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Buckler:

Benefit: [...] You can also use your shield arm to wield a weapon (whether you are using an offhand weapon or using your off hand to help wield a two-handed weapon), but you take a –1 penalty on attack rolls while doing so. This penalty stacks with those that may apply for fighting with your off hand and for fighting with two weapons. [...]

Is there a way to avoid this -1 penalty? I've searched along the web and found nothing, but maybe I'm missing something. Could be a feat, or a magic item maybe?

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There are a few ways, but bear in mind that it's much easier to increase your attack bonus than simply remove the penalty, with greater benefits in the long run (such as unlocking other feats):

  • Thunderstrike (fighter archetype): Removes the buckler penalty when using a weapon using both hands;
  • Buckler Duelist (fighter archetype): Increases the attack and damage while wielding a falcata and a buckler at the same time;
  • Duelist (combat feat): This applies only when using the (optional) Stamina system, but you remove the buckler penalties when wielding a falcata and a buckler at the same time;
  • Shielded Staff Style combined with Shielded Staff Mastery: You attach your shield (including bucklers) to your staff and may attack with it normally without any attack penalty from the shield;

There is a third party (Kobold Press) feat that does exactly what you are looking for:

  • Buckler Mastery: When wielding a weapon in the same hand as your buckler, you may pick to gain +1 AC or remove that -1 penalty to attack rolls.
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No. That's like asking "Is there a way to cheat?" Many items come with a "cost" to offset the benefit of having that item's properties. If you don't like the cost, drop the item. The cost is baked-into the item to balance the item's benefit. If you're going to ignore the baked-in cost, then why not just say that you can march around with three tower shields (one on each arm plus one strapped to your back) while wielding a two-handed greatsword...in each hand? You see where ignoring baked-in costs can get you, and why they are baked-in, now?

Instead of trying to ditch the cost, look for a way to compensate, such as gaining the -1 back in some other real-world way. What I mean by this is best explained by telling you that I am a RL heavy-weapons fighter, and I HAVE trained to use a spiked buckler while wielding a two-handed spear. The way you get past the -1 from having a hunk of wood strapped to your left arm is to TRAIN enough that your left arm gets stronger...and your spear skills also get sharper. Thus compensated, I went into (SCA Heavy) battle a better fighter with more tools. There will be an in-game version of this, even if it means leveling to effectively get the -1 back.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already, and check out the help center for more guidance. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Feb 23 at 21:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ Two things that could be improved on this answer: 1) Looking for a way to mitigate a problem is not "cheating", especially if the game has those tools available and the OP simply doesn't know about them. 2) "Training", in the game, is represented by levels, skill ranks and feats. You could elaborate on that and how you acquired the feat to fight with a buckler on your arm while wielding a two-handed spear. \$\endgroup\$ – ShadowKras Feb 25 at 11:21

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