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One of my players decided to whip a character non-lethally, and one of my NPCs tried to intervene by catching the whip in mid-air.

Is it possible to do this without special features (feats, class abilities, special items, etc)? If not, are there special features or builds that would allow it?

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You could treat it as a readied action to make an unarmed disarm on the attacking opponent as he makes his attack. This would mean though that if your disarm failed you would still be hit.

That's the only thing I can think of. ahem! I have increased my knowledge of D&D 3.5 since this answer I posted so let me clarify;

When the player wants to use a whip, an NPC could use a readied action to catch the whip provided he had at least a round to be aware of such an attack been presented by said player.

"The Catch! you make an unarmed disarm attempt against the Players attack as the readied action goes off, a failed result will mean that the intended target is still hit with the whip and you would have missed your attempt."

If the check succeeds then you can make an opposed strength/or/reflex check/save to take the whip from the Player as you finish the disarm attempt.

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    \$\begingroup\$ The rules don't specifically allow this use of disarm, but this strikes me as a very good re-use of the disarm rules: the attack roll is appropriate, and anything that makes you good at disarming will probably also help with this. So this is probably the best answer we'll get. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Aug 15 '13 at 2:57

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