Bullet Points: 7 Feats for Sword and Board Fighting (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: Feats to make the otherwise fairly dull choice of fighting with a shield in one hand and a 1-handed weapon in the other more interesting.
Who doesn't like a good sword-and-board fighter? If you don't, then you won't like this. However, if you are like me and you think that sword-and-board fighters are awesome, then you should pick this up. It adds to the awesomeness that is sword-and-board. Guarded Attack is probably the best of the bunch but Shielded Rider and Shielded Check can see a lot of use too.
This pdf is 3 pages long, 1 page front cover/introduction, 1 page SRD and 1 page content, delivering 7 new feats centered on sword and shield fighting, so let's check them out!
-Bashing Critical: When equipped with one-handed weapon and shield, you may initiate a shield bash maneuver when scoring a critical hit.
-Knock aside: Sacrifice you shield bonus as part of an attack for one round to gain +2 to atk against a foe you attack.
-Guarded Attack: You may sacrifice one or all your attacks to gain a +1 bonus to shield bonus per attack you sacrifice. If you at least sacrifice one attack, you are immune against a foe's gaze attack until next round.
-Shield Check: When an opponent provokes an attack of opportunity from you, you can make a combat maneuver and attack the foe to shield bash that foe and prevent his movement this round as well as deal shield bash damage.
-Shielded Maneuvers: +2 to CMBs with bull rushes, disarm, overrun and trip when using a shield.
-Shielded Rider: When riding while wearing a shield, he gets +4 to ride-checks to negate attacks.
-Shielded Spellcasting: Cast while wearing a shield, but get 1 bonus less from the shield-ac-bonus.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG's 3-column-standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but at this length, the pdf needs none. While the product value of this pdf is beyond questioning and Guarded Attack is awesome to speed up high-level play, I felt nevertheless rather disappointed by this pdf. Seeing how great the idea of guarded attack is, I nevertheless feel like it could have been expanded via more feats, as I doubt the usability of the minor AC-bonuses - a greater variant of the feat would help here. Additionally, most of the feats felt like good ideas, but didn't truly wow me. Taking a look at my other reviews from the BP-line, I'll settle for a final verdict of 4 stars due to wanting more awesome feats, but finding no true problems.
The sword & board warrior is a fairly common concept, so this short product offers some options toward a character style that should see some actual in-game use.
As stated in the product name, there are in total seven feats on one page, with a cover page and a page reserved for the Open Game License.
While I will say that the mechanics are solid and nothing struck me as overpowered nor underpowered, I left feeling slightly underwhelmed, as I was hoping for something a bit more inspiring. Some of the feats requiring "all martial weapon proficiencies" was also slightly off-putting, as it can limit class options, even if the feat would fit the character concept.
I was, however, impressed with the concept of Guarded Attack, which allows you to trade attacks for increased armor. The reason for this is that those later iterative attacks are made with such hefty penalties that sometimes, it makes more sense to gain a bonus to armor instead of hoping for a 1-in-20 chance of actually hitting, although the bonus to the AC could have been a bit better without being too strong.
All-in-all, a solid product that adds decent options.
Bullet Points: 7 Feats for Sword and Board Fighting by Super Genius Games
This product is 3 pages long. It starts with a intro. (1 page)
7 Feats for Sword and Board Fighting (1 page)
7 new feats to use with a sword and shield fighting combo.
Bashing Critical – When you score a crit with your weapon you can make a shield bash as a swift action.
Knock Aside – Gain a bonus to hit while giving up the shield bonus for a turn.
Guarded Attack – Instead of making all your attacks you can forgo some to gain a AC bonus.
Shield Check – If a enemy tries to move past you, instead of a AoO. You can make a combat maneuver check and force them to stop moving.
Shielded Maneuvers – gain a bonus to several combat maneuvers.
Shielded Rider – gain a bonus on ride check to negate attacks against your mount.
Shielded Spellcasting – lost partial shield bonus to be able to use the shield hand for somatic spell component.
It ends with a OGL and credits. (1 page)
Closing thoughts. The art work is black and white, and is ok. Editing and layout was good. I liked Bashing Critical, Knock Aside, Shield Check. Shielded Casting was ok but not what comes to mine for a fighting style. Shielded Maneuvers and Shielded Riders are ok but they just give bonuses so nothing special. Guarded Attack I liked but I don't think it is worth it. For ever attack from a full attack action you give up, you only gain a +1 AC. I just don't see that being worth it, if it was a +2 then maybe. Another feat I was hoping for and maybe we can get a follow up product is. I will call it Shield Step, where you use your shield to force march someone backwards while engaged in combat. You see it in a lot of movies most recently in 300 and before that in Troy. Where while fighting in a line formation after the first charge one side starts to slowly force the other side back. So what's my rating? I am going to give this one a 4 star review, half was good, half was solid but nothing special and one I thought was weak.