mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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No One Expects The Chelaxian Inquisition!

Inquisitor's Edge by Sigfried Trent.

I really liked the "Advanced Feats" for the Witch & the Alchemist, so when I saw that there was one for the Inquisitor-- I suppose it is inevitable that all the classes from Pathfinder will have one-- I looked forward to reading it. I know kingtycoon is playing an Inquisitor in the game he's in back in the Wasteland, & what with Chris being a Pathfinder player now, I've got more & more gamers whose opinions I respect to bounce thoughts about this kind of stuff off on. The thing about Trent's "Advanced Feats" is that...well, they are pretty well balanced. More to the point, he tells you what he was thinking when he cooked them up, so you can follow the logic behind game balance issues. That alone is just...well, that level of transparency is refreshing. Here is the thing about feats-- I kind of hate them, most of the time. I don't like "+2 in a conditional situation!" powers; I feel that they clutter up a character & don't contribute to the narrative. Feats should define what you can do & help flesh out a persona, not just nickle & dime players. The kicker is-- as far as I can tell, Sigfried Trent agrees with me. You don't get garbage, or fodder. More to the point...while these are definitely Inquisitor focused, most of the feats are open to any character. Restrictions that are needlessly too tight is another pet peeve of mine; come on, let people build the characters that they want to play. The "Character Builds" in the article are there to help you plot out your character growth, but meh. I've always been a fan of taking levels organically, as they come-- which is why things like "Improved Judgment" (below) are so important to me.

Now-- I have quibbles with some of the feats, but isn't that what the whole point of a Narrator is? To adjudicate things like this? Like "Defensive Disarm," which lets you attempt a disarm whenever an attack misses you. The commentary says that since you mostly fight monsters, it isn't broken...& maybe that is true in his campaign. In mine it would be a definite no go. Or "Ducking Shot," which he comments is there because Point Blank Mastery requires Weapon Specialization, only available to Fighters. Ugh, remember what I said about restrictions that are too tight? I think a Narrator should throw out the Weapon Specialization requirement. "Improved Judgment" adds five to your class for figuring out class-based powers to make up for multi-classing; such a good idea & a necessary feat, though I think four levels would make more sense, give the the way "Practised Spellcaster" works. Almost every spellcaster I've played in 3e has had that feat, since it goes a long way towards letting you diversify your character classes. "Magical Savant" does the same thing, but with attribute requirements; I think it is too powerful. Making tough statistical choices is part of the game, after all. I'd say it should offer plus two instead of plus four, with an "Improved Magical Savant" feat that adds another two. Then there are feats that are just so yes. "Extended Use" doubles your level for a specific power's duration-- a simple power that adds utility without breaking game balance. "Friend & Foe" is just "Good Cop, Bad Cop," & it really makes it hit home how monomaniacally combat-oriented 4e is. Remember when there were non-fighting abilities? Pathfinder does! There is also "Meddlesome," which lets you increase the DC when an opponent tries to cast defensively. As someone who has played the anti-spellcaster monk, I wholeheartedly approve. "Ranged Maneuvers" lets you trip, disarm & sunder with ranged weapons, which is another solid feat. It adds options, but not distractingly. & hitting a sword out of someone's hand with a shuriken is awesome.
Tags: dnd, kobold quarterly, pathfinder, trent

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