Shield Skill

This is just a thought experiment: Change Shield from a training skill to a regular skill.

Instead of blocking with your weapon skill and shield-bashing with Brawling, you do both with Shield skill.

Instead of the Heater, Buckler, etc. we have Poor Quality, Run of the Mill and Superior Quality shields, which provide +1 Ob, -, and +1D to Shield skill, just like weapons. (A big, shitty shield might only be run of the mill, while a beautifully made kite shield might be as good as a goblin’s wall shield, etc.)

Block & Strike doesn’t split your dice pool, but both actions are at +1 Ob. It can be done by the unskilled, in which case the block half is Beginner’s Luck (and basically pointless).

I think this nerfs the regular Block (which provides a big pool of dice right now, making Feints attractive), however.

More skills!

Feint beats Shield?

I don’t follow. Same number of skills, Shield Training skill just becomes Shield skill. No change to Feint, it bypasses Block, as normal (not Shields in particular - so Feint won’t bypass someone Striking you with their Shield for example.)

Well, ST isn’t full skill – you don’t have to track advancements for it. You’d have to track the Shield skill.

The advantage to using Block with a shield right now are the bonus dice.
Block and Strike and Counterstrike, both powerful actions, are limited by having to split one die pool across two actions.
With a Shield of B5 and a Sword of B5, you’d have 10D going into a Block and Strike action. My gut tells me that’s game-breaking.

Yes, you’re right, you’d have to track another skill.

The +1 Ob to both sides of the Block & Strike accounts for two dice off each action (on average), so for a person with B5 Sword/B5 Shield, it would be like rolling a 3D strike and a 3D block at the same time.

Right now, someone with B5 Sword and Shield Training with a 3D shield would outperform this - they can make a 4D strike and a 4D Block at the same time. (And they’ve invested one less skill point, assuming B4 root stats.)

It would make shields much worse for the unskilled and much better for the skilled. There’s nothing wrong with that, but is there a specific change you want to see in play by changing the rules?

I’m not seeing that, as far as I can tell it makes shields worse for everybody. :slight_smile: This was just a thought experiment to see what it would be like if we ironed out the wrinkle that your shield’s effectiveness is based on a different skill depending on what (if anything) is in your other hand, especially now that shields get a more clear treatment in BWG. Although there is a certain sense in that, presumably shield techniques are different when you’re using a sword, knife, or spear.

Hmm, I think I prefer the shield rules as-written. Shields aren’t terribly hard to use untrained. It’s just that they’re way more effective for the trained. As such, tying them to a a training skill to be used with a weapon skill makes more sense.