Beyond the Borderlands
Lifted from ChicagoWiz (Who I believe got it from somewhere else, great rule though)
Any time you take damage, you can opt instead to say your shield absorbed the force of the blow. The shield is shattered, or your arm rendered useless to bear a shield, and the shield must be discarded. In exchange, you don’t take any damage from that hit. Remember to reduce your AC by the appropriate amount for the loss of the shield.
- “Wooden shields” are one shot protection. If you block a blow they are destroyed.
- “Plussie” Wooden Shields" get a save equal to “bonus or less” on 1d4. Thus a +3 shield has a 75% chance to save.
- “Metal shields” are indestructible, but if you block a blow your shield arm is injured and useless. You may not use a shield, 2 handed weapon etc… for up to 1d4 days.
- “Plussie” Metal Shields" work the same as metal shields, but get a save equal to “bonus or less” on 1d4 to avoid the injury/loss.
Truly magical shields may or may not be indestructible – it depends on the item and its particular magic. Consult the sages or legends for advice… and in the end, only you can decide if a magic item is worth your life…
Monsters WILL coup de grace a downed PC. Make no mistake about it, monsters are mean, nasty and scary. This isn’t to say they are all feral psycopaths (though quite a few are) but if you get into a fight don’t expect any quarter. You are trying to kill them, so the monsters are going to try to kill you.