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A Dozen Shields
A Dozen Shields
by Michael Hammes
Requires the use of the Dungeons & Dragons ®
Player’s Handbook
Everybody needs a good shield, or at least
that’s what I’ve been told. In any case, the title of
this PDF says it all; you’ll get exactly twelve
shields of both a mundane and magical nature, no
more, no less. Having said that, let’s get on to the
goods, er, shields.
Appraise Information: DC 13. This excel-
lent shield is truly a find. Not only is it of great
quality, but also the iridescence evident in the
metal, which is strongly suggestive of fire, just
adds that certain something.
A successful Craft (weaponsmithing) check
(DC 12) suggests that the shield is of dwarven
manufacture, but a more successful check (DC
20) reveals that it is actually of fire giant manu-
facture, which is quite similar.
Value: 25,159 gp (9 gp for the shield, 150 gp
for masterwork quality, 25,000 gp for enchant-
ment costs)
Special Rules: The shield is a +3 blazing
light steel shield .
Appearance: This quality light steel shield
shimmers and sparkles in the light with a faint red
Appearance: This square shield is made
entirely of bones held together by rope. You can
see noticeable gaps between the bones.
Appraise Information: DC 10. This shield
was surely crafted out of desperation or a severe
lack of resources. While dried bone such as this is
effectively as hard as wood, the fact is that the
gaps between the bones reduce the protection
afforded by the shield quite significantly and I
wouldn’t be surprised if it fell apart the moment
it was used. A successful Heal check (DC 20)
identifies the bones as humanoid.
Value: N/A (there’s a reason no one makes
shields out of whole bones).
Blazing: This enchantment can be applied
to any shield except a buckler.
On command, a blazing shield is
enveloped with crimson flames. The flames do
not harm the wielder. Any creature within 10
feet of the shield suffers 2d4 points of fire
damage while creatures past 10 feet but within
20 feet suffer 1d4 points of fire damage. The
blazing shield deals its fire damage on its bear-
er’s turn at the beginning of each round to all
creatures in the area.
If used to attack (i.e. shield bash) the
shield deals 1d6 points of additional fire dam-
age on a successful hit.
Strong evocation; CL 12 th ; Craft Magic
Arms and Armor, wall of fire ; Price +2 bonus.
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A Dozen Shields is copyright © 2005 Michael Hammes. All text in this book is designated as open game content.
You may not distribute this PDF without permission of the author. Dungeons & Dragons® and Wizards of the Coast®
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A Dozen Shields
Special Rules: The shield is equivalent to a
light wooden shield with a hardness of 5 and 7 hit
points in every aspect, except that its poor con-
struction means that anytime it absorbs a blow
(that is, the bearer is not hit) the shield takes the
weapon’s damage minus its hardness.
How do you determine when the bone shield
was struck? Well, an easy way is to assume that
any blow that the bearer is aware of (so no back-
stabs or surprise attacks; the bearer must not be
flat-footed) and that misses the bearer hits the
Of course, if you want to make things a little
more complex you can assume that the shield
blocks two thirds (1-4 on a d6) of such blows. But
this does require rolling a d6.
Even more complex is adding in the idea of
Dexterity and other dodge bonuses. In this case,
the shield blocks any blow that the bearer is
aware of and misses him but would have hit his
flat-footed AC (his AC without any Dexterity or
dodge bonuses).
Example: Ivar the Desperate has the bone
shield. Ivar is wearing chainmail and bearing the
bone shield and has a Dexterity bonus to his AC
of +1.
Ivar’s AC is 17, 16 while flat-footed.
If Ivar is stabbed in the back, or otherwise
surprised, then he can’t bring up his shield so that
particular attack does not strike the shield. If,
however, he is aware of the attack and able to
react to it and it misses but would have hit his
flat-footed AC of 16 then the shield was hit by the
blow (he instinctively used it to block). If the
attack misses but would have hit AC 17, then the
miss is due to his Dexterity (he completely avoid-
ed the blow thanks to his quickness).
Of course, you can still throw in that d6 at
this point . . .
Appraise Information: DC 12. Yes, that is
definitely a shield under that piece of black silk.
Looks to be of good quality too. Let’s see what’s
under there . . .
Value: 172 gp (2 gp for the silk, 20 gp for the
shield, 150 gp for masterwork)
Special Rules: The black silk covers a per-
manent (per the spell permanency ) symbol of
death (as per the spell). The symbol is inactive for
as long as it is covered. Once uncovered, the sym-
bol works as per the spell until it is disabled
(either magically or by covering it up) or has
affected its maximum number of hit points, at
which point it becomes inactive for 10 minutes
before it can be triggered again.
Appearance: This shield large shield shim-
mers with green iridescence. It is made of the
hide of a large reptile stretched across a wooden
frame and, although quite light, feels very strong.
Appraise Information: DC 13. This is an
absolutely gorgeous shield to look at and would
make a truly stunning decorative item above
someone’s fireplace. That being said, a successful
Knowledge (nature) check (DC 13) reveals that
the shield is made from the hide of a green drag-
What is most unusual about the shield is its
lack of magical enhancements, since most indi-
viduals that go through the trouble of slaying a
dragon usually have the ability to have such a
shield enchanted. Perhaps it was just a display
item, or perhaps something unexpected happened
to it.
Value: 2,300 gp (300 gp for the shield, 2,000
gp for rarity)
Special Rules: Dragonhide shields are as
hard as steel shields, but only as durable wood
(hardness 10, 10 hit points/inch of thickness). All
dragonhide shields are masterwork shields. A
dragonhide shield costs twice the cost of a stan-
dard masterwork shield to produce (+300 gp) and
weighs one-half of what a wooden shield of equal
size weighs (rounded up).
Example: A dragonhide heavy shield would
have a shield bonus of +2, an armor check penal-
ty of -1, an arcane spell failure chance of 15%,
and weigh 5 lbs.
Appearance: What looks to be a large steel
shield has its face covered by a piece of black
silk. Taking a closer look at the shield, you notice
that the silk is not simply draped over the shield,
but is actually an integral part of the shield, being
riveted in several places to the shield’s rim.
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A Dozen Shields
Appearance: This beat-up heavy steel shield
features a nasty barbed spike jutting from its boss.
The shield has been blackened and painted with
lurid red lines and splotches. For added effect it
looks to have been encrusted with all manner of
foul material.
Appraise Information: DC 11. This is a rather
crude shield, undoubtedly of humanoid origin. Its
previous owner no doubt believed that by blacken-
ing the shield with soot and contrasting that with
bright red it would look even more fearsome to his
More worrisome by far than the shield’s color
is the wicked spike that adorns the shield’s boss, or
rather, what is on the spike.
Judging by the smell and look, it appears that
the shield’s previous owner was fond of increasing
the lethality of his shield by using it as his toilet.
Value: 10 gp (10 gp for the heavily used shield,
after it has been cleaned).
Special Rules: As is, anyone that is injured by
the shield spike must succeed at a Fortitude saving
throw (DC 12) or contract filth fever.
a hide shield has the same number of hit points as a
wooden shield of its size, its hardness is only 2.
Appearance: Although dirty and scratched,
this is obviously a quality light steel shield.
Appraise Information: DC 11. This is a fine
shield despite the fact that it has evidently been in
its share of battles, but it is nothing that some
Interposing: This enchantment can be
applied to any shield except a buckler.
As a standard action, an interposing shield
can be loosed to remain between its bearer and
one opponent, providing its protection to its
bearer while restricting the ability of the oppo-
nent to reach the shield’s bearer.
Once loosed, an interposing shield moves
to remain between its bearer and the designat-
ed opponent, providing its normal armor bonus
(i.e. a +2 interposing light steel shield pro-
vides a +3 armor bonus) to its bearer.
Nothing can fool the shield – it sticks with
the designated opponent in spite of darkness,
invisibility, polymorphing, or any other
attempt at hiding or disguise. The shield does
not pursue an opponent, however.
Any creature weighing 1,000 pounds or
less that tries to push past the shield is slowed
to half its normal speed. The shield cannot
reduce the speed of a creature weighing more
than 1,000 rounds, but it still affects the oppo-
nent’s attacks.
For all maneuvers and effects that target
items, the interposing shield is considered
wielded or attended by its bearer. The inter-
posing shield does not take up any additional
space beyond that taken up by its bearer.
The interposing shield accompanies and
guards its bearer everywhere, whether he
moves by physical or magical means. If the
bearer has an unoccupied hand, he can grasp
and retrieve the shield and redirect it to a new
opponent as a move action that does not pro-
voke attacks of opportunity.
Moderate evocation; CL 9 th ; Craft Magic
Arms and Armor, interposing hand ; Price +2
Appearance: This oblong shield is nothing
more than a layer of thick hide that has been
stretched and allowed to harden across a stick
framework. A stylized deer has been drawn on its
front and a set of bird feathers tied with a thong
hang from the shield’s top.
Appraise Information: DC 15. Hide shields
such as this are a common sight on the Plains of
Anang where trees and metals are scarce. While
obviously light, it is doubtful that it can stand up to
the rigors of prolonged battle against more
advanced arms.
A successful Knowledge (nature) check (DC
14) reveals the hide to have come from a plains
Value: 1 gp (1 gp for the shield)
Special Rules: A hide shield provides as much
protection, armor check penalty, and arcane spell
failure chance as a wood or steel shield of its size.
Most hide shields tend to be light, but this does not
have to be the case since such shields can be made
of multiple hides stretched across the frame. While
A Dozen Shields
buffing and polishing won’t fix. The design is
nothing unusual and, despite its quality, it could
have come from almost anywhere in the local
Value: 16,024 gp (9 gp for the shield, 15 gp
for masterwork quality, 16,000 gp for enchant-
ment costs)
Special Rules: This shield is a +2 interpos-
ing light steel shield .
Jusrar (whose domains include Law, Good, and
War); this information is revealed with a success-
ful Knowledge (religion) check (DC 18).
The Redstorm order is known for its battle
prowess, serving as both protectors of the Church
Militant of Jusrar as well as the church’s elite
troops when going into battle.
Value: 36,170 gp (20 gp for the shield, 150 gp
for masterwork quality, 36,000 gp for enchant-
ment costs).
Special Rules: This shield is actually a +2
dancing heavy steel shield .
Appearance: This heavy steel shield has
been immaculately maintained and polished as
befitting an obviously masterwork shield. A
bright red boss in whose center appears a golden
upright sword offsets the bare steel of the shield
Appraise Information: DC 13. This is
indeed a fine shield and its previous owner obvi-
ously maintained it very well, which is not much
of a surprise considering that it belonged to a
member of the Redstorm order of the LG god
Appearance: This crude diamond-shaped
shield is made entirely of forearm-thick bundles
of reeds. Upon closer inspection you can detect a
musty odor emanating from it.
Appraise Information: DC 11. The lizard-
folk of the Chanmak Marshes are known to make
use of shields such as this for personal protection,
something a successful Knowledge (geography)
or Knowledge (local) check will reveal (DC 14).
Although certainly crude in appearance, a reed
shield such as this is surprisingly effective in
combat, able to ward off blows as effectively as
any wooden or metal shield.
Of course, the fact that it is made out of dried
reeds places a premium on keeping the shield dry
and, even under the best of circumstances, a
shield such as this will not last more than a cou-
ple of years before it needs to be replaced. Given
the smell that this particular shield is giving off,
it appears that rot has already begun.
Value: 5 sp (5 sp for the shield).
Special Rules: A reed shield is equivalent in
all respects, including hardness, hit points, shield
bonus, etc. to a wooden shield of its appropriate
size. A reed shield is a bit of a fire hazard and the
shield automatically catches fire whenever it is
exposed to fire damage greater than its hardness
of 5 (that is, if it takes even 1 point of fire dam-
age). Once alight, a reed shield will burn to noth-
ing in 1d4 rounds. A burning reed shield does 1d6
points of fire damage to its bearer per round the
shield is held and also adds this damage to any
attacks with the shield.
Dancing (Shield): This enchantment can
be applied to a light or heavy shield, but not a
tower shield or buckler.
As a standard action, a dancing shield can
be loosed to defend its bearer on its own. It
protects its bearer for 4 rounds, providing the
same level of protection as if its bearer were
still wielding it, and then drops.
While dancing the shield cannot be used to
make attacks (i.e. shield bash). For all maneu-
vers and effects that target items, the dancing
shield is considered wielded or attended by its
bearer. The dancing shield does not take up
any additional space beyond that taken up by
its bearer.
The dancing shield accompanies and
guards its bearer everywhere, whether he
moves by physical or magical means. If the
bearer has an unoccupied hand, he can grasp
and retrieve the shield as a free action prior to
it dropping. Once retrieved, the shield cannot
dance again for 4 rounds.
Strong transmutation; CL 12 th ; Craft
Magic Arms and Armor, animate objects ;
Price +2 bonus.
A Dozen Shields
Appearance: This quality buckler is nonde-
script, being nothing more than unadorned steel.
Appraise Information: DC 19. Despite its lack
of adornment, this is most definitely a masterwork
piece. Taking a close look near the buckler’s edge,
one can see the maker’s mark. A successful Craft
(armorsmithing) check (DC 14) identifies the mark
as that of Itraros, a well-known dwarven armorsmith
from Thysolea.
Value: 20,165 gp (15 gp for the buckler, 150 gp
for masterwork quality, 20,000 gp for enchantment
Special Rules: The buckler is ensorcelled with
a permanent lesser globe of invulnerability (as per
the spell, centered on the shield) that can be invoked
by its bearer upon command. While active, the less-
er globe of invulnerability prevents any 3 rd level or
lower spells from affecting the buckler’s bearer and
all those within a 10-foot radius of the buckler.
Moderate abjuration; CL 10th; Craft magic
arms and armor, lesser globe of invulnerability ;
Price 20,000 gp
Level: Drd 7
Components: V, S, M
Casting Time: 1 minute/lb. created
Range: 0 ft.
Effect: A greater ironwood object weigh-
ing up to 5 lb./level
Duration: Instantaneous
Saving Throw: None
Spell Resistance: No
As ironwood except that the wooden
item’s transmutation is permanent.
Material Component: Wood shaped into
the form of the intended greater ironwood
Appearance: This fine, round, and surpris-
ingly light shield is made of a dark wood. The
battle-scarred front has the image of a thistle
upon it in green and purple.
Appraise Information: DC 12. This is
indeed a quality shield, obviously the work of a
master of the craft. A successful Knowledge
(local) or Knowledge (religion) check (DC 19)
will recall that the thistle is the symbol of the
druids of Sydisle, an order that tends and protects
the sacred wooded island of Syd (or Sydisle)
against all non-druids.
Value: 157 gp (7 gp for the shield, 150 gp for
masterwork quality).
Special Rules: This particular shield is a
masterwork heavy wooden shield that is carrying
a greater ironwood enchantment. As a result, it is
equivalent in all respects to a +1 heavy steel
shield .
As an alternate to using the greater ironwood
spell, the DM can allow such a shield to be creat-
ed using Craft Magical Arms and Armor and the
ironwood spell; this is equal to a +1 enhancement
for purposes of cost determination.
Appearance: This is a set of two identical
round, light steel shields. Each shield has been paint-
ed yellow and features the top-down image of a
green turtle in its center.
Appraise Information: DC 13. The shields are
certainly of serviceable quality, but what makes
them more interesting is the fact that they are a
matched set. Adding this knowledge to the turtle
symbol and a successful Knowledge (geography)
check (DC 21) reveals that these shields once
belonged to the Shield Warriors of Wing-Xa, a
group of warriors renowned for their use of matched
pairs of shields, rather than weapons, in battle.
Value: 18 gp (9 gp for each shield)
Special Rules: Using two shields gains the war-
rior the armor class bonus of both shields (but also
the combined armor check penalties and arcane spell
failure chances).
Fighting with two light shields is like fighting
with two off-hand weapons. Furthermore, by taking
the Improved Shield Bash feat, the warrior does not
lose the armor class bonus of either shield in combat.
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