The bane of a Game Master with limited time on her hands is a player who memorizes the capabilities of monsters they have encountered, or read about. Even those who do try to roleplay the in game knowledge their character should possess still have a tendency to act upon what they know as a player or blurt their knowledge out loud to the rest of the group. Enter Rite Publishing’s 101 Monster Feats. This is a treasure of a tool box for those GMs who want to throw a twist into the standard abilities of monsters encountered. An added bonus is a GM’s ability to look through this book and put together abilities for entirely new monsters her own creation.
The feats in this book range from fairly mundane to eye-popping, “wow” in effect. With 101 feats there are some that are bound to be more interesting and/or useful. And what is interesting to some may not be so for others. None seemed to be overpowered. Those really interesting or powerful feats were limited by appropriate prerequisites. There were quite a few feats specifically designed for outsiders. Of all the monster categories, I think that outsiders are virtually limitless in their potential extent so having more extra things to alter them to a greater or lesser degree seems fitting. There were also some nice feats for those (like dragons) with a breath weapon ability.
Here are some of my favorites:
Alter Breath Weapon (surprise! Not the breath weapon you were expecting from that color of dragon)
Aura of Suffering (a delicious twist to channel energy)
Continuous Breath Weapon (sweep your breath weapon in an arc equal in arc length [text says radius] to the standard length of the normal breath weapon)
Cursed Ability Damage (the ability damage cannot be healed except with a remove curse or more powerful magic) – Yeah, the potions of lesser restoration your players keep around in case of emergencies can’t touch this.
Death Grip (the undead to not tire and can more easily suffocate the living) - a really good reason to be wearing neck protection
Expel Creature (swallow whole and regurgitate back out projectile vomit fashion) - worth it just for the looks on my player’s faces
Greater Curse of Lycanthropy (the afflicted also possesses the ability to transmit the curse which cannot be cured until the originator of the curse is slain or destroyed) – this screams ADVENTURE IDEA to me.
Greater Pounce: (pounce +) Now this is a pounce! It seems particularly appropriate for a large animal that is disappointingly mundane.
Improved Awesome Blow (Sends the smaller opponents flying when struck) – Oh yes, all giants of appropriate size and awesomeness are getting this one to use against my players’ characters. Those puny beings won’t know what hit them.
Living Phylactery (what it says) screams rescue mission adventure hook.
Pandemoniac Corruption (infecting a disease which kills as it births a new corruptor) is such a cruel thing to do to a PC. But whole town infected this way is an adventure waiting to be written.
Planar Instability (proximity to a being with this ability disrupts teleportation effects) “Exit stage left, I teleport away!” Um, no you don’t. Evil GM grin
In addition to these 101 monster feats there is also a spell, Teleport Attack which requires the Teleport Attack feat. This is a brutal spell which allows the caster to deliberately teleport an enemy into a solid surface.
If you are a GM who wishes to spice things up for your players this book is full of ideas. Certain of these feats are also perfect seeds for adventure. I saw none that were not useful, even for just a minor tweak to a creature’s abilities. On the whole I would say this is well worth the cost. When I first skimmed the book I was going to grant it only 4 stars. Reading in depth caused me to realize just how many of these feats made wonderful adventure seeds. The beautiful layout and the flavor text at the head of each feat put this over the top. I give it five stars.
[5 of 5 Stars!]