Probably my biggest complaint with the shield rules in LL and the other old school derived games is the general worthlessness of shields and bucklers.
A shield grants a measly 5% to AC which fails to show just how effective the item really is. A good shield is a torso sized defense thats mobile and has both offensive and defensive capabilities. Its such a good defense it is still in use today as a riot control tool (vs hth and thrown weapons) and as a ballistic shield vs firearms.
The question remains then, how to fix it without screwing the system up. Well fixing shields is pretty difficult (although I like this rule at Trollsmyth) but I do have some ideas on a fix for the buckler.
The buckler was THE preeminent defensive tool from about 1100 to 1600 or so, half a millennium (source) , almost as long as the gun has been #1 on offense. This is a matter of weight and convenience and the fact the weapon was simply handy to use.
To make the buckler more interesting w/o cluttering up the rules here are suggestions
#1 Fighters, Thieves and Clerics all get proficiency
#2 Treat it as an off hand weapon. Anyone proficient with it can strike with the buckler instead of a primary weapon at no penalty for 1d4 damage. This can come in handy when someone is disarmed or faces some nasty critter that say only takes damage from blunt weapons.
#3 A buckler user always gains +1 (plus any magic bonus) to AC and said magic bonus does count when used to strike a target just as if it was a a weapon.
#4 If using "Fighters with Flair" from Arkratic Wizardy or Knockspell #1 a buckler may be used with shield master or swashbuckler style but not both simultaneously This actually does a nice job of allowing the buckler to function much as it does historically and is an added bonus for those who like verisimilitude
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