I’m brainstorming an elf fighter whose gimmick is going to be—as the title points out—using the total defense action as his “default mode” and dealing nonlethal damage by way of attacks of opportunity that opponents provoke from him.
The obvious hurdle to this is that the Total Defense rule itself states:
“You can’t make attacks of opportunity while using total defense.”
What other such feats can you think of?
Crane Wing and Crane Riposte require you to fight “with at least one hand free.” The attack of opportunity Crane Riposte provides makes no mention of it being made with an unarmed strike (as, e.g., Snake Fang does). I’m assuming the AOO in question can be made with a weapon held in your other hand?