Shields are hands down the best defense against projectile attack in Mind Weave. Spell solutions exist, and dodging has a pretty good chance for unencumbered characters (at least if the projectiles are kind enough to come in one at a time), but a large shield offers just as much chance of avoiding the arrow due to cover, regardless of how many arrows are incoming. All this with no extra effort, and the shield user can still make a stationary dodge attempt with a bonus depending on the type of shield used (larger bonuses for small shields).
Shield Mastery enhances the shield user’s performance with a shield in every way.
For blocking ranged attacks, levels scale the user’s cover from shields (benefiting large shields with high cover more) and add to the user’s speed multiplier used for dodging (benefiting small shields with a high inside-the-multiplier bonus more). For melee usage, levels provide a bonus to block rolls in the same way Weapon Mastery gives a bonus to attack and parry rolls (this benefits large shields with more blocks more). Some levels (2, 5, 10, 15, and 25) also give the shield an additional block, which benefits small shields with fewer blocks more.
With this mixture of ability benefits, some favoring large shields and some favoring small shields, middle sized shields stand to benefit the most from levels in Shield Mastery, though all shields gain from it.
Shield Mastery is a major ability available to Fighters and Paladins. Other classes can get it cross class if they fight often using a shield.
Do you like to dual wield? Do you consider arrows a threat? Then Parry Mastery may be for you. Can you think of other reasons Parry Mastery might be useful? Or other character types that might want it? Comment below to let us know.