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Shields are a must for most adventurers. Unlike armor accessories such as helm and arm graves, they add an independent and invaluable bonus to an adventurers defense.

Shields are made out of a wide variety of metals, hides and woods and an equally wide variety of shapes and sizes. Depending on the material used, the strength and abilities of a shield may differ. The purpose of a shield is simple: a shield provides a physical barrier between an adventurer and his opponent's physical attacks. Shields may be enchanted to provide further defensive capability, however, all shields provided a standard +20 defensive bonus (the enchant of the shield+20 is added directly to DS, regardless of stance). This bonus, may, of course, be reduced if a particularly poor material is used.

Shields are used extensively during the Evade/Block/Parry portion of combat. If an Evade attempt fails, the next step is the opportunity to block the attack. In order to block, the character must have a shield in their left hand. Shields provide more benefit when blocking missile and bolt spell attacks than they do against melee attacks. It is not possible, however, to block a bolt outright without using a specially enhanced shield.

There are four types of shields in GemStone IV. Shields have various names, but can be broken down into four categories:

Small Shields
Medium Shields
Large Shields
Tower Shields

Shield Defense Strength (DS) bonus:

(Shield Ranks + (STR bonus/4) + (DEX Bonus/4))/(1.5) = Base Value

Base Value * Stance Modifier * (100% + Shield Size Modifier) = DS bonus

Stance Modifier: 50% + Stance/2.

Example: In Stance Guarded (Stance = 80), the Shield DS stance modifier would be 50% + (80/2) = 90%

The odds for an outright Block are based on the defender's Shield Use ranks compared to the attacker's level. It is affected by stats, shield size, and stance.

A character with 1x shield training and a medium shield will block a like-level foe roughly 5% of the time in stance offensive. A character with 3x shield training and all other factors the same would have roughly a 15% chance to block that same attack.

For Bolt DS, which includes all ranged attacks (arrows, hurled weapons, and bolt spells), the size modifier of your shield is increased by 50%. For example, a wall shield would have a 60% size modifier versus ranged attacks rather than the 40% versus melee attacks. Five DS is added for each size greater than medium, while small shields have a reduction of 5 DS. Normally, it is not possible to block bolt spells.

Small Shields

Shield Size Modifier: - 15%
Other Names: buckler, kidney shield, targe
Medium Shields

Shield Size Modifier: 0%
Other Names: heater shield, heater, knight's shield, lantern shield, parma, target shield
Large Shields

Shield Size Modifier: 15%
Other Names: aegis, kite shield, pageant shield, round shield, scutum
Tower Shields

Shield Size Modifier: 30%
Other Names: greatshield, mantlet, pavis, wall shield





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