D&D 5e Homebrew: Hero’s Shield

A strange shield made out of unidentifiable metals lies before you. Touching it fills you with a sense of courage, pride, and duty almost as if you’ve been chosen for an important mission. This is truly a hero’s shield! Do you pick it up? Should you pick it up?

Captain America's Shield as a D&D 5e item
Created with GM Binder.

Purpose of the item

Being a tank is fun, but even tanks want some additional options in combat. Hero’s Shield does just that while also giving you a boost to your AC all for the cost of a single attunement!

They say defense is the best offense. Who says that? Well, you do! You can now throw your weight behind this durable shield and physically crush your enemies as a bonus action after you’ve cleaved into them with your weapon.

See a villain trying to escape? Harness your strength and launch your shield at them. There’s a good chance the impact will trip them up making it easy to bring them to justice!

Did your shield toss of righteousness miss the target? Fret not, that’s what attunement is for! Your shield will return to you immediately if your attack missed.

How it’s Balanced

First thing’s first, this is a +1 shield so you’ll be gaining +3 to your AC when wearing it as opposed to a typical +2 from a regular shield. You can also attack with it, and since it’s a +1 item, it works as if it’s a +1 weapon as well.

Honestly, a single item that is both a +1 AC and +1 weapon is already Rare quality. Being able to attack with it in two different styles is what boosts it to Very Rare status.

Hero’s Shield can beef up your character’s action economy, but I don’t think it’s anything egregious. It’s only a weapon as long as don’t have anything better to do with your Bonus action already. Plus, it has the same limitations as an off-hand weapon attack, you need to make the attack action first.

You also are not able to include your Strength modifier in its damage when used in this manner as a true off-hand weapon. However, I allowed it for the Thrown attack since that takes a whole action and you’re putting your whole weight behind the throw. Seems fair to me.

It’s got some versatility with its ranged attack that either hits or bounces back to the user, but I feel like this is a balanced feature. For starters, the target has to make a saving throw to not fall prone. Second, you’re losing 2 AC to make a single attack. It’s a tough decision to make in the middle of combat.

A range of 20/60 is generous for a shield, but I mean, it’s a magical item. Fuck logic.

The Inspiration for the Item

I’m sure you have no idea how I came up with this item.

But for real, I hadn’t posted a homebrew magic item in a while and I had a very unique idea after watching Avengers: Endgame, but I felt that Cap would want this to be released on the 4th of July.

I like how Hero’s Shield turned out. It gives a tanky character the ability to deal a little more damage and reliably take bonus actions. It’s also got the option of stopping a retreating villain dead in their tracks, albeit with a cost to the user’s survivability.

This was originally supposed to be a Rare item, but I felt that this is a juicy enough item to go all-out and beef it up to Very Rare. Let me know what you think of it balance-wise in the comments!

If you enjoyed what you read be sure to check out my ongoing review for all of the official D&D 5e books!

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