When it comes to keeping yourself safe, there’s nothing better than a shield–it’s like armor you can hold. But which shield is best?
There are many ways to keep yourself safe in the world of Dungeons & Dragons, but if you’re like most adventurers, the best defense is it good offense. But sometimes the best defense is also a good defense and for those times, it’s time to turn to your trusty shield. After all if it’s good enough for Captain America, it should be good enough for you. So let’s take a look at the five best Shields that money can buy in Dungeons and Dragons.
It doesn’t get much better than this. The humble shield has come a long way since the days of bucklers vs. kite shields vs. round shields–but whether you wield a pavise, a heater, or a big ol’ dwarven dinner plate, you’ll get a +2 to your AC for only 15 gold, and it’s hard to say no to that.
Okay, but actually it doesn’t get much better than this. The Shield Spell is easily the best 1st level spell in the game, and, it gives even higher level spells a run for their money. With the ability to give you a +5 to your Armor Class when you need it, this is the ultimate “actually you didn’t hit me” kind of spell. It won’t protect you from a crit, but few things will. This one is a little costly though, as it’s a ‘common spell scroll’ and so will run you about 100gp per use.
Although, if you can help it, why spend 100 gp per attack only to still run the risk of being crit, when you could instead just have a hireling to stand in front of/be strapped to you. The costs are way down since they don’t really need to be a skilled hireling (which is 2 gold per day! who do they think you are, R.J. Rockefeller [although he probably would never pay his skilled hirelings 2gp a day–a fair wage? in this economy?]?). Instead you just need an untrained hireling, which will run you 1 gold every five days–and, if they die to one of the attacks they’re protecting you from, you can recoup your investment if you survive to loot the corpse.
Alright, well, you’re already “paying” people money and that means paperwork, which means taxes. Taxes! You’re an adventurer, the last thing you want to worry about is paying off your taxes. After all, are you not entitled to the sweat of your own brow? No, says the man in Waterdeep, it belongs to the Throne.
Well, they’ll never know how much money you have if you hide it in a shell corporation. Of course, you’ll need the money to set one up–and checking the DMG a guildhall or trading post will only run you 5,000gp. Sure it’s a chunk of change, but it’s an investment that will keep paying off–and keep your hands clean.
Okay. So. Things went horribly awry because the king/queen/imperator/archwizard found out about your tax dodging schemes, and/or realized that you were just “kidnapping” your “human shields” from “the local villagers.”
That just means you’re doing it right. Look at how much you’re not getting attacked anymore. You’re attending guild functions, balls, and rubbing elbows with movers and shakers. You’re protected from most things–except for legal investigations. It’s only a matter of time before a party of low level adventurers takes a keen interest in what exactly you’re doing.
Better to get yourself some diplomatic immunity. This one is a little steep (you’ll need a minimum of 25,000 gp of personal wealth to appeal to the Council of Lords, according to the Waterdeep gazetteer), but well worth the expense when that party of adventurers realizes that they can’t, legally, touch you.
What’s your favorite shield?