We found out our party might be fighting vampires. It could be cool if my shield-bashing fighter affixed wooden shield spikes on heavy steel shield. Can this be a thing, RAW?

  • 2
    I added the [special-materials] tag, since the property we’re interested in (especially effective against vampires) is not a real-world property of wood, even though wood is, obviously, a real-world material. – KRyan Sep 24 at 14:11
up vote 13 down vote accepted

The rules, as written, are completely silent on the subject of what materials are used in the construction of shield spikes. If you want a RAW answer, that’s the best you’ll get: the answer is undefined, RAW.

Personally, I always assumed they were metal, but I don’t have any particular problem with allowing them to be wood. Especially if they were some fancy, harder wood, and clearly if you used the ironwood spell there would be zero difficulty, from my perspective. Another GM might require some kind of fancier, harder wood, or even require ironwood.

The other thing that’s unclear to me is if you can add shield spikes to an already-existing shield. The rules don’t say; I kind of always assumed that a shield and a spiked shield were two separate items and you couldn’t convert from one to the other, but again, that’s not written anywhere. I guess the fact that shield spikes are in the “Extras” section might imply they could be added on later? Anyway, I certainly wouldn’t block a player from doing so if they wanted. But again, that’s not RAW; RAW is just silent.

  • There is nothing IRL against this, either. Every forge can add iron spikes to iron shield, why not. Metal spikes to wood shield is even easier. Putting wood on shield would be tricky, but hey, we are talking about a world with alchemical superglue. – Mołot Sep 24 at 16:21
  • @Mołot not tricky at all. Just weld (forge?) metal screws onto the shield, then screw wooden spikes on. Would be trivial to replace then. – IMil Sep 24 at 23:30

As this other answer already explains, there is no rules as written for wooden spikes, so you will have to GM Fiat a solution there.

But I would like to point out that a Wooden Stake is a specific item in the game, and simply using pointy-wooden-weapons might not be of any help against vampires.

Vampire Weaknesses says:

Driving a wooden stake through a helpless vampire’s heart instantly slays it (this is a full-round action). However, it returns to life if the stake is removed, unless the head is also severed and anointed with holy water.

There is no mention of other commonly made of wood weapons, such as javelins, arrows or even spears. That said, I believe the weakness to wooden stakes is rooted in mysticism, and not an actual weakness against having their heart pierced by wood. So your GM would have to specifically allow that exception to work. Personally, I know I wouldn't let it work, but you sure are welcome to try and I would never try to stop you.

  • 2
    As a wooden stake is just a sharpened piece of wood doesn't that mean that any sharpened wood would work? – Ben Sep 24 at 19:49
  • @Ben Doesn't work like that. If you break a table's leg and use as a weapon, that is just a club, but the game will treat that as an improvised weapon instead. If he wants to break an arrow, javelin or spear and treat it as improvised stakes that is fine, but that's GM Fiat territory. – ShadowKras Sep 24 at 20:19
  • Given that (A) attaching spikes to a shield is likely OK, and (B) wooden stakes are defined in the link given as 'just a sharpened piece of wood', how can one posit that attaching a wooden stake to a shield is somehow different to attaching any other pointy bit of whatever you have lying around? If they're crafting this thing they could acquire Wooden Stakes to use instead of just whittling some out of a bit of tree, but it seems a bit arbitrary. – Xymist_ Sep 26 at 16:48
  • @Xymist_ Im not sure what you are trying to say, but considering that you are assuming that something GM Fiat is "likely OK", I can already tell you that you will see table variation there. There is no specific rule for crafting "wooden spikes", there are no generic rule for attaching a weapon to another, or an item to another. So, we are making a lot of assumptions here that the rules does not cover. – ShadowKras Sep 26 at 17:54

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

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