Shield Use is a skill a character trains in to increase their proficiency with shields, thereby increasing Defensive Strength (DS) when the shield is in the character's off-hand, as well as providing a chance to block an attack outright before the attack roll can take place. Warriors, rogues, and paladins additionally receive shield specialization points when training in this skill.
For DS and avoidance calculations relating to Shield Use/Block, see the Block article.
Ranks and Training Point Costs
|Max Ranks Per Level||2||3||2||2||2||2||1||1||-||1||1|
|Training point Cost||4/0||2/0||8/0||5/0||3/0||5/0||13/0||13/0||-||13/0||13/0|
- Main article: Shield Specialization
Shield Specialization is a maneuver system similar to Combat Maneuvers for warriors, rogues, and paladins. Each rank in Shield Use provides one Shield Training Point, which can be used to train in various shield-based abilities and attacks. The SHIELD (verb) provides access to this system.
Changes Since GemStone III
The effectiveness of a shield in GemStone III depended heavily on the enchantment of the shield, in a formula where the shield's benefit was calculated with (Enchantment Bonus + 20). Therefore, a 4X shield produced twice as much defensive strength as an unenchanted shield, where an 8X shield produced three times as much defensive strength as an unenchanted shield. Also, there was no difference, mechanically, between a buckler and a tower shield.