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A shield is a defensive tool used to protect yourself from attacks. They are not weapons ever and may never be used to attack others. Intentionally making physical contact with another player or their shield with a shield is not allowed.
Bucklers are a smaller type of shield and follow the same rules for shields except that they are smaller, and are the only shield that may be strapped directly to a character's arm. To use a buckler requires the buckler fighting skill.
When a buckler is strapped to a character's arm it is known as a "passive buckler". A passive buckler doesn't require a hand to hold it. So when you are using one you are free to grasp a weapon, use a blade poison, cast spells, or other effects that require a free hand. Furthermore a passive buckler does not count as carrying a shield for the reduced melee damage cap when carrying a shield.
Like weapons props, shield props must be approved by a safety marshal for use in combat, and require the buckler fighting skill or the shield fighting skill to use depending on the size of the shield.
If a shield is struck by a tag bag what happens is based on what kind of attack struck the shield. When the tag bag represents a spell or other magical effect you take any effects the tag bag would inflict to the arm holding the shield. When a tag bag deals normal damage with no additional calls it may be fully blocked by a shield preventing that damage with no further effect. A shield may fully block any attack that makes the poison call, preventing any effect to the bearer. When a shield blocks an attack with the acid call it prevents the effect of that attack to the bearer but this has an effect on the shield, which could become destroyed.
Should a shield block four points of acid damage during an event then that shield is temporarily destroyed. While it is destroyed the bearer automatically takes any damage that is inflicted on the shield, so it immediately should be dropped. In order to repair a destroyed shield, it must be set down, and someone must role-play repairing it while someone casts mend armor on it.
Related Prop Guidelines
Shields are rigid defensive items held in one hand. They must be padded on all edges to prevent damage to weapons and minimize accidental damage to players. Bucklers are a sub-type of shield, and follow all prop rules for shields except where specifically mentioned otherwise.
All shields do not require a distinct, rigid core. Possible materials to craft them out of include but are not limited to steel, aluminum, plywood or rigid plastics. Plastic, foam and other modern materials must be covered with paint, cloth or leather. Exposed modern metals are acceptable. A shield may not have any exposed non-rounded metal hardware such as bolts or screws. The minimum padding on all edges of a shield is five-eighths of an inch of closed-cell foam. With rubber, vinyl, or similar flexible tubing or hose underneath the padding, the minimum padding may be three-eighths of an inch of closed cell foam.
Shields that exhibit more than minor (approximately 10 degrees of) flex are not allowed.
A rectangular shield's surface area is it's total height multiplied by its total width with no allowances made for irregularities, cut-outs, or curves. Any shield that is not round will be considered rectangular.
A rectangular shield may not be more than 40 inches in any one dimension and may not have more than 720 square inches of surface area.
A round shield may not exceed a 36 inch diameter.
The minimum dimension of a shield is 12 inches.
All shields must be hand held.
Shields must be inspected just like weapons are inspected to make sure they meet these criteria. Just like two handed weapons, a shield will also be tested to make sure it is not too bendable or flexible.
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