Genre Feats

For lots of really good reasons, the Pathfinder Roleplaying Game is designed to emulate a specific flavor of fantasy. It then branches out from that flavor sometimes with specific options, but they (for good reason) feel like bolt-ons.

But it’s not hard to turn Pathfinder into nearly any flavor of fantasy game. Sometimes you need more extensive rules (ranging from Anachronistic Adventures to comprehensive rules for Spell Points). But sometimes you just need a few tweaks to bring in a new flavor without having to rewrite the whole game.

Enter Genre feats.

Genre feats are specifically designed to reskin the flavor of a game. Characters get 2 free genre feats at 1st level, one additional bonus genre feat at 5th and every 5 levels thereafter, and may use normal (but not class bonus) feat slots to take more.

Genre feats have low prerequisites, often allow a build to work well that doesn’t in standard Pathfinder, and make genre-specific tropes easy. It’s common for a few genre feats to be popular with many players, and that’s fine. It reinforces the genre!

Here are example Swashbuckling Genre Feats. Obviously many more could be created.

A Flirt in Every Port

Benefit: In every settlement you come across, you have at least one local (at neither the bottom nor top of the social ladder) who is helpful towards you, and acts in a romantic fashion. Even if you spurn these allies and reduce their attitude towards you, it goes back up one step (to a maximum of helpful) every time you gain a level.


Benefit: You never take penalties for using improvised weapons. If you are using an improvised weapon in combat, you gain a +4 bonus to Perform and Diplomacy checks.

Chandeliers and Rigging

Benefit: As long as there are hanging ropes, lights, sails, or similar dangling flexible objects, you have a fly speed of 30. If you end any turn not within 20 feet of a dangling flexible object, you must land or you fall.


Benefit: Rather than suffer frightened or panicked conditions, you simple double or triple the penalties for being shaken if you would normally have those other conditions. Even when confused or mind controlled, you never attack yourself or an ally unless you wish to.


Benefit: You may use your Charisma modifier (rather than Strength or Dexterity) when making attack rolls with weapons, and add your Charisma modifier (in addition to any other ability score that applies) to damage rolls with weapons

Unarmored Hero.
Benefit: When unarmored (or wearing light armor, if you are proficient with heavy armor), you gain a dodge bonus to AC equal to 4 + your base attack bonus. At 10th level this increases to 6 + base attack bonus. You lose this if you lose your Dexterity bonus to AC.

About okcstephens

Owen K.C. Stephens Owen Kirker Clifford Stephens is the Starfinder Design Lead for Paizo Publishing, the Freeport and Pathfinder RPG developer for Green Ronin, a developer for Rite Publishing, and the publisher and lead genius of Rogue Genius Games. Owen has written game material for numerous other companies, including Wizards of the Coast, Kobold Press, White Wolf, Steve Jackson Games and Upper Deck. He also consults, freelances, and in the off season, sleeps.

Posted on August 26, 2016, in Anachronistic Adventurers, Game Design, Microsetting, Pathfinder Development, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: