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RPG Superstar 2015

Achievement Feats: Volume 2 (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Great heroes perform great deeds—whether saving the world from annihilation, discovering heretofore unknown continents and planes of existence, unearthing the mysteries of forgotten civilizations, or defending entire cities from hordes of undead. Such acts of heroism, and occasionally villainy, leave their marks upon the souls and bodies of these heroes. Achievement Feats Volume 2 details the in-game effects these grand heroics might have on a PC. This volume takes a slightly different approach than volume 1 in the series in that it requires little bookkeeping. It's a win-win for everyone!

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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You need to EARN these achievements!

*****

There’s something to be said for doing something truly epic in your game. I don’t mean in the sense of getting more than 20 levels (though that’s certainly impressive), but rather those actions that are above and beyond the usual course of game-play. Killing an enemy and healing your wounded ally is par for the course; leaping onto the flying enemy mage from the top of the tower, slashing his throat, and riding his magically-flying corpse to the ground just in time to heal your dying companion is epic. It’s with that sort of thought in mind that we have Achievement Feats: Volume 2.

It needs to be noted that the “volume 2” here is a misnomer. This book is unrelated to the previous Achievement Feats. Instead, this is a different take on the same idea. Whereas the first Achievement Feats book was based around the Xbox-style achievements where you do enough of something to get a special reward, this book takes a different tack; as stated above, it’s about doing something truly impressive.

The book tells us that each PC has a single “achievement slot.” This means that you can only ever have one achievement feat (which is gained automatically when you meet the prerequisite) – if you later qualify for another achievement, you have to choose between the new one and the one you have, and if you trade your old one in, you lose all its benefits. You can gain a second achievement slot (via a new feat, or an alternate human racial trait), but you can never have more than two.

As for the achievement feats themselves, over thirty are present here. While some of these have prerequisites that don’t seem too over the top (e.g. spend all of your skill points on one skill when you gain a level), most of them range from “damn, that’d be tough to do” to “are you freaking KIDDING me?!” Seriously, there are achievement feats here for taking control of a major world religion, slaying the ruler of Hell or a similar plane, or killing everything in an entire plane of existence.

Yeah, you read that right. Killing everyone on an entire plane of existence.

Now, pound-for-pound, the benefits you get from an achievement feat are quite a bit stronger than what you’d get for taking a normal feat. But given the prerequisites mentioned above, I’m almost tempted to think they sound positively miniscule in comparison to what you have to do. Still, these are pretty hefty bonuses. Take control of a major world religion, for example, you get free Knowledge (religion) ranks, free extra spells, and can never lose class abilities due to personal conduct. Not too shabby.

The book ends with a surprising, and surprisingly-helpful, section discussing making up new achievement feats. It divides such activities into ad hoc feats (made up to suit something epic) and pre-made feats (made ahead of time for something epic that you think the PCs will do). It also talks about if you should let the PCs know ahead of time what these feats are and how to get them – there’s pros and cons either way, making it interesting to consider.

Ultimately, this book’s takes on feats of achievement is that less is more; it’s not about how often you do something, but about how epic a stunt you pull off. And that’s something I can absolutely respect; if your PC accomplishes something uber-impressive, why not give them a powerful reward for being just that awesome? If you want your characters’ achievements to have a tangible impact on what their character can do, pick up Achievement Feats Volume 2.


True ACHIEVEMENT feats - the stuff of legends

*****

This pdf is 10 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, leaving 8 pages of content, so let's check out the second installment of Tricky Owlbear's line of achievement feats!

I really like the premise of using special feats as a kind of reward for player characters, however, the fine line between tracking individual deeds and pedantic book-keeping is all too easily crossed and benefits might feel unbalanced. The first achievement-feat book did a fine, though not perfect job of walking said line, so let's check out how this second one fares. The basic idea of these feats herein is that each player starts with an achievement slot: Once they've completed the required task, they can fit one of the achievement feats into the slot. Each PC can only have one of these achievement feats active at any one time, unless they take the new extra achievement feat or a new alternate human racial trait.

The feats herein, quite simply, blew me away: Where the first achievement book still had some feats that could have been considered a bookkeeping nightmare for the GM, most of the feats herein center on TRUE achievements: Samples include gaining rulership of a kingdom, commanding a fleet, becoming the prime cleric of a god, destroying (or saving) a world, slaying the infernal ruler of a plane etc. The feats mostly center on true achievements, i.e. acts that only rarely are accomplished and can be considered...well...achievements. While most of them are rather grand ones (and grant corresponding benefits), e.g. Unkillable (which saves you once from death) and Jack of all Trades (which slightly enhances all your capabilities) are neat. Fans of psionics may enjoy the fact that some feats also have effects on the arts of the mind while remaining usable when no psionics are used in a given campaign.

The pdf also includes advice on how to create ad.hoc achievements and pre-made achievements yourself.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a printer-friendly two-column standard and the artwork is stock, but fitting and ok for the low price. The pdf unfortunately has no bookmarks, but at this length, that's still ok. I was quite frankly surprised at the quality of this pdf. While I liked the predecessor, this one blows it out of the water - the feats rock and feel sufficiently epic and grand in scope and the restrictions help keeping the benefits in line. Design-wise, I have nothing to complain and evil achievement feats are included as well. If I had one complaint, it would be the lack of bookmarks, but that's not enough to scale this pdf down. My final verdict will be 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


More mystic style achievement feats

****( )

Achievement Feats 2 by Tricky Owlbear Publishing

This product is 10 pages long. It starts with a cover. (1 pages)

Achievement Feats (8 pages)
It starts with a introduction on what achievement feats are and how they work. Next there is a new normal feat and racial trait both of which allow for a PC to have a second achievement feat. Following that we get into the actual achievement feats, there are 31 of them. The section ends with advice on how to create your own achievement feats. Below is a couple of feats that stood out to me.
Destroyer of Worlds – Have to have destroyed a world, plane or such. Gain a spell like ability such as earthquake or meteor Swarm.
Godtouched – Meet a god face to face and live. +2 level to channel ability, or gain channeling ability as a 2nd level cleric.
Gravemarked – die and come back from raise dead, gain negative energy resistance 5 and mindless undead consider you one of them.
Liberator – Free some slaves on different occasions with personal risk to yourself and no personal gain. Gain the a spell like ability to cast Freedom
Psychic Null – Suffered from Soul Bind. Gain 11+levels in resistance to the spell and mind influencing spells.
Scholar – Write and publish a book that impacts a field of study. Gain +1 to all knowledge skills or +10 to a single one.
Unkillable – survive a event which by all rights you should have died on nothing but a series of lucky rolls. Next time you die you instead wake up some hours later severally wounded (1d12 hp) but alive. Once used once this feat is lost.

It ends with a OGL. (1 pages)

Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white and ranges from good to pretty good. Layout and editing was well done, it is plain text making it very print friendly. I will be honest I am not a fan of achievement feats, they just seem gamiest to me. But if I was going to use achievement feats these are the type of ones I would want to use. Unlike most such feats these are often about accomplishing something or doing something above the norm, than say kill 15 gnolls. Of course the harder it is to do the more powerful the ability you earn.

So what's my rating? Well I find this one hard to rate since I am not a fan of the subject. But many of them where interesting and most of them fit what you had to do to get it. I would have liked to have seen more supernatural style feats personally. If you are a fan of achievement feats I think you will like this. So I am going to give this a 4 star review. A couple of the feats I think are a bit powerful for what is required and I would have liked to have seen some more supernatural ones. But still worth picking up if you are a fan of achievement feats and you liked the examples listed above.

Trust me, I'm a Succubus.



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