View Full Version : [Terrain] Feats, in preparation for the GiTP Contest

2009-06-28, 11:41 AM
Hi again, good people of the playground. I'm back with a bunch of feats (stolen from the carcass of my... ehem... "Geomancer" class) based on terrain. This is in preparation for a PrC I'm cooking up for the next contest, but I hope they can see use in a normal game (i.e. that they are balanced). Please evaluate and critique honestly.

Terrain Mastery [Terrain]
You have learned to familiarize yourself with a certain terrain. You gain several benefits while fighting on that terrain
Prerequisites: Knowledge (Nature OR Geography OR Dungeoneering OR The Planes) 4 ranks
Benefits: Choose a kind of terrain to become familiarized with. Whenever you are on your favoured terrain, you gain a certain number of bonuses, referred to collectively as your terrain mastery bonus.
The terrain mastery bonus consists of a +1 untyped bonus to all damage rolls and a +1 circumstance bonus to Listen, Search, Spot and Survival.
Special: Your terrain mastery bonus increases with every additional [Terrain] feat you take excluding this one. You may pick also pick an additional favoured terrain each time you gain a [Terrain] feat.

Available terrains for selection:

Aquatic|seas, oceans, lakes
Desert|badlands, sandy desert
Forest|forest, jungle
Marsh|bog, moor, swamp
Mountain|hills, mountains
Plains|farmland, grassland, steppe, prairie
Skies|clouds, flying under an open sky
Underground|dungeons, caverns
Volcanic|lava, volcanoes

For planar campaigns or campaigns taking place entirely in one environment (such as material from the Planar Handbook, Stormwrack, Sandstorm, Frostburn etc.), more specific terrains can be added. The information below is taken from the Ultimate Classes wiki, and credit should go to whoever wrote them.

Material (Stormwrack) (Sandstorm) (Frostburn)
Sea: Beach Terrain, Tidal Marsh, Coral Reef, Ice Floes, Open Water, Sargasso, Kelp Bed, Ship's Deck.
Desert: Badlands, Barren Waste, Evaporated Sea, Glass Sea, Petrified Forest, Volcanic Terrain.
Artic: Cold Gate, Everfrost Terrain, Frostfell Marsh, Frostfell Mountain, Frozen Sea, Glacier Terrain, Ice Field, Iceberg Terrain, Skyberg Terrain, Snow Field, Taiga Forest, Artic Tundra.
Planar (DMG-190)
by Characteristics: Fiery Plane, Weightless Plane, Cold Plane, Shifting Plane, Aligned Plane, Cavernous Plane, Temporal Plane, Magic Plane, Energy Plane, Fluid Plane, and Other Plane.
by Domain: Astral, Etheral, Shadow, Abyss, Arborea, Baator, Celestia, Elysium, Hades, Limbo, Mechanus or Beastlands.
(see Adventuring On Other Planes, page 147; see Plane Descriptions, page 151; see Creating a Cosmology, page 162). (See Chapter 5: Campaigns and Chapter 6: Characters in Dungeon Master Guide for definitions and samples of these environments).

Expanded Terrain Mastery [Terrain]
Your mastery of terrains confer additional bonuses whenever you are on one of your favoured terrains.
Prerequisites: Terrain Mastery
Benefits: Your terrain mastery bonus now includes bonuses to Climb, Hide, Move Silently and Swim.

Flawless Gait [Terrain]
You have mastered the ability to navigate your favoured terrains.
Prerequisites: Terrain Mastery
Benefits: While on one of your favoured terrains, you suffer no impairment to movement from difficult terrain (this does not extend to abilities that duplicates the effects of difficult terrain, such as a knight’s vigilant defender ability). In addition, while on one of you favoured terrains, you leave no trail and cannot be tracked unless you so desire.

Familiar territory [Terrain]:
While on your favoured terrains, you become more alert to danger and more adept at avoiding it.
Prerequisites: Terrain Mastery
Benefits: While on one of your favoured terrains, you gain your terrain mastery bonus on all initiative checks and Reflex saves.

Improved Cover [Terrain]
You learn how to best utilize the cover your terrain provides
Prerequisites: Terrain Mastery
Benefits: Your terrain mastery bonus is now added to all cover bonuses you gain while on your favoured terrain(s).

Insightful Tactics [Terrain]
You can use the terrain to allow you and your allies to gain a combat advantage over your opponents.
Prerequisites: Terrain Mastery
Benefits: As an immediate action, you may add your terrain mastery bonus to all Strength and Dexterity checks as well as all opposed rolls made by you or one of your allies within 60ft for 1 round. This feat may only be used every 1d4+1 rounds, as opportunities don't always present themselves.

2009-06-28, 02:22 PM
I find these interesting but I'm not sure they are compelling enough to take because they are of limited use. Terrain mastery is a nice feat, but the others are so predicated on a single terrain that it would make for a very narrow specialty. These are great for making up a compelling NPC antagonist but no so great for a single PC. For example, Flawless Gait works great for a solitary NPC to confound the Ranger in a party. However, this is less useful if one is part of group. Also, it seems to work like the pass without a trace spell and I'm not convinced that feats should mimic spells.


2009-06-28, 07:56 PM
Actually, the description of Terrain Mastery has a Special part that says each time you take a [Terrain] feat, you gain an additional favoured terrain. So as you invest more in these feats, you get more in return, kind of like the philosophy behind heritage feats.

Flawless gait's effect actually mimics the Druid's Trackless Step class feature, but lemme see if I can find a feat that mimics a spell...

Actually... there are feats that allow you to fly (Dragon Wings, anyone?), to cast Spell-Like Abilities etc. They all mimic spells, and even more so that Flawless Gait. It should be fine I think

2009-06-28, 08:24 PM
I would require the knowledge skill be the one most applicable to the specific terrain type selected.

2009-06-28, 08:32 PM
I would have done that, if not for the prevalence of Knowledge (Nature) in its application to terrains.

How often do you see Knowledge (Geography) being mentioned? In Stormwrack. Yep, that's it, pretty much.

Knowledge (Dungeoneering) likely only applies to underground.

Knowledge (The Planes)... well, that's self-explanatory.

Knowledge (Nature) applies to a whole slew more terrains.

That said, I'm leaving it to DM discretion to decide what knowledge skill is required for your character. Chances are, if you're taking these feats, you have at least a type of terrain in mind and have prepared accordingly.