Homebrew Gear Guide: The Tower Shield

Last Updated on November 7, 2023

While the Tower Shield doesn’t exist in 5e, it is the perfect candidate for some homebrewing. 

Tower Shield Stats – BC Homebrew 

  • Type: Shield (Heavy)
  • Cost: 30 gp
  • Armor Class (AC): +2
  • Strength: 15
  • Stealth: Disadvantage
  • Weight: 45 pounds
  • Requires proficiency with heavy armor and shields.
  • Tower shields give at least half cover.
  • You can spend 10 feet of movement to have three-quarters cover until the beginning of your next turn.
  • You have disadvantage on attack rolls.

The Tower Shield is a large, rectangular shield used by those who prioritize defense. In desperate situations, the shield is big enough to hide behind completely.

What Is a Tower Shield in DnD 5e?

A Tower Shield is a large shield that covers most of the body. It is usually rectangular and made of metal or wood. Tower Shields offer more protection than regular shields but are also much heavier and more difficult to use.

The Tower Shield has been used throughout history. It gets its name from its tall, vertical shape, which resembles a tower. 

Tower Shields were first used in ancient Greece and Rome. The medieval knights of Europe later adopted them.

Tower Shields were typically made of wood or metal and were often decorated with the coat of arms of the knight who wielded them.

How Do Tower Shields Work?

In Dungeons and Dragons, we can homebrew our own Tower Shield. Let’s start by looking at the rules written for shields in the Player’s Handbook.

Shields RAW (Rules as Written)

Shields. A shield is made from wood or metal and is carried in one hand. Wielding a shield increases your Armor Class by 2. You can benefit from only one shield at a time.

Source: Player’s Handbook, pg. 144

To approximate the effects of a Tower Shield, we will need to give it some additional stats. 

We’ll start with the cost, as that is an easy one. A Tower Shield costs 30 gp.

Next, we need to decide what kind of bonus to Armor Class it will give. In order to make it on par with other shields in the game, we will give it a +2 bonus to AC.

However, because the Tower Shield is so large and unwieldy, you will have the following disadvantages:

  • Disadvantage on Attack Rolls: When you are carrying a Tower Shield, you have disadvantage on all attack rolls.
  • Stealth Disadvantage: You have disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks when you are carrying a Tower Shield.

In addition, the Tower Shield is heavy and will weigh down those who wear it. As such, it will have a weight of 45 pounds.

Finally, we need to decide what kind of cover the Tower Shield will provide. We will give it the following benefits:

  • While wielding the shield, you have half cover.
  • You can spend 10 feet of movement to have three-quarters cover until the start of your next turn.

Taking Cover

One of the most iconic uses of the Tower Shield is to take cover behind it. This can be done by spending 10 feet of movement to have three-quarters cover until the start of your next turn.

The Tower Shield is primarily useful when you are trying to take cover from ranged attacks. 

The shield will provide cover from most ranged attacks, although there are spells and other attacks that can bypass it.

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