By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Rite Publishing is 6 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD and 1 page advertisement, leaving two pages of content for this no-frills-attached style little pdf, so let’s check it out, shall we?
As with the feats in “Secrets of the Inquisitor”, this pdf provides new feats, which can be used via the inquisitor’s solo-tactics as if they were teamwork feats. The feats are:
- Anathema Strike: Your bane damage dealt by your weapons can’t be healed by magical means if the target fails a save.
- Astute Advantage: Lets you make one attack in the first round of combat before initiative, even if you’re surprised, but only with your weapon in your hand.
- Bane Burst: Makes your bane-attacks work like powerful weapons with the burst-quality regarding your bane-damage.
- Chastising Stare: 1/day deliver massive penalties via a gaze. If the foe manages to save, the ability is not used up.
- Instant Judgment: Activate and change judgments as an immediate action.
- Know Thy Enemy: 3/day if you know a foe’s alignment and succeed at a wis-check, you can get a competence bonus against them.
- Pronounce Weakness: 1/day you can curse an enemy with a weakness of your choice if it has not already one. If the foe manages to save, the ability is not used up. I LOVE this one, as it encourages smart fighting on behalf of the PCs.
- Stalwart Determination: 3/day, when your HP are less than con+bab, you can grant yourself temporary hit points to keep on fighting. Cool feat because they’re temporary, otherwise I’d now be complaining about healing surges. With them being temporary, it enables the inquisitor to vanquish a foe and then collapse tragically – narrative gold.
- Strike down the Liar: The short fluff-sentence says it all: “May the gods strike me down if I’m lie…BOOM” – when you detect a lie, 3/day you can CONJURE A LIGHTNING BOLT from nowhere to strike the liar. This feat is so incredibly awesome in its coolness potential I know one of my players will jump at the chance to take it.
- Track magic: My absolute favourite of the feats, but this one also provides a challenge for DMs. The feat grants the inquisitor the ability to track magic auras, on-going spells etc., but e.g. not trackless step or dusts of disappearance. Magical discharges work like rain and I can see the a whole range of adventures developing from this feat – a tracker on the PC’s heels forces them to rely on mundane means to hide. A PC inquisitor has to track an otherwise brilliant criminal. What if certain cultists always use a certain spell and it takes the inquisitor to sniff them out before they blow up an aristocratic party?
Editing and formatting are very good, I didn’t notice any significant glitches. Layout adheres to RiP’s 2-column standard and the pdf has no bookmarks, though it doesn’t need any at this length. I’m a HUGE fan of Steven D. Russell’s “Secrets of the Inquisitor”, especially due to all the solo-tactics-compatible feats and e.g. the feats that grant a powerful ability that can be used only 1/day, but isn’t wasted if your foe succeeds his/her/its save. This pdf is a logical and extremely cheap sequel to this idea and provides additional oomph for your inquisitor to make them the badasses they were meant to be. That being said, I think that the feats per se are well-crafted, though e.g. “Know Thy Enemy” feels rather weak when compared to others herein. Some of the feats herein are genius – Striking down liars with heaven’s (or hell’s) wrath? Yes, please! And tracking magic is, as mentioned, smart and a stellar example of concise writing – taking such a complex concept and shrinking it down to a feat and have it work is neat indeed. Though I’d love to see a table of sample DCs/magical tracking complications – perhaps in a future Pathways-or AQ-issue? Granted, some of the feats force a DM to be on his guard, but then again, DMs can also use these feats against the players… While the overall power-curve of this one is slightly higher than I like (you know how stingy and conservative I’m regarding that), I’d usually settle for a final verdict of 4.5 stars, but due to the unbeatable price and awesome ideas, I’m going to settle for the full 5.
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So what do you think?