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Do any downsides come with using a sword and a shield?

I know you can put points into sword & shield fighting style but that just gives benefits to AC from missles.

Comments

  • Grond0Grond0 Member Posts: 5,872
    The main downside is that you lose the ability to wield another weapon. Doing that can not only increase APR, but also give you passive benefits, e.g. through immunity to various effects. You also of course lose the opportunity to make use of the single weapon or two-handed weapon fighting styles - both of which allow you to get critical hits on a 19 as well as a 20.

    StummvonBordwehrThacoBellAerakar
  • ThacoBellThacoBell Member Posts: 10,299
    As @Grond0 says above, but there are also some REALLY good shields out there (in BG2 at least), that protect you from a wide variety of debuffs. I don't think one is worse than the other, so much as a tradeoff between defense and offense.

    OrlonKronsteenAerakar
  • OrlonKronsteenOrlonKronsteen Member Posts: 739
    Using a shield is good for the aforementioned reasons, but the conventional wisdom is that spending a point in sword & shield style for your PC is not a great idea. The -2 defense against missiles simply doesn't justify losing a proficiency point that could be used offensively - especially since the threat of missiles decreases significantly in BG2. Now, if you're only playing BG1, where missiles are a huge threat, it's not necessarily a wasted point. And I often give points in the style to BG1 NPCs (e.g. Viconia, Branwen), since they won't be carrying over to BG2.

    My play-style: I almost always play a melee PC these days. I use shields in BG2 for a good chunk of the game because of their secondary protections. The Shield of Harmony, for instance, protects against hold, charm, and confusion. It is, IMO, one of the best items in the entire game. The SoH, paired with any number of great, one-handed weapons (Flail of Ages, etc.) is a combo that can take you to the end of TOB, if you want. However, once my saving throws go down and/or I have a comfortable number of chaotic command spells, etc., I will then switch to two-handed weapons or two weapon style.

    The class you are playing can also be factored in. For example, if you're playing a berserker, you don't need the passive defense bonuses from shields or other weapons/items because your rage takes care of that. You can come out swinging two-handed or two-weapon style right away for greater damage output.

    StummvonBordwehrSkatangorgonzolaAerakar
  • iosfrustrationiosfrustration Member Posts: 93
    The great thing about sword and shield style is that you don’t need proficiency points invested to be effective. The two pips you could spend here deliver really minor bonuses compared to 2H, 1H and dual weapon. So Sword and Board is a style that is accessible all game without much planning and without compromising other builds.

    gorgonzolaPokotaOrlonKronsteen
  • SkatanSkatan Member, Moderator Posts: 5,020
    Agree fully with @OrlonKronsteen. I usually end up with SoH, Fortress shield and shield of reflection if/when I have party members that use shields. Shield of harmony is an amazing item and it also looks cool, compared to so many other shields (especially when wielded by a dwarf!).

    For any character I don't feel like micromanaging I tend to give them shields since another APR or 2 doesn't really make a huge difference but +4/7 AC from ie the Fortress does.

    StummvonBordwehrgorgonzolaAerakarOrlonKronsteen
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,372
    Skatan wrote: »
    Fortress shield and shield of reflection
    those 2 shields alone make the pip in sword and shield style an almost completely wasted one in bg2.
    there are also some boots that give ac bonuses against ranged.
    a fighter with good armor, the fortress shield and those boots has already an outrageous ac against ranged attackers that in bg2 are not a big threat.
    and a cleric with the shield of reflection and a sling can draw the attention of the ranged enemies shooting at them while they kill themselves with their own arrows (the shield reflects also the lev 3 spell fire arrow, but not the lev 2 melf magic arrow and the melf magic meteors projectiles, thing that it should do).

    in bg more ac against ranged attacks is useful, in bg2 it is a completely wasted pip as every other possible choice is a better use of the pip. even becoming proficient in a weapon that you don't plan to use on a regular basis, but can be useful in some specific fights, is a better use of the pip.



    AerakarOrlonKronsteen
  • PokotaPokota Member Posts: 609
    Just out of morbid curiosity, what would be the suggestion for a trueclass non-dualled cleric?

  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,842
    I use a pip in it if I play a cleric. They're not particularly effective with 2-hand fighting anyway. Anomen and Jaheira start with a pip in it too, I think. If they're in my party I give them shields so they get some use from it. It's marginally useful for primary spellcasters so they don't get interrupted by stray missile fire.

    OrlonKronsteen
  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,372
    trueclass non-dualled cleric, so no kits.
    roll a high con and dex, better also a decent str, and a high wis to get more spells.
    learn how to buff him, learn how to use his other spells, learn how to use potions and items to fight the most challenging battles.

    a trueclass cleric is not the most powerful toon possible, but from a certain level on he can buff himself to be surprisingly effective mlee, with very good alpha damage and thac0, at least as good as the ones of fighters. and with a great hp buff also. even with a single pip in the style he can dual weld effectively when buffed, or can be very tanky with the right shield. his main problem is the apr, even if improved hasted and using 2 weapons he can not get more then 4 apr, 3 if hasted trough a potion.
    ranged with the right buffs and the best sling and bullets he can do slightly less then 30 dmg/attack with very good thac0.
    not buffed he is only a pale shadow of how glorious he is buffed.

    he gives also a great utility to his party, chaotic commands is super useful, but he has other protection spells, decent summons and even some damaging spells, that at high levels become very strong.

    if you want a charname that shines every time, that is always leading as number of kills pick some other class or go dual-multi.
    but if you want a charname that is very versatile and useful to the party the cleric is a perfect choice.
    and please use the healing spells, but don't abuse of them, given the high number of healing potions available and the existence of regeneration items and of a wand that completely heal at distance it is probably the least productive use of his spell slots.
    i often read people calling the clerics healers, maybe implying that healing is their more important function.
    the more i play them the more it seems the least important one.

    Balrog99
  • Balrog99Balrog99 Member Posts: 5,842
    gorgonzola wrote: »
    trueclass non-dualled cleric, so no kits.
    roll a high con and dex, better also a decent str, and a high wis to get more spells.
    learn how to buff him, learn how to use his other spells, learn how to use potions and items to fight the most challenging battles.

    a trueclass cleric is not the most powerful toon possible, but from a certain level on he can buff himself to be surprisingly effective mlee, with very good alpha damage and thac0, at least as good as the ones of fighters. and with a great hp buff also. even with a single pip in the style he can dual weld effectively when buffed, or can be very tanky with the right shield. his main problem is the apr, even if improved hasted and using 2 weapons he can not get more then 4 apr, 3 if hasted trough a potion.
    ranged with the right buffs and the best sling and bullets he can do slightly less then 30 dmg/attack with very good thac0.
    not buffed he is only a pale shadow of how glorious he is buffed.

    he gives also a great utility to his party, chaotic commands is super useful, but he has other protection spells, decent summons and even some damaging spells, that at high levels become very strong.

    if you want a charname that shines every time, that is always leading as number of kills pick some other class or go dual-multi.
    but if you want a charname that is very versatile and useful to the party the cleric is a perfect choice.
    and please use the healing spells, but don't abuse of them, given the high number of healing potions available and the existence of regeneration items and of a wand that completely heal at distance it is probably the least productive use of his spell slots.
    i often read people calling the clerics healers, maybe implying that healing is their more important function.
    the more i play them the more it seems the least important one.

    I agree a cleric can effectively melee if you want them to. I usually use them to buff the real fighters though. Sword and board is ok for that role, especially since cleric spells tend to have longer casting times. A druid can make good use of the skill though, being limited to bucklers that give no bonus against missiles.

  • jsavingjsaving Member Posts: 732
    Fighters will always be much better at melee DPS, for sure, but clerics can effectively tank if you feel like you need someone in that role.

  • gorgonzolagorgonzola Member Posts: 3,372
    edited March 23
    Balrog99 wrote: »

    I agree a cleric can effectively melee if you want them to. I usually use them to buff the real fighters though.
    the buffs the cleric can give to others are mainly defensive ones, like chaotic command or the protection against fire, and there is nothing wrong in using them to protect the real fighters.

    but there are 3 marvelous combat buffs that are on self only: holy power, righteous magic and draw upon holy might. with those buffs, that have to be cast in this exact order, a high enough level cleric gets the thac0 of a fighter of his same level, 2x his levels hp + the ones from increased con, better ac as also the dex is increased (this make also the ranged thac0 better, better str, up to 25 (+7 mlee thac0 +14 damage both mlee and with sling) and he automatically rolls for maxed damage.

    a high enough level cleric properly buffed and using good weapons can dw for about 100 dmg/round with negative thac0 for both the hands (improved hasted) and ranged with the best sling and bullets does more then 50 dmg/round with thac0 that can go under -10 (normal haste) while he gets like 50-60 hp more then not buffed.

    as he can buff his fighters and then buff himself and help them why not to do it, unless the tactical situation need him casting, and even so why not cast and use the sling in the same round?
    i don't tell that the cleric has to buff each battle, but for the important ones if he does he is surely the most effective not fighter (or pally or ranger).
    i see in some yt videos players sending to mlee yoshimo and leaving viconia far from the mlee zone doing almost nothing, not buffed, with her sling. i prefer to have yoshimo using a bow or going to hide to prepare a stab while my buffed viky bashes heads with a couple of big crushing weapons, much more effective imo ;) .

    AerakarKhyronjtthOrlonKronsteen
  • KhyronKhyron Member Posts: 443
    I agree with Gorgonzola on Viccy. She's actually a quite good, if not amazing, melee char.
    Her drow blood gives her magic resistances to make those buffs stick through even debuffs and dispells.

    gorgonzola
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