Wearing a shield also gives penalties to attack speed, attack damage, and spellcasting, along with EV penalties of -1 (buckler), -3 (shield), or -5 (large shield). While the penalty for wearing a small buckler is almost negligible, a large shield can seriously slow your attacks and make spellcasting unreliable. Sufficient Shields skill will reduce or even negate these penalties, but the amount needed varies by race:
Your Shield penalty is (Shield EV penalty) - (Shields skill)/(5 + (Size factor)). Shield EV penalty and Size factor can be looked up in these tables:
|Shield type||Shield EV penalty|
If you are wearing a shield, wielding a one-handed weapon, and your Shield penalty is greater than zero, the game throws two dices with (Shield penalty) sides. The smaller one is added to your delay.
If you are wearing a shield, wielding a hand-and-half weapon, and your Shield penalty is greater than zero, the game throws one dice with (Shield penalty) sides, and adds that to your delay.
If you are wearing a 0 EVP armour, you need less shield skill to eliminate just the casting penalties:
It's possible to block a melee or ranged attack if you wear a shield of some kind or are under the effect of a magical shield (the Helm card's Magic Shield, the Ice Magic spell Condensation Shield, or The Shining One's Divine Shield). If the attacker's pierce value is less than the defender's blocking value, the attack does no damage. Shield blocking is done before rolling your evasion or your AC, but if you have already blocked some attacks in that turn, your blocking ability will be decreased greatly.
All melee attacks can be blocked (except a successful stabbing), but many ranged attacks are unblockable:
- Bolt spells: Bolt of Fire, Bolt of Cold, Lightning Bolt, Bolt of Draining, Venom Bolt, Bolt of Magma, Bolt of Inaccuracy, Shock
- Explosions: Fireball, Hellfire, Fire Storm, Ice Storm, Conjure Ball Lightning, Lee's Rapid Deconstruction, exploding-branded weapons
- Other electricity-based beams: Chain Lightning
- Enchantments: Agony, Pain, etc
- Beams with perfect accuracy: Magic Dart, Sticky Flame (only the player's version)
- Other ranged attacks that are not beams: Shatter, Tornado, Airstrike, Smite, Ozocubu's Refrigeration, Freeze, etc
Some examples of ranged attacks that can be blocked: Iron shot, Poison Arrow, Orb of Destruction, Lehudib's Crystal Spear, Iskenderun's Mystic Blast (the explosion is special), Throw Icicle, Stone Arrow, Throw Flame, Throw Frost, Flame Tongue, Sting, Sandblast
The defender's blocking value depends on the nature of the shield:
- Buckler: 1d(Block) + 1/4*1d( Dex ) + 1/4*1d((Shield Skill)*2) - 4
- Shield: 1d(Block) + 1/4*1d((Dex+Str)/2) + 1/4*1d((Shield Skill)*2) - 4
- Large Shield: 1d(Block) + 1/4*1d((Dex+3*Str)/4) + 1/4*1d((Shield Skill)*2) - 4
- Magical Shield: 1d(Block) + 1/4*1d((Int)/2) + 1/4*1d((Shield Skill)*2) - 4
- Note: (Shield Skill)*2 is capped at (Shield Skill)+3.
For a physical shield (Buckler, Shield and Large Shield), Block is the shield's blocking value, equal to the base shield bonus (3 for Buckler, 5 for Shield, 7 for Large Shield), increased by 5% per Shield Skill, by 13% for dwarven shields (27% for dwarves), by 7% for elves wearing elven shields and by 13% for orcs wearing orcish shields (up to 30% for high-piety followers of Beogh).
For magical shields, Block is equal to:
- 2 + (Evocation)/6 for a Magic Shield
- 2 + (Ice Magic)/6 for a Condensation Shield
- 3 + (Shield Skill)/5 for a Divine Shield
Finally, this value is divided by 3 against an invisible opponent.
For reference, a 15-Dex, 15-Str character wearing a buckler has an average blocking value of:
- 0 with a Shield Skill of 0
- 2 with a Shield Skill of 8
- 3 with a Shield skill of 15
- 5 with a Shield skill of 27
With a large shield, it becomes:
- 2 with a Shield Skill of 0
- 5 with a Shield Skill of 8
- 8 with a Shield skill of 15
- 11 with a Shield skill of 27
The attacker's pierce value is equal to:
1d(15 + to hit/2 + 5*past_blocks^2) - 1