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Feats of Prowess €1,26
Publisher: Ulisses Spiele
by Nik G. [Verified Purchaser] Date Added: 11/16/2020 17:38:41

Are you looking for more perks for your Storm Knight, without all the flash and sizzle of spells or pulp powers, miracle or psionics? Do you want a hero who's just really, really good at something more or less "normal"? Feats of Prowess offers over two dozen such perks, grouped by several Attribute- or skill-related themes, described below.

This isn't an official rulebook, so check that your GM is cool with allowing such perks. They're likely to want to review your favorites, and may disallow them or require some change. I'll state up front that I think most of these perks are well balanced; only three seem overly powerful, and I get into how as I describe them.

The Centre of Attention perk group gives your Charismatic character even more of that je-ne-sais-quoi. Six perks here make you more irresistible and memorable, better able to make/have friends or get information from passersby, or at Beta clearance, to seduce or charm your unsuspecting targets into divulging sensitive information or to draw the attention of the people who call the shots in the area. These perks seem reasonably well balanced to me, since when you draw attention to yourself, if things go awry later the bad guys know just who to come for.

Fearsome is for fans of the intimidate interaction skill, possibly the best friend of the Centre of Attention when things go awry. :-) Four perks here let you use intimidate to get gear, posture back at someone who fails to intimidate you, use your intimidate skill as melee/unarmed defense, or at Beta clearance, to be even more intimidating for each round you last in a fight without actually fighting or taking damage. These all require multiple adds in intimidate, and are very thematic without handing the character an I Win button.

Original Thinker is for people who like to think out of the box—or at least to have their characters be able to do so. It comprises five perks that let you apply your Mind attribute to skill and attribute tests it normally isn't involved with. One lets you straight-up substitute Mind for another attribute once per scene. (The description is ambiguous about whether this can be used for skill tests or just raw attribute tests.) Another perk is for situtations where you have time to think about a challenge before tackling it, gaining a bonus to the challenge itself based on the result of a Mind test. There's also one where you pay a Possibility to immediately gain the benefit of an Awareness or Idea Destiny card. It's more involved than that, actually, and a little convoluted, but after reading it a few times I think I understand how it works. (This is the Mind category after all!) One note: I have never heard of an Awareness Destiny card; I'm guessing the author meant Alertness. The one Beta clearance perk reduces Multi-Target penalties on trick when it is the approved action. The last perk reduces one Multi-Action penalty for a test involving the Mind attribute. You're expected to have a high Mind score or plenty of adds in trick to get these perks, and they are pretty well-limited in effect. The one perk has fiddly logic but it's still fun.

Vulnerable Fighter is for brawlers who disdain armor. These six perks require you not wear armor or anything granting an armor bonus, and grant you various bennies if so. The entry perk, which is a prerequisite for the rest, lets you run in combat without the -2 action penalty after. With the other perks you can suffer a (Very) Vulnerable condition to get a bonus to hit, or to damage (1 perk for each), you can do Multi-Target or Multi-Action actions with less penalty, and at Beta clearance, you get Favored on certain attacks when they are approved actions. If you want to be a Pictish warrior, or a Tarzan this is the set of perks for you. Once again we have a nice thematic set of perks that offer solid benefits with risks & tradeoffs (my favorite kind of perk).

Finally, we have Walking Encyclopdia, the nerd perk tree (bush, actually). It's based off the scholar and science skills, and you need 2+ adds in each just to qualify for these five perks. The entry perk makes all your scholar and science tests Favored, and is a prerequite for the rest. Once you have that, you have access to a perk that lets you try a Dramatic Skill Test step involving either skill even if it isn't on the current Drama card. Or, a perk that lets you apply either Favored skill to any test once per scene, attacks included. Another lets you use those skills to make interaction attacks, and the attack targets their matching skill (or Mind); on top of that, the skills count as favored actions if either taunt or intimidate are listed on the current drama card. Finally the Beta clearance perk lets you grant a bonus to another character by testing either skill. Of the five groupings of perks in this supplement, this is the one I thought to be overpowered. Granting Favored all the time to two skills with one perk, however niche you might consider those skills, seems a bit much. Allowing you to then sub those Favored skills—which of course you're going to max out—for any other skill on the fly, even limited to once per scene, well, that's a lot. (Compare to the meditation miracle, which grants Favored to one test, if you had 30 minutes to invoke it ahead of time, with no skill substitution.) And the perk that permanently allows those Favored skills for interaction attacks in addition to intimidate, maneuver, taunt and trick, targeting the same skill (which is very often going to be low), well that just feels brokenly powerful, even with the prerequisites.

So there you have it. All in all a good set of perks for skill-based characters, well themed and, for the most part, well-balanced. I would tweak three of those Walking Encyclopedia perks, but the rest all seem pretty good.

[4 of 5 Stars!]
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Feats of Prowess
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