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101 Combat Feats (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Defeat your foe the old-fashioned way—brutally!

101 Combat Feats offers you new options so that the vision you have of your martial character can easily be obtained an explored. Use Catch strike to take your enemies weapon and stab him with it; take Crush Shield and make an opponent's shield useless. Enjoy Diving Tackle when you put a foe into the dirt., or fool your opponent with False Guard replacing your armor with your guile!

Brought to you by the same designer of the critically acclaimed 1001 Spells and the 101 Feats this product gives you a host of new choices to create the type of warrior you want to play without breaking the game.

Get yours today!

Author: Steven D. Russell
Cover Illustration by Toby Gregory
Pages: 27

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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Not in the spirit of Pathfinder.

***( )( )

Considering the fact that Pathfinder focuses on level 1 to 12 content primarily, mostly taking into account the adventure paths and the majority of modules, this book is largely unhelpful

The vast majority of the feats in this book require a base attack bonus of 6 or more, and often also require a fighter level of 6. It's not unsurprising the book is geared more towards fighters, and they certainly don't say anything to the contrary in the book description, but a great deal of this book excludes other combat classes merely by requiring a fighter level. With the base attack bonus requirements already so high, narrowing the focus doesn't help.

And that's the thing here, narrow focus. There are a number of feats that serve to narrowly specialize a fighter into one specific combat style to the exclusion of all others, to the point that there are a number of level 20 penultimate feats in those trees. One of those feats is an ultimate grappler-style feat that a Monk can never qualify for because it requires a 20 base attack bonus.

Now, the actual utility of the feats is actually pretty good, and the conditions you can inflict and the mechanics behind them are not bad. I rather like how some conditions can be recovered from in multiple ways, including CMB checks to illustrate a combat specialist's ability to recover from something that would cripple a lesser fighter. The less focused feats with less requirements can be useful for other classes, and very much add to their effectiveness.

As I titled the review, though, this book is not useful to anyone running adventure paths. There are a great deal of feats with BAB and/or fighter level requirements of 10 and higher, with many being well over 12, and so you wouldn't likely see use of them in an average adventure path. Considering the amount of the book you'd ever actually use, I'd have to discourage the purchase of it. If you're running modules or custom games well in excess of level 10, this book is MUCH more likely to be useful to you, especially if you have die-hard fighters.


Cry havoc and let slip the masters of martial mayhem!

*****

Returning to the field with weapons at the ready and maneuvers in mind, Steven D. Russell of Rite Publishing once more enters the breach to bring feats which expand existing chains further and open up new options for fighters and their martial ilk. 101 Combat Feats follows a similar vein to 101 Barbarian Feats in that it supplements existing options smoothly and seamlessly--a fine avenue of approach sure to appeal to all manner of mighty combatant. With much grit, guts and gusto, let's take a look at just how these feats fare!

Right off the bat we wade into the reference tables for the material herein and it's easy to see: 101 Combat Feats is bristling to the brim with a veritable arsenal of new options; there is tons of variety which can serve to satisfy anyone fond of arms and armor on the battlefield. Large feat compilations can often end up with entries which feel like filler or, worse-yet, unbalanced--but such is certainly not the case with this collection. Particularly in regards to martial characters, providing interesting, engaging, and mechanically meaningful options is crucial to the appeal of any supplement of this sort--and here Steven D. Russell does not disappoint.

While there are some outliers in the mix, the majority of the feats included here generally fall into one of four foci--weapon specialization, attacks of opportunity, combat maneuvers and grappling. I note grappling separately from combat maneuvers simply because there is a more fine-tuned focus there--essentially wrestling maneuvers chaining off of successful grapple attempts to inflict a variety of status effects or special follow-up maneuvers on opponents who have the misfortune of coming into a martial character's grasp. For example, Painful Pin can cause a foe to become sickened for a number of rounds equal to your base attack bonus.

Feat effects functioning off of base attack bonus and the like is a rather interesting angle to this supplement on the whole--as not only do the options here provide new ways in which a warrior might control the flow of battle, but having such mechanics ensures these choices continue to scale and remain useful as a character grows in power. In a similar vein to a magic user's spells growing more potent, here too a martial character might match a similar stride--especially once you look to the later options in each of the newly presented chains, many of which could serve nicely as capstone abilities.

As far as weapon specialization, there are rather interesting options for devotees--particularly those fond of bludgeoning weapons. A series of 'crush' feats allow you to debilitate an opponent's movement, dizzy their own attacks, bypass a shield's armor class, daze or sow confusion; or, perhaps you'd like to throw your hammer such that it ricochets about? If pole-arms are more your style, there's new versatility available for getting more mileage out of bracing, lunging and intervening to protect allies from an opponent's charge. Thrown weapons, shields, and double weapons get love as well--on the whole, there's plenty of great flavorful feats which broaden options beyond merely making full-round attacks of swings.

Providing added effects to attacks is one of the main themes throughout, and one which is sure to appeal strongly to any martial combatant; all too often the name of the game in melee boils down to full-round attack or bust. Being able to sow status effects on top of damage while maneuvering around the field goes a long way to improving on this predicament. Those fond of exercising battlefield control will find much interest in the feats focused on opportune moments; Opportune Focus kicks off a sizable series of duelist-flavored moves for finesse weapons such as Bold Riposte, which allows you to respond to an attack of opportunity with one of your own (very cool!) while other options like Press the Opportunity--allowing you to reposition in lieu of an attack of opportunity--are present.

Finally, the feats oriented around combat maneuvers are among my favorites of the offerings here, flavored strongly around tactical control; take Strikedown to add a trip attempt to blows modified by Power Attack--or Leap into the Fray to augment a charge attack to overrun your opponents and bowl them over in a blitz. As well, one might get more mileage from Combat Expertise by utilizing Close Quarters Shift to swap places with a foe, or fight with follow-ups based from Dirty Trick like Blinding or Bloody Assault. Needless to say, there are plentiful options available to open the door to a greater engagement of martial mechanics in battle!

As mentioned before, there are feats which would serve well as capstone abilities and truly bring a feeling of awesome power to a martial character's presence; Destructive Power brings to bear the option, once per day, to force an opponent to make a fortitude save (based off of base attack and strength bonuses) or suffer an additional 10 points of damage per base attack bonus possessed. Fearsome! Bear in mind that the prerequisites include seven feats and 18 levels of fighter. I definitely feel that these feats provide a valuable breadth of appealing options for characters which will grow alongside them on their adventures and serve to add a bold impact at higher levels as well.

Overall: 101 Combat Feats is 32 pages, with 5 occupied by the cover, credits, OGL and advertisements; this leaves us with 7 pages of fine feat tables and the remaining 20 to cover the many martial masterstrokes herein. Rite Publishing's two-column standard of formatting is present and ever neatly organized; after the feat tables there's art on every page, a mix of full-color and black and white which match the material well. The artwork accompanying throughout has popped up among other products, but each piece fits nevertheless.

Layout and spacing are good, I did not notice any egregious glitches or typos during my reading; if I had one complaint, it would be that since a number of these feats are at the end of such long chains of prerequisites that at times it can be a bit daunting to pore over everything required for a particular pick--but there's not a whole lot that could be done in this regard. The PDF is bookmarked for groupings of feats by letter, which is serviceable.

101 Combat Feats provides a fantastic spread of specialty feats to fine-tune and tailor any fighter and their ilk; there is a considerable variety to the offerings here which both bolster the potential of existing chains of character focus as well as inspiring new kits. From combat maneuvers both offensive and defensive to mobility and opportunity-based options, there's plenty of excellent synergy to help martial characters master the battlefield around them.

On the whole, the options presented herein are flavorful, cool and mechanically interesting and prove very sensible when weighed with existing mechanics; I've got to give Steven D. Russell praise for managing such care and thoughtfulness in balancing such a sizable spread of new options while constructing so many choices for characters. To me, these feats feel mechanically in-line with those found in the core--they could easily be included as part and parcel with the official line, which is a simply fantastic benchmark for any 3PP supplement. With that said, the choice is clear: five stars from me and a hearty huzzah!


The definite must-buy pdf for fighters, also nice for other martial classes

*****

This pdf is 32 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 2 pages advertisement and 1 page SRD, leaving 27 pages of content for the new feats, so let's check them out!

After a 7-page list of the new feats, we jump into a selection of these new feats centered on ending your foes!

This latest feat-book by Rite Publishing provides us with a vast gamut of feats for martial characters that are focused on combat. In contrast to the extensive support the inquisitor got in Rite's "Secrets of the Inquisitor" and "10 Inquisitor Feats" , the feats contained in this book are less class-centric, though that does not mean that their usability is limited. Instead, some of the feats herein use a variation of the mechanic introduced in the former pdf: Several of the feats enable you to impart negative conditions to your strikes. "Crush Visage", for example, lets you make an attack at your highest attack bonus. If your foe fails at a save, he/she/it is dazed for 1 round. If the foe succeeds at the save, he is immune against the attack.

If "Crush" in the feat-name wasn't enough of an indicator: The often neglected bludgeoning weapons-category gets a lot of love in this pdf, including the options to e.g. ricochet with thrown hammers and impart a neat variety of conditions via similar "Crush XYZ"-feats. Indeed, for fans of bludgeoning attacks and fans of Marvel's Thor, this pdf might be a godsend, as a feat for just about every iconic attack is included.

Another minor focus of this pdf is the option to enhance defensive capabilities of characters, especially against e.g. charges: Whether it is feats that allow you to intercept charges, even if it is not your turn, but at the cost of an action in a subsequent round or one that enables you to set a brace against a charge as an immediate action, I did enjoy how spears etc. thus gain some additional support to help diversify weapon choices.

It should also be mentioned, that rangers, while not the central focus of this pdf, also get their share of useful feats like "Double Slice", which enables you to attack with both as a standard action, but only 3 times per day. Double weapons also get some much-needed love and the option to suck less.

Aficionados of grappling should be aware that dislocating arms, diving tackles and similar moves also add some new tactical options to the roster. It should also be noted that dexterous combatants can get quite some bang out of this pdf as well, as some of the feats expand upon your weapon finesse capabilities and e.g. use it with double weapons.

The true stars, at least in my humble opinion, though, are this pdf's high-level feats: Weapon mastery has always been an exceedingly LAME capstone ability in my book and this pdf somewhat alleviates this and remedies the fighter's 20th level by providing a neat slew of exclusive feats for those who reached the apex of their respective craft: Whether it is dealing additional bleed damage with each attack or gaining a nice bonus-pool to distribute among the defensive abilities available.

Defense should also be mentioned: Shield-focused characters also get rather cool options, which among others, provide them the shield-bonus to ref-saves, enable them to use magical shields to reflect rays (a limited amount of times per day) and guard nearby allies as well.

Among the high-level, but not yet capstone feats, especially two deserve a mention, the first being "Destructive Power". Now, while this is an 18th level-prerequisite feat, it offers a rather interesting mechanic: For a massive penalty of -14 to attack, you can, once per day hit a foe with an annihilating attack that deals 10 points of damage per point of your BAB in addition to weapon damage, upon a successful save, still a 10d6. At first, the raw amount of damage seems disconcerting, but the daily limit and massive penalty alleviate my balance-concerns here. In fact, I actually enjoy very much this risk/reward-ratio, as feats and design like this make for great climactic moments in battles. Generally, I'd love to see more such high risk/reward feats in the future.

The second feat I feel absolutely obliged to mention, then, would be one that is pure genius: "Outmatched Foe". We've probably all been there. At high levels, spellcaster mow through low-level foes like no one's business while fighters still have to grind down foes. This feat somewhat counters this tendency by offering an interesting mechanic: If you observe an act of a foe in combat and said foe is 7 levels below you, you can take a penalty of -10 to make all your attacks against said foe be considered confirmed critical hits and mow through those puny amateurs. Now if that does not make for cinematic disposals of low-level foes, especially if you're like me and play with complex critical hits tables. Pure gold and awesome!

Fans of Alluria Publishing's Cerulean Seas Campaign Setting (or Nemo/Aquaman) also get some love with trident-specific feats.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect: The wording of e.g. Shieldlord could be a bit clearer. Layout adheres to a 2-column standard and the artworks are fitting stock as far as I could tell. The pdf comes with bookmarks. Continuing Rite Publishing's trend of pushing the boundaries of feat-design and combining this mechanic trailblazing with a keen eye to find gaps in what can be done with feats and filling them. I wholly expected to be utterly bored by this pdf and instead, found this pdf an enjoyable read indeed. To be more precise, I really like how high-level combatants finally get an extensive selection of choices that serve to further make especially mid-to-high-level characters more distinctive and adding a versatile variety of specialization options. For fighter-player especially (and monks and similar combatants as well), this pdf finally provides some exclusive tools and advanced options that don't suck and instead make sure that your attacks are useful beyond dealing just damage. I really enjoyed the pdf and consider some of the feats pure genius. Innovative feat design is also evident in some of them and while not all of the feats adhere to these new approaches/mechanics, the majority of them has a place in a campaign. If I had to nitpick about one thing, then it would be that I would have loved to see even more of these aforementioned "new" types of feat. My final verdict will thus be 5 stars - a must-buy for fighter-players and just about anyone who's tired of high-level fighters feeling rather bland in comparison.

Endzeitgeist out.




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