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 potential 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 imbalancing–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 a player is utilizing the Armiger class from Super Genius Games, picking these feats up should be a gimme–but even if this is not the case, if a player 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.