By Owen K.C. Stephens (owenkcstephens.com)
Sometimes, a character ends up in a situation the Pathfinder rules don’t handle well. While it’s impossible to predict every time this may happen in advance, sometimes it is a predictable result of a player trying to make a character that doesn’t fit one of the common tropes of PCs in the game. It’s rarely worth a publisher’s time to try to make official fixes for the odd corner cases that penalize PCs with specific reasonable-but-unusual conceits, but since there’s a lot of celebrating independence and freedom lately, it seems worth having this post offer up some specific solutions for uncommon character concept problems.
Bigger is Better (Combat)
You can assume a stance that allows you to use larger weapons.
Prerequisites: Size Small.
Benefit: At the beginning of your turn as a free action, before you take any other actions, you may assume a stance designed to let you use weapons appropriately sized for Medium creatures without taking the normal penalty for using weapons one size larger than yourself. This stance lasts until the beginning of your next turn, and while in this stance you take a -1 penalty to attack rolls and AC. This stance has no effect if you are not Small, or if your weapon is not appropriately sized for a Medium creature.
Corridor Combatant (Combat)
You are a master at running partway up walls, bouncing off the ceiling, and generally making indoor terrain work for you.
Prerequisites: Class feature, favored class bonus, feat, or trait that increases your move rate; 1 rank Knowledge (dungeoneering).
Benefit: As long as you are within a space with a gap of no greater than double your natural reach between its walls or between floor and ceiling, you gain the following movement advantages:
- You can charge through friendly squares and do not need to charge in a straight line.
- You take half the normal penalty for squeezing.
- You gain a bonus equal to half your ranks in Knowledge (dungeoneering) to Acrobatics checks to avoid attacks of opportunity and to move through opponents space.
You are a master of kicking in doors, smashing idols, and generally wreaking destruction on construction.
Benefit: When you deal hp to an unattended, inanimate, non-magical object, you add your level to the damage dealt. If the object has a mass no greater than your own and you deal at least 25% of its hps, it gains the broken condition and stops functioning properly.
You have done everything possible to ensure your mind is not your greatest weakness.
Benefit: When calculating your Will saving, instead of adding the base Will save of classes that have a +0 base Will save at 1st level to your total, add a value equal to (half of all class levels you have in all classes with a base Will save of +0 at 1st level/2)+2. For example, a fighter 7/barbarian 3 adds ([7+3]/2 +2) 7 to his Will saves rather than the combined base will save of +2 he would normally have. (He still adds his wisdom modifier, base Will save from other classes, and any other modifiers normally.)
Terrible luck for you now often means good luck for you later.
Prerequisites: GM admits you, the player, have worse-than-average luck.
Benefit: If you roll a 10 or less on an attack roll, skill check, or saving throw, and you fail, and you would have succeeded on a roll of 15 or better, you gain one luck token. Once per turn, as a free action, you may spend a luck token prior to making any d20 check. This allows you to roll the d20 twice, and take the better of the two results. You can’t gain a luck token on a roll you used a luck token. You can’t have more luck tokens than half your character level (minimum 1). You lose all luck tokens between game sessions.
Special: If the GM tells you that you no longer have worse-than-average luck, you can replace with feat with any feat you meet the prerequisites for.
You can lean on ancient traditions to blend your bardic and druidic training.
Benefit: Select Wisdom or Charisma. If you select Wisdom, all your bard spells, class features, and skills that have calculations based on Charisma now base those calculations on Wisdomi instead. If you select Charisma, all your druid spells, class features, and skills that have calculations based on Wisdom now base those calculations on Charisma instead (though this does not affect your Will save calculation).
Additionally, when determining the effectiveness of a bard or druid class feature you already have, add +4 to the appropriate class level. Beginning at mystic theurge level 5, instead add your mystic theurge class level. This does not affect when you gain new class features or any aspect of spellcasting, only how effective your existing bard and druid class features are.
Special: Unlike most feats, Ovate can be taken by characters that do not yet meet its prerequisites. However, it has no effect until its prerequisites are met. This allows a 7th level bard/druid to select the feat in preparation of taking mystic theurge at 8th level, rather than having to wait until 9th.
Potion Infused Spell [Metamagic]
You can add the benefit of a potion in your possession to a beneficial spell you cast.
Benefit: When you cast a spell that has only you as the target or a harmless spell [a spell with (harmless) in the saving throw or spell resistance entry] on a single other target, you may add the effect of one potion in your possession (that you could draw as a move action or less, and that is not in a magical or extradimensional space). The potion becomes a material component of the spell and is consumed in the casting. Any effect that would prevent the potion from being consumed also prevents its benefits from applying to the target of the spell you cast.
The spell’s casting time increases to a full round action (or if it already has a casting time measured in time units longer than a standard action, adds one such unit of time – for example a spell with a casting time of 10 minutes becomes a casting time of 11 minutes). You must have as many ranks in Craft (alchemy) as the caster level of the potion to be added, and as many ranks in Spellcraft as double the spell level of the spell you are adding it to. If the spell is lost without taking effect (such as if you fail a concentration check to cast it), the potion is still expended without its effect taking place.
You can challenge your foes to come down here and deal with your directly!
Prerequisites: Unable to fly or teleport.
Benefit: As a standard action you can challenge a foe out of your reach to come face you with the respect you deserve. The foe must be able to see and hear you and must be beyond your ability to attack with any of your primary attack options. The foe must have a Will save (DC 10 +1/2 your level + your Con or Cha bonus, whichever is higher), or it accepts that you deserve to be destroyed face-to-face. For 1 round per level, an affected target takes a -4 penalty to any attack roll or skill check, and to the save DCs of its abilities, as long as it is beyond your ability to attack. If you lose the ability to attack anything, this effect ends. A creature you attempt this against is then immune to the ability for 24 hours.
Special: If you later gain the ability to fly or teleport, you can replace this feat with any other feat you meet the prerequisites for.
You don’t just disable traps, you become their keeper.
Benefit: You may use cunning trigger to set off traps you have disabled (included magic traps), as well as those you constructed.
Vengeance Is Mine
You care less about the origin of your favored enemies than what they have done to you.
Prerequisites: Class feature or magic item that gains bonuses against or only functions against a specific type of creature.
Benefit: If you have not used the creature-type specific ability or bonus in this encounter or the last combat encounter you were in, and there are no creatures present that would qualify for you to use it, when a foe scores a critical hit against you, you can use one class feature or magic item that only functions against a specific creature type against the foe that crit you. This does not make foes vulnerable to affects they are immune to, such as elementals are immune to critical hits.