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Shield bonus in combat

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  • Shield bonus in combat

    I'm a bit confused.
    First off - I get that is you do NOT have Weapon & Shield Style, then you can only ever get +1 Def from any Shield.

    But if I do... there are 2 factors, which don't seem to talk to each other:

    1) p.54 - there are 3 types of Shield - Light(+1), Medium (+2) and Heavy(+3). Roughly what I'd expect from other games. There seems to be no other difference between items (no cost, no weight/bulk/encumbrance).
    and "If you do not have the Weapon & Sheidl Style then the maximum Defense bonus you recieve from an shield is +1. In other words, you must have the talent to get any benefit from using a Medium or Heavy Shield".
    OK, that's fair!

    2) pp.77-78 Weapon & Shield Style:
    * Novice gets a +2 Defense bonus when using a shield, instead of the usual untrained maximum of +1.
    * Journeyman ...
    * Master The shield Defense bonus increases to +3.

    Sounds straightforward, but ... says nothing about actual shields (L/M/H), just "a shield".


    "Shield" p.54 says the untrained bonus is +1, and (inverted) that the Talent lets you get benefit from Medium and Heavy Shields.
    W&SS states what the bonus is per Rank, but has nothing to do with the type of shield. It gives the bonus when using a shield,

    So one interpretation of WS&S is:

    "you get the equipment bonus and a talent bonus"
    Untrained, any shield +1+0
    W&SS Novice: Light +1+2, Medium +2+2, Heavy +3+2
    Master Light+1+3, Medium +2+3, Heavy +3+3

    I note that on 3d6, +6 Def is a lot!

    Another interpretation, is that Light/Medium/Heavy is irrelevant, and you get
    Untrained +1
    Novice +2
    Master +3

    Another interpretation, which is pure guess work, and not as written, is
    "you get the equipment bonus capped by your Talent"
    Untrained +1
    Novice Light +1, Medium +2, Heavy +2 (capped)
    Master Light +1, Medium +2, Heavy +3 (don't use little itty-bitty boards, use a REAL shield!)


  • #2
    It has always felt pretty clear to me that the interpretation is the latter.

    Players untrained in the Weapon & Shield Style can only get a maximum of +1 Defense from any shield.

    At Novice Rank, that maximum bonus increases to +2 (enabling the use of Medium Shields). "...You get a +2 Defense bonus when using a shield, instead of the usual untrained maximum of +1." The second half of the sentence clarifies the type of Defense bonus from shields - the untrained maximum.

    At Master Rank, the maximum bonus increases to +3 (enabling the use of Heavy Shields). "...The shield Defense bonus increases to +3." The "the" refers back to the Novice rank or the untrained maximum.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Sentinel Ark View Post
      It has always felt pretty clear to me that the interpretation is the latter.

      Players untrained in the Weapon & Shield Style can only get a maximum of +1 Defense from any shield.

      At Novice Rank, that maximum bonus increases to +2 (enabling the use of Medium Shields). "...You get a +2 Defense bonus when using a shield, instead of the usual untrained maximum of +1." The second half of the sentence clarifies the type of Defense bonus from shields - the untrained maximum.

      At Master Rank, the maximum bonus increases to +3 (enabling the use of Heavy Shields). "...The shield Defense bonus increases to +3." The "the" refers back to the Novice rank or the untrained maximum.
      err - quite - you missed out:

      what happens if a Trained user uses a Light Shield? Or a master uses a Medium Shield ... it doesn't actually say.
      It might assume... but it says "You get a +2 Defense bonus when using a shield". "A" normally means "any" in this kind on context - the rule doesn't say "when using a Medium or Heavy Shield".
      (I'm coming from some years running Pathfinder where one expects the rules to be more specific...)
      Last edited by Caribet; 5th November 2019, 02:56 AM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Caribet View Post

        err - quite - you missed out:

        what happens if a Trained user uses a Light Shield? Or a master uses a Medium Shield ... it doesn't actually say.
        It might assume... but it says "You get a +2 Defense bonus when using a shield". "A" normally means "any" in this kind on context - the rule doesn't say "when using a Medium or Heavy Shield".
        (I'm coming from some years running Pathfinder where one expects the rules to be more specific...)
        If a Novice or Master in that style is using a Light Shield, then they gain a +1 Defense bonus. If a Master in the same style is using a Medium Shield, then they gain a +2 Defense bonus.

        I understand your point, but you're looking at the trees and missing the forest. Read the entire sentence. Specifically the second half:

        "...You get a +2 Defense bonus when using a shield, instead of the usual untrained maximum of +1." The second half of the sentence clarifies the type of Defense bonus from shields - the untrained maximum.

        There are 3 types of shields. The Novice/Master rank of Weapon & Shield Style does not make the Light Shield any stronger. It only allows the player to use Medium and Heavy shields to their full potential.

        EDIT: Added sources, and putting them together.

        Shields (BRAGE, p54) states: "...you need proper training to get the most out of a shield. If you do not have the Weapon and Shield Style talent, the maximum Defense bonus you receive from a shield is +1. In other words, you must have the talent to get any benefit from using a Medium or Heavy Shield.

        Weapon and Shield Style (BRAGE, pg 77-8) states: "Novice: ....You get a +2 Defense bonus when using a shield, instead of the usual untrained maximum of +1... Master: ...The shield Defense bonus increases to +3."
        Last edited by Sentinel Ark; 5th November 2019, 04:23 AM. Reason: Added sources.

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        • #5
          OK - that's the sensible interpretation. I would still maintain that the literal wording does not say that - statements about the untrained max of 1 are not relevant. Having a rule that states the bonus from "a shield" is "+2" is confusing. It could say "you get..." or "the maximum bonus", or any such, so that it is completely clear that a novice gets +1/+2/+2 and a master gets +1/+2/+3

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Caribet View Post
            OK - that's the sensible interpretation. I would still maintain that the literal wording does not say that - statements about the untrained max of 1 are not relevant. Having a rule that states the bonus from "a shield" is "+2" is confusing. It could say "you get..." or "the maximum bonus", or any such, so that it is completely clear that a novice gets +1/+2/+2 and a master gets +1/+2/+3
            I can see how the wording could be misleading, and I agree with you that the wording could be made more clear.

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