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Thematic Cheese Feat: High Priest

Sometimes what the GM and players both want is not some carefully balanced, playtested, and theorycrafted expansion of the rules usable by a broad range of characters.

Sometimes you just want some cheese of the right flavor.

High Priest

Regardless of your level or base of operations, you are an acknowledged leader within your religion, able to command vast resources and use pure presence to bring others to your cause.

Prerequisites: Cha 13, member of a church.

Benefit: You gain the benefits of the Leadership feat, except your followers and cohort don’t arrive (and aren’t replaced) automatically, Instead, when you drop a foe to 0 or fewer hit points, if you have a cohort or follower slot open that foe could fill (it is the appropriate level or level-equivalent) you can force the foe to make a Will save (DC 10 +1/2 your level + your Wisdom or Charisma modifier — whichever is higher). If it fails the save, rather that die or fall unconscious, it’s alignment changes to match your deity’s and it becomes a loyal cohort or follower (depending on what slot it took). The foe gains a +4 bonus to this saving throw for each of the things that is true; the foe is a priest or divine agent of another deity or philosophy; the foe has an alignment subtype that does not mach the alignment of your deity; the foe is already a follower or cohort.

Additionally, when in a settlement with a church to your deity, you can command any service that does not have a significant cost to your church. This normally includes feeding and housing a modest number of people and having local priests cast any spell with no costly material components or inherent risks. However, any service with a cost as high as a single gold piece costs the full amount, and you can never use this ability to turn a profit.

Additionally, you can cast atonement, as the spell, once per character level as a spell-like ability.

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Thematic Cheese Feats: Elven Curvedance

Okay, let’s get back to some game ideas!

Sometimes what the GM and players both want is not some carefully balanced, playtested, and theorycrafted expansion of the rules usable by a broad range of characters.

Sometimes you just want some cheese of the right flavor.

Elven Curvedance

You know the ancient, and nearly-lost, art of the wardance of the elven curveblade, which strongly encourages (though it does not require) mobility in combat.

Prerequisites: Str 13, Dex 13, proficiency with the elven curveblade.

Benefit: You can use your Dexterity modifier in place of your Strength modifier when making attack rolls with the elven curveblade, as if you had the Weapon Finesse feat for just that weapon. When you choose to do this, and you make only a single melee attack on your turn, you may also use your Dexterity modifier in place of your Strength modifier when calculating your damage bonus with the elven curveblade (including adding 1.5x your strength modifier when using the weapon two-handed).

If you have an option that you can normally add to a melee attack only when making a standard action or attack action for a single attack, you made add that to melee attacks with your elven curveblade anytime you only make a single melee attack on your turn. for example, if you have Vital Strike, you could use it with your elven curveblade on a charge (a single attack), even though Vital Strike does not normally allow that.

Special: This feat counts as Weapon Finesse for any feat or ability that has Weapon Finesse as a prerequisite or modifies how Weapon Finesse works, but you can only use such feats and abilities with an elven curveblade unless you actually have the weapons Finesse feat.

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#Microfeat: Power Cast

Why are weapon users the only ones who can boost power at the cost of precision? Of course, with spells things are a little different…

Power Cast

You can make exceptionally deadly spell attacks by sacrificing accuracy and penetrating capacity for raw power.

Prerequisites: Ability score that determines your bonus spells 13, caster level 1st.

Benefit: When you cast a spell that requires an attack roll or allows a saving throw for half or to negate, you can choose to take a –2 penalty on all attack rolls and a –1 penalty to all concentration checks, caster level checks to penetrate SR, and saving throw DCs for effects you create this round to gain a +1 bonus on the spell’s effective caster level for everything except caster level checks to penetrate SR and concentration checks.

When your caster level reaches 4th, and every 4 levels thereafter, the penalty increases by –2 for attack rolls and –1 for checks and save DCs, and the bonus to caster level increases by +1.

You must choose to use this feat before casting any spell, and its penalties last until your next turn.

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The One Universal Spell-Like Metamagic

The feats Empower Spell-Like Ability and Quicken Spell-Like ability follow the same set of rules on when you can gain spell-like metamagic, how often you can use it, and what spells you can apply it to. By boiling those rules down to a universal set of guidelines it’s possible to have a single balanced monster feat that allows any metamagic feat to potentially be applied to any spell-like ability. This allows a GM to give monsters all the options player spellcasters have, without having to create scores of new feats.

Universal Spell-Like Metamagic

Select one metamagic feat, subject to this feat’s requirements.

Prerequisite: Spell-like ability you can cast with a caster level equal to at least 2 + double the spell slot adjustment of selected metamagic feat.

Benefit: Select one spell-like ability that meets this feat’s prerequisites. If the spell-like ability’s spell level is higher than 1st level, your caster level must be at least double the metamagic feat’s spell slot adjustment plus double the spell-like ability’s spell level. Three times per day when you use this spell, you may gain all the benefits of the selected meamagic feat. This does not allow you to use a spell-like ability more times per day than you are normally able to.

Special: This feat can be taken more than once. Its effects do not stack. Each time you select it you must select a combination of metamagic feat and spell-like ability you have not already selected with this feat.

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Microfeat: Needle to Death

Needle to Death

You can make the most of your weapon;s smaller size, finding chinks in your foe’s armor and slipping it nimbly into weak spots.

Prerequisites: Size Small.

Benefits: While Small, and using a light weapon, one-handed weapons, or ranged weapon, and the weapon is sized appropriately for you, you roll damage dice for that weapon as if it was Medium. You can only use this ability with attacks that apply your Dexterity modifier to your attack bonus (normally all ranged attacks, though it also applies to any melee attacks you use your Dexterity modifier for, most often as a result of having Weapon Finesse).

#Microfeats are quick sketches of rules I am considering for possible use in a 3pp Pathfinder-compatible product, which may be altered, adjusted, or never make it into a final product.

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The Never Miss Feat

This feat is adapted from an edge designed for a Champions/Hero character, run by my friend Carl. It exists to allow the concept of “the character who never misses,” a popular fiction trope, without boosting accuracy to a degree that breaks the game. It can be considered a Genre Feat for some pulp campaigns.

Never Miss

If your attack roll does not connect, you didn’t shoot.
Prerequisites: Far Shot, Point Blank Shot, Precise Shot
Benefit: When making a ranged weapon attack (but not any other kind of ranged attack), if your attack roll fails to hit your foe’s AC, of hits your foe’s AC but misses as a result of a percentile miss chance,  you actually didn’t make the attack (though you can’t take some other action instead), and do not expend the ammunition. If you used some ability in connection with the ranged attack (such as making an attack with true strike), that ability is still considered expended.
If you fail to hit or effect your target for any other reason (such as DR, energy resistance, invisible walls, your target being an illusion, and so on), you don’t get to invoke this feat and expend your ammunition normally.

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Tanks Without Aggro

Many computer games have an “aggro mechanic,” which determines who NPCs are going to attack. This makes it easy to design “tank” classes, who have the tactical role of encouraging people to attack them( and surviving that attack) simply by giving them a power that causes the NPC to do that.

In tabletop there are mixed feelings on aggro mechanics. I’ve done some myself, but they were in the context of WarQuest World, a microsetting designed to use a tabletop game to simulate the genre of real-world people stuck playing in a fantasy world that modeled the rules of an MMO.

Some people love tabletop aggro rules, because they feel fighters and related classes need *some* way to encourage foes to attack them. This helps fighters do one of the things they do well (soak up a lot of damage) even when facing foes they have trouble damaging.0

But within a typical Pathfinder campaign, the rules shouldn’t be as heavy-handed as WarQuest World’s are. Otherwise they feel too bolted-on, and too much like the rule exists to be a rule, rather than existing to be an option that makes sense within the context of the game’s reality. So, here are two ideas IF you want to make tanking a broader option, but don’t want a formal aggro mechanic. I present them as feats, but they could just as well be class features for archetypes, magic abilities placed in weapons, and so on.

(A quick aside — these first two feats assume the officially-revised Antagonize feat, found here)

Improved Antagonize (Combat)

You are skill at raising your foe’s ire.
Prerequisites: Antagonize.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks required to employ the Antagonize feat, and may make such checks as move actions. You can use either skill to produce either effect, and can target a creature with each once per day. You can use these on creatures that do not the understand you. If you have wild empathy, you can use them on animals, magical beasts and vermin with an Intelligence of 3 or lower.

Greater Antagonize (Combat)

No one is better than you at royally pissing someone off.
Prerequisites: Antagonize, Improved Antagonize.
Benefit: Your bonus to Diplomacy and Intimidate checks required to employ the Antagonize feat increases to +4, and you may make such checks in place of an attack when you take the full attack action. When you successfully damage a foe you have used Antagonize against in the past 24 hours, you reset how soon you can next use this feat on them as if you had not used it in the past 24 hours.

(This next ability works off the same principle as a witch’s cackle — it’s not that there’s any artificial forcing of foes attacking you, it’s just that you get so annoying GMs think it’s smart to attack you).

Champion’s Benediction (Combat)

When you focus your will against a foe, things go badly for them.
Prerequisites: No access to casting spells or spell-like abilities from class features.
Benefit: As a swift action, select one foe that has a spell or effect or condition with a duration measured in rounds that was placed upon it by an ally. The next round does not count against that effect’s duration, causing it to last one more round than normal.

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Genre Emulation Feats – Noir, Fatale

Genre Emulation Feats are an idea I noodled with while running an Anachronistc Advenures campaign called “The Travellers,” where my players bravely agreed to make mundane modern day characters using the AnacrAdv rules knowing I was going to do SOMETHING with the game, but not what.

“What” turned out to be a series of world-hopping adventures that took them to different realities (Alterniverses) where different genres held sway, within which each PCs got a template giving them abilities appropriate to their role within that Alterniverse. Several of those had Genre Emulation Feats, which were designed to enforce specific tropes with that reality. GEF were more powerful than normal feats, but you only got a few, only to fit one role, and only within that Alterniverse.

each character never filled more than one role. If your roll changed, you could swap your old genre feats for new ones. I generally gave out a bonus GEF at 1st level, 3rd level, and every 3rd level after that.

These are examples of the ones the Fatale role could pick up, which certainly were not gender-specific.

A Paramour in Every Port
Prerequisites: Fatale role
Benefits: Each time you enter a settlement, you get a number of followers as if you had taken the Leadership feat (but no cohorts… ever). Your Leadership level for this is equal to your Charisma bonus, plus the bonuses you gain from Bluff or Diplomacy from feats (you add only the bonuses to one of those two skills, whichever are highest), plus the higher of the settlement’s Corruption or Society rating. For Leadership scores of Your effective Leadership has a minimum of 6 to 9, you still receive followers (1 follower for a 6, 2 for a 7, and so on). Your total followers in a given settlement never exceed your character level.
Your followers are Friendly, and their roles within the town are random. Their alignment is also random, but you know their alignment within one step (your GM tells you, and the answer will be correct or within one step). You do not need to pay for these followers gear or upkeep unless you give them full-time (40 hour/week) tasks.
Losing a follower lowers your leadership score in the same settlement by 1 until you gain your next level. each time you gain a level, you can recalculate your total followers (replacing lost ones and gaining new ones if needed).

Bushwack
Prerequisites: Fatale role
Benefits: When you lure a target into a secluded area where the target cannot see or hear any of its allies, any nonlethal damage the takes in a surprise round before the target acts is quadrupled. This only functions if you convince the target to move from the location where you encounter it. If any of these conditions end you cannot use this feat again on the same target until you have gotten an attitude or friendly with the target, or if the target does not realize you are the same person when you next lure it into seclusion.

Quid Pro Quo
Prerequisites: Fatale role
Benefits: You can make a Diplomacy check to ask favors of creatures that are not hostile to you, in return for you doing a favor of the same level of danger and/or cost for them first. The DC for this is 10 + x1.5 the CR of the target. This otherwise functions as a normal Diplomacy check asking for a favor.
Obviously you’d want more feats and different roles…

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Seven Virtuous Feats of Charity, No. 2

I continue to look at Seven Virtuous Feats of Charity, given the season calls for virtue more than sin. 🙂

Pay It Forward
You can pass the benefits of some abilities to those in greater need.
Prerequisites: Charitable, Cha 13.
Benefit: When you are the target of a beneficial spell or effect from a source other than yourself or your possessions, you may choose to pass the benefit to an ally within 30 feet that could be a legitimate target of the effect (the orignal source need not be in range of the new target, but if the effect only benefits humanoids you could not pass it to a non-humanoid target). You must do this when you first gain the benefit, and it requires a swift or immediate action.
In most cases you must pass the full benefit, but if you are healed (even of ability damage) and receive more healing than is needed to take you to your maximum, you may use this ability to pass the excess to an ally within 30 feet as a swift or immediate action.

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Seven Virtuous Feats of Charity, No. 1

So, yeah, I am actually going to delay finishing the Sinful Feats of Sloth…

(Don’t worry, they’ll be back.)

Instead, I’m going to start exploring Virtuous Feats. And since I am giving these away for free, I thought I’d begin with Charity. Which also means I am setting on which Seven Virtues I’m going with –Chastity, Charity, Diligence, Humility, Kindness, Patience, and Temperance.

I’m also up front that these are for virtuous characters, not necessarily virtuous players. They are supposed to give real game mechanical benefits, worthy of spending a feat on, without asking the player to be any more moral than the baselines expected of friends having fun. That may cause some cognitive dissonance, so I’m mentioning it now.

Also, virtuous feats have their own rules, much as sinful feats do.

The Virtuous Feat Type

While virtuous feats are not restricted to good characters (you don’t have to be entirely without virtues in order to be an evil person), and using them is not an inherently good act (overzealous virtue can easily turn toward evil) they do draw on the power of virtue itself. As a result characters who gain power in part from having an evil alignment (such as antipaladins, who must remain chaotic evil) cannot gain or use sinful feats. If such a character loses her alignment and the power that comes with it as a result of an act tied to one of the seven cardinal virtues (Chastity, Charity, Diligence, Humility, Kindness, Patience, and Temperance) the GM may choose to allow the character to swap out any feats relating to the lost power for virtuous feats linked to the appropriate virtue.

Charitable

When you give, your radiate an aura of assisting others.

Prerequisites: Cha 13.

Benefit: When you are in a state of virtuous charity, you may select one of the following benefits to grant allies within a 30 foot radius: a +1 bonus to AC, a +1 bonus ot all saving throws, or a +1 bonus to opposed skill checks. You never benefit from your own Charitable feat bonuses. You may select what bonus to grant at the beginning of each of your turns.

You enter a state of virtuous charity for 1 round by by aiding another, taking a standard or longer action to grant a bonus to someone else, or using a standard action or longer ability or attack of opportunity to take damage targeted at another character (such as with the In Harm’s Way feat).

If, as a result of charitable giving to NPC institutions that does not benefit you or any of your allies,  you are 15% of more below the typical wealth per level of a character of your class and level for your campaign (standard for PCs if you are a PC, standard for NPCs if an NPC, and as compared to the norm established by your GM if different from the Core Rulebook), you are in a constant state of virtuous charity.

You cannot have more than one benefit from this feat active at a time.

This post is Charitably sponsored by The Open Gaming Store! In addition to giving you a choice of free pdfs with every order you make above $20, this is also the store that supports the awesome webmaster of the rules archive at d20pfsrd.com!

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