I've always thought shields were under-powered in RPGs. Most of the time, people don't even use them in favor of doing more damage via a two-handed weapon or two-weapon wielding.
Putting aside the realism of this (historically, shields were very common because they were very effective, while two-weapon wielding was pretty rare because it isn't), I feel like it should be a difficult choice whether or not to use a shield. The extra damage done should be balanced by the added defense a shield provides. Having not yet played a game and admitting I don't know the repercussions of this, I think a shield should give a bonus of at least 2 to defense. A modest rough proposal would be as follows:
When you look at the Shield Fighter and Twin Attack abilities, Twin Fighters using a parrying dagger are just as defensive as a Shield fighter with a regular shield, plus they get an extra attack. Shield fighters get slightly more damage with their main weapon, and twin fighters have to subtract armor for both hits, so it's probably a wash. The offensive abilities granted by Shield Fighter probably make the two abilities close to equal overall, but I personally still feel like shields should be better than parrying daggers, and people should primarily want to use shields defensively, rather than offensively.
Do you think an overall +1 defense bonus to all shields is fair??????