The ability Shield Block allows you to spend your Reaction reducing incoming damage by a shield's Hardness at the cost of damaging the shield as well as you. Does this damage also get reduced by the shield's Hardness?

For example, with an attack that would do 11 damage incoming, a character performs Shield block with their 3 Hardness shield. Does the remaining 8 damage get further reduced to 3 by the shield's Hardness?


1 Answer 1


It seems to be slightly ambiguous as the text could be interpreted multiple ways.

  • Shield Block reduces damage from the attack and states you and the shield take the remaining damage
  • Items being damaged apply their hardness to incoming damage.

There are 2 ways to interpret this situation, strictly read as written, Shield Block reduces the damage by the hardness of the shield BEFORE damage is applied to the shield and when object are damaged they apply their hardness to damage. This leads to the shield effectively applying its hardness twice which would reduce the damage the shield takes in our example to 5. However, I seriously doubt this is the intended interpretation and it would be logical to assume the developers intended the shield block ability to only reduce the damage to the shield once and just called out it reducing the damage by the hardness as a nicety for the reader to not have to reference the section on damaging objects.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ This doesn't actually answer the question, by my expectations for Stack Exchange, without further reference to Paizo. If it was as simple as guessing what the intention was, I'd just use table judgements. This was more a space for someone to point out rule(s) I'd missed or post when Paizo clarifies. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 24, 2020 at 16:47

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