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In Demon's Souls, do I get any advantage from carrying a shield on my back?

Also, do I get any bonuses from items equipped in my non-active equipment slot? For example, I have a sword and a shield equipped in my active equipment slot, and another alternate sword is equipped in my non-active equipment slot.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

In regards to your first question, yes. So long as the shield is in your active equipment slot, you will receive bonuses from it. The easiest way to test this is with the Adjudicators Shield, which grants you health regeneration.

As for your second question, no. You only receive bonuses from the equipment in your active equipment slot.

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