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Supporting Roles: Combat Style Feats (PFRPG) PDF

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Amora Game Presents the third installment in the Supporting Roles product line. With our new Supporting Roles layout, we bring to you Combat Style Feats.

Supporting Roles: Combat Style Feats brings a few pages full of fight to your Pathfinder Roleplaying Game experience. This tiny booklet contains 17 combat style feats. There are 2 combat style trees consisting of 3 feats each: Bear Style, and Mongoose Style. We introduce Bull Style that holds 4 feats. Also there is 3 style feats that build upon each: Scorpion Style, Monkey Style, and Snake Style. We offer 2 feats that make the non monk classes, worth fighting bare handed. Don’t want to focus on a particular combat maneuver, but be able to perform them? Then try our Combat Style.

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2.5 stars - Amora starts to get the hand of it; Just a few ambiguities

***( )( )

This pdf is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving 3 pages of content, so let's check this out!

This pdf provides us with a total of 17 new feats that represent different styles of combat. The first mini-feat tree does something interesting: Via two combat-feats, it allows characters to deal 1d6 (1d4 if small, 1 d8 if large) damage and apply full str-bonus to your unarmed attacks and increase the damage further to 1d8 (or 1d6/1d10 for larger sizes, respectively), allowing you to create a non-monk boxer with a respectable damage output. Nothing to complain here!

The second mini-feat-tree is the Bear Style, which grants you +2 to CMD vs. grapples and +2 to break grapples as well as a primary natural slam attack that deals 1d6 damage at crit x2. Bear Hug, the second feat, lets you initiate a grapple when hitting foes via one of these slams, but has a problematic critical effect that grapples an enemy without you gaining the grapple condition. Bear Maul, the final feat of the chain, lets you deal 2d6 bleed damage to foes you grapple if you hit them with unarmed attacks. Again, a good feat-tree. +
Feat tree number three is all about bull rushes and overruns - while in this stance, you get +2 to CMD vs. bull rush and overrun and count as if your unarmed strikes had the brace and blocking special qualities. If you have the bull charge feat, you may charge when only moving 5ft. and deal piercing damage with your unarmed strikes. That's when the feat unfortunately stops working as intended: You may make an attack with both hands at the end of a charge, forcing the hit foe to make a ref-save vs. the damage you dealt or be pushed back 5 ft. Does this mean the second hand gets off-hand penalties? The feat also mentions "They are also knocked prone." No CMD? and "This movement does not provoke an attack." An AoO? The movement of the initiating character or of the knocked back victim? You may also trip enemies charged via horns toss, throwing them in an adjacent field or even further. Again, the feat fails to specify whether the enemy's or your own movement does not provoke AoOs. The final feat in the tree allows you to add 10 ft. of the maximum movement to the distance you charge and may charge through rough terrain. (Should read difficult terrain.) You also stop provoking AoOs when charging and moving through squares of allies and opponents. Here's a problem: "If you do move through an opponents[sic!] square, you may make an overrun attempt against them, before continuing on to finish your charge." Does the charge attempt end if the overrun fails? Does it go through nevertheless?

Combat Style is one of the very interesting feats herein and dare I say, actually rather brilliant: If you hit you two or more unarmed attacks, at the end of your attack you may use a combat maneuver against foes at your highest CMB as an AoO gained from combat reflexes. Cool to reflect a rough-and-tumble alley-style martial artist and mechanically rather smart. Two thumbs up! The improved gain +2 to CMD and CMB, even when you're flat-footed and stacking with the +2 from the improved version feats. Two cool, nice little feats.

The next feat-tree is the mongoose-tree, with the basic style feat granting you the option to deal slashing damage with your unarmed attacks and a +2 escape artist check. More importantly, it lets you lose an AoO to make an escape artist-check vs. an incoming attack: If successful, you treat the skill-check's result as your new AC or touch AC against that attack. While not too powerful on the paper, experience has show that players will find a way to massively escalate skill-checks like this. The AoO-requirement the need to be aware of the attack do somewhat offset the usefulness of the feat, but personally, being as conservative with balance as I am, I wouldn't allow this feat. Also, the prerequisites are missing the word "ranks" behind one of the skills. With Mongoose Trick, you may make a dirty trick maneuver at the end of your turn once per round: If successful, you provoke an AoO. If the opponent fails to hit you, he provokes an AoO himself. Ok, I guess, though I'm not sure whether e.g. taking Improved Dirty Trick does not eliminate the AoO (and the potential AoO against the mongoose stylist's foe), thus making the feat less useful. Now Mongoose Advantage is flat-out broken, "[...] on all attacks of opportunity you successfully hit with an unarmed strike, you deal double your strength damage." What does that mean? Double the str-modifier? Double the str-score? It probably doesn't refer to strength damage, as the feat-chain offers no way to deal strength damage. Also, the option to confirm a crit via an escape artist roll, again, is broken in my book. Skills can and will escalate beyond belief if made primary combat resources.

There are also 3 style feats that stand alone: Scorpion Stinger enhances the scorpion style by allowing you to make attacks against staggered opponents that deal 2 points of Con damage on a failed save. Powerful, but specific enough to make it a viable option. Soft-Paw Monkey allows you to use your acrobatics-ranks in place of your CMD as well as a +4 bonus to AC against attacks after provoking an AoO with a movement. Rattlesnake Ruse is a problematic feat since it builds on Snake Style, an utterly broken feat in my book. The new feat by Amora allows you to use Sense Motive to feint once per round to render an opponent flat-footed for your next attack. Now, I do consider the Snake Style feat from UC broken, but Rattlesnake Ruse feels specific enough for my tastes to make it into my "non-broken" book - though it probably won't see any use.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting have improved since Amora Games' last offering - while there are still minor glitches herein, the vocabulary of PFRPG is much more closely adhered to and there are not that many glitches that detract from the rules. Layout adheres to a no-frills, 2-column, artless b/w-standard. The pdf has no bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The feat-table is on the second page - it would probably have been better off on the first page. All in all, this pdf constitutes the first offering of Amora Games that has really something going for it mechanically - there actually are some rather nice feats herein that allow e.g. a fighter to also work as an unarmed brawler and not leave all the fun to the monks. The styles differ in quality and some of the feats have problems with how their respective rules are supposed to work and need some clarification to work as intended. However, there also are some feats that are rather nice and can be considered winners. Now is that enough to warrant a recommendation? No, not unanimously so, even at the low price. That being said, the good parts of the content, as mentioned in my review, might actually mean that you enjoy this supplement. As a reviewer, though, I feel that, at least until the ambiguous wordings have been ironed out, I can't go higher than 2.5 stars, rounded up to 3 stars due to the low price and neat ideas herein. As soon as the minor issues have been ironed out, this might be considered even a 4 star or 4.5 star file.

Endzeitgeist out.


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