The cold and mountainous land known as the Fells is not the easiest place to wear, or even acquire, metal mail or other heavy armor. Hahdet practitioners have found a way around these difficulties by learning how to harden their skin until it can absorb and deflect incoming force. This is not perfect defense against harm, of course, but skilled practitioners can stride into battle more thoroughly armored than any knight. Like heavy armor, though, this technique requires preparation time: about a minute’s worth of meditation is required to prepare the mind and body.
This technique has a base difficulty of d2 and a base cost of one strain, and provides +1 to deflection defense. For each round the effect is maintained, it costs a point of fatigue. And then it gets complicated.
The deflection bonus can be increased by increasing the difficulty by one step. At deflection bonuses of +2 and above, the technique adds a point of absorption for every two points of deflection, rounded down. Alternately, the technique can be focused into a limited area – one arm, one leg, neck, head, chest, etc. – to halve the energy cost (to one point of fatigue every other round, for example) while increasing the deflection bonus in that area by +2, although this increases the difficulty by a step. The energy cost can be halved for any variant above, again at the cost of increasing the difficulty by a step per increment. And finally, the preparation time can be reduced to a single action, although this increases the difficulty by two steps.