Role-playing Games Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for gamemasters and players of tabletop, paper-and-pencil role-playing games. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I know that removing an equipped shield and stowing it (usually on the back) is a standard action.

I also know that dropping an held or wielded item is a free action.

What action type is removing an equipped shield and let it drop to the ground?

share|improve this question
As reference I'd add that this is (also) listen in PHB p 289 - although your q isn't answered there. – Martin Jan 16 '13 at 20:34
up vote 10 down vote accepted

In general, it is a standard action to remove your shield from your arm. From the Rules Compendium pg 267:

Using a Shield

To use a shield, a creature must strap it to the forearm. Doing so is a standard action, unless otherwise noted. Removing a shield is also a standard action.

If you choose to remove and stow it on your backpack, that is described specifically on pg 245 (Equip or Stow a Shield ) as also being a standard action.

It appears the hard part is unstrapping it from your arm. Putting it someplace once it's off is the easy part.

share|improve this answer
So, stowing it on your backpack is a sort of gift: you already spent a standard action to remove the shield, I (the rules) allow you to stow it without additional effort. :) I this yours is the most realistic interpretation of the cross-reference you quoted. – Erik Burigo Apr 8 '11 at 13:22
Oh, and as always... Blessed be the Rules Compendium! – Erik Burigo Apr 8 '11 at 13:39
Blessed in the sense Oh man we screwed up these rules so bad, let's put out the errata as a supplement and not dare reprint PH1, which would piss off our existing fanbase and fuel flames that Essentials is 4.5e. – okeefe Apr 8 '11 at 14:14
Yes! That kind of blessing. :) Irony apart, I think they have made a good work, and messing up is somewhat intrinsic in handling the huge amount of material that has been published. Anyway, I'm not going to open a topic on this argument: it's not the correct place for this kind of discussion. ^_^ – Erik Burigo Apr 8 '11 at 14:42

My understanding is that your shield is actually strapped to your arm. Therefore to drop it you first have to unstrap it.

Unstrapping it and stowing it is a standard. I would probably require the same for dropping it. I feel like the reason for making equipping and unequipping a shield a standard is to make it difficult and I think that downgrading the action isn't in the spirit of the mechanics here.

However, the logical downgrade would be to a move action, this would provide you with some value because to get your shield back would then require a minor action to pick it up and standard to equip it.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.