Shields Shall Be Fiddly

50% cover should be +4AC
Been hankering to build another shield in all this free time i ain't got. Maybe see if I can get something weildable, rather than just ornamental.

Either way, in contemplating this, I took to reflecting on the time I spent fighting with a shield, and let me tell you, the dang things are equalizers. Many a time I held off a better fighter long enough, just cause my left arm was attached to a giant board that negated everything on that side. Switching arms confused the hell out of them. They're also the source of all my concussions, but that's another story.

I figure this sort of thing warranted more than just a +2 to AC. See the above picture, that's at least 50% cover, but +4 seems too much, also boring. Sure, it's the quick and done route, but what follows is more of a hassle! </selling_points>

Medium Shield
+0 to AC vs melee, +2 to AC vs range
Special: Once per round a non-magical, non-ranged attack the wielder knows about has a 2-in-6 chance of being blocked completely. For fighters, this applies to every attack, rather than once per round. Obviously if the character loses their Dex bonus (unaware, tied up, etc) they lose this save.

If using Shields Shall Be Splintered rule, then this can be activated after a failed Shield save.

Small Shield, i.e. Buckler
As Medium Shield, but +1 to AC vs range, and 1-in-6 chance.

Large Shield; i.e. Tower Shield
As Medium Shield, but +4 to AC vs range, and 3-in-6 chance.

"But...doesn't this make shields must have equipment?" Yes. Because shields are must have equipment if you don't want to get hit. That's sort of their deal. That's why they were made.

However, there's a few ways around it.

Successful attack vs AC alters shield block roll by -2 for the attack

Successful block by the shield incurs damage to the shield, eventually breaking it. Requires item endurance system to work.

Bearded Ax
Successful attack against AC, and unsuccessful Shield save allows the attacker one of two options: 1) Do attack damage as normal or 2) pin the shield in the ax's beard for the round. Pinning the shield removes AC bonus, and disallows for Shield saves.

Successful block by the shield incurs a strength related save. Failure means shield wielder suffers half of the would-be attack damage from the hammer.

Pistols and Muskets
Where pistols and muskets ignore armor, they also don't care about shields. No AC bonus, no Shield save.

Magic Missile
Also doesn't care.

Lightning Bolt
Wood makes a poor conductor, and would probably offer some protection. Steel however is an excellent conductor. -2 to Touch AC, no Shield save.

Area Effects
Shields provide no alteration to saves and subsequent damage, unless using Shields Shall Be Splintered.

So, there we are. Future players, I hope you're looking to play test this when I get back to into things. One potential issue: Bogging down combat, especially when fighters go at it. Maybe limit based on level? Something to chew on.

"Listen, listen, listen. I'm just saying: You put Runes of Eye Implosion on a shield, and call it a day."

Erdgeist MKII

You, all both readers, have probably noticed I've stopped mentioning a vague, ill defined system that plagued the earlier posts of this blog. Well, as predicted, I've grown bored of it. Also the idea was garbage. There's enough systems out there handling mechanics well enough, I needn't be reinventing the wheel. That weird duality thing I was going for, bin that too.

That being said I'm not intending to remove the older stuff, but will leave it to be mocked and picked over. See something you want, take it. Could probably grind out a GLoG class from them.

Shoot, might as well update some of it.


Remember them? Dirty little gnome creatures that gave me repeated excuses to use the phrase "mud womb."

HD 1d6-1 (minimum 4 at first)
Advances: As Halfling
Saves: As Elf
   * Unable to resist Commands (per spell) given by an elf, even through magic.
   * Need to Serve - see below
   * Goblinization - see below
   * Knacks - see below

Need to Serve
When joining an adventuring group, you must designate one other member as your Master. You should then seek to serve them and fulfill their wishes. To willfully deny a direct order, carries the penalty of a cumulative -1 to your Charisma score. To willfully refuse to take a Master carries the same penalty, but applied per day.

Further, in times of boredom, or idleness, must make a Charisma Save vs Magic. Failure results in a cumulative -1 to Charisma score. Upon reaching Charisma 4, the Goblinization process begins.

Having failed in your duties, your mind shatters into chaos, unable to cope with this new reality. Your body becomes twisted and cruel to match the newly developed evil within you. Serving sucks! Chaos and violence are your new favorite past times.

Whenever your Charisma score drops to 4 for any reason (failed save from above, curses, attribute damage, etc) your character has been fully goblinized and is out of your control.

While not exactly spells, they're inherent abilities of your kind intended to help you be a better servant. You gain one per level, however these selections are permanent and may not be changed.

  • Chthonic Sympathies - With concentration you may detect the presence of valuable stones within 50 ft of you, Intelligence bonus times per day.
  • Gerry Rig - Given at least some time and vaguely the correct tools, you can repair a thing to working condition for Charisma Bonus days. If the bonus is zero or negative, the time becomes fraction of a day. After the time passes, or first usage, the item breaks once more and needs to be repaired properly. 
  • Helping Hands - To better assist in their tasks, the Erdgeist may create smallmen (think tiny homunculus) from rocks, sticks, children skulls, radishes, or anything else on hand. They won't fight, but have two inventory slots. Any damage they take, you take, and you can only make Constitution bonus number of them. They remain animated for one day, before the magic consumes the component parts.
  • Hinzelmann's Homing - Should your Master ever misplace or lose an object of their ownership, you, the good servant, can take a few moments of concentration to know instinctively the direction and distance of the object. While arrows and items sold don't count, items stolen and daggers stabbed into the hide of a rare beast do. 
  • Immaterial Made Manifest - To better serve your Master, you may play host to entities on the Ethereal plane, potentially gleaning some of their knowledge. 
  • Master Craftsman - Choose a crafting skill. You now gain a rank per level in that skill (Up to 6). Further more, once per level you may generate a masterwork item in the skill. Should you perish through age or violence, the object begins to degrade quickly. Weaves unravel, beer curdles, iron works dull and rust; all becoming unusable. Any spell targeting the item affects the Erdgeist as well. 
  • Speak With Host - When within (level * 10)feet of a natural speaker of a language, you too can speak that language. Should they move out of range, you lose the ability to speak the language. You retain no knowledge of the language. Within the company of other Erdgeist, your native language is a combination of clicks and whistles. 
  • Strong Back - You gain level number inventory slots, as long as the items carried within are your Master's
  • Torchbearer - With a moment of concentration (standard action, if this is a factor), you may summon Dexterity modifier + 1 floating orbs of light per day. They give off the dim glow of a standard torch and may be directed anywhere within 50 ft of you. They last roughly an hour, until guttered, or until extinguished. (Affected by both torch gutter and magic gutter)
  • Transmutation - Given the proper focus (say, a spinning wheel) you may change one mundane substance (say, hay) into another (say, gold thread). This transformation, however, only lasts until the sun crosses the horizon. 
  • Treasure Keeper - To better watch over your Master's treasure, you may place it into a nice sturdy vessel, like a pot. This vessel then acts like a Bag of Holding, but specifically for coin. You may only have one at a time. 

So, what happens after level 11? Honestly, I didn't expect you to live past level 5.