Tower shield of Ignorance

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Version 0.26: This article is up to date for the latest stable release of Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup.
A shield unearthed from the remains of a ruined city. It bears an inscription written in an ancient language. Scholars and wise men laboured for countless hours to decipher it, and in time, a translation was finally settled on:

"With a shield like this, who needs to think?"

Shield of ignorance.png the +10 tower shield of Ignorance

+10 tower shield

-4 INT


Not a great find for a mage or a gnoll, but definitely worth considering for any bruiser.

For most characters, the tower shield of Ignorance is ruled out simply by virtue of it being a tower shield; small or smaller characters can't wield it, and medium-sized characters need to invest a tremendous amount of experience into their Shields skill to mitigate a tower shield's severe penalties. Large, hybrid, and formicid characters have a significantly easier time of it, but the arguments against the shield continue. -4 intelligence is a huge penalty for any spellcaster, and since any non-Trog character can benefit from learning at least a little magic, this is relevant in almost all cases. Finally, while the shield of Ignorance offers an impressive amount of shielding plus a rank of occasionally-helpful negative energy resistance, it's often more tempting to take advantage of the fire, cold, or poison resistances you can find on non-artefact bucklers and kite shields.

However, for heavily armoured fighters that don't particularly care about spellcasting, this shield offers a tremendous boost to survivability, and a tower shield's penalties to physical combat are quite manageable even with a relatively moderate investment of 15 Shields. Also, the shield's high enchantment allows wearers to invest the scrolls of enchant armour they would have used on a more mundane tower or kite shield into the rest of their equipment. Just be wary of sources of intelligence damage -- characters who would choose to make use of a tower shield are unlikely to prioritize intelligence, and some wearers might find the shield leaving them dangerously close to stat zero.

The shield of Ignorance combos particularly well with an amulet of reflection; reflect all the projectiles you'll be blocking back at your attackers!


  • Prior to 0.25, this was known as the large shield of Ignorance.
  • Prior to 0.20, this shield gave +4 AC, reduced intelligence by 6, and only had a +6 enchantment. Also, it had *Curse property (33% chance to recurse itself on equip).
  • Prior to 0.19, this shield had +2 EV and only a +2 AC bonus.
  • Prior to 0.15, this shield had a +8 enchantment level.