I remember reading about this house rule ages ago, but it was lost to time — for me, anyway. I thought it was a super-cool but when I read it, I was running a 4e campaign where almost every PC was printed off the online character builder.

Trollsmyth
Link: Shields Shall Be Splintered

That is to say, the sheer amount of math involved in determining a character’s modified AC when they added or removed a shield was staggering.

The house rule is fairly simple: a character can negate the damage from an attack by sacrificing their shield. It may vary a bit depending on whether the attack was made with a magical weapon, or whether the shield itself was magical — or if the effect was magical, such as a fireball or lightning bolt spell.

I really like this, and I’m considering a class feature or character power to emulate this effect, if I can figure out how to prevent players from carrying a hundred shields so they can negate an attack once per round. I might just forgo the shield-breaking part and have a shield reduce damage sustained.

Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I’ve already written a power that does something like this — I think I wrote a Fighter class that allowed the character to reduce damage by an amount equal to Wisdom modifier, as an Opportunity action.

I wonder if I’ll just make that a standard of the Fighter class archetype, I like it enough for that. Long live the shield. Huzzah!