A character is proficient with shields if they have the Shield Proficiency feat. Some classes automatically gain shield proficiency, as noted in the feat.
Wearing a shield without being proficient has the same penalty as wearing armor without being proficient, but this penalty does not stack with itself if you are wearing both armor and a shield with which you are not proficient.
All shields are considered to be designed to work with the phase shield armor upgrade, and you can use the arm wielding a shield to also activate a phase shield.
Phase shields do not grant a shield bonus.
Shields can be targeted by sunder combat maneuvers, and their hardness and HP are calculated the same way as for armor. Shields that allow you to use them to make unarmed attacks can have weapon fusions added to them, treating their item level as their weapon item level, and can be made of any special materials that can also be used to make melee weapons. The effects of these modifications are applied to unarmed attacks made with the shield. Armor upgrades added to shields are technological items and can be affected by abilities as such, unless they say otherwise. Shields themselves are not considered technological items for effects that work only on powered or technological objects.
Reading Shield Tables
An entry on the shield table describes a single shield with the following statistics, as described below. Individual shields are described afterward. Not all shields have all the entries listed here. Some shields do not have a maximum Dexterity bonus or an armor check penalty.
- Level: The shield’s item level.
- Price: The typical market price of the shield.
- Shield Bonus: This lists the shield bonus to AC granted by the shield. A shield bonus is a new bonus type. A shield bonus represents having a mobile physical barrier between you and an attack. Shield bonuses do not stack with one another, and they do not stack with bonuses gained from cover. Having a shield also does not increase the level of cover you gain from other objects. For example, a character with partial cover and a basic riot shield is not considered to have cover rather than partial cover. The first number represents the bonus gained when the shield is wielded, and the second represents the bonus you gain when aligning the shield to protect against a specific foe. See the shield descriptions for details.
- Maximum Dex Bonus: You normally add your Dexterity modifier to your Armor Class (for both EAC and KAC), but it may be limited by your shield. Your shield’s maximum Dexterity bonus indicates how much of your Dexterity modifier you can add to your AC. Any excess Dexterity bonus doesn’t raise your AC further and is simply ignored for this purpose. If you are wearing armor with a maximum Dexterity bonus while wielding a shield with a maximum, you use the lower of the two values as your maximum.
- Armor Check Penalty: While wielding the shield, you take a penalty to most Strength– and Dexterity-based skill checks equal to this number. If you are wearing armor with an armor check penalty while wielding a shield with a penalty, combine the two penalties.
- Bulk: This is the bulk of the shield.
- Upgrades: This is the number of armor upgrades that can be placed in the shield. Not all armor upgrades can be placed in shields, and those that do may work differently, as noted below.
|Shield Model||Level||Price||Shield Bonus||Maximum Dex Bonus||Armor Check Penalty||Bulk||Upgrade Slots||Source|
|Riot shield, basic||1||300||+1/+1||+3||-2||2||1||SFCOM|
|Tactical shield, basic||1||250||+0/+1||—||—||1||0||SFCOM|
|Knight’s shield, basic||3||1,500||+0/+2||+4||-1||1||2||SFCOM|
|Riot shield, field||5||3,000||+1/+2||+3||-2||2||2||SFCOM|
|Tactical shield, field||5||2,500||+1/+1||—||—||1||1||SFCOM|
|Knight’s shield, field||8||9,500||+1/+2||+5||-1||1||2||SFCOM|
|Riot shield, advanced||10||18,000||+1/+2||+4||-2||2||2||SFCOM|
|Tactical shield, advanced||10||17,250||+1/+1||—||—||1||1||SFCOM|
|Knight’s shield, advanced||13||50,000||+1/+3||+6||-1||1||2||SFCOM|
|Riot shield, elite||15||125,000||+1/+3||+5||-2||2||2||SFCOM|
|Tactical shield, elite||15||100,000||+1/+2||—||—||1||1||SFCOM|
|Knight’s shield, elite||18||400,000||+1/+3||+7||-1||1||2||SFCOM|
|Riot shield, paragon||20||900,000||+1/+4||+6||-2||2||2||SFCOM|
|Tactical shield, paragon||20||800,000||+1/+3||—||—||1||1||SFCOM|