I know there was a Q Re Bucklers a couple years ago but I still am confused about shields. I have played quite a while but usually use 2H weapons or spells. Please let me know if the following is correct:
For Armor I think of the A# as the amount of damage energy the armor can ABSORB before taking (deflecting) damage or transmitting damage to the adventurer. Armor is rated A0-A4 indicating it can absorb 0-4 units of damage first, then beyond that may be damaged by up to 2 units before transmitting the excess to the adventurer (with the option of sparing the armor and letting the adventurer take some or all of the excess).
I thought the same would apply to shields. The Buckler is S0, so would absorb no damage before being damaged itself or transmitting damage to the adventurer. The Targe at S1 can absorb 1 unit of damage before either taking damage and/or transmitting it, and so on.
The shields of course have the additional advantage that they can deflect up to 4 units of damage at half a pip each, AND can be moved by the adventurer to any body position to absorb and take damage. This begs the question of if the shield absorbs/deflects damage IN ADDITION TO or INSTEAD OF the armor (if any) at that position.