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Does a shield count as Two Weapon Fighting

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  • Does a shield count as Two Weapon Fighting

    I am running a Mythic Greece setting. Where many characters are armed only with spear and shield.
    One question that has come up, since a shield can be used to Shield Bash (think 300 Fighting style) does this count as weapon for purposes of two weapon fighting.
    i.e gaining a +1 if his foe has a single weapon or is unarmed, and has no shield.

  • #2
    I would say no. It appears the intent is that the other hand be a conscious threat of some type. Though shield bashing is a threat it is more of a situational advantage not a "gonna kill you" issue.
    Also, the shield is already giving some advantage for being there, a second weapon (generally) does not.

    Others may rule differently.
    I have way too much time but do not always edit myself properly. Please do not take offense.


    • #3
      I think it boils down to Setting Rules or Edges. As written, a shield is not a weapon, but it would be perfectly fine to have a special rule that changes this for a particular setting or a new Edge that gives this benefit, especially considering the source material.


      • #4
        As of Adventure edition, shields might be a kind of weapon. Probably not, since they're not listed under Personal Weapons but have their own category, Shields. Which can be used as weapons in a pinch.
        Originally posted by Page 71
        While worn, shields can be used to bash for Str+d4 damage.
        It's unclear if that bash is an Improvised Weapon, a regular weapon attack, or just a special property of shields.

        If they are weapons then using them imposes all the usual Two Weapon drawbacks - multi-action penalties, off-hand penalties, and not stacking Parry bonuses.
        But for a mythic warrior specialized in using the shield as a weapon, it's freaking awesome. Use a spear, kopis, or xiphos in one hand and slam your shield into foes with the other, blending in Frenzy to turn yourself into a walking blender with a towering Parry.
        I hope you find the above post useful. And not insulting, because I was trying to be helpful, not insulting; being a pedantic jerk, that isn't always clear.


        • #5
          I'm going to say that since shields aren't listed under "Weapons" then they don't count for two-"weapon" fighting. Primarily because that would mean a character needs Ambidextrous to get the shield's Parry bonus, and we know that isn't the case.

          On the other hand, if a shield added +1 to Fighting rolls (as per TWF) that has some historical backing to it. Aside from defense, shield's were often used to mask a weapon's telegraph, giving your opponent less time to react. But you might want to offer that as an Edge rather than make it an intrinsic part of shields.


          • ValhallaGH
            ValhallaGH commented
            Editing a comment
            You need Ambidextrous to stack Parry bonuses. Otherwise you just use the highest bonus. So, you'd need Ambidextrous to stack a shield and rapier, but not a shield and longsword.

          • Deskepticon
            Deskepticon commented
            Editing a comment
            ValhallaGH True, but then we're back to, "Is a shield considered a weapon?"

            The wording of Ambidextrous pertains to weapons. That may very well exclude shields, meaning wielding a rapier and shield (read: parrying cloak) would naturally stack.

          • ValhallaGH
            ValhallaGH commented
            Editing a comment
            Sure. But that was an assumption of your point about gaining any benefit from the shield.
            Do I have to start restating all my assumptions with every post and comment? Because that's a lot of work and I don't wanna.

        • #6
          Actually I just found a couple of Edges in Mythic SW setting by Chimera Press that seem to work pretty well for this. Shield Expert and Shield Master.
          Expert gives you an extra +1 Parry with Shields (to make up for a low armor setting) and Mastery allows you to use Shields as a secondary Weapon without losing it's Parry bonus.

          I don't think using a shield as a weapon automatically loses it's parry bonus in SWADE RAW, but it makes sense that it would if used offensively.


          • #7
            Originally posted by Atomic GM View Post
            Expert gives you an extra +1 Parry with Shields (to make up for a low armor setting)
            Receiving only +1 Parry is pretty weak for an Edge. I would include,
            The warrior is also adept at defending against attacks from multiple angles. They now receive the shield's Cover bonus on their "unprotected" side (but not from behind).


            • SeeleyOne
              SeeleyOne commented
              Editing a comment
              I have always found the "unprotected side" part to be kind of odd. There is no facing in Savage Worlds. Since you face everywhere at once you would always have a protected side.

            • Deskepticon
              Deskepticon commented
              Editing a comment
              SeeleyOne Sorry for late reply. Been busy lately.

              I agree with that sentiment completely. Although I don't necessarily disagree with the mechanic. It's worded in such a way that it can technically be ignored most of the time, but situationally appropriate if the GM decides it should be.

              Best example would be getting pincered by two+ groups of archers. The player must decide which way they are holding the shield. With the above Edge, they could theoretically stand "sideways" to get the Cover bonus from both groups. Essentially, it'd be about 270° protection, as opposed to 180°. The player simply decides what that arc looks like on the tabletop.

          • #8
            The note for bashing with shields simply says they deal Str+d4 damage, which to me suggests they don't use the Improvised Weapons rules. Otherwise, 1) why wouldn't the authors simple write "...and is considered an Improvised Weapon," and 2) it would then use the Improvised Weapon damage chart, which would cause larger shields to deal more damage.

            There's also no mention of them losing their normal functionality after a bash, which again, suggests they don't. Which is probably why even the larger shields are resigned to such low damage.


            • #9
              I'd say no. The Two Weapon Calls out using two melee weapons, which I would l limit to the items listed on the Melee Weapon table. Note also in most instances Shields are called out separately when talking about them and melee weapons (Two Weapon, Unarmed Defender, Two-Fisted) . For me that means they are separate things.


              • #10
                My thoughts:

                The 2WF bonus seems to come from the secondary weapon being used to either hedge in your opponent, or knock their block attempts out of the way at just the right moment for your main weapon to strike (if you have Two-Fisted, then you get to switch up those roles on a second attack).

                I'd be fine with the player claiming this, even if they weren't using the shield to make an actual shield bash attack--if, and only if, they opted to set aside the shield's parry bonus until the start of their next turn.

                Now, if they're just making a quick bash motion, then snapping the shield back into defensive position, that's a different matter, and I would not penalize a standard shield-bash attack in the same way.


                • #11
                  Everybody seems to be all over the place with how to interpret this, could a game developer weigh in on this? Thanks!
                  Savage Summaries-RAW, with added info from Clint:Combat Actions,Cover,Healing,Using Powers,Grappling,Chases
                  Also:Persuasion,Better Bosses,Better Combat Rating
                  And:historical tech levels,generic SW sci-fi tech levels


                  • #12
                    I would simply rule shields are weapons. (it is not all that complex really)

                    They have been throughout history, and are still used as weapons. Chosing not to use the weapon you have (such as maintaining it defensivly) does not make it less of a weapon.


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Ndreare View Post
                      I would simply rule shields are weapons. (it is not all that complex really)

                      They have been throughout history, and are still used as weapons. Chosing not to use the weapon you have (such as maintaining it defensivly) does not make it less of a weapon.
                      It's completely within your right to make that ruling, but it does raise a couple pressing questions:

                      1) Without Ambidextrous, a fencer with a rapier and small shield (Trapped as a Parrying cloak) would still only gain +1 Parry. This is completely antithetical to the reason capes/cloaks were used during historical duels. Since some of your reasoning for treating shields as weapons is their historical usage, are you okay with this ruling?

                      2) As written, a shield bash seems to be a unique ability that does not suffer an offhand penalty and is not treated as an Improvised Weapon attack. Naturally, by treating a shield as a "weapon", that covers the question of whether or not it's Improvised, but would be then apply the offhand penalty?

                      I'm not trying to dissuade you from making the ruling. I'm just pitching these question so you can think about them first, before they inevitably come up in game.


                      • Ndreare
                        Ndreare commented
                        Editing a comment
                        Note: I am not advocating changing rules as written, only how I would rule at my table.

                        For Parrying Dagger and Capes, those are advanced skills tought and practiced. They are not the base use of a dagger or a cape. So an edge would make sense to me.

                        For shileds, yes a off hand penalty should apply to a shield bash, unless bracing it with your main hand (normally your main hand grabbing the top of the shield and working with your off hand.

                        Definitly not an improvised weapon.

                        I would not stack the parry bonus from two weapons/shields without the two fisted edge. So having a shiled in left hand and a parrying dagger in right hand would still only give a +1, unless you had an edge.