Bullet Points: 10 Feats of Fear and Fearlessness (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: Feats that allow characters to mitigate the effects of fear and benefit from successfully resisting fear effects. This is the latest in a series of products to celebrate the "Summer of Bullets" event!
The feats included are:
Centered Emotions: As long as you can call upon your ki, you are protected from fear.
Consummate Professional: While you are focused on an opponent, you are protected from fear.
Dauntless Fury: Your anger protects you from fear, and may even spur you on to more rage.
Divine Courage: As long as you can feel the connection to your deity, you are protected from fear.
Eldritch Courage: As long as you still have a spell memorized, you are protected from fear.
Fearless Familiarity: While you are within a favored terrain, you are protected from fear.
Forbidding Form: You can take on a horrific aspect.
Song in Your Heart: As long as you are still able to sing, you are protected from fear.
Strong Foundation: You can grit your teeth and concentrate on the courage you possess to apply it against other mind-affecting abilities.
Unshakable Bravery: The training you have received protects you from fear.
This pdf is 4 pages long, 1 page front cover and 1 page editorial/SRD, leaving 2 pages of content for 10 feats, so let's check them out!
The feats are:
-Centered Emotions: As long as you have 1 point in the ki pool, you get shaken instead of frightened or panicked. You also get a bonus on related saves.
-Consummate Professional: When flanking, you cannot be frightened or panicked, instead becoming shaken and can demoralize foes after not running.
-Dauntless Fury: When in a rage, you are immune to panicking and frightening effects, instead becoming shaken. When succeeding at a save against such an effect, you regain 1 round of rage.
-Divine Courage: As long as you have channel energy, you cannot be frightened or panicked, instead becoming shaken. When channeling energy on an ally that is panicked/frightened, s/he may reroll and only be shaken on a success.
-Eldritch Courage: As long as you have 1 1st level spell or higher prepared, no effect can make you frightened or panicked, instead becoming shaken. On a success, you increase your fear-spell's DCs temporarily by 1.
-Fearless Familiarity: When in favored terrain, you cannot be frightened or panicked, instead becoming shaken. If you success against such a save of an enemy and on favored terrain, you can demoralize him/her/it.
-Forbidding Form: When under the effects of a mutagen or wildshape, you cannot be frightened or panicked, instead becoming shaken. You also get +5 to demoralize-checks.
-Song in your Heart: As long as you have a round of bardic performance left, you cannot be frightened or panicked, instead becoming shaken. When succeeding at a save against such an effect, you regain 1 round of bardic performance.
-Strong Foundation: When you'd usually be charmed or dominated, you instead become staggered for one round. If the staggered condition is removed, the effect of the enchantment is resumed.
-Unshakeable Bravery: No fear effect can make you frightened or panicked, instead becoming shaken. If you succeed, you may add your bravery bonus to attacks against the instigator of the effect for the remainder of the encounter. Nice, though I would have preferred to have the staggered clause and a save instead, perhaps at double the bravery 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 needs none at this length. This review was done much like this pdf - with a lot cut, copy and pasting. The basic concept all of these feats boil down to is "Negate condition x and y, if you still have class resource z. Also gain benefit delta." That's how all of these feats work.
First of all, I'm not a fan of immunities granted by feats, but their dependence on resources is nice. I do have a problem with two, though: Consummate professional, while cool, makes its usage much too easy on the PC - flanking usually isn't that hard to instigate. Secondly, the no-save clause of the fighter-feat feels just wrong to me: Improved save, yes, but that? Come on! A regiment of low-level fighters with this feat would no cower in fear of a dragon? Seriously? Generally, this particular BP is a frustrating one for me, as on the one hand, it is not a bad file. But it feels uninspired, VERY repetitive and rules-wise just more like the rpg-equivalent of assembly line work than an inspired, creative pdf. I'm accustomed to SGG delivering better pdfs and felt somewhat let down by this one. For me personally, I'd rate this 2 stars, but since some of you people will enjoy this and since my perception of this particular pdf feeling somewhat soulless might be an individual experience, I'll settle for a final verdict of 3.5 stars, rounded down to 3 for the purpose of this platform.
This Bullet Point from Super Genius Games contains several feats designed to help your PCs deal with fear and the reactions to same in-game. Again, depending on the game, this can be very useful or not so much. Some gaming groups don't really have a lot of fear effects for the PCs to deal with. However, if yours does and you want something other than everyone choosing Iron Will to cope with them, you will like this PDF.
One thing must be said; most of these feats protect against panicked and frightened, but not shaken, basically allowing you to control your fear but not ignore it completely. DMs may like this as it lets the PCs be affected to some degree without either running away or collapsing in a heap.
The PDF proper is four pages long, with a cover, the OGL and credits, and in between two pages covering the feats. And here they are:
Centered Emotions: Your ki grants a tranquility that ignores fear. You can also spend a ki point to buff your AC against the being that tried to inflict it on you.
Consummate Professional: When you know how to sneak attack and are in a position of strength against an enemy, you're immune to their puny efforts at scaring you away (I wonder if this ought to be limited to any such effect from the enemy you're flanking?). Also, if they try to scare you and fail, you can give them a quick shot and teach them some fear.
Dauntless Fury: Your barbarian rage is too great for any fear to affect you (well, aside from shaken)! And if you save against it it only builds your rage.
Divine Courage: The ability to channel energy protects you from fear and can be used to help strengthen others against it.
Eldritch Courage: When you have your arcane power at hand, petty fears cannot assail you; and your own fear-causing spells are that much more potent.
Fearless Familiarity: When you're inside your favored terrain, not only are you bolder, but you can turn an enemy's futile efforts at frightening you around and terrorize them.
Forbidding Form: Do you like playing with mutagens? Or maybe you're just a druid who likes shapeshifting. Either way, when you have this feat you can become so frightful when you change that not only are you less scared, but you'll have an easier time of frightening those facing you. I have to admit, this is probably my favorite feat in the PDF due to my love of alchemists and their mutagens.
Song In Your Heart: Your ability to create bardic music shields you against fear, and it can be recharged by successful saves against same.
Strong Foundation: This one's a little different, as it's intended for anyone with an aura of courage. If someone tries to charm or dominate you, you can instead choose to be staggered by the effect. And anything that can remove the staggered removes the charm.
Unshakable Bravery: Your warrior training protects you against fear and taught you how to channel it into fiercer attacks on the person attempting it.
So far I have enjoyed all of the bullet Points series but this one was really underwhelming. It makes almost every class immune from frighted or panicked as long as they have X (read class ability). They also get other abilities with this immunity but it is disappointing to see almost all ten feats start with the same line.