I was trying to think of a way to allow my level 20 Barbarian to be able to take both Shield Master and Great Weapon Master, since Shield Master would support my tanking role in the party, and well, GWM is GWM. I have read these potentially related questions, but do not think they adequately address my feat-specific question.
My first roadblock appears to be that each feat requires the wielding of specific items.
Great Weapon Master states (emphasis mine):
Before you make a melee attack with a heavy weapon that you are proficient with, you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits, you add +10 to the attack’s damage.
As far as I know, since there are no one-handed heavy weapons, in order to make use of this part of the feat a 2-handed weapon is required.
Unfortunately, this potentially conflicts with Shield Master, which states (emphasis mine):
You use shields not just for protection but also for offense. You gain the following benefits while you are wielding a shield:
Thus, on its face, these 2 feats seem incompatible, since GWM requires using a 2 handed weapon, and Shield Master requires wielding a shield.
This leads me to my question:
How can I make these two feats work together?
One solution I've been considering is to use an Animated Shield (emphasis mine):
While holding this Shield, you can speak its Command Word as a Bonus Action to cause it to animate. The Shield leaps into the air and hovers in your space to protect you as if you were wielding it, leaving your hands free. The Shield remains animated for 1 minute, until you use a Bonus Action to end this effect, or until you are Incapacitated or die, at which point the Shield falls to the ground or into your hand if you have one free.
Since using an Animated Shield leaves my hands free and, based on the wording, imbues me with the benefit of wielding a shield, I think I could feasibly gain the benefits of Shield Master while also wielding a 2-handed weapon for GWM.
Would using an Animated Shield allow me to take the full benefits of each feat? Are there other ways that I could synthesize both feats (eg maybe there ARE one-handed heavy weapons)?