Saturday 24 April 2021

A Heartbreaker of My Very Own: Feats & Tests

 Yeah, OK, I know, Feats. They're anathema to many, but I don't mind them, as long as they're are not many to deal with, and as long as they only concern small boosts or buffs, or enable a character to things a little differently. The Feats I'm including really don't take the place of player agency, nor do they confine players to actions only governed by Feats. Many of them are pirated and/or adapted from Blood & Treasure (2nd edition). Here's the current list:

Alertness: You add +1 to Perception Tests.

Blood Motivation: whenever you score a critical hit, you regain 1 Luck Point.

Bravery: (Pre-reqs: must be a member of a Warrior class) you may add +1 per three levels (rounded up) to Tests against fear. This feat must be selected at first level.

Divine Surge: your character is, for whatever reason, blessed by the gods. Once per day, you may roll 1d6 and add it to any roll. You are, however, fatigued (-1 Speed; -2 to all attack rolls, Tests and skill rolls, including spell rolls) for a number of rounds equal to the number rolled.

Crippling Strike: (Pre-reqs: Stun: Experienced, Attack Bonus +5) you may use your Stun skill to cripple your foe. Duration is 1d6 rounds).

Critical Finesse: (Pre-reqs: Improved Critical, Weapon Finesse, and Attack Bonus +5) when using a light weapon, you may add your DEX bonus to critical checks.

Critical Opportunity: (Pre-reqs: Improved Critical, ATK +9) on scoring a critical hit, you may choose instead to attempt a free push, disarm, grapple, overbear, sunder or trip combat maneuver with a +4 bonus (this bonus stacks with that provided by the Maneuver Master feat).

Dodge: You improve your Armor Class by 1. This Feat can only be selected once. it does not apply to characters who are stunned, dazed, blind, crippled, fatigued, surprised or attacked from the rear.

Enlarge Spell: You may double the range of one spell that you cast each day.

Evasive: (Pre-reqs: Nature: Experienced) If you are attempting to lead a group in evasion maneuvers to avoid a threat, you may increase your chance of evasion by 15%. If you are alone, you may add 15% plus your Perception score (not modifier) to your chance of evasion. 

Exhausting Strike: (Pre-reqs: Stun: Experienced, Attack bonus +3) you may use your Stun skill to fatigue your foe. Duration is 1d6 rounds).

Expertise: When parrying any amount of your Attack Bonus, you add a further +1 to your AC. This stacks with the +1 gained from a total parry.

Extend Spell: You can cast one spell per day with double the normal duration.

Extra Study:  You gain 1 +1d4 skill points in one skill, weapon or combat maneuver. You may select this Feat multiple times, but each time you must apply it to a different skill, weapon or combat maneuver.

Fast: You increase your base movement increment by 2’. 

Force of Faith: (Pre-reqs: Cleric level 6, Undead Slayer, Friar, Inquisitor, Paladin level 9) you may add your CHA bonus to your Turn Undead rolls.

Great Fortitude: +1 to Stamina Tests.

Greater Divine Surge: (Pre-req: Divine Surge) you may, upon using the Divine Surge feat, opt to either a) roll 1d8 or b) forgo the period of fatigue following the use of this ability. You may still only use this ability once per day.

Greater Parry: (Pre-reqs: Dodge, Expertise, Attack Bonus +3, Weapon Focus or Dervish or Monk or Brawler) you may add a further +1 to your AC if you perform a total parry (if you are using a weapon in which you have Weapon Focus or you are a Monk, Brawler or Dervish using unarmed strikes).  

Hard to Kill: (Pre-req: Toughness, Great Fortitude) if given a death blow, you may add +5 (instead of the usual +3) to your Saving Throw vs. death. In addition, if you are reduced to 0 hp but not below, you may pass a Stamina Test in order to avoid unconsciousness, and are treated instead as if sickened.

Improved Cleave: (Pre-reqs: Maneuver Master: Cleave) reduce the SPD cost of the Cleave maneuver by 1. 

Improved Critical: (Pre-reqs: Precision or Expertise) add 4 to all critical checks with one weapon with which you are proficient. This may be selected multiple times, each time applying to a particular weapon.

Improved Initiative: add +1 to all Initiative rolls.

Improved Summons: (Pre-reqs: CHA 13, ability to cast summon monster or summon animal) you may grant one summoned creature per day the advantages of one appropriate feat that you possess, for the duration of the summons.

Inspirational Bravery: (Pre-reqs: Bravery; CHA 13) you may grant your Bravery bonus to all allies within 30’ for a number of rounds equivalent to 1 + your Charisma bonus (minimum 1). 

Iron Will: +1 bonus to Willpower Tests.

Knockout Artist: (Pre-reqs: Pugilist) when unarmed and doing subdual damage, you add 10% to your chance of knocking your foe unconscious.

Lightning Reflexes: +1 bonus to Celerity Tests.

Magical Aptitude: You learn to cast a single non-damage dealing 1st level magic-user spell once per day. You may choose this feat more than once, applying it to a different spell each time. Any character can take this feat.

Maintain Advantage: (Pre-req: Improved Critical) if you successfully score a critical hit against a foe, you may add +3 to your next attack on that foe only.

Mana Boost: you gain 3 points of Mana.

Mana Channel: you infuse your weapon or strike with Mana. Roll your Mana dice, and add the result to any attack roll, critical check and damage to the first attack you make in the round you channelled the Mana. To channel Mana takes 1 point of Activity. The Mana infused blow is also able to breach any weapon immunities (up to and including +3). The amount of Mana you expended is automatically subtracted from your Mana total, just as if you had cast a spell. 

Maneuver Defence: (Pre-req: Attack bonus +3, Dodge) combat maneuver attempts against you are rolled at -3. This does not apply to Ranged Maneuver attempts.

Maneuver Master: (Pre-req: Experienced in the chosen Maneuver) you may add +2 to one combat maneuver of your choice (excluding parry). This feat may be selected multiple times, each time applying to a different maneuver.

Master of Fortitude: (Pre-reqs: Toughness, Great Fortitude) make an Endurance check to ignore one of the following conditions (fatigued, shocked, sickened, stunned) for a number of minutes equivalent to your 1 + your CON bonus (minimum of 1). The condition will return after the expiry of this period.

Master of Two-Weapon Combat: (Pre-reqs: Two-Weapon Defense, Two-Weapon Fighting, ATK bonus +10). Your penalties for using two weapons is reduced to 0 for your primary weapon and -2 for your second attack. You also add the +1 to your AC when partially parrying with both weapons. 

Paragon Summons: (Pre-reqs: Improved Summons) once per day you may summon a creature with maximum hit points, +1 to AC and all Saving Throws. 

Power Attack: You can accept a penalty of -2 to your melee attack rolls and gain a +2 bonus to melee damage.

Precision: You can accept a penalty of -2 to your melee damage rolls and gain a +2 bonus to melee attacks.

Pugilist: Your unarmed attacks deal +1 point of damage.

Quickstart:  (Pre-req: Lightning Reflexes) provided you are not engaged in melee, you can immediately reach jogging speed (instead of hustling).

Quick-witted: (Pre-req: INT 13, ATK Matrix D or better) you may also add your INT modifier to your AC as long as you are not surprised, stunned, dazed or fatigued.

Ranged Maneuver: (Pre-reqs: Weapon Focus in a ranged weapon, Attack Bonus +7, Precision) if your target is within half the effective range of your weapon, you may attempt one of the following special maneuvers – knock down, injure, stun, disarm, sunder or trip. The roll is made at -4, but you may apply the bonus from the Maneuver Master feat if you possess it. Note that you must be at least Practiced with the maneuver to which you apply this feat

Recall Spell: (Pre-reqs: Magic-User level 3) you may replace one spell you have prepared with one you have already cast (the spell replaced must be of the same level as the spell already cast). In any case, the spell recalled cannot be of a higher level than your attack bonus.

Riposte: (Pre-reqs: ATK +6, Expertise) if an opponent misses you when you have parried their attack, you may make an immediate extra free attack against them (at -2). You may not make a riposte if you elect to total parry.

Sickening Strike: (Pre-reqs: Stun: Experienced, Attack bonus +1) you may use your Stun skill to sicken your foe. Duration is 1d6 rounds.

Silent Spell: You can cast one spell each day without having to vocalize it.

Skill Focus: You gain a +2 bonus to a single skill. You can take this feat multiple times, but each time it applies to a different task.

Spell-bane: (Pre-req: Bravery, CHA 15, may not be a spell-caster) you may disrupt the concentration of a spell-caster (within 10’ +5’ per every five level increment; e.g. 10’ at 1st level, 15’ at 5th level, 20’ at 10th level, etc.) with a blood-curdling cry. Your target must pass a Concentration/Willpower Test (with your CHA bonus and Bravery bonus as a penalty) or fail to cast the spell.

Still Spell: You can cast one spell per day without moving your hands.

Swift Recovery: (Pre-req: Lightning Reflexes) roll 1d6 for Initiative when surprised, and add your DEX bonus.

Taskmaster: (Pre-reqs: Skill Focus in the chosen skill, character level 10): once per day, you may roll twice when attempting a Skill check in which you have Skill Focus, and take the greater result. You may purchase this feat more than once, applying it to a different Skill each time.

Toughness: You gain +3 hit points.

Two-Weapon Defense: When wielding two weapons in combat, you gain a +1 bonus to AC if you sacrifice making an attack with your secondary weapon.

Two-Weapon Fighting: When attacking with two weapons, you only suffer a -1 penalty with the primary weapon and a -3 penalty with the secondary weapon.

Weapon Finesse: When wielding a light melee weapon, you can add your Dexterity bonus to your attack roll in place of adding your Strength bonus.

Weapon Focus: You gain a +1 bonus to attack with a chosen weapon. You can take this feat more than once, applying it to a different weapon each time.

Weapon Proficiency: You learn to use a weapon normally unavailable to your class. For example, a Magic-User might learn to wield a longsword. A Cleric’s restriction against using edged or piercing weapons cannot be by-passed with this feat.

Widen Spell: Once per day, you can double the area of effect of a spell. 

This looks plenty enough for me. It's really about customising characters a little bit more, allowing them to be more varied, or more effective, without being (I hope) too overpowered.

The other house-rule I'm introducing is that of Tests: this replaces all previous rules about Saving Throws and Skills (like the Dwarf ability to detect sloping passages, or a Thief's Hear Noise).

At various points during play, a character must overcome different kinds of adversity: dodging a trap, fighting off a curse, avoiding a surprise ambush, surviving poison or resisting the effects of various magical attacks. To successfully do so, the character must roll a d20 and equal or exceed a target number (see the Tests Table). This number is associated with various derived abilities, and decreases as the character advances in levels. The base number for Tests decreases by 1 at levels 3, 8, 13 and 18. Different classes gain modifiers to Tests as well.

Skills are always used in combination with one appropriate Test (this may be based upon a Primary ability, such as Dexterity, or, more likely, a Secondary Derived ability, like Fellowship). The ability Test provides the target number for a d20 roll, and the degree of proficiency (Unschooled, Familiar, etc.) in the skill provides a modifier for that roll. In addition, the GM may assign a modifier based upon the level of difficulty, using the following, rather loose guidelines: Simple (+3 or 4); Easy (+1 or 2);  Moderate (+0); Challenging (-1 or 2); Difficult (-3 or 4) and Extremely Difficult (-5 or more).

Roufos Redwind, a 3rd level Fighter with the Hunter Background is attempting to track several Forest Turyx (2’6” tall humanoid creatures in their own element). The GM rules that this is a Challenging (-2) task, and requires a Perception + Nature roll. Roufos has good Wisdom (14), but is a bit thick (Intelligence 7), giving him a Perception score of 11, which means he has to roll 15 or better to succeed (at -2!). However, Roufos has the Nature skill to the Practiced level, granting him a +1 bonus, and he also gains +1 to tracking checks, thanks to his Hunter Background, so he at least manages to eradicate the penalty for difficulty. Fortunately for Roufos, he rolls a 19, modified to 17, so he succeeds in following the Turyx.


Celerity Tests: the character’s ability to physically dodge or evade traps, area effect spells, the breath of dragons, etc.

Guile Tests: skills only.

Luck Tests: the character’s Luck may skew events in their favour where randomness is a factor, such as gaining a favourable hand of cards, winning a coin toss, having your name not drawn out of a ballot box by a press-gang, not getting caught by shards of flying glass when the Demon-possessed Ape comes smashing through the window… 

Judgement Tests: skills only.

Prowess Tests: skills only. 

Presence Tests: skills only. 

Fellowship Tests: skills only. 

Mana Tests: skills only.

Perception Tests: these tests are usually applied against ambushes, but also to bring anything to a character’s attention when they are not actively searching an area or monitoring an individual (i.e., using the Detection skill).

Stamina Tests: the character’s ability to overcome fatigue, diseases, poisons and magical effects such as polymorph or petrification.

Willpower Tests: the character’s ability to shrug off spells - and other possible attacks or skill uses - that seek to assail the mind, courage and confidence. 


Ability Score










































As an addendum, I'd really appreciate constructive criticism on this material. I make no claims to originality, this is more a mélange of different rules that I'm shoehorning into one system so as to better fit my campaign setting, and I'm pretty sure I'm overlooking all manner of problems. 

Wolves of War: The Ulfarga for Blood & Treasure (& RMFRP)

  Ulfarga (Lupine Beastkin) Wild-hearted but honourable wolf-like humanoids, Ulfarga represent one of the largest populations of any Beastki...