Does having the Shield Master feat mean that the shield is indestructible?

The Shield Master feat (PHB, p. 170) says:

  • If you take the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to try to shove a creature within 5 feet of you with your shield.

  • If you aren't incapacitated, you can add your shield's AC bonus to any Dexterity saving throw you make against a spell or other harmful effect that targets only you.

  • If you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a Dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you can use your reaction to take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw, interposing your shield between yourself and the source of the effect.

The last part... as a reaction yada yada yada....

Last game session our paladin used his +1 shield to block a young dragon's 11d8 fire breath weapon, and prior to this, he did the same when confronted with an 12d6 explosive device of fire and shrapnel. How is his shield not riddled with holes from the explosive, and how is it not a melted slag of metal after the dragon's fire breath? Yes he made the saves, but shouldn't placing the shield directly in line of harm's way to protect him also heavily damage the shield if not destroy it?

The feat just says the PC doesn't take damage, but does not account for shield's condition after. Is a shield indestructible with the feat?


D&D doesn't account for equipment wear

D&D 5e does not have any general rules (outside of things like Rust Monster) for equipment wearing out or being damaged. The feat neither introduces such a mechanic nor negates it.

If you (or your DM) would like to add such rules, you are into house rules territory. As with all house rules, make sure to discuss it with your players first; having your character randomly have their shield destroyed isn't going to sit well with every player.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This, so much this. I designed a Durability stat for my players' items. It helped me get away with causing them some tension, but it only really works if you can keep track of everyone's exact ACs so you know where to apply the damage to (if anywhere). \$\endgroup\$ – Sora Tamashii Dec 26 '19 at 23:52

Magical items are considered indestructible(by normal non DM narrative means). Any +1 item is considered magical. So as per the rules yes it would not be destroyed.

That said you are the DM and if you want to you can make it take damage. I would recommend doing this sparingly as it may anger your players or if you do it do so in a narrative way, Like after the dragon fight the shield may need to be repaired as a dragon's fire breath is not a small deal. Making this a task your adventurers need to complete(or ignore). It depends on you, and what you want from the game. If you start to implement this you may want to talk with your players about it first. Again its up to you, as the DM you make the rules and can overrule any rule in the rule book you want. (its literally written in the rule book.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome to the stack! Please take the tour to learn more about we operate and you can also visit the help center to learn more. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 30 '20 at 13:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ Your initial supposition that magical items are indestructible looks like it is incorrect. See this question and their citation. That drastically changes your answer if you agree, but if you don't, please back up why. \$\endgroup\$ – NautArch Mar 30 '20 at 13:15

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