Ultimate Options: Story Feats (PFRPG) PDF

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Feats to match your character and the GM's storyline. Add abilities based on your actions and goals met in-game to become more than just another character on the board.

Useable for monsters and NPCs as well, story feats bring your game to a whole new level of awesome.

Let the rules help you tell a legendary story!

Authors: Rich Howard & Mike Welham
Cover Artist: Storn Cook
Pages: 20

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An Endzeitgeist.com review

*****

This pdf clocks in at 21 pages, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, leaving us with 18 pages of content, so let's take a look!

After one page of aptly-written prose, we dive into the basic recaps of what constitutes a story feat, how to read them and common rules terms like "challenging foe", "Decisively Defeat" etc. this is important, for within this context the wordings carry meaning and if you happen to not own perhaps one of the best books Paizo has ever made (Ultimate Campaign), in which these feats were introduced, well then here you have it explained.

The pdf also provides a massive table of story feats with appropriate backgrounds in case you also use these. Now why are story feats awesome in my book? Know all those stories where a hero vows to accomplish something, then succeeds and transcends his former capabilities? That#s what sory feats are - they are essentially rewards for making a compelling, interesting character the DM has an easier time to work with. As such, and I feel obliged to mention this, players should work together and with the DM to ensure that a good yarn can be woven that potentially offers fulfillment for all those story feats - for yes, they increase in power when their built-in goal has been reached.

Got that? Awesome, so let's take a look at what we get herein! Take Armchair General as the first story feat - representing a formal, theoretical military training, it requires you to select a teamwork feat you have. 1/day, as a standard action, you may grant said feat for cha-mod rounds to all allies within 30 ft, whether they fulfill the prereqs or not. To unleash the feat's true potential, though, you have to be in charge of a large military unit of at least 500 and lead them to a decisive victory, getting some practical experience in the field of war. if you manage to do this, you can designate a limited amount of so-called field-leaders, who then may disperse the teamwork feat as if they had the base armchair general feat sans its completion bonus, allowing for an epic spread of temporary teamwork.

On a more mundane and easier to fulfill level, Blow the Joint nets you 2 Knowledge class skills and skill bonuses that increase once you've been to a bunch of truly big towns. Additionally, people like "one of their own making it in the big city", making the townies more favorable toward you. Likewise, obsession with an obscure artist and collecting said artist's works may allow you upon completion to use appraise in lieu of spellcraft for item identification purposes. Characters that are Cryptohunters r Conspiracy Nuts, even those brainwashed by cult indoctrination or devoted to one of the deadly sins - all get their proper and cool options here. It should also be noted that the cardinal virtues also are an option, not just the runelord centric deadly sins...

Or perhaps a certain creature has traumatized your character and slaying it by facing down his/her fear is what you're going for? What about preventing the death of the last of a creature's kind? Paying a karmic debt? Devoting yourself to a familial quest handed down over the generations? Go where no one has gone before? Or perhaps you want to run the big con, reconnect with your heritage after being estranged from it, act as a mentor for another (player) character? Be a warrior that eschews brutality? Perhaps you have survived a dread plague or are possessed, blacking out? Perhaps your character is the only one believing in one person's innocence or perhaps, you seek to stem the uprisings in your home country, believing in your nation's ideals and values.

Even characters seeking true independence or those that, in their hubris, seek to summon an avatar or follows an unknown deity no one else knows or believes in - the options are often pure narrative gold - specific, yet not too specific and the benefits generally are interesting, especially when tying in with the story in less crunchy benefits, weaving the story of their respective feat further.

Conclusion:

Editing and formatting are very good, I noticed no obvious glitches that would have impeded my ability to understand the content herein. Layout adheres to Rogue Genius Games' printer-friendly two-column standard and the pdf comes with nice full-color stock art. The pdf comes fully bookmarked.

Rick Howard and Mike Welham deliver an array of feats that manage to not bore me, which, at this point, is quite a feat. get it. Ouch. Yeah, I know, I'll put a buck in the bad joke jar. Kidding aside - I like the basic premise of story feats and the story feats provided herein greatly expand the cool concept by filling the gaps left by the original introduction in Ultimate Campaign. Generally, I would have enjoyed it if some of the story feats herein had been a bit braver - there are quite a few that do some combination skill-bonus stuff, which, while nice to have, has been done before. Some more synergy with perhaps Downtime, other feats, perhaps even, dare I say it, Story Feat-trees, would have made this pdf even better. As written, it is an enjoyable read that has crunch for once properly support the story and not vice versa, which is a good thing in my book. At least if DM and player have agreed upon story feats, which they should. Communication here is necessary and valuable, but this basic good provided as a prerequisite, I think these feats will have something to add to the campaigns. My final verdict will hence clock in at 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5 for the purpose of this platform.

Endzeitgeist out.


Absolutely Awesome

*****

So I'm going to start this by saying that when I first discovered Story Feats in Ultimate Campaign, I was so impressed and excited by the idea of them that I started making them mandatory for my players, who were initially reluctant but ultimately became very enamored of this added tool for influencing and integrating with the story. I may be slightly biased in favor of a product that does them well, but by that same token, we're more inclined to hate something when it messes up a thing we love (I'm looking at you Star Wars), so maybe that's a wash.

Right off the bat, I saw the feat "Armchair General" in this document and knew that I was going to like it. You see, probably the only thing I like more than a feat with a good story that helps progress the campaign is a good teamwork feat and a mechanic for making it work, and this one story feat provided that mechanic in an excellently executed way. This may be a staple feat for every military-oriented character I create going forward.

With close to 40 new Story feats this supplement expands the territory laid out by Paizo and reinforces it with options for almost any character background or goal you could hope for in a standard fantasy game (maybe even a slightly non-standard one full of Dragonriders, Death Mages, Mosaic Mages, and the like!). If you were a fan of Ultimate Campaign and the Story Feats, I'm certain you'll love this supplement. If you liked the idea but were having trouble finding that right story feat that actually fit your character, odds are good you'll find it in here.


An RPG Resource Review

*****

Story feats first hit our gaming tables with Paizo's "Ultimate Campaign" supplement. They're feats which reflect a goal that the character has, and incorporate a trigger event, the normal sort of benefit that any feat confers, the goal the character is trying to achieve and a further reward that comes when that goal is achieved. The trigger event can either come from the character's background or from something that happens during the campaign itself. They provide an excellent way of linking a character more closely with the ongoing story that you are all trying to tell as the campaign plays out.

This work contains a selection of new story feats from which you can choose. The trigger events for all of them are based on background for obvious reasons - no book author can predict events in your game! Naturally, it is easy enough to take events from your game and match them to an appropriate story feat as their trigger event. It's something that GM and player will do in collaboration when the player's character next qualifies for a feat. Likewise, the completion conditions can be quite vague even if they sound specific, the GM will have to create appropriate opportunities for the character to achieve them.

Many of the new feats have considerable potential to actually drive a plot forwards, or even create a whole new one of their own. Enterprising GMs may find inspiration here and then seek to persuade a suitable character to take on the relevant story feat.

One particularly interesting one is Embodiment (Vice) - it's based around the classic seven deadly sins, one of which you must choose as the vice of which you wish to become the very embodiment. A common trigger is to be a devotee of a faith that espouses the vice in question. The completion target will naturally vary depending on the one chosen, and tends to be somewhat broader than with other story feats. There's also a neat little quirk: any action the character takes that moves him further from his goal causes the loss of the feat's benefit until he performs some act of contrition. This may be a GM-determined action, use of the atonement spell or other appropriate deed.

Well worth a look, especially for those running or playing complex story-driven campaigns.


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Now available!


This looks really interesting!

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Thanks, Liz!

Dungeonmaster Cal, I hope you check it out and find a lot of useful ideas in the book. Rich Howard and I packed a lot of story feat ideas in here.


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I'll be sure to when I get paid next!


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It must be mine!!!!!!


Arkady Zelenka wrote:
It must be mine!!!!!!

I'll be fascinated to know your thoughts once it IS yours. :)

Sczarni

The product description seems to be shorter than usual for an RGG product, I was just wondering whether there was, among the feats presented in the book, a good story feat for a character suffering a terrible curse.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Ultimate Campaign has the Accursed story feat. Rich and I steered away from duplicating material from UC, but we developed story feats that grow out of Cursed Birth (such as Deep Sleeper, Embodiment[vice], Evil Father, Possessed, and Summon a God...to tease with the feat names).

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Thank you kindly for the review, Megan!

Rich's Embodiment (virtue) and Embodiment (vice) feats are excellent as Megan points out, encapsulating 14 potential story options.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

As always, many thanks to Megan Robertson for the review!

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Ssalarn, thank you for the review! I'm glad the book will be a good resource for your games.


I just read Ssalarn's review, and what exactly is this 'Armchair General' feat like? It sounds very interesting, but then I'm a big fan of mass combat.

Paizo Employee Organized Play Developer

Eric Hinkle wrote:
I just read Ssalarn's review, and what exactly is this 'Armchair General' feat like? It sounds very interesting, but then I'm a big fan of mass combat.

It starts out kind of like a toned down version of the Cavalier's Tactician for educated warriors. When you hit your story bonus of successfully leading an army in combat, it scales up and allows you to select "field leaders" who can then share that feat on your behalf, essentially allowing you to have entire squads across the battlefield reinforced with the benefits of the chosen Teamwork feat.


Big "thank you" to Ssalarn for the review!


Ssalarn wrote:
Eric Hinkle wrote:
I just read Ssalarn's review, and what exactly is this 'Armchair General' feat like? It sounds very interesting, but then I'm a big fan of mass combat.
It starts out kind of like a toned down version of the Cavalier's Tactician for educated warriors. When you hit your story bonus of successfully leading an army in combat, it scales up and allows you to select "field leaders" who can then share that feat on your behalf, essentially allowing you to have entire squads across the battlefield reinforced with the benefits of the chosen Teamwork feat.

Ok... now I'm buying this! That sounds awesome!


Valantrix1 wrote:
Ok... now I'm buying this! That sounds awesome!

We look forward to hearing your opinion of it!


1 person marked this as a favorite.

Reviewed first on endzeitgeist.com, then submitted to Nerdtrek and GMS magazine and posted here, on OBS and d20pfsrd.com#s shop.

Liberty's Edge Contributor, RPG Superstar 2012

Thank you very much for the review, End!!

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