Tell me what do you think about shields in D&D
An interesting take on the way shields can behave. Kind of reminds me of a thought I had when looking at Samurai and Cowboy films where the heroes rarely have any major piece of armor beyond the clothes they where.
For the cowbow films, I imagine it’s because armors are irrelevant when firearms exists.
For the samurai films, I think it’s because of the lack of knowledge about samurai, or maybe because of the actual myth about that in Japan. Anyway, I think shields always has been underrated in D&D, and it’s strange because it’s a major part of military equipment, so for a game created from a wargame like Chainmail, it’s chocking ^^
I fully agree with both for both areas of film being that both have kind of a myth around them (whether cultural, historically or cinematically based).
I will say to a certain extent that Chainmail kind of downplays the importance of certain things to simplify the game but also fit the version of Fantasy they have built up in their minds. From my understanding, the inspirations for D&D were from stories that may or may not have feature sword-and-board style of combat (I know Conan was a pure swordsman based off of what I read from The Phoenix on the Sword).
I agree it is shocking that such a detail was omitted/looked-over. Though it’s a detail that can be fixed as you proposed. Wouldn’t surprise me if it was discussed in detail back when the ruleset was first created.
I never read Chainmail, and I think I need to do that.
For wargame purposes, I prefer the De Bellis Antiquitatis (or De Bellis Multitudinis) rules, because they are more consistent and historically good, and playable without too much maths. But there isn’t any fantasy composant in it ^^
Anyway, shields are a very distinctive piece of equipment. They can be decorated, exists in a number of shapes and styles, so they need to be important part of a character who use them. Giving them more usefulness in AC is a good idea in my opinion.
I sometimes think the same about the helmet, but the helmet hid the head of a character, and so it’s a problem for interpretation (describing emotions and the like). So I’m not very found of helmet rules ^^
Actually, DBA does have a fantasy wargame version - HOTT, “Hordes of the Things.” It’s really good!