Bullet Points: 5 Fireball Feats (PFRPG) PDF

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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 is 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: Five feats that allow spellcasters using the classic and venerable fireball spell (and other evocations with similar traits) to have as many options as characters who use feats to focus on skills or combat maneuvers. This is the latest in a series of products to celebrate the "Summer of Bullets" event!

The feats included are:

  • Environmental Effects: Your fireball creates secondary effects depending on the environment in which you cast it.
  • Cometstrike: Your fireball is a churning, comet-like sphere of destruction that burns everything in its path.
  • Fiery Wrath: Your fire spells can be directed by fire elementals you have summoned.
  • Implosion: Your fireball can suck foes into the center of its area.
  • Shockwave: Your fireball can blow foes away from the center of its area.

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Feats to make the iconic fireball even better

*****

This Bullet point is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving us with 2 pages of content, so let's check this out!

The feats herein all modify the fireball-spell like we've already had in some other BP-releases. The feats are:

-Environmental effects: If you cast fireball or other evocation (fire)-effects that affect an area rather than a target, you also create additional effects depending on the area on which the spell goes up, e.g. creating dousing steam clouds that damage creatures immune to fire by casting it in water or creating noxious gases.

-Cometstrike: This feat modifies fireball or similar spells into a comet-like streaking star, changing its area of effect into a line that ends with a smaller explosion. Iconic imagery and tactical option - neat.

-Fiery Wrath: An interesting feat that allows conjured fire elementals or similar creatures at your command to control the burst your fireball produces when caught inside, enabling you to e.g. exclude allies or innocent bystanders from the burst. Neat feat that rewards planning on the player's behalf.

-Implosion: Perhaps not the best name, seeing how there's already a spell called like that, the feat nevertheless is interesting: For an exchange of a bit of blasting capabilities, this feat enables you to modify your fireball to initiate drag maneuvers against those caught within its blast pulling them towards the center of the detonation.

-Shockwave: Essentially the opposite of Implosion, this one enables you to harness the power of your fireballs at the cost of damage to bull rush those caught in the blast.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. The layout adheres to SGG'S 3-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. Fireball is one of the most iconic spells in PFRPG and has been one for more editions than I care to list, thus any modification of it has to be crafted rather carefully and indeed, as could be expected, the pdf delivers some rather neat options to add to this favorite among destructive spells. All of the feats herein are neat and provide some kind of new tactical option beyond what one would expect of simple metamagic. That being said, I still feel like Implosion and Shockwave are rather similar in their mechanics and that the former's name is rather unfortunate. Since all of the feats still can be considered winners and bring something new to the table, I'll nevertheless settle for a final verdict of 5 stars - though I would have loved even more effects for environmental effects or a different implementation, perhaps an own Genius Guide: Misfit Studios' Superior Fantasy Synergy had some (in my opinion) superior ideas there.

Endzeitgeist out.


Things that go boom!

*****

Fitting that I’m reviewing this on July 5th right after all the fireworks I saw yesterday.

So here’s the deal: fireballs are just balls of fire. They were anyway. Now they can do a bit more. Environmental effects is probably one of my favorite feats in here. Taking the simple idea that fire burns things and making it actually have an effect on the world is really nice. It’s not game breaking and adds to the tactics a blaster needs.

I love the idea of an exploding fireball that has an actual shockwave and now I can have that. I also hadn’t thought of an imploding fireball, but I can also have that.

What I really like about this collection is that these aren’t metamagic feats so I don’t have to worry about increasing the spell level or casting time with any of my characters.


So want to see more Bullet Points like this one

*****

Continuing what has got to be one of my favorite continuing lines of RPG support material, this Bullet Point brings us a handful of interesting twists for that age old classic, the Fireball spell. Giving us five feats designed to alter or enhance the effects of either the Fireball spell, or any other evocation of similar nature that your GM would be willing to apply these feats to, this Bullet Point goes a long way towards proving that the Fireball spell is still viable at the table.

Following the standard three column landscape format, the cover page has changed slightly in that the cover image is not quite as large, and this particular Bullet Point has four pages instead of the standard three, but otherwise the format is identical to the familiar look and feel fans of the Bullet Point series will expect to see. Editing as always is above the board and solid. Three pieces of art, two color one B&W, all stock but good pieces.

Up first is the Environmental Effects feat, detailing just what happens to the terrain and environment around the spell effect area, I mean honestly, you just set off a freaking fireball, has no one ever wondered what happens to the surrounding material caught in that fire? Broken down by sections such as Ice/Water (Steam steam the wonderful steam), Metal (super heated for additional rounds of heat damage), Wood/Plants (dazzling blaze of inferno light) or Dirt/Earth/Stone (vaporized earth does tend to release gasses ya know).

Cometstrike allows for a more aimed missile of fiery goodness, tightening the overall effect into a comet of fire that explodes with a smaller radius. Fiery Wrath takes selective targeting to a new place, in that you hand over control of your Fireball spell to a summoned Fire Elemental and actually pick your targets within the range of the spell's affected area, thereby allowing you to “skip” over allies and friends, leaving them unscathed. Implosion goes off as a normal Fireball, but blows itself out as it exhausts all available air instantly, thereby creating a vacuum effect that can pull targeted foes to the center of its blast radius.

Shockwave works as an opposite to Implosion, in that the feat allows your Fireball spell to push targets away from its center.

Another excellent addition to the Bullet Point series, and further proof as to why this series continues to grow. Well worth the price of admission, and an easy 5 star rating.


Contributor

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Reviewed here and at RPGNow


1 person marked this as a favorite.

It seems like every other week I say that X from SGG PDF Y is the coolest design thing in a while.

Environmental Effects? That's just geniusly awesome.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

KTFish7 wrote:
Reviewed here and at RPGNow

Thanks!!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

4 people marked this as a favorite.
Cheapy wrote:
It seems like every other week I say that X from SGG PDF Y is the coolest design thing in a while.

And I never get tired of hearing it. How weird is that? :P

Cheapy wrote:
Environmental Effects? That's just geniusly awesome.

Yeah, if Hyrum and Stan! had named us Mediocre Idea Games, I wouldn't have to work this hard!

Sovereign Court

3 people marked this as a favorite.
Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber

Sometimes I think Owen must know Pathfinder better than anyone else, sometimes these bullet points and other small pdfs just nail an element of the game: introducing new options but with solid balance and great, quite open flavour.


Owen K. C. Stephens wrote:
Yeah, if Hyrum and Stan! had named us Mediocre Idea Games, I wouldn't have to work this hard!

LMAO, that's excellent!

Dark Archive

Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Campaign Setting, Companion, Roleplaying Game Subscriber
GeraintElberion wrote:
Sometimes I think Owen must know Pathfinder better than anyone else, sometimes these bullet points and other small pdfs just nail an element of the game: introducing new options but with solid balance and great, quite open flavour.

I might argue the "balance" side a bit. I think their motto is right: they err on the side of awesome, not necessarily always "balanced" when compared to the lower power aspects of the game.

Of course it seems to me like most of those "balance" obsessives are forgetting about the whole "fun" thing, so bring it on. Love this one.

Especially for my one Sorcerer character with an absurd fondness for Fireball and Meteor Swarm.


GeraintElberion wrote:
Sometimes I think Owen must know Pathfinder better than anyone else,

I hadn't ever thought to put it just that way, and I might except Jason Bulmahn, but yeah. Of everyone else, Owen seems to know how the game works, and what can be done with it, better than any other writer I can think of.

GeraintElberion wrote:
sometimes these bullet points and other small pdfs just nail an element of the game: introducing new options but with solid balance and great, quite open flavour.

It's like crunch that doesn't *need* fluff!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Kvantum wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
Sometimes I think Owen must know Pathfinder better than anyone else, sometimes these bullet points and other small pdfs just nail an element of the game: introducing new options but with solid balance and great, quite open flavour.

I might argue the "balance" side a bit. I think their motto is right: they err on the side of awesome, not necessarily always "balanced" when compared to the lower power aspects of the game.

Of course it seems to me like most of those "balance" obsessives are forgetting about the whole "fun" thing, so bring it on. Love this one.

Especially for my one Sorcerer character with an absurd fondness for Fireball and Meteor Swarm.

What I find interesting is that a lot of the SGG stuff that looks overpowered at first glance, actually ends up being pretty balanced in play (eg, the Dragonrider class), or at least as balanced as the material you'll find in the core book. Owen tends to also have a better understanding of how the various subsystems interact with each other and the need for clear wording that I see in most Paizo books.


I must say, the synergy between Lingering Flames from New Arcane Discoveries and Fiery Wrath is extremely cool.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Cheapy wrote:
I must say, the synergy between Lingering Flames from New Arcane Discoveries and Fiery Wrath is extremely cool.

Thanks. I'm a big fan of mixing spells and elementals, actually. :)


Oh curses, it doesn't actually work, doesn't it? Since the elemental lasts for only 1 round, it would disappear right before your next turn, before you can cast that second fire spell.

Clearly there needs to be a "cast a fire spell as a move action" feat :p

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Cheapy wrote:
Oh curses, it doesn't actually work, doesn't it? Since the elemental lasts for only 1 round, it would disappear right before your next turn, before you can cast that second fire spell.

The question here, and I don't have an answer for you offhand, is can I take a swift action after I count as "casting" the spell, but before its damage takes palce? Because if I can, you could:

1. "cast" fireball
2. take a swift action to summon a fire elemental
3. use the fire elemental for Fiery Wrath
4. exclude allies when the fireball actually does damage.

I'm pretty sure RAW won't let you take a swift action after you cast a spell but before ti takes effect, but I might allow it as a houserule.


Going from memory, since you can take a free action at any point during another action, and you can take a swift action when you can take a free action, I think that would actually work. The only one I'm iffy on would be scorching ray, because those appear instantaneously. But with a spell like fireball that actually has to travel? It could work, possibly with only minor rules changing. That's actually a pretty cool combo. Beats using Selective Spell, but at the cost of two feats, rather than just one and +1.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Cheapy wrote:
That's actually a pretty cool combo. Beats using Selective Spell, but at the cost of two feats, rather than just one and +1.

It's also a much more limited range of spells it'll work with.... but you get a brief fire elemental. On balance, I'm good with this combination. :D


Something I would like to see is some of these feats written for non-fireballs. Instead, find an interesting way to get them to work with the Admixture School for evokers. I would love to see these work for other elements too.

I also am going to build a fire-elementalist wizard with some of these feats and see how much fun he will be.

I just started reading through and I am going to be pretty busy on 7/4 between work and party. However, 7/5 I'm off and I should be able to put up a review and hopefully be able to send you a Hero Lab file. I don't think these will be too hard to enter.

Maybe while you sleep tomorrow night, the Hero Lab Fairy will leave you a message with a download.

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Campaign Setting, Companion, Modules, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Comics Subscriber
Caedwyr wrote:
Kvantum wrote:
GeraintElberion wrote:
Sometimes I think Owen must know Pathfinder better than anyone else, sometimes these bullet points and other small pdfs just nail an element of the game: introducing new options but with solid balance and great, quite open flavour.

I might argue the "balance" side a bit. I think their motto is right: they err on the side of awesome, not necessarily always "balanced" when compared to the lower power aspects of the game.

Of course it seems to me like most of those "balance" obsessives are forgetting about the whole "fun" thing, so bring it on. Love this one.

Especially for my one Sorcerer character with an absurd fondness for Fireball and Meteor Swarm.

What I find interesting is that a lot of the SGG stuff that looks overpowered at first glance, actually ends up being pretty balanced in play (eg, the Dragonrider class), or at least as balanced as the material you'll find in the core book. Owen tends to also have a better understanding of how the various subsystems interact with each other and the need for clear wording that I see in most Paizo books.

That has been my experience too. I am playing a time thief at the moment and OP is definitely not what I am feeling.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Many thank to General Dorsey for the review!


Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Reviewed here, on DTRPG and sent to GMS magazine. Cheers!

Thanks for the review!

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