Kobold Press

Advanced Feats: Feat of the Week #3

“And why should we ally with the likes of you?” the baron asked.

The tall bearded warrior glared silently letting the tension in the room build before speaking. “Because you want your enemies to suffer before they die.”

The baron laughed nervously for a moment, “Yes, I think I like you already. Let’s be friends.”

Fearsome Demeanor
You negotiate through menace and intimidation rather than honeyed words.
Prerequisite: Cha 13
Benefit: You may substitute your Intimidate skill bonus for your Diplomacy skill bonus when performing Diplomacy skill checks.

Feat Workshop
This feat started out as an idea for the Witch class as Fearsome Reputation. I wanted to capture the idea that witches were feared and that this fear could garner them respect and willing capitulation without the need to issue actual threats. Mechanically, the way to do that seemed to be to let them use Intimidation in place of Diplomacy.

When I got to actually writing the feat, I found myself having second thoughts about using reputation as part of the title. It suggested the mechanic should depend on the character being infamous, even at 1st level, and it gave the feat a social context that wouldn’t make sense in many situations. I decided I needed a quality that was more self-contained and self-evident in the character, so I went with Demeanor.

The benefit was fairly easy to write though I did struggle a little getting just the words to describe how it works without creating too much confusion. Sometimes while it’s easy to sum up how a rule works in plain language, it’s a bit trickier to write it so it’s unambiguous with respect to precise rules terminology. The prerequisite here is more for flavor and believability than cost.

For this feat I added a little flavor text to illustrate how I imagine it being used. I’m always looking for ways to make feats fun to read which is one of a few reasons I include designer commentaries for each one in my Advanced Feats series. In a recent review, the reviewer mentioned feats from another collection which came with some prose to accompany the feats and missed them when reading my work. That seemed like a fun idea so I included an attempt at that here.

I’m curious what folks think of using such text for feat presentation. Does it add something? How substantial should it be? Do you think it can add to understanding the feat?

By the way, have you seen the reviews?
Both Complete Advanced Feats and Might of the Magus have gotten some great reviews which tickled me pink. I’ll quote the one or two lines.

For: Might of the Magus
“Mr. Trent is an enemy of power creep. His feats add variety, they add flavor, they add options, but they do not unbalance the game.” Charles Carrier at Paizo

“This hits the high benchmarks of the rest of the series—the first thing anybody playing Pathfinder should do it get the “Advanced Feats” for their class, if you ask me.” Mordicai Caeli

For: Complete Advanced Feats
“The Complete Advanced Feats book is a really great supplement for any Pathfinder gamer out there. The book offers a tremendous selection of new feats, and the Advanced Character Builds is like having a bonus player-character “strategy” guide built right in to make the book instantly useful for creating new and diverse characters.” ENWorld

Thoughts on this feat, or the feats in CAF?

8 Replies to "Advanced Feats: Feat of the Week #3"

Hecknoshow

July 14, 2011 at 6:25am

I like this feat, good for a skill starved class that wants to still “help” in social situations, and very flavorful so its a good RP aid.
It would be especially fun to watch a character gather information using this feat.

SAUNNA

July 14, 2011 at 6:41am

This reminds me of Arcane Mutterings. I like these little nuggets that give mechanical excuses to roleplay a fun social encounter. My wizard used to go all “Do not mistake me for a conjurer of cheap tricks” with Mutterings when I needed to chat up somebody with a dash of intimidation.

Darkjoy

July 14, 2011 at 7:02am

I like it too, good be great for my barbarian.

Taeligan

July 14, 2011 at 9:12am

You can already more-or-less do this RAW. Granted, the Intimidate check merely makes the target Friendly while he’s in your presence, but I’m not sure that this feat makes the usage different enough to warrant being a feat on its own.

Simon

July 14, 2011 at 9:25am

Actually makes a great feat. Intimidation is a one time force of will check. A fearsome Demeanor is apparent the moment an encounter starts. It may culminate in similar check but definitely carries more overall weight. Besides, sometimes diplomacy is a very large stick used properly! The bit of prose does help flesh the idea out. Worth having.

ShadoCat

July 17, 2011 at 9:27am

I like the favor text.

Aside from being a fun read, it gives an immediate “I can/can’t see this for my character”.

Mighty Mongo

July 17, 2011 at 11:46am

I agree about the flavor text. This is sort of how my “heritage feats” came about. (Thanks again, Sig, to help me balance, codify and name them). Often they occured to me as an idea about how they could enhance an RP encounter, and came to me as flavor, then I just had to find some mechanics to codify the “wouldn’t it be cool if…” text.

BLATANT PLUG: Keep an eye out for Midgard Heritage Feats coming soon in the Midgard Player’s Guides!