I'm making a vampire player character, with a little bit of homebrew to give it some of the 5e vampire traits without being broken, and one of the traits that I'm carrying over is natural armor of 16. However, this character wears heavy armor due to background/story reasons, which only gives 13 AC + Dex Mod up to +2. With the shield, also important to the character, the armored AC becomes a total of 17.
Natural armor would be much better, given that her dex mod would give +3. However, I'm not sure which AC actually takes precedence or I would be able to choose, or whatever. How does this work? Also, would I be able to use a shield and still get the natural armor from the vampire trait, or does that count as clothing which negates the natural AC?