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Shield Warrior

You have mastered the art of using shields as weapons. You gain the following benefits:

  • You can benefit from up to 2 shields (including stacking their bonuses to AC).

  • When using a shield as an improvised weapon, you have proficiency with it.

  • You can don or doff two shields when you would normally only be able to don or doff one.

How does this compare to existing RAW feats, balance-wise?

Known interactions

Shield Master

  • Completely non-redundant with Shield Warrior
  • Possible balance issue with adding the AC bonus of two shields to Dex saves when combined with Shield Warrior

Tavern Brawler

  • Proficiency with improvised weapons overlaps with Shield Warrior's proficiency with improvised weapons (shields)

Dual Wielder

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Is the point of it to be able to create a mini PC version of Fire Giant Dreadnoughts from VGtM? \$\endgroup\$
    – J.E
    Jun 15 '18 at 13:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ @J.E That's one example that I had in mind, yeah. But the FGD has lots of abilities a PC with this wouldn't. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vigil
    Jun 15 '18 at 13:31
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It's not overpowered under most circumstances

Assuming non-magical shields, it compares fairly well with Dual Wielder. Dual Wielder gives +1 AC and allows two-handed fighting with non-light weapons. Your feat gives 3 AC more when shields are held but doesn't allow two-weapon fighting and indeed only works when the character wields a shield, which is a pretty bad weapon even if you have proficiency with it. It's a fair trade.

I expect it can become overpowered when the character with this feat has access to multiple magical shields with convenient synergy, eg. Shield of Missile attraction and Arrow-Catching Shield.

It's not a good feat

Giving away offensive capability for defensive capability (in this case, by dual-wielding shields) tends to draw out combats because it reduces the expected damage output of both sides. Balanced or not, I think that's a good enough reason to not introduce this feat in your game.

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  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Is a warcaster cleric (Holy symbol on a shield) a consideration when looking at balance? No real loss of offence but hugely improved AC. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jun 15 '18 at 12:05
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri wouldn't the two shields interfere with certain spells (mainly the ones with somatic but no material components)? \$\endgroup\$
    – J.E
    Jun 15 '18 at 12:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ Wielding two shields not only makes somatic components impossible, it also makes doing anything at all with your hands impossible. ANd it takes an action to remove a shield (which, how do you do that if you don't have a free hand?) \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Jun 15 '18 at 13:33
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch because of the feat, which says: "You can don or doff two shields when you would normally only be able to don or doff one." \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Jun 15 '18 at 13:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ @NautArch I took magical shields into brief consideration (see the middle paragraph) \$\endgroup\$
    – kviiri
    Jun 15 '18 at 14:04

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