OK - I know most of you are out there playing D&D or Pathfinder or old school, but I want to cover an explanation of shield bashing in Legend Quest.
If you want to use your shield as a weapon while dual weapon fighting, it counts as an irregular ____. Bucklers = saps, small shield = club, medium = mace, and large =cudgel. The rules say that the strength needed for the shield is the strength needed for the weapon.
But what if your shield bash is your main attack and not part of dual weapon fighting (because no one has seven levels in Dual Weapon Fighting to handle a large shield). The main questions have come down to this:
#1 - If shield bashing, can I use my weapon levels in my weapon to parry? I think yes. If you can use your shield levels to parry while attacking with a weapon, you should be able to use your weapon levels to parry while bashing with a shield.
#2 - Do I receive a negative modifier for attacking with my “off” hand? No - Your shield is intended to be used with your off hand, so it does not receive a negative. You are using it properly. Even if you put a shield in your main hand, you still don’t get a minus, because it is your main hand. A rare case of having your cake and eating it too.
and the more rarely asked: #3 - Do I get surprise? Quite often - yes! Assuming this is not the first turn of combat, where the guy should be ready for anything, few soldiers would expect their enemy to do a quick shield bash instead of attacking with their main hand and main weapon. However, I do think that characters who are more like adventurers and would be expecting more exotic forms of attack should get a chance to notice that you shifted your weight or your shoulders or whatever you would need to do to drive your strength into your other arm. So case by case would get a chance to Sense the surprise and defend against it.
One more before we go - If you are attacking with shield, you do not get to use the weapon in your weapon hand to parry.
For any who don’t know the LQ rules - your skill with shields increases the amount of defense you get, but when being attacked from multiple sources, you may need to split these skills between those attacks. Our intent has always been to allow players to create defensive fighters instead of only crafting offensive fighters, so parrying is equally as important as attacking. The strategy is yours to tinker with.