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  • shields in SWADE

    Curious if anyone can break this down for me or make sure I am catching the right of this.

    shields provide a cover bonus (I’ll use -4 for reference) and an armor bonus if shot through (I’ll use 4 armor). So basically it seems like it’s a mobile piece of cover. The inherent -4 bonus to be hit makes enough sense with standard cover and obstacles, since a player might use a piece of cover a couple times and move on or we call it destroyed, But carrying around a -4 can be a bit much for a simple price of gear (it’s like a deflection spell cast with a raise).

    Now I have seen people say “well if you would have been hit except for the cover save you get the armor bonus to your front”. Is that assuming then that if we hit on a natural Raise, we just bypass the shield as well? I guess I am confused on the interaction of a shield as cover and an obstacle in relation to shooting attacks.

    I’m have a campaign where a guy using a modern shield in a setting with a lot of ranged, and if I play it fast and just say -4/+4 it’s a significant bonus for picking up shield, and I am
    missing something here with how this thing fully interacts with rules.

    appreciate any insight folks have.


  • #2
    Greetings.
    Originally posted by Saevus View Post
    Curious if anyone can break this down for me or make sure I am catching the right of this.
    We'll find out.

    Originally posted by Saevus View Post
    So basically it seems like it’s a mobile piece of cover. ... But carrying around a -4 can be a bit much for a simple price of gear
    The actual numbers are (Medium -2 / Large -4) as Cover and +2 armor (+4 for Futuristic shields), depending upon the material of the shield.

    Functionally, a shield is a piece of cover, actively used to deflect attacks or absorb the damage of attacks that are not deflected.
    The rules reflect that.

    Like any Cover, it can be ignored from other directions. If the Cover penalty applies then the Cover can function as additional Armor if the attack misses because of the cover penalty. If the attack hits, despite the penalty, then it hits normally; if it hits with a Raise despite the penalty then it hits with a Raise and gets the Raise benefits.

    ... A character in a modern campaign wants to carry around a 4' x 2.5' plastic rectangle, or a composite ballistic resistant shield of the same size. That's going to make him look insane, to bystanders and allies. It limits his weapon options to one-hand, it means he can't manipulate the environment while armed, and it's clear that he's ready for extreme violence.

    I hope that clears some things up for you.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Yes, shields are essentially mobile Cover, but as ValhallaGH pointed out, they have their limitations.

      First, they only protect from certain directions, so smart opponents (and "smart" means any human part of a semi-militaristic fighting force) is going to set up flanking positions to catch Discount-Captain America off guard. So only about half the foes might be getting that -4 Cover penalty.

      Additionally, as Val mentioned, the character is limited to one-handed weapons and actions. Check out the Comprehensive Modifiers sidebar in the skills chapter. If Mister Shield wants to climb a wall, crawl under a fence, or do anything else where the shield would get in the way, they'd receive at least a -2 penalty (-4 if the action actually requires two hands). As a GM, these are tools you can use to craft a scene and make it so Mister Shield has some difficult obstacles to overcome.

      Also, don't be afraid to break your players' toys. If they shield is getting shot up alot, eventually it's going to fall apart. As a quick and dirty rule, use the shield's Hardness as a gauge for its durability.
      ... Example: A large shield provides -4 Cover and has Hardness 10. If an attack "shoots through" ten times, reduce Cover to -3 since the shield is now full of holes. Ten more shots and drop it -2. The character either needs to maintain their gear between battles with a Repair roll, or simply buy a replacement.

      Comment


      • ChoTimberwolf
        ChoTimberwolf commented
        Editing a comment
        As far as I know RAW SWADE has no rules for facing and facing indicator. So attacking from behind needs to be cleared up with the table beforehand, that everyone is on the same page.

      • paladin2019
        paladin2019 commented
        Editing a comment
        Correct, SW does not include facing rules. Cover doesn't explicitly have a direction except that the character must be behind it. It's up to the GM how to apply that and given the three dimensional nature of the playspace assumed by the rules, that shouldn't be too hard.

        Regarding breaking the shield, I'd look at the Breaking Things rules; it's not damaged by use, but someone specifically targeting it and beating its Hardness does the job. But that's an attack that isn't targeting the character.

      • Deskepticon
        Deskepticon commented
        Editing a comment
        ChoTimberwolf Savage Worlds is a "medium crunch" ruleset, meaning it trusts the players to figure out how some things work. The entry for shields clearly says that only certain sides receive Cover, meaning that facing rules are implied, even if not specified.

        paladin2019 Regarding breaking shields, I agree. Sometimes when a person on the forum expresses an issue, I offer a solution that I think might be interesting, but one I won't necessarily use myself.

    • #4
      Is the armor bonus from shields only for when you are going through it? For some reason I thought it helps for incoming attacks, much like worn armor.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by SeeleyOne View Post
        Is the armor bonus from shields only for when you are going through it? For some reason I thought it helps for incoming attacks, much like worn armor.
        Only when going through it.

        Originally posted by Shields, Page 71
        Shields add to a character’s Parry as shown below. Cover subtracts from ranged attacks from the front and shielded side (attacks from the rear or unprotected side ignore cover).
        Medieval shields are Hardness 10 and provide +2 armor should someone attempt to shoot through them (see Obstacles on page 99). Modern shields are Hardness 12 and also provide +2 Armor. Polymer shields are Hardness 10 and provide Armor +4.
        While worn, shields can be used to bash for Str+d4 damage.
        The rules for shields specify that the armor only applies when going through the shield (as with Cover), and that facing matters.
        The latter is a small problem, since the rules don't have facing indicators, but there are multiple table conventions to minimize arguments.
        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.

        Comment


        • SeeleyOne
          SeeleyOne commented
          Editing a comment
          Huh. I wonder why I got that in my head. Was it different long ago? Maybe it just got somehow jumbled in my head over time.

      • #6
        Originally posted by ValhallaGH View Post
        The rules for shields specify that the armor only applies when going through the shield (as with Cover), and that facing matters.
        The latter is a small problem, since the rules don't have facing indicators, but there are multiple table conventions to minimize arguments.
        Pathfinder for Savage Worlds replaces the default SWADE facing rule with an abstracted version: your shield usually only applies against a maximum of half the foes who attack you on the same Action Card. (This limit is increased if you're, say, holding a doorway, so that all attacks come from one direction.)

        I wonder whether this rule started as a table rule.
        “Self-discipline isn't everything; look at Pol Pot.”
        —Helen Fielding, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason

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