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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.
on the material used, the strength and abilities of a shield
may differ. The purpose of a shield is simple: a shield
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
There are four types of shields in GemStone IV. Shields
have various names, but can be broken down into four categories:
Shield Defense Strength (DS) bonus:
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
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.