In order for your character to be able to use a shield with any benefit, you must spend at-least one skill point in the skill related to the type of shield your character will equip. This enables your character to utilize the shield defensively, but doing-so may incur a penalty to their overall stamina pool. As players increase the skill level of their character’s shield skill, the defensive bonus increases and the drain on stamina decreases until mastery eliminates the latter entirely.
|Description or Purpose
|Your proficiency with using standard full shields.
|Your proficiency with using heavier shields.
|Your proficiency with massive tower shields.
(!) Tower shields pose a significant detriment to the player’s ability to move and fight in combat as a trade-off for significant defensive capabilities, particularly at higher skill levels. Because of the sheer weight of the shield itself, they are rarely seen outside of larger installations (castles, keeps, etc.) or encampments. Travelling the countryside with a tower shield is simply impractical. Consult your Storyteller first if you plan on equipping your character with a tower shield.
Both the benefit and impact of using a shield is negated as soon as the shield is removed and equipping a shield requires enough stamina exist in the character’s stamina pool, at time of equipping, to cover any negative impact. Removing their shield may be an intentional move on the part of the player or caused by an action they did not control, such as the shield being knocked from their character’s hand by a devastating blow. They may also have simply been forced to engage in battle before arming their shield. A shield must be equipped to be effective.
Those who bear the weight of a shield in combat have little choice but to learn how to use it skillfully and may therefore elect to add some or all of the skill points they have spent in their shield skill as a bonus to the associated dice roll. Every point spent removes an equal amount from the character’s stamina pool.
The decision to sacrifice some stamina for a greater defense may be made after the initial defense and shield rolls have been added together, but not after the damage roll by the opposition. This ability is unique to characters who carry a shield and may only be applied when that shield is equipped and in good working order.