Shields and Weapon Frontage (Optional Rule)

A shield is an item of limited size, strapped to only one arm or slung on a character's back. Characters generally position a shield so it offers maximum protection. Usually, this means it protects the shield-arm side of the body, most frequently the left side of a right-handed character. In this position, attacks from the rear or rear flanks of the character can't be blocked by a shield. In these cases, the shield's AC bonus is not applied to the THAC0.

It is possible to strap a shield to one's back. If this is done, the shield bonus is applied to the rear of the character, but the character can't use the shield to protect his front. Furthermore, the straps hinder the character's movement, giving him a -2 penalty to his attack roll.

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