Given how widely and commonly available shields (even large ones) have been throughout history, it seems pretty strange to have them be as expensive as Wealth Level 2 and 3. I do understand how the properties add up to those Wealth Levels. My question is: what might be some good ways to lower the Wealth Levels for shields to more realistic values while still maintaining proper balance? Perhaps adding the Slow and/or Heavy properties?
Shields are same cost as some weapons.
But yes, slow would decrease cost by 1
If you are GM, you can just say they are less. Lots of text through out equipment that say as such.
Go with wooden shields and give them a limited number of times they can use the defend action before they break. Or don’t worry about it and just say they are cheaper as mentioned above.
The broad nature of the Wealth Level system means this sort of thing happens occasionally. You’ll notice that even though a dagger is much smaller and would be much cheaper than a sword, they cost the same, and a longsword is a strict upgrade on a shortsword but also fits into the same WL. As a GM you should always feel free to tweak this to better fit your setting.
What I also do is make cheaper items way more common. Maybe a shield does cost WL 2, but you can buy it basically anywhere while a for a sword you’d have to go to a dedicated swordsmith. It helps create the illusion of a sword being more valuable without actually changing anything about the cost.
Thank you all for replying. Great suggestions!