For a next match, I weigh Master Shield as a selection. The more I look closely (and recent decisions about it), however, the more I find it dull compared to other choices like Grandmaster of arms, Master of firearms, Elite shooter, and even Dual Wielder.
Third advantage of the master shield, the EvasionThe ability similar to avoiding damage when backing up successfully with DEX is tasty and useful. He embodies a classic narrative trope of use of the shield, and he is likely to save important HP that would otherwise be lost to breathe weapons, fireball and similar spells, etc.
The other two benefits of the exploit are more dubious.
The first advantage, which consists in granting a premium to the action in the event of an attack action, has been the subject of inversion of the rules limiting its application to after all attacks are over. I find this restriction unsatisfactory both mechanically and narratively. Mechanically, this means that a character using the bonus-action action will rarely benefit, as his target can simply move when his turn comes in, even before it has the opportunity to & # 39; Act again. And narratively, force a melee fighter to be "attacked" (or, for those who have Additional attack, potentially "Attack-Attack-Attack-Attack-Thrust") occurs in an arbitrary and unnatural way. Imagine a heroic adventure tale in which a character called "master" of the shield technique does not could never lead with his shield. Besides, why is it so difficult, even for a character with Shield Master, to effectively use a shield bash as a melee damage option? Overall, compared to the very effective and directly beneficial bonus action attacks by the Grand Master of Arms and the Master of Firearms, this part of Shield Master is disappointing.
The second advantage, which is to add the defensive bonus of the shield to the DEX backups compared to the single target effects, seems useful in theory, but is disappointing in its application and its scenario. It's not unrealistic to think that a character with Shield Master can survive an entire campaign without using this benefit. This is not an advantage at all.
Therefore, I consider a house rule modifying Shield Master by adding the following two bullets:
You control shields as improvised weapons.
When using a shield as an improvised weapon, you can use two – weapon combat even when the melee weapon with one hand that you wield in your other hand is not light.
This modification seeks to put Shield Master roughly at the same level as Polearm Master and Dual Wielder. A character with Dual Wielder may, for example, brandish two long swords with a d8 damage die, or a long d8 sword and a D4 whip with a range, and still gain a +1 to AC. A character who uses Firearms Master will not receive the bonus points of a shield and will only have one d4 damage dice for his casual attack (ie "to the opposite end "), but adds its ability modifier to the invisible damage. Polearm d10 damage dies for his main attacks and reaches all his attacks. In comparison, with this change, a Shield Master's character can benefit from the +2 bonus to AC from his shield and continue to use the two-weapon combat, although with an unmodified d4 dice from the shield . Or, thanks to the skill piece, she can easily drive with his shield, treating the shield as his main weapon and using his normal weapon for a bonus action attack with unmodified damage. She could even lead using the attack with her attacking action and continue to have a bonus attack by fighting two weapons – just as she could with Polearm Master or Dual Wielder.
Nevertheless, it is possible that I miss something. Are there any foreseeable problems of balance here? What are they?