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Can a character have a magic shield and benefit from its magical effect but not its use as a shield when they do not have shield proficiency?

Like wear the shield on their back or something?

If it helps, the item I am thinking about specifically is the Sentinel Shield, which gives advantage on initiative and perception checks.

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In the description of the sentinel shield it says "While holding this shield..." (DMG page 199) so you must be holding the shield, not just have it on your back. From a quick glance, many other shields have this condition also.

However, you CAN still use a shield that you aren't proficient with but "you have disadvantage on any ability check, saving throw, or attack roll that involves Strength or Dexterity, and you can’t cast spells" (PHB page 144)

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    \$\begingroup\$ "holding" isn't the same as "wielding" tho. PHB calls it wielding - "Wielding a shield increases your Armar Class by 2" (PHB page 144) \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Sep 9 '17 at 15:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @enkryptor yes but in the sentence before that it says a shield 'is carried in one hand' (PHB page 144). Hold and carry are the same and the only difference between them and wield is that wield implies use or intent to use \$\endgroup\$ – J4m0nT045t Sep 9 '17 at 16:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also may be worthwhile to note that donning/doffing shields requires a full action and you can't quickly drop it as a free action should you need that hand (for casting, components, attacking, etc.) \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Sep 9 '17 at 16:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Hold and carry are the same" - no they aren't. PHB uses the word "carry" both for wielding and having an item in a backpack. - "Your Strength score limits the amount of gear you can carry. " (p. 14) \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Sep 9 '17 at 19:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Moreover, the PHB explicitly distincts "holding" and "carrying", see page 236 - "If another creature is holding or carrying the item ...". I suppose "to hold" means (in context) "to have it in your hand(s)" and "carry" means "to have it in your inventory". \$\endgroup\$ – enkryptor Sep 9 '17 at 19:10

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