Distressing Feats

February 28th, 2012

Alex Riggs

Extraordinary Feats Archive

            Damsels in distress get a bad reputation. Ever since it became politically incorrect for any woman to be portrayed as weak and helpless, the idea has surfaced that damsels in distress are simply lazy do-nothings who expect men to solve all of their problems and are generally worthless. This is hardly fair. The idea behind the knight rescuing the damsel in distress isn’t that she’s any more helpless than the average person—after all, let’s see you try to keep a marauding dragon from taking you away in its talons—but that the knight is heroically braving situations beyond what normal men would have any hope of facing, and (hopefully) emerging triumphant.

            In short, being a damsel in distress is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a harrowing experience being tied up and potentially sacrificed to something, and it’s not like you asked for it. So, in order to help all the damsels of the world, we’ve got a few feats here that may be of use to any character—even adventurers—who suspect that they may, at some point in their career, find themselves in over their head and in need of rescue.

Back From the Brink
You know how to keep a near-death experience from becoming a death experience.
Benefit: Your will to live is strong enough that you can be healed even after you’re technically dead. For the first round after you die, plus one additional round per point of Constitution bonus you possess, you can still be healed, although it is harder to do so once you have reached this point. If you are restored to 1 or more hit points before this time ends, you become stable, but remain unconscious for 1d10 minutes. If you are restored to 0 or fewer, but your negative hit points are not enough for you to be dead, you are unconscious and dying. You cannot become stabilized until you are restored to at least 1 hit point, so unless you are magically healed you will continue taking damage each turn until you die again.

Bestow Token
You can bestow a token of your affection in order to inspire your companions to greater heights.
Benefit: You can bestow a personal object (such as a scarf, a locket, a ring, a garter, or a lock of hair) upon one of your allies. As long as the ally has the token in his possession, he may reroll a single d20 roll once per day. The ally uses this ability as a free action after rolling the first roll, but if the new result is lower than the original result, he takes the higher result. The ally may choose to reroll after the result of the original roll is known.  You can revoke this bonus as a swift action at any time, though doing so does not deprive the ally of the physical token itself. Only one ally can benefit from this ability at any time, and you cannot grant more than one reroll per day, even if you grant the bonus to several different allies throughout the course of the day. You cannot bestow a token to yourself.

Experienced Escape Artist
You’ve been tied up or grabbed enough times that you’re becoming an expert on breaking free.
Benefit: You gain a +2 bonus on Escape Artist checks. Further, you do not suffer the normal penalty for making a Disable Device check with improvised equipment (such as a hair pin). Finally, you gain a +2 bonus to CMB for checks made to escape a grapple, and a +2 bonus to your CMD versus grapple attempts.

Impervious Accessories
You have been in dangerous situations enough to know how to keep your clothing and possessions from coming to undue harm.
Benefit: You are not subject to the rule that a natural 1 on a saving throw to resist a damaging spell’s affects may also damage items in your possession. Even if you roll a natural 1 on a save to resist a damaging spell, your items are unaffected by the spell unless the spell’s description specifically states to the contrary. Even then, any item in your possession receives a saving throw to resist effects made against it, even if it is not magical and isn’t carried or worn. Items in your possession use your saving throw bonuses or their own (if any), whichever is higher. Further, any item in your possession gains a +2 circumstance bonus on all saving throws.

Improved Bestow Token
Prerequisite: Bestow Token
Benefit: Whenever a character rerolls a d20 roll as a result of your Bestow Token ability, he gains a bonus on the roll equal to your Charisma modifier.

Incredible Escape
You have an amazing knack for avoiding terrible situations.
Prerequisites: Great Fortitude, Improved Great Fortitude, Improved Iron Will, Improved Lightning Reflexes, Iron Will, Lightning Reflexes
Benefit: Instead of being able to reroll a single Fortitude save, a single Reflex save, and a single Will save each day, you may instead reroll a total of five saving throws in whatever combination you choose. For example, you could reroll two Reflex saves, two Will saves, and one Fortitude save, or five Fortitude saves. You need not choose the combination in advance. This otherwise functions as the Improved Great Fortitude, Improved Iron Will, and Improved Lightning Reflexes feats.

Personal Guardian
You have a guardian who protects you from danger.
Prerequisite: Must not have Leadership
Benefit: You have a guardian who is devoted to your protection and well-being. This guardian is identical to a cohort, using the leadership score you would possess if you had that feat in order to determine his class level. Instead of gaining followers, however, your close bond with your personal guardian grants a number of special abilities.

            First of all, you and your guardian share an empathic link. This functions as the empathic link ability of a wizard’s familiar, except that it functions regardless of distance, even if you and your guardian are on different planes of existence. Further, you and your guardian each know the direction that the other is in, as well as the approximate distance (assuming you are on the same plane). Additionally, your guardian gains the ability to cast shield other as a spell-like ability three times per day, except that he can only target you with this ability.

            If you lose your guardian, you may either seek out a new guardian, or decide not to risk that kind of loss again. In the former case, one month must pass before you can take a new guardian, but this is otherwise identical to the process of replacing a lost cohort. In the latter case, you must wait one week, after which you may exchange this feat for another. If you do choose to retrain this feat in this way, you may never again take Personal Guardian. While you can take Leadership after losing this feat, you cannot exchange Personal Guardian for Leadership directly: you must take Leadership later.
Special: As long as you possess this feat you may not take Leadership.

When your foes look at you, they can’t help but think that they might be able to get some money for you…if they keep you alive.
Benefit: For whatever reason, intelligent creatures that see you get the feeling that you might be worth something to someone. It could be because you’re a known member of a wealthy and prestigious family, or it could be that you’re known to be a favored agent of a powerful noble, or it could just be that you wear expensive clothing. Whatever the reason is, it makes people think twice before killing you.

            Whenever a non-good creature with an Intelligence score of 5 or greater attacks you, make a special Diplomacy check as a free action. This doesn’t represent any actual talking or persuasion on your part, but rather subconscious actions that cause your attacker to reconsider whether or not you would be more valuable to them alive. The DC for this check is equal to 10 + 1/2 the attacker’s Hit Dice + the attacker’s Charisma modifier. If the check succeeds, the attacker decides to subdue you instead, dealing nonlethal damage, or using the grapple combat maneuver to pin and bind you, and won’t intentionally kill you for the next 24 hours (at which time, if he changes his mind, another special Diplomacy check can be made). If the check fails, the attacker does as he pleases, and is immune to this ability for the next 24 hours.

            Note that even if a creature is affected he may not decide to ransom you, per se. He might instead decide to sell you, or sacrifice you in a grand ritual to his deity, or transform you into a vampire, etc., etc., etc. Even characters that aren’t particularly interested in money can find some reason to keep you alive, at least for a little while. Note also that this feat doesn’t mean that they will treat you well, and it is entirely possible that you may eventually die of negligence. Finally, just because you seem valuable doesn’t mean anyone will actually pay a ransom. Each rejected ransom attempt raises the DC for further special Diplomacy checks to keep your attacker from killing you by a cumulative +4.

Your natural affinity for passing out in the face of danger helps to ensure that the battle stops before it turns lethal.
Benefit: Whenever you are reduced to 1/5th your maximum hit points, or 10 hit points or less (whichever is less), you immediately fall unconscious unless you succeed on a Will save (DC 10). A natural 1 on this Will save always results in a failure. This unconsciousness lasts for 1d4 hours. While you are unconscious in this way, any creature with an Intelligence score of 3 or greater must succeed on a Will save (DC 10 + ½ your Hit Dice + your Charisma modifier) each time it tries to attack you or be unable to do so. Creatures with an Intelligence score of 2 or less can attack you regardless.

Traveler’s Lingo
You can cry for help in a dozen languages.
Benefit: While you may not be fluent in any extra languages, you have taken the time to pick up some of the important bits from a wide variety of them. You can say things like “help,” “danger,” “surrender,” and “peace” in any language. Additionally, when you hear someone talking in a language you don’t know, you may make a Linguistics check to see if you recognize part of what they’re saying. The DC for this check depends on what’s being said. Simple concepts about particularly dangerous things (i.e., “murder,” “poison,” or “dragon”) or a description of the character himself, are DC 15. More complicated and less alarming things can be anywhere from DC 20 to DC 30. Depending on what’s being discussed, success may not be possible. For example, a discussion about the relative merits of different styles of music will likely contain few words you have bothered to learn.