Advanced Feats: Visions of the Oracle (PFRPG) PDF

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The Oracle Foretold This Set of Feats!

Continuing the hugely popular Advanced Feats series, the Visions of the Oracle takes a deeper look at this spontaneous divine class. Visions offers 30 game-tested feats, 3 rock-solid character builds, plus a class overview, analysis, and designer commentary.

Feats include everything from Battlecaster and Mystic Retribution to Quick Healing, Prophetic Dreamer, and Tactical Spellcasting. With 17 pages of advanced Pathfinder Roleplaying Game options for anyone playing an oracle, Visions of the Oracle includes both feats made to order for every official Mystery and a range of more general feats.

Behold the light of a greater oracle! Pick up the Visions of the Oracle today!

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One of the best installments of the series

*****

This pdf is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisements.

As all pdfs from the advanced feats series, this book beginns with a hort discussion/introduction to the class in question.

After that, we get the meat of the book, the 30 new feats:
Armed Touch Casting: Deliver touch spells using a melee weapon

Battlecaster: Cast spells as part of a full attack

Charmed: Add +5 bonus to a single dice roll

Concentration Spell: Extend the duration of your spells through concentration

Conditional Curse: Curse class feature Your curse hinders you only about half of the time

Divine Resistance: Gain resistance to divine magic

Dormant Spell: Cast helpful spells that remain dormant until activated

Elemental Boost: Spells of your chosen element are infused with extra power

Extra use: Use any class ability an extra 1/day

Magic Sense: Sense magic energies and identify spells you save against

Meta Spell: Learn metamagic versions of spells

Mystic Retribution: Zap enemies who interrupt your spellcasting using residual magic

Penetrating Spell: Your spells overcome energy resistance

Potent Ability: Add +1 bonus to the DC of your supernatural and spell-like abilities

Potent Divination: Your detection spells are faster and stronger than normal

Preserve Scroll: Cast a spell from a scroll without destroying it

Prophetic Dreamer: Your dreams sometimes echo the future

Quick Healing: Provide first aid and treat wounds and poison as a move action

Savage Critical: Your critical hits strike harder on a natural 20

Scroll Mastery: Gain a +4 bonus to CL and Use Magic Device checks to activate scrolls

Scroll Metamagic: Add metamagic effects to spells read from scrolls

Somatic Weapon: Satisfy somatic components using a chosen weapon

Spell Retention: Never lose your spell when interrupted

Spiritual Armaments: Create spectral equipment when you summon or animate the dead

Strange Revelation: Learn a revelation from a mystery other than your own

Tactical Spellcasting: Move before and after spellcasting

Touch Spell Control: You are less restricted in how you hold a charge from touch spells

Transfer Spell: Change the range of a spell from personal to touch

Two Wand Technique: Activate one wand in each hand as a single action

Wand Casting: Cast spells with a wand in your hand, augmenting spells of the same school

Comments on the feats:

Armed Touch Casting/Battlecaster: Nice options to give the Oracle some Gish-like qualities.

Charmed: 1/day +5 to a single die roll after it is made. This ranks among the most simple, generic feats possible, but in contrast to e.g. +1 to all saves, I can see PCs clambering towards this feat. It's elegant, simple and useable in many a situation without unbalancing the game.

Concentration Spell: Feat that enables the caster to use the iconic Gandalf self-sacrifice à la "YOU SHALL NOT PASS!", among others. Iconic and cool.

Conditional Curse: Makes your curse condition-specific. I don't like this feat at all, as the curse is, at least in my opinion, what defines an Oracle just as much as all the abilities. Allowing a player to weasel out of it, at least under certain conditions, detracts from the feeling of the class. I guess it's a nice feat for power-gamers.

Dormant Spell: A minor version of a contingency, this is gold for tacticians and coercing PCs into the service of dubious oracles.

Extra Use: Use a class ability one additional time per day. While generic, I think this feat might be abused in e.g. level-10-PrC-abilities etc. It's ok, I guess, but COULD potentially detract from the appeal of some signature abilities. On the other hand, PCs could actually use these abilities more often, making their choices matter more. I guess it evens out and works.

Magic Sense: God, I hate this feat. 30 ft. range of sense to identify items that are magical and spells in effect, plus, if you succeed a save, it lets you know what happens if you had failed a save. While the range is not too large, it does not specify whether e.g. doors or walls block the magic sense and makes detect magic as well as some plot-driven usages of magic almost completely obsolete. And don't get me started on NPC-items/non-violent meetings with potential villains/magically disguised/polymorphed enemies. If this had been restricted to blind oracles, I could have lived with that, but as written, I'd ban this feat.

Meta Spell: lets a spontaneous caster learn metamagic spells at their modified level without enhancing the casting time. Unfortunately, e.g. the empowered spell counts as a regular learned spell, rendering this feat useless for spells your character already knows.

Mystic Retribution: If your spellcasting is interrupted, the enemy is zapped via a touch attack. Damage scales with the spell-level lost. Now we're talking! This is both iconic, cool and balanced. Plus: It scales with the level, being useful at all levels. An excellent feat.

Preserve Scroll: Sacrifice spell levels to preserve scrolls. Great idea, balanced mechanics, nothing to complain about.

Prophetic Dreamer: This is a roleplaying feat that is very rules-light and I love it. I've been using a similar feat in my homebrew campaign for years and it has opened whole new venues for me as a DM to tell stories, create pressure and/or give PCs a fighting chance against terrible ambushes etc. I'd love a book with just feats like that.

Quick healing: First aid, treat wound, treat poison as a move action. Another feat that is a boon for non-magical healers/low-magic campaigns that actually do care about non-magical healing. Two thumbs up!

Somatic Weapon: Use a weapon to satisfy somatic spellcasting needs. Why hasn't this been done before?

Tactical Spellcasting: "Shot on the run" for spells with casting time "Standard action" - iconic and cool, this feat enables you to run from cover to cover while casting. Another instance of "Why hasn't this been done before?"

Two Wand Technique: Use a wand in each hand. While the feat per se requires some actions to get the wands into your hands, I can already see the wandslinger builds springing up. Not my cup of tea, but if you're so inclined, go ahead. However: If you also have the Wandcasting feat, enabling you to use somatic components with your wands, this feat quickly becomes danderously powerful and I'd disallow the combination.

After that, we get 3 sample Oracle builds, the Visionary Healer, The Phoenix and the Savage Seer.

Conclusion:

Editing is once again top-notch, I didn't notice any typos. Formatting and Layout are at the peak of the series so far - especially the layout is a beauty to behold. The same goes for the extremely cool cover illustration that somewhat disturbed me - great work! With regards to the crunch presented herein, I have to say that I'm a bit skeptic towards some feats (Two Wand Technique...) and I utterly HATE Magic Sense. However, the plethora of the material presented herein is actually quality-wise at the top and more than once I thought "that's it!" while reading the feats. A gripe I had with e.g. the Summoner-book and the Alchemist-book, the fact that they didn't feel as geared to the class as they could have been is not present herein - while many of the feats may also be of use to other classes, most have a definite "Oracleish" feeling to them and/or are storytelling/style gold. Due to the minor problems I have with some feats, I'll settle for a very solid 4.5 stars for this installment of advanced feats.


Help for Oracles

*****

Visions of the Oracle by Open Design

This product is 17 pages long. It starts with a cover, ToC and credits. (2 pages)

Next we get into a introduction and examining the new Oracle Class. (2 page)

This is followed by new feats for the Summoner. (7 pages)
Armed Touch Casting – use a weapon to deliver touch spells.
Battlecaster – cast spells as part of a full attack.
Charmed – 1/day bonus to any one roll
Concentration Spell – extend duration
Conditional Curse – oracle curse not always in effect
Divine Resistance
Dormant Spell
Elemental Boost – spells of choose element infused with extra power.
Extra use – gain extra class ability use per day.
Magic Sense – can sense magic around you.
Meta Spell – learn a spell with a meta magic feat already applied.
Mystic Retribution – zap enemies that interrupt your casting
Penetrating Spell
Potent Ability – add bonus to spell like abilities.
Potent Divination – bonus to divination spells.
Preserve Scroll – cast a spell form a scroll with out using up scroll.
Prophetic Dreamer – hard to explain but neat.
Quick Healing
Savage Critical
Scroll Mastery
Scroll Metamagic – add meta magic to spells used from scrolls
Somatic Weapon
Spell Retention – don't lose the spell if interrupted in casting.
Spiritual Armaments Spell – gives equipment to summoned or animated creatures.
Strange Revelation – learn a revelation from a mystery other than your own.
Tactical Spellcasting – move before and after casting spell.
Touch Spell Control – makes touch spells more flexible in use.
Transfer Spell – makes personal spells castable on others with touch.
Two Wand Technique – use a wand in each hand.
Wand Casting – gain bonus to spells cast while holding a wand of the same spell school.

The final section is advice for building Oracles with three example builds. (4 pages)
Visionary Healer – a healing focused oracle.
Phoenix – A blaster build using fire for the Oracle.
Savage Seer – A melee focused combative Oracle.

It closes with a ad and OGL. (2 pages)

Closing Thoughts. Like the others in the series while the feats are all useful to a Oracle many of them would be useful to other classes as well. Most classes could find a few useful feats. They seem fairly well done and I didn't notice any obvious spelling errors or area's where they was hard to understand.

There is virtually no art, just the cover image used again and then some symbols. The borders are pretty and the book is pretty print friendly. Like the Summoner book I felt the builds was the weakest part of this book. The healer build makes sense as does the other two, but with two combative builds I am not sure was needed. What was missed I feel and really should have been a build is a divination build. One based on knowledge as it makes sense for the class. Other than that one disappointment it is a good book and useful for Oracles or any one looking to add some more interesting feats to their game.

I only noticed one error and that is there is no 9th level spells for the Visionary Healer listed. Not sure what happened there. I am giving this one a 4.5 star review. The lack of the divination Oracle build knocked off half a star for me.


An RPG Resource Review

*****

What is more mysterious than an Oracle? It is the turn of the Oracle character class to come under the microscope: no mere list of feats but a detailed look at the potentials and options available to players who fancy being an Oracle.

We begin with an overview of the class as a whole, discussing the salient points of an Oracle. It's an interesting class, a spontaneous caster but divine rather than arcane (the answer to those of us who mutter that surely our deities would never let us choose the wrong spells for the day...), with many opportunities for the role-player as they tend to be good socially as well as with that air of mystery! Speaking of mysteries, your choice here sets the flavour of the whole character, affecting him in terms of game mechanics as well as laying the seeds for role-playing and characterisation. As they are so important, there's a thumb-nail sketch of each one, to aid your choice based on just what kind of oracle you would like to play. Oracles are well set up for defence, if offensive capability is desired crafty choices of mystery (Battle is good, or an elemental one) can prove an advantage. Oracles will tend to specialise in something, but that thing they can generally do very well indeed.

On to the feats, a full 30 of them. Many can, of course, be taken by any character although they are aimed at oracles. Some present novel variations to combat - for example Armed Touch Casting allows you to extend the range of a 'touch' spell by using a melee weapon to deliver it, with the added bonus of doing the normal weapon damage as well as whatever effect the spell has! (Shades of a wizard I knew back in AD&D days, who delivered shocking grasp down a staff carefully prepared with bands of copper along its length.) A grumpy Oracle might enjoy the Mystic Retribution feat, which allows you to lash out with residual magical energy at anyone who disturbs your concentration whilst you are spellcasting. And for those who want to take the title 'oracle' literally (and whose GM agrees) there's a Prophetic Dreamer feat, as well as the ability to make ordinary divination spells more effective. Overall, the feats are combat-oriented, and careful choices can enhance your Oracle's capability considerably. There are interesting notes about the inclusion and design of several which make fascinating reading especially if you enjoy devising your own feats, giving you points to ponder.

Finally, the suggested 'builds' taking your Oracle in a path from 1st level depending on what you intend him to become as he gains more power. The options presented are a Visionary Healer, the Phoenix and the Savage Seer. The Visionary Healer is better than most clerics at healing, and adds the divinatory powers and other abilities of the class, definitely a good build for a strong role-player who cares about the people encountered in his travels, or seeks to champion the people of a township in which he settles. The Phoenix utilises the elemental power of fire, and can do damage any pyromanic would be proud of, while having considerable social skills - well beyond the "It was on fire when I got here" that most use to evade responsibility for the blazes that they have caused. The Savage Seer is a battle-monster, dealing tremendous amounts of damage with both weapons and spells. Great potential for a memorable character in any of these, or inspiration in planning your own career as an Oracle.

Well up to the standard of earlier books, and invaluable if you want to play a well-developed Oracle in a lasting campaign.


Shadow Lodge

Well, considering the coolness of the previous 30 Feats books, I have to say I am sorely tempted.

Anyone have it yet?


If you liked the previous entries and you enjoy spell casting feats I think you will definitely dig this one. Casting in combat, metamagic, and magic item use were some of the stronger themes so far as the feats go. And like always, only a few are actually limited to the Oracle class so nearly any spell caster can find some great tools in here.

I hope folks like it! I'm now working on The Inquisitor's Edge.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

To be honest, I was a bit disappointed in the book. I had hoped that there would be more than just a brief discussion of the class and a few feats selected from a previously published book.

What the class sorely needs is someone to put some thought (and play-testing) into additional Mysteries and Curses. A few Oracle-only spells would be nice, too.

But the feats were not that specific to Oracles in my opinion. Some of them were cool and could be useful for specific Oracle types (particularly fighting types.)

There were a couple of good other ideas that could be expanded into some cool stuff, but the book didn't do that. I particularly like the fortune telling side-bar and think someone could really do that justice with a short PDF. We've got a really cool system I'd be happy to share with someone if they wanted to use it.

This book wasn't bad, it was just less than I had hoped when I purchased it. If you love Oracles and would like to trade of cup of strip-mall coffee for some light reading, then get it. Just be aware of what you are getting.

3 out of 5 Goblins

The Exchange Kobold Press

Thanks for the review! It's always good to hear critique and feedback, especially if it helps improve future installments.

One question: What previously published book are you referring to? These feats are new to Pathfinder.


Micco wrote:

This book wasn't bad, it was just less than I had hoped when I purchased it. If you love Oracles and would like to trade of cup of strip-mall coffee for some light reading, then get it. Just be aware of what you are getting.

3 out of 5 Goblins

Thanks very much for the feedback and review Micco :)

The series is primarily about new feats rather than expanding on the classes themselves, and the majority of the feats can be used outside of the class. This is an intentional design choice as I want them to have maximum utility for players.

The original idea for the series was simply to do feats for each class in the APG. I decided to go a bit beyond that and try to show how the feats could be used to build specific character archetypes that are synergistic with the class abilities. For some it feels like they get feats and some bonus material, but for others hoping for more of a splat book it falls short.

The Advanced Options series from Super Genius may be more what you are looking for as they do a mix of feats and class powers. I think for Oracle they focused on additional curses and curse changing feats but I believe they have a new mystery or two. The tend to be a bit shorter than Advanced Feats but they are more specific to the class being covered and hit a little on all aspects of the class. More of a mini splat book. They are my competitors but they are also cool folks and good game designers.

I'd love to hear about the fortune telling system. I really wanted to do feats for it but in the end... feats didn't seem like the way to address that. Shoot me an email at Sigfried@gmail.com if you get a chance.

PS: While about half the feats in the series originate from the Netbook of Feats, they are all heavily revised and/or edited to ensure they are fully Pathfinder compatible and to meet my personal quality standards. While I am proud of the quality of the NBOF (I was its chief editor), the Advanced Feats series is another notch up and only presents what I feel is the best the NBOF had to offer along with brand new feats inspired by the APG classes.


Pathfinder Modules Subscriber

Thanks for the response, guys. I'm a huge fan of the KQ stuff (I'm a KQ subscriber and frequent Open Design patron...I LOVE Tales of the Old Margreve!), so I was excited to see you turn your eye to class options.

Like I said, I think the miss here is that I was expecting something different than what the book offered. I was so excited to finally see the Oracle get some love that I didn't really set my expectations that it was mostly feats (although it is clearly stated.)

My comment about 'feats from another book' are probably unfair, as I've never seen or read NBOF. I was just commenting based on the mention that the Netbook of Feats was the source for some of the feats in the book. I think my biggest concern is that the feats don't seem specific enough to Oracles. While they would all be useful to Oracles, many would also be useful to other classes that have similar roles or abilities. It sounds like that was a design intention, and I understand the reasoning. I was just hoping for more Oracle-loving!

I think there were one or two feats that are overpowered, but they provide interesting options for characters in higher-powered games. I do like your commentary that discusses the pros and cons of each feat...that's a great addition to help me think through the consequences of allowing a feat in my game.

I didn't give the Oracle-builds in the second half of the PDF proper consideration. There were some interesting builds in there that leverage the feats in the book. I thought the builds were well-done and provide a great starting place for new characters.

As you can see, I'm a huge fan of the Oracle class. I think it is one of the most interesting classes in terms of versatility of flavor. I bet I could build a dozen Oracles that all feel unique, are realistic (in a fantasy sense) and have a ton of flavor.

Considering what you get for a price of a cup-o-joe, I think it's a good buy for someone who likes the class.

EDIT: Oh, I forgot to mention my most-liked feat from the book is one that allows a character to choose a single Revelation from another Oracle Mystery. That makes a ton of sense and really adds to the flavor options (I want my Life Oracle to have a bit of a dream-world flavor, for instance.)


A pleasure, I love talking about feats (and general crunch as you can probably tell :) )

I didn't feel any of your comments were unfair, I just wanted to explain what I could about the context.

I always expect some folks will pick out some feats as being unbalanced. Everyone has a somewhat different tipping point. Penetrating Spell is a good example. If you really want as a GM to make resistant monsters as a hurdle for a character, then its going to give you heartache as a GM. Its always weighing, "how often is it useful" vs "how strong is it".

I error a little on the powerful side. I think a feat that no one wants or will ever take is the most useless thing you can publish. Its a waste of money and time. So far, the reviews that point out feats that are too strong mostly have chosen different ones to single out, and that gives me some comfort I'm in the right zone where its more a matter of taste than all out brokenness. Anyway, I love to hear the too strong/too weak picks as it helps me dial in. :)

I really like Oracle as well. I'm a multi-class lover but the cool thing with Oracle is it can take on the flavor of a multi-class but keep pure divine spell casting. I like how an Oracle of Bone has totally different flavor than an Oracle of Nature almost as if there were two different classes. If I had the space and time I'd have done a build for every mystery!

I'll tell my wife (also our layout expert) you liked Strange Revelation. I wasn't sure if folks would accept it and she lobbied hard for its inclusion until I was convinced. I really like it but some folks can be sticklers about purity.


Am I blind, or is the recommended spell list for the Visionary Healer incomplete? I think it lists the first four spells for 7th level, and then it ends there without even showing what you ought to get for 8th and 9th level spells?

That aside, I love this PDF as much as the rest on the series and I'm eagerly looking forward to the one covering the Inquisitor.


Eric Hinkle wrote:

Am I blind, or is the recommended spell list for the Visionary Healer incomplete? I think it lists the first four spells for 7th level, and then it ends there without even showing what you ought to get for 8th and 9th level spells?

That aside, I love this PDF as much as the rest on the series and I'm eagerly looking forward to the one covering the Inquisitor.

Your eyes do not deceive you Eric. I'm very sorry for the omission. Strangely my copy has the 8th level but are missing the 9th.. I will get to the bottom of it and have you the missing spells here and also we will update the PDF.

Sorry for the mistake! And thanks for the patronage and kind words :)

Here are the 7th - 9th level spells for the Visionary Healer according to my original manuscript.

7 – cure serious wounds mass*, greater restoration*, regeneration, repulsion, reverse gravity*, symbol of stunning

8 – cure critical wounds mass*, euphoric tranquility, holy aura, planar ally greater

9 – etherealness, heal mass*, miracle, true resurrection

Dark Archive

reviewed


Are the feats in this book legal for PathFinder Society play? The book sounds like something I want, but if it's not legal I'll probably have to pass on it. Thx.

Dark Archive

John Pryor wrote:
Are the feats in this book legal for PathFinder Society play? The book sounds like something I want, but if it's not legal I'll probably have to pass on it. Thx.

Sadly as far as I know no 3pp stuff is legal in PFS play, for that matter I don't think all Paizo stuff is.


John Pryor wrote:
Are the feats in this book legal for PathFinder Society play? The book sounds like something I want, but if it's not legal I'll probably have to pass on it. Thx.

As much as I wish they had a way to sanction such things, they don't. Sorry John. Have fun Oracling regardless, its a fun class, even without my feats! :)

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