The Round Shield is a shield in Final Fantasy XII that boosts the wearer's physical evade. It is among the earlier shields obtainable in the game and basic equipment. It is metallic for the purposes of the magnetize debuff present in the Vinuskar and Ultima boss battles.
In the original PlayStation 2 version, the Round Shield is bought for 1,600 gil from Dyce at Tomb of Raithwall, and from Rabanastre after the events at Dreadnought Leviathan. It a rare steal from Ba'Gamnan during the first encounter against him.
In the updated Zodiac versions, the Round Shield is sold for 1,100 gil in Rabanastre, Bhujerba and Dalmasca Westersand after the events at Ondore's Estate. It is also sold onboard Dreadnought Leviathan, and by Dyce in Nam-Yensa Sandsea, Tomb of Raithwall and Balfonheim Port.
It is found as a treasure in Ogir-Yensa Sandsea's Platform 1 - Refinery (75% chance to appear, 35% chance for gil, 50% chance the item treasure is a Round Shield without the Diamond Armlet equipped) and Central Junction (80% chance to appear, 50% chance for gil, 50% chance the item treasure is a Round Shield without the Diamond Armlet equipped), and in Phon Coast's The Vaddu Strand (among the formation of treasures on the beach, is always the Round Shield), as well as in Trial Mode Stage 37 with the Diamond Armlet equipped.
The Round Shield is available at the same time as the superior Golden Shield, and is easily skipped. In the Zodiac versions, it can be used by the jobs Red Battlemage, Knight, Foebreaker, and Shikari.
The Round Shield can be equipped by characters with one-handed weapons or no weapon in their available hand. It adds to the wearer's physical evasion. Shield Block augments also add +5% to physical evasion per augment purchased. Equipping a shield negates the Brawler augment, even if the character is still attacking bare-handed. Some enemies, especially all the toughest bosses and marks, have Ignore Evasion as a passive ability, which causes their attacks to ignore all blocking and parrying.
The chance to block granted by gloves and shields and Shield Block licenses is checked separately to, and before, the evade from one-handed weapons. If the shield block fails, the game checks for the weapon block, and if that fails, the game checks for parry.
Behind the scenes
The shield's inclusion in the treasure formation on the Phon Coast in the Zodiac version has a secondary purpose as a clue in the Japanese version to the existence and locations of the newly added invisible super strong equipment pieces. By the time the player has reached Phon Coast, the Round Shield is redundant as stronger shields will be easily available. Among the treasure formation, the first Japanese character/syllable of each treasure going from east to west are portions of the Japanese names for Great Crystal, Pharos - First Ascent, and Skyferry, the locations of Gendarme, Great Trango, and Seitengrat, respectively. The connection is lost in the English localization.