Hammer Time

March 19th, 2013

Alex Riggs

Extraordinary Feats Archive

            As you may have inferred from the name of today’s article, the topic du jour is hammers, and, since this is Extraordinary Feats, you’ve probably also figured out that that means I have a delicious selection of hammer-related feats for you today. You may assume that this is merely the latest in a long line of articles providing weapon-specific feats to try to make wielding a warhammer feel different from a halberd, which, in turn, should feel different from a rapier, and so on. It will certainly be that, but there’s another reason that today’s spotlight falls on hammers.

            You see, we recently released the latest installment in our Ebon Vault series, a set of books which takes a type of magic item, like staves or wands or swords, and endeavors to make it more fun and exciting by creating new special abilities that flavorfully resonate with the item in question, with an eye towards having relevant and exciting abilities everywhere from very low levels to very high ones. This particular installment was devoted to hammers (and, to a lesser extent, other bludgeons). You’ll be able to get the grand tour of the book in tomorrow’s article, or, if you can’t wait, you could always go pick up your copy now. They’re only $4.99.

            Anyway, now that you know why today is all about hammers, we can go ahead and officially declare this hammer time.



Demolishing Strike (Combat)
You channel the destructive capabilities of the hammer, allowing you to better destroy objects.
Prerequisite: Weapon Focus (any hammer).
Benefit: You do not provoke attacks of opportunity when performing a sunder combat maneuver with a hammer. Additionally, whenever you damage an object with a hammer, you treat the object’s hardness as though it were 5 less than it actually is. This does not stack with other effects that allow you to ignore or bypass some of an object’s hardness, such as if you are using an adamantine weapon.


Resounding Blow (Combat)
Your blows pound your opponent in ways that armor cannot protect from.
Prerequisite: Weapon Specialization (any hammer), or Weapon Focus (any hammer) and base attack bonus +8.
Benefit: Whenever you make a melee attack with a hammer, you may choose to make it a resounding blow. If you do, then any armor bonus to AC that the target may possess is not applied for the purposes of that attack (other bonuses, including any natural armor bonus the target possesses, are included as normal). If the attack hits, the amount of damage dealt is reduced by 2 per point of armor bonus the target possesses, and damage dealt this way is non-lethal damage. Any energy damage inflicted by the weapon (such as fire damage from a flaming weapon) is reduced last, and is not dealt as non-lethal damage. Even if the amount of damage dealt by the attack would be reduced to 0 or less, you still deal 1 point of non-lethal damage.


Rippling Strike (Combat)
You strike your target, sending waves of force rippling through his body, undermining his defenses.
Prerequisite: Weapon Focus (any weapon that deals bludgeoning damage), base attack bonus +6.
Benefit: As a standard action, you may make a single melee attack with a weapon that deals bludgeoning damage. If the attack hits, and the target possesses damage reduction of any kind, then that damage reduction does not apply. Instead, any damage that would normally be negated by the damage reduction is inflicted as non-lethal damage (for example, if a 10th-level fighter with this feat used it to hit a creature with DR 10/silver, and the result of his damage roll was 18, he would deal 10 points of non-lethal damage and 8 points of damage as normal). If the amount of damage dealt is less than the damage reduction that the target possesses, then all of the damage dealt is nonlethal. This effect only applies to damage that is subject to damage reduction (so fire damage dealt by a flaming weapon is unaffected).


Skull Crack (Combat)
With a sickening crack, you cave in part of your opponent’s skull, leaving him horribly disoriented.
Prerequisite: Weapon Focus (any one-handed or two-handed hammer).
Benefit: Whenever you confirm a critical hit with a one-handed or two-handed hammer, you may choose to have the weapon deal its normal damage instead of the damage that it would deal on a critical hit. If you do, you may choose to either have the target be dazed for 1 round, or confused for 1d4 rounds. Using this ability does not prevent you from gaining any other benefits of a critical hit, such as the extra damage inflicted by a flaming burst weapon, or any critical feats you may have access to.


Sure Strike (Combat)
As long as you can touch them, you know your blow will be felt, no matter how tough their armor.
Prerequisite: Str 13, Weapon Focus (any hammer).
Benefit: As a standard action, you can make a melee attack with a hammer. If the attack hits, it deals damage as normal. If the result of the attack roll is less than the target’s AC, but equal to or greater than the target’s touch AC, the target still takes an amount of damage equal to your Strength modifier plus 1. If the result of the attack roll is less than the target’s touch AC, this feat has no effect.