By Thilo Graf
This pdf from Open Design is 17 pages long, 1 page front cover, 1 page editorial, 1 page SRD, 1 page advertisements.
As all pdfs from the advanced feats series, this book begins with a hort discussion/introduction to the class in question.
After that, we get the meat of the book, the 30 new feats:
- Armed Touch Casting: Deliver touch spells using a melee weapon
- Battlecaster: Cast spells as part of a full attack
- Charmed: Add +5 bonus to a single dice roll
- Concentration Spell: Extend the duration of your spells through concentration
- Conditional Curse: Curse class feature Your curse hinders you only about half of the time
- Divine Resistance: Gain resistance to divine magic
- Dormant Spell: Cast helpful spells that remain dormant until activated
- Elemental Boost: Spells of your chosen element are infused with extra power
- Extra use: Use any class ability an extra 1/day
- Magic Sense: Sense magic energies and identify spells you save against
- Meta Spell: Learn metamagic versions of spells
- Mystic Retribution: Zap enemies who interrupt your spellcasting using residual magic
- Penetrating Spell: Your spells overcome energy resistance
- Potent Ability: Add +1 bonus to the DC of your supernatural and spell-like abilities
- Potent Divination: Your detection spells are faster and stronger than normal
- Preserve Scroll: Cast a spell from a scroll without destroying it
- Prophetic Dreamer: Your dreams sometimes echo the future
- Quick Healing: Provide first aid and treat wounds and poison as a move action
- Savage Critical: Your critical hits strike harder on a natural 20
- Scroll Mastery: Gain a +4 bonus to CL and Use Magic Device checks to activate scrolls
- Scroll Metamagic: Add metamagic effects to spells read from scrolls
- Somatic Weapon: Satisfy somatic components using a chosen weapon
- Spell Retention: Never lose your spell when interrupted
- Spiritual Armaments: Create spectral equipment when you summon or animate the dead
- Strange Revelation: Learn a revelation from a mystery other than your own
- Tactical Spellcasting: Move before and after spellcasting
- Touch Spell Control: You are less restricted in how you hold a charge from touch spells
- Transfer Spell: Change the range of a spell from personal to touch
- Two Wand Technique: Activate one wand in each hand as a single action
- Wand Casting: Cast spells with a wand in your hand, augmenting spells of the same school
- Comments on the feats:
- Armed Touch Casting/Battlecaster: Nice options to give the Oracle some Gish-like qualities.
- Charmed: 1/day +5 to a single die roll after it is made. This ranks among the most simple, generic feats possible, but in contrast to e.g. +1 to all saves, I can see PCs clambering towards this feat. It’s elegant, simple and useable in many a situation without unbalancing the game.
- Concentration Spell: Feat that enables the caster to use the iconic Gandalf self-sacrifice à la “YOU SHALL NOT PASS!”, among others. Iconic and cool.
- Conditional Curse: Makes your curse condition-specific. I don’t like this feat at all, as the curse is, at least in my opinion, what defines an Oracle just as much as all the abilities. Allowing a player to weasel out of it, at least under certain conditions, detracts from the feeling of the class. I guess it’s a nice feat for power-gamers.
- Dormant Spell: A minor version of a contingency, this is gold for tacticians and coercing PCs into the service of dubious oracles.
- Extra Use: Use a class ability one additional time per day. While generic, I think this feat might be abused in e.g. level-10-PrC-abilities etc. It’s ok, I guess, but COULD potentially detract from the appeal of some signature abilities. On the other hand, PCs could actually use these abilities more often, making their choices matter more. I guess it evens out and works.
- Magic Sense: God, I hate this feat. 30 ft. range of sense to identify items that are magical and spells in effect, plus, if you succeed a save, it lets you know what happens if you had failed a save. While the range is not too large, it does not specify whether e.g. doors or walls block the magic sense and makes detect magic as well as some plot-driven usages of magic almost completely obsolete. And don’t get me started on NPC-items/non-violent meetings with potential villains/magically disguised/polymorphed enemies. If this had been restricted to blind oracles, I could have lived with that, but as written, I’d ban this feat.
- Meta Spell: lets a spontaneous caster learn metamagic spells at their modified level without enhancing the casting time. Unfortunately, e.g. the empowered spell counts as a regular learned spell, rendering this feat useless for spells your character already knows.
- Mystic Retribution: If your spellcasting is interrupted, the enemy is zapped via a touch attack. Damage scales with the spell-level lost. Now we’re talking! This is both iconic, cool and balanced. Plus: It scales with the level, being useful at all levels. An excellent feat.
- Preserve Scroll: Sacrifice spell levels to preserve scrolls. Great idea, balanced mechanics, nothing to complain about.
- Prophetic Dreamer: This is a roleplaying feat that is very rules-light and I love it. I’ve been using a similar feat in my homebrew campaign for years and it has opened whole new venues for me as a DM to tell stories, create pressure and/or give PCs a fighting chance against terrible ambushes etc. I’d love a book with just feats like that.
- Quick healing: First aid, treat wound, treat poison as a move action. Another feat that is a boon for non-magical healers/low-magic campaigns that actually do care about non-magical healing. Two thumbs up!
- Somatic Weapon: Use a weapon to satisfy somatic spellcasting needs. Why hasn’t this been done before?
- Tactical Spellcasting: “Shot on the run” for spells with casting time “Standard action” – iconic and cool, this feat enables you to run from cover to cover while casting. Another instance of “Why hasn’t this been done before?”
- Two Wand Technique: Use a wand in each hand. While the feat per se requires some actions to get the wands into your hands, I can already see the wands linger builds springing up. Not my cup of tea, but if you’re so inclined, go ahead. However: If you also have the Wandcasting feat, enabling you to use somatic components with your wands, this feat quickly becomes danderously powerful and I’d disallow the combination.
After that, we get 3 sample Oracle builds, the Visionary Healer, The Phoenix and the Savage Seer.
Editing is once again top-notch, I didn’t notice any typos. Formatting and Layout are at the peak of the series so far – especially the layout is a beauty to behold. The same goes for the extremely cool cover illustration that somewhat disturbed me – great work! With regards to the crunch presented herein, I have to say that I’m a bit sceptic towards some feats (Two Wand Technique…) and I utterly HATE Magic Sense. However, the plethora of the material presented herein is actually quality-wise at the top and more than once I thought “that’s it!” while reading the feats. A gripe I had with e.g. the Summoner-book and the Alchemist-book, the fact that they didn’t feel as geared to the class as they could have been is not present herein – while many of the feats may also be of use to other classes, most have a definite “Oracleish” feeling to them and/or are storytelling/style gold. Due to the minor problems I have with some feats, I’ll settle for a very solid 4.5 stars for this instalment of advanced feats.
Advanced Feats – Visions of the Oracle is available from: