Tricky Owlbear Publishing is clearly the best named publishing group in all of history. Achievement Feats is a collection of 51 feats designed as traits to be acquired by a character through the course of a game. These feats cannot be taken at character creation, and instead must be earned by meeting certain non-stat requirements. They’re part of the development of a character’s backstory, representing acquired skills or a reputation gained frm certain actions.
Many of these feats are tied to events that occur in a character’s career over time — because of this there can be a large amount of book-keeping involved, a fact that the introduction makes note of. Quite a few are tied to killing a certain number of a species. If you kill 20 Gnolls, you gain +2 to Will saves, attack, and damage rolls against Gnolls and Gnollish things, as long as you carry some Gnoll trophy on your person. That’s pretty cool for a Gnoll driven campaign, especially if your party is tracking their kills anyway (<cough> mine <cough>). Also, Dragonslaying makes you better at killing dragons, because they get less scary after the 5th time. I’m not mentioning this to my party for fear of them picking a fight with every draconic NPC they find. There’s one for not getting killed by traps you’ve set off, one for crafting rods of wonder and not getting killed by them, one for killing things bigger than you and one for killing things smaller than you.
They’ve got so many different things I couldn’t cover them all here without defeating the purpose of you buying the feats, so here are a few of my favorites:
There’s two feats for getting killed and coming back. This is comic relief gold. Every party has that one player who keeps dying, so why not toss them a bone? If he dies and comes back twice the character may save himself from one death, one single death, simply because he’s so used to being dead he knows his way back. I think this would be awesome if any of my current batch of PCs dies. The third resurrection makes his constant death inflict negative levels on critical hits. This is pretty sweet.
Probably my least favorite feat is Healer’s Touch. The requirement to gain this feat is to heal 1,000 points of damage. The downside is that each point of damage you deal subtracts 2 points from your healing total. The benefit is that every healing spell you cast will be automatically Maximized without needing the feat. That’s pretty sweet, but running a dedicated support character for 1,000 points worth of healing does not seem like fun, though I do know some dedicated support players, so this one is probably for them. [These remind me greatly of the “badges” or achievements you can earn in MMORPGs like City of Heroes. Sounds like fun implementing them into a P&P RPG!Ed.]
To end on a high note, my favorite feat is the Self-Made Hero. The requirements is that the character write ten books about herself and her heroics that have been translated into at least two different languages. Because of this shameless self promotion the character’s fame allows them to be better at negotiating prices and fees for services, because everyone wants to hang with a hero. This feat combines well with the Pathfinder Chronicler Prestige class. Both the feat and the class require having published works. When I get around to making a pathfinder chronicler, I’m going to work this into the campaign.
All in all this is a decent collection of feats that provides something for characters to plan around, and give a little bit more relevance to using craft skills and other parts of the game that see less use than I would like. Not all of them are winners, but if you look in the Corebook you’ll find a few questionable feats there too. The glory of these collections is that you can cherry-pick the feats you want, and not touch the rest if you don’t want to. I’d recommend it for a GM looking to try something new with character progression, but it may be too much bookkeeping for some groups.
The Achievement Feats PDF is available at RPGNow, along with a lot of other Tricky Owlbear products.