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(TFT) shield deflection

[Excuse me if this made it to the list before.  I sent it, but
don't believe it reached the list.]

The notion of having shields add a die to some attackers' to-hit
rolls came up about a week ago (or was it two weeks...whatever).
Here's some thinking I was doing on the topic.

I guess everyone has something they don't like about the armor/
shield system.  (For me, AS YOU ALL KNOW, it's the plate/half-
plate DX penalties.)  But I've always felt that the benefit 
you got from carrying a shield was fairly commensurate with the
DX penalties of doing so.  The notion of making shields add one
die to an attacker's roll is an interesting idea that may more 
directly model what a shield does.   But my concern is how does
such a change affect game balance and the relative value of shields?

You're adding a die (or 3.5) to the attacker's roll, meaning that  
a percentage of his attacks are going to miss that would otherwise
have hit.  Since this is rolled on a bell curve, the percentage 
of misses will vary depending on the attacker's adjDX.

        % of attacks that will miss 
adjDX   when 3.5 is added to the roll
  18               8
  16              11
  14              34
  13              41  
  12              43
  11              40
  10              38
  9               30 
  8               22
  6                8

The average percentage of misses is around 33%.  Since an attack
stopped does zero damage, this is the equivalent to a 33% 
reduction in damage.  In a low-level or starting campaign, where
attacks tend to be between 1d6 and 2d6, this is about the same as
1.75 points of armor.  In a higher level campaign where 3d6 damage
attacks are more the norm, the average damage reduction goes up to
3.5 points.

That sounds like a lot, but remember that for a small shield this 
only applies to one attacker.  Instead of subtracting a fixed amount
from an unlimited number of attackers, this shield approach subtracts
a varying (percentage) amount from a fixed number of attackers.  

However, I still think that the 33% reduction may be somewhat high.  
Here's my suggestion:  If you use a small shield and have the Shield
talent, one attacker gets a -2 adjDX penalty.  Add a "shield master" 
or "fencing: shield" talent at a higher IQ level that gives the full 
1d6 penalty.

There are other issues, of course.   A couple that come to mind:

1) What about magic shields?  Even if they add one point to the 
   adjDX penalty per point of enchantment they will get out of
   hand *real* fast.  A +3 shield would be incredibly good.
2) How about two-weapon fighting defense? (Where the weapon
   in the off hand stops two hits.)  Will that also work this
   way?  I'm very leery of anything that makes the two-weapon
   talent even better.
3) And what if some giant hits a hobbit with a fifty-pound 
   sledgehammer?  Can the brave hobbit deflect the attack with 
   his wee little shield?  I don't think so.  How about 
   cannonballs and eight-die lightning bolts?  Can you deflect 
   them?  It seems like there should be some sort of cap on how
   large of an attack can be deflected.  (Maybe you can't deflect
   an attack that does more than one die per four points of your ST?)

Still in all, a very interesting idea...

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