Shield Magic Properties

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Magic shield properties grant the wearer special abilities while the shield is equipped. These abilities vary greatly, but often bear a resemblance to spell effects. Note that Spell Effects cannot be applied to shields.

Those magic shield properties which provide a permanent bonus must be worn for 24 hours in order to attune to the item and get its benefits. Once attuned, the item provides the bonus any time the magic item is wielded in the off-hand. When set down, the magic item does not provide any bonuses but the attunement stays intact (if there are exceptions to this rule, the magic shield property will specifically state that the effect continues even if the shield is set down). An attunement is lost if someone else wears the item for 24 hours and becomes attuned, at which point the previous attunement is disrupted. The original character can, of course, re-attune to the item with a new 24-hour attunement.

A magic shield cannot have any magic shield properties applied to it unless it has at least a +1 Enhancement bonus also applied to it. For example, you cannot make a heavy steel shield with the +2 magic shield property of Animated unless it has at least a +1 enhancement bonus (and therefore an Absolute Bonus of +3). No shield may be enchanted with Epic magic shield properties unless it has an Enhancement bonus of at least +6.

Important Note: If a character has more than one item equipped which provides magic shield properties, only the item with the highest enhancement bonus actually provides benefits to the wearer (in the event they are the same, the wearer may choose which item functions and which is dormant). The lesser item's magic shield properties provide no benefits whatsoever, even if they are 'always on' abilities, unless the greater item is stowed away.

Magic Shield Costs

To determine the cost of a magic shield, three elements must be added together:

  • The cost of the shield.
  • The cost of any special materials used to create the shield (e.g. mithril, adamantine, etc.).
  • The cost of the Absolute Bonus (the sum of the magic properties and the enhancement bonus).

Absolute Bonus

The Absolute Bonus is determined by adding together the 'plus' values of the shield's Enhancement Bonus and any Magical Properties it will be enchanted with. For example, a +2 Animated Heavy Steel Shield has a +4 Absolute Bonus, which is the sum of the +2 Enhancement bonus and the +2 Animated property.

Dweomermetals

Dweomermetals, such as mithril, argent and bloodgold, can grant a shield special qualities, as well as improved hardness and durability. The prices and special qualities of each dweomermetal are described in detail on the Dweomermetals page.

Dweomermetals do not alter the Absolute Bonus of a shield, though the cost for a shield made with a dweomermetal is added to the overall cost of the shield.

Note that special materials cannot be added to an existing shield. The shield must be built from the special material before it can be enchanted. If a character already has a +3 buckler, and wants it to be a +3 adamantine buckler, he would have to sell his old buckler and buy an adamantine one. He cannot simply upgrade it. (This rule can be broken, at GM discretion, in cases where the shield is a family heirloom, an artifact, or any sort of magic item that is meant to grow with the player, where replacing it with a new shield would disrupt the story continuity for the character. In these cases, the item may have always been made from the special material, but only exhibits its qualities when the character reaches a high enough level to appreciate it, or perhaps it acquires the special materials qualities after some event transpires (like the character gets splashed with molten mithril).)

Campaign Level

Heroic tier characters (characters from level 1 to level 20) can equip a shield with an enhancement bonus up to +5, and can have up to +5 pluses worth of Magic Shield properties applied to their shield, though there must always be at least +1 Enhancement bonus on the shield before any magic shield properties can be applied. As a result, heroic tier characters can equip a shield with an absolute bonus of anything from +1 to +10.

Epic tier characters (characters level 21 to level 35) can equip a shield with an enhancement bonus up to +9, and can have a total of up to +9 pluses-worth of Magic Shield properties applied to their shield (resulting in an Absolute Bonus as high as +18). However, the enhancement bonus of the shield must be raised to at least +6 before it can have any Epic magic shield properties applied to it.

Any attempt to equip a shield more magically enchanted than your level allows results in the character taking a non-proficiency penalty with the shield (-4 to attack rolls), and the possibility of even more dire consequences (such as insanity, or being controlled by the shield).

At level 36 and higher (apotheosis) all restrictions on enhancement bonuses and the magic item properties are lifted, at which point the shield may be enchanted in any way the characters can afford.

Upgrading and Changing Magic Shield Properties

Magic shield properties can be removed from a magic shield, replaced with altogether new properties, or upgraded to a higher version of the existing magic shield property (when applicable). The cost to do so is the difference in cost between the old Absolute Bonus and the new Absolute Bonus. However, if the Absolute Bonus goes down, there is no refund of money unless you can convince the craftsman performing the alterations why he should actually pay you for the privilege of doing that work. Performing magic shield property swaps and upgrades takes one full day of work per change in the Absolute Bonus, with a minimum of 1 full day. Even if this work isn't performed by a player, the player must wait for the alterations to be performed, and they cannot make use of the shield while the craftsman is working on it. Some craftsmen might offer to lend or rent out a shield while their customers wait, though they would expect the loaner shield to return to them in good condition.

Enhancement bonuses cannot be removed from a magic shield once applied, but the enhancement bonus can be increased. If the shield is made from a dweomermetal that offers an alternate way of allocating the enhancement bonus, this can also be changed by a craftsman (or a character with the Creator feat), but performing this work also takes one full day of work per change in the Absolute Bonus, with a minimum of 1 full day.

A magic shield which is altered in such a way as to violate the limitations of the campaign level will inflict a non-proficiency penalty on the wearer, or worse.


Heroic Tier (Levels 1 through 20) Magic Shield Properties

Shield Properties +1

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
+1 Arrow Catching An Arrow Catching shield attracts ranged weapon attacks to it. 8th
+1 Bashing A bashing shield deals damage as if it were a bashing weapon of two size categories larger 8th
+1 Blinding Blind anyone within 20 feet up to twice per day 7th
+1 Clangorous Deafen creatures that strike you 7th
+1 Defiant Gain 2 AC and DR 2/- against a selected enemy type 8th
+1 Fortification, Light Gain a 25% chance to ignore critical hits 13th
+1 Grinding Enemies grappling you take damage equal to the shield's enhancement bonus 5th
+1 Impervious The shield is much harder to destroy 7th
+1 Mirrored When averting your eyes from a gaze attack, roll twice 8th
+1 Poison Resistant Gain a +3 bonus to saves vs. poison 7th
+1 Ramming Add shield's enhancement bonus to shield bash attack and damage rolls when charging 5th


Shield Properties +2

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
+2 Animated An animated shield can be loosed to defend its wielder on its own 12th
+2 Arrow Deflection An Arrow Deflection shield protects the wielder as if he had the Deflect Arrows feat. 5th
+2 Energy Resistance Gain ER 8 against one type of energy damage 3rd
+2 Merging Melds with a held weapon, allowing the wearer to attack with the weapon or defend with the shield. 10th
+2 Rallying Grant allies a +4 morale bonus to fear saves 5th
+2 Spell Resistance, Minor Wearer gains spell resistance 10th
+2 Wyrmsbreath A Wyrmsbreath shield can make a breath weapon attack in a 15-foot cone of one energy type. 5th


Shield Properties +3

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
+3 Fortification, Moderate Gain a 50% chance to ignore critical hits 13th
+3 Ghost Touch Shield's AC bonus and enhancement bonus count against incorporeal attacks 15th
+3 Hosteling Store your familiar or animal companion as engraving in your shield 9th
+3 Radiant Shield gives off torchlight on command and Daylight once per day 6th
+3 Spell Resistance, Lesser Wearer gains spell resistance 10th
+3 Wild Wearer gains the AC benefits of his shield even in wild shape 9th


Shield Properties +4

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
+4 Energy Resistance, Improved Gain ER 16 against one type of energy damage 8th
+4 Spell Resistance, Improved Wearer gains spell resistance 15th


Shield Properties +5

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
+5 Determination Shield casts Breath of Life spell when you are reduced to 0 or fewer hit points 10th
+5 Energy Resistance, Greater Gain ER 24 against one type of energy damage 11th
+5 Fortification, Heavy Gain a 75% chance to ignore critical hits 13th
+5 Reflecting Once per day, this shield can reflect a spell back at its caster 14th
+5 Spell Resistance, Greater Wearer gains spell resistance 15th
+5 Undead Controlling Once per day, control up to 26 hit dice of undead 13th


Epic Tier (Levels 21 through 35) Magic Shield Properties

Important Note: No epic magic shield properties may be applied to a magic shield unless the enhancement bonus of the shield is at least +6.


Epic Shield Properties +3

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
3 Arcanist Lowers the spell failure chance by fifteen percent. 21st
3 Arrow Deflection, Exceptional Once per round, roll a save to deflect away any ranged attack of any sort. 22nd

Epic Shield Properties +4

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
4 Arrow Deflection, Infinite Roll saves to deflect away any number of ranged attacks of any sort. 24th
4 Innkeepers Shield functions as an instant fortress combined with mages magnificent mansion. 24th
4 Invulnerability The shield gains DR10/bludgeoning 21st

Epic Shield Properties +5

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
5 Energy Warding Gain ER/29 versus one of either fire, cold, acid, sonic, or electricity. 21st
5 Arrow Reflection, Exceptional Once per round, roll a save to reflect any ranged attack back to the attacker. 26th
5 Invulnerability, Improved The shield gains DR15/Bludgeoning 23rd

Epic Shield Properties +6

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
6 Dimensional Once per encounter (or once per minute) the wearer may use Dimension Door 26th
6 Energy Warding, Improved Gain ER/34 versus one of either fire, cold, acid, sonic, or electricity. 25th
6 Infinite Arrow Reflection Roll saves to reflect any number of ranged attacks back to the attacker. 28th
6 Invulnerability, Greater The shield grants DR 20/bludgeoning 24th

Epic Shield Properties +7

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
7 Fortification, Absolute The wearer is tremendously strengthened against critical and precision damage. 26th
7 Energy Warding, Greater Gain ER/42 versus one of either fire, cold, acid, sonic, or electricity. 27th
7 Exceptional Arrow Redirection Once per round, roll a save to redirect any ranged attack to any target you wish. 30th
7 Invulnerability, Utter The shield grants DR 25/bludgeoning 26th

Epic Shield Properties +8

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
8 Energy Warding, True Gain ER/50 versus one of either fire, cold, acid, sonic, or electricity. 29th
8 Infinite Arrow Redirection Roll saves to redirect any number of ranged attacks to any target you wish. 32nd

Epic Shield Properties +9

Price Name Benefit Craft CL
9 Changeless The wearer is immune to energy drain, negative levels, and ability damage. 25th
9 Energy Warding, Utter Gain ER/60 versus one of either fire, cold, acid, sonic, or electricity. 31st
9 Invulnerability, True The shield grants DR 35/bludgeoning 32nd
9 Traveler Grants Dimension Door as move actions and Interplanetary Teleport, 1/day. 34th