More Forgotten Feats
The second collection of forgotten 3.X feats updated for Pathfinder clocks in at 11 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1.5 pages of SRD, leaving us with 7.5 pages of content, so let’s take a look!
We begin with a nice piece of b/w-artwork as well as a handy feat-table listing the content herein and then dive right into the feats – so what do they do?
-Ambidextrous: Halve TWF-penalties. This feat is odd in that PFRPG streamlined the heavy feat tax that made 3.0 rangers so dip-required for TWF – so let’s run the numbers: normal penalty: Halved to -3/-5. Off-hand weapon light? -2/-4. TWF? -2/-2. Off-hand weapon light + TWF: -1/-1. From a mechanical point of view, not a desirable way to spend a feat unless you TWF with non-light weapons. It’s also odd in that the rules no longer represent ambidexterity. Ambidexterity quite literally means being able to use both hands equally well – something the feat back in the day represented by bringing the penalties down to equal footing for both hands -6/-6 sans TWF and light weapon. It’s an aesthetic complaint, but I don’t get why this feat is called ambidextrous when that’s clearly not what it does. *shrugs*
-Catchphrase: 1/encounter, utter a catchphrase to get +2 to a single d20-roll. Know the thing about catchphrases, particularly when used at the table, all the time? They get annoying. Big time. Oh, and don’t get me started on those damn make-believe per-encounter mechanics that have no grounding in actually elapsed time. I’ve spent too much time elaborating why they suck. Next.
-Cleaving Charge: This lets you incur a further – 2 to AC to add a Cleave to your charge’s end, with the bonuses and penalties of feat and charging stacking. See this is a feat I get – it has clear mechanical benefits, provides a solid take on a concept and can clearly be considered worthwhile – no complaints, two thumbs up!
-Two Weapon Cleaving Charge: This does Cleaving Charge with Two Weapons and essentially allows you to duplicate the fighting style of Cervantes from Soul Calibur. Again – two thumbs up!
-Deadeye: Use Dex instead of Str to damage for one type of sling or thrown weapon. Specific, but worthwhile for some builds. As always with such feats, be careful when combining with shuriken. Other than that, okay.
-Deep Pockets: 1/session, as a full-round action, draw an item worth not more than 10 gp x character level from your pockets. It may not be armor, weaponry or magical, but it can be an alchemical item. (Does a class feature bomb or extract count as such?) This is per se a solid take on the crazy prepared trope, as, if the item’s not used within the session, it is lost. This is enough for most groups and does not venture into ridiculous territory: However, I do think that a mechanic that detracts the item’s price from the character’s gold would have been nice, since nothing prevents the character from selling the item. I’d also have enjoyed to see clarification whether you could produce e.g. the keystone to the legendary dungeon xyz, the key to your manacles etc. – or whether you have to have seen the item before. Granted, though – I’m nitpicking here with a designer’s eye. Most GMs should be able to handle this one.
-Efficient Slinger: Loading slings as free action. Also eliminates size penalties for hurling ordinary stones. Okay, I guess.
-Eldritch Aptitude: Select 1 spell each day: When applying metamagic to the spell that increases the spell level, treat the unmodified spell level as one lower for determining the final, modified spell level. This feat per se is nice – but it’s wording could have been a bit more precise.
-Exotic Weapon Proficiency (Tower Shield): Shield Bash with tower shields. Comes with damage/crit-info for regular and spiked tower shields. Once again – I like this one. Fun, fills a gap – solid…and even gets the off-hand shenanigans right.
-Factotum: +3 to all Professions in which you have at least 1 rank; Professions with 10 ranks get +6 instead. That’s…kind of cool. Powerful, yeah, but also limited and allows you to depict characters that held a lot of odd jobs. Like it!
-Improved Eschew Materials: 1 gp x caster level material components are free. Okay, I guess. I wouldn’t spend a feat on it unless playing a very low-resource campaign, but for those, I can see that work.
-Greater Eschew Materials: 10 gp x caster level material components are free. Okay, I guess. I wouldn’t spend a feat on it unless playing a very low-resource campaign, but for those, I can see that work.
-Superior Eschew Materials: As above, but 50 gp x character level free components – which is powerful, but it better be after 3 prereq-feats, all of which invalidate the previous one.
-Improved Spring Attack: Move up to your speed and perform two melee attacks (gets iterative right) sans provoking AoOs from the target. Retains movement restrictions. Wow…this one is actually…surprisingly solid. No, really…my only gripe is cosmetic and pertains that I would have loved TWF-synergy here…but that’s not something I’d criticize the feat for…So yeah. There is one grain of sand in the feat’s wording, though: The intent is to not provoke an AoO for the attack from the target of said attack, but as written, you don’t provoke any AoOs from the targets of your attack for moving around them and performing stunts beyond the attack and movement associated with the target creature: You’d e.g. not provoke an attack of opportunity from the target of your first attack when using a combat maneuver that does provoke one on the target of your second attack, even if your first target would be eligible to one. This one component could use some streamlining.
-Greater Spring Attack: Okay, so this would be the full attack + movement feat. And I really like it. Damn. With 4 prereq-feats, Dex 17 and BAB+11, its prerequisites are massive and kinda offset the massive power this feat offers, particularly since you do not provoke any AoOs from the targets of your attacks. Alas, it does inherit the previous feat’s minor flaw, but the full attack exacerbates it – you could happily spring attack through whipping groups of kytons/pole-arm bearers with this, when I *think* the no-AoO-restriction should only pertain the actual attack and movement through threatened squares of the respective target for the purpose of performing the attack. Still, I like these two feats ad will modify them for my group.
-Raging Heritage: Select 1 bloodrager bloodline; You need to have one associated non-combat feat and you can’t already have the bloodline. You get the level 1 bloodline power at character level -2 bloodrager levels. You may also enter a bloodstance(or leave it) as a full-round action for up to character level x 2 rounds per day- when in this stance, you may activate the chosen bloodline power granted by this feat, but NOT other bloodrage powers you may have! This is important, for it makes the feat work instead of being broken – kudos!
-Improved Raging Heritage: Gain 4th/8th level power, bloodrager levels -2 from the bloodline chosen via Raging Heritage. You may also enter/exit bloodstance as a standard action.
-Greater Raging Heritage: Gain 12th or 16th level bloodline power of the bloodrager bloodline chosen with Raging Heritage. Bloodrager level is full character level, btw. You may also enter/exit bloodstance as a move action. I like this feat tree quite a bit – it allows for relatively easy bloodrager-light-scavenging sans upsetting balance.
-School Focus: Select a school with which you have Spell Focus: +1 Cl for said school. Okay if you’re trying to min-max up a school, otherwise pretty bland.
-Greater School Focus: And another +1 caster level – and here, things can already get a bit ugly with specialized builds. Still, not broken and none too exciting.
-Magically Gifted: Gain a 0-level cantrip you can cast 2/day from any spell-list; can be taken as a rogue talent. Basically, a slightly more flexible Minor Magic rogue talent. Also, it’s based on Cha, not Int. Okay, I guess.
-Magical Adept: Gain a 1st level spell you can cast 1/day from any spell-list; can be taken as a rogue talent. Basically, a slightly more flexible Major Magic rogue talent. Also, it’s based on Cha, not Int. And here we have a bit of an issue – sure, the rogue talent is pretty weak, but seeing how e.g. the paladin’s and ranger’s 1st level spells are better than that of full casters to make up for later spell-gain, we have a bit of an issue here – basically, minor power creep. Oh, and while 1/day won’t break a game, a restriction of spell-lists still wouldn’t have hurt this feat.
-Magical Prodigy: The third in the feat-tree, this time granting you 1/day a 2nd level spell as an SP. Still not broken, still slightly problematic, still not problematic enough to make me yell foul.
-Mongrel: Choose +1 race. You also count as that race. Okay, I guess, though I prefer Dreamscarred Press’ Bloodforge’s solution for mixed heritages.
-Monstrous Ancestry: This would be Mongrel for e.g. ghouls and similarly monstrous beings. This can provide issues if the GM doesn’t take care, since it allows for the qualification for monster-feats. Not necessarily an issue, but the potential’s here.
-Snake Lunge: BAB+11-feat that allows you to extend lunge to 10 ft. at -2 CMD and -5 AC.
-Nimble Lunge: Eliminates penalties of Lunge and Snake Lunge.
-Packhorse: Ant Haul, the feat for your trusty cohorts carrying your materials. Nice one.
-Patient Aiming: Full-round action to get +1 to atk and damage with ranged weapons, +1 for every subsequent round, capping at character level. Solid, nice sniper-feat.
-Professional Craftsman: +3 to all Craft skills wherein you have at least 1 rank, +6 if you have 10 ranks. Same as with Profession – nice, though magic item crafting-heavy campaigns may want to be careful with this one.
-Racial Paragon: +1 alternate racial trait. See, this is SLOPPY – not all alternate racial traits of a given race are of equal value – some replace multiple ones. This feat blatantly disregards that. Broken.
-Shifter’s Spell (Metamagic): This increases spell levels by +2 and allows you to continue casting even while subject to a spell that would otherwise prevent you from casting.
-Skill Master: Choose a skill with which you have Skill Focus: You gain 2 ranks in the skill and can exceed your rank-cap thus. This is somewhat problematic, since skills feature in prereqs and similar, interconnected mechanics. Not a fan.
-Superior Two-Weapon Fighting: 4th TWF attack at -15.
-Two-Weapon Strike: As a standard action, make attacks with two weapons. This basically allows a TWF-ing character to skirmish instead of standing around trading blows. Two thumbs up, in spite of its power!
-Two-Weapon Charge: End a charge with two weapons. Minor version of pounce. Solid, though it imho should have a caveat that prevents use with spirited charge to prevent ridiculous 2-lance charges.
-Two-Weapon Cleave: Does what the tin says – valid cleaving with two weapons. Has the serious prereqs to make it specific enough. No complaints.
-Versatile Caster: Increase CL for all spellcasting classes you have by +1, cap at HD. Special-line is not bolded in a minor formatting glitch.
-Warslinger: Reload slings with one hand sans AoO. Nice.
-Wealthy: Gain 5% WBL each level; benefits are retroactive. Had characters with this feat galore in the 3.X days, never affected WBL-assumptions enough to be problematic…though in PFRPG, with crafting limitations being less stringent, resource-conscious GMs may want to be careful here.
-Well Read: +3 to all Knowledge-skills in which you have at least 1 rank, +6 in those where you have 10. This is pretty overpowered, considering the numerous fine distinctions of Knowledge skills and the monster-related knowledge they convey RAW.
Editing and formatting are good on both a formal level and a rules level – the language is much more precise than in earlier Flaming Crab Games-offerings. Layout adheres to Flaming Crab Games’ two-column full-color standard and the pdf features some nice b/w-artworks. The pdf has no bookmarks, which is a comfort detriment.
All right, so after the first such pdf I did NOT look forward to reviewing a second one of these. However, Alex Abel has honed his craft since then – this second collection of feats redesigned from 3.X, is actually much more precise than the first bunch. While there are some examples of broken feats or ones that can cause issues, they remain in the minority and the pdf actually is a godsend for two character concepts in particular: One, the sling-user/sniper. This makes slings feasible and less sucky. Kudos.
More importantly, this book offers several options that make TWF-ing actually fun – there are skirmishing tricks, cleaves, tactical options – and best of all, for the most part, these feats get complex rules right. While there are some minor instances of fast and loose rules herein, they have shrunken down to a small minority. Better yet, this book actually enables some builds I ahd been missing in my gameplay. Granted, some combos can be rather nasty, but for the most part, they do require a large enough investment to be justified. I’ve been pretty detailed in the above review, often writing more about a feat than its actual text – so yeah, I think I mentioned all potential issues that could crop up.
That being said, closely reading the above will show you that most (though unfortunately not all) such issues are fringe cases, which means that overall, this is a worthwhile, inexpensive, if not perfect collection of feats. While the few problems herein cost this the crown, rating-wise, it still remains a good buy, in particular for aforementioned character concepts. My final verdict will hence be 4 stars.