Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me - TV Tropes
The Warrior Poet trope as used in popular culture. Modern Western culture often tends to stereotype Warriors and Poets as belonging to distinct, different . Enkel met 2 () Beide teams gaan met elkaar de strijd aan en proberen als eerste contact te As a rich businessman (Hacendado) in the turbulent pre- revolutionary borderlands of the "Life is Battle; Battle is Glory; Glory is ALL" In Blood Rage, each player controls their own Viking clan's warriors, leader, and ship. was a little like the story of David and Goliath for the online gaming industry. they've also sometimes jumped to unreasonable levels (like $ for a free and Neverwinter are headed to Xbox One, H1Z1 and Planetside 2 to PS4. . Borderlands 2 · Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel · Born to Fire Online.
His father in particular doesn't understand the musician part of Manolo. Horton, of Horton Hears a Who! Twilight from Legend of the Guardians: In fact, like in the books, he's been known to sing heroically to cheer his friends on and frighten his foes. He is the titular samurai after all.
They wrote as much poetry as death warrants. The main villain from the film, Arthur Burns, despite being a violent and dangerous sociopath, has a wonderfully eloquent and deep outlook on life. He is just as capable of looking off into the sunset and quoting Burroughs as he is capable of torturing and murdering innocent people. The Proposition is full of such characters.
Captain Stanley is a Shakespeare -quoting badass played by the mighty Ray Winstone, and Jellon Lamb is a bounty hunter of "no little education. You Don't Mess with the Zohan Adam Sandler's character, Zohan, is a crazily competent Mossad agent who decides to leave war behind and choose the Ambiguously Gay profession of hair stylist. Along similar lines but done seriously, Daniel Silva's series character Gabriel Allon is an Israeli spy and assassin who when on Minute Retirement has the delicate profession of art restorer.
Broken Sword, one of the three Zhao master assassins of the film Herois a calligraphy artist and a poetic philosopher in addition to being deadly with a blade. The last lines of Braveheart: They fought like Scotsmen.
Warrior Poet - TV Tropes
And won their freedom. Kurtz as this in Apocalypse Now. She is, but she's nowhere as good as Li Mu Bai, who later defeats her with a stick while quoting philosophy. Though not a literal example, Draco from Dragonheart is very learned, and a talented fighter. Mickey Rourke's character, Tool, in The Expendables is a Retired Badass who spends most of his time as an artist, both traditional and tattoo. Lawrence the title character in Lawrence of Arabia though he didn't write a whole lot of poetry.
I may not wear the tunic, but I believe I have the heart of a Musketeer. His half Asian partner Johnny Murata laughs when Kenner tells him he practices the art of Ikebana flower arranging. Kenner tells him that a warrior must nurture his sensitive side or else leave it vulnerable to attack, and points out that many of the most powerful Samurai wrote poetry. Captain America in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most thoughtful and introspective of the Avengers, not to mention being a talented artist before his induction into superheroism.
Bison in Street Fighterwhen Guile is faking the dead, muses in a poetic fashion about the loss of a worthy enemy and how he wished it could have ended another way. Admittedly, that way involved Bison facing Guile in single combat and snapping his spine. Marko is a drug-running Boisterous Bruiser during WW2 who also composes poetry for the Communist regime of Yugoslavia during Tito's reign.
However, he wasn't nearly the patriotic hero he claims to have been. Ward is a bit more of a fighter, but knows lots of ballads by heart and can play the harp. Tosten is a bard by profession, and makes his own songs about heroic deeds in battle, among other things. He is also quite good at swordfighting.
Stock from Lloyd Alexander's Westmark series composes poetry of his Muse while being a core member of Florian's band of rebels. The anonymous writer loves to refer to Volker's sword as his "strong fiddle- bow". Most unicorns in The Firebringer Trilogy count as this — though they are trained and raised as warriors, they also enjoy the festivities of having one appointed "singer" tell poetic stories of their heritage.
Tek in particular is both a fearsome warrior and a talented singer. Rhaegar Targaryen is said to have been one, as well, but with more emphasis on the poet part than a warrior. For most of his life he completely ignored martial training and spent his days and nights reading and playing the harp.
One day he read something that convinced him he needed to be a warrior.
Goliath, Meet David Achievement in Borderlands 2 (Xbox )
He quickly became one of Westeros' finest warriors. Mance Rayder, who is a skilled bard in addition to King Beyond the Wall. And again in Interesting Times. Lord Hong is the cleverest person in the Aurient, so it's him who figures out that when choosing someone for a highly specialised position, for instance warrior, it's better to examine them on that topic than the level of exquisiteness of their seven-line poem about an ethereal white horse floating through a lavender meadow.
Cao Cao from Romance of the Three Kingdoms is a perfect example. Not only did he conquer most of Northern and Central China, but was also a famous poet who is credited today for starting the Jian'an style of poetry in China. Other characters display this as a more important part of their back-story, as well.
Unlike most brutes, however, he actually took it upon himself to become a scholar as well as a warrior, and achieved far greater fame for his efforts. Considering what period of China this takes place in, and how it shaped Chinese thought about war for centuries, this belief should not be considered surprising.
Maglor from The Silmarillionalready a great minstrel and warrior, after spending the better part of the book somewhat reluctantly engaged in wholesale slaughter of innocent bystanders in an effort to steal back the eponymous Silmarils, decides to throw the one he eventually acquires into the sea and take up a repentant existence Walking the Earth and singing about how sorry he is. This is de rigeur for the elves and those aligned with them.
Aragorn from The Lord of the Ringsfor example, can recite the melancholy poetry of his ancestors both human and elven and wield the sword of his ancestors with equal alacrity. Samwise isn't necessarily a good poet, but he still fits the spirit of the trope, finding meaning in war through stories and songs, and at one point attempting to compose an elegy for a temporarily fallen comrade.
Gurney Halleck in Dune is a literal example. He is a musician and philosopher with seemingly infinite supply of witticisms for any occasion. He is also a remorseless killer, perfectly willing to cut any Harkonnen he comes across or anyone who gets on the wrong side of Duke Leto for that matter into pieces. Or as his brother-in-arms Duncan Idaho describes him: He could kill you while singing and never miss a note! Logen Ninefingers from The First Lawas in the quote at the top of the page.
He was a Conan-esque adventurer in the past, but in the actual story is a tragic figure hounded by old feuds. Most of these old feuds are examples of Bullying a Dragon. Say one thing about Logen Ninefingers, say he's a hardcore, if reluctant, badass. Alan Dale of The Outlaw Chronicles is a minstrel who has performed duets with King Richard the Lionheart making verses up on the spot to tactfully remind the King that he owes Robin Robin Hood, now an Earl a large amount of money and for Queen Eleanor, being the originator of pretty much all the songs about Robin That and using unorthodox fighting moves to beat a far better swordsman in under 2 minutes.
Richard himself, who happens to be even better at both. Daniel Hagman, of Sharpeis the best marksman in his unit but is also a talented musician, singing for the other men in one case as the man dies and occasionally playing the guitar or some equivalent. Of course, this was mostly because his TV actor is primarily a folk singer and wrote or arranged most of the music for the show Incidentally, Gurney Halleck does exactly the same thing singing to a dying man in Dune Lieutenant-Colonel Girdwood, on the other hand, thought of himself as a warrior-poet but proved to be incompetent in both areas.
William Frederickson is not only a Captain of the Rifles, but also an accomplished artist and architecture enthusiast. Subverted in the sci-fi novel Use of Weapons by Iain M.
The protagonist Cheradenine Zakalwe wants to be a poet as well as a soldier, but all his efforts are amateurish. In a particular irony the novel is bookended by the much better poetic efforts of his co-workers.
Worth noting is his behavior after he realized he was a better warrior than a poet. There was a nasty slave-driver who liked to cut off people's tongues. Right after Zakalwe left the planet he was on at the time, the guy's corpse was discovered with a look of horror on his face, and several human tongues and the paper on which Zakalwe was trying to write poetry shoved down his throat.
Fiddler of the Malazan army always carries an instrument with him but never seems to play it. As it turns out, the few times he does play it the song can touch the hearts of an entire city. Soldier-turned-vigilante Mack Bolan is very well read.
Each novel in the series begins with a couple of quotes from a literary work, then a quote from Bolan's journal giving his own take on it. His favourite book is Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes, as Bolan often sees himself as " tilting at windmills.
Every year they clone billions of children, whose educational process includes regular fights to the death — either via combat, or poetry competitions. Each "graduating class" numbers in the hundreds, if that.
He's also got a sense for fair play and likes training people. And the stash of illicit holograms under his bunk? He doesn't think of himself as a particularly deep thinker in the start of the book, though. Explicit with the S'krrr poet Sh'shak in Galaxy of Fear. Apparently all S'krrr poets can also fight, due to cultural mores. He's got the Warrior part down; it's the Poet part that eludes him.
He's a notable warrior even for a hradaniand easily the most educated person in all hradani lands, and even plays the balakaika. Unfortunately, his attempts at poetry witty doggerel at best, and the less said about his singing voice the better.
The Goddess of Music herself honors his artist's soul, but even she can't make him a poet. Jonathan Hemlock of The Eiger Sanction. Assassin and art historian. Chesterton 's The Ballad of the White Horsethere is not only Elf the minstrel "whose hand was heavy on the sword, though light upon the string He was this in Real Life too. And he was the epitome of a Badass Bookworm.
Harun ar-Rashid in The Arabian Nights. And probably in Real Life too. Nearly all Middle Eastern royalty had some elements of this trope. Ottoman Sultans in particular were known not only for their abilities on the battlefield but for their patronage and in many cases their participation in great art. Suleyman the Magnificent was a proficient metalworker, and most rulers after him decided to master a craft as well. Lan in the Wheel of Time.
It's almost an Informed Abilitysince there is exactly one scene in the series in which he recites poetry, but given that he's rightfully a king one would expect him to have a certain amount of cultured education, especially for one raised by Fantasy Counterpart Culture Samurai and himself being the Dalai Lama obviously without the pacifism crossed with Lancelot. Mat Cauthon, once he starts becoming Odin.
Drizzt Do'Urden in Forgotten Realms certainly is a poetic soul. Murtagh from Inheritance Cycle. Very much a warrior, but also appreciates reading and scholarship. More than a few of the eponymous supertanks of Keith Laumer 's Bolo series qualify.
From A Wizard Abroadwe have Tualha, the bard who goes into battle and recites epic — and insulting — poetry at her enemies. And is a small kitten. Both Aubrey and Maturin from the Aubrey-Maturin series. Each has his forte and loves bringing destruction to the enemies of the crown; Aubrey as a more than competent naval officer, Maturin as a spy. Also, they're deadly with blades and guns individually.
And in their spare time they while away the hours playing duets written for violin and cello. And the officers under Aubrey's command also love music and turn their hand to poetry.
Frankly, this is Truth in Televisionsince months at sea could get boring. In Mikhail Akhmanov 's Envoy from the HeavensIvar Trevelian arrives on a planet to investigate why the local Human Alien population is stuck in Medieval Stasis for the better part of a millennium. He disguises himself as a member of the Rhapsod Brotherhood traveling bards and minstrelsso his travels don't arouse suspicion.
Very quickly he finds out that singing and entertaining is not all the rhapsods do. Apparently, they are also highly-skilled warriors, feared and respected throughout the world. When the need arises to dispense justice, they replace their robes and lutes with armor and weapons.
Thanks to his own training, Ivar is equal to them in this regard. Saint Bruce was a warrior poet. The sci-fi short story Between Two Dragons by Yoon Ha Lee is set in a Space Opera future where the military leadership are all expected to be warrior poets, so that even messages of defeat have a certain grace to them. Richard from The Sword of Truth is an excellent sculptor. Several of the characters in Belisarius Seriesnotably Rao.
It works quite well for him. It's not as esoteric as it sounds; he's mostly looking for conceptual blind spots and places where they'll jump to false conclusions. According to Ax, in the Animorphs universe Andalite warriors are supposed to be scientists and artists as well as soldiers. How well the first two actually take depends on the individual. Draycos the K'da of the Dragonback series explicitly calls himself a warrior-poet. He's shown considering how he could compose something for an occasion, and before he learns how to read English he once memorizes something by making a kind of poem in which each letter is a warrior posed in a particular way.
He's also quite good at the warrior aspect. Many characters in The Icelandic Sagas. Norse culture did not see literary talent and fighting ability as incompatible, and often they went together, as one of the most effective ways of making your name as a poet was coming up with cutting insults for your enemies.
Who would often respond by trying to cut bits off you. One of the most notable examples is Egil Skallagrimsson, an anti-hero Viking native to Iceland who was both noted as ground breaking skald and all around badass berserker. In his titular saga after an event the narrative will stop to relate a poem Egil supposedly sang to mark the occasion. He was so good he convinced one King Eric Bloodaxe to abandon their long running feud instead of having Egil's head chopped, with a poem he made up the night before.
In Beowulf a hero is not judged just by how well he can perform feats of bravery and strength. He is judged at least as much by how well he can tell tales of his heroic feats. In the Bible, King David was a serious and successful battler on the field.
He also played the harp, sang, and wrote many, many of the songs in Psalms. Yuri Zhivago of Doctor Zhivago is a deconstruction of this trope. Although Yuri is a poet, he is a Starving Artist throughout the narrative, making many detailed observations about life in his writings but rarely able to publish or get money from his works. He is also a Reluctant Warrioracting as a medic most of the time in World War I and the Russian Civil War but being forced to take up arms in certain situations.
The black panther Bagherra, of the The Jungle Book stories by Rudyard Kipling is a consummate badass with a heart attuned to the tragedy of life.
Ythrians who are eagle-like recurring Warrior Poets in Technic History. The reptilian Merseians are also so, though they tend to be placed in the role of Worthy Opponent. In The Dinosaur LordsCount Jaume is Empire's prime duellist and fine military commander, but also one of Nuevaropa's more famous poets, who's written some works on philosophy.
It's implied that the Ishroi of the Non-Men have this in their culture. It turns out "Skullsplitter" doesn't mean what we think it does. To a lesser extent former soldier, Lupe dy Cazaril, finds that poetry is the only way he can come close to describing his divine experience. He continues to work on his poems on the battlefield after enlisting in the armed forces.
Military thriller Victoria has several. Former marine infantry officer John Rumford is one, with his philosophical and sometimes almost mystical bent, emphasizing virtue, Zeitgeist, eternal truths and Divine Providence. Among the Japanese, Captain Yakahashi is also one, though his fatalistic Samurai philosophy looks rather bleak to Western audiences.
Gallinger in A Rose For Ecclesiastes. He is a linguist and poet, but when he gets rustled he's implacable. Edith adds that he may be a poet, but "a poet in need of an army. Some of the things Daario Naharis says give off this vibe, such as "I fight for beauty. The thrill of fucking a woman who wants to be fucked, and the thrill of killing a man who wants to kill you. Klingons love their opera tends to be violent and would love to claim Shakespeare as one of their own.
Standard Klingon mating rituals apparently involve the male reading love poetry Starfleet officers are like this too in a less flamboyant manner. Jean-Luc Picard in particular exemplifies this trope.
While battle for him is a last resort, he is still an imposing tactical and moral presence particularly his alternate universe self, who personally mans the tactical station when a certain officer is killed. Are you prepared to die today, Tomalak? One episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine has two bridge officers reciting "Charge of the Light Brigade" as they're approaching a battle in which the Federation fleet is drastically outnumbered.
Daryl from The Walking Dead certainly qualifies. One of his earliest signs of this is when he brings a Cherokee rose to a woman mourning the loss of her daughter and tells her how it got its name. G'Kar, post-season three epiphany.
While he has a difficult time teaching his people, he is highly respected and his book becomes one of their holy books, painstakingly reproduced by hand complete with a certain circular mark on page Even before his Character Development or rather, early in itG'Kar was shown to be a devout religious leader amongst his people on the station.
Londo Mollari is, in addition to a ruthless and ambitious diplomat and courtieris a skilled pilot and swordsman, earning the fighting name "Paso Leati", or " Fights Like A Madman ", while also being a lover of opera, not entirely unlike G'Kar.
Deleen qualifies; though she is more a priestess that Minored in Ass-Kicking then a warrior who minored in poetry. Marcus Cole, who could beat the unholy hell out of people with a staff, as well as recite Shakespeare and sing Gilbert and Sullivan, and is shown to be familiar with Arthurian legend.
Sinclair tops all of them. Ta'Lon, G'Kar's replacement as Narn ambassador. G'Kar explains that he chose Ta'Lon because they are both warrior poets, only coming at it from opposite directions. He's capable of kicking major ass and wields the Narn equivalent of a katanabut also has a rather philosophical bent, and is G'kar's intellectual equal, at least.
A stirring reply, Citizen G'Kar. Unfortunately, while all answers are replies, not all replies are answers. You did not answer my question. Stargate SG-1 has two perfect examples in Teal'c and Bra'tac, two highly-honored and wise leaders and warriors among their race, the Jaffa.
Sometimes you get a bonus to your combat skill to reflect the shield's ability to protect you from enemy attacks, while others reduce the amount of damage you actually take in combat. Some shields also protect you from specific hazards that can easily kill you if you couldn't defend yourself properly. This is an easy advantage in combat that shouldn't be passed up, considering there is otherwise no Dual Wielding rules.
Some weapons are supposedly two-handed, but it is hardly enforced. Against projectiles, however, it is extremely rare that a shield is taken in account. Literature Cozards in The Ancestral Trail at one point use a very similar technique to protect themselves against killer bees. In The Dragon Knightmedieval shield use is discussed at several points, namely how using one properly is a whole skill unto itself because incoming strikes really should be deflected instead of blocked.
When Jim — a passable swordsman by this point, but hardly exceptional — is forced into a formal Duel to the Death with an enemy knight, he discusses what weapon to use. He eventually decides on a two-handed sword, reasoning that his natural agility is more valuable than a shield he doesn't know how to use properly.
In Stormbringer, Elric of Melnibone notably goes on a side quest solely to acquire the Shield of Chaos, which he'll need to stand a chance of taking on the Lords of Chaos against whose magic and general reality warping powers even his own abilities and Stormbringer would not prevail alone. Conn Iggulden's Emperor books are set during the Roman Empireand a major part of Roman tactics is the legionaries bunching up, presenting a wall of shields to counter enemy archers.
Lieutenant Aegis of the Dragon's Lair dual wields shields. It's implied he uses them to disable and disarm his opponents; when Eric first met him, his sparing partner's sword went flying in towards the exit and almost impaled Eric. The one on his right arm is enchanted to not only defend him against magic but to return them to their castor. Tiza carries a shield as part of her role as Team Four's tank. It helps her soak up damage while remaining in good health. Technically, she uses a targe, which is worn on the arm and can move to protect the head down to the legs.
Kings of the Wyld: Clay spends a significant portion of the book with no weapon except his shield Blackheart. He carved it from the corpse of the treant Blackheart, who Saga killed for leading a group of treants in attacking a town. A Song of Ice and Fire has a lot of shield usage.
Most knights carry shields into battle, and many combats include descriptions of attackers hacking into each other's shields. When first ambushed in the Mountains of the Moon, Tyrion defends himself with nothing but a shield. Later, Bronn jokes that as a small man with a big shield, Tyrion will give the archers fits. The Unsullied rely on their shield wall tactics in battle.
Outside of their phalanx, they're considerably less effective. The Ferengi is shown to a separate rack that includes an old-fashioned round shield.
Martok explains that this is the gear of a shield-bearer, although he adds that the shield-bearers would often be themselves used as shields. Subverted in that the shield fails to protect the Ferengi from a disruptor shot aimed at Martok when he jumps to protect the Chancellor. While this is because he simply fails to raise the shield in time, it is likely an antique shield would do little against a high-powered disruptor shot.
Live-Action TV Due to the show's dubious testing methods, the Spartan's shield was dubbed the most lethal weapon in a contest between a Spartan hoplite and a ninja, scoring even more kills than the Spartan's spear. William Wallace's team brought in a Targe with a big ass metal spike in it. The Viking's shield in Viking vs. Samurai actually worked against him, since the episode only approached it based on its killing ability.
The Samurai was given the kanabo—a large wooden club whose main attestation in historical sources is a mythological weapon wielded by demons—in the same equipment slot. The shield recorded fewer kills than any other weapon in the episode, and the Samurai won the matchup The Strategic Response Unit frequently uses extremely heavy ballistic shields for protection in high-powered weapon situations. The officer carrying them is restricted to a handgun, but they have been frequently shown to stop anything up to a rifle bullet.
In "The House of Black and White", the Unsullied form a testudo with their shields to protect Queen Daenerys from thrown rocks when her subjects start rioting.
Loras' shield saves his life when the Mountain attacks him after their joust. While Jon normally eschews a shield in order to be able to wield Longclaw with both hands, when Ramsay challenges him to one-on-one combat with a bow, Jon wisely tosses aside his sword in order to pick up a nearby shield. He uses this shield to block all of Ramsay's arrows before closing in and knocking him down with a Shield Bash.
Kamen Rider Double 's CycloneJokerXtreme form has, apart from the Prism Sword, the Bicker Shield, which can either power up its companion sword, fire a powerful laser, or create a larger Deflector Shield. Pokum at one point prays to the Emperor for a sword and shield, receives them, and the shield is effective at blocking Zordock's magic. The original Megazord used the Mastodon's head as a shield. The Turbo and Astro Megazords also carried shields. As does the Samurai Megazord. In season one of The Last Kingdom this is zig-zagged.
In the first episode the Saxons are massacred because they cannot break the Danish shield wall. Afterwards the main characters are rarely shown using shields.
However, the season finale has a massive battle that is shield wall vs shield wall. It is essentially one big shoving match with a lot of stabbing through any opening that appears in the shield wall.
When the hero is able to temporarily break the Danish shield wall, the Saxons use that opening to break the Danish line and win the battle. He keeps it or a red version of it after turning good, minus the eye, though Kaizoku Sentai Gokaigervia his Ranger Key, reveals that it's actually still present and functional despite turning good. The shield also grows with him and becomes the chest of his Humongous Mecha mode.
Merlin materializes one in a split second in Merlin to defend himself from a volley of arrows. In the BBC show Merlinthe evil and inappropriately named Sir Valiant uses forbidden magic to cheat in the tournament by enchanting the snakes painted on his shield to come to life and bite his opponent. Vikings quickly shows the importance of the medieval shield when the proper use of the shield wall by the Viking raiders lets them defeat a much larger Saxon force.
Battles between Viking factions are fought with a shield wall clashing against shield wall and breaking the enemy shield wall being the key to victory. In season 2 the Saxon forces are able to defeat the Vikings led by Ragnar and Horik because the Vikings end up too scattered to form a proper shield wall. Ironicallyif Goliath had actually used the shield when facing David The Bible compares faith to a shield. Roman scutum, with which the listeners were familiar, were intended to support each other.
Perseus using his shield as a mirror in order to kill Medusa without having to look at her is an example from Classical Mythology. The Iliad makes particular mention of shields during various exchanges in the Trojan War, such as this battle between Hector and Ajax Telamonian. They tend to waver between this and Shields Are Useless depending on how badass the enemy is.
It struck the sevenfold shield in its outermost layer- the eighth, which was of bronze- and went through six of the layers but in the seventh hide it stayed. Then Ajax threw in his turn, and struck the round shield of the son of Priam. The terrible spear went through his gleaming shield, and pressed onward through his cuirass of cunning workmanship; it pierced the shirt against his side, but he swerved and thus saved his life.
The Shield of Achilles is famous for the number of pictures painted on it. In Norse MythologySvalinn is a shield that protects the earth from being burned by the sun. Pro Wrestling Captain New Japan wears a shield on his back and arm, though they don't get much use outside of pre tapes since he's a baby face.
Captain Levamerica had a tiny wrist-mounted shield but got a giant one on Independence day after being hammered by Leah Von Thor at Slammin Ladies. Incidentally, they're all from Greek myth. Tabletop Games BattleTech 's advanced rules offer BattleMech-sized shields that depending on their size and how actively they're used can absorb a fair amount of damage that therefore doesn't get applied to the hit locations protected by the shield As the in-universe timeline moves into the 32nd century, they even move out of the 'Mech arenas where they were first introduced and start to appear on "proper" military machines.
Shields are rated as a passive addition to overall armor, providing only a small bonus to armor class. Game mechanics that provide advantages include: Magical shields offer an opportunity to double-up on magical enhancement bonuses. Shield-specific magical enhancements as such as Exceptional Arrow Deflection, Reflecting and Greater Reflection can be pretty good, especially since Reflecting shields can send back spells.
Another enchantment causes the shield to float in front of you, basically making it free AC for any character. Shields can be used as weaponsbut do little damage. Feats can improve their effectiveness and give an interesting balance of options between defense and offense. Many feats and spells encourage shield use for Paladins. Some defensive characters use tower shields to give total cover, and shields AC bonus can turn them into Party Tanks.
Second Edition has more than one supplement dealing with shield, allowing them to be used for parrying, negating enemy attacks. Fourth Edition has some melee combat powers for fighters that require the use of shields, which all generally improve the character's ability to tank and control the position of enemies reasonably well.
Shields also grant a bonus to Reflex, which is usually a tank's weakness. Exalted takes this trope and, like so many others, takes it to extremes of awesomeness. Shields in general improve one's ability to parry attacks, but carry with them a penalty to mobility.
Then, however, you get into artifact Thunderbolt Shields, which even in their as-issued state provide huge defense bonuses and have no penalty to mobility indeed, they improve mobility. And finally, there's the shield of the Unconquered Sun, which if lent confers total invincibility. In GURPSshields are extremely useful before the advent of guns, giving a bonus to all forms of defense when used properly.
Against anyone with a gun or laser the shield just becomes a liability due to its weight. Unless you bring out Super Science tech to make a lightweight and nigh indestructible shield of course. In Ironclaw shields provide rather significant bonuses to dodge or parry rolls.
The Palladium system grants bonuses to parry with proficiency and use of shields. The Pathfinder variant also includes a wide set of feats to make shield combat effective, up to letting you use shields to outright deflect spells that have to be aimed.
The shield will still be affected by the spell in question, but if you can catch a disintegrate on your shield and then toss it rather than get vaporized yourself, it's what is technically known as a good deal. Additionally, the Shield Master feat allows a character to actually add the magical enhancement of a shield's defenses to their offensive capabilities, effectively making dual wielding shields a cost-preserving method of awesome or ridiculous optimization, depending on your tastes.
Several martial classes have access to specialized archetypes that focus on shields as well, such as the Divine Shield a Paladin who can empower their shield with holy energy and share its defensive traits with nearby allies and the Shield Champion a Brawler who focuses on punching and shield bashing enemies, and eventually gains the ability to throw their shield like Captain America. In Rocket Age shields are usually useless, since most enemies have access to ballistic or advanced weaponry.
The exception to this is the Venusian wooden shield. Made out a hard wood as strong as steel and coated with psychic crystals and resins, these ancient relics offer some protection against bullets and deflect ray beams. In RuneQuestshields come in three different sizes and each requires active use of a skill, which is learned like any other, and can be used against only one attack per round.
However, properly used they will block more damage than the heaviest armour, while being an order of magnitude cheaper to buy, and don't usually break the way parrying weapons will. Warhammer has shields as basic equipment for most units, though they usually can't be used at the same time as most heavy weapons. They increase the armor save of the wearer by one point. Characters have access to some nice magical shields as well.
As of 8th edition, shields can be crucial, as a soldier wielding a normal weapon with a shield receives a last saving throw to any attack he receives in hand-to-hand combat, no matter how desperate. As the rulebook puts it, even the largest axe can still be stopped by a shield and some luck. Warhammer 40, has portable forcefield generators that look like bucklers and shields.
There's also Power Shields, more commonly known as Storm Shields, which are so huge that they're normally used by Space Marine Terminators, who are already covered in the best armor that the Space Marine Chapters can field. In Warhammer Fantasy Roleplayshields are the premier defensive equipment for the adventurer on a budget i.
Game of Imaginationshields are by far the most useful equipment anyone can have in combat. They provide flat bonus to physical protection, they considerably reduce received damage and can block pretty much anything thown at them, be that weapons, projectiles, spells, charging mob or monsters' attacks.
In fact, they are the only conventional way to block ranged attacks and any experienced player will tell you rangers are the worst enemies you can meet.
With minor point investment, characters gain access to Shield Bashwhich is as effective as any other one-handed weapon. If not more effective, since it has a chance to knock your enemies on the ground.
Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me
Did we mention a group of shield-bearers can form a turtle and became virtually invulnerable? But most importantly, shields are cheap and commonplacewhich can't be said about any other powerful or useful gear. Notably, the shield not only protects against most any attack a four-star monster can throw at it, but, as a one-time bonus, can defend against magic, including, but not limited to mind control.
This was even more useful back when Change of Heart was still allowed 1-per-deck. Video Games Ancient Domains of Mystery allows the character to wield two shields. The shields mostly give bonuses to DV, which causes attacks to miss or be blocked, but most of them also have a small PV bonus, which is deduced from damage actually taken. When two shields are wielded, attacking is impossible, but spellcasting isn't - and it isn't hindered by armour in any way, either.