Feats are a powerful and flexible part of the d20 game. I like to see new feats as they can when done right really add to the game without changing the game. But a book of boring feats just weighs down on one’s psyche. Luckily Critical Feats takes feats to a new and interesting place.
Critical Feats is a PDF by Reality Deviant Publications. It is written by David Jarvis and Mark Gedak. It is also interesting to see that it looks like their wives did the proofreading as Tammy Gedak and Suzette Jarvis are credited with that. The PDF is only eighteen pages long. The art and layout are pretty good though there are no book marks.
The meat of the book is the feats. The theme here is that with the right feat a player who scores a critical hit can choose to not do extra damage and instead do a certain effect. This effect is usually in the name of the feat like Arm Breaker critical feat can allow someone to break an opponents arm. Feats like this are a way to bring in called shots without fully bringing in called shots. The feats can be seen as powerful but they do usually have quite a few requirements. Brutal Upper Cut which can allow a person to break an opponents jaw has five feats, base attack bonus of +10, and a strength score of 17 to get it. Because of the number of feats needed to take most of these fighters will obviously get the most use out these feats. Critical Feats are also fighter feats. So, these feats will help a high level fighter who is looking for some interesting feats to select.
The requirements for the most part look good. There are some that use odd stats and others that use even stats. I prefer the all feats that require a certain attribute be of an odd number. Even numbers get the bonus increase and then odd numbers allow certain feats to be taken. Some of the feats can really be seen as powerful. Multiple Strike Master while it does require two high ability scores and eight feats can allow a coup de grace as a swift action. A Critical hit still has to be gotten and it can only be done on creatures with the same type as the character. But in certain campaigns this can really be seen as powerful so the DM will have to be on the look out for things like that.
Most of the feats have a save incorporated in with them. This is based nicely on hit die or level and an attribute bonus. It can also matter on the critical of the weapon. A x3 grants +2 and a x4 weapon grants +4 to the DC of the save. I like that they still have the critical multiplier matter.
The book also has a new spell to help heal broken bones and new types of weapons mundane and magical. It is always nice to see a little bit of extras in these type of books.
The book brings in a nice way to make critical hits different and matter a bit more. They are easily a lot more exciting then just more hit point damage. Making them feats allows for characters to choose which they want and not completely abuse a system. DMs can then allow which ever ones they feel are right for their campaign. The critical feats here cover all the weapons and give a nice additional worry to combats.