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I'm planning on playing a Paladin murder zealot. I just got an idea to use a door as a weapon/shield for an awesome battle style, like so:

enter image description here

...But I don't know if they can be wielded with the door's weight. (I'm already gonna get the Tavern Brawler feat; you don't have to mention it).

How much would a door weigh?

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4 Answers 4

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Just reskin the shield within the narrative.

It doesn't really matter what a door weighs, or how big it is. You're asking for a neat character concept where a paladin uses a door for a shield. So on your character sheet write "Shield (Door)". Mechanically, you treat it exactly as you would a regular old shield. But narratively it's a super cool door. You don't have to worry about less familiar mechanics, you don't have to homebrew any rules, you don't have to change anything about your character mechanically. You just have to imagine and narrate your character's actions as though they were holding a door instead of a shield. If you intend to hit stuff with the Shield (Door), you would follow the usual rules for improvised weapons.

If you take this route, remember that a shield gives +2 AC to you, but does not provide cover - no hiding behind your Shield (Door) and saying you have full cover. You may also consider taking the Shield Master feat, which gives you a bonus action shove attack, as well as some good bonuses tied to your shield. This search should give all of the site Q&As about the feat, read through those if you have any questions about how it works.

Be advised, you should be aware of the tone of your game when bringing this idea to the table. I have played with groups where funny ideas like this would be less welcome, and I have played with groups that welcome such humor. I'd recommend just asking the DM and the other players what they think of the character concept and talk through some alternatives if everyone is looking for a more serious tone for the game.

The weight of any specific door within your game is up to the DM.

I checked Home Depot and found an interior door of pine that weighed 58 pounds (26 kg), and an exterior door of mahogany that weighed 160 pounds (73 kg). So the weight varies wildly with the material and construction, which brings me to the true answer to your question about weights: it is up to the DM. Describing the environment is the DM's responsibility in the introductory How to Play the Game section of the Player's Handbook:

  1. The DM describes the environment. The DM tells the players where their adventurers are and what’s around them, presenting the basic scope of options that present themselves (how many doors lead out of a room, what’s on a table, who’s in the tavern, and so on).

As a feature of the environment, it is up to the DM to describe any particular door - its material, dimensions, and weight.

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    \$\begingroup\$ 58 pounds for an interior door must be shipping weight, not actual weight. Interior doors are hollow and very light. They would not be so effective shields. Even an exterior door is something I can lift. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1 at 4:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RossMillikan It should be noted that even exterior doors are most often hollow in the modern world (which is also why a well-placed kick can dent an exterior metal door - if it were solid, you'd break your foot instead). In a typical high-fantasy setting, you'd expect a typical door to be made of solid wood, because there's no such thing as cardboard honeycomb or sheet steel. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1 at 9:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RossMillikan that sounds about right for solid pine which would provide a bit of protection (I get 403 on that link but I've fitted them in the past). Hollow doors would be under 20lbs I reckon but would offer little protection. Last time I lifted an exterior door it was foam-filled steel. Solid hardwood at 73kg would be a heavy lift but doable as you can get the weight close to you (a reasonably fit person can lift more than their bodyweight by hugging and squatting). You wouldn't be swinging it around like the picture without incredible strength and weight as it would off-balance you \$\endgroup\$
    – Chris H
    Mar 1 at 10:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ Belt of giant strength. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rp_Master
    Mar 1 at 13:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @RossMillikan Not all interior doors are hollow. The door to this room (and all the other rooms on the living floors in this house) are panelled pine doors. 58lbs sounds about right. \$\endgroup\$ Mar 1 at 14:24
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Volume times specific weight of the wood

Specific weights of seasoned wood, as you would use for constructing doors so they do not warp, range from 220 pounds per cubic meter (balsa) to 1,653 pounds per cubic meter (oak).

Let's say you want a sturdy oaken dungeon door of 4 feet times 7 feet, one inch thick for a shield, at 0.066 cubic meters it would weigh about 109 pounds, or 110 pounds with nails.

If you can do with a 2 feet by 4 feet halfling door made of alder instead (0.019 cubic meters times 1,100 pounds per cubic meter), it would weigh about 22 pounds with nails.

This approach is generally useful if you want to know the rough weight of anything that is mostly made of one material, from lead sheating for your treasure vault to iron plating for your vehicle. Let google calculate the volume based on the measurements, look up the specific weight, and multiply.

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    \$\begingroup\$ In a world where fine silk clothes weigh as much as a glaive (A likely 6ft+ long polearm weapon with the Heavy property) I am not sure there is any value in 'a real door would weigh' type answers \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Feb 28 at 22:44
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri thank you for explaining why you dislike the answer, I appreciate it. (I think the fine cloths being heavy is inspired by the brocade-laden heavy garb of nobility in the late medieval, btw.) \$\endgroup\$ Feb 28 at 22:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ooh that is a really interesting consideration! Almost tempted to give you a +1 for the comment actually, might change the way I imagine my wealthy characters. Not what I expected to learn tonight. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Feb 28 at 22:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Out of interest, are you talking about fine clothes? If so I don't think they are stated to be silk? \$\endgroup\$
    – user73918
    Mar 1 at 0:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Fine silk clothes could weigh... uh... 4 lbs per Kimono, 2 lbs per Obi... 78 lbs for the absolute upper limit of a jūnihitoe set, and 30 lbs for the more normal 5-layer set. \$\endgroup\$
    – Trish
    Mar 1 at 15:58
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Bulk?

After calling my home depot, a 2100 by 1000 by 36 mm conifer wood door made from wooden boards with a double Z reinforcement on the back is available with a weight of 25 kilos. That's roundabout 55 lbs for a 7' by 3 1/3' by 1.5" item. I guess that's kinda heavy. But that mass and bulk is anyway only relevant for carrying capacity. However, ask your GM for what your specific door comes down to in weight and measurements.

Modeling ingame?

However, how to model it?! Actually, that's rather easy: We should look at what kind of weapon it resembles most: A mantlet, pavise, or if cut to size, a tower shield1.

Now, how does 5th edition handle these?

A deployed mantlet or its smaller cousin, the pavise, is nothing else but a wooden wall, offering the advantage of anything between full cover to half cover, depending on its size and if one ducks behind it. In other words: treat it as a wall of some height. If the GM agrees, it can be moved by spending movement to push or carry an item of somewhat equivalent weight. However, that use is not really compatible with a weapon used for bashing people, in fact, you technically can't wield a wall as a weapon and thus not attack with it at all.

So let's look at the next contender: tower shields.

While the only item described as a tower shield in 5e is the fluff for a magic artifact (battering shield), tower shields are (unless homebrewed by the GM) handled like any other type of shield. This enables us on a homebrew-free basis to assume all the normal stats and rules for any shield and just describe it as a tower shield... eh, door-shield.

As a direct result, clobbering people with the door-shield is best done by either using the Shield Bash maneuver or handling it as an improvised weapon.


1 - Looking up at my LARP suppliers, they offer a roman Scutum weighing about 5 kilos or 11 lbs. But for anything but hauling, that's irrelevant in combat under 5E rules. However, the GM might feel inclined to modify the shield's values to account for the larger size of a door compared to a Scutum and its higher weight. But that's a GM ruling then.

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The door's weight is only important for carry capacity.

A solid wooden modern door is about 40kg, or 88.8lb. Something around that number is probably correct. A guy with 10 str can Lift and Carry 150lb of gear without problem, unless using the encumbrance variant rules. Presumably your paladin will have more strength, since he's beating people to death with a door.

For stats, you'd use whichever weapon is most similar.

The improvised weapon rules instruct the DM to decide which weapon the object is most similar to and use the stats for that weapon unless the object bears 'no resemblance' to a weapon at all (such as hitting someone with a goose, strangling them with a pair of pants, etc) in which case you use 1d4 damage and no special traits.

In this case (a large wooden door), I would rule it is most similar to a greatclub. As paladins are already proficient with greatclubs, there would be no need for the tavern brawler feat (you're not Jackie Chan, trapping people inside fridges or whatever, you're just beating people with a large wooden object). If you wanted to use the door as a shield instead of a weapon, I would say that since a greatclub has the 2-handed quality, you could not simultaneously use the door as a shield and a weapon, even if straps or the like were added to the back of it.

However, that would be perfectly allowable as a houserule (to allow dual blocking and battering), as a regular paladin can already wield a shield and a longsword at the same time to attack with a 1d8 weapon while gaining the benefits of a shield. So there is no particular advantage to the Dooradin being allowed to do the same, simply a cool concept with no real mechanical benefit (but no penalty).

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