Now that The Ebon Vault: Impenetrable Shields is out and you’re busy equipping your characters with some great new gear, you’re probably wondering what kind of feats to give your new shield-bearing characters. While Shield Focus and Improved Shield Bash are all well and good, I was thinking that you might want some feats that are a little less focused on the numbers alone. That’s where this article comes in: it’s devoted to cool stuff to do with shields in a less passive sense.
You use the heavy weight of your shield to smash your foes in the head and temporarily take them out of the fight.
Prerequisites: Stealth 1 rank, Improved Shield Bash.
Benefits: Whenever you use a shield to deal at least 15 points of damage to a creature who is denied his Dexterity bonus to AC or who you are flanking, that creature must succeed on a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your base attack bonus + your Strength modifier) or be staggered for 1 round. If he fails by 5 or more, he is dazed for 1 round, instead. If a creature is affected by this ability multiple times in the same round, the effects do not stack.
You can block an incoming attack with incredible speed.
Prerequisites: Base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: When using the full-attack action, you may choose to forgo one of your attacks in order to try to intercept an incoming attack at a later time. You can choose to give up any of your attacks with your main weapon in this way, but not any attacks made with an off-hand weapon (such as if you would normally make a shield bash attack). If you forgo an attack in this way, then the next time you would be hit by a weapon attack, you may make a special d20 roll, adding the base attack bonus of the attack you forewent. If you are currently using a shield, you add your shield bonus to AC to this roll as well. If the result of the roll is higher than the attack roll, the attack automatically misses. You must declare that you are using this ability before learning whether or not the attack roll would otherwise have hit.
Due to your extreme strength, you can use your shield as a launching platform for extreme vertical jumps, heaving your companions to even greater heights.
Prerequisites: Acrobatics 1 rank, Shield Proficiency, Strength 13.
Benefits: As a full-round action, you can attempt to launch a willing adjacent creature into the air. As an immediate action, the target makes an Acrobatics check to jump (either vertically or horizontally). When the target makes his Acrobatics check, you may make a Strength check, with the DC depending on the size of the target: DC 5 for a target 1 or more size categories smaller than you, DC 10 for a target the same size as you, or DC 20 for a target 1 size category larger than you (if the target is more than 1 size category larger than you, add 10 to the DC for every additional size category larger than you the target is). If you fail the check, you impose a -5 penalty on the target’s Acrobatics check. However, if you succeed on the check, then for every point by which the result of your Strength check exceeds the DC, you grant the target a +1 bonus on their Acrobatics check made to jump.
You use your shield as a battering ram in order to help you bull rush and overrun your foes.
Prerequisites: Improved Bull Rush, Improved Overrun.
Benefits: Whenever you use the bull rush combat maneuver while you have a shield equipped, you may move the target an additional 5 feet if the equipped shield is a light shield or heavy shield, or an additional 10 feet if the shield is a tower shield. You must still successfully beat the target’s CMD, or this feat has no effect.
Tower Shield Expert
You have mastered the use of your tower shield, allowing you to make the most use out of its defensive qualities.
Prerequisites: Tower Shield Proficiency, base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: When you use a tower shield to grant yourself total cover, choose two edges of your space to grant you total cover, instead of one. Additionally, as a move action, you can choose to provide adjacent creatures regular cover (instead of soft cover) from attacks which pass through the edges of your square which provide you total cover.