Thanks to the newly externalized features of BG:EE, I'm thinking about creating a Shield Mod. I'm interested in any comments or feedback on the ideas for the mod.
The mod would have two components:
1. Revised Sword n' Shield style - In Combat & Tactics, Weapon & Shield style is about being able to do various shield combat maneuvers (e.g., shield-punch) without losing your shield bonus to AC, but I'm not sure if "shield attacks" would even be possible in the Infinity Engine. However, I did note that C&T also details a shield proficiency, which gives a shield bearer extra AC bonuses when using a shield.
Here's how those bonuses work:
|Shield Type ||Non-Prof. AC Bonus ||Proficient AC Bonus|
|Buckler ||+1* ||+1|
|Small Shield ||+1* ||+2|
|Medium Shield ||+1* ||+3|
|Body (Large) Shield ||+1/+2 vs. missles ||+3/+4 vs. missles|
* Note, PnP limits the number of attackers that a shield can be used against in each round. So, shields of increasing size don't provide greater AC (for non-proficient users), they provide AC bonus for more attacks. AFAIK, BG:EE doesn't do this (which would be why they implemented different bonuses for each shield type).
So, like the current SnS style, C&T's shield proficiency provides an AC bonus (for most shield types), but not just vs. missles. Its a general bonus of +2 for medium and large shields, +1 for small shields, and no bonus for bucklers.
My revision to SnS style will be to replace the AC bonuses vs. missles with flat AC bonuses. 1 pip in SnS will provide a +1 AC bonus when using a shield, 2 pips will provide a +2 bonus. There doesn't appear to be a way to limit the AC bonus by shield type, however.
Instead, classes will be limited in the number of pips they can take:
Warriors (except Kensai), including multi-class: 2 pips
Clerics, including multi-class: 1 pip
Buckler-only classes (Thieves, Druids, Bards): 0 pips
Mages, Sorcerers: 0 pips
This limits classes that normally wouldn't benefit from shield proficiency (i.e. those who can only use a buckler) from taking SnS style. While it doesn't stop a fighter from getting a +2 AC bonus with a buckler, presumably a shield-using fighter would likely choose a bigger, more-protective shield.
2. Revised Shield AC bonuses - It always struck me as odd that a buckler grants no protecting from piercing weapons, especially when the PnP description from C&T states "[a buckler's] small size makes it easy to carry, but it is of limited usefulness against anything except fencing weapons." Fencing weapons are piercing, of course.
Also, the idea that a full body shield is only more useful than a small shield vs. missle weapons just seems wrong.
Here's the revised table of shield AC bonuses.
|Shield Type ||AC Bonus|
|Buckler ||+1/+0 vs. missles|
|Small Shield ||+1|
|Medium Shield ||+1/+2 vs. missles|
|Large Shield ||+2|
I'll give bucklers an AC bonus vs. piercing, making them equivalent to vanilla small shields. So, I'll shift the AC bonuses for small and medium shields as well.
For large shields, the AC bonus will change to a flat +2 AC bonus, but -1 "to hit" penalty due to the encumbrance of the shield (idea borrowed from 3E). In addition, large shields will gain an item ability of "Full Cover" which allows the defender to sacrifice all his/her attacks for one round in exchange for a +4 bonus to AC. This is useful for quaffing a healing potion during combat.
Thanks for the feedback!