Today, we have a trio of shields with a unique—and slightly morbid—twist: in the tradition of mythical Athena placing the head of Medusa on her shield, these specific shields each gain their powers from a certain monster. Whether they’re severed trophies displayed for one’s enemies to see, or benevolent gifts from unusual creatures, there are some exotic abilities here that I hope you’ll enjoy.
MENTAL SHIELD PRICE 46,155 gp
Slot shield; CL 9th; Weight 5 lbs.
Aura moderate necromancy
These +3 animated mithral bucklers are usually gold- or platinum-plated, and typically bear intricate scrollwork and other decorative elements. Many of them are studded with numerous small gems around the rim, but all of them feature a large red gem in their center. This is actually the gem of a carbuncle (Pathfinder Bestiary 3), which has been magically preserved and treated to allow it to serve as a temporary receptacle similar to a magic jar. Mental attacks made against the shield’s wielder are redirected to this gem, making them easier to resist.
The wielder gains a bonus equal to the shield’s enhancement bonus on saving throws made to resist compulsion effects and possession attempts (including effects such as magic jar, the malevolence special attack of ghosts, and so on). Additionally, if the wielder succeeds on a saving throw to resist a possession attempt by 5 or more, then the possessor is redirected to the shield’s gem, and trapped there. Instead of gaining control of the wielder’s body, the would-be possessor is instead held within the gem, unable to take any kind of action. Treat this as though the would-be possessor had cast magic jar, and is using the mental shield as a receptacle, except that he cannot return to his own body, nor can he attempt to possess other creatures from within the gem. The would-be possessor remains trapped in this way for 1 minute.
None of the mental shield’s unique abilities count as an enhancement bonus equivalent, and it is treated as a +5-equivalent shield for the purposes of the cost of further improving its magical abilities.
Construction Requirements Cost 23,155 gp
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, magic jar
SHEDU SPIRIT SHIELD PRICE 60,720 gp
Slot shield; CL 9th; Weight 15 lbs.
Aura moderate abjuration
These rare shields are made when a shedu (Pathfinder Bestiary 3) willingly imparts its spirit into a shield in order to aid heroes in their struggles against evil. This typically occurs when the shedu’s precognition tells it that its life is coming to an end, and nothing can be done to avoid it. In these cases, provided it has enough warning, some shedu choose to preserve some portion of their spirit into one of these shields.
This +1 ghost touch heavy steel shield absorbs the first 10 points of electricity or fire damage from each attack that the wielder is subject to. Additionally, once per day, as a swift action, the wielder can call upon the power of the shield’s spirit in order to grant himself spell resistance 20, DR 10/evil, and an insight bonus to AC and Reflex saves equal to his Wisdom modifier (minimum 0). These benefits last for one minute. Evil characters cannot activate this ability, as the shield’s spirit refuses to aid them.
None of the shedu spirit shield’s unique abilities count as an enhancement bonus equivalent, and it is treated as a +4-equivalent shield for the purposes of the cost of further improving its magical abilities.
Construction Requirements Cost 30,445 gp
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, energy resistance, mage armor, spell resistance
VROCK’S HEAD SHIELD PRICE 36,157 gp
Slot shield; CL 13th; Weight 15 lbs.
Aura strong transmutation
This blood-soaked +2 heavy wooden shield has a metal binding along its edges, which is studded with various curved spikes that vaguely resemble demonic feathers. Its most prominent feature is the severed vrock head, which is nailed in three different places to the front of the shield. The grisly emblem does not decay as long as it remains attached to the shield, and is a perfectly preserved (if still incredibly gory) specimen, no matter how long the shield has been around.
As long as the shield is worn, the wielder is treated as a demon for the purposes of abilities that affect demons differently from other creatures (this does not change his type, so if he is a humanoid, he is still subject to charm person and similar spells). Additionally, the wielder can participate in a dance of ruin, and is treated as an additional dancing vrock if he does so, though he cannot perform the dance on his own.
Three times per day, as a standard action, the shield’s wielder can shake it vigorously at an adjacent character, releasing a cloud of spores from the head. The adjacent creature suffers 1d8 points of damage, and must succeed on a Reflex save (DC 21) or the spores begin to grow on his body, inflicting 1d4 points of damage per round for 10 rounds as they grow into thick vines. These vines are harmless and wither away in 1 hour if they have not been destroyed before then. They can also be destroyed prematurely with a bless spell or a dose of holy water, preventing any further damage.
Finally, once per day, as a full-round action, the shield’s wielder can cause the head to briefly animate, emitting a shrill screech. All non-demon creatures within 30 feet of the wielder must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 21) or be stunned for 1 round.
None of the vrock’s head shield’s unique abilities count as an enhancement bonus equivalent, and it is treated as a +2-equivalent shield for the purposes of the cost of further improving its magical abilities.
Construction Requirements Cost 18,157 gp
Craft Magic Arms and Armor, greater polymorph