Bullet Points: 7 Shadow Assassin Feats (PFRPG) PDF (based on
Rogue Genius Games
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Sometimes rules supplements read like the world-setting bible of frustrated novelists. While 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.
Bullet Points are a line of very short, cheap PDFs each of which gives the bare bones of a set of related options. It may 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, and 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: Seven feats for use with the shadow assassins class (from The Genius Guide to the Shadow Assassin) or any other shadow-themed character (such as shadow dancers, ninjas with the shadow clone or shadow split talents, or even sorcerers of the shadow bloodline).
The feats included are:
Black Balm: You can wrap your wounds in cool, healing shadows.
Into the Darkness: When you hide in shadows, you are nearly invisible.
Shadow Sense: You can feel the darkness around you.
Shadow Stalker: You are most at home in the dark places.
Through the Cracks: You can slip into anyplace a shadow lies.
Umbral Venom: You can imbue poisons with the power of shadow.
Unseen Terror: You know how to make your attacks from concealment unnerving.
The previous reviewers have gone into plenty of detail about the exact content of this Bullet Point, so I am here just to add that, while all of the feats presented in this primer are fun and interesting options for the already highly customizable Shadow Assassin, there are two things I really love about this book:
1. None of these feats require you to be a Shadow Assassin. They are for any class with a "shadowy" thene. That makes them far more versatile than they could have been, which is great. The strength of d20 has always been options, so more is always better.
2. Hide in Plain Sight, with some restrictions and appropriate prerequisites, as a Feat. This is something that should have been in Core ages ago and, AFAIK, still isn't. This ability becomes incredibly crucial to stealth-based characters at high level play and the hoops you have to jump through to get it are crippling to build diversity by core. It's also one of the only abilities Shadow Assassins don't have any way to acquire from their class features that I found myself really wanting while playing one.
All in all, short, sweet, to the point, and a very useful little pamphlet. Definitely worth your dollar.
This pdf is 3 pages long, 1 page front cover/concept explanation, 1 page editorial/SRD and 1 page content, so let's check this out!
This pdf provides 7 feats for the excellent Shadow Assassin class, so what exactly do we get?
-Black Balm: When in shadowy illumination, make stealth checks to treat deadly wounds as per the heal-skill.
-Into the Darkness: Essentially you can hide while being observed in dim conditions.
-Shadow Sense: Gain blindsense in dim illumination.
-Shadow Stalker: +2 to initiative, perception, stealth, survival and, quite cool, leave no trail in dim illuminations.
-Through the Cracks: +5 to escape artists-checks in dim illumination, can seep like a shadow through tight cracks. Scales according to skill ranks.
-Umbral venom: Imbue poison with shadow, clouding the vision of those hit by your strikes.
-Unseen Terror: If you attack a foe that can't see you, make an intimidate check as a swift action to demoralize said foe.
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to a 3-column standard, is printer-friendly and comes with no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. This pdf is rock-solid in crunch, provides for awesome feats and I really like how visibility and lighting conditions serve as a balancing factor in the design of these feats, marrying crunch with stylish fluff. No filler, all killer, nothing to complain about, 5 stars + Endzeitgeist seal of approval.
The latest addition to the Bullet Point series is intended as support material for the Genius Guide to the Shadow Assassin, but works equally well for several other character concepts utilizing the shadow-theme. Following the three column landscape format that is standard to the Geniuses, the two artwork pieces are stock from two of the better sources. Spelling and editing were of good quality, I found only one hiccup (in the Shadow Stalker – though you may leave a trail if you so chooses), and am willing to pretend I didn't see it, as it is only an errant extra “s”.
So, formatting, covered, artwork discussed, let's get to the real reason you're going to want to buy this, shall we?
Black Balm allows you to utilize the shadows to take a second and use the Heal skill, in a better function. Into the Darkness allows you to further disappear into thin air, making your stealth even better, even when facing creatures that could normally see you. Shadow Sense grants a blindsense when immersed within shadow. Shadow Stalker gives bonuses to initiative/stealth/perception and survival as long as you're in dim to no illumination, as well as giving you the option to leave no trail (does not stack with favored terrain, so no out of balance issues to concern a GM there). Through the Cracks allows one with enough ranks in Escape Artist to take advantage of tight space normally far to small for someone to work their way through or into. Umbral Venom allows you imbue a dosage of poison with the shadows, dimming the vision of a victim on top of the effects of the poison. And last, but not least, Unseen Terror lets you take full advantage of just how unnerving it is to be attacked from the dark, not knowing what your opponent is, or where they are, giving a chance to demoralize an enemy after successful attacks from the darkness.
Yet another excellent addition to one of my favorite consistent product lines. Not only are the Bullet Points insanely affordable, but they are by and far always useful, and this addition does not break that pattern. Well worth the purchase, I give this one a solid 5 stars.