Monday, June 20, 2011

Small Augury - Complete Advanced Feats

Complete Advanced Feats is the compilation of Sigfried Trent’s series that pushed the feat design model ahead using the new Pathfinder classes from the Advanced Player’s Guide. I admit that I was hoping for new installments, now based on the classes of the Core Rulebook (well, I still CAN hope for that).

Because I already reviewed a good part of the original series (Visions of the Oracle, Summoner’s Circle, Inquisitor’s Edge and Cavalier’s Creed), I’ll try to focus my comments on feats for the Alchemist and Witch classes. If interested in any of the other classes, the links above should have (I sincerely hope) more pertinent information.

The Complete Advanced Feats is 77-pages color PDF that brings tons of new feats, many specific for the new base classes of Pathfinder (Alchemist, Cavalier, Inquisitor, Oracle, Summoner and Witch), together with three complete builds for each class, usually around a class feature (like the “bomber” alchemist) or a classical archetype (like the quintessential black knight).

Books of feats are rarely a novelty these days, but the author manages to surprise by approaching the subject with new or intelligent mechanics, the kind of thing that when spotted generates this typical though: “Why had I not thought of that?

A few examples of feats that improve mechanical aspects of Pathfinder are:

Advanced Alchemy that allows you to add your Int mod to the target DC used to resist your alchemical items;
Familiar Focus bases your familiar’s progression on you character level, not class;
Hexing Familiar allows you little servant to cast basic hexes;

Now, feat that in my opinion, bring new perspectives to the game:

Create Wondrous Creature let you play of Dr. Frankenstein and you don’t even need to be a spellcaster. This is the type of feat that sold me on Trent’s works.
Magic Sense gives a sixth-sense against permanent magic effects and allows you to specify what would’ve happened if you failed a particular saving throw against magic (very useful with enchantments);
Mystic Retribution grants you a minor counterattack against spellcaster in melee range that thwart your spellcasting actions;
Opportunity Counterspell finally makes counterspelling a tempting tactic (it’s almost too good actually);

Other feats are just natural progressions or extrapolations of the classes’ structures, like Extra Familiar, which allows a witch to improve her spell of known spells; or Familiar Development, that increases your familiar’s powers (whose abilities are really weak and deserved a better mechanic); or the simple (but essential) Improved Concentration and Potent Hex.

If you already have most of the Advanced Feats’ PDFs, it’s unnecessary to say that won’t find anything new in Complete Advanced Feats. However, if you still haven’t the entire collection and desire a print version of these feats, then Complete Advanced Feats is a superb offer, almost an appendix of the Advanced Player’s Guide (especially if you consider that many of the feats are not exclusive to the new classes).

Finally, it worth mentioning that Complete Advanced Feats has a nice character sheets for summoner’s eidolons and cavalier’s mounts.