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Bullet Points: 12 Alternatives For The Rogue's Trapfinding Class Feature (PFRPG) PDF

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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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: Twelve alternate class abilities that can replace the trapfinding ability of the rogue class, to allow a simple way to customize rogue characters. This is the latest in a series of products to celebrate the "Summer of Bullets" event!

The alternate class abilities included are:

  • Black Marketeer (Ex)
  • Chink in the Armor (Ex)
  • Climb Walls (Ex)
  • Harass (Ex)
  • Hoodwink (Ex)
  • Ki Pool (Su)
  • Pick Your Way (Ex)
  • Poison Use (Ex)
  • Trapmaker (Ex)
  • Turn the Knife (Ex)
  • Street Tough (Ex)
  • Sacrificial Blow (Ex)

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Product Reviews (2)

Average product rating:

***** (based on 2 ratings)

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Solid alternatives for rogues

*****

You know the drill - 3 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 content for 12 new substitutes for trapfinding, so let's check them out!

-Black Marketeer: +1/2 level to appraise, + level to percentile of price you get when selling.
-Chink in the Armor: !7day, when sneak damage is negated (by e.g. fortification), as a swift action deal half damage anyways. Usable additional times at higher levels.
-Climb Walls: +1/3 level to climb checks, need only one hand to climb and not lose dex when climbing.
-Harass: For each sneak attack dice you choose not to deal, impose a -1 penalty to atk, CMB, ability, concentration or skill-checks for one round.
-Hoodwink: +1/2 level to bluff-checks, option to fool magic effects that determine truthful answers.
-Ki Pool: Gain a ki-pool like a ninja and as long as you have at least 1, treat all acrobatics-checks like a running start.
-Pick your Way: +1/2 level to acrobatics, don't treat crowds as difficult terrain.
-Poison Use: Self-explanatory.
-Trapmaker: +1/2 level to craft (trapmaking) and make traps that are harder to spot. Option to learn ranger traps at higher levels and gain more via talents.
-Turn the Knife: Deal +1 damage per sneak attack die versus foes denied their dex-bonus.
-Street Tough: Gain proficiency with all martial weapons.
-Sacrificial Blow: 1/day add sneak attack to an attack that wouldn't count as sneak attack at the cost of provoking AoOs from all threatening creatures. Can be used more often at higher levels.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting is top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. Layout adheres to SGG's 3-column landscape standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. 12 options to replace the vital trapfinding make for difficult choices and indeed, they feel balanced, though some are obviously suited better for certain play-styles (Black Marketeer making e.g. only sense when the PCs don't swim in money...), while certain ones at least imho might be especially useful for NPCs or mostly useful in urban settings, I can't fault the pdf for that. All in all, these are well-crafted, interesting options and thus, my final verdict will clock in at 5 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


*****

12 Alternatives for the Rogue's Trapfinding Class Feature....wow that is a mouthful. OK, the basics when it comes to the Bullet Point series are this, an idea, focused, and presented via small handful of mechanics. Be they feats, spells, traits or in this case class ability variants. Usually 3-4 pages total, with the material actually taking up 1 page most of the time. Beauty of the one page layout concept is that a 3 ring binder filled with print outs is easy to organize and keep track of in case you are one of those who likes a physical record of their game material.

Now, layout follows the standard Bullet Point landscape, with a 3 column format, and excellent editing and grammar. Artwork is all B&W, with the best piece being the cover image. One of the easiest things for a player to do to differentiate their character from the pack is the swapping of class features, so products like this become a trove of importance and wealth, in that they offer more variety, and variety is always a good thing in my mind.

Of the 12 presented here, there are a few that really stood out for me. Harass being the first. A perfect feature to use in combination with a playgroup during those all out attacks on the BBEG that really helps to utilize the rogue as a crucial part of the martial battle itself. Harass allows you to trade off sneak attack HD for negatives to your foe, to be applied to a variety of things. Pair this with good timing in combat, and you could cripple the opponents ability to do nearly as much damage to one's allies.

Black Marketeer gives a nod to those rogues with a mind towards business and value by adjusting the concept of price and worth accordingly for those who know what they are doing. Chink in the Armor is another one of those every given Sunday concepts. By that I mean this, anyone, can beat anyone, given the right circumstances. This class feature would allow for a rogue who has succeeded at a sneak attack, only to watch their damage be nullified (by, say fortified armor) still apply some of that damage. Remember folks, no matter how all-powerful one may think they are, every dog has their day.

Turn the Knife is for those players with a malicious streak, lol, granting extra damage per HD on a successful sneak attack. And Poison Use operates just as the Drow ability, just another route to get your hands on it.

I like options, I always have. Yes, it makes character creation longer. Yes, it makes a GM have to learn even more to run their game...and yes, I think both of these things are a good thing. Options are how we manage to never contain our imaginations within boundaries. And products like this help to keep adding solid, quality concepts to the pile. An easy 5 star rating to yet another stellar addition to the Bullet Point series, and well worth the price of admission.



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