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Realistic Shields
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Realistic Shields


This supplement adds variety to shields found in the Forgotten Realms universe. Gone are the days of buying a "Shield", now you can specify and construct your play style around specific sizes and types of shields as well!

Please leave a review and a rating, that's all I want from this product, and have made it free to encourage this further.

I also welcome any feedback and constructive criticism you have to offer to improve the material. This document will be regularly updated to reflect this.

During my years of play and adventure I have only heard people using generic "shields" in their adventures, but with the Forgotten Realms being as diverse in weaponry as our own I always wondered why there was no variation in the official material... Where are the rogues with their small buckler shields skulking through the darkness, or the paladins with their great shields of wrought iron charging boldly into the enemy stronghold?

Welcome to my supplementary material aimed to add further detail and immersion to your worlds with new shields and types! This material has been designed with 5th edition in mind, but is compatible with previous editions if you wish to use it that way.

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Reviews (8)
Discussions (8)
Customer avatar
Kaladorn O May 13, 2018 1:49 am UTC
The problem in 5E is a carry over from Basic, Advanced, 2E, 3E, 3.5E, 4E.... shields are under-rated.

If you have a shield, in melee, it's likely to stop 60-85% of strikes (some weapons like flails are a bit more effective at circumvention of the shield). +1 AC seems a bit weak for that.

Now, in 3.5E, I used to use shield specialization feats and I upped the base shield to a +2 AC so the best you could get with a medium shield in the long run was +4 AC. That's still not 60-80% of hits, but it's better.

The game makes 2 weapon fighting pretty easy (it's not so easy to do effectively though training can make you decent). Using a shield to full effect and offensively efficiently requires training.

I like your ideas. I'll borrow some of them. :)
Customer avatar
James D May 13, 2018 3:19 pm UTC
Well I appreciate your feedback, and I'm glad you like some bits of it.
Customer avatar
Jonathan W April 13, 2018 4:01 pm UTC
I'm always hesitant to make a shield's damage be better than a light hammer, and I'd probably move the stun to the feat. Otherwise this is a nice write up.
Customer avatar
James D May 13, 2018 3:19 pm UTC
Thank you, I hope you can make it work for you.
Customer avatar
Callum H December 20, 2017 5:29 pm UTC
Great work, I'd probably take the damage and stun off the bash and have them just utility. like providing advantage to next attack by creating an opening with a small/med, the large could give a bonus to shove, allowing you to shove as a bonus perhaps or giving you advantage. The stun seems a bit too strong, perhaps instead of stunning you could impose disadvantage on their next attack by hitting their weapons or putting them off balance, this would allow you also to choose whether to use your shield offensively or defensively.
Customer avatar
Paul K November 27, 2017 1:08 am UTC
I think you've done a real good job here. Not too many crazy advantages that it would be seen as unfair to other players but realistic enough to have it slot into games comfortably.
I saw the link posted on the homebrew page on fb and was instantly interested. Playing as a cleric and not realising I already had proficiency in shields, I had my character get one commissioned so that it was small and wrist mounted, still allowing me to complete the somatic components of spells.
A very interesting read that ill definitely mention to my DM.
Thank you for your work.
Customer avatar
James D November 27, 2017 7:15 pm UTC
You're welcome, please keep us updated with your shieldy antics!
Customer avatar
joseph L November 17, 2017 3:20 am UTC
First of all thank you for posting this it has given me some ideas as how I can fix what I perceive as limiting with the shields in 5e.

I like that some of the shields can be used to make an attack but think the stun effect is too powerful to be applied to the bash attack of shields.
Stunned: Creature is incapacitated, cannot move, take action/reactions, auto fail Dex/Str saves and incoming attack have advantage against them

It also seems like the Pushback/knockdown ability removes some of the benefits of the "shield master" feat, as it allows you to make a shove attack as a bonus action.

So with this in mind I think I will introduce the following into the campaign that I am currently running.

a small round shield held by a handle or worn on the forearm.
Requirement: Dex 14
AC Bonus: +0
Offend weapon: Can be used as an offhand weapon (1d4 b)
Special: You may use your reaction to cause one incoming attack...See more
Customer avatar
James D November 27, 2017 7:16 pm UTC
Interesting idea, let me know how it goes! :)
Customer avatar
Kaladorn O May 13, 2018 1:38 am UTC
10' (5' for dwarves)
Offend -> Offhand

I've seen some games let some weapons like rapier get +1 AC from a basket hilt. Letting the buckler get +1 AC might not be ridiculous (maybe not on the same round you bash though - if you bash, you lose the AC until your next turn).

Customer avatar
Stephen B October 26, 2017 8:17 pm UTC
So, some food for thought, I downloaded this because I also use different rules on shields for my game and wanted to see how others do it.

The way I do it is like this, there are only two types of shields, light and heavy. Both types give +2 AC (I did not have a STR requirement but that is a fantastic idea!). Each shield is able to make a bash attack to stun and deal 1d6 dmg, stun is a CON saving throw of DC 10 flat, and here is where they differ. If an attack that deals piercing, slashing, or bludgeoning damage hits you either at your AC or one point above it for the light shield, and up to 3 points above your AC for the heavy shield, you can roll 1d6 and reduce the damage by that amount.

The down side is that wearing the heavy shield gives you disadvantage on stealth checks, if you already have disadvantage on stealth checks through other means then you cannot benefit from stealth proficiency and suffer a -2 penalty to stealth roles.

I don't have too much experience...See more
Customer avatar
James D October 27, 2017 11:22 am UTC
Thank you for leaving this detailed discussion, food for thought indeed!

The strength requirement was the first stepping stone to this idea, so I'm glad it's thus far an original idea, however you have raised good points especially on Stun that I may look to revise soon.

Please feel free to mingle some ideas here into content for your players, but I'd ask to not post it commercially or at least ask me later first, thanks!
Customer avatar
Justin S October 24, 2017 9:01 pm UTC
It's very flavorful! Trouble is, there's not much incentive for the small shield. The loss of 1 AC is pretty huge, and the Bash attack is going to be worse than nearly any other attack. The only reason to use it is if you don't have 10 strength, but there's no melee class that is that weak. Rogue, maybe, but a shield precludes the use of two daggers, so you're again at odds. Also, presumably this is not a "finesse weapon", so you're using STR for your to-hit bonus anyway, which we've already established is terrible.

Medium is a strict upgrade on RAW shields, other than the measly STR requirement. This Bash is a lot better, and is worth playing for sure.

Large is subtly insane. The extra +1 to AC is a big deal to get for essentially free. STR requirement is real, but let's be honest, this shield is for Fighters/Cleric/Paladins anyway, who should have no problem with a 16. And those classes likely wear heavy armor already, meaning there is no actual drawback, as they already have...See more
Customer avatar
James D October 24, 2017 9:29 pm UTC
Fantastic ideas, thanks very much. I shall add these onto the notes to look at for the next revision.

I hope you enjoy the updated document!
Customer avatar
Dan L October 24, 2017 8:13 pm UTC
I would only allow bashing with a buckler/small shield - at least bashing that does damage. A larger shield would have more surface area and do less damage - but be better for shoving. I know that goes against a bit of D&D tradition but its more realistic and accurate historically. Bucklers were used as much for offense as defence.
Customer avatar
James D October 24, 2017 8:25 pm UTC
I will take your comment into consideration on the next revision. At the time I created the material I had the idea that any bash would hurt but depending on the shield would have different effects; e.g. stunning or knockback.
Customer avatar
Kaladorn O May 13, 2018 1:45 am UTC
You can likely 'shield punch' with a buckler and maybe with a small shield. You could certainly use the edges of a small shield and maybe the medium shield as a weapon (that edge could be driven into an opponents limb or under his chin in close action).

For the medium to large shields, a 'shield rush' ought to be feasible. That would involve a short run and crash into an opponent. That might either knock prone, wind (versus stun which is too strong), or could knock back (if not prone). It could do some damage as you get the run up and your full body weight behind it. Maybe you don't punch with large shields, but you can sure use them to slam them if you get some momentum up.

The Spartans considered shields important enough that you had better come home with it or on it and I'm sure other Greeks in a phalanx or Romans in a Legion in close order would agree. In groups, shield users can interlock shields (that 10' corridor is blocked effectively by 2-3 interlocking warriors) and people...See more
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File Last Updated:
November 17, 2018
This title was added to our catalog on October 15, 2017.