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Shieldbearer Kit


SixOfSpades

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Just for the heck of it (and because I think it's a worthwhile kit idea), this is the kit exactly as used by the "Tethyrian Shieldbearers" in the Combat Enhancements component of SimDingo's Improved Oasis II. (Well, except for the fact that they're cheated an additional -10 AC bonus so that they can pose a bit more of an obstacle to people like Korgan.) Essentially, they're fighters that have given up their offensive skills (Shieldbearers have the same offensive power as a Cleric...actually, even less, since a Cleric levels up faster), in exchange for a rock-bottom AC, some defensive spells, and a nifty Shieldbash ability.

 

SHIELDBEARER

 

CLASS: Fighter

RACE: Any

ALIGNMENT: Any non-Chaotic

 

  Shieldbearers are most commonly seen on the front lines of large battles, serving as juggernauts of defense that are very difficult to bring down, enabling them to protect their comrades by halting the enemy's offensive. Instead of the traditional warrior's regimen of sparring, weaponmastery, and archery practice, their training consists of dodging, blocking, and parrying incoming blows, sometimes to the point of knocking an enemy's weapon out of his hands, or snatching incoming arrows before they strike an ally. Shieldbearers are most effective when used en masse in a shieldwall formation, and so they are almost always trained in large groups, which has the effect of teaching them to move and react as a unit. They are known for their loyalty, honesty, and devotion to companions (the worship of Ilmater is common among Shieldbearers), and it is this emotional fortitude that helps them resist certain spells that might cause them to fail in their task of guarding their friends in combat. They develop a close rapport with their shield and armor (just as other warriors strive to become one with their weapon), and have developed a means of using their shield to drive away dangerous opponents that harm their allies: In an emergency, a Shieldbearer can plant his feet and drive the full weight of his armored body squarely into his attacker, shield first, thus knocking the enemy away and sending him sprawling to the ground.

 

ADVANTAGES:

  • Base -1 bonus to Saving Throws
     
     
  • Base -2 bonus to Armor Class
     
     
  • -1 bonus to all AC Modifiers every 4 levels
     
     
  • Gains 5% Resistance to Missile damage every 5 levels
     
     
  • Every 4 levels can Shieldbash any enemy within melee range once per day. This deals 2D10 Blunt damage and knocks the victim back. After Level 11 it will knock the victim down (unless Save vs. Death) and after Level 19 will Stun him for one round (unless Save vs. Breath with -3 bonus). Large creatures such as dragons or giants will not be knocked back or stunned.
     
     
  • Every 7 levels (starts at Level 1 with one use) can cast Bastion, which lasts for one round per 3 levels of
    the Shieldbearer and renders him immune to Charm, Fear, Maze, Imprisonment, Confusion, Knockback, and death magic. This also slows the Shieldbearer's movement rate by half for the duration.
     
     
  • Every 10 levels (starts at Level 1 with one use) can cast Armor of Faith and Defensive Harmony, each once per day.

 

DISADVANTAGES:

  • Base number of Attacks per Round never goes higher than 1
     
     
  • May place only a single proficiency point in any weapon
     
     
  • May not put proficiency points into any Weapon Style except Sword & Shield
     
     
  • +1 penalty to THAC0 at every 3rd level (Stops after Level 21)
     
     
  • Does not get the ToB HLAs of Greater Whirlwind, Greater Deathblow, or Critical Strike
     
     
  • May choose the HLAs of Whirlwind, Deathblow, and Power Attack only once

 

Personally, I quite like it. It's kind of neat to see an ultra-Tank that can stop pretty much anything, but can't actually fight worth beans. The Dual-classing potential doesn't seem overpowered, at least IMHO. Oh, I should note that SimDingo's Shieldbearers don't have the immunity to Knockback embedded in their Bastion spell--I added that just now. One thing about the kit that annoys me is that the game has no spell animation that seems suitable for the Shieldbashing effect--Sim and I checked 'em all, the best we found were the Armor animation and the Screen Shake.

 

 

Does this interest anyone? :D

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Very thorough and interesting. :D I am from the HuTFAH (Hurt them fast and hard) faction, so a defensive char is pretty useless to me. Until now (remix is gona change that) I did not even use a cleric or just one as a tank to absorb the damage. This would be the point where the shieldbearer could come in, if he could heal my people afterwards like Anoymen can.

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Quite interesting. I was gawking at the advantages so hard I almost missed the disadvantages. Big hits for a fighter. But I do like the idea of an Uber-tank.... I often use the character with the best AC in my parties to absorb the attacks from particularly nasty monsters (Iron golems, demons etc), so It'd suit me down to the ground.

 

A good kit for CHARNAME. After all, if s/he dies it's all over anyway.... :D

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I like the looks of this kit. I too usually designate one target as the 'meat shield' who has the job of drawing as many attacks as possible while the rest of the party does damage. A character with this kit would fit my playstyle pretty well.

 

That said, I think that this kit is actually similar to the Kensai in that it's benifits will really show up strongly on dual classed characters. Shieldbearer/Mages for instance could concentrate more on offensive spellcasting and fun offensive buffs. Shieldbearer/Cleric could use some of the great cleric buffs. Shieldbearer/Thieves might have interesting possiblities as well.

 

Since they are fighters Shieldbeares can use the Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specializtion to get an extr 1/2 attack too....

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Originally posted by Rathwellin the Bard:

That said, I think that this kit is actually similar to the Kensai in that it's benifits will really show up strongly on dual classed characters. Shieldbearer/Mages for instance could concentrate more on offensive spellcasting and fun offensive buffs. Shieldbearer/Cleric could use some of the great cleric buffs. Shieldbearer/Thieves might have interesting possiblities as well.

Would a Shieldbearer->Mage be more powerful / versatile than a straight Mage? Almost certainly. The lowered AC would make things like Mirror Image and Stoneskins last even longer, the Armor of Faith would stack with things like Protection from Fire, and the lack of weapon specialization wouldn't be a drawback at all to a Mage.

 

But would a Shieldbearer->Mage be more powerful / versatile than an unkitted Fighter->Mage, to say nothing of the ubiquitous Kensai->Mage? A little voice inside me says no. :D The defensive bonuses are more than offset by the inability to fight well.

 

Shieldbearer->Cleric more powerful than a straight Cleric? I doubt it. They'd gain some AC and the Bastion skill, but the Armor of Faith would be redundant, and they'd pass up the chance for the Hardiness ability. The Berserker->Cleric is much stronger.

 

Shieldbearer->Druid has some potential....but not much more than a Dual to Cleric. And you'd have to give up the Defender of Easthaven, which would be a biggie.

 

Shieldbearer->Thief....I honestly hadn't thought of that, but then again I can't see any cheese potential either. Certainly not when you've got the Kensai->Thief and Wizard Slayer->Thief to compare it to.

 

Really, the only ways in which I can see cheese waiting to happen here is if the player gives their Shieldbearer weapons like Fulcrum+4 (which ain't my fault), or gear like the Defender of Easthaven + Belt of Inertial Barrier + Roranach's Horn + Yellow Dragon Scale (which also ain't my fault).

 

Since they are fighters Shieldbeares can use the Gauntlets of Extraordinary Specializtion to get an extr 1/2 attack too....

While you're at it, toss Belm or Kundane or the Fire Tooth dagger in there as well, for a total of 2 1/2 attacks per round--2 1/2 attacks that would be better spent on a character with the THAC0 to actually hit something, and do more damage when he does.

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