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101 Feats and Talents (13th Age Compatible) $5.99
Average Rating:3.3 / 5
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101 Feats and Talents (13th Age Compatible)
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101 Feats and Talents (13th Age Compatible)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Candice R. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 11/15/2015 19:59:02

A good book with plenty of options and ideas, but expect grammatical errors, typos, and some non-13th Age terms (possibly from its conversion from Pathfinder)? I was able to look last this (begrudgingly) as I feel 13th Age needs more talents and feats. A little disappointed there weren't talents design specifically for the core classes in addition to the more class flexable ones, but still enjoy what's there. My biggest peeve, however, is how everything is organized. No index, no table of content. Talents and feats are listed alphabetically and together- why not a separate chapter for each? Maybe, in addition, organizing the feats and talents based on a theme and THEN alphabetically? It's frustrating to find what you're looking for.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
101 Feats and Talents (13th Age Compatible)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Joshua V. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 06/05/2015 12:17:17

Oodles and oodles of cool feats and talents. Some err on the weaker side, but nothing too overpowered and some have given me a lot of cool storyline ideas for my campaign. Thanks!



Rating:
[4 of 5 Stars!]
101 Feats and Talents (13th Age Compatible)
Publisher: Rite Publishing
by Jon M. [Verified Purchaser]
Date Added: 04/16/2015 22:16:34

I won't bother going into a great deal of detail re-explaining the nature of this product, since Rite Publishing's own blurb handles that well enough. In a nutshell, it contains a large collection of 13th Age material - talents with linked feats, plus a fair number of general feats, not tied to any particular talent or class (something 13th Age could definitely use more of). It is basically a translation of a similar Pathfinder article, although many of the individual traits have been changed quite a bit (and some have been added). Anyway, for now, I'd prefer to focus on my own general impressions of the product.

I'm normally a fan of Rite Publishing - I've purchased scads of their pdfs (especially, of the Pathfinder variety) - and I'm into 13th Age, in a major way, as well. Thus, it's no surprise that buying this product would be a no-brainer, for me. Sadly, it did not live up to expectations, for several reasons.

  • In some sections, the grammar is, frankly, terrible - bad enough to force me to read some sentences several times, to make sense of them. We won't even get into the typos and punctuation problems.

  • There are some areas that are quite unclear, whether grammatically correct or not. For example, it took me a minute to figure out exactly what the Monstrous Physique Heritage Talent is supposed to do. The hit point increase is given as a formula - (CLASS_BASE + 5 + CON mod) x LEVEL_COEFFICIENT (and, no, I didn't make that up - it's really written like that, in the article) - but the LEVEL_COEFFICIENT part of the equation isn't explained. I assume that it refers to the multiplier that applies at each level, for all classes, i.e. x3 at 1st, x4 at 2nd, etc. But this is all irrelevant, anyway, since there is a list of flat bonuses, based on level, immediately after that (which seems to confirm my guess about the LEVEL_COEFFICIENT). If you're going to have that chart, why list the confusing formula, at all? Especially using non-13th Age terms? Which brings me to...

  • On several occasions, I get the feeling that a feat wasn't entirely translated over from Pathfinder or that its real purpose was lost in translation. Every once in a while, a sentence will use a term that isn't standard, in 13th Age, but is in Pathfinder (even the Foreword talks about Pathfinder, not 13th Age). Or maybe this is just a clarity issue, again.

  • Balance issues... Where to start? True, 13th Age doesn't generally get too bent out of shape, worrying about balance, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored, altogether. For example, the Monstrous Physique talent, mentioned above: +15 hit points, at 1st level? That's going to nearly double some characters' hp. Even a fighter with a really good Constitution is going to be looking at about a 40-50% increase. Great Hunter (which is just a feat, not even a talent) adds +8 to initiative and lets you take the best of two rolls on attacks, whenever you stage an ambush - which, if you have taken that feat, you are presumably going to do very often, no doubt setting up the rest of your abilities to ensure success. Compare that to, say, the Fate-Born Heritage talent (not a feat), which just lets you force an enemy to re-roll a 20, on an attack made against you, once per day. Sure, that's useful, but once a day (i.e. once per full heal-up, in 13th Age terms)? For a talent - one of your precious three talents? And just a re-roll, which could just hit you, anyway (or even result in another 20)? In general, there are too many cases where the author did not compare traits to similar ones that already exist in 13th Age - or, if he had, he would have toned down some or toughened up others. Don't get me wrong: quite a few of these - maybe even most - are just fine. There are definitely a few, though, that I would not allow in my campaign (at least, not without a re-write) or that I would allow but no player would ever take.

  • The big one, if only because it comes up so often - too often, really. On many occasions, a sentence refers to making a skill check one "category" easier or harder, with no explanation as to what this actually means (it is not a term usually used in 13th Age). I assume that this refers to the chart on page 185 of 13th Age, but, if so, does it mean difficulty (Normal, Hard, Ridiculously Hard) or tier (Adventurer, Champion, Epic)? And, either way, what is the result of making a Normal task easier or a Ridiculously Difficult task harder (or change that to Adventurer tier and Epic tier, respectively, depending on how you want to define "category")? I'm guessing -5 DC, in the first case, and +5, in the second, but that really is just a guess. If so, that seems pretty extreme, compared to other feats, such as the Adventurer Feat of the Abyssal-Born Heritage, which reduces the DC by only one, total (unless that is a typo and was supposed to be one category, again - honestly, there are enough mistakes, in here, that I just don't know what to assume...).

  • Another mechanic that the article uses frequently, which is not normal for 13th Age, is "spending" 5s and/or 6s from icon rolls. In general, players don't usually having 5s or 6s just sitting around, waiting to be spent. Most of the time, the GM uses them to determine or customize adventure events, either before a session starts or, occasionally, during it. Certainly, that's what Fire Opal's own modules tend to do. Players can certainly suggest uses for them and may even (occasionally) keep them "floating" for a brief time, until someone thinks of a good way to represent them, in the story. But players do not generally "spend" them, in the manner this article implies, for some feats/talents. Maybe the author does that in his own campaign, but it's definitely non-standard, which may make the affected feats/talents somewhat useless, in most other campaigns. I don't know - maybe I'm reading too much into the word "spend" - the article never really clarifies this. It just seemed like an odd way to "fuel" traits, though.

I'd like to give this about 2-1/2 stars, but the review system won't let me do that, so I'll give it a 3, since there is a lot of content, at least some of which I'm sure I will use. Still, quantity doesn't equal quality. All in all, there is a lot of potential, here, but it is mired in bad grammar, poor explanations, questionable balance, and uneven Pathfinder translations. With a good edit - preferably, by someone who knows 13th Age well - this one would definitely be worth getting, and I would be able to recommend it. It does have some cool ideas, after all. At the moment, though, I would have to say that it feels more like a diamond in the rough, i.e. more of an early draft than a finished product.



Rating:
[3 of 5 Stars!]
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