Bullet Points: 9 Armiger Feats (PFRPG) PDF

****½ (based on 4 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.

#1 With A Bullet Point 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: Nine feats designed to augment the options and utility of armigers (from The Genius Guide to the Armiger) or, if armigers aren’t being used in a campaign, that can be taken by fighters (using their fighter class levels as armiger levels for prerequisites).

The feats included are:

  • Armored Hulk
  • Brace for Impact
  • Hard to Kill
  • Helmed Confidence
  • Push Back
  • Shield Crush
  • Shield Parry
  • Shrug It Off
  • Soak It Up

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****½ (based on 4 ratings)

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Take That! Ok, I think I will!

*****

The very first feat that caught my attention was Soak It Up. If you are looking for a lot of hit points, this feat will get you there. I also really like the idea of using your Armor Check penalty as a bonus to your CMD. If you have a character that has a low Will save but lots of armor, you will find Helmed Confidence to be very useful. I can see Shield Crush being used by sword-and-board fighters (and you should pick up that PDF too).

You don't need to have the armiger class to use these feats. It wouldn't hurt to buy that one too though.


****( )

9 Armiger Feats weighs in with the standard Bullet Point look and feel with 3 pages and 3 columns. 1 page given to the cover (which includes the concept introduction behind the Bullet Point series), 1 page for the new material, and 1 page to the OGL. Artwork consists of 3 B&W's, two of which are stock from Elmore and Forge Studios, the other a piece from Smith. The art for this one, unfortunately is a clear example of why art styles need to stay similar throughout a piece of work. The cover piece (the only non stock), looks really bad in comparison to the other two pieces of artwork, and detracts from the overall product because of it. Grammatically I found nothing worth noting, nor were there any format errors.

This Bullet Point continues the concept of supporting Genius Guides for a specific class, this one being the armiger, but still supplies alternatives in the case of the class not being present within your campaign, or not allowed. The 9 Feats are as follows:
Armored Hulk: bonus to your CMD based upon your armor check penalty. Now this is a feat I think has been missing from the game mechanics for a very long time, in penalizing characters for wearing armor, without giving a positive other than AC, the game ignores the various advantages to having that much weight and bulk at your disposal when it comes to physical combat. Well done.
Brace For Impact: This feat allows one a greater range of usage for the brace weapon feature, and essentially allows you to stand before a charging foe with more than just a spear as an option.
Hard To Kill: Wearing heavy armor allows you to convert a set amount (based upon level) of lethal damage to nonlethal damage.
Helmed Confidence: Bonus to Will saves based upon level as long as your wearing your helmet...let's face it, we all feel a little more bad ass when we put on a helmet.
Push Back: Failed attempts at certain CMB's against you provoke AoO in the form of a shield bash attack from you. “Don't target what you can't handle, you might end up on your back.”
Shield Crush: Sometimes, some folks are just a little more dangerous with a shield in their hands.
Shield Parry: Being good with a shield pays off, granting a better AC bonus from using a shield.
Shrug It Off: Use heavy armor/tower shield to gain temp. hit points to reflect the game mechanics behind said armor or shield absorbing more damage than weaker armors.
Soak It Up: Retroactively gaining HP per HD when the feat is taken, this feat then changes how you'll gain HP for each future level. Am not entirely sure I'm feeling this one, as it fails to address the issue of the armiger's “minimum 6” when it comes to HD rolls.

Between the Soak It Up failing to explain how it works in tandem with established mechanics, and my personal feelings towards the front cover artwork, I am going to have to give this one a strong 4 star rating.

-EDIT- Having just read through the comments section for this PDF I see that the Soak It Up feat has been clarified, and the rule of minimum 6 stands, which at this point I have to wonder about this feat, and how unbalanced it becomes. A 1d12HD becomes a 1d8+4...using a minimum 6, it is now a guaranteed 10-12 every level. 1d10HD is now a 1d6+4 (guaranteed 10 every level), 1d8HD is now 1d6+2 (maxed again), this concept continues down the line, and becomes a real issue at the 1d6HD, that is now a 1d4+4...which by rule of minimum 6 actually gives you a total of ten, since no matter what you role, you get a 6. Am going to leave the rating at four, as I feel the other 8 Feats are well written and balanced, but this, as it stands, unless I am totally not understanding this feat, is a serious power players wet dream.


Cool Tank-feats with one hick-up among them

****( )

This pdf is 3 pages long, 1 page introduction/front, 1 page SRD, leaving 1 page for the 9 new feats of the Armiger. Let's check it out!

-Armored Hulk: Gain armor check penalty as bonus to CMD vs. bull rush, drag, grapple, reposition, overrun and trip.

-Brace for Impact: Treat all 1-and 2-handed weapons as braced. If you brace, you get +2 to attack to roll and AC.

-Hard to Kill: Convert limited amounts of damage into non-lethal damage. This is in addition to the DR the Armiger gets.

--Helmed Confidence: Gain a bonus to will-saves when wearing a helmet.

-Push back: If you resist a selection of combat maneuvers, you may make an attack of opportunity/shield bash.

-Shield Crush: deal more damage with shield bashs and threaten more crits with the shields.

-Shield Parry: Gain more Ac-bonus when using combat expertise with shields.

-Shrug it off: Use your tower shield to get limited amounts of temporary hit points.

-Soak it up: Retroactively adds hp for all class levels and future levels and change HD you gain in future levels: d12 e.g. becomes 1d8+4. However, it is not explained how this ability interacts with the armiger's "always at least 6 points on a d12"-rule, which is somewhat of a pity.

Conclusion:
Editing and formatting are top-notch, I didn't notice any glitches. layout adheres to SGG'S 3-column-standard. The pdf has no bookmarks, but neither does it need them. I did enjoy these feats, although the Armiger-class probably won't ever be my favorite. What somewhat bugs me, is that "Soak it up" needs a clarification, otherwise it actually makes the Armiger (d12+ Con-mod, at least 6+con-mod) WEAKER: 1d8+4+con-mod may result in having less HP than before! This being a major hick-up, my final verdict will be 4 stars.

Endzeitgeist out.


Inventive, practical perks for shield and heavy-armor enthusiasts.

****( )

In the Bullet Points series we have short, sweet collections of extras at a low price point to further flavor and enhance the options available in a campaign near you. Here, we've got a set meant for the Armiger class in its inception (which itself is a curious offering, a fairly flavorful)--but helpfully given an out for consumption by traditional fighters as well. Let's take a look!

We've got nine feats to contend with, each oriented around an adventurer very keen on getting the most out of their armor and the premise of stalwart durability; following this concept, most are oriented around combat maneuvers in particular:

Armored Hulk offers bonuses to combat maneuver defense derived from a character's current armor check penalty; this is fairly neat conceptually, since the intention is to reward wearing especially bulky and ponderous armor--but I think a caveat ought to be included to account for special materials and enchantments (e.g. apply whatever the original penalty would have been) so as not to devalue the feat for upgrading your heavy armor.

Brace for Impact allows you to treat all your weapons as if they had the brace weapon feature, and if you brace with one that ordinarily does have the feature you can do so more effectively; certainly allows for more use of something that I feel folks often don't engage, but I'm unconvinced this would be something a player would want to spend a feat on.

Hard to Kill has a peculiar angle in that it converts a small portion of lethal damage taken to nonlethal when wearing heavy armor; this amount 'scales' mildly, but I don't think this one has enough oomph to be particularly desirable as a feat in its current iteration. SGG offers a feat in Feats of Battle which provides DR 2/-- when wearing heavy armor, which is patently better than Hard to Kill in practice; I don't think it would be terribly unbalancing to up the ante with this one a bit.

Helmed Confidence is one I quite liked--requiring Iron Will and a helmet, one wearing the latter gets a bonus to their Will saves which scales with level. I could definitely see a player being keen to pick this one up and the flavor for it is a lot of fun (though I can't help but think of the Juggernaut for some reason...!) This one's a winner.

Push Back racks up steep prerequisites and hedges off of shield usage, but allows a character to bash back against a failed attempt at a combat maneuver and potentially knock their assailant prone; fun mental image and holds potential in the field--this one has promise. On a minor note, though it notes that the failed maneuver provokes an attack of opportunity, this could use with an assertion as to this overriding the Improved maneuver feat suite in their avoidance of provoking.

Shield Crush is very straightforward--upping the damage on shield bash attacks and broadening their critical threat range. I love this feat if only by virtue of it further augmenting the viability of being a shield-bashing menace on the field and offering more incentive to do so over turning to a trusty two-hander for damage. A nice perk for a character devoted to the concept and a feat I'm surprised hasn't surface in core material.

Shield Parry is a further boost to armor class when toting such about, with the added perk of increasing the difficulty an opponent faces in sundering said shield. Very straightforward and likely to get snagged by a character devoted to further hardening their bulwark.

Shrug it Off is fairly neat--as a move action, a character can prepare themselves for an attack in the form of gaining a small pool of temporary hit points; these hit points scale with character level and I could certainly see it adding up in healing saved over the course of an adventurer, making this a pretty practical pick. Nice!

Soak it Up caps us off with a boost to a character's hit point pool retroactively and then converting further hit dice gained by augmenting die rolls with static numbers; the usefulness of this could vary greatly depending on how a particular campaign is handling such rolls, but this could certainly serve to beef a character up over the course of their career. Not bad, just a bit curious.

Overall: 3 pages, one dedicated to the intro and cover and one advertisement / licensing page, keeping the nine 'bullet point' feats on a single concise page. There's some black and white art in the mix, but frankly the product is very straightforward as one can imagine: a page you can print off with the offerings all racked together.

On the whole, I like the feats presented here and could certainly see a character beholden to the concept behind them finding much appeal from the product; while the execution of some of the feats included is a bit curious (and in the case of Hard to Kill, just flat-out inferior to a similar feat from a sister offering of SGG), nevertheless there's enough cleverness and creativity here to certainly warrant a look.

None of the feats struck me as overpowering or as a potential source of imbalance--and enough are presented with an inventive twist that I feel this deserves consideration if you're apt to incorporate 3PP feats in your game. If you have a player that is utilizing the Armiger class from SGG, picking these feats up should be a gimme.

Even if this is not the case, if you have a player that is excited about a heavily armored or shield-loving character, I think they'll be quite happy if these are made available in the mix as well. I'd rate this installment of Bullet Points a comfortable four out of five stars, with the footnote that I'd like to see SGG revisit and reconsider a few tweaks mentioned above.


Super Genius Games

Due to Snowpocalypse 2012, this is now up!

Dark Archive

Finally had a chance to write again and enjoyed this product; posted my review.


The ability to convert lethal->non-lethal is really good for classes that have the double their DR for non-lethal damage, like the barbarian.

Dark Archive

Cheapy wrote:
The ability to convert lethal->non-lethal is really good for classes that have the double their DR for non-lethal damage, like the barbarian.

True, but in the case of the barbarian are they going to be wearing the heavy armor necessary to benefit from this feat, beyond the Armored Hulk archetype? You'd also either need three levels of Armiger or three levels of Fighter and heavy armor proficiency to qualify for the feat.

The feat caps out at converting two points, and only does so once each round--whereas the DR is always active against every attack.

It seems to me that having DR 2/-- universally while wearing heavy armor is more useful than being able to convert the first one point or two points of lethal into nonlethal. You're never really coming out ahead in this context because converting one point or two into nonlethal for the purpose of double DR against them still equals the DR 2/-- in practice anyways.


Yea, I was just trying to throw out some uses for it! I haven't read the book yet, just your review. I'll probably send a link to this to an armiger player of mine...

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Gozuja wrote:
Finally had a chance to write again and enjoyed this product; posted my review.

Thanks for the review!

Since you specifically mentioned wanting to see us reconsider some of the feats, here are my thoughts on why I did things the way I did.

Armored Hulk doesn't make allowances for materials, because I consider the weight and bulk of the armor to be part of what makes you harder to overcome. Mass takes an effort to be overcome, and in this context it's designed to make you more effective when wearing bulkier, heavier, more difficult to move armor, so mithral really isn't your friend. In addition, that means the armiger who chooses adamantine armor over mithral armor gets more of a benefit from this feat, which encourages them to take the heavier, more damage-absorbent armor, and I like that as rule synergy.

All I can say for Brace for Impact is it did well in playtest. You do have to want to make a dedicated charge-receiver for it to be worthwhile, but it can get you +2 to attacks and AC when used... since that would stack with everything else a character does, I feel more benefit than that would be too much.

Hard to Kill was written with the Armor Focus feats from Feats of Battle firmly in mind. As Hard to Kill isn't written as DR, it stacks with Armor Focus (heavy), allowing a character to have DR 2/-, and convert the first 1 or 2 points of damage to nonlethal damage. Additionally, Hard to Kill reduced the first damage you take from any source, not just weapon damage. If caught in a fireball, you convert the first 1 or 2 points of damage to nonlethal.

As for how useful that is, remember that anytime you are hit with magical healing, it heals the same number of lethal and nonlethal points of damage ("Healing Nonlethal Damage: You heal nonlethal damage at the rate of 1 hit point per hour per character level. When a spell or ability cures hit point damage, it also removes an equal amount of nonlethal damage."). So if you've taken 18 points of lethal damage and 7 points of nonlethal damage, and the cleric hits you with a cure light wounds for 8 hp, you have just 10 lethal and no nonlethal damage left on you. Since most people receive at least a few magic cures during a fight (and if not, they certainly do afterwards) this can add up to a noteworthy savings of healing magic to cure you over time.

Helmed Confidence was, I confess, inspired by the Juggernaut.

Push Back works even if the attacker has an Improved combat maneuver. It's not making the maneuver that provokes, it's failing the CMB check, and no Improved feat says it gives you that immunity. I'd consider this clear by RAW, but I admit a clarification couldn't hurt.

I accept Soak It Up may not work with some house rules or optional rules on hp, but I hoped people could apply their normal hp rules to the die types, and then add the bonus. So if your games don't roll hit dice, instead of 1d12 acting like 1d8+4, it acts like "whatever you would do about 1d8 hit points," then add 4 more.

And as always, thanks for taking the time to give us feedback!


Nice review, Gozuja! And good elaborations, Owen - since they addressed some problems I had with other feats, I might check this out yet! :)

Dark Archive

Owen, thanks for the response--I must admit, for whatever reason adamantine armor and the like had completely slipped my mind; with that pretense, Armored Hulk feels good. As for Brace for Impact, certainly it's nice for a bracing-savvy character, I suppose it's more to the matter that I've never really seen someone go out of their way to build that style of character; handiest, perhaps, in environs where lots of monsters have pounce.

Hard to Kill, coupled with the heavy armor focus, does indeed have synergy then--I'd just like to see the scaling ceiling set a little higher, I suppose. Feats that grow with you throughout the course of a character are appealing in general, especially for martial characters. A thought--perhaps either up the damage conversion or expand it to more than one attack per round if the character using the feat drops into fighting defensively or full defense? Then a fighter or armiger might bunker down before a bevvy of punishment and eke out that much more durability.

So, since Helmed Confidence is out, can I twist your arm to see to it that a Loot 4 Less focused on hats and helmets comes down the pipeline? I was just lamenting the other day that the entry point for interesting helmet treasure is fairly steep price-wise (eschewing the standard stat-hats, of course). You could even have a suspiciously dome-like one! ;)

Endzeitgeist wrote:
Nice review, Gozuja! And good elaborations, Owen - since they addressed some problems I had with other feats, I might check this out yet! :)

Thanks End!


As a small clarification, does the little rule about Armiger class HD apply to modified HD from Soak It Up? So the Armiger goes from always, effectively, rolling at least a 6 on a d12 to rolling at least a 10?


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!

To answer the question, no special rule is needed to combine Soak it Up with an armiger's hit dice, as Jericho Penumbra correctly alluded.

An armiger normally rolls 1d12. It notes that any hit die result lower than a 6 is treated as a 6.

Soak it Up says after you take it, 1d12 is rolled as 1d8+4. Clearly the hit die rolled here is the d8, so if an armiger rolls a 1-5 on the d8, he treats it as a 6.

For note, a barbarian with Soak it Up goes from an average of 6.5 hp/HD to 8.5 hp/HD. An armiger goes from an average of 7.75 hp/HD to 10.375 hp/HD. So armigers get more out of the feat, but not a LOT more out of it.

That said even if it's very clear RAW to me, the fact multiple people had questions suggests a clarification is in order. I'll see if I can stuff new wording in to the Bullet Point.


Yeah, Soak it up probably need a new wording - since the Armiger's HP are a special rule, I think some clarification would help. Other than that: Nice work!


Reviewed. Am having some serious issues with the Soak It Up feat, the math just seems to max out HP's for anyone under the 12HD range.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Great series of reviews, KTFish7. I agree with Soak it Up being too powerful for regular classes. In my own game, I restrict Armiger-feats to Armigers.

Paizo Employee Starfinder Design Lead

Gozuja wrote:
So, since Helmed Confidence is out, can I twist your arm to see to it that a Loot 4 Less focused on hats and helmets comes down the pipeline? I was just lamenting the other day that the entry point for interesting helmet treasure is fairly steep price-wise (eschewing the standard stat-hats, of course). You could even have a suspiciously dome-like one! ;)

What a great idea! Here you go!

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