Shaped like an inverted tear-drop, this shield is almost as tall as you.
Benefit: The kite shield is a subtype of the tower shield, but with several differences. Like a tower shield, in most situations a kite shield provides the shield bonus indicated. However, it has two special uses. When fighting on foot you can take a standard action to place the shield such that it provides partial cover at the beginning of your next turn. When using a kite shield in this way you must choose one edge of your space; that edge is treated as a partial wooden wall for attacks made against you, granting partial cover against attacks passing through that edge and no cover for other attacks. (This is different to the tower shield which provides total cover.)
When riding a horse or fighting from horseback (or other mount) you can spend a standard action to place the shield either in front of or behind yourself. When used this way the shield provides total cover from the chosen direction at the beginning of your next turn. That edge (front or back) is treated as a wooden wall for attacks made against you, granting total cover against attacks passing through that edge and no cover for other attacks. The shield offers no cover for your mount. Using the shield this way allows you to continue riding and fighting, but ride skill checks made while doing so incur a -5 penalty.
In either case, the shield provides no cover against targeted spells; a spellcaster may target the shield and, thereby, you. You can not bash with a kite shield, but when used to protect your rear side the shield leaves your shield hand free.
When employing a kite shield in combat you take a -1 penalty on attack rolls because of the shield's encumbrance.
Note: Cavaliers, Fighters and Paladins are always proficient with kite shields. Other classes treat the kite shield as a tower shield for the purpose of proficiency.