A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (Feats)

    The LA-reassignment thread (in the 3.5 forum) has taught me that many “broken” monster abilities can actually be quite reasonable, especially when viewed in comparison to what spellcasters can do at an equivalent level. These feats let PCs acquire some of the more common monster abilities, hopefully in a balanced way. Plus, they streamline a martial PC's path to getting Pounce :D

    Some of these feats (e.g. Change Shape, Monstrous Spellcasting) are geared more towards monstrous PCs.

    Unless otherwise specified, all of the below feats can be taken as bonus fighter feats. They serve as viable prerequisites for other monstrous feats (e.g. Breath Weapon for Metabreath feats, Improved Grab for Multigrab, etc.).

    I'm open to suggestions for balancing them - the Blindsight chain has a hefty feat-tax prerequisite as an example of stringent requirements, whereas the Fear Aura (for example) is more "plug-and-play". Which is better?

    Spoiler: Alternate Form
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    Alternate Form
    You can assume a different form.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 6th.

    Benefits
    You gain the Alternate Form supernatural special quality. You may use it to assume the form of specific creature of any type (chosen when you select this feat), with Hit Dice no greater than your character level. Your alternate form is as distinctive as your base form (e.g. it can be recognized by your enemies if encountered more than once).

    Special
    You may select this feat more than once, each time gaining an additional alternate form.

    You gain the [Shapechanger] subtype.

    Spoiler: Blindsense, Tremorsense, Blindsight
    Show
    Blindsense
    You can almost see without sight.

    Prerequisites
    Blind-Fight or Wis 12.

    Benefits
    You gain blindsense out to 60 feet.

    Tremorsense
    The slightest vibration betrays the presence of your enemies.

    Prerequisites
    Blind-Fight or Wis 12, Blindsense.

    Benefits
    You gain tremorsense out to 60 feet.

    Blindsight
    You can see without sight.

    Prerequisites
    Blind-Fight or Wis 12, Blindsense, Tremorsense.

    Benefits
    You gain blindsight out to 60 feet.

    Spoiler: Breath Weapon
    Show
    Breath Weapon
    You can produce a mighty exhalation (or regurgitation).

    Prerequisites
    Endurance or Con 12.

    Benefits
    Once every 1d4 rounds you may unleash a breath weapon as a line or cone (chosen when you select this feat, of an area dependent on your size as shown below). All creatures in the area take 1d6 points of damage per two character levels, with a Reflex save for half damage (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Constitution modifier).

    Size Line1 (Length) Cone2 (Length)
    Tiny 30 ft. 15 ft.
    Small 40 ft. 20 ft.
    Medium 60 ft. 30 ft.
    Large 80 ft. 40 ft.
    Huge 100 ft. 50 ft.
    Gargantuan 120 ft. 60 ft.
    Colossal 140 ft. 70 ft.
    1. A line is always 5 feet high and 5 feet wide.
    2. A cone is as high and wide as its length.


    The breath weapon deals energy damage chosen from the options permitted according to your type or subtype, as shown below. Once you choose an energy type it cannot be changed, unless your type or subtype changes.

    Type/Subtype Energy Types
    Any non-Undead Acid, Sonic
    Air Cold, Electricity
    Cold Cold
    Fire Fire
    Undead Negative Energy
    Water Acid, Cold

    The breath weapon is a supernatural ability, though a breath weapon of vomitus (acid) or yells (sonic) may be ruled an exceptional ability at the DM's option.

    Special
    If you are undead, the prerequisites for this feat and the saving throw DC of the breath weapon are Charisma-based instead of Constitution-based.

    Spoiler: Change Shape
    Show
    Change Shape
    You can infiltrate humanoid societies in a more pleasing form.

    Prerequisites
    Cha 12 or character level 1st.

    Benefits
    You gain the Change Shape supernatural special quality. You may use it to assume the form of any Small or Medium humanoid.

    Special
    You gain the [Shapechanger] subtype.

    Spoiler: Damage Reduction, Improved Damage Reduction
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    Damage Reduction
    Your flesh deflects weapons or instantly heals wounds, unless magic is involved.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 1st.

    Benefits
    You gain damage reduction/magic equal to your character level.

    Improved Damage Reduction
    Your flesh can be harmed only by weapons of special materials or alignments.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 6th.

    Benefits
    You gain damage reduction equal to one-half your character level. This damage reduction is overcome by a special material of your choice (adamantine, cold iron, or silver), chosen when you select this feat.

    Special
    The damage reduction from this feat overlaps (does not stack) with the damage reduction from the Damage Reduction feat.

    Spoiler: Disease
    Show
    Disease
    You are a bringer of pestilence.

    Prerequisites
    At least one natural weapon.

    Benefits
    Your natural weapons inflict a disease, chosen when you select this feat. The disease has no incubation period and strikes instantly, unless your enemy is already infected with that particular disease. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Constitution modifier) negates the disease or cures it on a subsequent save.

    Special
    You may not select demon fever for this feat unless you possess the [Evil] subtype and do NOT possess the [Lawful subtype.

    You may not select devil chills for this feat unless you possess the [Evil] subtype and do NOT possess the [Chaotic] subtype.

    You may not select mummy rot for this feat unless you are undead.

    If you are undead, the saving throw against your disease is Charisma-based instead of Constitution-based.

    You may select this feat more than once, each time selecting an additional disease.

    Spoiler: Energy Drain
    Show
    Energy Drain
    Your very touch brings death.

    Prerequisites
    Undead.

    Benefits
    Your natural weapons (including unarmed strikes) and any weapons you wield inflict a negative level with each successful attack. For each such negative level bestowed, you gain 5 temporary hit points.

    Spoiler: Energy Resistance, Energy Immunity
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    Energy Resistance
    You are inured against a particular energy type.

    Prerequisites
    None.

    Benefits
    You gain resistance 10 to an energy type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, or sonic), chosen when you take this feat. This resistance increases to 20 at character level 5th and to 30 at character level 9th, and stacks with all other sources of energy resistance.

    Special
    You may select this feat more than once, each time gaining resistance to a different energy type.

    Energy Immunity
    You are unharmed by certain energy types.

    Prerequisites
    Energy Resistance.

    Benefits
    You gain immunity to all energy types for which you selected Energy Resistance.

    Spoiler: Energy Subtype
    Show
    Energy Subtype
    You are infused with a particular energy type.

    Prerequisites
    None.

    Benefits
    You gain the cold subtype or the fire subtype. You gain immunity to energy of the chosen subtype, and vulnerability to energy of the opposing type.

    Special
    You may select this feat twice, gaining immunity to both energy types.

    Spoiler: Extra Limb
    Show
    Extra Limb
    You have an extra limb - acquired at birth, through a magical mishap, or some other means.

    Prerequisites
    Base attack bonus +1.

    Benefits
    You gain an additional limb, either an arm or a leg.

    If the extra limb is a leg your base land speed increases by +10 ft.

    If the extra limb is an arm, you may use it to wield a weapon, bear a shield, and so forth.

    Special
    You may select this feat more than once, gaining an additional limb each time.

    If you have at least three arms, you qualify for Multiweapon fighting and similar feats. Any Two-Weapon Fighting feats you have already selected are replaced with the appropriate Multiweapon equivalents.

    The benefits of the Natural Weapon feat apply both to your base limbs and any limbs f the same type that you gain through this feat.

    You may use this feat to gain a limb of non-humanoid anatomy (e.g. a tentacle, tail, wing, etc.). Simply treat this limb as either an arm or a leg, save that you can gain new types of natural weapons with it via the Natural Weapons feat.

    Spoiler: Fast Healing, Regeneration
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    Fast Healing
    You heal rapidly.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 6th.

    Benefits
    You gain fast healing equal to one-half your character level.

    Regeneration
    You are very difficult to kill.

    Prerequisites
    Fast Healing, character level 12th.

    Benefits
    You gain regeneration 0, overcome by acid and fire attacks. This works exactly as standard regeneration, save that you do not regain any hit points each round (other than those from your Fast Healing feat).

    If you lose a limb or body part (including your head), the lost portion regrows in 3d6 minutes. You can reattach the severed member instantly by holding it to the stump.

    Special
    If you acquire immunity to both acid and fire, your character transforms into Pun-Pun and ascends to a higher plane, never to return (roll a new character).

    You are not immune to the nonlethal damage inflicted by this feat (even if you are undead or otherwise immune to nonlethal damage).

    Spoiler: Fear Aura
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    Fear Aura
    Your presence inspires terror.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 6th.

    Benefits
    All enemies within 30 feet of you must make a Will save (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Charisma modifier) each round or become shaken. This stacks as normal for fear effects, up to panicked. This is a supernatural necromantic fear effect. You may suppress or reactivate this ability as a free action.

    Special
    If you have ranks in Intimidate, the save against your fear aura increases to 10 + your ranks in Intimidate + your Charisma modifier + any other bonuses toyour Intimidate checks (e.g. from the Persuasive feat).

    Spoiler: Gaze
    Show
    Gaze
    Your gaze is as deadly as that of the medusae.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 12th.

    Benefits
    All creatures (including allies) within 30 feet of you that meet your gaze must make a Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Charisma modifier) each round or be turned to stone. This is a supernatural gaze attack. You may suppress or reactivate this ability as a free action.

    Spoiler: Improved Grab, Constrict, Rake, Swallow Whole
    Show
    Improved Grab
    You can seize and grapple foes with ease.

    Prerequisites
    Base attack bonus +1.

    Benefits
    You gain the Improved Grab special attack for all your natural weapons (including unarmed strikes). Whenever you hit an opponent with a natural weapon, you can then attempt to start a grapple as a free action without provoking an attack of opportunity. If you win the grapple check, you establish a hold and can constrict and/or rake (if you possess those special attacks).

    Special
    You may benefit from this feat while grappling a creature regardless of your relative sizes.

    This feat replaces Improved Grapple.

    Constrict
    Your grapples crush your foes.

    Prerequisites
    Improved Grab.

    Benefits
    You deal double damage on a successful grapple check with a natural weapon (including unarmed strikes).

    Rake
    Your grapples shred your foes.

    Prerequisites
    Improved Grab, at least two natural attacks.

    Benefits
    If you start your turn grappling a creature, you may attack that creature with all your natural weapons (except any being used to conduct the grapple). These attacks are not subject to the usual -4 penalty for attacking with a natural weapon in a grapple.

    Swallow Whole
    You can devour your foes whole.

    Prerequisites
    Improved Grab, bite natural weapon.

    Benefits
    If you start your turn with an opponent held with your bite (see Improved Grab), you can attempt a new grapple check (as though attempting to pin the opponent). If you succeed, you swallow your prey, and the opponent takes bite damage.

    You may swallow one opponent at least one size category smaller than yourself, two creatures at least two size categories smaller than yourself, four creatures at least three size categories smaller than yourself, and so forth. You may swallow combinations of creatures e.g. one creature two sizes smaller than yourself and two creatures three size categories smaller than yourself.

    A swallowed creature is considered to be grappled, but you are not.

    A swallowed creature can try to cut its way free with any light slashing or piercing weapon by dealing damage equal to your Constitution score, or it can just try to escape the grapple. The Armor Class of your interior is 10 + ˝ your natural armor bonus (if any). If the creature cuts its way out, you take no damage and muscular action closes the hole. If the swallowed creature escapes the grapple, success puts it back in your mouth, where it may be bitten or swallowed again.

    For each round that a creature that does not escape your stomach, it takes bludgeoning damage equal to your bite damage plus acid damage equal to your Constitution modifier.

    Special
    If you possess the Breath Weapon feat, a swallowed creature takes damage of your breath weapon's energy type in equal to the acid damage it takes (or double acid damage if your breath weapon deal acid damage).

    If you are undead, replace all references to Constitution in this feat with Charisma.

    Spoiler: Keen Senses
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    Keen Senses
    You are as perceptive as a creature of the wilderness.

    Prerequisites
    None.

    Benefits
    You gain darkvision out to 60 feet, low-light vision, and scent. If you already possessed any of those abilities, their ranges are doubled.

    Spoiler: Movement Mode
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    Movement Mode
    You can move in an inhuman manner.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 3rd or 6th (see below).

    Benefits
    You gain a climb speed equal to your base land speed, or a swim speed equal to twice your base land speed. In either case you gain a +8 racial bonus on the appropriate skill check (Climb or Swim) and may always take 10 on that check, even if rushed or threatened.

    If you are at least 6th level when you take this feat, you may instead choose to gain a burrow speed equal to your base land speed, or a fly speed equal to twice your base land speed (good maneuverability).

    Special
    At the DM's option, you also gain the Aquatic subtype and Amphibious special quality if you gain a swim speed with this feat.

    You may select this feat more than once, each time gaining a new movement mode.

    Spoiler: Natural Armour
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    Natural Armour
    Your hide is as tough as armour.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 6th.

    Benefits
    Your natural armour bonus increases by one-quarter your character level (a creature without natural armour that selects this feat has a natural armour bonus of +0).

    Special
    You may select this feat more than once. Its effects stack.

    Spoiler: Natural Weapons
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    Natural Weapons
    You possess mighty weapons even when unarmed.

    Prerequisites
    Base attack bonus +1.

    Benefits
    Choose a natural weapon from the table below. You gain a natural weapon of that type for each corresponding body part you possess.

    Natural Weapon Body Part
    Bite Mouth
    Claw, Hoof, Pincers, Slam, Talons, Tentacle Hand, Foot
    Gore Horns
    Wing Wing
    Sting, Tail Slap Tail

    The natural weapons are primary attacks that deal damage according to your size (or according to your unarmed strike damage, if you are a monk). If you are attacking with manufactured weapons, the natural weapons are treated as secondary attacks during a full attack. Any limb currently wielding a weapon, bearing a shield, or otherwise occupied cannot be used to make a natural attack.

    Special
    You may select this feat more than once, each time gaining a new type of natural weapon (e.g. a humanoid typically has one mouth, allowing for one bite attack; the same humanoid typically has two upper limbs, allowing for two slams or claw attacks).

    The same body part may not be selected more than once for this feat (e.g. you may use your hands for claws or slams but not both, though you might use your hands as claws as your feet as slams).

    Spoiler: Nonability
    Show
    Nonability
    You are either lifeless or mindless.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 6th.

    Benefits
    You lose either your Constitution score or your Intelligence score.

    If you lose your Constitution score, you have no metabolism. You do not need to sleep, eat or breathe. You are immune to any effect that requires a Fortitude save unless the effect works on objects or is harmless (in which case you automatically fail the save). You are also immune to ability damage, ability drain, and energy drain, and automatically fail Constitution checks. You cannot tire and thus can run indefinitely without tiring. Your Constitution modifier is 0 for all purposes (including bonus hit points per Hit Die). You cannot heal or be healed, except through the Fast Healing special quality. Your type does not change.

    If you lose your Intelligence score you are mindless, an automaton operating on simple instincts or programmed instructions. You have immunity to mind-affecting effects (charms, compulsions, phantasms, patterns, and morale effects) and automatically fail Intelligence checks. Unlike other mindless creatures you retain your feats and skills, though you are rarely able to use them. You are unable to use Charisma-based skills, cast spells, understand language, or communicate coherently. Still, you know who your friends are and can follow them and even protect them.

    Special
    You may select this feat twice, losing both ability scores.

    If you lose your Constitution score, you count as an undead creature for the purpose of [Monstrous] feats.

    Spoiler: Poison
    Show
    Poison
    Your natural weapons inject a virulent venom.

    Prerequisites
    At least one bite or stinger natural weapon.

    Benefits
    Your bite and stinger natural weapons inflict a poison that deals initial and secondary ability damage equal to the base weapon damage, according to your size. The damage is Constitution, Dexterity, or Strength damage, chosen when you select this feat. A successful Fortitude save (DC 10 + 1/2 your character level + your Constitution modifier) negates the damage each time.

    If you possess both bite and stinger natural weapons, the poison is delivered through both of them.

    Special
    If you are undead, the saving throw against your poison is Charisma-based instead of Constitution-base.

    You may select this feat more than once, each time selecting an additional type of ability damage to deal with your poison (either the same type or a new one). The effects stack.

    Spoiler: Pounce
    Show
    Pounce
    Your charges are lightning-fast.

    Prerequisites
    Base attack bonus +1.

    Benefits
    When you charge a foe, you can make a full attack.

    Spoiler: Powerful Charge
    Show
    Powerful Charge
    Your charges are brutally strong.

    Prerequisites
    Base attack bonus +1.

    Benefits
    When you charge a foe, all attacks you make that round deal double damage.

    Spoiler: Spell Resistance
    Show
    Spell Resistance
    Through special training, prior magical exposure, or sheer force of will, you have gained some measure of resistance to spells.

    Prerequisites
    Character level 3rd.

    Benefit
    You gain spell resistance equal to your character level +5. At 6th level this improves to your character level +10. At 12th level this improves further to your character level +15.

    Spoiler: To Do
    Show

    To Do
    Balance the prerequisites! Typically set them to a character level at which spellcasters can cast equivalent spells; perhaps Intimidate as a Fear Aura prereq, Climb/Swim as a Movement Mode prereq, etc.

    Rework Natural Weapons - e.g. a separate chain for Wing Attacks & Flight.

    Blood Drain (as weasel, vampire, etc)

    Etherealness, Incorporeality (as phase spiders, spectres, etc.)

    Gaseous Form (as ogre mage, vampire)

    Gaze attacks (other options e.g. bodak, spirit naga)

    Invisibility (as pixie, will-o'-wisp)

    Magic Immunity (as golems)

    Monstrous Defenses (e.g. immunity to poison, sleep, disease, etc. by type or as demons, unicorns, etc are)

    Rend

    Summon (as demon)

    Telepathy

    Trample

    Turn Resistance
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-05-02 at 10:23 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    nonsi's Avatar

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    Default Re: Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (Feats)

    .
    I give you A+ for creativity and effort.
    It's also acceptable as far as balance goes (though I'd delay some of the options).

    That said, I don't like this project for two main reasons:
    1. It means that all PCs are monsters, because everybody would have some special monster ability. In fact, such option draws a picture of a world where everybody's a freak and nothing is special anymore
    2. In a world where everybody can purchase special abilities, societies never come to be, because every need is answered with monster abilities.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (Feats)

    Quote Originally Posted by nonsi View Post
    .
    I give you A+ for creativity and effort.
    It's also acceptable as far as balance goes (though I'd delay some of the options).

    That said, I don't like this project for two main reasons:
    1. It means that all PCs are monsters, because everybody would have some special monster ability. In fact, such option draws a picture of a world where everybody's a freak and nothing is special anymore
    2. In a world where everybody can purchase special abilities, societies never come to be, because every need is answered with monster abilities.
    Thanks! And yep, these feats can definitely break verisimilitude. They'd need a lot of fluff to be acceptable in many games (maybe Alternate Form requires you to be a member of a tribe that learned to shapeshift into wolves or somesuch, etc.). They probably work best (or at all) in games where the PCs are playing monstrous characters.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Orc in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (Feats)

    I now picture a fighter who specializes in Bite attacks, spending their normal feats to improve upon that attack with Focus, Specialization, Improved Natural Attack, etc, and using every fighter bonus feat to accrue more and more Consitution damage. 2d6 Con Damage on Initial and Secondary at level 2 (1st level you could technically be a Human and take it twice, 2d6 Con at level 1, 3d6 at level 2), starting with an 18 Con Instead of Strength... sounds like a good time to me

    I believe that the darkness reminds us what light can be


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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (Feats)

    Quote Originally Posted by ObliviMancer View Post
    I now picture a fighter who specializes in Bite attacks, spending their normal feats to improve upon that attack with Focus, Specialization, Improved Natural Attack, etc, and using every fighter bonus feat to accrue more and more Consitution damage. 2d6 Con Damage on Initial and Secondary at level 2 (1st level you could technically be a Human and take it twice, 2d6 Con at level 1, 3d6 at level 2), starting with an 18 Con Instead of Strength... sounds like a good time to me
    Ha yeah... and it's STILL less powerful than a spellcaster; all that deadly poison is useless against the first ghoul he meets or once he hits mid/high levels and everything's immune :D

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Orc in the Playground
     
    WhiteWizardGirl

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    Default Re: Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (Feats)

    Quote Originally Posted by rferries View Post
    Ha yeah... and it's STILL less powerful than a spellcaster; all that deadly poison is useless against the first ghoul he meets or once he hits mid/high levels and everything's immune :D
    Oh absolutely, plus he still can't fly (though these feats could help that as well), would be a very tense false-positive on a low level vampire hunting adventure though!

    I believe that the darkness reminds us what light can be


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  7. - Top - End - #7
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (Feats)

    At the outset, this is handy because my own homebrew is about harvesting monsters' corpses to substitute for spells, those spells coming out of their special abilities - this is a good survey of monsters' special tricks, so thanks for doing this for that reason if not any other!

    Some observations, not ordered or thorough:

    (1) In answer to the original question -- Fear aura vs. Blindsight/Blindsense -- I'd say at a very rough guess that Fear aura is probably more valuable to a player than blindsight is, mainly because of the occasions on which it's going to be useful. Let me propose my reasoning, see what you think:

    Blindsight/Blindsense come down to being able to see when others can't. The instances where that becomes useful I would have thought are where a player is facing an invisible opponent, or is in an environment that denies sight, i.e. under a Darkness spell or in pitch-black darkness with no sources of illumination.

    So in mechanical terms blindsight/blindsense really "just" remove an impediment that the player would otherwise have in meeting a combat-based challenge, or spare him having to consume a resource such as casting True Seeing. It's useful only against one category of opponents - those that are invisible, which are not the majority of a player's opposition through his life unless he has a tough/jerk DM.

    Projecting a fear aura, though, is conceptually more useful to a player because it hits every opponent he'll ever have to fight within a 30 foot range of him with a Will save. Yes, some opponents will be immune, but a decent chunk of the people coming within 30 feet of the player will be melee-based, i.e. likely to have lower Will saves than usual. And the debuff that fear causes applies globally, i.e. they don't just fear you, they fear all your buddies as well. So that aura is far more applicable and useful to a player than having blindsight/blindsense. I'd say the fear aura is more of a candidate to be 'gated' (Dice's expression :D) behind another feat than blindsight.

    (2) Maybe consider that without a little clarification this aura potentially becomes very powerful. I'm not sure if the intent was to basically assume that once a creature makes a Will save against the fear aura, it's then immune to any further hits with the aura, but as written a player taking this aura -- bearing in mind it's a free action to suppress or activate the aura -- could give himself brute-force fearblasting destruction by just switching his aura on and off an unlimited number of times in a round until the opponent fails the save. And since as you point out fear attacks stack, the player can blast his opponent into fleeing or cowering in less than a round by virtue of this mechanic. This is, of course, what all fear-blasting builds aspire to, but some DMs are ambivalent about whether it's fun to play or referee: all encounters become a binary of peed pants for the monsters and victory, or "Wow, everyone here seems to have immunity to fear" and the fight proceeds as normal.

    (3) Movement modes address flight and swimming - no love for burrow speeds, out of Earth Glide (Ex) abilities or similar?

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Monstrous Special Attacks & Qualities (Feats)

    Quote Originally Posted by Saintheart View Post
    At the outset, this is handy because my own homebrew is about harvesting monsters' corpses to substitute for spells, those spells coming out of their special abilities - this is a good survey of monsters' special tricks, so thanks for doing this for that reason if not any other!

    Some observations, not ordered or thorough:

    (1) In answer to the original question -- Fear aura vs. Blindsight/Blindsense -- I'd say at a very rough guess that Fear aura is probably more valuable to a player than blindsight is, mainly because of the occasions on which it's going to be useful. Let me propose my reasoning, see what you think:

    Blindsight/Blindsense come down to being able to see when others can't. The instances where that becomes useful I would have thought are where a player is facing an invisible opponent, or is in an environment that denies sight, i.e. under a Darkness spell or in pitch-black darkness with no sources of illumination.

    So in mechanical terms blindsight/blindsense really "just" remove an impediment that the player would otherwise have in meeting a combat-based challenge, or spare him having to consume a resource such as casting True Seeing. It's useful only against one category of opponents - those that are invisible, which are not the majority of a player's opposition through his life unless he has a tough/jerk DM.

    Projecting a fear aura, though, is conceptually more useful to a player because it hits every opponent he'll ever have to fight within a 30 foot range of him with a Will save. Yes, some opponents will be immune, but a decent chunk of the people coming within 30 feet of the player will be melee-based, i.e. likely to have lower Will saves than usual. And the debuff that fear causes applies globally, i.e. they don't just fear you, they fear all your buddies as well. So that aura is far more applicable and useful to a player than having blindsight/blindsense. I'd say the fear aura is more of a candidate to be 'gated' (Dice's expression :D) behind another feat than blindsight.

    (2) Maybe consider that without a little clarification this aura potentially becomes very powerful. I'm not sure if the intent was to basically assume that once a creature makes a Will save against the fear aura, it's then immune to any further hits with the aura, but as written a player taking this aura -- bearing in mind it's a free action to suppress or activate the aura -- could give himself brute-force fearblasting destruction by just switching his aura on and off an unlimited number of times in a round until the opponent fails the save. And since as you point out fear attacks stack, the player can blast his opponent into fleeing or cowering in less than a round by virtue of this mechanic. This is, of course, what all fear-blasting builds aspire to, but some DMs are ambivalent about whether it's fun to play or referee: all encounters become a binary of peed pants for the monsters and victory, or "Wow, everyone here seems to have immunity to fear" and the fight proceeds as normal.

    (3) Movement modes address flight and swimming - no love for burrow speeds, out of Earth Glide (Ex) abilities or similar?
    Thanks for the input!

    1) Agreed on needing more prerequisites for the Fear Aura (and Gaze) feats, especially given the stringent Blindsight prereqs. I'll have a rethink.

    2) The aura is based off of the monster ability (a la a nymph's gaze etc); monsters aren't allowed to rapidly switch their auras on/off to force extra saves so PCs aren't either (unless permitted by an exceptionally generous DM haha). Agreed that it may be too binary, I might reduce the duration to 1d4 rounds or less so it can't stack with itself overmuch.

    3) Movement Modes actually already includes burrow speeds too (the feat is a bit wordy, it's buried in the 2nd paragraph :) ).

    Thanks again!
    Last edited by rferries; 2018-06-25 at 04:33 AM.

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