A shield guardian was a powerful construct created to defend arcane spellcasters.[2]


Shield guardians could be made with various sizes and strengths, but the simplest and cheapest to make stood about nine feet (nearly three meters) tall and weighed over 1,200 pounds (540 kilograms). They looked something like a large stick figure made of wood with rocky appendages and metal parts.[2]


Each shield guardian was keyed to a special magical amulet. If the amulet were destroyed, the guardian would cease to function until keyed to a replacement amulet. A replacement amulet could cost 1,000[1] to 20,000 gold pieces,[2] depending on materials and the crafter. Whoever wore the amulet could control the shield guardian, and if the last wearer died, the guardian would obey its final orders to the best of its ability.[2]

A shield guardian could not speak, but it could magically understand the commands of anyone controlling it through the amulet, no matter the speaker's language. Moreover, the wearer of the amulet could summon the shield guardian magically from anywhere within the same plane. Though the guardian might have some difficulty making the journey, it would always know the location of its amulet.[2]

The default behavior of a shield guardian was to follow its master everywhere and protect him or her. If given other orders, it would do its best to obey, though it was not adept at solving problems. One could be programmed to perform certain tasks at certain times or in response to certain stimuli.[2]


A shield guardian protected its master with great speed and agility, attempting to deflect blows and attacks. If commanded to, a shield guardian could generate a magical shield that would partially defend its master from harm, provided the master remained within 100 feet (30 meters) of the guardian. A shield guardian also acted similar to a ring of spell storing, being able to store a single spell that was cast upon and recast the same spell at a later time, provided it was commanded to do so.[2]


A shield guardian was constructed from at least 5,000-gold pieces-worth of bronze, stone, steel, and wood and required skill in blacksmithing and carpentry. The magical amulet through which the construct was controlled usually cost around 20,000 gold pieces. The shield guardian could only be animated in the presence of the amulet, and the process required a special laboratory, knowledge of the art of crafting constructs, and an extended ritual that involved the casting of the spells discern location, limited wish, shield, and shield other.[2]

Notable Shield GuardiansEdit

After the war between the elves of Evereska and the phaerimms, shield guardians were used to guard the houses and mansions from intruders.[3] Likewise, the lake surrounding Herald's Hall was patrolled by shield guardians.[4][5]

Notable OwnersEdit




  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wizards RPG Team (2014). Monster Manual 5th edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 271. ISBN 978-0786965614.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 Skip Williams, Jonathan Tweet, Monte Cook (July 2003). Monster Manual 3.5. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 223–224. ISBN 0-7869-2893-X.
  3. Rand Sharpsword (2002-10-09). More Evereska. Rand's Travelogue. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2010-10-31.
  4. Ed Greenwood (1993). The Code of the Harpers. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 1-56076-644-1.
  5. Richard Baker, Ed Bonny, Travis Stout (February 2005). Lost Empires of Faerûn. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 119. ISBN 0-7869-3654-1.
  6. Greg Marks (2014-12-01). D&D Adventurers League: Tyranny in Phlan (DDEX01-10) (PDF). Tyranny of Dragons. Wizards of the Coast. p. 27. Retrieved on 2017-04-03.
  7. Michele Carter, Stacy Janssen eds. (2015). Princes of the Apocalypse. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 209. ISBN 978-0786965786.
  8. Christopher Perkins, Adam Lee, Richard Whitters (September 1, 2015). Out of the Abyss. In Jeremy Crawford ed. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 126–127. ISBN 978-0-7869-6581-6.