Cleric with just a shield?

Hi all,

I am making my first character and am really excited. As the title suggests, the character is a cleric, and I was thinking of just taking a shield for melee conflicts. Is that just a dumb idea, or does it have merit?

Thanks in advance!

Torchbearer’s a different fish from most RPG’s in many ways. One of those ways is that each character only has one weapon, and a shield counts as that weapon. A shield is every bit as valid a choice as a sword.

Thanks for the reassurance that it isn’t a totally “out there” notion.
So the next question would be, is armor that important? Because, should I decide on a shield as a weapon, then my hand will always be taken due to leather armor and a backpack. (Also, it depends on how important a helmet is since I cannot choose both.)

One more quick question. Am I missing something, or is it true that I cannot carry a wineskin or bottle in my hands? They only seem to have pack space listed.

Thanks again.

The rules seem pretty clear to me:

‘Clerics have the option to choose a shield as an additional second weapon.’ Whilst I wouldn’t forbid a player from equipping his character only with a shield, I think it would be a pretty unlikely choice. Getting into a fight and only having a shield - unless you’re Captain America - would be pretty silly in my opinion.

Historically shields have been quite varied, from peltes to tower shields to aspis, hoplons, scutas, round shields, kites, heaters, heraldic shields, pavises, bucklers.

Some were mainly defensive. But many were extremely dynamic weapons. Not only could they deflect blows, they could be used to entangle and bind, bash or strike with edge or boss. In Torchbearer terms, shields can easily be used to Defend, Maneuver, Feint or Attack. It’s true that shields were almost always a component of a weapons system – spears, javelins, francisca (the hand/throwing axes for which the Franks were famous), seax and bearded axes were common complements – but a warrior who’d lost everything but a shield could still be a dangerous and deadly opponent.

I quibble with some of Mike Loades history, but this documentary on anglo-saxon shields is pretty entertaining:

Of course there’s no quibbling with how a shield can be used, but on its own?

In hand-to-hand combat a shield can complement another arm, it might even keep you alive if you’d lost your main weapon, but I still reckon you’d be mad to risk combat having voluntarily decided only to have a shield.

Someone obviously never watched the D&D cartoon.

I wish I hadn’t!! :smiley: