Hello everyone, and welcome to another edition of Extraordinary Feats, where each week we bring you new and ever-more exciting and exotic feats. It’s Ranger Week, a celebration of all things relating our favorite custodians of nature, not to mention a celebration of the release of our latest new book, A Necromancer’s Grimoire: Bounty of the Ranger, where we delve into great depth on the ranger. Yesterday Alex previewed some of the fine class options that take up the majority of the book. But let’s not forget what else this book brings to the table: feats. Yes, you heard me right— feats, which leads us to yet another preview article for Bounty of the Ranger. In this book, you will find a wide selection of feats pertaining to combat, as well as to the non-combat functions of the ranger.
Some of these feats are designed entirely with the ranger in mind, such as Enemy Bloodlust, a potent feat, and one of a handful which modify the ranger’s most famous class feature: favored enemy.
Enemy Bloodlust (Combat)
Your hatred for your favored enemies drives you to kill them at all costs.
Prerequisites: Power Attack, favored enemy class feature.
Benefits: You may choose to sacrifice your bonus to attack against your favored enemies in order to deal additional damage, instead. Whenever you make an attack against a favored enemy, you may choose not to apply the bonus to attack rolls granted by your favored enemy class feature. If you do, then for the purposes of that attack, the bonus that you gain to damage rolls from favored enemy is increased by an amount equal to twice what your bonus to attack rolls would normally be (for example, a ranger with a +2 bonus to attack and damage vs. animals could choose to forgo the bonus to attack and gain a +6 bonus to damage rolls, instead). This effect applies only to a single attack, and you can even apply it to one attack made as part of a full-attack action without applying it to other attacks made as part of the same full-attack action.
While these feats benefit from being locked-on to rangers via their class features, they also suffer from being useless to non-rangers. As a result, we also have a collection of new combat feats. These feats provide a wealth of options for combatants of many classes, but allow rangers some additional utility in regards to their combat-style bonus feats. Here are a couple examples.
Heavy Swing (Combat)
You put a lot of power behind your swing, even though it leaves you exposed to your opponent’s attacks.
Prerequisites: Power Attack, base attack bonus +8.
Benefits: Whenever you make an attack with a two-handed weapon while using the Power Attack feat, you may choose to suffer a penalty to your AC and CMD equal to the penalty that is being imposed on the attack roll by the Power Attack feat. If you do, the damage dealt by your attack is increased by +3. When your base attack reaches +12, and every 4 points thereafter, this bonus damage increases by an additional +1. The penalty to AC and CMD lasts until the beginning of your next turn.
Special: A ranger with the two-handed weapon style can gain this feat as a bonus combat style feat beginning at 6th level, even if he does not meet the normal prerequisites.
Finger Loader (Combat)
Through a combination of natural dexterity and untold hours of repetitious practice, you have trained each of your hands to load and fire a crossbow without help from the other.
Prerequisites: Str 13, Dex 15, One-Hander, base attack bonus +10.
Benefits: You can operate a crossbow, regardless of its type, while holding a fistful of bolts between your fingers. Additionally, you can operate both the trigger and the complex loading mechanisms with only your fingers. This allows you to shoot and reload a crossbow one-handed. However, every time you reload a crossbow using this ability, it becomes more difficult to accurately fire, imposing a cumulative -1 penalty on all attack rolls made with the crossbow for each time that it is reloaded in one hand in a single round. This penalty lasts until the beginning of your next turn.
Special: A ranger with the crossbow style can gain this feat as a bonus combat style feat beginning at 10th level, even if he does not meet the normal prerequisites, though he must still have One-Hander before he can gain this feat.
Of course, being a ranger is about more than just combat. There are skills, and other class features that capture the essential nature of the ranger, and we have a few feats that tie into this flavor in ways that don’t relate to slicing and dicing. Below are a couple of my favorites.
Cold Trail Specialist
You are especially adept at finding older trails.
Prerequisites: Track or Survival 5 ranks.
Benefits: When calculating the DC of a Survival check made to follow tracks, you treat trails as though they were one day fresher than they actually are. Additionally, you ignore up to eight hours of rain since the trail was made. Finally, you ignore up to one instance of fresh snow since the trail was made.
Whispers of the Wilds
You can observe tracks and the condition of the wilderness in order to ascertain information about certain events and individuals within a limited distance.
Prerequisites: Favored terrain class feature.
Benefits: While in your favored terrain, you can spend 1 hour doing nothing other than observing the wilderness, speaking with its inhabitants, or otherwise gleaning information to learn about what’s been occurring within a 1-mile radius. This ability functions as the gather information use of the Diplomacy skill, except that no check is needed. Instead, you gain information about the surroundings as though you had made a Diplomacy check to gather information and received a result equal to 5 times your favored terrain bonus for the type of terrain that you are in.
As with the gather information use of the Diplomacy skill, obscure or secret information is harder to learn, and you may simply be unable to find the information you want. In general, information that pertains directly to the wilderness, such as where the local beasts live, or information about a prominent druid in the area, is easier to learn about, while information which is less relevant to the wild, such as a thief hiding out in a remote cave, could be harder to come by.
Well, that’s all the previews for this week. Stay tuned tomorrow for some brand new ranger-themed items, and be sure to come back Thursday for a selection of new ranger spells.