By Thilo Graf
All right, you know the drill – 3 pages of content, 1 page front cover, 1 page SRD, 1 page of content, this time Abandoned Arts are providing us with 10 feats of speed, so let’s take a look!
- Blinding Speed: This feat allows you to use Sleight of Hand instead of CMB when using the steal manoeuvre versus foes denied their dex-bonus.
- First Strike: During the surprise round, you may substitute an initiative roll for an atk roll when using a weapon for which you have the weapon focus feat. Very specific and I’m not convinced this feat provides enough benefits and/or cannot be abused hard. What e.g. about hit and run snipers? One shot, hide again, 1 minute later, next shot etc. Would the sniper always get the benefits?
- Improved Lightning Critical: Use the lightning critical feat against any opponent denied his dex-bonus once per round, not just in the surprise round. Read the next feat. Then read this again. WHAT? Make a high-threat-range build, deny foes this bonus (there are ample ways) and watch them weep. Even with the 1/round restriction, you could easily create an almost 50% chance for one crit per round build without trying hard. SICK. Not gonna happen in my campaign.
- Lightning Critical: 1/round during a surprise round, you may auto-confirm a critical hit. I hate auto-confirms. If I want old-school, non-confirming critical, I play old-school (A)D&D or the German old-school Midgard-RPG (not to be confused with Kobold Press’ setting). Not gonna pop up in my game, though YMMV.
- Muscle Memory: Use Str-mod instead of Dex when determining initiative. Also, if you tie with another, you act first. I can see that one being useful and balanced. Nice!
- On the Run: +4 to initiative when starting a chase, +2 to AC when participating in a chase with at least one foe. In my campaign, this feat is great, since I tend to have a lot chases. If you don’t, though, this might be less useful. Definitely consult the Dm before taking this. If there are ample chases, this is a great one.
- Quick Thinking: Maintain concentration of a spell as a move action by making a DC 20+ spell level check. VERY cool and elegant feat. Two thumbs up!
- Stealthy Sprinter: You can use stealth while running. SANS penalties! At least the feat mentions none. Come on, even moving at regular speed incurs penalties, so this should incur MORE penalties. And balancing these penalties with the usefulness of the feat would have been the designer’s task here. Alas, nothing of the like was done. This is just sloppy and broken and I have no idea how it’s supposed to work.
- Swift Athletics: Incur a -5 penalty to move at full speed while climbing or swimming. Also, spend a swift action to lessen your AC-penalty to these checks by 2. I’ve seen navigation at full speed while climbing/swimming done better various times.
- Tag Team (Teamwork): Not only viable for wrestling aficionados, this allows you to hand over a grapple to your partner when using the swap places-feat. Now this one is actually quite cool!
Editing and formatting are good, though not perfect – I noticed a couple of minor glitches like misplaced blank spaces that should not be present in such a short pdf. Layout adheres to Abandoned Art’s 2-column standard and the pdf has neither artworks, nor bookmarks, but needs none at this length. The Feats of Speed herein left me mostly unimpressed – either by being not as tightly worded as I would have liked them to be, by being not that exciting or prone to abuse and in need of clarification. Overall, this is one of the weakest offerings of feats released by Abandoned Arts so far and while there are some good ideas in here, I can’t really recommend this collection of feats. While not all of the feats in here are problematic, the ones that do work are not enough to cancel out the problems. Thus, I will settle for a final verdict of 2 stars.
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