus to AC and Reflex from shields you're not proficient with.

So, in this matter, the Character Builder is correct.  Proficiency with Light Shields is not proficiency with Spiked Shields.
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So, changing my question a little:

If you have spiked shield proficiency, with a rhythm shield, that will give you +2 AC and Ref for the cost of one feat instead of two (light and heavy shield prof.).

And the cherry on top is that you still get to use arm slot items?

Am I missing something, or does this completely remove incentive for heavy shields unless there is a magic one that is so completely awesome that you need to have it at the cost of a feat and your arms slot item?

EDIT:  Or do you need light shield proficiency AS WELL as spiked shield proficiency to pull this off?  That would seem to make the most sense to keep things balanced offense vs defense.
So, changing my question a little:

If you have spiked shield proficiency, with a rhythm shield, that will give you +2 AC and Ref for the cost of one feat instead of two (light and heavy shield prof.).

And the cherry on top is that you still get to use arm slot items?

Am I missing something, or does this completely remove incentive for heavy shields unless there is a magic one that is so completely awesome that you need to have it at the cost of a feat and your arms slot item?



You also need the Light Shield Proficiency feat.

Spiked Shields require both Light Shield and Weapon Proficiency.
Confused about Stealth? Think "invisibility" means "take the mini off the board to make people guess?" You need to check out The Rules Of Hidden Club.
Damage types and resistances: A working house rule.
Actually the problem is the character builder has never counted the spiked shield for defenses.  Even if you were proficient with it, and it still hasn't been fixed.

There is no Spiked Shield Proficiency, just Weapon Proficiency Spiked Shield.

If you are proficient with Light Shields you get the AC/Reflex bonus, just not the Proficiency bonus to attack. 

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Thanks for clearing that up LordOfWeasels.

I knew I had to be missing something somewhere.
Whoa whoa whoa Nightwalker.  You just put me back at square 1.

So again, with rhythm spike shields available, heavy shields are now a trap option?
Not a trap persay.. But you're using your magic item to make it into a heavy shield.  Some people might want a shield enchantment, or actually plan on using the spiked shield as a weapon, and want a more aggressive enchantment.

It does no more to invalidate heavy shields, then mage weapon does to invalidate weapon proficiencies.

But if you never plan on actually using it as a weapon.. Then yes it is really cheap (680gp) to get a "Heavy Shield" that only requires Light Shield Proficiency. 

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