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RPG Superstar 2015

101 Bard Feats (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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Inspire Awe!

101 Bard Feats offers you new options so that the vision you have of your master of lore and song can easily be obtained an explored. It offers support to all of the class archetypes from the Animal Speaker to the Street Peformer. It also offers the options of gaining some these feats though the versatile performance class feature and making use of your rounds of bardic performance as an expendable resource, as well as expending upon the roll of bard beyond his role as artisan but embracing its role as a master of charm and lore.

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

Get yours today!

Author: Steven D. Russell
Cover Illustration: Mark Hyzer
Pages: 26

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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Bard Love

*****

Disclamer: Other than ask for 101 Bard Feats I had no role in creating it. Bards have been my faviorite class since 2nd edition so I am biased about anything for the class.

Review: If you are a fan of the bard class and not playing PFS, this is a must buy supplement. 101 Bard Feats adds obviously 101 feats to the class but more importantly adds a couple of great mechanics to acquiring some of these feats. For both the "vanilla" bard and the arcane duelist some of the feats can substitute for versatile performance and the bonus feats. I am only famialiar with the straight bard and arcane duelist and I am playing one of each currently so I concentrated on them. After picking three versatile performances before you get redundancies, being able to substute a feat is a great. The same is true for arcane duelist, while the normal bonus feats are good there are some of the available 101 Bard Feats which are great.

A couple of standout feats need to be show cased. Acclerate performance is a great feat, which allows the bard to get better action economy earlier in their career. While some might disagree it is a strong feat for the buffing bard. Arcane duelist assimulation aloows an arcane duelist to transfer weapon enhancement into their weapon of choice. Quicken thirst is a must have for the arcane duelist, at the point you can get it the action economy aspect is not that important. The downfall of blade thirst is normally you can only use one bardic performance at a time. With quicken thirst, you can lead with blade thirst and the next round start another bardic performance. Solo accompaniment does the same thing but more generally.

Bottom line: this product increases the abilities of the bard and is an addition to my gaming table.


Let your bard finally take center stage! (Seriously, this is awesome!)

*****

The latest installment of RiP's 101-series is 30 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving a total of 26 pages of content, so let's check this out!

The first 6 pages are devoted to lists of the new feats for the up until now painfully neglected bard-class and after that, we delve right into the crunchy bits and BAM - the pdf opens with a smackdown of a feat - in the tradition of Rite's supplements, the almost universally neglected archetypes (of which there's an increasing amount, but next to no support for the existing ones), the Magician bard archetype gets a feat that makes dweomercraft finally stop sucking: You and your allies get a bonus to touch AC and saving throws thanks to your dweomercraft - if you take the new abjuration dweomercraft-feat, that is. And only two feats later is already one that is an instant classic:

Accelerate Performance. Use bardic performances as move actions instead of standard actions and later, at 10th and 15th level, even as swift and immediate actions respectively. Why this feat had not yet been designed, I can't fathom - it's simple, elegant and closes a hole in the rules. Two thumbs up!

If you're familiar with Super Genius Games' Anachronistic Adventurers-line and the superior design of the Investigator-class in particular, the Analyze Site feat for the detective archetype essentially takes the crime scene-analysis and makes it available as a feat for the archetype - on the one hand, you could call that lame, but on the other hand, the mechanics are still awesome, allow for great detective stories without player frustration and make the detective, at least imho, finally work as he should, so no complains there on my part. There are several investigator abilities turned feats herein and all of them can be considered that well-made.

Fret not, though - similar to the 101-book on barbarian-feats, this book takes a twist on round powers and treats them like points in several feats - e.g. use 3 rounds of bardic performance to let your performance originate up to 30 ft. away from your position, non-lethal damage foes via brutal, derisive slights (Can you see the fainting maidens yet? If you do a character à la Morte from Planescape Torment, this is a must... - as is infuriate foe), implant delayed suggestions in a victim's subconsciousness (And even make the hapless foe your sleeper-agent)and even maximize the non-lethal damage you deal with weapons to subdue rather than kill foes. The latter is an awesome trend in my opinion - blame it on too much Batman-comics, but I always consider heroes to be the ones that subdue other people rather than kill them - there are enough monsters out there to bash, after all. (though this feat could work well to capture exotic beasts for menageries...hmmm.)

Another feat that stands out to me, but could potentially need some minor DM supervision is the Celebrated maneuver: Essentially, you choose three component move actions, combat maneuvers and melee attacks - by expending 3 rounds of bardic performance, you can perform them all, once per combat, as a full-round action, even if they usually would take more actions. The maneuver can't be changed once selected, though, making it a touch choice and balancing its economy of action-advantage with its limitations.
Less complex, but nevertheless interesting is counter turning - if you counter a spell and expend 3 rounds of bardic performance, you can hurl the incoming magical assault back at its originator, as per the spell turning-spell. Archaeologist's should rejoice as well, for a couple of feats improve the options available to their archaeologist's luck by e.g. delaying trap triggers, force crits to reroll and sprint through difficult terrain. Now, if you're more inclined towards nature's allure, rest assured that animal speakers and even arcane duelists and dervish dancers get some neat feats to expand upon their arsenal and make the respective archetypes feel more distinct - especially the latter's option to increase the fleet class feature makes the class take a more distinct focus.

And then there are feats like "Denundate" that had me gawk with an open mouth: If you initiate a dirge of doom, you may expend 3 rounds of your performance to force an enemy to save: If your foes fail, he/she/it loses ALL equipment-based bonuses to defense apart from artifacts and divine relics. Are you staring stunned at the screen? Yeah, I did so too - however, the feat is limited to a range of 5 foot, which serves as a sufficiently limiting balancing factor - yes, the feat is powerful. But the cost is steep (min of 4 rounds BP) and the range short - a risky gambit, but one that may pay off.

Remember these nifty high-level options from 101 Combat feats? The ones that finally made high level fighters feel less boring? Yeah, bards also get a neat new toy at 18th level- "Destructive Resonance" is consumes 6 rounds of bardic performance and essentially shatters your foe to pieces via sound, dealing a whopping 40d6 points of damage on a failed save (20 + Cha, btw.) - finally a destructive pulse for the bard to magically kick ass and take names. SPeaking of destructive usages - feats to let you dismiss outsiders, stagger opponents, smack flying creatures with downdrafts (sea singers) and even use your experience in choreographed battles to your advantage in real ones.

If you're more into the money-earning abilities of a bard, Grand Gathering enables you to draw big crowds, while "Grant Quarter" could come right out of a fairy-tale, eliminating the annoying prisoner-dilemma by putting the vanquished foe into an extradimensional space - rather neat and potentially very iconic with some rather cool uses like bards carrying other Pcs (sans equipment alas, but that's a problem that can be solved, can't it?) with them to infiltration quests. Speaking of fairy-5tales - want to summon a nereid, including drowning kiss with your songs? There's a feat for it!

"Jack of all Spells" is another feat that deserves special mentioning in my book, as it lets a bard e.g. use two 2 1st level spellslots to cast a second level spell, 2 second level spells to cast a 3rd level spell etc. - neat, not too strong but adds a tactical edge of versatility. Another cool one would be Metamagic performance, which lets you use 3 rounds of bardic performance to lower the spellslot increase of a metamagic feat by 1 and another feat lets you exchange 3 rounds of performanceto reclaim an already expended spell.
Secret of the Spheres also deserves mentioning - by performing a ceremony costing 20K Gold, you get detailed information from the GM on one topic, in a non-cryptic fashion. HOwever, if you share the secret thus gleaned, reality destroys you ( no save) and is altered towards the detriment of your goals - cool feat that lets a DM pull off even the most complex of plots while providing a good reason to avoid the captain exposition effect. As another neat piece of 3pp-synergy, 4WFG's scoundrel gets a neat multiclass feat and if you're sick of loud bards, there's a feat that lets you use bardic performances and spells while forcing the unaware foes to make perception versus your stealth-checks to realize your presence - another simple, yet awesome feat.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are very good, though not perfect - I noticed some minor punctuation glitches etc. - nothing serious, though. Layout adheres to RiP's 2-column, full-color standard and the artworks are mostly stock, with the notable exception of e.g. Mark Hyzer's cool Ironborn-bard on the cover (electric violin, anyone?). The pdf is fully bookmarked.

This pdf could have so easily been a total let down à la 10 feats of "Use bardic performance to impose bad condition y", 10 feats of "Metamagic effect z to performance" etc. Instead, Steven D. Russell has created a wide array of feats that provide iconic and cinematic options galore and, at least for me, made the bard-class and its archetypes infinitely more appealing by bridging minor gulfs in the rules, adding tactical versatility and flat-out enabling you to do things heretofore impossible by the rules. Better yet, I didn't find a single feat in this pdf I'd consider overpowered or broken, not even one that just felt like bland and boring filler. You bard has too long played the second fiddle, let him take the "Superstar"-feat herein and take center stage once in a while when adventuring! My final verdict? 5 stars, seal of approval, in spite of the minor glitches - this pdf is simply too good to not all-out recommend it.

Endzeitgeist out.


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