Shield Usage skill

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Shield Usage skill is used in determining the effectiveness of an arm-worn or held shield in blocking attacks. The stats that assist in blocking (from most to least important) are Reflex, Discipline, and Strength.

Spells and abilities that boost Shield Usage


Spells and abilities that decrease Shield Usage


Shield Usage

To use a shield, just hold one in your left hand and fight something. Alternatively, shields may be worn on the arm (see below).

You may adjust the amount of shield skill you are actively using via the STANCE command.

Training Strategies

Below about 50 ranks, shield is not a terribly effective defense. However, shield coupled with the evasion skill is the most effective means of defending against ranged attacks. You will be unable to effectively use larger shields' higher protection values until your ranks in Shield Usage increase. There is a contest in shield that examines the stats used in your defense (Reflex, Discipline, Strength) and compares that to the weight of the shield to see if you have full use of your ability to block. When working normally this "penalty" is truly a trivial thing and most likely only impacts very young characters. Most characters have no penalty whatsoever from the weight of shield. At low ranks in skill, small non-hindering shields are your best bet. Target shields from the goblins west of the Crossing make a good starter shield.

An arm-worn shield will penalize shots fired by a longbow, short bow, or composite bow, as per the standard penalties for two-handed weapons.

As skill approaches 100 ranks, moving to medium-sized shields will begin to pay off. Larger shields are generally more hindering, but with more skill in shield your defense will improve at an increased rate compared to the shield's maximum appraised protection. Shield defense will increase at a slower pace after the maximum appraised protection has been reached.

Experience is now awarded to all skills you are stanced to use, regardless of whether or not that skill is actually contested. It may still be in your better interest to swap stances around a little, but the need to stance down dramatically (especially in evasion) should not be as common or necessary.

Arm-worn Shield Notes

The ADJUST verb changes any shield to allow wearing on the arm. Adjusting it again will revert it to shoulder-worn.

The maximum size of shield you can wear on your arm is based on your guild's facility with armor:

  • Armor Primary - Can wear large shields (tower, kite, etc.) or smaller
  • Armor Secondary - Can wear medium shields (oval, buckler, etc.) or smaller
  • Armor Tertiary - Can wear small shields (buckler, targe, target, etc.)

There is a 4th circle requirement to arm-wearing a medium or large shield, to exclude commoners from wearing medium shields.

Note: An arm-worn shield's protection is reduced by 25%.

Clerics can arm-wear an infused Shield of Light shield that is medium in size, an exception to the size rule above.

Different classes of ranged weapons interact differently with arm-worn shields:

  • Slings are not affected in any way.
  • Light Thrown and Heavy Thrown weapons are not affected in any way.
  • Crossbows do not seem to be affected. (The 50-rank loading requirement was removed.)
  • Stick bows receive both a loading penalty and an accuracy penalty when used with an arm-worn shield.

The exceptions to the stick bow penalty are as follows:

  • A Paladin wearing a medium or small shield.
  • A Barbarian wearing a small shield.
  • A Ranger wearing a small shield.

Shield Stats

All shields have two levels of protection, referred to as "basic defense" (minimum or low-end protection) and "full defense" (maximum or high-end protection). When you appraise a shield, you will see that the shield "offers [minimum] to [maximum] protection."

The basic defense is a guaranteed minimum level of protection afforded to all adventurers, regardless of how skilled they are in using shields. In order to take advantage of the shield's full defense, you need to have skill in shield usage. The higher the full defense rating, the more ranks are required to take full advantage of it.

Possible levels of protection: none, extremely terrible, terrible, dismal, very poor, poor, rather low, low, fair, better than fair, moderate, moderately good, good, very good, high, very high, great, very great, exceptional, very exceptional, impressive, very impressive, amazing, incredible, tremendous, unbelievable, god-like

*Some protection levels can only be discerned by Paladins and people who are skilled with shields.

Size Differences

Even beyond their stats, different shield sizes behave differently against different types of attacks.

Small Shield: 100% melee, 80% Missile
Medium Shield : 98% melee, 90% Missile
Large Shield: 96% melee, 100% Missile

Shield Slam

Using a shield (held in left hand or worn), it is possible to SLAM left an opponent with your shield. Larger shields are heavier and therefore have high impact damage.

Update: "You can now SLAM with arm-worn shields in combat as if you were holding it in your left hand."-Ssra 09/08/15

Shield Listing

Listed below are the highest protecting shields of each type. Only those with current appraisals are shown. They are sorted by maximum possible protection, then by minimum hindrance.

Small Shields

 Min ProtMax ProtHindranceWeight
Shield:Blackened steel targe embellished with a complex tyrium-studded designpoorgoodminor80
Shield:Grey Raven warden's shield crafted of blackened steelvery poorgoodfair100
Shield:Leather targe painted with a battle scenedismalfairminor50
Shield:Reinforced leather shielddismalfairminor50
Shield:Battered wooden shield sloppily painted with faded insigniadismalfairminor50
... further results

Medium Shields

 Min ProtMax ProtHindranceWeight
Shield:Medium shield bearing electrum silhouettes of big catspoorgoodfair
Shield:Sleek skirmisher's shield crafted from dusky black ironwoodvery poormoderately goodmoderate140
Shield:Dwarven warrior's shieldvery poormoderately goodmoderate140
Shield:Eight-sided oval shieldvery poormoderately goodmoderate150
Shield:Battered oval shieldvery poormoderatemoderate140
... further results

Large Shields

 Min ProtMax ProtHindranceWeight
Shield:Spiked black shieldrather lowgreatnoticeable150
Shield:Steel-banded iron tower shield with an empty setting in its centerpoorvery highsignificant180
Shield:Tower shield (1)very poorhighsignificant200
Shield:Heavy steel shield shaped into the likeness of a dragon's headvery poorhighsignificant200
Shield:Ceremonial battle shield with obsidian chips hammered into the image of a warhorsevery poorhighsignificant200
... further results


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