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Armor Defense Mastery
(For Thad W.)
Your specialized awareness of the strengths and weaknesses of your armor allows you to better utilize it in combat to protect yourself.
Prerequisites: Armor Proficiency (any), Dex 13, Tumble 1 rank
Benefit: When wearing armor in which you are proficient, the maximum Dexterity bonus for that armor is treated as 1 greater than normal (so full plate would have a maximum Dexterity bonus of +2).
Because you know exactly where the strongest parts of your armor are, you can twist your body to place those parts between your vital organs and an incoming attack, reducing the chance of a successful sneak attack or critical hit. Once per round when subject to such an attack, you may make an unmodified attack roll (d20 + base attack bonus) against a DC of the attacker's attack roll. If you succeed, you have a change of turning the critical hit or sneak attack into a normal hit, similar to wearing fortification armor; the chance is 25% if you are wearing medium armor and 50% if you are wearing heavy armor. Special materials such as mithral that change an armor's classification are not counted for this ability, so mithral chain mail still counts as medium armor for the purpose of determining this chance (25% in this case). You cannot use this ability if you are denied your Dexterity bonus, cannot otherwise react to attacks, or cannot see the source of the attack. If you are wearing fortification armor or have a similar effect, use the greater value (do not make a d% roll for this ability and for the fortification ability).
Example: Tregdar the 8th-level fighter is wearing full plate and battling Flidda the evil rogue and Stordek the evil cleric (currently invisible due to a potion). Flidda and Stordek are flanking Tregdar, so Flidda's attack is a sneak attack. Flidda's total attack roll is a 22, which hits Tregdar. Tregdar's player makes an unmodified attack roll against DC 22 and gets a 15, which with his +8 BAB is a 23--success! Tregdar's player rolls d% and gets a 41, which is less than 50%, so Flidda's attack is just a normal hit, not a sneak attack. Stordek on his turn rolls a critical hit with his heavy pick against Tregdar. Tregdar cannot use this feat to negate Stordek's critical hit because he has already used it this round to negate Flidda's sneak attack and because Stordek was invisible when he struck the critical hit (so Tregdar could not see where Stordek's pick was coming from).
Now that I'm looking at this a couple weeks later, I'm tempted to replace the Tumble prereq with Lightning Reflexes.