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steph

Disarm a shield

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A problem occurred during a fight in our hero session. I am the GM of a low fantasy game in Harn. One of my characters decides to make a disarm on the shield of one of the players. The character in question has achieved his disarm and str str vs str contest. My player was angry, he told me that a shield does not disarm as easily as a weapon and that he should have had a strength bonus with the contest. In hindsight, I think he was right. What do you think?

 

Steph

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Cassandra is correct in the fact shields are written up as OAF.   I would say that it really depends on the shield and how it is used.  Some shields were strapped to the persons arm and would be difficult to disarm, or to drop.  Those tend to be the larger shields so I could see some shields being written up as OIF instead of OAF, but that would change how they are used.  It would mean that you would have to spend time properly strapping it on.  Readying or dropping such a shield would take time, probably a full turn.  It would also prevent the person from using that hand for anything but the shield. 

 

I assume that this is a heroic setting instead of a superheoric, in which case there would be no point cost difference between the two types of shields.  Just make sure the player states what type of shield they are using.  If they want the advantage of the shield being harder to disarm, they should have to deal with the extra prep time involved.  If it is done as a OIF it would not be subject to a disarm at all. 

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Was the character attempting the disarm armed themselves? If so were they using their weapon? If so was the STR being applied taking into account the STR min of their weapon? If they were using their free hand was it at -3 OCV assuming their own weapon was in their primary hand?

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What does the STR min. have to do with a disarm? I would assume that a person wielding the weapon has the STR min.  The STR min has two effects.  The first is that if you do not have at least the listed STR you take a penalty on your OCV and DCV.  The second is what STR is required to add damage to the attack. 

 

Even if they do not meet the STR min they can still use their full STR in a disarm or other maneuvers.  Say I have 7 STR and I am using a great sword, my penalty to OCV and DCV will be -2 because I am 10 under the STR min.  When I disarm someone I take -2 to my OCV and DCV, plus any additional penalty for the maneuver usually -2 OCV for a disarm.  I can then use my 7 STR to attempt to disarm my opponent. 

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On 12/29/2017 at 3:06 PM, steph said:

A problem occurred during a fight in our hero session. I am the GM of a low fantasy game in Harn. One of my characters decides to make a disarm on the shield of one of the players. The character in question has achieved his disarm and str str vs str contest. My player was angry, he told me that a shield does not disarm as easily as a weapon and that he should have had a strength bonus with the contest. In hindsight, I think he was right. What do you think?

 

Steph

Perhaps it should but it sounds more like sour grapes that the player lost the STR contest.

 

However if going forward, it’s easy to say that all shields add +5 STR to resist Disarm.

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I did a shield writeup here some time ago.  Basically FH's stock description of small/medium/large shields really doesn't do the subject justice.  Ancient Greek shields were held with a forearm strap and a grip and were insanely heavy.  Viking shields were held only with a grip, but could be used a bit more actively as they could be held out away from the body.  Heater shields started out as cavalry shields that were better at protecting the leg.  Indian and Southeast Asian shields were one-hand gripped like the Viking ones but had a kind of pillow thing for the knuckles that made it more like it was strapped onto the hand rather than merely gripped.

 

Anyway your everyday D&D strap-and-grip medium shield probably ought to be OIF and should also add its DEF to the forearm hit location on that side (at least) yet be less useful for blocking or shield bashing.   I'd rule an OAF shield as grip-only, so it could more easily be pulled away.

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Yeah the shields with the strap your arm goes through and a grip is probably OIF, that's going to be very difficult to take away.  Some shields were actually worn: Alexander's phalanx had one they slung over their chest so their arms were free to use the sarissa, which was over three meters long.  Others such as Pavise Crossbowmen would wear a very heavy, thick shield on their back so they could crouch and turn away from combat to reload safely (or plant it and work from behind it).

 

So like I said, it depends.

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I agree with the previous posts. However, the player getting angry is another factor: why didn't he just contest/question you on that, instead of getting angry? I don't know if he was tired or what, but getting angry over a disarm against his character should be thought on.

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On 2018-01-12 at 3:19 PM, Tech said:

I agree with the previous posts. However, the player getting angry is another factor: why didn't he just contest/question you on that, instead of getting angry? I don't know if he was tired or what, but getting angry over a disarm against his character should be thought on.

 

Read the topic again. 

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