Shields are pieces of armor held in the hand to deflect blows. Available in both heavy and light variants, the shield is favored by many warriors and other offensive classes.
The effectiveness of shields is governed by the Blockskill and the corresponding armor type -- Light or Heavy. All three contain customizable perk trees. When allocated with the right perks, shields are able to block not only direct melee attacks, but also incoming arrows, power attacks, and even fire, frost, and shock damage.
They can also be used as weapons due to their bash ability, able to stagger and even knock down opponents.