[RPG] Does an Animated Shield cause penalties if I’m not proficient with shields


If my character isn't proficient with shields but is using a shield, the armour section says the following:

If you wear armor that you lack proficiency with, you have disadvantage on any ability check, saving throw, or attack roll that involves Strength or Dexterity, and you can’t cast spells.

The animated shield says:

While holding this Shield, you can speak its Command Word as a Bonus Action to cause it to animate. The Shield leaps into the air and hovers in your space to protect you as if you were wielding it, leaving your hands free. The Shield remains animated for 1 minute, until you use a Bonus Action to end this effect, or until you are Incapacitated or die, at which point the Shield falls to the ground or into your hand if you have one free.

If I have an animated shield and animate it, do I take these disadvantages for wearing a shield still? Can I ignore them for as long as the shield remains animated?

Best Answer


Although shields of any kind are not considered body armor for the purpose of AC calculation changes (as per your previous question), an animated shield still counts as a wielded piece of equipment with whatever downsides that includes, with the exception that it keeps your hands free for spellcasting or whatever else.

Shield proficiency is listed under Armor Proficiencies and as such has to be taken into account in this case. RAW heavily suggests that you still take the full penalties of wielding a shield, including not being proficient with it, while using Animated Shield.

See this question for a more detailed explanation.

EDIT: As Mindwin pointed out, by a narrative standpoint, not having the knowledge of how the shield you're using will react to attacks to attempt to deflect them (not being proficient in its use, animated or not) would make it extremely distracting and hard to move around with, specially if you need to perform complicated maneuvers and mantaining focus during spellcasting or in a usually frantic combat situation.