It takes an action to don and to doff a shield (See Pg 146 of the PHB).

Does that action need to be the PC's action, Or, could another member of the party (another PC), or even a familiar with opposable thumbs (eg. Imp, Sprite), spend their action to remove a willing player's shield?

Example: P1 is wedged under a boulder. P2 needs P1's shield. Can P2 remove P1's shield as an action?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ "spend their action remove a player's shield (willingly or unwillingly)" - you probably mean "remove a shield from a willing/unwilling creature", not "willingly/unwillingly remove a shield". If that was the case, I suggest editing the question. \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Jul 12, 2021 at 5:59
  • 5
    \$\begingroup\$ Willing and unwilling are two separate cases. Unwilling involves an opponent, willing involves an ally or helping NPC. I suggest that you confine this question to the willing case, and that you ask unwilling as a separate question since it will be related to contests, improvising and action, and or disarming (in terms of the kinds of game mechanics involved) \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12, 2021 at 10:32

1 Answer 1


The short answer is that it is up to the DM. I couldn't find any supporting rules specifically about getting help into or out of armor. However.... Climb onto bigger creatures

As an alternative, a suitably large opponent can be treated as terrain for the purpose of jumping onto its back or clinging to a limb.

This rule allows small creatures to climb onto you and at least attempt to buckle the shield in place.

Doff and Don armor Says:

Don. This is the time it takes to put on the item. You benefit from it's AC only if you take the full time to don it.

Doff. This is the time it takes to take off the item. If you have help removing armor, reduce this time by half.

So at the very least they can help.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ You say you couldn't find any rules about getting helped into or out of armor...but you actually cite the "If you have help removing" rule. What there are not rules for is having armor put on or taken off of you without your help, which is what the OP is asking. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Jul 12, 2021 at 1:58
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ I meant I couldn't find any direct rules that apply to the question. Did my best. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12, 2021 at 2:57
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Shieds and Armor are two different things (see here for an example.) As the language is specific for help in removing armor, why do you think it applies to shields? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Jul 12, 2021 at 16:10
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Ærvard You cannot reasonably split an action into parts, so the rounding rule comes into play here: The time reduction is truncate(1/2) = 0 actions, so even with help you'll need one action to doff the shield, if you take the cited rules as basis of the decision. There may be features like disarming which may or may not provide alternative options though... \$\endgroup\$
    – fabian
    Jul 12, 2021 at 17:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @fabien I don't think you can really apply that rule. Since you could say the amount of time it takes is halved, reducing the time required to half an action which rounds to zero time which makes no sense. I think it's just that the rules on removing armor are assuming the armor takes an amount of time longer than 1 action \$\endgroup\$ Jul 12, 2021 at 21:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .