Bullet Points: 10 Feats of Hammer and Thunder (PFRPG) PDF (based on
Rogue Genius Games
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Sometimes rules supplements read like the world-setting bible of frustrated novelists. Although solid world-building is a useful skill, you don’t always need four paragraphs of flavor text to tell you swords are cool, magic is power, shadows are scary, and orcs are savage. Sometimes a GM doesn’t have time to slog through a page of history for every magic weapon. Sometimes all that’s needed are a few cool ideas, with just enough information to use them in a game. Sometimes, all you need are bullet points.
#1 With A Bullet Point is a line of very short, cheap PDFs, and each one gives the bare bones of a set of related options. It might be five spells, six feats, eight magic weapon special abilities, or any other short set of related rules we can cram into about a page. Short and simple, these PDFs are for GMs and players who know how to integrate new ideas into their campaigns without any hand holding—they just need fresh ideas and the rules to support them. No in-character fiction setting the game world. No charts and tables. No sidebars of explanations and optional rules. Just one sentence of explanation for the High Concept of the PDF, then bullet points.
The High Concept: Ten feats designed to allow characters get extra utility out of bludgeoning weapons and electricity effects as if they were Thor, God of Thunder.
There are too many bludgeoning weapons that are simple, making them not very popular with the martial characters. They have lower threat ranges and don’t usually get cool abilities added to them, like keen or vorpal. They don’t often have special weapon features either, like disarm or trip, so many people tend to look at other options.
Not anymore. Here we have a list of feats that will make any dwarf happy! You can now truly become a master with your warhammer. You’ve got a feat that let you use your weapon as a shield (imagine Thor when he twirls his hammer). You’ve got a feat a feat that lets you lead with the weapon when charging, essentially having it pull you along with its momentum, giving you a bonus on Acrobatics checks and bull rush checks. You can use your bludgeoning weapon to perform combat maneuvers at a distance. You’ve got one that takes the classic cleric’s non-bloodletting weapon and lets him channel his energy into it for a sacred bonus on attacks and damage. There is a feat that lets the paladin turn that smite into one heavenly combat maneuver. You can stun through your weapon. You can throw your weapon in a line and hit everything in the path and even knock down the last one like a bunch of kobold bowling pins. You can also deafen with one feat and add sonic damage with another.
I have some ideas for a dwarf paladin that is going to bring the pain. I may even combine this with the 7 Feats for Sword and Board Fighting for a really potent paladin. Today would be a good day to have someone have to deal with their culture’s burial practices as a member of the funeral.
10 Feats of Hammer and Thunder is presented in the standard Bullet Point format of three pages consisting of intro/material/OGL, with one page dedicated to each.
The cover artwork is a Valkyrie of indeterminate race, possible human or dwarven, hard to tell from the perspective of the angle for the drawing. Regardless of this point, the artwork for the intro page is fantastic, one of the best pieces for the Bullet Points series so far. The art for the OGL page appears to be from the Elmore stock options, and seems slightly washed out in comparison to the front image.
The 10 Feats included within are:
Hammer Block - spin a blunt weapon for a shield effect
Hammer Charge - throw yourself behind your weapon for additional momentum
Ranged Crush - Use thrown blunt weapons to disarm or knock foes down
Sacred Hammer - imbue a bludgeoning weapon with holy impact
Smashing Smite - imbue a bludgeoning weapon with holy force
Stunning Hammer - Stun foes with a successful attack
Thrown Slam - throw a bludgeoning weapon to hit multiple targets
Thunder Clap - invoke thunder when dealing electrical or sonic damage
Thundering Smite - use smite evil to deal sonic damage
Unbelievable Throw - like Thrown Slam, but unbelievable in it's range
The capacity to add the a taste of the Thor Mythos to your game using these Feats is fairly easy, and each Feat is pretty straight forward in it's execution. Overall I'm going with a five star for this Bullet Point as it delivers exactly what the title offers, and gives you a great deal of the tools required to bring a certain wild maned blond thunder god to life within the settings of Paizo's playground.
(Sorry about the title, but I had to!)
I picked this PDF up yesterday and I have to say that I really like it! The author did a great job packing some sweet flavor into the feats while still making them perfectly reasonable choices. As a GM I would have no trouble allowing these feats to be used in any game I ran. As a fan of the Thor comic a few of the feats were obviously inspired by I can't wait until the next time I roll up a character in a game so I can "bring the thunder."
Short and sweet, with more hammer and less thunder
This PDF will provide your blunt weapon wielding with quite a few more options, with mostly balanced feats.
On the cover is a Valkyrie-looking female Dwarf (or gnome), covered in electricity and wielding a badass hammer and shield.
On to the feats!
Hammer Block -- Gain a shield bonus to AC as a move action with a blunt weapon, and can help allies too.
Hammer Charge -- Use your hammer skills to help with charges that require jumps.
Ranged Crush -- Combat maneuvers with blunt thrown weapons.
Sacred Hammer -- Channel the energy of your god to gain bonuses to hit and damage with melee blunt weapons. This feat gets better as your levels increase.
Smashing Smite -- The favorite smite of British Aristocrats everywhere, this smite lets paladins use Combat Maneuvers with a bonus equal to their level.
Stunning Hammer -- Stuns enemies you hit with your hammer. I have a lot of reservations about this feat, especially since it can be taken after BAB +8. Allows a save though that would be hard for non-divines to raise too high.
Thrown Slam -- Throw your hammer with the might of Thor to hit targets in a line.
Thunder clap -- When dealing electricity or sonic damage, deafen your target. Harder for casters to use effectively, since the save allowed is constitution based.
Thundering Smite -- Smite Evil can have its extra damage be sonic.
Unbelievable Throw -- Like Thrown Slam, but longer range and you can do a combat maneuver to the last foe in the line.
Closing Thoughts: There are a bunch of cool ideas in here, and other than Stunning Hammer, I feel that they're quite balanced. I do wish they dealt more with sonic and electricity damage (specifically spells!), but judging by the inspiration for this book, it's perfectly reasonable to have most be based on the hammer aspect.