Another entry in the Bullet Points series, here we have a collection akin to the Armiger set–its inception oriented towards an Super Genius Games base class (the Archon of course, in this case)–while offering a parallel to other characters if the class is not being utilized in a given campaign. Magus seems the forward-most pick in this regard–but let’s take a look at how these feats play out!
Of the six feats presented in this issue of Bullet Points, two are ‘standalone’ and the remaining four lay focused on the new Spell-Weapon feat–which boasts additional effects for a variety of traditional weapon-oriented magics. But first, the two outliers:
Add Invocation to Injury, in addition to its entertaining name, bestows penalties on an enemy to resist spells, spell-like and supernatural abilities so long as none of the three are utilized at any point during the round–which then lasts until the end of the following turn; this penalty scales up a tad if the possessor utilizes a weapon with a higher critical hit modifier.
I like the intention of this feat, the synergy for swapping to and fro between ‘mundane’ attacks and magical assault–but feel that it borders on being a bit too convoluted for the small penalty it hedges out; it sets out that you must eschew any usage of the trio of magical flavors at any point during your round to give a save penalty.
Instead, why not present it such that an enemy you’ve hit with a regular attack but have not affected by magical proves to be a viable target? You might then, for example, alternate between two or more foes doling out your abilities, or provide boons to allies or yourself via magic–while still delaying the penalty to a particular enemy for a round and still dedicating your swift action to it.
It seems to me that encouraging a character whose flavor is based around bundling swords and sorcery together to not utilize the latter every other round is a bit of a punishing exchange for a modest penalty to an opponent; a tweak in this vein would go a long way to making the feat more appealing, in my opinion.
Moving on, Eldritch Insight rounds the opposite approach, providing its possessor a bonus to attack and damage rolls when an opponent fails a save against a spell they’ve cast; to this end, why not extend the conditions here–adding to CMB or CMD, triggering off of an opponent affected by your spells or supernatural abilities in general (promoting combos e.g. touching for a shocking grasp here and then slashing there, etc.)
There’s room to broaden the conditions here for the modest bonus–against affects that did not prompt a save, it could last a round while the failed saves remain or renew the minute duration.
Beyond this pair, we turn to Spell-Weapon and its three follow-up feats: Second Spell-Weapon, Spell-Weapon Charge and Spell-Weapon Gestures. In and of itself, Spell-Weapon provides added functionality to a variety of spells cast upon a weapon to which the possessor has ‘attuned’ themselves (via a ritual, such that this selection can be swapped about).
The modifiers here vary a fair bit, from greater magic weapon not requiring materials or a divine focus to upping the duration or range of similarly affecting spells. There’s the premise of a fun concept here, though I feel the implementation is a bit limiting in that it only identifies a small selection of spells for its purposes.
If instead, the conditions were broadened a bit–increasing the duration of combat-oriented weapon magics (such as magic weapon) by x factor, utility-oriented weapon magics (such as locate object) by y factor, etc.–you could open the door to accommodating forthcoming Paizo or 3PP spells for example.
I’d have also liked to see a callback to the SGG Bell, Book and Candle Loot 4 Less innovation in the Artificer’s Rushlight, as it might not be out of place to provide similar flexibility in regards to greater magic weapon for an Archon or similar character–though this could certainly be presented in a follow-up feat with Spell-Weapon as one of its prerequisites.
That said, Second Spell-Weapon is very straightforward–allowing a character to ‘attune’ to an additional weapon; ostensibly off of the base feat double-weapons are considered one weapon for the purposes of attuning, so I’d imagine this accounts for dual-wielding or swapping to and from a backup, considering how long the attuning ritual takes.
Spell-Weapon Charge allows you to hold the charge of a touch-ranged spell within an attuned weapon as if it were a battery, but specifies that it may not be used to deliver said spell–only that it may be maintained while you cast other spells. I don’t necessarily think that it would be too quarrelsome to also be able to deliver the spell later–perhaps offset by a penalty to the attack sequence, or expending it if the intended attack misses, etc.–since you’re taking the time and actions to set it up anyways. There’s synergy with Add Invocation to Injury here, though!
Finally, we close out with Spell-Weapon Gestures which is also fairly straightforward: an attuned weapon can be used to complete the somatic requirements of spell-casting as if it weren’t being held. If this is a frequent problem for a character, I suppose this would be handy–it’s another where I feel a little extra oomph could go a long way though. How about also serving to make the fact that the possessor is casting a spell more subtle and difficult to detect (perhaps upping the difficulty of spellcraft to identify the spell being cast?) Is the character just attacking with flourish, or are they preparing to assault you with powerful magics? Just a thought.
Overall: 3 pages, one dedicated to the intro and cover and one advertisement / licensing page, keeping these six ‘bullet point’ feats on a single crisp page. There’s two pieces of black and white art in the mix, both of which are nice flavor. I noticed a quirk or two in wording, but otherwise the format follows SGG standards and is clean.
Regarding the package as a whole, as one can glean I have a lot of opinions on the execution as presented–but overall, even without the above suggestions the feats here are functional as they stand. I suspect that a character balancing both martial and magic is going to be a touch ‘feat starved’ as it were, which is one of the reasons behind my feelings on the usefulness of each as a feat–but if you or a player in your campaign is playing this flavor of character, the Spell-Weapon feat set could be fun to play with.
At the price point, it’s a good value for the inventiveness regardless–if you’re on the hunt for this flavor of feat, this issue of Bullet Points fits the bill comfortably. I would rate this one 3.5 stars in that I would have liked to see expansion and tweaking on the circumstances and functionality of the above feats–but to be fair, they’re still perfectly usable without my poking under the hood and thus I’ll round this to 4.