I've spent three evenings writing a little program to calculate all possible class progressions straight from 1 to 5, not accounting for skills or characteristics. It's working except that I haven't implemented the magic schools and language requirements yet. There's probably better ways to spend my time, but I like doing this. So, while my computer copies and converts cds to mp3s for a musical nightlight, I'll start on the foots.
Ok, feats. I've covered the class feats in doing the classes, I'll scan through to see if there are any that just amaze or horrify me enough to comment on again. Then it's assets, race, and exalt feats. Although, page 117 is one of the inter chapter fluff pieces that is particularly worth reading. If you're a Tolkien fan or hater.
Feat groups, stuff like Peer(foo) or Weapon Proficiency(bar), you can take multiple times (ref: bard) but you need to take it with different groups. You choose if it says 'any' or choose/invent a relevant group if it says something like 'mercenaries'. Then two whole honking pages of listed summaries with a tiny note at the end of the first page about the ones marked with asterisks. Those you can take more than once. I think that's the only place where it says which ones you can take more than once. Next page, descriptions of the feat groups, two sentences on how to read a feat, and the start of the feat descriptions.
Racial feats: can be bought at any time, even after character generation, always count ad being in-class (always 100xp each). Assets: can only be bought at character generation and you can take them all if you can find a way to afford it. Exalt Assets: can only be taken at character generation and you can only ever have one, except for paragon exalts who can take more than one of the paragon ones. Hindrances: get a problem for more xp, you can take all of them if you really want to. Neither required or necessarily balanced. Take them now because you can totally gain an Enemy in play but you won't get bonus xp except form the assassins and hit squads.
Armor proficiency: If you aren't proficient then you take the armor value (armor points, AP) as a penalty to static defense. With proficiency in light and medium armor you take no penalties. In heavy, extreme, and power armor you take half of the armor's AP static defense penalty. It's worded annoyingly and I needed to carefully cross check the equipment section to work everything out. Unfortunately it also skips the fact that some armors are set up a pieces that build up to a full set (arms, legs, torso, helm). I just go with the heaviest piece you're wearing, because adding them up gets silly. Also we're not in 'round to the detriment of the players' territory like some games. So 7/2 -> 3.
Channel Energy: Obsoletes healing magic.
Divine Bond: I believe that I griped about this earlier. Needs info or guidance.
Divine Ministration: Accessible with a quick trip through Initiate. With paragons in the group that have this feat if they end the session with unspent hero points you can generally just assume that they begin the next session fully healed.
Fan The Hammer: Use grenade launchers.
Fearless: This is frenzied berserker type fear immunity, there needs to be something other than Jaded and this for people who are immune to fear but not nutty aggressive. As it is this gets given out in classes that the willpower check or start/stay in a fight just clashes with.
Hardy: Only matters if there's no real access to magical healing. Although it is very useful when that's true.
Improvisational Magic: "I am so awesome that I can cast spells I don't know." Beware: Throwing 4k4 trying to fireball someone on pure charisma and no evocation skill is an invitation to warp crap happening to you.
Obtain Familiar:" Same issue as divine bond.
True Grit: Pretty much half damage once you're out of hit points. Very nice.
Wizard Traditions: If you absolutely have to put this on a npc go with the Storm Walker option. Everything else is too fiddly and annoying. If a pc has it then they have to remember it and it's effects.
Racial feats: every race gets two. The second book has another one for everyone and three or four for the races it introduces.
Celestial Wrath [Aasimar] - once a scene add charisma as rolled dice to a damage roll.
Dark Cruelty [Dark Eldarin] - +1k1 intimidation and charm. Good.
Dragon Sight [Dragonborn] - see in darkness plus a 1/scene perception reroll.
Eureka! [Gnome] - 1/scene replace any one check with a craft check. Any check. Any.
Halfling Agility [Halfling] - +4 static defense, essentially ignore your already minor size penalty.
Human Perseverance [Human] - +1 on opposed rolls, utter crap 99.99% of the time.
Mobbing Up [Ork] - on failing a fear check you can retreat towards an ally, once there you can stop fleeing.
Squat Armor Proficiency [Squat] - "Halve the proficiency penalty for all Armor." Not well worded, but I'd say half all static defense penalties for all armor. Because we're talking at most a +4 for proficient wearing of power armor (although it cuts the non-proficient penalty from -14 to -7). I can't really think of another way to interpret it that isn't terribly underwhelming.
Squat Stability [Squat] - ignore forced movement and knocking prone. Really really good. Especially because I like the evocation spell Defenestration and it's ability to chuck people through walls.
Academy: +2 weapon proficiencies.
Ambidextrous: see combat chapter, otherwise what it says on the tin.
Androgynous: pass for any gender and +5 on disguise checks.
Appearance: +2k0 on social rolls you can leverage your looks on.
Brave: reroll fear checks, keep the reroll.
Dangerous Beauty: +1k1 on seduction attempts (so for 300xp at this point a dark eldarin can have +4k2 on seduction above and beyond their 3+ charm skill and 4 charisma stat. "Slay the dragon, lay the dragon, same difference. I'm rolling 10k7 and re-rolling 1s. I got this."
Driven: faux hero point that can only be used in situations of overwhelming odds.
Education: free specialities in lore skills equal to your starting intelligence.
Eagle Eyes: half distance penalties for visual perception checks. Except that nowhere are the penalties detailed, so DM choice penalties.
Fast: +2 faux dexterity for movement speed as long as you wear no or light armor.
Gifted: Quote - "Choose Physical, Social, Mental, Power, Finesse, or Resilience. You may raise stats of this type no matter what class you are in."
Left Handed: -2k0 for people to parry your melee attacks.
Level Headed: switch initiative with the person immediately ahead of you.
Linguist: +2 languages.
Magic Resistance: the target number for all spells targeting you goes up by 5. All spells.
Nerves o' Steel: you can choose to not run if you fail a fear check. All other penalties apply.
Nine Lives: Lose this asset instead of burning a hero point to survive certain death. Depends on the campaign and DM. And the player. Probably a good choice for casters.
Sand: take 2 more fatigue before falling unconscious. All characters should take this if they're seeing significant combat or casting spells. It's that good.
Spirit Mentor: Ill defined. Quote - "You have a ghostly companion and guide. The identity and exact powers of this spirit are up to the SM, but it can be called upon in difficult situations for help and guidance."
Sturdy: +1 resilience. Excellent if you plan on taking damage and living to talk about it. Recall, damage roll -> subtract armor (less the armor penetration of the attack) -> divide by resilience & round all fractions down -> # of wounds -> HP loss OR crit table. Because on a 18 damage hit the difference between "Chunks of the target's flesh are ripped free by the force of the attack, leaving large weeping wounds. The target is stunned for one round, takes 1d10 levels of fatigue, and is now suffering blood loss." and "Pieces of the target's body fly in all directions as he is torn into giblets by the attack." can be if your resilience is 4 or 5.
Tough as Nails: Totally useless or so situational as to be the same thing. If you are at full hit points the most critical damage you can take is 1. A 1 constitution, 1 willpower, 1st level halfling character has to take 18+ damage for this to matter. A 2 constitution, 2 willpower, 1st level elf has to take 40+ damage for this to matter. A 5 constitution, 4 willpower, 2nd level gnome daemonhost with specific gear has to take a 126 damage hit from a meltagun for this feat to be worth anything. And it doesn't work if you've taken a single HP of damage. Useless as far as I'm concerned.
Veteran o' the Wheel: Probably worth it to most people but I can see it being DM and player dependent. +1 characteristic & +1 skill. Then, quote - "The SM
should assign your hero a few haunting reminders of his past. It might be as simple as an additional hindrance, like an Enemy or some hideous scar. More often, the price is much higher. Give your SM a good background so whatever he comes up with fits your hero and makes him a more interesting character." If you write backstory and are can trust the DM I'd say absolutely take it.
You know what, I'll skip the exalt assets for now. Let's do hindrances.
Hindrances: Bought at character generation for more xp or earned during play for no xp.
Ailin': Constitution vs. 15 or take -2k0 to everything. Roll at the beginning of each session. Problematic, 4k4 has a 12% failure rate and you can spend a hero point for a reroll to bring it down to 1.44%.
All Thumbs: -1k0 to use or repair machinery. Double the xp cost to buy scientific or mechanical skills. Just which skills those are is undefined. Probably tech-use, sometimes craft, sometimes academic lore. Urgh. Do not like. The -1k0 is fine. Heck crank it up to +2k0 and just double cost to buy ranks in tech-use. Easier to run that.
Bad Luck: Can't use hero points to reroll tests.
Big Britches: Severe overconfidence and never turn down a challenge.
Clueless: Ill defined, role-playing based, no mechanics.
Deathwish: Quote - "your character wants to die for some reason (dark or otherwise), but only under certain circumstances." No mechanics but I'm ok with that. You'll need to define the deathwish and when DMing I'd make sure it cam up once in a while. Exalts are generally hard to kill any ways.
Enemy: The second most fun one. Work with the DM/player. I'm personally a fan of the halfing mafia having a hit out on you.
Geezer: -2 HP and can't run.
Grim Servant O' Death: The fun one. Quote - "If the SM is looking for someone's lap to drop trouble into, you are the designated target." My players are all cowards, they won't even look at this one. I'd take it.
High-Falutin': -1k0 to social rolls to those beneath your social station.
Illiterate: 200xp to buy off.
Impulsive: Ill defined, role-playing based, no mechanics.
Intolerance: Well defined, role-playing based, no mechanics.
Kid: 200xp to buy off. Role-playing based, no mechanics. Also mentions a "Small" hindrance/asset that doesn't exist.
Law o' the Stars: Fairly typical code of honor thing. Role-playing based, no mechanics.
Loco: Begin play with a minor derangement.
Night Terrors: Each night make a fear (willpower) test vs 20, gain a level of fatigue on failure. Do not allow on promethians. Also not only does 4k4r1 only fail about 20% of the time but fatigue heals/fades at 1/hour as long as you can rest or relax. Although having any fatigue does impose a +1k0 to all rolls.
Slowpoke: 1/2 dexterity for purposes of calculating speed.
Ugly as Sin: -1k0 social rolls where looks can count, although probably not to intimidation.
Vengeful: Ill defined, role-playing based, no mechanics.
Wanted: Dead or alive by a significant portion of law enforcement across the crystal spheres. Includes bounty hunters. No mechanics.
Wimpy: -1 resilience. Bad, do not take. See Sturdy.