I have a Shield of Expression (XGtE, p. 139). The description I have of it is the following:

The front of this shield is shaped in the likeness of a face. While bearing the shield, you can use a bonus action to alter the face’s expression.

If I check the description of a shield, I have the following:

A shield is made from wood or metal and is carried in one hand. Wielding a shield increases your Armor Class by 2. You can benefit from only one shield at a time.

What is the most logical material this specific shield could be made of?

I'm asking because in my last session, Heat Metal caused me a lot of troubles...

  • \$\begingroup\$ are you asking this question as the player of a druid PC ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Catar4
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 5:32

2 Answers 2


This is the DM's decision

The DnD Beyond description of Shield of Expression includes the (quoted) description of a shield in the item description. Therefore it is up to the DM's discretion. The DM should decide what the shield is made of and play it as such for the remainder of the campaign, just as they would a normal shield.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I see that the description on DnD Beyond is different than the description in Xanathar's Guide to Everything, this is strange xD \$\endgroup\$
    – Eradash
    Commented Jul 26, 2019 at 19:50
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Eradash a lot of the magic items which are specific versions of mundane equipment seem to be implemented in dndbeyond as alternative versions of the mundane item, including the description of the base item as well as the specific description of the magical version. \$\endgroup\$
    – Carcer
    Commented Jul 26, 2019 at 20:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Eradash: The description of the shield of expression magic item on D&D Beyond simply includes the description of a mundane shield below it, as the magic item's type is "shield". \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 7:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will upvote this answer once it includes the page numbers of the source. \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ The source is included, as well as the link. If you provide the physical pages I would gladly included them in the answer. \$\endgroup\$
    – Blits
    Commented Jul 28, 2019 at 8:13

Both options are equally valid.

I would like to stress a different point about the matter.

It is a DM's decision. But the why of it is easily explained:

Shields can be made both out of wood or iron - often a mix of both, historically speaking. You could stumble upon a magically enchanted wooden Shield of Expression as well as a magically enchanted iron Shield of Expression.

Rules-wise, a shield is a shield is a shield. Enchantments that can be put on a shield only ask that it be a shield, no matter the material it is made out of.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Not entirely true. A druid would not wear the iron shield, for example. There's also a difference when it comes to how hard the item is to destroy, and interaction with certain spells. Including that with "heat metal", which was the very reason for asking the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Erik
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 7:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Erik The question is not about asking if a shield made out of wood or iron changes anything for a druid (I know it does) or for spells. The question is about which material the magical shield is made out of. It is an enchanted shield. Shields can be made out of wood, iron and probably other materials and then be enchanted. I feel I answered the question perfectly, cause different DMs could decide to rule the shield is made of different materials and they all would be correct. \$\endgroup\$
    – Catar4
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 17:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, the precision about 'Heat Metal' was added after my answer... \$\endgroup\$
    – Catar4
    Commented Jul 27, 2019 at 17:35

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