The material below is Open Game Content
Winning favor and agreement isn’t just about skill and charisma. Some people have a talent for being convincing or inspiring. Others gain political leverage with alliances and secret information. Just like combat, political maneuvers require fancy footwork and an edge over the opponent. The new feats detailed below can supply that edge.
ANGEL OF MERCY (GENERAL)
You display kindness and caring, and can inspire it in others.
Prerequisite: Wis 15+ or Cha 13+
Benefit: You receive a +2 influence bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Perform checks when trying to convince another character to help a person in need. You cannot use this feat to convince someone to act on your behalf, though you may benefit indirectly from an action they take to help someone else.
BROTHERS IN ARMS (GENERAL)
You inspire loyalty and trust among your fellow soldiers. Your fellowship helps you keep each other alive and sane.
Prerequisites: Cha 13+, Wis 13+. You must be part of an army or other organized and hierarchical unit.
Benefit: Whenever a character in your unit must make a Will save, you may choose to make the save for that character. You and the character making the save must be able to see or hear each other. You may make one Will save for multiple characters, as well; you make a single Will save, and the result applies to everyone. If you succeed at a shared saving throw, every character that shared the save is considered to have succeeded. If you fail, every character that shared the save is considered to have failed. This can cause spells and other effects that would normally affect one person to affect an entire group, but that’s brotherhood for you.
Special: Brothers in Arms may be taken as a fighter’s bonus feat. This feat is usually applied to military units, but it may be applied to other units at the GM’s discretion. The unit should be as trained and regimented as a squad of professional soldiers. The members of the unit must work together, live together, and play together under the control of a higher authority. Many religious orders qualify as units by this definition. Most adventuring parties do not.
COMMANDING VOICE (GENERAL)
You have a strong voice that sounds authoritative when
you address a crowd.
Prerequisite: Cha 15+
Benefit: You receive a +2 reaction bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Perform checks when speaking to five or more people. If you have the Leadership feat, you gain a +2 modifier to your Leadership score for recruiting cohorts and followers.
Special: Commanding Voice may be taken as a fighter’s bonus feat.
DANGEROUS INSINUATIONS (GENERAL)
You know how to appeal to an audience’s worst nature. Your words provoke fear and anger, turn friend against friend, and even inspire witch hunts.
Prerequisite: Cha 13+
Benefit: You receive a +2 influence bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Perform checks when inciting distrust and paranoia.
You have a gimlet eye for fashion. Even rags look stylish on you, and jaws drop when you make your entrance on formal occasions.
Benefit: You receive a +2 reaction bonus to any Diplomacy or Perform check while attending a formal
event. To receive this bonus, you must spend at least an hour preparing for the event in advance and must have adequate materials with which to dress and adorn yourself. (You don’t need much to be elegant — a curtain can make a fine sarong — but you do need something to work with.)
ESCAPE PLAN (GENERAL)
You always keep an eye on the exits and one last trick up your sleeve. Your enemies may not know that you can’t be kept behind bars, but they’re about to find out.
Prerequisites: A total of 30 skill ranks in Bluff, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump, and Move Silently.
Benefit: Once per play session, you receive a +10 competence bonus to one Bluff, Climb, Escape Artist, Hide, Jump or Move Silently check. This check must be made while attempting to avoid or escape capture.
You know what you’re talking about. You have expert knowledge of a subject and the communications skills to explain that subject to others. You are in demand as a lecturer and expert witness. Choose any skill as the area of your expert knowledge.
Prerequisites: 10 ranks in the chosen skill
Benefit: You receive a +2 influence bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, and Perform checks when speaking about the area of your expert knowledge.
You are obsessed by a cause, and you are only at your best when you are pursuing it.
Benefit: Choose a cause. You receive a +2 circumstance bonus to any roll you make that directly advances this cause. You receive a –1 penalty to every other roll. This includes attack rolls, saves, skill checks, and even damage. Your cause must be specific, it must involve clear and definite action, and it cannot center on your own ambition or self-interest. “Kill every orc in the world” is an acceptable cause, but “Destroy all monsters” is not specific enough. “Further the glory of my god” is too vague, but “Convert everyone in the land to the worship of my god” is acceptable. “Become king of England” is too self-interested, but “End the rule of the evil Plantagenets” is acceptable. The GM is sole judge of whether a cause qualifies for this feat and whether an action you are taking advances your cause.
Your own survival never directly advances your cause. After all, if you fall, other believers will surely rise to take your place.
INFORMATION NETWORK (GENERAL)
You have a network of contacts and informants that keeps you up to date. When you need information, they can provide it to you. An information network can be expensive, but not knowing the latest can be far more costly.
Prerequisites: Int 13+, Cha 13+
Benefit: Choose a city to be the center of your network. You receive a +2 competence bonus to Gather Information checks within your network’s reach. You may use your Gather Information skill without spending your own time and effort. (A lackey does the legwork for you.) This feat may be taken multiple times to expand your network’s reach and speed up its response time. Successive levels do not increase the Gather Information bonus. The response time of a network may vary by up to 25% (either shorter or longer) as determined by the GM. Gathering information is an art, not an exact science. This table shows how far the network reaches, based on the number of times the feat has been taken. How quickly information can be gathered is measured in hours (h), days (d), or weeks (w).
|2nd||6 h||1 w||—||—||—|
|3rd||3 h||3 d||1 w||—||—|
|4th||1 h||1 d||3 d||2 w||—|
|5th||*||12 h||1 d||1 w||2 w|
* Immediately; you’ve known this since last week, and just remember it right now.
Special: An information network costs money to maintain. The more powerful you are, the larger and more expensive a network must be to be useful to you. For every level of this feat that you have, your information network costs you 50 gp per month. If you fail to pay this expense, you lose the use of this feat until you catch up on the missed payments.
If you are part of an organization, that organization will usually pay this cost for you. Whether it does or not — and whether it sends you into a dungeon to get the money it needs to pay your information network — is up to the GM.
INSPIRE FRENZY (GENERAL)
Men and women don’t just fight for you, they go berserk. Your words and deeds inspire them to throw themselves headlong into battle.
Prerequisites: Cha 15+, Inspired Leader, either Rabble Rouser or Brothers in Arms
Benefit: You may take a full-round action and make a Will save (DC 20) to inspire your allies in battle. If you succeed, any ally fighting within an area with a radius of ten times your character level in feet centered on you gains a +2 morale bonus to attack rolls, damage rolls, and Will saves. However, the ally also receives a –2 penalty to AC and may not choose to fight defensively. The effect continues for a number of rounds equal to your character level. When a character’s frenzy ends, that character is fatigued; he receives a –2 penalty to his Strength score, a –2 to Dexterity, and can’t charge or run. The character must rest quietly for at least an hour to return to normal.
Special: Any character who does not wish to receive the benefit of this feat, or who wishes to cease benefiting from it and fight more carefully, must make a Will save (DC 20). The character may not apply the +2 morale bonus from this feat to this Will save. Inspire Frenzy may be taken as a fighter’s bonus feat.
INSPIRED LEADER (GENERAL)
Followers flock to you. You excel in recruiting and inspiring them.
Prerequisites: Cha 13+, Leadership
Benefit: You gain a +2 modifier to your Leadership score for recruiting cohorts and followers. You may have two cohorts.
LASTING ALLIANCE (GENERAL)
You have forged a powerful alliance with another political figure. Unless you reject or openly betray your ally, he always looks favorably upon your interests.
Prerequisites: Your prospective ally must be willing and able to make an alliance with you.
Benefit: You gain a +4 circumstance bonus to any Diplomacy check you make to influence or reach an agreement with your ally. You may double this bonus to +8 for one Diplomacy check, but then you may not benefit from this feat again until you gain a level. You lose the use of this feat if you end the alliance or openly betray it — you may regain it by reestablishing the alliance, but winning back your former ally may prove difficult.
You receive a +2 circumstance bonus on any Bluff, Diplomacy, or Intimidate check that furthers your ally’s interests as well as your own. You must make the ally’s interest in the situation clear to any other characters involved in this skill check.
Special: If you are the ruler of a tribe, nation, or other political organization, you may take this feat to represent an alliance with an equivalent political organization. You may then apply the bonus to any Diplomacy check you make with the leaders or representatives of that organization.
You may gain this feat multiple times. Its effects do not stack. Each time you take the feat, it applies to a new character or organization.
You are a shining example of your beliefs, and you have great influence with anyone who shares them.
Benefit: You receive a +2 influence bonus to Diplomacy and Perform (oratory) checks when dealing with or speaking to characters who share your alignment. This feat is lost if you change your alignment.
You have friends in high places. You are a member of a powerful organization or have an influential patron who looks out for your interests.
Benefit: You may invoke this feat to gain a +10 influence bonus to one Diplomacy, Intimidation, or Gather Information check. Once you have used this feat, you may not invoke it again until you have gained a character level. You must designate a powerful person or organization to serve as your patron. If you betray or neglect the interests of your patron, you lose the use of this feat until you make amends.
RABBLE ROUSER (GENERAL)
You can excite a crowd with a fiery speech. Mobs love you because you “tell it like it is” and inspire them to action.
Prerequisites: Cha 13+
Benefit: You receive a +2 influence bonus to Bluff and Perform (oratory) checks when you incite a crowd of 10 or more people to immediate action.
REPUTATION BROKER (GENERAL)
You can enhance another character’s reputation — or ruin it, if that’s what you prefer.
Prerequisite: Cha 13+
Benefit: You can change others’ attitudes toward someone else by praising or bad-mouthing him. This usually takes at least 6 hours of friendly interaction with the audience. However, you may attempt to use this feat by speaking to the audience for ten minutes and making a Perform (oratory) (DC 20) check. If you succeed at the check, you may use this feat.
To use this feat, roll a Charisma check and consult the appropriate initial attitude line on the tables below to see what the result of the roll is. Use either the Positive Influence table or the Negative Influence table depending on whether you want to enhance or destroy the reputation of the other character.
When members of your audience next encounter the person you praised or warned them about, their attitude will be whatever you influenced them toward. The audience does not need to personally know the person; reputation and name is enough.
Influencing NPC Attitude — Positive
Abbreviations: Friendly (Frnd), Unfriendly (Unfrnd), Indifferent (Indif), Helpful (Help).
Influencing NPC Attitude — Negative
Abbreviations: Friendly (Frnd), Unfriendly (Unfrnd), Indifferent (Indif), Helpful (Help).
Modifiers: Add +5 to the DCs in the tables above if the audience already knows the person you are praising or denigrating.
Special: You may use Angel of Mercy, Dangerous Insinuations, Rabble Rouser, or Sweet Voice of Reason to improve your Charisma check.
Normal: You may make Charisma checks to alter somebody’s attitude about yourself.
You (or your minions) have information that would embarrass or endanger someone you wish to influence. This gives you leverage with that person, as long as you don’t overuse it — and as long as nobody else finds out.
Prerequisite: Information Network
Benefit: Choose a character you wish to influence. You have learned an important secret — work out exactly what with your GM — about that character. Once per session, you may invoke that secret to gain a +4 influence bonus on one Diplomacy or Intimidate check opposed by that target character.
Special: You may also “burn the evidence” to automatically succeed at a single Diplomacy or Intimidate check opposed by the target character. If you do this, you lose the Secret feat. You also lose the Secret feat if the secret you control becomes public, worthless, or irrelevant, either through your actions or the actions of other characters. You may gain this feat multiple times, either to hold multiple secrets over one character, or to obtain influence over several different characters. Multiple feat bonuses applied to one character do not stack for a single roll, but rather allow you to use the benefit of the Secret feat multiple times each session.
SECURITY CLEARANCE (GENERAL)
You have routine access to sensitive information. Exactly what that information is depends on the organization supplying it — it could be military secrets, trade secrets, or police files, for example. Many organizations have wide interests, however, and an organization may have information that goes far beyond its official mission.
Prerequisites: Information Network or the Seniority class ability (see the prestige classes later in this chapter). You must have a relationship with an organization that can supply information to you.
Benefit: Once per session, you may automatically succeed at a Gather Information check that involves information available to the organization that has given you the security clearance. The information arrives in half the usual time required for the check. The GM decides if the information is available.
SKILLED RESEARCHER (GENERAL)
Nothing makes you happier than a pile of books and a topic to research. You are adept at chasing down obscure references and interpreting cryptic passages. Being an expert researcher doesn’t help you decode arcane writings and forgotten alphabets (that’s Decipher Script), but it lets you make the most of mundane sources of information.
Prerequisites: Gather Information 4 ranks, literacy.
Benefit: Upon taking this feat, choose any Knowledge skill and add 2 ranks to it. You also receive a +2 competence bonus for any Gather Information check that involves the study of books or other documents. You must perform this study yourself.
Special: You may thoroughly study a document in half the normal time instead of taking the +2 competence bonus. You must perform this study yourself. You may use this benefit even when no Gather Information check is involved.
SWEET VOICE OF REASON (GENERAL)
You make sense. You express your viewpoint so clearly that most people want to agree with you, even if what you have to say has no connection to reality.
Prerequisites: Int 13+
Benefit: You receive a +2 influence bonus to Bluff, Diplomacy, and Perform checks when you explain your position using reason and logic, no matter how spurious that logic is.