[RPG] Is an equipped shield considered “wearing armor” for gaining benefit from the Defence fighting style


The Defence fighting style reads:

While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC

Is a shield considered armor for this purpose?

Best Answer


In the Monk Unarmored Defense section it is specified that

Beginning at 1st level, while you are wearing no armor and not wielding a shield...

and in the Barbarian Unarmored Defense

While you are not wearing any armor, your Armor Class equals 10 + your Dexterity modifier + your Constitution modifier. You can use a shield and still gain this benefit.

Which indicates armour and shields are considered separate.

Ultimately, due to some very unclear descriptions of armor and shields the most definitive verdict is from Jeremy Crawford, who tweeted:

Q: Does wielding a shield count as wearing armor [for the defense fighting style]?

A: No.

Which I think is a strong confirmation that unless specifically called out, shields do not count as armor in game terms, and were referred to as armor in a more plain English sense, mistakenly.