Adapting some feats from PF & SW Saga
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  1. #1
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    Adapting some feats from PF & SW Saga

    I've adapted these feats from other sources to fit the Trailblazer framework. Anything obvious I'm missing that would prevent these feats from working well, before I introduce them into my campaign?

    Bodyguard [Combat]
    Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes
    Benefit: When using Aid Defense, the player adds an additional +2. In addition, Aid Defense can be used on an adjacent ally, even if the player is not in melee combat with the attacking enemy (which means it works against ranged attacks.) Aid Defense can also be used to improve a Reflex saving throw of an adjacent ally.
    Source: inspired by “Bodyguard” feat in Pathfinder Advanced Feats SRD

    In Harm’s Way [Combat]
    Prerequisite: Bodyguard
    Benefit: While using the Aid Defense action, you can intercept a successful attack against that ally as an immediate action, taking full damage from that attack and any associated effects (bleed, poison, etc.). A creature cannot benefit from this feat more than once per attack.
    Source: adapted from “In Harm’s Way” feat in Pathfinder Advanced Feats SRD

    Teamwork [General]:
    Benefit: When using Aid Another, the bonus increases by +2.
    Source: adapted from “Rapport” feat in Star Wars Saga Edition

    Thanks,
    Ragnar

  2. #2
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    Cool stuff Ragnar! Here are my thoughts:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar_Deerslayer View Post
    Bodyguard [Combat]
    Prerequisite: Combat Reflexes
    Benefit: When using Aid Defense, the player adds an additional +2. In addition, Aid Defense can be used on an adjacent ally, even if the player is not in melee combat with the attacking enemy (which means it works against ranged attacks.) Aid Defense can also be used to improve a Reflex saving throw of an adjacent ally.
    Overall, I like this but would definitely want to see it in action. I would mostly keep an eye on whether the +2 bonus is too much (and consider dropping it to +1).

    Being able to use it on any adjacent ally doesn't seem overpowered at first glance. I like anything that encourages players to use their reactions in creative ways.

    I'm leery on combat reactions adding to saving throws. Regardless, it seems like a tacked on ability. I'd probably remove it just to avoid rules bloat in a single feat.

    In Harm’s Way [Combat]
    Prerequisite: Bodyguard
    Benefit: While using the Aid Defense action, you can intercept a successful attack against that ally as an immediate action, taking full damage from that attack and any associated effects (bleed, poison, etc.). A creature cannot benefit from this feat more than once per attack.
    Does the "bodyguard" get hit automatically or does the attacker make an attack roll against the bodyguard instead of the original target?

    I'm also confused about the last line. Do you mean once per round? Aid Defense already only works once per attack.

    Teamwork [General]:
    Benefit: When using Aid Another, the bonus increases by +2.
    This definitely feels too powerful. You are essentially giving almost the same benefits of the Harrier a rogue talent, which can't be taken until 10th level, in a feat.

    I like the goal of the feat but I think it would become incredibly powerful. I would definitely lower the bonus to +1 but allow it to be taken multiple times.

    I would also add some kind of prerequisite. Combat Reflexes seems like a natural choice but possibly also something with an Int requirement since it has a "tactician" archetype feel to it. Combat Expertise might work, although you could also just say Int 13.

  3. #3
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    Bodyguard:

    The idea of using Bodyguard to add to reflex saves is that the bodyguard can physically interpose himself to protect the ward from certain traps (pit traps, etc.) and certain spells (fireball, etc.). If the bonus to AC vs. ranged attacks is kept and the bonus to Reflex saves is not, it leads to the incongruous situation that the Bodyguard can protect a ward from Scorching Ray but not Burning Hands.

    I might add a clause that the ward must be the same size or smaller than the guard, to prevent silliness, but my players don’t go for silliness like that anyway.

    As for making it a +1 . . . If I keep Teamwork at a +2 (see below), and allow Bodyguard and Teamwork to stack, then I probably should drop it to a +1.

    In Harm’s Way:

    The bodyguard gets hit automatically. I might change the name of the feat to “Sacrifice” to emphasize this (and to keep there from being confusion with the PF feat).

    The last line was copied from the PF feat. My understanding is that it is intended to prevent two bodyguards (for instance) from both using it simultaneously and splitting the damage between them.

    Teamwork:

    Is it too powerful? Let’s consider:

    First, it doesn’t benefit the one taking the feat. Sure, two players could both take it, but that would be increasing dependence on another – and anything requiring teamwork is a limitation.

    Second, it’s situational. You have to be able to use the Aid Another action, usually requiring mutual melee engagement with the same target. If you or your buddy get separated somehow (Bull Rush, etc.), you can’t use it.

    Third, it’s limited. You have to spend a Combat Reaction each time you use it. Combat Reactions are limited, and in using it to help a friend, you are giving up the use of an AoO, a Dodge, or a Block (all of which benefit yourself).

    Fourth, it requires a feat. In comparison, Dodge grants a +1 AC to *yourself* for *all attacks against you*. Weapon Focus gives a +1 to hit to *yourself* for *every attack*. (This becomes even more important if you dual-wield shortswords, or have a similar build.) If one is looking at the Pathfinder rules (not a given, but popular enough), the “Outflank” feat gives a +2 when flanking to the other flanker for *all attacks*.

    In short, I think a +2 bonus keeps it competitive with other feats.

    Combat Reflexes would be a good prerequisite, though.

    Thanks,
    Ragnar

  4. #4
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    Ragnar, how much have you played with the Combat Reaction system in Trailblazer? The reason I ask is I'm curious how you or your players use the system.

    In my experience, once players start realizing how awesome Aid Another is in Trailblazer, they'll start using it a lot. A +4 bonus to attack or AC is not insignificant, even if it's just once or twice a round.

    You can try it out at +2 but keep an eye on it. My gut still says +1 but allow it to be taken multiple times.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar_Deerslayer View Post
    Bodyguard:
    The idea of using Bodyguard to add to reflex saves is that the bodyguard can physically interpose himself to protect the ward from certain traps (pit traps, etc.) and certain spells (fireball, etc.). If the bonus to AC vs. ranged attacks is kept and the bonus to Reflex saves is not, it leads to the incongruous situation that the Bodyguard can protect a ward from Scorching Ray but not Burning Hands.
    So why not have the Bodyguard grant the ward Evasion on his save? Much cooler, and it might actually save the 32 hp wizard, unlike taking 74 (37 if he makes his save) damage from the cone of cold.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar_Deerslayer View Post
    In Harm’s Way:
    The bodyguard gets hit automatically.
    I always hated that. I much prefer Mutants & Mastermind's Interpose - as a reaction you make yourself the target of the attack; you declare this as soon as the attack is declared and before anything is rolled. You can Interpose an unlimited number of times, but you have to be adjacent to the target or at least in the line of fire (for ranged attacks).

    Quote Originally Posted by Ragnar_Deerslayer View Post
    Teamwork:

    Is it too powerful? Let’s consider:
    First, it doesn’t benefit the one taking the feat.
    Second, it’s situational.
    Third, it’s limited. You have to spend a Combat Reaction each time you use it.
    Fourth, it requires a feat.
    Your Fourth point is negated by your Second point. Every feat you cited is equally situational (Dodge? not when you're flat-footed; Weapon Focus? not with the wrong kind of weapon; Outflank? only when flanking, we aren't discussing Pathfinder, and that feat suffers from your First point).
    Feats are a very limited resource, and each feat needs to be worth the price of admission. This is why Whirlwind Attack, a great ability, is total crap: it requires 4 other feats to take, making even that awesome benefit insufficient to the cost. From that perspective, I can see the claim that a +1 to Aid Another is a bad feat; it's just not enough benefit for the investment.

    Third point is irrelevant. As soon as my party Rogue got the Harrier Talent (add combat tactics to aid another), the entire party altered how they used combat reactions to ensure that he could always aid the most important attacks (either attack bonus or AC). When someone can aid for a lot more than everyone else, the party will ensure that he gets to use it.
    ... Though the entire party had Combat Reflexes by level 12. Which is a first, as far as I know.

    Second point confuses me. Aren't all feats situational? Toughness doesn't help versus Save-or-Die. Dodge is useless when flat-footed. Power Attack can't be used with ranged attacks, and doesn't help when I need a 17+ to hit. Et cetera.
    Or are you trying to imply that the situation will rarely come up? If you are then you need to play more Trailblazer, because that's inaccurate. I can't recall an attack since level 4 when at least one of my player's didn't try to Aid Defense (even when none of them were actually in a position to do so ).

    First point is accurate as far as the direct benefits go. But the indirect benefits (allies take less damage, allies hit more often, allies can power attack for more with the same chances of hitting, etc.) are enough to make it a worthwhile feat.






    Are any of those three feats broken? No. Would they all work fine as is? Probably, yes. Could they use a bit of refinement? Every new game mechanic can.

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